Robertson, Cliff 1925–

views updated May 14 2018

Robertson, Cliff 1925–


Full name, Clifford Parker Robertson III; born September 9, 1925, in La Jolla, CA; son of Clifford Parker and Audrey (maiden name, Willingham) Robertson; married Cynthia Stone (an actress), 1957 (divorced, 1959); married Dina Merrill (an actress), c. December 21, 1966 (divorced, 1986); children: (first marriage) Stephanie; (second marriage) Heather. Education: Attended Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH; studied at Actors Studio, New York City. Religion: Presbyterian. Avocational Interests: Sailplane and airplane pilot, tennis, skiing.

Addresses: Agent—International Creative Management, 8942 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211.

Career: Actor, director, producer, and writer. Former adjunct professor at Antioch College. Appeared in commercials for AT & T telephone services during the mid-1980s and radio commercials for Union Bank in the late 1990s. Once worked as a journalist. American Cancer Society, honorary chair; also affiliated with American Red Cross, End Hunger Network, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Salvation Army, and United Way. Military service: U.S. Naval Reserve; became lieutenant junior grade; some sources cite affiliation with U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II.

Member: Screen Actors Guild (past member of board of directors, New York chapter), Directors Guild of America, Writers Guild of America (member of governing council, 1984–86), Soaring Society of America, Bath and Tennis Club (Palm Beach), Maidstone Club (East Hampton, NY), River Club (New York City), Brook Club (New York City), Players Club, Wings Club.

Awards, Honors: Emmy Award nomination, outstanding actor in a leading role, 1961, for "The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon," The United States Steel Hour; Emmy Award, best actor in a drama, 1966, for "The Game," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre; Academy Award and National Board of Review Award, best actor, and Golden Globe Award nomination, best actor in a motion picture drama, 1969, and Golden Laurel Award nomination, outstanding male dramatic performance, 1970, all for Charly; Theatre World Award, 1970, for Orpheus Descending; honorary D.F.A., Bradford College, 1981, MacMurray College, 1986, and Susquehanna University, 1988; Sharples Aviation Award, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, 1983; Wallace Award, American Scottish Foundation, 1984; Advertising Age Award, 1985; Freedom of Flight Award, Experimental Aircraft Association, 1986; Lifetime Achievement Award, Long Island Film Festival, 1988; National Aviation Henderson Award, 1995; Outstanding Supporter Award, U.S. Air Force, 1997; Aviation Award, International Council of Air Shows, 1998; Special Achievement Award for acting, Florida Film Festival, 1998; Creative Achievement Award, Long Island International Film Expo, 2000; Lifetime Achievement Award, Santa Clarita International Film Festival, 2000, Long Beach International Film Festival, 2001, Chamizal Independent Film Festival, 2002, and San Diego Film Festival, 2004; Career Achievement Award, Pocono Mountains Film Festival, 2004; also received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Film Appearances:

(Uncredited) Adams, We've Never Been Licked (also known as Fighting Command and Texas to Tokyo), 1943.

(Uncredited) Lookout, Corvette K-225 (also known as The Nelson Touch), 1943.

Alan Benson, Picnic, Columbia, 1955.

Burt Hanson, Autumn Leaves, Columbia, 1956.

Pete, The Girl Most Likely, Universal, 1957.

Lieutenant Robert Hearn, The Naked and the Dead, Warner Bros., 1958.

The Big Kahuna, Gidget, Columbia, 1959.

Lieutenant Commander Jeff Conway, Battle of the Coral Sea, Columbia, 1959.

Clements, As the Sea Rages (also known as Raubfischer in Hellas), Columbia, 1960.

Warren Kingsley, Jr., All in a Night's Work, Paramount, 1961.

Josef Everard, The Big Show, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1961.

Dr. John Paul Otis, The Interns, Columbia, 1962.

Tolly Devlin, Underworld, U.S.A., Columbia, 1962.

Reverend Jim Larkin, My Six Loves, Paramount, 1963.

Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, PT-109, Warner Bros., 1963.

