Robert Arden

Robert Arden (11 December 1922 – 25 March 2004) was an American film, television and radio actor[1] born in London[2] who worked and lived mostly in the United Kingdom.[3]

Robert Arden
Robert Arden Mr Arkadin.jpg
Arden in a scene from Mr. Arkadin.
Born11 December 1922 (1922-12-11)
Died25 March 2004 (2004-03-26) (aged 81)

Early yearsEdit

Arden was born from an American father and an English mother. His father had a successful career as a professional boxer after World War I.[4] He attended "a combination of English and American schools."[2]


Arden's most famous film appearance was as lead character Guy Van Stratten in Mr. Arkadin (1955), written and directed by Orson Welles. Welles had worked with Arden on the Harry Lime radio series, produced in London,[5] and had also appreciated his performance in a London production of Guys and Dolls. He later cast the little-known actor in Mr. Arkadin, in the central role of the investigator who uncovers Arkadin's past. Reportedly, Arden was shocked that Welles might consider him for the part and initially thought that the director's phone inquiry was a crank call.[6]

Arden's performance in Mr. Arkadin was panned by some critics : The New York Times called it "hopelessly inadequate".[7] Film historian Jonathan Rosenbaum has defended Arden's performance, locating the problem not in the actor's work but in "the unsavoriness and obnoxiousness of the character", who was intended by Welles to be unattractive even though he occupied in the film "the space normally reserved for charismatic heroes".[8]

The credits of one the film's Spanish versions misspelled Arden's name as "Bob Harden".[9] Another Spanish print actually credited him as "Mark Sharpe".[10]

Mr. Arkadin did poorly at the box-office. Afterwards, Arden played a few other lead roles, in films such as The Depraved (1957) or The Child and the Killer (1959), but he worked mostly as a character actor, appearing in film, television and stage productions.

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ Scott Palmer, British film actors' credits, 1895-1987, McFarland & Co Inc, 1988, Page 18
  2. ^ a b Aaker, Everett (2006). Encyclopedia of Early Television Crime Fighters. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-6409-8. Pp. 20-23.
  3. ^ Robert Arden
  4. ^ Everett Aaker, Encyclopedia of Early Television Crime Fighters: All Regular Cast Members in American Crime and Mystery Series, 1948-1959, McFarland, 2006, p. 20
  5. ^ Charles Higham, The films of Orson Welles, 1970, page 145
  6. ^ The Bootleg files : Mr. Arkadin',
  7. ^ Mystery Movie Opens at the New Yorker Welles' 'Mr. Arkadin', The New York Times, October 12, 1962
  8. ^ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Discovering Orson Welles, University of California Press, 2007, pp.160-161
  9. ^ Spanish credits on YouTube
  10. ^ DVD Town: Complete Mr. Arkadin a.k.a. Confidential Report

External linksEdit