Monday, May 14, 2012
Roddy McDowall: Horror Prince
If Vincent Price was the King of Horror, then surely Roddy McDowall was a prince.
Great horror enthusiasts were born on September 17th; Roddy McDowall, Elvira....me
I had a monster crush on Roddy since I was a kid and saw him on horror-themed weekly shows, but it wasn't until I saw him in "The Legend of Hell House" that I realized just how good he was at acting as someone who seems rather skittish and introverted, and yet so capable of being just enough "off" to be dangerous.
What I adored about Roddy was not his amazing elocution, though it was spot on - it was his ability to leave more of the character internalized than externalized. If Bruce Willis is mad in a movie or irritated, he punches a wall or talks to himself. Roddy, however, kept as much contained inside his characters as he expressed through his awkward movements and jittery motions. Those dark eyes contemplating something, the jaw masticating slightly, the temples throbbing, the sweat beading, the head tilting--you knew there was a whole play going on inside his head. And that made him an extremely suspenseful actor!
Here's just some of his amazing legacy -
Countless TV horror/suspense shows
Planet of the Apes
Escape from the Planet of the Apes
Terror in the Sky
The Legend of Hell House
A Taste of Evil
The Poseidon Adventure
at 11:00:00 AM