Hugh Marlowe was born on January 30, 1911
as Hugh Herbert Hipple in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, son of Mildred and George W. Hipple of
He went to Senn High School in Chicago where he made his first steps on
stage. He played football at Wisconsin University.
Understandably he changed his name when he
started out as an actor. Marlowe (sometimes credited as John Marlowe)
usually was a secondary lead. He
preferred character parts. Marlowe also has a way of speaking with clear and
precise enunciation of words so that the audience has no trouble hearing and
understanding what he is saying. Marlowe spoke Spanish, liked Classical
music, read the Bible, Shakespeare, and Dante. He got that way in
Marshall-Field's book department as a clerk. He hated chemistry but if he
had had another chance at college he'd become a doctor or a chemist.
Started his career as a radio announcer
at WHO in Des Moines, Iowa, and when he left the station his old job was given
to another would-be actor named Ronald Reagan.
His radio debut was on Hollywood
Hotel with Leslie Howard in "The Amateur Gentlemen" (1935)
he has worked on The Kate Smith Hour, the American School of the Air as
Jim on the Brenda Curtis series opposite Vicki Vola.
Above left: Marlowe's film debut as John Marlowe in
Brilliant Marriage (1936).
Above right: It Couldn’t Have Happened (But It Did)
(1936)Evelyn Brent as Beverly makes goo-goo eyes at Edward (Hugh Marlowe)
Marlowe gained experience with
Victor Jory at the
Pasadena Playhouse, a celebrated movie-actors' training ground in those
days, launching his film career in 1936. He made his stage debut in London
and later debuted on Broadway in Arrest That
He made his film debut a year later in Married Before Breakfast (1937) as Kenneth.
Late in 1938 at the Pasadena Playhouse Jory got restless and
said "Let go to England. I have some pretty good connections there and I
think the change of scene will do us good."
Marlowe said yes. Two piled into a car and burned up the roads coming East.
In Manhattan Jory had to clean up a little personal business before the
sailing. A friend of Marlowe's called and suggested he drop over to the
Guild Theater. Auditions for the Guild Council's "Young Hopefuls"
group were being held. Marlowe went around to 52nd Street and recited parts
Wonderful Time. A few hours later he got a call from Brook Pemberton.
Pemberton was busy casting Kiss the Boys Goodbye There was a part in it
for an actor who could pretend to be an indolent, polo-playing millionaire.
Marlowe accepted and was thinking how he would break the news to Jory. Jory
came around and hinted sheepishly he'd better be getting back to Hollywood.
Both were happy.
It is more and more common to
(wrongfully) minimize the radio career actors had.
As was the case with Hugh his days as a radio announcer were a
steppingstone for his stage and movie career. He played
Queen in the first season of the
successful series (1940) opposite
Marion Shockley, a
role he would reprise for TV later (Pictured left).
The 1940 Census states Marlowe as being 29 and "divorced" (!).
Over his career Hugh kept performing on Broadway. In 1941 he appeared in the
Broadway play The Land is Bright as Wayne
Kincaid. In this play he met K.T. Stevens, daughter of director Sam
Wood. Hugh married Edith Atwater in Nov 1941 and the couple appeared
together in a Barnard Bond show at McMillin Theater on April 23. 1942 in a
sketch entitled "A Very Nice Dinner". He divorced Edith in September 1945.
Co-starring with K.T. Stevens again in a 1944 Chicago production of The Voice of the
Turtle, they married in 1946. The couple went on to grace more than 20
stage shows together, including a Broadway production of the classic film
Above left: Broadway play 1941-42
The Land is
Bright as Wayne Kincaid opposite Diane Barrymore.
Above right: Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Marlowe (Edith Atwater),
who are having a reunion with their Chicago friends while he is here to play
opposite Gertrude Lawrence in Lady in the Dark at the Civic Opera
House. (Jan, 1943).
Above left: Going my way?... But it's more a command than a
question, When Lana Turner puts it to Hugh Marlowe in a scene in Metro-Goldwyn
Mayer's Marriage Is A Private Affair (1944). As her husband and a
habitual drinker, Marlowe has been missing for days and in a round-about way
throwing more strain on Lana's marriage in the story to John Hodiak. Robert Z.
Leonard directed the drama of a wartime bride and her emotional problems.
Above right: K.T. Stevens and Hugh Marlowe, who were offstage
principals in a marriage ceremony this week, continue to delight audiences
with their make believe romance and bright comedy in The Voice of the
Turtle, a Broadway hit (1946).
Marlowe appeared in such notable movies as Meet Me in St. Louis
(1944), Twelve O'Clock High (1949),
All About Eve
(1950) (below left: with Bette Davis), Night and the City
(1950) and The Day the Earth Stood Still
(1951) with Patricia O'Neal
Making his first TV Guest Appearance in 1953's The
Philco Television Playhouse
episode: Train to Trouble (episode # 6.4). Soon thereafter he got the title role
Adventures of Ellery Queen
(1954-56) a role he already played
some 14 years earlier in radio.
