Richard Farnsworth

Actor, Stuntman, Stunt coordinator
Possessing a crinkly yet boyish face and sparkling blue eyes, quintessential cowboy Richard Farnsworth began working as a stuntman and extra in the movie industry during the late 1930s. After forty years of relative ... Read more »
Born: 08/31/1920 in Los Angeles, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (45)

The Deep Blue Goodbye 2015 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Straight Story 1999 (Movie)

Alvin (Actor)

Gene Autry: Melody of the West 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Lassie 1994 (Movie)

Len Collins (Actor)

The Getaway 1994 (Movie)

Slim (Actor)

Highway to Hell 1992 (Movie)

Sam (Actor)

The Boys of Twilight 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Havana 1990 (Movie)

Professor (Actor)

Misery 1990 (Movie)

Buster (Actor)

The Two Jakes 1990 (Movie)

Earl Rawley (Actor)

Travelling Man 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Back at the Ranch 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Making of "Anne of Green Gables" 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Wild Horses 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Into the Night 1985 (Movie)

Jack Caper (Actor)

Space Rage 1985 (Movie)

The Colonel (Actor)

Sylvester 1985 (Movie)

Foster (Actor)

Rhinestone 1984 (Movie)

Noah Ferris (Actor)

The Natural 1984 (Movie)

Red Blow (Actor)

Travis McGee 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

Waltz Across Texas 1983 (Movie)

Frank (Actor)

Independence Day 1982 (Movie)

Evan (Actor)

The Cherokee Trail 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

The Grey Fox 1981 (Movie)

Bill Miner (Actor)

The Legend of the Lone Ranger 1981 (Movie)

Wild Bill Hickok (Actor)

The Texas Rangers 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Resurrection 1980 (Movie)

Esco Brown (Actor)

Tom Horn 1980 (Movie)

John Coble (Actor)

Comes a Horseman 1978 (Movie)

Dodger (Actor)

The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox 1975 (Movie)

Stage Coach Driver (Actor)

Honky Tonk 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean 1972 (Movie)

Outlaw (Actor)

The Soul of Nigger Charley 1972 (Movie)

Walker (Actor)

A Few Days in Weasel Creek (TV Show)

Actor

Anne of Green Gables (TV Show)

Actor

Best Friends For Life (TV Show)

Actor

Buckaroo Bard (TV Show)

Actor

Chase (TV Show)

Actor

Desperado: The Outlaw Wars (TV Show)

Actor

Ghost Dancing (TV Show)

Actor

Good Old Boy (TV Show)

Actor

Red Earth, White Earth (TV Show)

Actor

Strange New World (TV Show)

Actor

The Fire Next Time (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Possessing a crinkly yet boyish face and sparkling blue eyes, quintessential cowboy Richard Farnsworth began working as a stuntman and extra in the movie industry during the late 1930s. After forty years of relative anonymity, the ultimate late bloomer matured into one of Hollywood's archetypal aging country gentleman. Already making his living as a rodeo performer when he answered a casting call for 500 Mongolian horsemen, the Los Angeles native subsequently made his film debut as a stunt rider in "The Adventures of Marco Polo" (1938), starring Gary Cooper. Farnsworth continued on the rodeo circuit for another decade before concentrating exclusively on films, beginning with Howard Hawks' "Red River" (1948) and eventually appearing as a stuntman in more than 300 films. Some of his more notable feats included changing horses on the run in "The Pony Express" (1953) with Charlton Heston, driving a chariot in Cecil B DeMille's 1956 remake of "The Ten Commandments", doubling for Henry Fonda in Anthony Mann's "The Tin Star" (1957), and riding and fighting as a gladiator in Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus" (1960), not to mention numerous exploits for Western TV series like "The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" (syndicated), "Zorro" (ABC), "Bonanza" and "High Chaparral" (both NBC).

Relationships

Maggie Farnsworth

Wife
married from 1947 until her death in 1985

Missy Farnsworth

Daughter
born in 1948 survived him

Richard Farnsworth

Son
born in 1949 survived him

Jewel Valin

Companion
survived him

EDUCATION

dropped out of junior high at age 15 to tend the stables--for $5 a week--at a polo barn owned by Walt Disney

Milestones

1999

Enjoyed one of his best screen roles as Alvin Straight, a man who rode a tractor over 250 miles from Iowa to Wisconsin in order to reconcile with his estranged brother, in David Lynch's based-on-fact "The Straight Story"; premiered at the Cannes Film Fest

1998

Essayed the new love interest in Linda Lavin's life in "Best Friends for Life" (CBS)

1994

Appeared out of nowhere at the end of Roger Donaldson's remake of "The Getaway", but his words of wisdom were not enough to save the abysmal mess

1994

Had featured role as the grandfather in "Lassie"

1993

Portrayed Craig T Nelson's ailing father in CBS' apocalyptic miniseries "The Fire Next Time"

1992

Honored with the 1,961st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

1990

Had roles in "Havana", "The Two Jakes" and "Misery"

1987

Starred as ex-cop in sci-fi Western "Space Rage"

1986

Acted in acclaimed Canadian miniseries "Anne of Green Gables", which aired as part of PBS' "Wonderworks"

1984

Was part of the top-flight supporting cast of "The Natural"

1982

Starred in Phillip Borsos' "The Grey Fox", winning the Gold Mask of Taormina, in addition to a Genie Award for his efforts

1978

Received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for "Comes a Horseman"

1977

Retired from stunt work to concentrate on acting

1976

Enjoyed first significant speaking role as the stagecoach driver in "The Dutchess and the Dirtwater Fox"

1975

Appeared uncredited as John Wayne's deputy in "Rooster Cogburn"

1966

Credited as 'Dick Farnsworth' for his Medicine Man role in "Texas Across the River"

1961

Co-founded the Stuntman's Association, which lobbied for and got better working conditions for its constituents

1938

Feature debut as a stunt rider in "The Adventures of Marco Polo", starring Gary Cooper

1937

By the age of 17, was making a living competing in rodeos; continued on rodeo circuit until 1946

1930

Learned to ride a horse at the age of 10 (date approximate)

Began working exclusively performing stunts, beginning with Howard Hawks' classic John Wayne Western "Red River" (1948)

Was working in a Hollywood stable that provided horse rentals for filmmakers when he answered a casting call for 500 Mongolian horseman

Worked as a stuntman and stunt coordinator for four decades on over 300 films and many TV Westerns of the 1950s and 1960s

Bonus Trivia

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Farnsworth is the oldest male to be nominated in the Best Actor category.

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