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Classic Movie News Briefs

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 News Briefs 2005:

Here's an archive of the classic-movie related news items for 2005. 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.

December 2005:

  • 1- The Directors Guild of America announces that Clint Eastwood, former Warner Bros. contract player of the 1950s who parlayed success on TV's "Rawhide" into a 50-year film career that has including acting, directing and producing, will receive the organization's highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, at the 58th Annual DGA Awards on January 28.

November 2005:

  • 30- A star honoring the late Oscar-winner Gregory Peck, which had been cut out of the sidewalk with a cement saw and stolen from its four-decade location on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is replaced by the City of Hollywood.  Peck's star, following those of Jimmy Stewart, Gene Autry and Kirk Douglas, was the fourth to be stolen in the history of the Walk.
  • 27- Jocelyn Brando, actress and older sister of the late Marlon Brando, who herself appeared in more than a dozen films including THE BIG HEAT (1953), THE CHASE (1966) and THE UGLY AMERICAN (1963), the latter two starring her brother, dies at age 86.
  • 23- Constance Cummings, American-born actress who, after some two-dozen Hollywood films including THE CRIMINAL CODE (1931), MOVIE CRAZY (1932) and AMERICAN MADNESS (1932), became a leading actress on the British stage, making only occasional films after 1936, most notably David Lean's BLITHE SPIRIT (1945), dies at 95.
  • 18- Harold Stone, veteran film and TV character actor whose 30 films included roles in THE HARDER THEY FALL (1956), Hitchcock's THE WRONG MAN (1956), SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME (1956) and SPARTACUS (1960), dies at age 92.
  • 17- The American Film Institute announces plans for the ninth installment of its "AFI's 100" series of lists, dubbed "AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Cheers: America's Most Inspiring Movies," which will rank the 100 most uplifting films in the history of U.S. cinema.  A three-hour program announcing the results of the poll will air on CBS in June.
  • 17- Shirley MacLaine, 71-year-old dancer-turned-Oscar-winning-actress whose film work has included leading roles in THE APARTMENT (1960), SWEET CHARITY (1969), TERMS OF ENDEARMENT (1983) and STEEL MAGNOLIAS (1989), announces plans to star in the romantic epic CLOSING THE RING (2007) to be directed by 82-year-old British actor-director Richard Attenborough with whom MacLaine co-starred in 1968's THE BLISS OF MRS. BLOSSOM.
  • 15- The Reel Poster Gallery in London announces that a poster for the classic German expressionist film METROPOLIS (1927) was sold for a world record $690,000 to a private collector from the United States, beating the previous record for a movie poster of $453,500 set in 1997 by a poster for THE MUMMY (1932).
  • 11- Keith Andes, film actor who made the majority of his two dozen film appearances in the 1950s, including CLASH BY NIGHT (1952) opposite Marilyn Monroe, dies of bladder cancer at 85.
  • 10- Elizabeth Taylor, 73-year-old two-time Oscar-winning star of such films as NATIONAL VELVET (1944), CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1958) and WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (1966), receives the Britannia Award for Artistic Excellence in International Entertainment from the Los Angeles chapter of the British Academy of Film & Television Arts and attends the ceremony wheel-chair bound but otherwise in good health and high spirits.
  • 9-  Karl Malden, 93-year-old Oscar-winning character actor best known for his roles in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951) and ON THE WATERFRONT (1954), is honored by the U.S. Postal Service for his achievements in film and his contributions to the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee by having a Los Angeles post office renamed the Karl Malden Post Office Building.
  • 4- Omar Sharif, Egyptian-born actor best known for his roles in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) and DR. ZHIVAGO (1965), is sued by Juan Anderson, a Beverly Hills restaurant parking valet, who claims the actor called him a derogatory name and punched him after the valet refused to accept his European currency.
  • 5- Elizabeth Taylor, 73-year-old two-time Oscar-winning actress and long-time AIDS activist, attends the dedication of the new UCLA Clinical AIDS Research and Education Center in Los Angeles.
  • 2- Paramount Pictures, which in 2003 announced plans to remake THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (1947) with Jim Carrey starring and Steven Spielberg directing, announces it is no longer interested in the project and is looking to sell it to another studio.  The original film was made by Samuel Goldwyn and starred Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo.

October 2005:

  • 31- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces that Olivia de Havilland, two-time Oscar-winning actress for her roles in TO EACH HIS OWN (1946) and THE HEIRESS (1949), will attend a special tribute to her life and career at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on June 15, 2006, just two weeks before her 90th birthday.
  • 20- Universal Pictures announces plans to remake its 1954 sci-fi classic CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (which originally starred Richard Carlson and Julie Adams) in a state-of-the-art special effects production set to begin in the summer of 2006.
  • 20- Shelley Winters, 85-year-old film actress and two-time Oscar-winner, recovers from a heart attack in a Los Angeles hospital where her family says she is recovering well and should return home in about a week.
  • 17- The Los Angeles Film Critics Association announces plans to honor . Richard Widmark, 90-year-old Oscar-nominated character actor whose film work has included KISS OF DEATH (1947) and NO WAY OUT (1950), with the organization's annual Career Achievement Award in January 2006.
  • 16- Angela Lansbury, thrice-Oscar-nominated stage and screen actress whose film work has included GASLIGHT (1944), THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946) and THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962) in addition to TV's "Murder, She Wrote," celebrates her 80th birthday.
  • 15- Gordon Lee, chubby child actor who played Spanky McFarland's little brother, Porky, in Hal Roach's "Our Gang" comedy shorts of the 1930's, dies of cancer at age 71.
  • 15- Mildred Shay, film actress of the 1930s and '40s whose few dozen minor film roles never earned her the same notoriety as her relationships with famous Hollywood men ranging from Cecil B. DeMille to Victor Mature, dies of complications from a stroke at age 94.
  • 14- Shelley Winters, 85-year-old two-time Oscar-winning supporting actress best known for her performances in A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951), LOLITA (1962), A PATCH OF BLUE (1965) and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (1973), suffers a heart attack in Los Angeles.
  • 14- 20th Century-Fox and Warner Bros. both announce plans to release numerous predominately-black-cast films in early 2006, including HALLELUJAH (1929), CABIN IN THE SKY (1943) and STORMY WEATHER (1943) as well as racially themed movies like PINKY (1949) and ISLAND IN THE SUN (1957).
  • 13- Jack Mathis, Illinois advertising executive and film historian who published several books about B-movie studio Republic Pictures including Valley of the Cliffhangers (1975), Republic Confidential: The Players (1992) and Republic Confidential: The Studio (1999), dies at 73.
  • 7- Devery Freeman, film and television screenwriter who worked on such movies as Universal's talking mule films FRANCIS JOINS THE WACS (1954) and FRANCIS IN THE NAVY (1955) and helped establish the Screen Writers Guild (later the Writers Guild of America), dies at 92.
  • 3- Gore Vidal, novelist, playwright and screenwriter whose film work has included contributions to the scripts of THE CATERED AFFAIR (1956), SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER (1959), BEN-HUR (1959) and THE BEST MAN (1964) (adapted from his own play), celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 1- Julie Andrews, Oscar-winning British-born stage and screen star best know for her roles in such blockbuster movie musicals as MARY POPPINS (1964) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), celebrates her 70th birthday.

