Family & Companions
This tall, gaunt and grizzled character player of film and TV has also enjoyed a significant career on the New York stage as an actor-director. Tending to stand out even in the smallest bits, Blossom has delivered convincing portrayals of addled oldsters, creepy hicks, and lovable eccentrics. Steven Spielberg took notice of Blossom's special qualities and deployed them to memorable effect in several projects: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977) where he plays a seemingly crazy rustic UFO enthusiast who proclaims "I saw Bigfoot once!"; "Ghost Train" (NBC, 1985), the lavish Spielberg-helmed premiere episode of "Amazing Stories", in which he steadfastly maintains that an overdue spectral locomotive will run through the pleasant suburban ranch house of his son's family; and "Always" (1989), as a raving hermit who is able to see the ghost of Richard Dreyfuss.
Younger audiences may know Blossom best from the blockbuster kidpic "Home Alone" (1990) as the possibly sinister neighbor of Macaulay Culkin who wields a mean snow shovel. Horror cultists fondly recall him in a rare starring role in "Deranged" (1974), an unsavory shocker about a mother-obsessed Ed Gein-like farmer who kills and stuffs his mom and other folks. Blossom's other credits include a small role as Robert Redford's father in "The Great Gatsby" (1974), Jonathan Demme's "Citizens Band" (1977), Don Siegel's "Escape From Alcatraz" (1979), John Carpenter's "Christine" (1983) and Martin Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988).
Blossom has also lent his distinctive presence to various TV series in indelible guest spots: he was a menacing hitchhiker in a savvy adaptation of Ray Bradbury's short story, "The Burning Man", (CBS, 1985) on the revival of "The Twilight Zone"; he gave a moving firsthand account of the founding of Cicely (the series' setting) on an outstanding episode of "Northern Exposure" (CBS, 1992), and he shone as a sickly landlocked farmer who dreams of going to sea in the Michael Apted-directed pilot of "Crossroads" (ABC, 1992).
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Acted on stage in Edward Albee's adaptation of Carson McCullers' "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe"
Featured in Sam Shepard's play, "Operation Sidewinder"
Early film role, playing an unfortunate patient in "The Hospital"
First starring role, playing a demented farmer in "Deranged"
Played the title character's father in "The Great Gatsby"
Appeared in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"
Had regular role on the NBC soap opera, "Another World"
Played the estranged father of a woman who has had a near-death experience in "Resurrection"
Acted with Bette Davis in the NBC movie, "Family Reunion"
Played the old man who sells Arnie Cunningham the famous 1958 Plymouth Fury in John Carpenter's "Christine"
Had a small role as Louden Swain's grandfather in "Vision Quest"
Appeared in "The Last Temptation of Christ"
Featured as the neighbor who befriends young Macaulay Culkin in the hit movie, "Home Alone"
Played the judge who sentences Michael J. Fox's character to perform community service in "Doc Hollywood"
Cast as Doc Wallace in "The Quick and the Dead"
Was the subject of the documentary, "Full Blossom: The Life of Poet/Actor Roberts Blossom"