Richard Widmark

Highest Rated: 100% Madigan (1968)
Birthday: Dec 26, 1914
Birthplace: Sunrise, Minnesota, USA
The son of a traveling salesman, actor Richard Widmark had lived in six different Midwestern towns by the time he was a teenager. He entered Illinois' Lake Forest College with plans to earn a law degree, but gravitated instead to the college's theater department. He stayed on after graduation as a drama instructor, then headed to New York to find professional work. From 1938 through 1947, Widmark was one of the busiest and most successful actors in radio, appearing in a wide variety of roles from benign to menacing, and starring in the daytime soap opera "Front Page Farrell." He did so well in radio that he'd later quip, "I am the only actor who left a mansion and swimming pool to head to Hollywood." Widmark's first stage appearance was in Long Island summer stock; in 1943, he starred in the Broadway production of Kiss and Tell, and was subsequently top billed in four other New York shows. When director Henry Hathaway was looking for Broadway-based actors to appear in his melodrama Kiss of Death (1947), Widmark won the role of giggling, psychopathic gangster Tommy Udo. And the moment his character pushed a wheelchair-bound old woman down a staircase, a movie star was born. (Widmark always found it amusing that he'd become an audience favorite by playing a homicidal creep, noting with only slightly less amusement that, after the release of the film, women would stop him on the street and smack his face, yelling, "Take that, you little squirt!") The actor signed a 20th Century Fox contract and moved to Hollywood on the proviso that he not be confined to villainous roles; the first of his many sympathetic, heroic movie parts was in 1949's Down to the Sea in Ships. After his Fox contract ended in 1954, Widmark freelanced in such films as The Cobweb (1955) and Saint Joan (1957), the latter representing one of the few times that the actor was uncomfortably miscast (as the childish Dauphin). In 1957, Widmark formed his own company, Heath Productions; its first effort was Time Limit, directed by Widmark's old friend Karl Malden. Widmark spent most of the 1960s making films like The Alamo (1960) and Cheyenne Autumn (1964), so that he could afford to appear in movies that put forth a political or sociological message. These included Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) and The Bedford Incident (1965). A longtime television holdout, Widmark made his small-screen debut in Vanished (1970), the first two-part TV movie. He later starred in a 1972 series based upon his 1968 theatrical film Madigan. And, in 1989, he was successfully teamed with Faye Dunaway in the made-for-cable Cold Sassy Tree. Richard Widmark was married for 55 years to Jean Hazelwood, a former actress and occasional screenwriter who wrote the script for her husband's 1961 film The Secret Ways (1961). Their daughter Anne married '60s baseball star Sandy Koufax. Widmark died at age 93 in 2008, of health complications following a fractured vertebra.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet Bear Island Otto Gerran 2000
No Score Yet Wild Bill Hollywood Maverick Actor 1995
No Score Yet Lincoln: Now He Belongs to the Ages, 1865 Ward Hill Lamon 1992
No Score Yet Lincoln: I Want to Finish This Job, 1864 Ward Hill Lamon 1992
No Score Yet Lincoln: The Pivotal Year, 1863 Ward Hill Lamon 1992
No Score Yet Lincoln: The Making of a President, 1860-1862 Ward Hill Lamon 1992
47% True Colors Senator Stiles 1991
No Score Yet Cold Sassy Tree E. Rucker Blakeslee 1989
No Score Yet Once upon a Texas Train Captain Owen Hayes 1988
No Score Yet Spencer Tracy Legacy Actor 1987
No Score Yet A Gathering of Old Men (Murder on the Bayou) Sherif Mapes 1987
No Score Yet Blackout Joe Steiner 1985
No Score Yet Hollywood Collection Narrator 1985
70% Against All Odds Ben Caxton 1984
No Score Yet Who Dares Wins (The Final Option) Secretary of State 1982
33% Hanky Panky Ransom 1982
0% National Lampoon's Movie Madness Stan Nagurski 1982
No Score Yet A Whale for the Killing Actor 1981
No Score Yet All God's Children Judge Parke Denison 1980
No Score Yet Mr. Horn Al Sieber 1979
11% The Swarm Gen. Slater 1978
80% Coma Dr. Harris 1978
No Score Yet The Domino Principle Tagge 1977
55% Rollercoaster Agent Hoyt 1977
88% Twilight's Last Gleaming Gen. Martin MacKenzie 1977
No Score Yet Sell Out Sam Lucas 1976
40% To The Devil A Daughter John Verney 1976
No Score Yet The Last Day Will Spence 1975
91% Murder on the Orient Express Ratchett 1974
No Score Yet When the Legends Die Red Dillon 1972
No Score Yet The Moonshine War Dr. Taulbee 1970
No Score Yet Death of a Gunfighter Frank Patch 1969
100% Madigan Det. Daniel Madigan 1968
No Score Yet The Way West Lije Evans 1967
No Score Yet Alvarez Kelly Col. Tom Rossiter 1966
86% The Bedford Incident Capt. Eric Finland Captain Eric Finlander U.S.N. Producer 1965
62% Cheyenne Autumn Capt. Thomas Archer 1964
50% The Long Ships Rolfe 1964
No Score Yet Flight from Ashiya Col. Glenn Stevenson 1964
86% How the West Was Won Mike King 1963
91% Judgment at Nuremberg Col. Tad Lawson 1961
80% Two Rode Together First Lt. Jim Gary 1961
50% The Alamo Col. James Bowie 1960
No Score Yet Warlock Johnny Gannon 1959
No Score Yet The Tunnel of Love August Poole 1958
No Score Yet The Law and Jake Wade Clint Hollister 1958
No Score Yet Time Limit Producer Col. William Edwards 1957
30% Saint Joan Charles the Dauphin 1957
No Score Yet The Last Wagon Comanche Tod 1956
No Score Yet Run for the Sun Mike 1956
No Score Yet Backlash Jim Slater 1956
No Score Yet A Prize of Gold Sgt. Joe Lawrence 1955
80% The Cobweb Dr. Stewart McIver 1955
88% Broken Lance Ben Devereaux 1954
80% Garden of Evil Fiske 1954
No Score Yet Hell and High Water Capt. Adam Jones 1954
No Score Yet Take the High Ground Sgt. Thorne Ryan 1953
91% Pickup on South Street Skip McCoy 1953
No Score Yet Destination Gobi CPO Samuel McHale 1953
No Score Yet O. Henry's Full House Johnny Kernan 1952
100% Don't Bother to Knock Jed Towers 1952
No Score Yet Red Skies of Montana Cliff Mason 1952
No Score Yet My Pal Gus Dave Jennings 1952
No Score Yet The Frogmen Lt. Cmdr. John Lawrence 1951
88% No Way Out Ray Biddle 1950
96% Panic in the Streets Lt. Cmd. Clinton 'Clint' Reed M.D. 1950
79% Night and the City Harry Fabian 1950
86% Halls of Montezuma Lt. Anderson 1950
No Score Yet Slattery's Hurricane Lt. Willard Francis Slattery 1949
No Score Yet Down to the Sea in Ships Dan Lunceford 1949
100% Road House Jefty Robbins 1948
100% The Street with No Name Alec Stiles 1948
No Score Yet Yellow Sky Dude 1948
88% Kiss of Death Tommy Udo 1947

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet NOVA
1974
Narrator
  • 1988
  • 1987
No Score Yet I Love Lucy
1951-1957
Himself
  • 1955
  • 1952

QUOTES FROM Richard Widmark CHARACTERS