Monday, March 25, 2013

Bradford Dillman

Bradford Dillman was one of those actors that at the beginning of his career looked to be on the path to movie stardom. While first noticed on the Broadway stage, he hit Hollywood running with back-to-back early break through performances in A Certain Smile from 1958 and his Best Actor winning role at the Cannes Film Festival a year later for his work in the powerful drama, Compulsion.

And while he continued to work, his next several films like Circle of Deception and Francis of Assisi we're not of the caliber of his first attempts and he soon found himself in television guest starring in everything from Kraft Mystery Theatre to the Christian anthology show, Insight.

By the 1970's and into the '80's, Bradford Dillman's early success in motion pictures was forgotten and replaced with endless television appearances as well as B-movie work in such films as Bug and Piranha. He did manage to still pop up in A-list movies like The Enforcer and The Way We Were, but his star had faded and he was regulated to forgettable supporting roles.

All one has to do is watch, Compulsion, to see the career that he should have had. But like so many talented actors before and after him, success in Hollywood is not determined by talent. Bradford Dillman had what it takes to have earned an Oscar, but instead, and to no fault of his own, he joins the ranks of the Not Very Famous...but should be.

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