mercoledì 16 aprile 2014

A full cast list for '2001', Part 4 - The Discovery Crew

Welcome to Part 4 of our extended look at all the actors that starred in '2001'.

Today we'll focus on the crew of the spaceship Discovery I, on its way to Jupiter to investigate the strange signal emitted by the monolith on the Moon - though, as you may remember, not all members of the crew were aware of the true purpose of the mission...

Keir Dullea (Dr. David Bowman)

This underrated actor will always be remembered as Kubrick's Mona Lisa for his puzzled stare as Dr. David Bowman, commander of the Discovery I, faces his destiny 'beyond the infinite'.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1936, Dullea was launched into Hollywood stardom by his intense performance as the trubled adolescent in David and Lisa (1962), though it was Otto Preminger's Bunny Lake is missing (1965) that put him on Kubrick's radar.

2001 didn't turn Keir into an international star, but his talent granted him a long and successful career, expecially on stage, in New York City and in regional theaters. He had a major role in the 1974 cult classic Black Christmas, and he reprised his role of Dave Bowman for Peter Hyams' 2001 decent sequel, 2010 (1984).

In the last 48 years Keir has given countless interviews about his role in 2001; for many others photos and infos about his long career in movies, TV and on stage, please visit and, excellent resources mantained by truly dedicated fans (you can find them on Facebook's Keir Dullea Appreciation society).

Gary Lockwood (Dr. Frank Poole)

Born in Van Nuys, California in 1937, Gary Lockwood is a 'lock' (no pun intended) for the Sci-fi Hall Of Fame, as shortly before starting shooting his 2001 scenes he also starred in Star Trek's second 'pilot' "Where no man has gone before" (1965).

Outspoken, athletic (he played football at the University of California), charismatic, Lockwood began his career as stand-in for Anthony Perkins and as an extra on Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960). Between 1959 and 2004, he had roles in some forty theatrical and made-for-TV features and made almost eighty TV guest appearance, often as the 'tough guy'.

Lockwood was a 'natural' actor - he claimed he never took an acting lesson in his life - and his role in Star Trek's pilot, more than his performance in 2001, gives us a glance of what he was capable of.

Again, Gary gave many interviews about 2001, and he also self-produced a book about his career and his most famous role.

Douglas Rain (HAL 9000)

A well trained canadian Shakespearian actor who spent most of his career on the stage, Douglas Rain was intended to be the 'narrator' for 2001, as the movie was originally conceived as a spectacular, epic documentary about space exploration. After many trial and tribulations, he turned out to 'play' the most famous fictional computer ever, HAL 9000, the third member of the Discovery I crew.

Jerome Agel's book The Making of Kubrick's 2001 (a book edited and revised by the same Stanley Kubrick), reports that
[...] Rain was asked to record HAL when the narration was struck and Kubrick decided that the original voice of HAL — Martin Balsamwas too emotional, making the visuals redundant. Kubrick was looking for an unctuous, patronizing, neuter quality -"and Rain was great." [...]
Rain: "I wrapped up my work in nine and one-half hours. Kubrick is a charming man. Most courteous to work with. He was a bit secretive about the film. I never saw the finished script and I never saw a foot of the shooting."
Kubrick: "Maybe next time I'll show Rain in the flesh, but it would be a nonspeaking part, which would perfectly complete the circle."
By the way, Balsam was convinced he had given a tremendous performance as Hal: in the August 5, 1966 issue of the Anderson Daily Bulletin, he says:
"I'm not actually seen in the picture at any time, but I sure create a lot of excitement projecting my voice through that machine. And I'm getting an Academy Award winner price for doing it too." [ed.note: Balsam had already won an Oscar for best supporting actor for "A Thousand Clowns"].
A recent, excellent book by Kate McQuiston, We'll meet again - Musical design in the films of Stanley Kubrick, give us an interesting insight into Kubrick's decision process in choosing HAL's voice, drawing from documents in the Kubrick Archive:
Would-be HAL included Alistaire Cooke and Martin Balsam, who read for the part but was deemed too emotional. Kubrick set assistant Benn Reyes to the task of finding the right actor, and expressly not a narrator, to supply the voice. He wrote, "I would describe the quality as being sincere, intelligent, disarming, the intelligent friend next door, the Wiston Hibler / Walt Disney approach [Wiston Hibler, a prolific producer for Disney, was best known for narrating Disney films] The voice is neither patronizing, nor is it intimidating, nor is it pompous, overly dramatic, or actorish. Despite this, it is interesting. Enough said, see what you can do". 
Even Kubrick's lawyer, Louis Blau, was among those making suggestions, which included Richard Basehart, Jose Ferrer, Van Heflin, Walter Pigeon, and Jason Robards. In Douglas Rain, who had experience both as an actor and a narrator, Kubrick found what he was looking for: "I have found a narrator ... I think he's perfect, he's got just the right amount of the Winston Hibler, the intelligent friend next door quality, with a great deal of sincerity, and yet, I think, an arresting quality."
As Rain's and Balsam's performances were only recorded in post-production, someone was needed to read HAL's lines while shooting. Kubrick himself and his assistant director Derek Cracknell did it - prompting Keir Dullea to recall in several interviews how Cracknell's cockney accent sounded improbable for a futuristic computer first activated in Indiana: "Better take a stress pill, Dave" came out like "Better tyke a stress pill, Dyve", à-la Michael Caine.

