Eric Linden

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Eric Linden
Eric Linden in Born to Gamble.JPG
Linden in Born to Gamble (1935)
Born(1909-09-15)September 15, 1909
New York City, U.S.
DiedJuly 14, 1994(1994-07-14) (aged 84)
Years active1928-1941
Joanna Brown
(m. 1955; div. 1977)

Eric Linden (September 15, 1909 – July 14, 1994) was an American actor, primarily active during the 1930s.

Early years[edit]

Eric Linden was born in New York City to Phillip and Elvira (née Lundborg) Linden,[1] both of Swedish descent. His father was a professional pianist and an actor on stage with the Theater Royal when he lived in Stockholm, Sweden. When Eric was six, Phillip Linden deserted his family in New York City.[citation needed]

To help support his mother, sister and two brothers, he began washing dishes at a cafe after school when he was 7 years old.[2] He also sold newspapers[3] on Tenth Avenue. Linden attended Angela Patri elementary school[1] and participated in school plays at DeWitt Clinton High School. After graduation, he worked his way through Columbia University. His first job after graduating from Columbia was being a runner for a bank.[4]


Linden had ambitions of becoming a writer rather than an actor. By the time he was 22 years old, he had written three plays and 40 short stories, but none had been published. He hoped to have saved enough money by age 30 to retire from acting and spend his time writing.[3]


Linden trained with the Theatre Guild for two years and went on to appear on Broadway in addition to acting in stock theater in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and acting in Paris, France, with the Paris-American Company.[1] He appeared in an adaption of Goethe's Faust on Broadway in 1928.[5] Linden's other Broadway's credits include The Silver Cord, The Age of Consent, Life Begins, Sweepings, and Big City Blues.[1]

Film career[edit]

Linden made his film debut during the Great Depression in RKO Radio Pictures' 1931 crime film, Are These Our Children?,[3] where he played a young murderer who gets executed. He afterwards appeared in 33 films until 1941, mostly playing boyish second leads with occasional leading roles in smaller pictures.

Eric Linden and Jean Arthur in The Past of Mary Holmes (1933)
Eric Linden with Joyce Compton in Let 'Em Have It (1935)

Linden frequently portrayed "sensitive, intellectual, slightly weak-willed juveniles", sometimes with tragic destinies.[6] His notable films include Big City Blues (1932) with Joan Blondell, Old Hutch (1936) opposite Wallace Beery, Ah, Wilderness! (1935) and A Family Affair (1937), both with Lionel Barrymore and Mickey Rooney, and The Good Old Soak (1937), again with Wallace Beery. In 1939, Linden had a small but memorable role in the hospital in Gone with the Wind (1939) as the desperate soldier whose leg has to be amputated without chloroform; Linden's role was originally planned to be more extensive, but his screen time was reduced to less than a minute in post-production.[6] His career petered out and he left Hollywood after his final role, a leading part in the low-budget-picture Criminals Within (1941).

Later years[edit]

Eric Linden played in a few stage roles and then served in the Second World War. He later retired from acting and worked for the County of Orange in California.

He married late in life in 1955, age 46; he and wife Jo Brown, an artist, settled in Laguna Beach, California and had three children: Karen, David and Andrea. They divorced in 1977.


Linden died on July 14, 1994, in South Laguna Beach, California, aged 84.[citation needed]


Linden has a star at 7098 Hollywood Boulevard in the Motion Pictures section of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was dedicated on February 8, 1960.[7]



  1. ^ a b c d "Eric Linden Once Usher in Movie House". Ames Daily Tribune. Iowa, Ames. October 16, 1937. p. 4. Retrieved February 11, 2017 – via open access
  2. ^ Keavy, Hubbard (November 19, 1932). "Screen Life in Hollywood". The Sandusky Register. Ohio, Sandusky. p. 9. Retrieved February 11, 2017 – via open access
  3. ^ a b c Coons, Robbin (February 9, 1932). "Eric Linden Actor, But He Wants A Literary Career". The Decatur Daily Review. Illinois, Decatur. p. 11. Retrieved February 11, 2017 – via open access
  4. ^ "Eric Linden Started Work as Bank Runner". The Times Recorder. Ohio, Zanesville. August 22, 1937. p. 10. Retrieved February 11, 2017 – via open access
  5. ^ "("Eric Linden" search results)". Playbill Vault. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Allmovie Biography". November 13, 2020 – via
  7. ^ "Eric Linden". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved February 11, 2017.

External links[edit]