There Are Many Greats Still With Us


Once again, I’ve decided to compile a complement to my yearly R.I.P. post. There are still several performers alive today who made their mark in classic movies. From top box office stars to scene-stealing supporting players. They all made a difference, and many of them are fantastic ambassadors for the classics today.

This is the last time I'll be posting this tribute. I always knew I couldn't watch the list shrink for many years. I had to stop sometime, and it might as well be this year, while there are still many artists whose presence we can appreciate. Please let me know in the comments if you've got a name to add.

Jerry Mathers, 64

Sue Lyon, 66

Tuesday Weld, 69

Catherine Deneuve, 69 (Thanks Tom!)

Carol Lynley, 70 (Thanks Leigh!)

Sarah Miles, 70 (Thanks @EddieLove44!)

Yvette Mimieux, 70

Rita Tushingham, 70

Julie Christie, 71

Ann-Margret, 71

Gigi Perreau, 71

Peter Fonda, 72

Karolyn Grimes, 72

Raquel Welch, 72 (Thanks Leigh!)

Samantha Eggar, 73

Katharine Ross, 73

Richard Beymer, 74

Claudia Cardinale, 74

Dolores Hart, 74

Millie Perkins, 74

Paula Prentiss, 74

Jane Fonda, 75

Margaret O'Brien, 75

Albert Finney, 76 (Thanks @EddieLove44!)

Susan Kohner, 76

Robert Redford, 76

Dean Stockwell, 76

Diahann Carroll, 77

Julie Andrews, 77

Alain Delon, 77

Russ Tamblyn, 77

Brigitte Bardot, 78

George Chakiris, 78

Sophia Loren, 78

Shirley MacLaine, 78

Joan Collins, 79

Kim Novak, 79

Taina Elg, 80 (Thanks Tom!)

Mickey Kuhn, 80 (Thanks Leigh!)

Peter O'Toole, 80 (Thanks @EddieLove44!)

Debbie Reynolds, 80

Omar Sharif, 80 (Thanks Tom!)

Robert Vaughn, 80 (Thanks Tom!)

Carroll Baker, 81 (Thanks Tom!)

Claire Bloom, 81

Leslie Caron, 81

Barbara Eden, 81

Anita Ekberg, 81

John Gavin, 81

Mitzi Gaynor, 81

Darryl Hickman, 81 (Thanks Leigh!)

Tab Hunter, 81

John Kerr, 81

Rita Moreno, 81

Sean Connery, 82

Clint Eastwood, 82

Tippi Hedren, 82

Sally Ann Howes, 82 (Thanks Leigh!)

Barbara Lawrence, 82

Vera Miles, 82

Marni Nixon, 82

Maximilian Schell, 82 (Thanks @EddieLove44!)

Rod Taylor, 82

Robert Wagner, 82

Joanne Woodward, 82

Anne Meara, 83

Terry Moore, 83

Don Murray, 83

Joan Plowright, 83

Christopher Plummer, 83 (Thanks @EddieLove44!)

Jane Powell, 83

Ann Blyth, 84

Peggy Dow, 84

Sally Forrest, 84

James Garner, 84

Earl Holliman, 84 (Thanks Leigh!)

Kathleen Hughes, 84

Martin Landau, 84

Ennio Morricone, 84 (Thanks Lê!)

Nancy Olson, 84

Shirley Temple, 84

Stuart Whitman, 84 (Thanks Tom!)

Harry Belafonte, 85

Rita Gam, 85

Cora Sue Collins, 85

Rosemary Harris, 85

Gina Lollabrigida, 85

Roger Moore, 85

Estelle Parsons, 85

Sidney Poitier, 85

Barbara Rush, 85

Julie Adams, 86

Mel Brooks, 86

Mona Freeman, 86

Anne Jackson, 86

Gloria Jean, 86

Cloris Leachman, 86

Jerry Lewis, 86

Joan Lorring, 86

Marcy McGuire, 86

Irene Papas, 86

Jane Withers, 86

Patrice Wymore, 86

Lola Albright, 87

Honor Blackman, 87

Arlene Dahl, 87

Gloria DeHaven, 87

Lee Grant, 87

Julie Harris, 87

George Kennedy, 87 (Thanks Tom!)

