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Roddy McDowall : Biography, Pictures, Photos, Trivia, Address, Filmography (Planet of the Apes, Tales of the Gold Monkey)

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Series-80 > TV Actors > Roddy McDowall

Roddy McDowall

Galen in Planet of the Apes, Bon Chance Louis in Tales of the Gold Monkey

Photos Roddy McDowall Birth name: Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude McDowall
Birth date: 1928/09/17
Date of death : 1998/10/03 (70 years old)
Birth place : Londres (Angleterre)
Height: 1.78 m

French Traduire

Biography for Roddy McDowall

Roderick McDowall was born in London, the son of a Merchant Mariner father and a mother who had always wanted to be in movies. He was enrolled in elocution courses at age five and by ten had appeared in his first movie, Murder in the Family (1938), playing Peter Osborne, the younger brother of sisters played by Jessica Tandy and Glynis Johns. His mother brought Roddy and his sister to the U.S. at the beginning of World War II where he got the part of Huw, youngest child of Welsh coalminers, in John Ford's How Green Was My Valley (1941), acting alongside Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara and Donald Crisp in the film thta won that year's best film Oscar. He went on to many other child roles, in films like My Friend Flicka (1943) and _Lassie Come Home (1943) _ until, at age 18, he moved to New York, where he played a long series of successful stage roles, both on Broadway and in such venues as Connecticut's Stratford Festival, where he did Shakespeare. In addition to making many more movies (over 150), McDowell acted in television, developed an extensive collection of movies and Hollywood memorabilia, and published five acclaimed books of his own photography. He died at his Los Angeles home, aged 70, of cancer.


Photos Roddy McDowall n_5 Photos Roddy McDowall n_5 Photos Roddy McDowall n_5 Photos Roddy McDowall n_5 Photos Roddy McDowall n_5