Adam Tyler, Sunday in New York, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1963.

Joe Cantwell, The Best Man (also known as Gore Vidal's "The Best Man"), United Artists, 1964.

Wing Commander Roy Grant, 633 Squadron (also known as Squadron 633), United Artists, 1964.

Sergeant Edward Baxter, Up From the Beach, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1965.

Pete Jordan, Love Has Many Faces, Columbia, 1965.

David Frazer, Masquerade (also known as Operation Masquerade and A Shabby Tiger), United Artists, 1965.

William McFly, The Honey Pot (also known as Anyone for Venice?, It Comes Up Murder, and Mr. Fox of Venice,), United Artists, 1966.

Charly Gordon, Charly Cinerama/Selmur Films, 1968.

Major Alan Crown, The Devil's Brigade, United Artists, 1968.

Lieutenant Sam Lawson, Too Late the Hero (also known as Suicide Run), Cinerama, 1970.

Cole Younger, The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid, Universal, 1972.

J. W. Coop, J. W. Coop, Columbia, 1972.

Ace Eli Walford, Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1973.

Police Chief Lee Tucker, Man on a Swing, Paramount, 1974.

J. Higgins, Three Days of the Condor, Paramount, 1975.

Joe Tanner, Out of Season (also known as Winter Rates), Athenaeum, 1975.

Commander Carl Jessop, Midway (also known as The Battle of the Midway), Universal/Mirisch Corporation, 1976.

Major Rex Jeanette, Shoot, Avco Embassy, 1976.

Michael Courtland, Obsession, Columbia, 1976.

Narrator, Fraternity Row (also known as Brotherhood), Paramount, 1977.

David Ballard, Dominique (also known as Avenging Spirit and Dominique Is Dead), Subotsky, 1978.

Mike Hagan, The Pilot (also known as Danger in the Skies), New Line Cinema, 1979.

Mr. Burroughs, Class, Orion, 1983.

Alex Terson, Brainstorm, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1983.

Hugh Hefner, Star '80, Warner Bros., 1983.

Judd Pierson, Shaker Run, New Line Home Video, 1985.

Charles Delany, Malone, Orion, 1987.

Dr. Carver, Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken, Buena Vista, 1991.

Morgan Weld, Wind, TriStar, 1992.

Colonel James, Renaissance Man (also known as Army Intelligence and By the Book), Buena Vista, 1994.

Ted Roth, Pakten (also known as The Sunset Boys and Waiting for Sunset), Kushner-Locke, 1995.

President, Escape from L.A. (also known as John Carpenter's "Escape from L.A."), Paramount, 1996.

Jack Durman, Melting Pot (also known as Race), A-Pix Entertainment, 1997.

Larry, Family Tree, Independent Artists, 2000.

Buzz Thomas, Falcon Down, New City Releasing/Talon Productions, 2000.

Vice President Pike, Mach 2, New City Releasing, 2001.

Ben Parker, Spider-Man, Columbia, 2002.

Mr. Shroud, 13th Child (also known as The 13th Child, Legend of the Jersey Devil), MTI Home Video, 2003.

Ban Parker, Spider-Man 2 (also released as Spider-Man 2: The IMAX Experience,), Columbia, 2004.

Farmer, Riding the Bullet (also known as Stephen King's "Riding the Bullet'), Innovation Film Group, 2004.

Voice of Ernie Pyle, From Two Men and a War, Drew Associates, 2005.

Film Work:

Producer and director, J. W. Coop, Columbia, 1972.

Director, Morning, Winter, and Night, Xanadu Films, 1977.

Director, The Pilot (also known as Danger in the Skies), New Line Cinema, 1979.

Television Appearances; Series:

Rod Brown, Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers, CBS, 1953–54.

Dr. Michael Ransom, Falcon Crest, CBS, 1983–84.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

William Martin, Washington: Behind Closed Doors, ABC, 1977.

Major William Vandam, The Key to Rebecca (also known as Ken Follett's "The Key to Rebecca"), syndicated, 1985.

