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The earliest movie android I can remember is the Yul Brynner character from Westworld. Are there any earlier examples? Please exclude those robots that are clearly distinguishable from human (unless damaged or otherwise revealed).

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Do you mean anything that looks like a human but is artificial in origin, or just things that are called robots and look like humans? –  Tacroy Aug 15 '12 at 21:13
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Please do not post the same question on two Stack Exchange sites. You should edit your question on the Movies site to clarify it (and it's still not clear what you count as “fully android” and what you consider a robot or not). Reposting without even mentioning your previous question is a bit rude as it duplicates effort from answerers. –  Gilles Aug 15 '12 at 21:20
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closed as too localized by Gilles Aug 15 '12 at 21:20

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2 Answers

As long as you mean "things called 'robots' that look like humans", the answer is simple.

The first robots with a human appearance were also the very first things to be called "robots", in the play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) by Karel Čapek. When the play premiered in 1921, it introduced the word into the world's vocabulary.

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I believe he means "indistinguishable from human without close examination". R.U.R will fail in that regard, as the costumes clearly indicate the portrayal of a mechanical/artificial being. –  John O Aug 15 '12 at 21:15
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Westworld the film is 1973 (did he ever write it as a novel?). Star Trek (1966-1969) certainly predates this, there were numerous androids that were indistinguishable from human. But I suspect that even this isn't the earliest... I seem to remember a My Favorite Martian episode where he made a android that was the duplicate of himself, and though I've never watched much of it Lost in Space starts in 1965 so it's also a potential candidate.

Batman (TV) also started in 1966. Another with the potential to predate Star Trek's androids.

And that's just in film and television. Literature probably trumps anything from either of those.

If anyone can give episodes and airdates, you can put it in your own answer and take the reputation, don't feel the need to edit mine.

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Asimov wrote the Caves of Steel in 1954, so that trumps all those but I think the Movies site probably nailed it with their Metropolis (1927) answer. –  dlanod Aug 15 '12 at 21:56
    
Was Daneel Olivaw in that first one? It's been so long... –  John O Aug 15 '12 at 22:01
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He was - I double checked Wikipedia before posting to make sure I had the name of the story right. –  dlanod Aug 15 '12 at 22:04
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