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Paul Scofield : 1922 - 2008

Paul Scofield

Brilliant actor Paul Scoffield, star of A Man for All Seasons, the Crucible and Quiz Show, has also passed away.

David Paul ScofieldCHCBE (21 January 1922 – 19 March 2008) was an award-winning English actor of stage and screen. Noted for his distinctive voice and delivery, Scofield won both an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for his role as Sir Thomas More in the 1966 filmA Man for All Seasons. He had previously originated the role in the stage version both in theWest End and on Broadway, winning a Tony Award. 

From Wikipedia:


Early life

David Paul Scofield was born in HurstpierpointSussex,[1] and began attending the Varndean School for Boys in Brighton at the age of twelve[2] where he took various roles in school plays.[3]

He went up to Oxford in 1939 where he famously shared digs with Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin[4] before leaving university to pursue his acting career. Scofield began his stage career in 1940 with a debut performance in Desire Under the Elms at the Westminster Theatre, and was soon being compared with Laurence Olivier. In 1947, he starred in Walter Nugent Monck's revival of Pericles, Prince of Tyre at theShakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford.[1]


An actor of extraordinary intelligence, Scofield was noteworthy for his striking presence and distinctive voice, and for the clarity and unmannered intensity of his delivery. His versatility at the height of his career is exemplified by his starring roles in theatrical productions as diverse as the musical Expresso Bongo (1958) and Peter Brook's celebrated production of King Lear (1962). In a career mainly devoted to the classical theatre, he starred in many plays by Shakespeare and played the title role in Ben Jonson's Volpone in Peter Hall's production for the Royal National Theatre (1977). Highlights of his career in modern theatre include the roles of Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons (1960), Charles Dyer in Dyer's play Staircase, staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966, and Antonio Salieri in the original stage production of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus (1979). Expresso BongoStaircase and Amadeus were filmed with other actors, but Scofield starred in the screen versions of A Man for All Seasons (1966) and King Lear (1971). Other major screen roles include Strether in a 1977 TV adaptation of Henry James's novel The Ambassadors, Professor Moroi in the film of János Nyíri's If Winter Comes (1980), for BBC Television, Mark Van Doren in Robert Redford's film Quiz Show (1994), and Thomas Danforth in Nicholas Hytner's film adaptation (1996) ofArthur Miller's The Crucible.

Scofield was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1956 New Year Honours.[5] He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for A Man for All Seasons and was nominated as Best Supporting Actor for Quiz Show. Theatrical accolades include a 1962Tony Award for A Man for All Seasons. In 1969, Scofield became the sixth performer to win the Triple Crown of Acting, winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Male of the Species. He was also one of only eight actors to win both the Tony and the Oscar for the same role on stage and film. He was appointed a Companion of Honour (CH) in the 2001 New Year Honours.[6] In 2004 a poll of actors of the Royal Shakespeare Company, including Ian McKellenDonald SindenJanet SuzmanIan RichardsonAnthony Sher and Corin Redgrave, acclaimed his Lear as the greatest Shakespearean performance ever.[7] Scofield also appeared in many radio dramas for BBC Radio 4, including in later years plays by Peter Tinniswood - On the Train to Chemnitz (2001) andAnton in Eastbourne (2002). The latter was Tinniswood's last work and was written especially for Scofield, an admirer of Anton Chekhov.

Personal life

Scofield married actress Joy Parker in 1943.[1] The couple had two children; Martin (born 1944), a lecturer in 19th-century English literature at the University of Kent,[2] and Sarah (born 1951).

He declined the offer of a knighthood on three occasions,[2][8] but was appointed CBE in 1956 and became a Companion of Honour in 2001.

Scofield died on 19 March 2008 at the age of 86 at a hospital near his home in SussexEngland from leukemia.[9]


1955 That Lady King Philip II of Spain
1958 Carve Her Name with Pride Tony Fraser
1964 The Train Col. von Waldheim
1966 A Man for All Seasons Sir Thomas More Academy Award for Best Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
1970 Bartleby The Accountant
1971 King Lear King Lear
1973 A Delicate Balance Tobias
Scorpio Zharkov
1980 If Winter Comes Professor Moroi TV role
1981 The Potting Shed James Callifer TV role
1983 Ill Fares the Land voice
1984 Summer Lightning Old Robert Clarke
1985 Anna Karenina Karenin TV role
1919 Alexander Scherbatov
1987 Mister Corbett's Ghost Mr. Corbett TV role
1988 The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank Otto Frank TV role
1989 When the Whales Came The Birdman TV role
Henry V Charles VI of France
1990 Hamlet The Ghost
1992 Utz Doctor Vaclav Orlik
1994 Quiz Show Mark Van Doren Academy Award for Best Supporting Actornomination
Genesis: The Creation and the Flood TV role
Martin Chuzzlewit Old Martin Chuzzlewit/Anthony Chuzzlewit BAFTA TV Award Best Actor nomination
1996 The Crucible Judge Thomas Danforth BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1997 Robinson in Space Narrator
1999 The Disabled Century TV role
Animal Farm Boxer voice