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|Also Known As:||Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude Mcdowall||Died:||October 3, 1998|
|Born:||September 17, 1928||Cause of Death:||cancer|
|Birth Place:||London, England, GB||Profession:||Cast ... actor producer model photographer director|
Roddy McDowall began his prolific career as a child model in his native England. Segueing to features, he appeared in over 15 British films in the mid- to late 1930s, including "Convict 99" (1937) and "Murder in the Family" (1938). With his mother and older sister, McDowall was evacuated to the USA. Almost immediately upon his arrival in Hollywood, he was signed to a contract by 20th-Century Fox. McDowall first came to the attention of American audiences as the cabin boy who helps Walter Pidgeon escape from the Nazis in Fritz Lang's superb "Man Hunt" (1941). Pidgeon and McDowall were again teamed in John Ford's Oscar-winning "How Green Was My Valley" (also 1941), this time with the older actor as a minister encouraging the youth in his attempts to overcome a crippling accident. The film established McDowall as a rising young lead, at once sensitive but also manly, and engendered comparisons with other child actors from Shirley Temple and Freddie Bartholomew. Throughout the 40s, he appeared in a number of well-crafted films, many centered around animals like "Son of Fury" (1942) and "Lassie Come Home" (1943). By the end of the decade, as he approached adulthood, McDowall attempted more interesting fare including a turn as David Balfour in the beautifully photographed but slow remake of "Kidnapped" (which also marked his producing debut) and as Malcolm in Orson Welles' "Macbeth" (both 1948). Slowly, though, despite producing a number of efforts, good feature roles became scarce.
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