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 News Briefs 2002:

Here's an archive of the classic-movie related news items for 2002. 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.

(Note that starting in 2002, the News Briefs were listed with the most recent items first instead of last, that is to say, in reverse chronological order.)

December 2002:

  • 30- Mary Brian, romantic leading lady from the mid-1920s through the late 1930s whose more than 80 films included such sound and silent classics as PETER PAN (1924), BEAU GESTE (1926), THE VIRGINIAN (1929) and THE MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE (1935), dies at age 96.
  • 29- Mary Tyler Moore, actress-director-producer whose film appearances have included roles in THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE (1967) and CHANGE OF HABIT (1969) but who is best known for her roles on TV's "The Dick Van Dyke Show" in the 1960s and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in the 1970s, celebrates her 65th birthday.
  • 27- George Roy Hill, director whose movies BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969) and THE STING (1973) won Academy Awards for best film and best director, dies of complications from Parkinson's disease at 81.
  • 27- A two-hour broadcast of the Kennedy Center Honors Gala (missing 57 minutes which had to be edited out for time), including tributes to honorees Elizabeth Taylor and James Earl Jones, airs on CBS at 9:00 p.m. EST.
  • 25- Tony Martin, movie musical singer and actor whose films have included ZIEGFELD GIRL (1941), TWO TICKETS TO BROADWAY (1951) and HIT THE DECK (1955), celebrates his 90th birthday with his wife of 54 years, dancer Cyd Charisse.
  • 22- Susan Fleming Marx, actress of the 1930s whose 19 film appearances included roles as John Wayne's love interest in RANGE FEUD (1931) and as W.C. Fields' daughter MILLION DOLLAR LEGS (1932) and who later married comedian Harpo Marx, dies of a heart attack at 93.
  • 22- Kenneth Tobey, prolific film and television character actor whose seven decade career encompassed over 80 films but who was most famous for his role as Capt. Patrick Hendry THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951) dies at age 85.
  • 19- Director-producer Steven Spielberg announces that he was the anonymous bidder who paid $207,500 for Bette Davis' Best Actress Oscar for DANGEROUS (1935) and says will donate the Oscar to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  • 18- 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), celebrates his 85th birthday.
  • 18- Sotheby's auction house announces the results of an auction of movie memorabilia sold by the bankrupted Planet Hollywood restaurant chain, which include: Rudolph Valentino's toreador costume from BLOOD AND SAND (1922) ($32,862); a Rita Hayworth negligee ($26,887), a dress worn by Julie Andrews in THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) ($19,120), a Marlene Dietrich costume from DESTRY RIDES AGAIN ($19,120) and Bette Davis' 1935 Oscar for DANGEROUS ($207,500).
  • 17- The National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress announces 25 films slated to be preserved in 2003 by the National Film Registry, including such classics as THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952), FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953), IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967), THE PEARL (1948), SABRINA (1954), MELODY RANCH (1940), THIS IS CINERAMA (1952), WILD AND WOOLY (1917), LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN (1925), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991) and WILD RIVER (1960).
  • 17- Frederick Knott, playwright most famous for his 1952 Broadway hit "Dial M for Murder" which became an Alfred Hitchcock film in 1954, and the 1966 thriller "Wait Until Dark" which became a 1967 film starring Audrey Hepburn, dies at age 86.
  • 17- Daily Variety reports that actor-singer Tony Martin, whose films have included ZIEGFELD GIRL (1941), TWO TICKETS TO BROADWAY (1951) and HIT THE DECK (1955), is hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with a back injury incurred in a fall at home.
  • 13- Miramax Films, Warner Bros. and Initial Entertainment Group announce plans to finance the $100 million-plus budget of THE AVIATOR, director Martin Scorsese's upcoming film about the early life of Howard Hughes, pilot, film producer and former head of RKO Radio Pictures.  The film is set to star Leonardo DiCaprio and shooting is scheduled to begin May 12, 2003 with release of the film likely in the fall of 2004.
  • 12- Brad Dexter, supporting actor famous for playing menacing villains in such films as THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950), RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP (1958), THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960) and NONE BUT THE BRAVE (1964), dies of emphysema at age 85.
  • 12- Rare original manuscripts for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Ian Fleming's 1964 children's story about a flying car which was made into a musical film starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes in 1968, sell at auction for ₤29,290 ($46,250) in very competitive bidding at Sotheby's in London, more than doubling their presale estimate.
  • 10- Disney announces plans for a remake of the 1955 British black comedy THE LADYKILLERS which originally starred Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green and Katie Johnson.  Featuring Tom Hanks in the leading role, the remake has been written by Joel and Ethan Coen and is scheduled for a summer 2004 release.
  • 9- Claudia Cardinale, 63-year-old Italian actress whose film appearances have included roles in Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (1963), IL GATTOPARDO (1963), THE PINK PANTHER (1964) and C'ERA UNA VOLTA IL WEST (ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST) (1969), receives the "Great Officer of the Republic" award from Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
  • 8- Elizabeth Taylor, two-time Oscar-winning actress and star of such films as NATIONAL VELVET (1944), A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951), CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1958) and CLEOPATRA (1962) is among five individuals honored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. for her "unique and extremely valuable contribution... to the cultural life of our nation."
  • 8- James MacArthur, tawny, attractive actor who appeared in such films as SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1960) and SPENCER'S MOUNTAIN (1963) while in his early twenties before making a name for himself as Detective Danny Williams in TV's "Hawaii Five-O", celebrates his 65th birthday.
  • 4- Mary Pickford, late silent screen actress known as "America's Sweetheart" who also co-founded United Artists, is honored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences with the dedication of a building named the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study which will house archival materials such as the Academy Film Archive and the Academy Players Directory.
  • 4- Zsa Zsa Gabor, 85-year-old Hungarian-born actress who was seriously injured in a car accident on November 27, has been upgraded from serious to fair condition by doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
  • 4- Stars of Stanley Kramer's IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1963), including Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Rooney, Edie Adams, Madlyn Rhue, Carl Reiner, Peter Falk and Don Knotts, attend a 43rd anniversary screening of the film at Hollywood's Egyptian Theater.
  • 3- Adolph Green, playwright and lyricist who collaborated with writer Betty Comden on the screenplays for such classic musicals as SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) and THE BAND WAGON (1953), is memorialized with a tribute at New York's Shubert Theatre star-studded by such luminaries as Comden, Lauren Bacall, Kevin Kline and Joel Grey.
  • 3- Daily Variety reports that Oscar-winning actress and AIDS activitisy Elizabeth Taylor is released from the hospital where she underwent dental surgery.
  • 3- Officials in Mason City, Iowa, hometown of playwright-composer Meredith Willson and inspiration for River City, the setting of Willson's "The Music Man" which opened on Broadway in 1957 and became a film starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones in 1962, announce they have raised the needed $10 million to begin construction on the city's Music Man Square honoring Willson and the musical.
  • 1- Paul Picerni, actor whose film career at Warner Bros. in the 1950s included roles in such films as MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR (1958) and THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS before becoming best known as Agent Lee Hobson on TV's "The Untouchables" in the 1960s, celebrates his 80th birthday.

November 2002:

  • 29- Daniel Gélin, French actor whose 60-year career spanned theater, television and movies roles, but who was best known to American audiences as the mysterious murder victim in Alfred Hitchcock's THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956), dies of kidney failure at age 81.
  • 29- Zsa Zsa Gabor's daughter, Constance Francesca Hilton, denies reports that her mother is in a coma, having suffered severe head injuries in a recent car accident.  Hilton says instead that Gabor has been drifting in and out of consciousness at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.  Although she also suffered multiple broken bones, Gabor's condition is improving, according to her daughter.
  • 27- Billie Bird (Sellen), vaudeville comedienne who became a TV and movie character actress, appearing in such films as SOMEBODY LOVES ME (1952) and MY WIFE'S BEST FRIEND (1952), dies of Alzheimer's disease at 94.
  • 27- Zsa Zsa Gabor, 85-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), is seriously injured when her car, driven by her hairdresser, crashed into a light pole in Beverly Hills.
  • 26- "Christmas with the Crawfords," a campy musical comedy about the 1944 live radio broadcast by Hedda Hopper from the home of Joan Crawford and her four adopted children on Christmas Eve, performed entirely by drag queens, opens off-Broadway at the Producers Club II.
  • 26- Fernanda Gattinoni, Italian fashion designer whose film work included costumes for Ingrid Bergman in EUROPA '51 (1951) and VIAGGIO IN ITALIA (1953) as well as Audrey Hepburn in WAR AND PEACE (1956), dies at 95.
  • 25- Karel Reisz, Czech-born film director who contributed to the gritty renaissance of British cinema in the 1960s with films such as SATURDAY NIGHT SUNDAY MORNING (1960) and NIGHT MUST FALL (1964), dies of a blood disorder at 76.
  • 24- "Martin & Lewis," a made-for-TV movie about the comedic nightclub and film partnership of actors Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis during the 1940s and '50s, airs on CBS.
  • 22- Adele Jergens, brassy platinum-blond actress and pinup girl famous for playing femmes fatales in such films as LADIES OF THE CHORUS, THE FULLER BRUSH MAN, THE DARK PAST (all 1948) and ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE INVISIBLE MAN (1951), dies at age 84.
  • 22- Parley Baer, veteran character actor whose six-decade career encompassed thousands of radio and television programs as well as more than 60 motion pictures including AWAY ALL BOATS (1956), THE YOUNG LIONS (1958) and GYPSY (1962), dies of complications from a stroke at 88.
  • 22- Robert Vaughn, film and television actor best known for his Oscar-nominated role in THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS (1959) as well as THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960) and TV's "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," celebrates his 70th birthday.
  • 21- Hadda Brooks, smoky-voiced torch singer and piano player of the 1940s and '50s whose film appearances included roles in OUT OF THE BLUE (1947), BOOGIE WOOGIE BLUES (1948) and IN A LONELY PLACE (1950), dies at age 86.
  • 19- Charlton Heston, Oscar-winning star of such classic westerns as THE BIG COUNTRY (1958), MAJOR DUNDEE (1965) and WILL PENNY (1968), is honored by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City with the unveiling of a statue of Will Penny. (see picture...)
  • 18- James Coburn, rugged movie tough guy whose film career was launched with his performance in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960) and included roles in such films as THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963), CHARADE (1963) and OUR MAN FLINT (1966) as well as a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for AFFLICTION (1998), dies at 74.
  • 18- Vernon Scott, United Press International columnist who reported on Hollywood and its celebrities for half a century, spending 52 years with UPI's Los Angeles bureau, dies at age 79.
  • 17- Marvin Mirisch, movie producer whose Mirisch Company (run with his brothers, Harold and Walter) was Hollywood's preeminent independent production company during the 1960s and produced such Oscar-winners as THE APARTMENT (1960), WEST SIDE STORY (1961) and IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967), dies of a heart attack at 84.
  • 17- Paramount Pictures announces that Denzel Washington will reprise Frank Sinatra's role in an update of John Frankenheimer's 1962 political thriller THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, which originally starred Sinatra, Angela Lansbury and Laurence Harvey.  The remake, promoted by Sinatra's daughter Tina, is scheduled to begin shooting next spring.
  • 16- Alfred Levitt, screenwriter who continued to write under the pseudonym 'Tom August' after being blacklisted during the 1950s and whose film credits include THE BOY WITH GREEN HAIR (1948) and THE MONKEY'S UNCLE (1965) as well as scripts for TV's "The Donna Reed Show", "The Brady Bunch" and "All in the Family," dies of heart failure at age 87.
  • 15- Petula Clark, former British child vocalist and film star who appeared in such films as I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING! (1945), LONDON TOWN (1946) and THE ROMANTIC AGE (1949) before emerging as an international pop star in the 1960s and returning to the big screen in musicals like FINIAN'S RAINBOW (1968) and GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS (1969), celebrates her 70th birthday.
  • 14- Eddie Bracken, bewildered comic hero of such popular 1940s comedies as Preston Sturges' HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO (1944) and THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK (1944) among dozens of other film appearances, dies at 87.
  • 13- The American Film Institute announces plans for the sixth installment of its "AFI's 100" series of film lists, dubbed "AFI's 100 Years, 100 Heroes & Villains," which will rank the movies' 50 greatest heroes and 50 greatest villains.  A three-hour program announcing the results of this poll will air on CBS in June.
  • 13- Madeleine Sherwood, Canadian-born film and television actress of the 1950s and '60s best know for playing Mae (aka Sister-woman) in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1958), celebrates her 80th birthday.
  • 12- Actress/director Lee Grant announces plans for a feature documentary on the lives of Kirk Douglas and his son Michael, tentatively titled "from Rags to Wall Street."
  • 11- Angela Lansbury, former MGM contract player who appeared in such classics as GASLIGHT (1944), NATIONAL VELVET (1944) and THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (1945) before turning her attentions to stage and television work, receives a lifetime achievement award from the Acting Co., the 30-year-old touring reparatory theater founded by director John Houseman.
  • 8- Patti Page, popular vocalist of the 1950s and '60s whose film appearances included roles in ELMER GANTRY (1960), DONDI (1961) and BOYS' NIGHT OUT (1962), celebrates her 75th birthday.
  • 8- Patty Duke, 55-year-old former child star and Oscar-winning actress famous for playing Helen Keller in THE MIRACLE WORKER (1962), announces plans to return to Broadway (after a 40 years absence) in the part of Aunt Eller in the Broadway revival of "Oklahoma!" beginning December 14.
  • 8- Jack Solomon, veteran Hollywood sound man for more than 60 motion pictures during his 50-year career who shared the first Academy Award given to individuals for sound (for HELLO DOLLY (1969)), dies of complications following heart surgery at 89.
  • 7- In a poll organized by the British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine, 50 British film experts name Francis Ford Coppola's APOCALYPSE NOW (1979) as the greatest film of the last 25 years, followed by Martin Scorsese's RAGING BULL (1980) and Ingmar Bergman's FANNY AND ALEXANDER (1982).
  • 1- Paramount Pictures announces plans for a computer-animated film version of "Mighty Mouse", the rodent superhero with the strength of Superman and the ability to fly who made his first appearance in 1942 and distinguished himself in 1945 by using an operatic style in his cartoon series to sing rather than speak his dialog (including his trademark line, "Here I come to save the day.").

October 2002:

  • 31- Barbara Bel Geddes, Oscar-nominated stage and screen actress whose film appearances have included roles in I REMEMBER MAMA (1948), PANIC IN THE STREETS (1950) and VERTIGO (1958), but who is best remembered as Miss Ellie Ewing on TV's "Dallas," celebrates her 80th birthday.
  • 31- Raf Vallone, former Italian soccer player and movie critic who became a film star after his appearance in Italy's BITTER RICE (1949), and was later popular among American audiences in films such as TWO WOMEN (1960), EL CID (1961), THE CARDINAL (1963) and HARLOW (1965), dies at 86.
  • 30- Richard Harris, Oscar-nominated Irish actor and star of CAMELOT (1967), receives a posthumous Best Actor nomination at the British Independent Film Awards for his role as a King Lear-like gangland boss in MY KINGDOM (2001), as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts with independent film.
  • 29- Janet Leigh, Oscar-nominated star of PSYCHO (1960) and TOUCH OF EVIL (1958), receives the first Commitment to Healthy Living Award from the Research & Education Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.
  • 28- Kirk Douglas, 85-year-old actor and star of such classic films as THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952), PATHS OF GLORY (1957) and SPARTACUS (1960), announces plans to make a cameo appearance in HBO's made-for-TV movie "Pancho Villa," playing Sen. Albert Fall, the politician who took the fall for the 1924 Teapot Dome scandal.
  • 28- Debbie Reynolds, perky singing star of such classic movie musicals as SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) and THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN (1964), receives a lifetime achievement award from the Savannah Film and Video Festival in Savannah, Georgia.
  • 28- Lawrence 'Larry' Dobkin, veteran film and TV character actor whose seven-decade career included roles in more than 65 feature films, including THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956) and SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (1957), dies at age 83.
  • 27- Andre De Toth, Hungarian-born director of such films as PITFALL (1948), CRIME WAVE (1954) and the 3-D classic HOUSE OF WAX (1953), who also wrote the story behind THE GUNFIGHTER (1950), dies of an aneurysm at 89.
  • 27- Lee Grant, stage and screen actress who received four Academy Award nominations as Best Supporting Actress for her performances in such films as DETECTIVE STORY (1951) and SHAMPOO (1975) before turning her attention to directing, celebrates her 75th birthday.
  • 26- Robert Redford, actor and Oscar-winning director of such films as THE STING (1973) and ORDINARY PEOPLE (1980) respectively, may reprise his role as idealistic California politician Bill McKay in a sequel to his 1972 film THE CANDIDATE.  According to Daily Variety, a script for the sequel is in the works, and Redford would likely star, direct and produce.
  • 25- Richard Harris, brooding yet energetic Irish actor nominated for Oscars for his performances in THE SPORTING LIFE (1963) and THE FIELD (1990) and also known for his portrayal of King Arthur in CAMELOT (1967), dies of lymphatic cancer at age 72.
  • 25- Peggy Moran, star of more than 30 horror and Western films of the 1930s and 1940s including THE MUMMY'S HAND (1940) and HORROR ISLAND (1941) who was named one of Hollywood's top "shrieking violets" and later married director Henry Koster, dies of injuries suffered in an Aug. 26 car accident at the age of 84.
  • 24- Adolph Green, playwright, performer and lyricist whose six-decade collaboration with writer Betty Comden resulted in the authorship of such hit Broadway musicals as "On the Town," "Wonderful Town" and "Bells Are Ringing" as well as the screenplays for SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) and THE BAND WAGON (1953), dies at 87.
  • 23- Beulah Quo, Asian-American film and TV character actress who had roles in more than 20 feature films, including FLOWER DRUM SONG (1961), GYPSY (1962), GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! (1962) and THE SAND PEBBLES (1966), dies at age 79.
  • 23- Lucille Ryman Carroll, one of a handful of women to reach an executive position in the old Hollywood studio system, heading MGM's talent department from 1941 to 1954 and helping to sign Lana Turner, June Allyson and Janet Leigh to studio contracts, dies at 96.
  • 22- Artisan Home Entertainment releases Collector's Edition DVDs of THE QUIET MAN (1952) and HIGH NOON (1951), both of which feature new documentaries about the making of the films as well as feature-length audio commentaries.
  • 22- Joan Fontaine, Oscar-winning actress and star of such films as REBECCA (1940), SUSPICION (1941), THE CONSTANT NYMPH (1943) and ISLAND IN THE SUN (1957), celebrates her 85th birthday.
  • 22- Annette Funicello, former Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer-turned-actress whose film appearances of the 1960s included a string of "beach" movie musicals opposite Frankie Avalon, celebrates her 60th birthday.
  • 19- John Meredyth Lucas, television and film writer who contributed to such productions as TV's "The Fugitive" and the original "Star Trek" as well as films like DARK CITY (1950) and TUMBLEWEED (1953), dies of leukemia at age 83.
  • 17- Marsha Hunt, brown-eyed MGM contract player of the 1940s who appeared in such films as PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940), THE AFFAIRS OF MARTHA (1941), CRY HAVOC (1943) and THE VALLEY OF DECISION (1945), celebrates her 85th birthday.
  • 15- Richard Harris, 72-year-old Irish actor and star of such films as MAJOR DUNDEE (1965), CAMELOT (1967) and CROMWELL (1970), is re-hospitalized with a severe chest infection following a two month stay at London's University College Hospital where he had undergone chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease.
  • 15- Los Angeles City Council members vote unanimously to designate Westwood Memorial Park, a small 105-year-old cemetery where such late classic movie personalities as Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, Billy Wilder and Walter Matthau are buried, as a historic cultural monument, thereby thwarting efforts by a Texas company to expand the cemetery.
  • 14- Roger Moore, British leading man who appeared in numerous films and television series before taking on his most famous role, that of James Bond in the films of the 1970s and '80s including LIVE AND LET DIE (1963) and OCTOPUSSY (1983), celebrates his 75th birthday.
  • 13- Keene Curtis, Tony-winning stage and screen actor whose career was launched with his performance as Lennox in Orson Welles' MACBETH (1948), dies of complications from Alzheimer's disease at 79.
  • 12- Sidney Pink, producer who championed the feature-length 3-D movie and produced such films as BWANA DEVIL (1952), THE ANGRY RED PLANET (1959) and FINGER ON THE TRIGGER (1965), dies at age 86.
  • 11- Paul Robeson, renowned black actor and baritone whose film career included roles in SHOW BOAT (1936), KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1937) and PROUD VALLEY (1940), is honored with an English Heritage blue plaque attached to the house in Branch Hill, London where he lived from 1929 to 1930.
  • 11- Robert Sidney, choreographer for such movie musicals as SUSAN SLEPT HERE (1954), THE OPPOSITE SEX (1956) and THE SINGING NUN (1966), is honored by the Professional Dancers Society.
  • 9- Charles Guggenheim, Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker whose films included NINE FROM LITTLE ROCK (1964) about the 1957 integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, ROBERT KENNEDY REMEMBERED (1968) and THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD (1989), dies of pancreatic cancer at age 78.
  • 8- Daily Variety reports that Ernest Borgnine, Oscar-winning star of MARTY (1955), is recovering from minor knee surgery.
  • 8 - Phyllis Calvert, British actress whose highly popular costume dramas and swashbucklers for Gainsborough Pictures during World War II included THE MAN IN GRAY (1943), FANNY BY GASLIGHT (1944), MADONNA OF THE SEVEN MOONS (1944) and 2000 WOMEN (1944), dies at 87.
  • 7- June Allyson, perky blonde girl-next-door for MGM during the 1940s and '50s best known for her leading roles in GOOD NEWS (1947), LITTLE WOMEN (1949), THE GLENN MILLER STORY (1953) and STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND (1955), celebrates her 85th birthday.
  • 5- George Sidney, late longtime MGM director best known for directing such classic musicals as ANCHORS AWEIGH (1945), SHOW BOAT (1951) and KISS ME KATE (1953), is remembered by the Directors Guild of America with a special tribute attended by Esther Williams, Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Cyd Charisse, Tony Curtis and Ann-Margret among others.
  • 4- Buddy Lester, comedian and actor who appeared in OCEANS ELEVEN (1960) as well as such Jerry Lewis films as THE NUTTY PROFESSOR (1963), THE PATSY (1964) and THE BIG MOUTH (1967), dies at age 85.

