Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cliff Robertson (1923-2011)

Academy Award winning actor Cliff Robertson passed away on Saturday at 88, two days after his birthday.

Audiences are familiar with Robertson mostly for three roles. One, he starred as John F. Kennedy in 1963's "P. T. 109", the first film to focus on an at-the-time sitting President. Two, just 5 years later, Robertson played the title role in "Charly", a feature film adaptation of Daniel Keyes' novel, "Flowers For Algernon". Robertson would win the Best Actor Oscar for his striking, stirring portrayal of a mentally challenged man who suddenly becomes a genius. Finally, he played Ben Parker in the first "Spider-Man" film in 2002. In the interim, Robertson had made a number of other films, and had done voice-overs for A T & T.

Television audiences might recall Robertson as the modern-day outlaw Shame, a sendup of "Shane", if you will, in a pair of guest appearances on Batman, with then-wife Dina Merrill appearing as his moll, Calamity Jan, in both stories.

A personal note. The only time I saw "Charly" was when it was playing in a theatre as a second or third run in the early 70's, and I was on a field trip to see this movie. Robertson was just amazing in this film.

Rest in peace, Cliff, and, thanks for the memories.


magicdog said...

So sad!

I enjoyed Cliff Robertson in so many different roles. He was a class act from a classier generation of actors.

I had no idea he'd passed.

RIP Mr. Robertson.

hobbyfan said...

"Charly". "PT 109". "Spider-Man". Such a talent.