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Movies: "The Hustler" Tops Poll for 1961 Films

Jan. 14, 1962 - “The Hustler,” the film drama dealing with the career of a pool shark, captured a majority of the top awards in the annual poll conducted by the trade journal The Film Daily. In the balloting, representing about 2,000 of the country’s film writers, Paul Newman was named the year’s best actor for his portrayal of the title role of “The Hustler.” Robert Rossen (pictured right) captured two honors for the same film — as the year’s top director and as the outstanding scenarist for the script he wrote in collaboration with Sidney Carroll. George C. Scott was chosen the year’s best supporting actor for his depiction of the evil gambler. Runner-up to Mr. Scott was Jackie Gleason (left) for his characterization of a cool champion. Finally, Piper Laurie, who played the ill-fated heroine of “The Hustler,” emerged as runner-up to Rita Moreno, the fiery Puerto Rican of “West Side Story,” in the supporting actress classification.

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