Robert Lowery (actor)

Robert Lowery (born Robert Lowery Hanks,[1][2] October 17, 1913 – December 26, 1971) was an American motion picture, television, and stage actor who appeared in more than seventy films.

Robert Lowery
Robert Lowery Hanks

(1913-10-17)October 17, 1913
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
DiedDecember 26, 1971(1971-12-26) (aged 58)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeValhalla Memorial Park Cemetery
Other namesBob Lowery
Bob Lowry
Years active1936–1967
Spouse(s)Vivan Wilcox (19411944) (divorced)
Rusty Farrell (19471948) (divorced)
Jean Parker (m. 1951)

Early life

Born in Kansas City, Missouri,[3] Lowery grew up on Wayne Avenue near the long-demolished Electric Park. Lowery's father was a local attorney and oil investor who worked several years for the Pullman Corporation as a railroad agent; his mother, Leah Thompson Hanks, was a concert pianist.

Syndicated newspaper columnist Harrison Carroll reported that Lowery was "a direct descendant of Nancy Hanks".[4]

He graduated from Paseo High School[5] in Kansas City, and soon was invited to sing with the Slats Randall Orchestra[3] in the early 1930s. Lowery played on the Kansas City Blues minor league baseball team and was overall considered a versatile athlete; his physique and strength were gained from a stint working in a paper factory as a teenager. After the death of his father in 1935, he traveled to Hollywood with his mother and their housekeeper, and enrolled in the Lila Bliss acting school before being signed by Twentieth Century Fox in 1937.


Lowery debuted in motion pictures in Come and Get It (1936).[6]

During his career, Lowery was primarily known for roles in action films such as The Mark of Zorro (1940), The Mummy's Ghost (1944), and Dangerous Passage (1944). He became the second actor to play DC Comics' Batman (succeeding Lewis Wilson), starring in a 1949's Batman and Robin serial.[2]

Lowery also had roles in a number of Western films including The Homesteaders (1953), The Parson and the Outlaw (1957), Young Guns of Texas (1962), and Johnny Reno (1966). He was also a stage actor and appeared in Born Yesterday, The Caine Mutiny, and in several other productions.

On television, Lowery was best known for the role of Big Tim Champion on the series Circus Boy (1956–1957).[7] In 1956, he guest starred in "The Deadly Rock," an episode of The Adventures of Superman (which was the first time a Batman actor shared screen time with a Superman actor, although Lowery and Reeves had appeared together in their pre-superhero days in the 1942 World War II anti-VD propaganda film, Sex Hygiene.) Lowery also had guest roles on Perry Mason, featured as murder victim Amos Bryant in "The Case of the Roving River," and as Andrew Collis in "The Case of the Provocative Protégé", 'Playhouse 90 ("The Helen Morgan Story"), Hazel, Cowboy G-Men, Maverick, Tales of Wells Fargo, Rawhide, 77 Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, and Pistols 'n' Petticoats.

He made his last on-screen appearance in the 1967 comedy/Western film The Ballad of Josie, opposite Doris Day and Peter Graves.

Personal life and death

He was married three times, to three actresses. He and Jean Parker had a son, Robert Lowery Hanks II, in 1952.[5]

His other wives were Vivan Wilcox and Barbara "Rusty" Farrell, whom he married on March 21, 1947, in Las Vegas, Nevada.[8]

Although a divorce action was filed in his last marriage to Parker, it was never finalized.

