Roddy McDowall
Actor
Roddy McDowall
Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude "Roddy" McDowall was a British actor and photographer. His film roles included Cornelius and Caesar in the Planet of the Apes film series. He began his long acting career as a child in How Green Was My Valley, My Friend Flicka and Lassie Come Home, and as an adult appeared most frequently as a character actor on stage and television.
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Best Films Books Of 2016
Huffington Post - 3 months
It’s been a surprisingly good year for film books. Whether you are into biographies, film history, pictorials, “making of” books, or critical studies, there was something for just about everyone. This year’s list may top last year’s, which was also bountiful. As a matter of fact, there were so many worthwhile books in 2016 that I was forced to split this article into two pieces. In the coming days, I will post another article with just as many recommendations, if not more. A House Divided With Newt Gingrich’s call for a new House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), there may be no relevant book than Hollywood Divided: The 1950 Screen Directors Guild Meeting and the Impact of the Blacklist (University Press of Kentucky) by Kevin Brianton. This new title centers on a now legendary meeting held by the Screen Directors Guild in 1950 (at the height of the anti-communist “Red Scare”) to consider the adoption of an industry loyalty oath. Among those present at the meeti ...
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Huffington Post article
Impossible Dreams
Huffington Post - over 3 years
While it's possible that those who aspire to less enjoy life more, I have no doubt that every generation of humanity has had its ass kicked by reality. Nature, of course, is one of the biggest villains (with powers that can truly shock and awe). The irony, of course, is that the more chances one has to get an education, the more likely one is to embrace lofty ideals which can easily be transformed into impossible dreams. Given a choice between a society ennobled by a code of chivalry or laid low by bubonic plague, which result should be the more obvious outcome? Can hope and charity eliminate cynicism? Or is it better to heed the wise words of the Mikado, who told his luncheon guests that "I'm really very sorry for you all, but it's an unjust world and virtue is triumphant only in theatrical performances." I've always been fascinated by how composers and lyricists attempt to communicate the sounds and emotions of optimism. Two American composers (Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Son ...
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Huffington Post article
A Beach-Fearing Slob Navigates The Men's Swimwear Department
Business Insider - over 3 years
Time was, you knew where you were with swimming trunks. If you were a Village Person, a Dolce & Gabbana model or a PE teacher, you wore tight briefs. If you had athletic pretensions, you wore knee-length swimmers. If you were anyone else, you wore board shorts. Recently, however – and I blame Daniel Craig’s bathers in Casino Royale – things have changed. Not only is your preferred style up for grabs as never before; the range to choose from is insane. Selfridges has 150 styles, Harrods upwards of 100, and one design of trunk from swimwear specialist Orlebar Brown comes in 36 possible colour combinations. In the face of all that, what is the beach-fearing slob in early middle age to do? Should one take the blaring surf-printed dad-short or risk the more figure-hugging fit? It’s now possible, I am told, to wear shorts without looking like an over-cidered Notting Hill teenager holidaying in Rock; and the brief-wearer is not confined to Peter Stringfellow posing pouches in n ...
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Business Insider article
Michael Giltz: DVDs: "Downton Abbey" Fans Better Brace Themselves
Huffington Post - about 4 years
This week I cover the new season of Downton Abbey (without any spoilers), some new releases including Adam Sandler's biggest hit in years, another excellent Criterion release, a John Ford gem and a round-up of (mostly) British TV. Enjoy. DOWNTON ABBEY SEASON THREE ($54.99 BluRay; PBS) -- I won't spoil the new season of Downton Abbey for you; creator Julian Fellowes does that very nicely on his own, thank you very much. Those who can't bear to wait for the episodes to air on American TV can rush out now and see the entire season, including the holiday special finale. I'll discuss the show once it has ended in the US. But it's no spoiler to say there will be many twists and turns before the season ends. Brace yourselves: not since the season one finale of The Killing on AMC or the "it was all a dream" lunacy on Dallas has a show worked so hard to alienate its fans. I think the main problem is that Downton Abbey looks like a prestigious drama, has the trappings of a prestig ...
