Robert Wolders was a Dutch actor known for appearing in the television series ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’, ‘Laredo’, ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ and ‘Bewitched’. He was also recognized as the husband of the Anglo-Indian actress, Merle Oberon, and the longtime boyfriend of British actress cum model, Audrey Hepburn. The son of an actress, he followed in his mother footsteps and ventured into the film industry. A well-educated man, he went to the University of Rochester and also studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Blessed with exotic looks, he garnered a large fan following for his charming appearance and sex appeal. Typecast as a "Latin Lover", Wolders was incredibly popular among women. In addition to being exceptionally good-looking, he was also talented as a performer.
Robert Wolders began acting in 1965 when he was cast in an episode of the American TV program ‘Flipper’. The following year, he started playing the role of Erik Hunter in the series ‘Laredo.’ The series, starring William Smith, Neville Brand, Philip Carey and Peter Brown as Texas Rangers, combined action and humor. During this time, Wolders also had guest roles in ‘Run for Your Life’, ‘The John Forsythe Show’, and ‘Beau Geste’. The actor did the war film ‘Tobruk’ in 1967. The flick, which was directed by Arthur Hiller, featured George Peppard and Rock Hudson. It was loosely based on the attacks on the Italian and German forces by the British army in the "Operation Agreement".
Although the movie showcased the operation as being successful, in reality it was a disastrous failure.
The actor was featured in an episode each of ‘The Name of the Game’ and ‘The F.B.I.’ in the late 1960s. In the year 1970, he played Clark in the episode "The Corsican Cousins" of ‘Bewitched.’ Three years later, he starred in the romantic drama ‘Interval’, playing Chris alongside his future wife, Merle Oberon.
In 1974, Wolders appeared in an episode of the detective TV series ‘Banacek’ as well as in an episode of the sitcom ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’. He also played Ilia Astrov in an episode of the police procedural drama series titled ‘McMillan & Wife’. The actor’s last performance was in the 1975 made-for-television film, ‘The Legendary Curse of the Hope Diamond’.
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Family & Personal Life
Robert Wolders was born on 28 September 1936 in Rotterdam, Netherlands to an actress. He studied at the University of Rochester and later learnt acting at New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Talking about his love life, Wolders met Anglo-Indian actress Merle Oberon while shooting for ‘Interval’ in the year 1973. Oberon, who was already married at that time, parted ways from her husband of 16 years and married Wolders in 1975. The couple remained married until Oberon’s death in 1979. Then in 1980, the Dutch actor began dating British actress/model Audrey Hepburn and stayed with her until her death in 1993. After this, he had a relationship with actress-dancer Leslie Caron from 1994 to 1995. Wolders then began a love relationship with American actor Henry Fonda's widow, Shirlee, in 1995. The two were together till Wolders’ death in 2018.
On 12 July 2018, Robert Wolders breathed his last. He was 81 at that time.
Robert Wolders was 25 years younger than his wife Merle Oberon!