Classic Movie News Briefs
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1999 | 1998 | 1997
Here's an archive of the classic-movie related news items for 1997.
All have been verified by reliable news sources, but if you have any updated
information about any of these stories, feel free to pass it along.
- 10- Sheldon Leonard, who played in over 70 Hollywood films in the
1940s and '50s, including a role as Nick the bartender in
A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946), and later produced such TV hits as "The
Andy Griffith Show" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show," dies at
- 17- Laurence Austin, film preservationist and owner of nation's
only theater devoted exclusively to silent films is shot to death.
- 19- Adriana Caselotti, voice of Disney's young heroine in SHOW WHITE
AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937), dies of cancer at age 80.
- 1- Marjorie Reynolds, actress who spent most of the 1930s in bit-parts
(as she did in GONE WITH THE WIND
(1939)), but who by the 1940s was being wooed by
Crosby and Fred Astaire
in HOLIDAY INN (1942), dies at age 79.
- 2- Sanford Meisner, legendary acting teacher whose students included
Kelly, and Robert Duvall, dies of cancer at age 91.
- 14- Fred Zinnemann,
the Oscar-winning director of films like HIGH NOON (1952) and JULIA (1977),
dies of a heart attack at age 89.
- 2- Tomoyuki Tanaka, creator of the fearsome giant lizard Godzilla
and a pioneer in Japan's influential monster movie industry, dies of a
stroke at age 86.
- 20- Jean Louis, Oscar-winning costume designer for films throughout
the 1940s, '50s and '60s including GILDA (1946), A STAR IS BORN (1954)
and THE SOLID GOLD CADILLAC (1956), whose fashions for his wife,
Young, and other stars like Ginger
Rogers made him a Hollywood favorite, dies at age 89.
- 26- John Beal, film and TV actor whose career spanned more than
60 years including juvenile leads opposite
Hepburn and Helen Hayes,
dies at age 87.
- 28- Sydney Guilaroff, Hollywood hairdresser to some of the world's
most celebrated beauties who is credited with creating
Garland's braids in THE WIZARD
OF OZ (1939) and dyeing Lucille
Ball's hair red, dies of pneumonia at age 89.
- 23- Rosina Lawrence, actress who played a number of small roles
in films throughout the 1930s including as foil to Laurel and Hardy in
their classic WAY OUT WEST (1937), dies at age 84.
- 24- Brian Keith, actor who made his movie debut at age 3 but was
best known for his roles in THE PARENT TRAP (1961), THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS
(1959) as well as the TV sitcom "Family Affair," commits suicide
at age 75 after battling cancer and emphysema.
- 29- William Hickey, Oscar-nominated actor whose forty year film
career included roles in LITTLE BIG MAN (1970) and PRIZZI'S HONOR (1985),
dies at age 69.
- 1- Robert Mitchum, blunt-spoken
actor who starred in more than a hundred movies including THE STORY OF
G.I. JOE (1945) and OUT OF THE PAST (1947), dies of cancer and emphysema
at age 79.
- 2- Jimmy Stewart, lanky "everyman" actor who embodied
decency and moral courage in films such as
A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) and MR.
SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939), dies at age 89.
- 16- William Reynolds, film editor for six decades who won Oscars
for THE SOUND OF MUSIC
(1965) and THE STING (1973), dies of cancer at age 87.
- 20- Linda Stirling, star of 1940s and 1950s adventure film serials
such as "The Tiger Woman" and "Zorro's Black Whip,"
dies of cancer at age 75.
- 20- Leo Jaffe, film executive who oversaw
Pictures' rise in the 1970s from near-bankruptcy to Hollywood dominance,
dies at age 88.
- 27- Sally Blane, sister of actress
Young, but who also appeared in more than 60 films of her own throughout
the 1920s and '30s, dies at age 87.
- 9- Burgess Meredith, character actor whose sixty-year career included
roles in OF MICE AND MEN (1939) and TOM, DICK AND HARRY (1941) as well
as ROCKY (1976), dies of melanoma and Alzheimer's disease at age 89.
- 17- Red Skelton, gentle clown-comedian who appeared in more than
30 movies including HAVING A WONDERFUL TIME (1938) and THREE LITTLE WORDS
(1950), dies at age 84.
- 13- Joyce Compton, actress in late silents and early talkies who
specialized in comic bubble-headed blondes, dies at age 90.
- 28- Paul Jarrico, screenwriter who received an Oscar nomination
for 1941's TOM, DICK, AND HARRY but was later a victim of the Hollywood
blacklist, dies in a car wreck at age 82.
- 30- Samuel Fuller, actor, writer, producer and director who contributed
to films such as PICK UP ON SOUTH STREET (1953) and THE BIG RED ONE (1980),
dies at age 86.
- 15- Saul Chaplin, composer and arranger who shared in three Oscars
for scoring the musicals AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951), SEVEN BRIDES FOR
SEVEN BROTHERS (1954) and WEST
SIDE STORY (1961), dies at age 85.
- 21- Teresa
Wright, Oscar-winning star of such films as
MRS. MINIVER (1942),
SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943) and
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES
(1946), returns to the big screen for the first time in almost a decade
in Francis Ford Coppola's THE RAINMAKER (1997).
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