Originally from Illinois, Robert Dowdell's acting career began in New York in an off-Broadway play, The Dybbuk. In the early sixties, Dowdell was cast as Cody Bristol in Stoney Burke. This role attracted the attention of producer Irwin Allen who signed him for the very popular role of Lt. Commander Chip Morton in the sixties television series, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Dowdell later returned to the Irwin Allen fold in City Beneath the Sea and in the mid-eighties, Outrage. His most recent appearances have included episodes of War of the Worlds and day-time soap opera, Capitol.