Richard Widmark

    This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

    Why not take a minute to register for your own free account now? Registration is completely free and will enable the use of all site features including the ability to join in or create your own discussions.

    There are 56 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by BILL OF PA.

    • Richard Widmark



      Date of birth
      26 December 1914
      Sunrise, Minnesota, USA

      Date of Death
      Monday 24th March 2008

      5' 11" (1.80 m)

      Susan Blanchard (September 1999 - present)
      Jean Hazlewood (5 April 1942 - 2 March 1997) (her death) 1 child

      Unforgettable in his screen debut (in 1947's 'Kiss of Death') as Tommy Udo, a psychopathic mob hit-man, who giggles gleefully even as he sends a wheelchair-bound old woman, portrayed by Mildred Dunnock, tumbling down a long stairway to her demise.

      Richard Widmark's daughter, Anne Heath Widmark, married baseball legend Sandy Koufax on January 1, 1969.

      President of his high school class.

      He was the Friday night host for CBS Radio's "Sears Mystery Theater" (1979).

      Widmark was a voice-over regular on the popular 1930s radio series “Gangbusters” that featured weekly episodes based actual crime incidents. Each program wended with various descriptions of wanted criminals, many of whom were later arrested due to avid listener participation.

      Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 2002.

      Personal quotes
      [speaking in 1976] "The heavies in my day were kid's stuff compared to today. Our villains had no redeeming qualities. But there's a new morality today. A villain is a guy with a frailty. Heroes are villains."

      "The more takes I do, the worse I get."

      Mini Biography
      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 om the late 1950s. His film career slowed after the 1970s, but he remained active in made-for-TV movies. He starred in his own TV series in 1972, "Madigan" (1972), based on his hit movie of 1968, but only six episodes were produced before the show was canceled. In 1988 The American Movie Classics cable TV channel honored Widmark by airing "The Richard Widmark Film Festival."
      IMDb mini-biography by Martin Lewison

      Mini Biography-2
      from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
      Few screen debuts have been so memorable. As Tommy Udo, the giggling gangster and homicidal maniac who pushes a wheelchair-bound woman down a flight of stairs in Kiss of Death (1947), this slight, sandy-haired actor brought shudders to jaded moviegoers who thought they had seen it all. Widmark's Tommy Udo was to 1940s filmgoers what Dennis Hopper's Frank Booth (from Blue Velvet was to movie fans of the 1980s: the ne plus ultra of screen villainy. Nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his tyro screen performance, Widmark was initially frustrated with Hollywood. He'd been a successful New York-based stage and radio actor (who later remarked that he gave up a house with a pool to move to California!); now he was being offered nothing but Tommy Udo-type roles. He took some, like the sadistic no-good who squares off against Cornel Wilde and Ida Lupino in Road House (1948), or the creepy bigot who goads intern Sidney Poitier in No Way Out (1950). But he also proved himself a capable leading man, as in the colorful Down to the Sea in Ships (1949), and Elia Kazan's terrific Panic in the Streets (1950). Still, his best characters seemed to have an edge to them, like the grifter in Samuel Fuller's flavorful Pickup on South Street (1953). In time, Widmark did it all, from war stories (1950's Halls of Montezuma to Westerns (1948's Yellow Sky1954's Broken Lance to romantic comedies (1958's Tunnel of Love, investing each performance with directness and honesty.

      As Hollywood's studio system eroded, he produced two of his own starring films, Time Limit (1957) and The Secret Ways (1961), and after a busy decade in the 1960s (which he started off by playing Jim Bowie in The Alamo he became choosier about parts in the 1970s and 1980s (though he succumbed to his share of junk, like 1978's disaster opus The Swarm. In 1971 he played the President of the U.S. in the highly touted telefilm Vanishedand later starred in a short-lived "Madigan" (1972-73) series that spun off from his successful 1968 feature. His presence in films has become a rarity in recent years, but is always welcome: he lends authority to every part he takes.
      Copyright © 1994 Leonard Maltin, used by arrangement with Signet, a division of Penguin Putnam, Inc.

