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Arlen in 1932
Sylvanus Richard Mattimore
September 1, 1899
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
|Died||March 28, 1976 (aged 76)|
Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California|
|Alma mater||University of Pennsylvania|
(m. 1920; div. 1923)
(m. 1927; div. 1946)
|Unit||Royal Flying Corps|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Richard Arlen (born Sylvanus Richard Mattimore, September 1, 1899 - March 28, 1976) was an American actor of film and television.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Arlen attended the University of Pennsylvania. He served in Canada as a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. After the war, he went to the oilfields of Texas and Oklahoma and found work as a tool boy. He was thereafter a messenger and sporting editor of a newspaper before going to Los Angeles to act in films, but no producer wanted him. He was a delivery boy for a film laboratory when the motorcycle which he was riding landed him a broken leg outside the Paramount Pictures lot. A sympathetic film director gave him his start as an extra. He appeared at first in silent films before making the transition to talkies. His first important film role was in Vengeance of the Deep (1923).
Arlen is best known for his role as a pilot in the Academy Award-winning Wings (1927) with Clara Bow, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, Gary Cooper, El Brendel, and his second wife, Jobyna Ralston, whom he married in 1927. He was among the more famous residents of the celebrity enclave, Toluca Lake, California. He married New York socialite, Margaret Kinsella, in 1946.
In 1939, Universal teamed him with Andy Devine for a series of 14 B-pictures, mostly action-comedies with heavy reliance on stock footage from larger-scale films. They are informally known as the "Aces of Action" series, which is how the stars were billed in the trailers. When Arlen left the studio in 1941, the series continued with Devine teamed with a variety of other actors.
In the 1950s and early 1960s, Arlen was active in television, having guest starred in several anthology series, including Playhouse 90, The Loretta Young Show, The 20th Century Fox Hour, and in three episodes of the series about clergymen, Crossroads.
In 1968, he appeared on Petticoat Junction...playing himself. The episode was called "Wings" and it was in direct reference to the 1927 silent movie Wings.
Arlen appeared in westerns, such as Lawman, Branded, Bat Masterson, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Wagon Train, and Yancy Derringer, and in such drama/adventure programs as Ripcord, Whirlybirds, Perry Mason, The New Breed, Coronado 9, and Michael Shayne.