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8 Things That I Have In Common With Hollywood Legend, Robert Preston

Updated on October 31, 2014
Preston could fit into any role he auditioned for be it theater or film
Preston could fit into any role he auditioned for be it theater or film


In musical score, direction, and acting. I am talking about the star, the late Robert Preston. If you are a fan of Preston, you will agree that in this iconic picture, he did his lines so well, it looked like he was simply living his life. I always admired Preston for this and his other qualities such as his sly sense of humore and his deep understanding of his role.

"The Music Man," with any other male star, in my opinion, would not have been the success it was and that is due to the talents of Robert Preston.

The Real Robert Preston

  • Robert Preston (June 8, 1918 – March 21, 1987) was an American stage and film actor best remembered for originating the role of Harold Hill in the 1957 musical The Music Man and the subsequent film adaptation. He is also known for his Oscar-nominated role as Carroll "Toddy" Todd in Victor Victoria.
  • However, Preston is probably best remembered for his performance as "Professor" Harold Hill in Meredith Willson's musical The Music Man (1962). He had already won a Tony Award for his performance in the original Broadway production in 1957. When Willson adapted his story for the screen, he insisted on Preston's participation over the objections of Jack L. Warner, who had wanted Frank Sinatra for the role. Preston appeared on the cover of Time magazine on July 21, 1958.In 1965 he was the male part of a duo-lead musical, I Do! I Do! with Mary Martin, for which he won his second Tony Award. He played the title role in the musical Ben Franklin in Paris, and originated the role of Henry II in the original production of The Lion in Winter (Peter O'Toole got an Oscar nod for the film version). In 1974 he starred alongside Bernadette Peters in Jerry Herman's Broadway musical Mack & Mabel as Mack Sennett, the famous silent film director.
  • Although he was not known for his singing voice, Preston appeared in several other stage and film musicals, notably Mame (1974) and Victor Victoria (1982), for which he received an Academy Award nomination. His last role in a theatrical film was in The Last Starfighter (1984), in which he portrayed an interstellar con man/military recruiter called "Centauri".
  • There are no official biographies of Preston, who was an intensely private person, but there were interviews late in his career, and interviews and articles at Tumblr touch both on the career and on his personal life.
  • Preston died of lung cancer on March 21, 1987, at the age of 68.

Source: Wikipedia

A young Robert Preston
A young Robert Preston
Preston's western look
Preston's western look
"Prof. Harold Hill"
"Prof. Harold Hill"
Looking over news from Hollywood
Looking over news from Hollywood
Robert Preston with Shirley Jones in a scene from "The Music Man"
Robert Preston with Shirley Jones in a scene from "The Music Man"


I did my noble-amount of following him in the films he was cast for and "the" one that pops to my mind is "Victor Victoria," which was just the right blend of humor mingled with the correct injections of drama which Preston played with the ease of a professional riverboat gambler.

But the best part of being a huge fan of Robert Preston, the Hollywood legend and icon, was happily-discovering that there were

8 Things That Hollywood Legend Robert Preston and I Have In Common

I was stunned, then amazed that an actor of such talent and an obscure soul from northwest Alabama could have that much in common.

  1. EATING PORK CHOPS - I found out, Preston liked to have for dinner occasionally. I too ate pork chops, but only when my parents, who both worked, could afford them. And when we did have these delicacies, I though that it was a special occasion.
  2. SINGING ALONE - in the solitude of your home or even the backyard. Preston loved singing as well as acting. He had a versatile voice and the talent to go with it. To my credit, I had a little singing talent and I loved it. But not to sing in front of people. I loved to sing my favorite songs while I was alone.
  3. ANIMALS - Robert Preston adored dogs and cats. I was almost-stunned when I discovered this fact. But with his early career, there was a lot of travelilng for him, so he did not keep dogs or cats in his home. I never traveled that much, except to town on Saturday, so I was free to keep a dog or cat. I am still amazed that Preston and I shared this love for dogs and cats.
  4. VINTAGE FILMS - were one of Robert Preston's loves as well as mine. Films with Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd were among my favorites, whereas Preston liked the more-dramatic works.
  5. GOOD FOOD - but expensive food, was a love for both Preston and me. He loved to dine with friends and have grilled chicken, steak and just a house salad, and he was "happy as a lark." I loved essentially the same foods, but not that much salad. Oh, I could eat salad, but I didn't eat it first at mealtime. I ate my grilled chicken when we could afford it.
  6. ALONE TIME - was important to Robert Preston. I understood why. He was always discussing new projects in film and theater when his career took off, so any time he could spend alone, he savored it. My alone time helped me study for tests in high school as well as think-out problems that most young people have.
  7. TRAVELING - was fun for Preston. I loved to travel, but my parents and I would only travel with my brother-in-law, my sister and their two children. Our travels took us to Memphis, Tenn., where we visited The Overton Park Zoo and other places of interest. Preston loved to travel to France and Italy, two of his favorite places.
  8. POETRY - was a very private love of Robert Preston's. He loved to write poetry, but didn't care to have it published. I shared that with him. I loved to write the girls I was dating, a short poem about them just so they knew that I was about the heart, and not cheap sexual acts. Honestly, some of the girls broke-down with hard-laughter when they read my poetry. What hurt was them laughing at my poetry in front of me. I can easily assume that Robert Preston was never laughed at for his poetry.

"The Music Man"
"The Music Man"


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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear annart,

      Thank you sincerely for reading about Robert Preston and what we have in common.

      You owe it to yourself to watch this movie. It is nice if you like muscial films.

      The first time I watched it, I was stunned at the hit song, "Oh, You Got Trouble," where Preston, running a con as "Prof. Harold Hill," does this long rendition about the evils of a pool hall. It is amazing.

      Have a great week.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear sheilamyers,

      Thank you for the sweet words, but Robert is no furhter up the food chain than we hubbers.

      I suppose that he puts his expensive trousers on one leg at a time.

      And pork chops, wow. He can shovel them away.

      Thanks for making my night.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      When I first read the title of your hub, I had no idea who you were talking about. As soon as I started reading, I knew exactly who you meant. I'm not that great at remembering the names of actors from the older movies and films. I love how you found so many common interests with Robert Preston.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      I don't know this actor or the film 'The Music Man' though I've heard of it. However, this is an entertaining and amusing hub, Kenneth. Amazing how much you two have in common!:)

      Great idea and informative.



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