Robert Cummings

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Robert Cummings
(Photo: Alan Light, 1979)

Robert "Bob" Cummings (born June 9, 1910 in Joplin , Missouri as Charles Clarence Robert Orville Cummings , † December 2, 1990 in Woodland Hills , California ) was an American actor . He has appeared in more than 75 films.


Robert Cummings was born in 1910 according to most sources, although 1908 is occasionally mentioned. He initially studied at various universities to become an engineer, but then decided on a career as an actor. After studying acting at the American School of Dramatic Arts , Cummings had his first role on Broadway in 1931 under the stage name "Blade Stanhope Conway", which he later changed to "Brice Hutchins" until he was known by his real name in the film. He began his film career in the early 1930s with various minor roles before he received his first substantial role in 1935 by King Vidor in his film So Red the Rose at the side of Gary Cooper . He then made a long series of now-forgotten B-films.

His career peaked in the early 1940s with films like Mary and the Millionaire , in which he mostly played the charming and attractive leading men. His appearance in the award-winning drama Kings Row and his leading role as Barry Kane, accused of innocent espionage, in the film Saboteurs directed by Alfred Hitchcock also fell during this period . The collaboration with Hitchcock was repeated twelve years later with On Call Murder , in which he appeared as a lover of Grace Kelly . In the 1950s, Robert Cummings' work shifted increasingly to television. From 1955 to 1959 he played the leading role in the Bob Cummings Show named after him , for which he also worked as a director. In this series he played the main role of an unmarried womanizer and photographer. Subsequently, Cummings was mainly seen on television, but his two subsequent series could no longer build on the success of the Bob Cummings Show . In the 1960s, he also took on major supporting roles in various cinema productions. In the 1970s, there were only a few worthwhile television roles left for Cummings and he toured the United States with dinner theaters.

In 1955 he received an Emmy Award . He was nominated for this award six times. In his honor, two stars were let in on the Hollywood Walk of Fame .


Robert Cummings was known in the USA as an advocate of a healthy and sporty lifestyle, and his guide book How to Stay Young and Vital , published in 1960, sold millions of copies. In spite of this, or precisely because of this, he came under the influence of the shady doctor Max Jacobson , who administered him masses of amphetamines and finally meth to allegedly improve performance. Cummings became a drug addict for the rest of his life, negatively affecting both his career and many personal relationships from the 1960s onwards.

The actor has been married five times and has at least seven children. Most recently, he had Parkinson's disease and lived in an assisted living for actors. He died in December 1990 of kidney failure and pneumonia.

Filmography (selection)

  • 1933: Seasoned Greetings (short film)
  • 1935: The Farm on the Mississippi (So ​​Red the Rose)
  • 1937: Souls at Sea (Souls at Sea)
  • 1937: Frisco Express (Wells Fargo)
  • 1938: You and me (You and Me)
  • 1938: Escaped across the border (The Texans)
  • 1939: Three Smart Girls Grow Up
  • 1940: Spring Parade
  • 1941: Mary and the Millionaire (The Devil and Miss Jones)
  • 1941: Allotria in Florida (Moon Over Miami)
  • 1941: It Started with Eve (It Started with Eve)
  • 1942: Kings Row
  • 1942: Saboteurs (saboteurs)
  • 1943: For ever and a day (Forever and a Day)
  • 1943: The Pilot and the Princess (Princess O'Rourke)
  • 1943: The Second Face (Flesh and Fantasy)
  • 1946: The Chase
  • 1947: Michael creates order (Heaven Only Knows)
  • 1947: Letters from Beyond (The Lost Moment)
  • 1948: Snares of Fear (Sleep, My Love)
  • 1948: Money or Love (Let's Live a Little)
  • 1949: Woman in Self-Defense (The Accused)
  • 1949: Demon of Paris (Reign of Terror)
  • 1949: Honeymoon with Obstacles (Tell It to the Judge)
  • 1950: The Petty Girl
  • 1951: Florida wreckers (The Barefoot Mailman)
  • 1952: A Baby Seldom Comes Alone (The First Time)
  • 1952–1953: My Hero (TV series, 32 episodes)
  • 1953: Marry Me Again
  • 1954: The blonde happiness (Lucky Me)
  • 1954: Dial M for Murder (Dial M for Murder)
  • 1955–1958: The Bob Cummings Show (TV series, 160 episodes)
  • 1958: Employees Only (documentary short film; speaker)
  • 1960: The Twilight Zone (series, episode King Nine Will Not Return )
  • 1961–1962: The Bob Cummings Show (TV series, 22 episodes)
  • 1962: My Geisha (My Geisha)
  • 1963: Beach Party
  • 1964: The Insatiable (The Carpet Baggers)
  • 1964: Always with someone else (What a Way to Go!)
  • 1964–1965: My Living Doll (TV series, 21 episodes)
  • 1965: Promise Her Anything
  • 1966: San Fernando (stagecoach)
  • 1967: The Pagoda of the Fifth Horror (Five Golden Dragons)
  • 1969–1973: Love, American Style (TV series, 3 episodes)
  • 1971: In Love with a Witch ( Bewitched ; TV series, 1 episode)
  • 1979: Love Boat (TV series, 1 episode)

Web links

Commons : Robert Cummings  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Peter B. Flint: Robert Cummings Is Dead at 82; Debonair Actor in TV and Films . In: The New York Times , December 4, 1990 (English)
  2. Robert Cummings in the Internet Broadway Database (as Brice Hutchins)
  3. Hal Erickson : Biography Robert Cummings. In: All Movie Guide , accessed November 9, 2016 .
  4. Richard A. Lertzman, William J. Birnes: Dr. Feelgood: The Shocking Story of the Doctor Who May Have Changed History by Treating and Drugging JFK, Marilyn, Elvis, and Other Prominent Figures . Simon and Schuster, 2013, ISBN 978-1-62636-335-9 ( [accessed on May 14, 2020]).
  5. Richard A. Lertzman, William J. Birnes: Dr. Feelgood: The Shocking Story of the Doctor Who May Have Changed History by Treating and Drugging JFK, Marilyn, Elvis, and Other Prominent Figures . Simon and Schuster, 2013, ISBN 978-1-62636-335-9 ( [accessed on May 14, 2020]).
  6. Robert Cummings, TV and Movie Actor, Dies at 80 December 3, 1990, accessed May 14, 2020 (American English).