Robert F. Simon
Robert F. Simon, Actor.png
Robert F. Simon
Robert Frank Simon

(1908-12-02)December 2, 1908
DiedNovember 29, 1992(1992-11-29) (aged 83)
Tarzana, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active1950–1985
Barbara Them
(m. 1940; died 1974)

Robert Frank Simon (December 2, 1908 – November 29, 1992)[1] was an American character actor.

Earlier years

Simon began acting with Mansfield's Community Players organization when he worked as a clerk in a meat market. Following that experience, he acted with the Cleveland Playhouse.[2]


Simon appeared on Broadway in Clifford Odets's play, Clash by Night. In 1949, he succeeded Lee J. Cobb as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. His other Broadway credits included Of Thee I Sing (1952), Sundown Beach (1948), On Whitman Avenue (1946), Truckline Cafe (1946), Brighten the Corner (1945), Mrs. January and Mr. X (1944), Apology (1943), and The Russian People (1942).[3]

Film and TV


Simon began working in films and on television after he moved to Los Angeles in 1954.[4]

In 1955, he appeared on television in episodes of Medic and Alfred Hitchcock Presents as well as such feature films as Chief Crazy Horse, Seven Angry Men, and The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell.[citation needed]

In 1956 and 1957, he appeared in episodes of State Trooper, The Millionaire and M Squad. In 1957, he appeared in the Betty Hutton film Spring Reunion, and as George Nordmann in the feature film Edge of the City, starring John Cassavetes and Sidney Poitier. In 1958, Simon guest-starred as Captain Woods in "The Coward of Fort Bennett" on General Electric Theater. In 1957 and 1958, he appeared in four episodes of the anthology series, Playhouse 90. In 1959, he appeared on Peter Gunn and Adventures in Paradise. His other 1950s film credits included appearances in The Buccaneer (1958), Compulsion (1959), The Last Angry Man (1959) and Operation Petticoat (1959).


From 1956 to 1970, Simon appeared in Broken Arrow, Disneyland, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, Laramie, Black Saddle, Law of the Plainsman, Johnny Ringo, Cheyenne, and The Dakotas, Wichita Town, The Man From Blackhawk, The Texan, Tombstone Territory, Tate, and Shotgun Slade, Stagecoach West, Bat Masterson, Lawman, Klondike, and Frontier Circus, Have Gun - Will Travel, Wagon Train, The Legend of Jesse James, The Road West, Gunsmoke (“Cheap Labor”-S2E32, “Potato Road”-S3E5 & “The Mission” - S12E4), Laredo, The Virginian, Bonanza, and The Guns of Will Sonnett.[citation needed] He portrayed Sheriff Morgan on Elfego Baca[5]: 303  and General Alfred Terry on Custer.[5]: 593 

In 1962, Simon played Mackie in the episode "House of the Hunter" on CBS's Rawhide. The same year he also portrayed Handy Strong in the feature film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.


Simon portrayed Dave Tobak on Saints and Sinners.[5]: 923  He also appeared in such programs as Crusader, Route 66, Dante, The DuPont Show with June Allyson, Johnny Midnight, Straightaway, The Roaring 20s, Sea Hunt and State Trooper. In 1961 and 1962, he guest starred on episodes of Ripcord, The Dick Powell Show, The Lloyd Bridges Show, Cain's Hundred and Sam Benedict.[citation needed] In the controversial 1962 episode "The Benefactor" of the legal drama The Defenders, Simon played an unrepentant abortion care provider who uses his trial to argue for a change in the law. In 1966, he played Nazi officer Colonel Beckman in “The Rat Patrol” episode “The Exhibit A Raid”.

Simon in Perry Mason, 1960
Simon in Perry Mason, 1960

Simon guest-starred three times on Perry Mason, including the role of murderer Edward Bannister in the 1958 episode, "The Case of the Desperate Daughter." Simon appeared as Harvey, friend of the main character Paul Driscoll in the 1963 The Twilight Zone episode "No Time Like the Past". In 1965, he appeared in episodes of Slattery's People, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and Dr. Kildare.[citation needed]

During the 1960s, Simon performed as well in dramatic roles in several films, such as The Spiral Road (1962), Captain Newman, M.D. (1963), and Fate Is the Hunter (1964). In 1966, he starred too as Mr. Rellik in the Highway Safety Films' production The Third Killer. His role was that of a "Death" salesman charged with three accounts, including traffic fatalities.[citation needed]


Simon portrayed Frank Stephens on Bewitched[5]: 96-97  and Everett McPherson on Nancy,[5]: 741  He also appeared in other sitcoms, such as Ichabod and Me, McHale's Navy, Mrs. G. Goes to College, Get Smart, and The Andy Griffith Show.[citation needed]

He appeared in A New Kind of Love (1963) starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, as "Cervantes" in The Reluctant Astronaut (1967), and as a doctor in Private Duty Nurses (1971). He appeared in a 1970 episode of Love, American Style, in a 1971 episode of Nichols, starring James Garner, and a 1973 episode of The Partridge Family. In 1973, he made three guest appearances as General Maynard M. Mitchell on M*A*S*H.[citation needed]

Later roles

From 1969 to 1985, Simon appeared in Marcus Welby, M.D., The Mod Squad, The Interns, Barnaby Jones, The Six Million Dollar Man, Police Woman, Hawaii Five-O, Cannon, Ellery Queen, M*A*S*H (TV Series), Columbo, McCloud, McMillan & Wife, Quincy M.E., Eight Is Enough, and The Feather and Father Gang.[citation needed] He had a recurring role as Captain Rudy Olsen on The Streets of San Francisco and portrayed J. Jonah Jameson on The Amazing Spider-Man (1978-1979).[5] His last television appearance was in a 1985 episode of Airwolf.[citation needed]

Personal life

Simon was married to Barbara Them, a Mansfield native. They had four children.[2]


Simon died of a heart attack in Tarzana, California on November 29, 1992.[6]

Partial filmography


  1. ^ "Social Security Death Index". Retrieved January 19, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Stanfield, Virgil (December 29, 1974). "Actor Started Career in Mansfield". News-Journal. Ohio, Mansfield. p. 49. Retrieved October 16, 2020 – via
  3. ^ "Robert F. Simon". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on October 16, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  4. ^ "Robert Simon; Specialized in Character Roles". The Los Angeles Times. December 3, 1992. p. A 42. Retrieved October 16, 2020 – via
  5. ^ a b c d e f Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 34–35. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  6. ^ "Robert F. Simon". Variety. December 2, 1992. Archived from the original on October 16, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2020.