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Oscar-winning actor Paul Scofield dies

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Oscar-winning actor Paul Scofield dies


Thursday March 20, 2008




The British actor Paul Scofield, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons, has died, aged 86.


His agent said he died peacefully yesterday in hospital near his Sussex home after being diagnosed with leukaemia.


Scofield was voted to have produced the finest ever performance as Shakespeare's King Lear by his contemporaries and was widely thought of as one of the best actors of his generation.


He made his name on the London stage as a classical actor and also won several Baftas.


Noted for his powerful voice and a presence described as "monumental but reassuring", he achieved fame for his role as the tormented composer Salieri in Peter Shaffer's play Amadeus, and as Thomas More in Robert Bolt's A Man For All Seasons, for which he won an Oscar in 1966.


After joining Croydon repertory theatre at the age of 17 his career barely faltered and he went on to appear in more than a dozen films, including Robert Redford's film Quiz Show in 1995. His television work included the BBC's adaptation of Charles Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit the previous year.


Other notable roles were Alexander the Great in Adventure Story, written for him by Terence Rattigan, the whisky priest in The Power And The Glory, King Lear, Frederic in Anouilh's Ring Around The Moon, and Macbeth.


Scofield was appointed a CBE in 1956 after an appearance in Peter Brook's Hamlet, in Moscow.


But he more than once rejected a knighthood, saying he wanted to remain "plain Mister".


"If you want a title, what's wrong with Mr? If you have always been that, then why lose your title? But it's not political. I have a CBE, which I accepted very gratefully."


Although scrupulously polite, he was also known for shunning the press and he disliked parties and film premieres. A private man, he enjoyed walking in the area around his home in Balcombe, West Sussex, and at his holiday home in Scotland.


He leaves a wife, Joy Parker, whom he met during the second world war while acting in Hamlet, where she played Ophelia.


The couple had two children, Mark and Sarah.

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Author and co-writer of *2001*, Sir Arthur C. Clarke and actor Ivan Dixon both passed away earlier this week.


The links to obits for Clarke are in the Gone Without Fanfare thread which is the thread many like to use for announcing obits for both the famous and the not-so famous.


Makes it easier to find the obits months from now when someone needs to do a search.

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