Actor Robert Duvall is undoubtedly one of the greatest performers of our time. After a celebrated career as an icon in Hollywood, Duvall might best be remembered for many of his western and southern film roles — A Night in Old Mexico, Lonesome Dove, Tender Mercies, and Wild Horses to name a few.
Despite his affinity to star in westerns, Duvall spent most of his time growing up in Annapolis, Maryland as his father was an admiral in the Navy. Though he realized early on that he was interested in the performing arts, Duvall followed his father's footsteps to serve his country. After graduating from Principia College with a Bachelor's degree in Drama, he joined the Army and served for one year.
In 1955, Duvall moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. He was in good company too; his classmates included Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, and James Caan. He was even roommates with Hoffman and Hackman for a time. For the next four years, Duvall had a steady career on the stage before his television debut on Armstrong Circle Theater. A few years later he made his film debut as Boo Radley in To Kill A Mockingbird and his career really kicked off.
Duvall went on to win a Best Actor Academy Award for his role as Mac Sledge in the 1983 film, Tender Mercies. He portrayed a country music singer recovering from alcoholism, trying to rebuild his life in Texas.
Across his career he has been nominated for six more Oscars for his roles in Coppola's The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Great Santini, The Apostle, A Civil Action, and The Judge. He's won two Emmy Awards and four Golden Globes including one for his role in the classic miniseries Lonesome Dove. Duvall told the Wall Street Journal that playing former Texas Ranger Captain Augustus "Gus" McCrae, opposite Tommy Lee Jones, is his favorite role he's ever played.
To say that he's had a diverse career is a massive understatement. Similar to Meryl Streep, Duvall really can jump from role to role, mastering them all completely. He played General Robert E. Lee in Gods and Generals. He even played a soccer coach opposite Will Ferrell in the comedy Kicking & Screaming. From Oscar-nominated films to campy comedies, the man has done everything. Including going to space as an astronaut in Deep Impact.
These days, Duvall has chosen to live life at a slower pace away from the chaos of Hollywood. He lives with his fourth wife, Luciana at their horse ranch in Virginia. Duvall met his wife who is 41 years younger, in Argentina (fun fact, he's a skilled tango dancer). They've been happily together since 1997, married in 2005.
Duvall spends all of his time at their ranch in Northern Virginia's Fauquier County unless he has to fly to Los Angeles or New York for work. For over 25 years, he has made this commute from his 360 acres in the beautiful hills of Virginia. But with all of that property and a 270-year-old farmhouse to call his own, can you blame him?
According to TODAY correspondent Jill Rappaport, the scene is right out of a movie.
"This 360-acre gentleman's farm (as he puts it) is the next stop before heaven! It boasts beautiful fields, hundred-year-old willow trees, an incredible pond, and a stone manor that made me feel like I was on the set of 'Gone With the Wind.'"
This article was originally published in March of 2020.
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