Legendary actor, Randolph Scott, was born George Randolph Scott on Jan 23, 1898 in Orange County, VA. Scott appeared in over 100 films. His best known films include Roberta, Follow the Fleet, Last of the Mohicans, Virginia City, My Favorite Wife, Abilene Town, Seven Men from Now, Rage at Dawn, Comanche Station and Ride the High Country. Scott died at the age of 89 on Mar 2, 1987 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and was laid to rest in Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte, NC.
Early Life and WWI
George Randolph Scott was born on January 23rd, 1898 in Orange County, Virginia. Thanks to his family's status, Scott was able to enjoy a comfortable and privileged childhood. His father, Franklin, held an administrative engineering position at a textile company while his mother, Lucille, came from a wealthy and prosperous family from North Carolina. Shortly after his birth, Scott relocated with his family to Charlotte, North Carolina. Because of his family's wealth, Scott was able to attend the some of the best private schools in the south, such as WoodBerry Forest School. While in school he developed an interest in sports, eventually excelling in sports like football, baseball, and swimming.
Not long after Scott's high school graduation the United States entered World War I. Soon after, Scott enlisting in the U.S Army and spent his time in the service stationed his France, working as an artillery observer. After the war ended in 1918 Scott remained in France for a year, enrolling in an officers school. Despite receiving commission he returned home in 1919, ending his military career. After returning to the states, Scott enrolled at the Georgia Institute of Technology with the hopes of becoming a football player. That dream, however, was soon dashed after he injured himself and could no longer play. He then transferred to the University of North Carolina, following in his father's footsteps by textile engineering. However, Scott soon dropped out and began working at his father's textile firm where he worked as an accountant.
Early Acting Career
After years of working the monotonous lifestyle of factory administrator, Scott began to develop an interest in acting. In 1927 he left the textile business and relocated to Hollywood to begin his acting career. Thanks to some family connections, he was able to meet with entrepreneur and film producer, Howard Hughes, who then landed him an audition for the 1929 Cecil B. DeMille film Dynamite. He did not get the part. Hughes was able, however, to land Scott a small, uncredited role in the 1928 comedy Sharp Shooters. The next year Scott acted in seven more films, all small mostly uncredited roles in pictures like The Far Call, The Half Marriage, and The Virginian. He was also hired as dialect coach for Gary Cooper, helping him with his Virginian accent for the film The Virginian. He continued to attempt to make his way into the business but quickly found he lacked the acting experience to advance his career. Upon the advice of Cecile B. DeMille, Scott turned to the theater to gain more acting experience he needed. He worked with the Pasadena Playhouse, acting in plays such as Gentlemen Be Seated, Julius Caesar, and Man and Superman.
By 1931 Scott gained the experience he needed to play his first leading role in the Women Men Marry for the small studio Headline Pictures. He then traveled to Warner Brother for a supporting role in the film A Successful Calamity. He then returned the stage to act in the stage version of Successful Calamity. The play, like it's title, was successful with Scott being well reviewed. He then received offers from several of the major studios to come and do a screen-test. Later that year he eventually signed with a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures
Scott's Paramount Picture debut was with a small role in the 1932 comedy Sky Bridge. He was then cast as the lead of the 1932 western Heritage of the Desert. The film was his first leading role of any true significance and helped shape his early acting career as a western leading man. His athletic build and southern background made Scott a natural cowboy and he would continue to star in a series of westerns, including Wild Horse Mesa, Sunset Pass, The Last Round-up, and Wagon Wheels. The films gave him not only a chance to improve his acting skills, but show his prowess as an athlete, as well. Although the western helped establish Scott as an actor, he also starred in a myriad of other genres, eager to learn the many tricks of his trade. In 1932 he starred opposite Nancy Carroll and a young Cary Grant in the comedy Hot Saturday. During filming, Scott and Grant became fast friends, eventually renting a home together where the two would entertain the Hollywood elite. The next year he demonstrated is romancing abilities opposite Bebe Daniels in Victor Schertzinger romance Cocktail Hour.
By the mid-1930s Randolph's star was on the rise. After a series of successful westerns Scott reached the 'A'-list level of studio stardom and soon Paramount began loaning him out to other studios. Although he made no history in the musical genre, Paramount loaned Scott out to RKO to star in Roberta and Follow the Fleet opposite Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. He appeared in two more RKO film Village Tale and She. In 1936 he starred opposite Mae West in comedy-western Go West Young Man and two years later starred opposite the very un-Mae West-like Shirley Temple in Sunnybrook Farm. By 1938 Scott had left Paramount Pictures and began working as a freelance agent. He retuned to his western roots starring as the famed western legend, Wyatt Earp, in Allan Dwan's Frontier Marshal. Scott teamed up with Cary Grant once again, this time fighting for the attention of leading Lady Irene Dunne in My Favorite Wife. Later that year he starred as Errol Flynn's foe in Virginia City. In 1942 he starred opposite John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich twice, in The Spoilers and Pittsburgh.
Upon the United States entrance into the World War Two, Scott attempted to get commissioned as an officer but was unfortunately was rejected due to earlier back injures. He was, however, able to contribute to the war effort by doing victory tours and growing food on his ranch for the government. He also appeared in many wartime moral boosting films such as Bombardier, China Sky, and Corvette K-225.
Post War Career
After the war Scott's career consisted almost of exclusively westerns. In 1946 he starred in the Edwin L. Marin Western Abliene Town, portraying what would become his signature screen persona for the later half of his career, that of the bold and fearless sheriff unafraid to bring order and law to the chaotic, anarchic frontier town. This persona carried Scott through westerns like Gunfighters, Albuquerque, and Coroner Creek. One of his biggest hit from the late 1940s was the Ray Enright western Return of the Bad Man, in which Scott faced down some the old west's most notorious bad guys such as The Sundance Kid and Billy the Kid. He would continue to morph his screen person as the new decade rolled in, become a more hardened and uncompromising figure in the 1950s, appearing in westerns such as Trail Street, Rage at Dawn, The Cariboo Trail and Fort Worth. During this time Scott also began taking on behind the camera duties, producing films like Hangman's Knot, The Stranger Wore a Gun, A Lawless Street and The Tall T. In 1955 the veteran actor acting in his final black and white film, Shootout at Medicine Bend, which would not be released until 1957. He continued to act in successful western into the late 1950s and early 1960s with film like Buchanan Rides Alone, Westbound, and Ride Lonesome. He received great critical for his role as the gold-thief Gil Westrun in Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country. After completely the role, Scott retired from the movie business.
After retiring from the movie business, Scott was able to live a comfortable and quiet life in Beverly Hills. Thanks to some sound investments, by the time he decided to retire he had a fortune worth about 100 million dollars. Randolph Scott died March 2nd, 1987 in Beverly Hills, California. He was 89 years old.(Source: article by Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub).
HONORS and AWARDS:.
He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures. In addition, Scott was inducted into the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum . Scott was never nominated for an Academy Award.
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Gil Westrum: Cut me loose, Steve!
Steve Judd: Why?
Gil Westrum: [Gil holds out his bound outstretched wrists] Because I don't sleep so good anymore.
Bill Doolin: Somebody once said, "No man's bad enough to be shot in the back."
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