Richard Widmark

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Richard Widmark Trivia

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  • Trivia

    • Widmark was a strong supporter of gun control laws.

    • Widmark enjoyed working with John Wayne and Robert Mitchum but didn't socialize with them off the set because they were heavy drinkers and he wasn't.

    • Frank Gorshin once said he based his Riddler's laugh on Widmark's cackle from Kiss of Death.

    • Widmark's life was once featured on an episode of A&E's Biography.

    • Once appeared on an episode of the game show What's My Line? as the Mystery Guest.

    • Widmark co-starred with two other film legends, Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum, in the 1967 film The Way West. A young Sally Field made her motion picture debut in that movie.

    • Won acclaim for his performance opposite Faye Dunaway in the 1989 made for TV movie Cold Sassy Tree.

    • Widmark was good friends with Sidney Poitier. They appeared together in three films: No Way Out, The Bedford Incident, and The Long Ships.

    • Widmark married Susan Blanchard in 1999 two years after the death of his first wife. Blanchard had previously been married to Henry Fonda.

    • Widmark joked that he was the only actor to ever leave behind a house with a swimming pool in order to come to Hollywood. He had an established career on radio in New York before being cast in Kiss of Death so giving Hollywood a try was a gamble.

    • Widmark's first wife, Jean, passed away from Alzheimer's in 1997. The couple had one child, a daughter named Anne.

    • Widmark was residing in Connecticut with his second wife at the time of his death.

    • Widmark played Jim Bowie opposite John Wayne's Davy Crockett in The Alamo.

    • Widmark produced three films in which he starred: Time Limit, The Secret Ways, and The Bedford Incident.

    • In the 1950 film No Way Out, Widmark played a vicious racist who menaced Sidney Poitier.

    • Widmark played the murder victim in the 1975 whodunit Murder on the Orient Express.

    • Widmark played the prosecutor to Maximillian Schell's defense attorney in the 1962 war crimes drama Judgment at Nuremberg.

    • After moving to New York to establish an acting career, Widmark frequently appeared on the classic radio crime drama Gangbusters.

    • Widmark's daughter Anne was married at one time to Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Sandy Koufax. The couple divorced in the 1980's.

    • Widmark was inducted into the Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 2002.

    • Widmark's father was a traveling salesman who moved the family around quite frequently when Richard was growing up.

    • Widmark was president of his high school class.

    • Widmark starred in the 1972 TV series Madigan based on his 1968 movie of the same name but only six episodes were produced and aired before the cancellation axe fell.

    • Critics roasted Widmark for one of the few times in his career when they said he was woefully miscast as the French Dauphin in the 1957 film Saint Joan.

    • Widmark co-starred with Marilyn Monroe in Don't Bother to Knock but said she was a nightmare to work with due to her personal insecurities.

    • Widmark retired after appearing in the 1991 movie True Colors.

    • Widmark has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6800 Hollywood Boulevard.

    • In 2005, Widmark received the Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

    • In 1989, Widmark received the Career Achievement Award from the National Board of Review.

    • Widmark won a Golden Globe in 1948 as Most Promising Male Newcomer for his role in Kiss of Death.

    • Widmark was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his film debut in Kiss of Death. He never received another nomination.

    • Widmark made a rare TV appearance as himself on a 1955 episode of I Love Lucy.

    • Widmark was a graduate of Lake Forest College in Illinois.

    • Widmark made his Broadway stage debut in the 1943 play Kiss and Tell.

    • Widmark never appeared on a talk show throughout his entire career.

  • Quotes

    • Widmark: I know I've made kind of a career out of violence but I abhor violence. I am an ardent supporter of gun control. It seems incredible to me that we are the only civilized nation that does not put some effective control on guns.

    • Widmark: The more takes I do, the worse I get.

    • Widmark: I think a performer should do his work and then shut up.

    • Widmark (about Marilyn Monroe): She couldn't act her way out of a paper bag but she became an icon because something happened between her and the lens, and no one knows what it was.

    • Widmark: I felt pretty comfortable with Westerns apart from the fact I couldn't ride.

    • Widmark: A lot of actors said they hated the studio system but I loved it. It was a great place to learn.

    • Widmark: Once you've learned the fundamentals of voice and movement, so much of acting is instinctive and imaginative.

    • Widmark: Most movies today are made for teenage boys. Once in a while a good one comes along.

    • Widmark: I never had any formal training apart from college. I sort of learned as I went.