Robert "Tex" Allen (also credited as Bob Allen) was a leading actor in both feature films and B-movie westerns between 1935 and 1944.
Born as Irvine E. Theodore Baehr on March 28, 1906 in Mount Vernon, New York, Allen went on to graduate from the New York Military Academy in 1924, where he rode in the academy cavalry and from Dartmouth College in 1929 with a degree in English. In vacations he had driven a truck as a labourer. He worked for a bank which soon failed in the Great Depression. He flew briefly with the Curtis Flying service as a commercial pilot. He first came to the screen in 1926 before signing a standard acting contract with Paramount Pictures, in 1929. He appeared in the famous Marx Brothers movie Animal Crackers and several other small parts. Then, he signed with Columbia Pictures in 1935. He also later contracted with 20th Century Fox.
Allen's first notable role was the male lead in Love Me Forever (1935), for which he won a Box Office Award. He gained additional notice as the star of When You're in Love (1936), opposite Grace Moore. The same year, he was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the title role in the film The Life of Lafayette.
After the departure of cowboy star Ken Maynard, Allen was plugged into producer Larry Darmour's formulaic Ranger pictures. Along with sidekick Wally Wales (played by Hal Taliaferro), he redefined the role, starring in six films for director Spencer Gordon Bennet in that year alone. These films became known as the Bob Allen Ranger series. However, the studio was looking for a singing cowboy to compete with Gene Autry and Allen was eventually replaced by Roy Rogers. He appeared in two dozen films after that, however.
He had acted on Broadway in the original productions of Show Boat and Kiss Them for Me. In 1956 he appeared in the original production of Auntie Mame, opposite Rosalind Russell, and later Greer Garson. He appeared in other Broadway plays, in touring productions, in soap operas, documentaries and commercials. He became a real estate broker in 1964 but returned to the stage from time to time, including an appearance as J.B. Biggley in the 1972 Equity Library Theatre revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
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- Birth Date
- Age 92
- Mount Vernon, New York, USA
- Film Industry