Shooting the Monolith excavation scene: second from left, standing, Derek Cracknell is the guy with the hands on his hips.

Kubrick solved the problem by using english actor Nigel Davenport, who was actually on-set between February and March, 1966 with Dullea and Lockwood. Most definitely, he was not intended to be the definitive HAL: Kubrick reportedly thought he sounded too 'english', and according to a 1966 interview with the director by Jeremy Bernstein, Kubrick had already made up his mind:
[...] Later, Kubrick told me he had engaged an English actor to read the computer's lines in the serious dramatic scene, in order to give Dullea and Lockwood something more professional to play against, and that in the finished film he would dub in an American-accented voice.
Martin Balsam and Nigel Davenport

Another first-hand witness recently supplied a new, curious perspective : Stefanie Powers, Gary Lockwoods' girlfriend and future wife, revealed in his 2010 biography "One from the Hart" that she also had played HAL in the early rehearsals:
I suppose I was technically the first voice of HAL, although my tenure was brief and only during rehearsals. I was immediately replaced by Nigel Davenport, with his mellifluous, deep baritone voice. He lasted a bit longer than me, before being replaced by the androgynous voice Stanley had wanted all along but had needed to compare before committing.
Stefanie Powers and Gary Lockwood in Love, American Style (1969)

As we already know, in the early scripts the computer aboard Discovery had to have a female voice and had to be called Athena; Powers' presence at the rehearsals makes us wonder if Kubrick was still considering a female personality for the computer, even in early 1966 and very close to the actual shooting.

Anyway: Powers -> (Davenport) -> Balsam -> (Kubrick,  Cracknell) -> Rain.

Finally, Douglas Rain. In a rare interview given in 1981 to the Toronto-based newspaper Globe and Mail, the canadian actor recounted how he got the role:
[...] Kubrick, in preparation for the film, came across a National Film Board documentary called Universe. 
"It was," says Rain, "a very low-budget affair with ping pong balls, and the sun, as I recall, was played by a tomato - actually, it came off as very impressive on the screen." 
In any case, Rain did the narration for Universe; Kubrick - who, according to Rain saw the movie 95 times - got used to the sound of Rain's voice. Kubrick managed to find Rain and hire him to do the narration for 2001. In the making, however, Kubrick decided that a narration was unnecessary, and asked Rain to do Hal the Computer. 
"It took a day and a half to record," says Rain. "It is not that I haven't wanted to do movies," he says, "it's just that I've never been approached. People seem to think that when you do classical things you can't do anything else. Well, that's just rubbish, of course. "Mind you," he adds, with mock-fastidiousness, "when you look at the quality of what's around, maybe it's a blessing in disguise."
Douglas Rain (right) with fellow actors and sci-fi old acquaintances John Colicos (left) and Barry Morse (center) in a CBC Radio Recording Session (source). Colicos will star in Battlestar Galactica; Barry Morse in Space: 1999.

Rain's roles in TV and in subsequent movie were more 'cameos' than real performances; he came back reluctantly for 2010 (1984, convinced by an undisclosed hefty sum of money) and, before that, had a humorous role as the 'evil' computer in Woody Allen's Sleeper (1973).

