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As you grow older, you'll find the only things you regret are the things you didn't do.

Wednesday
Oct 24, 2018

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Random Person of the Day: Zachary Scott

Zachary Scott

Zachary Scott

Zachary Scott (February 24, 1914 - October 3, 1965) was an American actor, most notable for his roles as villains and "mystery men".

Born in Austin, Texas, he was a distant cousin of both George Washington and Bat Masterson. Scott's father was a physician and his grandfather had been a very successful cattle rancher.

Scott intended to be a doctor like his father, but after attending the University of Texas for a while, he decided to switch to acting. He signed on as a cabin boy on a freighter which took him to England, where he acted in repertory theatre for a while, before he returned to Austin, and began acting in local theater.

Alfred Lunt discovered Scott in Texas and convinced him to move to New York City, where he appeared on Broadway. Jack Warner saw him in a performance, and signed him to appear in a movie, The Mask of Dimitrios , in 1944.

He appeared the next year in Mildred Pierce to much acclaim. In the film, Scott was Joan Crawford's love interest who ends up dead due to an illicit liaison with Crawford's teenager daughter, played by Ann Blyth. During this period, Scott and his first wife Elaine socialized regularly with Angela Lansbury and her first husband, Richard Cromwell. Elaine Scott had met Zachary Scott back in Austin and she made a name for herself behind the scenes on Broadway as stage manager for the original production of Oklahoma! . The Scotts had one child together.

Zachary Scott enjoyed playing scoundrels and the public did too. Scott went on to star in such movies as The Southerner , The Unfaithful , Cass Timberlane , Flamingo Road , Guilty Bystander , Wings of Danger , and Shadow on the Wall , opposite Nancy Davis Reagan and Ann Sothern. He later starred in Luis Buñuel's The Young One (La Joven, 1960), Buñuel's only movie filmed in English.

In 1950, Scott was involved in a rafting accident. Also during that year, he divorced his first wife, Elaine, who subsequently married writer John Steinbeck. Possibly as a result of these developments or due to a box-office slump, Scott succumbed to a depression which in turn limited his acting. Since Warner Bros. did not particularly continue to advertise his films, he turned back to the stage, and also appeared on television. During this period Scott remarried and he and his second wife had a child together as well. He moved back to Austin, where he died from a brain tumor at the age of 51.

A theatre center in Austin bears his name. His family has endowed two chairs at the University of Texas's theatre department in his name.

Scott has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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