Classic Movie News Briefs
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Here's an archive of the classic-movie related news items
for 2006. 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
- 27- The National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress
announces 25 films slated to be preserved in 2007 by the National Film
Registry, including such classics as
Victor Fleming's RED DUST
(1932) starring Clark Gable and
Jean Harlow, Greta Garbo's
FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1927),
Alfred Hitchcock's NOTORIOUS (1946), THE BIG TRAIL (1930) starring a
young John Wayne, Josef von
Sternberg's THE LAST COMMAND (1928) and Rouben Mamoulian's APPLAUSE
- 21- 20th Century-Fox announces
that more than 200 documents from the studio's archives will be sold
at a Jan. 25 auction to benefit the nonprofit Motion Picture & Television
Fund, including a memo saying Norma Jean Dougherty was changing her name
to Marilyn Monroe and
Humphrey Bogart's first studio
contract in 1930.
- 13- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces plans to
honor five-time Oscar-nominated composer Ennio Morricone, most famous
among American audiences for his scores to Sergio Leone's spaghetti
westerns, including THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY (1966) and ONCE UPON A
TIME IN THE WEST (1969), with an honorary Oscar for his 45 years in the
industry and 300 film scores at the 79th Annual Academy Awards on February
- 5- The iconic little black dress
Audrey Hepburn wore in the
1961 film BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S,
which was donated to an auction benefiting India's poor by the dress's
designer Hubert de Givenchy, sells for $807,000, almost six times the
highest pre-sale estimate.
- 23- Betty Comden, playwright, songwriter and lyricist whose six-decade
collaboration with the late writer Adolph Green 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 91.
- 11- Cars, trucks, motorcycles and memorabilia from the estate of Steve
McQueen, late American film icon of rebellion during the 1960s best
remembered for such films as THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960), THE GREAT
ESCAPE (1965) and BULLITT (1968), sell for more than $2.9 million at a Los
Angeles auction. A pair of sunglasses believed to have been worn by
McQueen in THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1968) went for $70,000.
- 10- Jack Palance, Oscar-winning screen villain best known for his
cold, quiet performances in PANIC IN THE STREETS (1950), SUDDEN FEAR
(1952) and SHANE (1953) before winning an Academy Award for a more benign
role in CITY SLICKERS (1991), dies at the age of 87.
- 2- Friends and family of the late
Allyson, perky, wholesome blonde girl-next-door for MGM
during the 1940s and '50s, gather for a special memorial salute
celebrating the actress' life and career.
Margaret O'Brien, Gloria
DeHaven, Patricia Marshall, Marsha Hunt, Jane Russell, Jane Withers, Tab
Hunter and Tippi Hedren are among those in attendance.
- 1- A publicist for
Temple Black, 78-year-old former child actress and silver screen
superstar of the 1930s and '40s, reveals the retired international
diplomat broke her wrist in a fall in October and is wearing a cast on her
right arm but recovering well.
85-year-old former swimming champion turned film actress, returns home
hospitalized for a week due to a viral infection.
- 25- The United States Postal Service announces plans to honor
Jimmy Stewart, Oscar-winning
all-American star of such films as
MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939) and
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946),
with a commemorative "Legends of Hollywood" stamp to be issued in 2007.
- 20- Jane Wyatt, stage and screen actress whose most notable film work,
including leading roles in GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1934) and
Frank Capra's LOST HORIZON
(1937), was later overshadowed by her success as a small-screen wife and
mother opposite Robert Young on TV's "Father Knows Best" in the 1950s,
dies at age 96.
Esther Williams, 85-year-old former swimming champion turned film
actress whose "water musicals" for MGM
in the 1940s and '50s, including BATHING BEAUTY (1944) and MILLION DOLLAR
MERMAID (1952), made her one of Hollywood's biggest mid-century stars, is
hospitalized for a viral infection but expected to make a full recovery.
- 19- Phyllis Kirk, large and small screen actress of the 1950s best
remembered for her role as the raven-haired beauty stalked by
Vincent Price in HOUSE OF WAX
(1953), Hollywood's first 3-D blockbuster, dies of a post cerebral
aneurysm at the age of 79.
- 18- Turner Classics Movies announces it has purchased the copyrights
to six RKO films of the 1930s
previously thought lost from the silver screen due to rights
complications. DOUBLE HARNESS (1933) starring
William Powell, ONE MAN'S
JOURNEY (1933) with Joel McCrea, RAFTER ROMANCE (1933) with
Ginger Rogers, STINGAREE
(1934) starring Irene Dunne,
LIVING ON LOVE (1937) with James Dunn and A MAN TO REMEMBER (1938) will
now be restored by Library of Congress and the BYU film archive and should
air on TCM in 2007.
