Paul Scofield

Paul Scofield

Infobox actor
name = Paul Scofield

birthname = David Paul Scofield
birthdate = birth date|1922|1|21|df=yes
location = Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, England
deathdate = death date and age|2008|3|19|1922|1|21|df=y
occupation = Actor
yearsactive = 1940-1996
location = Sussex, England
spouse = Joy Parker (1943-2008)
academyawards = Best Actor
1966 "A Man for All Seasons"
emmyawards = Outstanding Leading Actor - Miniseries/Movie
1969 "Male of the Species"
tonyawards = Best Leading Actor in a Play
1962 "A Man for All Seasons"
goldenglobeawards = Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
1967 "A Man for All Seasons"
baftaawards = Best Newcomer
1955 "That Lady"
Best Actor
1967 "A Man for All Seasons"
Best Supporting Actor
1996 "The Crucible"

David Paul Scofield, CH, CBE (21 January 1922 – 19 March 2008) was an English award-winning actor of stage and screen. Noted for his distinctive voice and delivery, Scofield received an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for his performance as Sir Thomas More in the 1966 film "A Man for All Seasons", a reprise of the role he played in the stage version at the West End and on Broadway for which he received a Tony Award.


Early life

Scofield was born in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, [ Film Reference biography.] Access date: 16 November 2007.] and began attending the Varndean Secondary School in Brighton at the age of 12O'Connor, Garry. [ "Paul Scofield: An Actor for All Seasons".] Applause Theatre Book Publishers. February 2002. ISBN 1-55738-499-7.] where he took various roles in school plays. [ Paul Scofield biography."] Access date: 16 November 2007.]

He went up to Oxford in 1939, where he famously shared digs with Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin [Leader, Zachary "The Life of Kingsley Amis" Pantheon Books 2007] before leaving university to pursue his acting career. Scofield began his stage career in 1940 with a debut performance in "Desire Under the Elms" at the Westminster Theatre, and was soon being compared with Laurence Olivier. In 1947, he starred in Walter Nugent Monck's revival of "Pericles, Prince of Tyre" at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford.


An actor of extraordinary intelligence, Scofield was noteworthy for his striking presence and distinctive voice, and for the clarity and unmannered intensity of his delivery. His versatility at the height of his career is exemplified by his starring roles in theatrical productions as diverse as the musical "Expresso Bongo" (1958) and Peter Brook's celebrated production of "King Lear" (1962). In his memoir "Threads of Time", Peter Brook wrote about Scofield's versatility: "The door at the back of the set opened, and a small man entered. He was wearing a black suit, steel-rimmed glasses, and holding a suitcase. For a moment we wondered who this stranger was and why he was wandering onto our stage. Then we realized that it was Paul, transformed. His tall body had shrunk; he had become insignificant. The new character now possessed him entirely." ["Threads of Time. A Memoir. By Peter Brook, Counterpoint, 1999.]

In a career mainly devoted to the classical theatre, Scofield starred in many Shakespeare plays and played the title role in Ben Jonson's "Volpone" in Peter Hall's production for the Royal National Theatre (1977). Highlights of his career in modern theatre include the roles of Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's "A Man for All Seasons" (1960), Charles Dyer in Dyer's play "Staircase", staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1966, the definitive Laurie in John Osborne's "A Hotel in Amsterdam" (1968), and Antonio Salieri in the original stage production of Peter Shaffer's "Amadeus" (1979). He was subsequently the voice of the Dragon in another play by Robert Bolt, a children's drama "The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew." "Expresso Bongo", "Staircase" and "Amadeus" were filmed with other actors, but Scofield starred in the screen versions of "A Man for All Seasons" (1966) and "King Lear" (1971). Other major screen roles include Strether in a 1977 TV adaptation of Henry James's novel "The Ambassadors", Tobias in "A Delicate Balance (1973)," Professor Moroi in the film of János Nyíri's "If Winter Comes" (1980), for BBC Television, Mark Van Doren in Robert Redford's film "Quiz Show" (1994), and Thomas Danforth in Nicholas Hytner's film adaptation (1996) of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible".

