Reel Classics: the classic movie site

Classic Movie News Briefs

Current Year | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997

 News Briefs 2001:

Here's an archive of the classic-movie related news items for 2001. 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.

January 2001:

  • 1- Ray Walston, "My Favorite Martian" TV actor whose seven-decade career on stage, screen and television included such films as KISS THEM FOR ME (1957) DAMN YANKEES (1958), SOUTH PACIFIC (1958) and THE APARTMENT (1960), dies at age 86.
  • 4- The Producers Guild of America names veteran actor Kirk Douglas winner of this year's Milestone Award for his contributions to the entertainment industry.  
  • 4- Coors Brewing Company, which has used scenes from classic John Wayne pictures, including CAST A GIANT SHADOW (1966), RIO LOBO (1970), RIO BRAVO (1959) and TROUBLE ALONG THE WAY (1953), in TV advertisements for its beer, announces plans for another spot featuring a scene from THE QUIET MAN (1952) due to air in April.
  • 4- Les Brown, longtime bandleader who, with his "Band of Renown," made the hit parade in the 1940s with tunes like "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio," "Sentimental Journey" (voiced by Doris Day) and "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" before becoming a regular on various radio and television shows through the 1970s, dies of lung cancer at the age of 88.
  • 6- Scott Marlowe, actor in 1950s juvenile delinquency movies such as THE RESTLESS BREED (1957), THE COOL AND THE CRAZY (1958), and A COLD WIND IN AUGUST (1961), who played numerous roles in TV movies and series through the 1970s, '80s and '90s, dies at 68.
  • 7- Sidney Lumet, 76-year-old five-time Oscar nominated director of such films as TWELVE ANGRY MEN (1957), announces plans to serve as executive producer and principal director of "100 Centre Street," a new TV courtroom drama series which premiere on A&E on January 15.
  • 10- Jeanne Moreau, 72-year-old French actress whose 100 film appearances include Francois Truffaut's JULES ET JIM (1961), becomes the first woman inducted into the France's Fine Arts Academy, the Academie des Beaux-Arts.
  • 10- John Schlesinger, Oscar-winning director of such films as MARATHON MAN (1976) and MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969), suffers a stroke and is listed in stable condition in an Palm Springs-area hospital.
  • 11- James Hill, producer of a half-dozen films including THE UNFORGIVEN (1960) who was once married to Rita Hayworth and put her in one of her last major films, SEPARATE TABLES (1958), later writing a biography of the actress, Rita Hayworth: A Memoir (1983), dies of complications of Alzheimer's disease at age 84.
  • 12- Ronald Reagan, Warner Bros. contract player during the 1940s and '50s and former president of the United States, enters the hospital after falling and breaking a hip.
  • 13- Ronald Reagan, star of Warner Bros. 1942 drama KINGS ROW, undergoes surgery to repair a broken right hip.
  • 15- Bill Davidson, author and journalist who, as longtime Los Angeles bureau chief of Collier's Magazine, wrote about Hollywood greats for many years and later penned a number of star biographies about such personalities as Spencer Tracy, Sid Caesar, Danny Thomas and Jane Fonda, dies after a stroke at 82.
  • 15- Elizabeth Taylor, classic actress and two-time Oscar winner, appears on CNN's Larry King Live to discuss her life, loves and career.
  • 15- Jerry Lewis, veteran Hollywood funnyman, is released from a hospital in Houston after spinal surgery to alleviate years of back pain dating back to the many stunts he performed in his early movies and his comedy act with Dean Martin.
  • 16- Ted Mann, businessman who, in 1973, acquired a chain of movie theatres which included the Hollywood landmark Grauman's Chinese Theatre founded by impresario Sid Grauman in 1927, and changed the name of the theatre to Mann's Chinese Theatre to the outrage of many movie buffs and Hollywood traditionalists, dies at age 84.
  • 17- Radio Times, a top British entertainment magazine, crowns Paul Newman the greatest leading man based on power at the box office, Oscars, acting qualities, marriage appeal and headline-grabbing abilities. Tom Hanks finished second behind Newman, followed by James Stewart, Harrison Ford, Marlon Brando, Cary Grant, Robert Redford, Tom Cruise and Sean Connery (tied for eighth place) and Gary Cooper
  • 18- New Line Cinema announces that "Murphy Brown" creator Diane English has been hired to direct the studio's remake of the 1939 George Cukor classic THE WOMEN about the relationships among a band of high society women. 
  • 20- Ronald Reagan, 89-year-old classic actor and former U.S. president, is released from the hospital to recover and rehabilitate at home a week after surgery to repair a broken hip.
  • 22- Elizabeth Taylor, 68-year-old classic actress and four-time Golden Globe winner, makes a rare appearance as a presenter at the Golden Globes Awards and then draws attention by almost revealing the winner for best dramatic motion picture before announcing the nominees.  Recovering from her confusion, she told the delighted audience: "I'm new at this. I usually like to get them.''  
  • 22- Charles H. Maguire, motion picture production executive who worked as an assistant director to Elia Kazan on such films as ON THE WATERFRONT (1954), BABY DOLL (1956) and A FACE IN THE CROWD (1957) before turning to production in the mid-1960s, dies at 73.
  • 23- Virginia O'Brien, comic actress and singer who appeared in a series of MGM musicals in the 1940s including DU BARRY WAS A LADY (1943), THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946) and ZIEGFELD FOLLIES (1946), dies at age 81.
  • 23- John F. Golden, the longtime head of Western Costume, an 88-year-old company considered to have the world's largest collection of costumes, dressing cowboys and Indians in the first one-reel Westerns as well as the casts of countless legendary films, including GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939), BEN-HUR (1959) and CLEOPATRA (1963), dies at age 85.
  • 24- The American Film Institute announces plans for the fourth installment of its "AFI's 100" series of film lists, dubbed "AFI's 100 Years, 100 Thrills," which will rank the most thrilling pictures of all time.  A three-hour program announcing the results of this poll will air on CBS in June.
  • 24- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces that filmmaker Ernest Lehman, who has been nominated for the best screenplay Oscar four times (for SABRINA (1954), NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959), WEST SIDE STORY (1961) and WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (1966) but has never won, will receive an honorary Academy Award at this year's Oscar ceremony on March 25.
  • 24- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces that veteran Italian filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis, whose films credits include LA STRADA (1954) and BARBARELLA (1968), will receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, given to producers whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality, at this year's Oscar ceremony on March 25.
  • 30- Jean-Pierre Aumont, popular French actor whose 65-year career included romantic roles in Hollywood during the 1940s such as THE CROSS OF LORRAINE (1943) and HEARTBEAT (1946) before he returned to France where his notable performances from the 1950s through 1990s included François Truffaut's LA NUIT AMERICAIN (1973), dies at age 90.

February 2001:

