Interviews

 

Cliff Robertson

Actor

Cliff Robertson on being selected by John F. Kennedy to play JFK in the film "PT 109"

03:50

Willy Loman's wife had that line in that wonderful Arthur Miller play, 'Death of a Salesman': 'Attention must be paid.' I think our attention span in this business is so short. We're worried about some little starlet temporarily on all the covers of all the magazines. That's kind of shallow. Attention must be paid to those talents that are real, that are viable, that are lasting. 

About this interview

In his two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Cliff Robertson (1923-2011) talks about his training at the Actors Studio and his early career on the New York stage. He talks about working in anthology series during the "live" television era of the 1950s. He discusses his role as mentally disabled "Charlie Gordon" in both television (The U.S. Steel Hour's "The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon") and film (Charly, which earned him an Oscar for Best Actor).  He speaks in great detail about his work with director John Frankenheimer on the Playhouse 90 show "The Days of Wine and Roses." Robertson talks about being personally selected by President John F. Kennedy to play him in the feature film PT109.  He describes his two appearances on the classic anthology series The Twilight Zone and spoke about series creator Rod Serling. Robertson discusses his blacklisting by the industry following "Hollywoodgate," in which he accused Columbia Pictures head David Begelman of forging a check. Robertson speaks about several of his television movie appearances as well as such television series as Rod Brown and the Rocket Rangers and Batman. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview in Los Angeles, CA on March 1, 2005.

Willy Loman's wife had that line in that wonderful Arthur Miller play, 'Death of a Salesman': 'Attention must be paid.' I think our attention span in this business is so short. We're worried about some little starlet temporarily on all the covers of all the magazines. That's kind of shallow. Attention must be paid to those talents that are real, that are viable, that are lasting. 

Interview Highlights

Embedded thumbnail for Cliff Robertson on being selected by John F. Kennedy to play JFK in the film "PT 109"

Cliff Robertson on being selected by John F. Kennedy to play JFK in the film "PT 109"

03:50
Embedded thumbnail for Playhouse 90

Cliff Robertson on the premise of the Playhouse 90 production of "The Days of Wine and Roses"

01:55
Embedded thumbnail for On his blacklisting by the industry following "Hollywoodgate," in which he accused Columbia Pictures head David Begelman of forging a check

On his blacklisting by the industry following "Hollywoodgate," in which he accused Columbia Pictures head David Begelman of forging a check

05:10
Embedded thumbnail for TV’s Golden Age (1940s & ‘50s)

Cliff Robertson on The U.S. Steel Hour's  "The Two Worlds of Charly Gordon" and the feature film "Charly"

06:07
Embedded thumbnail for Twilight Zone, The

Cliff Robertson on appearing on The Twilight Zone episode "The Dummy"

05:19

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