Person Details

Birthday: 1917-05-25 00:31:55

Death: 1965-06-15 00:31:55

Aliases: No known aliases

Gender: Male

Place of birth: Eureka, California

Homepage:

Movie Involvements: 36

TV Involvements: 1


Most Famous Work

Biography

He is perhaps best remembered for his role of Big Ed Somers, the power hungry gangster pal of James Cagney in "White Heat" (1949). Born Robert Alexander Cochran in Eureka, California, he was the son of a California lumberjack, who moved the family to Wyoming in the 1920s, where Cochran grew to adulthood. After graduating from the University of Wyoming in 1939, Cochran began working steadily as a Wyoming cowboy, while developing his acting skills working in summer stock and regional theaters and gradually moving on to Broadway. In 1945, he signed with MGM, and for the next several years, played mostly secondary roles as gangsters or boxers. He made his film debut with "Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion" (1945) and quickly followed with "Wonder Man" (1945). Released from his contract in 1948, he returned to Broadway where he worked with Mae West; the next year he signed on with Warner Brothers, where he earned leading roles in such films as "The Damned Don't Cry" (1950), "Highway 301" (1950) and "Tomorrow is Another Day" (1951). Warner Brothers often had him playing the villain in several of its western films, such as "Dallas" (1950), and "Back to God's Country" (1953). With the end of his contract in 1953, he began his own film company, Robert Alexander Productions, while also freelancing for other studios and moving on to guest star roles on television shows. He would show up in such television shows as Death Valley Days, Burke's Law, The Untouchables, Naked City, The Twilight Zone, Route 66, and The Virginian. A notorious womanizer, Cochran was married and divorced three times, and was often in the Hollywood tabloids reportedly having affairs with such actresses as Mae West, Jayne Mansfield, Joan Crawford, Merle Oberon, Ida Lupino and Mamie Van Doren. Cochran died under mysterious circumstances. In May 1965, Cochran had revived his production company, and together with three women, whom he had hired as his assistants, boarded his 40-foot yacht to travel to Central and South America to look for filming locations. On June 25, 1965, the yacht drifted into Port Champerico, Guatemala, with three alive but very distraught women aboard and the body of Steve Cochran, who had died ten days earlier. The women did not know how to operate the boat, and were dependent upon its drifting to shore after his death. There were numerous rumors of murder and poisoning, and actress / former lover Merle Oberon used her influence to push for further police investigation, but no evidence of foul play was ever determined. The official cause of his death was given as Acute Infectious Edema (lung infection).

Most Famous Work

The Twilight Zone
Average
8

The Twilight Zone

(1959) Fred Renard
The Best Years of Our Lives
Average
8

The Best Years of Our Lives

(1946) Cliff Scully
White Heat
Average
8

White Heat

(1949) 'Big Ed' Somers
Il Grido
Average
8

Il Grido

(1957) Aldo
The Deadly Companions
Average
5

The Deadly Companions

(1961) Billy Keplinger
Storm Warning
Average
7

Storm Warning

(1951) Hank Rice
Tomorrow Is Another Day
Average
7

Tomorrow Is Another Day

(1951) Bill Clark / Mike Lewis
The Damned Don't Cry
Average
8

The Damned Don't Cry

(1950) Nick Prenta

Acting

Year Character Movie/Tv
1965 Dave
1964 Brad Webster
N/A
1963 N/A
Steve Corey
1962 N/A
N/A
1961 N/A
Billy Keplinger
1960 N/A
1959 Fred Renard
Bill Gibson
Detective Sgt. Dave Culloran
Joe Sante
1958 N/A
Captain Alan 'Wes' Westcott
1957 Aldo
Mark Andrews
H.R. Manley
1956 N/A
Matt Ballot
1954 N/A
Cal Bruner
Joe Hammond
1953 Dan Webley
Paul Blake
N/A
Captain Claude Fontaine
Rick Sommers
N/A
1952 Marcel Brevoort
Ben Kirby
1951 Francis Aloysius 'Sully' Sullivan
N/A
Peter Allendine
Bill Clark / Mike Lewis
Chuck Daniels
Cy Van Cleave
Hank Rice
1950 Bryant Marlow
George Legenza
N/A
Nick Prenta
N/A
1949 'Big Ed' Somers
1948 N/A
Tony Crow
1947 Steve Hunt
1946 Cliff Scully
Eddie Roman
Speed McFarlane
1945 Tim O'Brien
Jimmy Casey
Jack Higgins
Ten Grand Jackson
Year Character Movie/Tv

Directing

Year Role Movie/Tv
1965 Director
Year Role Movie/Tv

Writing

Year Role Movie/Tv
1965 Screenplay
Year Role Movie/Tv

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