Robert Young

Robert Young

Attempted suicide in 1991 as a result of a chemical imbalance and while battling Alzheimer's disease and heart problems.

Best remembered by the public for his starring roles as Jim Anderson on "Father Knows Best" (1954) and the title character on "Marcus Welby, M.D." (1969).

Did not renew his MGM contact after filming The Canterville Ghost (1944) and chose to free-lance instead. After a great start in post-war pictures, his film career declined rapidly and he wisely moved to radio in 1949 and eventually TV.

Following his sobriety, he was once chosen Honorary Chairman of National Health Week.

Had 4 daughters with Betty Henderson. He was 17 and she was 14 when they met in high school.

Had a nervous breakdown in 1966 and it took him nearly 4 years to recover.

He has four daughters: Betty Lou Gleason, Carol Proffitt, Barbara Beebe, and Kathy Young. He has six grandchildren.

He was a lifelong member of the Republican party and was a solid supporter of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

He was awarded 3 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Motion Pictures at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard; for Radio at 1620 Vine Street; and for Television at 6360 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

His Irish Protestant carpenter father abandoned the family when Robert was 10 years old. He was a newspaper boy during this time in order to help the family income.

His patented shyness and painful insecurity turned his social drinking into a chronic alcohol problem during his MGM years that lasted nearly three decades. He recovered with the aid and encouragement of his wife Elizabeth and through spiritual metaphysics (Science of Mind), not to mention Alcoholics Anonymous. He often held AA meetings in his home.

In later years, Robert and Elizabeth lived in a house in Westlake Village, California called "The Enchanted Cottage," named after the 1945 film in which he starred with Dorothy McGuire.

Interred at Forest Lawn (Glendale), Glendale, California, USA, in the Graceland section, lot #5905.

Jim Anderson, Young's character on "Father Knows Best" (1954), was ranked #6 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" [20 June 2004 issue].

Living in Los Angeles by the age of 10, he attended Lincoln High School in Los Angeles, where he met his future wife Elizabeth. It was she who prodded the shy guy into trying acting at the Pasadena Community Playhouse after graduation.

MGM talent agents spotted him in a 1931 touring stage production of "The Ship" and signed him up.

Originating his "Father Knows Best" (1954) role on radio, he was the only member of the radio cast to transfer his role to TV.

Sold Sanka coffee on TV for 5 years.

Suicide attempt due to alcoholism and depression. [1991]

Today, those who fondly recall him in the archetypal 1950s family sitcom "Father Knows Best" (1954) may be surprised to learn that when the series debuted in 1954, the show did so poorly in the ratings that CBS canceled it in March of 1955. A flood of protests came from viewers insisting that the show be reinstated. The show was moved to an earlier time, and it gradually became a hit.