Monday, September 1, 2008

Cornelius Richard Van Mattimore

WHO? Ever hear of that person? I haven't either but I was named after him! Actually he changed his name when he became a movie actor. He is know as Richard Arlen. Born on this day in 1898 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

During World War One Richard served in the Royal Canadian Flying Corps as a pilot. He never saw combat. After the war he drifted around and eventually wound up in Los Angeles, where he got a job as a motorcycle messenger at a film laboratory. When he crashed into the gates of Paramount Pictures and suffered a broken leg, the studio provided prompt medical attention. Impressed by his good looks, executives also gave him a contract after he recovered. How's that for an entrance?

He started in silent films as an extra. His big break came when William A. Wellman cast him as a pilot in the silent film "Wings" (1927) with Charles 'Buddy' Rogers and Clara Bow. The story of fighter aces would win the Oscar for Best Picture. In "Wings" he had a scene with a young actor named Gary Cooper. In 1929, he again worked with Cooper in the western "The Virginian" only this time Cooper was the star and Arlen was the supporting actor. These two films were the high point of his career. He made many 'B' pictures but nothing worth noting.

Married three times, he spent most of his life with Margaret Kinsella from 1945 to March 28, 1976 when he died of emphysema. He lived in North Hollywood, California.

My mother loved the name 'Richard Arlen'. So I became Richard Arlen Moore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're better looking and have only been married once.
Thanks! Ann