  • 1- MGM announces plans to purchase a 20% stake in four cable networks controlled by Cablevision Systems -- American Movie Classics, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel and WE: Women's Entertainment (formerly Romance Classics) -- in order to increase its access to potential cable outlets for its extensive film library.
  • 2- Eddie Parker, pool shark who is credited with inspiring Walter Tevis to write the book and screenplay for the 1959 film THE HUSTLER which starred Paul Newman, dies of a heart attack at age 69.
  • 2- Dolores Hart, film actress of the late 1950s and early 1960s who left Hollywood 40 years ago to become a nun, is elected Mother Prioress of the Abbey Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut.
  • 2- Shirley Temple, noted child actress of the 1930s and '40s, announces that she is working as a consultant on a made-for-TV version of her first autobiography, here titled "Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story," which will air on Mother's Day, May 13, on ABC.
  • 2- Hal Blair, songwriter who contributed tunes to such 1940s westerns as DRIFTIN' RIVER (1946) and THE HAWK OF POWDER RIVER (1948), dies at age 85.
  • 6- Ronald Reagan, star of Warner Bros. 1942 drama KINGS ROW and former President of the United States, celebrates his 90th birthday.
  • 7- Dale Evans, singer-actress who teamed with husband Roy Rogers in over 30 film westerns throughout the 1940s and '50s and later co-wrote the theme song to their 1950s TV show, "Happy Trails to You," dies at 88.
  • 9- Ava Gardner, Oscar-nominated star of such films as MOGAMBO (1953), NIGHT OF THE IGUANA (1964) and THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (1954) who died in 1990, is under consideration to have a U.S. Postal Service stamp issued in her honor, according to an announcement by U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge of North Carolina, Gardner's home state, who is spearheading the campaign.
  • 11- Sy Gomberg, Oscar-nominated screenwriter who earned an Academy Award nomination in 1950 for his work on John Ford's WHEN WILLIE COMES MARCHING HOME and later became an activist against violence in Hollywood movies, dies of a heart attack at 82.
  • 11- Sam Wiesenthal, producer of such motion picture classics as ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930), DRACULA (1931), and FRANKENSTEIN (1931) during his years with Universal Pictures, dies at 92.
  • 14- Christie's auction house in London presides over the sale of the white bikini worn by Ursula Andress as she emerged from the sea in the 1962 James Bond film DR. NO, hammering the memorabilia item at $60,000.
  • 15- Burt Kennedy, Hollywood screenwriter and director of such 1960s westerns as THE WAR WAGON (1967) which starred Kirk Douglas and John Wayne, dies of cancer at 78. 
  • 15- Kirk Douglas, 84-year-old classic Hollywood actor who appeared in such films as LUST FOR LIFE (1956), GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL (1957) and SPARTACUS (1960), is presented with a Golden Bear award for lifetime achievement at the Berlin International Film Festival.
  • 16- Howard W. Koch, former president of production at Paramount and producer or executive producer of such films as THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962), THE ODD COUPLE (1968) and AIRPLANE! (1980) who was presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the AMPAS in 1989, dies at age 84.
  • 16- PBS announces that Oscar-winning singer and actress Julie Andrews will appear in the network's "My Favorite Broadway, Part Two: The Love Songs," talk-singing a duet of "The Rain in Spain" with Michael Crawford.  Andrews has also signed to host the third installment of the series, "My Favorite Broadway, Part Three: Broadway and Beyond."
  • 18- Frank B. Gilbreth Jr., co-author with his sister Ernestine Gilbreth Carey of the popular book Cheaper by the Dozen and its sequel Belles on Their Toes about their family's 12 children and efficiency-expert parents, which were adapted to the screen in 1950 and 1952 starring Clifton Webb and Myrna Loy, dies at 81.
  • 19- Stanley Kramer, nine-time Oscar-nominated director and producer whose movies such as CHAMPION (1949), HOME OF THE BRAVE (1949), THE MEN (1950), HIGH NOON (1952), and GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER (1967) frequently dealt forcefully with social issues, dies of complications from pneumonia at age 87.
  • 20- Rosemary DeCamp, character actress who began playing "old lady" roles while still in her 30s, playing mother to James Cagney in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942) as well as appearing in THIS IS THE ARMY (1943), RHAPSODY IN BLUE (1945) and NIGHT UNTO NIGHT (1949), dies from complications of pneumonia at 90.
  • 21- Sidney Poitier, Oscar-winning actor for his performance in LILIES OF THE FIELD (1963), is honored for his his directing accomplishments on nine films by the Directors Guild of America.
  • 22- Barbra Streisand, director and Oscar-winning star of such 1960s musicals as FUNNY GIRL (1968) and HELLO, DOLLY! (1969), receives a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute at a gala in her honor held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
  • 23- Robert Enrico, popular French movie director whose 24-minute film, "Incident at Owl Creek," won a Palme d'Or at the 1962 Cannes International Film Festival as well as an Oscar for best short film at the 1964 Academy Awards, dies at 69.
  • 24- Margaret O'Brien, legendary child star from the 1940s who was presented with a special child-star Oscar at the 1945 Academy Awards after her performance in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, gives her Oscar to the Sacramento AIDS Foundation to be auctioned on the Web site Other items to be auctioned include an Esther Williams bathing suit with an autographed photo.  The auction runs from March 9 to 25.
  • 24- Chuck Keehne, founder of the Walt Disney Studios' wardrobe department who outfitted the stars of Walt Disney's "The Mickey Mouse Club" and designed costumes for such Disney films as OLD YELLER (1957), THE SHAGGY DOG (1959), POLLYANNA (1960), THE PARENT TRAP (1961), and MARY POPPINS (1964) among others, dies at 86.
  • 28- Director Francis Ford Coppola announces he will screen a longer version of APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) at the Cannes Film Festival in May, adding an extra 53 minutes of scenes never previously seen to his epic Vietnam movie.

March 2001:

  • 1- Margaret O'Brien, legendary MGM child star from the 1940s, pulls her Oscar from a charity auction benefiting the Sacramento AIDS Foundation "out of respect for the Academy and all [her] fellow Oscar winners."
  • 2- The Taos Talking Picture Festival announces it will present 69-year-old, two-time Oscar-winner Elizabeth Taylor with the festival's Maverick Award for her distinguished career on April 6.
  • 3- Warner Bros. Studios announces that sibling writer-directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly have been signed to write and direct a new movie based on "The Three Stooges." The film won't be a remake of any particular Stooges story, but will be an original idea written by the Farrellys.
  • 4- Emrich Nicholson, former art director for both Paramount and Universal Studios whose pictures included ONE TOUCH OF VENUS (1948) and MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (1954), dies at 87.
  • 5- Monty Norman, composer who for 35 years has received credit and royalties for writing "The James Bond Theme" which first appeared in the Bond film DR. NO (1962), sues The Sunday Times (London) for libel over an October 1997 article claiming that the theme was actually written by composer John Barry who worked on the music and went on to write nine Bond soundtracks.
  • 5- The Actors Fund of America and Aid for AIDS announce that Lauren Bacall, sultry screen star of the 1940s, will receive the Fund's Julie Harris lifetime career achievement award on June 3.
  • 6- "Over the Rainbow," the Oscar-winning ballad first sung by Judy Garland in THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939), is named the top song of the 20th Century according to a list compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Also in the top five is Irving Berlin's Oscar-winning holiday classic "White Christmas", introduced by Bing Crosby in HOLIDAY INN (1942).
  • 6- Portia Nelson, a cabaret singer, songwriter, author and actress who appeared in a half-dozen motion pictures, including THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS (1966) and DOCTOR DOOLITTLE (1967), but whose most famous film role was that of Sister Berthe in THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), dies at age 80.
  • 7- Disney announces plans for a theatrical release of a sequel to its 1953 animated classic PETER PAN in the spring of 2002, as well as the company's intention to create sequels for more of its classic animated features including ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIANS (1961) and THE JUNGLE BOOK (1967).  The studio further announced plans to release SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937) this fall on DVD along with a Walt Disney Records release of the original soundtrack.
  • 9- Sotheby's auction house announces it will host an auction of furniture, books and theatrical mementos of Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson, both legends of British theatre who also made their marks on such films as THE HEIRESS (1949), JULIUS CAESAR (1953), and RICHARD III (1954), in London on April 5.
  • 9- The estate of Cowboy legends Roy Rogers and Dale Evans announces an auction of the couple's home in Apple Valley, CA as well as many of their furnishings and other personal belongings May 31 through April 1 to raise money for the family trust.
  • 13- ABC announces plans to develop a film about the life of 1930's screen sex pot Mae West (set to star country music star Dolly Parton) as well as a TV movie about the lives of classic movie comedy team Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, following the success of "Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows,'' the season's top-rated miniseries. 
  • 15- Ann Sothern, beautiful blonde singer and comedian who starred as the wisecracking "Maisie" is a series of movies in the 1940s and made further notable film appearances in PANAMA HATTIE (1942), A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1949), and THE BLUE GARDENIA (1953) before turning her attentions to television and later returning to the big screen in an Oscar-nominated performance in THE WHALES OF AUGUST (1987) with Bette Davis and Lillian Gish, dies of heart failure at 92.
  • 15- John Barry, Oscar-winning composer of such movie themes as BORN FREE (1966), testifies in a libel suit before the High Court in London that he wrote the James Bond theme tune which first appeared in DR. NO (1962) but entered into a secret agreement with the film's producers to credit composer Monty Norman, who was already under contract to score the film.
  • 18- Dick Jones, actor whose 55 year career has encompassed appearances in nearly 100 movies and more than 200 television productions, and who as a child provided the voice of Walt Disney's animated classic PINOCCHIO (1940), receives the 2001 Buffalo Bill Award for positive influence in the entertainment field, with a focus on western heritage.
  • 18- Ralph Thomas, veteran British director best known for his series of medical comedies between 1953 and 1970 known as the "Doctor" films, many of which starred British matinee idol Dirk Bogarde, dies at 85.
  • 19- American Movie Classics and online auctioneer announce plans for a live TV/Internet auction entitled ''Hollywood's Leading Men Memorabilia,'' to benefit Martin Scorsese's film preservation group, The Film Foundation, on July 12 in Los Angeles.
  • 19- Monty Norman, composer who for 35 years has received credit and royalties for writing "The James Bond Theme," is awarded £30,000 in damages after a libel suit in which he successfully fought off a newspaper claim that he had falsely taken the credit for the film anthem.
  • 21- Anthony Steel, British matinee idol of the early 1950s whose string of adventure films for the J. Arthur Rank studio included WHERE NO VULTURES FLY (1951), THE MALTA STORY (1953) and THE SEA SHALL NOT HAVE THEM (1954), dies at age 80.
  • 22- The Film Advisory Board honors Hollywood veteran and former MGM child star Mickey Rooney with its Award of Excellence at a ceremony at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel.
  • 22- William Hanna, pioneering animator who, with his partner Joseph Barbera, created hundreds of enduring animated characters such as Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, the Flintstones, Scooby Doo, and the Jetsons, dies at 90.
  • 23- Toby Wing, one of the original "Goldwyn Girls" (as the MGM stable of dancers were known) who appeared in almost 40 films during the decade of the 1930s, including such Busby Berkeley musicals as PALMY DAYS (1931) and 42ND STREET (1933), and was also one of the most popular pin-ups of World War II, dies at 85.
  • 24- Courtney Lemmon, daughter of Oscar-winning actor Jack Lemmon and his wife Felicia, marries Peter McCrea, son of the late classic actor Joel McCrea and his wife Frances Dee, at the San Ysidro Ranch in California.
  • 24- Johannes "Tambi" Larsen, Oscar-winning art director whose career included Oscar-nominated work on HUD (1963), THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD (1965), THE MOLLY MAGUIRES (1970) and THE ROSE TATTOO (1955) for which he  earned the Academy Award for black and white art direction, dies at age 86.
  • 25- Larry Lansburgh, credited with helping Disney Studios expand beyond cartoons in the 1940s and 1950s with his realistic docudramas, earning two Academy Awards for the live-action animal short WETBACK HOUND (1958) and feature-length documentary THE HORSE WITH THE FLYING TAIL (1961), dies at 89.
  • 27- Walter Craig, actor who under his stage name, Anthony Dexter, rocketed to fame when he was selected from 75,000 applicants to play Rudolph Valentino in the 1951 biopic VALENTINO, and later made about a dozen more screen appearances throughout the 1950s and '60s, dies at 88.
  • 28- Charmian Carr, Nicholas Hammond, Heather Menzies, Duane Chase, Angela Cartwright, Debbie Turner, and Kym Karath, the seven actors and actresses who played the Von Trapp children in THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), return to Salzburg together for the first time to film a documentary about the making of the legendary musical.
  • 31- The Directors Guild of America hosts a tribute to director/ producer Stanley Kramer (who died February 19), complete with film clips and guest speakers including Edie Adams, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney and Jonathan Winters.

