Rand Brooks

Arlington Rand Brooks Jr. [1] (September 21, 1918 – September 1, 2003) was an American film and television actor.

Rand Brooks
Rand Brooks in Dramatic School trailer.JPG
Brooks in the trailer for Dramatic School, 1938
Born(1918-09-21)September 21, 1918
DiedSeptember 1, 2003(2003-09-01) (aged 84)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California
OccupationActor, producer, rancher
Lois Laurel
(m. 1948; div. 1978)

Hermine Brooks
(m. 1978; died 2003)

Early lifeEdit

Brooks was born in Wright City, Missouri. He was the son of Arlington Rand Brooks[2] (1867 –1950), a farmer.[3][a] He and his mother moved to Los Angeles when he was four[4], though he continued to spend summers in Wright City.[2] Brooks continued to make visits to his hometown of Wright City into the 1950s, up to and following the death of his father in 1950.[5][6][7]

His mother and his grandfather were actors.[8]


Early careerEdit

After leaving school, Brooks got a screen test at MGM and was given a bit part in Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938).[9] His big fame came with his part as Charles Hamilton in Gone with the Wind (1939), a role which he later admitted he despised; he wanted to play more macho parts.[10] He made $100 per week under contract at MGM, but when he was on loan to Selznick International Pictures for Gone with the Wind, he made $500 per week.[11]

After Gone With the Wind, he had relatively small parts in other movies including Babes in Arms,[12] then a regular role as Lucky in the Hopalong Cassidy series of westerns in the mid 1940s;[13] Brooks succeeded Russ Hayden in the role.[14] Among the films, which starred William Boyd as Hopalong, were Hoppy's Holiday, The Dead Don't Dream, and Borrowed Trouble. He received positive notice for his work in Fool's Gold, with Variety reporting that he did "an excellent job."[15] In edited, half-hour versions of some of the films, he appeared in twelve of the 52 episodes of the Hopalong Cassidy television series.[13]

Military serviceEdit

Brooks served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, eventually reaching the rank of Sergeant.[1] He trained at Buckley Field in Colorado, in March 1943[16] and was stationed in Springfield, Missouri as of May 1943.[17] Brooks was for a time at San Antonio Air Field. He trained for flying but did some theatre work under General Arnold.[18] He was ill for a time during his service and in 1944 worked in recruitment in Louisiana.[19]

Post-military film and television workEdit

In 1948, he co-starred with Adele Jergens and Marilyn Monroe in the low-budget black-and-white Columbia Pictures film, Ladies of the Chorus. Brooks became the first actor to share an on-screen kiss with Monroe, who in a few years would be one of the world's biggest movie stars.[4] Filmed in just ten days, the film was released soon after its completion.[20][21]

Variety called his performance in the 1952 film The Steel Fist "capable."[22]

Television brought new opportunities, again often in westerns. He played Cpl. Randy Boone in the 1950s television series, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.[4][23]

Brooks had guest roles in 1950s western series, including Mackenzie's Raiders,[14] The Lone Ranger, Maverick, Gunsmoke, and Bonanza.[10] He appeared twice on the syndicated adventure series, Rescue 8,[24] as well as on CBS's Perry Mason courtroom drama series.[25]

He directed and produced a movie about brave dogs, Bearheart, but the film was entangled in legal troubles due to his business manager's involvement in crimes such as forgery and graft. The film was never released.[4]

Brooks was one of the favorite leading men of Jane Withers.[26]

Post-entertainment careerEdit

After he left show business, Brooks ran a private ambulance company in Glendale, California. He commented that he "died in more pictures than almost anyone" and that though he was never very big in show business, he was willing to return to it.[27] Brooks sold ambulance company in 1994 and retired to his ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley where he bred champion Andalusian horses.[4] He attended a Gone with the Wind reunion for Clark Gable's birthday, along with Ann Rutherford and Fred Crane, in Cadiz, Ohio in 1992.[28][11]

Personal lifeEdit

Variety reported that Brooks married Clover Barrick on April 18, 1945.[1]

He married Lois Laurel (d. 2017)[29], daughter of Stan Laurel, in 1949.[10][30] Their son Arlington Rand Brooks III was born in September 1949.[31] Their daughter Laurel was born in August 1950 in Santa Monica, California.[32][10]


Brooks died in Santa Ynez, California, twenty days before his 85th birthday. He was survived by his wife, Hermine, and his two children, Randy (1949-2016)[33][34] and Laurel, by his marriage to Lois Laurel.[10]

Partial filmographyEdit


  1. ^ Though his obituary in the Guardian mentions a traveling salesman father and birth in St. Louis, earlier newspaper reports in the Warrenton Bulletin state he was the son of a local farmer and left the area as a child; the 1920 census has him living in Wright City, Missouri.


