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George C. Scott Speaks Out

Sept. 28, 1963 - There are any number of actors who indulge in idealistic talk but fail to live up to their rhetoric. George C. Scott (left) is not one of them. He is a man of firm convictions, and he adheres to them — even if it costs him money. The star and co-producer with David Susskind and Daniel Melnick of the new CBS-TV series, “East Side, West Side” will not appear in any vehicle in which he does not fervently believe. And because he disapproved of the shenanigans connected with the award of the Oscars, he asked that his name be withdrawn after he had been nominated for his work in the movie, “The Hustler.” He has also seen to it that one of the leading roles in his TV series, which concerns the adventures of a New York City social worker, is portrayed by a talented Negro actress, Cicely Tyson, because there are many Negroes engaged in that field. Today, Scott shares a house in the Riverdale section of New York with his wife, actress Colleen Dewhurst (right), and their two children. George has three others by a preceding marriage. Although Colleen is a Method actress, George will have no truck with that system. In fact, he dislikes even to discuss it. “It’s been talked to death,” he said. “But actually, I have nothing against it. I suppose it’s wonderful for people who feel that they need to study acting. But I must say this about Colleen — she is the finest performer I’ve ever worked with.” Will she appear on “East Side, West Side”? “I’d be delighted to have her,” George laughed, “if I could talk her into it — for the money we pay. But actually, with a few exceptions such as the Lunts, we don’t think it’s such a good idea for man and wife to work in the same play.” Why not? “In such a case, both are likely to bring their professional problems home with them. Stage characters and reality are apt to intermix. But I’ll say this. We have great respect for each other’s work. We’ve appeared together three or four times on TV and on stage. And it was a pleasant experience.” Do you criticize each other’s acting? “Yes, we do,” said George, “but very constructively.” Meaning what? “Well, here’s how an actor friend of ours, Larry Hagman, put it: ‘If you see me on TV and we happen to meet later that evening, tell me I was great. But two months later, tell me how I really did.’”


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