April 2001:

  • 1- Representatives of the late Margaret Mitchell, famed author of the best-selling novel GONE WITH THE WIND which became an Oscar-winning motion picture in 1939, sue to block the publication of novelist Alice Randall's The Wind Done Gone, a satire of Mitchell's epic Civil War romance.
    The Stephens Mitchell Trusts accuse Randall of committing "wholesale theft of major characters,'' and hence, of violating copyright law.  The case is now pending before a federal judge in Atlanta.
  • 4- Jeanne Moreau, French movie idol whose forty years of acting credits include Francois Truffaut's JULES ET JIM (1961), turns her attention to directing for the first time in her career, making her directorial debut on the Lisbon production of "Wit," an American stage play about coming to terms with cancer.
  • 5- Christie's Auction House announces that Bette Davis' second Best Actress Oscar, won for her performance in JEZEBEL (1938), will be sold at a Hollywood memorabilia auction on July 19 which will also include other Davis items, including scripts, photos, books, cigarette lighters and clothing, as well as memorabilia from other Hollywood stars and films.  Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Bette Davis Foundation, which provides financial support for aspiring young actors.
  • 7- Elizabeth Taylor, two-time Oscar-winning actress, is honored by the Taos (New Mexico) Talking Pictures Festival with its Maverick Award for lifetime achievement for her career in film and work on behalf of humanitarian causes.
  • 7- Beatrice Straight, Oscar-winning actress who appeared in such films as PHONE CALL FROM A STRANGER (1952) and THE NUN'S STORY (1959) before earning an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress for her role in NETWORK (1976), dies at 86.
  • 9- Paul McCartney, singer-songwriter and member of the 1960s pop group The Beatles, attends a gala screening of the group's 1964 motion picture A HARD DAY'S NIGHT in Liverpool, England.  The film has been digitally re-mastered and is being re-released in theatres in Britain this month.
  • 10- Dimension Films announces that Marlon Brando, Oscar-winning star of ON THE WATERFRONT (1954) and A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951), is in negotiations to appear in the sequel to last summer's hit horror spoof SCARY MOVIE (2000), entitled SCARY MOVIE 2, for a reported $1 million salary.
  • 12- Marlon Brando, 77-year-old Oscar-winning actor, develops a case of pneumonia and is taken to a hospital, according to Daily Variety columnist Michael Fleming.
  • 15- Betty Lin, 11-year wife of crooner Eddie Fisher whose film appearances included BUNDLE OF JOY (1956) and BUTTERFIELD 8 (1960), dies of cancer.
  • 16- Jane Fonda, 63-year-old two-time Oscar winner and daughter of classic actor Henry Fonda, files for divorce from her husband, CNN founder Ted Turner, after eight years of marriage.
  • 18- Debbie Reynolds, 69-year-old MGM musical star, announces that her foundation expects to complete a deal this week which would obtain a new home for the actress' vast collection of movie memorabilia (including 3,000 costumes from films made from the Silent Era to the 1970s, as well as thousands of sets and pieces from those movies) which has been without a permanent museum space since her hotel and casino venture in Las Vegas went broke in 1997.  The deal would secure for the foundation the 20,000-square-foot top floor of a $500-million entertainment project now under construction on Hollywood Boulevard.
  • 19- Hal Haig Prieste, America's oldest Olympian, who won a bronze medal in platform diving at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics and also played an original Keystone Kop in 25 silent movies, dies at 104.
  • 19- George F. Slavin, Hollywood writer who authored 21 motion pictures under contract to MGM in the 1950s, including MYSTERY SUBMARINE (1950), THE NEVADAN (1950) and THE HALLIDAY BRAND (1957), dies at age 85.
  • 20- A Federal District Court in Atlanta grants an injunction blocking the imminent publication of "The Wind Done Gone," concluding that its author, Alice Randall, plagiarized from Margaret Mitchell's Civil War epic, "Gone With the Wind," which was adapted for the screen by David O. Selznick in a 1939 Best Picture starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. Judge Charles A. Pannell Jr. found that Ms. Randall borrowed 15 characters from Ms. Mitchell's book, along with many famous scenes and some dialogue. The book's publisher, Houghton Mifflin, said it would appeal the injunction.
  • 21- Jack Haley Jr., son of actor Jack Haley most famous for his role as the Lion in THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939), who directed THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! (1974) for which he assembled a roster of classic Hollywood stars including Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Stewart, Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor, to introduce vintage clips from legendary MGM musicals, dies at age 67.
  • 21- Jayne Meadows, actress who appeared in such films as ENCHANTMENT (1948) and DAVID AND BATHSHEBA (1951), is honored with her late husband, comedian Steve Allen, for her support of World Neighbors, an international agency that works with the rural poor in Asia, Latin America and Africa, at a banquet in Oklahoma City celebrating the organization's 50th anniversary.
  • 24- Dimension Films announces that 77-year-old classic actor Marlon Brando will not make a cameo appearance in SCARY MOVIE 2 (2001) due to illness.
  • 25- Director John Landis and his wife, costume designer Deborah Nadoolman, donate a rare poster from the 1933 movie KING KONG, believed to be one of only four copies remaining from the original release of the movie, to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • 26- French producer and distributor Marin Karmitz announces that Charlie Chaplin's children have sold world rights to 18 of his most famous films, including MODERN TIMES (1936) and THE GREAT DICTATOR (1940), to Karmitz and his firm M2K, who, under the deal, can distribute the films in any format they choose for 12 years starting January 1, 2002.
  • 27- Charlton Heston, Oscar-winning star of BEN-HUR (1959), cancels plans to receive a lifetime achievement award celebrating his film career at the annual Harvey Awards hosted by The Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Citing personal reasons, Heston pulled out of the tribute dinner and award ceremony which took place as planned, only without him.
  • 28- Ken Hughes, veteran screenwriter and director best known for CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG (1968), but who also directed CROMWELL (1970) and shared a best writing Emmy award in 1958 for the television movie "Eddie," starring Mickey Rooney, dies at 79. 
  • 29- THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer are reunited for the first time in 35 years in a live TV production of "On Golden Pond" for CBS.

