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    Robert Preston

    6/8/1918

    Robert Preston

    Biography

    Robert Preston (June 8, 1918 – March 21, 1987) was an American stage and film actor and singer, best known for his collaboration with composer Meredith Willson and originating the role of Professor Harold Hill in the 1957 musical The Music Man and the 1962 film adaptation; the film earned him his first of two Golden Globe Award nominations. Preston collaborated twice with filmmaker Blake Edwards, first in S.O.B. (1981) and again in Victor/Victoria (1982). For portraying Carroll "Toddy" Todd in the latter, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor at the 55th Academy Awards. Preston was born Robert Preston Meservey in Newton, Massachusetts, the son of a garment worker and a record store clerk. He attended Abraham Lincoln High School, training as a musician and playing several instruments, but quit at age sixteen to study acting at the Pasadena Community Playhouse. Preston made his Broadway debut in 1940 in the play The Philadelphia Story. He went on to star in a number of successful Broadway musicals, including The Pajama Game (1954), Damn Yankees (1955), and I Do! I Do! (1966). He also appeared in a number of films, including The Music Man (1962), The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1960), and Victor/Victoria (1982). Preston was a versatile actor who could play a wide range of roles. He was known for his charisma, his singing voice, and his comic timing. He was a two-time Tony Award winner and was nominated for an Academy Award. He was also a member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame. Preston died of cancer in 1987 at the age of 68. He was survived by his wife, Catherine Craig; the couple had no children. A biography of the actor, @Robert Preston - Forever The Music Man”, was published in 2022.

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    Robert Preston

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