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Huffington Post article
Happy Birthday to Tim Curry!
Lez Get Real - almost 5 years
Tim Curry as Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show Today, April 19, 2012, is the birthday of Mr. Tim Curry. We wish him a very happy day. The son of a Methodist Royal Navy chaplain, James, and wife Patricia, a school secretary, Timothy Curry studied Drama and English at Cambridge and at Birmingham University, from which he graduated with Combined Honors. His first professional success was the London production of Hair, followed by more work in the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Glasgow Civic Repertory Company, and the Royal Court Theatre where he created the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show. He recreated the role in the Los Angeles and Broadway productions and starred in the screen version entitled The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). Curry continued his career on the New York and London stages with starring roles in ‘Travesties,’ ‘Amadeus,’ ‘The Pirates Of Penzance,’ ‘The Rivals,’ ‘Love For Love,’ ‘Dalliance,’ ‘The Threepenny Opera,’ ‘The ...
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Lez Get Real article
Hanky time: 5 movies that make me cry - Houston Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
FILE - In this 1943 publicity image originally released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Roddy McDowall sits besides a collie named Lassie in a scene from, "Lassie Come Home." Photo: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / AP In this image released by Disney/Pixar Films,
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Google News article
Twilight Time Acquires Columbia Library Titles for Blu-ray - Blu-ray.com
Google News - over 5 years
Scheduled follow-up on December 13th is the original Fright Night (1985), the horror/comedy cult favorite written and directed by Tom Holland and starring Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowall. The label is the brainchild of 30-year Warner Bros veteran
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Google News article
Movie review: 'Fright Night 3D' - StarNewsOnline.com (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
There are interesting entries into the genre; take 1987's “Near Dark” (its modern counterpart was the decent “The Forsaken”) or 1985's “Fright Night” that starred Roddy McDowall. It's this mid-'80s horror flick that gets a solid update in the recently ... - -
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Google News article
NOVELTIES; Technology Blurs the Line Between the Animated and the Real
NYTimes - over 5 years
IT is still possible to distinguish between a living, breathing character in a movie and an animated one — but it is getting harder. The chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans that star in the hit film “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” are all computer animations. But they look a lot like the real thing, even to a primatologist.
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NYTimes article
'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' on a different planet from original films - Plain Dealer
Google News - over 5 years
"Escape From the Planet of the Apes" (1971): Essentially a monkey love story, this flick follows Zira (Kim Hunter) and Cornelius (Roddy McDowall) as they fly back in time and find that humans just aren't nice. "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes"
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Google News article
Vampire remake is surprisingly entertaining - Santa Ynez Valley News
Google News - over 5 years
It's been 26 years since the original "Fright Night" spooked moviegoers with campy humor and a creepy, memorable performance by Roddy McDowall. Despite Hollywood's penchant for unearthing the past, this "Fright Night" isn't a strict remake, ... - -
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Google News article
Fright Night, One Day, Sarah's Key, Another Earth, Hobo with a Shotgun - Connect Savannah.com
Google News - over 5 years
If you weren't around in 1985 to enjoy it, the original Fright Night is worth a Netflix rental, thanks to its fleet-footed approach to the vampire genre and a lovely performance by Roddy McDowall as Peter Vincent, a late-night
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Google News article
Humor, horror put bite in 'Fright Night' - Chicago Daily Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Holland, who directed and wrote the original film — starring the late Roddy McDowall and Chris Sarandon — refurbished the storyline himself. Other: A Touchstone Pictures release. Rated R for language, violence. 101 minutes. This, no doubt, is why the ... - -
