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 News Briefs 2000:

Here's an archive of the classic-movie related news items for 2000. 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 2000:

  • 5- Vic Schoen, musician and composer who arranged songs for such films as THE ROAD TO MOROCCO (1942) and THE ROAD TO RIO (1947) with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, as well as THE COURT JESTER (1956) with Danny Kaye, dies of pneumonia at 83.
  • 5- Bernhard Wicki, Swiss film director and one of the most acclaimed German-language filmmakers in history, who also directed such English-language films as THE LONGEST DAY (1962) and THE VISIT (1964), dies at age 80.
  • 6- Loretta Young, Oscar-winning Best Actress for THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER (1947), celebrates her 87th birthday with Jane Wyman and Carol Channing, among others, in Rancho Mirage, California.
  • 9- Warner Bros. announces plans for a remake of OCEAN'S ELEVEN, Lewis Milestone's 1960 film starring "Rat Pack"ers Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joe Bishop and Angie Dickinson.  The film will not begin shooting until the fall due to the difficulties of putting together the necessary all-star cast, the only member of which currently signed is George Clooney for the Sinatra role.
  • 9- Marguerite Churchill, who at the age of 20 was cast as John Wayne's leading lady in his first major film, Raoul Walsh's THE BIG TRAIL (1930), but retired from films only a few years later, dies at 90. 
  • 10- Sam Jaffe, the production manager who saved financially troubled Paramount when he invented "shooting night for day" after a 1929 fire destroyed the studio's new soundstages, and whose continued involvement in the industry included the production of such films as THE FIGHTING SULLIVANS (1944) and BORN FREE (1966), dies at the age of 98. 
  • 10- Maxine Elliott Hicks, actress who began her career playing screen juveniles in over 200 silent films, including a role as Mary Pickford's nemesis in POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL (1917), and moved into talkies before retiring in the 1930s to raise a family and returning to acting in the 1980s sit-com "Just the Ten of Us," dies at 95.
  • 11- Helena Carter, actress who appeared in over a dozen films from the late 1940s through early '50s, including roles as Margaret Dobson in KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE (1950) and Dr. Pat Blake, MD in INVADERS FROM MARS (1953), dies at age 76.
  • 12- Marc Davis, one of a group of early Disney animators (nicknamed the "Nine Old Men") who animated such characters as Snow White, Tinker Bell, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent and Cruella de Vil, and who also helped create the "Pirates of Caribbean" and "Haunted Mansion" attractions at Disneyland, dies at 86. 
  • 14- Billy Wilder, six-time Oscar-winning writer/director, now 93 years old, is honored with two-hours of film clips and three standing ovations by a crowd at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.  The well-wishers included Juliet Mills, Evelyn Keyes, Edie Adams and Karl Malden
  • 16- James Card, one of the world's leading film preservationists and the first curator of the Department of Film at the George Eastman House of Photography in Rochester, dies at the age of 84.
  • 17- Frances Drake, brunette beauty and leading lady of the 1930s and '40s who appeared in almost two dozen films including LES MISERABLES (1935) with Fredric March and Charles Laughton as well as such early horror films as THE INVISIBLE RAY (1936) with Boris Karloff, dies at 91.
  • 18- Karl Malden, two-time Oscar-winning classic actor, announces that he will appear as a priest named Father Cavanaugh in an episode of "The West Wing" about the death penalty. One of Malden's props will be the Bible he used in ON THE WATERFRONT (1954).
  • 18- Jester Hairston, veteran black actor who began his career in racially stereotyped roles in several of the TARZAN films but also advanced a career as a choral director specializing in negro spirituals (being best known for his arrangement of "Amen," which he dubbed for Sidney Poitier in LILIES OF THE FIELD (1963), dies at 98.
  • 19- James Garner, star of such classic films as THE CHILDREN'S HOUR (1961) and THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963), announces his return to series television for the first time in nearly 20 years, signing up for a recurring role on the CBS medical drama "Chicago Hope.'' 
  • 19- Hedy Lamarr, Viennese beauty who created a sensation in the 1933 Austrian film ECSTASY before becoming one of Hollywood's most alluring sex symbols of the 1930s and '40s in such films as ALGIERS (1938) and SAMSON AND DELILAH (1949), dies at 86.
  • 21- Tommy Gallagher, husband of classic actress Suzanne Pleshette for 31 years, dies.
  • 23- Richard Krisher, film and stage actor who appeared in such films as TONY ROME (1967) and THE BOSTON STRANGLER (1968), dies of a heart attack at 61.
  • 24- Angela Lansbury, star of stage, "Murder, She Wrote" and such classic films as GASLIGHT (1944) and THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946), will be honored by the theatre community at the New Dramatists 51st Annual luncheon tribute on May 16 when she will be presented with their Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • 24- Shirley Jones, classic musical star of OKLAHOMA! (1955) and THE MUSIC MAN (1962) fame, and her husband, Marty Ingels, announce a six-month trial separation.
  • 27- Universal Pictures announces its intention to remake the classic British comedy KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS (1949) which starred Alec Guinness in eight different roles.  Robin Williams has expressed interest in the project which could go into production before the end of the year.
  • 31- Marlon Brando announces he is negotiating to co-star with Robert De Niro and Edward Norton in THE SCORE, a crime drama directed by Frank Oz and set to begin filming in late April.
  • 31- Liza Minnelli, daughter of screen legends Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli and star of such films as CABARET (1972), is honored by the Drama League at its 16th annual gala dinner.

February 2000:

  • 1- Columbia Pictures announces plans to remake the 1966 western THE PROFESSIONALS which starred Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin and Jack Palance.
  • 5- Todd Karns, actor who appeared in over 20 films from the mid-1940s through mid-'50s but was best known for his role as Harry Bailey, Jimmy Stewart's younger brother in Frank Capra's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946), dies of cancer at age 79.
  • 7- Sara Karloff, daughter of classic horror film icon Boris Karloff, announces she is suing Universal Studios for more than $10 million, alleging the company avoided paying her royalties for the use of some classic Karloff characters.
  • 9- German Ambassador to the United States, Juergen Chrobog, announces that the Federal Republic of Germany will present 93-year-old classic film director Billy Wilder with the Knight Commander’s Cross at a ceremony on March 10.  Wilder will also be honored by the Producers Guild on March 2 when his classic comedy SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) joins the list of the guild's Landmark Motion Pictures.
  • 11- Warner Bros. announces it will re-release THE EXORCIST (1973) with 11 minutes of additional footage that was cut from the original release.  The showings will begin on March 17 in the college towns of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Austin, Texas and Athens, Georgia but could expand into wider markets if the reception in these test markets is good.
  • 12- Newt Arnold, assistant director on such films as THE BALLAD OF JOSIE (1967),  THE DEVIL'S BRIGADE (1968) and THE GREEN BERETS (1968) and winner of the Directors Guild of America award for his work on THE GODFATHER, PART II (1974), dies of leukemia at age 72.
  • 16- Lila Kedrova, Russian-born actress who earned an Oscar for her role as the aging French prostitute in ZORBA THE GREEK (1964), dies at approximately the age of 82. 
  • 17- The City of Hollywood announces that Richard Chamberlain, actor and movie star for over 40 years, will be receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in a ceremony scheduled for February 29.
  • 17- Miles White, costume designer who earned Oscar nominations for his work on THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (1952), THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS (1954) and AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (1956), dies of congestive heart failure at 85.
  • 18- Veronica Blafe Cooper Converse, wife of classic actor Gary Cooper from 1933 until his death from cancer in 1961 and mother of his only child Maria, dies at age 87.
  • 19- Bob Hope and his wife Dolores celebrate their 66th wedding anniversary today.
  • 21- 20th Century Fox announces that its planned remake of the 1968 sci-fi classic PLANET OF THE APES, which starred Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter and was followed by four sequels, is inching closer to production with director Tim Burton in negotiations to direct.  The remake has been in the works since 1993 and if all goes according to plan, could be released in the summer 2001.
  • 26- Bill Lewis Downer, head of Decca Records' northern music division in the 1940s and later an executive with MCA Music after Decca's merger with Universal Pictures, who published and promoted such classic songs as Jay Livingston and Ray Evans' "Tammy" as well as compositions by Henry Mancini and recordings by Rosemary Clooney, Sammy Davis Jr., Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Jo Stafford and Doris Day, dies of congestive heart failure at age 86.
  • 27- George Duning, five-time Oscar nominated composer who scored such films as JOLSON SINGS AGAIN (1949) and FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) during his fifteen years at Columbia Pictures, dies at 92.

