He was a very successful actor, producer and director for over 50 years.
He was an Academy Award nominee in the Best Actor category.
His leading ladies have included: Lauren Bacall, Ginger Rogers, Merle Oberon, Gene Tierney, Ida Lupino, Evelyn Keyes, Donna Reed, Debra Paget, Jane Russell, Maureen O'Hara and Linda Darnell.
He's been directed by some of the greats including: Nicholas Ray, Otto Preminger, Charles Vidor, and C B DeMille.
Oh, and he was well built.
When he came to Hollywood he was under contract to a studio, after a few small parts that were all over the board (they didn't seem to know what to do with him) he talked them into ending the contract. He then went all over down testing at every other company and here's what they said:
MGM - "Might be okay for heavies."
Columbia - "Good for occasional bits and spot casting - but he'll never play leads."
Universal - "Nice looking, but too much personality" (okay, what does that even mean?)
RKO - "His head is too small for his body" (his reply was that given some good roles, he was certain his head would swell to a size that would please them)
Paramount - "He's too dark for Technicolor."
He did have one supporter in the form of Hedda Hopper who wrote that he was the best actor to hit town since Paul Muni.
|Hurry up and guess before Jane tells Bob!|