September 2005:

  • 28- Ann-Margret, 1960s sex-kitten and teen musical star of such films as STATE FAIR (1962), BYE BYE BIRDIE (1963) and VIVA LAS VEGAS (1964), announces plans to play Tim Allen's mother-in-law in THE SANTA CLAUSE 3 (2006) for Walt Disney Pictures set to begin production next year.
  • 28- Arnold Stang, squawky voiceover actor who played Herman the mouse in Paramount's animated "Herman and Katnip" series of the 1950s and appeared in front of the camera as Frank Sinatra's friend Sparrow in THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM (1955), celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 27- Jayne Meadows, steely blonde actress who played notable supporting roles in such post-World War II dramas as UNDERCURRENT (1946), ENCHANTMENT (1948) and DAVID AND BATHSHEBA (1951) before marrying comedian Steve Allen in the 1950s and turning her attention to television's "I've Got a Secret," celebrates her 85th birthday.
  • 24- Thomas Ross "Tommy" Bond, former child actor who played both "Tommy" and later the bully "Butch" in Hal Roach's "Our Gang" comedy shorts of the 1930's, dies of complications from heart disease at 79.
  • 23- Mickey Rooney, former child star of such films as BOYS TOWN (1938), BABES IN ARMS (1939), NATIONAL VELVET (1944) and the ANDY HARDY movies of the 1930s and '40s whose film career has spanned more than 200 films across eight decades, celebrates his 85th birthday,
  • 23- Paul Peterson, former child actor whose film work included roles in HOUSEBOAT (1958) and THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE (1967) but who is best remembered for his television work on "The Mickey Mouse Club" and "The Donna Reed Show" in the1950s, celebrates his 60th birthday.
  • 22- Lord John Brabourne, British film producer best known for his work on the 1984 epic A PASSAGE TO INDIA as well as such classic-star-studded Agatha Christie adaptations as MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974), DEATH ON THE NILE (1978) and THE MIRROR CRACK'D (1980), dies at 80.
  • 18- Richard E. Cunha, cinematographer and director responsible for such 1950's horror movies as SHE DEMONS, MISSILE TO THE MOON and FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER (all 1958), dies at 83.
  • 18- John Bromfield, supporting actor and second lead in such films as SORRY, WRONG NUMBER (1948) and EASY TO LOVE (1953) who made his largest mark in television as 1950s TV's "The Sheriff of Cochise" (a.k.a. "U.S. Marshal"), dies at 83.
  • 18- Joel Hirschhorn, songwriter who shared Academy Awards for the theme songs to both THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (1972) and THE TOWERING INFERNO (1974), dies of a heart attack at 67.
  • 16- Constance Moore, glamorous singer-actress who co-starred in a string of World War II-era movie musicals including DELIGHTFULLY DANGEROUS (1944) as well as in W.C. Fields' 1939 comedy YOU CAN'T CHEAT AN HONEST MAN and the science-fiction serial BUCK ROGERS (1939), dies at 84.
  • 16- The Swedish Film Institute kicks off its centenary celebration of film star Greta Garbo with a screening of the actress's favorite of her films, CAMILLE (1937), the first in two months of film screenings in Stockholm marking what would have been Garbo's 100th birthday on September 30.
  • 15- Guy Green, Academy Award-winning cinematography and film director who won an Oscar for photographing David Lean's GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1946) and also directed such films as SEA OF SAND (1958), LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA (1962) and A PATCH OF BLUE (1965), dies at 91.
  • 15- Sid Luft, movie producer best known for helping to revive the career of actress and singer Judy Garland, to whom he was married in the 1950s, most notably by producing the Oscar-nominated musical drama A STAR IS BORN (1954), dies at age 89.
  • 14- Robert Wise, four-time Oscar-winning Hollywood filmmaker best known for editing CITIZEN KANE (1941) and directing WEST SIDE STORY (1961) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), dies at the age of 91.
  • 13- The Screen Actors Guild announces plans to honor Shirley Temple Black, 77-year-old former child star of the 1930s best remembered for her roles in BRIGHT EYES (1934), CURLY TOP (1935) and THE LITTLE PRINCESS (1939), with the guild's Life Achievement Award during its annual awards ceremony on January 29, 2006.
  • 12- Dickie Moore, former child star of the 1930s whose more than 100 film roles included appearances in several "Our Gang" comedies as well as BLONDE VENUS (1932), OLIVER TWIST (1933), SERGEANT YORK (1941) and OUT OF THE PAST (1947), celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 10- Robert Wise, veteran Oscar-winning Hollywood filmmaker best known for editing CITIZEN KANE (1941) and directing WEST SIDE STORY (1961) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), celebrates his 91st birthday.
  • 9- Eight Olympic gold medals won by swimmer and 1930s TARZAN film star Johnny Weissmuller in the 1924 Olympic Games are recovered and returned to the International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum in Florida after having been stolen by a custodian at the museum.
  • 9- Robert Redford, 68-year-old actor and Oscar-winning director of such films as THE STING (1973) and ORDINARY PEOPLE (1980) respectively, and Julie Harris, Oscar-nominated stage and screen actress whose film work has included THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING (1952), EAST OF EDEN (1955) and REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT (1962), are announced as two of five outstanding contributors to the performing arts who will be celebrated for their career achievements at the The Kennedy Center Honors, a telecast of which will be broadcast December 4 on CBS.
  • 9- Cliff Robertson, second-lead and Oscar-winning leading man since the 1950s whose best known film work has included PICNIC (1955), THE NAKED AND THE DEAD (1958), PT 109 (1963), THE BEST MAN (1964) and CHARLEY (1968), celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 5- Raquel Welch, model-turned-actress of the 1960s whose fur-bikinied appearance in ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. (1966) led to starring roles in such films as BANDOLERO! and LADY IN CEMENT (both 1968), celebrates her 65th birthday.
  • 3- Kitty Carlisle Hart, operatic soprano, actress and wife of the late playwright Moss Hart, who appeared in such films as MURDER AT THE VANITIES (1934) and A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935) but is best remembered as a longtime panelist on TV's "To Tell the Truth," celebrates her 95th birthday.