- 13- Comedian Henry Winterstern acquires the screen rights to the life
stories of The Three Stooges, the famous slapstick comedy team of the mid
1930s through the 1950s who appeared in some 200 short films for
Columbia Pictures, from C3
Entertainment, the company founded in 1959 by Moe Howard, Jerome "Curly"
Howard and Larry Fine.
- 10- Ruta Lee, 70-year-old blonde screen actress who played supporting
roles in a dozen films of the 1950s and '60s including
FUNNY FACE (1957),
WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1957) and SERGEANTS 3 (1962), is honored with
a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- 2- Frances Bergen, widow of the late "Charlie McCarthy" ventriloquist
Edgar Bergen and an actress whose occasional film appearances included
supporting roles in TITANIC (1953) and INTERLUDE (1957), dies at 84.
- 24- Sally Gray, husky-voiced British screen actress of the 1930s and
40s best remembered by American audiences for her roles in THE SAINT IN
LONDON (1939) and OBSESSION (1949), dies at 90.
- 23- Sir Malcolm Arnold, British composer responsible for more than one
hundred film scores of the 1940s, '50s and '60s including THE BRIDGE ON
THE RIVER KWAI (1957) for which he earned a Best Music Scoring Academy
Award, dies at the age of 84.
- 22- Mary Orr, stage actress and writer whose first short story, "The
Wisdom of Eve" (published in Cosmopolitan in 1946) inspired
Joseph L. Mankiewicz'
Oscar-winning film ALL ABOUT EVE
(1950), dies at 95.
- 19- Elizabeth Allen, stage and screen actress whose half-dozen film
appearances included roles in DONOVAN'S REEF (1963) and CHEYENNE AUTUMN
(1964), dies of kidney failure at 77.
- 9- Lauren
Bacall, sultry screen siren of the 1940s best remembered for her noir
dramas with Humphrey Bogart, and
actress Blythe Danner are honored by Bryn Mawr College's new Katherine
Houghton Hepburn Center (established to honor the life and works of the
late four-time Oscar winner
Katharine Hepburn and her suffragist mother -- both alumnae of the
school), becoming the center's first recipients of the Katharine Hepburn
Medal, recognizing them as women who embody the intelligence, drive and
independence of the
- 30- Glenn Ford, attractive, quiet, versatile Canadian-born actor who
appeared in some 90 films over the course of his six-decade Hollywood
career but made his mark in such film noir classics as GILDA (1946) and
THE BIG HEAT (1953), dies at age 90.
- 25- Van
Johnson, MGM's "Golden Boy" of the 1940s and '50s who played
everything from all-American soldiers in THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO (1944),
BATTLEGROUND (1949) and THE CAINE MUTINY (1954), to comedic best friends
in BRIGADOON (1954), to romantic leads in THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS (1954)
and MIRACLE IN THE RAIN (1956), celebrates his 90th birthday.
- 25- Joseph Stefano, horror film screenwriter most famous for writing
the screenplay for Alfred
Hitchcock's PSYCHO (1960) and co-creating TV's 1960s science fiction
anthology series "The Outer Limits," dies at 84.
- 7- Lois January, redheaded film actress of the 1930s and '40s best
remembered for playing an Emerald City manicurist in
THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) and
singing to Dorothy, "we can make a dimpled smile out of a frown," dies of
Alzheimer's disease at 93.
- 2- Oscar-winner Jack Nicholson, who bought
Marlon Brando's Mulholland Drive
house in Los Angeles after the legendary actor's death in 2004, announces
plans to tear it down due to mold and other condition problems.
- 21- Mako, Japanese-born stage and screen actor who earned an Academy
Award nomination for his portrayal of a Chinese coolie in
Robert Wise's THE SAND PEBBLES
(1966), dies of esophageal cancer at 72.
- 21- Evelyn Keyes, petite, blonde actress best remembered for playing
Suellen O'Hara in
GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) and for
her relationships with such major Hollywood players as
John Huston and Michael Todd,
is awarded half of her late ex-husband bandleader Artie Shaw's estate --
their marriage was his eighth and her fourth -- in accordance with a
contract Shaw's executor had refused to honor.
