Richard Arlen: Actor (1899 - 1976) | Biography
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Richard Arlen

Richard Arlen

Richard Arlen
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Actor
Was Actor Television actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 1 September 1899, Saint Paul
Death 28 March 1976, Hollywood (aged 76 years)
Spouse: Jobyna Ralston
Richard Arlen
The details (from wikipedia)


Richard Arlen (September 1, 1899 – March 28, 1976) was an American actor of film and television.


Born Sylvanus Richard Mattimore in St. Paul, Minnesota, he attended the University of Pennsylvania. He served in Canada as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. After the war, he went to the oilfields of Texas and Oklahoma and found work as a tool boy. He was thereafter a messenger and sporting editor of a newspaper before going to Los Angeles to star in films, but no producer wanted him. He was a delivery boy for a film laboratory when the motorcycle which he was riding landed him a broken leg outside the Paramount Pictures lot. A sympathetic film director gave him his start as an extra. He appeared at first in silent films before making the transition to talkies. His first important film role was in Vengeance of the Deep (1923).

He took time out from his Hollywood career to teach as a United States Army Air Forces flight instructor in World War II.

Arlen is best known for his role as a pilot in the Academy Award-winning Wings (1927) with Clara Bow, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, Gary Cooper, El Brendel, and his first wife, Jobyna Ralston, whom he married in 1927. He was among the more famous residents of the celebrity enclave, Toluca Lake, California. He married New York socialite, Margaret Kinsella, in 1946.

In 1939, Universal teamed him with Andy Devine for a series of 14 B-pictures, mostly action-comedies with heavy reliance on stock footage from larger-scale films. They are informally known as the "Aces of Action" series, which is how the stars were billed in the trailers. When Arlen left the studio in 1941, the series continued with Devine teamed with a variety of other actors.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, Arlen was active in television, having guest starred in several anthology series, including Playhouse 90, The Loretta Young Show, The 20th Century Fox Hour, and in three episodes of the series about clergymen, Crossroads.

In 1968, he appeared on Petticoat Junction...playing himself. The episode was called "Wings" and it was in direct reference to the 1927 silent movie Wings.

Arlen appeared in westerns, such as Lawman, Branded, Bat Masterson, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Wagon Train, and Yancy Derringer, and in such drama/adventure programs like Ripcord, Whirlybirds, Perry Mason, The New Breed, COronado 9, and Michael Shayne.

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Richard Arlen has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6753 Hollywood Blvd.

On his death from emphysema in 1976, Arlen was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.



