Malcolm McDowell

Of his four decades on screen, Malcolm McDowell's most notorious performance was inarguably that of the twisted, disturbingly jubilant sociopath at the center of Stanley Kubrick's surreal satire, "A Clockwork Orange" (1971). When the popularity of pointed, edgy British filmmaking faded, the young spokesman of a generation was unconcerned with parlaying his acclaim into mainstream movie stardom. McDowell's habit of fielding offers both good and bad led him to rival only countryman Michael Caine in sheer amount of screen time. His "Clockwork" breakout led to career-long castings as bad guys in many lesser artistic achievements, ranging from John Badham's actioner "Blue Thunder" (1983) to a high profile role as "the man who killed Captain Kirk" in "Star Trek: Generations" (1994). With his low voice and early head of snow white hair, McDowell was cast as professors, military men, doctors, and megalomaniacs, generally favoring offbeat projects like Paul Schrader's unsettling "Cat People" (1982) and the post-apocalyptic "Tank Girl" (1995). With the exception of his leading role in the rock-n-roll comedy "Get Crazy" (1983) and a hilarious run on the short-lived CBS sitcom "Pearl" (1996-97), McDowell was underappreciated for his sharp comic skills, and into his senior years the actor's high profile roles in Rob Zombie's "Halloween" films (2007, 2009) and a stint as a manipulative Hollywood player on the HBO drama "Entourage" (HBO, 2004-11) ensured that a new generation of audiences also came also to associate him with the villainous and sinister.