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Paul Scofield (1922-2008) RIP

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Paul Scofield (1922-2008) RIP

Old 03-20-08, 10:00 AM
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Paul Scofield (1922-2008) RIP

LONDON - Paul Scofield, the towering British stage actor who won international fame and an Academy Award for the film "A Man for All Seasons," has died. He was 86.

Scofield died Wednesday in a hospital near his home in southern England, agent Rosalind Chatto said. He had been suffering from leukemia.

Scofield made few films even after the Oscar for his 1966 portrayal of Sir Thomas More, the Tudor statesman executed for treason in 1535 after clashing with King Henry VIII. He was a stage actor by inclination and by his gifts a dramatic, craggy face and an unforgettable voice that was likened to a Rolls-Royce starting up or the rumbling sound of low organ pipes.

Even his greatest screen role was a follow up to a play the London stage production of "A Man for All Seasons," in which he starred for nine months. Scofield also turned in a performance in the 1961 New York production that won him extraordinary reviews and a Tony Award.

"With a kind of weary magnificence, Scofield sinks himself into the part, studiously underplays it, and somehow displays the inner mind of a man destined for sainthood," Time magazine said.

Scofield's huge success with "A Man for All Seasons" was followed in 1979 by another great historical stage role, as composer Antonio Salieri in "Amadeus."

Actor Richard Burton, once regarded as the natural heir to Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud at the summit of British theater, said it was Scofield who deserved that place. "Of the 10 greatest moments in the theater, eight are Scofield's," he said.

Scofield's rare films included Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance" in 1974; Kenneth Branagh's 1989 production of "Henry V," in which he played the king of France; "Quiz Show," Robert Redford's film about the 1950s TV scandal in which Scofield played poet Mark Van Doren; and the 1996 adaptation of Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible."

Scofield was an unusual star a family man who lived almost his entire life within a few miles of his birthplace and hurried home after work to his wife and children. He didn't seek the spotlight, gave interviews sparingly, and at times seemed to need coaxing to venture out, even onto the stage he loved.

But, he insisted in The Sunday Times in 1992, "my reclusiveness is a myth. ... Yes, I've turned down quite a lot of parts. At my age you need to weed things out, but the idea that I can't be bothered anymore with acting that's quite absurd. Acting is all I can do. An actor: That's what I am."

Scofield reportedly had been offered a knighthood, but declined.

"It is just not an aspect of life that I would want," he once said. "If you want a title, what's wrong with Mr.?"

In 2001, however, he was named a Companion of Honor, one of the country's top honors, limited to 65 living people.

His temperament, too, was unexpected in an actor who remained at the very top of his profession.

"It is hard not to be Polyanna-ish about Paul because he is such a manifestly good man, so humane and decent, and curiously void of ego," said director Richard Eyre, former artistic director of Britain's National Theatre. "All the pride he has is channeled through the thing that he does brilliantly."

David Paul Scofield was born Jan. 21, 1922, son of the village schoolmaster in Hurstpierpoint, 8 miles from the south coast of England. When he married actress Joy Parker in 1943, they settled only 10 miles north, in the country village of Balcombe, where they reared their son and daughter and where Scofield was in easy striking distance of London's West End theaters.

Scofield trained at the Croydon Repertory Theater School and London's Mask Theater School before World War II. Barred from service for medical reasons, he toured in plays, entertaining troops and acting in repertory in factory towns around the country.

Throughout the 1940s, he worked repertory and in London and Stratford in plays ranging from Shakespeare and Shaw to Steinbeck and Chekhov.

In his 20s, he worked with director Peter Brook, touring as Hamlet in 1955. The collaboration included the stage adaptation of Graham Greene's "The Power and the Glory" in 1956, which Gielgud regarded as Scofield's greatest performance.

His later stage appearances included "Heartbreak House" in 1992 and the 1996 National Theatre production of Ibsen's "John Gabriel Borkman."