Angela Lansbury, 87

Joan Leslie, 87

June Lockhart, 87

Dorothy Malone, 87

Colette Marchand, 87

Dina Merrill, 87

Dickie Moore, 87

Dick Van Dyke, 87

Cara Williams, 87

Jonathan Winters, 87 (Thanks Leigh!)

Lauren Bacall, 88

Theodore Bikel, 88

Stanley Donen, 88

Martha Hyer, 88

Leslie Phillips, 88 (thanks @RobertWRossEsq)

Eva Marie Saint, 88

Richard Attenborough, 89

Valentina Cortese, 89

Betsy Drake, 89

Rhonda Fleming, 89

Glynis Johns, 89

Peggy Stewart, 89

Jean Stapleton, 89

Sid Caesar, 90 (Thanks Leigh!)

Doris Day, 90

Ruby Dee, 90

Coleen Gray, 90

Barbara Hale, 90

Christopher Lee, 90 (thanks Kristen!)

Janis Paige, 90

Juanita Moore, 90

Eleanor Parker, 90

Carl Reiner, 90

Lizabeth Scott, 90

Carol Channing, 91

Nancy Davis (Reagan), 91

Deanna Durbin, 91

Louis Jourdan, 91

Esther Williams, 91

Mary Anderson, 92

Nanette Fabray, 92

Jayne Meadows, 92

Michele Morgan, 92

Noel Neill, 92

Maureen O'Hara, 92

Mickey Rooney, 92

Ruth Terry, 92

Marge Champion, 93

Patty Andrews, 94

Diana Serra Cary (AKA Baby Peggy), 94

Audrey Totter, 94

Efrem Zimbalist Jr., 94

Danielle Darrieux, 95

Joan Fontaine, 95

Zsa Zsa Gabor, 95

Lorna Gray, 95

Marsha Hunt, 95

Olivia de Havilland, 96

Kirk Douglas, 96

Patricia Morison, 97

Alicia Rhett, 97

Eli Wallach, 97

Norman Lloyd, 98

Mary Carlisle, 100

Luise Rainer, 102



R.I.P. 2012

As I reflect on the passing of these entertainers who have made their mark on classic movies, I'm grateful for the contributions they have made to my favorite period in film. Many of the people on this list were widely recognized and revered until the end of their lives. All were primarily actors unless otherwise noted.

Please let me know in the comments if I have missed anyone who you feel belongs on the list!

Peggy Ahern (Our Gang)



Turhan Bey (Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Arabian Nights)


Ernest Borgnine (Marty, The Wild Bunch)


Ray Bradbury (Novelist, Fahrenheit 451)


Dave Brubeck (Musician, All Night Long)


Phyllis Diller (Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!, Eight on the Lam)


Andy Griffith (A Face in the Crowd, The Andy Griffith Show)


Celeste Holm (All About Eve, Road House)

Mila Parély (La belle et la bête, Le plaisir)


Ben Gazzara (Anatomy of a Murder, The Strange One)


Larry Hagman (Fail-Safe, Dallas, I Dream of Jeannie)

Charles Higham (Hollywood Biographer)


Davy Jones (Musician, Head)


Elyse Knox (The Mummy's Tomb, Joe Palooka series)

Jeni Le Gon (Dancer, Hi-De-Ho, I Walked With A Zombie)

Herbert Lom (A Shot in the Dark, The Phantom of the Opera)

Susan Luckey (Carousel, The Music Man)


Tony Martin (Ziegfeld Girl, 'Till the Clouds Roll By)


Patricia Medina (Aladdin and His Lamp, Mr. Arkadin, married to Joseph Cotten, above)


Hideaki Nitani (Tokyo Drifter)

Frank Pierson (screenwriter, Cat Ballou, Cool Hand Luke)

Joyce Redman (Tom Jones, Othello)


Ann Rutherford (Gone With the Wind, The Andy Hardy series )


Ravi Shankar (Soundtrack, The Apu Trilogy)


Warren Stevens (Forbidden Planet, Barefoot Contessa)


Martha Stewart (In a Lonely Place)


Joan Taylor (Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers, The Rifleman)


Phyllis Thaxter (Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Tenth Avenue Angel)


Keiko Tsushima (Seven Samurai)

William Windom (To Kill a Mockingbird, One Man's Way)


Jack Klugman (12 Angry Men, The Odd Couple, Quincy)

Harry Carey Jr. (Red River, Rio Grande)

All photos from Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons

Classic Birthdays


Pola Negri (1894-1987)
Orry-Kelly (1897-1964)

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Quote of the Week


"Drinking problem? Why, no, not at all. Drinking is the easiest thing in the world. . . . Do you have a drinking problem, or can I fix you another drink?"

