Robert Anderson (silent film actor)
Anderson in 1919
|Born||Robert Christian Anderson
July 22, 1890
|Died||June 25, 1963
Woodland Hills, California
Anderson was born in Odense, Denmark. He was also a make-up artist and director (of one short). Anderson and D.W. Griffith were the principal makeup artists on Griffith's monumental classic Intolerance. He later appeared in Griffith's World War I propaganda film Hearts of the World (1918). In addition to Hearts of the World Anderson can be seen today in surviving silent films such as The Heart of Humanity (1918) another World War I film where he played one of the Patricia brothers. He makes a noteworthy appearance alongside Lionel Barrymore in The Temptress (1926), Greta Garbo's second MGM film.
Perhaps Anderson's best known silent film performance is as the villain Sebastian in MGM's White Shadows in the South Seas (1928), lushly filmed in Tahiti and the second film to win an Academy Award for cinematography. The film was directed by W.S. "Woody" Van Dyke and starred Monte Blue as the hero. Coincidentally Anderson, Van Dyke and Blue all worked together previously with D.W. Griffith on his Intolerance, Anderson as makeup person and Van Dyke and Blue as actors. When White Shadows in the South Seas had its premiere, D.W. Griffith attended the screening in honor of his three former protégés.
Anderson continued in films a few more years after sound arrived, his last film credit being in 1934. He died in 1963 a few months after Monte Blue.
- Intolerance (1916)
- Hearts of the World (1918)
- The Heart of Humanity (1918)
- The Social Buccaneer (1923)
- The Eternal Struggle (1923)
- The Temptress (1926)
- White Shadows in the South Seas (1928)
- Rasputin and the Empress (1932) (*uncredited)
- Treasure Island (1934) (*uncredited)
- The Mighty Barnum (1934) (*uncredited)
- Who Was Who on the Screen c.1983 3rd edition, by Evelyn Mack Truitt