September 2002:

  • 30- George Kennedy, 77-year-old Oscar-winning character actor known for his roles in CHARADE (1963) and COOL HAND LUKE (1967), is released from the hospital after successfully undergoing emergency triple-bypass surgery and treatment for a sleep apnea.
  • 29- Citizens of Maysville, Kentucky remember their homegrown singing star Rosemary Clooney with a special film tribute on the last night of the city's fourth annual music festival named in her honor.  Clooney died on June 29.
  • 29- Lizabeth Scott, husky-voiced blonde actress of the 1940s and '50s best known for her roles in DEAD RECKONING (1947), DARK CITY (1950) and THE RACKET (1951), celebrates her 80th birthday.
  • 27- Arthur Penn, three-time Oscar-nominated director of such films as THE LEFT-HANDED Gun (1958), THE MIRACLE WORKER (1962) and BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967), celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 26- Elizabeth Taylor, two-time Oscar-winning actress and star of such films as NATIONAL VELVET (1944), CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1958) and CLEOPATRA (1963), releases a new book called "Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry" about her world-renowned jewelry collection.  The book's release party, hosted at Christie's auction house in New York, also featured an auction benefiting The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation at which an emerald-and-diamond ring Taylor received from Richard Burton as an engagement gift in 1962 was sold for $80,000.
  • 26- Paul Newman, 77-year-old Oscar-winning star of such films as THE HUSTLER (1961), COOL HAND LUKE (1967) and BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969), announces plans to return to Broadway for the first time in almost 40 years.  Newman will appear in a revival of Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" at New York's Booth Theatre from Dec. 4 through Jan. 26.
  • 26- Officials of Newport Beach, California announce demolition approval for a waterfront chateau that belonged to screen legend John Wayne from 1963 until his death in 1979.  The current owners are razing the house to make room for a new, larger estate.
  • 20- Greta Garbo, Swedish-born film icon and star of such classics as MATA HARI (1931), ANNA KARENINA (1935) and CAMILLE (1937), is honored with a "land portrait" created by a group of Swedish college students in Umeaa. Formed of different shades of sand and dirt, the portrait measures 17-by-21 meters and will remain visible from the air until washed away by the weather.
  • 18- James Gregory, character actor whose 30 film credits included THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER (1965) and the role of Senator John Iselin in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962) but who was best know for playing Inspector Luger on TV's "Barney Miller" in the late 1970s, dies at age 90.
  • 15- Fay Wray, leading lady of the 1920s and '30s best known as the unwilling love interest of the giant ape in KING KONG (1933), celebrates her 95th birthday.
  • 13- Elizabeth Taylor, 70-year-old former child-star turned Oscar-winning actress, announces she received radiation therapy over the summer for basal cell carcinoma, a curable form of skin cancer, and now has no sign of the disease.
  • 11- Kim Hunter, Oscar-winning stage and screen star of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951), DEADLINE U.S.A. (1952), and PLANET OF THE APES (1968), dies of an apparent heart attack at 79.
  • 9- Angela Cartwright, former child star of such films as SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME (1956) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), as well as the Danny Thomas TV-show "Make Room For Daddy", celebrates her 50th birthday.
  • 7- Elia Kazan, Oscar-winning director of such classic films as A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN (1945), GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT (1947) and ON THE WATERFRONT (1954), celebrates his 93rd birthday.
  • 7- George Kennedy, 77-year-old Oscar-winning character actor known for his roles in CHARADE (1963) and COOL HAND LUKE (1967), enters St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho for a scheduled hip replacement but instead undergoes triple bypass surgery when tests beforehand indicated a deteriorated condition of his heart.
  • 5- Liza Minnelli, 56-year-old Oscar-winning star of CABARET (1972), and her new husband, producer David Gest, announce plans to adopt a baby girl in January.  The couple is also set to star in their own reality series, "Liza and David," on VH1 later this year.

August 2002:

