Robert Duvall at the premiere of Lucky You at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, New York, May 1, 2007. Photo by David Shankbone.
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Robert Duvall
Forecourt Ceremony held on Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Born: January 5, 1931, in San Diego, California
Age at the time of the ceremony: 80
Everyone knows and loves Robert Duvall. Blessed with what seems a charmed life and career with very few missteps, Duvall has played an important part of the success of all of his films. We like his choices of roles to play, and the attitudes which go along with them.

Duvall, son of an acting mother and a US Navy officer who would retire at the rank of Admiral, he was born in San Diego, but spent much of his childhood in Annapolis Maryland. He was raised as a Christian Scientist, graduating with a BA in Drama from Principia College in 1953.

Joining the US Army, Duvall barely had time to get basic training, much less see action in the Korean War. Stationed at Camp Gordon in Georgia, Duvall appeared in production of Room Service. In 1955, Duvall went to New York City to study acting with Sanford Meiser on the G.I. Bill. His day job was working in the Post Office; his fellow classmates were Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman and James Caan. During the summers, Duvall appeared in productions at the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport Long Island, working up to lead roles by 1959.

In betweentimes, Duvall made many television apperances, first working with director Sidney Lumet on an episode on Playouse 90 about abolitionist John Brown aired over CBS in January 1960, with James Mason as Brown.

Playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote recommended to director Robert Mulligan that Duvall play Boo Radley in their film of To Kill a Mockingbird (released in March 1963) with Gregory Peck. Duvall continued to appear on almost every 60s television show, such as Route 66, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The Fugitive, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and The Wild Wild West.

At last discovered by Hollywood casting people, Duvall got a small part in Bullitt (released in October 1968) with Steve McQueen, and played the heavy in True Grit (which played the Chinese in June 1969) with John Wayne. An important connection was made when Duvall accepted a role as a highway patrolman in director Francis Ford Coppola's The Rain People (released in August 1969) with Shirley Knight. George Lucas was a production assistant on the picture.

For director Robert Altman, Duvall played Major Frank Burns in M*A*S*H (released in March 1970) with Donald Sutherland. Then producer Coppola and director George Lucas gave Duvall the title role in THX 1138 (released in March 1971) with Donald Pleasence.

Duvall gained much attention from his role as Tom Hagen in Coppola's The Godfather (released in March 1972) with Marlon Brando. Donning western garb for the first time for director John Sturges, Duvall played a posse chief in Joe Kidd (released in July 1972) with Clint Eastwood; he reprised his Tom Hagen role for The Godfather: Part II (released in December 1974) with Al Pacino.

For director Herbert Ross, Duvall starred as Dr. Watson in The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (released in October 1976) with Nichol Williamson. For Sidney Lumet, he played a ruthless TV network executive (is there any other kind?) in Network (released in November 1976) with Faye Dunaway. He also played Lt. Col. Kilgore in Coppola's Apocalypse Now (released in August 1979) with Marlon Brando.

One of Duvall's favorite roles was as The Great Santini (released in October 1979) with Blythe Danner. He starred in and was co-producer on Tender Mercies (released in March 1983) with Tess Harper. He won the Oscar for Best Actor in this film.

He played a sportswriter in Barry Levinson's The Natural (released in May 1984) with Robert Redford, then starred as "Gus" McCrea in the television adaptation of Lonesome Dove aired over CBS in February 1989 with Tommy Lee Jones. He had a part in Geronimo: An American Legend (released in December 1993) with Wes Studi.

Duvall appeared as Billy Bob Thornton's father in Sling Blade (released in March 1997), then starred, produced and directed The Apostle (released in December 1997) with Todd Allen. He played a small role in The Road (released in December 2009) with Viggo Mortensen.

Duvall has a supporting role and was a producer of Crazy Heart (released in December 2009) with Jeff Bridges, and he has a fairly big role in Jack Reacher (released in December 2012) with Tom Cruise, and he took a role in the ensemble film of John Steinbeck's In Dubious Battle (released in December 2016) with James Franco. He has a role in the mob film Widows with Viola Davis (released in November 2018). Duvall has been taking supporting roles, including in The Pale Blue Eye with Christian Bale, released in January 2022).
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Robert Duvall Forecourt block. Executed by unknown, Wednesday, January 5, 2011. 48 x 36 inches.
Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Robert Duvall Forecourt ceremony, Wednesday, January 5, 2011. Robert Duvall gives out a surprised look as he stands tall in the wet cement.
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