Henry Ford, Ford: The Man and the Machine (also known as The Life of Henry Ford), syndicated, 1987.

Host, Medal of Honor: True Stories of America's Greatest War Heroes, syndicated, 1990–91.

Mike Kilkullen, Dazzle (also known as Judith Krantz's "Dazzle"), CBS, 1995.

Narrator, With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America, PBS, 1996.

Television Appearances; Movies:

"The Bride's Teapot," Hallmark Hall of Fame (also known as Hallmark Television Playhouse), 1952.

"Faith Is a Nine-Letter Word," Hallmark Hall of Fame (also known as Hallmark Television Playhouse), 1952.

"Ten Thousand Words," Hallmark Hall of Fame (also known as Hallmark Television Playhouse), 1952.

"Precinct," Robert Montgomery Presents (also known as Lucky Strike Theatre, Montgomery's Summer Stock, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theatre), NBC, 1952.

"The Use of Dignity," Armstrong Circle Theatre, 1954.

Paul Skinner, "Out Hearts Were Young and Gay," Robert Montgomery Presents (also known as Lucky Strike Theatre, Montgomery's Summer Stock, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theatre), NBC, 1954.

"Pilgrim's Pride," Robert Montgomery Presents (also known as Lucky Strike Theatre, Montgomery's Summer Stock, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theatre), NBC, 1954.

"In His Hands," Robert Montgomery Presents (also known as Lucky Strike Theatre, Montgomery's Summer Stock, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theatre), NBC, 1954.

"The Expert," Robert Montgomery Presents (also known as Lucky Strike Theatre, Montgomery's Summer Stock, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theatre), NBC, 1954.

"Home Town," Robert Montgomery Presents (also known as Lucky Strike Theatre, Montgomery's Summer Stock, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theatre), NBC, 1954.

"Ten Minute Alibi," Robert Montgomery Presents (also known as Lucky Strike Theatre, Montgomery's Summer Stock, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theatre), NBC, 1954.

Frank, "A Fair Shake," The United States Steel Hour, CBS, 1956.

"The Big Break," Kraft Television Theatre (also known as Kraft Mystery Theatre and Kraft Theatre), 1957.

"Vengeance," Kraft Television Theatre (also known as Kraft Mystery Theatre and Kraft Theatre), 1957.

Joe Clay, "The Days of Wine and Roses," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1958.

Host, "Bomber's Moon," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1958.

Danny Carson, "Natchez," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1958.

Johnny Garth, "The Hard Road," Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (also known as Desilu Playhouse), 1959.

Johnny, "Goodbye Johnny," Alcoa Theatre, NBC, 1959.

Parker Sefton, "Shadow of Evil," Alcoa Theatre, NBC, 1959.

Lieutenant, "The Cruel Day," Playhouse 90, 1960.

Martinus Van der Brig, "End of a Dream," Riverboat, 1960.

"The Man Who Knew Tomorrow," The United States Steel Hour, CBS, 1960.

"The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon," The United States Steel Hour, CBS, 1961.

Horace Mann Borden, "Man on the Mountaintop," The United States Steel Hour, CBS, 1961.

Pegosi, "The Small Elephants," General Electric Theatre (also known as G.E. Theatre), 1961.

Danny Langdon, "The Geetas Box," The Dick Powell Show (also known as The Dick Powell Theatre), 1961.

Hoby, "Second Chance," Alcoa Premiere, NBC, 1962.

Eddi Finneran, "The Meal Ticket," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (also known as The Chrysler Theatre and Universal Star Time), NBC, 1964.

Quincey Parke, "The Game," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (also known as The Chrysler Theatre and Universal Star Time), NBC, 1965.

Will Nye, "And Baby Makes Five," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (also known as The Chrysler Theatre and Universal Star Time), NBC, 1966.

District Attorney Benjamin Reynolds, "Verdict for Terror," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (also known as The Chrysler Theatre and Universal Star Time), NBC, 1967.

Ben Weldon, "The Trap of Solid Gold," ABC Stage 67, ABC, 1967.