  • 30- J. Lee Thompson, English-born, Oscar-nominated director of such British and American action films as TIGER BAY (1959), THE GUNS OF NAVARONE (1961) and CAPE FEAR (1962), dies at age 88.
  • 30- Sophia Loren, 67-year-old Italian screen beauty and Oscar-winning star of such films as HOUSEBOAT (1958), EL CID (1961) and TWO WOMEN (1961), attend the Venice Film Festival for the first time in 20 years in order to promote her 100th film, BETWEEN STRANGERS (2002), which is also her son Edoardo Ponti's directorial debut.
  • 28- Tony Curtis, 77-year-old star of such films as THE DEFIANT ONES (1958) and OPERATION PETTICOAT (1959), announces he is considering opening a lounge act in Los Vegas after his success singing and dancing on stage in the national touring company production of "Some Like It Hot," a musical based on Billy Wilder's 1959 film comedy in which Curtis co-starred with Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon.
  • 25- William Warfield, powerful yet elegant bass-baritone who sang "Ol' Man River" in SHOW BOAT (1951) but was best known for playing Porgy in Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" on stages all over the world, dies at 82.
  • 25- Mel Ferrer, lanky film actor, director and producer best known for his leading roles in such films as RANCHO NOTORIOUS (1952), WAR AND PEACE (1956), and SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL (1964), celebrates his 85th birthday.
  • 24- Ted Ashley, chairman of Warner Bros. from 1969 to 1980 who oversaw the release of such modern classics as KLUTE (1971), A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971), THE EXORCIST (1973) and ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN (1976), dies at age 80.
  • 22- Leni Riefenstahl, German director of such artistically lauded Nazi propaganda films as TRIUMPH OF WILL (1934) and OLYMPIA (1938), celebrates her 100 birthday.
  • 18- Dean Riesner, silent movie child actor who later became a prolific Hollywood screenwriter and script doctor, contributing to such diverse films as THE FIGHTING 69TH (1940), BILL AND COO (1947) and DIRTY HARRY (1971), dies at 83.
  • 18- Robert Redford, rustic, red-headed actor, director, producer and founder of the Sundance Film Institute, celebrates his 65th birthday.
  • 16- Jeff Corey, Hollywood character actor and acting coach whose best known film roles included Blinky Franklin in THE KILLERS (1946), the sheriff in BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969) and Wild Bill Hickock in LITTLE BIG MAN (1970), dies at 88.
  • 16- Fans of Elvis Presley, rock-and-roll superstar of the 1950s and '60s and star of such films as JAILHOUSE ROCK (1957), BLUE HAWAII (1961) and VIVA LAS VEGAS (1964), gather at Elvis' Graceland home in Memphis, Tennessee to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the star's death.
  • 15- Wendy Hiller, poised British actress who gave memorable screen performances in PYGMALION (1938), MAJOR BARBARA (1941) and I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING (1945) before winning an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for SEPARATE TABLES (1958), celebrates her 90th birthday.
  • 14- Peter R. Hunt, film editor who worked on the first four James Bond films beginning with DR. NO (1962) and later directed ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE (1969),  dies of heart failure at 77.
  • 13- Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening announce plans to play a one-night benefit performance of "The World of Nick Adams" at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood on November 4.  The show will benefit the Painted Turtle Camp for kids with life-threatening illnesses.
  • 13- Norman Jolley, actor who appeared in such 1940s westerns as PURSUED (1947) and FLASHING GUNS (1947) before becoming a prolific television writer for  "Space Patrol," "Wagon Train" and "Cimarron City," dies of complications from pancreatic cancer at 86.
  • 9- Ruth Hussey, 90-year-old star of such classic films as THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) and TENDER COMRADE (1943), and her husband, agent Bob Longnecker, celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.
  • 9- Charlton Heston, 78-year-old Oscar winning actor and star of such films as THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1956), BEN-HUR (1959) and PLANET OF THE APES (1968) announces that his doctors have informed him he has symptoms similar to Alzheimer's disease.
  • 7- Dick Van Dyke, 76-year-old star of such classic musicals as MARY POPPINS (1964) and BYE BYE BIRDIE (1963), and Mary Tyler Moore, 64-year-old film and television actress and co-star with Van Dyke in "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961-6), start work on their first project together since the series, a made-for-PBS production of D.L. Coburn's "The Gin Game" set to air later this year.
  • 4- David Raksin, Oscar-nominated film score composer for such classic movies as LAURA (1944), FOREVER AMBER (1947), THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952) and SEPARATE TABLES (1958), celebrates his 90th birthday.
  • 2- Peter O'Toole, seven-time Oscar-nominated actor best known for his roles in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962), BECKET (1964) and THE LION IN WINTER (1968), celebrates his 70th birthday.
  • 1- Arthur Hill, Canadian-born stage and screen actor who won a Tony award for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" before becoming a reliable leading and supporting actor in such films of the 1960s and '70s as IN THE COOL OF THE DAY (1963) and HARPER (1966), celebrates his 80th birthday.

July 2002:

  • 31- Sophia Loren, 67-year-old Italian screen beauty and Oscar-winning actress best known for her roles in such films as HOUSEBOAT (1958), EL CID (1961) and TWO WOMEN (1961), announces her intention to attend the Venice Film Festival in early September after an absence of almost two decades.  Loren stars in one of the festival's feature films, BETWEEN STRANGERS (2002), directed by her son Edoardo Ponti.
  • 30- Officials of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC announce that classic movie stars Elizabeth Taylor, James Earl Jones and Chita Rivera will be among the five 2002 Kennedy Center Honorees "recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts" by American President George W. Bush in December.
  • 27- Frank Inn, Hollywood animal trainer who worked with such famous movie and television dogs as Lassie and Benjie over the course of a sixty-year career, dies at 86.
  • 26- Blake Edwards, writer/director of such classic comedies as BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961), THE PINK PANTHER (1963), DARLING LILI (1970) and VICTOR/VICTORIA (1982) and husband of actress Julie Andrews, celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 26- Norman "Buddy" Baker, composer of scores for about 200 Disney films, television shows and theme park attractions since the late 1950s, ranging from music for the TV series "Davy Crockett" to the "It's a Small World" ride at Disneyland, dies at 84.
  • 25- The UCLA Film & Television Archive Festival of Preservation commences with a screening of the newly restored THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (1954) starring Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner and Rossano Brazzi.
  • 24- Christie's auction house in New York presides over the sale of an extensive private collection of GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) memorabilia, including a wool sweater worn by Olivia de Havilland in the film which sold for more than $16,000 and a hardcover copy of the novel signed by the film's major stars and owned by actress Ona Munson (who portrayed Belle Watling in the film) which went for $11,000.
  • 24- Maurice Denham, British film, television and radio character actor whose best known movie roles included parts in THE DAY OF THE JACKAL (1973) and OUR MAN IN HAVANA (1959) as well voicing all the animal characters in the 1955 animated version of ANIMAL FARM, dies at 92.
  • 23- Leo McKern, veteran British character actor who film appearances included roles in A TALE OF TWO CITIES (1958), THE MOUSE THAT ROARED (1959) and the Beatles' HELP (1965), but who was best known for his "Rumpole of the Bailey" role on British television, dies at 82.
  • 20- Rapper/actor Will Smith announces plans to star in a remake of Judy Garland's 1954 musical drama A STAR IS BORN, in which he will play the up-and-coming movie star and his romantic leading lady (who has yet to be cast) will play the established star whose career is on the slide.  The project is still in the early stages of production with no established script or financing.
  • 19- Joan Collins, 69-year-old film and television actress who appeared in such films as THE VIRGIN QUEEN (1955) and THE OPPOSITE SEX (1956) but is best known for her role as Alexis Colby on TV's "Dynasty," announces plans to join the cast of the CBS daytime television drama "Guiding Light" for an unspecified run of at least six months.  Collins will play a manipulative character named Alexandra Spaulding, and her episodes will begin airing in late September.
  • 18- Hume Cronyn, veteran stage and screen character actor and occasional screenwriter whose notable film roles include appearances in SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943), LIFEBOAT (1944), THE SEVENTH CROSS (1944) and THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1946), celebrates his 91st birthday.
  • 18- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces plans to move the 2004 Oscar awards ceremony from its traditional late-March date to an earlier date in late February, citing complaints that the Oscar season is too long and that the late date permits too many other awards shows to precede the Oscars, stealing some of the ceremony's thunder.
  • 17- Phyllis Diller, recently retired stand-up comedienne whose film work has included starring roles opposite Bob Hope in BOY, DID I GET THE WRONG NUMBER! (1966) and EIGHT ON THE LAM (1967), celebrates her 85th birthday.
  • 17- Harry Gerstad, Academy Award-winning film editor for CHAMPION (1949) and HIGH NOON (1952), two of the more than forty films to his credit, dies at 93.
  • 17- Walt Disney Studios announces plans to remake its 1959 comedy THE SHAGGY DOG which originally starred Tommy Kirk, Fred MacMurray and Kevin Corcoran.
  • 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 96th birthday.
  • 14- Paramount Pictures celebrates its 90th anniversary with a star-studded bash on the studio lot.
  • 12- Paul Newman, Oscar-winning star of such films as THE LONG, HOT SUMMER (1958), CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1958), THE HUSTLER (1961), and COOL HAND LUKE (1967), debuts in a new film titled ROAD TO PERDITION (2002).
  • 9- Rod Steiger, Oscar-winning actor whose 50-year film career included notable roles in such diverse films as ON THE WATERFRONT (1954), OKLAHOMA! (1955), DR. ZHIVAGO (1965) and IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967), dies of complications from gallbladder surgery at 77.
  • 8- Ward Kimball, one of Disney's elite group of animators known as the "Nine Old Men" and one who personally animated or served as directing animator on such classics as SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937), PINOCCHIO (1940), FANTASIA (1940) and PETER PAN (1953) after joining the studio in 1934, dies at 88.
  • 7- John Frankenheimer, director of such 1960s classics as THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962), BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ (1962) and SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (1964), dies of a stroke at age 72.
  • 7- Louise (Klos Steiner) Elian, harpist whose music was heard on the original scores of such classic movies as GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) and CASABLANCA (1942), dies at 96.
  • 6- Janet Leigh, blonde movie actress of the 1950s and 1960s whose best known films include TOUCH OF EVIL (1958), PSYCHO (1960) and THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962), celebrates her 75th birthday.
  • 5- Katy Jurardo, Oscar-nominated Mexican actress best known for her roles in HIGH NOON (1952), BROKEN LANCE (1954) and ONE-EYED JACKS (1961), dies at her home in Mexico at age 78.
  • 4- Ivan Moffat, Oscar-nominated screenwriter who adapted Edna Ferber's novel GIANT (1956) for the screen, dies of a stroke at 84.
  • 2- Brock Peters, black actor best known for his role as Tom Robinson in the 1962 film version of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, celebrates his 75th birthday.
  • 1- Sid Avery, candid photographer known in Hollywood for capturing the unglamorized private moments of such film stars as Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean and Audrey Hepburn, dies at 83.

