Robert Warwick

Robert Warwick (born Robert Taylor Bien, October 9, 1878 – June 6, 1964) was an American stage, film and television actor with over 200 film appearances. A matinee idol during the Silent film era, he prospered with the introduction of sound to cinema thanks to a rich, resonant voice, evolving over time into a highly regarded, aristocratic character actor.

Robert Warwick
Robert Warwick circa1915.jpg
Warwick in 1915
Born
Robert Taylor Bien

(1878-10-09)October 9, 1878
DiedJune 6, 1964(1964-06-06) (aged 85)
West Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeHoly Cross Cemetery, Culver City
OccupationActor
Years active1903–1960
Spouse(s)
Arline Peck
(m. 1903; div. 1909)

Josephine Whittell
(m. 1910; div. 19??)
Stella Larrimore
(m. 1930; died 1960)
RelativesFrancine Larrimore
(sister-in-law)

Early lifeEdit

Warwick was born Robert Taylor Bien in 1878[1] to Louis Bien[2] and Isabel Taylor Bien.[3] Some sources say in England,[1] others Sacramento, California.[4] He studied music in Paris and trained to be an opera singer, but acting proved to be his greater calling.[5]

StageEdit

Warwick made his Broadway debut in 1903 in the play Glad of It.[6] One of his co-stars was a young John Barrymore, also making his Broadway debut. Both actors, over time, became matinee idols. For the next twenty years Warwick appeared in such plays as Anna Karenina (1906), Two Women (1910), with Mrs. Leslie Carter, and The Kiss Waltz (1911) and Miss Prince (1912), in both of which he was able to display his singing voice, The Secret (1913), A Celebrated Case (1915) and Drifting (1922) with Alice Brady, not to mention several other plays through the end of the 1920s.

Military serviceEdit

Warwick served in the United States Army during World War I as an infantry captain and as a liaison officer with the French Army.[4]

Film careerEdit

 
Motion Picture Classic Magazine, 1915

Warwick started making silent films in 1914,[citation needed] with his early work including The Mad Lover, A Modern Othello and Thou Art the Man.[7] He made numerous productions in the 1910s primarily in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Two films, Alias Jimmy Valentine and A Girl's Folly, both directed by Maurice Tourneur have been preserved, and showcase Warwick as a silent actor, as well as Tourneur's directing talent, and both are available on home video.

From the 1920s on, Warwick alternated doing plays and silent films. He was fifty when sound films arrived, and though middle aged with his matinee idol looks fading found plenty of work in character roles, much enhanced by his rich, resonant voice, eloquent diction, and aristocratic manner. When the studios moved to Los Angeles, Warwick followed. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Warwick's dependable acting and superb voice ensured that he was seldom out of work.

His immense filmography includes such classics as The Little Colonel (1935) with Shirley Temple and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) with Errol Flynn. He was one of a number of actors favored by director Preston Sturges and appeared in many of his films, among them Sullivan's Travels (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1942) and Hail the Conquering Hero (1944). He also appeared in I Married a Witch (1942) and Man from Frisco (1944).

Television and later lifeEdit

Warwick made numerous appearances on television almost from its initial popularity in the late 1940s. In his seventies he was still hard at work and made appearances on every type of television show from westerns like Broken Arrow and Sugarfoot to the adventure series Rescue 8, to the science fiction series The Twilight Zone, to the anthology series The Loretta Young Show.

Personal lifeEdit

Warwick and his first wife, Arline Peck (m.1903), had one daughter, Rosalind. They divorced in 1909. By 1910, Warwick married actress Josephine Whittell (1883-1961), but the childless marriage also ended in divorce. He next wed Stella Larrimore (1905–60) (a sister of Francine Larrimore) in 1930; they had a daughter, Betsey, who later became a poet in Los Angeles.

Warwick died June 6, 1964, in West Los Angeles, California, at age 85. Survivors included his daughters and two grandchildren.[4]

Complete filmographyEdit

SilentEdit

SoundEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 155. ISBN 978-0786450190. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  2. ^ "Will be married soon in Chicago". San Francisco Chronicle. February 13, 1902. p. 14. Retrieved April 22, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Death of Louis Bien". Oakland Tribune. November 7, 1908. p. 14. Retrieved April 22, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ a b c "Robert Warwick of Films and TV". The New York Times. United Press International. June 7, 1964. Archived from the original on February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  5. ^ "Miss Arline Peck to wed on March 15th". San Francisco Examiner. February 18, 1902. p. 3. Retrieved April 22, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "("Robert Warwick" search results)". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  7. ^ Harty, John P., Jr. (2016). The Cinematic Challenge: Filming Colonial America: Volume 1: The Golden Age, 1930-1950. Hillcrest Publishing Group. p. 142. ISBN 978-1-63505-146-9. Retrieved April 22, 2020.

External linksEdit