Robert Burr, 78, an actor best known for his Shakespearean stage roles but also featured in motion pictures and television. Burr attended Colgate University on a boxing scholarship and was a Marine pilot in World War II and the Korean War. He made his Broadway debut in 1951 in the chorus line of "The Cradle Will Rock" and later worked as understudy or supporting actor in the classic plays "King Lear," "Romeo and Juliet" and "The Andersonville Trial." He established himself and his reputation as a solid Shakespearean actor in 1964 when, as an understudy, he had to step in for Richard Burton in a Broadway production of "Hamlet" directed by Sir John Gielgud. That summer Burr also replaced the actor playing Hamlet in a Central Park production, winning the role permanently. He then starred in Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus," "King John," "King Lear" and "Henry IV, Part II." Burr also appeared in minor roles in motion pictures over the last 50 years, including "The Possession of Joel Delaney" in 1972, "Ghost Story" in 1981 and "Out on a Limb" in 1992. Burr had roles in several television movies and such series as "Naked City" and "Gunsmoke." On May 13 in Los Angeles of emphysema.