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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gone .. but Never Forgotten

Richard Widmark

December 26, 1914 - March 24, 2008

This is not a post I am happy to do. I've adored Richard Widmark, it seems forever. I just heard on the news that he passed away.. on my birthday. I could never forget his birthday because it was the day after Christmas.. and now I will never forget his passing on my birthday.

I've collected his movies (mostly vhs taping off of AMC or TCM over the years) and just in general never missed watching any of his movie when they'd appear on tv. Over many years as I collected his movies I would write to Mr Widmark. (I'd call him Mr. W) I think I wrote him once a month or every other month for nearly 10 yrs. I knew before I began writing to him that he never wrote or did autographs if someone wrote to him, but I wrote anyway. I never asked for his signature, but I would tell him about which of his movies came on television and which ones I now had in my collection.

Then I moved to California. While living there, and since I was taking care of DeForests Star on Hollywood Blvd.. and because it was only a block away, I also took care of Richard's star!

One year for his Birthday (which was the day after Christmas) I took the following photo.. plus one was taken of me cleaning the star. I sent them to him along with a Birthday card. ( I sent a card each year, this was the only year I sent photo's)

Sometime after I received this note..

We won't go into how shocked I was... but I did call his agent because I couldn't believe it was real!

Once while in Hollywood I went to see his hand prints...

I think I would find it hard to not believe that, at some time, everyone has seen something on television that Richard Widmark did.

His career took off when he had a small part in a movie called The Kiss of Death where he played a really horrible guy who ties an old lady up in her wheelchair and then pushes her down the stairs while he give a villainous laugh. The Laugh would get him an Oscar nomination for his very first movie.

(he was a real sweetheart... not!) (below are some of the photo's I've collected of Richard. ... not all of them, but a few!)

Oh, and I do have to tell you this one thing.. the evil laugh that Richard had.. was real! My friend DeForest worked on a few westerns with Richard and he said one day when they were having a break doing a movie he heard this laughter behind him and a chill went up his back.. when he turned to see who was laughing... it was Richard!

There wasn't much in the way of movies that Richard didn't do.

He did gangster and war movies..

He played detectives and a sailor..

He did quite a few westerns!.....

(yes, that's DeForest with Richard Widmark)

I will miss Mr. W. I know I can watch him anytime I want by slipping a tape into the machine...but I know it will be a while before I can enjoy his movies again... It's strange how someone you never met personally can effect you so when they are no longer there. As they say.. life goes on. It's just not quite the same.

Credit List:.... (The ones with the asterisk are movies I have of his on vhs, mostly just taped from the television ...see for yourself if you have seen him in a movie!)

Lincoln (1992) (TV) (voice)
*True Colors (1991)
*Cold Sassy Tree (1989) (TV)
*Once Upon a Texas Train (1988) (TV)
*A Gathering of Old Men (1987) (TV)
*Blackout (1985) (TV)
*Against All Odds (1984)
*Who Dares Wins (1982)
*Hanky Panky (1982)
National Lampoon Goes to the Movies (1982)
*A Whale for the Killing (1981) (TV)
All God's Children (1980) (TV)
*Bear Island (1979)
*The Swarm (1978)
*Coma (1978)
*Rollercoaster (1977)
The Domino Principle (1977)
*Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977)
*The Sell-Out (1976)
*To the Devil a Daughter (1976)
*The Last Day (1975) (TV)
*Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
"Benjamin Franklin" (1974) (mini) TV mini-series .... Benjamin Franklin
Brock's Last Case (1973) (TV)

"Madigan" .... Sgt. Dan Madigan (6 episodes, 1972-1973)
- The Park Avenue Beat (1973) TV episode .... Sgt. Dan Madigan
- The Naples Beat (1973) TV episode .... Sgt. Dan Madigan
- The Lisbon Beat (1973) TV episode .... Sgt. Dan Madigan
- The London Beat (1972) TV episode .... Sgt. Dan Madigan
- The Midtown Beat (1972) TV episode .... Sgt. Dan Madigan
*When the Legends Die (1972)
*Vanished (1971) (TV)
The Moonshine War (1970)
*Death of a Gunfighter (1969)
*A Talent for Loving (1969)
*Madigan (1968)
*The Way West (1967)
*Alvarez Kelly (1966)
*The Bedford Incident (1965)
*Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
*Flight from Ashiya (1964)
*The Long Ships (1964)
*How the West Was Won (1962)
*Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
*Two Rode Together (1961)
*The Secret Ways (1961)
*The Alamo (1960)
*Warlock (1959)
*The Trap (1959)
*The Tunnel of Love (1958)
*The Law and Jake Wade (1958)
Time Limit (1957)
Saint Joan (1957)
*The Last Wagon (1956)
*Run for the Sun (1956)
*Backlash (1956)
*The Cobweb (1955)
*A Prize of Gold (1955)
*Broken Lance (1954)
*Garden of Evil (1954)
*Hell and High Water (1954)
*Take the High Ground! (1953)
*Pickup on South Street (1953)
*Destination Gobi (1953)
*My Pal Gus (1952)
*O. Henry's Full House (1952)
*Don't Bother to Knock (1952)
Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Night Life (1952)
*Red Skies of Montana (1952)
Screen Snapshots: Hopalong in Hoppy Land (1951)
*The Frogmen (1951)
*Halls of Montezuma (1950)
*No Way Out (1950)
*Panic in the Streets (1950)
*Night and the City (1950)
*Slattery's Hurricane (1949)
*Down to the Sea in Ships (1949)
*Yellow Sky (1948)
*Road House (1948)
*The Street with No Name (1948)
*Kiss of Death (1947)


