- Birth name:
- William Justice
- Date of Birth:
- 11 July 1913 Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA
Richard Travis was born William Justice in Carlsbad, New Mexico in 1913. He started off unbilled in daredevil cliffhangers and proceeded to war-era Warner Bros. features. He changed his stage moniker from William Justice to William Travis before finally settling on Richard (or Dick) Travis for the remainder of his career. Somewhat lacking the requisite star-power attraction, the lanky blond didn't move very far forward, making his biggest impression early in the game with the all-star The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942). As Bert Jefferson, he played the love interest to Bette Davis's Maggie Cutler character in the screwball comedy classic. While he had a few prime Warner roles in its aftermath, such as third-billing in The Big Shot (1942) with Humphrey Bogart, a lead in Escape from Crime (1942) and a featured part in the stalwart war picture Mission to Moscow (1943) starring Walter Huston, Richard was quickly relegated to headlining uninspired Poverty Row programmers that included The Postman Didn't Ring (1942), Busses Roar (1942), Spy Train (1943), Truck Busters (1943) and The Last Ride (1944).He did not fare much better in the post-war years with such dubious titles as Jewels of Brandenburg (1947), Alaska Patrol (1949) and Sky Liner (1949) among his only lead offerings. He did, however, play an unbilled role as Lou Gehrig in the The Babe Ruth Story (1948) starring William Bendix. By the 1950s Richard started moving further down the credits as the roles became smaller. He appeared here and there in routine films and found some steady work in rugged TV westerns such as "Cowboy G-Men" (1952), "Fury" (1955), "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" (1955), "The Texan" (1958) and "The Legend of Jesse James" (1965), one of his last TV roles. He retired, reverting to his original name of William Justice and found a lucrative career as a real estate entrepreneur in Southern California. Richard died at his Pacific Palisades home in 1989 at age 76.