Bobby Jordan: Wikis

  
  

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Bobby Jordan
Born Robert Jordan
April 1, 1923(1923-04-01)
Harrison, New York, U.S.A.
Died September 10, 1965 (aged 42)
Los Angeles, California
Occupation Actor
Years active 1929 — 1961
Spouse(s) Lee

Bobby Jordan (April 1, 1923 - September 10, 1965) was an American actor, born in Harrison, New York.

Contents

Biography

Early life and career

Bobby Jordan was a talented toddler and by the time he was six years old, he could sing, tap dance and play the saxophone. At the age of four, he was working in a Christmas Carol film.

His mother took him to talent shows in and around Harrison, New York. He also modelled for newspaper and magazine advertisements, and appeared in short films and radio programs. In the late 1920s Bobby's family moved to the upper west side of Manhattan. In 1929, Bobby was cast as Charles Hildebrand in the 1929 Broadway play, Street Scene.

Dead End Kids

Though he was the youngest, Jordan was the first of the boys to work in films, with a role in a 1933 Universal short. In 1935, he became one of the original Dead End Kids by winning the role of Angel in Sydney Kingsley's riveting Broadway drama Dead End, about life in the slums of the east side New York City. The play was performed at the Belasco Theatre, and ran for three years and over 600 performances. Jordan appeared for the first season and the beginning of the second, but left in mid-November 1936. He returned in time to join the others in 1937 in Hollywood to make the movie version of the play, starring big names such as Humphrey Bogart, Joel McCrea, Sylvia Sidney and Claire Trevor.

Following the tumultuous making of Dead End, Jordan found himself "released" from his contract at Goldwyn, and subsequently appeared at Warner Bros. with the rest of the Dead End Kids. After one year, Warners released most of them, but kept Leo Gorcey and Bobby Jordan as solo performers. Jordan appeared (as "Douglas Fairbanks Rosenbloom") in Warners' Damon Runyon comedy A Slight Case of Murder (1938), and at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Young Tom Edison (1940).

In 1940, Jordan appeared in the film Military Academy and accepted an offer from producer Sam Katzman to star in a new tough-kid series, The East Side Kids. Leo Gorcey soon joined him, then Huntz Hall, and the trio continued to lead the series through 1943, when Jordan entered the military as a foot soldier in the 97th Infantry Division. He was involved in an elevator accident that forced him to have surgery to remove his right kneecap.

Later career and personal life

When Jordan returned to films in 1945, he found that his former gangmates Gorcey and Hall were getting the lion's share of both the content and the salary for the new Bowery Boys film series. Dissatisfied with his background status, he left the series after eight entries, and made only a few films thereafter. In subsequent years, he worked as a bartender, not a good idea since he was an alcoholic.

Jordan worked to support his family as a door-to-door photograph salesman and roughneck for an oil driller. In 1957, he and his wife divorced, and on August 25, 1965, he entered the Veterans Hospital in Sawtelle, California for treatment of cirrhosis of the liver. He died at the age of 42.

Of his former Dead End Kid and East Side Kid, Leo Gorcey once observed, "Bobby Jordan must not have had a guardian angel."

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