June 2002:

  • 30- Lena Horne, black screen beauty and singing star of such MGM musicals as CABIN IN THE SKY (1943), STORMY WEATHER (1943) and TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY (1947), celebrates her 85th birthday.
  • 29- Rosemary Clooney, mellow-voiced "Come on-a my house" and "Mambo Italiano" singer best known for co-starring with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen in WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954), dies of lung cancer at the age of 74.
  • 29- François Périer, prolific French stage and screen actor whose 60-year career featured roles in over 100 films including HOTEL DU NORD (1938) and ORPHEE (1949), dies of a heart attack at  82.
  • 26- Dolores Gray, sultry stage musical star whose film appearances for MGM in the 1950s included leading roles in KISMET (1955), IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER (1955), THE OPPOSITE SEX (1956) and DESIGNING WOMAN (1957), dies of a heart attack at 78.
  • 26- Eleanor Parker, cool blonde star of such films as DETECTIVE STORY (1951) and THE NAKED JUNGLE (1954), celebrates her 80th birthday.
  • 26- Daily Variety reports that Rosemary Clooney, singing star of WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954), has returned home again after a brief hospitalization earlier in the month for further lung cancer treatments.
  • 26- The family of Stanley Kubrick, Oscar-nominated director of such films as SPARTACUS (1960) and DR. STRANGELOVE (1964), announces plans for a book detailing the late director's aspirations for a film on Napoleon which he worked on for over 30 years but never got the chance to make.
  • 26- Frank Sinatra, legendary crooner and Oscar-winning star of such films as FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) and THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962), is honored with the naming of the Frank Sinatra Post Office Building in Hoboken, New Jersey where Sinatra was born in 1915.
  • 22- The Walk of Fame Committee of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announces that Betty Garrett, star of such Hollywood musicals as ON THE TOWN (1949) and MY SISTER EILEEN (1955), will be honored for her work in live theatre with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame sometime next year.
  • 21- Officials in the Swiss village of Tolochenaz, where Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn lived for almost 30 years until her death in 1993, announce that an exhibition of the late actresses Oscars, costumes and other memorabilia would be closing in October after six years because Hepburn's sons had requested return of the exhibition materials.
  • 21- Officials with Walden Media, an independent film company, announce plans for a remake of Jules Verne's AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (1956) which originally starred David Niven and won the year's Best Picture Oscar.  The remake will star Jackie Chan and filming is scheduled to start this fall.
  • 18- Roger Ebert, longtime film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, celebrates his 60th birthday.
  • 21- Officials with the Savannah Film and Video Festival announce Debbie Reynolds will receive the event's Life Achievement Award at the end of October which will also feature four Charlie Chaplin films.
  • 14- Kirk Douglas, Oscar-nominated star of such Hollywood classics as CHAMPION (1949), THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952), PATHS OF GLORY (1957) and SPARTACUS (1960), receives the UCLA Medal for his "cultural, political and humanitarian achievements" during the graduation ceremony at the University of California, Los Angeles.
  • 14- Columbia Pictures wins a nine-year-old court case over the rights to 34 films starring Mexican comedian and movie icon Cantinflas, defeating Cantinflas' son, Mario Moreno Ivanova, who claimed key documents in which his father turned over the film rights to Columbia were never signed.
  • 11- Ingmar Bergman, world-renowned director of such Swedish films as THE SEVENTH SEAL (1957) and AUTUMN SONATA (1978), donates 45 crates of archival material collected during his lifetime (including letters, manuscripts and behind-the-scenes footage) to the Swedish Film Institute.
  • 10- The American Film Institute's list of the 100 most romantic American movies names CASABLANCA (1942) as America's greatest movie romance, followed by GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), WEST SIDE STORY (1961), ROMAN HOLIDAY (1953) and AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (1957).
  • 9- George Axelrod, Oscar-nominated writer-director-producer whose resume includes work on such films as BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961), THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962) and PARIS -- WHEN IT SIZZLES (1964), celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 7- Signe Hasso, Swedish-born actress whose nine-decade stage and screen career included several Swedish films before her 1940 arrival in Hollywood after which she was best known for her role in A DOUBLE LIFE (1947), dies at 91.
  • 5- Executives at Italy's famed Cinecitta Movie Studios where such classic films as BEN-HUR (1959), LA DOLCE VITA (1960) and CLEOPATRA (1963) were filmed, announce plans for a theme park to bring tourists and moviemakers to the historic studio lot nicknamed "Hollywood on the Tiber."
  • 4- John Barrymore Jr., actor son of screen legend John Barrymore and actress Dolores Costello whose sporadic film appearances have included roles in THE SUNDOWNERS (1950), THUNDERBIRDS (1952) and HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL (1958) as well as a series of Italian action movies, celebrates his 70th birthday.
  • 4- Tony Curtis, 77-year-old star of such films as THE DEFIANT ONES (1958) and OPERATION PETTICOAT (1959), debuts in Houston as Osgood Perkins III in the national touring company production of "Some Like It Hot," a stage musical based on Billy Wilder's smash 1959 comedy, set to hit Atlanta and Kansas City next on its 28-city U.S. tour.
  • 3- Lew Wasserman, powerful Hollywood deal-maker at talent agency MCA who represented such high-level movie personalities as Jimmy Stewart and Alfred Hitchcock before becoming head (for over 30 years) of Universal Pictures when MCA bought the studio in 1962, dies of complications from a stroke at 89.
  • 2- Herman Cohen, Hollywood producer and writer most famous for launching a genre of teenage horror films as producer of the cult classic I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF (1957), dies of throat cancer at 76.

May 2002:

  • 29- Bob Hope, actor, comedian and star (with Bing Crosby) of the highly successful "road movies" of the 1940s, celebrates his 99th birthday.
  • 27- Christopher Lee, British actor whose 200+ film appearances since the 1940s have included celebrated roles in such classic 1950s horror films as  THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1957), THE HORROR OF DRACULA (1958) and THE MUMMY (1959), celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 25- Brigitte Bardot, French actress-turned-animal rights activist, announces she has received thousands of death threats for criticizing the South Korean practice of eating dog meat.
  • 24- MK2, a French film distribution company which owns the rights to 18 of Charlie Chaplin's most famous films including MODERN TIMES (1936) and THE GREAT DICTATOR (1940), announces a deal with Warner Bros. Home Video to release the films on DVD in the near future.
  • 24- Robert Evans, former actor who appeared in such films as MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES (1957), THE SUN ALSO RISES (1957) and THE BEST OF EVERYTHING (1959) before becoming the head of Paramount Pictures where he oversaw the production of such hits as LOVE STORY (1970) and THE GODFATHER (1972), receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • 23- Angela Lansbury, actress and star of such films as GASLIGHT (1944), THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (1945) and THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1965) but best known as the mystery-solving author in TV's "Murder, She Wrote", announces plans to appear in a two-hour made-for-TV mystery movie entitled "The Celtic Riddle" set to air on CBS.
  • 23- Julie Andrews, Oscar-winning star of such classic musicals as MARY POPPINS (1964) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), releases her most recent children's book, entitled "Little Bo in France", about the further adventures of a globe-trotting cat.
  • 23- Shirley Jones, 68-year-old star of such classic musicals as OKLAHOMA! (1955) and THE MUSIC MAN (1962), announces plans for a series of ten performances at Harrah's Hotels and Casinos in Los Vegas.
  • 23- Betty Garrett, comic star of such classic movie musicals as TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME (1949) and ON THE TOWN (1949), directed a 40th anniversary revival of Edward Lee Master's "Spoon River Anthology" at Theatre West in Los Angeles.
  • 21- Joe Cobb, former child actor who played the chubby, beanie-wearing boy named Joe in the "Our Gang" comedies of the 1920s including the series' last silent film, SATURDAYS LESSON (1929), and first talkie short, SMALL TALK (1929), dies at age 85.
  • 21- Jerry Lewis, overgrown juvenile comic whose film appearances with partner Dean Martin included AT WAR WITH THE ARMY (1950) and SAILOR BEWARE (1951), is hospitalized in Los Vegas where he will undergo surgery to relieve persistent back pain and announces he is writing a book.
  • 19- Walter Lord, best-selling author of A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (about the sinking of the Titanic) on which the 1958 film by the same name was based, dies of Parkinson's disease at 84.
  • 16- Shirley Temple, former child star and Hollywood icon, is honored at a ceremony on the 20th Century-Fox lot with the dedication of a child-care center in her name and the unveiling of a life-size bronze statue of Shirley in BABY TAKE A BOW (1934).
  • 16- Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis Reagan, former Hollywood actors who later became President and First Lady of the United States, receive the Congressional Gold Medal before a joint session of Congress and President George W. Bush in the Rotunda of the Capitol building.  Nancy accepted the award for both.
  • 15- Darwood Smith, former child actor who (under the name of Darwood Kaye) appeared as Waldo in 22 of the "Our Gang" comedies and later appeared with Lucille Ball in BEST FOOT FORWARD (1943) after which he left acting to become a priest, dies at age 72 after being struck by a car while taking his daily walk.
  • 15- Constance Cummings, dark-haired leading lady whose prolific movie appearances during the 1930s included roles in such films as MOVIE CRAZY (1932), THIS MAN IS MINE (1934), REMEMBER LAST NIGHT? (1935) and BLITHE SPIRIT (1945), celebrates her 92nd birthday.
  • 14- Rosemary Clooney, blonde singing star of WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954), returns home to Beverly Hills after spending several months recuperating from lung cancer surgery at the Mayo Clinic.  She will continue undergoing rehab and is optimistic she will be able to perform again.
  • 14- Ray Stricklyn, theatre and film actor whose screen appearances included roles in THE CATERED AFFAIR (1956) and TEN NORTH FREDERICK (1958), dies of chronic emphysema at age 73.
  • 12- Katharine Hepburn, four-time Oscar-winning Hollywood legend and star of such classic films as THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940), ADAM'S RIB (1949), THE LION IN WINTER (1968) and ON GOLDEN POND (1981), celebrates her 95th birthday.
  • 11- Bill Peet, illustrator and screenwriter who contributed character sketches and storylines to such classic Disney animated films as FANTASIA (1940), DUMBO (1941), SONG OF THE SOUTH (1946), CINDERELLA (1950) and SLEEPING BEAUTY (1956), dies at 87.
  • 10- Yves Robert, French actor, director and producer best known for his 1961 comedy LA GUERRE DES BOUTONS (THE WAR OF THE BUTTONS), dies at age 81.
  • 8- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences kicks off a year-long 75th anniversary celebration with a gala event at the Academy's Center for Motion Picture Study in La Cienega, California.
  • 7- James 'Buster' Brown, veteran tap dancer whose film appearances included a specialty number in SOMETHING TO SHOUT ABOUT (1943), dies at 88.
  • 7- Audrey Hepburn, legendary film icon and late star of such classic movies as BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961) and MY FAIR LADY (1964), is honored with the unveiling of a 7-foot bronze sculpture titled "The Spirit of Audrey" in the United Nations Plaza adjacent to UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund) headquarters in New York.
  • 6- Bert Pfeiffer, a Dutch artist obsessed with actress Ava Gardner who painted a portrait of the classic screen siren every year from 1948 until his death in 2001, leaves 26 of his portraits as well as thousands of photos, movie posters and other memorabilia in his collection, to the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, North Carolina.
  • 5- Michael Todd, Jr., son of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (1956) producer Michael Todd, Sr. who took over his father's production company after his death in 1958 and subsequently release a "Smell-O-Vision" film entitled SCENT OF A MYSTERY (1960) which attempted to introduce certain odors related to the onscreen action into movie theatres during a screening, dies of lung cancer at 72.
  • 5- George Sidney, longtime MGM director whose more than 50 films from the late 1930s through the 1960s included such classic musicals as ANCHORS AWEIGH (1945), ANNIE GET YOUR GUN (1950), SHOW BOAT (1951), and KISS ME KATE (1953), dies of complications of lymphoma at 85.
  • 3- William "Billy" Heyes Jr., former child actor in the silent "Penrod and Sam" series of the 1930s who also starred opposite Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle in the comedian's first talkie, HEY, POP (1932), dies at age 78.
  • 3- Norman Corwin, Oscar-nominated screenwriter whose credits include THE BLUE VEIL (1951), LUST FOR LIFE (1956) and THE STORY OF RUTH (1960), celebrates his 92nd birthday.
  • 2- Phyllis Diller, 84-year-old stand up comedienne whose film work has included an appearance in SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS (1961) as well as starring roles opposite Bob Hope in BOY, DID I GET THE WRONG NUMBER! (1966) and EIGHT ON THE LAM (1967), announces her retirement after 47 years in show business.
  • 2- Jack Kruschen, versatile character actor whose six decades in movies and television included an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his role in THE APARTMENT (1960), dies at age 80.
  • 1- Frank Sinatra, Oscar-winning Hollywood actor and singer, is remembered  in "Frank Sinatra Day" at Yankee Stadium with his granddaughter A.J. Lambert singing the national anthem and his daughter Tina throwing the first pitch.