Scofield was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1956 New Year Honours. [LondonGazette|issue=40669|supp=yes|startpage=12|date=30 December 1955|accessdate=2008-03-19] He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for "A Man for All Seasons" and was nominated as Best Supporting Actor for "Quiz Show". Theatrical accolades include a 1962 Tony Award for "A Man for All Seasons". In 1969, Scofield became the sixth performer to win the Triple Crown of Acting, winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for "Male of the Species". He was also one of only eight actors to win both the Tony and the Oscar for the same role on stage and film. He was appointed a Companion of Honour (CH) in the 2001 New Year Honours. [LondonGazette|issue=56070|supp=yes|notarchive=yes|startpage=4|date=30 December 2000|accessdate=2008-03-19] In 2002 he was awarded the honorary degree of D. Litt by the University of Oxford. [cite web | url = | title = Oxford University Gazette Encaenia 2002 | accessdate = 2008-03-25 |format = PDF] In 2004 a poll of actors of the Royal Shakespeare Company, including Ian McKellen, Donald Sinden, Janet Suzman, Ian Richardson, Antony Sher and Corin Redgrave, acclaimed his Lear as the greatest Shakespearean performance ever. [ [ "Scofield's Lear voted the greatest Shakespeare performance".] 22 August 2004.] Scofield appeared in many radio dramas for BBC Radio 4, including in later years plays by Peter Tinniswood: "On the Train to Chemnitz" (2001) and "Anton in Eastbourne" (2002). The latter was Tinniswood's last work and was written especially for Scofield, an admirer of Anton Chekhov. He was awarded the 2002 Sam Wanamaker Prize.

Personal life

Scofield married actress Joy Parker in 1943. The couple had two children; Martin (born 1944), a lecturer in 19th-century English literature at the University of Kent, and Sarah (born 1951).

He declined the honour of a knighthood on three occasions, [ Paul Scofield biography.] Barnes & Noble. Access date: 16 November 2007.] but was appointed CBE in 1956 and became a Companion of Honour in 2001.

Scofield died on 19 March 2008 at the age of 86 at a hospital near his home in Sussex, England, from leukemia. [cite news | url= | title=Oscar-winning actor Scofield dies | publisher=BBC News Online | date=2008-03-20 | accessdate=2008-03-20 ]




Paul Scofield led the cast in the Shakespeare Recording Society versions of "King Lear", "Hamlet" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream", and in other dramas issued by Caedmon Records:
*"King Lear", directed by Howard Sackler (Text edited by G.B. Harrison), with Pamela Brown (Goneril), Rachel Roberts (Regan), Ann Bell (Cordelia); Wallace Eaton (France), John Rogers (Burgundy), Trevor Martin (Cornwall), Michael Aldridge (Albany), Andrew Keir (Kent), Cyril Cusack (Gloucester), Robert Stephens (Edgar), John Stride (Edmund), Ronnie Stevens (Fool); Arthur Hewlett (Curan, Doctor), Ronald Ibbs (Gentleman, Knight), Willoughby Goddard (Oswald). Eight sides, SRS 233 (first published 1965).
*"Hamlet", directed by Howard Sackler, (Unabridged), with Diana Wynyard (Queen), Roland Culver (Claudius), Donald Houston (Laertes), Zena Walker (Ophelia), Wilfrid Lawson. Eight sides, SRS 232 (first published 1963).
*"A Midsummer Night's Dream", directed by Howard Sackler, with Barbara Jefford, Joy Walker, John Stride, etc. Six sides, SRS 208 (first published 1964).
*T.S. Eliot, "The Family Reunion", with Flora Robson, Sybil Thorndike, Alan Webb. Six sides, TRS 308.
*Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol", with Ralph Richardson. (Caedmon)

*"King Lear", with Harriet Walter (Goneril), Sara Kestelman (Regan), Emilia Fox (Cordelia), Alec McCowen (Gloucester), Kenneth Branagh (Fool), David Burke, Richard A. McCabe, Toby Stephens, etc. Released 2002 to concide with Scofield's 80th birthday. (Naxos Audiobooks, 3CD set).
*Virgil, "The Aeneid", Paul Scofield (narrator), Jill Balcon and Toby Stephens (readers). (Naxos Audiobook CD).
*T. S. Eliot, "The Waste Land" and "Four Quartets" (BBC Radiobooks CD).
*Sandor Marai, "Embers" (Penguin Audiobooks) - Narrator
*With David Suchet and Ron Moody, Scofield led the cast of a radio dramatization of the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis, which are available as CD issues. (Tynedale Entertainment)
*Scofield recorded abridged readings of Dickens's "A Christmas Carol" and "Bleak House" (Blackstone Audiobooks).
*"Façade" (Sitwell-Walton), performed by Paul Scofield and Peggy Ashcroft, with London Sinfonietta conducted by William Walton. (Argo Records, 1972)


External links

*imdb name|id=0006890|name=Paul Scofield
* [ Paul Scofield Websites at Filmbug]
* [ BBC News Interview-Paul Scofield, A Man For All Seasons]

** [,,2266899,00.html "The Guardian", 20 March 2008]
** [ "The Independent", 21 March 2008]
** [ "The Times", 21 March 2008]
** [ "The Daily Telegraph", 22 March 2008]

NAME= Scofield, Paul
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Scofield, David Paul
DATE OF BIRTH= 1922-1-21
PLACE OF BIRTH= Sussex, England
DATE OF DEATH= 2008-3-19

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