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The 'brains' and 'action' heavies who had meaty roles and lots of dialog ... and the players who were fathers, ranch owners, lawman, mayors, judges, lawyers, storekeepers, newspaper editors, wardens, etc.


Herbert 'Herb' Rawlinson

Full name:
Herbert Banemann Rawlinson

1885 - 1953


Herbert Rawlinson was born in Brighton, England in 1885. Migrating first to Canada and then to the United States, he became a stage actor and a hero and major star of silent films. A newspaper biography mentions that he did a play with actor Hobart Bosworth who persuaded Rawlinson to give Hollywood and films a try. And he did ... beginning circa 1911 with Selig Polyscope followed by a long stint with Universal starting around 1914.

When talkies arrived, Rawlinson was in his mid forties and his hero/starring days were over. During the 1930s, he alternated between films and stage plays, including roles on Broadway. In the 1940s, there were occasional film jobs as well as a new and expanding career in radio. In his later years, radio work included programs such as "Cavalcade of America" and "Escape". He was also host and narrator of the initial season of "Hollywood Star Playhouse", a dramatic anthology series which began on CBS in 1950.

Les Adams has Rawlinson identified in about 130 sound era films - that number includes 30+ westerns and a dozen serials.

I most often recall him as a military officer, lawman, politician, newspaper editor, etc. - basically someone of stature and rank. Below are some examples of Rawlinson's serial and western film roles:



(Image courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are William Boyd, Herbert Rawlinson, Jay Kirby and Hugh Prosser (with the badge) in a color scene cropped from a 14x36 insert card from the Hopalong Cassidy LOST CANYON (Harry Sherman Prod/UA, 1942).


Rawlinson passed away from lung cancer on July 12, 1953 at the Motion Picture Country Home, soon after completing a role as "Dr. Boris Gregor" in Ed Wood's JAIL BAIT (Howco, 1954) which starred Lyle Talbot, Dolores Fuller and muscular Steve Reeves before he became Hercules of the movies.

Newspaper and Hollywood trade publications have info on Herbert Rawlinson's marriages. His first wife was stage actress Roberta Arnold (real name: Minerva Arnold) and they divorced in November, 1922. On January 1, 1924, he married Lorraine Abigail Long (not an actress) and they divorced in 1947. There were two children - son David and daughter Sally (and she had a brief film career that began in the late 1940s).

The Family Search website (free), California Death Index and the death certificate provide more on Rawlinson and family:

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website confirms that Herbert Rawlinson is interred at Chapel Of The Pines Crematory, Los Angeles, California: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8739818

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on:
          Herbert Rawlinson: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0712660/
          Daughter Sally Ann Rawlinson (1925 - 2004): http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0712669/

The Internet Broadway Database has Rawlinson in six 1930s New York plays: http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=57180
and Roberta Arnold has nine plays during the period from 1916 - 1928: http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=30169

J. David Goldin's RadioGoldIndex website has Rawlinson in several hundred 1940s-early 1950s radio programs. When you get to the site, click "Start Here", then select "Search By Artist", then select R, and then scroll down for the Rawlinson radio credits: http://radiogoldindex.com/

David C. White, Herbert Rawlinson's grandson, has a website on his grandfather (and there are many photos of Herb and daughter Sally): http://www.alwhitestudio.com/herbert/index.htm

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has their Walk of Fame. Go to their website and do a search for Rawlinson: http://www.walkoffame.com
or, you can see a photo and his star location at the Los Angeles Times website: http://projects.latimes.com/hollywood/star-walk/herbert-rawlinson/

The University of Washington Libraries, Digital Collections, has a 1922 photo of Roberta Arnold: http://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/sayre/id/2634/rec/1

Hans Wollstein has a bit more on Sally Rawlinson at his Meanwhile ... Back at the Ranch website: http://hjwollstein.blogspot.com/2011/09/sally-rawlinson-paramount-starlet-and.html

The Library of Congress website has two 1929 photos of Rawlinson with actress Dolores Del Rio: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=Herbert%20Rawlinson

The New York Public Library digital collections has about a dozen photos, cigarette cards, and lobby cards with Rawlinson: http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchresult.cfm?keyword=%22Herbert+Rawlinson%22

It's always interesting to click through newspaper headlines and clippings at the Google newspaper archives. While some of the articles are free, many go to newspaper websites where you have to pay to retrieve the full article. The following link will take you to a mix of free and pay articles on Herbert Rawlinson: https://www.google.com/search?q=%22herbert%20rawlinson%22%20site:news.google.com/newspapers&source=newspapers



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