Christopher Ross/Arthur Selby, The Sunshine Patriot, NBC, 1968.

Philip Nolan, Man Without a Country, ABC, 1973.

Johnny Nolan, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1974.

Tom Lindholm, My Father's House, ABC, 1975.

Colonel Edwin A. "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., Return to Earth, ABC, 1976.

Mitch Garrison, Overboard, NBC, 1978.

Frank Minor, "Two of a Kind," General Electric Theatre, CBS, 1982.

Mel Fisher, Dreams of Gold: The Mel Fisher Story, CBS, 1986.

Daniel Barnard, Dead Reckoning, USA Network, 1990.

Cliff Garret, Assignment Berlin (also known as Baby-handel Berlin—Jenseits aller Skrupel), The Movie Channel, 1999.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

"A Portrait of General Garrity," Short, Short Dramas, NBC, 1953.

Treasury Men in Action, ABC, 1954.

Philco TV Playhouse, NBC, 1955.

Liam Fitzmorgan, "The Liam Fitzmorgan Story," Wagon Train (also known as Major Adams, Trail Master), NBC, 1958.

Frank Halloway, "The Underground Railway," The Untouchables, ABC, 1959.

Chad Burns, "Ballad for a Badman," Outlaws, 1960.

Christian Horn, "A Hundred Yards over the Rim," The Twilight Zone, CBS, 1961.

Jack Masters, "The Story of Connie Masters," Outlaws, 1961.

Griff Kincaid, "The Dark Sunrise of Griff Kincaid," Outlaws, 1962.

Jerry Etherson, "The Dummy," The Twilight Zone, CBS, 1962.

Charlie Vansinger, "How Does Charlie Feel?," Bus Stop, 1962.

Lieutenant Colonel Stanley Wensby/Eddie Smith, "For the Ladybug, One Dozen Roses," Ben Casey, 1962.

Alan Maxwell, "The Galaxy Being" (premiere episode), The Outer Limits, ABC, 1963.

Jeff Dillon, "The Man Who Came Home Late," The Eleventh Hour, 1963.

Willie Simple, "The Circus Never Came to Town," The Greatest Show on Earth, 1963.

Evan Ross, "So Many Pretty Girls, So Little Time," Breaking Point, 1964.

Shame, "Come Back Shame," Batman, ABC, 1966.

Shame, "It's How You Play the Game," Batman, ABC, 1966.

"Lynn Redgrave vs. Cliff Robertson," Password (also known as Password All-Stars), CBS, 1967.

Shame, "The Great Escape," Batman, ABC, 1968.

Shame, "The Great Train Robbery," Batman, ABC, 1968.

Snap Judgment, NBC, 1968.

The Match Game, NBC, 1968.

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (also known as Laugh-In), NBC, 1968, 1969.

"Stop Date," Bracken's' World, 1969.

"Cliff Robertson," This Is Your Life, syndicated, 1971.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (also known as The Best of Carson), NBC, 1971, 1972.

"Celebrity Roast: Don Rickles," The Dean Martin Show (also known as The Dean Martin Comedy Hour), NBC, 1974.

Front Page Challenge, 1975.

The Merv Griffin Show, syndicated, 1976.

Take Charge!, PBS, 1988.

Narrator, First Flights (also known as Test Pilot), Arts and Entertainment, 1991.

Narrator, "Film in the Television Age," American Cinema, PBS, 1995.

Guest, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's Saturday Night, Saturday Night, and SNL), NBC, 1996.

Theodore Harris, "Joyride," The Outer Limits (also known as The New Outer Limits), Showtime and syndicated, 1999.

Howard Stern, E! Entertainment Television, 2001.

The Howard Stern Radio Show, syndicated, 2001.

"Spider-Man," HBO First Look, HBO, 2002.

Hal Molloy, "Hubris," The Lyon's Den, NBC, 2003.

"Hollywood Goes to War," War Stories with Oliver North, 2006.

Also appeared in presentations of Alcoa/Goodyear Theatre, Philco-Goodyear Hour, and Studio One, CBS.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Narrator, The Men Who Made the Movies: Alfred Hitchcock, 1973.

