Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April 17 - William Holden

Actor William Holden was born on April 17, 1918, in O'Fallon, Illinois. His real name was William Franklin Beedle, Jr. At age 3 his family moved to Southern California, where he was spotted by a Paramount talent scout in 1937. He played roles in minor films until 1950, when director Billy Wilder cast him as Joe Gillis, the young screenwriter who became the paramour of Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), a has-been silent-screen star, in “Sunset Boulevard.” A major star of the 1950s, he had memorable roles in “Born Yesterday” (1950) and “Stalag 17” (1953), for which he won a Best Actor Oscar, followed by “The Country Girl” (1954), “The Bridges at Toko-Ri” (1954), “Sabrina”(1954), “Picnic” (1955), “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing”(1955), “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957), and “The Horse Soldiers” (1959). He made a comeback in Sam Peckinpah's “The Wild Bunch” (1969), which led to roles in “The Towering Inferno” (1974) and the bitingly satirical “Network” (1976). Alcoholism contributed to his death in 1981.

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