March 2000:

  • 1- The Professional Dancers Society announces it will honor classic movie hoofer Fred Astaire at its annual Gypsy Awards on March 12.  Cyd Charisse will host a few minutes of film clips and present Fred's Award to Robyn Astaire, Fred's widow.  Buddy Ebsen (92) and Marge Champion (77) will be honored with the PDS's annual awards, presented to them by Dick Van Dyke and Carol Channing respectively.
  • 2- David Berman, who ran the Hollywood division of his family's costume company, Max Berman & Sons, which created the costumes for such films as CLEOPATRA (1963) and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) based on the drawings of such designers as Cecil Beaton, Phyllis Dalton and Irene Sharaff, dies at 90.
  • 5- Mary Elliott Cummings, third wife of the late actor Robert Cummings (1945-1970) who, while under contract to MGM in the 1940s, appeared in such films as GIRL CRAZY (1943), THOUSANDS CHEER (1943) and A GUY NAMED JOE (1943), dies of cancer at age 82.
  • 6- The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports that 55 intimate letters written by silver screen icon Greta Garbo to Swedish poet and playwright Mercedes de Acosta in the 1930s will be made available to the public sometime after April 15 by the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  De Acosta, who died in 1968, donated the letters to the museum upon the condition that they not be read until at least ten years after the death of both women.  Garbo died in 1990.
  • 7- MARLENE, a new German-language biopic of classic screen legend Marlene Dietrich, directed by Joseph Vilsmaier and starring German TV-movie actress Katja Flint in the title role, opens to lackluster reviews in Berlin.
  • 7- Charles Gray, British character actor best known for his roles as Blofeld, the villain with the white cat, in the 1971 James Bond film DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, and as the narrator of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW (1975), dies at 71. 
  • 8- Gertrude Sanford Legendre, socialite, big game hunter, prisoner of war and inspiration for Katharine Hepburn's character Linda Seton in HOLIDAY (1938), based on the 1929 play by Philip Barry, dies at 97.
  • 15- Fred Kelly, three-time Tony Award winner and dance instructor who taught his older brother, Gene Kelly, how to tap dance and who choreographed and appeared with Gene in the "I Love to Go Swimmin' With Women" number in DEEP IN MY HEART (1955), dies of cancer at 83. 
  • 16- Lothrop Worth, veteran Hollywood cameraman who pioneered a 3-D film technique in the 1950s called "natural vision" which he used to shoot such films as THE HOUSE OF WAX (1953) with Vincent Price, dies at 96. 
  • 21- Turner Broadcasting announces plans for a made-for-TV remake of Fred Zinnemann's 1952 classic western HIGH NOON.  The new film, which will star Tom Skerritt in the lead role played by Gary Cooper in the original, begins shooting in late April. 
  • 21- Jean Howard, former Ziegfeld Girl, Goldwyn Girl and MGM contract player who had bit parts in a number of films in the 1930s before marrying Hollywood agent Charles K. Feldman and establishing herself as a legendary hostess and photographer, publishing the well-received behind-the-scenes photography books "Jean Howard's Hollywood" in 1989 and "Travels With Cole Porter" in 1991, dies at 89.
  • 23- Marlon Brando, classic actor, Oscar-winner and Hollywood legend, announces he has signed with Paramount/Mandalay to appear with Robert De Niro and Edward Norton in THE SCORE, set to begin shooting in May.
  • 30- Coors Brewing Company announces that a fourth beer commercial featuring the digitally resuscitated image of classic film icon John Wayne will debut on American television at the end of the current TV season.  The ad features an image of Wayne extracted from TROUBLE ALONG THE WAY (1953), while previous ads have used scenes from CAST A GIANT SHADOW (1966), THE COMANCHEROS (1961) and EL DORADO (1967).  

April 2000:

