"Aging is an inevitable process. I surely wouldn't want to grow younger. The older you become, the more you know; your bank account of knowledge is much richer". - William Holden
In the 1940s, the movies were filled with rugged, intimidating men who had a rough style adored by female screen characters and moviegoers alike. Unlike their European counterparts, the evolving subgenres of the American leading man began to include individuals with iconic quirks in general appearance, voice and humor, as an alternative to the rugged, understated, and sometimes reluctant "man of the people". It was William Holden who became America’s first choice among films requiring a shy, cynical, and sexually potent "broken hero" on the screen, less thoughtful, perhaps, than Gregory Peck, and less rigid than Gary Cooper. Perhaps Holden's many unwilling heroes filmed over a 40 year career were aided by the reality that Holden was much like them, an actor who was uncomfortable on the set and terrified of screen intimacy, on certain occasions requiring lengthy alcoholic binges to get through some of the steamier love scenes and sexualized dances with co-stars such as Kim Novak, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly.
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