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Encyclopedia > Cliff Robertson
Cliff Robertson.
Cliff Robertson.

A serious and talented actor, at his best playing somewhat troubled characters, Cliff Robertson has been a fairly successful leading man through most of his career without ever becoming a major star. Following strong stage and television experience, he made an interesting film debut in a supporting role in Picnic (1955). He then played Joan Crawford's deranged young husband in Autumn Leaves (1956) and was given leads in films of fair quality such as The Naked and the Dead (1958), Gidget (1959) and The Big Show (1961). Image File history File links This work is copyrighted. ... Image File history File links This work is copyrighted. ...


He supplemented his somewhat unsatisfactory big-screen work with interesting appearances on television, including the lead male role in the small-screen version of "Days of Wine and Roses" in 1958. Robertson could be effective playing a chilling petty criminal obsessed with avenging his father in the B-feature Underworld U.S.A. (1961) or a pleasant doctor in the popular hospital melodrama The Interns (1962). However, significant public notice eluded him until he was picked by President John F. Kennedy to play the young JFK during the latter's WWII experience in PT 109 (1963).


Moving into slightly better pictures, Robertson gave some of his best performances: a ruthless presidential candidate in The Best Man (1964), a modern-day Mosca in an updated version of Ben Jonson's "Volpone", _Honey Pot, The (1967)_ , and most memorably as a mentally retarded man in Charly (1968), for which he won an Academy award for best actor. His critical success with "Charly" allowed him to continue starring in some good films in the 1970s, including Too Late the Hero (1970), The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972) and Obsession (1976).


He also acted in, directed and co-produced the fine rodeo drama J.W. Coop (1972) and, less interestingly, The Pilot (1981). Since then, he has remained active mostly in supporting roles, notably playing Hugh M. Hefner in Star 80 (1983). More recently he had supporting parts in Escape from L.A. (1996) and Spider-Man (2002).

Contents


Film

He is notable for fine performances in PT 109 (chosen by John F. Kennedy to portray the then-Lt. Kennedy), The Best Man, Charly (an adaptation of Flowers for Algernon for which he won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actor), Picnic, Autumn Leaves, Too Late the Hero, Three Days of the Condor, Obsession, J. W. Coop and Star 80. PT 109 is a 1963 biographical movie which shows the events of John F. Kennedys actions as a member of the United States Navy during World War II. The movie was adapted by Richard L. Breen, Vincent Flaherty and Howard Sheehan from the book by Robert J. Donovan. ... John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to as John F. Kennedy, JFK or Jack Kennedy, was the 35th President of the United States. ... Lt. ... Best man has several meanings: Best man is a member of a wedding Films: The Best Man (1914 film) is a 1914 film The Best Man (1916 film) is a 1916 film The Best Man (1917 film) is a 1917 film The Best Man (1919 film) is a 1919 film... Categories: Movie stubs | 1968 films | Science fiction films | Best Actor Oscar (film) ... Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction story written by Daniel Keyes. ... The Academy Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... DVD cover for the 1955 film, showing stars William Holden and Kim Novak Picnic is a 1955 Cinemascope color film which tells the story of an ex-college football star turned drifter who arrives in a small Kansas town on Labor Day and is drawn to a girl whos... Autumn Leaves is a 1956 American feature film directed by Robert Aldrich and written by Jean Rouverol and Hugo Butler. ... Too Late the Hero is a war film released in 1970. ... Film poster for Three Days of the Condor Three Days of the Condor is a United States motion picture made in 1975. ... Obsession was Brian DePalmas homage to his biggest influence, Alfred Hitchcock. ... Star 80 is a 1983 film about the true story of Playboy playmate of the year Dorothy Stratten who was murdered by her estranged husband (Paul Snider) in 1980. ...


More recently, Robertson appeared as Uncle Ben Parker in the first movie adaptation of Spider-Man, as well as in that film's sequel. He was also in the 2004 horror film Riding the Bullet. Benjamin Parker, often called Uncle Ben was a supporting character in the Marvel Universe’s Spider-Man stories. ... Spider-Man is a commercially successful superhero film released in 2002, directed by Sam Raimi, which stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and Willem Dafoe. ... Spider-Man 2 is the Academy Award-winning sequel to the popular 2002 film Spider-Man and was released in the U.S. on June 30th, 2004. ... This is a list of film-related events in 2004. ... Promotional poster for Riding the Bullet Riding the Bullet is a 2004 horror/thriller movie, directed by Mick Garris. ...


Television

Robertson in "The Galaxy Being" (1963), an episode of television's The Outer Limits.
Enlarge
Robertson in "The Galaxy Being" (1963), an episode of television's The Outer Limits.

