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Richard Farnsworth was a stuntman for 30 years before he started his career as an actor. He is best known for his performance in The Grey Fox (1982).
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John Wayne classic Red River (1948); the epic Cecil B. DeMille production of The Ten Commandments (1956), in which he drove a chariot; and Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960), in which he doubled for Kirk Douglas as a sword-fighting gladiator. Besides Douglas and Cooper, he also doubled for such leading actors as Henry Fonda, John Ireland, and Joel McCrea. Farnsworth also appeared in such leading Western television series as Zorro, The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickock, and Bonanza.
The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox, starring Goldie Hawn and George Segal. Two years later, he nabbed an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Comes a Horseman (1978), directed by Alan J. Pakula and starring James Caan, Jane Fonda, and Jason Robards. Deciding to move away from stunt work and concentrate solely on acting, Farnsworth had supporting roles in several other films, including Resurrection (1980), starring Ellen Burstyn, and Tom Horn (1980), starring Steve McQueen, before landing his first starring role, at age 63, as the real-life bandit Bill Miner in the acclaimed film The Grey Fox (1983), for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination.
A year later, Farnsworth played a baseball coach in the film version of Bernard Malamud’s novel The Natural (1984), starring Robert Redford. He also appeared in the well-rated PBS miniseries Anne of Green Gables, co-starring Colleen Dewhurst, in 1986. In 1990, the still spry septuagenarian appeared in three major films: Havana, starring Redford; The Two Jakes, starring Jack Nicholson; and Misery, starring Caan and Kathy Bates.
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