Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
September 20
Bud Cort March 29, 1950
Bud Cort born

In New Rochelle, New York, on this day in 1948, the strange and unique life of Bud Cort began. Born Walter Edward Cox, Cort – the son of a former bandleader father and a mother who once worked for MGM – found himself drawn to acting from an incredibly young age: “I had no choice. I had to act,” he said once. “I could memorize anything plus I only felt comfortable and safe on stage.” A talented artist who spent numerous hours in his teens painting people’s portraits at county fairs, Cort went to study Design at New York University in the late 60s, but in the Big Apple the smell of greasepaint proved irresistible to him. He started taking acting lessons, getting work in commercials and small TV and movie parts, and quit NYU in 1969. That coincided with him being cast as Private Boone in the classic anti-war farce M*A*S*H, after director Robert Altman had discovered Cort performing in a comedy revue. Altman was so impressed that he made Cort the eponymous lead in his next movie, Brewster McCloud, about a boy who dreams of being able to fly. Cort then won the career-defining role of death-obsessed Harold in Hal Ashby's cult hit Harold and Maude. A critical failure which was discovered and brought back from the dead by avid fans at double bills and midnight movies, the film proved a double edged sword for Cort: he was so good as Harold that casting directors never saw him as anyone else. "I've had my moments where I just cursed that movie and wished I'd never done it," he once said.


More Flashbacks
Asia Argento September 20, 1975
Asia Argento born

Asia Argento, the dark, beguiling daughter of giallo master Dario Argento, was born in Rome on this day in 1975.

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Sep. 20, 1932
The Most Dangerous Game opens

While The Most Dangerous Game opened to box office success and critical acclaim, leading the way to scores of other adaptations of Richard Connell’s 1924 short story, it was originally intended as production insurance.

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Sept 20, 1956
Un-Friendly Persuasion

The Hollywood black list creates a impossible situation when a writer who officially doesn’t exist is nominated for an Oscar.

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