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Jason Robards Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (35) | Personal Quotes (8)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 26 July 1922Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death 26 December 2000Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA  (metastasized lung cancer)
Birth NameJason Nelson Robards Jr.
Height 5' 8½" (1.74 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Powerful and highly respected American actor Jason Nelson Robards, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Hope Maxine (Glanville) and stage and film star Jason Robards Sr. He had Swedish, English, Welsh, German, and Irish ancestry. Robards was raised mostly in Los Angeles. A star athlete at Hollywood High School, he served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, where he saw combat as a radioman (though he is not listed in official rolls of Navy Cross winners, despite the claims some -- not he -- have made. Neither was he at Pearl Harbor during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack, his ship being at sea at the time.) Returning to civilian life, he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and struggled as a small-part actor in local New York theatre, TV and radio before shooting to fame on the New York stage in Eugene O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh" as Hickey. He followed that with another masterful O'Neill portrayal, as the alcoholic Jamie Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey Into Night" on Broadway. He entered feature films in The Journey (1959) and rose rapidly to even greater fame as a film star. Robards won consecutive Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor for All the President's Men (1976) and Julia (1977), in each case playing real-life people. He continued to work on the stage, winning continued acclaim in such O'Neill works as "Moon For the Misbegotten" and "Hughie." Robards died of lung cancer in 2000.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Spouse (4)

Lois O'Connor (14 February 1970 - 26 December 2000) (his death) (2 children)
Lauren Bacall (4 July 1961 - 10 September 1969) (divorced) (1 child)
Rachel Taylor (26 April 1959 - 22 May 1961) (divorced)
Eleanor Pittman (7 May 1948 - 1958) (divorced) (3 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Gravelly but commanding voice
Long, pointed face
Characters with a bizarre or uncoventional personal code or ethos
Sardonic deadpan

Trivia (35)

Recipient of 22nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime contribution to arts and culture, presented by President Bill Clinton in Washington, DC, Dec. 5, 1999.
Father of actor Jason Robards III.
Father, with actress Lauren Bacall, of actor Sam Robards.
He has three children with Eleanor Pittman. He has two children with Lois O'Connor. He won an Emmy in 1988 for Inherit the Wind (1988).
Was a Civil War buff in real life. He played President U.S. Grant in The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981), and was the voice of Gen. Grant in the PBS mini-series The Civil War (1990).
Preferred working in the theater, and said once that he performed in Hollywood films so that he could "grab the money and go back to Broadway as fast as I can."
In 1972, he was in a horrifying accident on a winding California road. He drove his car into the side of a mountain and nearly died. His acute drinking problem contributed to the accident. He slowly recovered after extensive surgery and facial reconstruction.
On April 22, 2002, the first Jason Robards Award for Excellence in Theatre was awarded to Christopher Plummer by the Roundabout Theatre.
Jennifer Jason Leigh added the Jason to her stage name in tribute to Robards, a long-time family friend. She said, "I like the way it sounds between Jennifer and Leigh.".
In one of his last roles, in Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (1999), he portrayed a man dying from lung cancer to excellent effect. Two years later he himself died from the same disease.
Attended Hollywood High School in Hollywood, CA, and played on the football, baseball, basketball, and track teams, at one time entertaining the idea of becoming a professional athlete.
Avoided films until age 37 because he felt his acting father, Jason Robards Sr., had sold out and tarnished his own reputation by "going Hollywood".
First lead role was in the 1953 off-Broadway production of "American Gothic" directed by José Quintero.
Two daughters and four sons: Sarah Louise, Shannon Robards, Jason Robards III, Sam Robards, David and Jake Robards.
Received all of his Oscar nominations for playing real-life people: Benjamin C. Bradlee in All the President's Men (1976), Dashiell Hammett in Julia (1977), and Howard Hughes in Melvin and Howard (1980).
In 1988, he became the 11th performer to win the Triple Crown of acting: Oscar, Tony, Emmy. Two Oscars: Best Supporting Actor, All the President's Men (1976), and Best Supporting Actor, Julia (1977). Tony: Best Actor, Play, "The Disenchanted" (1959). Emmy: Best Actor, Miniseries/Special: Inherit the Wind (1988).
Won Broadway's 1959 Tony Award as best actor (dramatic) for The Disenchanted. He was nominated seven other times: as best supporting or featured actor (dramatic) in 1957 for Long Day's Journey into Night; as best actor (dramatic) in 1960 for Toys in the Attic, in 1964 for After The Fall, in 1965 for Hughie, in 1972 for The Country Girl and in 1974 for A Moon for the Misbegotten; and as best actor (play) in 1978 for A Touch of the Poet. With eight nominations, he holds the record for being the actor nominated the most times for the Tony Award, although he only won once.
Was the first winner of a Best Actor Obie Award, which recognize achievement in the off-Broadway theater, for playing Hickey in the revival of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh during the 1955-1956 season. He tied for the best actor award with George Voskovec, who was cited for Uncle Vanya.
He and Leonardo DiCaprio both received Oscar-nominations for portraying Howard Hughes. Robards was nominated for Melvin and Howard (1980) and DiCaprio for The Aviator (2004).
As of 2013, he is the only actor to win consecutive best supporting actor Oscars (for All the President's Men (1976) and Julia (1977)).
Played Hickey in three different productions of Eugene O'Neill's play The Iceman Cometh -- off-Broadway in 1955, on television in 1960, and on Broadway in 1955.