May 2001:

  • 1- Daily Variety reports that Suzanne Pleshette, actress whose films in the 1960s included Alfred Hitchcock's THE BIRDS (1963) and Disney's THE UGLY DACHSHUND (1966), will marry fellow actor and longtime friend Tom Poston in New York on May 16.
  • 1- Glenn Ford, durable leading man for Columbia Pictures in the 1940s and '50s best known for his roles in noir classics and westerns including GILDA (1946), THE BIG HEAT (1953), BLACKBOARD JUNGLE (1955), 3:10 TO YUMA (1957) and CIMARRON (1960), celebrates his 85th birthday.
  • 7- Jane Fonda, 63-year-old two-time Oscar winning actress for KLUTE (1971) and COMING HOME (1978) and daughter of classic actor Henry Fonda with whom she appeared in ON GOLDEN POND (1981), is honored for her acting career by the Film Society of Lincoln Center at a gala in New York.
  • 7- Dimension Films announces that actor James Woods will take over for Marlon Brando in the cameo role of an exorcist in SCARY MOVIE 2 (2001), due to be released in July.
  • 9- Daily Variety reports that Oscar-winning director Billy Wilder is home after a brief hospital stay for pneumonia.
  • 10- Deborah Walley, blonde actress who succeeded Sandra Dee as Gidget in 1961's GIDGET GOES HAWAIIAN and made subsequent film appearances for Columbia Pictures and Disney in BON VOYAGE! (1962), SUMMER MAGIC (1963) and BEACH BLANKET BINGO (1965), dies at 57.
  • 10- Hume Cronyn, prolific film and television character actor of the 1940s, '50s and '60s, signs on to appear in the made-for-TV movie "Off Season" for Showtime, now filming in Vancouver.
  • 10- The Savannah Georgia Film & Video Festival announces it will present two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda with the festival's Lifetime Achievement
    Award on October 29.
  • 12- Perry Como, popular television and radio singer of the 1940s and '50s whose Hollywood film appearances included SOMETHING FOR THE BOYS (1944), DOLL FACE (1945), IF I'M LUCKY (1946) and WORDS AND MUSIC (1948), dies six days short of his 89th birthday.
  • 13- "Child Star, The Shirley Temple Story," a made-for-TV movie based on the autobiography of 1930s Hollywood icon Shirley Temple and on which the star served as a consultant, airs on ABC.
  • 14- Gwen Bagni Dubov, writer of numerous radio and television dramas in the 1940s and '50s who, with second husband, screenwriter Paul Dubovas, wrote the screenplay for WITH SIX YOU GET EGGROLL (1968), Doris Day's last film, dies at 88.
  • 15- A new study published in Annals of Internal Medicine says that actors
    who win Academy Awards live 3.9 years longer than their losing counterparts. Further, actors who have won more than once live up to six
    years longer than those who were nominated but never won. Dr. Donald Redelmeier, the lead author of the study, says the point of the study was to show that social factors are important, and mental well-being is related to physical health.  For Oscar winners, he says, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction is such that their souls becomes more resilient. 
  • 18- Maurice Noble, one of the most respected layout artists and designers in the history of American animation whose projects, first at Disney and later at Warner Bros., included SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937), PINOCCHIO (1940), FANTASIA (1940), DUMBO (1941), BAMBI (1942) as well as "Bully for Bugs," "Robin Hood Daffy," "What's Opera, Doc?" and "Duck Amuck," dies at 91.
  • 21- Charlton Heston, Oscar-winning star of BEN-HUR (1959), is elected to an unprecedented fourth term as president of the 4.3-million-member National Rifle Association.
  • 23- Harry Townes, Broadway, stage and film actor whose movie appearances included THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV (1958) and SANCTUARY (1961), dies at age 86.
  • 23- Miramax's Dimension Films announces it has cut a deal with RKO Pictures for the rights to remake Alfred Hitchcock's SUSPICION (1941) which originally starred Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine.
  • 23- Tony Curtis, 75-year-old star of SOME LIKE IT HOT (1953), starts rehearsal for his role in a musicalized stage version of the film which opens at the Aladdin in Las Vegas on July 27, 2002.  Curtis will play Osgood Fielding III, the Joe E. Brown role from the film, which in the stage play involves singing and dancing.
  • 25- A federal appeals court lifts a lower court's injunction against publication of Alice Randall's "The Wind Done Gone,'' a parody of Margaret Mitchell's Civil War classic "Gone With the Wind" which Mitchell's estate had claimed violated the copyright of the 1937 novel.  Publisher Houghton Mifflin said they would get the book out as quickly as possible, planning an initial run of 25,000 copies.
  • 25- Variety reports that Oscar-winning actor Gregory Peck, is set to undergo a second cataract surgery in the near future and is also recuperating from a sprained ankle and bone chip suffered in a recent fall.
  • 25- Jack Lemmon, 75-year-old two-time Oscar winning actor, undergoes surgery to remove an inflamed gall bladder while already hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center recovering from pneumonia.  Lemmon is expected to recover from both aliments, according to a report in Variety
  • 26- Julie Harris, Oscar-nominated film and stage actress whose movie work includes THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING (1952), EAST OF EDEN (1955) and THE HAUNTING (1963), is admitted to St. Francis Hospital with an undisclosed illness after being found semiconscious in her Chicago apartment.
  • 29- Bob Hope, vaudeville, television and movie comic who starred with Bing Crosby in a string of highly successful "road movies," celebrates his 98th birthday at home with friends and family in Los Angeles on what county supervisors officially declared "Bob Hope Day" in honor of his birth.
  • 29- Guernsey's auction house announces plans to auction off a six-page, 36-panel storyboard from 1928 drawn for the Walt Disney cartoon "Plane
    Crazy" and featuring the first appearance of Mickey Mouse on June 8.  The storyboard is estimated to be worth more than $3 million. 
  • 30- A spokeswoman for St. Francis Hospital announces that Julie Harris, 75-year-old Oscar nominee for THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING (1952), is "stable and improving" four days after being admitted for treatment of a still-undisclosed illness which has been described to the press only as "not life-threatening."
  • 30- Arlene Francis, radio, stage and movie actress whose film appearances included ALL MY SONS (1948), ONE, TWO THREE (1961) and THE THRILL OF IT ALL (1963), but who was best known for her 25 year run as a panelist on TV's "What's My Line?," dies at age 93.
  • 31- Lawyers for the estate of GONE WITH THE WIND author Margaret Mitchell ask a federal appeals court to overturn a ruling that permitted the publication of Alice Randall's "The Wind Done Gone," a parody of the classic civil war epic.  If the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refuses to hear the case, it will likely be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

June 2001:

