A Soldier's Story: Surgeon Anita Newcomb McGee

A Sailor's Story: Radioman First Class Jason Nelson Robards Jr

 


Radioman First Class Jason Nelson Robards Jr was born on July 26, 1922, in Chicago, Illinois. His family moved first to New York and then to Los Angeles, California. Radioman First Class Jason Robards played football, baseball, and basketball at Hollywood High School before he graduated in 1940. He enlisted in the US Navy shortly after graduation.

Trained in communications, Radioman First Class Jason Nelson Robards Jr. was assigned to the USS Northampton and was at sea in the Pacific during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Northampton was sunk during the Battle of Tassafaronga on November 30, 1942, and Radioman First Class Jason Nelson Robards Jr survived the night by treading water near the flotsam.

He was reassigned to the USS Nashville and remained in the Pacific Theater. On December 13, 1944, off the Philippine island Negros, the USS Nashville's port was struck by a Kamikaze attack that killed 133 sailors and wounded 190 more. Radioman First Class Jason Robards survived that attack as well.

Toward the end of the hostilities, Radioman First Class Jason Robards began considering an acting career after reading Eugene O'neil's "Strange Interlude." He also began emceeing for the US Navy Band. At the end of his Naval contract in 1946, Radioman First Class Jason Robards started attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He graduated in 1948.




Radioman First Class Jason Robards began working immediately, appearing in small radio and stage productions before landing his big break in "The Ice Man Cometh" in 1956.

His acting career was incredibly prolific, and, ultimately, Radioman First Class Jason Robards would perform in more than 130 productions throughout his life, including well-known shows such as "Tora Tora Tora," "All the President's Men," and "Julia,." Radioman First Class Jason Nelson Robards Jr. earned a Tony, two Oscars, an Emmy, and an impressive number of nominations.

In 1972, Radioman First Class Jason Nelson Robards Jr faced his death a third time after a severe car accident that required extensive reconstructive surgery and many months of therapy to recover from. He became an outspoken advocate for alcoholism recovery following his accident.

A known Civil War buff, Radioman First Class Jason Robards, voiced General Ulysses S Grant for the PBS production "The Civil War."  He also voiced Abraham Lincoln in the 1992 production of "Lincoln."

Radioman First Class Jason Nelson Robards Jr. died of lung cancer on December 26, 2000. He rests at the Oak Lawn Cemetery in Fairfield, Connecticut.



Everyday Patriot Military Biographies 
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