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(1990)

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Actor Paul Scofield Dies at 86

Actor Paul Scofield Dies at 86
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

Actor Alan Bates Dies at 69

Actor Alan Bates Dies at 69
Actor Alan Bates, who came to fame as one of British cinema's "angry young men" of the 60s and whose heralded stage and screen career was marked by a love of acting as opposed to fame, died Saturday night in London after a long battle with cancer; he was 69. Educated at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Bates indeed helped launch the genre of angry young men plays by starring in John Osbourne's Look Back in Anger in 1956, which started him on a stage career that was marked by innumerable roles created by classic playwrights. His first major film role in 1960 was opposite none other than Laurence Olivier in Osbourne's The Entertainer, in which Bates and a young Albert Finney played the sons of Olivier's shabby vaudevillian. Roles in Whistle Down the Wind, A Kind of Loving and The Running Man followed, but it was Bates' two successive performances in Zorba the Greek and Georgy Girl that helped make him a film star; the former film, in which he played a repressed Englishman opposite Anthony Quinn's life-affirming Zorba, received a Best Picture nomination. Bates himself received a Best Actor nomination for John Frankenheimer's The Fixer (1968), and a year later earned more fame and a bit of notoriety for Ken Russell's erotic adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love, in which he wrestled naked with Oliver Reed. Notable film roles also included Far From the Madding Crowd, An Unmarried Woman, The Rose and his turn as Claudius in Mel Gibson's Hamlet. Bates also won a Tony award in 2002 for Turgenev's Fortune's Fool and was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1995 and knighted last year. Most recently, Bates was seen onscreen in the thriller The Sum of All Fears, Robert Altman's Oscar-winning Gosford Park and this year's drama The Statement. Bates, whose son Tristan died in 1990 and wife Victoria Ford died in 1992, is survived by two brothers, son Benedick, and a granddaughter. --Prepared by IMDb staff

Mel Gibson's Film Company Signs Deal With Fox

  • WENN
Mel Gibson's Film Company Signs Deal With Fox
Mel Gibson's Icon Productions company have signed a two-year, first-look deal with Twentieth Century Fox. Under the terms of Icon's new deal with Fox, Gibson will star in at least one picture for the studio, according to Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos. Icon productions have included We Were Soldiers, What Women Want, Payback, Maverick and Hamlet, all starring Gibson, and The Man Without A Face and Braveheart, which he also directed. A statement from Gibson and partner Bruce Davey says, "Our relationship with Twentieth Century Fox dates back to the international release of Braveheart, and we have been trying to work together again over the years. The partnership at Fox will allow Icon to continue our growth in all areas of the entertainment business."

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