Bobby Watson (actor)

Bobby Watson (November 28, 1888 – May 22, 1965), born Robert Watson Knucher, was an American theater and film actor, playing a variety of character roles, including, after 1942, Adolf Hitler.

Bobby Watson
BornNovember 28, 1888
Springfield, Illinois
DiedMay 22, 1965 (Age 76)
Los Angeles, California
Burial placeOak Ridge Cemetery

Life and career

Born in Springfield, Illinois, Knucher/Watson, who was of German descent, began his career at age 15 performing a vaudeville act at the Olympic Theatre in Springfield. As a teenager, he toured the U.S. midwest with the "Kickapoo Remedies Show", a traveling medicine show. He then appeared in Coney Island in a Gus Edwards show. In 1918, he first played on Broadway when he was a replacement in the role of Robert Street in Going Up and then created the role of the flamboyant dressmaker "Madame Lucy" in the hit musical Irene (1919), later repeating the role. He continued to play on Broadway through the 1920s.[1]

Watson began to appear in films in 1925, playing various character roles, including an interior decorator, a radio announcer, a hotel manager, a dance director, a band leader, a dress maker and a detective. He was a diction coach (uncredited) in Singin' in the Rain (1952).[2] In 1942, he appeared as Adolf Hitler in a Hal Roach Studio short subject called The Devil with Hitler. Watson would appear as Hitler in nine films all together, including Hitler – Dead or Alive (1942), Nazty Nuisance (1943), The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), The Hitler Gang (1944), The Story of Mankind (1957), On the Double (1961) and Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962).

Watson died in Los Angeles in 1965 at age 76. He is buried in the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois.

Selected filmography


  1. Bobby Watson, Internet Broadway Database, accessed March 4, 2013
  2. Ericson, Hal. "Bobby Watson", All Movie Guide, accessed March 4, 2013
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