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Jason Robards Dead at 78

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Actor Jason Robards died of cancer on Tues., Dec. 26 at Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut, according to The New York Post. He was 78.

Though he appeared in more than 50 films during a career that spanned about 50 years, Robards got his start on the stage, and never tired of performing in that medium. His big break came in 1956, in a role that would establish him as what some would consider the Eugene O'Neill hero personified—Hickey in O'Neill's "The Ice-man Cometh." After being a Broadway understudy for nearly a decade, Ro-bards' career took off virtually over-night, and the actor went on to receive eight Tony nominations, including best supporting or featured actor (dramatic) for O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey into Night" (1957), and best actor (dramatic) for O'Neill's "Hughie" (1965), "A Moon for the Misbegotten" (1974), and "A Touch of the Poet" (1978), and Arthur Miller's "After the Fall" (1964). He won a Tony in 1958 for his performance in Bud Schulberg and Harvey Breit's "The Disenchanted."

Along with O'Neill's Hickey, Robards counted Shakespeare's Macbeth and Hotspur as his favorite roles.

In 1959's "The Journey," Robards made the move to feature films. In 1970, the Navy vet who survived Pearl Harbor played an American general in a film version of the attack, "Tora! Tora! Tora!" His most memorable screen roles include Ben Bradlee in "All the President's Men" (1976) and novelist Dashiell Hammett in "Julia" (1977); he won best supporting actor Oscars for both. His last appearance on the big screen was in 1999's "Magnol-ia," ironically playing a man battling cancer.

Robards was presented with the Na-tional Medal of Arts award by President Bill Clinton in 1997.

Actress Lauren Bacall was one of Robards' four wives, and according to the Post, in his later years, he lived in Fairfield, CT with his wife of more than 30 years, Lois. The actor had six children.

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