Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Despite Film Fights, Wilcoxon Is Young

Cleveland Press October 22, 1965

Any actor crowding 60 is generally referred to as "distinguished" in studio press releases. The difference between any actor and Henry Wilcoxon is that he truly looks distinguished.

Remember him as Richard the Lion Hearted in "The Crusades" (1935) or as Marc Antony in that other "Cleopatra" (1934)? There are a few lines in his face but he otherwise looks the same -- the leonine head, a husky man of 6-ft. 2-in., seemingly without an ounce of fat. His wavy hair is a little thinner and grayer but it's his own.

Wilcoxon is back to swash-buckling roles, this time with Charlton Heston in "The War Lord," a film that opens here next month.

"It's the first time in 17 years that I have just acted. For the last 13 years of his life I was co-producer with Cecil B. De Mille.

"GROWN MEN TELL TODAY that they remember the Richard the Lion Hearted role and how as boys it inspired them to make wooden swords and use ash-can covers for shields.

"Yes, I'm wearing armor again in the War Lord.' You know, the movie opens with a big battle scene. We started making it and had to stop. Mosquitoes got in the crevices of the armor and chain mail outfits. Did you ever wear armor and have to scratch!'

Wilcoxon stays fit with daily workouts at home or in a gym, runs two or three miles a day, rides, swims, but doesn't play golf.

"I don't like golfers -- they take it so seriously."

"WILCOXON MAKES HIS FIRST dramatic appearance on television next Wednesday in Barbara Stanwyck's weekly series, would like to play the sadistic sergeant in the remake of "Beau Geste," hopes to co-produce with Sol Siegel the life of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts. The latter was the project De Mille was working on when he died.

He still watches his old movies on TV, the ones he thinks are good.

"I've received not one penny from those showings and yet what would TV have done without me," he laughed.

"It's tragic to see some of those movies made 30 years ago. Some of those beautiful young girls. Now and then you read about one of them, maybe a death notice, and you see a picture of them now."

The rest of the world grows old. Henry Wilcoxon, apparently, remains perpetually young.