Robert Young

Robert Young

Show Count: 199
Series Count: 3
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: February 22, 1907
Old Time Radio, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Died: July 21, 1998, Westlake Village, California, USA

Robert George Young (February 22, 1907 – July 21, 1998) was an American television, film, and radio actor, best known for his leading roles as Jim Anderson, the father character in Father Knows Best (NBC and then CBS), and the physician Marcus Welby inMarcus Welby, M.D. (ABC).

Early life

Born in Chicago, Young was the son of an Irish immigrant father, Thomas E. Young, and an American mother, Margaret Fife. When Young was a child, the family moved to different locations within the U.S.: Seattle, followed by Los Angeles, where Young became a student at Abraham Lincoln High School. After graduation, he studied and performed at the Pasadena Playhouse while working at odd jobs and appearing in bit parts in silent films. While touring with a stock company producing The Ship, Young was discovered by aMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer talent scout with whom he subsequently signed a contract. Young made his sound film debut for MGM in the 1931 Charlie Chan film, Black Camel.

Film career

Young appeared in over 100 films between 1931 and 1952. After appearing on stage, Young was signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and, in spite of having a "tier B" status, he co-starred with some of the studio's most illustrious actresses, such as Katharine Hepburn,Margaret Sullavan, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Helen Hayes, Luise Rainer, and Helen Twelvetrees. Yet, most of his assignments consisted of B movies, also known as "programmers", which required two to three weeks of shooting (considered very brief shooting periods at the time). Actors who were relegated to such a hectic schedule appeared, as Young did, in some six to eight movies per year.

As an MGM contract player, Young was resigned to the fate of most of his colleagues—to accept any film assigned to him or risk being placed on suspension—and many actors on suspension were prohibited from earning a salary from any endeavor at all (even those unrelated to the film industry). In 1936, MGM summarily loaned Young to Gaumont Britishfor two films; the first was directed by Alfred Hitchcock with the other co-starring the luminous Jessie Matthews. While there he surmised that his employers intended to terminate his contract, but he was mistaken.

He unexpectedly received one of his most rewarding roles late in his MGM career, in H.M. Pulham, Esq., featuring one of Hedy Lamarr's most effective performances. He once remarked that he was assigned only those roles which Robert Montgomery and other A-list actors had rejected.

After his contract at MGM ended, Young starred in light comedies as well as in trenchant dramas for studios such as 20th Century Fox, United Artists, and RKO Radio Pictures. From 1943, Young assayed more challenging roles in films like Claudia, The Enchanted Cottage, They Won't Believe Me, The Second Woman, and Crossfire. His portrayal of unsympathetic characters in several of these later films — which was seldom the case in his MGM pictures — was applauded by numerous reviewers.

Not surprisingly, and despite a propitious beginning as a freelance actor without the nurturing of a major studio, Young's career began an incremental and imperceptible decline. Still starring as a leading man in the late 1940s and early 1950s, but only in mediocre films, he subsequently disappeared from the silver screen, only to reappear several years later on a much smaller one.

Television career

Today, Young is most remembered as the affable insurance salesman in Father Knows Best (1949-1954 on radio, 1954-1960 on television), for which he and his co-star, Jane Wyatt, won several Emmy Awards. Elinor Donahue ("Betty"), Billy Gray ("Bud"), and Lauren Chapin ("Kathy") played the Anderson children in the television version.

Young then created, produced, and starred with Ford Rainey and Constance Moore in the nostalgic CBS comedy series Window on Main Street (1961–1962), which barely lasted six months.

Young's final television series, Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969–1976), co-starring a young James Brolin, earned Young an Emmy for best leading actor in a drama series.

Until the late 1980s he also made numerous television commercials in which he persuaded edgy people to drink Sanka coffee.

Personal life and death

Young was married to Betty Henderson from 1933 until her death in 1994. They had four daughters, Carol Proffitt, Barbara Beebe, Kathy Young and Betty Lou Gleason. They also had six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Despite his trademark portrayal of happy, well-adjusted characters, Young's bitterness towards Hollywood casting practices never diminished, and he suffered from depression andalcoholism, culminating in a suicide attempt in January 1991.  Later, he spoke candidly about his personal problems in an effort to encourage others to seek help. The Robert Young Center for Community Mental Health, in Rock Island, Illinois, is named for Young in honor of his work toward passage of the 708 Illinois Tax Referendum, which established a property tax to support mental health programs in his home state.