Night of 100 Stars, ABC, 1982.

The Making of "Class," 1983.

The Screen Actors Guild 50th Anniversary Celebration, CBS, 1984.

An All-Star Party for "Dutch" Reagan, CBS, 1985.

Narrator, "Galapagos: My Fragile World," National Audubon Society Specials (also known as World of Audubon Specials), TBS and PBS, 1986.

Ghosts of '87, PBS, 1988.

"William Holden: The Golden Boy," Crazy about the Movies), Cinemax, 1989.

Narrator, Life and Death of a Dynasty, PBS, 1991.

Voice of Noah Brooks, Lincoln, ABC, 1992.

Voice of George Washington, The American Revolution, Arts and Entertainment, 1994.

Narrator, Wings as Eagles, ABC, 1994.

Narrator, Earthwinds, The Discovery Channel, 1995.

Narrator, P. T Barnum: America's Greatest Showman, The Discovery Channel, 1995.

"Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval," American Masters, PBS, 1995.

Narrator, Sonja Henie: Queen of Ice, PBS, 1995.

The Outer Limits Phenomenon, 1996.

Narrator, The Story of the Gun, Arts and Entertainment, 1996.

JFK: A Personal Story, Arts and Entertainment, 1996.

(In archive footage) "Henry Fonda: Hollywood's Quiet Hero," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 1997.

Narrator, Voices of Scotland, PBS, 1997.

Narrator, The GI Bill: The Law that Changed America, PBS, 1997.

Narrator, Danger in the Jet Stream, PBS, 1997.

The Kennedys: Power, Seduction, and Hollywood, E! Entertainment Television, 1998.

Narrator, The Lusitania: Murder on the Atlantic, Arts and Entertainment, 1998.

Intimate Portrait: Stefanie Powers, Lifetime, 1999.

William Holden: An Untamed Spirit, Arts and Entertainment, 1999.

Bob Fosse: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 1999.

"Lana Turner: Hollywood's Screen Siren," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2000.

Sandra Dee, Arts and Entertainment, 2000.

Host, Hollywood's Magic Night, PBS, 2001.

Behind the Scenes: Spider-Man the Movie (also known as Behind the Ultimate Spin), Space Channel, 2002.

Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star, TCM, 2002.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

The 41st Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1969.

Presenter, The 42nd Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1970.

The 39th Annual Golden Globe Awards, CBS, 1982.

Presenter, Screen Actors Guild Awards, NBC, 1995.

The 70th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1998.

Presenter, 25th International Emmy Awards, WNET (New York City), 1998.

The 75th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2003.

Stage Appearances:

Matthew Anderson, Late Love, National Theatre, New York City, 1953.

Val Xavier, Orpheus Descending, Martin Beck Theatre, New York City, 1957.

Night of 100 Stars, Radio City Music Hall, New York City, 1982.

Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, Love Letters, San Francisco, CA, 1990, and New York City.

Also appeared in The Lady and the Tiger, Mr. Roberts, and The Wisteria Trees.

Major Tours:

Three Men on a Horse, 1947.

Mister Roberts, U.S. cities, 1948–50.

Stage Work:

Director, The V.I.P.s, 1981.



(Uncredited) Younger brother (in archive footage), Gunfighters of the Old West, 1992.

The Directors: Sydney Pollack, 1997.

"Obsession" Revisited, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment, 2001.

Commander Carl Jessop (in archive footage), The Making of "Midway," Universal Studios Home Video, 2001.

Narrator, Running on Empty.



J. W. Coop, Columbia, 1972.

The Pilot (also known as Danger in the Skies), New Line Cinema, 1979.

13th Child (also known as The 13th Child, Legend of the Jersey Devil), MTI Home Video, 2003.


The V.I.P.s (stage play), 1981.

Sonja Henie: Queen of Ice (television special), PBS, 1995.

Contributor to periodicals.



International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, 4th edition, St. James Press, 2000.


New York Times, July 16, 1972.