The evil computer voiced by Douglas Rain in Sleeper (1973)

a recent picture of Douglas Rain (source)

Dr. Victor F. Kaminsky

In Clarke's novel his name is spelled 'Kaminski'. We don't know much about this character, no. 2 in the Survey Team that was to analyze the giant monolith that orbited Saturn (yes, it was Jupiter in the movie!)

According to a set of continuity sheets I checked out in the Kubrick Archive in London (SKA/12/3/4/1), for the two close-ups seen in the pictures above Kaminsky was played by none other than Ivor Powell, publicity department liaison (uncredited) in 2001 and later producer for Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982). The two had met when both where collaborating on a TV commercial for the BBC; Powell went on to become a first assistant director at RSA (Ridley Scott Associates) in London's West End.

UPDATE: I got in contact with Ivor Powell and he recounted me some great memories of his experience on 2001, in this article.

Ivor Powell (sources:;

In another set of continuity sheets, though, (SKA/12/3/4/2) we learn that Kaminsky was also 'played' by Arnold Schulkes, long-time stand-in for Dirk Bogarde and 'extra' in many productions (he also appeared in Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451).

I feel Schulkes is at least one of the following Kaminskies:

Arnold Schulkes (source)

Fun trivia: user Larry Young pointed out that V. F. Kaminsky was a Soviet physicist active in the 60's and 70's, making him the possible name source for Arthur C. Clarke (today Kaminsky, VF it's also the name of a rock band!)

Dr. Jack R. Kimball

Dr. Kimball was known in the novel as Peter Whitehead, geophysicis and leader of the survey team, the first to be awaken in case of emergency (that's what Bowman did, but to little avail). In Jack Hagerty's majestic book Spaceship Handbook (2001), a speculation is reported
that this was done to acknowledge Ward Kimball, Walt Disney's producer/director who created that studio's Man In Space series, in which many of the hardware concepts used by Kubrick apparently originated.
According to the first set of continuity sheets (SKA/12/3/4/1) in London, for his close-ups (shot in July 13 and 14, 1966, when the main photography for the centrifuge scene was already over) two different actors were used: Ken Hutchins (13/7) and David Baker (14/7).

While we have no info about the latter, according to user Scott Palmer
Ken Hutchins (born 1936) was also a cricket coach, and later did film security work. He began working as a movie extra in 1956, and last worked on the film Love Actually in 2003 (as far as I am aware). He remembered five or six hundred films he worked on.

Could he be the Kimball pictured in the following blu-ray capture from the movie?


According to the second set of continuity sheets, though (SKA/12/3/4/2), Kimball was also 'played' - by Kubrick's assistant director Derek Cracknell - again! Is it him in the second picture below, captured from one of HAL's screen)?

This lovely picture of Cracknell with his daughter Sarah comes from an interesting article about her that appeared on The Telegraph

Dr. Charles B. Hunter

Poor Charlie, always the neglected one, in the novel (he was the last to be revived in case of emergency) and in the movie (we get only a fleeting glimpse of him in one of HAL's screens):

At least we can see him in this nice sketch (not drawn by Dullea but by Tony Masters, 2001's production designer):

According to two sets of continuity sheets (SKA/12/3/4/3 and SKA/12/3/4/2) I checked out in London, Hunter was 'played' by Arnold Schulkes, him again! and by Jon Kelley (though spelled John Kelly in the documents).

Kelley was an announcer in the Forces Broadcasting Service and at Tyne Tees Television. He moved to Associated-Rediffusion in London and remained until the station closed in 1968. Before becoming an experienced stage actor, Kelley  appeared in other two sci-fi cult shows: the TV series U.F.O. and the movie Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969) (source:

Kelley as S.H.A.D.O. Skydiver crew member Lt. John Masters (U.F.O., 1970)

3 commenti:

  1. Hi Simone, I was reading through your material here and thought you might like to know anecdotally Jon Kelley (last picture) was possibly not the only connection the U.F.O tv series had in common with 2001. Its speculated that it also had use of some old Moonbus seats too :)
    Though I can't be sure of its veracity
    cheers, David(2001archive)

    1. Thanks David, your wonderful site is always full of surprises!