  • 1- Russell M. Saunders, world-class acrobat who worked as a stunt double in more than 100 motion pictures including for Alan Ladd in the classic fight scene of SHANE (1953) and for Robert Cummings jumping off a 60-foot bridge and swimming 100 yards while handcuffed in SABOTEUR (1942), dies at 82.
  • 2- Pilar Seurat, dancer and actress who portrayed beauties in several films during the 1960s but was most famous for her role as Louisa Escalante in THE YOUNG SAVAGES (1961), dies of lung cancer at 62.
  • 3- Anthony Quinn, rugged Mexican actor whose six-decade career in films included almost 130 movies, two Oscars as Best Supporting Actor (in 1952 for VIVA ZAPATA! and in for LUST FOR LIFE) and a career-defining role in ZORBA THE GREEK (1964), dies at 86.
  • 5- Martin Scorsese, director of TAXI DRIVER (1976) and RAGING BULL (1980), announces a joint campaign with TV manufacturer Philips Consumer Electronics to promote widescreen movie images, preserving films in their original proportions instead of formatting them for television.  Since the mid-1950s, most U.S. films have shown in theaters in widescreen format, with the image typically ranging from 1.85 to 2.35 times wider than it is tall.  But when those films air on television or are viewed on most VHS tapes, they are cropped to fit TV screens, which are only 1.33 times wider than they are tall.  The goal of the campaign is to educate the public to the reality that they're losing half the image, and thereby promote "letterboxed" format movies and high-definition projection televisions which better accommodate widescreen films.
  • 7- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirms that the 74th Annual Academy Awards will be presented next year at the new Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.  The Kodak Theatre will be the tenth different venue in which the Oscars have been presented over the course of its history, and this will be the first time since 1960 that the presentation will take place in Hollywood proper. 
  • 8- Frances Langford, 87-year-old singer-actress whose films of the 1930s and '40s include EVERY NIGHT AT EIGHT (1935), BORN TO DANCE (1936) and YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942), is warned by code enforcement officials in Martin County, Florida to keep her more than 100 wild peacocks on her 57-acre spread and off her neighbors' property.  The warning has sparked a city debate between residents who dislike the birds and others who defend them.
  • 8- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces plans for a TV special themed around the Academy's music winners from its earliest days.  The special will air sometime in November.
  • 8- Julie Harris, five-time Tony-winning actress and Oscar nominee for THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING (1952), is transferred from a hospital in Chicago to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where she will continue to undergo evaluation and therapy for a moderate stroke suffered before a performance of Claudia Allen's "Fossils" in which she was appearing.  She is expected to return home within the next few weeks.
  • 12- American Film Institute announces its list of the 100 most thrilling movies topped by Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO (1960), followed by JAWS (1975) and THE EXORCIST (1973).  Director Hitchcock has nine films on the list including two more in the top ten: NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) at #4, and THE BIRDS (1963) at #7.
  • 13- Fleischer Studios and Mainframe Entertainment, a leading creator of computer animation for TV, announce plans for a new cartoon series to feature classic comic character Betty Boop whose original animation series ended in 1939 after 118 segments.
  • 14- The Carnforth Railway Trust announces plans to restore Carnforth station in Lancashire, northern England where star-crossed lovers Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard met in the British romance classic BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1945).  The station will be renovated and a recreation of the film set should be complete by next year.
  • 16- Tippi Hedren, star of Hitchcock's THE BIRDS (1963) and MARNIE (1964), receives a Fellow award from the Los Angeles Zoo for her dedication to international conservation.
  • 16- Joe Darion, Tony-award winning lyricist for the musical MAN OF LA MANCHA (and its famous ballad "The Impossible Dream") which opened on Broadway in 1965 and became a film starring Peter O'Toole in 1973, dies at age 90. 
  • 21- Carroll O'Connor, actor whose early film appearances included LONELY ARE THE BRAVE (1963), CLEOPATRA (1963) and HAWAII (1966), but who was best known as TV's Archie Bunker on "All in the Family" from 1971-1979, dies of a heart attack at age 76.
  • 22- Billy Wilder, Oscar-winning director and screenwriter of such films as DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944), SUNSET BLVD. (1950) and SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959), celebrates his 95th birthday.
  • 23- Corinne Calvet, actress in a number of film comedies and dramas of the 1950s including ON THE RIVIERA (1951), SAILOR BEWARE (1951) with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, WHAT PRICE GLORY? (1952), SO THIS IS PARIS (1954) and THE FAR COUNTRY (1954), dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 75.
  • 27- Jack Lemmon, two-time Oscar-winning comic and dramatic actor whose more than 60 films included MR. ROBERTS (1955), SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959), THE APARTMENT (1960), THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES (1962), UNDER THE YUM YUM TREE (1963), and THE ODD COUPLE (1968), dies of complications from cancer at age 76.
  • 28- Joan Sims, British actress and comedienne who appeared in 24 of the 31 films of the classic slapstick series "Carry On" from 1957 to 1978, dies at 71.
  • 29- Daily Variety reports that Betty Hutton, musical star of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN (1950), is seriously ill and undergoing tests at the Motion Picture & TV Hospital.

July 2001:

  • 2- Jack Gwillim, British stage and film actor who had small roles in such motion pictures as LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) and PATTON (1970), dies at 91.
  • 5- A.D. Flowers, Oscar-winning special effects artist who contributed to such 1970s blockbusters as TORA! TORA! TORA! (1970), THE GODFATHER (1972) and THE TOWERING INFERNO (1974), dies of complications of emphysema and pneumonia at age 84.
  • 6- Tombstone, Arizona, the setting of several memorable westerns about its famous sheriff Wyatt Earp, including MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946) and GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL (1957), hosts its first annual Tombstone Western Film Festival.
  • 15- Ted Berman, longtime animator and director of Disney cartoons ranging from BAMBI (1942) and FANTASIA (1940) to THE BLACK CAULDRON (1985), dies at the age of 81.
  • 16- Vincent Sherman, longtime Warner Bros. director whose films include MR. SKEFFINGTON (1944), THE DAMNED DON'T CRY (1950) and THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS (1959), celebrates his 95th birthday. 
  • 18- Katharine Hepburn, four-time Oscar-winning actress, is admitted to Hartford Hospital with an undisclosed illness.
  • 19- Katharine Hepburn, 94-year-old Hollywood icon, is reported to be in stable condition at Hartford Hospital where she undergoes test and, according to a hospital spokesperson, is expected to be released in the next two or three days. 
  • 19- Jules Buck, cameraman and eventual producer whose partnership with actor Peter O'Toole brought to the screen such films as BECKET (1964), WHAT'S NEW, PUSSYCAT? (1965) and THE LION IN WINTER (1968), dies in Paris of complications from Alzheimer's disease at age 83.
  • 21- Norman Hall Wright, Disney animator and the last surviving writer to work on the studio's groundbreaking FANTASIA (1940) for which he developed the story of "The Nutcracker Suite" sequence, dies at 91.
  • 25- CBS announces plans for an "'I Love Lucy' 50th Anniversary Special" to be aired in October.
  • 25- Jerry Lewis, 75-year-old comedian most famous for his films opposite Dean Martin, announces he will cut back the hours he spends hosting his annual Labor Day Telethon benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association because he is still recuperating from a recent bout with pneumonia. 
  • 26- Katharine Hepburn, veteran Hollywood actress, is released from the hospital.
  • 27- Charlton Heston, Oscar-winning star of BEN-HUR (1959), writes a letter to the Omaha World-Herald voicing his opposition to a plan by the city's nursing college to demolish the Indian Hills Theater, the world's largest Cinerama theater, and turn it into a parking lot. Kirk Douglas, Janet Leigh, Patricia Neal and movie critic Leonard Maltin are among the other Hollywood figures who have asked that the theater be saved.
  • 27- Bob Rehme, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, announces plans for a a museum-type exhibition at its new facility
    the subject of which will be the history of the Hollywood blacklist.  The exhibit is schedule to run from February through March 2002.
  • 29- Alex Nicol, character actor whose more than 40 film appearances included roles in STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND (1955) and THE MAN FROM LARAMIE (1955) as well as some spaghetti Westerns and science fiction films, dies at age 85.

August 2001:

  • 3- The Writers Guild of America, in an informal survey conducted by the Library of America, ranks CITIZEN KANE (1941) at the top of their list of the best screenplay of all time.  Other classic screenplays on the list include those from CASABLANCA (1942) (#2), ALL ABOUT EVE (1950) (#5), SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) (#6), and SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950) (#7).
  • 3- Christopher Hewett, British-born stage actor whose film appearances included roles in POOL OF LONDON (1951), THE LAVENDER HILL MOB (1951) and THE PRODUCERS (1968), but who was best known to American audiences as the English butler on TV's "Mr. Belvedere," dies at age 80.
  • 5- William Warfield, 81-year-old stage and screen star most famous for singing "Old Man River" in MGM's 1951 version of SHOW BOAT, narrates a stage version of the production at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
  • 6- Dame Dorothy Tutin, longtime British film and stage actress whose movie appearances included roles in THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (1952), A TALE OF TWO CITIES (1958) and CROMWELL (1970), dies of leukemia at age 70.
  • 6- Lucille Ball, classic film comedienne who was most famous for her 1950s TV sitcom "I Love Lucy," is honored by the United States Postal Service's Legends of Hollywood stamp series with a first class stamp. 
  • 8- Esther Williams, champion-swimmer-turned-actress whose numerous in-and-under water films for MGM include MILLION DOLLAR MERMAID (1952) and DANGEROUS WHEN WET (1953), celebrates her 80th birthday with friends at her home in Beverly Hills.  Williams fell and fractured an ankle on Mother's Day and then spent a month in the hospital recovering from an infection caused by the metal plates inserted to support the fracture. Finally home and on her way to recovery, Williams is still using a wheelchair but has begun rehabbing with a walker.
  • 9- Art Seid, television and motion picture editor whose various film credits include work on "The Three Stooges" films as well as LOST HORIZON (1937), dies at 87.
  • 11- Lester Pine, television and film writer who, with his late wife, Tina, wrote such films as A MAN CALLED ADAM (1966), POPI (1969) and CLAUDINE (1974), dies of prostate cancer at 84.
  • 13- Jack Lemmon, two-time Oscar-winning actor who died June 27, is remembered by friends and colleagues at a memorial service and celebration of his life and career in the theater at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.
  • 16- Dave Barry, well-known Los Vegas comedian and whose best known film work was his performance as Beinstock, the manager of 'Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopaters' in SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959), dies of cancer at age 82.
  • 20- Kim Stanley, lauded Broadway stage actress whose few but memorable film contributions included roles in THE GODDESS (1958) and SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON (1964) as well as the role of the narrator in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962), dies at 76.
  • 20- Walter Reed, longtime Hollywood character actor whose almost 100 film appearances included roles in THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY (1954) and TORA! TORA! TORA! (1970), but who was best known for his movie and television westerns including such John Ford classics as THE HORSE SOLDIERS (1959) and CHEYENNE AUTUMN (1964), dies of kidney failure at 85.
  • 23- Leni Riefenstahl, German filmmaker and Nazi-era propagandist best known for the classic 1934 Nazi documentary TRIUMPH OF WILL, celebrates her 99th birthday in Berlin.
  • 23- Dimension Films and RKO Pictures announce that Philip Kaufman will direct and playwright John Guare will write a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's SUSPICION (1941) which will be updated and reset in San Francisco.
  • 23- Kathleen Freeman, veteran television, movie and stage actress whose many film credits include a role as Jean Hagen's frustrated voice teacher in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) as well as 10 films with comedian Jerry Lewis, dies of lung cancer at 82.
  • 23- Jane Greer, sultry brunette star of over a dozen RKO programmers in the late 1940s including such noted film-noir thrillers as OUT OF THE PAST (1947) and THE BIG STEAL (1949), both co-starring Robert Mitchum, dies of cancer at age 76.
  • 25- John Chambers, Oscar-winning makeup artist who earned an honorary Academy Award for his work developing a new kind of foam rubber which he used to create the masks for the original PLANET OF THE APES (1968), dies of complications from diabetes at age 78.
  • 26- Bob Hope, 98-year-old comedian and film star, is admitted to Providence St. Joseph Medical Center after complaining of trouble breathing.
  • 30- Julie Bishop, actress who began her film career as a child star in silent movies and went on to make over 80 films, playing roles opposite Humphrey Bogart in ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC (1943) and John Wayne in SANDS OF IWO JIMA (1949) and THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY (1954), dies of pneumonia on her 87th birthday.

