Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Gentle Giant Gone

This is very sad. Only three months after I celebrated the 93rd birthday of Academy Award-winning American actor Richard Widmark in my other blog, The Rap Sheet, I hear that he has passed away at his home in Connecticut. I’ll remember Widmark for many things, but perhaps most for his portrayal of a sadistic killer in Kiss of Death (1947) and his performance as jaded New York cop Dan Madigan in both the 1968 film Madigan and its too-short-lived NBC-TV spinoff series. In its Widmark obituary, The New York Times recalls that
Well into his later years, the nonviolent, gun-hating Mr. Widmark, who described himself as “gentle,” was accosted by strangers who expected him to be a tough guy. There is even a story that Joey Gallo, the New York mobster, was so taken by Mr. Widmark’s performance in “Kiss of Death” that he copied the actor’s natty posture, sadistic smirk and tittering laugh.

“It’s a bit rough,” Mr. Widmark once said, “priding oneself that one isn’t too bad an actor and then finding one’s only remembered for a giggle.”
The full Times article can be found here. And below is a preview of the movie Madigan.

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