Robert Newton

Now here is one of the great character actors of Cinema – and apparently also in real life a quite colourful character at that.


Robert Newton


Robert Newton has been over living in England while filming The Beachcomber at Pinewood Film Studios with Glynis Johns –  in February 1954 when these pictures were taken

He had met his wife Eva Budnick in June of 1952 and from that moment as a promise to his young wife he had given up alcohol completely. Drinking had been a problem with Robert Newton over many years but he had given this up and the couple now had a lovely 10 month old daughter.


Robert Newton at Home


During their stay here they were living in Thurloe Square, South Kensington. Here they were visited on occasions by Robert Newton’s Daughter Sally from his first marriage.

Sadly he could not maintain his sober lifestyle for that long – He died of a heart attach in 1956 just after finishing his last film ‘Around The World In 80 Days’ alongside his good friend David Niven.

Robert Newton it was said was at his entertaining best after say a couple of drinks – had it stayed at that then all was well but after the 3rd of 4th there emerged a less pleasant person and the entertaining man he was became objectionable.


Robert Newton as Long John Silver


However we must not dwell on that – it is his performances that live in the memory – he was Bill Sykes in Oliver Twist – but it is as Long John  Silver in the 1950 Walt Disney classic that remains in the memory. Maybe an over the top performance by some standards but I think he realised that was what was needed in  order to lift this film version out of the normal range and put it up amongst the best.

His spectacular portrayal of  Long John Silver in the Disney version of Treasure Island (1950), greatly influenced actors playing pirates in film, radio, television, and theatre, after that – and all tended to use – and still do –  the same  accent that Robert Newton had made his own.

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