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David Paul Scofield was a well-known theater and screen actor in the United Kingdom. Paul Scofield, as he is more commonly known, discovered Shakespeare as a child and went up to become one of the best Shakespearean actors of his generation. Although he had worked in a variety of media, his initial love was theater acting. He was similarly enthralled by radio. His distinct voice and crystal-clear pronunciation made him an ideal candidate for it. He also possessed a commanding presence, which earned him popularity on both stage and television. He was really intuitive and approached rehearsals with an open mind. He was confident that he would discover some component of the character upon which he could base his performance, whether it was the haircut, a critical period, or even the voice. While Scofield was equally recognized as a cinema star, he appeared in only about twenty pictures. That was primarily because he was so selective about the roles he took and also because he always put his family first and did not like to be away from them for an extended period of time.

Childhood & Adolescence

David Paul Scofield was born in Birmingham on 21 January 1922. He was raised at Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, where his family relocated shortly after he was born. Edward Harry Scofield was the headmaster of Hurstpierpoint Church of England School when he was born. Mary Scofield was his mother’s name.

Paul began his schooling at the school where his father taught. At the age of twelve, he was sent to Brighton’s Varndean School. He was a poor student, but it was in Varndean that he found Shakespeare.
Each year, the school enacted one Shakespeare play. Paul was chosen to play Juliet in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ when he was thirteen years old. Although he first disliked wearing the ’embarrassing’ blonde wig, his inherent ability secured him numerous prominent roles.

He quickly fell in love with the bard and began looking forward to the annual production. He later reprised the role of Rosalind in ‘As You Like It’. Finally, at the age of seventeen, he dropped out of school to pursue a career in acting.
He joined a small school linked to Croydon Repertory Theater in 1939. As the war began, he attempted to enlist in the army but was denied due to his crossed toes and inability to wear boots.

Paul Scofield then enrolled at London’s Mask School. Scofield accompanied them when it was decided to evacuate the school to Devon and run it as a repertory theatre. There he diligently taught himself, taking on a variety of responsibilities that would help him gain expertise and master his craft.

Paul Scofield’s Career

He made his stage debut at the Westminster Theater in 1940 with ‘Desire Under the Elms.’ Soon after, he and his troop embarked on a tour, entertaining soldiers at armaments facilities. Despite his youth, he earned favorable reviews.
In 1942, he enrolled in Birmingham Reparatory, an institution that would subsequently play a significant part in his career. He was particularly lauded at this period for his role as Horatio in Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’.

He then relocated to Stratford-upon-Avon in 1946 and joined the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. He began his career there as the main actor in plays such as ‘Henry V’s and ‘Pericles, Prince of Tyre’. Additionally, he appeared in ‘Cymbeline’, ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost, and ‘Measure for Measure’ as Cloten, Don Adriano de Armado, and Lucio.

He also portrayed the title role in ‘Hamlet’ at London’s Royal National Theatre in 1947. He also began working for radio at this time. His rich sonorous tone was ideal for this medium. He has appeared in a number of BBC radio plays over the years, including ‘On the Train to Chemnitz’ (2001) and ‘Anton in Eastbourne’ (2002).

Scofield transitioned to the commercial theatre in 1949, playing the lead part in ‘Alexander the Great. He then appeared in a number of well-known productions, including ‘Express Bongo’ (1958), ‘A Man for All Seasons (1960), ‘King Lear’ (1962), ‘Staircase’ (1966), ‘A Hotel in Amsterdam’ (1968), Hampton’s Savages (1973), ‘Volpone’ (1977), Amadeus (1979), and ‘Othello’ (1980).

His final significant stage appearance occurred in 1996. Mr. Eyre’s production of Ibsen’s ‘John Gabriel Borkman’ included him. It was a critical success when it was performed at the National Theater.
Although he was uninterested in cinema, he appeared in a number of good films. He made his film debut in ‘That Lady’ (1955), winning the BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer for his portrayal of Spain’s King Phillip II.

His second picture, ‘Carve Her Name With Pride’ (1958), and his third feature, ‘The Train’ (1964), were both critical and commercial successes. He triumphed, however, in his fourth picture, a cinematic adaptation of ‘A Man for All Seasons,’ for which he received seven Oscars and two nominations for his portrayal of Sir Thomas More.

