Robert J. Wilke





5/18/1914 , Cincinnati, Ohio, USA



Birth Name

Robert Joseph Wilke




Robert J. Wilkie, born May 18, 1914, was a character actor who, due to his well-weathered countenance, specialized in playing western villains. As a young man, Wilkie was a high-diver at the Chicago's World Fair in 1933-1934. Later, working as a lifeguard at a Miami hotel, he made film contacts which led to work as a stuntman. By the mid-1940's, he was getting small, mostly-uncredited film roles, often as a henchman. Wilkie's big break came in 1952, when he played one of the heavies in High Noon. This led to more prominent movie roles and extensive television work during the golden age of TV westerns in shows such as Cheyenne, Gunsmoke and Bonanza. Always an superb athlete, Robert was also an excellent golfer, and according to his acting buddy, Claude Akins, earned more money on the links than he ever did in the movies. Wilkie's last of over 300 movie and TV appearances was in Stripes (1981). He passed away March 18, 1989 at the age of 74.