Movie News

G.D. Spradlin
1920-2011

Published at: July 27, 2011, 5:56 p.m. CST by AICNStaff

I am – Hercules.

G.D. Spradlin, the Oklahoma-born character actor who contributed mightily to some of the best scenes of some of the best cinema ever, passed away Tuesday.

A millionaire oilman, rancher, attorney and World War II vet, he directed John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign in Oklahoma and didn’t enter the acting field until his mid-forties, when he was cast by “Godfather” producer Fred Roos in TV's  “I Spy” and “Gomer Pyle.”

He’s likely best known for the role of the racist, corrupt U.S. senator Pat Geary, who in "The Godfather Part II" didn’t much care for Italians, with their greasy hair and silk suits, invading his pristine Nevada.

This led to a big role as a U.S. senator in “Rich Man, Poor Man Book II.”  He'd go on to play many government officials.

He was the man in charge as Harrison Ford was giving Martin Sheen his marching orders in “Apocalypse Now.”

Here he is as commandant of the Carolina Military Academy in 1983’s “Lords of Discipline.”

On TV he played two real U.S. presidents: Andrew Jackson in 1986's “Houston: The Legend of Texas” and Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1985's “Robert Kennedy and His Times.”

He played a U.S. president again in Renny Harlin's "The Long Kiss Goodnight."

More recently he played Reverand Lemon in Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood."

He was also Patient Zero in NBC’s 1996 UFO drama “Dark Skies”:

Spradlin’s final role was that of Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, bossing around Will Ferrell’s Bob Woodward in the 1999 Watergate comedy “Dick.”

Find the New York Times’ obituary here.

Readers Talkback

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  • July 27, 2011, 5:59 p.m. CST

    so long

    by IWasInJuniorHighDickhead

    Remember him from many films.91 is one hell of an age though.

  • July 27, 2011, 6:09 p.m. CST

    pfft

    by misterfurly

    the godfather clip is a joke with him saying "corleone" a million times, not the best clip to show people who havent seen his work dude

  • July 27, 2011, 6:09 p.m. CST

    bastardized Godfather Part II clip

    by Roger Moon

    He didn't say Mr Corleone 6 times in a one-minute span. Get the right clip

  • July 27, 2011, 6:15 p.m. CST

    He's gonna play the young hero.

    by The Krypton Kid

    I love the way Mr. Spradlin delivered that line in Ed Wood. Or was it, "He's going to play the part of the young hero." Either way, it was great. Also loved him as the fascist college basketball coach in One on One. Good actor and a cool, memorable voice.

  • July 27, 2011, 6:24 p.m. CST

    We had to put up some footage of Sen. Geary

    by Hercules

    If you have a link to a better depiction, kindly forward.

  • July 27, 2011, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Tank

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    Unsung 80s flick

  • July 27, 2011, 6:39 p.m. CST

    He was 91?

    by Smartacus

    Living to 91, that's a Spradlin

  • July 27, 2011, 7:10 p.m. CST

    North Dallas Forty

    by Handsomeherdman

    He was perfect as the hyper-religious Tom Landry-like coach in the great North Dallas Forty. RIP.

  • July 27, 2011, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Whew, thought it was Charlie Spradling there for a second

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    Hate to see B-Movie starlettes with Ds go.

  • July 27, 2011, 8:13 p.m. CST

    Posse comitatus." "Pussy what?

    by Julius Dithers

    That one's for you, Choppah.

  • July 27, 2011, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Anyone know the the EXACT film Al Pacino's voice changed?

    by Pixelsmack

    From young and soft to the "coffee and smokes" voice?

  • July 27, 2011, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Somewhere between "Author! Author!" and "Sea of Love"

    by Pixelsmack

    Then after Sea of Love he did Dick Tracy and I think permanently fried his chords.

  • July 27, 2011, 8:48 p.m. CST

    One on One

    by fartsarefunny

    Terrific as the prick college basketball coach.

  • July 27, 2011, 8:52 p.m. CST

    One on One

    by billF

    I just bought the DVD of the 1977 Basketball movie One on One where he played the Coach. Sad, may he rest in peace.

  • July 27, 2011, 8:53 p.m. CST

    One on One

    by billF

    I just bought that movie last week! May he rest in peace.

  • July 27, 2011, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Hadn't thought about THE LORDS OF DISCIPLINE in years

    by MooseMalloy

    Also, he was in ZABRISKIE POINT!? Coppola should issue a statement.