August 2005:

  • 29- Police officials in Grand Rapids, Michigan announce that a pair of Dorothy's ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in THE WIZARD OF OZ and on loan to the Judy Garland Museum from a Los Angeles memorabilia collector have been stolen.  The slippers are insured for $1 million.
  • 28- Richard Loring, songwriter who wrote songs with lyricist Diane Lampert for several Universal films, including OPERATION PETTICOAT (1959), and Disney's TOBY TYLER, OR TEN WEEKS WITH A CIRCUS (1960), dies of cancer at 86
  • 25- Sean Connery, virile Scottish actor who played super-spy James Bond in six films during the 1960s and '70s and earned an Academy Award for his performance in THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987), celebrates his 75th birthday.
  • 23- Brock Peters, cavernous-voiced stage and film singer and actor best known for his performances as Sgt. Brown in CARMEN JONES (1954), Crown in PORGY AND BESS (1959) and Tom Robinson in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962), dies of pancreatic cancer at age 78.
  • 23- Vera Miles, a favorite leading lady of both John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock best known for her roles in THE SEARCHERS (1956), THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE (1962), THE WRONG MAN (1957) and PSYCHO (1960), celebrates her 75th birthday.
  • 23- Robert Mulligan, Oscar-nominated film and television director whose movie credits include FEAR STRIKES OUT (1957), TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) and INSIDE DAISY CLOVER (1965), celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 21- Patty McCormack, former blonde child starlet best known for playing the title role of Rhoda Penmark in the 1956 thriller THE BAD SEED, celebrates her 60th birthday.
  • 19- Jill St. John, 1960s sex symbol who played suggestive roles in such films as COME BLOW YOUR HORN (1963) and TONY ROME (1967) with Frank Sinatra as well as the James Bond film DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (1971), celebrates her 65th birthday.
  • 18- Shelley Winters, two-time Oscar-winning supporting actress best known for her performances in A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951), LOLITA (1962), A PATCH OF BLUE (1965) and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (1973), celebrates her 85th birthday.
  • 17- Maureen O'Hara, red-headed leading lady of such classic John Ford films as HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941) and THE QUIET MAN (1952), celebrates her 85th birthday.
  • 15- Mike 'Touch' Connors, supporting player in such 1950s films as ISLAND IN THE SKY (1953), THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) and LIVE FAST, DIE YOUNG (1958), celebrates his 75th birthday.
  • 15- Jim Dougherty, who, at age 21, married his then-16-year-old neighbor Norma Jeane Baker -- before she went off to Hollywood and took the name Marilyn Monroe -- dies at age 84. The couple divorced after World War II.
  • 13- Armand Deutsch, film producer for MGM during the 1950s who helmed such projects as AMBUSH (1949), THE MAGNIFICENT YANKEE (1950)and CARBINE WILLIAMS (1952), dies at age 92.
  • 11- James Booth, British character actor best remembered by film audiences for his roles as Private Henry Hook in ZULU (1964) and Shirley MacLaine's hidden-in-the-attic lover in THE BLISS OF MISS BLOSSOM (1968), dies at age 77.
  • 11- Jean Parker, supporting actress of the 1930s and '40s best known for her role as Beth March in George Cukor's 1933 film adaptation of LITTLE WOMEN, celebrates her 93rd birthday.
  • 9- Dorris Bowdon, widow of writer-producer Nunnally Johnson and a film actress of the 1930s and '40s best-known for her performance as Rose-of-Sharon in John Ford's THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940), dies at age 90.
  • 8- Barbara Bel Geddes, Oscar-nominated stage and screen actress whose film roles included that of Katrin Hanson in I REMEMBER MAMA (1948) and Midge in Hitchcock's VERTIGO (1958) but who reached her greatest fame playing Miss Ellie Ewing on TV's "Dallas" during the 1980s, dies of lung cancer at 82.
  • 5- John Saxon, dark-eyed, dark-haired and often-brooding screen youth of such mid-century films as THE RELUCTANT DEBUTANTE (1958), THIS HAPPY FEELING (1958), THE UNFORGIVEN (1960) and MR. HOBBS TAKES A VACATION (1962), celebrates his 70th birthday.
  • 2- 20th Century-Fox announces plans for an updated version of its Charlie Chan movies featuring Lucy Liu as the modern-day granddaughter of the fictional Chinese-American detective originally played by Warner Oland and later Sidney Toler in more than three-dozen films during the 1930s and '40s.
  • 2- Alfred A. Knopf Publishers announces plans to release Marlon Brando's Fan-Tan, a film treatment-turned-novel about pirates in the South Seas written by the late Oscar-winning actor with filmmaker Donald Cammell in the 1970s.  The novel is due out in September.
  • 1- Donald Brooks, stage and screen costume designer who earned Academy Award nominations for his work on THE CARDINAL (1963), STAR! (1968) and DARLING LILI (1970), dies of complications of a heart attack at 77.

July 2005:

  • 28- Andrew V. McLaglen, film director and son of Oscar winner Victor McLaglen who cut his filmmaking teeth directing John Wayne in MCLINTOCK! (1963), THE UNDEFEATED (1969), CHISUM (1970) and CAHILL, U.S. MARSHALL (1973), celebrates his 85th birthday.
  • 27- Robert Wright, composer and lyricist who, with collaborator George Forrest, wrote the scores for such Broadway musical-turned-films as KISMET (1955) as well as Hollywood-direct musicals like MAYTIME (1937), SWEETHEARTS (1938) and I MARRIED AN ANGEL (1942), dies at 90.
  • 26- The Board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' announces plans to honor 79-year-old comedian Jerry Lewis, best remembered for his 17 films with crooner Dean Martin, with its Governors Award in recognition of his more than half-century of work on behalf of Muscular Dystrophy during the 2005 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards on September 10.
  • 26- Alexander Golitzen, Oscar-winning art director whose more than 300 film credits (primarily for Universal) included PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1943), SPARTACUS (1960) and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962), dies of of congestive heart failure at 97.
  • 25- Ford Rainey, stage and screen actor whose seven-decade career included roles in WHITE HEAT (1949), 3:10 TO YUMA (1957), TWO RODE TOGETHER (1961) and THE SAND PEBBLES (1966), dies of complications from a series of strokes at age 96.
  • 24- The Los Angeles chapter of the British Academy of Film & Television Arts announces plans to honor Elizabeth Taylor, two-time Oscar-winning star of such films as NATIONAL VELVET (1944), CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1958) and WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (1966), with the Britannia Award for international entertainment during a ceremony November 10.
  • 23- Gloria DeHaven, former vaudeville child performer who began her film career at age 11 with a small role in Chaplin's MODERN TIMES (1936) but is best remembered for her adult contributions to such MGM musicals as TWO GIRLS AND A SAILOR (1944), SUMMER STOCK (1950) and THREE LITTLE WORDS (1950), celebrates her 80th birthday.
  • 22- George Wallace, veteran film and TV actor whose 50-year career was highlighted by his role as Commando Cody in the 1952 film serial RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON, dies at 88.
  • 21- Sony Pictures Home Entertainment announces plans for a boxed set of Cary Grant movies on DVD that will include the DVD debut of HOLIDAY (1938) and a new transfer of THE AWFUL TRUTH (1937).  No release date has yet been set.
  • 17- Geraldine Fitzgerald, talented Oscar-, Tony- and Emmy-nominated Irish redhead whose varied film, stage, and television career included notable roles in WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939), DARK VICTORY (1939), WATCH ON THE RHINE (1943), OSS (1946) and THE PAWNBROKER (1964), dies after an extended battle with Alzheimer's disease at age 91.
  • 17- Gavin Lambert, British-born author, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Hollywood historian whose works included the screenplays for THE ROMAN SPRING OF MRS. STONE (1961) and INSIDE DAISY CLOVER (1965) as well as biographies of screen stars Norma Shearer and Natalie Wood and "GWTW: The Making of Gone With the Wind", dies at 80.
  • 17- Diahann Carroll, Oscar-nominated actress-singer whose film appearances have included CARMEN JONES (1954), PORGY AND BESS (1959) and CLAUDINE (1974), celebrates her 70th birthday.
  • 16- Vincent Sherman, film and television director whose work for Warner Bros. in the 1940s and '50s included such films as MR. SKEFFINGTON (1944), GOODBYE, MY FANCY (1951), and THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS (1959), celebrates his 99th birthday.
  • 15- Philip Carey, film and television actor whose best known work has included OPERATION PACIFIC (1951), CALAMITY JANE (1953), MISTER ROBERTS (1955), DEAD RINGER (1964) and roles in numerous television series, celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 14- Gloria Stuart, blonde film actress of the 1930s who made three films for director James Whale -- THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932), THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933) and THE KISS BEFORE THE MIRROR (1933) -- but became best known as Old Rose in the blockbuster TITANIC (1997), celebrates her 95th birthday.
  • 14- Polly Bergen, radio, stage, film and television actress and singer whose best-known movie work over her five-decade career includes ESCAPE FROM FORT BRAVO (1953), CAPE FEAR (1962) and MOVE OVER, DARLING (1963), celebrates her 75th birthday
  • 14- Zsa Zsa Gabor, 88-year-old Hungarian-born blonde actress whose film appearances have included roles in WE'RE NOT MARRIED (1952), TOUCH OF EVIL (1958) and DROP DEAD DARLING (1966), returns home after a minor stroke and successful emergency surgery last week to clear a blocked artery on July 6.
  • 11- Frances Langford, film and radio singer and actress best known for her film appearances in BORN TO DANCE (1936), YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942) and THE GLENN MILLER STORY (1954) as well as for accompanying Bob Hope on his USO tours during World War II, dies at the age of 91.
  • 10- John Eastham, Broadway musical star whose film work included roles in THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS (1954), TOBY TYLER (1960) and THAT DARN CAT (1965), dies of complications from Alzheimer's disease at 89.
  • 9- Kevin Hagen, film and television character actor best remembered for his role as Doc Baker on TV's "Little House of the Prairie" but whose film work included roles in SHENANDOAH (1965) and THE LEARNING TREE (1969), dies of esophageal cancer at 77.
  • 7- Hometown fans of James Garner, 77-year-old star of such classic films as THE CHILDREN'S HOUR (1961) and THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963), announce plans to build a 10-foot statue of the actor in front of the historic Sooner Theatre in Norman, Oklahoma at a cost of $185,000.  The project is tentatively scheduled for completion in April 2006.
  • 4- June Haver, blonde Fox musical star of 1940s whose best-known work included IRISH EYES ARE SMILING (1944), THREE LITTLE GIRLS IN BLUE (1945) and SCUDDA HOO1 SCUDDA HAY! (1948) as well as her 37-year marriage to actor Fred MacMurray, dies of respiratory failure at age 79.
  • 4- Karolyn Grimes, former blonde child starlet best remembered for her roles as Zuzu in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946) and Loretta Young's daughter Debby in THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947), celebrates her 65th birthday.
  • 2- Ernest Lehman, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and occasional producer whose work included such classic films as SABRINA (1954), SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957), NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), dies of a heart attack at 89.
  • 2- The West Texas town of Marfa, where director George Stevens filmed his epic western GIANT (1956) starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean during the summer of 1955, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the film's production with a special outdoor screening of the movie.

June 2005:

  • 30- Christopher Fry, renowned British playwright who made important contributions to the screenplays of such films as William Wyler's BEN-HUR (1959) and John Huston's THE BIBLE (1966), dies at age 97.
  • 30- More than 250 items removed from the Los Angeles home of Marlon Brando, two-time Oscar winner and Hollywood icon, after his death in 2004, are sold at auction for $2.3 million, including $312,800 for the actor's annotated script from THE GODFATHER (1972), a new movie script record.
  • 25- John Fiedler, Broadway and Hollywood character actor whose film work included roles in 12 ANGRY MEN (1957), A RAISIN IN THE SUN (1961) and TRUE GRIT (1969) but who gained lasting fame for providing the voice of Piglet in Disney's Winnie-the-Pooh films for over 4 decades, dies at age 80.
  • 24- Paul Winchell, ventriloquist and voice artist who brought to life such animated film and television cartoon characters as Tigger in Disney's Winnie-the-Pooh films, the Siamese cat in THE ARISTOCATS (1970) and the evil Gargamel of 1980s TV's "The Smurfs," dies at age 82.
  • 24- Film Forum in New York City begins a summer retrospective on pre-Code Paramount Pictures features made between the coming of sound and the enforcement of the Production Code in 1934, including Ernst Lubitsch's TROUBLE IN PARADISE and Josef von Sternberg's BLONDE VENUS with Marlene Dietrich (both 1932).
  • 24- Roger Ebert, Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic for the Chicago Sun Times and tireless advocate for classic movies, receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame recognizing his thumbs-up/thumbs-down TV movie reviews.
  • 23- Officials with Hollywood's Master Storytellers, a group that organizes public Q&A events with filmmakers, announces that Blake Edwards, Academy Award-winning director of such classic films as BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961), The Pink Panther series (1963+) and VICTOR/VICTORIA (1982), will be the first recipient of the Hollywood Icon Lifetime of Master Storytelling Honors Award at a celebration on January 8, 2006 .
  • 22- Sophia Loren, 70-year-old Italian-born Oscar winner and star of such classic films as HOUSEBOAT (1958), EL CID (1961), TWO WOMEN (1961) and THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (1964), receives the honorary citizenship of her hometown at a ceremony in Pozzuoli, just outside Naples, Italy.
  • 21- The American Film Institute names "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" spoken by Clark Gable in GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) as the greatest movie quote of all-time, followed by Marlon Brando saying "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse" in the GODFATHER (1972) at No. 2 and "I couldda been a contender" in ON THE WATERFRONT (1954) at No. 3. CASABLANCA (1942) placed six quotes on the list, including "Here's looking at you, kid" at No. 5, and THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) placed three, including "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" at No. 4. (full list)
  • 21- AMC Entertainment Inc., the second-largest movie theater chain in the United States, announces plans to buy its next-largest competitor, Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp., the oldest theatre circuit in North America and the original parent company of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer filmmaking studio, for an undisclosed amount estimated at close to $1.5 billion.
  • 21- Barbara Brewster LeMond, last surviving member of the Brewster Twins who, under contract to 20th Century Fox in the late 1930s, appeared in such films as LITTLE MISS BROADWAY with Shirley Temple and HOLD THAT COED with John Barrymore (both 1938), dies at 87. Her sister Gloria died in 1996.
  • 20- Jerome Robbins, Oscar-winning co-director WEST SIDE STORY (1961) and celebrated choreographer who died at 79 in 1998, is honored with the naming of the intersection of West 62nd Street and Columbus Avenue in New York City, adjacent to the home of the New York City Ballet, as "Jerome Robbins Place."
  • 15- Suzanne Flon, award-winning French stage and screen actress best known to American audiences for her supporting roles in John Huston's MOULIN ROUGE (1952) and Orson Welles' MR. ARKADIN (1955), dies at 87.
  • 14- Entertainment giant Viacom Inc., parent company of Paramount Pictures and CBS, announces plans to split the company into two separately traded entities very similar to those that existed before the 1999 Viacom-CBS merger, specifically Viacom Inc. (which will retain MTV, BET and Paramount Pictures) and CBS Corp. (which will control the CBS, UPN and Showtime networks as well as book publisher Simon & Schuster).
  • 11- Lon McCallister, juvenile Hollywood actor of the 1940s who began his career as a teenager with small roles in such films as "THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER (1938) before gaining notice for his supporting performances in STAGE DOOR CANTEEN (1943) and WINGED VICTORY (1944), dies at 82.
  • 11- Ron Randell, Australian-born actor whose stage, radio, film and TV career included brief roles as movie supersleuths Bulldog Drummond and the Lone Wolf in the 1940s as well as supporting roles in IT HAD TO BE YOU (1947), KISS ME KATE (1953) and THE LONGEST DAY (1962), dies of complications from a stroke at 86.
  • 11- Robert I. Clarke, versatile film and TV character actor whose more than 85 motion pictures appearances included roles in such horror films as THE MAN FROM PLANET X (1951), THE ASTOUNDING SHE-MONSTER (1957) and THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMON (1959), dies at 85.
  • 6- Anne Bancroft, Oscar-winning stage and screen actress best known for her roles as Annie Sullivan in THE MIRACLE WORKER (1962) and Mrs. Robinson in THE GRADUATE (1967), dies of cancer at 73.
  • 4- Lorna Thayer, film and television character actress whose movie work included roles in THE BEAST WITH A MILLION EYES (1956), FRECKLES (1960) and the oft heralded role as a roadside cafe waitress in FIVE EASY PIECES (1970), dies after battling Alzheimer's disease at age 85.
  • 3- James Dean, twice-Oscar-nominated actor and Hollywood icon of misunderstood youth, is remembered at a three-day festival in his hometown of Marion, Indiana commemorating the 50th anniversary of his untimely death in an automobile accident at age 24.
  • 3- Tony Curtis, handsome, dark-haired leading man of the 1950s and '60s best known for his roles in SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957), THE DEFIANT ONES (1958), SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959), OPERATION PETTICOAT (1959) and THE GREAT RACE (1965), celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 2- Leon Askin, Vienna-born film and television character actor who appeared in some five-dozen films including THE ROBE (1953), KNOCK ON WOOD (1954) and Billy Wilder's ONE, TWO, THREE (1961) but was best known as Gen. Albert Burkhalter in the 1960s TV comedy "Hogan's Heroes," dies at 97.
  • 1- Richard Erdman, veteran film, television and voice-over character actor whose movie work has included roles in THE MEN (1950), STALAG 17 (1953) and THE BLUE GARDENIA (1953), celebrates his 80th birthday.