Young died of respiratory failure at his Westlake Village, California home on July 21, 1998, and was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale.

He has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California, USA; the stars are in the categories of film (located at 6933 Hollywood Blvd.), television (6358 Hollywood Blvd.), and radio (1660 Vine Street).

Source: Wikipedia

Encore TheaterEncore Theater
Show Count: 10
Broadcast History: 1946 to 1949
Cast: Gerald Mohr, Lionel Barrymore, Robert Young, Ronald Colman, Lurene Tuttle, Eric Snowden
Director: Bill Lawrence
Producer: Bill Lawrence
Father Knows BestFather Knows Best
Show Count: 112
Broadcast History: 25 August 1949 to 19 November 1953
Sponsor: General Foods
Cast: Robert Young, Sam Edwards, Norma Jean Nilsson, Herb Vigran, June Whitley, Eleanor Audley, Ted Donaldson, Rhoda Williams, Jean Vander Pyl
Director: Fran Van Hartesveldt, Ken Burton, Murray Bolen
Producer: Fran Van Hartesveldt, Ken Burton, Murray Bolen
An American radio and television comedy series which portrayed a middle class family life in the Midwest. It was created by writer Ed James in the 1940s, and ran on radio from 1949 to 1954 and on television from 1954 to 1960.
Broadcast: 16th September 1948
Added: Sep 17 2006
Broadcast: September 24, 1945
Added: Aug 31 2017
Broadcast: January 31, 1946
Added: Jan 24 2016
Broadcast: July 25, 1946
Added: Sep 30 2021
Broadcast: 10th April 1948
Starring: Robert Young
Added: Sep 07 2002
Broadcast: 26th February 1946
Added: Feb 14 2010
Broadcast: 3rd September 1945
Added: Sep 28 2010
Broadcast: 14th February 1944
Added: Feb 25 2012
Broadcast: 3rd August 1943
Added: Mar 16 2006
Broadcast: November 23, 1942
Added: Nov 24 2018
Broadcast: June 28, 1954
Added: Jun 29 2019
Broadcast: 12th November 1945
Added: Nov 13 2010
Broadcast: 4th December 1945
Added: Dec 06 2008
Broadcast: 6th June 1946
Starring: Robert Young
Added: May 18 2007
Broadcast: July 13, 1942
Added: Aug 21 2010
Broadcast: 21st May 1945
Starring: Robert Young
Added: Nov 06 2008
Broadcast: 4th February 1940
Added: Apr 04 2010
Broadcast: February 12, 1948
Added: Feb 07 2015
Broadcast: April 5, 1943
Added: Apr 30 2013
Broadcast: February 24, 1948
Added: Oct 15 2021
Broadcast: 11th March 1947
Added: Nov 18 2007
Broadcast: 6th January 1949
Added: Jan 07 2014
Broadcast: 14th December 1942
Added: Dec 18 2012
Broadcast: February 9, 1948
Starring: Robert Young
Added: Feb 12 2007
Broadcast: 24th March 1952
Starring: Robert Young
Added: Jul 30 2009
Broadcast: 16th March 1941
Added: Apr 11 2010
Broadcast: 9th December 1943
Starring: Robert Young, Margo
Added: Dec 09 2006
Broadcast: 19th April 1943
Added: Apr 14 2012
Broadcast: 29th October 1944
Added: Nov 05 2004
Broadcast: March 28, 1956
Added: Apr 02 2021
Broadcast: 13th July 1953
Added: Jul 20 2013
Broadcast: April 3, 1949
Added: Jan 06 2015
Broadcast: December 14, 1950
Added: Dec 17 2016
Broadcast: October 9, 1943
Added: Nov 11 2022
Broadcast: 14th February 1949
Starring: Robert Young
Added: Feb 15 2004
Broadcast: April 21, 1957
Added: Apr 12 2009
Broadcast: 13th June 1951
Added: Jun 12 2011
Broadcast: 21st August 1947
Starring: Robert Young
Added: Aug 21 2004
Broadcast: September 8, 1949
Added: Sep 19 2016