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General information  

  • Real name : Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude McDowall
  • Place of birth : Herne Hill
  • Date of birth : 17/09/1928
  • Place of death : Studio City
  • Date of death : 03/10/1998

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Alias  

  • McDowall Roddy

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Roddy McDowall (1928)

Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude McDowall

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  Summary  

Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude "Roddy" McDowall (17 September 1928 – 3 October 1998) was an English actor and photographer. His film roles included Cornelius and Caesar in the Planet of the Apes film series. He began his long acting career as a child in How Green Was My Valley, My Friend Flicka and Lassie Come Home, and as an adult appeared most frequently as a character actor on stage and television. He served in several positions on the Board of Governors for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences as well as contributed to various charities related to the motion picture industry and film preservation.

  Biography  

 early life and career
McDowall was born in the Herne Hill area of London, England, the son of Winsfriede L. , an Irish-born aspiring actress, and Thomas Andrew McDowall, a merchant seaman. Both of his parents were enthusiastic about the theatre. He had an older sister, Virginia, who was a sometime actress.

After McDowall had appeared in several British films, his family moved to the United States of America in 1939 because of the outbreak of World War II in Britain. McDowall apparently resided in the United States for the rest of his life. He never married.

He made his first well-known motion picture appearance at the age of 12, playing "Huw Morgan" in How Green Was My Valley . This role made him a household name. He starred in Lassie Come Home , a film that introduced a girl who would become his lifelong friend — Elizabeth Taylor. He then appeared as Ken McLaughlin in the 1943 film My Friend Flicka. McDowall went on to appear in several other films, including The Keys of the Kingdom and The White Cliffs of Dover .

 personal life
Although Roddy McDowall made no public statements about his sexual orientation during his lifetime, a few authors have claimed that he was a closeted homosexual.

In 1974, the FBI raided the home of McDowall and seized the actor's collection of films and television series in the course of an investigation of film piracy and copyright infringement. His collection consisted of 160 16 mm prints and more than 1,000 video cassettes, at a time before the era of commercial videotapes, when there was no legal aftermarket for films . McDowall had purchased Errol Flynn's home movies and the prints of his own directorial debut Tam-Lin starring Ava Gardner, and transferred them all to tape for longer-lasting archival storage. McDowall was quite forthcoming about those who dealt with him: Rock Hudson, Dick Martin and Mel Tormé were just a few of the celebrities interested in his film reproductions.

 death
On 3 October 1998, McDowall died at his home in the Studio City district of Los Angeles of lung cancer. "It was very peaceful," said Dennis Osborne, a screenwriter friend who had cared for the actor in his final months. "It was just as he wanted it. It was exactly the way he planned." Though he was cremated through the Neptune Society, his ashes were not distributed in the Pacific Ocean as had been widely reported at the time.

stage
  • Misalliance
  • Escapade
  • No Time for Sergeants
  • Good as Gold
  • Compulsion
  • Handful of Fire

  • Look After Lulu
  • The Fighting Cock
  • Camelot
  • The Astrakhan Coat
  • Charlie's Aunt
  • A Christmas Carol: The Musical

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Roddy McDowall", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.