Dudley Moore

Why Do People Hate Dudley Moore?

Dudley Moore was an acclaimed comedian and actor best known for hit films like “10” and “Arthur” in the 1970s and 1980s. However, despite his popularity and talent, Dudley Moore had detractors as well. This article will explore some of the potential reasons why people dislike Dudley Moore.

What Movies and TV Shows Was Dudley Moore Known For?

Dudley Moore first rose to fame in the 1960s British comedy series “Not Only… But Also” alongside Peter Cook. Some of his most popular films include:

  • “10” (1979) – Comedy film starring Moore as a man who becomes obsessed with a woman he rates as a “perfect 10”. One of Moore’s most famous roles.
  • “Arthur” (1981) – Moore played the title role of a lovable alcoholic billionaire who resists an arranged marriage. Won Moore a Golden Globe for Best Actor.
  • “Micki + Maude” (1984) – Comedy where Moore plays a man who accidentally marries two women at the same time.

Moore also appeared in films like “Bedazzled” and “The Wrong Box” and continued acting in smaller roles later in his career.

What Was Dudley Moore Known for as a Comedian?

As part of the comedy duo Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in the 1960s, Moore gained recognition for his musical talent and physical comedy as the smaller half of the comedy team.

Moore had a background as a talented jazz pianist and incorporated music heavily into his comedy acts with Cook. His short stature and talent for physical comedy also made him a memorable presence in sketches and film comedy.

Did Dudley Moore Have Drug and Alcohol Issues?

Yes, Dudley Moore publicly struggled with alcohol abuse and was treated for substance addiction at various points in his career.

Moore’s drinking interfered with his performances, with biographers noting instances where he was too intoxicated to properly rehearse or appear on set.

As he aged, Moore developed progressive supranuclear palsy, a brain disorder with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease. This made it difficult for him to speak or perform in his later years.

Percentage of Heavy Drinkers Who Experience Legal Issues, Social or Work Problems

Legal IssuesSocial/Work Issues

Table data source: National Institute of Health

Moore’s substance issues likely contributed to personal and professional difficulties that reduced his fan base later in his life.

How Did Drinking Impact Moore’s Career?

Moore’s drinking resulted in:

  • Challenges working: Moore walked off sets, struggled to memorize lines
  • Deteriorating relationships: He went through multiple divorces which played out publicly
  • Health problems: His drug use exacerbated conditions like PSP

These issues disrupted his acting work and changed public perceptions of Moore.

When Did Moore Go to Rehab?

Moore went to the Hazelden Clinic in Center City, Minnesota in 1981 after completing filming on Arthur to treat his alcoholism.

However, he relapsed multiple times throughout the 1980s and 1990s as he struggled to maintain sobriety.

Did Dudley Moore Have Challenges in His Personal Life?

Yes. Like many stars, Dudley Moore dealt with several struggles in his personal life ranging from broken marriages to health issues.

Moore was married and divorced four times, often in very public, dramatic fashion. Some felt he treated women poorly based on later interviews with his wives and girlfriends.

As Moore aged, he developed the brain disorder PSP which impacts movement and speech. This limited his ability to work or maintain relationships later in his life.

At the end, even close friends and family admitted they struggled with his erratic behavior and treatment stemming from years of addiction and illness.

How Was Moore’s Treatment of Women Received?

In interviews, actresses like Bo Derek and wives like Brogan Lane alleged emotionally abusive behavior from Moore including manipulations, lies, and anger issues.

Many fans were disappointed to learn of Moore’s hurtful behavior, especially since his film persona was often charming and gentle.

When Was Dudley Moore Diagnosed with PSP?

In 1997, Moore began demonstrating symptoms like loss of balance and slurred speech. He was diagnosed with PSP in 1999 when he was 63.

The degenerative disorder makes movement and communication difficult with average life expectancy after diagnosis around 7 years.

Did Critics Respect Dudley Moore’s Work?

While Moore was widely praised for comedy films like “10” and “Arthur,” earning a Golden Globe award, some critics argued Moore never fully lived up to his potential.

Film scholar Peter Shelley claimed Dudley Moore could have had an all-time great career “had he challenged himself more, taking on complex character roles rather than settling for light comedy.”

What Films Got Moore the Worst Reviews?

Moore tended to get his worst reviews later in his career for films like:

  • 1986’s “Santa Claus: The Movie”: Moore was criticized for phoning it in for a quick paycheck
  • 1997’s “The Mighty Kong”: Panned as derivative kids’ film capitalizing on “King Kong” name

Unlike earlier acclaimed roles tailored to Moore’s talents, these films focused more on special effects or broader family appeal.

How Did Critics Evaluate Moore’s Dramatic Attempts?

When Moore took on more serious material, like dramatic thriller “Unfaithfully Yours” in 1984, reviews were mixed:

  • Praised: Moore’s range, energy, commitment to role
  • Criticized: Difficulty translating comedic presence into darker material

Moore fared better in lighter character studies like “Six Weeks” which balanced humor and heart. But purely dramatic work exposed weaknesses.

Did Dudley Moore Wrestle with Typecasting Due to His Size?

Yes. At 5’2″, Dudley Moore’s diminutive size was central to his public image as the cute, non-intimidating “little tramp” character. Fans adored his underdog persona.

However, Moore grew frustrated as he aged that his stature prevented him from landing more versatile, mature roles in Hollywood.

In later interviews, he felt regret that he was turned down for opportunities because of prejudiced assumptions based on his height or appearance.

What Roles Did His Height Cost Him?

Among major roles Dudley Moore did not win due in part to his size:

  • The lead in 1977 drama “The Goodbye Girl”: Director feared Moore couldn’t convincingly romance Marsha Mason
  • Playing Melvin Udall in 1997’s “As Good as It Gets”: Producer didn’t buy Moore bullying Jack Nicholson

Moore resented these judgments and perceived opportunities squandered.

Could Moore Have Succeeded Playing Against Type?

It’s impossible to know exactly how roles could have turned out. Perhaps Moore could have surprised fans with unexpected range.

However, breaking a long-established persona is very difficult. Moore thrived when he could incorporate his unique comedic talents, not straying too far.

Asking him to appear physically formidable or stern may have resulted in less effective performances. Moore struggled to balance comedy and drama in films like “Unfaithfully Yours”.


In summary, Dudley Moore received criticism from some due to legitimate personal issues related to addiction and difficult behavior in relationships. His film career is viewed by some as unfulfilled potential, falling short when he strayed too far from his comedic roots. And his diminutive stature that initially endeared him to fans may have hampered opportunities for more versatile roles.

However, Moore remains respected for standout performances in 1970s and 80s hits like “Arthur”. At his best, he leveraged unique talents for music and physical comedy few actors possessed. And much public backlash only developed years after his peak fame and success.

While valid critiques exist, Moore endures as a widely beloved comedy icon with a rare set of skills that brought joy to millions. His best work remains indelible snapshots of a complex performer foraging connections through laughter and song.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did Dudley Moore struggle with alcohol addiction?

Moore described drinking as an escape going back to his early career with Peter Cook, exacerbated by insecurities about his height and trouble maintaining relationships. The progressive brain disorder PSP worsened these tendencies later in Moore’s life.

What common misconception about Dudley Moore upset him the most?

Moore hated when people assumed he was constantly jolly and fun-loving because of his comedy work and public persona. In reality he was quite complex, often wrestling with darker emotions related to relationship issues, career stress, and symptoms of addiction and illness.

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