Oscar Impact: Whitman, Stuart–The Mark

In January 1961, Guy Green’s The Mark had its London premiere. The role came about when Whitman was frustrated with the sort of roles he was getting. “I had been knocking around and not getting anything to test my ability”, he said. When Richard Burton turned down the role of a child molester in The Mark to do Camelot on stage, Whitman said that he was asked by his agent to fly to Ireland to act in the film, without telling him what it was about.

The Mark
The Mark (film).jpg

Theatrical poster to The Mark

Whitman didn’t know the controversial nature of the role until he read the script on location. Impressed and frightful of the content, Whitman had doubts, and asked himself if he was in the right business, but came to the conclusion that he could pull it off. Whitman’s performance earned him rave reviews and an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He said the film “doubled my rating as an actor.”

However, he later said, “I had a tough time breaking my image in that movie… it blocked my image as a gutsy outdoorsman.”