1 item from 2008
20 March 2008 | IMDb News
Paul Scofield, the imperious British actor of stage and screen who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons, died Wednesday; he was 86. Scofield, who passed away at a hospital near his home in southern England, had been suffering from leukemia. Scofield began his acting career onstage, where it would always be centered, and he found his first successes in taking on a variety of Shakespearean roles during and after World War II. His towering presence and amazing performances quickly drew comparison to fellow thespian Laurence Olivier. While continuing his theater work, Scofield began appearing in a handful of films in the 1950s and early 1960s, most notably the John Frankenheimer thriller The Train. In fact, he had only three films to his credit when he was asked to reprise his celebrated role as Sir Thomas More in the 1966 film adaptation of A Man for All Seasons, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Fred Zinnemann. The story of King Henry VIII's Chancellor of England, who refused to go along with the monarch's break from the Roman Catholic Church and was executed for it, the film was a sumptuous adaptation of the Robert Bolt play and a critical and commercial success, winning six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director and Actor for Scofield.
Despite his acclaimed Oscar success, the actor continued to work mainly in the theater, with occasional forays into cinema, primarily in stage-to-film adaptations; notable films in the 1970s included Peter Brook's version of King Lear and Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance opposite Katharine Hepburn. Scofield found the second role of a lifetime in the stage production of Amadeus, where he played the tortured and envious composer Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham would win an Oscar for the role in the 1984 film). Considered reclusive, a trait he would deny in many interviews, he hand-picked his film roles very carefully, appearing in Kenneth Branagh's Henry V and Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet, and he received a second Oscar nomination, this time for Best Supporting Actor, for Robert Redford's Quiz Show. His last major film role was in 1996's The Crucible, which won him his third BAFTA award. Scofield is survived by his wife, the actress Joy Parker, whom he married in 1943, and their two children, Martin and Sarah. --Mark Englehart, IMDb staff
1 item from 2008
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