Volume III: Biographies


VAUGHN, Robert *

Actor (1916-1917)

Thanhouser Career Synopsis: Robert Vaughn was an actor with Thanhouser, circa 1916-1917.

Biographical Notes: Born in St. Louis in 1877, Robert Vaughn was educated there at Washington University, where he studied to be an artist, after which he took decorative arts courses at the University of Munich in Germany. Upon returning home, he was commissioned to create murals for the Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri buildings for the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (better known as the St. Louis World's Fair). Despite his formal training in illustrative art, Robert Vaughn decided to become an actor. His stage career included employment with the Imperial stock company in St. Louis, the Bush Temple stock company in Chicago, and the Academy stock company in New York City. He considered two of his more notable appearances to have been in The Round Up and Damaged Goods. Over a period of time he appeared with Amelia Bingham, Charlotte Walker, Marguerite Clark, and others.

Vaughn's screen career, which was accomplished during a period in which he was also acting on the stage, included North American (Ten Nights in a Barroom), Photodrama (After the Ball), Fox (The Walls of Jericho), Famous Players (The Brute, Clothes, Still Waters, etc.), and various 1916 and 1917 Thanhouser releases. Robert Vaughn was on stage as leading man in A Woman's Way, a play starring Charlotte Walker, while working at the Thanhouser studio as his schedule permitted. At one time in 1916, he was on stage and was also working in three pictures simultaneously.

An article in The Moving Picture World, January 27, 1917, discussed his personality: "Robert Vaughn, Thanhouser leading man, has a number of invaluable picture assets - a hero's irresistible smile, a villain's terribly contorted face when enraged, and an extensive gratifying stage experience and a colorful off-stage career that makes it easy for the press agent to write pieces about him...."

The October 1916 Motion Picture News Studio Directory stated he was 5'11" tall, weighed 180 pounds, and had sandy hair and blue eyes. He lived at 8844 17th Avenue, Brooklyn, New York at the time, and as a pastime made mural decorations. In the summer of 1917 Robert Vaughn was among the few players remaining in the Thanhouser stock company. In 1918 the actor was on stage in the road company of The Merry Widow. In late November of that year, while playing in Memphis, Vaughn and certain other members of the troupe were charged with assault when they engaged in a fierce fist fight outside the stage door, when members of a local club "insulted" chorus girls as they left the theatre. The charges were dropped, and the players went on to the next stop, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Thanhouser Filmography:

1916: Master Shakespeare, Strolling Player (4-20-1916), The Nymph (5-30-1916), Brothers Equal (6-13-1916), The Fugitive (8-13-1916), The Fear of Poverty (9-10-1916), The Black Terror (9-29-1916)

1917: Her New York (1-7-1917), The Vicar of Wakefield (2-25-1917), Mary Lawson's Secret (4-1-1917), Fires of Youth (6-17-1917), Under False Colors (9-23-1917)

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Copyright © 1995 Q. David Bowers. All Rights Reserved.