Robert Ames was a stage and silent screen actor who made the transition to talking motion pictures.
Born and raised in Hartford, Ames graduated from Henry Barnard School and Hartford Public High School. He began his theatrical career at Parsons in Hartford where he sold tickets at the box office. He later joined stock companies including Hunter-Bradford Players and the Municipal Players of Northampton.
New York Stage
During his New York stage career, Ames performed in various shows such as Come Out of the Kitchen (1916) and Seed of the Brute (1926). It is said famed director/producer Cecil B. DeMille liked his acting and gave him his first chance in silent motion pictures.
Ames made his silent screen debut in What Women Want (1920). He later starred in films such as Nice People (1921) and Icebound (1923).
When sound was added to movies, he co-starred with Gloria Swanson in The Trespasser (1929), Edward G. Robinson in A Lady to Love (1930), and Mary Astor in Behind Office Doors (1931). In all, Ames was in more than 15 films.
Ames led a turbulent personal life that involved four marriages, four divorces, and excessive drinking. He was married to Alice Gerry, Frances Goodrich, Vivienne Segal, and Muriel Oakes.
In 1927, Helene Lambert, a cabaret entertainer, sued Ames for $200,000 for breach of promise. Lambert claimed that he had promised to marry her after his divorce from his third wife was final. Instead, he eloped with New York society girl, Muriel Oakes.
Ames died at the age of 42 in the Delmonico Hotel in New York City. His death was ruled as being from delirium tremens caused by alcohol withdrawal.
Section 21, Lot 105
Internet Movie Database. Robert Ames.
Hartford Courant. “Robert Ames Found Dead in New York.” Nov 28, 1931.
Hartford Courant. “Ames’s Body Brought Home for Funeral.” Nov 29, 1931.
Robert Ames, Public Domain