-Peter O'Toole


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Classic Birthdays


Jo Van Fleet (1914-1996)
Russ Tamblyn (77)
Carol Reed (1906-1976)

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Classic Birthdays


Barbara Steele (75)

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Classic Links


I love this publicity photo for the 1936 movie Ceiling Zero! There's no way you'd see a group of actors posing this way, at least unironically, today. They pull it off though. From left to right: Pat O'Brien, Martha Tibbetts, James Cagney, June Travis &Stuart Erwin.

This is fantastic: Laura had the opportunity to interview Coleen Gray (Nightmare Alley, The Killing) for Dark Pages. Here's an excerpt and info. about the magazine--Laura's Miscellaneous Musings

I love this make-up guide for movies in the early days. You really had to put on some ugly stuff to look gorgeous on film.--Old Hollywood Glamour

Another fun blogathon: 31 Days of Oscar. Looks like there are lots of opportunities to participate--
Once Upon a Screen

RIP Gerry Anderson, the man who brought Supermarionation to the world, most famous for the hit UK show Thunderbirds. I love the the high quality of Anderson's productions. The costumes, sets and marionettes are always so beautifully executed-- From The Guardian: Obituary, Gallery

A lively gallery of classic actresses on the brink of fame. Don't they all just seem to be bursting with energy?--Life

If you love all the rare flicks you can see on the Internet Archive (including loads of Pickford titles), why not donate to their current fundraising drive?--Internet Archive

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Classic Birthdays


F.W. Murnau (1888-1931)
Maggie Smith (78)

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Classic Birthdays


Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992)
Michel Piccoli (87)
Oscar Levant (1906-1972)
Sydney Greenstreet (1879-1954)

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Classic Birthdays


Richard Widmark (1914-2008)
Elisha Cook Jr. (1903-1995)

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Classic Birthdays


Helen Twelvetrees (1908-1958)
Cab Calloway (1907-1994)
Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957)
Tony Martin (1913-2012)

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Deanna Durbin Sings "Silent Night"

(This is the fourth year I've posted this clip on Christmas. It is becoming one of my favorite traditions at Classic Movies. I wonder if Ms. Durbin is singing this song today?)



I get chills every time I hear Deanna Durbin's low-key, but lush performance of Silent Night. It's from the murder mystery-musical-comedy-noir (and how many of those exist?) Lady on a Train (1945). While she sings to her father to ease the pain of being apart on Christmas Eve, even the thug listening at the door is moved to tears (though he still goes through with the secret theft his shifty boss has ordered). Given the underlying threat of danger, it's an oddly peaceful, heartwarming scene.

Happy Holidays!

Classic Birthdays


Ava Gardner (1922-1990)
Franz Waxman (1906-1967)
Ruth Chatterton (1892-1961)
Michael Curtiz (1886-1962)

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Quote of the Week


I said to my good friend, Gary Cooper, "Coop, do you know anything about talking?" and he said, "Yup." 