  • July 27, 2011, 10:10 p.m. CST

    You know you're a slimeball when the audience roots for the mob

    by proevad

    to fuck you up. Great performance in that movie. What a cock.

  • July 27, 2011, 10:12 p.m. CST

    Welcome to the fold brother..

    by JAGUART

  • I could be wrong but I remember reading that somewhere

  • July 27, 2011, 11:24 p.m. CST

    North Dallas Forty

    by IamZardoz

    He was great at playing real assholes like the coach in NDF. I am sure he was a good guy in real life but man he could be an asshole in a movie. RIP.

  • July 28, 2011, 12:29 a.m. CST

    Yet no Amy WINEHOUSE obit?

    by Fritzlorrerains

    What the hell?

  • July 28, 2011, 1:30 a.m. CST

    RIP

    by thecheesegrommit

    Great actor! RIP.

  • July 28, 2011, 2:52 a.m. CST

    RIP Dear sir..

    by BookhouseBoy

    Does this mean we deal with Turnbull from now on?

  • July 28, 2011, 3:12 a.m. CST

    Julius Dithers, I think the line was...

    by NativeGaijin

    ...."Did you just call me a PUSSY COMMUNIST?" I love that movie too.

  • July 28, 2011, 3:36 a.m. CST

    HAHAHA! RIP!

    by Warren

    AICN is awesome, I mean you folks do a really good job at keeping up with everything out there in the world of film, you could do without CAPONE, but hey even retards were allowed to hang out with JESUS. I just don’t know what to say I mean I’m just in awe of everything you do. If I was a hot female I would literally suck all of your small cocks. Or if you are all gay, I know one of you are I would at least give you a hand job. The one thing I really want you folks to do is get more info on THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, get all commando with that shit and get onto the lot or location they are shooting and post those naked BALE pictures, dam he is so hot. Well I can at least say I hate twilight, does that do anything for anyone who hates this talkback. Also hate Michael Bay as well, so please I hope I’m on your good side when all my crazy gay fans read this. I should stay on the topic of film though since this is actually a website about films, I sometimes forgot what I was talking about, you know, just forget, like that movie memento. The other day I was walking down the street and I saw black dude with a sack of weed, I bought it and went home to smoke, but it turned out to be grass, actual grass. What the fuck was that guys problem, or what was wrong with my eyesight to be exact. I just saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows part 2 last week, it was good up until the end. I thought they were all going to start fucking and making out with Dumbledore. You know like Harry starts sucking off Dumbledore’s cock cause he’s gay, and then Ron shows up to fuck Harry in the ass, that way Dumbledore and Ron have a Potter sandwich! Though that’s not how it ended, it ended with a creepy 19 years epilogue. I mean for real, I think all of you would have preferred that ending. I was forced to go see two Justin Timberlake movies last month, Bad Teacher and Friends With Benefits! I really think he needs to stop acting just because he was only good in the social network and that was because he was playing a faggot! I also heard Lady GAGA has a vagina, I would love to play pen the penis with her someday. You know some people say JEWS run Hollywood, I think they got that confused with Israeli. The only thing I see in California is a bad time and AIDS! So it surely cant be them. Did you know my favorite movie was Sin City, I say was because Robert Rodriguez hasn’t made a decent movie sense. I used to listen to U2 until I found out BONO was protestant. FUCK the English I say! The only good thing to come from there was The Sex Pistols! I think I figured out why Amy Wine-house died last week, she woke up and realized she was English! I love my jibber jabber! I also tuck my dick in-between my legs while I look into the mirror while THE SMITHS play! They say NETFLIX is going to take over home rentals, I say bullshit, not until they at least carry porn. You know they say JESUS saves, I say he turns you GAY! This is what happens when you run out of drugs, you get on here and ramble! Anyone like OUTKAST, they need to put out another album before this decade ends! Yesterday I was on the toilet and was shitting blood, I then got a cup and drank the blood from the toilet. I said yum so I made my sister put her period in a cup, then I put a few cubes of ice in it and went AHH! I then became a VAMPIRE and asked TIM BURTON if I could be in DARK SHADOWS, he said NO! Yet that was because I could actually act he told me, made me fill a little bit better! You know they say Stanley Kubrick was a genius but my dad called him a pervert! How do you take 20 years to make a soft core porn film? AT LAST WE WILL REVEAL OURSELFS TO THE AICN TALKBACK, AT LAST WE WILL HAVE REVENGE!