  • Ladies Must Live (1921) as Minor Role (uncredited)
  • The Green Temptation (1922) (uncredited)
  • The Ghost Breaker (1922) as One of the 'Ghosts' (uncredited)
  • Quicksands (1923) (uncredited)
  • Vengeance of the Deep (1923) as Jean
  • Hollywood (1923) as Himself
  • The Fighting Coward (1924) as Minor Role (uncredited)
  • Sally (1925) as Minor Role (uncredited)
  • In the Name of Love (1925) as Dumas Dufrayne
  • The Coast of Folly (1925) as Bather (scenes deleted)
  • The Enchanted Hill (1926) as Link Halliwell
  • Behind the Front (1926) as Percy Brown
  • Padlocked (1926) as 'Tubby' Clark
  • You'd Be Surprised (1926) as Photographer (uncredited)
  • Old Ironsides (1926) as Seaman (uncredited)
  • Wings (1927) as David Armstrong
  • Rolled Stockings (1927) as Ralph Treadway
  • The Blood Ship (1927) as John Shreve
  • Sally in Our Alley (1927) as Jimmie Adams
  • Figures Don't Lie (1927) as Bob Blewe
  • She's a Sheik (1927) as Capt. Colton
  • Under the Tonto Rim (1928) as Edd Denmeade
  • Feel My Pulse (1928) as Her Problem
  • Ladies of the Mob (1928) as Red
  • Beggars of Life (1928) as The Boy (Jim)
  • Manhattan Cocktail (1928) as Fred Tilden
  • The Man I Love (1929) as Dum-Dum Brooks
  • The Four Feathers (1929) as Lt. Harry Faversham
  • Thunderbolt (1929) as Bob Moran
  • Dangerous Curves (1929) as Larry Lee
  • The Virginian (1929) as Steve
  • Burning Up (1930) as Lou Larrigan
  • The Border Legion (1930) as Heyst
  • Dangerous Paradise (1930) as Dick Bailey
  • The Light of Western Stars (1930) as Jim Cleve
  • Paramount on Parade (1930, also appeared in Spanish and French-dubbed versions) as Hunter - Episode 'Dream Girl'
  • The Sea God (1930) as Phillip 'Pink' Barker
  • The Santa Fe Trail (1930) as Stan Hollister
  • Only Saps Work (1930) as Lawrence Payne
  • The Conquering Horde (1931) as Dan McMasters
  • Gun Smoke (1931) as Brad Farley
  • The Lawyer's Secret (1931) as Joe Hart
  • The Secret Call (1931) as Tom Blake
  • Caught (1931) as Lt. Tom Colton
  • Touchdown (1931) as Dan Curtis
  • Wayward (1932) as David Frost
  • Sky Bride (1932) as Bert 'Speed' Condon
  • Guilty as Hell (1932) as Frank C. Marsh
  • Tiger Shark (1932) as Pipes Boley
  • The All American (1932) as Gary King
  • Island of Lost Souls (1932) as Edward Parker
  • Song of the Eagle (1933) as Bill Hoffman
  • College Humor (1933) as Mondrake
  • Three-Cornered Moon (1933) as Dr. Alan Stevens
  • Golden Harvest (1933) as Walt Martin
  • Hell and High Water (1933) as Capt. J.J. Jericho
  • Alice in Wonderland (1933) as Cheshire Cat
  • Come on Marines (1934) as Lucky Davis
  • She Made Her Bed (1934) as Wild Bill Smith
  • Ready for Love (1934) as Julian Barrow
  • Helldorado (1935) as Art Ryan
  • Let 'Em Have It (1935) as Mal Stevens
  • The Calling of Dan Matthews (1935) as Dan Matthews
  • Three Live Ghosts (1936) as William 'Bill' Jones, an alias of William Foster
  • The Mine with the Iron Door (1936) as Bob Harvey
  • Secret Valley (1937) as Lee Rogers
  • The Great Barrier (1937) as Hickey
  • Artists and Models (1937) as Alan Townsend
  • Murder in Greenwich Village (1937) as Steve Havens Jackson Jr.
  • No Time to Marry (1938) as Perry Brown
  • Call of the Yukon (1938) as Gaston Rogers
  • Straight, Place and Show (1938) as Denny Paine
  • Missing Daughters (1939) as Wally King
  • Mutiny on the Blackhawk (1939) as Capt. Robert Lawrence
  • Tropic Fury (1939) as Dan Burton
  • Legion of Lost Flyers (1939) as Gene 'Loop' Gillan
  • The Man from Montreal (1939) as Clark Manning
  • Danger on Wheels (1940) as Larry Taylor
  • Hot Steel (1940) as Frank Stewart
  • Black Diamonds (1940) as Walter Norton
  • The Leather Pushers (1940) as Dick 'Kid' Roberts
  • The Devil's Pipeline (1940) as Dick Talbot
  • Lucky Devis (1941) as Dick McManus
  • Mutiny in the Arctic (1941) as Dick Barclay