May 2005:

  • 31- Clint Eastwood, former Warner Bros. contract player of the 1950s who parlayed success on TV's "Rawhide" and in such spaghetti westerns as THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966) into a 50-year film career including four Oscars for producing and directing, celebrates his 75th birthday.
  • 26- Eddie Albert, red-headed film and TV character actor whose movie career included roles in BROTHER RAT (1938), ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953), OKLAHOMA! (1955) and ATTACK! (1956), but who was best known for his performance as a hapless lawyer-turned-farmer on TV's "Green Acres," dies of pneumonia at 99.
  • 23- A new film adaptation of the 1938 novel ''Lassie Come Home,'' first filmed by MGM in 1943 with Roddy McDowell and canine star Lassie, begins production in Ireland with a cast that includes 72-year-old Oscar nominee Peter O'Toole as the Duke of Rudling, played by Nigel Bruce in the original.
  • 20- J.D. Cannon, film and TV character actor whose best-known characters included "Society Red" in COOL HAND LUKE (1967) and Chief of Detectives Peter B. Clifford on NBC's 1970s TV police drama "McCloud," dies at 83.
  • 17- Frank Gorshin, film and television character actor whose movie work included roles in DRAGSTRIP GIRL (1957) and BELLS ARE RINGING (1960) but who was best-known for his role as the Riddler on TV's ''Batman'' in the late 1960s, dies of complications from lung cancer at 72.
  • 15- Constance Cummings, stage and screen actress whose film work in the U.S. and England has included roles in THE CRIMINAL CODE (1931), MOVIE CRAZY (1932) and BLITHE SPIRIT (1945), celebrates her 95th birthday.
  • 15- Friends and family of the late Oscar-winning actor Henry Fonda gather in Omaha, Nebraska and Hollywood to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fonda's birth and unveil a new 37-cent postage stamp bearing his likeness.
  • 11- The American Film Institute distributes over 500 ballots to a jury including composers, musicians, film artists (directors, screenwriters, actors, editors and cinematographers), critics and historians in an effort to select the 25 greatest film scores of the sound era.  Portions of the winning scores will be presented live by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra on Sept. 23, 2005.
  • 11- "Liz," one of Andy Warhol's series of 13 1960s paintings depicting Oscar-winner Elizabeth Taylor, this one against a deep-red background, sells at a Sotheby's contemporary art auction for $11.2 million.
  • 9- Martha Montgomery, widow of Oscar-winning composer Alfred Newman and one of Hollywood's glamorous "Goldwyn Girls," a troop of dancers organized by producer Samuel Goldwyn who appeared in movies including WONDER MAN (1945) and A SONG IS BORN (1948) but also made goodwill appearances worldwide on behalf of the motion picture industry, dies at 84.
  • 6- Joe Grant, animation artist and story writer whose more than six decades at the Walt Disney Company included work on SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937), DUMBO (1941) and POCAHONTAS (1995), dies at age 96.
  • 5- June MacCloy, glamourous blonde actress of the 1930s whose decade-long film career included roles in a handful of musical shorts as well as JUNE MOON (1931), GLAMOUR FOR SALE and GO WEST (both 1940), dies at 95.
  • 5- Elisabeth Fraser, durable character actress of stage, film and television whose movie work included roles in ONE FOOT IN HEAVEN (1941), THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1942) and YOUNG AT HEART (1954), dies of congestive heart failure at 85.
  • 4- A new ballet set to George Gershwin's music made famous by Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron in the 1951 Oscar-winning musical AN AMERICAN IN PARIS and choreographed by New York City Ballet resident choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, opens at the New York State Theater.

