Roddy McDowall Biography ((?)-)

See index for CTFT sketch: Full name, Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude McDowall; born September 17, 1928, in London, England; died of cancer, October 3, 1998, in Los Angeles, CA. Actor and photographer. A child star in the 1940s, McDowall went on to become a respected character actor over the course of acareer that spanned six decades. McDowall worked in the British film industry until the onset of World War II found him evacuated to the United States. He quickly landed the starring role in what would become his breakthrough picture, How Green Was My Valley, a sentimental portrayal of a Welsh mining family that earned an Academy Award for best picture of 1941. What followedwas a string of popular films starring the boyish adolescent actor, including My Friend Flicka and Lassie Come Home, both of which appearedin 1943. As a young adult McDowall eventually tired of playing the role of achild and moved to New York to study acting, taking advantage of the numerous roles available in live television in the 1950s to expand his range. In 1960 he won an Antoinette Perry Award for best supporting actor in the stage production of Jean Anouilh's play The Fighting Cock; the following year he received an Emmy Award for his role in Not Without Honor. A veteran of more than a hundred films, he is perhaps best known--after his childhood films--for his portrayal of Cornelius, the intelligent ape who befriendedCharlton Heston in the series of cult-hit "Planet of the Ape" films of the 1960s and 1970s and in the spinoff television program. McDowall was known as afaithful friend to many in Hollywood, those both famous and forgotten, and though he steadfastly refused to write about his friends, he did publish several collections of photographs of them, the proceeds of which were donated to the Motion Picture and Television Fund. McDowall was a force in the film preservation movement, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, of which he was a member, announced that it intended to rename its archives for him.


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