      1. True Colors (1991) .... Sen. Stiles
      2. Cold Sassy Tree (1989) (TV) .... Enid Rucker Blakeslee
      3. Once Upon a Texas Train (1988) (TV) .... Captain Oren Hayes
      ... aka Texas Guns
      4. A Gathering of Old Men (1987) (TV) .... Sheriff Mapes
      ... aka Aufstand alter Männer, Ein (West Germany)
      ... aka Murder on the Bayou
      5. Blackout (1985) (TV) .... Joe Steiner
      6. Against All Odds (1984) .... Ben Caxton
      7. Who Dares Wins (1982) .... Secretary of State Arthur Currie
      ... aka The Final Option (USA)
      8. Hanky Panky (1982) .... Ransom
      9. National Lampoon Goes to the Movies (1982) .... Stan Nagurski ("Municipalians")
      ... aka National Lampoon's Movie Madness (UK: video title)
      10. A Whale for the Killing (1981) (TV) .... Tom Goodenough
      11. All God's Children (1980) (TV) .... Judge Parke Denison

      12. Bear Island (1979) .... Otto Gerran
      ... aka Alistair MacLean's Bear Island
      13. Mr. Horn (1979) (TV) .... Al Sieber
      14. The Swarm (1978) .... Major General Thalius Slater
      15. Coma (1978) .... Dr. George A. Harris
      16. The Domino Principle (1977) .... Tagge
      ... aka Domino principe, El (Mexico)
      ... aka The Domino Killings (UK)
      17. Rollercoaster (1977) .... Agent Hoyt
      18. Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977) .... Gen. Martin MacKenzie
      ... aka Nuclear Countdown
      ... aka Ultimatum, Das (West Germany)
      19. The Sell-Out (1976) .... Sam Lucas
      ... aka ...e poi non rimase nessuno (Italy)
      ... aka Melimot Be-Yerushalaim (Israel: Hebrew title)
      ... aka The Set-Up
      20. To the Devil a Daughter (1976) .... John Verney
      ... aka Braut des Satans, Die (West Germany)
      ... aka Child of Satan (USA: video title)
      ... aka To the Devil... a Daughter (USA: poster title)
      21. The Last Day (1975) (TV) .... Will Spence
      22. Murder on the Orient Express (1974) .... Mr. Samuel Edward Ratchett/Cassetti
      23. "Benjamin Franklin" (1974) (mini) TV Series .... Benjamin Franklin
      24. Brock's Last Case (1973) (TV) .... Lieutenant Max Brock
      25. "Madigan" (1972) TV Series .... Sgt. Dan Madigan (1972-1973)
      26. When the Legends Die (1972) .... Red Dillon
      27. Vanished (1971) (TV) .... President Paul Roudebush
      28. The Moonshine War (1970) .... Dr. Emmett Taulbee

      29. Death of a Gunfighter (1969) .... Marshal Frank Patch
      30. A Talent for Loving (1969)
      ... aka Gun Crazy
      31. Madigan (1968) .... Det. Daniel Madigan
      32. The Way West (1967) .... Lije Evans
      33. Alvarez Kelly (1966) .... Col. Tom Rossiter
      34. The Bedford Incident (1965) .... Capt. Eric Finlander
      35. Cheyenne Autumn (1964) .... Capt. Thomas Archer
      ... aka John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn (USA: complete title)
      36. Flight from Ashiya (1964) .... L:t. Col. Glenn Stevenson
      ... aka Ashiya kara no hiko (Japan)
      37. The Long Ships (1963) .... Rolfe
      ... aka Dugi brodovi (Yugoslavia: Serbian title)
      38. How the West Was Won (1962) .... Mike King
      39. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) .... Col. Tad Lawson (prosecuting attorney)
      ... aka Judgement at Nuremberg
      40. Two Rode Together (1961) .... First Lt. Jim Gary
      41. The Secret Ways (1961) .... Michael Reynolds
      42. The Alamo (1960) .... Jim Bowie

