Roddy McDowall - Rotten Tomatoes

Roddy McDowall

Highest Rated:   100% The Pied Piper (1942)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Herne Hill, London, England
British actor Roddy McDowall's father was an officer in the English merchant marine, and his mother was a would-be actress. When it came time to choose a life's calling, McDowall bowed to his mother's influence. After winning an acting prize in a school play, he was able to secure film work in Britain, beginning at age ten with 1938's Scruffy. He appeared in 16 roles of varying sizes and importance before he and his family were evacuated to the U.S. during the 1940 Battle of Britain. McDowall arrival in Hollywood coincided with the wishes of 20th Century-Fox executive Darryl F. Zanuck to create a "new Freddie Bartholomew." He tested for the juvenile lead in Fox's How Green Was My Valley (1941), winning both the role and a long contract. McDowall's first adult acting assignment was as Malcolm in Orson Welles' 1948 film version of Macbeth; shortly afterward, he formed a production company with Macbeth co-star Dan O'Herlihy. McDowall left films for the most part in the 1950s, preferring TV and stage work; among his Broadway credits were No Time for Sergeants, Compulsion, (in which he co-starred with fellow former child star Dean Stockwell) and Lerner and Loewe's Camelot (as Mordred). McDowall won a 1960 Tony Award for his appearance in the short-lived production The Fighting Cock. The actor spent the better part of the early 1960s playing Octavius in the mammoth production Cleopatra, co-starring with longtime friend Elizabeth Taylor. An accomplished photographer, McDowall was honored by having his photos of Taylor and other celebrities frequently published in the leading magazines of the era. He was briefly an advising photographic editor of Harper's Bazaar, and in 1966 published the first of several collections of his camerawork, Double Exposure. McDowall's most frequent assignments between 1968 and 1975 found him in elaborate simian makeup as Cornelius in the Planet of the Apes theatrical films and TV series. Still accepting the occasional guest-star film role and theatrical assignment into the 1990s, McDowall towards the end of his life was most active in the administrative end of show business, serving on the executive boards of the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. A lifelong movie collector (a hobby which once nearly got him arrested by the FBI), McDowall has also worked diligently with the National Film Preservation Board. In August, 1998, he was elected president of the Academy Foundation. One of Hollywood's last links to its golden age and much-loved by old and new stars alike -- McDowell was famed for his kindness, generosity and loyalty (friends could tell McDowall any secret and be sure of its safety) -- McDowall's announcement that he was suffering from terminal cancer a few weeks before he died rocked the film community, and many visited the ailing actor in his Studio City home. Shortly before he was diagnosed with cancer, McDowall had provided the voiceover for Disney/Pixar's animated feature A Bug's Life. A few days prior to McDowall's passing, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named its photo archive after him.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Aliens Gone Wild!
  • Actor
2006
71% Lord Love a Duck
  • Alan 'Mollymauk' Musgrave
2000
No Score Yet Keepers of the Frame
  • Actor
1999
92% A Bug's Life
  • Mr. Soil
1998
60% Behind the Planet of the Apes
  • Host
1998
No Score Yet Precious Moments: Timmy's Gift
  • Narrator
1998
No Score Yet Rudyard Kipling's The Second Jungle Book
  • King Murphy
1997
No Score Yet Unlikely Angel
  • Saint Peter
1996
50% The Grass Harp
  • Amos Legrand
1996
47% It's My Party
  • Damian Knowles
1996
No Score Yet Bullet Hearts
  • Actor
1996
64% Last Summer in the Hamptons
  • Thomas
1995
No Score Yet Unknown Origin
  • Dr. Henry Lazarus
1995
No Score Yet Star Hunter
  • Actor
1995
No Score Yet Heads
  • Fibris Drake
1994
No Score Yet Angel 4: Undercover (Angel 4: Assault with a Deadly Weapon) (Undercover Angel)
  • Geoffrey Kagen
1994
No Score Yet Mirror Mirror II: Raven Dance
  • Dr. Lasky
1994
No Score Yet Fatally Yours
  • Pauly
1993
No Score Yet Double Trouble
  • Philip Chamberlain
1992
No Score Yet Earth Angel
  • Mr. Tatum
1991
No Score Yet Going Under
  • Secretary Neighbor
1991
No Score Yet An Inconvenient Woman
  • Cyril Rathbone
1991
No Score Yet Deadly Game
  • Doctor Aaron
1991
91% The Big Picture
  • Judge
1989
No Score Yet Heroes Stand Alone
  • Actor
1989
25% Cutting Class
  • Mr. Dante
1989
25% Fright Night 2
  • Peter Vincent
1989
No Score Yet Around the World in 80 Days
