Robert Benchley


Author, Humorist
Robert Benchley

About

Also Known As
Robert Charles Benchley
Birth Place
Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Born
September 15, 1889
Died
November 21, 1945

Biography

Robert Benchley was an actor who had a successful Hollywood career. Benchley's earliest roles were in film, including the romantic comedy "Rafter Romance" (1933) with Ginger Rogers, "Dancing Lady" (1933) and "The Social Register" (1934). He also appeared in the Clark Gable adventure "China Seas" (1935), the comedy "Piccadilly Jim" (1936) with Robert Montgomery and the comedy "Live, ...

Photos & Videos

Live, Love and Learn - Publicity Still
Rafter Romance - Lobby Cards
Rafter Romance - Scene Stills

Family & Companions

Gertrude Darling
Wife
Married June 6, 1914.

Bibliography

"Laughter's Gentle Soul: The Life of Robert Benchley"
Billy Altman, W.W. Norton & Co. (1997)

Biography

Robert Benchley was an actor who had a successful Hollywood career. Benchley's earliest roles were in film, including the romantic comedy "Rafter Romance" (1933) with Ginger Rogers, "Dancing Lady" (1933) and "The Social Register" (1934). He also appeared in the Clark Gable adventure "China Seas" (1935), the comedy "Piccadilly Jim" (1936) with Robert Montgomery and the comedy "Live, Love and Learn" (1937) with Robert Montgomery. He continued to work steadily in film throughout the forties, appearing in "Nice Girl?" (1941), the musical "You'll Never Get Rich" (1941) with Fred Astaire and the comedy adaptation "The Major and the Minor" (1942) with Ginger Rogers. In the latter part of his career, he continued to act in the Robert Walker comedy "See Here, Private Hargrove" (1944), the Phillip Terry musical "Pan-Americana" (1945) and the Fred Allen comedy "It's in the Bag" (1945). He also appeared in "Duffy's Tavern" (1945) and "Weekend at the Waldorf" (1945) with Ginger Rogers. Benchley was most recently credited in "Jeremiah of Jacob's Neck" (CBS, 1975-76). Benchley was married to Gertrude Darling. Benchley passed away in November 1945 at the age of 56.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Blue Skies (1946)
Business man
Road to Utopia (1946)
Narrator
The Bride Wore Boots (1946)
Tod Warren
Janie Gets Married (1946)
John Van Brunt
It's in the Bag! (1945)
Parker
Week-End at the Waldorf (1945)
Randy Morton, the columnist
Snafu (1945)
Ben Stevens
Pan-Americana (1945)
Charlie Corker
The Stork Club (1945)
Tom Curtis
Kiss and Tell (1945)
Uncle George Archer
Duffy's Tavern (1945)
Her Primitive Man (1944)
Martin Osborne
The National Barn Dance (1944)
Mr. Mitcham
Song of Russia (1944)
Hank Higgins
See Here, Private Hargrove (1944)
Mr. Holliday
Practically Yours (1944)
Judge Oscar Stimson
Janie (1944)
John Van Brunt
Flesh and Fantasy (1943)
Doakes
Young and Willing (1943)
Arthur Kenny
The Sky's the Limit (1943)
Phil Harriman
I Married a Witch (1942)
Dr. Dudley White
The Major and the Minor (1942)
Mr. Osborne
Take a Letter, Darling (1942)
G. B. Atwater
Syncopation (1942)
Doakes
Three Girls About Town (1941)
Wilburforce Puddle
The Reluctant Dragon (1941)
Himself
Bedtime Story (1941)
Eddie Turner
You'll Never Get Rich (1941)
Martin Cortland
Nice Girl? (1941)
[Professor] Oliver [Wendel Holmes] Dana
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
Stebbins
Hired Wife (1940)
[Roger] Van Horn
Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937)
Duffy
Live, Love and Learn (1937)
Oscar
Piccadilly Jim (1936)
[Bill] Macon
China Seas (1935)
McCaleb
Social Register (1934)
Himself
Dancing Lady (1933)
Wardrobe King
Headline Shooter (1933)
Radio announcer
Rafter Romance (1933)
[H. Harrington] Hubbell
The Sport Parade (1932)
Radio announcer

Writer (Feature Film)

The Reluctant Dragon (1941)
Additional Dialogue
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
Dial
Top of the Town (1937)
Story
Murder on a Honeymoon (1935)
Screenwriter
The Gay Divorcee (1934)
Contr to dial
Blind Adventure (1933)
Additional Dialogue
After Tonight (1933)
Screenwriter
The Sport Parade (1932)
Additional Dialogue
Sky Devils (1932)
Dial

Writer (Special)

Jeremiah of Jacob's Neck (1976)
Writer

Special Thanks (Special)

Jeremiah of Jacob's Neck (1976)
Writer

Cast (Short)

Why Daddy? (1944)
Important Business (1944)
No News Is Good News (1943)
My Tomato (1943)
That Inferior Feeling (1940)
Home Movies (1940)
The Day of Rest (1939)
See Your Doctor (1939)
Dark Magic (1939)
How to Sub-Let (1939)
An Hour for Lunch (1939)
How to Eat (1939)
Home Early (1939)
How to Raise a Baby (1938)
How to Figure Income Tax (1938)
An Evening Alone (1938)
How to Read (1938)
MUSIC MADE SIMPLE (1938)
Himself
Mental Poise (1938)
How to Watch Football (1938)
Opening Day (1938)
The Courtship of the Newt (1938)
Sunday Night at the Trocadero (1937)
Himself
The Romance of Digestion (1937)
How to Start the Day (1937)
A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES (1937)
How to Be a Detective (1936)
How to Train a Dog (1936)
How to Vote (1936)
How to Behave (1936)
Sunkist Stars at Palm Springs (1936)
Himself
David O. Selznick "Your New Producer" (1935)
Host
How to Sleep (1935)

