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Widmark centennial is topic of Jan. 30 meeting

PRINCETON — The public is invited to become involved in an effort to honor the life and legacy of Hollywood actor and former Princeton resident Richard Widmark.

An organizational meeting of the Richard Widmark Centennial Committee will start at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Bureau County Republican’s meeting room, 800 Ace Road, Princeton.

Widmark, who acted in more than 70 movies from 1947 until 1991, spent seven years of his youth in Princeton. He was president of the PHS Class of 1932, played on the Tigers football team and performed in class plays.

Early in his professional career, he had roles in New York-based radio dramas, and he later performed in Broadway plays.

In Hollywood, he co-starred with such legends as John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall, William Holden, Judy Garland, James Stewart, Donna Reed, Henry Fonda, Doris Day, Spencer Tracy and Shirley Jones.

He also appeared with performers who are still active today, including Sally Field, John Cusack, James Spader, Michael Douglas, Jeff Bridges, Kathleen Quinlan and Holly Hunter.

Widmark was nominated for an Academy Award, won a Golden Globe Award, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Great Western Performers Hall of Fame.

The committee’s goal will be to create local exhibits and events that commemorate Widmark’s acting career and his years spent in Princeton.

Widmark, who died in 2008, would have turned 100 years old in 2014.

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