American actor, Cliff Robertson who was best known for his Oscar-winning performance as Charly Gordon in the 1968 film Charly, died of natural causes a day after his 88th birthday on Saturday in Stony Brook, N.Y., Evelyn Christel, his longtime personal secretary said.
Robertson’s son-in-law, Donald Saunders, said that he died at Stony Brook University Medical Center Long Island a day after his birthday, Associated Press reported.
My father was a loving father, devoted friend, dedicated professional and honorable man, daughter Stephanie Saunders said in a statement. He stood by his family, friends, and colleagues through good times and bad. He made a difference in all our lives and made our world a better place. We will all miss him terribly.
Robertson began his movie career in 1955 with “Picnic”. He also worked in Spider-Man movie in 2002 as Uncle Ben Parker and The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012.
IMDB has described Roberston as a fairly successful leading man through most of his career without ever becoming a major star.
Robertson reached at the top of the movie stardom, but he was consistently praised by the critics. He has also worked in television dramas in his earlier days.
Robertson’s was best known for his role as the young mentally handicapped Charly Gordon who was the subject of an experiment to increase human intelligence in the 1968 film Charly for which he won Oscar. The movie was adapted by Stirling Silliphant from the novel Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.
Span Robertson, over a career that lasted for more than half a century acted in 60 movies and also worked regularly on television. He was awarded an Emmy for his leading role in a 1965 episode from Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater entitled The Game.
Robertson's another unforgettable performance was to portray the young JFK during the latter's WWII experience in the movie PT 109 (1963).
Robertson after his second marriage with actress and heiress Dina Merrill, daughter of financier E.F. Hutton and Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress to the Post cereal fortune and one of the world's richest women became famous, Reuters reported.
Robertson also had a passion for flying. He owned a number of vintage aircraft, including an original German Messerschmitt ME-108, which is currently on display at the Parker/O'Malley Air Museum in upstate New York.
In 2008 he was awarded as the Ambassador of Good Will Aviation Award by the National Transportation Safety Board Bar Association in Alexandria, Virginia,for his leadership in and promotion of general aviation.
Robertson was born in Los Angeles, California on September 9, 1923. He also worked as a journalist for a short time. In 1977, Robertson exposed a check-forging scandal by then-Columbia Pictures President David Begelman, an incident that shocked Hollywood in the late 1970s.
After the scandal Robertson was blacklisted for several years before returning to film in Brainstorm in 1983.