Robert Nichols (actor)

Robert Nichols (July 20, 1924 – March 21, 2013) was an American character actor, singer, and dancer. His television, theater and film career spanned more than seventy years.[1]

Robert Nichols
Born(1924-07-20)July 20, 1924
DiedMarch 21, 2013(2013-03-21) (aged 88)
OccupationActor, singer, dancer
Years active1947-1993
Spouse(s)Jennifer Nichols (1950-2013; his death; 2 children)

Life and career

Nichols was born in Oakland, California, the son of Edna (née Beemer) and Ray D. Nichols, a real estate broker.[1][2] He began his career in entertainment as a student at Oakland High School.[1] Nichols enlisted with the U.S. Army during World War II, performing with the Special Services to entertain U.S. troops during the war.[1] He performed on domestic U.S. military bases and managed a jazz band in Japan during the post-war period.[1]

Nichols was awarded a scholarship for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, a drama school in London, following World War II.[1] He began performing on in theater while living in London. In 1949, Nichols made his film debut in I Was a Male War Bride, which was shot in West Germany.[1] He was deported from the United Kingdom soon after because he did not have a British work permit.[1]

In 1950, soon after his deportation, Nichols met his future wife, Jennifer, at her 19th birthday beach party near Malibu, California.[1] They became engaged after two dates and were married just two months later. Jennifer Nichols later worked as a film wardrobe supervisor.[1]

Nichols worked in American film and television throughout the 1950s.[3] In the episode "Doc Holliday Rewrites History" (May 6, 1958) of the ABC/Desilu western television series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, with Hugh O'Brian in the title role, Nichols played a traveling photographer and historian who arrives in Dodge City, Kansas, to take pictures and write the biographies of interested citizens, who pay in advance the purchase price of the book that he produces.[4] All kinds of troubles result when Doc Holliday (Myron Healey) takes over the writing of the local biographies and according to premature reports is unflattering to the townspeople, including Mayor James "Dog" Kelley.[5]

Nichols returned to the United Kingdom around 1960, where he appeared in British and European film, television and theater productions.[1][6] Nichols moved back to Los Angeles, California, in 1965.[1] He soon relocated to New York City, where he enjoyed a steady career on and off Broadway, notably the Broadway productions of The Man Who Came to Dinner, Man and Superman and Take Me Along.[1][7]

Robert Nichols and his wife purchased property to build a home in Occidental, Sonoma County, California in 1991.[1] He continued to act and perform until the early 2000s. His last theater role was in the musical Ragtime, appearing in Los Angeles, Chicago and Vancouver.[1]

Nichols died from heart failure at his Occidental home on March 21, 2013, at the age of 88.[1]


Year Title Role Notes
1949I Was a Male War BrideMotor Pool MechanicUncredited
1951The Thing from Another WorldLt. Ken MacPherson "Mac"
1951Father Takes the AirPhotographerUncredited
1951The Red Badge of CourageFat Union SoldierUncredited
1951Disc JockeyPhotographerUncredited
1951The Blue VeilFred Begley, Jr.Uncredited
1952Red Skies of MontanaFeltonUncredited
1952Hold That LineHarold Lane
1952Jet JobDynamo Jackson
1952The Pride of St. LouisEddieUncredited
1952Sally and Saint AnneHenryUncredited
1952Monkey BusinessGarage ManUncredited
1952Battle ZoneMarineUncredited
1952Eight Iron MenWalsh
1953Battle CircusPvt. SommersUncredited
1953Julius CaesarCitizen of RomeUncredited
1953Dream WifeElevator BoyUncredited
1953Gentlemen Prefer BlondesEvansUncredited
1954The Command2nd Lt. O'Hirons
1954Prisoner of WarPatrick WoodhopeUncredited
1954The Student PrinceStudent at DuelUncredited
1954Johnny DarkSmitty
1954The Bob Mathias StoryStanford Football PlayerUncredited
1954The Atomic KidBobUncredited
1955Tight SpotBoy HoneymoonerUncredited
1955This Island EarthJoe Wilson
1956Navy WifeOscar
1956Hold Back the NightBeany Smith
1956GiantMort 'Pinky' Snythe
1957Don't Go Near the WaterLt. Cmdr. Hereford
1957Bombers B-52Wilbur 'Brooklyn' Stuart
1958Imitation GeneralSoldierUncredited
1959The 30 Foot Bride of Candy RockBank Manager
1962Don't Bother to KnockAmerican SailorUncredited
1962The Amorous PrawnSam Goulansky
1963Follow the BoysHulldown
1963Come Fly with MeNickersonUncredited
1963Call Me BwanaAmerican Major
1963The Victors'The Squad' Member #5
1963Man in the MiddleLt. Harvey Bender
1964The Yellow Rolls-RoyceAmerican Travel AgentUncredited
1969The Trouble with GirlsSmith
1970The Out-of-TownersMan in Airplane
1971Escape from the Planet of the ApesReporterUncredited
1972They Only Kill Their MastersDoctor Peterson
1972Pete 'n' TillieParty GuestUncredited
1973Wicked, WickedFred, Day Clerk
1973Westworld1st Male IntervieweeUncredited
1975The Night They Robbed Big Bertha'sProfessor
1976God Told Me ToFletcher
1983Reuben, ReubenHarry Pycraft
1984Billions for BorisDerelict
1993So I Married an Axe MurdererScottish Minister(final film role)



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