About Jason Nelson Robards, Jr.
Biography for Jason Robards More at IMDbPro »
Date of Birth : 26 July 1922, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death: 26 December 2000, Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA (metastasized lung cancer)
Birth Name: Jason Nelson Robards Jr.
Height: 5' 9½" (1.77 m)
Powerful and highly respected American star character actor. Son of stage and film star Jason Robards Sr., he was born in Chicago, but raised mostly in Los Angeles. A star athlete at Hollywood High School, he served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, where he saw combat as a radioman (though he is not listed in official rolls of Navy Cross winners, despite the claims some -- not he -- have made. Neither was he at Pearl Harbor during the Dec. 7, 1941 attack, his ship being at sea at the time.) Returning to civilian life, he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and struggled as a small-part actor in local New York theatre, TV and radio before shooting to fame on the New York stage in Eugene O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh" as Hickey. He followed that with another masterful O'Neill portrayal, as the alcoholic Jamie Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey Into Night" on Broadway. He entered feature films in The Journey (1959) and rose rapidly to even greater fame as a film star. Robards won consecutive Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor for All the President's Men (1976) and Julia (1977), in each case playing real-life people. He continued to work on the stage, winning continued acclaim in such O'Neill works as "Moon For the Misbegotten" and "Hughie." Robards died of lung cancer in 2000.
IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver
Lois O'Connor (14 February 1970 - 26 December 2000) (his death) 2 children
Lauren Bacall (4 July 1961 - 10 September 1969) (divorced) 1 child
Rachel Taylor (1959 - 4 May 1961) (divorced)
Eleanor Pittman (7 May 1948 - 1958) (divorced) 3 children
Recipient of 22nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime contribution to arts and culture, presented by President Bill Clinton in Washington, DC, Dec. 5, 1999.
Father of actor Jason Robards III.
Father, with actress Lauren Bacall, of actor Sam Robards.
He has 3 children with Eleanor Pitman. He has 2 children with 'Lois O'Connor (I)'. He won an Emmy in 1988 for Inherit the Wind (1988) (TV).
Was a Civil War buff in real life. He played President U.S. Grant in The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981), and was the voice of Gen. Grant in the PBS mini-series "The Civil War" (1990).
Preferred working in the theater, and said once that he performed in Hollywood films so that he could "grab the money and go back to Broadway as fast as I can."
In 1972, he was in a horrifying accident on a winding California road. He drove his car into the side of a mountain and nearly died. His acute drinking problem contributed to the accident. He slowly recovered after extensive surgery and facial reconstruction.
On April 22, 2002, the first Jason Robards Award for Excellence in Theatre was awarded to Christopher Plummer by the Roundabout Theatre.
Jennifer Jason Leigh added the "Jason" to her stage name in tribute to Robards, a family friend. She said, "I like the way it sounds between Jennifer and Leigh."
In one of his last roles, in Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia (1999), he portrayed a man dying from lung cancer to excellent effect. Two years later he himself died from the same disease.
Attended Hollywood High School in Hollywood, CA, and played on the football, baseball, basketball, and track teams, at one time entertaining the idea of becoming a professional athlete.
Avoided films until age 37 because he felt his acting father, Jason Robards Sr., had sold out and tarnished his own reputation by "going Hollywood".
First lead role was in the 1953 off-Broadway production of "American Gothic" directed by José Quintero.
Two daughters and four sons: Sarah Louise, Shannon Robards, Jason Robards III, Sam Robards, David and Jake Robards.
Received all of his Oscar nominations for playing real-life people: Benjamin C. Bradlee in All the President's Men (1976), Dashiell Hammett in Julia (1977), and Howard Hughes in Melvin and Howard (1980).
In 1988, he became the 11th performer to win the Triple Crown of acting: Oscar, Tony, Emmy. Two Oscars: Best Supporting Actor, All the President's Men (1976), and Best Supporting Actor, Julia (1977). Tony: Best Actor, Play, "The Disenchanted" (1959). Emmy: Best Actor, Miniseries/Special: Inherit the Wind (1988) (TV).