      43. Warlock (1959) .... Johnny Gannon
      ... aka Shoot Out at Warlock (USA: reissue title)
      44. The Trap (1959) .... Ralph Anderson
      ... aka The Baited Trap (UK)
      45. The Tunnel of Love (1958) .... August 'Augie' Poole
      46. The Law and Jake Wade (1958) .... Clint Hollister
      47. Time Limit (1957) .... Col. William Edwards
      48. Saint Joan (1957) .... The Dauphin, Charles VII
      49. The Last Wagon (1956) .... Comanche Todd
      50. Run for the Sun (1956) .... Michael 'Mike' Latimer
      51. Backlash (1956) .... Jim Slater
      52. The Cobweb (1955) .... Dr. Stewart 'Mac' McIver
      53. A Prize of Gold (1955) .... Sergeant Joe Lawrence
      54. Broken Lance (1954) .... Ben Devereaux
      55. Garden of Evil (1954) .... Fiske
      56. Hell and High Water (1954) .... Capt. Adam Jones/R.J. MacDougal
      57. Take the High Ground! (1953) .... Sgt. Thorne Ryan
      58. Pickup on South Street (1953) .... Skip McCoy
      59. Destination Gobi (1953) .... CPO Sam McHale
      60. My Pal Gus (1952) .... Dave Jennings
      61. O. Henry's Full House (1952) .... Johnny Kernan (The Clarion Call)
      ... aka Full House (UK)
      62. Don't Bother to Knock (1952) .... Jed Towers
      63. Red Skies of Montana (1952) .... Cliff Mason
      ... aka Smoke Jumpers
      64. The Frogmen (1951) .... Lt. Cmdr. John Lawrence
      65. Halls of Montezuma (1950) .... Lt. Carl Anderson
      66. No Way Out (1950) .... Ray Biddle
      67. Panic in the Streets (1950) .... Lieutenant Commander Dr. Clinton 'Clint' Reed U.S. Public Health Service
      68. Night and the City (1950) .... Harry Fabian

      69. Slattery's Hurricane (1949) .... Will Slattery
      70. Down to the Sea in Ships (1949) .... First Mate Dan Lunceford
      71. Yellow Sky (1949) .... Dude
      72. Road House (1948) .... Jefty Robbins
      73. The Street with No Name (1948) .... Alec Stiles
      74. Kiss of Death (1947) .... Tommy Udo

      1. The Bedford Incident (1965) (producer)
      2. The Secret Ways (1961) (producer)
      3. Time Limit (1957) (producer)

      1. The Secret Ways (1961) (uncredited)

      1. Dobe and a Company of Heroes (2002) (TV) .... Himself
      2. "A&E Biography"
      - Gene Tierney: A Shattered Portrait (1999) TV Episode .... Himself
      3. Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (1997) (TV) .... Himself
      4. Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1996) .... Himself
      5. Lincoln (1992) (TV) (voice) .... Ward Hill Lamon
      6. The American Film Institute Salute to Sidney Poitier (1992) (TV) .... Himself
      7. Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend (1987) .... Narrator
      8. The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn (1986) (TV) .... Himself
      ... aka The Spencer Tracy Legacy (USA)
      9. The American Film Institute Salute to Lillian Gish (1984) (TV) .... Himself
      10. The American Film Institute Salute to Henry Fonda (1978) (TV) .... Himself
      11. Inside 'The Swarm' (1978) (TV) .... Himself
      12. "V.I.P.-Schaukel"
      - Episode #4.3 (1974) TV Episode .... Himself
      13. The American Film Institute Salute to John Ford (1973) (TV) .... Himself
      14. Shooting the Moonshine War (1970) (uncredited) .... Himself
      15. "Here's Hollywood"
      - Episode dated 22 January 1962 (1962) TV Episode .... Himself
      16. The 33rd Annual Academy Awards (1961) (TV) .... Himself - Co-Presenter: Best Special Effects
      17. "I Love Lucy"
      ... aka Lucy in Connecticut (USA: rerun title)
      ... aka The Lucy Show (USA: rerun title)
      ... aka The Sunday Lucy Show (USA: rerun title)
      ... aka The Top Ten Lucy Show (USA: rerun title)
      - The Tour (1955) TV Episode .... Himself
      18. 1955 Motion Picture Theatre Celebration (1955) (uncredited) .... Himself
      19. "What's My Line?"
      - Episode dated 31 January 1954 (1954) TV Episode .... Himself
      20. Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Night Life (1952) .... Himself

