Paul Scofield, a Best Actor Oscar winner for his intransigent Sir Thomas Moore in 1966’s A Man for All Seasons, died Wednesday in a hospital near his home in southern England, according to his agent. He was 86.
Scofield had been suffering from leukemia, the Associated Press reports.
Playwright Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, about 16th-century Lord Chancellor Moore’s refusal to bow to Henry VIII’s demand that Moore recognize the king’s desire to divorce his wife, first opened in London in 1960, moved to Broadway the following year – and won Scofield both the Tony and the Oscar. (The movie was also named 1966’s Best Picture of the Year).
While dedicating himself to stage work, Scofield also continued to make the occasional film, including Edward Albee’s 1974 A Delicate Balance, Kenneth Branagh’s 1989 production of Henry V and Robert Redford’s 1992 Quiz Show, in which he played poet Mark Van Doren, father of disgraced TV contestant John Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes.)
Scofield’s understated performance resulted in his Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor.
His wife of 45 years, actress Joy Parker, and two grown children, a son, Martin, and daughter, Sarah, survive him.
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