‘Requiem For A Heavyweight’: The Rod Serling, Anthony Quinn & Sean Connery Connection

On June 3, 2001, legendary actor Anthony Quinn passed away at the age of 86.

Quinn was one of the most accomplished actors of the 20th century with a career that spanned eight decades.

Quinn was much more than just an actor he was the definition of the “Renaissance Man” as he was a renowned painter, writer, director, and father of 12.

Anthony Quinn was also a champion of civil rights for all people and especially Mexican American youth, Native Americans, and The United Farm Workers where he worked closely with his friend Cesar Chavez.

Anthony Quinn was a two time Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actor in 1952 (Viva Zapata!) and again in 1956 (Lust For Life) with his win in 1952 he became the first Mexican-American actor to win an Oscar.

Yet one of his most iconic performances came in 1962’s ‘Requiem For A Heavyweight’ written by the brilliant Rod Serling where Quinn played the role of “Mountain” Rivera alongside other Hollywood legends Jackie Gleason and Micky Rooney.

In addition to the staring cast ‘Requiem For A Heavyweight’ also featured real life sports legends Haystacks Calhoun, Jack Dempsey, and a very young Cassius Clay who would later go on to change his name to Muhammad Ali.

Did you know that ‘Requiem For A Heavyweight’ was first shown in 1956 on TV as part of the legendary CBS Playhouse 90 program with Jack Palance in the title role?

Did you also know that the 1957 BBC production of ‘Requiem For A Heavyweight’ stared a little known actor from Edinburg by the name of Sean Connery?

The role of ‘Mountain’ McClintock would prove to be a pivotal role for Connery and helped him land the role of James Bond four years later.

Want to learn more about Sean Connery and the James Bond film franchise?

Check out our Season One podcasts “Breaking Bond” and especially Breaking Bond Part Two: The Man From Edinburg where we discuss Sean Connery’s early life and career leading up to his selection as 007.

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