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Subject: ARCHIVE: October 6, 2000~ Richard Farnsworth, actor and former Hollywood stuntman, best known in paternal curmudgeon cowboy roles, found fame later in his life, even earning TWO Academy Award nomination, the last, a 'Best Actor' nod the year before his death (suicide) in 1999's "The Straight Story", at age 80. ...

At age 79 years, and 167 days, Farnsworth is (to date) the oldest ever nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
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Date Posted: Friday, October 06, 02:10:12pm

Richard W. Farnsworth
(September 1, 1920 – October 6, 2000)

American actor and stuntman. He is best known for his performances in The Grey Fox (1982), for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination, Anne of Green Gables (1985), Misery (1990), and The Straight Story (1999), for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. His sudden death followed a long struggle with prostate cancer.

Personal life ...
Farnsworth was born on September 1, 1920 in Los Angeles, California, to a housewife mother and an engineer father. He was raised during the Great Depression. When he was seven, Farnsworth's father died. He then lived with his aunt, mother, and two sisters in Downtown Los Angeles. Farnsworth enjoyed a long marriage and had two children, Diamond and Missy. After becoming a widower, he lived on a ranch in Lincoln, New Mexico.

His son Richard Jr. "Diamond" Farnsworth in now a stunt coordinator in Hollywood. ...

Stuntwork ...

In 1937, age 16, Farnsworth was working as a stable hand at a polo field in Los Angeles for six dollars a week when he was offered employment with better pay as a stuntman. He rode horses in films such as The Adventures of Marco Polo featuring Gary Cooper and performed horse-riding stunts in films including A Day at the Races (1937) and Gunga Din (1939). Farnsworth was employed on the set of Spartacus (1960) for eleven months where he drove a chariot.

Acting ...
From stunt work, Farnsworth gradually moved into acting in Western movies.
He made uncredited appearances in numerous films, including Gone with the Wind (1939),
Red River (1948), The Wild One (1953), and The Ten Commandments (1956).
Farnsworth, seen here in bit part as a Union soldier in 1939's "Gone With The Wind". ...

Farnsworth received his first acting credit in 1963 and went on to act in western films and also television shows. He had a role in Roots (1977). In 1992, he co-starred with Wilford Brimley in The Boys of Twilight. His breakthrough came when he played stagecoach robber Bill Miner in the 1982 Canadian film The Grey Fox. He appeared as a baseball coach in The Natural (1984). In 1985 he was the brother to Marilla and father figure to Anne in Anne of Green Gables. Another prominent role was as 'Buster', the ill-fated suspicious sheriff in the film version of Stephen King's Misery (1990). ...

Farnsworth became well known in the Pacific Northwest as the groundskeeper
who saw the mythical "Artesians" in the 1980s Olympia Beer advertising campaign. ...

After 40+ years in films, Farnsworth was nominated in 1979 for an Oscar as the aged ranchhand 'Dodger' for 'Best Actor in a Supporting Role' for 1978's "Comes a Horseman", starring James Caan and Jane Fonda. But Farnswarth earned his FIRST Academy Award nomination for 'Best Actor' portraying real-life Alvin Straight, an Iowa man who made headlines in 1994 for riding his lawn mower more than 250 mies to see his ailing, estranged brother. At age 79 years, and 167 days, Richard Farnsworth is (to date) the oldest ever nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actor. ...

Death ...
On October 6, 2000, after a long battle with metastatic prostate cancer that left him partly paralyzed and unable to walk.Farnsworth committed suicide by shooting himself at his ranch in Lincoln, New Mexico. Farnsworth's ashes are interred in the outdoor Columbarium of Purity (N-63294) wall, resting behind a small modest bronze plaque, beside his wife, Margaret née Hill (1919–1985). ...

Linsk ...

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Subject Author Date
Farnsworth had done a ton of good work, but IMO, the most memorable was as 'Esco Brown', owner of "Last Chance Gas", leaving a great impression with the small role. Really an underrated, forgotten film. ...VIDEOFriday, October 06, 09:39:29pm

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