April 2005:

  • 28- Lane Nakano, Japanese-American singer and actor best known for co-starred opposite Van Johnson in MGM's 1951 film GO FOR BROKE! about the Japanese American soldiers who fought in Europe during World War II, dies of complications from emphysema at the age of 80.
  • 28- Christie's auction house announces plans for a sale of items from the estate of Marlon Brando on June 30, including the Oscar-winning actor's annotated script from THE GODFATHER (1972) and his Oscar nomination certificate for his performance in ON THE WATERFRONT (1954).
  • 28- Organizers of the Cannes Film Festival in France unveil the lineup of "Cannes Classics" selections to be screened at this year's festival, including restored versions of BEYOND THE ROCKS (1922), MARTY (1955) and several films by the late British director Michael Powell as well as new documentaries about James Dean and Carol Reed's THE THIRD MAN (1949).
  • 28- MGM and Paramount Pictures announce plans to remake the 1968 Henry Fonda/Lucille Ball/Van Johnson comedy YOURS, MINE AND OURS (1968) with Dennis Quaid, Rene Russo and Jerry O'Connell.
  • 28- A stage musical based on the 1968 film musical CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG (which originally starred Dick Van Dyke), complete with songs by the film's composers Richard and Robert Sherman, opens to generally positive reviews at New York's Hilton Theater after a successful run in London.
  • 28- The U.S. Postal Service issues a new stamp honoring "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" songwriter E.Y. "Yip" Harburg who, with composer Harold Arlen, wrote songs for dozens of MGM musicals including THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939), KISMET (1944) and FINIAN'S RANBOW (1968).
  • 27- The blue and white gingham dress worn by Judy Garland in THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) is sold to an anonymous buyer for $252,000 by Bonhams & Butterfields auction house which had estimated the dress at $63,000.
  • 26- Maria Schell, Austrian-born actress, sister of Oscar-winning actor Maximilian Schell and an icon of German-language film best known internationally for her roles in THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV (1958), THE HANGING TREE (1959) and CIMARRON (1960), dies at age 79.
  • 26- Robert J. 'Bob' Schiffer, veteran Hollywood makeup artist whose seven-decade career included work on such classics as THE GOOD EARTH (1937), THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939), GILDA (1946), FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953), MARTY (1955), and MY FAIR LADY (1964), dies of a stroke at 88.
  • 26- Universal Pictures announces it is in talks aimed at remaking Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller THE BIRDS (1963), which was based on a short story by Daphne Du Maurier and originally starred Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy and Suzanne Pleshette.
  • 23- Sir John Mills, mild-mannered English actor, Oscar-winner and father of actresses Hayley and Juliet Mills whose eight-decade film career included roles in IN WHICH WE SERVE (1942), GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1946), THE ROCKING HORSE WINNER (1949), SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1960), RYAN'S DAUGHTER (1970) and GANDHI (1982), dies at the age of 97.
  • 23- Robert Farnon, film composer and arranger who scored more than three dozen motion pictures including CAPTAIN HORATIO HORNBLOWER (1951) and British films such as WESTMINSTER WALTZ (1956) and SEA SHORE (1960), dies at 87.
  • 22- Eddie Albert, red-headed character actor whose seven-decade film career has included roles in BROTHER RAT (1938), ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953), OKLAHOMA! (1955) and ATTACK! (1956), celebrates his 97th birthday.
  • 20- Julien's Auctions of Los Angeles announces plans for a sale of over 200 personal and professional items from the estate of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe, as well as jewelry from the estate of late MGM movie musical star Ann Miller at an auction in Los Angeles on June 4.
  • 19- Ruth Hussey, Oscar-nominated supporting actress of the 1930s and '40s best known for her role as Jimmy Stewart's girlfriend in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) as well as TENDER COMRADE (1943) and THE UNINVITED (1944), dies of complications from an appendectomy at 93.
  • 19- Hugh O'Brian, western and action-film actor of the 1950s who played supporting roles in such films as THE CIMARRON KID (1950), VENGEANCE VALLEY (1951) and BROKEN LANCE (1954) before becoming a popular sheriff on TV's "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp," celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 16- Karl Malden, 93-year-old Oscar-winning character actor best known for his roles in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951) and ON THE WATERFRONT (1954), is inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
  • 16- Kay Walsh, British character actress who starred in several films directed by her husband, David Lean, including IN WHICH WE SERVE (1942), THIS HAPPY BREED (1944) and OLIVER TWIST (1948) as well as Hollywood films like STAGE FRIGHT (1950) and YOUNG BESS (1953), dies at age 90.
  • 16- Barry Nelson, MGM contract player of the 1940s who played supporting roles in SHADOW OF THE THIN MAN (1941), BATAAN (1943), A GUY NAMED JOE (1943) and UNDERCOVER MAISIE (1947) before focusing his attention on stage and television work, celebrates his 85th birthday.
  • 14- Bradford Dillman, leading man of stage and screen whose best known film roles have included work in COMPULSION (1959), FRANCIS OF ASSISI (1961) and THE PLAINSMAN (1966), celebrates his 75th birthday.
  • 13- Bonhams & Butterfields auction house in London announces plans to auction off the blue and white gingham dress worn by Judy Garland in THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) as part of a sale of rock, pop and film memorabilia being held on April 27.
  • 11- Oleg Cassini, famed fashion designer whose movie costumes included gowns for his wife, actress Gene Tierney, in THE RAZOR'S EDGE (1946) and THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1947), celebrates his 92nd birthday.
  • 10- Henry "Harry" Morgan, veteran film and television character actor whose six-decade Hollywood career has included work on THE OX-BOW INCIDENT (1943), MADAME BOVARY (1949), THE GLENN MILLER STORY (1953) and INHERIT THE WIND (1960) as well as TV's "Dragnet" and "M*A*S*H*", celebrates his 90th birthday.
  • 8- After approval from international regulatory authorities, a consortium led by Sony Pictures Corporation, parent company of Columbia Pictures, finalizes its acquisition of classic movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (itself the parent company of veteran film distributor United Artists after a 1981 merger) for some $4.8 billion, essentially marking the end of MGM and UA as anything other than brand names after their 80+ year tenures in Hollywood.
  • 8- Onna White, Canadian-born choreographer who was awarded a special Oscar for her work on the musical OLIVER! (1968) and received eight Tony nominations for her stage work, dies at age 83.
  • 6- Rainier III of Monaco, the European prince whose 1956 marriage to Oscar-winning actress Grace Kelly ended her Hollywood career and brought worldwide attention to his tiny country which continued even after her death in 1982, dies himself at the age of 81. 
  • 4- Frances Langford, singer-actress who transitioned from a successful radio career into appearances in such films of the 1930s and '40s as BORN TO DANCE (1936), YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942) and THE GLENN MILLER STORY (1953), celebrates her 91st birthday.
  • 1- Sophia Loren, 70-year-old Italian-born actress and Oscar-winner best known for her ample good looks and performances in HOUSEBOAT (1958), EL CID (1961), TWO WOMEN (1961) and MAN OF LA MANCHA (1972), receives a lifetime achievement award from the Istanbul Film Festival.

