Robert Duvall

Robert Duvall

His role in 'To Kill a Mockingbird' (1962)

Background:

Hollywood veteran actor Robert Duvall displayed his endless talent when he
wrote, executive produced, directed, as well as starred as Euliss ‘Sonny’ Dewey
in The Apostle (1997). For his brilliant work, he harvested numerous awards,
including a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, a Golden Satellite Award
and an Independent Spirit Award and received Oscar and Screen Actors Guild
nominations.

This is not his only bright moment. First, he took the role of Tom Hagen in
Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather (1972) and took
home a New York Film Critics Circle Award, as well as an Oscar and BAFTA
nomination. Hitting the cinematic industry with the supporting role of Lt. Col.
Bill Kilgore in the Vietnam epic Apocalypse Now (1979), Duvall picked up a
Golden Globe Award, an American Movie Award and a British Academy Award, as well
as earned his second Oscar nomination.

He continued to soar to unforeseen heights with his award-winning roles,
including Lt. Col. Bull Meechum in The Great Santini (1980, won a Montréal World
Film Festival Award and received an Oscar nomination), country singer Mac Sledge
in his producing debut, Tender Mercies (1983, collected an Academy Award, a
Golden Globe Award, a New York Film Critics Circle Award and a Los Angeles Film
Critics Association Award), Augustus ‘Gus’ McCrae, a former Texas Ranger, in the
miniseries “Lonesome Dove” (1989, netted a Golden Globe Award and a Western
Heritage Award), a titular turn in the TV biopic Stalin (1992, gained a Golden
Globe Award) and Jerome Facher in the wide screen adaptation of Jonathan Harr’s
book, A Civil Action (1998, won a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Florida Film
Critics Circle Award, also received an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination).

Receiving more critical praise in 1997, Duvall won a Carl Foreman Prize from the
American Cinema Foundation, a President’s award from the American Society of
Cinematographers, as well as a National Board of Review Career Achievement
award. He also became the recipient of the 1998 Blockbuster Entertainment
Filmmaker award and a Special award of the Texas Legend from the Lone Star Film
& Television in 1998. Five years later, he was granted a Donostia Lifetime
Achievement award from the San Sebastián International Film Festival.

Off screen, the founder of Butchers Run Films Production Company, Duvall
received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003. He also did voiceover
work for Lexus Car commercials. Romantically, Duvall has been linked to a number
of women. He was once married to Barbara Benjamin (1964-1975), Gail Youngs
(1982-1986) and Sharon Brophy (1991-1995). The stepfather of two daughters,
Duvall is currently living with his partner, Luciana Pedraza (equestrian, events
planner).


General Lee

Childhood and Family:

In San Diego, California, Robert Selden Duvall was born on January 5, 1931, to
William Howard Duvall (military officer) and an actress mother. He is a direct
descendant of General Robert E. Lee. When he was 10, the family moved to the
East Coast and once spent several years on his uncle’s ranch in Montana.

Robert attended Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. Initially, he majored in
history and government, but his interest in acting made him shift to the drama
department. From August 19, 1953, to August 20, 1954, young Robert served in the
United States Army, before finally studying Acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse
in New York. Later, while struggling to be an actor, he also worked as a post
office clerk, but quit after six months.

On a more personal side, Robert has had three failed marriages. After divorcing
designer Barbara Benjamin (1964-1975), the actor married actress Gail Youngs in
1982. Four years later, the couple separated. On May 1, 1991, he tied the knot
with a dance instructor named Sharon Brophy, but that marriage also ended up in
divorce four years after. Robert is the stepfather of two daughters and lives
with his partner Luciana Pedraza.


Apocalypse Now

Career:

Robert Duvall made his first acting move on stage in 1958 when he joined
playwright Horton Foote in the New York production of “The Midnight Caller.” The
same year, he followed it up with an off-Broadway debut in “Mrs. Warren’s
Profession.” Inevitably, he went to the small screen and made guest performances
in several series, from “Armstrong Circle Theatre” (1959, 1960), to “Naked City”
(4 episodes, 1961 and 1962). In 1962, Duvall had his first performance on the
wide screen in the adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird,
playing the supporting role of Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley. He also continued guest
starring in numerous TV series, including “The Twilight Zone” (1963), “The Outer
Limits” (1964) and “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” (1965).

On stage, Duvall began catching attention in the Ulu Grosbard-directed “A View
from the Bridge” (1965), which led him to a starring turn in a Broadway
production of “Wait Until Dark” (1966). He soon debuted on TV movies by taking
the role of Eddie Franchot in the drama Fame Is the Name of the Game (1966),
which was ensued by his guest appearance in “The Wild Wild West” (1967). Gaining
further notice, Duvall began collaborating with Hollywood talents, such as
performer Frank Sinatra in the crime drama The Detective (1968), director
Francis Ford Coppola in The Rain People (1969), actor Jon Voight in the low
budget drama The Revolutionary (1970) and George Lucas in his major directing
debut THX 1138 (1971).

