Born on June 1, 1920 in Oklahoma City, handsome second lead Robert Clarke was fascinated by movies as a child. In the 1930s, he enrolled in a military school in Missouri and planned to make military service his career, but a severe asthma attack derailed his plans. As his asthma precluded him from serving in World War II, Clarke attended the University of Oklahoma and the University of Wisconsin to hone his acting skills. With some stage work credits, he went to Hollywood in the early 1940s in search of work. Eventually, Clarke netted a contract with RKO; his first film for the studio was the mystery programmer The Falcon in Hollywood (1944; with Tom Conway and Barbara Hale). In four years at RKO, Clarke appeared in many releases but often in small or uncredited roles, and the studio dropped him in 1948. He had greater success when he began freelancing in numerous B movies, including the horror and science fiction cult flicks The Man From Planet X (1951; with Margaret Field), The Astounding She-Monster (1957; with Kenne Duncan), and The Hideous Sun Demon (1959; with Nan Peterson). Clarke directed and wrote the screenplay for The Hideous Sun Demon, which proved to be his sole directorial effort.

the films of robert clarke

Bedlam (1946)

Boris Karloff, Robert Clarke, Anna Lee, and Billy House

From the RKO thriller Bedlam with Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, and Billy House

Hard, Fast, and Beautiful (1951)

Robert Clarke, Sally Forrest, Claire Trevor, and Arthur Little Jr.

From the RKO romantic drama Hard, Fast, and Beautiful with Sally Forrest, Claire Trevor, and Arthur Little Jr.

The Man from Planet X (1951)

Robert Clarke and Raymond Bond

With Raymond Bond in the low budget MGM sci-fi flick The Man from Planet X

Pistol Harvest (1951)

Joan Dixon, Robert Clarke, and Tim Holt

With Joan Dixon and Tim Holt in the RKO western Pistol Harvest

Street Bandits (1951)

Penny Edwards, Roy Barcroft, and Robert Clarke

From Republic's crime drama Street Bandits with Penny Edwards and Roy Barcroft

Captive Women (1952)

Gloria Saunders and Robert ClarkeRobert Clarke and Margaret Field

LEFT: With Gloria Saunders in the RKO science fiction flick Captive Women. RIGHT: With frequent co-star Margaret Field

The Body Beautiful (1953)

Robert Clarke and Susan MorrowRobert Clarke, Susan Morrow, and O.Z. Whitehead

LEFT: With Susan Morrow in the low-budget romance The Body Beautiful. RIGHT: With Susan Morrow and O.Z. Whitehead

Sword of Venus (1953)

Catherine McLeod and Robert Clarke

From the RKO adventure Sword of Venus with Catherine McLeod

King of the Carnival (1955)

Robert Clarke

Clarke as Agent Jim Hayes in the Republic crime drama serial King of the Carnival, one of the last serials produced

The Astounding She-Monster (1957)

Kenne Duncan, Ewing Miles Brown, Marilyn Harvey, Jeanne Tatum, and Robert ClarkeKenne Duncan and Robert Clarke

The campy sci-fi classic The Astounding She-Monster was lensed for reportedly less than $20,000. LEFT: With Kenne Duncan, Ewing Miles Brown, Marilyn Harvey, and Jeanne Tatum. RIGHT: With Kenne Duncan

Outlaw Queen (1957)

Robert Clarke, Andrea King, and Harry James

From the western Outlaw Queen with Andrea King and Harry James

The Hideous Sun Demon (1959)

Nan Peterson and Robert ClarkeRobert Clarke

LEFT: With Nan Peterson in the campy science fiction flick The Hideous Sun Demon, a film that Clarke also wrote and directed. RIGHT: Radiation turns Clarke in to a reptilian-like murderous creature when exposed to sunlight

Beyond the Time Barrier (1960)

Robert ClarkeDarlene Tompkins and Robert Clarke

LEFT: Clarke as Major William Allison in the low-budget sci-fi thriller Beyond the Time Barrier. RIGHT: With Darlene Tompkins

Secret File Hollywood (1962)

Francine York and Robert Clarke

From the low-budget Crown International drama Secret File: Hollywood with Francine York

later years

In 1956, Clarke married Alyce King of the singing King Family, and the couple welcomed a son in 1957. Although Clarke's acting career stayed busy throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, his film output dwindled, yet he acted on numerous television programs, including Perry Mason, 77 Sunset Strip, and Dragnet 1967. He also toured with the King Family and appeared on their television show in the mid and late 1960s. Clarke wound down his acting career in the early 1990s with a handful of horror films, including Alienator (1990; with Jan Michael Vincent and John Phillip Law) and Haunting Fear (1991; with Jan Michael Vincent). Clarke's wife Alyce passed away in 1996, the same year his autobiography, To "B" or Not to "B": A Film Actor's Odyssey was released. Sadly, Robert Clarke passed away on June 11, 2005, from natural causes at the age of 85. He was survived by his son, actor Cam Clarke, and two step-children.

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Haunting Fear (1991) with Brinke Stevens, Jan-Michael Vincent, Karen Black, Robert Quarry, and Michael Berryman
Alienator (1990) with Jan-Michael Vincent, John Phillip Law, Ross Hagen, P.J. Soles, Leo Gordon, and Robert Quarry
Attack from Mars (1988) with Ann Robinson
First Strike (1985) with Stuart Whitman, Leon Askin, Bart Braverman, Persis Khambatta, and Paul Mantee
Frankenstein Island (1981) with Steve Brodie, Cameron Mitchell, Andrew Duggan, John Carradine, and Katherine Victor
Born Again (1978) with Dean Jones, Anne Francis, Dana Andrews, and George Brent
Where's Willie? (1978) with Guy Madison and John Mitchum
The Restless Ones (1965) with Johnny Crawford and Kim Darby
Zebra in the Kitchen (1965) with Jay North, Martin Milner, Andy Devine, Joyce Meadows, and Jim Davis
Terror of the Bloodhunters (1962) with Steve Conte
Secret File: Hollywood (1962) with Francine York and Carolyn Brandt
Beyond the Time Barrier (1960) with John Van Dreelen
Date with Death (1959) with Gerald Mohr, Liz Renay, and Kenne Duncan
Timbuktu (1959) with Victor Mature, Yvonne De Carlo, George Dolenz, John Dehner, and Marcia Henderson
The Hideous Sun Demon (1959) with Nan Peterson
Girl with an Itch (1958) with Robert Armstrong
My Man Godfrey (1957) with June Allyson, David Niven, Eva Gabor, Martha Hyer, Jeff Donnell, Herbert Anderson, and Dabbs Greer
Outlaw Queen (1957) with Andrea King, Harry James, and Kenne Duncan
The Incredible Petrified World (1957) with John Carradine and Phyllis Coates
The Astounding She-Monster (1957) with Kenne Duncan
King of the Carnival (1955) with Robert Shayne
The Black Pirates (1954) with Anthony Dexter and Lon Chaney Jr.
Captain John Smith and Pocahontas (1953) with Anthony Dexter, Jody Lawrance, and Alan Hale Jr.
The Body Beautiful (1953) with Susan Morrow, Noreen Nash, and Dolores Fuller
Oiltown, U.S.A. (1953)
Sword of Venus (1953) with Catherine McLeod, Dan O'Herlihy, and William Schallert
Captive Women (1952) with Margaret Field, Ron Randell, and William Schallert
The Fabulous Senorita (1952) with Estelita Rodriguez, Nestor Paiva, Marvin Kaplan, Rita Moreno, and Vito Scotti
Street Bandits (1951) with Penny Edwards
Pistol Harvest (1951) with Tim Holt
Casa Manana (1951) with Robert Karnes
Hard, Fast and Beautiful (1951) with Claire Trevor, Sally Forrest, Carleton G. Young, and William Hudson
Tales of Robin Hood (1951) with Paul Cavanagh and Whit Bissell
The Man from Planet X (1951) with Margaret Field and William Schallert
The Valparaiso Story (1951) with Marjorie Lord, Margaret Field, and Tom Neal
Outrage (1950) with Mala Powers, Tod Andrews, Hal March, and Angela Clarke
A Modern Marriage (1950) with Reed Hadley, Margaret Field, and Nana Bryant
Riders of the Range (1950) with Tim Holt, Reed Hadley, and Tom Tyler
Return of the Bad Men (1948) with Randolph Scott, Robert Ryan, Anne Jeffreys, Gabby Hayes, Steve Brodie, Lex Barker, Robert Armstrong, and Tom Tyler
Thunder Mountain (1947) with Tim Holt, Martha Hyer, Richard Martin, and Steve Brodie
Under the Tonto Rim (1947) with Tim Holt, Nan Leslie, Richard Martin, and Lex Barker
Code of the West (1947) with James Warren, Steve Brodie, and Raymond Burr
San Quentin (1946) with Lawrence Tierney, Barton MacLane, Lee Bonnell, and Raymond Burr
Criminal Court (1946) with Tom Conway, Martha O'Driscoll, Robert Armstrong, Steve Brodie, and Lee Bonnell
Lady Luck (1946) with Robert Young, Barbara Hale, and Frank Morgan
Sunset Pass (1946) with James Warren, Nan Leslie, and Steve Brodie
Bedlam (1946) with Boris Karloff, Anna Lee, and Billy House
A Game of Death (1945) with John Loder
The Bamboo Blonde (1945) with Frances Langford, Ralph Edwards, and Sheldon Leonard
Wanderer of the Wasteland (1945) with James Warren and Richard Martin
The Enchanted Cottage (1945) with Dorothy McGuire, Robert Young, Herbert Marshall, Mildred Natwick, Spring Byington, and Hillary Brooke
The Falcon in Hollywood (1944) with Tom Conway, Barbara Hale, Veda Ann Borg, and Sheldon Leonard

The King Family Show, 1965-1966 ABC variety series

Dynasty, episode Images, originally aired January 13, 1988
Hotel, episode Forsaking All Others, originally aired November 26, 1986
Falcon Crest, episode Finders and Losers, originally aired February 14, 1986
Dallas, episode Deliverance, originally aired May 10, 1985
Matt Houston, episode Final Vows, originally aired March 29, 1985
Finder of Lost Loves, episode Surrogates, originally aired March 16, 1985
Murder, She Wrote, episode Murder to a Jazz Beat, originally aired February 3, 1985
Matt Houston, episode The Honeymoon Murders, originally aired January 25, 1985
Knight Rider, episode Mouth of the Snake, originally aired April 8, 1984
Simon & Simon, episode Caught Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, originally aired November 10, 1983
Simon & Simon, episode The Club Murder Vacation, originally aired January 27, 1983
Dallas, episode Hit and Run, originally aired November 12, 1982
Dynasty, episode The Wedding, originally aired November 10, 1982
Dynasty, episode Oil, originally aired January 12, 1981
Fantasy Island, episode Rogues to Riches/Stark Terror, originally aired January 19, 1980
Beyond Westworld, episode Take-Over, originally aired January 1, 1980
Trapper John, M.D., episode Flashback, originally aired September 30, 1979
Hawaii Five-O, episode Stringer, originally aired February 22, 1979
Tabitha, episode Tabitha's Weighty Problem, originally aired September 10, 1977
Black Sheep Squadron, episode The Meatball Circus, originally aired November 9, 1976
Archer, episode Blood Money, originally aired March 13, 1975
Adam-12, episode Van Nuys Division: Pete's Mustache, originally aired October 31, 1973
Adam-12, episode Easy Rap, originally aired March 21, 1973
O'Hara, U.S. Treasury, episode Operation: Hijack, originally aired November 26, 1971
Marcus Welby, M.D., episode The Best Is Yet to Be, originally aired November 16, 1971
Adam-12, episode Truant, originally aired November 3, 1971
Adam-12, episode Log 74: Light Duty, originally aired March 21, 1970
Adam-12, episode Log 66: The Vandals, originally aired January 28, 1971
Dragnet 1967, episode D.H.Q.: Night School, originally aired March 19, 1970
Dragnet 1967, episode Juvenile: The Little Pusher, originally aired October 23, 1969
Dragnet 1967, episode The Joy Riders, originally aired February 13, 1969
Dragnet 1967, episode Public Affairs: DR-12, originally aired November 14, 1968
Dragnet 1967, episode Juvenile: DR-05, originally aired September 26, 1968
Dragnet 1967, episode The Big Search, originally aired January 4, 1968
Daktari, episode Judy and the Astro-Chimp, originally aired September 5, 1967
Dragnet 1967, episode The Hit-and-Run Driver, originally aired April 6, 1967
Kraft Suspense Theatre, episode The Threatening Eye, originally aired March 12, 1964
77 Sunset Strip, episode The Toy Jungle, originally aired December 6, 1963
Hawaiian Eye, episode A Night with Nora Stewart, originally aired November 27, 1962
Sea Hunt, episode The Meet, originally aired July 1, 1961
Hawaiian Eye, episode The Stanhope Brand, originally aired February 22, 1961
Ripcord, episode Top Secret, originally aired January 1, 1961
Cheyenne, episode Savage Breed, originally aired December 19, 1960
Perry Mason, episode The Case of the Clumsy Clown, originally aired November 5, 1960
Checkmate, episode Interrupted Honeymoon, originally aired September 24, 1960
77 Sunset Strip, episode The Fix, originally aired April 8, 1960
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, episode Circle of Evil, originally aired March 16, 1960
Laramie, episode Ride or Die, originally aired March 8, 1960
Hawaiian Eye, episode Cut of Ice, originally aired February 17, 1960
M Squad, episode A Debt of Honor, originally aired February 2, 1960
Bronco, episode Night Train to Denver, originally aired December 29, 1959
Men Into Space, episode Burnout, originally aired December 9, 1959
Lawman, episode The Last Man, originally aired November 1, 1959
The Man and the Challenge, episode Odds Against Survival, originally aired September 26, 1959
Wagon Train, episode The Clara Duncan Story, originally aired April 22, 1959
Sea Hunt, episode Jettisoned, originally aired March 1, 1959
Sky King, episode Dead Giveaway, originally aired March 1, 1959
Dragnet, episode The Big Doctor, originally aired January 20, 1959
Rescue 8, episode High Hazard, originally aired January 20, 1959
Mike Hammer, episode Old Folks at Home Blues, originally aired August 23, 1958
Harbor Command, episode Clay Pigeon, originally aired June 13, 1958
Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, episode The Sheriff of Buckeye, originally aired April 2, 1958
Colt .45, episode Circle of Fear, originally aired March 7, 1958
Sea Hunt, episode Rapture of the Deep, originally aired January 25, 1958
Perry Mason, episode The Case of the Crooked Candle, originally aired November 30, 1957
Goodyear Theatre, episode Lost and Found, originally aired October 14, 1957
The Gale Storm Show, episode Hold That Tiger, originally aired December 1, 1956
TV Reader's Digest, episode The Man Who Beat Death, originally aired January 16, 1956
The Ford Television Theatre, episode The Fabulous Sycamores, originally aired December 1, 1955
Lux Video Theatre, episode Lightning Strikes Twice, originally aired June 9, 1955
Science Fiction Theatre, episode Spider Inc., originally aired June 3, 1955
The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse, episode The Unblushing Bride, originally aired January 16, 1955
The Mickey Rooney Show, episode Pilot, originally aired August 28, 1954
The Cisco Kid, episode The Ventriloquist, originally aired March 11, 1954
Dragnet, episode The Big Children, originally aired February 11, 1954
The Cisco Kid, episode Cisco Meets the Gorilla, originally aired January 14, 1954
City Detective, episode The Bartered Bridegroom, originally aired January 1, 1954
Cavalcade of America, episode The Betrayal, originally aired December 8, 1953
Dragnet, episode The Big Betty, originally aired September 24, 1953
Dragnet, episode The Big Light, originally aired March 26, 1953
Dragnet, episode The Big Whiff, originally aired January 15, 1953
I Led 3 Lives, episode The Spy, originally aired January 1, 1953
The Lone Ranger, episode Outlaw Underground, originally aired September 18, 1952
The Magnavox Theatre, episode The Three Musketeers , originally aired November 24, 1950
The Silver Theatre, episode The Guiding Star, originally aired December 19, 1949

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Watch Robert Clarke's 1962 horror film Terror of the Bloodhunters

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