Creator / George C. Scott

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As Claude Dancer, cross-examining a witness in Anatomy of a Murder

"I became an actor to escape my own personality. Acting is the most therapeutic thing in the world... I think all the courage that I may lack personally I have as an actor."
George C. Scott, quoted in Life Magazine, March 8, 1968 note 

Legendary American actor George Campbell Scott (October 18, 1927 September 22, 1999) is best remembered for his portrayal of General George S. Patton and his eccentric aversion to the Academy Awards. He was nominated four times in his career. Twice, he rejected the nominations without being successful. The one time he won the Award for Patton, he famously refused to attend the ceremony.

Modern audiences and critics, including Roger Ebert, continue to hold in high regard several of Scott's performances. He is frequently counted among the finest actors of all time.

A select filmography includes:

Scott's fame in Hollywood was matched by his renown on the stage, where he was prolific not only as an actor but also as a director. He received five Tony nominations over a span of 38 years for his performances in "Comes a Day" (1958), "The Andersonville Trial" (1959), "Uncle Vanya" (1974), "Death of a Salesman" (1975), and "Inherit the Wind" (1996). He also directed the 1970 TV adaptation of "The Andersonville Trial", which won three Primetime Emmy Awards.

However, Scott failed to make a mark as a film director: neither Rage (1971) nor The Savage is Loose (1974) was well received. Also overlooked today is his performance as social worker Neil Brock in the avant garde 1963-'64 TV Series East Side/West Side, which was one of the first to feature a regular black cast member.

An alcoholic with a violent temper, Scott had a long-standing reputation as being one of Hollywood's "Bad Boys", although he mellowed considerably with age. Scott was married five times to four different women: Carolyn Hughes (1951-1955), Patricia Reed (1955-1960), Colleen Dewhurst (1960-1965, 1967-1972) and Trish Van Devere (1972-1999). On September 22, 1999, he died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm at the age of 71.

Tropes commonly used in his roles

  • Doing It for the Art: That seems to have been his reason for acting in the controversial 1979 film, Hardcore.
  • Guttural Growler: Adds an element of badass to pretty much all of his characters. This was averted in Anatomy of a Murder, where his character Assistant Attorney-General Claude Dancer has a mellow voice...and makes up for it by being twice as lethal as the average badass.
  • Large Ham: More so in his later years.
  • Money, Dear Boy: He once said that the only reason he kept acting in films after the early 1970s was so that he could pay alimony to his three ex-wives and support his six children from the previous relationships. His real passion was the theatre.
  • Rated M for Manly: He did not have an impressive physique but more than compensated for this through his guttural voice, volatile temper, and the unflinching and incisive quality that he brought to his iconic performances. Suffice to say, he would be horribly miscast in a Chick Flick.
  • Reaction Shot: Scott's tortured screams of "turn it off" in the 1979 film Hardcore have been mashed up numerous times with artistic performances that are so bad they're good. The result? Videos like these.
  • Star-Making Role: Gen. Buck Turgidson, before it was eclipsed in history by Gen. George S. Patton.
  • Younger Than They Look: True throughout his career. Notably, he played a 60-year-old Patton when he was 42, and a 70 plus Scrooge when he was 57. His alcoholism may have been responsible for his older appearance.
    • He also played General Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove at age 35. While Turgidson's age was never brought up it is still quite young for a General.


Alternative Title(s): George C Scott

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