Robert Carradine

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Robert Carradine
Carradine holding a producer credit for
The 1 Second Film in October 2004
Robert Reed Carradine

(1954-03-24) March 24, 1954 (age 67)
Years active1971–present
Edie Mani
(m. 1990; div. 2018)
RelativesJohn Carradine (father)
Keith Carradine (brother)
David Carradine (half-brother)
Michael Bowen (half-brother)
Ever Carradine (daughter)

Robert Reed Carradine ( /ˈkærədn/ CA-rə-deen; born March 24, 1954) is an American actor. A member of the Carradine family, he made his first appearances on television western series such as Bonanza and his brother David's TV series, Kung Fu. Carradine's first film role was in the 1972 film The Cowboys, which starred John Wayne and Roscoe Lee Browne. Carradine also portrayed fraternity president Lewis Skolnick in the Revenge of the Nerds series of comedy films. Carradine also ran the Rolex 24 race at Daytona in 2000, finishing 29th in the GTU class and 61st overall.

Early life[edit]

Carradine was born in Hollywood, California, the son of actress and artist Sonia Sorel (née Henius) and actor John Carradine. He is one of many actors in the Carradine family. He is the brother of Christopher and Keith Carradine, paternal half-brother of Bruce and the late David Carradine, and maternal half-brother of Michael Bowen.[1] His maternal great-grandfather was biochemist Max Henius, and his maternal great-grandmother was the sister of historian Johan Ludvig Heiberg.[2]

Carradine's parents divorced when he was 2 years old. A bitter custody battle led to his father gaining custody of him and his brothers, Christopher and Keith. During the custody battle, the children spent three months in a home for abused children as wards of the court.[3] His brother, Keith, said of the experience, "It was like being in jail. There were bars on the windows, and we were only allowed to see our parents through glass doors. It was very sad. We would stand there on either side of the glass door crying".[4]

Carradine was raised primarily by his stepmother, his father's third wife, Doris Grimshaw, and believed her to be his mother until he was introduced to Sonia Sorel at a Christmas party when he was 14 years old.[5] While still in high school, Robert lived with his half-brother, David, in Laurel Canyon, California. Under David's care he indulged in two of his major interests: race car driving and music.[6] He and David belonged to a musical quartet that performed in small clubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco.[5]

Acting career[edit]


Carradine made his film debut in 1972 in The Cowboys with John Wayne.[7] He was also featured in a short-lived television series, of the same name, based on the movie. He made an appearance as a killer in the Martin Scorsese film Mean Streets shooting to death the character played by his brother, David.

During this time he worked with David on some independent projects including a biker film called You and Me (1975) and an unreleased musical called A Country Mile. He also did camera work for David's cult classic Vietnam War-inspired Americana which was not released until 1983.[6]

In 1976, Carradine had the opportunity to demonstrate on screen what he considered to be his "first ambition", car racing,[5] when he played Jim Cantrell in Paul Bartel's Cannonball. In the film Robert's character wins the cross country road race, beating the favorite, Coy "Cannonball" Buckman, played by his brother, David. In 1977, Robert became a snack for the vengeful killer whale in the Jaws imitation film Orca.[8]

Robert also played with other Hollywood offspring in the 1977 Film "Joyride", where he starred with Desi Arnaz, Jr., Melanie Griffith, and Anne Lockhart, daughter of June Lockhart, in a film about young Californians driving up to Washington and Alaska to seek their fortunes.

In 1978, Robert landed a demanding role in Hal Ashby's Oscar-winning Vietnam War drama, Coming Home, which starred Jane Fonda and Jon Voight. His performance caused some speculation that he might be the best actor in his family.[5]

Robert was instrumental in securing his brothers David and Keith to perform with him in one of the most unusual casting arrangements in movie history. Together the Carradines played the Younger brothers in The Long Riders (1980) along with three other sets of acting brothers: Stacy and James Keach, Dennis and Randy Quaid, and Christopher and Nicholas Guest.[9]

Also in 1980, Carradine co-starred with Mark Hamill and Lee Marvin in Samuel Fuller's The Big Red One recounting Fuller's WW II experience. His character, who was based on Fuller himself, narrated the film.[10]

In 1983, he and Cherie Curie starred in the science fiction movie Wavelength in which he played a washed up rock star who helps extraterrestrials escape from a military base.[11] For the film he performed his own compositions including one named after his daughter, Ever. Also in 1983, he starred in the music video for The Motels hit song "Suddenly Last Summer" as lead singer Martha Davis' love interest.

