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Overview for William Redfield
William Redfield

William Redfield


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Also Known As: Died: August 17, 1976
Born: January 26, 1927 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: Cast ... actor author


William Redfield was a prolific stage actor over the middle part of the 20th century, though he is most known for his role as Harding, the bespectacled, professorial mental patient in the multiple Oscar-winning drama "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Redfield made his Broadway debut as a child of just nine, and a few years later, he made his first on-screen appearance with a supporting part in the 1939 crime drama "Back Door to Heaven." He then returned to the theater for a decade before making his television debut, appearing on three episodes of "Actor's Studio," a pioneering ABC series in which plays were performed for TV. Redfield proceeded to appear on at least an episode of most of the major TV playhouse programs throughout the '50s and into the '60s, among them "Kraft Theatre" and "The United States Steel Hour." In 1964, Redfield had the proud and memorable experience of playing Guildenstern to Richard Burton's title character "Hamlet" in a televised version of the Broadway production, which was co-directed by acting legend John Gielgud. In the '70s, Redfield had key supporting roles in the film comedies "A New Leaf" (with Walter Matthau and Elaine May), "The Hot Rock," with Robert Redford and George Segal and "For Pete's Sake," starring Barbra Streisand. A year after making his small but memorable appearance in "Cuckoo's Nest," which starred Jack Nicholson, Redfield died from leukemia at age 49.

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