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Anthony Quinn

Anthony Quinn

Anthony Quinn's portrayal of the Howeitat sheik, Auda, in Lawrence of Arabia is another chapter in a personal success story which has been highly gratifying to his admirers and of which the actor himself is forthrightly proud.

Quinn is of Mexican-Irish ancestry. When he was a child, his peasant mother, then herself only 17 years old, brought him on her back across the Mexican border into the United States. The family subsisted as fruit pickers in California orchards. At one time Quinn achieved the eminence of foreman of an orchard gang, but he was so young that a truant officer caught him at it and sent him back to school.

As a youth, he had a serious speech impediment.He persuaded a surgeon to do an operation on his tongueon the long-term credit plan. He used the same approach toprevail upon Katherine Hamil, a Hollywood dramatic coach, to be allowed in her class so that he could learn to speak correctly. He had a severely disciplined plan of self education:a book a week; every page of every newspaper he could lay hands on; a symphony each week; and each week a visit to an art exhibit.

Quinn's first film job was a Cheyenne Indian in Cecil B. DeMille's The Plainsman. In 1952 he won the award of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his work in Viva Zapata! He won it again in 1956 for his portrayal of painter-Paul Gauguin in Lust for Life. Among recent film portrayals, he scored vividly as the Greek fisherman in The Guns of Navarone. He went from that assignment to the stage to play Henry II to Laurence Olivier's Thomas a Becket, and then compounded that triumph by exchanging roles with Olivier to the high admiration of the critics.

Perhaps in Anthony Quinn's philosophy there is the key to his success story. Says Quinn: I am competing with myself.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Anthony Quinn Facts

Birth NameAntonio Quinones
BirthdayApril 21, 1915
BirthplaceChihuahua, Mexico
Date of deathJune 3, 2001 (age 86)
Height6' 2" (1m88)  How tall is Anthony Quinn compared to you?
Awards1987 Golden Globe Awards: Cecil B. DeMille Award
1957 Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor (for Lust for Life)
1953 Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor (for Viva Zapata!)

Selected Filmography

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Lawrence Of Arabia
Problem Child
A Walk in the Clouds
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
Legends Of The Fall
Eagle Eye
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