THEATER CRITICS ACCLAIM ZANESVILLE'S DICK BASEHART--CONTINUED

They are living for the most part in Rome, with Basehart commuting to Hollywood for American picture work. In 1956, Val--as the actor calls his wife--won the Italian equivalent of an Oscar as the best actress of the year.

VALENTINA AND JACK are now in Rome and Basehart is trying to decide whether to join them at once or go to Hollywood where he has been offered a part in a new picture.

Among his more recent film successes were "Moby Dick," in which he played the part of Ishmael; "Time Limit," costarring with Richard Widmark, and "La Strada," the Italian prize-winner.

Others for which he is remembered were "Roseanna McCoy," "Tension," "Fourteen Hours," "Decision Before Dawn," "Fixed Bayonets" and "Titanic."

HIS ZANESVILLE friends, including those with whom he graduated from St. Thomas high school, are following his career with interest. As a student, he appeared in a number of school plays, although it is recalled that his first taste of the theater came as a boy of 13 when he was chosen for parts in two plays of a professional stock company, the Wright Players, then appearing at Zanesville's Well theater. He concedes that his father's influence as a newspaper editor landed him the parts.

AN AUNT, Mrs. Blanche Basehart, is particularly proud. She was something of a mother to him after his return from St. Vincent's orphanage in Columbus, where he was sent following the death of his real mother when he was but six years old.

Dick was one of a family of three boys and one girl. The newspaper profession was a second choice with their father, who was stagestruck at an early age and, during his youth, was a traveling minstrel man and singer.

As an editor, he seldom missed seeing a movie or any of the plays which came to Zanesville.

"If Harry had only lived," Aunt Blanche has remarked many times. "He would have been so proud of Dick."

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Copyright --October 20, 2000 Stephanie Kellerman and the Basehart Family