  • 4- Sy Weintraub, motion picture executive and a former owner of Panavision who produced a highly-regarded series of Tarzan films in the 1960s including TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE (1959) and TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT (1960), dies at 76.
  • 5- Sony Pictures Family Entertainment and producer Denise Di Novi announce plans to remake the 1966 Ida Lupino comedy THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS which starred Rosalind Russell as the Mother Superior at a Catholic girls' school and Hayley Mills as a rebellious student.
  • 5- The British Library announces it has paid $1.59 million for the personal archive of celebrated British actor and director Laurence Olivier. The archive, purchased from Olivier's family, covers a wide range of facets from his personal and professional life including his Old Vic Theater productions, his films and his personal correspondence.
  • 7- Joel Ashley, classic actor whose prolific work in television, movie and on stage included appearances in such classic 1950s films as THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) and TENSION AT TABLE ROCK (1956), dies at 81.  
  • 8- Claire Trevor Bren, classic star of over 60 films who frequently played women with tarnished reputations, as in such films as DEAD END (1937) with Humphrey Bogart, John Ford's STAGECOACH (1939) with John Wayne, and KEY LARGO (1948) for which she earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, dies at age 90.
  • 10- Palomar Pictures announces plans for a new film called COLOR OF LOVE based on a Vanity Fair article by Sam Kashner about classic entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. and his controversial interracial love affair with silver screen goddess Kim Novak.  The film has not yet been cast.
  • 12- Blake Edwards, director of such classic films as BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961) and THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES (1962), is honored with France’s Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres at the residence of France’s Consul General in Los Angeles.
  • 12- Carmen Dillon, the first female art director in the British film industry, who won an Oscar for her work on Laurence Olivier's HAMLET (1948), dies at 91.
  • 12- Ann Miller, 77-year old classic musical star, is injured in a freak automobile accident but receives an injection in her spine and is able to participate in the filming of Turner Classic Movies' round table discussion on "The Art of Choreography," also featuring Cyd Charisse, Donald O'Connor, Marge Champion and choreographer Marguertie Derricks.  The segment is scheduled to air in June.
  • 12- Paul Newman, 75-year-old, blue-eyed classic film icon, announces during his appearance on "Late Show with David Letterman" that he intends to make one more film and then retire from movies.  Newman did not know what that last film would be yet.
  • 13- Vic Damone, 71-year-old classic crooner who appeared in a dozen films in the 1950s and '60s and whose rendition of "Our Love Affair" (Click here), the title song of the 1958 romance AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER, earned an Oscar nomination as Best Song, announces plans to retire after 53 years in show business.  Damone will set off on a final national tour, "A Farewell To Remember," starting May 27 and finishing at Carnegie Hall on May 18, 2001.
  • 13- Sidney Poitier, 72-year-old Oscar-winner for his performance in LILIES OF THE FIELD (1963), celebrates the publication of his new book, The Measure of a Man, a spiritual autobiography, at a party in Hollywood. 
  • 15- Arthur Morton, composer and orchestrator of background music for numerous films and television shows, including TURNABOUT (1940), FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) and THE MAN FROM LARAMIE (1955), orchestrating almost every movie score composed by long time friend Jerry Goldsmith during Morton's 65-year career in Hollywood, dies at 91.
  • 15- Letters written by silver screen icon Greta Garbo to Swedish poet and playwright Mercedes de Acosta are unsealed and made public on the tenth anniversary of Garbo's death.  According to her grandniece, Gray Reisfield Horan, who was present at the unsealing, speculators who predicted the letters would reveal evidence of a lesbian relationship between Garbo and Acosta were disappointed, as preliminary readings gave no explicit evidence for such claims as Acosta made in her memoirs in the 1960s. 
  • 17- Paramount and Miramax announce plans for a remake of Zoltan Korda's THE FOUR FEATHERS (1939) which originally starred John Clements and Ralph Richardson.  The co-production is scheduled to shoot in Morocco this spring and has not yet been cast.
  • 17- Christie's auction house announces its next movie memorabilia auction, "A Century of Hollywood," will include a pair of Ruby Slippers worn by Judy Garland in THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) as well as Bert Lahr's The Cowardly Lion costume from the film, and a Rolls Royce from the classic James Bond film GOLDFINGER (1964).  The auction will be held May 24 at Christie's East in New York.
  • 17- Roger Moore, 72-year-old British actor and former James Bond, announces plans to star in a new thriller about biological warfare called THE ENEMY.
  • 24- Charlton Heston, epic classic actor, and his wife Lydia Clarke Heston announce they will perform "Love Letters, " a two-person play, on June 24 at Pocatello, Idaho's Colonial Theater, replacing Robert Wagner and Jill St. John who canceled due to other commitments.
  • 26- Daily Variety reports that classic actor Walter Matthau and Oscar-winning director Billy Wilder are both in the hospital suffering from unspecified (but unrelated) ailments.
  • 26- Helen Eileen Beardsley, mother of 20 whose unusual family story was made into the film YOURS, MINE AND OURS (1968) starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda, dies at age 70.
  • 27- Universal and RKO Pictures announce plans for a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1941 thriller SUSPICION which originally starred Cary Grant as well as Joan Fontaine in an Oscar-winning role.  The film is scheduled for production next year.
  • 28- Jim Rogers, California horse rancher and the last surviving child of Western humorist and classic movie star Will Rogers, who appeared in three silent films with his father as well as three Hopalong Cassidy movies, dies of cancer at age 84.
  • 29- Teresa Wright, 81-year-old Oscar-winning star of such films as MRS. MINIVER (1942), SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943) and THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946), attends a special public screening of the Lou Gehrig biopic THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES (1942) (in which she played Mrs. Lou Gehrig) at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

May 2000:

  • 1- Steve Reeves, former Mr. Universe and hulky star of 19 films (mostly Italian) during the 1950s and '60s including the title role in HERCULES (1957), dies of lymphoma at 74.
  • 3- Lewis Allen, British director of almost 20 films both in the U.K. and in Hollywood during the 1940s and '50s including THE UNINVITED (1944), OUR HEARTS WERE YOUNG AND GAY (1944), THE PERFECT MARRIAGE (1946), and SUDDENLY (1954), dies at 94.
  • 4- Liza Minnelli, classic musical star of such films as CABARET (1972), announces to CBS's "Sunday Morning" program that she is thinking about working with underprivileged children in Peru when her life as a celebrity is over.  The segment will air May 7.
  • 5- For the first time in 50 years, after being lost in a studio fire, THE POWER AND THE GLORY (1933), a precursor to CITIZEN KANE (1941) starring Spencer Tracy and Colleen Moore, debuts at the British Film Institute's National Film Theatre in London.  The film was originally scripted by Preston Sturges and his son Tom aided in the reconstruction efforts.
  • 5- The estate and widow of Sammy Davis Jr. files a breach-of-contract, fraud and failure-to-pay-royalties suit against Universal Music Group (UMG) and its Polygram Records unit alleging that Davis wasn't paid royalties from the licensing of 35 individual songs to MGM-Verve (later acquired by Polygram) for 23 years and that these royalties were recalculated at reduced rates without Davis' permission.
  • 7- Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., son of silent screen icon Douglas Fairbanks and himself star of almost 80 films between 1921 and 1981 including LITTLE CAESAR (1930) with Edward G. Robinson, MORNING GLORY (1933) with Katharine Hepburn, GUNGA DIN (1939) with Cary Grant, and SINBAD THE SAILOR (1947) with Maureen O'Hara, dies at age 90.
  • 9- Bob Hope, 96-year-old classic entertainer, and his wife Delores attend the opening of the permanent Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment in the Library of Congress which includes 88,000 pages of jokes as well as countless letters, photos, videos and other mementos described by some as a history of American entertainment.
  • 9- Family members of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. announce that the late film star will be entombed alongside the remains of his father, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. (who died in 1939), in a sarcophagus which sits at the top of a large reflecting pool at Hollywood Forever cemetery in Los Angeles.
  • 10- Producer Joel Silver and director Robert Zemeckis announce plans to remake the 1958 classic thriller MACABRE, originally directed by William Castle.
  • 10- Craig Stevens, widower of classic film actress Alexis Smith and a classic second lead in his own right, of almost 50 films during the 1940s and '50s including GOD IS MY CO-PILOT (1945) and WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS (1950), but who was best known for his role as TV private eye "Peter Gunn," dies of cancer at 81.
  • 11- David Bretherton, editor of more than 50 major motion pictures including AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (1954), THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (1959), and ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER (1970), winning an Academy Award in 1972 his work on CABARET, dies of pneumonia at 76.
  • 15- Miracle Entertainment announces plans for a sequel to EASY RIDER (1969), originally starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.  Filming is scheduled to begin in the fall, using many of the locations from the original.
  • 16- British-born, Oscar-winning classic actresses Elizabeth Taylor, 68, and Julie Andrews, 64, are made Dame Commanders of the Order of the British Empire, the female equivalent of a knight, by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
  • 20- Edward Bernds, early Hollywood sound man who also wrote and directed almost 100 films including a number of Blondie, Bowery Boys and Three Stooges films throughout the 1940s, '50s and '60s, dies at 94.
  • 21- Sir John Gielgud, icon of the British stage and Shakespearean legend who also appeared sporadically in films beginning in 1924, notable performances including Benjamin Disraeli in THE PRIME MINISTER (1941), Clarence in RICHARD III (1954) with Laurence Olivier, King Louis VII in BECKET (1964) as well as smaller roles in MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974) and CHARIOTS OF FIRE (1981), and who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in ARTHUR (1981), dies at the age of 96.
  • 24- Dr. Petter Lindstrom, Swedish neurosurgeon and first husband of silver screen luminary Ingrid Bergman whom the actress abandoned (along with their daughter Pia) in 1948, beginning a scandalous affair with Italian director Roberto Rossellini, dies in California at 93. 
  • 25- A pair of Dorothy's Ruby Slippers worn by Judy Garland in THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) sells for $666,000 at a Hollywood memorabilia auction in New York.
  • 25- Francis Lederer, Czech-born actor who played suave, Continental characters in films from the silent era through the 1950s including PANDORA'S BOX (1929) with Louise Brooks, CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY (1939), Billy Wilder's MIDNIGHT (1939) and Jean Renoir's DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID (1946), dies at the age of 100.
  • 26- Samuel Taylor, Broadway playwright whose works "Sabrina Fair" and "The Pleasure of His Company" inspired the classic films SABRINA (1954) with Audrey Hepburn and THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY (1961) with Debbie Reynolds and Fred Astaire, and who also contributed to screenplays for such films as VERTIGO (1958), TOPAZ (1969) and GOODBYE AGAIN (1961), dies at 87.
  • 28- Robert Fryer, theatrical producer who also oversaw production of a half-dozen films including THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE (1969) and MAME (1974) starring Lucille Ball, dies of complications from Parkinson's disease at the age of 79.
  • 30- Tex Beneke, saxophonist and singer with the Glenn Miller Orchestra noted for singing "Chattanooga Choo Choo" in SUN VALLEY SERENADE (1941) and "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo" in ORCHESTRA WIVES (1942), dies at 86.
  • 30- Bill Thomas, costume designer for over 100 films during the 1950s and '60s including MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (1954), PILLOW TALK (1959) and  BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICK (1971), who earned an Academy Award for his work on Jean Simmons costumes in SPARTACUS (1960), dies at 79.

