|Intro||American film, television, stage, and radio actor and author|
|Was||Actor Stage actor Film actor Television actor|
|From||United States of America|
|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth||26 January 1927, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA|
|Death||17 August 1976, New York City, New York, USA (aged 49 years)|
William Redfield (26 January 1927 – 17 August 1976) was an American film, television, stage, and radio actor and author known for his roles in Jimmy Hughes, Rookie Cop (1953), The Odd Couple (1974), and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest(1975). He also sang and danced in the role of "Mercury" in Cole Porter's musical Out of This World.
William Redfield was born as William Henry Redfield on January 26, 1927, in New York City, New York, to Henry C. Redfield (1896-1936) and Mareta A. George (1895-1991). His father was an orchestra conductor and mother was a former chorus girl on Ziegfeld Follies.
Redfield made his acting debut in 1936, aged 9, with the Broadway comedy Swing Your Lady.
His other Broadway credits include: Excursion (1937), Virginia (1937), Stop-over(1938), Junior Miss, Snafu, U.S.A., Barefoot Boy With Cheek (1947), Montserrat(1949), Misalliance (1953), Double in Hearts (1956), Midgie Purvis (1961), A Man for All Seasons (1961) Hamlet (1964), You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running, A Minor Adjustment (1967), and The Love Suicide at Schofield Barracks(1972).
In the years 1948-49, Redfield appeared in three episodes of the TV series Actor's Studio (credited as Billy Redfield.)
His other television appearances include: The Philco Television Playhouse, Lux Video Theatre, The United States Steel Hour, Studio One, As the World Turns, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Naked City, Maude, Rich Man, Poor Man Book II, and The Bob Newhart Show. He is best known as "Floyd," the younger brother of "Felix Unger" (played by Tony Randall), on The Odd Couple (1974).
In 1964, he played "Guildenstern" in William Shakespeare's Hamlet directed by John Gielgud, which premiered in Toronto, was previewed in Boston and opened on Broadway on April 9, 1964, and closed on August 8, 1964, after a total of 137 performances, thus breaking the record set by John Barrymore. Richard Burton was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play 1964 while Hume Cronyn won a Tony as Best Featured Actor in a Play as "Polonius."
In 1975, he was seen playing the character of "Dale Harding" — the tense, logical, but high-strung mental patient — in the Oscar-winning film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, starring Jack Nicholson, Michael Berryman, and Peter Brocco.
He also starred in 83 episodes of the "CBS Radio Mystery Theater," which ran on CBS Radio from January of 1974 to December of 1982.
Redfield was last seen on the screen in 1977 as "Leopold Lacy" in Jonathan Kaplan's Mr. Billion, with Terence Hill, Valerie Perrine, and Jackie Gleason. The film was released posthumously after his death on August 17, 1976.
In 1967, Redfield published his memoir Letters from an Actor (Viking Press) — a colorful and personal recollection of his work in the renowned 1964 international stage production of Hamlet, starring Richard Burton and directed by Sir John Gielgud. In the book, he mentioned that his friend Marlon Brando had been considered the Great White Hope by his generation of American actors.
Redfield's first marriage with actress Betsy Meade ended in divorce. They had two children. He was then married to Lynda Helen Bright from 26 February 1971 until his death on 17 August 1976.
His son, Adam Redfield (from his married with Lynda) is also an actor, known for his roles in the TV series The Equalizer (1985), Golden Years (1991) and Law & Order(1992).
Redfield died of a respiratory ailment complicated by leukemia on August 17, 1976, in New York City, New York. He was 49. He was diagnosed with the disease by fellow actor and and real-life psychiatrist Dean Brooks during the filming of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which was released in November 1975, around eight months before his death.
Although suffering from leukemia, he continued to perform in his last two years — in Medical Center (1976), Rich Man, Poor Man - Book II (1976), Spencer's Pilots(1976), and Mr. Billion (1977).
|1939||Back Door to Heaven||Charley Smith|
|1955||Conquest of Space||Roy Cooper|
|1956||The Proud and Profane||Chaplain Lt. (jg) Holmes|
|1958||I Married a Woman||Eddie Benson - Elevator Operator|
|1961||The Connection||Jim Dunn|
|1964||Pão de Açúcar||Gary Wills|
|1966||Duel at Diablo||Sgt. Ferguson|
|1966||Fantastic Voyage||Captain Bill Owens|
|1971||A New Leaf||Beckett|
|1971||Such Good Friends||Barney|
|1972||The Hot Rock||Lt. Hoover|
|1974||For Pete's Sake||Fred Robbins|
|1974||Death Wish||Sam Kreutzer|
|1975||One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest||Dale Harding|
|1977||Mr. Billion||Leopold Lacy||(final film role)|
|1952||Grand Central Station||It Makes a Difference|
|1955-57||X Minus One||Numerous episodes|
|1974-76||CBS Radio Mystery Theater||80 episodes|