Paul Scofield, who died today at age 86, will be best remembered for his Oscar-winning performance in “A Man for All Seasons.” My favorite moment is when he is saying goodbye to his family shortly before he will be beheaded. “Why it’s a lion I married!” he says to the magnificent Wendy Hiller as his wife.
But my favorite of his performances is his brief appearance in “Quiz Show” as Mark Van Doren, the brilliant scholar whose son, Charles (Ralph Fiennes) gets caught up in the quiz show scandals of the 1950’s. There is no moment ever put on screen that is more heartbreaking than the scene where Charles has to confess to his father what he has done. Scofield spent most of his career as a stage actor, but his films will always remind us of the best that acting can be.