Carradine's biggest film success to date came in 1984 when he starred in Revenge of the Nerds as the lead nerd Lewis Skolnick. To prepare for the comedy, Carradine spent time at The University of Arizona, where the movie was filmed, participating in rush week. "No fraternity picked him, convincing Carradine that he was indeed right for the part of the nerd that nobody wanted to claim as their own."[12] Carradine reprised the role of Skolnick in three sequels, taking over as executive producer in the latter two. In 2018, Carradine joined Andrew Cassese and Don Gibb in an interview at the Niagara Falls Comic Con.[13] In 2001, he played Donald Keeble in Max Keeble's Big Move. In 2000 he co-starred with Caroline Rhea in Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire. He reprised his role as Sam McGuire in The Lizzie McGuire Movie in 2003.


Carradine's first television appearance was in 1971, on the classic western series Bonanza. He also appeared on his brother David's series Kung Fu as Sunny Jim, the mute companion of Serenity Johnson, played by his father John Carradine, in an episode titled Dark Angel (1972). In 1979, he was alongside Melissa Sue Anderson in Survival of Dana.[6] In 1984, Carradine played Robert Cohn in the television mini-series version of Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.[14] He appeared in the 1987 HBO mini-series Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8.[15] He was also a guest star in an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent titled Gone (2005, Season 4, Episode 11). He also appeared in Jane Doe, a TV series directed by James A. Contner, in 2007.

He played father Sam McGuire on Lizzie McGuire from 2001 to 2004. The show starred Hilary Duff as Lizzie and was widely popular among girls. The show's realistic approach to the problems of a 13-year-old girl also appealed to parents.[16][17]

He appeared in the ER episode "Sleepless in Chicago" alongside Nerds co-star Anthony Edwards.

In January 2013, he and former Revenge of the Nerds co-star Curtis Armstrong hosted King of the Nerds on TBS, a reality TV series in which a group of nerds compete to find out which one is the nerdiest.

In 2015, he appeared on a fourth season episode of Celebrity Wife Swap with Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens.

Personal life[edit]

Carradine has two daughters, actress Ever Carradine (with Susan Snyder), Marika Reed Carradine with his ex-wife Edie Mani, and a son, Ian Alexander Carradine. He is also the uncle (via his older brother Keith) of actress Martha Plimpton.



Year Title Role Notes
1972 The Cowboys Slim Honeycutt – Cowboy
1973 Mean Streets Boy with Gun
1974 You and Me Gas Station attendant credited as Bob Carradine
1975 Aloha Bobby and Rose Moxey
1976 Revenge of the Cheerleaders Student in Cafeteria uncredited
1976 Jackson County Jail Bobby Ray
1976 The Pom Pom Girls Johnnie
1976 Cannonball! Jim Crandell
1976 Massacre at Central High Spoony
1977 Joyride John
1977 Orca Ken
1978 Coming Home Bill Munson
1978 Blackout Christie
1980 The Long Riders Bob Younger
1980 The Big Red One Private Zab – 1st Squad
1981 Heartaches Stanley Howard
1982 Tag: The Assassination Game Alex Marsh
1983 Wavelength Bobby Sinclair
1984 Revenge of the Nerds Lewis
1984 Just the Way You Are Sam Carpenter
1987 Number One with a Bullet Detective Barzak
1987 Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise Lewis
1988 Buy & Cell Herbie Altman
1989 All's Fair Mark
1989 Rude Awakening Sammy Margolin
1992 The Player Robert Carradine
1995 Bird of Prey Eric Parker
1995 The Killers Within Ben Wallace
1996 Escape from L.A. Skinhead
1997 Firestorm Tarmac
1998 Scorpio One Carter
1998 The Effects of Magic Roody
1998 Breakout Zack Hadley Direct-To-Video
1999 Palmer's Pick-Up Bruce Palmer
1999 Gunfighter The Kid
1999 Lycanthrope Bill Parker also Producer
1999 The Kid with X-ray Eyes Chuck Taylor Direct-To-Video
1999 Stray Bullet John Burnside
1999 The Vegas Connection Matt Chance
2000 Dangerous Curves John Burnside
2001 Ghosts of Mars Rodale
2001 Max Keeble's Big Move Don Keeble
2002 Three Days of Rain Bus Driver uncredited
2003 The Lizzie McGuire Movie Sam McGuire
2003 Timecop: The Berlin Decision Big Jim Direct-To-Video
2005 Supercross Clay Sparks
2006 Hoboken Hollow Thad Simmons
2006 Monster Night George Ackerman Direct-To-Video
2007 7-10 Split Mr. Bailey
2007 Tooth and Nail Darwin
2007 Sex and Breakfast Angry Driver
2008 The 13th Alley Hal
2008 Deep Winter Coach Dando
2010 The Terror Experiment Dr. Wexler
2011 Final Sale Bownman
2011 Fancypants Allen
2011 Cross Dr. Zyal Direct-To-Video
2011 My Dog's Christmas Miracle Professor Jerry Meinhardt Direct-To-Video
2012 Slumber Party Slaughter Dave
2012 Bikini Spring Break Gill Direct-To-Video
2012 Django Unchained Tracker
2012 The Collector Johnny Short Film
2017 A Fish Tale Anthony
2017 Justice Stratton Collins
2019 The Marshal Frank James
2019 Nearly Departed Marv
2019 American Christmas Danny
2020 Human Zoo Producer
2021 High Holiday Hunter Pearson Completed
TBA The Driver Antonio Politano Pre-Production
TBA Specter Robert Pre-Production
TBA Covid-2021 Dr. Bryan Taylor Pre-Production


