Robert Easton (actor)

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Robert Easton
Born Robert Easton Burke
(1930-11-23)November 23, 1930
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died December 16, 2011(2011-12-16) (aged 81)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1949-2011
Spouse(s) June Bettine Grimstead (1961-2005) (her death) (1 child)

Robert Easton (November 23, 1930 – December 16, 2011) was an American actor whose career in film and television spanned more than 60 years. His mastery of English dialect earned him the epithet "The Man of a Thousand Voices". For decades, he was a leading Hollywood dialogue or accent coach.[1]

Easton was born Robert Easton Burke in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Mary Easton (née Kloes) and John Edward Burke.[2]


Beginning in 1945, he was heard on radio's Quiz Kids. He portrayed Magnus Proudfoot on radio's Gunsmoke and also appeared in other radio programs, including Fibber McGee and Molly, The Fred Allen Show, The Halls of Ivy, Our Miss Brooks, Suspense, William Shakespeare—A Portrait in Sound and The Zero Hour.


On film, one of his earliest appearances was in The Red Badge of Courage. He appeared in the feature film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea as 'Sparks' and was also the character 'Handown' a gunner crew-member of a B-17 of World War II in the film The War Lover which starred Steve McQueen and a very young Michael Crawford. He appeared in the baseball film Long Gone (1987) as Cletis Ramey. One of his more unusual voices and acting roles was that of a Klingon judge in the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). He appeared in Gods and Generals (2003) as John Janney, and starred in Spiritual Warriors (2007).


On British television he was cast in the 1962 second episode of "The Saint," "The Latin Touch," with Roger Moore and also provided the voices of "Phones" and "X-2-0" in Gerry Anderson's Stingray. Of the many American television series he appeared on were several episodes of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show on CBS in 1957-58 as the dimwitted USC student Brian McAfee and the ABC-TV world war two drama "Combat" as Woody in the 1967 episode "A Little Jazz."

During the late 1940s through the 1960s, he was mostly known for his portrayal of slow-talking, blank-faced hicks (as in The Munsters episode "All-Star Munster" as Moose Mallory). He also appeared in Season One (1955) of TVs Gunsmoke as Magnus Goode, Chester's younger brother.


He was the voice of Thomas Jefferson in The American Adventure at Disney's Epcot in Florida. It may be noted that Robert Easton was a great grandson of Rufus Easton, who was appointed by Thomas Jefferson first postmaster of St. Louis and simultaneously appointed Rufus Easton judge of the largest territory of North America, The Louisiana Territory. [3] Voiced Bart Rathbone in Adventures in Odyssey.

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Woo, Elaine (1930-11-23). "Robert Easton, the Henry Higgins of Hollywood, dies at 81". Retrieved 2011-12-22. 
  2. ^ Robert Easton Biography (1930-)
  3. ^ The Life and Papers of Rufus Easton, pub. 1988, by Bruce Campbell Adamson.

Further reading[edit]

  • "Robert Easton Speaks: From Beverly Hillbilly to Hollywood's Henry Higgens" (Part one of two) article and interview by Anthony Petkovich, FILMFAXplus magazine, Summer 2014, number 138 (cover). Filmfax, Inc., Evanston, Illinois USA. Seven pages (38-44) with 38 small black-and-white photographs.
  • "Robert Easton Speaks: From Beverly Hillbilly to Hollywood's Henry Higgens" (Part two of two) article and interview by Anthony Petkovich, FILMFAXplus magazine, Fall/Winter 2014, number 139 (cover). Filmfax, Inc., Evanston, Illinois USA. Eight pages (50-55; 106-107) with 38 small black-and-white photographs, mostly from films and TV shows in which he appeared (not all the photos depict him), including some movie posters.

External links[edit]