March 2005:

  • 31- Paramount Pictures, which in 2003 announced plans to remake THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (1947) with Jim Carrey starring and Steven Spielberg directing, revises its plans and signs Mark Waters to direct with Samuel Goldwyn Jr. and his son John Goldwyn producing.  The original film was made by Samuel Goldwyn Sr. and starred Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo.
  • 30- Frankie Laine, western singer who contributed title songs to such films as BLOWING WILD (1953) and GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL (1957) as well as TV's "Rawhide," celebrates his 92nd birthday.
  • 29- Robert Redford, actor and Oscar-winning director of such films as THE STING (1973) and ORDINARY PEOPLE (1980) respectively, announces plans to produce and co-star in a biopic of Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play professional baseball in the Major League.
  • 29- "Moonlight and Magnolias," a new play dramatizing the week-long script-writing session in 1939 during which producer David O. Selznick, screenwriter Ben Hecht and director Victor Fleming overhauled the screenplay for GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) after filming on the now-classic epic had already begun, opens at New York's Manhattan Theatre Club.
  • 24- Joseph Barbera, legendary Hanna-Barbera animator and co-creator of such classic cartoons as "Tom and Jerry," "The Jetsons" and "Yogi Bear," celebrates his 94th birthday.
  • 22- Karl Malden, bulbous-nosed, Oscar-winning character actor whose film work has included A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951), ON THE WATERFRONT (1954) and POLLYANNA (1960), celebrates his 93rd birthday.
  • 16- Robert Blake, former child star of the 1940s who, as Mickey Gubitosi, appeared in several "Our Gang" comedies, and later, as Bobby Blake, played alongside Humphrey Bogart in THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948) before graduating to adult roles in IN COLD BLOOD (1967) and the "Baretta" TV show of the 1970s, is found not-guilty of the 2001 murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, by a California jury.
  • 13- Jason Evers, film and television actor of the 1960s whose best known movie roles included the sheriff in PRETTY BOY FLOYD (1960) and the doctor in the cult classic THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE (1962), dies at 83.
  • 12- Paul Newman, 80-year-old Oscar-winning star of such films as CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1958), THE HUSTLER (1961), HUD (1963) and COOL HAND LUKE (1967), tells the Associated Press he plans to give up motor racing after next year but hopes to make one more film before retirement.
  • 12- Jon Provost, former blond child star whose film appearances include roles in ESCAPADE IN JAPAN (1959) and THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED (1966) but who is best remembered for playing  "Timmy" on TV's "Lassie" in the 1960s, celebrates his 55th birthday.
  • 11- Officials at the Walt Disney Company announce plans to continue remaking many of the studio's classic family films, including THE SHAGGY DOG (1959, originally starring Fred MacMurray and Jean Hagen), SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1960, originally starring Dorothy McGuire and John Mills), 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (1954, originally starring Kirk Douglas and James Mason), ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (1975, with Ray Milland and Eddie Albert) and the sci-fi adventure TRON (1982).
  • 10- Jane Fonda, two-time Oscar-winning actress and daughter of movie legend Henry Fonda whose five-decade film career has included leading roles in CAT BALLOU (1965) and BAREFOOT IN THE PARK (1967), announces she will undergo hip replacement surgery after finishing publicity tours for her upcoming film, MONSTER IN LAW (2005), and new autobiography.
  • 10- Katharine Houghton, niece of actress Katharine Hepburn who appeared with her aunt in the role of her daughter in 1967's Oscar-winning Best Picture GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER, celebrates her 60th birthday.
  • 8- Gordon Kay, Republic Pictures and Universal producer who specialized in westerns, producing the first 26 Allan "Rocky" Lane westerns beginning in 1947 and seven westerns for Universal in the 1950s and '60s, dies at 88.
  • 7- John Box, four-time Academy Award-winning art director and production designer who re-created wintry Russia in for DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965) and also contributed to LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1961), OLIVER! (1968) and NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA (1971), dies at age 85.
  • 6- Teresa Wright, Oscar-winning star of some of the most popular films of the 1940s including MRS. MINIVER (1942), Hitchcock's SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943) and THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946), dies at age 86.
  • 5- Vance Gerry, veteran Disney story artist who contributed to many of the studio's animated features, including 101 DALMATIANS (1961), THE JUNGLE BOOK (1967) and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991), dies of cancer at 75.
  • 5- Morris Engel, New York photographer and filmmaker whose 1953 film, "The Little Fugitive," established a model for independent moviemaking and earned an Academy Award nomination, dies of cancer at 86.
  • 5- A revival of "Mister Roberts," Thomas Heggen and Joshua Logan's play based on Heggen's best-selling novel which starred Henry Fonda in the title role during the original 1,000+ performance-run on Broadway in 1948 and in the 1955 film version, debuts at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

February 2005:

  • 27- Joanne Woodward, Oscar-winning star of such films as THE THREE FACES OF EVE (1957) and THE LONG, HOT SUMMER (1958) co-starring her future husband Paul Newman, celebrates her 75th birthday.
  • 27- Sidney Lumet, five-time Oscar-nominated director of such classics as 12 ANGRY MEN (1957), LONG DAYS JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (1962), NETWORK (1976) and THE VERDICT (1982), receives an Honorary Oscar at the 77th Annual Academy Awards
  • 23- Christopher Plummer, Canadian-born actor whose best known for his roles in THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (1964), THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) and INSIDE DAISY CLOVER (1965), announces plans to join Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in Warner Bros. upcoming romantic comedy, IL MARE, scheduled for release in 2006.
  • 22- Simone Simon, French film actress whose best-known Hollywood movies included RKO's ALL THAT MONEY CAN BUY (1941), CAT PEOPLE (1942),  and its sequel, THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (1944), dies at age 93.
  • 22- John Mills, mild-mannered English actor (and father of actresses Hayley and Juliet Mills) whose eight-decade career has included roles in such films as IN WHICH WE SERVE (1942), GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1946), THE ROCKING HORSE WINNER (1949), SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1960), RYAN'S DAUGHTER (1970) and GANDHI (1982), celebrates his 97th birthday.
  • 22- Marni Nixon, little-known female vocalist who dubbed the musical numbers for Deborah Kerr in THE KING AND I (1956), Natalie Wood in WEST SIDE STORY (1961), and Audrey Hepburn in MY FAIR LADY (1964) before finally appearing on screen as Sister Sophia in THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), celebrates her 75th birthday.
  • 20- Sandra Dee, youthful blonde beauty of the 1950s and '60s best known for her roles in GIDGET (1959), IMITATION OF LIFE (1959), TAMMY TELL ME TRUE (1961) and TAKE HER, SHE'S MINE (1963) as well as for her brief headlining marriage to pop singer Bobby Darin, dies of complications from kidney disease at 63.
  • 20- John Raitt, Broadway baritone who created the roles of Billy Bigelow in "Carousel" (1945) and Sid Sorokin in "The Pajama Game" (1954), reprising the latter role for the 1957 film adaptation opposite Doris Day, dies of complications from pneumonia at 88.
  • 18- Eva Marie Saint, Oscar-winning actress best known for her roles in ON THE WATERFRONT (1954) and NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959), returns to the big screen as a shy librarian in BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE (2005).
  • 18- George Kennedy, imposing, bulky supporting actor of film and television who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in COOL HAND LUKE (1967) and is also remembered for CHARADE (1963), THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967) and the AIRPORT films of the 1970s, celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 18- Dan O'Herlihy, Irish-born stage and screen actor whose four-decade film career included roles in MACBETH (1948), IMITATION OF LIFE (1959) and FAIL-SAFE (1964) as well as an Oscar nomination for his performance THE ADVENTURES OF ROBINSON CRUSOE (1954), dies at 85.
  • 17- Warner Bros. announces plans to update several of its classic Looney Tunes characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Wile E. Coyote, and make them superhero action figures in the year 2772 for a new animated children's TV series, "Loonatics," that will air on Saturday mornings in the fall.
  • 17- Bob Newhart, 75-year-old comedian best known for his work on television but whose films have included HELL IS FOR HEROES (1962) and CATCH-22 (1970), announces a deal with Hyperion for the publication of his memoirs in fall 2006.
  • 15- Kevin McCarthy, prolific post-World War II big and small screen actor best known for his roles in DEATH OF A SALESMAN (1951) and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956), celebrates his 91st birthday.
  • 14- Otto Plaschkes, British filmmaker who co-produced the Oscar-nominated film GEORGY GIRL (1966) starring James Mason and Lynn Redgrave, and worked as Otto Preminger's assistant director on EXODUS (1960), dies of heart attack in London at age 75.
  • 11- Arthur Miller, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright whose best known works, ALL MY SONS, DEATH OF A SALESMAN and THE CRUCIBLE, have all been adapted for film multiple times, but who also wrote THE MISFITS (1961) directly for the screen for his then-wife Marilyn Monroe, dies at 89.
  • 10- Robert Wagner, film and TV actor and two-time husband of actress Natalie Wood best known for his youthful 1950s film roles, including PRINCE VALIANT (1954) and A KISS BEFORE DYING (1956), before finding success in television's "Hart to Hart" in the 1980s, celebrates his 75th birthday.
  • 8- A California judge dismisses a lawsuit against actress Elizabeth Taylor made by four descendants of a German woman who had sought to recover a valuable Vincent van Gogh painting from Taylor, claiming it had been taken by the Nazis during World War II before Taylor bought it at auction in 1963.
  • 5- James Garner, veteran film and TV actor whose career has included THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY (1964) and SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF! (1969) as well as TV's "Maverick'' and "The Rockford Files,'' receives a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild at the organization's annual gala awards show.
  • 4- Ossie Davis, imposing black actor-writer-director of stage and screen whose film appearances have included roles in NO WAY OUT (1950), GONE ARE THE DAYS! (1963) and THE SCALPHUNTERS (1968), dies at age 87.
  • 3- John Fiedler, diminutive, bald character actor best known for his supporting roles in 12 ANGRY MEN (1957), A RAISIN IN THE SUN (1961) and THE ODD COUPLE (1968) as well as for voicing the character of "Piglet" in Disney's animated Winnie-the-Pooh adventures, celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 2- Elaine Stritch, stage and screen actress whose best known film work has included roles in THREE VIOLENT PEOPLE (1957), A FAREWELL TO ARMS (1958) and KISS HER GOODBYE (1959), celebrates her 80th birthday.

