Thursday, March 27, 2008

Richard Widmark, 1914-2008

Head shot of Richard Widmark,

Widmark was probably best known for playing bad guys, notably in his first movie, Kiss of Death which has a memorable scene of Widmark pushing a wheelchair-bound little old lady down a flight of stairs. There's also one of my favorites, the 1950 No Way Out, in which he plays a vicious racist who terrorizes black doctor Sidney Poitier, or as a hoodlum whose stolen more than he can handle in Pickup on South Street.

But he also played some memorable good guys, notably the prosecuting attorney in Judgment at Nuremberg, or as the man who finds that Marilyn Monroe has gone psychotic in Don't Bother to Knock. (Apparently, he didn't think Monroe could act. Oops.)

One of Widmark's notable later roles is as the murder victim in Murder on the Orient Express.

Unfortunately, Widmark started as a contract player at Fox, so a lot of his earlier movies don't show up on TV all that often. TCM will be showing three of his later movies in prime time on Friday, April 4, as their tribute to him.

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