The first recipient of the Gibbowr award from the CFT Excellence, Duvall clearly
proved his distinctive flair when he rejoined Francis Ford Coppola in the famous
adaptation of Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather (1972), where he was cast as Tom
Hagen. For his awesome performance, Duvall won a New York Film Critics Circle
for Best Supporting Actor and earned Oscar and BAFTA nominations for Best
Supporting Actor. After his starring turn in The Outfit (1973), the newcomer
reprised his role of Tom Hagen in The Godfather: Part II (1974). Eager to
explore the realm of acting, Duvall tried a hand at directing and made his debut
in the documentary film about a rodeo family in Nebraska, We’re Not the Jet Set
(1975).

A year later, the rising actor gave a fine turn as Frank Hackett in the
Oscar-winning drama Network and received a BAFTA nomination. Duvall then went to
his last performance on stage in David Mamet’s “American Buffalo” on Broadway
(1977), before portraying General Dwight D. Eisenhower in the TV movie Ike: The
War Years (1978), a role he reprised in the miniseries version of the film,
“Ike” (1979).

Before long, Duvall encountered massive success when he made a third movie with
director Coppola in the Vietnam epic Apocalypse Now (1979), playing the
supporting part of Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore, the head of a US Army helicopter
cavalry group. Thanks to the seamless acting, the actor collected a Golden
Globe, an American Movie and a British Academy for Best Supporting Actor, and
accepted his second Oscar Best Supporting Actor nomination. In the war movie,
Duvall also contributed a composition titled “Love Me and Let Me Love You.”
Still in 1979, the victory was ensued with his notable leading turn as the
hard-nosed Lt. Col. Bull Meechum in The Great Santini, in which he took home a
Montréal World Film Festival for Best Actor and became an Oscar nominee for Best
Actor. Two years later, he had a rewarding reunion with director Ulu Grosbard in
True Confessions (1981, starred as Thomas “Tom” Spellacy the detective), and
netted a Pasinetti award from the Venice Film Festival.

Duvall’s career gained real momentum in 1983 with his breakout performance in
his producing debut, Tender Mercies, where he starred as washed-up country
singer Mac Sledge. Delivering an outstanding portrayal, the actor reaped an
Oscar, a Golden Globe, a New York Film Critics Circle and a Los Angeles Film
Critics Association for Best Actor. Duvall also created two song lyrics (“Fool’s
Waltz” and “I’ve Decided to Leave Here Forever”) and sang five songs for the
drama movie. The actor stepped further toward the director’s chair and helmed
the drama Angelo My Love (1983, also did the screenwriting), directing amateur
actors.

After costarring opposite Glenn Close in The Stone Boy (1984), Duvall nabbed a
second Venice Film Festival’s Pasinetti for his part as Calvin Caspary in the
drama The Lightship (1986). His first voice work in the short spoof Apocalypse
Pooh (1987) preceded a small screen triumph, which happened after starring as
Augustus ‘Gus’ McCrae, a former Texas Ranger, in the miniseries “Lonesome Dove”
(1989). Duvall won a Golden Globe for Best Actor and a Bronze Wrangler from the
Western Heritage awards and earned his first Emmy nomination for Best Actor.

Following roles in the sci-fi drama The Handmaid’s Tale (1990) and Rambling Rose
(1991), Duvall undertook a Golden Globe-winning titular turn in the TV biopic
Stalin (1992, also earned an Emmy nomination). He also costarred as the Chief of
Scouts Al Sieber, opposite Gene Hackman, in the Western movie Geronimo: An
American Legend (1993) and was handed a second Western Heritage’s Bronze
Wrangler. Duvall then detoured to the drama comedy genre by playing Bernie White
in The Paper (1994), before having the role of Roger Chillingworth in the
adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter (1995).

In 1996, Duvall received rave reviews for his role of Karl Childers’ father in
Sling Blade, as well as for his title role in the historical drama The Man Who
Captured Eichmann (TV, also executive produced). However, immense triumph came
with the acclaimed drama The Apostle (1997), in which he wrote the script,
executive produced, directed, as well as starred as a southern preacher. Duvall
earned praise and harvested numerous awards, including a Los Angeles Film
Critics Association and a Golden Satellite for Best Actor, as well as an
Independent Spirit for Best Director. Additionally, he received an Oscar and
Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Actor. Duvall was then handed a Screen
Actors Guild and a Florida Film Critics Circle for Best Supporting Actor due to
his superb acting as Jerome Facher in the wide screen adaptation of Jonathan
Harr’s book, A Civil Action (1998, also received an Oscar and Golden Globe
nomination).

