Biography of William Holden (1918-1981)

Actor of cinema and American theater, born in O´Fallon (Illinois) on April 17, 1918 and died in Santa Monica (California) on November 16, 1981, whose real name was William Franklin Beedle Jr. In its early days it was known as "the golden boy", as it was so titled his first film - in Spain was golden dream (1939) - with the help of Rouben Mamoulian.


A member of a wealthy family, everything he seemed to indicate that he would continue the family tradition and become a chemist; However, it was soon clear that he preferred to devote himself to the world of interpretation. He started in radio and from there went to the theatre, until cinema knocked at his door. A representative of actors noticed that handsome boy in excellent voice and enters the world of the cinema, while the second world war is the young actor do a good break in his career, during almost all of the war he served his country as a member of the air force.

During that decade, however, stands out as a more than acceptable interpreter of westerns such as Arizona (1940), by Wesley Ruggles, Texas (1941), George Marshall, or the man from Colorado (1948), by Henry Levin. But the success comes with the twilight of the gods (1950), one of those films that have made history for various reasons. First of all, for the excellent leadership of Billy Wilder, with an original narrative approach, whereby through the vision of a dead - himself Holline-, through a flashback, we are witnessing the decline of the great stars of Hollywood from the silent period. Gloria Swanson, was the lead actress. Remote beauty led her to be the mistress of Joseph Kennedy, the father of all the political saga still valid in United States, was in the film the actress in decline which maintained at his expense to a gigolo, paper which represented an extraordinary Holden. Also made small cameos old glories such as Cecil B. de Mille and Cecil B. de Mille.

Thanks to this role, William Holden became a star and began his real takeoff in the history of cinema. It showed that it was more than just stood and it was an actor with a great capacity to assume different roles, although he was in the dramatic record that seemed to find more to taste. Thus the Oscar came for best actor by traitor in hell (1953), with Billy Wilder again in the direction. It was the year of 1953, and Holden already wouldn't stop its vertical ascent to the favour of the public.

At the end of the fifties is involved in three films: Picnic (1956), Joshua Logan, where its history with Kim Novak, is one of the hotter interpretive complements of the cinema of those years; then it is the bridge on the River Kwai (1957), a film of extraordinary impact, where David Lean, the director, got one of his most famous works, rewarded with a good number of Oscar. Although it was Alec Guinness who obtained the role of greater strength in the film, Holden, as an official prisoner who managed to escape from the Japanese concentration camp, got an important win; and, finally, is involved in daring Mission (1959), a western directed by John Fordclassic. Sharing the Billboard with the best specialist of the genre, as it was John Wayne, William Holden gave life to a medical officer that accompanies a detachment of cavalry, which American civil seeps into the Confederate lines during the war. Opposite psychologies of the two protagonists make this to resist, much better than others, the passage of time.

The decades of the sixties and seventies present him more selective in choosing jobs, but at the top of the rankings of Hollywood. In the world of Suzie Wong (1961), Richard Quine, was a painter in love with a Japanese girl. They were the years in Japan was the defeat of World War II and beginning its economic resurgence. American cinema, so fine sensitivity for these things, began to also give a different view of the relations between the two countries. Meeting in Paris (1964), again from Richard Quine, was a sympathetic comedy in which he embodied to a screenwriter, which prepares a new script and looking for a Secretary, role that played delicate Audrey Hepburn. Holden began to already be a man more than mature, but assumed the new situation naturally and without any resquemor. The difference in age between the actors permeated the sentimental situation among them of a special touch, sweetly erotic. Already as a man almost at the onset of old age, he starred in another film that became a renewal of the genre of the western. It was wild Group (1969), with which Sam Peckinpah, director, gained great popularity.

William Holden continued to work, even though it fell considerably the pace; He appeared in a typical film of disasters, so the taste of the seventies, the towering Inferno (1974) by John Guillermin. Four years later, Wilder did act on the excellent and melancholic Fedora, a work that was a remembrance of artists in decline. His last appearance was in the sweet and sour are honored bandits (1981), Blake Edwards.


Works for the cinema

1938: Prison Farm (uncredited). 1939: Million Dollar Legs (uncredited); Golden dream; Invisible Stripes.1940: Arizona; Those Were The Days; The vida.1941 Symphony: Texas; Aguilas.1942 flight: rivals for a kiss; The Remarkable Andrew; Meet the Stewarts.1943: youth ambiciosa.1947: Variety Girl; Blaze at Noon; Dear Ruth.1948: Colorado man; Back to dawn; Siege of hate; Apartment for Peggy.1949: Miss Grant Takes Richmond; Three Texans; Dear Wife.1950: Born yesterday; Father is a Bachelor; The twilight of the gods; Union Station.1951: Submarine Command; Force of Arms; Boots Malone.1952: A man acusa.1953: Fort Bravo; Traitor in hell; Forever Female; The Moon is Blue.1954: the bridges of Toko-Ri; Sabrina; The anguish of living; The Tower of the ambiciosos.1955: the adios.1956 Hill: the heroes also cry; Picnic; On the edge of the infierno.1957: the bridge over the River Kwai.1958: the llave.1959: audaces.1960 mission: Suzie Wong.1961 world: spy by mandato.1962: the lion; Satan never duerme.1963: meeting in paris.1964: the seventh amanecer.1966: Alvarez Kelly.1967: Casino Royal.1968: the diablo.1969 Brigade: truncated lives; Group salvaje.1971: two men against the Oeste.1972: the vengadores.1973: otono.1974 spring: the towering Inferno; The cazadores.1976: Network, an implacable.1978 world: the curse of Damien; Fedora.1979: Ebano.1980: my new champion; The day of the end of the mundo.1981: we are honored bandits.

Works for television

1973: The Blue Knight.1976: 21 hours at Munich.


PASSEK, Jean-Luc, et to the. Dictionary of film, (Librairie Larousse, 1986). Spanish version: URABAYEN CASCANTE, Miguel, et al., (Madrid: Ediciones Rialp, S.A., 1991)

GASCA, Luis. The stars. (Editions Urbion, 1982).