Lowery died of heart failure at the age of 58 in his Los Angeles, California apartment on December 26, 1971.[9][10]


Year Title Role Notes
1936 Come and Get It Chicago Restaurant Patron Uncredited
Great Guy Mr. Parker Uncredited
1937 Wake Up and Live Chauffeur
The Lady Escapes Reporter Uncredited
You Can't Have Everything Co-Pilot Uncredited
Wife, Doctor and Nurse Interne Uncredited
Charlie Chan on Broadway Reporter Uncredited
Hot Water Uncredited
Life Begins in College Sling
Second Honeymoon Reporter Uncredited
Big Town Girl Elevator Boy Uncredited
1938 City Girl Greenleaf Uncredited
Happy Landing Newspaper Reporter Uncredited
Walking Down Broadway Delivery Man Uncredited
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm Attendant Uncredited
Island in the Sky Elevator Starter Uncredited
Four Men and a Prayer Sailor Uncredited
A Trip to Paris Bank Teller Uncredited
Kentucky Moonshine Reporter Uncredited
Alexander's Ragtime Band Reporter Uncredited
Safety in Numbers Harry
One Wild Night Bank Messenger Uncredited
Josette Boatman Rufe Uncredited
Always Goodbye Don Gordon Uncredited
Passport Husband Ted Markson
Gateway Reporter Uncredited
Keep Smiling Man at Auction Uncredited
Straight, Place and Show Bob Uncredited
Submarine Patrol Sparks, radioman
Kentucky Sally's Partner at Ball Uncredited
1939 Tail Spin Sam, Mechanic Uncredited
Wife, Husband and Friend Interne Uncredited
Everybody's Baby B. Wilson Uncredited
Mr. Moto in Danger Island Lt. George Bently
Young Mr. Lincoln Juror Bill Killian Uncredited
Charlie Chan in Reno Wally Burke
Second Fiddle Orchestra Leader Uncredited
Here I Am a Stranger Minor Role Uncredited
The Escape Ambulance Driver Uncredited
Hollywood Cavalcade Henry Potter
Drums Along the Mohawk John Weaver
Day-Time Wife Flirty Architect Uncredited
1940 City of Chance Ted Blaine
Free, Blonde and 21 Dr. Stephen Craig
Star Dust Bellboy
Shooting High Bob Merritt
Charlie Chan's Murder Cruise Dick Kenyon
Four Sons Joseph
Maryland Tom Bolton Uncredited
The Mark of Zorro Rodrigo
Murder Over New York David Elliot
1941 Ride on Vaquero Carlos Martinez
Private Nurse Henry Holt
Great Guns Uncredited
Cadet Girl Walton, a Cadet
Remember the Day Hotel P.A. Announcer Uncredited
1942 Who Is Hope Schuyler? Robert Scott
My Gal Sal Sally's friend Uncredited
She's in the Army Navy Lt. Jim Russell
Lure of the Islands Wally
Criminal Investigator Bob Martin
Rhythm Parade Jimmy Trent
Dawn on the Great Divide Terry Wallace
1943 So's Your Uncle Roger Bright
Revenge of the Zombies Larry Adams
A Scream in the Dark Mike Brooker
The North Star Russian gunner
Campus Rhythm Buzz O'Hara
Tarzan's Desert Mystery Prince Selim
December 7th: The Movie Pvt. Joseph L. Lockhart Uncredited
1944 The Navy Way Johnny Zumano
Hot Rhythm Jimmy O'Brien
The Mummy's Ghost Tom Hervey
Dark Mountain Don Bradley
Mystery of the River Boat Steve Langtry
Dangerous Passage Joe Beck
1945 High Powered Tim Scott
Fashion Model Jimmy O'Brien
The Monster and the Ape Ken Morgan
Road to Alcatraz John Norton
Sensation Hunters Danny Burke
Prison Ship Tom Jeffries
1946 God's Country Lee Preston / Leland Bruce
House of Horrors Steven Morrow
They Made Me a Killer Tom Durling
Death Valley Steve
Big Town Pete Ryan
Gas House Kids Eddie O'Brien
Lady Chaser Peter Kane
1947 Queen of the Amazons Gary Lambert
I Cover Big Town Pete Ryan
Danger Street Larry Burke
Jungle Flight Kelly Jordon
Killer at Large Paul Kimberly
1948 Mary Lou Steve Roberts
Heart of Virginia Dan Lockwood
Shep Come Home Mark Folger
Highway 13 Hank Wilson
1949 Batman and Robin Bruce Wayne / Batman Serial
Arson, Inc. Joe Martin
The Dalton Gang Blackie Dalton / BlackieMallet
Call of the Forest Sam Harrison
1950 Western Pacific Agent Bill Stuart
I Shot Billy the Kid Sheriff Pat Garrett
Gunfire Sheriff John Kelly
Train to Tombstone Marshall Staley
Border Rangers Mungo
1951 Crosswinds Nick Brandon
1953 Jalopy Skid Wilson with The Bowery Boys
The Homesteaders Clyde Moss
Cow Country Harry O'Dell
1955 Lay That Rifle Down Nick Stokes/Poindexter March, III
Two Gun Lady "Big Mike" Doughterty
1957 The Parson and the Outlaw Col. Jefferson Morgan
1960 The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond Arnold Rothstein
1062 Deadly Duo Jay Flagg
When the Girls Take Over Maximo Toro
Young Guns of Texas Jesse Glendenning
1963 McLintock! Gov. Cuthbert H. Humphrey
1964 Stage to Thunder Rock Deputy Sheriff Seth Barrington
1965 Zebra in the Kitchen Preston Heston
1966 Johnny Reno Jake Reed
Waco Mayor Ned Wood
The Undertaker and his Pals
1967 The Ballad of Josie Whit Minick, Town Drunk Last movie, (final film role)
Year Title Role Notes
1954 The Joe Palooka Story Don Jackson 1 episode
The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse George Loring 1 episode
1955 Letter to Loretta Gordy 1 episode
1956 The Millionaire David Hanley 1 episode
1956–1957 Circus Boy Big Tim Champion 49 episodes
1958 Casey Jones Greg Pontus 1 episode
26 Men Red Tanner 3 episodes
Yancy Derringer Blair Devon 2 episodes
1959 The Texan Coy Bennet 1 episode
Bronco Mike Kirk 1 episode
Cimarron City Harris 1 episode
1960 Richard Diamond, Private Detective Mark Sutro 1 episode
Cheyenne (1955 TV series) Episode: "Counterfeit Gun", Giff Murdock / Richard Scott 1 episode
Hotel de Paree Trent 1 episode
Coronado 9 Miller 1 episode
1961 Whispering Smith Dave Markson 1 episode
1962 Frontier Circus Marshal Taggert 1 episode
Gunsmoke Idaho Smith 1 episode
Hazel Pablo Rivera 1 episode