January 2005:

  • 31- "Marlon, My Love, My Suffering," the memoirs of Marlon Brando's Tahitian former wife Tarita Teriipaia, who played his love interest in MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1962), is released in France, detailing the couple's 43-year relationship and the 1995 suicide of their daughter Cheyenne.
  • 30- Dorothy Malone, Oscar-winning supporting actress of the 1940s and '50s, best known for her film roles in COLORADO TERRITORY (1949), YOUNG AT HEART (1954) and WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956) before playing the lead in the 1960s television series "Peyton Place," celebrates her 80th birthday.
  • 30- Gene Hackman, two-time Oscar-winning actor whose five decades of film work has included HAWAII (1966), BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967), I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER (1970), THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971), HOOSIERS (1986) and UNFORGIVEN (1992), celebrates his 75th birthday.
  • 30- Coley Wallace, boxer who knocked out Rocky Marciano in an amateur bout and twice portrayed Joe Louis on film, in THE JOE LOUIS STORY (1953) and in Martin Scorsese's RAGING BULL (1980), dies at age 77.
  • 29- Katharine Ross, Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee for her role in THE GRADUATE (1967) whose subsequent film performances included roles in BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969) and THE STEPFORD WIVES (1975), celebrates her 65th birthday.
  • 29- Ann Jillian, former child starlet best known for her performances in BABES IN TOYLAND (1961) and GYPSY (1962), celebrates her 55th birthday.
  • 27- Sony Pictures Entertainment announces plans to celebrate the 112th anniversary of silent film comedian Harold Lloyd's birthday by reissuing several of Lloyd's classic films, including SAFETY LAST! (1923) and THE FRESHMAN (1925), in cities around the United States beginning April 20.
  • 26- Paul Newman, Oscar-winning star of such films as CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1958), THE HUSTLER (1961), COOL HAND LUKE (1967) and BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969), celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 24- Faye Dunaway, Oscar-winning star of such 1960 and '70s hit films as BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967), THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1968) and NETWORK (1976), announces plans to host "Starlet," a new reality TV show on the WB network in which she will puts wannabe actresses through a Hollywood boot camp.  The series debuts March 8.
  • 19- Tippi Hedren, blonde former New York fashion model chosen by Alfred Hitchcock to star in his 1960s thrillers THE BIRDS (1963) and MARNI (1964), celebrates her 75th birthday.
  • 17- Virginia Mayo, leggy blonde actress who began her career as a Goldwyn Girl and played supporting roles opposite comedian Danny Kaye before proving her dramatic mettle in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946), COLORADO TERRITORY (1949) and WHITE HEAT (1949), dies at age 84.
  • 15- Ruth Warrick, film, theatre and television actress best known for playing Emily Monroe Norton in CITIZEN KANE (1941) and Phoebe Tyler Wallingford on the television soap opera "All My Children," dies of pneumonia at 88.
  • 14- "The Last Mogul: The Life and Times of Lew Wasserman," a documentary about the career of the Hollywood talent agent who led MCA and later Universal Studios for half a century, debuts at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
  • 12- Luise Rainer, German-born two-time Oscar-winning actress best know for her performances in THE GREAT ZIEGFELD (1936) and THE GOOD EARTH (1937), celebrates her 95th birthday.
  • 12- The American Society of Cinematographers announces that film historian and critic Leonard Maltin has been chosen to receive the ASC's Award of Distinction at the organization's 19th annual Outstanding Achievement Awards ceremony on February 13.
  • 11- Thelma White, RKO starlet, talent agent and later television producer best known for portraying a hard-boiled addiction queen in the 1936 anti-marijuana educational short REEFER MADNESS which became a cult classic when it resurfaced in the 1970s, dies of pneumonia at 94.
  • 11- Rod Taylor, Australian-born leading man of the 1950s and '60s best known for his roles in THE TIME MACHINE (1960) and THE BIRDS (1963), celebrates his 75th birthday.
  • 8- Classic film stars Kirk Douglas (SPARTACUS (1960)), Anne Francis (FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956), and Celeste Holm (GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT (1947) join the throng of movie industry elite at the gala awards presentation of the 16th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.
  • 8- Paul Newman, 79-year-old Academy Award-winning star of such films as THE HUSTLER (1961) and COOL HAND LUKE (1967), escapes injury when the race car he was testing at Daytona International Speedway spun out and caught fire.
  • 4- Jane Wyman, Warner Bros.' starlet of the 1930s who became an Oscar-winning leading lady in the 1940s and '50s best known for her roles in THE YEARLING (1946), JOHNNY BELINDA (1948) and MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (1954), celebrates her 91st birthday.

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Last updated: March 10, 2011.
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