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Creator / George C. Scott

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Scott 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

George Campbell Scott (October 18, 1927 September 22, 1999) was an American actor and director from Virginia, best remembered for his portrayal of General George S. Patton in Patton (1970) and his eccentric aversion to the Academy Awards, for which 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. Scott opposed competitive awards on the grounds that every dramatic performance was unique and therefore incomparable to others. That said, he accepted an Emmy for his performance in the 1971 production of Arthur Miller's The Price, saying that the Emmy Awards were more honest in appreciating an actor's work.

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.

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 196364 TV drama East Side/West Side, which was one of the first series 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). Two of his children followed him into acting: daughter Devon Scott (born 1958) and son Campbell Scott (born 1961).

On September 22, 1999, he died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm at the age of 71.

George C. Scott on TV Tropes:

Tropes commonly used in his roles

  • 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 previous relationships. His real passion was the theatre.
  • 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.
  • Romance on the Set: He had a tempestuous affair with Ava Gardner while making The Bible.
  • Star-Making Role: Gen. Buck Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove, before it was eclipsed in history by Gen. George S. Patton Patton.
  • Younger Than They Look: True throughout his career. Notably, he played a General (General Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove) when he was 35 (while Turgidson's age was never brought up, it is still quite young for a General), a 60-year-old Patton when he was 42, and a 60-70 plus Scrooge when he was 57. His alcoholism may have been responsible for his older appearance.


Video Example(s):


Dr. Strangelove

Dr. Strangelove explains how the doomsday weapon works.

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Main / MadScientist

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