  • Men of the Timberland (1941) as Dick O'Hara
  • Power Dive (1941) as Brad Farrell
  • Forced Landing (1941) as Dan Kendall
  • Raiders of the Desert (1941) as Dick Manning
  • A Dangerous Game (1941) as Dick Williams
  • Flying Blind (1941) as Jim Clark
  • Torpedo Boat (1942) as Skinner Barnes
  • Wildcat (1942) as Johnny Maverick
  • Wrecking Crew (1942) as Matt Carney
  • Submarine Alert (1943) as Lewis J. 'Lee' Deerhold
  • Aerial Gunner (1943) as Sgt / Lt. Jonathan 'Jon' Davis
  • Alaska Highway (1943) as Woody Ormsby
  • Minesweeper (1943) as Richard Houston - posing as Jim 'Tennessee' Smith
  • Timber Queen (1944) as Russell Evans
  • The Lady and the Monster (1944) as Dr. Patrick Cory
  • That's My Baby! (1944) as Tim Jones
  • Storm Over Lisbon (1944) as John Craig
  • The Big Bonanza (1944) as Captain Jed Kilton
  • Identity Unknown (1945) as Johnny March
  • The Phantom Speaks (1945) as Matt Fraser
  • Accomplice (1946) as Simon Lash
  • Buffalo Bill Rides Again (1947) as Buffalo Bill
  • Speed to Spare (1948) as Cliff Jordan
  • The Return of Wildfire (1948) as Dobe Williams
  • When My Baby Smiles at Me (1948) as Harvey Howell
  • Grand Canyon (1949) as Mike Adams
  • Kansas Raiders (1950) as Union Captain
  • Silver City (1951) as Charles Storrs
  • Flaming Feather (1952) as Showdown Calhoun
  • Hurricane Smith (1952) as Brundage
  • The Blazing Forest (1952) as Joe Morgan
  • Sabre Jet (1953) as Gen. Robert E. 'Bob' Hale
  • Devil's Harbor (1954) as John 'Captain' Martin
  • Stolen Time (1955) as Tony Pelassier
  • Hidden Guns (1956) as Sheriff Ward Young
  • The Mountain (1956) as C.W. Rivial
  • Cavalry Command (1958) as Sgt. Jim Heisler
  • Warlock (1959) as Bacon
  • Raymie (1960) as Garber
  • The Last Time I Saw Archie (1961) as Col. Edwin Martin
  • The Young and The Brave (1963) as Col. Ralph Holbein
  • The Crawling Hand (1963) as Lee Barrenger
  • Law of the Lawless (1964) as Ben the Bartender
  • The Best Man (1964) as Sen. Oscar Anderson
  • The Shepherd of the Hills (1964) as Old Matt
  • Young Fury (1964) as Sheriff Jenkins
  • Sex and the College Girl (1964) as Charles Devon
  • The Human Duplicators (1965) as Lt. Shaw - National Intelligence
  • Black Spurs (1965) as Pete Muchin
  • Town Tamer (1965) as Doctor Kent
  • The Bounty Killer (1965) as Matthew Ridgeway
  • Apache Uprising (1965) as Captain Gannon
  • Johnny Reno (1966) as Ned Duggan
  • To the Shores of Hell (1966) as Brig. Gen. F.W. Ramsgate
  • Waco (1966) as Sheriff Billy Kelly
  • Red Tomahawk (1967) as Deadwood Telegrapher
  • Hostile Guns (1967) as Sheriff Travis
  • Fort Utah (1967) as Sam Tyler
  • The Road to Nashville (1967) as Studio Boss
  • Buckskin (1968) as Townsman
  • Anzio (1968) as Capt. Gannon (uncredited)
  • Rogues' Gallery (1968) as Man in Club
  • The Sky's the Limit (1975) as Grimes
  • Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976) as Silent Film Star 2
  • A Whale of a Tale (1977) as Mr. Monahan (final film role)

Short subjects:

  • A Trip Through the Paramount Studio (1927) as Himself
  • Hollywood on Parade No. A-6 (1933) as Himself / The Great Arlen (uncredited)
  • Hollywood on Parade No. A-9 (1933) as Himself - Dick Arlen (uncredited)
  • How to Break 90 #4: Downswing (1933) as Himself - Dick Arlen (uncredited)
  • Hollywood on Parade No. B-6 (1934) as Himself
  • Hollywood Hobbies (1935) as Himself
  • Screen Snapshots Series 15, No. 3 (1935) as Himself
  • Swing with Bing (1940) as Himself - Movie Star playing Golf
  • Screen Snapshots: Sports in Hollywood (1940) as Himself, Golf Player
  • Soaring Stars (1942) as Himself (uncredited)
  • Unusual Occupations (1942) as Himself (uncredited)
  • Paramount Victory Short: A Letter from Bataan (1942) as Pvt. John W. Lewis

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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