  • July 28, 2011, 4:26 a.m. CST

    "Up your ass with a red hot poker"!

    by Stalkeye

    Most memorable line in One on One. Godspeed, GD.

  • July 28, 2011, 4:32 a.m. CST

    CHAOS! RIP..once again...

    by Warren

    I’m just trying to have a good time here, these talk-backs are supposed to make you laugh people. Don’t take things so serious as someone on this talk-back used to say. I cant help I have a large thought and then it just piles over onto the talk-back. Sometimes my thoughts will be small and ill say a word or two. Just so you know its all in fun but never mind that for now lets get back to talking about film. I think MUNICH is SPEILBERGS best film but my dad favors ALWAYS. You know I can stick my entire hand up my ass cause I was gang-raped last year, no joke there, it hurt! Those fuckers never got caught cause I was afraid to tell anyone, then I turned gay so I guess it didn’t matter. If I had to pick between buying LOTR on blu-ray or STAR WARS, I would for sure go for the light saber y’all! For all of those who didn’t like the prequels, you are stupid as fuck. LUCAS has controlled of your life, he made sure you would always work a dead end job and be stuck! He made sure EWEN MCGREGOR would never be a leading man again after he talked smack about THE PHANTOM MENACE! Just let that be a warning to all you cum gobblers out there! Any whore, I thought THE MATRIX was great, didn’t really like RELOADED but thought the last one was ok. Anyone who likes AVATAR must realize that THE SMURFS movie will be better. I cant stand people that do reviews in BLOGS, and I think ever since EBERT lost his jaw he has lost his mind! You know he gave THOR ½ stars or something like that, and he talked shit about that JACKASS dude that died, I hope his cancer kills him slowly! Peter Travers is usually on point, except for the reviews for the STAR WARS PREQUELS, so as a matter of fact I hope he dies of AIDS! HARRY is usually good as well but he said he feel asleep during INCEPTION, so I curse him with the IRISH curse! I tend to hate remakes and the remake of OLDBOY they are making with SPIKE LEE just makes my brain pop, I mean well have DENZEL WASHINGTON going around beating up the KKK and saying “GODZILLA AINT GOT SHIT ON ME!” I hope they both die before this actually happens and the people who produce it. Do you think it is a little much to use the words dead for people that make movies, your probably right for sure, but it’s about the same as sports fans reactions, and I don’t watch sports, I got man boobies, so I really wouldn’t know actually. Is it just me or does Peter Jackson get more credit for LOTR more so than the author, a paradox this is! Why can’t AICN have a music section for hip-hop, rock n roll, and death metal, that would be heaven and I forgot I’m living in hell as a wise RASTA once said. Why do you think black guys have big dicks and most white dudes don’t pass six inches, I think it might have been a curse from the GODS above, whatever we did I sure am sorry about it. Is it just me or is SEAN PENN wound up just a little to tight with politics, doesn’t he realize that type of behavior only works at the OSCARS. Time is funny as life goes on cause you realize how ugly you are now and how hot you were when you actually thought you were ugly when in all reality you weren’t, so you junior high kids, enjoy it while it last. Do you all consider this to be anarchy or just me being a douche bag, id rather be a douche bag than be a fan of TWILIGHT! By the way, has there ever even been a good review on this website for a TWILIGHT movie? Please let me know before hell freezes over. Why is TOM HANKS so nice, I mean I heard he is so nice that you cant really ever say anything bad about him, you would be considered a real jackass or jerk if you did. I’m trying to figure out one bad thing to say and its hard to do but here it is, LARRY CROWN & THE DA VINCI CODE! Does anyone know when that LEO kid from TITANIC will win an OSCAR, I mean he was in THE DEPARTED and still couldn’t win! Have you ever seen a woman fuck a turtle, its kind of gross, but I’m sure there babies will be pretty. Well I think I’m starting to run out of ideas here, I have been going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and goinggoing and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going and going ! I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU WE WONT STOP!

  • July 28, 2011, 5:06 a.m. CST

    was also great at playing bastard coaches

    by john

    north dallas 40 and one on one

  • July 28, 2011, 5:10 a.m. CST

    better sen geary clip

    by john

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PX5RnIBF0AM played straight

  • July 28, 2011, 6:10 a.m. CST

    When you wanted sleazy man of power

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    This was the guy to call. The last time I saw him was Riders of the Purple Sage with Mr. and Mrs. Ed Harris. Yeah, it was made for tv, but that didn't matter. It was a great movie. He played the corrupt preacher.

