From the rodeo to the studio, Robert Hinkle's
career has spanned the latter half of the 20th century. Whether
acting, directing or producing. Texas Bob has touched the
lives of many of the entertainment industry's marquis names.
His own eclectic accomplishments can be attributed to a passion
for living, a talent for entertaining others, and flair for
In 1952 after 30 months in U. S. A. F. he left behind a
rodeo future calf-roping/bull-dogging career to try his hand
at acting in Hollywood. As forsaking rodeo lights for studio
lights, Hinkle confesses: "I didn't have that little
extra something that it takes to be a world champion cowboy
like my friend Larry Mahan." His acting debut came after
crashing the Universal Pictures studio lot during the filming
of "Bronco Busters" Bob's western appearance and
demeanor caught the director's eye and landed him a role as
a cowboy stuntman.
Hinkle's authentic screen presence led to many other roles
over the years, including these "Hud" with Paul
Newman and Clint Eastwood in "First Traveling Sales Lady."
Starring Ginger Rogers in the last motion picture Howard Hughes
produced. He had roles in well known TV westerns such as "Wagon
Train," "Gunsmoke," "Wyatt Earp,"
"Wells Fargo," "Tombstone Territory,"
"Bonanza," "Annie Oakley," Trackdown,"
'Wichita Town," "Walker Texas Ranger," and
The 1955 production of the classic movie "Giant"
marked a turning point for Hinkle. Bob was the movie's dialogue
director and technical director, and as such helped create
the role of Jett Rink for James Dean. Bob's easy-going manner
and down-home drawl made him the perfect candidate to coach
Rock Hudson, Carroll Baker, Dennis Hopper, Mercedes McCambridge
and Dean to "talk Texan." Dean later presented his
friend Hinkle with an Oscar for his contribution to the film's
On the production end, Hinkle's most notable inspiration
was director George Stevens and his ability to elicit extraordinary
performances from the cast of "Giant." Starring
Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean.
In 1960 Universal Pictures released the motion picture "Old
Rex" a family movie about a boy and his dog which Hinkle
wrote, directed and produced. Other notable productions included
"Born Hunters", a short subject which led to a contract
with Paramount Studios.
Hinkle also brought his experience from "Giant"
along with his own productions to the set of "Hud"
in 1962. Bob did for Paul Newman what he had done for James
Dean by coaching Newman, Patricia Neal and Melvin Douglas
to be Texans, Neal and Douglas won Academy Awards for their
Hinkle also received critical acclaim for creating and directing
the pig scramble in "Hud." At various times he wore
the hats of technical advisor, second-unit director and associate
producer, positions which he enjoyed as much if not more than
Beginning in the 1960s Hinkle's talents branched out to
other facets of entertainment industry. In 1964 he signed
an unknown singer named Glen Campbell to a series of country
music specials with Jeannie Seely and Henson Cargill called
"Hollywood Jubilee." That same year he became the
Personal Manager for character actor Chill Wills.
In 1968 a young unknown stunt performer, named Robert Craig
Knievel, asked Hinkle to help make him a household name on
the magnitude of Elvis Presley. For the next 3 years Hinkle
developed and promoted "Evel Knievel" as he became
the world's best known showman-daredevil.
In 1970 Hinkle became the Personal Manager for Marty Robbins,
Bob and Marty stayed a team until Robbins's death in 1982.
It was actually Robbins who first dubbed Hinkle as "Texas
In 1972 Hinkle combined his film productions roots with
country music background by producing and directing "Country
Music", released by Universal Studios and starring Marty
Robbins and Sammy Jackson. This was followed in 1973 by "Guns
of a Stranger," starring Robbins and Chill Wills.
In 1982 he pulled out all the stops when he produced and
directed a motion picture entitled "Atoka," in which
100,000 people got together for a picnic with Willie Nelson,
Larry Gatlin, Don Williams, Freddy Fender, Hoyt Axton, David
Allen Coe, Freddy Weller, Red Steagall and Marty Robbins as
Later as General Manager of Network One in Nashville, Hinkle
produced numerous TV shows, music videos and national commercials.
In addition to Hinkle's entertainment pursuits he also managed
to find time to become a licensed pilot, dabbled in Real Estate
in California, and opened two restaurants in Tacoma, Washington.
Both were called Texas Bob's Bar B Q. He later opened Texas
Bob's Porterhouse in Moses Lake, Washington.
His most memorable achievement, however, goes back to winning
a bet with a buddy in 1950. Hinkle bet $20.00 that he could
get a date with the Queen of the Rodeo in Moses Lake.
After introducing himself to Sandra Larson he dedicating
his bull ride to her along with a tip of his hat from the
center of the arena, Sandra not only went to the dance with
him that night but married him a year and half later! The
Hinkle's raised three children and now live back in Texas.
Although Bob is semi-retired, he has recently written a book
"Call Me Lucky - A Texan in Hollywood",
co-written with Mike Farris for University of Oklahoma Press.
The book is the story of Hinkle and his life among some of
the biggest stars in Hollywood. It is scheduled to be released
in September 2009.