- 19- Jack Warden, Oscar-nominated film and TV actor best known for
playing tough, crusty characters in such films as 12 ANGRY MEN (1957), THE
THIN RED LINE (1964) and ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN (1976) over the course of
a five-decade-long career, dies at age 85.
- 13- Red Buttons, veteran stand-up comedian and Oscar-winning actor
best known for his self-titled TV show of the 1950s as well as his
dramatic appearances in SAYONARA (1957), THE LONGEST DAY (1962) and
THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY (1969), dies of vascular disease at age 87.
- 12- Kurt Kreuger, German-born actor best remembered for playing Nazi
soldiers in films during and about World War II, including SAHARA (1943),
HOTEL BERLIN (1945) and THE ENEMY BELOW (1957), dies of a stroke at 89.
- 8- 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), the latter two co-starring
Jimmy Stewart, dies of
complications from bronchitis at age 88.
- 6- Kasey Rogers, prolific film and television supporting actress of
the 1950s and '60s best remembered (using the stage name Laura Elliot) for
playing Farley Granger's estranged and strangled wife 'Miriam' in
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951), dies at 80.
- 1- Olivia de Havilland,
two-time Oscar-winning actress for her roles in TO EACH HIS OWN (1946) and
THE HEIRESS (1949) and the sole surviving principal cast member of
GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), celebrates her 90th birthday.
- 25- A Charlie Chaplin
hat-and-cane set (one of several known to exist) sells for $139,250, the
most ever paid for a such a set, at an auction Bonhams & Butterfields in
Los Angeles alongside the two-headed llama from the original DOCTOR
DOOLITTLE (1967) ($4,780) and a
Walt Disney celluloid from SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
- 18- 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), dies at age 99.
- 17- Arthur Franz, veteran movie and TV character actor, whose film
work included supporting roles in SANDS OF IWO JIMA (1949), THE CAINE
MUTINY (1954) and BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT (1956), dies at 86.
- 15- The Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Sciences honors
Olivia de Havilland,
two-time Oscar-winning actress for her roles in TO EACH HIS OWN (1946) and
THE HEIRESS (1949), with a special tribute to her life and career
attended by de Havilland,
Joan Leslie, Samuel
Goldwyn Jr., and Robert Osborne, among others.
- 14- The American Film Institute names
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
America's most inspiring movie, followed by TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962), SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993), ROCKY (1976),
MR. SMITH GOES TO
WASHINGTON (1939) and 95 other uplifting films during its "AFI's 100
Years ... 100 Cheers" celebration broadcast. (full
- 10- Red Skelton, the late vaudeville, radio, film and television comic
whose six-decade career included such films as PANAMA HATTIE (1942), DU
BARRY WAS A LADY (1943) and THREE LITTLE WORDS (1951) as well as two Emmy
awards for his self-titled TV show, is remembered in his hometown of
Vincennes, Indiana with a parade of clowns and the naming of Vincennes
University's Red Skelton Performing Arts Center in his honor.
- 9- Jerry Lewis, comedian and muscular dystrophy humanitarian best
known for his 17 film comedies with Dean Martin in the 1950s, is named the
new "Abbott" (or leader) of New York's famous Friar's Club at roast in his
- 8- The American Film Institute presents Sean Connery, 75-year-old
Scottish-born, Oscar-winning film actor best known for playing super-spy
James Bond during the 1960s and '70s, with the organization's 34th Life
Achievement Award at a ceremony to be broadcast June 21 the USA Network.
- 7- Jerry Lewis, 80-year-old comedian who played the title role in THE
NUTTY PROFESSOR (1963) among dozens of other film comedies, announces
plans to stage a Broadway musical of the film, directed by him and
scheduled to debut in San Diego in January 2007.
- 30- Robert Sterling, film and TV actor who began his career playing
bit parts for Columbia Pictures
before making his mark at in supporting roles in such
MGM films as TWO-FACED WOMAN (1941),
SOMEWHERE I'LL FIND YOU (1942) and
SHOW BOAT (1951) and eventually
co-starring with his wife Anne Jeffreys in TV's "Topper" in the 1950s,
dies at 88.
- 28- Arthur Widmer, special effects pioneer who, while working at
Warner Bros. in the
1950s, developed the Ultra Violet Traveling Matte process (later known as
"blue screen") in which two different images shot at different times and
places could be combined into one, and received an Academy Award for
lifetime achievement in 2005, dies of cancer at 92.