Also played Hickey in production of Iceman Cometh 1985/86 in NYC (Lunt-Fontane) and LA (James Doolittle Theater).
He is more closely associated with the works of Eugene O'Neill than any other actor.
He was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1997 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, DC.
Shares the role of Howard Hughes with Leonardo DiCaprio. In the television series (Parenthood (1990)) based on Parenthood (1989), DiCaprio took over the role that Joaquin Phoenix had played in the film--opposite Robards as his grandfather.
He won an Oscar for playing Benjamin Bradlee in All the President's Men (1976), making him one of 12 actors to win the Award for playing a real person who was still alive at the evening of the Award ceremony (as of 2007). The other ten actors and their respective performances are: Spencer Tracy for playing Father Edward Flanagan in Boys Town (1938), Gary Cooper for playing Alvin C. York in Sergeant York (1941), Patty Duke for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), Robert De Niro for playing Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980), Sissy Spacek for playing Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Jeremy Irons for playing Claus Von Bullow in Reversal of Fortune (1990) (1990), Susan Sarandon for playing Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking (1995), Geoffrey Rush for playing David Helfgott in Shine (1996), Julia Roberts for playing Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich (2000), Jim Broadbent for playing John Bayley in Iris (2001) and most recently Helen Mirren for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006).
In 1978 he became the second actor to receive an Oscar, Emmy and Tony nomination in the same calendar year (for Julia (1977), Washington: Behind Closed Doors (1977) and "A Touch of the Poet," respectively).
Katharine Hepburn was the godmother of his son Sam Robards.
Was a trustee at Fairfield University in Connecticut.
He was nominated for a 1976 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Guest Artist in a play, Hughie, at the Academy Festival Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
Has portrayed President Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln (1992), The Perfect Tribute (1991) and Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1964), President Ulysess S. Grant in The Civil War (1990) and The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981), President Franklin D. Roosevelt in F.D.R.: The Last Year (1980) and fictional President Richard Monckton (A Richard Nixon-type) in Washington: Behind Closed Doors (1977).
Served as a radioman aboard the U.S.S. Northampton, which was sunk by Japanese torpedoes in the Battle of Tassafaronga.
He studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village in New York City.
His and Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar nominations for playing Howard Hughes makes them only the second pair to both lose. Robards lost to Timothy Hutton, while DiCaprio lost to Jamie Foxx. Prior to that, only Fredric March and James Mason both lost Oscars for playing Norman Maine in the 1937 and 1954 versions of "A Star is Born". Subsequently, the only pair of actors to both lose an Oscar for playing the same part were Anthony Hopkins and Frank Langella for playing Richard Nixon. Previously, Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro both won for playing Vito Corleone. José Ferrer won while Gérard Depardieu was only nominated for playing Cyrano de Bergerac; and John Wayne won while Jeff Bridges was only nominated for playing Rooster Cogburn. Richard Burton and Robert Shaw also lost Oscars for playing Henry VIII, but Charles Laughton won the award for the role.
Is one of 9 actors to have won the Triple Crown of Acting (an Oscar, Emmy and Tony); the others in chronological order are Thomas Mitchell, Melvyn Douglas, Paul Scofield, Jack Albertson, Jeremy Irons, Al Pacino, Geoffrey Rush and Christopher Plummer.
His maternal grandmother was Swedish. His other roots were English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and German.

Personal Quotes (8)

An actor doesn't change thought, theme, or mood unless the character does, and the character only does it within the words of the play.
I've always played disintegrated characters.
Once you're on [stage], nobody can say, "Cut it". You're out there on your own, and there's always that thrill of a real live audience.
All I know is, I don't do a lot of analysis. I know those words have to move me. I rely on the author. I don't want actors reasoning with me about "motivation" and all that bull. All I want 'em to do is learn the goddamn lines and don't bump into each other.
The theatre has kept me alive, and it's allowed me to work at my craft.
[about Arthur Miller's semi-autobiographical play "After the Fall"] They should have called it "After the Money"!
Sometimes you do junk just to keep alive. You know it's junk when you go in. You just hope you will do the best you can, and that the film will be entertaining. Many times, it isn't, but you just do those things to pay the bills.
I would much rather be on the stage. I do films, but I've really been on stage most of my life. It's not only more of an emotional experience, but it's also a communication. It's the satisfaction of saying something about the human condition through the author, with the actors acting as the instrument, and then hearing the audience response.

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