Brooks in the trailer for Dramatic School, 1938
|Born||September 21, 1918|
Wright City, Missouri, U.S.
|Died||September 1, 2003 (aged 84)|
Santa Ynez, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California|
|Occupation||Actor, producer, rancher|
(m. 1948; div. 1978)
(m. 1978; died 2003)
Brooks was born in Wright City, Missouri. He was the son of Arlington Rand Brooks (1867 –1950), a farmer.[a] He and his mother moved to Los Angeles when he was four, though he continued to spend summers in Wright City. 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.
His mother and his grandfather were actors.
After leaving school, Brooks got a screen test at MGM and was given a bit part in Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938). 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. 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.
After Gone With the Wind, he had relatively small parts in other movies including Babes in Arms, then a regular role as Lucky in the Hopalong Cassidy series of westerns in the mid 1940s; Brooks succeeded Russ Hayden in the role. 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." In edited, half-hour versions of some of the films, he appeared in twelve of the 52 episodes of the Hopalong Cassidy television series.
Brooks served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, eventually reaching the rank of Sergeant. He trained at Buckley Field in Colorado, in March 1943 and was stationed in Springfield, Missouri as of May 1943. Brooks was for a time at San Antonio Air Field. He trained for flying but did some theatre work under General Arnold. He was ill for a time during his service and in 1944 worked in recruitment in Louisiana.
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. Filmed in just ten days, the film was released soon after its completion.
Brooks had guest roles in 1950s western series, including Mackenzie's Raiders, The Lone Ranger, Maverick, Gunsmoke, and Bonanza. He appeared twice on the syndicated adventure series, Rescue 8, as well as on CBS's Perry Mason courtroom drama series.
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.
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. Brooks sold ambulance company in 1994 and retired to his ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley where he bred champion Andalusian horses. 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.
Variety reported that Brooks married Clover Barrick on April 18, 1945.
He married Lois Laurel (d. 2017), daughter of Stan Laurel, in 1949. Their son Arlington Rand Brooks III was born in September 1949. Their daughter Laurel was born in August 1950 in Santa Monica, California.
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) and Laurel, by his marriage to Lois Laurel.
- Hold That Kiss (1938) - Guitar Player in Band (uncredited)
- Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) - Young Man on Bandstand (uncredited)
- Dramatic School (1938) - Pasquel Jr.
- The Old Maid (1939) - Jim
- Babes in Arms (1939) - Jeff Steele
- Thunder Afloat (1939) - Listener (uncredited)
- Dancing Co-Ed (1939) - Steve (uncredited)
- Balalaika (1939) - Crying Soldier (uncredited)
- Gone with the Wind (1939) - Charles Hamilton - Her Brother
- Laddie (1940) - Peter Dover
- Northwest Passage (1940) - Peter Dover
- And One Was Beautiful (1940) - Joe Havens
- Florian (1940) - Victor
- Girl from Avenue A (1940) - Steve
- Life with Henry (1940) - Daniel Gordon (uncredited)
- The Son of Monte Cristo (1940) - Hans Mirbach
- Jennie (1940) - Karl Schermer
- Cheers for Miss Bishop (1941) - 'Buzz' Wheelwright
- Double Date (1941) - Jerry Baldwin
- The People vs. Dr. Kildare (1941) - Dr. George Young (uncredited)
- Lady Scarface (1941) - James 'Jimmy' Powell
- Niagara Falls (1941) - Honeymooner
- Cowboy Serenade (1942) - Jim Agnew
- The Affairs of Jimmy Valentine (1942)
- Fingers at the Window (1942) - Young Reporter (uncredited)
- The Sombrero Kid (1942) - Philip Martin
- Air Force (1943) - Co-Pilot (uncredited)
- High Explosive (1943) - Jimmy Baker
- Lady in the Dark (1944) - Ben (uncredited)
- Resisting Enemy Interrogation (1944) - Pilot (uncredited)
- The Harvey Girls (1946) - Townsman at Saloon (uncredited)
- The Devil's Playground (1946) - Lucky Jenkins
- The Great Morgan (1946) - Film Character (uncredited)
- Fool's Gold (1946) - Lucky Jenkins
- Unexpected Guest (1947) - Lucky Jenkins
- Dangerous Venture (1947) - Lucky Jenkins
- The Marauders (1947) - Lucky Jenkins
- Hoppy's Holiday (1947) - Lucky Jenkins
- Kilroy Was Here (1947) - Rodney Meadows
- Silent Conflict (1948) - Lucky Jenkins
- The Dead Don't Dream (1948) - Lucky Jenkins
- Sinister Journey (1948) - Lucky Jenkins
- Borrowed Trouble (1948) - Lucky Jenkins
- False Paradise (1948) - Lucky Jenkins
- Strange Gamble (1948) - Lucky Jenkins
- Sundown in Santa Fe (1948) - Tom Wyatt
- Joan of Arc (1948) - Jean d'Arc
- Ladies of the Chorus (1948) - Randy Carroll