Blogger Debi said...

Oh my goodness, I hadn't even heard that he'd died. Though I have no personal ties, I really loved him as an actor. I'm sure he'll be missed by millions.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

Goodness! What a list of credentials! Whenever I hear his name, all I EVER think of is the I LOVE LUCY episode where she was just DEAD SET on getting a grapefruit off his tree! I will NEVER forget that! One of the funniest episodes ever! I hadn't even heard that he had died... he WAS an awesome actor!

10:27 AM  
Blogger SQT said...

Aw, I'm sorry you had to celebrate your bithday with sad news. He had a heck of a career didn't he?

12:54 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

debi: at age 93 he's in that group of actors that just can't be replaced.

Melli: Ohh I remember that Lucy episode very well LOL..

sqt: yeah he did have a good career. I just hate loosing such good actors...even if they are old.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

Great tribute! I heard several things about him on NPR that were very interesting. It is great to see some pics of the guy now as his voice and name sounded familiar.

And what is this about birthdays? Did I miss yours? If so I wish you the happiest of birthdays despite this sad news. You are so wonderful and I hope you are celebrated by those around you. You deserve it.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

That's so sad :( What a great actor too...I'm not real familiar with him, but with all the wonderful things you've said about him, all of his credentials, and from what I've heard on the radio, he'll be sorely missed.

And Happy Birthday to you Pat!'d I miss that? I hope that it was a good one and that you enjoyed your day. You certainly deserve it :)

5:02 PM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

I don't think I've seen one of his movies but it's so sad when one of the great actors passes away. Like we just lost a piece of history :(

5:05 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

carl: So much I could have said but knowing most wouldn't know him I didn't bother. Here's a piece I didn't mention though... he had one daughter, who for a time (now you have to be an OLD baseball fan for this) she was married to Sandy Kofax. Also after his wife of 55 years passed away he remarried Henry Fonda's widow... So, there's a few names but they are all old ones! lol

Chris: he has some absolutely wonderful old black and white movies that show now and then I tv.. plus many of his westerns pop up now and then.

thanks to both you and carl.. I am of the age that "i don't do birthdays" !! This just had to happen on a day I'd rather forget anyway!!

Ohh ladytink! Goodness, I will bet you've seen him and just didn't know it! Many don't but have seen some of his old movies. Heck.. Hanky Panky was just on the other day.. the star of that one is Gene Wilder. The movies Coma and Rollercoaster pop up every so often too and although not the lead he is in those movies too. Keep an eye out.. he is worth at least seeing him once.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Nymeth said...

RIP Mr. Widmark :(

And happy belated birthday, despite the sad news!

6:13 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

I'd not heard this sad news. I always remember him in all the old westerns and he was an actor I always wanted to watch. How sad. RIP.

8:27 PM  
Blogger animewookie said...

He was a wonderful actor and I loved him the westerns. I'm a sucker for a good lookin cowboy. Beautiful tribute.

8:50 AM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I was very saddened to see that he had died ...I look at the NY Times on line every day and there was a lovely Obit in there yesterday...(?). I always thought he was a wonderful actor and so much more than his "Tommy Udo" Character in "KISS OF DEATH"....He was terrific in "NO WAY OUT", even though he played a despicible character...well, he was terrific in everything he ever did! I also loved his politics, too...He was a "Liberal" when that was NOT a dirty word (lol)....And as far as I am concerned it isn't a dirty word and never was....Widmark was a very gifted man....He will live on through all his performances, which is a great gift to all of us who loved him and to future gwnerations, too.

I LOVE the pictures, Pat....What a very sweet loving tribute to this very special man and this very spectacular Actor!

3:53 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

A great tribute. I learned something else today, too...that I missed your birthday.

I'm working my way back there - tho.

7:30 PM  

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