Actor. Skilled at playing a wide range of roles, he became the first person to refuse an Oscar when he won for convincingly portraying United States Army General George S. Patton in the picture "Patton" (1970). Born in Wise, Virginia, his mother died when he was eight years old leaving him to be raised by his father an executive with Buick Automobile Company. Towards the closing months of World War II, he enlisted with the United States Marine Corps (Scott supposedly claimed this experience led to a problem with alcohol) and following his discharge he enrolled at the University of Missouri where he studied Journalism. While in college he developed an interest in acting and switched to Drama and English and graduated in 1953. He made his initial mark on the stage with a string of off-Broadway Shakespearian plays beginning with "Richard III" (1957) for which earned him a Theatre World and Clarence Derwent Award, "As You Like It" (1958) and "The Merchant of Venice" (1962). He received an Obie Award For Best Actor for his performance from the Eugene O'Neill work "Desire Under the Elms" (1963). Additionally, Scott went onto have an extensive career on Broadway. After appearing in some live TV episodes, he launched his Hollywood career with the picture "The Hanging Tree" (1959) and received an Academy Award nomination for his second effort as James Stewert's foe Assistant Attorney General Claude Dancer in Otto Preminger's courtroom drama "Anatomy of a Murder" (1959). A string of TV-movies followed prior to him receiving his second Oscar nomination with a strong performance as Bert Gordon, the crooked professional gambler opposite Paul Newman in "The Hustler" (1961). However, Scott refused the nomination stating he did not believe in actors competing against one another. He had a starring role in the TV series "East Side/West Side" (1963 to 1964). In the picture "The List of Adrian Messenger" (1963) he matched wits with Kirk Douglas and in Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb" (1963) he created a highly memorable character in General Buck Turgidson whom exchanged some of the best dialogue in film history with Peter Sellers. In "The Flim-Flam Man" (1967) he played Mordecai, the experienced con man and in "Petula", he was the recently divorced doctor whom becomes involved with Julie Christie. In "Patton", Scott gave possibly one of the most memorable speeches in film history and won the Academy Award for his realistic portrayal of the larger than life figure. However, he remained true to his principle and had the Oscar returned to the Academy. He earned an additional Academy Award nomination for "The Hospital" (1971) and received an Emmy Award for a TV-move titled "The Price" for which he also declined. Other memorable credits include "They Might Be Giants" (1971), "The New Centurions" (1972), "The Day of the Dolphin" (1973), "Bank Shot" (1974). "The Changeling" (1980) and "Taps" (1981). He also directed the features "Rage" (1972) and "The Savage is Loose" (1974). He had further TV-movie credits with the Charles Dickens' works "Oliver Twist" (1982) and "A Christmas Carol" (1985, as Ebenezer Scrooge). He played the title role in "Mussolini: The Untold Story" (1985) and reprised his famous role as General Patton in "The Last Days of Patton" (1986). He starred in the TV series "Mr. President" (1987 to 1988). He concluded his career with parts in the TV revivals of the stories "12 Angry Men" and "Inherit the Wind" (1999). Scott was married five times formerly to actresses Carolyn Hughes, Patricia Reed, Colleen Dewhurst (twice) and Trish Van Devere until his death. His marriage with Dewhurst produced their son Campbell Scott whom went onto become a renowned actor in his own right. He died following a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Bio by: C.S.
Helen Hettie Scott Hamilton