      Archive Footage
      1. Premio Donostia a Willem Dafoe (2005) (TV)
      2. Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust (2004)
      3. Images of Indians: How Hollywood Stereotyped the Native American (2003) (TV) (uncredited) .... Himself/Capt. Thomas Archer (from Cheyenne Autumn (1964))
      4. The Kid Stays In the Picture (2002) (uncredited) .... Himself
      5. John Wayne's 'The Alamo' (2001) (V) .... Jim Bowie
      6. Margret Dünser, auf der Suche nach den Besonderen (1981) (TV) .... Himself
      7. "Toast of the Town"
      - Episode #6.26 (1953) TV Episode .... Himself
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Richard Widmark, Well he should be known as a
      'not' a Pal of the Saddle,
      as he and Duke were hardly pals,
      during and after making The Alamo.

      He was also in How The West Was Won,
      but not in the same scenes, as Duke.

      How the West Was Won (1962) .... Mike King
      The Alamo. (1960)...Jim Bowie


      When casting the film,although Widmark, was not his first choice,
      Duke was initially elated, but this was to soon change.
      Duke took out an ad, in a trade magazine, that hailed Widmark's acting skills,
      and it said in, big bold letters,


      When Widmark next saw Duke, he told him
      Tell you publicity man, or whoever wrote that ad,
      that the name is Richard, not Dick!.

      Supposedly,Duke had to hold back his anger,
      as it was he who took out the ad, and said,
      I'll remember that, the next time, I take out an ad- [b]Richard. [/b]

      The two almost came to blows over all this,
      and Widmark has often remarked,
      Don't talk to me about that Alamo thing.

      Needless to say, Duke and he, remained off each other's Christmas card list.
      Ironically, Harry Carey Jr, in his book, is always,
      referring to Widmark as

      Work that one out, if you will!!
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Hi Keith,
      Very interesting information about relations between Widmark and Duke. Anyway he played well in Alamo and I like him as the most of you I guess. The only other film in wich I have seen him is Warlock. I truly didn't remember him in How th West was Won.
    • Re: Pals Of The Saddle- Richard Widmark

      Richard Widmark is yet another whose name was a household name in our house. To date I have seen only 24 of his films, and have enjoyed him in all of them. I sure hate to see such great actors age and retire.
    • Re: Pals Of The Saddle- Richard Widmark

      Widmark was a good actor, although he did not get along with Duke. I always thought Charlton Heston would have made a far better Jim Bowie, at least Heston had the height and size to stand up to Wayne's Davy Crockett.

      Did anyone else know that Widmark wore a toupee? I only found out when I read a biography of Jimmy Stewart.
    • Re: Pals Of The Saddle- Richard Widmark

      Hi Mike, Cole,

      Funny you should mention Charlton Heston as Jim Bowie. I had always thought of that role as tailor made for Charlton Heston and I had wished that he could have made a film with Duke. Heston is another favorite of mine.

      Widmark with a toupee? I never heard that before. Added a new wrinkle to my brain though ;-))
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Pals Of The Saddle- Richard Widmark

      It would have been interesting if Heston had played Bowie and Clark Gable had played Travis. It's a shame Heston turned the film down. At least he got to work with Gary Cooper, his childhood idol, although sadly "The Wreck of the Mary Deare" had to be interrupted frequently by Cooper's illnesses.