April 2002:

  • 27- Jack Klugman, film and television character actor best known for playing Oscar Madison on TV's "The Odd Couple" but whose film work has included roles in 12 ANGRY MEN (1957), DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES (1962) and I COULD GO ON SINGING (1963), celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 26- Army Archerd, journalist whose "Just for Variety" column on the lives of Hollywood personalities has been a staple of the Daily Variety trade paper for 50 years, is honored at a star-studded black-tie dinner attended by such classic movie personalities as Sidney Poitier, Esther Williams, Robert Stack, Richard Zanuck, Phyllis Diller and John Frankenheimer.
  • 25- Ann Miller, classic tap star of such films as STAGE DOOR (1937), ON THE TOWN (1949) and KISS ME KATE (1953), announces plans to join Liza Minnelli's act for a seven-night run at the Beacon Club, beginning June 2.
  • 25- Michael Bryant, British stage actor whose occasional film appearances included roles in A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (1958), THE MIND BENDERS (1963) and NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA (1971), dies at 74.
  • 19- Reginald Rose, the television playwright best known for writing and co-producing the movie 12 ANGRY MEN (1957) the screenplay for which earned him an Academy Award nomination, dies at 81.
  • 18- Esther Williams, 78-year-old former MGM bathing beauty, announces plans to co-produce a $35 million water attraction in Los Vegas called "Aquaria" which will feature a 2,000-seat stadium especially designed to house water shows and stories which she will help create.
  • 18- Marlon Brando, 78-year-old Oscar-winning star of ON THE WATERFRONT (1954), is sued by a former maid who claims the actor fathered her three children during a 14-year romantic relationship and demands $100 million in damages and living expenses.
  • 18- Marlene Dietrich, late German-born film icon and star of THE BLUE ANGEL (1930), THE SCARLET EMPRESS (1934) and JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG (1961), is made an honorary citizen of the city of Berlin following a vote by the city legislature.
  • 16- A stage musical based on the 1968 film musical CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG which originally starred Dick Van Dyke, debuts in London with original, reworked and altogether new songs by the film's composers Richard and Robert Sherman.
  • 12- Janet Leigh, Oscar-nominated star of PSYCHO (1960) and TOUCH OF EVIL (1958), hosts the Library of Congress Film Preservation Tour in Oklahoma City.
  • 12- Director Peter Bogdanovich's CAT'S MEOW, a new feature film about the life and death of silent screen star Marion Davies, debuts in New York and Los Angeles.
  • 10- Omar Sharif, Egyptian-born and Oscar-nominated international film star best known for his roles in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962), DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965) and FUNNY GIRL (1968), celebrates his 70th birthday.
  • 7- John Agar, former Air Force sergeant whose 1945 marriage to Shirley Temple launched a film career which included leading roles in John Ford's FORT APACHE (1948) and SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (1949) among other westerns, war movies and sci-fi films, dies at 81.
  • 6- The Detroit branch of the NAACP announces it will present Harry Belafonte, entertainer, singer and star of such films as CARMEN JONES (1954), with a lifetime achievement award on April 28 at the organization's Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner.
  • 6- Nobu McCarthy, actress of Japanese descent who made her Hollywood mark in such films as THE GEISHA BOY (1958) and LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER (1963) before becoming an accomplished stage actress and theatrical artistic director, dies of an aneurysm at 67.
  • 1- Debbie Reynolds, Oscar-nominated star of such classic movie musicals as SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) and THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN (1964), celebrates her 70th birthday.

March 2002:

  • 27- Billy Wilder, Oscar-winning screenwriter and director whose films spanned diverse genres and included THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR (1942), DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944), THE LOST WEEKEND (1945), SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950), SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) and THE APARTMENT (1960), dies of pneumonia at 95.
  • 27- Milton Berle, vaudeville, nightclub, radio, film and television comedian who, after minor film work in the 1930s and '40s, become American's first TV star in the 1950s, before returning to the big screen in the 1960s to appear in such films as LET'S MAKE LOVE (1960) and IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD (1963), dies at age 93.
  • 27- UNICEF announces plans to unveil "The Spirit of Audrey," a seven-foot bronze sculpture depicting Audrey Hepburn and a child, in the United Nations Plaza adjacent to UNICEF headquarters in a ceremony on May 7 in New York City. Hepburn was one of UNICEF's goodwill ambassadors and served from 1988 until her death in 1993.
  • 27- The National Film Preservation Foundation announces a series of grants aimed at restoring and saving 39 "orphan" films not preserved by commercial interests, including THE BARGAIN (1914), the picture that introduced silent western star William S. Hart to the world.
  • 27- AOL Time Warner announces the completion of a meticulous digital color restoration of Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen's classic musical SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) which will be be given a limited theatrical release before being released on DVD in a special 2-disc 50th Anniversary edition (containing a documentary on the making of the film) in the fall of 2002.
  • 24- Sidney Poitier, Oscar-winning star of LILIES OF THE FIELD (1963), receives an Honorary Oscar and two standing ovations from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the 2002 Oscar ceremonies in Hollywood.
  • 23-  Gwen Davenport, novelist best known for writing "Belvedere," a story about an English housekeeper which became the basis for three movies starring Clifton Webb, SITTING PRETTY (1948), MR. BELVEDERE GOES TO COLLEGE (1949) and MR. BELVEDERE RINGS THE BELL (1951) as well as a 1980s TV sitcom, dies of congestive heart failure at 91.
  • 23-  Richard Sylbert, two-time Academy Award-winning production designer known for his devotion to historical accuracy who won Oscars for his art direction for WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (1966) and DICK TRACY (1990), dies of cancer at 73.
  • 23- Eileen Farrell, renowned opera and pop soprano who dubbed the singing voice of actress Eleanor Parker in the 1955 movie biopic of opera star Marjorie Lawrence, INTERRUPTED MELODY, dies at age 82.
  • 22- Karl Malden, Oscar-winning supporting actor who contributed to such films as A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951), ON THE WATERFRONT (1954) and POLLYANNA (1960), celebrates his 90th birthday.
  • 22-  Josef Erich von Stroheim, motion picture and television sound editor who was also the son of the legendary silent film director Erich von Stroheim, dies at 79.
  • 21- Jacquie Lynn, former cherub-faced child star whose brief career (between the ages of 3 and 5) included appearances in Laurel and Hardy's  PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES (1932) and two "Our Gang" comedies, dies of a heart attack at 73.
  • 20- Carl Reiner, film and television writer, director producer and actor whose movie contributions have included work on THE GAZEBO (1959) and THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING (1966) (as an actor), as well as THE COMIC (1969) (as writer/director/producer), celebrates his 80th birthday.
  • 19- Harry Belafonte, entertainer, singer and star of such films as CARMEN JONES (1954), is given a Distinguished American Award at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts for his lifelong work as an
    advocate for human rights and racial equality.
  • 18- Julie Andrews, Oscar-winning star of MARY POPPINS (1964) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965) turned children's book author, signs a deal with HarperCollins Publishers for her own imprint on a series of children's books, the Julie Andrews Collection, which Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton will either write or edit over the next three years.
  • 17- William Witney, Republic Pictures B-movie and serial director of the 1930s and '40s who worked on such series as "The Lone Ranger," "Spy Smasher,"
    "The Adventures of Captain Marvel" and "Dick Tracy vs. Crime, Inc." as well as several Roy Rogers westerns and who introduced the practice of choreographing fight scenes, dies at age 86.
  • 16- Liza Minnelli, 56-year-old vocalist and Oscar-winning star of CABARET (1972), marries producer David Gest in a celebrity-filled ceremony at New
    York's Marble Collegiate Church which included the participation of Elizabeth Taylor as matron of honor.
  • 13- Anthony Loder, son of MGM brunette beauty Hedy Lamarr, announces plans for a film about his mother's life called "Ecstasy II" which he will produce.
  • 10- Bob Hope, 98-year-old film and radio comic who entertained members of the U.S. Military for over fifty years, is honored in an exhibit at the United States Air Force Museum.
  • 8- Winnie Markus, German actress whose film appearances in the 1950s and '60s included such German films as THE DEVIL IN SILK (1956), dies at age 80.
  • 8- British TV producer Harry Alan Towers announces plans for a television remake of the classic 1950s radio crime drama "The Black Museum" for which CITIZEN KANE (1941) star and director Orson Welles' original radio narrations will be digitally transposed and used in the new TV series set to debut on networks around the world in September.
  • 8- Paramount Pictures announces plans to remake John Frankenheimer's 1962 classic THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE which originally starred Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury and Laurence Harvey.  The remake is being produced by Sinatra's daughter Tina.
  • 8- Cyd Charisse, long-legged dancing star of such MGM musicals as SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) and BRIGADOON (1954), is inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame exactly 79 years after she was born in Amarillo.
  • 7-  Mimi Roth, one of the first female executives for a major Hollywood studio, who ran the development department at United Artists during the 1960s, dies of cancer at 81.
  • 5- The Walt Disney Company announces plans to honor Ken Annakin, director of such Disney films as THE STORY OF ROBIN AND HIS MERRIE MEN (1952) and SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (1960), with the Disney Legends award, given "to individuals whose body of work has made a significant impact on Disney over the years," at a ceremony at the Disneyland Paris Resort in France on May 15.
  • 4- Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis Reagan, he a former Warner Bros. second lead turned President of the United States, and she an MGM starlet of the early 1950s turned First Lady, celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
  • 2-  Bill Berg, 84, a longtime writer and cartoonist for Walt Disney Studios whose many film contributions included work on the 1959 Academy Award-nominated short about mathematics, DONALD DUCK IN MATH MAGIC LAND, dies of pneumonia.
  • 1- David Mann, composer whose popular musical compositions included the music for Frank Sinatra's 1955 hit song "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," dies at age 85.
  • 1- Paramount Pictures, a Viacom company, debuts a new, redesigned mountain logo to mark the studio's 90th anniversary in 2002.  The original star-crested mountain logo dates to 1914, two years after the studio's founding.
  • 1- Harry Belafonte, handsome black singer and actor who popularized calypso music in America in the 1950s and whose film works has included leading roles in Otto Preminger's CARMEN JONES (1954) and ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW (1959), celebrates his 75the birthday.

February 2002:

  • 27- Elizabeth Taylor, two-time Oscar-winning actress and star of such films as NATIONAL VELVET (1944) and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1958), celebrates her 70th birthday.
  • 27- Warner Bros. announces plans to remake Hitchcock's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951) using a new script by David Seltzer based on the original 1925 crime novel by Patricia Highsmith.
  • 27- Three Viacom-owned networks -- TNN, CBS and UPN -- sign a deal with MGM to buy exclusive two-year television rights to the first 15 James Bond movies for $30 million.
  • 26- Lawrence Tierney, character actor and B-movie tough-guy of the 1940s and '50s whose film appearances included roles in DILLINGER (1945), KILL OR BE KILLED (1950) and THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (1952), dies at 82.
  • 26- Oskar Sala, German composer and physicist who produced the bird sound effects for Alfred Hitchcock's THE BIRDS (1963) on a musical instrument known as a mixture-trautonium, dies at 91.
  • 23- Alice Wallace, model and "Goldwyn Girl" who appeared in as a glamorous chorine or fashion model in such films of the 1940s as UP IN ARMS (1944) and A SONG IS BORN (1945), dies of emphysema at age 77.
  • 22- Chuck Jones, three-time Oscar-winning animator who helped create Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and Wile E. Coyote, among many others, and  was involved the creation of more than 300 animated films over the course of his 60 year career, dies at age 89.
  • 22- Roger Ebert, movie reviewer for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, undergoes surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his thyroid gland.  The prognosis is for a "a quick and complete recovery."
  • 22- Lucille Lund, B-movie actress of the 1930s most famous for her roles in classic horror films such as that of Boris Karloff's wife and stepdaughter in THE BLACK CAT (1934), dies at age 89.
  • 21- Hubert de Givenchy, Parisian fashion designer who outfitted Audrey Hepburn in such films as FUNNY FACE (1957), BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (1961) and CHARADE (1963), celebrates his 75th birthday.
  • 20- Dale Eunson, author, playwright and screenwriter whose work in films included the script for THE STAR (1952) (for which he collaborated with his writer-wife Katherine Albert) and the play on which HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE (1953) was based, dies at age 97.
  • 20- Stephen Longstreet, screenwriter and author who wrote more than 100 fiction and nonfiction books and, during his tenure at Warner Bros. in the 1940s and '50s, contributed to such films as THE JOLSON STORY (1946) and THE HELEN MORGAN STORY (1957), dies of pneumonia at 94.
  • 20- Sidney Poitier, Oscar-winning star of LILIES OF THE FIELD (1963) and GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER (1967), celebrates his 75th birthday.
  • 17- Joan Collins, 68-year-old film and television actress best known for her role as Alexis Colby on "Dynasty," marries 36-year-old theatre manager Percy Gibson (her fifth husband) at a ceremony in London.
  • 17- The debut of a restored version of Charlie Chaplin's World War II Nazi satire THE GREAT DICTATOR (1940), complete with a digitally remastered soundtrack, closes the Berlin Film Festival.  The classic comedy is set to go into general release in theatres across France and Japan in October.
  • 15- The Cannes Film Festival announces it will honor classic MGM musical dancer Cyd Charisse, whose films include SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952), THE BAND WAGON (1953) and BRIGADOON (1954), on May 26 with an event at the Cinematheque de la Danse in Paris which will include a screening of SILK STOCKINGS (1957), Charisse's favorite film with Fred Astaire.
  • 15- Ernest Borgnine, 85-year-old Oscar-winning star of such films as FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) and MARTY (1955), signs a three-picture deal with Universal Studios, the first of which will be CRIMEBUSTERS (2003).
  • 14- Desmond Plunkett, a Royal Air Force flier during World War II who helped plot the daring breakout from the Stalag Luft III Nazi prison camp that inspired the Steve McQueen film THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963), dies at 86.
  • 13- Carol Lynley, former teen model turned actress whose film appearances of the 1960s included roles in RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE (1961), UNDER THE YUM YUM TREE (1963) and BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING (1965), celebrates her 60th birthday.
  • 9- Kathryn Grayson, leading MGM soprano of the 1940s and '50s best known for her leading roles in SHOW BOAT (1951) and KISS ME KATE (1955), celebrates her 80th birthday.
  • 8- John Williams, prolific Oscar-winning film composer whose classic films scores have included HOW TO STEAL A MILLION (1966), VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (1967) and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (1972), celebrates his 70th birthday.
  • 6- Film exhibitor Cowboy Pictures reaches an agreement with Janus Films, a production company whose films of the 1940s through 1960s included Jean Cocteau's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1946) and Henri-Georges Clouzot's WAGES OF FEAR (1953), to bring the company's library of classic international films back to movie theatres, six per year, beginning in April.
  • 6- Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hungarian-born blonde beauty whose film roles include WE'RE NOT MARRIED (1952), TOUCH OF EVIL (1958) and DROP DEAD DARLING (1966), celebrates her 85th birthday.
  • 6- Ronald Reagan, Warner Bros. second-lead of the 1930s and '40s who moved into television in the 1950s, hosting "General Electric Theatre", and later into politics, becoming the 40th President of the United States, celebrates his 91st birthday.
  • 6- Guy Stockwell, older brother of child star Dean Stockwell and actor himself whose film appearances included THE WAR LORD (1965), BEAU GESTE (1966) and AIRPORT 1975 (1974), dies at age 68.
  • 5- Annalee Whitmore Fadiman, famed World War II journalist and MGM screenwriter whose work film work included ANDY HARDY MEETS DEBUTANTE (1940), commits suicide after suffering from breast cancer and Parkinson's disease at age 85.
  • 4- George Nader, muscular screen actor of the 1950s whose film appearances included roles in ROBOT MONSTER (1953), SIX BRIDGES TO CROSS (1955) and AWAY ALL BOATS (1956), dies of pneumonia at age 80.
  • 1-  Hildegard Knef, smoky-voiced German actress and torch singer whose more than 50 film appearances included such Hollywood productions as DECISION BEFORE DAWN (1951) and THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO (1952), dies of complications from emphysema at 76.