Marilyn Monroe biographer
Ernest Cunningham sues the owners of the cruise ship Queen Mary over an
exhibit of the actress's "possessions" which thousands of people
have paid to see although the author and other Monroe historians dispute
their authenticity, claiming some items weren't even made until after the
star's death in August 1962.
- 24- Henry Bumstead, veteran Oscar-winning art director and production
designer whose six-decade career encompassed the sets for such films as
VERTIGO (1958), TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962), THE STING (1973) and MILLION
DOLLAR BABY (2004), dies of prostate cancer at 91.
- 21- Katherine Dunham, African-American dancer and choreographer who
appeared as herself in both the "Smart as a Tack" number in STAR SPANGLED
RHYTHM (1942) and the title number in STORMY WEATHER (1943), dies at age
- 18- Sidney Poitier,
79-year-old Oscar-winning actor whose film performances have included
LILIES OF THE FIELD (1963), GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER (1967) and IN THE
HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967), receives France's highest arts honor, being
named a commander in France's order of arts and letters, in a ceremony at
the Cannes Film Festival.
- 12- Ted Berkman, screenwriter and author of whose film credits include
BEDTIME FOR BONZO (1951) and FEAR STRIKES OUT (1957), dies of cancer at
- 10- Val Guest, British film director and screenwriter best known for
directing the science-fiction classics THE QUARTERMASS XPERIMENT (1955)
and THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE (1961), dies of prostate cancer at the
age of 94.
- 22- Alida Valli, enigmatic Italian-born actresses whose distinguished
eight-decade film career included the iconic role of Anna Schmidt in Carol
Reed's THE THIRD MAN (1949) and
widow in THE PARADINE CASE (1947) as well as dozens of European films,
dies in Rome at 84.
- 6- The Writers Guild of America names the script for
CASABLANCA (1942) as the
greatest movie screenplay of all time in a list of 101 film scripts which
also includes such classics as CITIZEN KANE (1941) (no. 4) and
ALL ABOUT EVE (1950) (no. 5).
- 6- Amanda Duff Dunne, former actress for
20th Century-Fox and the widow of
HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941) and THE
GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1946) screenwriter Philip Dunne, who, with her
husband, played host to Hollywood's liberal political elite in the decades
following World War II, dies of cancer at age 92.
- 5- Gene Pitney, successful singer-songwriter of the 1960s who sang the
hit title song for Kirk Douglas' A
TOWN WITHOUT PITY (1961) and an equally successful ballad based on the
Jimmy Stewart/John Wayne film THE MAN WHO SHOT
LIBERTY VALANCE (1964), dies at the age of 65.
- 4- Gary Gray, former child actor of the 1940s and '50s whose more than
60 film appearances included roles in RETURN OF THE BAD MEN (1948), RACHEL
AND THE STRANGER (1948) and THE PAINTED HILLS (1951), MGM's final Lassie
movie, dies at 69.
- 25- Richard Fleischer, Hollywood director whose five-decade career
included such classics as HIS KIND OF WOMAN (1951),
Disney's 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER
THE SEA (1954) and DOCTOR DOOLITTLE (1967), dies at 89.
- 20- Ava Gardner, late
Oscar-nominated star of such films as MOGAMBO (1953), NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
(1964) and THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (1954) who died in 1990, is remembered by
the U.S. Postal Service by having her hometown Smithfield, North Carolina
post office renamed in her honor.
- 17- Oleg Cassini, European-born fashion designer whose Hollywood
costumes for his then-wife Gene
Tierney in films such as THE RAZOR'S EDGE (1946), THE GHOST AND MRS.
MUIR (1947) and WHIRLPOOL (1949) as well as his White House wardrobe
designs for Jackie Kennedy, made his ready-to-wear styles some of the most
popular of the 1950s and '60s, dies at 92.
- 16- Jerry Lewis, comedian and muscular dystrophy humanitarian best
known for his 17 film comedies with Dean Martin in the 1950s, celebrates
his 80th birthday as well as his induction into the French Legion of
- 15- Warner Bros.
announces plans to remake THE DIRTY DOZEN, Robert Aldrich's 1967 war drama
which originally starred Lee Marvin as a major who coerces 12 soldiers
imprisoned for serious crimes into perform an impossible mission.
- 13- A spokesman for Sean Connery, 75-year-old Scottish actor who
played super-spy James Bond in six films during the 1960s and '70s and
earned an Academy Award for his performance in THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987),
reveals Connery has undergone surgery for a kidney tumor and is recovering
- 9- Actress-producer Sandra Bullock announces plans to star in a film
about Grace Metalious, author of the million-selling-novel-turned-hit film
PEYTON PLACE (1957) (starring
Lana Turner) which
scandalized America during the late 1950s.
