Richard Widmark

Reading obituaries, one learns about life.  And how to live it.

I also like the story behind the story, especially actors.  It’s interesting to learn what propels them into a most public occupation.

Richard Widmark really knew how to do it.  That’s why reading his obituary today in THE NEW YORK TIMES was bittersweet.

One thing he knew about was personal branding — even if he never heard or used the phrase.  It’s because he knew who he was and stuck to it.  That takes a great deal of discipline. 

Maybe it’s because he had qualities I admire that I found the story of his life so very interesting to read.  Maybe it’s because I’m starting to understand how the small decisions and observations all contribute to who we are — to the personal brands we build over a lifetime.

“The businessmen who run Hollywood today have no
self-respect. What interests them is not movies but the bottom line.
Look at ‘Dumb and Dumber,’ which turns idiocy into something positive,
or ‘Forrest Gump,’ a hymn to stupidity. ‘Intellectual’ has become a
dirty word.”

He also vowed he would never appear on a talk show
on television, saying, “When I see people destroying their privacy —
what they think, what they feel — by beaming it out to millions of
viewers, I think it cheapens them as individuals.”

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