Among the many gifted actors who have graced Disney live-action motion pictures over the years, one in particular looms largely and menacingly in the collective memory of fans, Robert Newton, who starred as the charismatically wicked Long John Silver in Disney’s first live-action film “Treasure Island,” based on the classic tale by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Adept at portraying cunning villains, Robert’s thunderous voice and rolling, wild eyes, mesmerized audiences when the movie, shot on location in Britain, premiered in 1950. The one and only role he ever played for Disney proved to be his most popular, leading the actor to numerous subsequent “shiver-me-timbers” performances.
Critic Leonard Maltin wrote in his book “The Disney Films,” “‘Treasure Island’ belongs to Robert Newton. Rereading Stevenson, one finds that Newton is Long John …”
“Indeed, Newton was so powerful as Silver that he found himself locked into the characterization, repeating it in an Australian… read more