(September 9, 1923 – September 10, 2011)
We are saddened to report the passing of veteran actor Cliff Robertson on September 10, 2011, one day after his 88th birthday. Known to at least one generation for his signature role as John F. Kennedy in the film P.T. 109, he found a new audience in more recent years as Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben in the Spider-Man movies. With a minimum number of lines, Robertson did a great job communicating the character’s selflessness and affection.
He also played the villain Shame on the TV series Batman, among many other roles.
He won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of a mentally disabled man in Charly, an adaptation of the science fiction novel Flowers for Algernon.
Robertson, who was an avid pilot as well, has been reported as the only actor to have won the Academy Award, the Emmy Award, Theater World Award, and the Advertising Age Award for his film, television, stage and commercial work, respectively.
In 1977, Robertson discovered that his signature had been forged on a $10,000 check payable to him, although it was for work he had not performed. He also learned that the forgery had been carried out by Columbia Pictures head David Begelman, and on reporting it he inadvertently triggered one of the biggest Hollywood scandals of the 1970s. Robertson was subsequently blacklisted for several years before he finally returned to film in Brainstorm (1983). The story of the scandal is told in David McClintick's 1982 bestseller Indecent Exposure.
On September 10, 2011, Robertson died in Stony Brook, New York one day after his 88th birthday