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Google News article
10 More Roddy McDowall Movies That Need a Remake - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
This week, “Fright Night” marks the second good remake of a Roddy McDowall movie this month alone. The new version of Tom Holland's 1985 vampire flick and the recently released “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” are both exceptional arguments for why
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Google News article
Choice Cuts Flashback: Tom Holland's Fright Night Tour - ShockTillYouDrop.com
Google News - over 5 years
Wrapping up our discussion with writer-director Tom Holland, we finally touch on Fright Night, the 1985 horror-comedy starring William Ragsdale, Roddy McDowall, Chris Sarandon, Amanda Bearse and Stephen Geoffreys. The film spawned a remake due in
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Google News article
"Planet of the Apes": 6 decades of monkey mayhem - CBS News
Google News - over 5 years
Talk about a cast: Heston was joined by Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly and - who could forget - Linda Harrison. Allegories are all over the place, with pointed reminders to contemporary issues of racism and class
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Google News article
Houston QFest to show Making The Boys, a controversial film from 1970 - 29-95.com
Google News - over 5 years
Director Crayton Robey shows how the swinging 1960s backdrop from which Boys emerged was at once wildly glamorous — Crowley, a close friend of actress Natalie Wood, partied at Roddy McDowall's Malibu, Calif., beach house and private New York
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Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Roddy McDowall
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1998
    Age 69
    On 3 October 1998, aged 70, McDowall died of lung cancer at his home in Studio City.
    More Details Hide Details Dennis Osborne, a screenwriter friend, had cared for the actor in his final months. The media quoted Osborne as having said, "It was very peaceful, it was just as he wanted it. It was exactly the way he planned."
  • 1997
    Age 68
    One of his last public appearances occurred when he accompanied actress Luise Rainer to the 70th Oscar ceremony, and performing as "Scrooge" in A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden in 1997-98.
    More Details Hide Details Although McDowall made no public statements about his sexual orientation during his lifetime, several authors have claimed that he was discreetly gay. In 1974, the FBI raided the home of McDowall and seized the actor's collection of films and television series in the course of an investigation into film piracy and copyright infringement. His collection consisted of 160 16-mm prints and more than 1,000 video cassettes, at a time before the era of commercial videotapes, when there was no legal aftermarket for films.. McDowall had purchased Errol Flynn's home cinema films and the prints of his own directorial debut Tam-Lin (1970), and transferred them all to tape for longer-lasting archival storage. McDowall was quite forthcoming about those who dealt with him: Rock Hudson, Dick Martin and Mel Tormé were just a few of the celebrities interested in his film reproductions. No charges were filed against McDowall.
    In 1997, he hosted the MGM Musicals Tribute at Carnegie Hall.
    More Details Hide Details McDowall served for several years in various capacities on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation that presents the Oscar Awards, and on the selection committee for the Kennedy Center Awards. He was Chairman of the Actors' Branch for five terms. He was elected President of the Academy Foundation the year that he died. He worked tirelessly to support the Motion Pictures Retirement Home, where a rose garden named in his honour was officially dedicated on 9 October 2001 and remains a part of the campus. McDowall received recognition as a photographer, working with LOOK, Vogue, Collier's and LIFE, including a cover story on Mae West for LIFE, and published five books of photographs, each featuring photos and profile interviews of his celebrity friends interviewing each other, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Judy Holliday and Maureen O'Hara, Katharine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, and several others.
  • 1989
    Age 60
    McDowall appeared frequently on Hollywood Squares and occasionally came up with quips himself. McDowall played "The Bookworm" in the 1960s American TV series Batman and he had a recurring role as the Mad Hatter in Batman: The Animated Series, as well as providing his voice to the audiobook adaptation of the 1989 Batman film.
