Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cliff Robertson missed collecting Oscar for "Charly" in 1968 for he was away shooting "Too Late the Hero"

By Nancy T. Lu

Hollywood actor Cliff Robertson passed away at age 88 in New York on Saturday, September 10.

Not a few people in the Philippines will still remember that he came to shoot “Too Late the Hero” in 1968. In fact, he missed the Academy Awards that year and failed to personally collect his first and only Oscar as best actor for his performance in “Charly” because he was not given permission to take a break and fly to Hollywood.

The good news about Cliff Robertson’s winning the Oscar that year reached him on Mount Makiling, where he was at that time busy shooting the war movie “Too Late the Hero” with Michael Caine. He shortly rushed back to Manila to attend the victory party organized in his honor at the Sheraton Hotel on April 15, 1968.

The actor with an impressive career first appeared in a television version of “Charly” and it was called “The Two Worlds of Charlie Gordon.” He played a mentally challenged man who underwent medical treatment and became a genius. Regression, however, set in and he returned to his former condition.

Robertson worried that the movie part would go to another actor. So he bought the movie rights of “Charly.” He tried for eight years to convince a studio to make the movie. Success did not come easy but it tasted really sweet when it finally did.

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