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Roddy McDowall

Roderick McDowall (sometimes written MacDowall) was a British actor. He was born in London to a family enthusiastic about the theatre, and made his first film appearance at the age of ten. It was as Huw in How Green Was My Valley (1941) that he made his name, and he appeared in many other films as a child actor, including The White Cliffs of Dover (1944) and some of the Lassie series, where he appeared opposite the young Elizabeth Taylor.

McDowall was one of the few child actors to continue his career successfully into adulthood, but it was usually in character roles, notably in four of the five original Planet of the Apes movies (1968-1973). Other film appearances included The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974). He also appeared on stage and television.

He played a character villain, The Bookworm, in the camp 1960s TV series Batman and had an acclaimed recurring role as The Mad Hatter in Batman: The Animated Series.

McDowall served for several years in various capacities on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization that presents the Oscar. He was Chairman of the Actors Branch for 5 terms. He was elected President of the Academy Foundation the year he died.

He also received recognition as a photographer and published five books of photographs.

He died in Studio City, California from lung cancer.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Roddy McDowall Facts

Birth NameRoderick Andrew Anthony Jude McDowall
BirthdaySeptember 17, 1928
BirthplaceHerne Hill, London, England, United Kingdom
Date of deathOctober 3, 1998 (Studio City, California, USA, age 70)
Height5' 10" (1m78)  How tall is Roddy McDowall compared to you?

Selected Filmography

A Bug's Life
Angel 4
Bedknobs And Broomsticks Special Edition
Fright Night
Created to Kill
Evil Under the Sun
Molly and Me
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