Cliff Robertson was a famous American actor who was born in California in 1923 and died in 2011 at age 88. He had deep love for aviation since early childhood. When he was 14, he would bicycle to a nearby airport and clean aircraft and their engines for a ride or a flying lesson. After college, he spent time in the Pacific, Mediterranean and Atlantic theaters of war from the Maritime’s offices.
After his time in the war, he joined the Actor’s Studio and, at first worked Off-Broadway and then, on Broadway. He is globally known for playing the role of President John F. Kennedy in PT-109 on the president’s own demand. He also won an Oscar for his role for Charly as well as an Emmy for his role in The Game. Spider Man 3 was his 77th movie. The Screen Actor’s Guild gave him accolades for his endless contributions to the industry. His love for aviation is reflected in his collection of aircraft. He had a Beech Baron, a French Stampe Biplane, a Messerschmitt BF 108, a DeHaviland Tiger Moth, and a Spitfire. He supported and advocated both general and military aviation and gave many speeches at various aviation events. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association gave him the L. P. Sharples Award in 1981 for his input in the aviation field. He was also the first chairperson for The EAA’s Young Eagles program that he helped start in 1992. He was enshrined into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 2006.
Cliff was inducted into the “Living Legends of Aviation” as a Charter Member and served as their first “Ambassador of Aviation.” A true newspaper man, he wrote a column called
“Cliffhanger” for many years for Airport Journals, calling in his copy to meet every deadline. Airport Journals as well as readers looked forward to Cliff’s sense of humor, humility, love of aviation, his freedom to fly attitude, and his love of people on the stage and in the movies.
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