- The Wyoming Bandit (1949) - Jimmy Howard
- Black Midnight (1949) - Daniel Jordan
- The Vanishing Westerner (1950) - Sanderson's First Victim
- Riding High (1950) - Henry Early
- Bunco Squad (1950) - Robert (uncredited)
- Heart of the Rockies (1951) - Jim Corley
- Yukon Manhunt (1951) - Len Kaufman
- The Steel Fist (1952) - Capt. Giorg Nicholoff
- The Cimarron Kid (1952) - Emmett Dalton (uncredited)
- Waco (1952) - Henchman Al
- Man from the Black Hills (1952) - Fake Jimmy Fallon
- The Gunman (1952) - Jud Calvert
- Montana Incident (1952) - Dave Connors
- The Maverick (1952) - Trooper Barnham
- Born to the Saddle (1953) - John Grant
- The Charge at Feather River (1953) - Pvt. Adams (uncredited)
- To Hell and Back (1955) - Lt. Harris (uncredited)
- Official Detective (1957, TV Series) - McClellan
- The Challenge of Rin Tin Tin (1958)
- The Last Hurrah (1958) - Votes Tallyman (uncredited)
- Stump Run (1959) - Wayne Lawson
- Comanche Station (1960) - Station Man
- Posse from Hell (1961) - Townsman (uncredited)
- Stagecoach to Dancers' Rock (1962) - Quint Rucker
- The Munsters (Nov 1964) - (Tin-Can man)
- Harlow (1965) - Casting Director (uncredited)
- Requiem for a Gunfighter (1965) - Abe Gentry
- Combat! (1965, TV Series) - G.I. Lieutenant
- Leather Narcissus (1967)
- In Like Flint (1967) - Missile Control Officer (uncredited)
- Double Indemnity (1973, TV Movie) - Conductor (uncredited)
- The Sex Symbol (1974, TV Movie) - Edward Kelly (final film role)
- 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.
- "Marriages". Variety. 158 (7). 1945-04-25. p. 45 – via Proquest.
- "Rand Brooks Gets Big Movie Role". Warrenton Banner. 1939-02-03. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
- Arlington Rand Brooks. Missouri Death Certificates, 1910-1969. Accessed 2020-03-27.
- 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.
- "News Notes". Warrenton Banner. 1945-02-15. p. 3. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Rand Brooks Featured on Freshman Program". Warrenton Banner. 1950-11-23. p. 3. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Cub Scout Meeting Held Friday, July 28". Warrenton Banner. 1953-08-06. p. 1. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
- Neville, Lucie (1939-08-20). "Men Wanted". Laredo Times. p. 22 – via NewspaperArchive.
- "Plays in "Love Finds Andy Hardy"". Warrenton Banner. 1938-08-12. p. 5. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
- Bergan, Ronald (2003-10-16). "Obituary: Rand Brooks". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
- Riggle, Michelle (1992-02-01). "'GWTW' Stars Kick Off Gable Bash". New Philadelphia Times Reporter. p. A5 – via NewspaperArchive.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Pictures: Film Reviews - Fool's Gold". Variety. 164 (5). 1946-10-09. p. 14 – via Proquest.
- "News Notes". Warrenton Banner. 1943-03-11. p. 3. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
- "News Notes". Warrenton Banner. 1943-05-13. p. 3. Retrieved 2020-03-20 – via Newspapers.com.
- "News of Our Men and Women in Uniform". Warrenton Banner. 1943-07-01. p. 1. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Rand Brooks Promoted to Sergeant". Warrenton Banner. 1944-03-30. p. 5. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
- Spoto, Donald (2001). Marilyn Monroe: The Biography. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-8154-1183-3.
- Vogel, Michelle (2014-04-24). Marilyn Monroe: Her Films, Her Life. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-7086-0.
- "Pictures: The Steel Fist". Variety. 185 (9). 1952-02-06. p. 20 – via Proquest.
- Orlean, Susan (2012-10-09). Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4391-9014-2.
- Yokley, Richard; Sutherland, Rozane (2007). Emergency!: Behind the Scene. Jones & Bartlett Learning. ISBN 978-0-7637-4896-8.
- 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.
- 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.
- "Actor Brooks "Died" in Films; Recovered in Ambulance Biz". Orange County Register. 1977-04-16. p. 24 – via NewspaperArchive.
- "Gable Birthday Event to Feature Gone with the Wind Actors". New Philadelphia Times Reporter. 1992-01-30. p. D-8 – via NewspaperArchive.
- "Lois Laurel Hawes, Daughter of Stan Laurel, Dies at 89". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
- "Rand Brooks Married in Hollywood". Warrenton Banner. 1949-04-14. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
- "News Notes". Warrenton Banner. 1949-09-29. p. 3. Retrieved 2020-03-28 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Former Lois Laurel Has Second Child". Newspapers.com. Santa Cruz Sentine. 1950-09-17. p. 4. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
- "Palmdale man arrested for DUI, hit and run in fatal crash". theavtimes.com. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
- "Obituary of Arlington Rand Brooks III | Rose Family Funeral Home". rosefamilyfuneralhome.com. Retrieved 2020-03-29.