Actor Jason Robards, 78, Dies

Actor Jason Robards, a two-time Oscar winner, died today at age 78 after a long battle with cancer.

Robards appeared on stage and in motion pictures in a career that spanned 50 years in entertainment.

Sally Dalton, a spokeswoman for Bridgeport Hospital in Bridgeport, Conn., confirmed to The Associated Press that the actor died at about 2:45 p.m. EDT.

Robards, whose last silver screen appearance was as the ill father of a character played by Tom Cruise in the 1999 Paul Thomas Anderson film ”Magnolia,” received his first Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor in the Watergate drama “All the President’s Men” in 1976. He played Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee in that film starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.

He won his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar the next year for his role as Dashiell Hammett in the film “Julia.”

“It is a great loss,” screen legend and peer Debbie Reynolds told KCBS in Los Angeles. Reynolds described Robards as a song and dance man and a great actor who took it up a notch.

Robards‘ theater credits include “The Iceman Cometh” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” Other film credits include “Philadelphia,” “Enemy of the State,” “Parenthood,” “A Thousand Acres” and “Beloved.”

Robards was married four times, including once to legendary Hollywood actress Lauren Bacall.