Year Title Role Notes
1971 Bonanza Phinney McLean "A Home for Jamie"
1972 Footsteps Gas Station Attendant TV Movie
1972 Kung Fu Sonny Jim "Dark Angel"
1973 Go Ask Alice Bill TV Movie
1974 The Cowboys Slim series regular (12 episodes)
1975 The Hatfields and McCoys Bob Hatfield TV Movie
1975 Run, Joe, Run Flip "The Runaway"
1976 Police Story Clifford 2 episodes
1979 Survival of Dana Donny Davis TV Movie
1981 Tales of the Klondike Percy Cuthfert III Miniseries

"In a Far Country"

1984 The Fall Guy Gardner "October the 31st"
1984 The Sun Also Rises Robert Cohn Miniseries
1985 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Jerry "Night Fever"
1986 The Twilight Zone Daniel Arnold (segment "Still Life") "Still Life / The Little People of Killany Woods / The Misfortune Cookie"
1986 Faerie Tale Theatre Aladdin "Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp"
1986 As Is Rich TV Movie
1986 Monte Carlo Bobby Morgan 2 episodes
1987 The Magical World of Disney John Fairfield "The Liberators"
1987 Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8 Rennie Davis TV Documentary
1988 Totally Minnie Maxwell Dwebb TV Movie
1988 I Saw What You Did Adrian Lancer TV Movie
1989 The Hitchhiker Frank "Garter Belt"
1990 The Incident Domsczek TV Movie
1990 Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture Police Sergeant Jerry Brown TV Movie
1990 Clarence Clarence Odbody TV Movie
1991 K-9 Jack Bergin TV Movie
1991 Doublecrossed Dave Booker TV Movie
1992 Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation Lewis "Lew" Skolnick TV Movie
1992 Illusions Greg – Husband TV Movie
1993 The Tommyknockers Bryant Brown Miniseries (2 episodes)
1993 Body Bags Bill (segment "The Gas Station) TV Movie
1993 The Disappearance of Christina Michael Croft TV Movie
1994 Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love Lewis Skolnick TV Movie