In 1954 Hugh Marlowe had this to say on TV sleuths: "In spite of what
everybody says, a mystery plot is one of the few that can be solved in 28
minutes. You don't need Robert E. Sherwood to write it. I would rather do a
28-minute mystery well than some great classic that would require 50 hours of
rehearsal and would fail because It couldn't be crowded into an hour."
The episodes were shot at the Motion Picture Center early in 1954. When
interviewed on Ellery Queen Hugh had this to say: "Queen is
a changed man now. Then he relied strictly on his wits to solve crimes. There
wasn't much physical work involved. But television has toughened him up. Now I
get to trade punches with a few of the hardened criminals with which I come in
Above left: Hugh Marlowe, Nina Foch, Edward G. Robinson in
Illegal (1955) where Marlowe plays a young, ambitious lawyer.
Above right: Dr. Russell Marvin (Hugh Marlowe) and his wife Carol Marvin (Joan
Taylor) both scientists experimenting with rockets to probe the upper atmosphere
for future space flight in Earth vs Flying Saucers (1956).
The TV series Alfred
(1955) has had several role for Hugh Marlowe
playing Harold Skinner, Rev. Richard Fell, Dr. Ralph Mannick, Philip Baxter Sr.,
and Bernard Butler.
On April 8. 1956 Hugh and K.T.'s Brentwood home suffered an
estimated $25,000 damage after fire broke out in a closet. It spread to several
other rooms before firemen controlled it. The actor was appearing in a stage
play. Luckily his wife and children and a housekeeper fled unharmed.
Racier than any of his on-screen roles was an incident that took place
around the same time as the fire when
Marlow was starring in Anniversary Waltz at the Alcazar Theatre in San
Francisco in April 1956. A few seconds after the curtain went down on the second act,
his co-star Marjorie Lord slapped his face and sent him reeling. And Marlowe
slapped her back. The tabloids loved it. HE KISSES, SHE SLAPS,
HE'S FIRED, headlined the New York Journal-American.
Versions of the incident differed. The feud had started a week or so earlier
when Marjorie Lord objected that Marlowe was "overly ardent in the love
scenes." She accused him of inventing 'some quite violent embraces that
weren't in the script at all." That night something happened to provoke the
fight. In newspapers Marjorie was quoted "Frequently he...well, some things
just weren't in the script," and "Mr. Marlowe didn't seem to be
impressed with dialogue so I slapped him."
Marlowe replied "So I slapped her right back in the heat of emotion. And I
told her, 'I wouldn't let President Eisenhower himself do that if I was right.'
Then she said, 'You're never going to be allowed to kiss me like you did tonight
any more.' That's all there was to it. She's a wonderful person."
After the incident the actors finished the performance. The following night,
however, when Marlowe showed up at the stage door, it was barred to him. The
actor was informed his contract had been terminated.
The role of a doctor is a popular role for Hugh Marlowe.
vs. Flying Saucers
(1956) he played Dr. Russell A. Marvin, in
World Without End
he was Dr. John
Borden and Doc Carozal in Castle
of Evil (1966).
Above left: Hugh Marlowe in 13 Frightened Girls (1963)
Above right: In the episode from TV's Voyage to the
Bottom of the Sea , "Thing from Inner Space" (1966)
Marlowe played Bainbridge Wells.
From then on he appeared primarily as a television guest star, usually in
westerns or crime dramas. In 1962, Marlowe played the part of Sam Garner in the
episode "The Pitchwagon" on CBS's Rawhide. He made six guest
appearances on Perry Mason,
playing several different characters he was Doctor Lambert, Brander Harris,
Cmdr. James Page, Guy Munford, Jarvis Baker, and Ernest Stone.
The marriage with KT Stevens well until about 1966, when Hugh fell in love
with his co-star, the talented young actress Rosemary Torri. They started an
affair, and in mid 1968, Rosemary got pregnant. K.T. and Hugh divorced in a
quick fashion and Hugh married Rosemary right after the divorce was made final.
Their son, Hugh Marlowe III, was born in February 1969.
In off-Broadway productions Hugh Marlowe has been in The
Deer Park (1967)
and All My Sons
In The Last Shot You Hear (1969)
Hugh played Charles Nordeck internationally famed marriage-counselor who
demonstrates the use of his gun on his wife... (above left).
From 1969 to 1982 he was the last of four actors to portray the Matthews
family patriarch Jim Matthews in the daytime serial Another World
On May 2, 1982 Hugh Marlowe passed away in his Manhattan apartment New York, New York from a heart