In his engagingly casual 1997 autobiography, Are You Anybody?, the actor Bradford Dillman, who has died aged 87, took a self-deprecatory view of his own career in particular and of acting in general – a profession he considered just below that of used-car salesman in the American social order. About his prolific work in cinema and television, he was sanguine, having settled for what he called “the Safeway solution” – a willingness to accept any role in order to put food on the family table.
On stage Dillman had achieved early success as Edmund in the 1956 Broadway production of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night. This lauded production starred Fredric March as the father and Jason Robards as the alcoholic brother Jamie. Although Robards received greater acclaim in the juicier role,