Robert Duvall made his feature film debut as Arthur “Boo” Radley in the 1962 classic To Kill a Mockingbird
Boo Radley is a misunderstood recluse who saves Jem and Scout from Bob Ewell and carries Jem home.
Robert Duvall’s performance as Boo Radley was remarkable, even though he had only one line in the movie, which was later cut.
Despite having no dialogue, Duvall’s presence looms over much of the story as a legend – an allegedly dangerous simpleton hidden away in the shadows.
To Kill a Mockingbird is based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and tells the story of Atticus Finch, a lawyer in Alabama who defends a black man falsely accused of rape. The film received widespread critical acclaim and has maintained a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of January 2023.
It is also considered to be one of Robert Duvall’s most humane roles.
Robert Duvall’s portrayal of Boo Radley was so powerful that it left an indelible impression on audiences. Even though he had no dialogue and his face was only on screen for a few minutes, his presence transformed Boo Radley from being perceived as a monster to being seen as human with real emotions and feelings.