R.G. Armstrong

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Born

4/7/1917 , Pleasant Grove, Jefferson County, Alabama, USA

Died

7/27/2012

Birth Name

Robert Golden Armstrong, Jr.

Gender

Male

Biography:

A golden career was reflected in his name. Robert Golden Armstrong ("Bob" to his friends) was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 7, 1917. R.G. attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While there, he was frequently performing on stage with the Carolina Playmakers. After graduating, R.G. headed to New York, where his acting career really took off. In 1953, R.G., along with many of his Actor's Studio buddies such as Albert Salmi, was part of the cast of "End As a Man" -- this became the first play to go from Off-Broadway to Broadway. The following year, R.G. got his first taste of movies, appearing in "Garden of Eden" (1954). However, he returned to New York and the live stage. R.G. received great reviews for his 1955 portrayal of Big Daddy in the Broadway production of "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof." In 1958, R.G. took the plunge to Hollywood -- he appeared in 2 movies, a TV series, and did numerous guest appearances on TV shows that year, usually Westerns such as "The Rifleman" and "Have Gun, Will Travel" and "Zane Grey Theater" among others. R.G. would go on to appear in 80 movies and 3 TV series in his career, and guest-starred in 90 TV series -- often in Westerns, often as a tough sheriff or a rugged land baron. R.G. was a regular cast member in the TV series "T.H.E. Cat" (1966): he portrayed the tough, one-handed Captain McAllister. And during the filming of the movie "Steel" (1980) in Kentucky, watching the mammoth Kincaid Tower being built, he had some good friends in the cast, like Albert Salmi; "You become a family on the set," R.G. said in an interview at the time. But even though R.G. had a long, wonderful, versatile career, the younger generation knows him as spooky Lewis Vendredi (pronounced VON-drah-dee), who just wouldn't let the main characters have a good night's sleep on "Friday the 13th: The Series" (1987-1990). Finally retiring after 6 successful decades in show business -- his last film appearance was "The Waking" (2001) -- R.G. and his lovely wife Mary are mostly just enjoying life in sunny California, and still travel and vacation in Europe occasionally. His upbeat, fun-loving personality makes him a delight for all who come in contact with him. He died of Natural Causes on July 27, 2012. He was 95.

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