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Robert Quarry Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (14) | Personal Quotes (4) | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 3 November 1925Santa Rosa, California, USA
Date of Death 20 February 2009Woodland Hills, California, USA  (heart condition)
Birth NameRobert Walter Quarry
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Tall, handsome, and charismatic actor Robert Quarry was born on November 3, 1925 in Santa Rosa, California. His father was a doctor. Robert's grandmother first introduced him to the world of theater. Quarry finished school at age 14 and was on the swimming team in high school. In the early 1940s he was a busy juvenile actor on the radio; he even had a regular part on the "Dr. Christian" program. Robert joined the Army Combat Engineers at age 18 and formed a theatrical group which put on a hit production of the play "The Hasty Heart' that Quarry both acted in and helped produce.

Quarry made his film debut with a small role in Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943). He acted alongside Paul Newman in both Winning (1969) and WUSA (1970). Robert worked steadily throughout the 1950s and 1960s in both movies and TV shows alike. Quarry achieved his greatest enduring cult popularity with his splendidly sardonic portrayal of suavely sinister bloodsucker Count Yorga in the excellent drive-in hit Count Yorga, Vampire (1970) and its solid sequel The Return of Count Yorga (1971) Robert capitalized on his newfound fright feature fame by appearing in several hugely enjoyable horror pictures: at his commanding best as vampire hippie guru Khorda in the offbeat Deathmaster (1972), (Quarry was also an associate producer on this film), driven scientist Darius Biederbeck in Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972), evil mob boss Morgan in the groovy blaxploitation zombie opus Sugar Hill (1974), and quite amusing as slimy producer Oliver Quayle in Madhouse (1974). Quarry popped up in the disaster outing Rollercoaster (1977) as the Mayor of Los Angeles.

Alas, Robert's career was abruptly curtailed by a serious car accident, but he thankfully recovered and made a welcome comeback in the mid-1980s. He appeared in a slew of entertainingly trashy low-budget movies for prolific exploitation flick director Fred Olen Ray. Moreover, Quarry was featured in guest spots on such TV shows as "Studio 57," "The Lone Ranger," "Hallmark Hall of Fame," "Mike Hammer," "The Fugitive," "Perry Mason," "Ironside," "Cannon," "The Rockford Files," and "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century." Outside of his work in movies and television, Robert also had a highly distinguished stage career. Quarry acted in Broadway productions of "As You Like It," "The Taming of the Shrew," "Richard III," and "Gramercy Ghost." He acted alongside Cloris Leachman in "Design for Living" at the Stage Society in Los Angeles and in 1966 went on tour with a traveling roadshow production of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?". He regularly studied his craft at the Actors Lab in Hollywood.

Blessed with an IQ of 168, Quarry was a Lifemaster at bridge. In addition, Robert studied cooking at the Cardon Bleu School in Manhattan and was the author of the best-selling cookbook "Wonderfully Simple Recipes for Simply Wonderful Food." Robert Quarry died at age 83 from a heart condition on February 20, 2009 in Woodland Hills, California. Good night and rest in peace, Count Yorga.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders

Trivia (14)

Has an IQ of 168.
He completed high school at age 14.
Appeared with Paul Newman in Winning (1969). Cut from the film, Newman gave him a part in WUSA (1970). He remained friends with Newman and wife Joanne Woodward for over 20 years.
His personal life was fraught with life-threatening incidents. He had a cancer scare in 1965. In the 1970s he was the victim, as a pedestrian, of a drunken driver and suffered severe facial injuries which required a long recovery period. In 1982, outside his North Hollywood apartment, he was beaten and robbed. The muggers broke his knees, ribs and cheekbone. He suffered his first heart attack as a result.
Director/producer/writer Fred Olen Ray, director of many low-budget independent films, contacted Robert in 1987 while he was recuperating in a wheelchair and used him in over a dozen films.
A fine chef, he studied the art of cooking at the Cardon Bleu School in Manhattan under the supervision of Dione Lucas.
Won an acting scholarship to the Pasadena Playhouse.
Modern sources claim that Quarry "won the role of Teresa Wright's boyfriend in the 1943 Hitchcock classic Shadow of a Doubt (1943)," which is hardly likely since at the time of the filming, Wright was 24 and Quarry was only 17, so apparently he must have had some other secondary role. Whatever it might have been, he was all but cut out, but it did lead to an eventual Hollywood career, as well as lifelong friendships with Wright and Joseph Cotten.
A brief bout with cancer in 1965 gave him time to learn how to play bridge, and became an expert.
Joined the US Army Combat Engineers at age 18 and formed his own theatrical troupe while in the Army. He acted in and helped produce a hit production, "The Hasty Heart" at which President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, were attendees.
Louis B. Mayer signed him up at MGM, but the studio management suddenly changed and Quarry sat around for two years without working.
Once won a scholarship to the Pasadena Playhouse and was discovered by Alfred Hitchcock while filming Shadow of a Doubt (1943) in Robert's home town.
Encouraged to pursue acting by his grandmother, a frustrated actress.
Had an IQ of 165 and graduated from high school at age 14.

Personal Quotes (4)

[in a 1974 interview] My motive is quite simple. I want to be able to continue to earn a decent living and earn the respect of the people I work with. I'm a positive thinker. I don't panic, I don't scare. I've seen lots of brilliant actors go under because they panicked, got scared and ran. I'm hard to scare. I'm pleased with myself as an actor and as a human being. If you work hard, you get things and you don't have to thank everyone, although I feel I owe much to Joseph Cotten and his late wife Lenore, Orson Welles, Katharine Hepburn, Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne and to Preston Sturges, the very inventive director who died several years ago. If you want to last in this business, you have to give a lot. You can't just take. And you have to have an agent who really cares, and who works for you, like I have.
I always tried to play villains like the heroes. Vincent Price was always playing boogieman things, overdoing stuff, and I was like, "Jesus, Vincent, for once just play it straight." I mean, I played Count Yorga straight, I played "Deathmaster" straight. But Vincent's mannerisms took him over. As an actor you should never allow that to happen. The best villains are the ones who are both protagonist and antagonist.
If you want to last in this business, you have to give a lot. You can't just take. And you have to have an agent who really cares and works for you.
[on portraying Count Yorga] I enjoyed playing Yorga. The fun of making movies is the fun of getting outside yourself. I had been playing heavies all my life, but they were more real--just with or without a mustache. So it was fun to use some of the--what I hope were--skills I had developed by this time.

Salary (1)

Hollywood Screen Test (1948) $125

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