George C. Scott
71 (passed away Sep. 22nd, 1999)
Oct. 18th, 1927
Wise, Virginia, USA
George C. Scott's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2008 - Religulous
1999 - Gloria
1995 - Angus
1993 - Malice
1990 - The Rescuers Down Under
1990 - The Exorcist III
1984 - Firestarter
1981 - Taps
1980 - The Changeling
1980 - The Formula
1979 - Hardcore
1975 - The Hindenburg
1973 - The Day of the Dolphin
1971 - The Hospital
1971 - They Might Be Giants
1970 - Patton
1968 - Petulia
1967 - The Flim-Flam Man
1966 - The Bible: In the Beginning...
1964 - Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
1964 - The Yellow Rolls-Royce
1963 - The List of Adrian Messenger
1961 - The Hustler
1959 - The Hanging Tree
1959 - Anatomy of a Murder
Guest TV Roles
Dr. Richard Bryan
Gen. 'Buck' Turgidson
George C. Scott was an immensely talented actor, a star of screen, stage and television who was born in Virginia in 1927. At the age of eight his mother died and his father, an executive at Buick, raised him. In 1945 he joined the Marines and spent four years with them, no doubt an inspiration for portraying Gen. 'George S. Patton' years later. When Scott left the Marines he enrolled in journalism classes at the University of Missouri, but it was while performing in a play there that the acting bug bit him. He has said it "clicked, just like tumblers in a safe."
It was in the late 1950s that he landed a role in "Richard III" in New York City. The play was a hit and brought the young actor to the attention of critics. Soon he began to get work on television, mostly in live broadcasts of plays, and in 1959 he landed the part of the crafty prosecutor in Anatomy of a Murder (1959). It was this role that got him his first Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actor.
However, George and Oscar wouldn't actually become the best of friends. In fact, he felt the whole process forced actors to become stars and that the ceremony was little more than a "meat market." In 1962 he was nominated again for Best Supporting Actor, this time opposite Paul Newman (I) in The Hustler (1961), but sent a message saying "No, thanks" and basically refused the nomination.
However, whether he was being temperamental or simply stubborn in his opinion of awards, it didn't seem to stop him from being nominated in the future. "Anatomy" and "The Hustler" were followed by 1963's clever mystery The List of Adrian Messenger (1963), in which he starred alongside Kirk Douglas (I), Robert Mitchum and cameos by major stars of the time, including Burt Lancaster and Frank Sinatra. It's a must-see, directed by John Huston (I) with tongue deeply in cheek.
The following year Scott starred as Gen. "Buck" Turgidson in Stanley Kubrick's comical anti-war film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). It became one of his favorites and he often said that he felt guilty getting paid for it, as he had so much fun making it. Another comedy, The Flim-Flam Man (1967), followed in 1967, with Scott playing a smooth-talking con artist who takes on an apprentice whom he soon discovers has too many morals.
Three years followed, with some smaller TV movies, before he got the role for which he will always be identified: the aforementioned Gen. Patton in Patton (1970). It was a war movie that came at the end of a decade where anti-war protests had rocked a nation and become a symbol of youth dissatisfied with what was expected of them. Still, the actor's portrayal of this aggressive military icon actually drew sympathy for the controversial hero. He won the Oscar this time, but stayed at home watching hockey instead.
A pair of films that he made in the early 1980s were outstanding. The first of these was The Changeling (1980), a film often packaged as a horror movie but one that's really more of a supernatural thriller. He plays John Russell, a composer and music professor who loses his wife and daughter in a tragic accident. Seeking solace, he moves into an old mansion that had been unoccupied for 12 years. A child-like presence seems to be sharing the house with him, however, and trying to share its secrets with him. By researching the house's past he discovers its horrific secret of long ago, a secret that the presence will no longer allow to be kept.
Then in 1981 he starred -- along with a young cast of then largely unknowns, including Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn (I) and Tom Cruise -- in the intense drama Taps (1981). He played the head of a military academy that's suddenly slated for destruction when the property is sold to local developers who plan to build condos. The students take over the academy when they feel that the regular channels are closed to them.
Scott kept up in films, TV and on stage in the later years of his life (Broadway dimmed its lights for one minute on the night of his death). Among his projects were playing Ebenezer Scrooge in a worthy TV update of A Christmas Carol (1984) (TV), an acclaimed performance on Broadway of "Death of a Salesman", the voice of McLeach in Disney's The Rescuers Down Under (1990) and co-starring roles in TV remakes of two classic films, 12 Angry Men (1997) (TV) and Inherit the Wind (1999) (TV), to name just a few. After his death the accolades poured in, with Jack Lemmon (I) saying, "George was truly one of the greatest and most generous actors I have ever known," while Tony Randall (I) called him "the greatest actor in American history."
- Scott and 'Marlon Brando' (qv) played chess together while shooting _The Formula (1980)_ (qv). In his Playboy interview of December 1980 (Vol. 27, Iss. 12, pg. 81- 138), Scott told Lawrence Grobel -- who had conducted the famous interview with Brando for Playboy a year earlier -- that Marlon was not that good a player. Many years later, 'Christiane Kubrick' (qv) leveled the same charge against Scott, who was beaten regularly by her late husband 'Stanley Kubrick' (qv) on the set of _Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)_ (qv) between setups. Kubrick, however, was renowned as a master-level chess player who used to hustle other players in his youth in New York City.
- Although he refused the Oscar he won for _Patton (1970)_ (qv), he accepted the Emmy he won for his performance in the _"Hallmark Hall of Fame" (1959) 1971 production of 'Arthur Miller (I)' (qv)'s "The Price", saying that he felt that the Emmy Awards were a more honest appreciation of an actor's work.
- Was the first actor ever to refuse an Academy Award (1970, for _Patton (1970)_ (qv)). He was followed by 'Marlon Brando' (qv), who also turned down the award for _The Godfather (1972)_ (qv). The reason he claimed for missing the ceremony where he won the Oscar was that he was busy watching a hockey game.
- 1945-49: Served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
- In his autobiography, 'Marlon Brando' (qv), Scott's co-star in the film _The Formula (1980)_ (qv) -- in a caption for a picture from the film -- recounts that Scott asked him during the shooting of the film whether he, Brando, would ever give the same line-reading twice. Brando replied, "I know you know a cue when you hear one.".
- Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 550-551. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.
- There were only two feature films shot in the Dimension 150 process. Scott starred in both of them: _The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966)_ (qv) (aka "La Bibbia") and _Patton (1970)_ (qv). "Patton", which was released in Cinerama theaters, was the last movie shot in a widescreen format specifically for exhibition on the Cinerama circuit, which featured curved screens. Spectators at the Cinerama showings of "Patton" were awed by the three-dimensional effect of Patton's opening speech, in which Scott as Patton stands by himself on-screen. The scene likely was shot for the purpose of showcasing the Cinerama screen.
- During filming of 'The Bible', Scott and Ava Gardner, who had been in a tempestuous relationship for a few years, drank heavily and coupled with his temper, Scott would beat Gardner. He broke her shoulder and during some of the filming she was in a body brace.
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