Thursday, 20 March 2008

Paul Scofield Dies at 68

Paul Scofield Dies at 68 - Academy Award-winning British actor Paul Scofield passed away Wednesday, March 19, of leukemia. He was 68. Paul Scofield’s agent, Rosalind Chatto, said the acclaimed actor died peacefully at a hospital near his home in Balcombe, Sussex, on Wednesday. He had been battling leukemia for some years. “He had leukemia and had not been well for some time,” Chatto told Reuters.

Paul Scofield is best known for his portrayal of Sir Thomas More, the Catholic martyr who chose to be executed at King Henry VIII’s order rather than betray his conscience, in the 1967 film “A Man for All Seasons.”

That role earned
Paul Scofield a BAFTA and an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Paul Scofield only appeared in some 30 films and focused on classical theater. He was critically praised for his roles in diverse theatrical productions such as the musical “Expresso Bongo” (1958), the comedy “Staircase” (1966) and numerous plays by William Shakespeare.

British paper The Telegraph reports that a 2004 survey of actors of the Royal Shakespeare Company named his 1962 depiction of King Lear as the greatest Shakespearian performance ever.

Among those who had voted were Sir Ian McKellen, Donald Sinden, Janet Suzman, Ian Richardson, Sir Antony Sher and Corin Redgrave. Upon learning of the accolade,
Paul Scofield said he was “overwhelmed, astonished and delighted.”

“Of the 10 greatest moments in the theatre, eight are
Paul Scofield’s,” actor Richard Burton once said.
Though he shied away from Hollywood and celebrity,
Paul Scofield was nominated for an Academy Award once more in 1994, for his supporting role in the Robert Redford directed and produced film “Quiz Show.”

Not even such grand ceremonies lured him to Tinseltown, as he was much more fascinated with his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford-on-Avon. He was also known as a very private person.

“I never liked the idea of going to live or work in California,” he said. “Indeed, I've never been there, not even to collect my Oscar, because we were rehearsing at Stratford.”

Paul Scofield lived with his wife in a cottage in the Sussex countryside south of London, according to Reuters. They had a son and daughter, who both became teachers.

And that's latest sad news is Paul Scofield Dies at 68.

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