Robert Armstrong

D.O.B: Nov 20, 1890 |  Saginaw, Michigan, USA

37Credit Score

Robert Armstrong is familiar to old-movie buffs for his case-hardened, rapid-fire delivery in such roles as fast-talking promoters, managers, FBI agents, street cops, detectives and other such characters in scores of films--over 160--many of them at Warner Brothers, where he was part of the so-called Warner Brothers Stock Company that consisted of such players as James Cagney, Pat OBrien, Frank McHugh, Alan Hale and Humphrey Bogart, among others. Although he could easily be taken for having grown up in a tough area of Brooklyn or the Bronx, he was actually from the Midwest.

Biography

Robert Armstrong is familiar to old-movie buffs for his case-hardened, rapid-fire delivery in such roles as fast-talking promoters, managers, FBI agents, street cops, detectives and other such characters in scores of films--over 160--many of them at Warner Brothers, where he was part of the so-called Warner Brothers Stock Company that consisted of such players as James Cagney, Pat OBrien, Frank McHugh, Alan Hale and Humphrey Bogart, among others. Although he could easily be taken for having grown up in a tough area of Brooklyn or the Bronx, he was actually from the Midwest. He was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1890, and his father owned a small and profitable flotilla of boats for use on Lake Michigan. Hearing the Siren call of the gold fields in late 19th-century Alaska, however, he packed up the family and headed west. A typical staging place to start north was in Washington state, and the family settled in Seattle. Rpbert spent a short hitch in the infantry during World War I. Afterwards he decided to go into law and started to study at the University of Washington. However, it wasnt long before that he decided he had a gift for acting and--perhaps influenced by his uncle, playwright and producer Paul Armstrong--decided to follow that path. He hooked up with future Hollywood character actor James Gleason, known to everyone as Jimmy, who worked for a variety of playhouses in California and Oregon and who was heir to his parents stock company, which toured across the US. Armstrong joined Gleasons company and returned with them to New York. He started from the bottom up, learning the craft of acting. After moving on to leading roles, he received the prime part in Gleasons own play Is Zat So?