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Actor Richard Widmark dies at age 93

The actor, who earned an Oscar nomination for his first film role, in 1947’s ”Kiss of Death,” passed away on Wednesday

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Richard Widmark, Kiss of Death
Everett Collection

(FROM AP) — Actor Richard Widmark, the star of more than 70 movies over nearly half a century, has died. He was 93 and at his home in Roxbury, Conn.; no cause of death was released. A veteran radio and stage performer, Widmark gained instant acclaim for his first film role, as a creepy murderer who kills an old woman by pushing her down a flight of stairs in her wheelchair, in the 1947 film noir Kiss of Death. It netted him his only Academy Award nomination and fast elevated him to the heights of his profession.

Over the next four decades, Widmark starred in scores of Westerns, thrillers, and war films, including The Alamo, Two Rode Together, How the West Was Won, and Madigan (whose police-officer role Widmark reprised in a short-lived 1970s TV series). It was a résumé ironically at odds with the actor’s personal views. ”I know I’ve made kind of a half-assed career out of violence, but I abhor violence,” Widmark said in 1976. He effectively retired about a decade later, saying, ”I’ve discovered in my dotage that I now find the whole moviemaking process irritating. I don’t have the patience anymore. I’ve got a few more years to live, and I don’t want to spend them sitting around a movie set for 12 hours to do two minutes of film.” (AP via Google)