Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Best Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television
Best Actor - Runner-up
One of Hollywood's most distinguished, popular, and versatile actors, Robert Duvall possesses a rare gift for totally immersing himself in his roles. Born in San Diego, CA, in 1931 and raised by an admiral, Duvall fought in Korea for two years after graduating from Principia College. Upon his Army discharge, he moved to New York to study acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse, where he won much acclaim for his portrayal of a longshoreman in A View From the Bridge. He later acted in stock and off-Broadway, and had his onscreen debut as Gregory Peck's simple-minded neighbor Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962).
With his intense expressions and chiseled features, Duvall frequently played troubled, lonely characters in such films as The Chase (1966) during his early film career. Whatever the role, however, he brought to it an almost tangible intensity tempered by an ability to make his characters real (in contrast to some contemporaries who never let viewers forget that they were watching a star playing a role). Though well-respected and popular, Duvall largely eschewed the traditionally glitzy life of a Hollywood star; at the same time, he worked with some of the greatest directors over the years. This included a long association with Francis Ford Coppola, for whom he worked in two Godfather movies (in 1972 and 1974) and Apocalypse Now (1979). The actor's several Oscar nominations included one for his performance as a dyed-in-the-wool military father who victimizes his family with his disciplinarian tirades in The Great Santini (1980). For his portrayal of a has-been country singer in Tender Mercies -- a role for which he composed and performed his own songs -- Duvall earned his first Academy Award for Best Actor. He also directed and co-produced 1983's Angelo My Love and earned praise for his memorable appearance in Rambling Rose in 1991. One of Duvall's greatest personal triumphs was the production of 1997's The Apostle, the powerful tale of a fallen Southern preacher who finds redemption. He had written the script 15 years earlier, but was unable to find a backer, so, in the mid-'90s, he financed the film himself. Directing and starring in the piece, Duvall earned considerable acclaim, including another Best Actor Oscar nomination.