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Remembering Roddy McDowall

Published: 10/3/2012
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Roddy McDowall (Wikimedia Commons / Alan Light)

Roddy McDowall was one of those rarest of actors: a child star who went on to a long and successful career as an adult. 

His acting career began when he was just 10, and he achieved stardom at the tender age of 12. As the young son of a coal mining family in Wales, McDowall tugged many a heartstring in How Green Was My Valley.

He continued his trajectory to fame with Lassie Come Home, in which he starred with a girl who would become a lifelong friend – a young Elizabeth Taylor.

As an adult, McDowall appeared in dozens upon dozens of films, though more often as a character actor than a star. Sometimes, not even as a human – as in his notable turn as chimpanzee Cornelius in Planet of the Apes.

But it wasn't all quite so serious… McDowall also camped it up as villain the Bookworm on TV’s delightfully goofy Batman.

It's been 14 years since McDowall died Oct. 3, 1998, but from Wales to Gotham City, he'll always be a star.

Written by Linnea Crowther


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