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Robert Warwick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Warwick
Warwick in Impact (1949)
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
Years active1903–1960
Arline Peck
(m. 1902; div. 1909)

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

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 also prospered after the introduction of sound to cinema. As a young man he had studied opera singing in Paris and had a rich, resonant voice. At the age of 50, he developed as a highly regarded, aristocratic character actor and made numerous "talkies".

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Early life

Warwick was born Robert Taylor Bien in 1878[1] to Louis[2] and Isabel (Taylor) Bien.[3]

Some sources say he was born in England;[1] others say Sacramento, California.[4] His father was of French ethnicity. Bien studied music in Paris and trained for two years to be an opera singer, but acting proved to be his greater calling. He met his future wife, Arline Peck in Paris; the American couple married in 1902.[5] After his return to the United States, he started in theatre and then film.


Warwick (by then using his stage name) 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.

He also appeared in 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 service

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

Film career

Motion Picture Classic Magazine, 1915

Warwick started making silent films in 1914, with his early work including The Mad Lover (1917) and Thou Art the Man (1920).[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. Both are available in the 21st century 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 and with his matinee idol looks fading, he 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.

Warwick's extensive 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 life

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 such as 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 life

Warwick married Arline Peck in 1902; they had a daughter, Rosalind. They divorced in 1909.[citation needed]

By 1910, Warwick married actress Josephine Whittell (1883–1961), but the childless marriage also ended in divorce.[citation needed]

In 1930 he married Stella Larrimore (1905–1960) (a sister of Francine Larrimore). They had a daughter, Betsey, who later became a poet in Los Angeles.[citation needed]

Warwick died June 6, 1964, in West Los Angeles, California, at age 85. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City.[8] Survivors included his daughters and two grandchildren.[4]

Complete filmography

The Man Who Forgot (1917)
Secret Service (1919)




  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
  3. ^ "Death of Louis Bien". Oakland Tribune. November 7, 1908. p. 14. Retrieved April 22, 2020 – via
  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
  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.
  8. ^ Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Locations 25047-25048). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.

External links

This page was last edited on 1 March 2024, at 10:10
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