April 14, 1930|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||September 27, 2013
Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)|
|Occupation||Film, television actor|
Pauline Flowers (m. 1960–2002) her death
Jay Robinson (April 14, 1930 – September 27, 2013) was an American actor specializing in character roles. He achieved his greatest fame playing Emperor Caligula in the film The Robe (1953) and its sequel Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954).
Robinson began his acting career in summer stock theatre and repertory companies, and eventually made his way to the Broadway stage, where he appeared in Shakespeare's As You Like It and Much Ado About Nothing, as well as several other plays by the age of 19. His first film role was as the notorious Emperor Caligula in The Robe (1953), which he reprised in Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954).
This was followed by roles in The Virgin Queen (1955) starring Bette Davis, My Man Godfrey (1957) with David Niven and June Allyson and Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972), the Woody Allen comedy and Bram Stoker's Dracula. He was also featured on two Folkways albums of Shakespeare: Othello: William Shakespeare and William Shakespeare: King Richard III, which were both released in 1964.
Of his many television guest spots, they included Star Trek: The Original Series ("Elaan of Troyius"), the soap opera Days of our Lives (Monty, the homeless drunk), Planet of the Apes and the late 1970s title role in Sid & Marty Krofft's Dr. Shrinker, prominently featured on The Krofft Supershow. He also guest-starred as Cassius Thorne in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode "Planet of the Amazon Women". He appeared in two episodes of the situation comedy Bewitched as Julius Caesar (1969) and as Tabitha's tutor, Professor Poindexter Phipps (1970) and on an episode of Tales of the Gold Monkey as the Governor in "Last Chance Louie". Played the role of Monroe Feather in the blaxploitation movie Three the Hard Way starring Jim Brown, Jim Kelly and Fred Williamson. The character Feather was recreated in the movie Undercover Brother. He also appeared in Born Again the film adaptation of the book of the same title, about Watergate figure, Charles W. Colson. Robinson played Colson's attorney and Dean Jones starred as Colson. During 1974, he played the museum director in an episode of the ABC supernatural show The Night Stalker entitled "Chopper". Some time had then passed when Robinson was hired before retiring as the host and narrator during the years of 1997 to 2000 for the Discovery Channel special (and later documentary series) Beyond Bizarre.
In 1958, Robinson was arrested on a narcotics violation. His conviction was overturned, but he later served 15 months in prison after unknowingly missing a date for retrial. Robinson credits letters of encouragement from friend Bette Davis with helping him find the strength to overcome his problem. She helped him get his first film role in 13 years, in 1971's Bunny O'Hare. Robinson married twice: to Pauline Flowers from 1960 until her death in 2002, and to Gloria Casas since 2004. He had one son with Flowers.
- "Jay Robinson Obituary: View Jay Robinson's Obituary by Los Angeles Times". Legacy.com. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "Obituary: Jay Robinson, 83; gained brief fame as Caligula in 'The Robe'". latimes.com. 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2013-11-27.
- Beaver County Times, July 10, 1984, p. B6
- Robinson, Jay. The Comeback. Word Books, 1979. ISBN 978-0912376455
- Jay Robinson at the Internet Movie Database
- Jay Robinson at Find a Grave
- Jay Robinson at AllRovi
- Jay Robinson at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)