I don't normally do the obits, so forgive me if I mess it up.
Most modern filmgoers will know Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben Parker in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films. Very much the conscience of Peter Parker, it is his death in the film that forces Peter to take up the suit and be the hero that we all know he is supposed to be. When Raimi announced his casting of the part, it was the one bit of casting that geeks the world over didn't analyze with a fine toothed comb or complain about. "Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben? Well, duh. Who's next?"
That's because Cliff Robertson projected such a grace, such a confidence in his performances, that to cast him as the man who inspired Spider-Man to glory made so much sense. An Emmy award winner and an Academy-Award winning actor for his performance in CHARLY, based on Daniel Keye's FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON, it is a tremendous, heart-breaking role and Robertson took the part and utterly owned it. His work in that film is amazing, and if you haven't seen it, you should. Bring a box of Kleenex:
Cliff Robertson has a wide range in his acting. He's been in many American classics, like THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, and he was even the Batman villain Shame in the Adam West TV series:
Cliff Robertson has played John F. Kennedy and Hugh Hefner, heroes and villains alike. I remember him particularly in a film called THE PILOT, which he also directed, where he played a man on the edge and dealing with many personal problems while working for an airline. It's a melodrama, but Robertson, a pilot himself, brings real verisimilitude and compassion to the part:
I'll leave this with clips from the many performances of Cliff Robertson. No words of mine can really do the man justice, so I'll let his work speak for itself:
Cliff Robertson passed away on September 10th. He was 88 years old. We here at AICN send our condolences to his family and friends.