Writer (Short)

Important Business (1944)
Writer
Why Daddy? (1944)
Writer
No News Is Good News (1943)
Writer
Home Movies (1940)
Writer
That Inferior Feeling (1940)
Writer (Uncredited)
See Your Doctor (1939)
Writer
Dark Magic (1939)
Writer (Uncredited)
How to Sub-Let (1939)
Writer (Uncredited)
How to Eat (1939)
Writer
Home Early (1939)
Writer
Mental Poise (1938)
Writer
The Courtship of the Newt (1938)
Writer
How to Read (1938)
Writer
How to Figure Income Tax (1938)
Writer
MUSIC MADE SIMPLE (1938)
Writer
How to Watch Football (1938)
Writer
An Evening Alone (1938)
Writer (Uncredited)
A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES (1937)
Writer
The Romance of Digestion (1937)
Writer
How to Vote (1936)
Writer
How to Behave (1936)
Writer
How to Be a Detective (1936)
Writer
How to Sleep (1935)
Writer (Uncredited)

Life Events

1928

Debut as short filmmaker

Photo Collections

Live, Love and Learn - Publicity Still
Here is a publicity still from MGM's Live, Love and Learn (1937), starring Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Rafter Romance - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Rafter Romance (1933). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Rafter Romance - Scene Stills
Here are a number of scene stills from RKO's Rafter Romance (1933), starring Ginger Rogers and Norman Foster.

Videos

Movie Clip

You'll Never Get Rich (1941) - Boogie Barcarolle Dance director Robert (Fred Astaire) takes a call from frisky financier Cortland (Robert Benchley), then rehearses with not-intimidated Sheila (Rita Hayworth), their first on-screen dance together and a Cole Porter tune, early in You'll Never Get Rich, 1941.
Rafter Romance (1933) - As If You Were Ladies Mary (Ginger Rogers) has landed a job which starts to look iffy, selling ice boxes on the phone for Hubbell (Robert Benchley), Ellen Corby (Granny Clampett from The Beverly Hillbillies) the second of her colleagues featured, early in Rafter Romance, 1933.
Foreign Correspondent (1940) - Against The Wind Pursuing a suspect after an assassination in Amsterdam, Yank reporter Jones (a.k.a. Haverstock, Joel McCrea),with new friends (George Sanders, Laraine Day) notices something strange about one windmill in Foreign Correspondent (1940), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Janie Gets Married (1946) - Sort Of A War Emergency On their wedding day, engaged only briefly after his return from the war, Joan Leslie (title character) and Robert Hutton as Dick confer in secret, him disoriented by advice from his dad, her offering a contract, the parents (Edward Arnold, Ann Harding, Robert Benchley, Barbara Brown) intervening, in Janie Gets Married, 1946.
Foreign Correspondent (1940) - To See London In The Sunshine Trying out his new London attire, novice foreign reporter Jones (Joel McCrea), also test-driving his fancier pen-name (Haverstock), encounters veteran newsman Stebbins (Robert Benchley), director Alfred Hitchcock in his cameo, and obfuscatory Dutch diplomat Van Meer (Albert Basserman), in Foreign Correspondent, 1940.
China Seas (1935) - Are You With Me? In scenes largely about her wardrobe, China (Jean Harlow) wins a drinking game against Jamesy (Wallace Beery), who's already quit, then discovers his criminal scheme, rescued by captain Gaskell (Clark Gable), as the ship hits a storm, in MGM's sprawling China Seas, 1935.
China Seas (1935) - The Whole Dirty Picture Captain Gaskell (Clark Gable) and refined widow Sybil (Rosalind Russell) join his ex, China (Jean Harlow), and Jamesy (Wallace Beery), who have become kind-of partners in a scam, C. Aubrey Smith as the ship line owner, finishing with a scolding, in China Seas, 1935, directed by Tay Garnett.
I Married A Witch (1942) - You'll Be A Redhead! On the eve of his election as governor, candidate Wallace (Fredric March) is lured into a burning hotel by newly-embodied witch Jennifer (Veronica Lake), in I Married A Witch, 1942, directed by Renè Clair.
Sky's The Limit, The (1943) - Slippery Times Shedding the cowboy hat he picked up in Utah when he ditched the Flying Tigers publicity tour, having hitched back to New York, Fred Astaire as “Fred Atwell” meets barkeep Vic Potel and publisher Robert Benchley, in pursuit of Joan Leslie as photographer “Joan Manion,” in The Sky’s The Limit, 1943.
Week-end At The Waldorf (1945) - Honeymoon Couple Robert Benchley narrates, a couple (Cora Sue Collins, Michael Kirby) arrives, and Jessup (Samuel S. Hinds) rejects slippery Edley (Edward Arnold), just opening MGM's relocated and modified remake of Grand Hotel, Week-End At The Waldorf, 1944, starring Ginger Rogers and Lana Turner.
Young And Willing (1943) - We Are An Actress In case anyone doubted the appeal of young Susan Hayward (as "Kate"), hustling on behalf of herself and fellow struggling-actor roommates, with big shot Kenny (Robert Benchley), posing here as his own chef, in Young And Willing, 1942.
Road To Utopia, The - Personality In old Skagway, posing as famous villains they've imprisoned, Chester (Bob Hope) and Duke (Bing Crosby) act casual, and meet Sal (Dorothy Lamour), performing Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke's Personality, in Road To Utopia, 1946.

Companions

Gertrude Darling
Wife
Married June 6, 1914.

Bibliography

"Laughter's Gentle Soul: The Life of Robert Benchley"
Billy Altman, W.W. Norton & Co. (1997)