Robert Wolders, a one time guest of the Memphis Film Festival in 2011, has passed away at the age of 81. (see picture of the "Laredo" group above. William Smith, Robert Wolders and Peter Brown)
Mr. Wolders starred on the NBC Western "Laredo" and was married to actress Merle Oberon. He was the fourth husband of actress Merle Oberon ("Wuthering Heights", "The Scarlet Pimpernel"), married to her for about four years until her death in 1979 at age 68 from stroke complications. They starred opposite each other as lovers in the May-September romantic drama "Interval" (1973), her final film.
The actor met the Oscar-winning Hepburn in 1980 as her marriage to Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti was winding down, and they were together when the icon of Hollywood and style died from a rare cancer of the appendix on Jan. 20, 1993. She was 63.
Hepburn was a longtime UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and Wolders accompanied her on many of her missions for the children's charity, including her last one, to Somalia, in 1992.
Wolders was born on Sept. 28, 1936, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The son of an actress, he came to the U.S. and enrolled at the University of Rochester, then studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. He appeared on a 1965 episode of NBC's "Flipper"and signed a contract with Universal.
Wolders played the French soldier Fouchet in the 1966 remake of "Beau Geste" that starred Guy Stockwell and was a military man who is slain in the Rock Hudson-George Peppard drama "Tobruk" (1967). He joined NBC's lighthearted "Laredo" for its second and final season, 1966-67, as Erik Hunter, a rookie Texas Ranger from somewhere in Europe who wore colorful clothing. He once described his character as "a combination of Errol Flynn, 007 and Casanova."
The handsome actor also played Paul Van Dillen, a charming ski instructor who has a superficial romance with Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) that draws all kinds of reactions from her co-workers, on a 1974 episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show".
Wolders also appeared on series including "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.", "Dan August", "Banacek" and "McMillan & Wife" and in a 1975 CBS telefilm, "The Legendary Curse of the Hope Diamond", which marked his last acting appearance.
This page is to honor the passings of our favorite stars of stage, screen and television. Some of the stars we have had the honor of their presence at our festival.
Some of these stars were behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera. They will be missed.
(Please note: Passings are changed month to month.)