Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Aging Of William Holden

The final round of Monty's best actor tournament is underway over at All Good Things. Cary Grant versus William Holden. Grant's presence in the final is no surprise—he's pretty much steamrollered his competition since the beginning of the tourney—but William Holden had to eek out a last minute, one-vote victory over William Powell to gain the right to face him.

Since I've already written at length about Cary Grant (here), how about some photos of William Holden, from his credited role in 1939's Golden Boy to his last film, Blake Edwards' S.O.B., completed just prior to Holden's death in 1981.

Click here to vote.

age 21—Golden Boy (1939) (with Barbara Stanwyck)

age 32—Sunset Boulevard (1950)

age 36—Picnic (1955) (with Kim Novak)

age 39—The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

age 51—The Wild Bunch (1969)

age 58—Network (1976)

age 63—S.O.B. (with Larry Hagman)


Maggie said...

Heartbreaking. He looks about ninety in the last photo.

I know this won't be on anyone's list of must sees, but he was absolutely gorgeous in an 'I Love Lucy' episode.

Okay, laugh you film lovers. But, he was just beautiful.

Oh, and a good actor.

Jeffinprov said...

In so many of his roles, Holden brought a marvelous sense of ambivalence that set him in a different class than most of his square-jawed colleagues. It served him particularly well in Sunset Boulevard, and in my mind, provided the saving grace for his slightly-too-old-for-the-role casting in "Picnic." Wonderful actor. A tragedy that the booze did him in,

theduckthief said...

I believe I know the "Lucy" episode you speak of. My favourite part is when he rests his chin on the partition between his and Lucy's tables. And then when she fixes her "nose" back at her house. Hilarious episode and William was great in it as the straight man.

Maggie said...

Yes, mine too! I tried to find that image of him looking at her. Sigh.

It's a hilarious episode.

LucieWickfield said...

Wow, I don't think I would have recognized Holden in Golden Boy! He did seem to be at his peak (looks-wise) in the Lucy episode. Wasn't that right at the time he did The Country Girl?

Dawn said...

Wonderful look back at William Holden's films. My favorite William Holden films are: Rachel and the Stranger (1948)a western film starring Loretta Young, William Holden, and Robert Mitchum and Sunset Boulevard(1950).

Yvette said...

Thingy, I remember that I LOVE LUCY episode and I agree, he looked gorgeous in it. That's the one where Lucy burns the tip of her nose (it's wax or something.)

I liked Holden in the early westerns. Loved his blond hair and he always looked as if he were having fun.

It's all later when it changed for him, I think.

He aged rapidly, that's for sure.


FlickChick said...

He was beautiful, but smoking and excessive drinking are not kind to beauty (darn it!).

Mythical Monkey said...

He was beautiful, but smoking and excessive drinking are not kind to beauty (darn it!).

Fortunately, movie blogging makes us healthy, wealthy and young!

Anonymous said...

Bill was a good guy, he came to my aid in East Africa when the operation I was involved in went extremely bad, Bill saved my life.
Bill drank too much, and talked too much; that's unfortunately what cost him he's life. He was too much of a security risk, Bill's death was to appear as an accident.

Unknown said...

A great actor.
I'd imagine not only drinking and smoking but probably sun exposure too.