Meanwhile, Duvall rose to even higher eminence and in 1997, he was given a Carl
Foreman Prize from the American Cinema Foundation, a President’s award from the
American Society of Cinematographers, as well as a National Board of Review
Career Achievement award. He also became the recipient of the 1998 Blockbuster
Entertainment Filmmaker award and a Special award of Texas Legend from the Lone
Star Film & Television in 1998.

The veteran actor was then seen as Gordon McLeod in the sport drama A Shot at
Glory (2000, also produced), John J. Anderson in the drama thriller
Assassination Tango (2002, also wrote, directed and produced) and Boss Spearman
in Kevin Costner’s Western movie Open Range (2003). After producing the
documentary film Portrait of Billy Joe (2004), Duvall took a part as tobacco
tycoon Doak ‘The Captain’ Boykin in the satirical comedy Thank You for Smoking
(2005), for director Jason Reitman.

The recipient of Donostia Lifetime Achievement award from the 2003 San Sebastián
International Film Festival, Duvall will have the leading role of Print Ritter
in his self-produced Western miniseries “Broken Trail” (2006). In addition, he
is set to take parts in the drama comedy The Berkeley Connection (2006,
alongside Dustin Hoffman and Jennifer Connelly), the drama A Night in Old Mexico
(2006) and Curtis Hanson’s Lucky You (2006, as L. C. Cheever). Duvall will also
appear as Burt Grusinsky in the crime drama We Own the Night (2007) and provide
his voice for a character in the star-studded animated comedy Bee Movie (2007),
featuring Jerry Seinfeld, Uma Thurman and Oprah Winfrey.


Awards:

San Sebastián International Film Festival: Donostia Lifetime Achievement
Award, 2003
Florida Film Critics Circle: Best Supporting Actor, A Civil Action, 1999
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a
Supporting Role, A Civil Action, 1999
Blockbuster Entertainment: Filmmaker Award, 1998
Chicago Film Critics Association: Best Actor, The Apostle, 1998
Florida Film Critics Circle: Best Actor, The Apostle, 1998
Golden Satellite: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture -
Drama, The Apostle, 1998
Independent Spirit: Best Director, The Apostle, 1998
Independent Spirit: Best Male Lead, The Apostle, 1998
Las Vegas Film Critics Society: Best Actor, The Apostle, 1998
Lone Star Film & Television: Special Award - Texas Legend, 1998
National Society of Film Critics: Best Actor, The Apostle, 1998
Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Actor, The Apostle, 1997
American Cinema Foundation: Carl Foreman Prize, 1997
American Society of Cinematographers: President’s Award, 1997
National Board of Review: Career Achievement Award, 1997
Society of Texas Film Critics: Best Actor, The Apostle, 1997
Western Heritage: Bronze Wrangler - Theatrical Motion Picture, Geronimo:
An American Legend, 1994
Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Leading Role--Mini-Series or Television
Movie, Stalin, 1992
Western Heritage: Bronze Wrangler - Television Feature Film, Lonesome
Dove, 1990
Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Leading Role--Mini-Series or Television
Movie, Lonesome Dove, 1989
Golden Boot, 1989
Venice Film Festival: Pasinetti Award - Best Actor, The Lightship, 1986
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama,
Tender Mercies, 1984
New York Film Critics Circle: Best Actor, Tender Mercies, 1983
Oscar: Best Actor, Tender Mercies, 1983
Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Best Actor, Tender Mercies, 1983
Venice Film Festival: Pasinetti Award - Best Actor, True Confessions,
1981
Montréal World Film Festival: Best Actor, The Great Santini, 1980
American Movie: Best Supporting Actor, Apocalypse Now, 1980
British Academy: Best Actor Supporting, Apocalypse Now, 1980
Golden Globe: Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Apocalypse Now, 1979
New York Film Critics Circle: Best Supporting Actor, The Godfather, 1973
CFT Excellence: Gibbowr Award
It's a cyclical thing. When they make one, everyone loves them. Different genres come around in succession. People always welcome the western. It's America's genre.More Robert Duvall quotes [09/25/2011 12:09:14]
You just can't take a crash course to be a tango dancer in a movie.More Robert Duvall quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
To this day, I still think Lonesome Dove is my best part.More Robert Duvall quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
If you don't daydream and kind of plan things out in your imagination, you never get there. So you have to start someplace.More Robert Duvall quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Look, Hollywood's a mecca, but it's not the final answer. You pick up a camera anyplace in the world, you can make a movie.More Robert Duvall quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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