A look back at this day in film history
November 25
Tim Robbins October 16, 1958
Tim Robbins born

Tim Robbins, a versatile actor, writer, director, and political activist, was born October 16, 1958. Having pursued acting since he was a young boy, Robbins performed experimental theater in both New York (at the Theater for the New City) and Los Angeles (with his company, the Actors’ Gang), played small movie roles and TV guest spots until his breakthrough picture, 1988’s Bull Durham, directed by Ron Shelton. Robbins played Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh, a minor league pitcher who is schooled by Kevin Costner’s relatively grizzled veteran, “Crash” Davis. Susan Sarandon is the woman who travels between them in a film that was both a great romantic comedy and also a film that captured the ways in which sports shape our identities. Four years later, Robbins had a double-header of his own, starring in Robert Altman’s The Player while making his directing and screenwriting debut with Bob Roberts, a prescient comedy about the campaigning practices of a right-wing senatorial candidate that looks pretty good today. (In an interview with Spinner, Robbins compared the Tea Party to the candidate of his film: “The same propaganda keeps coming back. It was that way when I did Bob Roberts and it went away for a little bit and now it's back; it's relentless. It's propaganda that tries to get the American people to vote against their better interests. Unfortunately, Bob Roberts still works!") Two years later came his starring turn with Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption, in which he played an unjustly imprisoned man and then, in 1995, Dead Man Walking, a drama about capital punishment starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon. Robbins wrote, produced and directed the film and was nominated for Best Director. Many other strong films followed, including Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, for which he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and Philip Noyce’s South Africa-set Catch a Fire. Robbins has also been an impassioned political activist, protesting the Iraq War and globalist economic policies. He will be seen upcoming in Martin Campbell’s Green Hornet


More Flashbacks
The Crying Game November 25, 1992
The Crying Game released

“Yo, the chick’s a dude!” –– those words, shouted outside a movie theater on November 25, 1992, would most likely have earned you a punch in the nose from a ticket buyer standing in line to see Neil Jordan’s sly psychosexual drama The Crying Game.

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November 25, 2005
Pat Morita dies

On this day in 2005, the man best known as The Karate Kid’s sage sensei Mr. Miyagi, Pat Morita, died.

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November 25, 1973
Laurence Harvey Dies

By the time Laurence Harvey died of stomach cancer on November, 25 1973, his actual life proved easily as strange and quirky as the characters he played. Born in 1928 Zvi Mosheh (Hirsh) Skikne to a Jewish family in Lithuania, Harvey quickly reinvented himself at the age of five when his family moved to South Africa, where he took the name Harry. After working as an entertainer in the South African army, Harvey moved to London, changing his first name to Laurence and swapping out his family name for Harvey (supposedly taken from the sherry “Harvey’s Bristol Cream”). Harvey quickly rose up through the British film world, playing a range of side characters, then moving to Hollywood and Broadway where he gained a reputation for creating quirky, nervous eccentric, often emotionally cold men (often who were never quite what they seemed). His most famous role was as the brainwashed soldier in John Frankenheimer’s 1962 The Manchurian Candidate. While known to be privately gay, Harvey went through a number of high-profile marriages, often with women considerably older than himself. In 1968, for example, he married his second wife, Joan Perry Cohn, the widow of Columbia Picture’s master Harry Cohn. In 1969, his affair with Paulene Stone led to his one daughter, a divorce from Cohn, and, in 1972, a marriage to Stone. His daughter Domino Harvey went on to fame all her own as the bounty hunter whose life was dramatized by Keira Knightley in the 2005 thriller Domino. By the time he died in 1973, his career was in decline and his health had deteriorated by years of heavy drinking, and yet he was still trying on new identities. His last film, Welcome to Arrow Beach, which came out after his death, marked his third venture as a director as well as star.

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