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Robert Preston Meservey, 8 June 1918, Newton Highlands, Massachusetts, USA, d. 21 March 1987, Santa Barbara, California, USA. An actor and singer, Preston had already enjoyed a busy, but undistinguished career in Hollywood for nearly 20 years when he landed the role of a lifetime on Broadway in The Music Man (1957). He grew up in Hollywood, and spent several of his teenage years in the theatre before signing for Paramount and making his first movie, King Of Alcatraz, in 1938. From then, until 1942, he made some 15 films, including Union Pacific, Beau Geste, Typhoon, Moon Over Burma, Northwest Mounted Police, and This Gun For Hire (1942). After serving in the US Army Air Force during World War II, Preston resumed his film career in features such as The Macomber Affair, Tulsa and When I Grow Up, until 1951 when he moved to New York. He appeared on Broadway in a number of straight plays including Twentieth Century, The Tender Trap and Janus, and was out of town in...