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“While the Kids Played, One Was Plotting His Path to Greatness—You’ll Be Surprised Who This Future Icon Is!”

Roddy McDowall, born on September 17, 1928, in London, England, to a merchant seaman father and a homemaker mother, began his illustrious journey in the entertainment world as a child actor. By the tender age of ten, he was already gracing the silver screen in British films like *Yellow Sands* and *Just William*. The winds of fate blew the McDowall family across the Atlantic in 1940, escaping the London bombings and landing in the bustling heart of Hollywood.

In America, young Roddy’s star quickly rose. His performance in *How Green Was My Valley* captivated audiences and critics alike, setting the stage for future classics like *My Friend Flicka* and “Lassie Come Home”.However, transitioning from child prodigy to adult actor proved challenging. Undeterred, McDowall found a new stage—literally—on Broadway, where he shone in productions like “The Fighting Cock”, earning a Tony Award for his efforts.

The 1960s saw McDowall return to the big screen with a splash as Octavian in the epic *Cleopatra*. He then embraced television, delighting fans as the cunning Bookworm in the campy *Batman* series. But it was his role as Cornelius in the groundbreaking *Planet of the Apes*  that solidified his place in cinematic history. The role spawned sequels and a loyal fanbase, with McDowall later portraying Cornelius’s son, Caesar, in subsequent films and starring in the TV adaptation.

Not one to rest on his laurels, McDowall’s versatile talent extended to voice acting in beloved animated series like *Darkwing Duck* and *The Adventures of Batman and Robin*. His final film role was in the charming Disney/Pixar hit *A Bug’s Life* .

Beyond acting, McDowall was an accomplished photographer, capturing iconic Hollywood moments and personalities in his acclaimed books. He was also a dedicated member of the Hollywood community, serving on the boards of the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Roddy McDowall’s vibrant career and life came to a close on October 3, 1998, in Studio City, California, leaving behind a legacy of unforgettable performances and artistic contributions.

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