September 2001:

  • 3-Pauline Kael, longtime film critic for The New Yorker known for her sharp, provocative and funny reviews, dies at the age of 82.
  • 3- Troy Donahue, blond-haired, blue-eyed movie heartthrob of the 1950's and 60's who became a teen idol after playing Sandra Dee's lover in A SUMMER PLACE (1959), dies of a heart attack at 65.
  • 3- Bob Hope is responding well to treatment for his case of mild pneumonia but will remain in the hospital a few days longer in order to help him regain his strength, according to a statement by his physician.
  • 3- Jane Russell, 80-year-old buxom 1950s film musical and comedy star, makes an appearance at the Cinecon film festival in Los Angeles, coinciding with a screening of her 1952 comedy with
  • 4- Jerry Lewis, film comedian and long-time supporter of the Muscular
    Dystrophy Association, headlines the organizations 36th annual Telethon which raises a record $56.8 million to fight neuromuscular diseases.
  • 4- The American Film Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the heritage of film and television and increasing recognition and understanding of the moving image as an art form, announces it will hold its inaugural film and TV awards show on January 5, 2002 on CBS, two weeks before the Golden Globes on NBC and less than two months before the Academy Awards on ABC.
  • 4- Julie Andrews, Oscar-winning star of such blockbuster musicals as MARY POPPINS (1964) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), will receive a lifetime achievement award at Spain's San Sebastian International Film Festival, which runs September 20-29.
  • 4- Julie Andrews, British-born, Oscar and Tony-winning film and stage musical star, will be among the five honorees at the 2001 honors from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, according to an announcement by Kennedy Center Chairman James A. Johnson.
  • 6- Daily Variety reports that Julie Andrews has signed a deal with HarperCollins Publishers for her own imprint of children's books, "The Julie Andrews Collection."
  • 6- Bob Hope returns home from Providence St. Joseph Medical Center where he had been recuperating from pneumonia.
  • 7- Elia Kazan, Oscar-winning director of such classic films as A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN (1945), GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT (1947) and ON THE WATERFRONT (1954), celebrates his 92nd birthday.
  • 10- Kevin Spacey, Oscar-winning actor for AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999), purchases an Oscar statuette presented in 1945 to composer George Stoll for ANCHORS AWAY and returns it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Academy Foundation.
  • 13- Dorothy McGuire, reliable leading lady of the 1940s and '50s best known for playing steadfast mothers in such films as A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN (1945), FRIENDLY PERSUASION (1956), OLD YELLER (1957) and SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1960), dies at age 83 of complications from arrhythmia resulting from a broken leg suffered three weeks earlier.
  • 15- Fred De Cordova, film and television director of the 1950s and '60s whose credits include BEDTIME FOR BONZO (1951) with Ronald Reagan, but who was best known as the long-time producer of "The Tonight Show" for Johnny Carson, dies at age 90.
  • 16- Samuel Z. Arkoff, movie mogul whose company, American International Pictures (AIP), was responsible for hundreds of low-budget teen movies of the 1950s, '60s and '70s, including I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF (1957), BEACH PARTY (1963), and BLACULA (1972), dies at 83.
  • 20- Warner Bros. announces it will release a digitally enhanced version of Stanley Kubrick's classic science-fiction film 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968) in movie theaters in Seattle, San Francisco, Hollywood and Washington, D.C. this October.
  • 21- Gerald Mayer, nephew of MGM founder Louis B. Mayer and himself a successful film and television producer and director whose feature film work included such films DIAL 1119 (1950), INSIDE STRAIGHT (1951), HOLIDAY FOR SINNERS (1952) and BRIGHT ROAD (1953),  dies of complications of pneumonia at 82.
  • 25- U.S. President George W. Bush gives Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi a poster from the western classic HIGH NOON (1952) after Koizumi told Bush at Camp David in June that HIGH NOON was his favorite movie, and that he felt like Gary Cooper's character when it came to public support among the Japanese people for his economic reform plan.
  • 25- A special 60th anniversary two-disc DVD edition of Orson Welles' CITIZEN KANE (1941), complete with extras such as the documentary "The Battle Over 'Citizen Kane'" and the 1941 newsreel of the film's New York premiere, is release by Warner Home Videos.
  • 25- Evan A. Lottman, film editor whose first feature film job was editing the montages of pool scenes in THE HUSTLER (1961) and who later earned an Academy Award nomination for editing THE EXORCIST (1973), dies of esophageal cancer at age 70.
  • 25- William Hitz, federal prosecutor in the late 1940s and early 1950s during the contempt of Congress trials of the so-called "Hollywood 10" (a group of film industry professionals who refused to answer questions before the House Committee on Un-American Activities), dies of congestive heart failure at 92.
  • 26- Raquel Welch, whose fur-bikinied appearance in ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. (1966) led to a film career and who recently celebrated her 61st birthday, says it's ridiculous to be called a sex symbol at her age: "You can be a legitimate sex symbol up 'til the age of 35 and then after that you
    just can't take that seriously."
  • 27- Taking a cue from the post-Pearl Harbor Academy Awards ceremony of 1942, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announces that stars will dress in business attire instead of formal wear when television's Emmy Awards, which were postponed after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., are belatedly presented on October 7.
  • 29- Dan Cushman, prolific fiction writer whose dozens of books included a 1953 novel entitled Stay Away, Joe which was made into a 1968 movie starring Elvis Presley, dies at 92.

October 2001:

  • 3- Rose Marie, radio, film and television actress who began her career as "Baby Rose Marie" on radio in the 1920s, became a child film star in the early 1930s, and is now best known for her roles on TV's "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "Hollywood Squares" in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • 3- The International Federation of Film Archives names director Martin Scorsese the first recipient of its award for film preservation.
  • 6- Ann Miller, 78-year-old dancing star of such classic movie musicals as ON THE TOWN (1949) and KISS ME KATE (1953), attends the New York premier of her first feature film since 1956, MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001), in which she plays "a ditsy landlady."
  • 6- Elizabeth Taylor, Oscar-winning leading lady, leads the dedication of the Roddy McDowall Rose Garden at the Motion Picture & Television Fund's Woodland Hills Country House & Hospital's grounds as part of the fund's 80th anniversary commemoration.  The garden was given in memory of McDowall, child star of HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941) who went on to appear in over 100 films before succumbing to cancer in 1998.
  • 7- Polly Rowles, theatre and television character actress who began her acting career in the 1930s in Hollywood, appearing in such films for Universal as LOVE LETTERS OF A STAR (1936),  WINGS OVER HONOLULU (1937) and SPRINGTIME IN THE ROCKIES (1937) with Gene Autry, dies at age 87.
  • 7- PBS opens the 16th season of its "American Masters" series with the documentary "American Masters: Samuel Goldwyn" about the legendary Hollywood producer of such films as WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939), MRS. MINIVER (1942) and THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946).
  • 9- Herbert Ross, Broadway choreographer-turned-film director whose movies included such latter-day classics as GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS (1969) with Peter O'Toole, THE SUNSHINE BOYS (1975) with Walter Matthau and George Burns, and STEEL MAGNOLIAS (1989) with Shirley MacLaine, dies of heart failure at age 74.
  • 9- Joe Lubin, television and film songwriter who wrote titles songs for several Doris Day films including TEACHER'S PET (1958), PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES (1960), MOVE OVER, DARLING (1963) and THE GLASS BOTTOM BOAT (1966), dies at 84.
  • 9- Paramount releases "The Godfather DVD Collection," a set of five discs including the three films, THE GODFATHER (1972), THE GODFATHER, PART II (1974) and THE GODFATHER, PART III (1990), and a disc of special features including the documentary "The Godfather Family: A Look Inside" with director Francis Ford Coppola.
  • 9- Disney releases a 2-disc special edition DVD of SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937), featuring a restored print of the film, unused scenes and songs, and a documentary, "Still the Fairest of Them All: The Making of Snow White."
  • 12- Ruth Goetz, playwright who collaborated with her husband Augustus Goetz on the 1947 play "The Heiress" and the screenplay for the subsequent 1949 film starring Olivia de Havilland, dies at age 93.
  • 15- Janet Shaw, young blond actress who appeared in some 60 films during the 1930s and 1940s, mostly in secondary parts in such Warner Bros. films as JEZEBEL (1938), THE SISTERS (1938) and THE OLD MAID (1939) before moving on to other studios in the 1940s, dies of complications from Alzheimer's disease at 82.
  • 16- Etta Jones, highly respected jazz singer of the 1950s and '60s who began her career as a member of "The Dandridge Sisters" (co-starring Vivien and Dorothy Dandridge) which made appearances in such films as IT CAN'T LAST FOREVER (1937) and IRENE (1940), dies of cancer at age 72.
  • 17- Heirs of Bing Crosby, the late Oscar-winning Hollywood actor and crooner who died in 1977, file a lawsuit in Superior Court against Universal Music Group accusing the company of underpaying royalties on Crosby's recordings.  Crosby did most of his recording for Decca Records from the 1930s through the 1960s, and Decca subsequently was acquired by MCA and Universal Music.  A hearing is set for November 5.
  • 17- Jay Livingston, composer and lyricist who collaborated with Ray Evans on three Academy Award-winning songs, "Buttons and Bows" from THE PALEFACE (1948), "Mona Lisa" from CAPTAIN CAREY, U.S.A. (1950) and "Que Será, Será" sung by Doris Day in THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1954), as well as "Tammy" from TAMMY AND THE BACHELOR (1957) which became a hit
    recording for Debbie Reynolds and "Silver Bells" sung by Bob Hope in THE LEMON DROP KID (1951), dies at 86.
  • 18- Paul Radin, movie industry advertising executive who created ad campaigns for such films as IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) and THE OUTLAW (1943), and later turned to producing, earning an Oscar for BORN FREE (1966), dies of congestive heart failure at age 88.
  • 19- The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), an organization chartered in 1919 for the purpose of advancing the art of narrative filmmaking and whose membership has always been by invitation only (based on an inductee's body of work), announces plans to spend $8 million for a museum celebrating the history of film. The museum, which will house donated movie memorabilia, scripts and old photographs, will be built around an historic clubhouse in Hollywood and will feature a state-of-the-art screening room.
  • 22- Diana van der Vlis, blonde stage and screen actress whose films included THE INCIDENT (1967) and MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES (1963), dies at 66.
  • 23- Myriad Pictures announces plans to finance, produce and distribute a new romantic comedy called WHY CAN'T I BE AUDREY HEPBURN in which Jennifer Love Hewitt will play a successful news anchorwoman who's obsessed with the legendary actress.  The film is set to be released in 2002.
  • 23- Charlie Chaplin's cane will be among the items auctioned by Butterfield's on November 6, according to a statement by the auction house.
  • 26- Eugene Jackson, former afro-haired child star who played "Pineapple" in the classic 1920s silent comedy series "Our Gang'' (renamed "The Little Rascals'' for television in the 1950s) and went on to appear in numerous films of the 1930s and '40s including CIMARRON (1931), dies of a heart attack at 84.
  • 27- Adrian Weiss, producer and director of such cult classic horror films as BRIDE OF THE GORILLA (1951) and THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST (1958), dies at age 83.
  • 30- Charlton Heston, Oscar-winning star of BEN-HUR (1959), begins filming a new low-budget picture about Nazi fugitive Josef Mengele (known as the "angel of death'' for his cruel experiments at Auschwitz) who escaped to South America after World War II.  Production is underway in the Brazilian rainforest and the final film is set to debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002.
  • 30- John Springer, Hollywood publicist who represented a galaxy of stars during the 1950s and '60s (including Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton) and later became a prolific film history author, penning "All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing! a Pictorial History of the Movie Musical" among others, dies at age 85.
  • 31- Heirs of legendary film producer David O. Selznick file suit in U.S. District Court against Turner Entertainment Co. (owned by AOL Time Warner), seeking unpaid profits of about $10 million from Turner based on the heirs' collective 5% interest in GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), the most commercially successful movie of all time.
  • 31- Richard Martin Stern, award-winning author whose book "The Tower" was a basis for the 1974 movie THE TOWERING INFERNO, dies

November 2001:

  • 2- Tom Dardis, biographer who documented the lives of Hollywood's literary and film greats, writing biographies of silent-movie comedians Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd as well as "Some Time in the Sun: The Hollywood Years of F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Nathanael West, Aldous Huxley and James Agee" (1976), dies of respiratory failure at 78.
  • 5- Roy Boulting, English film producer who, with his twin brother John, produced such classic postwar British films as BRIGHTON ROCK (1947), SEVEN DAYS TO NOON (1950) and I'M ALL RIGHT, JACK (1959) starring Peter Sellers, and who was also married to former child star Hayley Mills from 1971-1976, dies at age 86.
  • 6- Anthony Shaffer, English playwright known for his mystery thrillers who also wrote film scripts for Alfred Hitchcock's FRENZY (1972) as well as three Agatha Christie movies -- MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974), DEATH ON THE NILE (1978) and EVIL UNDER THE SUN (1983) -- dies at 75.
  • 8- Carol Channing, legendary Broadway musical star whose film appearances have included THE FIRST TRAVELING SALESLADY (1956) and THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE (1967), falls during a dress rehearsal for an Actors Fund benefit and is treated for a fractured thumb facial contusions before returning to the show.  Channing is currently finishing her autobiography for Simon & Schuster.
  • 9- The City of Hollywood, California opens a $615 million economic revival project called "Hollywood & Highland" which includes the Kodak Theatre (the new home of the Academy Awards), dozens of high-end shops and restaurants, and a working TV film studio, all in an attempt to boost tourism.
  • 10- Ken Kesey, author of the novel "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" whose 1975 film adaptation, starring Jack Nicholson, won 5 Academy Awards including the Oscar for Best Picture, dies of liver cancer at 66.
  • 13- Peggy Mount, formidable British stage and screen actress whose noted film appearances included roles in SAILOR BEWARE! (1955), THE NAKED TRUTH (1957), HOTEL PARADISO (1966) and OLIVER! (1968), dies at age 85.
  • 14- The American Film Institute, which sponsored 1998's 100 Greatest Movies list and 1999's 50 Greatest Stars vote, announces a new competition to choose the 100 Greatest Love Stories. AFI has sent a list of 400 films (made before 2001) to its 1,800 voters, including leaders in the film community, critics, studio executives and historians.  The results will be
    announced on a 3-hour television special, "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions," set to air on CBS in June 2002.
  • 15- London theatre producers announce plans for a musical stage adaptation of CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG based on the children's book by James Bond creator Ian Fleming and the 1968 film featuring original songs by Disney songwriters Robert and Richard Sherman.  The new show will debut in London next year.
  • 17- Harry Belafonte, 74-year-old singer and film actor, participates in a peace walk through an inner-city Cincinnati neighborhood marred by three days of rioting in the city in April.
  • 19-  A host of stars including Alec Baldwin, Matt Damon, Kevin Kline, Brian Dennehy, Morgan Freeman, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman perform a dramatization of Ernest Hemingway's "Nick Adams" at Lincoln Center, raising more than $1 million for Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camps.
  • 20- Christopher Lee, 79-year-old British actor whose film appearances have included roles in THE HORROR OF DRACULA (1958), THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (1959) and RASPUTIN: THE MAD MONK (1966), is awarded the title Commander of the British Empire by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
  • 22- Michael St. Clair, character actor whose supporting roles in the 1960s included appearances in such films as MY FAIR LADY (1964), VON RYAN'S EXPRESS (1965) and OUR MAN FLINT (1965), dies of an aneurism at age 79.
  • 23- Gregory Peck, Oscar-winning star of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) and honorary chairman of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles' Literary Odyssey Dinners, helps raise $350,000 for adult literacy programs at the Los Angeles Public Library.
  • 24- NBC airs the perennial holiday favorite, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946).
  • 24- Liza Minnelli, 55-year-old Oscar-winning star of CABARET (1972), announces plans to marry producer David Gest in New York in March.
  • 27- Kino Home Video releases THE BLUE ANGEL (1930) in both the English and German versions on DVD. Special features include Marlene Dietrich's screen test for the film.
  • 27- John Mitchum, Hollywood character actor and brother of the late star Robert Mitchum who appeared in dozens of films and television shows including THE WAY WEST (1967) with Robert, dies at 82.
  • 28- George Harrison, guitarist for the smash British rock band "The Beatles" who appeared in such films as A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (1964) and HELP! (1965), dies of cancer at age 58.
  • 28- Daily Variety reports that Esther Williams, MGM's most frequently wet classic film star, has suffered "a tiny stroke" but is recovering well.
  • 29- Budd Boetticher, maverick Hollywood director best known for his 1950s westerns (often starring Randolph Scott) including THE TALL T (1957), DECISION AT SUNDOWN (1957) and BUCHANON RIDES ALONE (1958), dies at age 85.

