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Clifford Parker Robertson III (La Jolla, California, September 9, 1923 – New York, September 10, 2011) was an Oscar-winning American actor.
He was born in La Jolla, a town near Los Angeles, and was named Clifford Parker Robertson III. His parents had a ranch and they were well-off. During the school years, Robertson enrolled in drama classes because it was the way to avoid having to attend several of the classes at the school. However, this activity served to develop an interest in interpretation.
During the Second World War he was called up and on his return from military service he entered Antioch University in the state of Ohio. His first job was as a radio announcer, but soon he turned to theater, which he did traveling for two years with a traveling company. From there he got a role on Broadway, where he debuted in 1952 in a play directed by Joshua Logan.
After three years, Logan offered him a supporting role in Picnic, a film starring William Holden and Kim Novak that marked the beginning of his film career. The same year already obtained a main paper in the film Autumn Leaves, released in 1956, in which it acted next to Joan Crawford. Critics of his performance were positive, which allowed him to have weight in the choice of his next films.
In 1963 he starred in the war film PT 109, based on the heroic actions of then-lieutenant John F. Kennedy in the Pacific during World War II that would earn him the Medal of the Navy and the Marine Corps. It was President Kennedy himself who personally chose Robertson to play his character. During the years that followed Robertson continued making films that were generally blockbusters. It became clear that this serious-looking actor would not be a movie star, but a reliable actor, capable of playing very different characters.
In 1968 Robertson acted in Charly, an adaptation of the novel Flowers for Algernon, in which he masterfully interpreted a person with mental retardation who is subjected to a scientific experiment, as a result of which his intelligence develops to levels of genius. For this performance he won an Oscar for the best lead actor and a Golden Globe nomination. Since then he has appeared in numerous films, in roles that as he has grown older have often been of a secondary nature, without diminishing the recognition of criticism and the public. He was also participating in productions for television, a medium in which he came to feel comfortable.
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