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Richard Farnsworth favorite Song: Skyball PaintPerformed by Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers

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  • The last scenes with Richard Farnsworth in Anne of Green Gables and the final scene of The Straight Story always bring me to tears, regardless of how well I brace myself. He’s just so good at getting you to fall in love with his characters.

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  • The last scenes with Richard Farnsworth in Anne of Green Gables and the final scene of The Straight Story always bring me to tears, regardless of how well I brace myself. He’s just so good at getting you to fall in love with his characters.

    This is a good melodramatic range war western for its time, but pedestrian direction takes it out of the really excellent category. Neither the Stanwyck nor the Dianne Foster character has much nuance. Glenn Ford is good in his tenth western; he’s wearing the same hat he’ll be wearing for the next 15 years, and it’s not yet as disgusting and shapeless as it would become. Edward G. Robinson was an excellent actor, and his presence, along with Stanwyck’s, reminds us of Double Indemnity (1944), giving this more of a western-noir flavor. Robinson didn’t make many westerns, in part because, like James Cagney, he seems to have a modern, urban presence. But he works well here, hard but able to shift tone convincingly. Brian Keith, in dark hair and a thin mustache, makes a fine bad guy early in his career. And Richard Jaeckel is good as a gunman without conscience. An uncredited Richard Farnsworth is one of the Anchor riders.

    Maine House of Representatives, District 37 Democratic Primary, 2016
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    Thanks for this lovely piece on Richard Farnsworth, a truly exceptional actor of quiet talent. We don’t hear enough about the stuntmen, who with few exceptions, seemed rather disposable to the studios.

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An American stuntman who, after more than 30 years in the business, moved into acting and became an acclaimed and respected character actor, Richard Farnsworth was a native of Los Angeles. He grew up around horses and as a teenager was offered an opportunity to ride in films. He appeared in horse-racing scenes and cavalry charges unbilled, first as a general rider and later as a stuntman. His riding and stunting skills gained him regular work doubling stars ranging from Roy Rogers to Gary Cooper, and he often doubled the bad guy as well. Although. like most stuntmen, he was occasionally given a line or two of dialogue, it was not until Farnsworth was over 50 that his natural talent for acting and his ease and warmth before the camera became apparent. When he won an Academy Award nomination for his role in Comes a Horseman (1978), it came as a surprise to many in the industry that this “newcomer” had been around since the 1930s. Farnsworth followed his Oscar nomination with a number of finely wrought performances, including The Grey Fox (1982) and The Natural (1984). In 1999 he came out of semi-retirement for a tour-de-force portrayal in The Straight Story (1999).