December 2001:

  • 1- Danilo Donti, Oscar-winning costume designer for Fellini's CASANOVA (1976) and Zeffirelli's ROMEO AND JULIET (1968) and Benigni's LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL (1997), dies at age 75.
  • 2- Julie Andrews, Oscar-winning star of such classic musicals as MARY POPPINS (1964) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), is feted by Carole Burnett, Robert Goulet and President George W. Bush among others, at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington D.C..
  • 3- Claire Bloom, veteran British actress whose numerous film appearances include RICHARD II (1954), THE BUCCANEER (1958) and THE HAUNTING (1963), begins filming BOOK OF EVE, a drama based on the 1973 novel by Montreal author Constance Beresford Howe.
  • 4- Deanna Durbin, teen star of such classic musicals as THREE SMART GIRLS (1936) and MAD ABOUT MUSIC (1938), celebrates her 80th birthday.
  • 5- Fred Engel, film producer of such classic 1960s westerns as DUEL AT DIABLO (1966) and WILL PENNY (1968), dies of complications from hydrocephalus at 71.
  • 5- The Walt Disney Company celebrates what would have been the 100th birthday of company founder Walt Disney with parades, a fireworks show, and a star-studded party at Walt Disney World in Florida, including a special appearance by MARY POPPINS (1964) star, Julie Andrews.
  • 7- Pauline Moore, actress whose 25 films between 1937 and 1941 included roles as Charlie Chan's sidekick, Roy Rogers' leading lady and Shirley Temple's school teacher, dies of Lou Gehrig's disease at age 87.
  • 7- Faith Hubley, three-time Oscar-winning animator who, with her husband and partner John, earned Academy Awards for MOONBIRD (1959), THE HOLE (1962) and HERB ALPERT AND THE TIJUANA BRASS DOUBLE FEATURE (1966), all independent animated films, dies at 77.
  • 9- Kirk Douglas, three-time Oscar-nominated actor and star of such classic films as CHAMPION (1949) and SPARTACUS (1960), celebrates his 85th birthday.
  • 10- Tommy Kirk, former Disney child stars whose film appearances have included OLD YELLER (1957), THE SHAGGY DOG (1959) and SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1960), celebrates his 60th birthday.
  • 10- Kirk Douglas, Oscar-nominated star of CHAMPION (1949), THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952) and SPARTACUS (1960), confirms production of a new film project called SMACK ON THE PUSS, a black comedy about three generations of a dysfunctional New York family set to star Douglas alongside his son Michael and grandson Cameron.
  • 10- Paul Newman, Oscar-winning star of THE HUSTLER (1961) and COOL HAND LUKE (1967), enters negotiations to play the lead role in EMPIRE FALLS, based on the novel by Richard Russo who also wrote NOBODY'S FOOL (1994) for which Newman earned his ninth Best Actor Oscar nomination.
  • 11- Billy Wilder, 95-year-old Oscar-winning writer-director of such films as SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950) and THE APARTMENT (1960), is admitted to a hospital and undergoes treatment for a urinary infection.  According to his wife, Audrey, the infection was not believed to be serious and he was expected home soon.
  • 11- Rita Moreno, Oscar-winning star of such classic musicals as THE KING AND I (1956) and WEST SIDE STORY (1961), celebrates her 70th birthday.
  • 13- Joan Fontaine, 84-year-old Oscar-winning star of SUSPICION (1941) and REBECCA (1940), announces plans to appear in RIKKI, a new feature film planned as a vehicle for Animal Rights Awareness.
  • 14- Patty Duke, former child star best know for her role as Helen Keller in THE MIRACLE WORKER (1962) and for her TV series "The Patty Duke Show," celebrates her 55th birthday.
  • 18- The National Film Preservation Board announces the addition of 25 films to the National Film Registry, its list of "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" films to be preserved by the Library of Congress.  The list for 2001 includes such classics as ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948), ALL THE KING'S MEN (1949), IT (1927), William Wyler's documentary MEMPHIS BELLE (1944), THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK (1944), PLANET OF THE APES (1968), THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) and STORMY WEATHER (1943).
  • 18- Joan Collins, 68-year-old actress and former star of TV's "Dynasty" whose classic film appearances have included roles in such films as LAND OF THE PHARAOHS (1955), THE OPPOSITE SEX (1956) and THE BRAVADOS (1958), announces plans to marry Peruvian-born Percy Gibson, a 36-year-old theater company manager, in February 2002.  The marriage will be Collins' fifth.
  • 20- Joan Wheeler (Ankrum), Warner Bros. starlet of the mid-1930s who appeared in such films as TWENTY MILLION SWEETHEARTS (1934) and SMARTY (1934), dies at age 88.
  • 26- Kim Novak, 68-year-old star of PICNIC (1955) and VERTIGO (1958), reports a burglary at her rural Oregon home in which thieves broke in and stole firearms and tools worth more than $20,000.
  • 26- Paul Landres, early sound-era film editor who later directed B pictures before becoming a prolific director of early television series, dies of cancer at 89.
  • 27- Marlene Dietrich, German-born film legend, is honored on what
    would have been her 100th birthday as German President Johannes Rau laid wreathes at Dietrich's grave in the German capital and lauding her
    commitment to "democracy and freedom in Germany" during the Nazi era when she moved to the United States and supported the Allied war effort against her countrymen.
  • 28- Jack Grossberg, Hollywood director and producer for more than four decades whose film credits include work on ALL THE WAY HOME (1963) and THE PRODUCERS (1968), dies at age 74.
  • 29- Robert F. Patten, film and TV character actor whose movie credits included small roles in TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH (1949), RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 11 (1954) and AIRPORT (1970), dies of cancer at 76.
  • 30- Ray Patterson, animator whose seven-decade career included work on Disney's FANTASIA (1940), four Oscar-winning "Tom and Jerry" shorts at MGM and the television adventures of the Marvel Comics superheroes, dies at age 90.
  • 31- Eileen Heckart, gravel-voiced stage, film and television actress whose best-remembered movie roles included the mother of Rocky Graziano in
    SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME (1956), Marilyn Monroe's waitress friend
    in BUS STOP (1956) and her Oscar-winning performance as the overbearing mother of a blind boy in BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE (1972), dies of cancer at age 82.
  • 31- Paul Hubschmid, Swiss actor often cast as the handsome charmer in German movies and whose Hollywood film appearances (under the name Paul Christian) included roles in BAGDAD (1949), NO TIME FOR FLOWERS (1952) and FUNERAL IN BERLIN (1966), dies at age 84.
  • 31- David Swift, writer-director-producer who wrote and directed (among other films) POLLYANNA (1960) and THE PARENT TRAP (1961), both successful Disney features starring Hayley Mills, dies at 82.

Return to the current Classic Movie News Briefs.

Buy Videos & DVDs
Find your movie at
Movies Unlimited

Buy Movie Posters
& Film Stills

Buy Movie Posters
In Affiliation with

Classic Movie Merchandise
-- recommended links to dozens of online vendors selling classic movies & all kinds of related products.

printer-friendly pagePrinter-friendly version.   return to the topReturn to the top.
Last updated: March 10, 2011.
Reel Classics is a registered trademark of Reel Classics, L.L.C.
© 1997-2011 Reel Classics, L.L.C.  All rights reserved.  No copyright is claimed on non-original or licensed material.  Terms of Use.  Privacy Policy.