This commanding English stage actor began appearing in films in 1954 in "That Lady". Scofield has spent the majority of his career on stage since his debut in the 1930s. He spent the 40s and most of the 50s in various repertory companies honing his skills and appearing mostly in the classics.
Scofield originated the role of Sir Thomas More in 1960 in the Robert Bolt play "A Man for All Seasons" in the West End. The following year, he recreated the role on Broadway and won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. Scofield garnered raves and accolades (including the Best Actor Oscar) for the 1966 film version. He toured extensively with "King Lear" in the early 60s and was effective in the 1971 Peter Brook film. While his film appearances have been sporadic, Scofield has made vivid impressions particularly in a brief turn as the ghost of Hamlet's father in Franco Zeffirelli's "Hamlet" (1990), and as the troubled protagonist's principled father in Robert Redford's look at the 1950s game show scandals, "Quiz Show" (1994) which netted him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod. He also earned praise as the judge in Nicholas Hytner's film version of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" (1996).