93 (passed away Mar. 24th, 2008)
Dec. 26th, 1914
Sunrise Township, Minnesota, USA
Richard Widmark's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Richard Widmark grew up in Princeton, Illinois, and attended Lake Forest (IL) College, where he first began acting. He taught acting at Lake Forest after graduation until 1938, when he made his radio debut in New York in "Aunt Jenny's Real Life Stories." Widmark made his Broadway stage debut in 1943 in "Kiss and Tell." He had been rejected as unsuitable for military service because of a perforated eardrum. In 1947, he got his big break, making film history as Tommy Udo in Kiss of Death (1947), beginning a seven-year contract with 20th Century-Fox. His hand and footprints were cast in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in 1949.
After his contract with Fox expired, Widmark went independent. He first appeared on TV as himself in an episode of "I Love Lucy" (1951), and began producing films from the late 1950s. His film career slowed in the 1970s, but he remained active in made-for-TV movies. He starred in his own TV series, "Madigan" (1972), based on his 1968 hit movie, but only six episodes were produced before the show was canceled.
- Before he ever became a film actor, Widmark was busy with voice-over work on various radio programs during the 1930s and 1940s.
- His acting idol was 'Spencer Tracy' (qv).
- When his contract at Fox expired in 1954 after seven years, he deliberately went independent in order to have more artistic control over his films. He formed his own company, Heath Productions.
- His sole Academy Awards nomination was for best actor in a supporting role for _Kiss of Death (1947)_ (qv) in 1948. Though he had won the Golden Globe for the role, he lost the Oscar to 'Edmund Gwenn' (qv) in _Miracle on 34th Street (1947)_ (qv).
- Featured in "Bad Boys: The Actors of Film Noir" by Karen Burroughs Hannsberry (McFarland, 2003).
- His father was Swedish by descent; his mother was Scottish, English and Irish.
- He was the step-father of Amy Fonda, daughter of Henry Fonda and Susan Blanchard.
- President of his high school class.