Robert and Mary Elliott Cummings papers on early life, approximately 1880-1961
- approximately 1880-1961
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
4 oversize folders
Born Charles Clarence Robert Orville Cummings on June 9, 1908, Robert (or Bob) Cummings grew up in Joplin, Missouri with parents Dr. Charles Clarence Cummings and Ruth Annabelle Kraft. His godfather was Orville Wright, an influence that created a lifelong love for aviation. Cummings served for two years as a flight instructor during World War II. He briefly studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and then at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. To launch his career, he used various enterprising techniques to obtain roles. On Broadway, he got roles by introducing himself as an Englishman named Blade Stanhope Conway. In a similar manner, he began his Hollywood career as a Texan named Bryce Hutchins. Soon after he started using his real name once again.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Cummings established a successful career in both film and television. While he was largely known for light comedies, he also proved his dramatic talents in movies like "Saboteur" (1942) and "Dial M For Murder" (1954) and won an Emmy for his role in a TV production of "12 Angry Men" (1954). He was best known as a playboy photographer in his popular sitcom, "The Bob Cummings Show" (also known as "Love That Bob," 1955-59). He was a firm believer in health foods and vitamins and published a book on healthy living entitled, "Stay Young and Vital" (1960). He was married five times and fathered seven children. Cummings died on December 2, 1990.
Mary Elliott Daniels was born on October 25, 1917 in Gaffney, South Carolina to parents Hoyle Holmes Daniels and Eva Mae Good. She participated in singing, dancing and beauty contests throughout her youth, and was crowned South Carolina's Azalea Queen in 1935. She then went on to sing in nightclubs and became a model and actress in California for the beginnings of her early career. In 1942-1944, Mary participated in a tour in the South Pacific, entertaining the troops in World War II with various acting performances. On March 3, 1945, she married Hollywood actor Robert Cummings in Riverside, California. Once married, she left acting and became a mother of five children with Cummings. She also became the manager of her husband's financial investments. During the years of 1969-1970, the Cummings separated and divorced. She worked alongside many charity organizations throughout her life. She died on April 9, 2000 in Los Angeles, California.