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20 Mar 2008 12:11
British actor Paul Scofield, famed for his Oscar-winning portrayal in A Man For All Seasons, has died aged 86 of leukaemia, his agent said on March 20.
Agent Rosalind Chatto said Scofield died peacefully at a hospital near his home in southern England. “He had leukaemia and had not been well for some time,” she told Reuters.
Scofield, a fiercely private actor who spurned the limelight, had the power, voice and presence to outdo any other classical actor, with unforgettable performances in roles ranging from Shakespeare’s King Lear to a homosexual barber in the comedy Staircase.
But the glitter of Hollywood did not appeal and he was quite happy never to match the glamour of contemporaries like Richard Burton and Laurence Olivier.
“Of the 10 greatest moments in the theatre, eight are Scofield’s,” Burton once said.
Hollywood’s Academy Award as best actor of 1966 went to Scofield for his masterly portrayal of Sir Thomas More, who chose to be executed by King Henry VIII rather than betray his conscience, in the film A Man For All Seasons.
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