A Tribute to Robert Young
He was everybody’s Dad, then everybody’s doctor, and before he was those things, he appeared in 100 movies.
His real-life persona was almost the exact opposite of the solid characters he played on TV. Instead of a kindly doctor and a father who knew best, he was a depressed, suicidal alcoholic — at least during part of his life.
However, he lived to the age of 91 and died of what was basically “old age.” He licked all the illnesses and made a lot of friends along the way. He was married to the same woman for over 60 years, and it was said that he never refused a request for an autograph.
Since this is a film site, here are a few notes about his film career: Those 100 films were mostly made between 1937 and 1952 (an average of about 7 films a year), after which he began his successful TV career. Before that he co-starred with Spencer Tracy in Northwest Passage (1940), and appeared with two other Roberts — Mitchum and Ryan — in Crossfire (1947). His performance in Cairo as the heroic newsman was as goofy as the movie itself, but the film was distinguished more for the singing of Jeanette MacDonald and Ethel Waters than anything else. His other notable films were H.M. Pulham, Esq. (1941), Journey for Margaret (1942), The Canterville Ghost (1944) — the original, with Charles Laughton as the ghost, and an adorable Margaret O’Brien — Lady Luck (1946), They Won’t Believe Me (1947), and Sitting Pretty (1948).
Here are a number of places where you can find out more about the genial star who a Hollywood mogul once said had “no sex appeal.” Turns out he didn’t really need it.
- The Internet Movie Database – Biography, filmography, and more.
- About.com’s Alcholism Site – A photo tribute.
Where to Find or See Robert Young Films