June 2000:

  • 1- Bill Colleran, one-time husband of actress Lee Remick whose credits as an assistant film director whose include 13 RUE MADELEINE (1946) and BOOMERANG! (1947), dies of a stroke at age 77.
  • 2- Bob Hope reportedly has good vital signs after a bout of gastrointestinal bleeding that hospitalized him in critical but stable condition.  The 97-year-old entertainer received blood transfusions but no surgery was necessary.  Hope was taken to Eisenhower Regional Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California on June 1 and is expected to remain hospitalized for a week because of his age.
  • 5- Sybil Trent, veteran radio star of the Saturday-morning children's show "Let's Pretend" from 1935-1954 who also appeared as a child star in such films as KEEP 'EM ROLLING (1934), THE PEOPLE'S ENEMY (1935) and a series of short films at Warner Bros., dies at 73.
  • 7- Bob Hope is released a day early from the hospital after being treated for intestinal bleeding.
  • 9- Aida Mulieri-Dagort, harpist under contract to Warner Bros. from 1942 to 1948 and for Paramount from 1949 to 1968 whose music graced the soundtracks of such classic films as THE MALTESE FALCON, CASABLANCA (1942), BAMBI (1942), DUEL IN THE SUN (1946), VERTIGO (1958), and BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961), dies of a brain tumor at 82.
  • 10- J. Watson Webb Jr., veteran film editor who rose to head the editing department at 20th Century-Fox and whose credits include work on A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1949) with Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell and Ann Sothern and DON'T BOTHER TO KNOCK (1952) with Marilyn Monroe, Richard Widmark and Anne Bancroft, dies at the age of 84.
  • 11- Leo Gallo, actor who appeared in such films as PORK CHOP HILL (1959) and PT 109 (1963) before becoming a television producer, dies of complications from an aortic aneurysm at 71.
  • 12- Carl Leon Nugent, longtime property master who began his career at MGM, holding the Cowardly Lion's tail from the soundstage rafters with a fishing pole as Dorothy and her trio skipped down the Yellow Brick Road in THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939), dies at 88.
  • 13- The American Film Institute's list of the 100 funniest American movies names Billy Wilder's SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) as America's funniest movie, followed by TOOTSIE (1982), DR. STRANGELOVE (1964), ANNIE HALL (1977) and The Marx Brothers' DUCK SOUP (1933).
  • 14- Liza Minnelli, classic musical star of such films as CABARET (1972), continues to recover from a bout with pneumonia, according to a report by Daily Variety.
  • 16- Peter O'Toole, seven-time Oscar nominee, begins shooting his newest film, THE FINAL CURTAIN, in London, directed by Patrick Harkins and scheduled for release sometime next year.
  • 22- The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announces that classic actors Gloria Stuart and Robert Wagner will be among 23 entertainment celebrities who will get stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year.
  • 24- David Tomlinson, British actor who appeared in over 50 films including SO LONG AT THE FAIR (1950) and TOM JONES (1963), but was best known to American audiences for his roles in such Disney classics as MARY POPPINS (1964), THE LOVE BUG (1969) and BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS (1971), dies at 83.
  • 29- Vittorio Gassman, handsome Italian actor whose long international career included such American films as SOMBRERO (1953), RHAPSODY (1954) opposite Elizabeth Taylor, and WAR AND PEACE (1956) with Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda, and who was also married to actress Shelley Winters during the 1950s, dies of a heart attack at age 77.
  • 30- Vic Damone, 72-year-old classic crooner who announced his impending retirement in April, postpones the his farewell tour until the fall after being hospitalized earlier in the week, suffering from severe exhaustion and dehydration.

July 2000:

  • 1- Walter Matthau, Oscar-winning character actor who appeared in over seventy films including CHARADE (1963), THE FORTUNE COOKIE (1966), THE ODD COUPLE (1968) with frequent co-star Jack Lemmon, and HELLO, DOLLY! (1969), as well as two Best Actor nominated performances during the 1970s, dies of a heart attack at age 79.
  • 3- Harold Nicholas, younger member of the tap-dancing Nicholas Brothers who, with his brother Fayard, appeared in more than 50 films between 1932 and 1989 including THE BIG BROADCAST OF 1936 (1935), DOWN ARGENTINE WAY (1940), SUN VALLEY SERENADE (1941) and STORMY WEATHER (1943) which featured their most famous screen number, "Jumpin' Jive," dies of heart failure following surgery at the age of 79.
  • 4- Sean Connery, veteran of six James Bond films and an Oscar nominee actor for his performance in THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987), is knighted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.
  • 7- Alfonso Arau commits to direct the remake of Orson Welles' 1942 film THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, which will be shot using the original script embellished with scenes from the 1918 Pulitzer Prize-winning Booth Tarkington novel which Welles adapted for his film.  The movie will be filmed in two versions, a theatrical feature for the international market as well as a four-hour miniseries that will debut in the U.S. on A&E sometime next year.
  • 14- Meredith MacRae, daughter of classic musical star Gordon MacRae and an award-winning television talk show host who also appeared in a handful of films during the 1950s and 1960s including BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON (1953) and BEACH PARTY (1963) but was best known for her role in TV's "Petticoat Junction," dies of brain cancer at 56.
  • 16- Maureen Reagan, daughter of classic actor and former president Ronald Reagan, now 89, reports to the Associated Press that her father's Alzheimer's disease continues to worsen and he is no longer capable of holding coherent conversations or working simple jigsaw puzzles.
  • 16- Fay Alexander, trapeze artist and daredevil who doubled circus stunts for a number of film stars including Cornel Wilde in Cecil B. DeMille's THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (1951), Tony Curtis in TRAPEZE (1955), Gilbert Roland in THE BIG CIRCUS (1959) and Martha Rae and Doris Day in JUMBO (1962), dies of lung cancer at 75.
  • 19- James B. Clark, Oscar-nominated editor of such films as HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941), ROXIE HART (1942), I WAS A MALE WAR BRIDE (1948) and AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (1957), dies at 92.
  • 21- The Doyle Auction House of New York announces an auction of properties from the estates of James  Cagney and his wife Frances on September 26 which will include such items as the 1942 Oscar Cagney won for his portrayal of George M. Cohan in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY, his 1961 Bentley S2 four-door Saloon, paintings by the actor, and a diamond engagement ring.  Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Frances and James Cagney Foundation.
  • 21- Angela Lansbury, film, television and stage star for over 50 years, withdraws from a new Broadway musical, "The Visit," scheduled to open next spring, saying she needs to be with her husband, Peter Shaw,  as he recovers from heart surgery. 
  • 21- Lucille Ball, classic film and TV comedienne, is honored with a stamp to be released by the U.S. Postal Service in 2001 as part of its "Legends of Hollywood" series which has already included Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Alfred Hitchcock and James Cagney.
  • 21- Bess Taffel, openly Communist screenwriter whose career included credits for the films BADMAN'S TERRITORY (1946), A LIKELY STORY (1947) and ELOPEMENT (1951) until she was blacklisted in Hollywood for refusing to answer to the House Un-American Activities Committee, dies at 85.
  • 22- James Lamarr Loder, 61-year-old estranged adopted son of actress Hedy Lamarr who died in January, files a protest against his mother's will, written three months before her death and in which she left him nothing, claiming the actress was of unsound mind at the time.
  • 25- Kim Novak, blonde beauty and star of such classic films as Alfred Hitchcock's VERTIGO (1958), watches her one-story wood-frame house in Eagle Point, Oregon go up in flames.  The electrical fire destroyed many of her personal effects, including the computer on which she had been writing her autobiography.  Novak reportedly has taken the fire to be a sign that her story should not be told and will not complete the book she has been writing for over a decade.
  • 26- Don Weis, award-winning film and television director whose long career included contributions to such MGM films as THE AFFAIRS OF DOBIE GILLIS (1953) and TV series like "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Perry Mason," "The Love Boat," and "M*A*S*H," dies at age 78. 
  • 30- Max Showalter, prolific character actor in movies and theater whose film appearances (for which he was often credited as "Casey Adams") included WHAT PRICE GLORY (1952), NIAGARA (1953),  THE MUSIC MAN (1962) and SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL (1964), dies at 83. 
  • 31- Charlton Heston's publicist announces that the 76-year-old Oscar-winning actor spent three weeks in an alcohol rehabilitation program last spring after his social drinking got out of hand.  Heston checked himself into a facility in Utah from late May to mid-June, but is now back a work, speaking, promoting the National Rifle Association and completing work on a new film, TOWN AND COUNTRY.

August 2000:

  • 4- The Writers Guild of America West corrects the credits for eight blacklisted writers on 14 films released between 1951 and 1964.  The late Oscar-winning writer Dalton Trumbo received credit for seven films: TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN (1958), THE BOSS (1956), THE GREEN-EYED BLONDE (1957), HE RAN ALL THE WAY (1951), THE BRAVE ONE (1956) and THE PROWLER (1951).  Other revisions included:  Bernard Gordon, story credit for 1964's CIRCUS WORLD; Carl Foreman, credit for BORN FOR TROUBLE; Ben Barzman, credit for IT HAPPENED IN PARIS (1953) and STRANGER ON THE PROWL (1951); Cyril Endfield, credit for THE MASTER PLAN (1955); Hugo Butler, credit with Trumbo for THE PROWLER (1951) and HE RAN ALL THE WAY (1951); Butler and Ring Lardner Jr., credit for THE BIG NIGHT; Paul Jarrico, credit for THE MAN WHO WATCHED TRAINS GO BY (1953).
  • 4- Ann-Margret, 1960s sex-kitten and teen musical star, announces her plans to star in "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas" which will debut in February 2001 and tour the U.S. for a year.
  • 4- Elizabeth Taylor, 68-year-old Oscar-winning actress, is admitted to Cedar Sinai Medical Center with a mild case of pneumonia.
  • 5- Sir Alec Guinness, versatile British character actor and leading man who won two Academy Awards and a whose 65 year career included roles in such films as GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1946), KIND HEARTS AND CORONETS (1949), THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957), LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962), DR. ZHIVAGO (1965) and STAR WARS (1977), dies at 86.
  • 6- Don Ettlinger, screenwriter during the 1930s and '40s whose credits include such Shirley Temple vehicles as REBECCA OF SUNNYBROOK FARM (1938) and YOUNG PEOPLE (1940), dies from complications following chemotherapy at 86.
  • 10- Elizabeth Taylor is released from the hospital after being treated for a mild case of pneumonia.
  • 10- Joan Marsh, child actress in Mary Pickford's silent films who returned to the screen as a blond bombshell in light romantic comedies of the 1930s and 1940s, dies at 86.
  • 12- Loretta Young, elegant classic star of over 90 films including THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1946) and THE FARMER'S DAUGHTER (1947) for which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress, dies of ovarian cancer at 87.
  • 15- Robert E. Swink, editor who frequently worked with director William Wyler and garnered three Oscar nominations during his 50-year career for his work on ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953), FUNNY GIRL (1968) and THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL (1978), dies at 82. 
  • 19- Ann-Margret, 1960s teen musical star, suffers four cracked ribs and a broken arm during a motorcycle accident outside a racetrack in Brainerd, Minnesota, but will be able to begin rehearsals in December for the U.S. tour of "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."
  • 22- Jacques Wellington Rupp, retired Disney designer who designed the settings for the 1955 animated feature LADY AND THE TRAMP, dies of cancer at 79.
  • 25- Carl Barks, the Disney illustrator credited with giving Donald Duck his distinctive feisty and comical personality as well as creating Duckburg and Donald's nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie, dies of leukemia at the age of 99. 
  • 25- Wathel Rogers, Disney "Imagineer" whose animation credits include such classic Disney films as PINOCCHIO (1940), BAMBI (1942), CINDERELLA (1950), PETER PAN (1953), and SLEEPING BEAUTY (1959), and who later went on to design rides and attractions for the studio's theme parks, dies at age 80.
  • 25- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences files suit against L.A. memorabilia shop Star Wares to prevent the sale of Judy Garland's 1939 juvenile Oscar which was consigned to the shop by Garland's ex-husband Sidney Luft.  The Academy argues that an agreement the late actress signed in 1958 gives it the right to buy the statuette for just $10 before it is offered anywhere else. 
  • 29- Jackie Gleason, robust classic actor who appeared in such films as THE HUSTLER (1961) but was best known for his role as Ralph Kramden, the bus driver, in the 1950s sitcom "The Honeymooners," is immortalized with an 8-foot bronze statue unveiled in front of New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal.
  • 29- Rose Hobart, actress of the 1930s and 1940s who appeared in such films as CONFLICT (1945) with Humphrey Bogart but was blacklisted in 1949, dies at the age of 94.
  • 30- Sy Gomberg, composer who wrote the Judy Garland-Gene Kelly film SUMMER STOCK (1950) with George Wells, has adapted the musical for the stage with seven added songs by Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen.  The show debuts September 1 at the Western Stage in Salinas, California before moving to Broadway.
  • 30- Joseph H. Lewis, director of B movies for Republic Pictures during Hollywood's Golden Era whose most lauded work included MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS (1945), GUN CRAZY (1950), THE BIG COMBO (1955) and TERROR IN A TEXAS TOWN (1958), dies at about age 93.
  • 31- Lucille Fletcher, radio writer whose dramas including "Sorry, Wrong Number" (1948 with Burt Lancaster), "Once Upon a Time" (1944 with Cary Grant) and "Blindfold" (1965 with Rock Hudson) all became noted Hollywood films, dies at 88.

