Eric Linden (September 15, 1909 – July 14, 1994) was an American actor, primarily active during the 1930s.
September 15, 1909
New York City, U.S.
|Died||July 14, 1994 (aged 84)|
(m. 1955; div. 1977)
Eric Linden was born in New York City to Phillip and Elvira (née Lundborg) Linden, both of Swedish descent. His father was a professional pianist and an actor on stage with the Theater Royal when he lived in Stockholm, Sweden. When Eric was six, Phillip Linden deserted his family in New York City.
To help support his mother, sister and two brothers, he began washing dishes at a cafe after school when he was 7 years old. He also sold newspapers on Tenth Avenue. Linden attended Angela Patri elementary school and participated in school plays at DeWitt Clinton High School. After graduation, he worked his way through Columbia University. His first job after graduating from Columbia was being a runner for a bank.
Linden had ambitions of becoming a writer rather than an actor. By the time he was 22 years old, he had written three plays and 40 short stories, but none had been published. He hoped to have saved enough money by age 30 to retire from acting and spend his time writing.
Linden trained with the Theatre Guild for two years and went on to appear on Broadway in addition to acting in stock theater in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and acting in Paris, France, with the Paris-American Company. He appeared in an adaption of Goethe's Faust on Broadway in 1928. Linden's other Broadway's credits include The Silver Cord, The Age of Consent, Life Begins, Sweepings, and Big City Blues.
Linden made his film debut during the Great Depression in RKO Radio Pictures' 1931 crime film, Are These Our Children?, where he played a young murderer who gets executed. He afterwards appeared in 33 films until 1941, mostly playing boyish second leads with occasional leading roles in smaller pictures.
Linden frequently portrayed "sensitive, intellectual, slightly weak-willed juveniles", sometimes with tragic destinies. His notable films include Big City Blues (1932) with Joan Blondell, Old Hutch (1936) opposite Wallace Beery, Ah, Wilderness! (1935) and A Family Affair (1937), both with Lionel Barrymore and Mickey Rooney, and The Good Old Soak (1937), again with Wallace Beery. In 1939, Linden had a small but memorable role in the hospital in Gone with the Wind (1939) as the desperate soldier whose leg has to be amputated without Chloroform. Linden's role in Gone with the Wind was originally planned to be more extensive, but his screen time was reduced to less than a minute in the post-production. His career petered out and he left Hollywood after his final role, a leading part in the low-budget-picture Criminals Within (1941).
Eric Linden played in a few stage roles and then served in the Second World War. He later retired from acting and worked for the County of Orange in California. He married late in life in 1955, age 46; he and wife Jo Brown, an artist, settled in Laguna Beach, California and had three children: Karen, David and Andrea. They divorced in 1977.
Linden died on July 14, 1994, in South Laguna Beach, California, aged 84.
- Are These Our Children? (1931) - Edward 'Eddie' Brand
- Young Bride (1932) - Charlie Riggs
- The Crowd Roars (1932) - Edward 'Eddie' Greer
- The Roadhouse Murder (1932) - Chick Brian
- The Age of Consent (1932) - Duke Galloway
- Life Begins (1932) - Jed Sutton
- Big City Blues (1932) - Bud Reeves
- Afraid to Talk (1932) - Eddie Martin
- No Other Woman (1933) - Joe Zarcovia
- The Past of Mary Holmes (1933) - Geoffrey Holmes
- Sweepings (1933) - Freddie Pardway
- The Silver Cord (1933) - Robert Phelps
- Flying Devils (1933) - Bud Murray
- I Give My Love (1934) - Paul Vadja Jr. - at Age 21
- Let 'Em Have It (1935) - Buddy Spencer
- Ladies Crave Excitement (1935) - Bob Starke
- Born to Gamble (1935) - Earl Mathews
- Ah, Wilderness! (1935) - Richard Miller
- The Voice of Bugle Ann (1936) - Benjy Davis
- Robin Hood of El Dorado (1936) - Johnnie 'Jack' Warren
- In His Steps (1936) - Tom Carver
- Old Hutch (1936) - David 'Dave' Jolly
- Career Woman (1936) - Everett Clark
- A Family Affair (1937) - Wayne Trent III
- Girl Loves Boy (1937) - Robert Conrad
- The Good Old Soak (1937) - Clemmie Hawley
- Sweetheart of the Navy (1937) - Eddie Harris
- Here's Flash Casey (1938) - Flash Casey
- Midnight Intruder (1938) - John Clark Reitter Jr., posing as Jay Rogers
- Romance of the Limberlost (1938) - Wayne
- Everything's on Ice (1939) - Leopold Eddington
- Gone with the Wind (1939) - Amputation Case
- Criminals Within (1941) - Cpl. Greg Carroll (final film role)
- "Eric Linden Once Usher in Movie House". Ames Daily Tribune. Iowa, Ames. October 16, 1937. p. 4. Retrieved February 11, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- Keavy, Hubbard (November 19, 1932). "Screen Life in Hollywood". The Sandusky Register. Ohio, Sandusky. p. 9. Retrieved February 11, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- Coons, Robbin (February 9, 1932). "Eric Linden Actor, But He Wants A Literary Career". The Decatur Daily Review. Illinois, Decatur. p. 11. Retrieved February 11, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Eric Linden Started Work as Bank Runner". The Times Recorder. Ohio, Zanesville. August 22, 1937. p. 10. Retrieved February 11, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- "("Eric Linden" search results)". Playbill Vault. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- "Allmovie Biography". November 13, 2020 – via NYTimes.com.
- "Eric Linden". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved February 11, 2017.