  • July 28, 2011, 7:50 a.m. CST

    I was just remembering he was in Ed Wood the other day

    by sonofbronson

    and looking back on his variety of great roles. He will be missed. Had no idea he hadn't worked in so long.

  • July 28, 2011, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Quite the resume... he'll be missed.

    by impossibledreamers

    Looked at IMDB. Are they missing stuff? Seems like I've seen him in a lot more than they show.

  • July 28, 2011, 8:46 a.m. CST

    And another great character actor is lost...

    by Somerichs

    At least we've still got M. Emmet Walsh, takin her easy for all us sinners... RIP Mr. Spradlin...

  • July 28, 2011, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Olive oil hair". Not "greedy hair

    by Emperor_was_a_jerk

  • July 28, 2011, 9:22 a.m. CST

    *greasy. Damn the lack of edit!

    by Emperor_was_a_jerk

  • July 28, 2011, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Love the "dead hooker setup" scene in GF pt II

    by Tacom

    He's really freaked and what happened when he blacked out that he doesn't question maybe the Corleones were the ones who made it look like he killed the girl in the whorehouse.

  • July 28, 2011, 9:56 a.m. CST

    pixelsmack , between Revolution and Sea of Love.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    He went on an epic drugs and alcohol bender that lasted for years.

  • July 28, 2011, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Great actor

    by moviemaniac-7

    Agree with tacom, great scene in GF2.

  • July 28, 2011, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Tank

    by david starling

    Anyone seen this? A much-forgotten 1984 classic starring James Garner, and G.D.Spradlin as a really slimy nasty. If not, do check it out!!

  • July 28, 2011, 11:02 a.m. CST

    Robby Bensons bitch basketball coach

    by Knobules

    WOW was he dick in that movie. He plays that role perfectly. Thanks for the great work G.D.

  • July 28, 2011, 11:45 a.m. CST

    **SO** believable in North Dallas Forty...

    by Damned if I can login

    Man, did he ever play that role to the hilt. He was *so* good in it that I couldn't help but think that a big part of that character was his actual personality.

  • July 28, 2011, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Senayor geary would be a boy scout compared to the corrupt...

    by Hesiod2k7

    ...motherfucking dumbasses who are in Congress right now.

  • July 28, 2011, 12:49 p.m. CST

    I remember him mostly from Tank

    by Jay Eyler

    I've seen these other films too of course, but he played the perfect "cracker sheriff" opposite James Garner in Tank. His particular accent defined him in any role.

  • July 28, 2011, 1:17 p.m. CST

    restyles

    by Hercules

    thanks

  • July 28, 2011, 1:49 p.m. CST

    wow, new functionality. only in this TB?

    by Somerichs

    nice...

  • July 28, 2011, 1:52 p.m. CST

    One of the best

    by homer40

    It is interesting. I was checking out his filmography on IMDB and was surprised how few films he was actually in. He was so strong, with such an amazing screen presence, that I assumed he had been in more movies that he actually was. Make no mistake, his performance in GFII was one of the truly great supporting performances in film history. The way he said, "Cor-le-one". Ditto for his role in Apocalypse Now. That scene has always stood out for me, the way he passed the food around, his comment that eating the shrimp? was the only test of courage Sheen would ever have to pass. The world weary way he got around to the point where he explained what wanted done. Just stunning.

  • July 28, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Every man has a breaking point. You and I have one.

    by BanditDarville

    Thank you homer40 for giving props to Spradlin in the intel compound lunch scene in AN. That scene is one of my favorites in the entire film and the source for some of its most memorable dialogue. One of my friends always throws out the phrases "fit and ready for duty" and "a man of wit and humor" from Spradlin's lines in that scene.

  • July 28, 2011, 3:22 p.m. CST

    This guy was no RYAN DUNN....

    by Dr. Francis B. Gross

    that's for sure.

  • July 28, 2011, 10:08 p.m. CST

    G.D. Spradlin vs. R. Lee Ermey: Who would win in a fight?

    by ReportAbuse

    And why?

  • July 29, 2011, 12:26 a.m. CST

    A great character actor

    by Queefer Sutherland

    Loved him bunches, always looked forward to his performances.

  • July 29, 2011, 1:06 a.m. CST

    "One on One"...

    by hifiguy60

    This is the movie that gave him recognition... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkqjjHDEt_w