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 News Briefs 1998:

Here's an archive of the classic-movie related news items for 1998. 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 1998:

  • 4- Mae Questel, voice of Betty Boop in more than 150 short cartoons as well as the voice of Olive Oyl in the Popeye cartoons, dies at the age of 89.
  • 16- Emil Sitka, veteran character actor best known for being picked on by the Three Stooges, dies at age 83.

February 1998:

  • 6- Washington National Airport is renamed for Ronald Reagan, classic movie actor and former president of the United States.

March 1998:

April 1998:

  • 1- Gene Evans, character actor in more than 30 films of the late 1940s and '50s, including OPERATION PETTICOAT (1959) and who played the father on TV's "My Friend Flicka," dies of heart failure at age 75.
  • 3- Charles Lang, Academy Award-winning cinematographer (and 18-time nominee) who shot THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1947) and SABRINA (1954), dies of pneumonia at age 96.
  • 12- Ann Miller, veteran Hollywood comedienne and tap-dancing star of such films as STAGE DOOR (1937), EASTER PARADE (1948), SMALL TOWN GIRL (1953) and KISS ME KATE (1953), celebrates her 75th birthday.

May 1998:

  • 3- Gene Raymond, handsome blond actor and husband of Jeanette MacDonald, whose films of the '30s and '40s included FLYING DOWN TO RIO (1933), the first Astaire-Rogers musical, dies of pneumonia at age 89.
  • 9- Alice Faye, queen of many-a 20th Century-Fox musical of the '30s and '40s, dies of cancer at age 83..
  • 11- Gene Fowler Jr., writer, editor, producer and director who made the cult classic I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF (1957), dies at age 80.
  • 14- Frank Sinatra, singer, Oscar-winning actor, and American pop idol, dies of a heart attack at age 82.

June 1998:

  • 5- Jeanette Nolan, actress whose 70-year career featured many roles in westerns, including THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE (1962) and TV's "Wagon Train," dies of stroke complications at the age of 86.
  • 8- Dirk Bogarde, award-winning British actor and writer who appeared in a number of films throughout the 1950s and '60s, reveals that a massive stroke after an operation in 1996 has left him paralyzed down one side and wheelchair-bound.
  • 16- The American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest American movies names CITIZEN KANE (1941) as America's greatest movie, followed by CASABLANCA (1942), THE GODFATHER (1972), GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962).
  • 22- Maureen O'Sullivan, beautiful star of the 1930s who was Jane to Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan in several of the films, dies of a heart attack at age 87.

July 1998:

  • 6- Roy Rogers, the singing cowboy who rode the "happy trails" with Dale Evans on and off the screen in the '40s and '50s, dies of heart failure at age 86.
  • 21- Robert Young, very active MGM player of the 1930s and '40s who later became known for his TV roles on "Father Knows Best" and "Marcus Welby, M.D," dies of respiratory failure at age 91.
  • 27- Binnie Barnes, British-born character actress featured in over 70 films throughout the 1930s and '40s including HOLIDAY (1938) and THE SPANISH MAIN (1945), dies at the age of 95.
  • 28- Jerome Robbins, master choreographer of modern ballet and co-director of WEST SIDE STORY (1961), dies of a stroke at age 79.

September 1998:

  • 6- Akira Kurosawa, Japanese filmmaker and creator of THE SEVEN SAMURAI (1954), dies of a stroke at age 88.

October 1998:

  • 2- Gene Autry, Hollywood's first singing cowboy, dies at age 91.
  • 3- Roddy McDowall, child star of films like HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941) and LASSIE COME HOME (1943) who continued acting into adulthood in films like THE PLANET OF THE APES series, dies of cancer at age 70.

November 1998:

  • 3- Bob Kane, creator of "Batman" (in 1939) and writer and consultant for several of the Caped Crusader movies between 1943 and 1997, dies at age 83.
  • 8- Jean Marais, French actor and pillar of French cinema throughout the 1940s, '50s and '60s, dies of a heart attack at age 84.
  • 13- Valerie Hobson, elegant Irish-born actress who appeared in a number of English films throughout the 1930s and '40s including GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1946), dies at age 81.

December 1998:

  • 1- Freddie Young, Oscar-winning cinematographer for LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1963) and DR. ZHIVAGO (1965), dies at age 96.
  • 7- John Addison, Hollywood and TV composer throughout the 1950s and '60s who won an Oscar for his score to TOM JONES (1963), dies of a stroke at age 78.
  • 20- Irene Hervey, leading lady of a number of films during the 1930s and '40s who was most famous for her role as Janice Tyndall in DESTRY RIDES AGAIN (1939), dies at age 89.
  • 28- Don Taylor, actor, writer and director who played a number of clean-cut American boys in 1950s films such as FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1950), THE BLUE VEIL (1951) and STALAG 17 (1953), dies in Los Angeles at age 78.

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