"One of Hollywood's true originals," is how Robert Duvall is described near the end of this very entertaining episode of "Biography," which I comment here because there is no listing for this one. Too bad, because it's hard to think of many actors who have played so many diverse roles and done them as professionally as Duvall. What an actor! Duvall might have made a big name for himself early on with his roles in "The Godfather" and "Apocalypse Now," but can you name the movies in which he played his first leading role or won his first Oscar or debuted as a director? All of them are discussed in this program. (The answers: "The Great Santini," "Tender Mercies" and "Angelo, My Love.")
As a huge fan of one of his lesser-known films, "Assassination Tango," I was glad to see the show open with that, with Duvall and his wife Luciana, who costarred in that film. The Argentine tango dancer is quite the impressive woman and I hope she's the last wife Bob has. The couple live in a big barn in Virginia, according to the narrator of this episode.
Duvall, even as small kid, is pictured as an intense person, someone with no pretenses and a surprising sense of humor which he got from his mom. It was interesting to learn that he was such a good athlete, such a poor student and that his first best friends in the theater acting profession in New York City were a couple of guys named Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman. Later, James Caan and Jon Voight joined the threesome as good buddies. Not a bad group of actors, eh? This TV program has a lot of personal clips of Duvall and his wives, stepdaughters, parents and friends. It details his long, varied career. In the movies, it began with the tough non-speaking part of "Boo Radley" in "To Kill A Mockingbird.
Duvall is one of the most interesting and best actors of his generation and his fellow actors pay tribute to him with similar accolades here. All-in-all, this was one of the better episodes I've seen in this series. The one on Brando is pretty interesting, too! Duvall is in that, commenting on the controversial Brando.
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