"Cliff Robertson" (television episode), This Is Your Life, syndicated, 1971.

Robertson, Cliff

views updated May 23 2018


Nationality: American. Born: Clifford Parker Robertson in La Jolla, California, 9 September 1925. Education: Attended La Jolla High School, graduated 1941; Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, one year; studied acting at Actors Studio, New York. Family: Married 1) Cynthia Stone, 1957 (divorced 1959), daughter: Stephanie; 2) the actress Dina Merrill, 1966 (divorced 1989), daughter: Heather. Career: 1941—seaman on the tramp steamer Admiral Cole; worked in merchant marine during World War II; 1943—film debut in We've Never Been Licked; 1947—on tour with the play Three Men on a Horse; 1948–50—on national tour with the play Mister Roberts; 1953—New York debut in Late Love; 1954—regular actor on TV series Robert Montgomery Presents; 1955—contract with Columbia; 1972—directed the film J. W. Coop; many television roles, including the mini-series Washington: Behind Closed Doors, 1977; late 1970s—sued Columbia executive David Begelman for illegal checking practices; 1983–84—in TV series Falcon Crest; 1995—in TV mini-series Dazzle. Awards: Best Actor Academy Award, for Charly, 1968.

Films as Actor:


We've Never Been Licked (Fighting Command) (Rawlins) (as Adams); Corvette K-225 (Rosson)


Picnic (Logan) (as Alan)


Autumn Leaves (Aldrich) (as Burt Hanson)


The Girl Most Likely (Leisen) (as Pete)


The Naked and the Dead (Walsh) (as Hearn)


Gidget (Wendkos) (as Kahoona); Battle of the Coral Sea (Wendkos) (as Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Conway)


As the Sea Rages (Haechler) (as Clements)


All in a Night's Work (Anthony) (as Warren Kingsley Jr.); Underworld, U.S.A. (Fuller) (as Tolly Devlin); The Big Show (Clark) (as Josef Everard)


The Interns (Swift) (as Dr. John Paul Otis)


My Six Loves (Champion) (as the Rev. Jim Larkin); PT 109 (Martinson) (as John F. Kennedy); Sunday in New York (Tewksbury) (as Adam Tyler)


The Best Man (Schaffner) (as Joe Cantwell); 633 Squadron (Grauman) (as Wing Cmdr. Roy Grant)


Masquerade (Dearden) (as David Frazer); Up from the Beach (Parrish) (as Sgt. Edward Baxter); Love Has Many Faces (Singer) (as Pete Jordan)


The Honey Pot (Mankiewicz) (as William McFly)


The Devil's Brigade (McLaglen) (as Maj. Alan Crown); Charly (Nelson) (title role); The Sunshine Patriots (Sargent—for TV)


Too Late the Hero (Aldrich) (as Lt. Lawson)


The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (Kaufman) (as Cole Younger)


The Man without a Country (Delbert Mann—for TV) (as Philip Nolan); Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies (Sampson) (as Eli)


Man on a Swing (Perry) (as Lee Tucker); A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Hardy—for TV)


Out of Season (Bridges) (as Joe); Three Days of the Condor (Pollack) (as Higgins); My Father's House (Segal—for TV)


Return to Earth (Taylor—for TV) (as Buzz Aldrin); Obsession (De Palma) (as Michael Courtland); Midway (Smight) (as Cmdr. Carl Jessop); Shoot (Hart) (as Maj. Rex Jeanette)


Fraternity Row (Tobin) (as narrator)


Overboard (Newland—for TV); Dominique (Anderson) (as David Ballard)


Two of a Kind (Roger Young—for TV) (as Frank Minor)


Class (Carlino) (as Burroughs); Brainstorm (Trumbull) (as Alex Terson); Star 80 (Fosse) (as Hugh Hefner)


Shaker Run (Morrison); The Key to Rebecca (Hemmings—for TV)


Dreams of Gold: The Mel Fisher Story (Goldstone—for TV)


Malone (Cokliss) (as Charles Delaney); Ford: The Man and the Machine (Eastman—for TV) (title role)


