Thursday, March 20, 2008

Paul Scofield, R.I.P.

I never got to see Paul Scofield perform on the stage, so all I know of his work is from the films he made. He was an actor of unusual presence and grace. He gave an excellent performance as Mark Van Doren in Quiz Show. He brought gravity to his portrayal of Judge Danforth in The Crucible. He was an effective villain in The Train. He was a wily French king in Kenneth Branagh's film of Henry V. He was memorable in Mel Gibson's generally underrated film of Hamlet. And, of course, there was A Man for All Seasons. His work in that film (and play) was so highly praised that it is worth going back and watching the film again to see that he did indeed give a great performance.

There are many obituaries of him online. The BBC has an adequate one here.

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