also Co-Producer

1994 A Part of the Family Ted TV Movie
1995 Sirens Detective Marty Manger "Angel Falling"
1995 ER John Koch "Sleepless in Chicago"
1995 Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Joey Bermuda / The Handyman "Home Is Where the Hurt Is"
1995–96 Kung Fu: The Legend Continues Taige / Paulson 2 episodes
1996 Humanoids from the Deep Wade Parker TV Movie
1996 Dark Skies Lonnie Zamora "Hostile Convergence"
1997 The Pretender Sheriff Dwight Kunkle "Mirage"
1997 NYPD Blue Gerard Salter "What a Dump!"
1997 The Practice Dr. Red Manheim "Dog Bite"
1997–98 Fast Track unknown role 2 episodes
1997–2000 Nash Bridges Dr. Bruce Hartman / Dr. Hartman, D.D.S. 2 episodes
1998 Young Hearts Unlimited Eddie TV Movie
1998 Martian Law unknown role TV Movie
1999 Vengeance Unlimited Darin Carter "Friends"
2000 Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire Malachi Van Helsing TV Movie
2000 E! True Hollywood Story Himself (Interviewee) "David Carradine"
2001–2004 Lizzie McGuire Sam McGuire series regular (65 episodes)
Director "Lizzie's Eleven" (2003)
2003 Monte Walsh Sunfish Perkins TV Movie
2005 Law & Order: Criminal Intent David Blake / Roger Withers "Gone"
2005 Attack of Sabertooth Grant TV Movie
2006 Dreamweaver The Interpreter TV Movie
2007 Jane Doe: Ties That Bind Everett / Gary / David TV Movie
2008 Robot Chicken Lewis Skolnick / Man (Voice Role) "Boo Cocky"
2011 Workers' Comp Kevin TV Movie
2012 Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt Arthur Gallery TV Movie
2013–15 King of the Nerds Himself / Host series regular (24 episodes)
Executive Producer (8 episodes)
2013 Celebrity Ghost Stories Himself (Interviewee) "Marlee Matlin / Kim Carnes / Robert Carradine"
2014 Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda Dr. Rico Symes TV Movie
2015 Celebrity Wife Swap Himself "Robert Carradine / Terrell Owens"
2016 Medinah Russo "Problem with the World"
2017 Mommy, I Didn't Do It Judge Roth TV Movie
2017 Doubt Walter Costello "Finally"
2017 Doomsday Alexander Baird TV Movie
2018 James Blondes Jungle Whisper "Blondes in the Jungle"
2019 Tales of the Wild West Robert Carradine / Frank James 2 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1982 3rd Genie Awards Best Performance by a Foreign Actor
1987 8th CableACE Awards Best Actor in a Theatrical or Dramatic Special
As Is
1998 16th Golden Boot Awards N/A N/A Honored


  1. ^ Kleiner, Dick. Carradines: 8 Sons, 2 Dads, 3 Moms. The Sumter Daily Item. June 1, 1982, p. 10.
  2. ^ The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography: Being the History of the United States as Illustrated in the Lives of the Founders, Builders, and Defenders of the Republic, and of the Men and Women who are Doing the Work and Moulding the Thought of the Present Time. 1971.
  3. ^ Rader, Dotson. I Didn't Want to Fail.Parade Magazine. September 29, 1991. Page 14
  4. ^ Deihl, Digby, Getting Personal With Keith Carradine. Boca Raton News. November 4, 1984, g. 99.
  5. ^ a b c d Scott, Vernon. Young Robert May Top All Carradines. Sarasota Herald. February 22, 1978, p. 7B.
  6. ^ a b c Carradine, David. Endless Highway. (1995) Journey Editions
  7. ^ Anderson, Nancy. Hollywood Hotline. Kingsport Post. February 3, 1972, p. 8.
  8. ^ Anderson, George, "Old Soldier, A Killer Whale". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. August 25, 1977, p. 24.
  9. ^ Scott, Vernon.Brotherly Love. The Bryan Times. November 10, 1979, p. 24.
  10. ^ Canby, Vincent.The Big Red One,' 5 G.I.'s in World War II; Three Years of War. The New York Times. July 18, 1980, p. C6.
  11. ^ Loohaulis, Jackie. "Wavelength" Delightful. The Milwaukee Journal. September 30, 1983, p. 36.
  12. ^ Newsmakers. Ottawa Citizen. July 30, 1984, p. 44.
  13. ^ "2018 Comic Con".
  14. ^ Clark, Kenneth. Hemingway's Classic "Sun" Rises Again as Mini-series. The Montreal Gazette. December 7, 1984, p. 16.
  15. ^ Reading Eagle. May 1, 1987, p. 40.
  16. ^ Holson, Laura. "Lizzie McGuire" Has Become a Hot Disney Brand. New York Times. December 2, 2002.
  17. ^ "Lizzie "McGuire" Box Set Volume 1 DVD Review". Retrieved September 28, 2018.

External links[edit]