September 2000:

  • 2- Curt Siodmak, writer who created the classic monster THE WOLF MAN (1941) and subsequent series of films starring Lon Chaney Jr., and shaped the horror and science fiction genre through his films and novels in the 1940s and '50s, dies at 98.
  • 3- Edward Anhalt, screenwriter who won Academy Awards for his work on BECKET (1964) and PANIC IN THE STREETS (1950), dies of cancer at the age of 86. 
  • 6- ABC announces plans for a 2-hour television version of Shirley Temple's first autobiography, "Child Star," which will follow Temple's career through age 15.  Producer Paula Hart also announces plans for a remake of Temple's 1947 comedy THE BACHELOR AND THE BOBBYSOXER which originally starred Myrna Loy and Cary Grant.
  • 6- Simon & Schuster announces they will push up the publication of "My Father's Daughter" by Tina Sinatra, about her father, Frank Sinatra, to October 10.
  • 7- Elia Kazan, Oscar-winning director of such classic films as A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN (1945), A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951) and ON THE WATERFRONT (1954), celebrates his 91st birthday.
  • 14- Beah Richards, veteran stage performer and character actresses whose film work included an Oscar-nominated performance as Sidney Poitier's mother in GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER? (1967) and a noted performance as the abortionist in IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967), dies of emphysema at 74.
  • 15- Sotheby's auction house announces plans for an auction of hundreds of props and memorabilia personally collected by actor Clayton Moore, who besides film appearances, was most famous for his 1950s television role as the Lone Ranger.  Sotheby's intends to conduct the auction via the Internet between October 20 and 31.
  • 15- Producer Robert Halmi announces intentions to remake the classic tale "Thief of Baghdad,'' of which two film versions under the title THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (one from 1924 starring Douglas Fairbanks and one from 1940 starring Sabu) already exist.  Shooting an at an undetermined overseas locale is set to start February 1. 
  • 17- Ruth Lewis, actress in the 1940s who had bit parts in a number of films, including THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO (1944), THE LADY TAKES A SAILOR (1949) and WHERE DANGER LIVES (1950), before becoming a Hollywood gossip columnist in the 1950s for the Los Angeles Daily News, dies of cancer at 84.
  • 19- Ann Doran, veteran character actress who appeared in approximately 500 motion pictures over the course of her 8-decade career, including roles as James Dean's mother in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955), a panic-stricken wife in THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY (1954), and Betty Hutton's twin in HERE COME THE WAVES (1944), dies at age 89.
  • 21- Robert W. Campbell (also know as R. Wright Campbell), author and screenwriter whose 23-year Hollywood career included work on such films as FIVE GUNS WEST (1955), MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES (1957), MACHINE GUN KELLY (1958) and THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (1964), dies at 73.
  • 23- Mickey Rooney, four-time Oscar nominee and veteran screen actor who has appeared in over 350 films, celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 26- Carmen Robertson, former child actress who began appearing in movies as an infant under the name Carmencita Johnson and whose credits include appearances in THE WIND (1928) and QUALITY STREET (1937), and later, as a teenager, parts in Esther Williams' water ballets and an uncredited role in A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951), dies after a car accident at 77.
  • 27- Chicago officials shut down the city's historic Biograph theater, where, in 1934 federal agents gunned down gangster John Dillinger after a showing of MANHATTAN MELODRAMA.

October 2000:

  • 6- Peter Turgeon, noted stage actor, writer and director whose dozen film appearances included roles in such films as MUSCLE BEACH PARTY (1964) and AIRPORT (1970), dies at age 80.
  • 8- Liza Minnelli, daughter of actress Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli, who won a Best Actress Oscar for CABARET (1972), is hospitalized in Florida, apparently suffering from the brain disease encephalitis. 
  • 10- Emile Kuri, Oscar-winning set decorator for William Wyler's THE HEIRESS (1949) as well as for Disney's 1954 classic 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA who also influenced the look of many attractions at Disneyland, dies at 93.
  • 10- Rod Steiger, Oscar-winning star of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967) and ON THE WATERFRONT (1954), marries actress Joan Benedict in Reno, Nevada.
  • 11- Sam O'Steen, thrice Oscar-nominated film editor best known for his work with director Mike Nichols on such films as WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (1966), THE GRADUATE (1967) and CATCH-22 (1970), dies of a heart attack at 76.
  • 13- Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, Shirley MacLaine and Joan Collins finish shooting a new two-hour singing and dancing TV-movie called "These Old Broads'' scheduled to air on ABC next February.
  • 13- Jean Peters, 20th Century-Fox contract player whose played leading roles in such films as IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING (1949), VIVA ZAPATA! (1952), PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET (1953), NIAGARA (1953), BROKEN LANCE (1954) and THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN (1954) before abandoning her career after a secretive marriage to billionaire Howard Hughes in 1957, dies of leukemia at 73.
  • 15- Vincent Canby, movie critic for the New York Times for 28 years who was known for his sophisticated, often wryly humorous reviews, dies of cancer at 76.
  • 16- Liza Minnelli, 54-year-old stage and screen actress, is discharged from the Cleveland Clinic Florida in Fort Lauderdale after eight days of treatment for stroke-like symptoms.
  • 17- Walter Shenson, film producer whose most famous credits included the Beatles' films A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (1964) and HELP! (1965), dies at 81. 
  • 18- Julie London, sultry singer and movie actress whose film appearances, after several bit roles in the 1940s, included starring roles in THE GREAT MAN (1956), MAN OF THE WEST (1958), THE THIRD VOICE (1960) and THE GEORGE RAFT STORY (1961), dies at 74.
  • 18- Gwen Verdon, four-time Tony-winning Broadway musical legend who appeared as a specialty dancer in a number of films during the 1950s before recreating her Broadway role of "Lola" in the film version of DAMN YANKEES! (1958), dies at 75.
  • 18- Richard Hepburn, playwright and the younger brother of Oscar-winning actress Katharine Hepburn who lived with his sister at the family's Connecticut home overlooking the Long Island Sound, dies at age 89.
  • 18- Sidney Salkow, director of more than 50 motion pictures between 1935 and 1965 including a number of early Three Stooges and Bing Crosby films for Paramount Studios in the early '30s, dies at 89.
  • 19- Liza Minnelli, Oscar-winning screen actress, is readmitted to the Cleveland Clinic Florida for further treatment of complications resulting from her viral encephalitis.
  • 19- Actress-producer Ellia English announces plans to produce a film based on the life of Hattie McDaniel, classic supporting character in such films as GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) and SINCE YOU WENT AWAY (1944) and the first black performer to win an Academy Award.  English obtained film rights from Carlton Jackson, who wrote Hattie: The Life of Hattie McDaniel (1989).
  • 20- Arthur Roland Tovey, longtime Hollywood extra and bit actor who doubled for Leslie Howard in GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), dies at 95.
  • 21- Maureen O'Hara, classic Hollywood leading lady of the 1940s and '50s, is honored with a career achievement award at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis as a filmmaker "whose work explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive value of life."  O'Hara's latest TV movie, "The Last Dance", is scheduled to air October 29 on CBS.
  • 23- Liza Minnelli, stage and screen actress, is "recovering well and we expect to release her in a few days" according to a statement made by a spokesperson for the Cleveland Clinic Florida where she is being treated for viral encephalitis, a potentially deadly brain inflammation.
  • 23- Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, former stars of the 1960s beach party movies, sue Macy's and its parent company, Federated Department Store, for using their photos in a brochure without their permission. The actors claim they have suffered embarrassment and humiliation from the unauthorized display of their photos from the beach party movies and are demanding reparations.
  • 23- Edward G. Robinson, classic star of such films as LITTLE CAESAR (1930), DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) and KEY LARGO (1948), is honored by the United States Postal Service with a commemorative stamp at a ceremony attended by Charlton Heston, Karl Malden, Nanette Fabray and Florence Henderson among others.
  • 23- ABC announces plans for a made-for-TV version of Meredith Willson's 1957 Tony-winning musical "The Music Man", set to air next year and star Matthew Broderick with Sarah Jessica Parker.  Robert Preston and Shirley Jones starred in the 1962 Warner Bros. film version.
  • 25- Shelley Fabares, actress who played Donna Reed's teenage daughter on "The Donna Reed Show" before beginning a film career which included three movies with Elvis Presley, undergoes liver transplant surgery in the Los Angeles area.  Fabares suffered a deterioration of her liver as the result of an "auto-immune'' disorder and is expected to make a full recovery.
  • 26- Muriel Evans, blonde Hollywood film actress who appeared in over 40 films during the 1930s and '40s but was best known for her roles opposite such western stars as Hopalong Cassidy, Buck Jones and Tom Mix, dies of colon cancer at age 90.
  • 30- Steve Allen, well-known TV comedian who also portrayed legendary jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman opposite Donna Reed in the 1955 motion picture THE BENNY GOODMAN STORY, dies at 78.
  • 30- Suzanne Lloyd Hayes, granddaughter of silent film comic Harold Lloyd, files a $50 million lawsuit against the Walt Disney Co., alleging that it copied its 1998 hit THE WATERBOY from Lloyd's 1924 classic THE FRESHMAN, violating federal copyright law.
  • 31- Ring Lardner Jr., screenwriter who won an Oscar for best original screenplay in 1942 for WOMAN OF THE YEAR starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, and another in 1970 for his work on the movie M*A*S*H*, and who was also the last surviving member of the Hollywood Ten, dies of cancer at age 85.

November 2000:

  • 3- Leonardo Benvenuti, Italian screenwriter whose 200 film scripts included such classics as Sergio Leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA (1984) and Vittorio De Sica's MARRIAGE, ITALIAN STYLE (1964), dies at age 77 of complications after heart bypass surgery.
  • 4- Mary Sinclair, noted performer on such live television drama programs in the 1950s as "Playhouse 90," "Studio One" and "The U.S. Steel Hour" who also appeared in ARROWHEAD (1953) starring Charlton Heston, dies at age 78.
  • 4- Frances Mercer, raven-haired model and RKO ingénue of the 1930s who appeared in such films as VIVACIOUS LADY (1938) and THE STORY OF VERNON AND IRENE CASTLE (1939) before moving on to appear in Broadway musicals and on television, dies of heart failure at 85.
  • 7- The Theatre Hall of Fame announces plans to induct several new honorees including classic films stars actress Liza Minnelli and actress- playwright June Havoc at a ceremony on January 29.
  • 8- Edgar "Eddie" Bethune Ward, husband for 65 years of actress Jane Wyatt who appeared in numerous films during the 1940s and gained popularity during the 1950s as co-star with Robert Young of TV's "Father Knows Best", dies at 93.
  • 14- Roberta Weiner, costume designer for stars such as Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis who began her career as an assistant to Edith Head and whose costume design film credits include 1981's THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING WOMAN, dies at 52. 
  • 14- Warner Bros. Pictures announces plans to remake the 1941 romantic comedy LOVE CRAZY which originally starred William Powell and Myrna Loy. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore have been signed to rewrite.
  • 14- Burr Smidt, art director for television, Broadway and motion pictures who earned Academy Award nominations for his work on REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT (1962) and A THOUSAND CLOWNS (1965), dies at 73.
  • 19- Lauren Bacall, 76-year-old sultry classic actress of the 1940s and '50s, is honored with a lifetime achievement award at Stockholm, Sweden's 11th annual film festival.
  • 21- Teresa Wright, Oscar-winning star of such films as MRS. MINIVER (1942) and THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946), is honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at a special tribute at Lincoln Center.
  • 22- Christian Marquand, French actor and director whose 50 film appearances included Jean Cocteau's LA BELLE ET LA BETE (1945) (a.k.a. Beauty and the Beast), QUAI DES ORFEVRES (1947), AND GOD CREATED WOMAN (1956) and APOCALYPSE NOW (1979), dies at age 73. 
  • 23- Bernard Vorhaus, B-movie director at Republic Studios from the late 1930s through the 1950s when his career was cut short by anti-Communist blacklisting, dies at approximately age 95.
  • 27- Anne Barton, motion picture, television and theater actress from the 1950s through the 1970s who appeared in supporting roles in such films as THE LEFT-HANDED GUN (1958), WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (1962) and THE WAY WEST (1967), dies at age 72.
  • 28- Jack Lemmon, 75-year-old Oscar-winning star of such films as SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959), THE APARTMENT (1960) and DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES (1962), receives the 12th annual Spencer Tracy Award for dramatic achievement.
  • 28- Paul Robeson, pioneering black singer and entertainer who immortalized "Old Man River" in SHOW BOAT (1936), is celebrated at a gala tribute in New Jersey by such celebrities as Whitney Houston, James Earl Jones and Ossie Davis.
  • 29- George Wells, screenwriter who won an Oscar for his work on DESIGNING WOMEN (1957) and also wrote, co-wrote and produced more than two dozen musicals and comedies for MGM between 1943 and 1970 including TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME (1949), dies at 91. 
  • 29- Liane Haid, Austria's first film star, whose most films included silents like LADY HAMILTON (1921) and DAS LIED IST AUS (1930) (a.k.a. The Song is Ended), dies at her home in Switzerland at the age of 105. 