Title Role
A Bug's Life (1999) (VG) (voice) Mr. Soil
A Bug's Life (1998) (voice) Mr. Soil
Something to Believe In (1998) Gambler
Batman: Gotham Knights (1997) TV Series (voice) The Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch)
The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo (1997) King Murphy
Loss of Faith (1997) (TV) Henry Stokes
Unlikely Angel (1996) (TV) Saint Peter
Dead Man's Island (1996) (TV) Trevor Dunnaway
It's My Party (1996) Damian Knowles
Last Summer in the Hamptons (1995) Thomas
The Grass Harp (1995) Amos Legrand
The Alien Within (1995) (TV) Dr. Henry Lazarus
Fatally Yours (1995) (V) Pauly
Star Hunter (1995) (V) Riecher
Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is (1994) (TV) Jeremy Sennet
The Color of Evening (1994) Henry Seaton
Mirror, Mirror 2: Raven Dance (1994) Dr. Lasky
The Red Planet (1994) (mini) TV Series (voice)
Angel 4: Undercover (1993) Geoffrey Kagen
Heads (1993) (TV) Fibris Drake
The Sands of Time (1992) (TV) Alan Tucker
Double Trouble (1992/I) Phillip Chamberlin
Gusanos no llevan bufanda, Los (1992) Ernest Peabody
Darkwing Duck (1991) TV Series (voice) Additional Voices (1991-1995)
Deadly Game (1991) (TV) Dr. Aaron
An Inconvenient Woman (1991) (TV) Cyril Rathbone
Earth Angel (1991) (TV) Mr. Tatum
Pirates of Darkwater (1991) TV Series (voice) Niddler (I)
Carmilla (1990) Inspector Amos
Going Under (1990) Secretary Neighbor
Shakma (1990) Sorenson
The Big Picture (1989) Judge
Cutting Class (1989) Mr. Dante
Around the World in 80 Days (1989/I) (mini) TV Series McBaines
Fright Night Part II (1989) Peter Vincent
Heroes Stand Alone (1989)
Nightmare Classics (1989) (TV)
Remo Williams (1988) (TV) Chiun
Doin' Time on Planet Earth (1988) Minister
Overboard (1987) Andrew
The Wind in the Willows (1987) (TV) (voice) Ratty
Dead of Winter (1987) Mr. Murray
Bridges to Cross (1986) TV Series Norman Parks (1986)
GoBots: War of the Rock Lords (1986) (voice) Nuggit
Alice in Wonderland (1985) (TV) March Hare
Fright Night (1985) Peter Vincent
Hollywood Wives (1985) (mini) TV Series Jason Swandle
Zoo Ship (1985) (voice)
The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood (1984) (TV) Prince John
This Girl for Hire (1983) (TV) Manfred Hayes
Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982) TV Series Bon Chance Louis
Class of 1984 (1982) Terry Corrigan
Mae West (1982) (TV) Rene Valentine
Evil Under the Sun (1982) Rex Brewster
The Million Dollar Face (1981) (TV) Derek Kenyon
Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981) Gillespie
Back to the Planet of the Apes (1981) (TV) Galen
Farewell to the Planet of the Apes (1981) (TV) Galen
The Return of the King (1980) (TV) (voice) Samwise Gamgee
The Memory of Eva Ryker (1980) (TV) MacFarland
The Martian Chronicles (1980) (mini) TV Series Father Stone
Scavenger Hunt (1979) Jenkins the butler
The Black Hole (1979) (voice) V.I.N.CENT. (Vital Information Necessary CENTralized)
Hart to Hart (1979) (TV) Dr. Peterson
Nutcracker Fantasy (1979) Franz Fritz
Circle of Iron (1978) White Robe
The Thief of Baghdad (1978) (TV) Hasan
The Immigrants (1978) (TV) Mark Levy
The Cat from Outer Space (1978) Mr. Stallwood
Rabbit Test (1978) Dr. D & C Fishbine
Laserblast (1978) (as Roddy McDowell: closing credits) Doctor Mellon
The Fantastic Journey (1977) TV Series Dr. Jonathan Willoway (1977)
The Rhinemann Exchange (1977) (mini) TV Series Bobby Ballard
Mowgli's Brothers (1977) (TV) (voice) Narrator/Mowgli
Sixth and Main (1977) Skateboard
Flood! (1976) (TV) Mr. Franklin
Embryo (1976) Frank Riley
Mean Johnny Barrows (1976) Tony Da Vinci
Funny Lady (1975) Bobby Moore
The White Seal (1975) (TV) Narrator
Planet of the Apes (1974) TV Series Galen
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974) (uncredited) George Stanton
Black Day for Bluebeard (1974) (TV) Lionel Standish
The Elevator (1974) (TV) Marvin Ellis
Miracle on 34th Street (1973) (TV) Doctor Henry Sawyer
Arnold (1973) Robert
Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) Caesar
The Legend of Hell House (1973) Benjamin Franklin Fischer
Topper Returns (1973) (TV) Cosmo Topper Jr.
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) Frank Gass
The Poseidon Adventure (1972) Acres
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) Caesar
Columbo: Short Fuse (1972) (TV) Roger Stanford
What's a Nice Girl Like You...? (1971) (TV) Albert Soames
A Taste of Evil (1971/II) (TV) Dr. Michael Lomas
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) Mr. Jelk
Terror in the Sky (1971) (TV) Dr. Ralph Baird
Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) Cornelius
Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971) Mr. Proffer
Journey to Murder (1971) Rollo Verdew (The Killing Bottle)
Night Gallery (1969) (TV) Jeremy Evans
Angel, Angel, Down We Go (1969) Santoro
Hello Down There (1969) Nate Ashbury
Midas Run (1969) Wister
5 Card Stud (1968) Nick Evers
The Legend of Robin Hood (1968) TV Series Prince John
Planet of the Apes (1968) Cornelius
The Cool Ones (1967) Tony Krum
The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (1967) Eric 'Bullwhip' Griffin
Cricket on the Hearth (1967) (TV) (voice) Cricket
It! (1966) (as Roddy MacDowall) Arthur Pimm
The Defector (1966) Agent Adam
Lord Love a Duck (1966) Alan 'Mollymauk' Musgrave
Inside Daisy Clover (1965) Walter Baines
That Darn Cat! (1965) Gregory Benson
The Loved One (1965) D.J. Jr.
The Third Day (1965) Oliver Parsons
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) Matthew
Shock Treatment (1964) Martin Ashley
Cleopatra (1963) Caesar Augustus (Octavian)
The Longest Day (1962) Pvt. Morris
The Power and the Glory (1961) (TV) Mestizo
Our American Heritage: Not Without Honor (1960) (TV) Philip Hamilton
Midnight Lace (1960) Malcolm
The Subterraneans (1960) Yuri Gilgoric
The Tempest (1960) (TV) Ariel
The Steel Fist (1952) Eric
Big Timber (1950) Jimmy
Everybody's Dancin' (1950) Cameo appearance
Killer Shark (1950) Ted White
Black Midnight (1949) Scott Jordan
Tuna Clipper (1949) Alec MacLennan
Kidnapped (1948) David Balfour
Macbeth (1948) Malcolm
Rocky (1948) Roddy
Holiday in Mexico (1946) Stanley Owen
Thunderhead - Son of Flicka (1945) Ken McLaughlin
Molly and Me (1945) Jimmy Graham
The Keys of the Kingdom (1944) Young Francis Chisholm
The White Cliffs of Dover (1944) John Ashwood II (Age l6)
Lassie Come Home (1943) Joe Carraclough
My Friend Flicka (1943) Ken McLaughlin
The Pied Piper (1942) Ronnie Cavanaugh
On the Sunny Side (1942) Hugh Aylesworth
Son of Fury (1942) Young Benjamin Blake
Confirm or Deny (1941) Albert Perkins
How Green Was My Valley (1941) Huw Morgan
This England (1941) Hugo, Norman Boy
Man Hunt (1941) Vaner
You Will Remember (1941) Young Bob Slater
Saloon Bar (1940) Boy
Just William (1940) Ginger
Dead Man's Shoes (1940) Boy
The Outsider (1940) Boy
Murder Will Out (1940)
His Brother's Keeper (1940) Boy
Poison Pen (1940) (uncredited) Choirboy
Convict 99 (1939) (uncredited) Jimmy
Dirt (1939) (uncredited) Bit Part
Hey! Hey! USA (1938) (uncredited) Urchin on Dock
I See Ice (1938) Boy
John Halifax (1938) Boy
Murder in the Family (1938) Peter Osborne
Sarah Siddons (1938) (uncredited) Bit Part
Scruffy (1938) (uncredited) Boy
Yellow Sands (1938)


Final stage appearance was as Ebenezer Scrooge in the New York City production of "A Christmas Carol" in 1997. He alternated performances with Hal Linden.