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet Shakma
  • Prof. Sorenson
1989
No Score Yet Carmilla
  • Inspector Amos
1989
No Score Yet Remo Williams
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet Doin' Time on Planet Earth
  • Actor
1988
46% Overboard
  • Andrew
  • Executive Producer
1987
No Score Yet Wind In The Willows
  • Ratty
1987
82% Dead of Winter
  • Mr. Murray
1986
17% Gobots - Battle of the Rock Lords
  • Nuggit
1986
91% Fright Night
  • Peter Vincent
1985
No Score Yet Alice in Wonderland
  • March Hare
1985
No Score Yet The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Actor
1984
86% Evil Under the Sun
  • Rex Brewster
1982
75% Class of 1984
  • Terry Corrigan
1982
No Score Yet Mae West
  • Rene Valentine
1982
No Score Yet Hollywood's Children
  • Narrator
1982
40% Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen
  • Gillespie
1981
No Score Yet Farewell to the Planet of the Apes
  • Actor
1981
67% The Return of the King
  • Samwise Gamgee
1980
No Score Yet Scavenger Hunt
  • Jenkins
1979
No Score Yet Nutcracker Fantasy
  • Franz Fritz
1979
43% Circle of Iron
  • White Robe
1979
43% The Black Hole
  • V.I.N.CENT
1979
No Score Yet The Cat from Outer Space
  • Mr. Stallwood
1978
No Score Yet Rabbit Test
  • Gypsy Grandmother/Dr. Fishbind
1978
No Score Yet The Thief of Baghdad
  • Hasani
1978
No Score Yet Laserblast
  • Dr. Mellon
1977
No Score Yet The Rhinemann Exchange
  • Actor
1977
No Score Yet Flood!
  • Franklin
1976
No Score Yet Embryo
  • Frank Riley
1976
No Score Yet Mowgli's Brothers
  • Actor
1976
No Score Yet White Seal
  • Actor
1975
44% Funny Lady
  • Bobby Moore
1975
No Score Yet Mean Johnny Barrows
  • Tony Da Vince
1975
50% Dirty Mary Crazy Larry
  • Stanton
1974
No Score Yet Back to the Planet of the Apes (The New Planet of the Apes)
  • Actor
1974
No Score Yet Miracle on 34th Street
  • Dr. Henry Sawyer
1973
No Score Yet Arnold
  • Robert
1973
56% The Legend of Hell House
  • Benjamin Franklin Fischer
1973
36% Battle For The Planet Of The Apes
  • Caesar
1973
71% The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
  • Frank Gass
1972
79% The Poseidon Adventure
  • Acres
1972
No Score Yet Columbo: Short Fuse
  • Actor
1972
44% Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes
  • Caesar
1972
63% Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  • Mr. Jelk
1971
79% Escape from the Planet of the Apes
  • Cornelius
1971
11% Pretty Maids All in a Row
  • Mr. Proffer
1971
No Score Yet Tam Lin
  • Director
1971
No Score Yet Night Gallery
  • Actor
1969
No Score Yet Hello Down There
  • Nate Ashbury
1969
No Score Yet Angel, Angel, Down We Go
  • Santoro
1969
90% Planet of the Apes
  • Cornelius
1968
No Score Yet 5 Card Stud
  • Nick Evers
1968
No Score Yet It! (Anger of the Golem)(Curse of the Golem)
  • Arthur Pimm
1967
No Score Yet The Cool Ones
  • Tony Krum
1967
No Score Yet The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin
  • Bullwhip Griffin
1967
No Score Yet Cricket on the Hearth
  • Actor
1967
36% Inside Daisy Clover
  • Walter Baines
1966
No Score Yet The Defector
  • Agent Adams
1966
93% That Darn Cat!
  • Gregory Benson
1965
53% The Loved One
  • D.J. Jr.
1965
37% The Greatest Story Ever Told
  • Matthew
1965
No Score Yet The Third Day
  • Oliver Parsons
1965
56% Cleopatra
  • Octavian/Caesar Augustus
1963
91% The Longest Day
  • Private Morris
1962
No Score Yet The Subterraneans
  • Yuri Gilgoric
1960
No Score Yet Midnight Lace
  • Malcolm
1960
No Score Yet Hill Number One
  • Pvt. Huntington
1951
88% Macbeth
  • Malcolm
1950
No Score Yet Kidnapped
  • David Balfour
1948
No Score Yet Holiday in Mexico
  • Stanley Owen
1946
No Score Yet Molly and Me
  • Jimmy Graham
1945
No Score Yet Thunderhead---Son of Flicka
  • Ken McLaughlin
1945
No Score Yet The Keys of the Kingdom
  • Younger Francis Chisholm
1944
86% My Friend Flicka
  • Ken McLaughlin
1944
No Score Yet The White Cliffs of Dover
  • John Ashwood II as a Boy
1944
94% Lassie Come Home
  • Joe Carraclough
1943
100% The Pied Piper
  • Ronnie Cavanaugh
1942
No Score Yet Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake
  • Benjamin as a Boy
1942
90% Man Hunt
  • Vaner The Cabin Boy
1941
90% How Green Was My Valley
  • Huw Morgan
1941
No Score Yet This England
  • Norman Boy
1941
No Score Yet Saloon Bar
  • Actor
1940
No Score Yet Hey! Hey! U.S.A.
  • Boy
1938
No Score Yet I See Ice
  • Boy (uncredited)
1938

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Wonder Woman (1976)
1975-1979
  • Roberts
  • 1978
  • 1977
No Score Yet Batman
1966-1968
  • The Bookworm
  • 1966
No Score Yet The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • Sam Conrad
  • 1960

Quotes from Roddy McDowall's Characters