October 13 – Robert Hudson Walker is born in Salt Lake City, Utah to Horace and Zella (McQuarrie) Walker.
The Walker family moves to Ogden, Utah where Bob is enrolled in Madison Grade School and makes his first acting appearance as the major of a pixie army.
Sponsored by his Aunt Hortense Odlum, Bob is enrolled as a freshman at the San Diego Army and Navy Academy in California.
In January, Robert Walker wins the title of “Best Actor in San Diego County” for his performance in “The Other Side”, representing the Academy.
Robert appears in the annual high school competition as “Chick Dugan” in ‘Just ‘Til Morning’ and ties for Best Actor. Offered a scholarship to the Pasadena Playhouse.
|1937||Graduates from the Army and Navy Academy. Again sponsored by Aunt “Tenny”, enrolls in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.|
|1938||Introduces himself to a fellow student at the Academy – Phylis Isley.|
|Performs “The Barretts of Wimpole Street” opposite Phylis and both are invited back to the Academy for the following year.|
|Hired for the Broadway show “Where Do We Go from Here?” but replaced after five days.|
|Signed on the SS Pastore banana boat as crew member and ships out to Central America for four voyages.|
|Returns to New York, rooms at the Wallace Cooperative Lodge. Phyl returns to New York and together they decide not to return to the AADA.|
|Robert and Phyl appear together at the Cherry Lane Theater in Greenwich Village.|
|Bob and Phyl move to Tulsa, Oklahoma to appear together on “The Phylis Isley Radio Theater”.|
On January 2, 1939, Robert Walker and Phylis Isley are married at Christ King’s Church in Tulsa.
The Walkers move to California to try their luck at breaking into the movies.
Both do screen tests for Paramount but are rejected.
Phylis signs a 6-month contract at Republic and does a few “B” movie roles.
Bob finds a job reading scripts for $35 per week and does a bit part in “Winter Carnival” and “These Glamour Girls”.
Phyl asks to be released from her contract, and the Walkers sell their car and return to New York.
Robert Walker, Jr. is born on April 15, 1940 in Jamaica Hospital, Queens.
Bob gets his first radio part in “Yesterday’s Children” for $25.00.
Bob is “discovered” by agent Audrey Wood and his radio career skyrockets.
The Walkers are prosperous enough to move to a two-story home in Garden City, NY.
Michael Ross Walker is born on March 17, 1941.
Phylis reads for David O. Selznick and is signed for a seven-year contract.
Bob and family move to Sands Point in Long Island.
World War II begins, but Bob is classified 4-F due to his poor eyesight.
Bob is a regular on radio in “Maudie’s Diary”.
Robert does a screen test for the role of the young sailor, Leonard Purkett, in “Bataan” and wins the part.
In December, Bob joins Phylis (now renamed Jennifer Jones) in California.
Robert Walker appears in his first major screen role in “Bataan” starring Robert Taylor.
Bob is quickly signed to his second film, “Madame Curie” opposite Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon.
In June, Bob receives a substantial increase in salary and a new seven-year contract with MGM.
The lead role in “See Here, Private Hargrove” is given to Robert Walker.
Robert and Jennifer Jones are cast as young lovers in David O. Selznick’s World War II epic, “Since You Went Away” and filming begins on September 8th.
In October, Jennifer asks Bob for a separation and Bob moves out of their home.
Bob is hit by a car when riding his motorcycle home from the studio and is hospitalized.
In February, filming is completed on “Since You Went Away”.
Robert begins filming “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo” with Van Johnson and Spencer Tracy.
In March, Jennifer Jones initiates divorce proceedings against Robert Walker after winning the Academy Award for her role in “The Song of Bernadette”.
Robert meets Jim Henaghan at LaRue’s restaurant on Sunset Strip. They would become best friends for the rest of Bob’s life.
“Since You Went Away” premiers at the New York Capitol Theater on July 20, 1944.
In mid-August, Bob reports to work on “The Clock” opposite Judy Garland in her first non-singing role.
In late autumn, Bob is assigned to the romantic comedy, “Her Highness and the Bellboy”, co-starring June Allyson and Hedy Lamarr.
“The Clock” is released on May 3, 1945 to favorable public reviews and critical acclaim.
On June 20th, Jennifer Jones appears before a Los Angeles judge to obtain her divorce on the grounds of “mental cruelty”.
Bob and June Allyson are reunited in their second film together, “The Sailor Takes a Wife”, with Audrey Totter and Hume Cronyn.
Filming begins on “What Next, Corporal Hargrove?”, the sequel to the popular “See Here, Private Hargrove”.
