Character Actor Austin Pendleton Looks Back On His Career: Says Biggest Regret Is Turning Down A Role In The Movie ‘M.A.S.H.’
He’s been in lots of movies, and has worked with some great directors (Billy Wilder, Mike Nichols), but Austin Pendleton is nowhere near a household name. He’s one of those actors, like Dan Hedaya and James Rebhorn, who show up randomly and cause people to subconsciously think, “Oh, I’ve seen that guy before in something.”
My first memory of him is from the forgotten 90s “classic”, Mr. Nanny (he played the overworked dad). Pendleton recently spoke with the Onion A.V. Club about his varied career, which began over forty years ago. Among other things, he candidly discussed his major career regrets, particularly regarding the late great Robert Altman:
I auditioned for M.A.S.H. and I got the part of Radar, and I turned it down. And oh boy, do I regret that. And he got so angry when I turned that down that he told me at a party a few years after that, when I was reintroduced to him by a friend—it was a party around one of the openings of his films—he was stoned, of course—he said, ‘You know, you blew it with me. And I’m the only director in Hollywood who would have understood how to use you. So you really blew it in a big way’.”
Full interview here.