Sunday, April 06, 2008

The passing of Paul Scofield, Charlton Heston

Bob Thomas, "Film Legend Charlton Heston Dead at 84" (MyWay, April 6, 2008):
Charlton Heston, who won the 1959 best actor Oscar as the chariot-racing "Ben-Hur" and portrayed Moses, Michelangelo, El Cid and other heroic figures in movie epics of the '50s and '60s, has died. He was 84.

The actor died Saturday night at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife Lydia at his side, family spokesman Bill Powers said.

... Publicist Michael Levine, who represented Heston for about 20 years, said the actor's passing represented the end of an iconic era for cinema. "If Hollywood had a Mt. Rushmore, Heston's face would be on it," Levine said.

... He delivered a jab at then-President Clinton, saying, "America doesn't trust you with our 21-year-old daughters, and we sure, Lord, don't trust you with our guns."
"'Man For All Seasons' Actor Paul Scofield Dead at 86" (FoxNews.Com, March 20, 2008): "LONDON — Paul Scofield, the towering British stage actor who won international fame and an Academy Award for the film "A Man for All Seasons," has died. He was 86.... Actor Richard Burton, once regarded as the natural heir to Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud at the summit of British theater, said it was Scofield who deserved that place. 'Of the 10 greatest moments in the theater, eight are Scofield's,' he said." Scofield was "a family man who lived almost his entire life within a few miles of his birthplace in southern England and hurried home after work to his wife and children," and generally shunned the spotlight.

SDG, "An Actor for All Seasons" (Jimmy Akin Online, March 20, 2008):
Paul Scofield, who brilliantly portrayed St. Thomas More in Fred Zinneman's A Man for All Seasons, has died.

Scofield originated the role of Robert Bolt's stage play, adapted by Bolt himself for the screen. He knew the role intimately, and his performance is magnificently layered and sensitive.

Primarily a stage actor, Scofield's filmography also included Quiz Show, Branagh's Henry V and the Mel Gibson Hamlet.

Few actors could make decency and integrity as convincing and appealing as Scofield. If his Thomas More isn't enough for you, check him out as Ralph Fiennes' father in Quiz Show. He embodies a character for whom principles are not just abstract theories, but concrete realities taken for granted as matter-of-factly as gravity.

He does the same thing as More in A Man for All Seasons, although with more worldly-wisdom about the weaknesses of other men. In that film, the principles he stands for include the indissolubility of matrimony, the Petrine primacy of the Bishop of Rome, the inviolability of an oath, and (perhaps most importantly for Bolt) the binding authority of conscience.

... A Man for All Seasons is one of the Vatican film list's 15 films in the category of Religion. Bolt's language, based as much as possible on More's own words, strives to create what Bolt called "a bold and beautiful verbal architecture." For the rest, Bolt added, "my concern was to match with these as best I could so that the theft should not be too obvious."

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