His subsequent film, ‘Bartley’ (1970), did not perform well, but his portrayal of a man torn between reason and emotion was lauded. He garnered great acclaim the following year for his performance as the title character in the film adaptation of ‘King Lear’ (1971).

He later acted in films such as ‘A Delicate Balance’ (1973), ‘Scorpio’ (1973), ‘Summer Lightning’ (1984), and ‘1919’ (1984). (1985). He also starred in ‘Henry V’ (1989), as the King’s Ghost in ‘Hamlet’ (1990), and as Doctor Vaclav Orlik in ‘Utz’ (1990). (1992).

His most recent prominent film roles were in ‘Quiz Show’ (1994), in which he portrayed American poet Mark Van Doren, and in ‘The Crucible’ (1996), in which he portrayed Judge Thomas Danforth. Both of these films were nominated for and won multiple awards.
His final piece, ‘Animal Farm,’ was released in 1999. He supplied the vocal for Boxer, a tough but ignorant horse, in this film.

Simultaneously, Scofield appeared in a number of television programs. He made his television debut in 1965 as the narrator of Winston Churchill’s State burial.

Among his other notable television works are ‘Male of the Species’ (1969), ‘The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb’ (1980), ‘If Winter Comes’ (1980), ‘The Potting Shed’ (1981), ‘Anna Karenina’ (1985), ‘The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank’ (1988), ‘When the Whales Came’ (1989), and ‘Martin Chuzzlewit’ (1994), among others.

His Significant Works

Paul Scofield is most known for his work on the film ‘A Man for All Seasons.’ Scofield got rave acclaim for his performances as Sir Thomas More in both the theatrical and cinema adaptations. The stage adaptation began in 1960 in London’s West End and subsequently transferred to Broadway in November 1961.

The show earned favorable reviews during its 320-performance run in the West End. However, it was a greater success on Broadway. The musical played here for 620 performances. Scofield also won Tony Awards for his Broadway portrayal as Thomas Moor.

His portrayal in the 1966 film adaptation of ‘A Man for All Seasons’ was likewise lauded. Not only was the film a box office success, grossing $28,350,000 in the United States alone, but it was rated 43rd on the list of the top 100 British films. Additionally, he won seven Oscars for this film alone.

Honors and Commendations

Scofield won the Academy Award for Best Actor, the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor, the Moscow International Film Festival Award for Best Actor, the National Board of Review Award for Best Actor, and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor for his performance in ‘A Man for All Seasons.

In 1969, he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture for his performance in the television miniseries ‘Male of the Species.’
He won the Bodil Award for Best Actor in 1971 for his portrayal in the film adaptation of ‘King Lear.’

In 1996, for his role in ‘Crucible,’ he won a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
Scofield was presented with the Sam Wanamaker Award in 2002 for his pioneering work in Shakespearean theater.

Personal History and Legacy

Paul Scofield met actress Joy Parker in 1942 while they were both working at Birmingham Reparatory. Both of them were extremely young at the time, and their families objected, but they married on May 15, 1943, and remained together for the remainder of their lives.

Martin and Sarah were the couple’s two children. Martin eventually became a senior lecturer at the University of Kent, where he taught nineteenth-century English and American literature.
Scofield was a fairly quiet person who prioritized his family. This was one of the reasons he never signed a Hollywood contract.

He began to retreat from public life toward the end of his life, spending his time kneading bread at home or going for long walks. He died of leukemia on 19 March 2008, at the age of 86.

Scofield was offered knighthood three times but declined each time for personal reasons. He was later made Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1956. (CBE). In 2001, he was also made a Companion of Honour.

Scofield was one of just eight actors to win both the Tony and Academy Awards for the same role, namely Man for All Seasons.
When Garry O’Connor inquired as to how he desired to be remembered, Scofield responded, “If you have a family, that is how you wish to be remembered.”

Scofield was conferred an honorary degree of D. Litt by the University of Oxford in 2002 despite the fact that he left school without graduating.

Estimated Net worth

Paul is one of the wealthiest Stage Actors and is included in the list of the most popular Stage Actors. Paul Scofield’s net worth is estimated to be around $1.5 million, based on our analysis of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.