January 2002:

  • 29- Harold Russell, handless veteran and double Oscar-winner who immortalized the plight of disabled returning veterans in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946), dies at age 88.
  • 29- The Professional Dancers Society announces that June Haver, 75-year-old Fox musical star of such films as SCUDDA HOO! SCUDDA HEY! (1948) and OH, YOU BEAUTIFUL DOLL (1949), will receive the organizations 2002 Gypsy Award at a ceremony on  February 10.
  • 25- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces plans to bestow an honorary Oscar on Robert Redford, Oscar-nominated star of THE STING (1973) and BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969), in recognition of his work as an actor, director and founder of the Sundance Institute. Redford will receive the award at the 2002 Oscar ceremony on March 24.
  • 25- Martin Scorsese announces plans for a biopic on Howard Hughes, pioneering American aviator, film producer and former head of RKO Radio Pictures.  The film will star teen heart-throb Leonardo DiCaprio and is set to go into production in the fall of 2002, providing Scorsese secures the necessary financing.
  • 24- Ernest Borgnine, Oscar-winning star of MARTY (1955) and THE WILD BUNCH (1969), celebrates his 85th birthday.
  • 24- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces plans to bestow an honorary Oscar on Sidney Poitier, Oscar-winning star of such films as THE DEFIANT ONES (1958), LILIES OF THE FIELD (1963) and IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967).  Poitier will receive the award at the 2002 Oscar ceremony on March 24.
  • 23-  Henry "Blackie" Escalante, scion of a family of circus trapeze artists who went on to become a Hollywood stuntman for more than four decades, doubling for such stars as Johnny Weissmuller in "Tarzan" films, dies of complications from Alzheimer's disease at 86.
  • 22- Sheldon Allman, film and television character actor whose big-screen performances included roles in HUD (1963) and THE SONS OF KATIE ELDER (1965), dies at 77.
  • 22- Piper Laurie, three-time Oscar-nominated star of THE HUSTLER (1961), CARRIE (1976) and CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD (1986), celebrates her 70th birthday.
  • 21- Peggy Lee, legendary jazz singer with Benny Goodman's orchestra who went on to become a night club performer, a prolific recording artist, a songwriter and an actress nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for PETE KELLY'S BLUES (1955), but was best known for her hit records "Fever," "I Got it Bad," and "Is That All There Is?," dies at 81.
  • 21- Liza Minnelli, 55-year-old vocalist and Oscar-winning star of CABARET (1972), announces plans for a European concert tour to include stops in England, Denmark, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, immediately following her March 16 wedding to producer David Gest.
  • 19- A sterling silver, gold and ruby-studded saddle from 1931 owned by classic cowboy movie star Roy Rogers sells together with a harness set for $412,000 at the 12th High Noon western auction and collectors show.  Other auction highlights included Tom Mix's Stetson hat ($2,750), Rex Allen's engraved Colt .45 gun ($6,050), John Wayne's jacket from TRUE GRIT (1969) ($11,000) and Gary Cooper's pants from DALLAS (1950) ($440).
  • 18- Rosemary Clooney remains in "serious condition" in the ICU unit at the Mayo Clinic, recovering from surgery to remove "a shadow" of cancer from her lungs.
  • 17- Queenie Leonard, British cabaret singer and actress who played English maids and other character roles in more than thirty Hollywood films from 1939 through the mid-1960s and also provided character voices in such Disney animated classics as ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1951) and ONE HUNDRED AND ONE DALMATIANS (1961), dies at age 96.
  • 16- Kirk Douglas, Oscar-winning star of THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952) and SPARTACUS (1960), visits with President and Mrs. Bush at the White House in Washington D.C. before speaking to the National Press Club about his new book "My Stroke of Luck."
  • 16- Katy Jurado, Mexican leading lady whose American films of the 1950s and early '60s included such classics as HIGH NOON (1952), BROKEN ARROW (1954) and ONE-EYED JACKS (1961), celebrates her 75th birthday.
  • 15- Daily Variety reports that Maureen O'Hara, red-headed Irish film star of the 1940s through '60s, is negotiating to appear in an upcoming made-for-TV movie entitled MISS LETTI.
  • 12- Ernest Pintoff, animated filmmaker who won an Academy Award in 1963 for THE CRITIC, a three-minute animated satire about modern art, dies of complications from a stroke at age 70.
  • 11- Rosemary Clooney, classic 1950s and '60s lounge singer who appeared with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen in WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954), undergoes surgery for lung-cancer at the Mayo Clinic and is expected to recover quickly.  Clooney is scheduled to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys ceremony on February 27.
  • 11- Daily Variety reports that Karen Kramer, widow of HIGH NOON (1952) producer Stanley Kramer, has threatened to sue the producers of  "Darkness at High Noon: The Carl Foreman Documents," a two-hour documentary for PBS about screenwriter Carl Foreman's lack of credit as co-producer for his work on the film.  The documentary alleges that Kramer stripped Foreman of his producer credit on the film because of his former associations with the communist party and his refusal to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.  Karen Kramer has threatened to block the documentary on ground of defamation of her late husband's character.  Negotiations between PBS and Kramer are ongoing.
  • 11- Henri Verneuil, prolific French filmmaker whose work included LA VACHE ET LE PRISONNIER (1959) and UN SINGE EN HIVER (1962), dies at 81.
  • 9- The Producers Guild of America announces it will award Robert Wise, producer-director of the Oscar-winning Best Pictures WEST SIDE STORY (1961) and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965), with the organization's 2002 Milestone Award for his "historic contribution'' to the entertainment industry in a ceremony on March 3.
  • 9- American Society of Cinematographers announces it will award Stanley Donen, acclaimed musical and comedy director of such films as SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952) and CHARADE (1963), with the organization's 2002 Board of Governors Award, given to "an individual who has made extraordinary and enduring contributions to advancing the art of filmmaking." Donen will accept the award at a ceremony on February 17.
  • 9- Herbert Lom, Czech actor best known for his roles as Inspector Dreyfus in the PINK PANTHER series of films in the 1960s and '70s, celebrates his 85th birthday.
  • 8- Fabian, 58-year-old former teen idol and star of such films as NORTH TO ALASKA (1960) with John Wayne and MR. HOBBS TAKES A VACATION (1962) with Jimmy Stewart, receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • 8- Yvette Mimieux, blonde ingénue of the 1960s known for her roles in LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA (1962) and TOYS IN THE ATTIC (1963), celebrates her 60th birthday.
  • 7- Sidney Poitier, Oscar-winning star of LILIES OF THE FIELD (1963), receives the Living Legend Award at the annual Trumpet Awards, honoring black achievements in politics, science and the arts.  A taped broadcast of the awards show is scheduled to air at 7 p.m. EST, Feb. 23 on TBS.
  • 7- Leni Riefenstahl, director of such artistically lauded Nazi propaganda films as TRIUMPH OF WILL (1934) and OLYMPIA (1938), announces plans to release her first film since 1954 on her 100th birthday, August 22.  The new film, IMPRESSIONS UNDER WATER is a 45-minute documentary of life in the Indian Ocean which she shot in more than 2,000 dives from 1974 to 2000.
  • 4- Barbara Rush, brunette leading lady of such 1950s Hollywood films as THE YOUNG LIONS (1958) and THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS (1959), celebrates her 75th birthday.
  • 3- Three Oregon men, including one of the property's caretakers, are arrested on charges of burglarizing the rural home of classic film star Kim Novak and her husband Dr. Bob Malloy the day after Christmas 2001.
  • 2- Bibi Osterwald, versatile stage, screen and television actress whose films appearances included roles in PARRISH (1961) and THE WORLD OF HENRY ORIENT (1964), dies of a lung ailment at 83.
  • 1- The Hillview Apartments, a historic Hollywood apartment complex built by movie mogul Jesse L. Lasky in 1917, once owned by Charlie Chaplin, and now the oldest apartment building on Hollywood Boulevard, is heavily damaged by a fire of unknown origin.
  • 1- Julia Phillips, the first female producer to win a best picture Oscar (for THE STING (1973)) and producer of other notable films of the 1970s including Martin Scorsese's TAXI DRIVER (1976), dies of breast cancer at 57.

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