• 1 October 1917
  •  Chicago, Illinois, USA

Robert Gist


Robert Gist was a tough kid who grew up around the Chicago stockyards during the Depression. Reform school-bound after injuring another boy in a fistfight, Gist instead ended up in Chicago's Hull House, a settlement house where he first became interested in acting. Work in Chicago radio was followed by stage acting roles in Chicago and on Broadway (in the long-running "Harvey" with Josephine Hull). While acting in "Harvey", he made his film debut in New York-shot scenes for 20th Century-Fox's Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street (1947). Gist was also seen on Broadway in director Charles Laughton's "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" (1954) with Henry Fonda and John Hodiak. While shooting Operation Petticoat (1959) in Key West, Florida, Gist told director Blake Edwards that he was interested in directing; Edwards later hired him to helm episodes of the TV series Peter Gunn (1958). Gist has also directed for TV's Naked City (1958), The Twilight Zone (1959), Route 66 (1960) and many others.