|Date of Birth||29 July 1933 , Troy, New York, USA|
|Birth Name||Buddy Lee|
|Height||5' 11" (1.80 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
An only child, Robert Fuller was born as: Buddy Lee in Troy, New York, where his stepfather, Robert Simpson, Sr., was both a dance instructor and a Naval Academy officer, and Betty Simpson, was also a dance instructor. He and his family moved to Key West, Florida, where Lee had been raised.
Between acting and dancing, those were the highlights of his life, especially that his parents owned a dancing school. In actuality, his parents were both the best dancers. They kept having the best chemistry together until one day, his mother suffered a pinch nerve, which ended her dancing career for good, thus, his father had to dance independent, and with his son, at the same time. Obviously, Fuller is a good dancer, too, as he carried on his parents' tradition. After dropping out of the Miami Military Academy in 1948, he traveled to Hollywood with his family, a couple of years later, where Fuller's first job was a stuntman, that he worked for additional hours.
His first small role was 1952's Above and Beyond. This part led to landing in a few small roles such as I Love Melvin (1953), also in 1953, he again had another minor part in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), which starred Marilyn Monroe. Fuller's career came to an abrupt hold when he was drafted into the Korean War. He did some tour of duty in Korea, and came back a couple of years later after the war had ended. At one point, he was going to end his acting career meaning he had absolutely no future for himself. At his parents' suggestion, when Fuller was aged 22, he attended Richard Boone's acting class that changed his life, for the better, at least. At the same time, he also restarted his acting career, after Richard Boone gave Fuller the "thumbs up" of attending his classes. His teacher at the school was Sanford Meisner at New York City's, Neighborhood Playhouse, the college where Fuller studied.
He had yet another small role in Friendly Persuasion (1956), where he worked with his future Laramie (1959) co-star John Smith. Director William Wyler suggested to Fuller that he would grow sideburns for the role, when the actor actually had fake sideburns. When Wyner finally saw Fuller's real sideburns, he asked him to play the role and he got the offer he couldn't refused. The following year, his first major movie role was Teenage Thunder (1957). In order to get the role, he would have a stage fight with Chuck Courtney to call the director for the part Fuller wanted to play in. At first, Paul Helmick considered taking Edd Byrnes for the part, but Fuller got the part, after he and Courtney had been longtime friends. That same year, he also starred in the movie The Brain from Planet Arous (1957).
Fuller became a full-fledged star in 1959 for the role of Jess Harper on Laramie (1959), a part that made him something of a sex symbol. When Fuller talked to the vice-president of talent, he thought that he was going to be written out of the show, but as soon as Patrick Kelly told Fuller that he enjoyed the actor's work, just one year ago, and Kelly decided that Fuller would be interested in doing a Western series, and Fuller has had a promising future, but later, tension ran high when Fuller wanted him to star in yet another television series opposite Academy-Award winner Ray Milland called Markham (1959). He was offered the role, but turned down the part, therefore, he came to Laramie. He auditioned for the role, read the script and enjoyed it, however, tensions were still running high when Kelly wanted Fuller to play the role of Slim Sherman, but still, Fuller had never changed his mind in playing the role of Jess Harper, a character he fell in love with, since he auditioned. Already, Kelly told Fuller that the role of Jess Harper had been given to John Smith (who was under contract with Revue). And again, Fuller didn't change his mind, a third time, and the two guys went on their own separate ways without a promise. Also, his co-star from Friendly Persuasion (1956), John Smith had been offered the role of Slim Sherman and hindsight indicated that those were the best roles for both Fuller and Smith. If it hadn't been for the role change, then Laramie wasn't born. During its first season, it was a smash hit, among many other 1960s Western series, and Fuller was the most handsome man on the set, gaining popularity with dozens of fans, all around the world. In fact, Fuller said that it was one of the roles he ever played on television. In one of the episodes, he met a popular singer Julie London, who would later co-star with Fuller on Emergency! (1972), and would become friends until her death, late in 2000. When the show was canceled in 1963, due to low ratings, Fuller moved on to another Western, Wagon Train (1957).
After well-known producer, Jack Webb saw him in the movie, The Hard Ride (1971), Webb strongly insisted Fuller on starring in a brand new medical/crime drama series for NBC titled, Emergency! (1972), opposite his longtime and bestest friends, Julie London and Bobby Troup. Fuller was happy about the deal, and he said to Webb that he didn't want to play a doctor, but Webb fought harder. He besought him on playing the role of head physician, Dr. Kelly Brackett, and Fuller, at the very last minute chose to do it, which was a Jack Webb thing to do. In addition to London and Troup, both newcomers Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe, also starred in the series, who would become best friends for life. During its first season, as a midseason replacement in the 1971-1972 season, it was a smash hit, as the show was seen in over 70 countries as the show also tackled real-life issues that both of Fuller's co-stars would try their best to save lives with, and it was Fuller's along the rest of his co-stars jobs to save them before each one was pronounced dead. On the pilot episode of Emergency! (1972), two of Adam-12 (1968) main stars, Martin Milner and Kent McCord guest-starred on one episode to help stir in most of the Emergency! audiences and their ratings, though the show wasn't a popular spin-off of Adam-12. In later years, both Milner and McCord would guest-star in a couple more episodes, during and after Adam-12. Fuller and the rest of his co-stars also guest-starred on Adam-12, for one episode in 1972. Although the show enjoyed its popularity, it was never nominated for Emmies, however, his secondary series' lead and best friend Julie London was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1974, but didn't win. As Fuller continued playing Dr. Kelly Brackett, in later years, both Randolph Mantooth and Kevin Tighe started directing some episodes of the show, Fuller himself never directed any episodes. Also on two separate episodes, his former co-star, John Smith, played a fire captain. In 1977, after a six season run, Emergency! was put on hiatus, despite good ratings. The following year, it revived a second time as a midseason replacement to sign up for six more episodes, until canceling for good in 1979.
As Fuller matured in the 1980s and 1990s, he played 20 more character roles in a lot of groundbreaking television, on both The Fall Guy (1981) and Diagnosis Murder (1993), where he was reunited with Emergency! (1972) co-star, Randolph Mantooth. Towards the end of his acting career, he had a recurring role as the old, retired ranger, Wade Harper, the great, great, great grandson of Laramie (1959)'s, Jess, on Walker, Texas Ranger (1993), opposite Chuck Norris and Clarence Gilyard Jr.. He retired from acting and is currently one of the presenters of Festival of The West with his best friend of over 55 years, James Drury.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Richard Collins II (firstname.lastname@example.org)
|Jennifer Savidge||(19 May 2001 - present)|
|Patricia Lee Lyon||(1962 - 1984) (divorced)|