Won Broadway's 1959 Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic) for "The Disenchanted." He has been nominated seven other times: as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) in 1957 for "Long Day's Journey into Night;" as Best Actor (Dramatic) in 1960 for "Toys in the Attic," in 1964 for "After The Fall," in 1965 for "Hughie," in 1972 for "The Country Girl" and in 1974 for "A Moon for the Misbegotten"; and as Best Actor (Play) in 1978 for "A Touch of the Poet." With eight nominations, he holds the record for being the actor nominated the most times for a Tony Award, although he only won once.
Was the first winner of a Best Actor Obie Award, which recognize achievement in the Off-Broadway theater, for playing Hickey in the revival of Eugene O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh" during the 1955-56 season. He tied for the Best Actor award with George Voskovec, who was cited for "Uncle Vanya."
He and Leonardo DiCaprio both received Oscar-nominations for portraying Howard Hughes. Robards was nominated for Melvin and Howard (1980) and DiCaprio for The Aviator (2004).
As of 2005, he is the only actor to win consecutive Best Supporting Actor Oscars (for _All the President's Men (1976)_qv) and Julia (1977)).
Played Hickey in three different productions of Eugene O'Neill's play "The Iceman Cometh" -- off-Broadway in 1955, on television in 1960, and on Broadway in 1955. Also played Hickey in production of Iceman Cometh 1985/86 in NYC (Lunt-Fontane) and LA (James Doolittle Theater).
He is more closely associated with the works of Eugene O'Neill than any other actor.
He was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1997 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington, DC.
Shares the role of Howard Hughes with Leonardo DiCaprio. In the television series ("Parenthood" (1990)_) based on _Parenthood_ (1989)_, DiCaprio took over the role that Joaquin Phoenix had played in the film--opposite Robards as his grandfather.
He won an Oscar for playing Benjamin Bradlee in All the President's Men (1976), making him one of eleven actors to win the Award for playing a real person who was still alive at the evening of the Award ceremony (as of 2007). The other ten actors and their respective performances are: Spencer Tracy for playing Father Edward Flanagan in Boys Town (1938), Gary Cooper for playing Alvin C. York in Sergeant York (1941), Patty Duke for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), Robert De Niro for playing Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980), Sissy Spacek for playing Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Susan Sarandon for playing Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking (1995), Geoffrey Rush for playing David Helfgott in Shine (1996), Julia Roberts for playing Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich (2000), Jim Broadbent for playing John Bayley in Iris (2001/I) and most recently Helen Mirren for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006).
In 1978 he became the second actor to receive an Oscar, Emmy and Tony nomination in the same calendar year (for Julia (1977), "Washington: Behind Closed Doors" (1977) and "A Touch of the Poet", respectively).
Katharine Hepburn was the godmother of his son Sam Robards.
Was a trustee at Fairfield University in Connecticut.
He was nominated for a 1976 Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Guest Artist in a play, "Hughie," at the Academy Festival Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
Has portrayed President Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln (1992), The Perfect Tribute (1991) and Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1964), President Ulysess S. Grant in The Civil War (1990) and The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1981), President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in F.D.R.: The Last Year (1980) and fictional President Richard Monckton (A Richard Nixon-type) in Washington: Behind Closed Doors (1977).
Served as a radioman aboard the U.S.S. Northampton, which was sunk by Japanese torpedoes in the Battle of Tassafaronga.
An actor doesn't change thought, theme, or mood unless the character does, and the character only does it within the words of the play.
I've always played disintegrated characters.
Once you're on [stage], nobody can say, "Cut it". You're out there on your own, and there's always that thrill of a real live audience.
All I know is, I don't do a lot of analysis. I know those words have to move me. I rely on the author. I don't want actors reasoning with me about "motivation" and all that bull. All I want 'em to do is learn the goddamn lines and don't bump into each other.
The theatre has kept me alive, and it's allowed me to work at my craft.
[about Arthur Miller's semi-autobiographical play "After the Fall"] They should have called it "After the Money"!
Jason Nelson Robards's Timeline
July 26, 1922
Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA
May 7, 1948
May 4, 1961
July 4, 1961
September 10, 1969
February 14, 1970