Irene and David Selznick’s marriage ends in August. After reading the headlines, Bob disappears for four days.
In late September, Bob starts shooting “Till the Clouds Roll By”, portraying composer Jerome Kern.
Filming of “Till the Clouds Roll By” finishes in late spring.
Bob’s brother, Walter, visits him in Hollywood for two weeks. It would be the last time they would see each other.
Robert is assigned a supporting role in the Tracy/Hepburn film, “Sea of Grass”.
Bob’s next film role this year is as Colonel Jeff Nixon in the World War II saga, “The Beginning or the End?” about the development of the atomic bomb.
On July 20, 1946, Robert Walker is honored to narrate the Jerome Kern Memorial Concert at the Hollywood Bowl.
On August 20th, Bob sideswipes another vehicle on his way home from a bar and leaves the scene of the accident.
After being identified as the driver in the hit-and-run, Bob surrenders in Beverly Hills Justice Court and enters a guilty plea.
On September 5th, he is sentenced to 180 days in jail, but the sentence is suspended on conditions that he pay a fine, pay for damages, refrain from liquor and install a speed monitoring device on his car.
Suffering from increasing melancholia, Bob calls MGM and tells them to tear up his contract and returns home to Utah for a week.
Despite his protests to the studio, Robert is told to report to the set of “Song of Love”, playing the German composer Johannes Brahams.
In the summer of 1947, Bob rents a cottage on the beach at Malibu for himself and his sons.
On June 15th, Bob receives MGM’s permission to portray the title role of ‘Clarence’ in a CBS radio program.
In October, Bob’s father calls and asks Bob to come home to Ogden to celebrate his twenty-ninth birthday.
In December, Bob is notified he is being loaned out to Universal to star in “One Touch of Venus” opposite Ava Gardner.
Bob meets Barbara Ford and marries her after a whirlwind courtship. The marriage lasts only six weeks.
In August, Bob buys a home on Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades.
In October, Bob and a date are stopped for drunken driving and arrested for disorderly conduct. His jailhouse photo is headline news.
Dore Schary, production head of MGM, meets with Bob and tells him he can either tear up his contract or undergo psychiatric treatment.
In late 1948, Robert’s father, Horace Walker, commits his son to the famous Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.
On December 16th, Barbara Ford obtains her divorce from Robert Walker.
In early May, Bob had made a remarkable recovery from his breakdown and is released from the Menninger Clinic, deemed mentally and physically fit to resume his film career.
Filming of “Please Believe Me” starts in late summer with Robert appearing with Deborah Kerr, Peter Lawford, and Mark Stevens.
On July 13th, Jennifer Jones and David Selznick are married aboard a chartered yacht off the coast of Portofino.
Bob gives an exclusive interview to Hedda Hopper about his experiences at the Menninger Clinic and his new outlook on life.
Bob begins production on another romantic comedy, “The Skipper Surprised His Wife” with Joan Leslie.
In June, “Please Believe Me” and “The Skipper Surprised His Wife” are released within three weeks of each other.
Bob is assigned to play the young wastrel Lee Strobie in the western “Vengeance Valley” starring Burt Lancaster. Bob and his sons travel to Colorado in July so he can begin location shooting on the film.
Bob learns he is Alfred Hitchcock’s choice to appear in his soon-to-be-classic thriller, “Strangers on a Train”.
On March 5th, the sneak preview of “Strangers on a Train” is shown at the Huntington Park Theater to glowing reviews.
Jim Henaghan introduces Bob to Kay Scott Nearny and the two become inseparable.
Paramount requests Robert for the role of John Jefferson in “My Son John” with Helen Hayes.
Robert has a working session with director Leo McCarey on August 15th and is then put on call for several weeks.
August 28th – Robert Walker’s psychiatrist, Dr. Frederick Hacker, is summoned to his home and accidentally administers a fatal injection of sodium amytal.
August 29th – Bob’s body is removed from his home at dawn and taken to a nearby funeral parlor.
August 30th – Jennifer and her sons return to the house in Pacific Palisades and pack and remove all the boys' belongings. Also on this date, Bob’s parents, who had flown in from Utah, abruptly cancel all the arrangements that had been made for Bob’s burial at Forest Lawn. Mrs. Walker announces that he would be buried in his boyhood hometown of Ogden, Utah instead.
September 4th – Bob’s funeral is held in Ogden. Only his business manager, Charles Trezona, was there to represent Hollywood and to serve as a pallbearer.
Timeline submitted by Paula.