Robertson's television appearances include recurring roles on Hallmark Hall of Fame and Playhouse 90 (in the 1950s), Outlaws, The Twilight Zone, and Batman (in the 1960s), Falcon Crest (in the 1980s), and most recently, The Lyon's Den. He had starring roles in both the 1960s and 1990s versions of The Outer Limits. Image File history File links OL-thegalaxybeing. ... Image File history File links OL-thegalaxybeing. ... The Galaxy Being is the first episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. ... The Outer Limits is a television series from the United States. ... Hallmark Hall of Fame is the most-honored program in the history of American television. ... Playhouse 90 is the name of a ninety-minute long dramatic television series that ran on CBS from 1956 to 1961. ... The 1950s were the decade that traditionally speaking, spanned the years 1950 through 1959. ... The Twilight Zone original opening The Twilight Zone was an anthology series created (and often written) by its narrator and host Rod Serling. ... Batman was the title of an exceptionally popular 1960s TV series based on the comic-book character Batman that aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) for 2 1/2 seasons from 12 January, 1966 to 14 March, 1968. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969, inclusive. ... Falcon Crest was an American primetime television soap opera about the feud between the Channings and the Giobertis, two separate rich wine families in West Central California, around San Francisco in a fictional town, Tuscany Valley. ... The 1980s decade refers to the years from 1980 to 1989, inclusive, informally sometimes including the years 1979, 1990 and 1991. ... The Lyons Den was a 2003 television series set in Washington, D.C. Shown by NBC the legal drama starred Rob Lowe, who was also executive producer. ... See also 1990s, the band The 1990s decade refers to the years from 1990 to 1999, inclusive, sometimes informally including popular culture from 2000 and 2001. ... The Outer Limits is a television series from the United States. ...


He was awarded an Emmy for his leading role in an 1965 episode from Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre entitled "The Game." An Emmy Award. ... See also: 1964 in television, other events of 1965, 1966 in television and the list of years in television. For the American network television schedule, please see 1965-66 American network television schedule. ... Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre was an anthology television series which ran on NBC from 1963 through 1967. ...


Innocent player in a Hollywood scandal

In 1977 Robertson learned that his name had been forged on a $10,000 check that had been due to him. He discovered that the forgery had been carried out by Columbia studio head David Begelman, and on reporting it, the result was one of the biggest Hollywood scandals of the 1970's. Robertson was subsequently blacklisted for several years before finally getting back into film in Brainstorm (1983). [1] David Begelman (1922-1995) was a US Hollywood producer that embezzled studio money in the 1970s and got away with it. ... Brainstorm is a 1983 MGM horror/thriller/science fiction film directed by Douglas Trumbull and starring Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood (in her last film appearance). ...

Preceded by:
Rod Steiger
for In the Heat of the Night
Academy Award for Best Actor
1968
for Charly
Succeeded by:
John Wayne
for True Grit

Rod Steiger (April 14, 1925 – July 9, 2002) was an American actor. ... In the Heat of the Night is a 1967 film, based on the John Ball novel published in 1965 of the same name, which tells the story of a Northern U.S. African-American police detective who becomes involved in a murder investigation in a racist small town in the... The Academy Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; nominations are made by Academy members who are actors and actresses. ... Categories: Movie stubs | 1968 films | Science fiction films | Best Actor Oscar (film) ... official U.S. stamp of John Wayne from 2004 John Wayne (May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), popularly known as The Duke, was an American film actor whose career began in silent movies in the 1920s. ... True Grit is a 1968 novel by Charles Portis. ...

External links

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about actors, films, television shows, television stars, video games and production crew personnel. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about actors, films, television shows, television stars, video games and production crew personnel. ...

References

  1. ^ David McClintick, Indecent Exposure: A True story of Hollywood and Wall Street, William Morrow and Company, 1982.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cliff Robertson (93 words)
Clifford Parker Robertson III (born September 9, 1925) is an American actor.
Born in La Jolla, California, Robertson has made the most of the few starring roles he has received.
Robertson has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Blvd.
Cliff Robertson - Biography - Moviefone (247 words)
The scion of a prosperous California ranching family, actor Cliff Robertson took up drama in high school simply because it was the only "legal" way to cut classes.
The result was the 1968 film Charly, in which Robertson played a retarded adult turned into a genius by a scientific experiment -- for which he won an Academy Award.
In 1977, Robertson made headlines when he was one of the whistle-blowers in the embezzlement scandal involving Columbia executive David Begelman -- a fact that did more harm to Robertson's career than Begelman's.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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