December 2000:

  • 1- Jonathan Demme announces plans to direct THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE, a retitled remake of Stanley Donen's 1963 thriller CHARADE which starred Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, which should go into production for Universal in the spring of 2001.
  • 3- Anne Pearce Kramer, writer, film executive and former wife of producer-director Stanley Kramer who served as creative consultant, associate producer, story editor, casting director and dialogue director on many of his films, including HIGH NOON (1952), THE CAINE MUTINY (1954), THE PRIDE AND THE PASSION (1957) and ON THE BEACH (1959), dies at age 74.
  • 3- Angela Lansbury, 75-year-old Tony award winner for her performances in "Mame" and "Gypsy" on Broadway and two-time Oscar nominee for her movie roles in GASLIGHT (1944) and THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962), is honored alongside Mikhail Baryshnikov, Placido Domingo, Clint Eastwood and Chuck Berry at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington D.C.
  • 6- Werner Klemperer, actor whose film credits included THE GODDESS (1958), JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG (1961) and SHIP OF FOOLS (1965), but who was best known for his role as Klink in TV's "Hogan's Heroes" which aired on CBS from 1965 to 1971, dies at 80.
  • 7- Writer/director Steve Brill announces that he is in final negotiations to write and direct Adam Sandler's upcoming picture "Deeds" -- a "homage" to Frank Capra's 1936 classic MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN.  According to Brill, although the new film draws from the Capra film as inspiration, the script bears little relation to the original film so the new picture will bear an original title and not be considered a remake.
  • 9- Marina Koshetz, opera and movie star whose screen appearances throughout the 1940s, '50s and '60s included roles in such films as PEOPLE WILL TALK (1935), NO LOVE, NO LEAVE (1946), ON THE RIVIERA (1951) and THE SINGING NUN (1965), dies at 88.
  • 10- Marie Windsor, actress best known for playing strong, independent women in such film noir classics as FORCE OF EVIL (1948), THE NARROW MARGIN (1952) and THE KILLING (1956) and was eventually dubbed "Queen of the B's" for her notable performances in many second-rate films, dies a day short of her 81st birthday.
  • 11- Gloria Somborn Daly, daughter of legendary actress Gloria Swanson and restaurateur Herbert Somborn, who inherited and ran her father's historic hat-shaped Brown Derby restaurant on Wilshire Boulevard in Hollywood, dies of brain cancer at 80. 
  • 11- N. Richard Nash, playwright and screenwriter best known for his three-act play and subsequent movie THE RAINMAKER (1956) which starred Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn, dies at age 87.
  • 12- George Montgomery, a brawny leading man best remembered for playing rough-riding cowboys in Westerns like THE CISCO KID AND THE LADY (1940), but who later starred in musicals and romantic comedies and was married to the late singer Dinah Shore for 19 years, dies at age 84.
  • 12- Libertad Lamarque, legendary Latin American actress and tango singer who began her career in silent films in Argentina and later became part of the Mexican cinema's Golden Age of the 1940s, dies of respiratory failure at 92.
  • 15- Director Oliver Stone announces plans for a Showtime movie about the 1981 assassination attempt against U.S. President and former Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan entitled "The Day Reagan Got Shot." The film is slated to start filming next month.
  • 16- Pauline Curley (Peach), silent movie siren whose forty films during the 1910s and '20s included appearances opposite Douglas Fairbanks in BOUND IN MOROCCO (1918) and THE TURN IN THE ROAD (1919) as well as THE FALL OF THE ROMANOFFS (1917), dies at the age of 97. 
  • 17- Debbie Reynolds, 68-year-old classic star of such musicals as SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952), purchases a hacienda-style Hollywood home once owned by screenwriter Charles Bennett who wrote Alfred Hitchcock's FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940) as well as Cecil B. DeMille's REAP THE WILD WIND (1942) in the three-bedroom house.
  • 17- Gerard Blain, French actor and filmmaker who first appeared in LES ENFANTS DU PARADIS (1945) and later made his mark in such New Wave films as LE BEAU SERGE (1958) and LES COUSINS (1959) before turning to directing, dies at 70.
  • 17- Barney McNulty, brother of "Blondie" actress Penny Singleton who made a name for himself in Hollywood as "the king of the cue cards," having created and flipped cards for such comic luminaries as Ed Wynn, Bob Hope, George Burns, Jimmy Durante and Dorothy Lamour, dies at the age of 77.
  • 18- Nick Stewart, comic actor who voiced of Br'er Bear in Disney's animated SONG OF THE SOUTH (1946) and later played "Lightnin'" on TV's "Amos 'n' Andy" in the early 1950s before founding Los Angeles' Ebony Showcase Theater, dies at age 90. 
  • 20- Mickey Rooney, 80-year-old former MGM child star, undergoes multiple bypass heart surgery to clear a blockage and is expected to be released from the hospital on Christmas Day.
  • 23- Billy Barty, 3-foot, 9-inch entertainer whose 7-decade career encompassed vaudeville, radio, television, videos, nightclubs, and such films as Busby Berkeley's FOOTLIGHT PARADE (1933) and GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 (1933), NOTHING SACRED (1937) (when he bit Frederic March on the leg) and on through WILLOW (1988), dies of heart failure at 76.
  • 23- Victor Borge, comical musician whose American film appearances included a bit part in THE STORY OF DR. WASSELL (1944) and HIGHER AND HIGHER (1944), dies at 91.
  • 25- Mickey Rooney is released from the hospital following bypass surgery and promises to be back on the road in February with his wife, Jan, in their "One Man - One Wife'' stage show.
  • 26- Leo Gordon, tough-guy actor famous for playing villains in numerous westerns including HONDO (1953) and RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 11 (1954) as well as several western TV shows in the 1950s and '60s, dies at the age of 78.
  • 26- Jason Robards, two-time Academy Award winning actor whose distinguished career included work on stage, television and in such films as LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (1962), A THOUSAND CLOWNS (1965), DIVORCE AMERICAN STYLE (1967), ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1968), ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN (1976) and JULIA (1977), dies of cancer at 78.
  • 27- The National Film Registry, an effort by the National Film Preservation Board to save from extinction American movies that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant", announces 25 new titles to be restored in the coming year, including Universal's DRACULA (1931), Mervyn LeRoy's LITTLE CAESAR (1930) with Edward G. Robinson, MGM's LOVE FINDS ANDY HARDY (1930), George Cukor's A STAR IS BORN (1954) with Judy Garland and James Mason, and Frank Capra's series of World War II public service announcements "Why We Fight'' (1943-45).
  • 29- Ingmar Bergman, 82-year-old Swedish director of such classics as THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957) and AUTUMN SONATA (1978), tells the tabloid Expressen that he is finished making films.  Bergman's last film was FANNY AND ALEXANDER (1982).
  • 30- Julius Epstein, prolific Oscar-winning screenwriter whose approximately 50 produced screenplays over his 60 year career included such Warner Bros. classics as THE STRAWBERRY BLONDE (1941), CASABLANCA (1942), THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER (1942), ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944) and MR. SKEFFINGTON (1944), many written with his brother Philip, dies at age 91.

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Last updated: March 10, 2011.
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