  1. ^ a b c "Marriages". Variety. 158 (7). 1945-04-25. p. 45 – via Proquest.
  2. ^ a b "Rand Brooks Gets Big Movie Role". Warrenton Banner. 1939-02-03. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ Arlington Rand Brooks. Missouri Death Certificates, 1910-1969. Accessed 2020-03-27.
  4. ^ a b c d e McClellan, Dennis (2020-01-04). "Rand Brooks, 84; Actor Had Roles in Westerns, 'Gone With the Wind'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-01-04.
  5. ^ "News Notes". Warrenton Banner. 1945-02-15. p. 3. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Rand Brooks Featured on Freshman Program". Warrenton Banner. 1950-11-23. p. 3. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Cub Scout Meeting Held Friday, July 28". Warrenton Banner. 1953-08-06. p. 1. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ Neville, Lucie (1939-08-20). "Men Wanted". Laredo Times. p. 22 – via NewspaperArchive.
  9. ^ "Plays in "Love Finds Andy Hardy"". Warrenton Banner. 1938-08-12. p. 5. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ a b c d e Bergan, Ronald (2003-10-16). "Obituary: Rand Brooks". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  11. ^ a b Riggle, Michelle (1992-02-01). "'GWTW' Stars Kick Off Gable Bash". New Philadelphia Times Reporter. p. A5 – via NewspaperArchive.
  12. ^ Hischak, Thomas S. (2004). Through the Screen Door: What Happened to the Broadway Musical when it Went to Hollywood. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-5018-7.
  13. ^ a b Holland, Ted (1989). B Western Actors Encyclopedia: Facts, Photos, and Filmographies for More Than 250 Familiar Faces. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-89950-306-6.
  14. ^ a b Brode, Douglas (2009-10-15). Shooting Stars of the Small Screen: Encyclopedia of TV Western Actors, 1946–Present. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-71849-4.
  15. ^ "Pictures: Film Reviews - Fool's Gold". Variety. 164 (5). 1946-10-09. p. 14 – via Proquest.
  16. ^ "News Notes". Warrenton Banner. 1943-03-11. p. 3. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "News Notes". Warrenton Banner. 1943-05-13. p. 3. Retrieved 2020-03-20 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "News of Our Men and Women in Uniform". Warrenton Banner. 1943-07-01. p. 1. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ "Rand Brooks Promoted to Sergeant". Warrenton Banner. 1944-03-30. p. 5. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ Spoto, Donald (2001). Marilyn Monroe: The Biography. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-8154-1183-3.
  21. ^ Vogel, Michelle (2014-04-24). Marilyn Monroe: Her Films, Her Life. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-7086-0.
  22. ^ "Pictures: The Steel Fist". Variety. 185 (9). 1952-02-06. p. 20 – via Proquest.
  23. ^ Orlean, Susan (2012-10-09). Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4391-9014-2.
  24. ^ Yokley, Richard; Sutherland, Rozane (2007). Emergency!: Behind the Scene. Jones & Bartlett Learning. ISBN 978-0-7637-4896-8.
  25. ^ Press, The Associated (2003-09-03). "Rand Brooks, 84, Actor Known For Role in 'Gone With the Wind'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  26. ^ Goldrup, Tom; Goldrup, Jim (2002-05-06). Growing Up on the Set: Interviews with 39 Former Child Actors of Classic Film and Television. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-1254-9.
  27. ^ "Actor Brooks "Died" in Films; Recovered in Ambulance Biz". Orange County Register. 1977-04-16. p. 24 – via NewspaperArchive.
  28. ^ "Gable Birthday Event to Feature Gone with the Wind Actors". New Philadelphia Times Reporter. 1992-01-30. p. D-8 – via NewspaperArchive.
  29. ^ "Lois Laurel Hawes, Daughter of Stan Laurel, Dies at 89". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
  30. ^ "Rand Brooks Married in Hollywood". Warrenton Banner. 1949-04-14. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ "News Notes". Warrenton Banner. 1949-09-29. p. 3. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
  32. ^ "Former Lois Laurel Has Second Child". Newspapers.com. Santa Cruz Sentine. 1950-09-17. p. 4. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
  33. ^ "Palmdale man arrested for DUI, hit and run in fatal crash". theavtimes.com. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
  34. ^ "Obituary of Arlington Rand Brooks III | Rose Family Funeral Home". rosefamilyfuneralhome.com. Retrieved 2020-03-29.

External linksEdit