Performed custom voice-over work for the Training Level of the PlayStation game, "A Bug's Life" (1998). [source: game credits]

A clerical error on the part of the Academy cost McDowall an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor for his role as Caesar Augustus Octavian in Cleopatra (1963).

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) honor Roddy McDowall for his acting career and critically acclaimed photography by naming its photo archive after him. The collection, which includes several millions of negatives and stills, will be known as the Roddy McDowall Photograph Archive at the Margaret Herrick Library. [December 1998]

Ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean. [1998]

In 1974, the FBI raided the home of Roddy McDowall and seized the actor's collection of bootlegged classic films. The actor was not charged and agreed to cooperate with the FBI. Roddy has appeared in two separate television series of Batman. The original 1960s series (as Bookworm), and 'Batman: The Animated Series' (as the Mad Hatter).

In addition to appearing on both the original and animated "Batman" TV series, he also the reader for the book-on-tape version of the novelization of the first "Batman" film (1989).

Roddy McDowall was a rarity among movie stars in that he appears to have made no enemies at all during his lifetime. A man with numerous friends both in and out of show business, those who knew him continue to speak well of him to this day, and his funeral drew overflow crowds.

On March 10, 1965, he attended the Los Angeles premiere of "The Sound of Music" as the date of the movie's star, Julie Andrews.

Life-long friend of Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor has since referred to him as the one friend she had to whom she confided everything, and who was always understanding.

An accomplished ballroom dancer, he won both the Charleston and Cha-Cha contests on the "Arthur Murray Party" TV show in the 1950s.

Introduced Carol Lawrence to Robert Goulet. In fact, she jokingly said that McDowell was responsible for her's and Goulet's first child.

Became a close, life-long friend with Peggy Ann Garner while filming "The Pied Piper" with her in 1941.

Won Broadway's 1960 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for "The Fighting Cock."

A clerical error on the part of 20th Century Fox cost McDowall a likely Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor for his role as Caesar Augustus Octavian in Cleopatra (1963). The studio erroneously listed McDowall as a leading player rather than a supporting one. When Fox asked the Academy to correct their error, it refused, saying the ballots already were at the printer. Fox then published an open letter in the trade papers, apologizing to McDowall: "We feel that it is important that the industry realize that your electric performance as Octavian in 'Cleopatra,' which was unanimously singled out by the critics as one of the best supporting performances by an actor this year, is not eligible for an Academy Award nomination in that category...due to a regrettable error on the part of 20th Century Fox."

In 1974, the FBI raided the home of Roddy McDowall and seized the actor's collection of films and TV series during an investigation of copyright infringement and movie piracy. McDowall's collection consisted of 160 16mm prints and over 1,000 videocassettes. The value of the films was conservatively assessed at $5,005,426 by representatives of the movie industry. The actor was not charged and agreed to cooperate with the FBI. There was then no aftermarket for films, as the commercial video recorder had not been marketed, and studios routinely destroyed old negatives and prints of classic films they felt had no worth. Film buffs, like McDowall, had to purchase 16mm prints of films from the studios, or movie prints on the black-market, or from other collectors. He claimed that he had once had as many as 337 movies in his collection, but at the time of the investigation, he was not sure how many were still in his possession. He had bought Errol Flynn's movie collection, and had acquired other films through purchases or swaps. McDowall told the FBI that he had transferred many of his films to videotape in order to conserve space and because tape was longer-lasting than film, and subsequently had sold or traded the prints, plus other prints of movies he had lost interest in, to other collectors. He said that he collected the films due to his love of the cinema and to help protect the movies' heritage. McDowall also said that being in possession of prints of his own films allowed him to study his acting and improve his craft. One of the films he had purchased, from American-International Pictures, was Tam-Lin, a movie he himself had directed. He explained that he believed that he was not in violation of copyright, as he was not showing the films for profit, nor trying to make a profit when selling his prints as he charged only what he remembered as the price he himself paid. He believed he had purchased some of the films outright from 20th Century Fox, but learned subsequently from his lawyer that his agreement with Fox meant the studio retained ownership of the prints, and that he was forbidden to sell, trade or lend them out. McDowall was forthcoming about the individuals he dealt with on the black market, and also named Rock Hudson, Dick Martin and Mel Torme as other celebrities with film collections.


Brother of Virginia McDowall.

Author of the card

  • Creation date: 01/07/2003 by misou
  • Last update: 01/05/2007 by antoinemetz

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