Robert Shayne, whose dramatic career included lead roles in some of Broadway's most distinguished plays and character parts in some of Hollywood's less spectacular films, has died.
The veteran actor and onetime film leading man of the 1930s was 92 when he died Sunday of lung cancer at the Motion Picture Hospital in Woodland Hills, where he had been a patient for two months.
Born Robert Shaen Dawe in Yonkers, N.Y., Shayne worked as a journalist before choosing an acting career. His first stage appearances were with repertory companies in Alabama. By 1931, he had established the first of many Broadway credits in "The Rap." For the next 60 years he alternated among stage, film and television. In New York, he starred in "Yellow Jack," as the defense attorney in "The Night of January 16," opposite Ina Claire in "Biography," with Ethel Barrymore in "Whiteoaks" and in "Claudia" and "Without Love," which starred Phyllis Thaxter and Katharine Hepburn, respectively.
The first of his nearly 100 films was "Keep 'Em Rolling" in 1934; the last was Walt Disney's "The Million Dollar Duck" in 1971. Between those were appearances in hits like "Hollywood Canteen," "Mr. Skeffington," "Rhapsody in Blue," "Let's Live a Little" and "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and such flops as "Law of the Badlands," "Wife Wanted," "The Strange Mrs. Crane" and "Mr. Walkie Talkie."