~Robert Armstrong~

Born: November 20, 1890 in Saginaw, Michigan, USA
Died: April 20, 1973 in Santa Monica, California, USA
Forever remembered by film buffs as the man who brought King Kong to New York, American actor
Robert Armstrong was a law student at the University of Washington in Seattle when he dropped out
in favor of a vaudeville tour. Learning by doing, Armstrong worked his way up to "leading man" roles
in a New York stock company run by veteran character man Jimmy Gleason. Gleason's play Iz Zat So?
led to a film contract for Armstrong, whose first picture was The Main Event (1927). The actor's stage
training served him well during Hollywood's switchover to sound, and he appeared with frequency in
the early talkie years, at one point costarring with Broadway legend Fanny Brice in My Man (1930).
An expert at playing sports and showbiz promoters, Armstrong was a natural for the role of the
enthusiastic but foolhardy Carl Denham in King Kong (1933). Armstrong enjoyed some of the best
dialogue of his career as he coerced erstwhile actress Fay Wray to go with him to Skull Island to seek
out "money, adventure, the thrill of a lifetime", and as he egged on his crew to explore the domain of
50-foot ape Kong. And of course, Armstrong was allowed to speak the final lines of this imperishable
classic: "It wasn't the planes...It was beauty killed the beast." Armstrong played Carl Denham again in
a sequel, Son of Kong (1933), and later played Denham in everything but name as a shoestring
theatrical promoter in Mighty Joe Young (1949), wherein he brought a nice giant gorilla into
civilization. Always in demand as a character actor, Armstrong continued to make films in the 1940s;
he had the rare distinction of playing an American military officer in Around the World (1943), a Nazi
agent in My Favorite Spy (1942), and a Japanese general in Blood on the Sun (1945)! In the 1950s and
1960s, Armstrong was a fixture on TV cop and adventure programs. Perhaps the most characteristic
moment in Armstrong's TV career was during a sketch on The Red Skelton Show, in which Red took
one look at Armstrong and ad-libbed "Say, did you ever get that monkey off that building?"

Biography by Hal Erickson, AllMovie.com
The Woman from Hell (1929) .... Alf
The Leatherneck (1929) .... Joseph Hanlon
The Shady Lady (1928) .... Blake
Ned McCobb's Daughter (1928) .... Babe Callahan
Show Folks (1928) .... Owens - Promoter
Celebrity (1928) .... Kid Reagan
The Baby Cyclone (1928) .... Gene
The Cop (1928) .... Scarface Marcas
Square Crooks (1928) .... Eddie Ellison
A Girl in Every Port (1928) .... Salami
The Leopard Lady (1928) .... Chris
The Main Event (1927) .... Red Lucas