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,

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
Midnight Lace
The Elevator
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
Fright Night


  1. I LOVED 'Fright Night!'


  2. While not "horror-themed", check out the offbeat "Lord Love A Duck" if you haven't seen it.

  3. He packed a 60-year film and TV career into his 70 years of life. An amazing talent!

  4. i loved him as a child actor as well. i had a big crush on him too.

  5. Roddy had a grace and style all his own, on and off the screen. He threw himself into every role wholeheartedly, paying homage to cinema icons he adored, but lending his characters that proper, mischievious, gentle, professional nature that set him apart as a Hollywood actor fully deserving of the praise he always lavished on others. You just can't help liking the guy, even when he's playing a snarling villain, mad scientist, arrogant schemer, or fraud of a vampire-killer.

  6. I, too, had/have a major crush on Roddy McDowall, and more than anything, I admire his ability as a person to keep his head in the bustling and privacy-less world of Hollywood. If you go on ANY website and look up this man's hobbies, the results will be -- photography, swimming, MAKING FRIENDS...etc. making friends? This was an amazing man with an extraordinary talent and passion for acting. I suggest to anyone who hasn't seen it the episode of Rod Serling's "Night Gallery" in which Roddy McDowall stars. It's a good one :)