-Buddy Rogers, remembering the birth of the talkies


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Classic Birthdays


Fredi Washington (1903-1994)
Eric Blore (1887-1959)

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Classic Links


It's always exciting to hear the new selections for the National Film Registry. This year, I'm particularly excited to see Born Yesterday (1950), Kodachrome Color Motion Picture Tests (1922) and Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) on the list. The diversity of the selections always impresses me.--/Film

Check out the entries for year two of the Dualing Divas blogathon--Backlots

I'm fascinated by the genuine friendship that has developed between Sienna Miller and Tippi Hedren since the former played the later on film--The Guardian

I love this: Leonardo DiCaprio bought the Casablanca piano with a friend so that they could donate it to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art--About.com

I've never seen any of these classic holiday pics before. They're so charming--Pictures

Shirley Maclaine amazes me. She's led such an intriguing life. This article about the real life subjects of Bernie (2011), which stars Maclaine, is interesting in many ways, but I was particularly struck by how this versatile star has continued to play strong roles, and how much life seems to fascinate her. I can't wait to watch her with Dame Maggie in Downton Abbey--The Telegraph

Frank Langella has interesting ideas about human relationships and technology. He comes off a bit more considerate here than he does in his autobiography Dropped Names, which I recommend.--The Guardian 

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Classic Birthdays


Jane Fonda (75)

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Book Review: A Son of Hollywood Writes About His Childhood


Moving Pictures: Memories of A Hollywood Prince 
Budd Schulberg
eBook edition, 2012
Open Road Integrated Media

Several years ago, I ran across a copy of Moving Pictures in a London book shop. Though I had once enjoyed reading a library copy and wanted one of my own, I thought about my suitcase full of books and decided it was one book too many to lug back to the states.

Oh how I regretted that decision! This brilliant Hollywood memoir is a classic of the genre. For that reason, I was delighted to review a new eBook edition, which is one of eight Schulberg titles re-released by Open Road Integrated Media this year. It is the story of Budd Schulberg, the oldest son of B.P. Schulberg, an unsung pioneer of the studio system. Young Schulberg's papa discovered Clara Bow, developed the idea for United Artists (but was edged out of his chance to be a part of the studio) and served as head of production at Paramount.

Moving Pictures is basically several books behind one cover. It's a memoir of a wealthy, but awkward son of Hollywood, a budding writer and of a growing movie industry. Schulberg manages to weave all of these elements together so that tales of his severe stuttering problem fit in neatly with stories about his long chat sessions with Bow in the backseat of her fancy car. In another incident where ordinary events become extraordinary, B.P. has a long time affair with actress Sylvia Sydney, which horrifies his highly moral son. Budd's struggles to reunite his parents will resonate with anyone who has experienced divorcing parents, but watching his father's mistress onscreen and angrily anticipating the scene where she dies is surely a rare experience.

Glamour and wealth surrounded this anxious, but ambitious young man every day, and Schulberg dutifully reports on those things, but he was most fascinated by things in his childhood world, like boxing and his colony of homing pigeons. He knows the Hollywood stories appeal to the masses, but that the glitter often hides despair, treachery and disappointment. Though I was sometimes impatient to get back to the movie stories, I did enjoy reading about his many passions, because he communicated so poignantly how much they meant to him.

The book takes a while to get moving. I actually had the same experience this time as I did when I read it years ago: I couldn't get engaged with the New York phase of Schulberg's story or his early Hollywood days, but once his dad started staying out late to party, it got interesting. I still haven't been able to decide if it's the content or the storytelling that improves at that point, but when young Budd watches his dad go into a crazy party after a boxing match, while the chauffeur waits to take him home to his mother, things go from 'eh' to interesting. My only theory is that it is because at that point, young Schulberg is starting to see the grown up world around him with greater clarity and the details come out in his writing.
Schulberg in 1954

Moving Pictures ends with Budd heading off to college, ready to grow up and make his own way in the world. Schulberg more than fulfilled his writing ambitions, making his name as a screenwriter, novelist and journalist. He also found success in Hollywood, like his father, but in his own way. Budd drew upon his Hollywood experiences to write What Makes Sammy Run? which Bette Davis once claimed to be the only book to accurately capture the brutal studio culture. He wrote The Harder They Fall and the Academy Award-winning On the Waterfront as well. Schulberg also became infamous for naming names to the House Un-American Activities Campaign, an act which stuck with him to his obituary.

Though this is a memoir of beginnings, from Schulberg's childhood to the birth of the studios, in the end there's enough detail and excitement in its pages for a lifetime.

Thank you to Open Road Integrated Media for providing a review copy of the book.

