For other people named Ann Robinson, see Ann Robinson (disambiguation).
Ann Robinson (born May 25, 1929) is an American actress and stunt horse rider, perhaps best known for her work in the science-fiction classic The War of the Worlds and in the 1955 film Dragnet, in which she starred as a Los Angeles police officer opposite Jack Webb and Ben Alexander.
Robinson was born at the Hollywood Hospital in Hollywood, California. She attended Hollywood High School from 1946 to 1949 (she flunked 11 math thus graduated in 1949). Her father was employed by the Bank of Hollywood at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. He taught her how to ride horses, beginning when she was only three. Robinson hence became an accomplished rider, which led to her first professional work in Hollywood as a stunt rider in film Frenchie with Shelley Winters.
Her career as a leading woman was effectively ended in 1957, when she eloped to Mexico to marry a matador, Jaime Bravo, with whom she had two sons; Jaime A. Bravo, who is a director for ABC Sports and ESPN, and Estefan A. Bravo, who played the Axl Rose-like character in White Trash Wins Lotto, a musical by Andy Prieboy. Since that marriage, Robinson has played minor roles, mainly in science fiction films. The couple divorced in 1967, and the same year, Bravo married Monica Lind, a showgirl from Les Folies Bergère in Las Vegas, Nevada. From this marriage, Bravo had his third and final son, Aleco Jaime Bravo. In 1970, Bravo was killed in an automobile accident February 1970 on the way to a bullfight.
In 1987, Robinson married real estate broker and business manager Joseph Valdez, residing in the Echo Park section of Los Angeles. She makes guest appearances at autograph shows and science fiction conventions.
Robinson has two grandchildren from her son Jaime. Victoria Ann Bravo and Samuel Anastasio Bravo, both born in 2001.
As a stunt horse rider, Robinson doubled for Shelley Winters in the 1950 film Frenchie, starring and riding in several westerns during her career such as The Cimarron Kid (1951) with Audie Murphy, Gun Brothers (1956), and Gun Duel in Durango (1957).
Paramount Pictures signed her as an actress in the early 1950s. Her first leading role was as "Sylvia Van Buren" in that studio's 1953 film, The War of the Worlds co-starred with Gene Barry, a role she quasi-reprised in two later films, first as Dr. Van Buren in Midnight Movie Massacre in 1988 and then as Dr. Sylvia Van Buren in The Naked Monster in 2005. She also reprised the role in three episodes of the 1988 television series, War of the Worlds. Robinson worked on several other films, including Imitation of Life (1959), and Julie (1956). She also had a starring role opposite Jack Webb and Ben Alexander in 1955 Film Dragnet.
From 1955 to 1959, Robinson was cast in ten episodes of the NBC children's western television series, Fury in the role of Helen Watkins, the teacher of series character Joey Clark Newton, played by Bobby Diamond, and a romantic interest of Joey's adopted father, Jim Newton, portrayed by Peter Graves.
Her other television roles were on Adam 12, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Bachelor Father, Ben Casey, Biff Baker, U.S.A., The Bob Cummings Show, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, Days of Our Lives, Four Star Playhouse, General Hospital, Gilligan's Island, It's a Great Life, The Millionaire, My Little Margie, Perry Mason, Peter Gunn, Police Woman, Rawhide, Rocky Jones Space Ranger, Rory Calhoun's The Texan, Waterfront, and The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.
Robinson was featured in several commercials for Home Savings of America, Toni home perms, and Chesterfield Cigarettes. She performed a number of film voice-overs also, in English and Spanish. She did the leading actress' voice in To Begin Again, which won the 1984 Oscar for best foreign film. She also did loops for the Bruce Lee Series, The Dead Are Alive, Tough Guys, and Survive.
In 1985, she appeared in a documentary about George Pal titled The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal (1985) (produced and directed by Arnold Leibovit).
In the 2005 Steven Spielberg film, War of the Worlds, she played a cameo role of Tom Cruise's character's mother-in-law, the grandmother of Dakota Fanning's character, alongside Gene Barry.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license