He is survived by his wife and children.
Old 03-20-08, 10:25 AM
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This thread will get 1/75th the amount of responses as Heath Ledger's.
Old 03-20-08, 10:33 AM
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In spite of his career, Scofield will be most remembered for being the third and final entry in a celebrity death trifecta.
Old 03-20-08, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by TallGuyMe
This thread will get 1/75th the amount of responses as Heath Ledger's.
what's with these comments so far? who cares how popular a particular actor is. it still warrants respect and a mention in this forum.
didn't know his work too well, but R.I.P.
Old 03-20-08, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by scott1598
what's with these comments so far? who cares how popular a particular actor is. it still warrants respect and a mention in this forum.
It's the online equivalent of the applause-o-meter during the Academy Awards "In Memoriam" montage.
Old 03-20-08, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
It's the online equivalent of the applause-o-meter during the Academy Awards "In Memoriam" montage.
ok
Old 03-20-08, 11:00 AM
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years ago, i was not a huge fan of "historical" movies until i saw A Man For All Seasons - easily one of the top four or five film performances of all time in my opinion.
Old 03-20-08, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by scott1598
what's with these comments so far? who cares how popular a particular actor is. it still warrants respect and a mention in this forum.
didn't know his work too well, but R.I.P.

You obviously missed my point.
Old 03-20-08, 12:42 PM
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In High School, I watched "A Man for all Seasons". My perceptions about writing, acting, scenery and perhaps even reasoning and logic were affected. Sounds dramatic......I was a teenager for christ sakes.

I tried to never miss a Scofield performance that I had access to after that. I ALWAYS recommend A Man for all Seasons to anyone who asks me about a movie to watch.



RIP MR. Scofield.... and Thank you....
Old 03-20-08, 12:48 PM
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He was great in Frankenheimer's The Train.

RIP
Old 03-20-08, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by TallGuyMe
You obviously missed my point.
your point had nothing to do with respecting an actor after they have passed. all you seemed to want to do is prove how unpopular he is compared to Heath Ledger.
my point is what is the point of pointing that out?
and now my point is to make a point out of non-sensical bickering in order to make this the most popular thread in the history of threads. -snicker-snicker-

Last edited by OldBoy; 03-20-08 at 01:00 PM.
Old 03-20-08, 01:12 PM
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Sad - very talented actor. His work in A Man for All Seasons is an amazing performance indeed.

So this week we've had Minghella, Clarke, and Scofield. Who's up next - will it be Pollack or Swayze?
Old 03-20-08, 08:43 PM
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I first saw him in "Quiz Show" and I was fascinated with his persona, acting, and distinguished voice. I've been a fan ever since.

R.I.P.
Old 03-20-08, 09:52 PM
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Great actor. His Sir Thomas More is one of the all-time great film performances. I really liked him in the underrated The Crucible also.
Old 03-21-08, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by scott1598
your point had nothing to do with respecting an actor after they have passed. all you seemed to want to do is prove how unpopular he is compared to Heath Ledger.
my point is what is the point of pointing that out?
and now my point is to make a point out of non-sensical bickering in order to make this the most popular thread in the history of threads. -snicker-snicker-
Even I got what he was saying. He was saying that even though he was a good actor he won't get any recognition in this forum because he wasn't as popular as Ledger. He wasn't trying to be a dick about it.
Old 03-21-08, 09:02 AM
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I was thnking the Crucible also - He'll be missed.
Old 03-21-08, 09:29 AM
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<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/oIlIz8Qcgcs&hl=en"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/oIlIz8Qcgcs&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>
Paul Scofield
Old 03-21-08, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by toxie321
Even I got what he was saying. He was saying that even though he was a good actor he won't get any recognition in this forum because he wasn't as popular as Ledger. He wasn't trying to be a dick about it.

THANK YOU. I thought it was rather obvious, but given the IQ of some of the folks around here, I guess everything has to be clearly spelled out for them. Oh, so in case there is some confusion, I am NOW intentionally trying to be a dick.
Old 03-21-08, 12:15 PM
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he was a true genius...

the mind staggers at what a live stage performance would have been...
Old 03-21-08, 01:30 PM
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One of the towering giants of the stage, and in only a handful of film roles, an awesome talent, with the genius to make any part intelligent and unforgettable.



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