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).

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).

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender -

Known Credits 54

Birthday 1917-05-25

Day of Death 1965-06-15

Place of Birth Eureka, California

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1965 Tell Me In The Sunlight as Dave
1964 Mozambique as Brad Webster
1964 Mr. Broadway(1 episode)
1963 Burke's Law(3 episodes)
1963 Of Love and Desire as Steve Corey
1962 Stoney Burke(1 episode)
1962 The Virginian(1 episode)
1961 Bus Stop(1 episode)
1961 The Deadly Companions as Billy Keplinger
1960 Route 66(1 episode)
1959 The Twilight Zone(1 episode) as Fred Renard
1959 The Big Operator as Bill Gibson
1959 The Beat Generation as Detective Sgt. Dave Culloran
1959 I, Mobster as Joe Sante
1958 Naked City(1 episode)
1958 Quantrill's Raiders as Captain Alan 'Wes' Westcott
1957 Il Grido as Aldo
1957 The Weapon as Mark Andrews
1957 Slander as H.R. Manley
1956 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater(1 episode)
1956 Come Next Spring as Matt Ballot
1954 Climax!(2 episodes)
1954 Private Hell 36 as Cal Bruner
1954 Carnival Story as Joe Hammond
1953 Shark River as Dan Webley
1953 Back to God's Country as Paul Blake
1953 Letter to Loretta(1 episode)
1953 The Desert Song as Captain Claude Fontaine
1953 She's Back on Broadway as Rick Sommers
1953 General Electric Theater(1 episode)
1952 Operation Secret as Marcel Brevoort
1952 The Lion and the Horse as Ben Kirby
1951 The Tanks Are Coming as Francis Aloysius 'Sully' Sullivan
1951 Schlitz Playhouse of Stars(1 episode)
1951 Tomorrow Is Another Day as Bill Clark / Mike Lewis
1951 Jim Thorpe – All-American as Peter Allendine
1951 Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison as Chuck Daniels
1951 Raton Pass as Cy Van Cleave
1951 Storm Warning as Hank Rice
1950 Dallas as Bryant Marlow
1950 Highway 301 as George Legenza
1950 Lux Video Theatre(1 episode)
1950 The Damned Don't Cry as Nick Prenta
1950 Robert Montgomery Presents(1 episode)
1949 White Heat as Big Ed Somers
1948 Studio One(3 episodes)
1948 A Song Is Born as Tony Crow
1947 Copacabana as Steve Hunt
1946 The Best Years of Our Lives as Cliff Scully
1946 The Chase as Eddie Roman
1946 The Kid from Brooklyn as Speed McFarlane
1945 Boston Blackie's Rendezvous as Jimmy Casey
1945 Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion as Jack Higgins
1945 Wonder Man as Ten Grand Jackson

Directing

1965 Tell Me In The SunlightDirector

Writing

1965 Tell Me In The SunlightScreenplay

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