Dead Reckoning (Robert Lewis—for TV) (as Dr. Daniel Barnard)


Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (Miner) (as Dr. Carver)


Wind (Ballard) (as Morgan Weld)


Renaissance Man (Penny Marshall) (as Col. James)


Pakten (Risan)


Escape from L.A. (John Carpenter); "With God On Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America" (Skaggs and Van Taylor—mini for TV) (as Narrator)


Melting Pot (Musca) (as Jack Durman)


Assigment Berlin (Randel) (as Cliff Garret)


Family Tree (Clark)


March 2 (Hour of Valor) (Ray)

Films as Director:


J. W. Coop (+ title role)


The Pilot (+ co-sc, ro)



McClintick, David, Indecent Exposure: A True Story of Hollywood and Wall Street, New York, 1982.

On ROBERTSON: articles—

Current Biography 1969, New York, 1969.

Hart, Henry, "Cliff Robertson," in Films in Review (New York), March 1969.

"Cliff Robertson and Hollywoodgate," in Films in Review (New York), August-September 1978.

Bell, A., "Bell Tells," in Village Voice (New York), no. 27, 15 June 1982.

"Le vedette de la semaine," in Cine Revue (Brussels), vol. 63, 10 November 1983.

Green, Michelle, "Cliff Robertson: Hollywood's Mr. Clean Shot Down David Begelman; Now the Actor Has Pulled His Career Out of a Nosedive," in People Weekly (New York), 5 December 1983.

O'Hallaren, Bill, "'Sometimes You Have to Take a Step Backward to Make Two Forward,"' in TV Guide, vol. 32, 22 June 1984.

McCarthy, A., "Compassion Fatigue," in Commonweal, vol. 112, 11 January 1985.

Fink, Mitchell, "Cliff Robertson, Who Plays," in People Weekly, 9 September 1996.

Stedman, R., "Lobby Notes: Lines from L.A.," in Audience (Simi Valley), no. 198, December/January 1997/1998.

"A Man With a Moral Mission: Hollywood Stories," in The Christian Science Monitor, 5 May 2000.

* * *

A sturdy, interesting leading man and moderately versatile character actor/villain, Cliff Robertson played his most dramatic scenes thus far offscreen when he blew the whistle on Columbia president David Begelman for embezzlement. Although this led to his three-year blacklisting by the movie studios, Robertson weathered that particular storm, and is currently embarked on what is virtually a second movie career.

Initially, Joshua Logan, who had directed Robertson in the stage version of his Mister Roberts, provided him with his feature movie debut role in the film version of William Inge's play, Picnic; Robertson plays the Kansan who loses Kim Novak to drifter William Holden. After appearing in a number of films of varying quality, Robertson attracted considerable attention when he was chosen by President John F. Kennedy to portray him in Leslie Martinson's straightforward PT 109.

The group of films that followed were mostly routine, although his ruthless presidential candidate in Gore Vidal's political melodrama, The Best Man, is both effective and memorable. Ralph Nelson's Charly, however, in which Robertson portrays a retarded man whom a scientific experiment transforms to a genius and back again, gained him the Academy Award as Best Actor. Robertson had played the role on television in 1961 and purchased the rights to the material (Daniel Keyes's novel Flowers for Algernon), ensuring his appearance in the film version. He also directed, scripted, produced and starred in the well-received 1972 film J. W. Coop, a character study of a dumb but cocky ex-convict rodeo cowboy. Despite this success, Robertson has only directed one other film, The Pilot, in which he also starred.

After a number of other films in the early 1970s, including supporting performances in two solid box-office hits, Midway andThree Days of the Condor, Robertson had few jobs for more than three years during his blacklisting. He resumed his career in the 1980s, however, with supporting roles in Douglas Trumbull's Brainstorm and Bob Fosse's Star 80 (portraying Playboy founder Hugh Hefner), among other film and television assignments. Robertson now seems well on his way back toward starring roles which call for quiet determination, evident authority, and understated intensity.

—Bill Wine, updated by Frank Uhle