    More Details Hide Details He played the rebel scientist Dr. Jonathan Willoway in the 1970s science fiction TV series, The Fantastic Journey. He had a substantial role in the miniseries version of Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. His final acting role in animation was for an episode of Godzilla: The Series in the episode "DeadLoch". In A Bug's Life (1998), one of his final contributions to motion pictures, he provides the voice of the ant Mr. Soil. During the 1990s, McDowall redoubled his passion for film preservation and participated in the restoration of Cleopatra (1963), He amassed a personal library of over 1000 books on Hollywood and Broadway history.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1984
    Age 55
    Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, Scavenger Hunt (1979) in which he played valet Jenkins, Agatha Christie's Evil Under the Sun (1982), Funny Lady, Class of 1984 (1982), Fright Night (1985), in which he played Peter Vincent, a television host and moderator of telecast horror films, and Overboard (1987 with Goldie Hawn).
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  • FORTIES
  • 1974
    Age 45
    He is well remembered for his performances in heavy makeup as various chimpanzee characters in four of the Planet of the Apes films (1968–1973) and in the 1974 TV series that followed.
    More Details Hide Details During one guest appearance on The Carol Burnett Show, he came onstage in his Planet of the Apes makeup and performed a love duet with Burnett. Film appearances included Cleopatra (1963), in which he played Octavian (the young Emperor Augustus) and was intended to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor but was disqualified when the studio accidentally submitted him for Best Actor instead. Other films included It! (1966), in which he played a Norman Bates-like character reminiscent of Psycho; The Poseidon Adventure (1972), in which he played Acres, a dining room attendant; The Legend of Hell House (1973), in which he played a physical medium assigned to a team attempting to crack the secret of the Belasco House; Bedknobs and Broomsticks, That Darn Cat!
  • TWENTIES
  • 1952
    Age 23
    He then appeared in several roles for Monogram Pictures, a low-budget studio that welcomed established stars. Apart from Kidnapped (1948), an adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson story, the McDowall Monograms were contemporary outdoor adventures; he made seven features for the studio until the series lapsed in 1952.
    More Details Hide Details At a relatively awkward age, and with no other decent movie roles forthcoming, McDowall left Hollywood to hone his craft on the Broadway stage, notably in The Fighting Cock, No Time For Sergeants, and Camelot with Julie Andrews and Richard Burton, and in television through the 1950s and 1960s. He also appeared on scores of broadcast radio programs during radio's Golden Age. Having won both an Emmy (1961, for NBC Sunday Showcase) and a Tony Award (1961 in The Fighting Cock) he appeared in such television series as the original The Twilight Zone, The Eleventh Hour, Twelve O'Clock High, The Invaders, The Carol Burnett Show, Columbo, Night Gallery, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Mork and Mindy, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Hart to Hart, Tales of the Gold Monkey, Hotel, Murder She Wrote and Quantum Leap.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1947
    Age 18
    In 1947, he played Malcolm in Orson Welles's stage production of Macbeth in Salt Lake City, Utah, and played the same part in the actor-director's film version in 1948.
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  • 1946
    Age 17
    McDowall continued his career successfully into adulthood. By the mid-1940s, released from his studio contract, McDowall turned to the theater, taking the title role of Young Woodley in 1946 in a summer stock production in Westport, Connecticut.
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  • 1943
    Age 14
    He appeared as Ken McLaughlin in the 1943 film My Friend Flicka.
    More Details Hide Details McDowall went on to appear in several other films, including The Keys of the Kingdom (1944) with Gregory Peck, and The White Cliffs of Dover (1944). In 1944 exhibitors voted him the number one "star of tomorrow".
  • 1940
    Age 11
    His family moved to the United States in 1940 due to the outbreak of World War II.
    More Details Hide Details McDowall became a naturalized United States citizen on 9 December 1949, and lived in the United States for the rest of his life. He made his first well-known film appearance at the age of 12, playing Huw Morgan in How Green Was My Valley (1941), where he met and became lifelong friends with Maureen O'Hara. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and made him a household name. He starred in Lassie Come Home (1943), a film that introduced an actress who would become another lifelong friend, Elizabeth Taylor.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1928
    Born
    Born on September 17, 1928.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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