Cliff Robertson dies at 88

Actor Cliff Robertson was one of the names used by Columbia Pictures head David Begelman on fraudulent checks in a scandal which has been dubbed "Hollywoodgate." Robertson was interviewed by Gene Shalit on NBC's "Today Show" on March 1, 1978. (AP Photo/ David Pickoff)

September 10, 2011 5:56:16 PM PDT
Cliff Robertson, the handsome movie actor who played John F. Kennedy in "PT-109," won an Oscar for "Charly" and was famously victimized in a 1977 Hollywood forgery scandal, has died. He was 88.

His secretary of 53 years, Evelyn Christel, says he died Saturday afternoon in Stony Brook, N.Y., of natural causes.

Robertson never elevated into the top ranks of leading men, but he remained a popular actor from the mid-1950s into the following century. His later roles included kindly Uncle Ben in the "Spider-Man" movies.

His triumph came in 1968 with his Academy Award performance in "Charly," as a mentally disabled man who undergoes medical treatment that makes him a genius -- until a poignant regression to his former state.

His funeral is set for Friday in East Hampton.