Classic Birthdays


Irene Dunne (1898-1990)
Audrey Totter (94)

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Holiday Links on Classic Movies

I've seen all sorts of searches for holiday-themed posts in my stats the past couple of weeks, so I thought I'd make it easy and make one big post with my best holiday stuff. So here are the reviews, cartoons and clips on Classic Movies that most get me into the spirit of the season:

Movie Reviews

My two-part review of classic forties Christmas movies is one of my favorites. I love these flicks so much. Part I, Part II


This review of It Happened on 5th Avenue has been popular this year, so here it is again!

Cartoons

I pretty much like this 1948 version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer because the mama reindeer wears a dress and apron and stands on her hind legs all the time. That always cracks me up.

Grampy puts all the DIY bloggers I read to shame in Christmas Comes But Once a Year. Makes me feel like a fool for buying toys.

This jazzy version of Frosty the Snowman is so much fun. Look at those kids dancing around!

Other Favorites


I loved how this post about Thurl Ravenscroft, the deep-voiced vocalist of the You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch song, turned out. I've got to admit I was a bit disappointed that it didn't attract much interest. I mean, this guy was so cool. And he was the voice of Tony the Tiger!

A rather slim Santa Claus visits a pair of turn-of-the-century children in this early example of trick photography.

Classic Birthdays


Ralph Richardson (1902-1983)
Edmund Purdom (1924-2009)

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Classic Birthdays


Betty Grable (1916-1973)
Ossie Davis (1917-2005)
Lynn Bari (1913-1989)
Jules Dassin (1911-2008)
Celia Johnson (1908-1982)

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Quote of the Week


I think Oscar Wilde wrote a poem about a robin who loved a white rose. He loved it so much that he pierced his breast and let his heart's blood turn the white rose red. Maybe this sounds very sentimental, but for anybody who has loved a career as much as I've loved mine, there can be not short cuts.

-Mary Pickford

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Classic Birthdays


Max Linder (1883-1925)
Barbara Kent (1906-2011)
Liv Ullmann (74)
Noel Coward (1899-1973)

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Classic Links


In celebration of the life of jazz great Dave Brubeck, here he is playing It's a Raggy Waltz in the British drama All Night Long (1962) [now streaming on Netflix]. Don't you love his face? He always looked so happy.

TCM is going to have some amazing movies and guests at the 2013 festival. Highlights include a restoration of King Vidor's The Big Parade (1925) and Tippi Hedren appearing with The Birds(1963)--Cinematically Insane

I like this review of The White Shadow (1924), the partial Hitchcock film that has been streaming at the National Film Preservation website (thanks to funds raised by the For the Love of Film blogathon). Be sure to catch it while you can: January 15 is the last day it will be available online--She Blogged By Night

Another great gift guide for classic movie fans. I can vouch for the Mary Pickford book (to be reviewed soon) it is bee-yoo-tee-ful--Sittin' on a Backyard Fence

Holy cow--Toby Jones had to sit in a make-up chair four hours to get his Hitchcock make-up applied. And then he had to act all day. Here's a timelapse video of the process--The Guardian

How did they get this custom-made Marlene Dietrich barbie doll to look so Dietrichy?--Flickr

An actress remembers working with Frank Capra on It's a Wonderful Life (1946)--Encino-Tarzana Patch

Omar Sharif remembers Lawrence of Arabia 50 years later--NPR

An interesting review of the new Marilyn Monroe documentary, Love, Marilyn. It sounds like your enjoyment of it will depend upon how you feel about the celebrities reading her words--NPR

Classic Birthdays


Lee Remick (1935-1991)
Dan Dailey (1913-1978)

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Classic Birthdays


Van Heflin (1910-1971)
Dick Van Dyke (87)
Larry Parks (1914-1975)
Lillian Roth (1910-1980)

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Classic Birthdays


Karen Morley (1909-2003)
Connie Francis (74)
Honor Blackman (85)
Frank Sinatra (1915-1998)
Laura Hope Crews (1879-1942)

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Classic Birthdays


Jean Marais (1913-1998)
Carlo Ponti (1912-2007)
Sally Eilers (1908-1978)

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Classic Birthdays


Dorothy Lamour (1914-1996)
Hermes Pan (1909-1990)
Una Merkel (1905-1986)
Victor McLaglen (1886-1959)

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