Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
George C. Scott
George Campbell Scott (October 18, 1927–September 22,1999) was a film/stage actor, director, and producer. He was best known for his dramatic portrayal of General George S. Patton in the Academy Award winning movie, Patton.
Scott was born in Wise, Virginia. His mother died when he was only eight-years-old, and he was raised by his father, an executive at Buick Motor Company.
As a young man, Scott joined the U.S. Marine Corps and was assigned to the prestigious 8th and I Barracks in Washington, D.C. In that capacity, he served as a ceremonial guard at Arlington National Cemetery and he taught English literature and radio speaking/writing at the Marine Corps Institute. Scott later complained that his duties at Arlington led to his drinking.
After serving his hitch in the Marines, Scott enrolled in the University of Missouri where he majored in journalism. But he soon left college for an acting career. Scott began as a stage actor on Broadway and achieved critical acclaim portraying the prosecutor in The Andersonville Trial by Saul Levett. This was based on the military trial of the commandant of the infamous Civil War prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia. Scott's performance earned him a mention in Time magazine as a rising young actor of great intensity. Scott also played Richard III on stage and one critic said he was the "angriest" Richard III of all time.
Scott gained wide public attention in the film, Anatomy Of A Murder, in which he played a wiley prosecutor opposite Jimmy Stewart as the defense attorney. He was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor. However, his most famous early role was in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb where he played the part of General "Buck" Turgidson. It was said that Stanley Kubrick told Scott that he had all the takes for one of the early scenes in that film and asked to redo the scene in an "over the top" fashion. This take was the one that is actually used in Dr. Strangelove.
Scott's greatest role, however, was when he played the swaggering and controversial World War II Army general, George Patton, in the 1970 movie, Patton. Scott had researched extensively for this role, studying films of the general and talking to those who knew him. Having declined an Academy Award nomination for his appearance in The Hustler, Scott returned his Oscar for Patton, stating that he didn't feel himself to be in competition with other actors. It was also in 1970 that Scott directed a very highly acclaimed television version of The Andersonville Trial. Jack Cassidy won an Emmy award for his performance as the defense lawyer in this production. In 1971 Scott gave another critically acclaimed performance in the black comedy film The Hospital: despite his having snubbed them the previous year, the Academy once again nominated him for the Best Actor award.
Scott had a reputation for being somewhat moody and mercurial while on the set. There is a famous story that one of his co-stars told the director "I don't know what to do, I am scared of him". The director replied "My dear, the whole world is scared of George C. Scott!"
In 1984, Scott was cast in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in a television adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Critics and the public alike praised his performance. Some have said he was the finest Scrooge of all time, next to Alastair Sim. This movie has since become a television favorite at Christmas.
Scott was twice married to and twice divorced from Canadian-born actress Colleen Dewhurst, with whom he had two sons, one the actor Campbell Scott. He died in 1999 from a ruptured abdomen aortic aneurysm. He was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, California.
Famous Movie Quotes
- "I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his." from Patton, 1970.
- Anatomy of a Murder, 1959
- The Hustler, 1961
- The List of Adrian Messenger , 1963
- Dr. Strangelove, 1964
- Patton, 1970
- The Hindenburg, 1975
- Islands in the Stream , 1977
- Hardcore, 1979
- Taps, 1981
- Oliver Twist , 1982
- Firestarter, 1984
- A Christmas Carol, (telefilm), 1984
- Angus, 1995
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