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Malcolm McDowell

Malcolm McDowell

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Also Known As: Malcolm Macdowell, Malcolm John Taylor Died:
Born: June 13, 1943 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Yorkshire, England, GB Profession: actor, producer, messenger, coffee factory worker, bartender, coffee salesman

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Of his four decades on screen, Malcolm McDowell's most notorious performance was inarguably that of the twisted, disturbingly jubilant sociopath at the center of Stanley Kubrick's surreal satire, "A Clockwork Orange" (1971). When the popularity of pointed, edgy British filmmaking faded, the young spokesman of a generation was unconcerned with parlaying his acclaim into mainstream movie stardom. McDowell's habit of fielding offers both good and bad led him to rival only countryman Michael Caine in sheer amount of screen time. His "Clockwork" breakout led to career-long castings as bad guys in many lesser artistic achievements, ranging from John Badham's actioner "Blue Thunder" (1983) to a high profile role as "the man who killed Captain Kirk" in "Star Trek: Generations" (1994). With his low voice and early head of snow white hair, McDowell was cast as professors, military men, doctors, and megalomaniacs, generally favoring offbeat projects like Paul Schrader's unsettling "Cat People" (1982) and the post-apocalyptic "Tank Girl" (1995). With the exception of his leading role in the rock-n-roll comedy "Get Crazy" (1983) and a hilarious run on the short-lived CBS sitcom "Pearl" (1996-97), McDowell was...

Of his four decades on screen, Malcolm McDowell's most notorious performance was inarguably that of the twisted, disturbingly jubilant sociopath at the center of Stanley Kubrick's surreal satire, "A Clockwork Orange" (1971). When the popularity of pointed, edgy British filmmaking faded, the young spokesman of a generation was unconcerned with parlaying his acclaim into mainstream movie stardom. McDowell's habit of fielding offers both good and bad led him to rival only countryman Michael Caine in sheer amount of screen time. His "Clockwork" breakout led to career-long castings as bad guys in many lesser artistic achievements, ranging from John Badham's actioner "Blue Thunder" (1983) to a high profile role as "the man who killed Captain Kirk" in "Star Trek: Generations" (1994). With his low voice and early head of snow white hair, McDowell was cast as professors, military men, doctors, and megalomaniacs, generally favoring offbeat projects like Paul Schrader's unsettling "Cat People" (1982) and the post-apocalyptic "Tank Girl" (1995). With the exception of his leading role in the rock-n-roll comedy "Get Crazy" (1983) and a hilarious run on the short-lived CBS sitcom "Pearl" (1996-97), McDowell was underappreciated for his sharp comic skills, and into his senior years the actor's high profile roles in Rob Zombie's "Halloween" films (2007, 2009) and a stint as a manipulative Hollywood player on the HBO drama "Entourage" (HBO, 2004- ) ensured that a new generation of audiences also came also to associate him with the villainous and sinister.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Stuck (2014)
2.
3.
 Green Story, A (2013)
4.
5.
 Excision (2012)
7.
 Antiviral (2012)
8.
 Silent Night (2012)
9.
 Mind's Eye (2012)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Appeared in school productions of Shakespeare and in musical comedies
:
Began acting career in the early 1960s, performing in regional repertory companies; adopted mother's maiden name of McDowell
1965:
Appeared in Royal Shakespeare Company productions for 18 months
1967:
Landed first feature acting role, in Ken Loach's "Poor Cow"; part was cut from the film before its release
1968:
Made screen debut as the school rebel in Lindsay Anderson's "If..."
1971:
Starred in his most famous role as Alex in Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange"; earned a Golden Globe nomination
1973:
Second film with Anderson, "O Lucky Man!"; also served as a producer
1975:
Attempting to escape his violent image, swashbuckled through Richard Lester's comic "Royal Flash"
1975:
Starred with Laurence Olivier and Helen Mirren in British production of Harold Pinter's "The Collection"; directed by Michael Apted
1975:
Featured in the London stage revival of Joe Orton's "Entertaining Mr. Sloane"
1976:
Portrayed Max Gunther in Stuart Rosenberg's "Voyage of the Damned"
1979:
Made his Hollywood debut opposite future wife Mary Steenburgen as H. G. Wells in "Time After Time"
1980:
Played the title role in "Caligula"; first film to feature eminent film actors with graphic and explicit sex; produced by <i>Penthouse</i> founder Bob Guccione
1980:
Starred in the off-Broadway revival of "Look Back in Anger"; directed by Lindsay Anderson
1982:
Acted opposite Nastassja Kinski in Paul Schrader's remake of "Cat People"
1982:
Made third and final film with Anderson, "Britannia Hospital"
1983:
Played a small role as legendary editor Maxwell Perkins to Steenburgen's Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings in "Cross Creek"
1983:
Portrayed the wolf to Steenburgen's "Little Red Riding Hood" for Showtime's "Faerie Tale Theatre"
1985:
Portrayed King Arthur in the TV movie, "Arthur the King"
1988:
Cast as the oily, corrupt studio chief in Blake Edwards' disappointing "Sunset"
1991:
Guest starred as Longtooth in "The Reluctant Vampire" episode of HBO's "Tales from the Crypt"
1992:
Contributed a cameo to Robert Altman's "The Player"
1994:
Portrayed villainous Dr. Soren in "Star Trek: Generations"; received death threats for killing Captain Kirk
1995:
Played the villain opposite Lori Petty in the film "Tank Girl"
1996:
Made rare TV appearance as porn magnate Benny Barratt in the British miniseries version of Peter Flannery's acclaimed epic "Our Friends in the North"
1996:
Made American TV series debut as the sardonic Professor Pynchon on the CBS sitcom "Pearl"
1998:
Starred as Roarke in the short-lived ABC series remake of "Fantasy Island"
1999:
Portrayed rich, sensible, not very likable uncle in the coming-of-age film, "My Life So Far"
2001:
Appeared in "Just Visiting," a remake of the French time-travel pic "Les Visiteurs" (1993)
2002:
Cast as the villain in the feature adaptation of "I Spy," starring Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson
2003:
Cast in Robert Altman's ballet-themed drama "The Company"
2004:
Cast in "Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius," based on the life of golf legend Bobby Jones
2004:
Cast in the British crime drama, "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"
2005:
Landed a recurring role as Ari's (Jeremy Piven) former partner and boss on the HBO series "Entourage"
2007:
Portrayed the wealthy, conspiratorial villain Mr. Linderman on NBC's sci-fi series "Heroes"
2007:
Cast in Rob Zombie's remake of the 1978 horror classic "Halloween"
2009:
Once again teamed with Rob Zombie for "Halloween II"
2010:
Had an uncredited role in the post-apocalyptic thriller "The Book of Eli"
2010:
Acted opposite Emma Stone in the comedy "Easy A"
2011:
Cast in the critically acclaimed black-and-white, nearly silent film "The Artist"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Eltham College: -

