Bob Steele was born Robert Adrian Bradbury in Portland, Oregon, into a
vaudeville family. They eventually settled in Hollywood in the late 1910s
where father, Robert N. Bradbury, soon found work in the movies, first
as an actor, later as a director. By 1920, he hired Bob and his twin
brother Bill (1907–1971) as juvenile leads for a series of adventure
movies titled The Adventures of Bob and Bill.
Bob’s career began to progress in 1927, when he was hired by the
production company Film Booking Offices of America (FBO) to star in
a series of Westerns. Bob, who was re-christened Bob Steele at FBO,
soon made a name for himself, and in the late 1920s, 1930s and
1940s starred in B-Westerns for almost every minor film studio,
Steele also did a lot of television work, culminating as a regular in a
supporting role in the ABC army comedy F Troop (1965–1967).