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Robert Walker Jr., the son of actors Robert Walker and Jennifer Jones who starred on a memorable Star Trek episode and in such films as Ensign Pulver and Young Billy Young, died Thursday in Malibu, his wife, Dawn, reported. He was 79.
Walker also appeared with his first wife, Ellie Wood, in the hippie commune scene in Easy Rider (1969), and he and Dick Clark played robbers and murderers in Killers Three (1968).
On the second aired episode of Star Trek, “Charlie X,” the slender, blue-eyed Walker portrayed Charles “Charlie” Evans, the sole survivor of a transport-ship crash who possesses strange powers. Walker was actually 26 when he played the 17-year-old Charlie during filming in 1966.
He starred in Jack Lemmon’s role as the title character in Ensign Pulver (1964), a sequel to the 1955 classic comedy Mister Roberts, and portrayed a kid sharpshooter opposite Robert Mitchum in Young Billy Young (1969).
Walker’s parents were married from 1939 until their 1945 divorce. Jones won the best actress Oscar for The Song of Bernadette (1943), and Walker Sr. is best known for his creepy turn in the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Strangers on a Train (1951).
His folks separated when he was 3, and Hollywood mogul David O. Selznick became his stepfather when Jones remarried in 1949.
Robert Walker Jr. was born on April 15, 1940, in Queens, New York, and educated in the U.S. and Europe. He trained at the Actors Studio, appeared on episodes of Route 66 and Naked City in 1962 and made his film debut as a private in The Hook (1963), a Korean War film starring Kirk Douglas.
He played Laurence Harvey’s brother in the crime drama The Ceremony (1963), receiving a Golden Globe for most promising male newcomer, and starred off-Broadway in 1964 in I Knock at the Door and Pictures in the Hallway.
He later appeared with John Wayne in The War Wagon (1967), with Celeste Yarnall in Eve (1968) and with Rita Hayworth in Road to Salina (1970).
Walker played Harding Devers on a handful of Dallas episodes and also appeared on Ben Casey, Combat!, The Time Tunnel (as Billy the Kid), Charlie’s Angels, Columbo, CHiPs, Murder, She Wrote and L.A. Law and in other films including The Happening (1967), Richard Rush’s The Savage Seven (1968), The Man From O.R.G.Y. (1970), Beware! The Blob (1972), The Passover Plot (1976) and Evil Town (1987), co-directed by Peter S. Traynor.
In addition to his wife, survivors include his seven children, Michelle, David, Charlie, Jordan, Colette, Henry and Emily, and five grandchildren.
“Bob always beat to his own drum and stayed true to himself in all of his endeavors,” his wife said in a statement. “Although an accomplished actor, his true art was living fully. He was a photographer, drummer, raconteur and gallery owner. His love of the ocean kept him in Malibu, and he had great tales of his adventures paddling to Catalina from there. Bob [also] had a constant interest in developing his internal martial arts practice.”
Robert Walker Sr. died in 1951 at age 32, his death believed to have been caused by a combination of alcohol and a sedative. Jones died in 2009 at age 90.
His half-sister, Mary Jennifer Selznick, 21, jumped to her death from a building in Los Angeles in 1976. His younger brother, Michael, also an actor, died in 2007.
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