Roddy McDowall

Highest Rated: 100% The Pied Piper (1942)
Birthday: Sep 17, 1928
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.


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Aliens Gone Wild! Actor 2006
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 The Sands of Time Actor 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 McBaines 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
45% Overboard Executive Producer Andrew 1987
No Score Yet Wind In The Willows Ratty 1987
83% 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
72% 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
67% 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
40% 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
62% The Legend of Hell House Benjamin Franklin Fischer 1973
37% Battle For The Planet Of The Apes Caesar 1973
75% 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
48% Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes Caesar 1972
66% Bedknobs and Broomsticks Mr. Jelk 1971
78% Escape from the Planet of the Apes Cornelius 1971
10% 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
88% 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
43% The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin Bullwhip Griffin 1967
No Score Yet Cricket on the Hearth Actor 1967
71% Lord Love a Duck Alan 'Mollymauk' Musgrave 1966
36% Inside Daisy Clover Walter Baines 1966
No Score Yet The Defector Agent Adams 1966
94% 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 On the Sunny Side Hugh Aylesworth 1942
No Score Yet Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake Benjamin as a Boy 1942
91% 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 Dead Man's Shoes Boy 1940
No Score Yet Hey! Hey! U.S.A. Boy 1938
No Score Yet I See Ice Boy (uncredited) 1938


97% Batman: The Animated Series
  • 1999
  • 1992
No Score Yet Tracey Takes On...
  • 1996
No Score Yet Quantum Leap
Edward St. John
  • 1992
No Score Yet Murder, She Wrote
Alger Kenyon Gordon Fairchild
  • 1989
  • 1985
95% Mork & Mindy
  • 1979
100% Wonder Woman (1976)
  • 1978
  • 1977
No Score Yet Planet of the Apes
  • 1974
No Score Yet Columbo
Roger Stanford
  • 1972
No Score Yet Mission: Impossible
Leo Ostro
  • 1972
No Score Yet Ironside
  • 1971
No Score Yet It Takes a Thief
  • 1970
  • 1969
93% Batman
The Bookworm
  • 1966
80% The Twilight Zone
Sam Conrad
  • 1960
No Score Yet Night Gallery
No Score Yet The Pirates of Dark Water