Roddy McDowall

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Roddy McDowall : biography

17 September 1928 – 3 October 1998

During the 1990s, McDowall became active in film preservation and participated in the restoration of Cleopatra (1963). McDowall served for several years in various capacities on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation that presents the Oscar Awards. He was Chairman of the Actors’ Branch for five terms. He was elected President of the Academy Foundation the year that he died.

McDowall received recognition as a photographer and published five books of photographs, one being of his celebrity friends such as Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, Judy Holliday and Maureen O’Hara.

One of his last public appearances occurred when he accompanied the actress Luise Rainer to the 70th Oscar ceremony.

Personal life

In 1974, the FBI raided the home of McDowall and seized the actor’s collection of films and television series in the course of an investigation of film piracy and copyright infringement. His collection consisted of 160 16 mm prints and more than 1,000 video cassettes, at a time before the era of commercial videotapes, when there was no legal aftermarket for films (copying or selling prints obtained from studios without owning the copyright was illegal). McDowall had purchased Errol Flynn’s home cine films and the prints of his own directorial debut Tam-Lin (1970) starring Ava Gardner and transferred them all to tape for longer-lasting archival storage. McDowall was quite forthcoming about those who dealt with him: Rock Hudson, Dick Martin and Mel Torm√© were just a few of the celebrities interested in his film reproductions.

Work

Filmography

  • Yellow Sands (1938)
  • Scruffy (1938)
  • Sarah Siddons (1938)
  • Murder in the Family (1938)
  • Hey! Hey! USA (1938)
  • I See Ice (1938)
  • John Halifax (1938)
  • Convict 99 (1938)
  • Dirt (1939)
  • The Outsider (1939)
  • Dead Man’s Shoes (1940)
  • Poison Pen (1940)
  • His Brother’s Keeper (1940)
  • Murder Will Out (1940)
  • Just William (1940)
  • Saloon Bar (1940)
  • You Will Remember (1941)
  • Man Hunt (1941)
  • This England (1941)
  • How Green Was My Valley (1941)
  • Confirm or Deny (1941)
  • Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake (1942)
  • On the Sunny Side (1942)
  • The Pied Piper (1942)
  • My Friend Flicka (1943)
  • Lassie Come Home (1943)
  • The White Cliffs of Dover (1944)
  • The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)
  • Thunderhead, Son of Flicka (1945)
  • Molly and Me (1945)
  • Holiday in Mexico (1946)
  • Rocky (1948)
  • Macbeth (1948)
  • Kidnapped (1948)
  • Tuna Clipper (1949)
  • Black Midnight (1949)
  • Killer Shark (1950)
  • Everybody’s Dancin’ (1950) (Cameo)
  • Big Timber (1950)
  • Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Goes to Bat (1950) (short subject)
  • The Steel Fist (1952)
  • The Subterraneans (1960)
  • Midnight Lace (1960)
  • The Longest Day (1962)
  • Cleopatra (1963)
  • Shock Treatment (1964)
  • The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
  • The Third Day (1965)
  • The Loved One (1965)
  • That Darn Cat! (1965)
  • Inside Daisy Clover (1965)
  • Lord Love a Duck (1966)
  • The Defector (1966)
  • The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (1967)
  • It! (1967)
  • The Cool Ones (1967)
  • Planet of the Apes (1968)
  • 5 Card Stud (1968)
  • Midas Run (1969)
  • Hello Down There (1969)
  • Angel, Angel, Down We Go (1969)
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970, opening)
  • Tam-Lin (1970)
  • Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971)
  • Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
  • Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
  • The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
  • The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)
  • The Legend of Hell House (1973)
  • Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
  • Arnold (1973)
  • Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974)
  • Funny Lady (1975)
  • Mean Johnny Barrows (1976)
  • Embryo (1976)
  • Sixth and Main (1977)
  • Laserblast (1978)
  • Rabbit Test (1978)
  • The Cat from Outer Space (1978)
  • Circle of Iron (1978)
  • Nutcracker Fantasy (1979) (voice)