ADDISON POWELL SHELBURNE - Addison Powell, 89, passed away Monday evening, to the sounds of Vivaldi and The Beatles, and in the loving company of his three children. A film and stage actor, a WWII navigator, and a son of New England, Powell had lived in Vermont for 22 years, most recently in Shelburne Bay, an independent living community. He loved country walks, landscape painting, good books and a good joke, not to mention Handel on his DVD player and a BLT from Burlington Bay Market. To sit in the cool shadow of birches and pines on the porch of his summer cottage on Lake Champlain, built by his grandfather in 1900, was his great pleasure. He enjoyed a long career as a New York City-based stage, screen and TV actor. He played the CIA heavy in "Three Days of the Condor", a 1970s-era thriller, and his photograph, face to face with that other actor, Robert Redford (Redford's gun is nuzzled under Powell's chin) has appeared around the world. He played the father of the sizzling Jean Seberg in "In the French Style'; a hip bank robber in 'The Thomas Crown Affair' with Steve McQueen; a starchy Admiral Nimitz in "MacArthur", with Gregory Peck; and a hard-boiled detective in "Contract on Cherry Street" with Frank Sinatra. He won an Obie for his performance as Willie Oban in "The Iceman Cometh" at Circle in the Square, a production that included Jason Robards and Peter Falk. On stage, he received fine notices in 'Coastal Disturbances', which featured the Broadway debut of Annette Bening. He did television turns on "Gunsmoke" and "Bob Newhart" and appeared on the first episodes of "Law and Order" and "Mod Squad." He also played the evil Dr. Lang in 'Dark Shadows', a 1960s TV camp classic that years later garnered him the occasional letter from the slightly obsessed fan. He always was thrilled they remembered. Born in Belmont, Mass. in 1921, the son of school teachers, he graduated from Boston University and joined the Army Air Force. Based in East Anglia, he flew 30 missions as a navigator in a B-17. After the war, he graduated from Yale Drama School. In 1950, he married a Michigan girl, Bunnie Rowley and they raised three children in the tightly knit vertical block association that is an Upper West Side apartment building. As his was a life and not a Hollywood movie, he knew joy and disappointments, and out of the complications of the latter came his longstanding membership in the fine fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. Bunnie died in 1995 and he never remarried. He is survived by his three children and their spouses, Mary Powell and Mark Brooks of South Hero, Julie and Richard Elmore of Westford, and Michael Powell and Evelyn Intondi of Brooklyn. His younger and beloved brother, Edward, also survives him; as do his eight grand- children, Katie, Anthony, Michael, Nicholas, Tony, Aidan, Calvin, and Alexandra. They were his diamonds. Those wishing to make a donation in his memory may do so to either the Sudan Development Foundation 139 Elmwood Avenue Burlington, VT or the Veterans Bedside Network, 10 Fiske Place, Room 328, Mt. Vernon, NY 10550.
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Published in The Burlington Free Press on Nov. 12, 2010