Notes

Most sources designate Ken Loach's "Poor Cow" (1967) as McDowell's film debut. These include Quigley's 1993 edition of the "Motion Picture Almanac", "The International Directory of Films and Filmmakers: Volume III--Actors and Actresses", Leonard Maltin's 1993 "Movie and Video Guide" and Ephraim Katz's "Film Encyclopedia". However, the usually reliable "Film Dope" (No. 37) claims that McDowell's supporting role as Billy was cut before release.

"'If...' is probably the best film I made and after it Lindsay [Anderson] said, 'Well, Malcolm, it's downhill from here.' I told him I was young and would do much better work. 'I doubt it,' he said. Maybe he was right. Who knows? I didn't have time to be disappointed. When you're living through those things you think it's all going to continue, but very soon afterwards the British film industry collpased. Lindsay Anderson was too good.

"Perhaps 'A Clockwork Orange' was too good, too. For years I resented the impact it had on my life, but I don't anymore. Baddies are usually interesting. Who wants those boring parts that Kevin Costner does? He's brilliant at them, but I'd be bored stiff playing upright, walking cliches. I don't think I've ever done anything where I tried to be liked by the audience. You've got to have the courage to be hated. I'm just a working actor and if I want to do something interesting and litereate I return to the stage. I'm not disillusioned. How many great films can you do in a lifetime? Even Paul Newman hasn't done that many. I had three great ones that will live forever. I'd have preferred them to be made every 15 years, rather than one after the other, but I went off and did other stuff. Loads of it is crap, but some is nearly great, like 'Assassin of the Tsar', a Russian film I made two years ago that hasn't even been seen." --Malcolm McDowell, quoted in RADIO TIMES in a 1996 interview

About "A Clockwork Orange": "Stanley Kubrick gave me a copy of the book. I called him and said, and I must have been absolutely nuts, but I said, 'Are you offering me this?' And there was a long pause and he said, 'Yes.' Having got that out of the way, I said, 'Well, look, I'd like to meet with you further and talk about it. Would you like to come to my house?' Another long pause: 'Where is it?' And he came in a sort of a convoy . . . I didn't realize that it was such a big deal for Stanley Kubrick to leave his home. He 'doesn't travel well,' as they say . . .

"Well, I was totally seduced by him [his character Alex). I thought he was a hoot. I honestly thought I was making a black comedy and played it for humor. I learned early on in life that you must not worry about being disliked. It's great fun--suicidal parts . . ." --McDowell, quoted in PREMIERE, April 1995

"Monty Python influences everything I do. I'm much more influenced by comedians than by other actors. There was an English comic, Eric Morecambe. In my own way, I was inspired by him to be physical in a way that I had seen him do. Or Benny Hill or John Cleese." --McDowell, to Ilene Rosensweig in THE NEW YORK TIMES, December 9, 1996

"At bottom, he's a kid from Liverpool, with the same humor you saw in the Beatles--that sardonic northern humor, very quick." --ex-wife Mary Steenburgen, quoted in THE NEW YORK TIMES, December 9, 1996

On Stanley Kubrick: "Making 'A Clockwork Orange' was the most intense learning experience of my life, though his way of working threw me at first. I'd be waiting for suggestions, and he'd say, 'Gee, Malcolm, I'm not RADA--I hired you to do the acting.' I was a young man [27] and said nothing at first. Later, I'd say, 'Look at that chair. What does it say on the back. Director, no?' But it was such a pleasure when you did something he liked: he would stuff his handkerchief into his mouth to try to stop himself laughing. . . .

"I was shocked when I first heard about his death. He was only 70, and still seemed so plugged in. I've felt lots of disgust since his death. People talking about Stanley Kubrick who are not even qualified to talk about a black pudding. I heard Michael Winner analysing Kubrick. Please!" --McDowell to THE OBSERVER, March 14, 1999

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Margot Dullea. Actor. Divorced; formerly married to Keir Dullea.
wife:
Mary Steenburgen. Actor. Married in 1980 after co-starring in "Time After Time"; divorced in 1989; later married actor Ted Danson.
wife:
Kelley Kuhr. Artist. Born c. 1967; married on November 12, 1991 in Malibu, California.

Family close complete family listing

daughter:
Lilly Amanda McDowell. Born on January 21, 1981; mother is Mary Steenburgen.
son:
Charlie McDowell. Born c. 1983; mother is Mary Steenburgen.
nephew:
Alexander Siddig. Actor. Appeared on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine".
son:
Beckett Taylor McDowell. Born January 18, 2004; mother is Kelley Kuhr.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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