"See Here -- Robert Walker!" by Ann Thorne - Calling All Girls - January 1947
"To make a long story short -- but you don't want that, not when it's Robert Walker's story? Very well. But we're warning you. It's pretty grim in spots. Take, for instance, that time when Bob was six and was expelled from kindergarten -- for pulling little girls' pigtails, no less. Or all those times he ran away from home. Or all those report cards he dragged home to show his father, a newspaper editor in Salt Lake City, Utah. Or the fact that even when he was sent away to a military academy to make a fresh start, the youngest of the four Walker boys was out to make a name for himself -- as the worst kid in school!
But that was where he met his Waterloo, and a good thing, too. An understanding teacher took one look at Bob's sensitive face, coaxed him into a dramatic arts class, and that finished the 'bad boy' business then and there. When Bob was graduated with top honors, he was president of his class, president of the Dramatic Club and the Literary Society, and an officer in the school band. Besides, he had won two scholarships to the Pasadena Community Playhouse. And his aunt was so pleased with the new Bob that she offered to see him through the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.
Even with excellent dramatic training behind him, it wasn't easy to crash the stage. The best Bob could manage at first was a bit part in the Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village, where he earned fifty cents a performance. He lived in a cooperative lodge on the ten dollars a week contributed by one of his brothers, and haunted the booking offices without much luck.
Finally came a chance in radio, and Bob was a 'voice' on a number of dramatic programs until one day one of the other actors made that classic observation. 'You know, you ought to be in pictures.' Only this fellow didn't stop with the compliment, he knew people who knew people -- and the next thing, Bob Walker was rushing off to meet some of those people and take a screen test for the part of the young sailor in 'Bataan.'
Bob made such a sympathetic, real character of the eighteen-year-old Purckett in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer picture that he was immediately signed for a part in 'Madame Curie.' But (though the Army turned him down because of his eyes) it was as a G.I. Joe that Bob made his biggest hit. Remember 'See Here, Private Hargrove' and its sequel 'What Next, Corporal Hargrove?' Remember 'Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo' and 'The Clock'?
Now he's starring in something quite different, the Technicolor musical, 'Till the Clouds Roll By,' which tells the life story of one of Bob's favorite composers, Jerome Kern. It's a pretty impressive cast, including such stars as Judy Garland, June Allyson, Lucille Bremer, and the two Vans, Johnson and Heflin.
Bob is six feet
tall, has brown hair and blue eyes, and is a little on the shy side. He
likes to beat
drum, play tennis and golf, swim, ride a
motorcycle, and he drinks milk like mad, trying to put on weight. Reading is
one of his favorite hobbies, and collecting early American furniture is another.
Not so long ago he became interested in interior decorating, and decided to
make over his new apartment. Once in a while he likes to go to a prize fight,
but night clubs -- no thanks. He hasn't the time, and even if he did -- well,
Bob kind of likes his books and the out-of-doors best."
Copyright Calling All Girls