43 Facts About William Holden

1.

William Holden won the Academy Award for Best Actor for the film Stalag 17 and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for the television film The Blue Knight .

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2.

William Holden starred in some of Hollywood's most popular and critically acclaimed films, including Sunset Boulevard, Sabrina, Picnic, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Wild Bunch and Network .

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3.

William Holden was named one of the "Top 10 Stars of the Year" six times, and appeared as 25th on the American Film Institute's list of 25 greatest male stars of Classical Hollywood cinema.

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4.

William Holden had two younger brothers, Robert Westfield Beedle and Richard Porter Beedle.

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5.

William Holden appeared uncredited in Prison Farm and Million Dollar Legs at Paramount.

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6.

William Holden's first starring role was in Golden Boy, costarring Barbara Stanwyck, in which he played a violinist-turned-boxer.

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7.

William Holden was still an unknown actor when he made Golden Boy, while Stanwyck was already a film star.

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8.

William Holden's liked Holden and went out of her way to help him succeed, devoting her personal time to coaching and encouraging him, which made them into lifelong friends.

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9.

William Holden did another Western at Columbia, Texas with Glenn Ford, and a musical comedy at Paramount, The Fleet's In with Eddie Bracken, Dorothy Lamour, and Betty Hutton.

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10.

William Holden stayed at Paramount for The Remarkable Andrew with Brian Donlevy, then made Meet the Stewarts at Columbia.

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11.

William Holden served as a second and then a first lieutenant in the United States Army Air Force during World War II, where he acted in training films for the First Motion Picture Unit, including Reconnaissance Pilot .

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12.

William Holden followed it with a romantic comedy, Dear Ruth and he was one of many cameos in Variety Girl .

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13.

William Holden starred in the 20th Century Fox film Apartment for Peggy .

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14.

William Holden's career took off again in 1950 when Billy Wilder tapped him to play a role in Sunset Boulevard, in which he played a down-at-heel screenwriter taken in by a faded silent film actress .

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15.

William Holden earned his first Best Actor Oscar nomination with the part.

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16.

William Holden had another good break when cast as Judy Holliday's love interest in the big-screen adaptation of Born Yesterday .

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17.

William Holden made two more films with Olson: Force of Arms at Warners and Submarine Command at Paramount.

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18.

William Holden did a sports film at Columbia, Boots Malone, then returned to Paramount for The Turning Point .

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19.

William Holden was reunited with Wilder in Stalag 17, for which William Holden won the Academy Award for Best Actor.

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20.

William Holden made a third film with Wilder, Sabrina, billed beneath Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.

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21.

Bogart was not especially friendly toward Hepburn, who had little Hollywood experience, while William Holden's reaction was the opposite, wrote biographer Michelangelo Capua.

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22.

William Holden took third billing for The Country Girl with Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly, directed by George Seaton from a play by Clifford Odets.

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23.

William Holden had his most widely recognized role as "Commander" Shears in David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai with Alec Guinness, a huge commercial success.

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24.

William Holden made another war film for a British director, The Key with Trevor Howard and Sophia Loren for director Carol Reed.

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25.

William Holden played an American Civil War military surgeon in John Ford's The Horse Soldiers opposite John Wayne, which was a box-office disappointment.

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26.

William Holden had another hit with The World of Suzie Wong with Nancy Kwan, which was shot in Hong Kong.

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27.

In 1969, William Holden made a comeback when he starred in director Sam Peckinpah's graphically violent Western The Wild Bunch, winning much acclaim.

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28.

Also in 1969, William Holden starred in director Terence Young's family film L'Arbre de Noel, co-starring Italian actress Virna Lisi and French actor Bourvil, based on the novel of the same name by Michel Bataille.

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29.

William Holden made a Western with Ryan O'Neal and Blake Edwards, Wild Rovers .

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30.

Television roles in 1974, William Holden won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his portrayal of a cynical, tough veteran LAPD street cop in the television film The Blue Knight, based upon the best-selling Joseph Wambaugh novel of the same name.

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31.

In 1973, William Holden starred with Kay Lenz in a movie directed by Clint Eastwood called Breezy, which was considered a box-office flop.

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32.

Also in 1974, William Holden starred with Paul Newman and Steve McQueen in the critically acclaimed disaster film The Towering Inferno, which became a box-office smash and one of the highest-grossing films of William Holden's career.

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33.

William Holden made a fourth and final film for Wilder with Fedora .

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34.

William Holden followed it with Damien: Omen II and had a cameo in Escape to Athena, which co-starred his real life love interest Stefanie Powers.

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35.

William Holden had a supporting role in Ashanti and was third-billed in another disaster film, When Time Ran Out.

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36.

William Holden was best man at the wedding of his friend Ronald Reagan to actress Nancy Davis in 1952; although a registered Republican, he never involved himself in politics.

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37.

William Holden received an eight-month suspended sentence for vehicular manslaughter.

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38.

William Holden maintained a home in Switzerland and spent much of his time working for wildlife conservation as a managing partner in an animal preserve in Africa.

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39.

William Holden had a daughter born in 1937 from his relationship with actress Eva May Hoffman.

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40.

William Holden was married to actress Brenda Marshall from 1941 until their divorce in 1971.

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41.

In 1972, William Holden began a nine-year relationship with actress Stefanie Powers and sparked her interest in animal welfare.

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42.

William Holden dictated in his will that the Neptune Society cremate him and scatter his ashes in the Pacific Ocean.

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43.

William Holden's death was noted by singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega, whose 1987 song "Tom's Diner", about a sequence of events one morning in 1981, included a mention of reading a newspaper article about "an actor who had died while he was drinking".

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