Tut-Teutul (The George C. Scott Problem)

George C. Scott in Dr. StrangeloveI’m short on time today, but I wanted to post up a quick thought on an issue that I’ve been batting around for a while now.

While examples are pervasive in all forms of media and fame, I was originally reminded of the dilemma by a posting over at Mr. Blog’s regarding Paul Teutul Sr.

I’ve never been a fan of American Chopper, but I’ve had a certain amount of secondhand exposure, and it strikes me that Mr. Teutul suffers from something I call The George C. Scott Problem.

I’ve long held that Scott was one of the finest actors of the previous century – his roles are landmark and often brilliant, but, still, everything I’ve read implies that, in his personal life, he was a bit of a brute.

From the Wikipedia:

Scott had a reputation for being moody and mercurial while on the set. “There is no question you get pumped up by the recognition,” he once said, “Then a self-loathing sets in when you realize you’re enjoying it.”

As we rapidly approach an age where ever facet of a celebrity’s life is on display, it becomes increasingly difficult to separate their private positions from their work; does Scott’s early philandering detract from his turn in Dr. Strangelove? Does the fact that I disagree with his politics make his realization of General Patton any less astounding; his role in The Changeling any less affecting?
George C. Scott in The Changeling
I realize there is a difference in maintaining a sense of personal privacy and putting your full life on display, but does his terrible parenting make Teutul Sr. any less of a master bike-builder?

What of Charlie Sheen or Edward Norton? What of Michael Jackson?