- 7- Gordon Parks, photographer, writer, composer and the first black
artist to produce and direct a major Hollywood film, THE LEARNING TREE
(1969), as well as SHAFT (1971), dies at 93.
- 3- Jack Wild, British actor who earned an Oscar nomination at age 17
for his role as the Artful Dodger in the Carol Reed's 1968 musical
OLIVER!, dies of mouth cancer at 53.
- 15- Raymond J. Mauer, who wrote the script for the landmark civil
defense film DUCK AND COVER (1951), seen by millions of American school
children during the 1950s, dies at age 89.
- 14- Michael G. Fitzgerald, Hollywood historian and author who wrote
"Universal Studios," a 1977 history of the studio, and co-authored
"Westerns Women" (1999) and "Ladies of the Western" (2002), containing
interviews with Western film actresses, dies at age 55.
- 9- Phil Brown, veteran stage, film and TV actor who played supporting
roles in such films as THE IMPATIENT YEARS (1944) and THE KILLERS (1946)
but was best known for his brief role as Luke Skywalker's Uncle Owen in
STAR WARS (1977), dies of pneumonia at 89.
- 8- Akira Ifukube, Japanese film composer who wrote more than 250 film
scores over the course of his career, but none more famous than the theme
to GODZILLA (1954) and its many sequels, dies at 91.
- 6- Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, one of the most recognizable
Mexican-American character actors of the 1950's and 60's whose more than
30 film appearances included roles opposite
John Wayne in THE HIGH AND THE
MIGHTY (1954), RIO BRAVO (1959) and MCLINTOCK! (1962), dies at age 80.
- 4- Myron Waldman, film and TV animator who helped draw Betty Boop,
Casper, Popeye, Raggedy Ann and Andy and Superman, during his years with
Max Fleischer Studios in the 1930s and
department in the 1940s, dies of congestive heart failure at 97.
- 3- Al Lewis, veteran Hollywood character actor best known for playing
Grandpa Munster on TV's "The Munsters" in the 1960s but whose film
appearances included roles in PRETTY BOY FLOYD (1960) and THEY SHOOT
HORSES, DON'T THEY (1969), dies at 82, though some reports say he was 95.
- 31- Moira Shearer, flame-haired Scottish ballerina-turned-actress who
became an international movie star after appearing in Michael Powell and
Emeric Pressburger's stunning Technicolor adaptation of Hans Christian
Anderson's THE RED SHOES (1948), dies at age 80.
- 30- Otto Lang, Sun Valley ski instructor and feature and documentary
producer of such films as CALL NORTHSIDE 777 (1948) and FIVE FINGERS
(1952) who earned Oscar nominations for four short subjects before later
directing for television, dies at 98.
Shirley Temple Black, former child star of such films as BRIGHT EYES
(1934) and THE LITTLE PRINCESS (1939) who later served for more than
thirty years in the United States diplomatic corps, receives the Screen
Actors Guild Life Achievement Award for her career achievement and
- 25- The United States Postal Service issues a new 39-cent stamp
honoring Hattie McDaniel,
late Oscar-winning character actress of the 1930s and '40s best remembered
for her role as Mammy in GONE WITH THE
- 25- Moss Mabry, four-time Academy Award-nominated costume designer
whose credits included work on REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955), GIANT (1956),
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1962) and THE WAY WE WERE (1973), dies at age 87.
- 24- Fayard Nicholas, elder half of the tap-dancing Nicholas Brothers
who 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), dies of pneumonia at 91. Harold
Nicholas died in 2000.
- 19- Tony Franciosa, film and television actor best remembered for
playing moody young men in such films of the 1950s and '60s as A HATFUL OF
RAIN (1957), THE LONG, HOT SUMMER (1958) and PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT (1962),
dies of a stroke at 77.
- 14- Shelley Winters, two-time Oscar-winning supporting actress best
known for her performances in A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951), LOLITA (1962), A
PATCH OF BLUE (1965) and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (1973), dies at age 85.
- 2- Osa Massen, Danish-born film actress who two dozen film appearances
included roles in HONEYMOON IN BALI (1939), YOU'LL NEVER GET RICH (1941),
A WOMAN'S FACE (1941) and ROCKETSHIP X-M (1950), dies at 91.
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