Robert Preston

1918 - 1987

American leading man of vast charisma, Robert Preston was the son of a garment worker and a record store clerk and grew up in Los Angeles. He was a trained musician, playing several instruments, and in high school became interested in theatre. He joined the Pasadena Community Playhouse, taking classes and appearing in scores of plays alongside such soon-to-be-well-known actors as Dana Andrews, George Reeves, Victor Mature and Don DeFore. Even in the distinguished company of Playhouse veterans like Victor Jory and Samuel S. Hinds, young Preston Meservey--or Pres, as he was always known to intimates--was an acknowledged star in the making. During one play a Paramount scout saw him and he signed a contract with the studio, which renamed him Robert Preston. After several roles in inconsequential films, Preston became a favorite of director Cecil B. DeMille, who cast him in several films but became nevertheless one of the few people Preston actively and publicly disliked. In 1946, after ser

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