Bobs Watson

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Bobs Watson
Bobs Watson in Wyoming (1940).png
Bobs Watson in Wyoming (1940)
Born Robert Ball Watson
(1930-11-11)November 11, 1930
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died June 27, 1999(1999-06-27) (aged 68)
Laguna Beach, California, U.S.
Cause of death Prostate cancer
Occupation Actor
Years active 1932–1993
Spouse(s) Jaye Watson (1979–1999) (his death) 3 sons

Robert Ball Watson (November 11, 1930 – June 27, 1999) was an American actor and Methodist minister.


Bobs Watson (upper left) featured on a theatrical release poster for Men of Boys Town (1941)

Robert Ball "Bobs" Watson[1] was a member of the Watson Family, famous in the early days of Hollywood as being a houseful of child actors. Brother to Coy Watson Jr., Harry, Billy, Delmar, Garry, Vivian, Gloria, and Louise, all of whom acted in motion pictures.[2]

The family, known as "the first family of Hollywood", lived by the Echo Park area of Los Angeles and Bobs attended nearby Belmont High School.

They were honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce by placing the Watson family star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6674 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, California.[3]

He died of prostate cancer in 1999 at Laguna Beach, California.

Child actor[edit]

Watson was best known for his role as "Pee Wee" in the 1938 film Boys Town with Spencer Tracy.[4] They became such good friends doing the movie that Watson was reportedly Tracy's last visitor before his death.[citation needed] In 1939, Watson delivered a fine, tear-jerking performance as Pud, Lionel Barrymore's grandson, in the MGM film, On Borrowed Time. Watson also had parts in many television shows, including The Twilight Zone, Lou Grant, The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and The Fugitive.


In addition to working in the motion pictures business, Watson went to Claremont School of Theology to become a Methodist minister, inspired from the movie Boys Town. He retired after 30 years of serving in Burbank and La Cañada, California.



  • Goldrup, Tom and Jim (2002). Growing Up on the Set: Interviews with 39 Former Child Actors of Film and Television. McFarland & Co. pp. 303–313. ISBN 1476613702. 
  • Holmstrom, John (1996). The Moving Picture Boy: An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995. Norwich: Michael Russell, p. 171-172.
  • Best, Marc (1971). Those Endearing Young Charms: Child Performers of the Screen. South Brunswick and New York: Barnes & Co., pp. 256–259.

External links[edit]