  1. Joseph F. Clarke (1977). Pseudonyms. BCA. p. 105.
  2. Cline, William C. (1977). In the Nick of Time: Motion Picture Sound Serials. McFarland. p. 74. ISBN 9780786404711. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  3. Feramisco, Thomas M. (2007). The Mummy Unwrapped: Scenes Left on Universal's Cutting Room Floor. McFarland. pp. 142–144. ISBN 9781476607924. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  4. Carroll, Harrison (February 17, 1944). "Hollywood". The Press Democrat. California, Santa Rosa. p. 12. Retrieved May 6, 2017 via
  5. "Son for Robert Hanks". The Kansas City Times. Missouri, Kansas City. Associated Press. September 27, 1952. p. 1. Retrieved May 6, 2017 via
  6. Weaver, Tom; Brunas, Michael; Brunas, John (1990). Universal Horrors: The Studio's Classic Films, 1931-1946, 2d ed. McFarland. p. 423. ISBN 9780786491506. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  7. Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  8. "Marriages". Billboard. April 5, 1947. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  9. Forgotten Noir DVD VCI entertainment
  10. "Robert Lowery, Actor, Dies". The Kansas City Times. Missouri, Kansas City. Associated Press. December 27, 1971. p. 2. Retrieved May 6, 2017 via
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.