News: Cliff Robertson, 88, Dies on Long Island
(Long Island, N.Y.) Cliff Robertson, who was known for playing John F. Kennedy in the biographical film PT-109, passed away on Long Island. The actor went on to win the Oscar for his role as a mentally disabled man in "Charly." He was lost to natural causes on Saturday just after celebrating his 88th birthday.
The movie that Robertson was most well-known for, "Charly," was loosely based on the book Flowers for Algernon. There was also a television version of the film that was aired before it was released. Robertson played a mentally disabled man who was the subject of a science experiment to increase human intelligence.
Robertson had a lengthy career that began with films from as early as 1950 and lasted until recent roles, including Uncle Ben Parker in all three Spiderman movies. The movies were adapted from the preexisting comic book series. Robertson's character was killed in the first Spiderman film, however, and appeared in the following two in flashback scenes.
The actor also began directing in 1972, for a film called J.W. Coop, in which he starred. He also co-authored the movie and appeared on many television programs such as The Twilight Zone and The Dummy. He had a starring role in the live performance of "Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers," and was the lead actor in "Days of Wine and Roses."
Sources stated that the actor turned down many offers for movie roles including Dirty Harry, a role made famous by Clint Eastwood. As a consequence, Robertson was known for the movies he did not appear in. Robertson appeared on Broadway in Orpheus Descending, however the role was played by Marlon Brando in the movie version.
In the late seventies, Robertson was blacklisted from Hollywood after reporting a scandal involving a forged signature from a major motion picture company. He returned after several years and filmed the movie Brainstorm in 1983. The head of the film company, who was accused of forgery, pleaded no contest to the charges of grand theft; he was fined and sentenced to three years' probation.
Robertson was also known for his marriage to actress Dina Merrill, the daughter of E.F. Hutton and Marjorie Merriweather Post from the Post Cereal fortune. Sources also stated that Robertson was airborne and flying a private Beechcraft Baron over New York City on September 11, 2001. He was directly over the Twin Towers when the first plane struck, and reports stated that air traffic control personnel subsequently ordered him to land at the nearest airport.
Sources claimed that Robertson's daughter described her father as a loving, devoted, and dedicated professional who was an honorable man. She also emphasized that he stood by his family, friends, and colleagues through difficult times. He will be missed by family, fans, and members of the acting community.
September 28, 2011 12:09 PM Eastern
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