Robert Warwick

Active - 1914 - 2017  |   Born - Oct 9, 1878   |   Died - Jun 6, 1964   |   Genres - Drama, Western, Adventure, Crime, Comedy

Share on

Biography by Hal Erickson

As a boy growing up in Sacramento, Robert Warwick sang in his church choir. Encouraged to pursue music as a vocation, Warwick studied in Paris for an operatic career. He abandoned singing for straight acting when, in 1903, he was hired by Clyde Fitch as an understudy in the Broadway play Glad of It. Within a few year, Warwick was a major stage star in New York. He managed to retain his matinee-idol status when he switched from stage to screen, starring in such films as A Modern Othello and Alias Jimmy Valentine and at one point heading his own production company. He returned to the stage in 1920, then resumed his Hollywood career in authoritative supporting roles. His pear-shaped tones ideally suited for talkies, Warwick played such characters as Neptune in Night Life of the Gods (1933), Sir Francis Knolly in Mary of Scotland (1936) and Lord Montague in Romeo and Juliet (1936). He appeared in many of the Errol Flynn "historicals" at Warner Bros. (Prince and the Pauper, Adventures of Robin Hood, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex); in more contemporary fare, he could usually be found in a military uniform or wing-collared tuxedo. From The Great McGinty (1940) onward, Warwick was a particular favorite of producer/director Preston Sturges, who was fond of providing plum acting opportunities to veteran character actors. Warwick's best performance under Sturges' guidance was as the brusque Hollywood executive who insists upon injecting "a little sex" in all of his studio's product in Sullivan's Travels (1942). During the 1950s, Warwick played several variations on "Charles Waterman," the broken-down Shakespearean ham that he'd portrayed in In a Lonely Place (1950). He remained in harness until his eighties, playing key roles on such TV series as The Twilight Zone and The Law and Mr. Jones. Robert Warwick was married twice, to actresses Josephine Whittell and Stella Lattimore.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography