Born Charles Cummings in Joplin, Missouri, on June 10, 1908 (some sources indicate his year of birth as 1910), actor Robert Cummings was the son of a well-to-do surgeon and spent his youth in Joplin. A distant relative of the Wright brothers, Cummings learned to fly as a teenager and maintained a life-long interest in flying. In the mid to late 1920s, Cummings studied engineering at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh before deciding on a career as an actor. Moving to New York at the dawn of the Great Depression, he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and began working in theater to support himself and his first wife. Cummings' comedic gifts got him work quickly, and he eventually starred with Fanny Brice on Broadway in The Ziegfeld Follies of 1934. He met his second wife Vivian Janis, who was a singer, while both appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies. Afterward, Cummings headed for Hollywood and signed a contract with Paramount Studios in 1935, beginning an on-again, off-again association with the studio that lasted for nearly 30 years.

Although Cummings is best known for his comedies and film noir thrillers, initially he acted in dramas and a few westerns before finding his niche in comedy. He also starred in such film noir thrillers as Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur (1942; with Priscilla Lane and Otto Kruger) and The Chase (1946; with Steve Cochran). After spending nearly 20 years in films, Cummings made the switch to television in the early 1950s in his first series, the comedy My Hero, which aired on NBC from 1952-1953. His second series, The Bob Cummings Show, aired on NBC and CBS from 1955 to 1959 and is the one he is best known for.

the films of robert cummings

Spring Parade (1940)

Robert Cummings and Anne Gwynne

With Anne Gwynne in the Universal musical comedy Spring Parade

Free and Easy (1941)

Robert Cummings, Ruth Hussey, and Nigel Bruce

With Ruth Hussey and Nigel Bruce in the MGM romantic comedy Free and Easy

Kings Row (1942)

Robert Cummings and Ann Sheridan

With Ann Sheridan in the Warner Bros. drama Kings Row

Saboteur (1942)/h4>
Robert Cummings and Priscilla Lane

Cummings portrays Barry Kane in Alfred Hitchcock's Universal thriller Saboteur. Also pictured is Priscilla Lane

You Came Along (1945)

Lizabeth Scott and Robert Cummings

With Lizabeth Scott in the Paramount romance You Came Along

The Bride Wore Boots (1946)

Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Cummings

From the Paramount comedy The Bride Wore Boots with Barbara Stanwyck

The Lost Moment (1947)

Robert Cummings

From the Universal drama The Lost Moment

Let's Live a Little (1948)

Robert Cummings and Hedy Lamarr

With Hedy Lamarr in the romantic comedy Let's Live a Little

Free for All (1949)

Robert Cummings and Ann Blyth

With Ann Blyth in the Universal romantic comedy Free for All

Tell It to the Judge (1949)

Robert Cummings

As Pete Webb in the Columbia comedy Tell It to the Judge

Paid in Full (1950)

Robert Cummings, Diana Lynn, and Lizabeth Scott

Diana Lynn and Lizabeth Scott in the Paramount drama Paid in Full

The First Time (1952)

Robert Cummings, Bea Benaderet, and Barbara Hale

From the Columbia comedy The First Time with Bea Benaderet and Barbara Hale

The Bob Cummings Show (1955-1959 CBS and NBC TV Series)

Joi Lansing and Bob Cummings

With Joi Lansing in an episode of The Bob Cummings Show. In reruns, the series was retitled Love that Bob

Beach Party (1963)

Robert CummingsRobert Cummings

From the American International comedy Beach Party. LEFT and RIGHT: Cummings as Professor Sutwell

The Carpetbaggers (1964)

Robert Cummings and Martha Hyer

With Martha Hyer in the Paramount potboiler The Carpetbaggers

Promise Her Anything (1965)

Robert Cummings

Cummings as Dr. Peter Brock in the Paramount comedy Promise Her Anything

later years

An avid health food and vitamin advocate, Robert Cummings kept a youthful appearance into old age and fathered a son while in his 60s. He also owned a company that sold vitamins and food supplements. His film career wound down in the late 1960s with the release of his final theatrical film, the European action flick Five Golden Dragons (1967; with Margaret Lee and Christopher Lee). From the late 1960s through the early 1970s, Cummings appeared as a guest star on several TV series such as Love American Style and Bewitched, and he toured the country in dinner theater productions throughout the 1970s. His final TV appearance was on a 1979 episode of the ABC series The Love Boat. In his last years, Cummings suffered from Parkinson's disease. After the breakup of is fourth marriage in the 1980s, he married his fifth wife in 1989, just one year before his death. Cummings passed away at the age of 82 on December 2, 1990, and was survived by his fifth wife and seven children.

robert cummings films available from


Three on a Date (1978) with June Allyson, Loni Anderson, Ray Bolger, John Byner, Didi Conn, Gary Crosby, Geoff Edwards, Carol Lawrence, Meredith MacRae, Ricky Nelson, and Patrick Wayne
Partners in Crime (1973) with Lee Grant, Harry Guardino, Richard Jaeckel, Charles Drake, Richard Anderson, William Schallert, Lorraine Gary, Gary Crosby, and Vic Tayback
The Great American Beauty Contest (1973) with Eleanor Parker, Louis Jourdan, JoAnna Cameron, Farrah Fawcett, Larry Wilcox, Christopher Norris, Barbi Benton, and Brett Somers
Gidget Grows Up (1969) with Karen Valentine, Edward Mulhare, Paul Petersen, Nina Foch, and Paul Lynde
Five Golden Dragons (1967) with Margaret Lee, Klaus Kinski, Brian Donlevy, Christopher Lee, and George Raft
Stagecoach (1966) with Ann-Margret, Red Buttons, Mike Connors, Alex Cord, Bing Crosby, Van Heflin, Slim Pickens, Stefanie Powers, and Keenan Wynn
Promise Her Anything (1965) with Warren Beatty, Leslie Caron, Hermione Gingold, Lionel Stander, and Keenan Wynn
What a Way to Go! (1964) with Shirley MacLaine, Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum, Dean Martin, Gene Kelly, Dick Van Dyke, Reginald Gardiner, and Margaret Dumont
The Carpetbaggers (1964) with George Peppard, Alan Ladd, Martha Hyer, Elizabeth Ashley, Lew Ayres, Martin Balsam, Ralph Taeger, Leif Erickson, and Carroll Baker
Beach Party (1963) with Dorothy Malone, Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Morey Amsterdam, Harvey Lembeck, John Ashley, and Jody McCrea
My Geisha (1962) with Shirley MacLaine, Yves Montand, and Edward G. Robinson
How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955) with Betty Grable, Sheree North, Charles Coburn, Tommy Noonan, Orson Bean, Fred Clark, and Alice Pearce
Best Foot Forward (1954) with Marilyn Maxwell, Pat Carroll, Jeannie Carson, and Arte Johnson
Dial M for Murder (1954) with Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, John Williams, and Anthony Dawson
Lucky Me (1954) with Doris Day, Phil Silvers, Eddie Foy Jr., Nancy Walker, and Martha Hyer
Marry Me Again (1953) with Marie Wilson and Lloyd Corrigan
The First Time (1952) with Barbara Hale, Bill Goodwin, and Jeff Donnell
The Barefoot Mailman (1951) with Terry Moore, Jerome Courtland, John Russell, and Will Geer
For Heaven's Sake (1950) with Clifton Webb, Joan Bennett, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Blondell, and Gigi Perreau
The Petty Girl (1950) with Joan Caulfield, Elsa Lanchester, Melville Cooper, and Mary Wickes
Paid in Full (1950) with Lizabeth Scott, Eve Arden, Ray Collins, and John Bromfield
Free for All (1949) with Ann Blyth, Percy Kilbride, and Ray Collins
Tell It to the Judge (1949) with Rosalind Russell, Gig Young, and Marie McDonald
Reign of Terror (1949) with Richard Basehart and Arlene Dahl
The Accused (1949) with Loretta Young, Wendell Corey, and Sam Jaffe
Let's Live a Little (1948) with Hedy Lamarr
Sleep, My Love (1948) with Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, Keye Luke, and Raymond Burr
The Lost Moment (1947) with Susan Hayward, Agnes Moorehead, and John Archer
Heaven Only Knows (1947) with Brian Donlevy, Bill Goodwin, John Litel, Stuart Erwin, Gerald Mohr, Edgar Kennedy, and Lurene Tuttle
The Chase (1946) with Michele Morgan, Steve Cochran, Lloyd Corrigan, Jack Holt, and Peter Lorre
The Bride Wore Boots (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck and Natalie Wood
You Came Along (1945) with Lizabeth Scott, Don DeFore, Charles Drake, Julie Bishop, and Kim Hunter
Flesh and Fantasy (1943) with Edward G. Robinson, Charles Boyer, Barbara Stanwyck, Betty Field, Thomas Mitchell, and Anna Lee
Princess O'Rourke (1943) with Olivia de Havilland, Charles Coburn, Jack Carson, and Jane Wyman
Forever and a Day (1943)
Between Us Girls (1942) with Diana Barrymore, Kay Francis, John Boles, and Andy Devine
Saboteur (1942) with Priscilla Lane and Otto Kruger
Kings Row (1942) with Ann Sheridan, Ronald Reagan, Betty Field, Charles Coburn, Claude Rains, and Judith Anderson
It Started with Eve (1941) with Deanna Durbin and Charles Laughton
Moon Over Miami (1941) with Don Ameche, Betty Grable, Carole Landis, Jack Haley, Charlotte Greenwood, and Cobina Wright
The Devil and Miss Jones (1941) with Jean Arthur, Charles Coburn, Edmund Gwenn, Spring Byington, and William Demarest
Free and Easy (1941) with Ruth Hussey, Judith Anderson, Nigel Bruce, Reginald Owen, and Tom Conway
One Night in the Tropics (1940) with Nancy Kelly, Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Mary Boland, William Frawley, and Leo Carrillo
Spring Parade (1940) with Deanna Durbin, Mischa Auer, Anne Gwynne, Reginald Denny, and Franklin Pangborn
Private Affairs (1940) with Nancy Kelly and Hugh Herbert
And One Was Beautiful (1940) with Laraine Day, Jean Muir, and Billie Burke
Charlie McCarthy, Detective (1939) with Edgar Bergen, Constance Moore, John Sutton, Louis Calhern, and Edgar Kennedy
Everything Happens at Night (1939) with Sonja Henie and Ray Milland
Rio (1939) with Basil Rathbone, Victor McLaglen, Leo Carrillo, and Billy Gilbert
The Under-Pup (1939) with Gloria Jean, C. Aubrey Smith, Beulah Bondi, and Billy Gilbert
Three Smart Girls Grow Up (1939) with Deanna Durbin
I Stand Accused (1938) with Helen Mack and Lyle Talbot
Touchdown, Army (1938) with John Howard and William Frawley
The Texans (1938) with Joan Bennett, Randolph Scott, May Robson, Walter Brennan, and Raymond Hatton
You and Me (1938) with Sylvia Sidney and George Raft
College Swing (1938) with George Burns, Gracie Allen, Martha Raye, Bob Hope, Edward Everett Horton, Ben Blue, Betty Grable, Jackie Coogan, and John Payne
Wells Fargo (1937) with Joel McCrea, Frances Dee, Lloyd Nolan, Mary Nash, and Johnny Mack Brown
Sophie Lang Goes West (1937) with Buster Crabbe
Souls at Sea (1937) with Gary Cooper, George Raft, Frances Dee, Henry Wilcoxon, Harry Carey, and George Zucco
The Last Train from Madrid (1937) with Dorothy Lamour, Lew Ayres, Gilbert Roland, Lionel Atwill, Helen Mack, and Anthony Quinn
Arizona Mahoney (1936) with Buster Crabbe
Hideaway Girl (1936) with Martha Raye
The Accusing Finger (1936) with Paul Kelly, Kent Taylor, and Harry Carey
Hollywood Boulevard (1936) with John Halliday and Marsha Hunt
Three Cheers for Love (1936) with William Frawley, Roscoe Karns, John Halliday, and Veda Ann Borg
Border Flight (1936) with Frances Farmer, John Howard, Roscoe Karns, and Grant Withers
Forgotten Faces (1936) with Herbert Marshall
Desert Gold (1936) with Buster Crabbe, Marsha Hunt, Leif Erickson, Monte Blue, and Raymond Hatton
Millions in the Air (1935) with John Howard and Wendy Barrie
So Red the Rose (1935) with Margaret Sullavan, Randolph Scott, Dickie Moore, and Charles Starrett
The Virginia Judge (1935) with Marsha Hunt

My Living Doll, 1964-1965 CBS TV series. Cummings portrayed Dr. Robert McDonald. Also in the cast was Julie Newmar
The Bob Cummings Show, 1961-1962 CBS TV series. Cummings portrayed Bob Carson
The Bob Cummings Show, aka Love That Bob!, 1955-1959 CBS/NBC TV series. Cummings portrayed Bob Collins. Also in the cast were Ann B. Davis, Rosemary DeCamp, and Dwayne Hickman
My Hero, 1952-1953 NBC TV series. Cumings portrayed Bob S. Beanblossom

The Love Boat, episode Third Wheel/Grandmother's Day/Second String Mom, originally aired May 12, 1979
Love, American Style, episode Love and the Cozy Comrades/Love and the Flunky/Love and the Hoodwinked Honey/Love and the Secret Spouse, originally aired October 19, 1973
Here's Lucy, episode Lucy and Her Genuine Twinby, originally aired January 15, 1973
Here's Lucy, episode Lucy's Punctured Romance, originally aired February 7, 1972
Bewitched, episode Samantha and the Troll, originally aired February 18, 1971
Love, American Style, episode Love and the Baker's Half Dozen/Love and the New Roommate/Love and the Rug/Love and the Second Time, originally aired February 12, 1971
Arnie, episode Hello, Holly, originally aired January 16, 1971
Here Come the Brides, episode The Sea-Bear, originally aired January 30, 1970
Green Acres, episode Rest and Relaxation, originally aired January 10, 1970
The Flying Nun, episode Speak the Speach, I Pray You, originally aired October 1, 1969
Love, American Style, episode Love and a Couple of Couples/Love and the Hustler/Love and the Pill, originally aired September 29, 1969
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, episode Blind Man's Bluff, originally aired February 8, 1967
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, episode The Square Peg, originally aired March 6, 1964
The Great Adventure, episode Plague, originally aired February 28, 1964
The Dick Powell Theatre, episode Last of the Private Eyes, originally aired April 30, 1963
The DuPont Show of the Week, episode The Action in New Orleans, originally aired April 15, 1962
Zane Grey Theater, episode The Last Bugle, originally aired November 24, 1960
Twilight Zone, episode King Nine Will Not Return, originally aired September 30, 1960
Playhouse 90, episode Bomber's Moon, originally aired May 22, 1958
Schlitz Playhouse, episode Dual Control, originally aired November 1, 1957
G.E. True Theater, episode Too Good with a Gun, originally aired March 24, 1957
Schlitz Playhouse, episode One Left Over, originally aired February 1, 1957
Studio One, episode A Special Announcement, originally aired September 24, 1956
The Elgin Hour, episode Floodtide, originally aired October 5, 1954
Studio One, episode Twelve Angry Men, originally aired September 20, 1954
Justice, episode The Crisis, originally aired September 9, 1954
Campbell Summer Soundstage, episode The Test Case, originally aired March 26, 1954
Lux Video Theatre, episode Pattern for Glory, originally aired May 26, 1952
Robert Montgomery Presents, episode Lila, My Love, originally aired May 12, 1952
Robert Montgomery Presents, episode The Truth About Blayds, originally aired April 28, 1952
Somerset Maugham TV Theatre, episode The Luncheon, originally aired March 21, 1951
Lux Video Theatre, episode The Shiny People, originally aired January 29, 1951
Sure As Fate, episode Run from the Sun, originally aired September 19, 1950

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Watch Robert Cummings' 1948 noir thriller Sleep, My Love
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This page premiered July 13, 2010.