The Academy Award-winning actor and screen veteran Cliff Robertson passed away yesterday from natural causes at Stony Brook University Medical Center, just one day after celebrating his 88th birthday. Beginning his acting career in the 1950s, Robertson made a number of film and television appearances such as Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers (1953-1954), Picnic (1955), Gidget (1959), The Untouchables (1959), The Twilight Zone (1961-1962) and The Outer Limits (1963) before enjoying a breakthrough as Lt. John F. Kennedy in the war-time biopic PT 109 (1963). From 1966-1968, Robertson went on to make a number of appearances in the Batman television show, and in 1969 he received the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in Ralph Nelson’s 1968 drama Charly.
Following his Oscar success, Robertson remained a popular supporting actor, juggling appearances in films such as Three Days of the Condor (1975), Battle of Midway (1976), Star 80 (1983) and Renaissance Man (1994) with TV roles in the likes of Washington: Behind Closed Doors (1977) and Falcon Crest (1983-1984). More recently, he featured as Uncle Ben Parker in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002) and its sequels Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007), with the latter proving to be the actor’s final screen appearance.