September 21, 1918|
St. Louis, Missouri, United States,
|Died||September 1, 2003
Santa Ynez, California
|Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California|
|Occupation||Actor, producer, rancher|
Lois Laurel (daughter of Stan Laurel, divorced)
After leaving school, he managed to get a screen test at MGM and was given a bit part in Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938). His big fame came with his part as Charles Hamilton in Gone with the Wind (1939). After Gone With the Wind, he had relatively small parts in other movies including Babes in Arms as Margaret Hamilton's son, then a regular role as Lucky in the Hopalong Cassidy series of westerns in the mid to late 1940s. Among the films, which starred William Boyd as Hopalong, were Hoppy's Holiday, The Dead Don't Dream, and Borrowed Trouble.
In 1948, he co-starred with Adele Jergens and a young/unknown at the time Marilyn Monroe in the low-budget black-and-white Columbia Pictures film, Ladies of the Chorus. Brooks became the first actor to share an on-screen kiss with Monroe, who in a few years would be one of the world's biggest movie stars. Filmed in just ten days, the film was released soon after its completion and brought only moderate success.
Television brought new opportunities, again often in westerns. He played Cpl. Randy Boone in the 1950s television series, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin. Brooks had guest roles in 1950s western series, including The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, The Range Rider, The Lone Ranger, Maverick, and Jefferson Drum. He appeared three times on Sky King and twice on the syndicated adventure series, Rescue 8, as well as on CBS's Perry Mason courtroom drama series.
After he left show business, Brooks ran a company which became the largest private ambulance provider in Los Angeles County. He sold the company in 1994 and retired to his ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley where he bred champion Andalusian horses.
Brooks died in Santa Inez, California, He was survived by his second wife, Hermine. His first wife from whom he was divorced was the former Lois Laurel, a daughter of Stan Laurel. Brooks had two children.
- The Sex Symbol (1974)
- Double Indemnity (1973)
- Stagecoach to Dancers Rock (1962)
- Comanche Station (1960)
- Yukon Manhunt (1951)
- Riding High (1950)
- Joan of Arc (1948)
- Ladies of the Chorus (1948)
- The Dead Don't Dream (1948)
- Silent Conflict (1948)
- Fool's Gold (1947)
- The Devil's Playground (1946)
- Lady Scarface (1941)
- Niagara Falls (1941)
- Cheers for Miss Bishop (1941)
- The Son of Monte Cristo (1940)
- Florian (1940)
- Gone with the Wind (1939)
- Babes in Arms (1939) - Jeff Steele
- The Old Maid(1939)
- Dramatic School (1938)