"Farewell to a Fighter" by Jim Henaghan
Photoplay - November 1951

"The confused heart is still but Bob Walker's spirit is not forgotten by

'I know you will understand what I mean,' Robert Walker confided to Ida Lupino, shortly before the sudden swoop of the grim reaper that shocked all Hollywood. 'I am thrilled about my work in 'Strangers On A Train' and 'My Son John,' with Helen Hayes. My career has never been as stimulating. I think this is going to be my best year!'

Ida did understand, because she has always understood and befriended the lost ones, the strays, the bewildered.

Life was rich in experience and achievement for Robert Walker but his confused heart came into this world literally bursting with loneliness, a loneliness he had to fight all his life. His marriage to Jennifer Jones in 1939 (she's now the wife of Producer David O. Selznick), his two sons, his second marriage to the daughter of director John Ford, an annual salary reaching six figures -- none of these compensated for the troubled mind that served as his traveling companion. Bob was painfully shy, terribly tender. He wanted so desperately to
be liked -- and everyone liked him. It has been said that his sensitive nature and his intuitive distrust of most people created his own barriers.

Bob was an unmitigated sentimentalist. His library in his home near the beach held school books -- books like 'Wizard of Oz' because -- 'I've saved them for Bobby and Mike -- kids today get too mixed up with 'Superman' and there's so little escape left.'

Bob hated his own 'baby face' (he thought) but he loved his sons and literally lived for the three months when they were in his custody. Despite his sojourn in the famed Menninger Clinic, there obviously was no escape from his inner confusion. 'Death was due to natural causes,' it said in the papers. His 'best' year was the last year for Robert Walker. The peace he never knew is with him."

The End

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