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Actor Richard Widmark dies at 93

Richard Widmark, pictured in 1982
Widmark made more than 70 films between 1947 and 1992

Hollywood star Richard Widmark has died at the age of 93 after a long illness, his wife has announced.

The prolific actor, who often portrayed killers and gunslingers, made a memorable big-screen debut in 1947 as a giggling psychopath in Kiss of Death.

He went on to star in such 50s classics as Night and the City, Pickup on South Street and the western Broken Lance.

The craggy-faced actor died at his home in Connecticut on Monday, according to his wife Susan Blanchard.

His last film role came in the 1991 thriller True Colors, although he made occasional appearances afterwards in TV documentaries.

'Irritating'

"I now find the whole moviemaking process irritating," he said in 1987. "I don't have the patience any more."

Born in Minnesota in 1914, Widmark began his career in radio and theatre before playing cackling killer Tommy Udo in Kiss of Death.

Richard Widmark in Judgment at Nuremberg
His acclaimed movies included 1961's Judgment at Nuremberg
The film landed him an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe award for best newcomer - but he was not entirely enamoured with fame.

"That damned laugh of mine!" he said in 1961. "For two years after that picture, you couldn't get me to smile.

"I played the part the way I did because the script struck me as funny and the part I played made me laugh."

Subsequent films included 1952's Don't Bother to Knock, in which he co-starred with Marilyn Monroe, and Cold War submarine drama The Bedford Incident, which he also produced.

Other notable roles included Judgment at Nuremberg in 1961, How the West was Won the following year and Cheyenne Autumn in 1964.

Detective

Madigan, in which he played a loner detective, became a short-lived TV series in 1972.

In the same decade, cinemagoers saw him murdered on the Orient Express and pursued by bees in The Swarm.

When not working, he and his second wife lived on a horse ranch in California or on their Connecticut farm.

His daughter from his first marriage - to writer Jean Hazlewood - became the wife of baseball star Sandy Koufax.

SEE ALSO
Obituary: Richard Widmark
26 Mar 08 |  Entertainment



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