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albatros1 ( 2007-11-20 )
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Robert J. Wilke (born 18 May 1914 in Cincinnati, Ohio; died 28 March 1989 in Los Angeles) was a prolific American film actor noted primarily for his villainous roles, mainly in westerns. Wilke started as a stuntman in the 1930s and his first appearance on screen was in "San Francisco" (1936). He soon began to acquire regular character parts, mainly as a heavy, and made his mark when, along with Lee Van Cleef and Sheb Wooley, he played one of the "three men waiting at the station" in High Noon (1952). He appeared in many of the best known TV series, mainly westerns, several times in some of them: "Maverick", "Bonanza", "Gunsmoke","Wagon Train", "Rawhide", "Have Gun - Will Travel", "Bronco","Cheyenne", "Lawman", "Wanted: Dead or Alive", and "The Rifleman" were all among his credits. Another good film cameo came his way in The Magnificent Seven (1960), playing the railroad bully Wallace, who was quickly killed off by James Coburn in the famous gun v knife fight. He had a good role in Days of Heaven (1978) as Farmer Sam Shepard's ally, The Farm Foreman. Wilke was an expert golfer and, he was said by his friend Claude Akins to have "earned more money on the golf course than he ever did in movies".
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