Oregon Movies, A to Z

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Will Sampson

March 9th, 2009 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · Side Notes

From the Aboriginal Multi Media Society website:

Norma Sampson Bible said her brother became an actor by happy chance.

“What he told me, he was up there in Yakima, Washington, somewhere up there in the mountains painting and drawing and coming down once in a while. He said he had a friend in town. He came down to check his mail and his friend told him that (Cuckoo’s Nest producers) were in town casting for a movie and said they needed ‘a tall, ugly Indian.’ Those were his words… So my brother thought, ‘Why not?’ He was always one to take a gamble anyway.”

After Cuckoo’s Nest, artist Will Sampson continued to act, appearing 25 films between 1975 and 1987. This wonderful essay on Cuckoo’s Nest explores the adaptation of the novel to the big screen, especially the decision to remove the role of narrator from Chief Bromden, the  character played by Sampson.

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