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Passings / Robert Arthur

Actor known for supporting roles

October 06, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Robert Arthur, 83, a youthful-looking actor who had supporting roles in such 1940s and '50s films as "Twelve O'Clock High," "Just for You" and "Hellcats of the Navy," died of congestive heart failure Wednesday at his home in Aberdeen, Wash., said his friend Harold Fairbanks.

Also known as Bob, he was born Robert Paul Arthaud on June 18, 1925, in Aberdeen. After high school, he served in the Navy, then went to Hollywood looking for work as an actor.

He was cast in bit parts in Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox films, and then got what he considered his big break in the 1948 western "Green Grass of Wyoming," part of the "My Friend Flicka" series.

Soon after came a series of supporting roles in military dramas, including "Twelve O'Clock High" with Gregory Peck (1949), "Air Cadet" (1951), "Take the High Ground!" (1953) and "Hellcats of the Navy" with Ronald Reagan (1957).

Arthur also appeared in "September Affair," a drama starring Joseph Cotten and Joan Fontaine (1950); "Ace in the Hole," the 1951 film noir starring Kirk Douglas; and "Just for You," a 1952 musical starring Bing Crosby, Jane Wyman and featuring Natalie Wood.

Arthur had some parts in TV productions, including "The Lone Ranger," but left acting in the 1960s. In 1991, he returned to guest star as the minister who marries Jesse and Becky on the TV sit-com "Full House."

While his acting career was on the shelf, Arthur bounced around to several jobs before becoming an insurance salesman.

He also became an activist for the rights of gay senior citizens and was involved with the Log Cabin Club for gay Republicans.

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