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Robert J. Wilke (1914-1989)
Robert J. Wilke

Matt For Murder, September 13, 1958 Written by John Meston, Directed by Richard Whorf, Guest Cast: Robert Wilke, Bruce Gordon, Elisha Cook

Saludos, October 31, 1959 Written by John Meston, Story by Les Crutchfield, Directed by Andrew McLaglen, Guest Cast: Connie Buck, Gene Nelson, Jack Elam, Robert J. Wilke

Big Tom, January 9, 1960 Written by John Meston, Story by Marian Clark, Directed by Andrew McLaglen, Guest Cast: Harry Lauter, Don Megowan, Robert J. Wilke

The Ex-Urbanites, April 9, 1960 Written by John Meston, Directed by Andrew McLaglen, Guest Cast: Ken Curtis, Lew Brown, Robert J. Wilke

He Learned About Women, February 24, 1962 Written by John Meston, Story by John Rosser, Directed by Tay Garnett, Guest Cast: Barbara Luna, Robert J. Wilke, Claude Akins, Ted de Corsia, Miriam Colon

The Bassops, February 22, 1963 Written by Tom Hanley, Directed by Andrew McLaglen, Guest Cast: Robert Wilke, Warren Oates, Eunice Pollis, Mickey Sholdar

Cattle Barons, September 18, 1967 Written by Clyde Ware, Directed by Gunnar Helstrom, Guest Cast: Forrest Tucker, John Milford, Robert Wilke, Robert Sampson, Lew Brown, Fred Colby, Brad Johnson

Pictured here as if he was on the receiving end of the hero's fist is one of the most prolific, yet unknown, villains in the history of filmdom. It's very likely that most movie and TV fans recognize this rugged, weathered face but few of us know his name. With his steely eyes and sneery, snarly glare he was the perfect villain. Robert J. Wilke was born on May 18, 1914 in Cincinnati, Ohio and as a young man left home early to work in a series of odd jobs including lifeguard in a Miami hotel and a high-diver at Chicago's World Fair in 1933-34. He made contacts with people in show business and eventually a friend persuaded him to head for Hollywood and fame. He began there as a movie stuntman and was later cast in "San Francisco" (1936) with Clark Gable, in an uncredited Bit Part, his film debut and the beginning of a long and successful career. He started out in B-Westerns and serials moving up to bigger films and television roles later in his career. Among his film credits are: "Daredevils of the Red Circle" (1939) uncredited as a G-Man; "Dick Tracy vs. Crime Inc." (1941); "The Masked Marvel" (1943) a serial, as Rental Garage Thug; "Captain America" (1944) as Thug with B-10; "Trail of Kit Carson" (1945) as Dave MacRoy; "Bells of Rosarita" (1945) as Deputy; "Mule Train" (1950) as Bradshaw; "Best of the Badmen" (1951) as Jim Younger; "The Las Vegas Story" (1952) as Clayton; "High Noon" (1952) with Gary Cooper, as James Pierce; "War Paint" (1953) as Grady; "Powder River" (1953) as Will Horn; "From Here to Eternity" (1953) uncredited as Sgt. Henderson; "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (1954) as First Mate of the Nautilus; "Written on the Wind" (1956) as Dan Willis; "Tarnished Angels" (1957) as Hank; "Spartacus" (1960) as Guard Captain; "The Magnificent Seven" (1960) as Wallace; "Fate is the Hunter" (1964) as Stillman; "Tony Rome" (1967) as Turpin; "Days of Heaven" (1978) as the Farm Foreman and "Stripes" (1981) with Bill Murray, as Gen. Barnicke, his last film. On TV he was a regular on "The Legend of Jesse James" (1965-66) as Marshall Sam Corbett. He appeared in TV movies including: "The Slowest Gun in the West" (1963); "The Desperate Mission" (1971) and "The Texas Rangers" (1981). He guest starred on numerous TV series including: "The Range Rider"; "Cheyenne"; "The Adventures of Jim Bowie"; "Tombstone Territory"; "Colt .45"; "Gunsmoke"; "The Rifleman"; "Bat Masterson"; "Wanted: Dead or Alive"; "Bonanza"; "Maverick"; "The Untouchables"; "Wagon Train"; "Perry Mason" and "The Wild, Wild West." He died of cancer on March 28, 1989 in Los Angeles, California at the age of 74.

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