Movie icon Robert Duvall celebrated his 80th birthday in style on Wednesday by stamping his mark on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Godfather star placed his hands and feet in cement outside the historic Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.
The honour caps a six week period of accolades for the veteran, who is among the favourites to land a Best Actor Oscar nomination later this month for his role as a grumpy hermit in Get Low. Here are some interesting facts about Robert Duvall:
* He was considered for the role of "Brody" in the original Jaws (1975) film.
* Narrated a video supporting John McCain for the Republican National Convention in 2008.
* Travels to Argentina at least five times a year and has a home there.
* Hosted a fundraiser for Rudolph W. Giuliani at his Hollywood home in January 2008. He later endorsed Senator John McCain after Guiliani dropped out.
* Was roommates and good friends with Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman while all were struggling stage actors in New York before any of them struck it big. Among the three, Hoffman and Duvall were known for their ways with the women, and Duvall and Hackman were known for their short fuses, which led to numerous bar fights. The three often bonded over elaborate practical jokes.
* Can speak Spanish fluently.
* Served in the U.S. Army (serial #52 346 646) from 19 August 1953 to 20 August 1954, achieving rank of Private First Class and awarded the National Defense Service Medal.
* Lived with Luciana Pedraza for seven years before marrying her in 2004. She is 42 years younger than him.
* Duvall is an avid tango dancer, and his favorite city is Buenos Aires where he likes to watch and dance Argentinian tango. In 2002 Duvall directed film "Assassination Tango" with his wife Luciana Pedraza in the leading role. Luciana is Argentinian.
Happy Birthday, Robert! Here's to many, MANY more!
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This contest is fueled by the following news: Robert Selden Duvall (born January 5, 1931, San Diego) is an American actor & director, who starred in major films such as "MASH", "The Godfather" & "Apocalypse Now", Oscar award winner in the best actor category for the movie "Tender Mercies" (1983) & winner of several awards "BAFTA", "Emmy", four-time winner of Golden Globe award.
Robert Duvall, veteran of American cinema, created series of memorable dramatic images, which included both average American, police and rangers as well as well-known political figures, General Robert Lee & Stalin. In the 1970's & 1980's, many films with him in the star cast received prestigious international awards & prizes in the cinema field & is way ahead amongst the cinema colleagues with most number of his films being included in hundred best films IMDb. As acknowledged by the actor, his favourite genre is Western in the movies.
Duvall was born in San Diego in the family of William Howard Duvall, military professional, who later on became an Admiral. Robert Duvall's mother, Mildred Virginia Hart, was a direct descendant of General Robert E. Lee, commander of Confederate Forces during the American Civil War. Duvall's father belonged to Methodist Church, Robert and his mother were the followers of Christian Science Mary Baker Eddy. As the son of military officer, for a while, Duvall lived in Annapolis, near Naval Academy, USA with his parents. He attended Severn School in Severna Park (Maryland) & The Principia in St. Louis (Missouri). In 1953 he graduated from The Principia College, Christian Science Education Centre in the town of Elsah, Illinois. Duvall served U.S. Army from August 19, 1953 to August 20, 1954 & left army with Private First Class rank.
In 1954, Robert Duvall took admission in acting school "Neighborhood Playhouse" in New York. During his studies, Duvall worked as a clerk at post office for making a living. At school, he met Gene Hackman & Dustin Hoffman, with whom he later met many times on the sets. Duvall's mentor in the theatre school was Sanford Meisner. Meissner included Duvall in his production of Horton Foote play "The Midnight Caller". Association of Robert Duvall & Horton Foote later continued and played a significant role in acting career of Duvall. Foote recommended Robert Duvall for the role of "The Frighteners" Radley in the 1962 film "To Kill a Mockingbird" .
Robert Duvall rose to fame with his first lead role in the cult film of George Lucas "THX-1138". In an interview with "The Times" on June 21, 2007, Duvall admitted that after working with Lucas, he was convinced that "the guy would be the best filmmaker of his generation".
After the first real success, the next iconic role followed - lawyer Tom Hagen in the Oscar-winning "The Godfather" Coppola. For this role, Duvall was nominated to Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor category in 1972. In 1974, Coppola invited Duvall to play in sequel "The Godfather Part II". Role of counsel of mafia clan brought recognition to Duvall from public & critics. Success, according to critics, was due to the ability of Duvall to completely transform into the image of his character & when he appeared on screen, he was perceived not as an actor Robert Duvall but as Tom Hagen. In the third part of trilogy, character of Duvall "died" & the cause of death was intimated as fee, the actor demanded for the role.
However, the real success & international recognition came to Robert Duvall after release of the movie "Apocalypse Now", in which he played the role of Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore, that brought him another Oscar nomination, BAFTA Award & Golden Globe Award (Best Supporting Actor") & becoming absolute acting success of Duvall. Critics called his acting work "an amazing strength & charm". In one of the scenes of film, Duvall delivered his famous dialogue "I love the smell of napalm in the morning".
Robert Duvall received Oscar in the "Best Actor" category for his role of Mac Sledge, country style singer in the film "Tender Mercies" (1983).
During his entire acting career, Robert Duvall was nominated for 62 times in total for various awards and received 33 professional awards.