Monday, June 16, 2008

Cinematic Crush: Stephen Boyd

Crush object: Stephen Boyd, actor.

- Early films such as The Man Who Never Was, Island in the Sun, The Bravados and The Best of Everything led to his breakthrough role as Messala in Ben-Hur. Viewers of The Celluloid Closet will recall that he was instructed to play his role as the former lover of the title character, played by a clueless Charlton Heston. For his performance, he won the Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor.

- Following Ben-Hur, he also starred in such historical/Biblical epics as The Fall of the Roman Empire, The Bible and Genghis Khan.

- Outside of the sword and sandals, he appeared in the musical Billy Rose's Jumbo, the sci fi classic Fantastic Voyage and the gangster thriller The Squeeze.

- Roles that almost were his: Marc Antony in Cleopatra opposite Elizabeth Taylor, and James Bond in Dr. No.

- His most notorious role was as the vain, ladder-climbing actor Frankie Fane in the infamous "bad movie we love" The Oscar. The all-star camp classic, not available on DVD, will air tonight on Turner Classic Movies.

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