Robert Arthur Feder
November 1, 1909
|Died||October 28, 1986 (aged 76)|
Early Life and Career
After the war, he joined Universal Pictures and his first production was the successful Buck Privates Come Home (1947) starring Abbott and Costello. He produced five further films for Abbott and Costello - The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), Mexican Hayride (1948), Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949) and Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950).
He produced the first of the popular Francis the Talking Mule film series in 1950 as well as the last, Francis in the Haunted House (1956). He also wrote the story for Francis Goes to the Races.
Arthur produced Louisa (1950) which starred Ronald Regan who became a good friend. In 1965 Arthur said this was his favorite movie.
He left Universal and made Starlift (1951) and The Story of Will Rogers (1952) for Warner Bros. and The Big Heat (1953) and The Long Gray Line for Columbia Pictures before returning back to Universal.
In 1955 MGM offered Arthur a contract but he preferred to work at Universal. He later said "they decided to hire me for as long as I care to work for. I'll tell you why I like this studio.When I turn out a clinker my bosses say 'We made a flop.' Turn out a good one and they say 'You made a hell of a picture.'"
He signed Stanley Shapiro who wrote several commercially successful comedies for Arthur including The Perfect Furlough (1958), Operation Petticoat (1959), Lover Come Back (1961) and That Touch of Mink (1962). The first two films were directed by Blake Edwards which helped launch his career. He also produced Bobby Darrin's debut film Come September (1961). During this time he also produced The Spiral Road.
In 1965, he signed a "lifetime" contract with Universal. At that time, 5 of Universal's top 10 highest-grossing films had been produced by Arthur - Operation Petticoat, That Touch of Mink, Come September, Lover Come Back and Shenandoah (1965). A Man Could Get Killed (1966) was his 50th production.
Arthur died in 1986 at the age of seventy-six and was interred in Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles. Lew Wasserman said Arthur as ""a true professional, a fine man and good friend. His associates at Universal will miss his talents and his warmth."
Arthur was married to Goldie Appleby, who served as an executive secretary to Irving Thalberg at MGM and to Samuel Goldwyn during World War II. They were married for forty-seven years, until his death. Goldie Arthur died on December 24, 1998 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, following a stroke.
(producer unless otherwise specified)
- Meet the Boy Friend (1937) - story only
- New Moon (1940) - screenplay only
- Chip Off the Old Block (1944) - story only
- Buck Privates Come Home (1947)
- The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947)
- Are You with It? (1948)
- Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
- For the Love of Mary (1948)
- Mexican Hayride (1948)
- Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer Boris Karloff (1949)
- The Gal Who Took the West (1949)
- Bagdad (1949)
- Francis (1950)
- Buccaneer's Girl' (1959)
- Curtain Call at Cactus Creek (1959)
- Louisa (1950)
- Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950)
- Francis Goes to the Races (1951) - story only
- The Golden Horde (1951)
- Starlift (1951)
- The Story of Will Rogers (1952)
- The Big Heat (1953)
- The Black Shield of Falworth (1954)
- Ricochet Romance (1954)
- The Long Gray Line (1955)
- Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955)
- A Day of Fury (1956)
- Francis in the Haunted House (1956)
- Pillars of the Sky (1956)
- Kelly and Me (1956)
- Mister Cory (1957)
- The Midnight Story (1957)
- Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)
- Flood Tide (1958)
- A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958)
- The Perfect Furlough (1958)
- Operation Petticoat (1959)
- The Great Impostor (1960)
- Come September (1960)
- Lover Come Back (1961)
- That Touch of Mink (1962)
- The Spiral Road (1962)
- For Love or Money (1963)
- Captain Newman, M.D. (1963)
- The Brass Bottle (1964)
- Bedtime Story (1964)
- Father Goose (1964)
- Shenandoah (1965)
- A Very Special Favor (1965)
- A Man Could Get Killed (1966(
- Blindfold (1966)
- The King's Pirate (1967)
- Hellfighters (1968)
- Sweet Charity (1969)
- One More Train to Rob (1971)
- "Obituaries: Robert Arthur". Variety. November 5, 1986. p. 102.
- "Robert Arthur". British Film Institute.
- "Robert Arthur - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos - AllMovie".
- "Producer Robert Arthur dies at age 76". United Press International. October 28, 1986.
- "Robert Arthur". American Film Institute. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
- No Bread Lines for Robert Arthur Los Angeles Times 1 Oct 1965: D11.
- "Robert Arthur Is 'Forever'; 'Lifetime' Tie To U". Variety. October 6, 1965. p. 17.
- PRE-FILMING DAYS WORRY PRODUCER: Last-Month Decisions Vital, in Robert Arthur's View By MURRAY SCHUMACH Special to The New York Times 13 June 1961: 29.
- MOVIE CALL SHEET: McLaglen to Direct 'Hark' Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times 16 Jan 1970: c12.
- Robert Arthur; Films Were Big at Box Office: [Home Edition] Folkart, Burt A. Los Angeles Times 30 Oct 1986: 2.
- Staff, Variety (January 15, 1999). "Goldie Arthur".
- Film producer Robert Arthur Chicago Tribune 30 Oct 1986: D11.