October 14, 2011 at 7:26 pm #41188
Below is the chronological list including carryovers from the old site – there will also be an alphabetical list maintained.
+ in front of a name means that this is a near-certain inclusion on the Oscar list
Maria Schneider (actress)
Lena Nyman (actress)
Betty Garrett (actress)
Kenneth Mars (actor)
David Friedman (producer)
TP McKenna (actor)
Walter Seltzer (producer)
Don Peterman (cinematographer) (nominee)
(post 2/27/11 show)
Gary Winick (director)
+ Jane Russell (actress)
Annie Girardot (actress)
Charles Jarrott (director)
Hugh Martin (song writer) (nominee)
Michael Gough (actor)
Bill Justice (animator)
+ Elizabeth Taylor (actress) (winner)
Joe Wizan (producer)
Richard Leac0ck (documentarian)
Farley Granger (actor)
+ Sidney Lumet (director) (winner)
Arthur Marx (screenwriter)
Sidney Lumet (director)
Bill Varney (sound mixer) (winner)
Michael Sarrazin (actor)
Tim Hetherington (director) (nominee)
Kevin Jarre (screenwriter)
Marie-France Pisier (actress)
William Campbell (actor)
Yvette Vickers (actress)
+Jackie Cooper (actor/director) (nominee)
+Arthur Laurents (writer)
Dana Wynter (actress)
Mary Murphy (actress)
Leonard Kastle (director)
Don Krim (distributor)
Joseph Brooks (director, writer, composer) (winner)
Bill Hunter (actor)
Bruce Ricker (director)
Charles Haas (director)
Jeff Conaway (actor)
Adolfas Mekas (director)
James Arness (actor)
Leonard Stern (writer, director)
Jorge Semprun (writer, nominee)
Fred Baker (director)
Gunnar Fischer (cinematographer)
+Laura Ziskin (producer)
Paul Massie (actor)
Joel Simon (producer)
Ryan Dunn (actor)
+ Peter Falk (actor) (nominee)
David Rayfiel (writer)
Fred Steiner (composer) (nominee)
Elaine Stewart (actress)
Edith Fellows (actress)
Anna Massey (actress)
Roland Petit (choreographer)
Roberts Blossom (actor)
Googie Withers (actress)
David Ngoombuharra (actor)
Linda Christian (actress)
Helen Beverley (actress)
+ Michael Cacoyannis (director) (nominee)
G.D. Spradlin (actor)
+ Polly Platt (producer, production designer, costumes) (nominee)
Bubba Smith (actor)
Takuo Miyagishima (scientest/technologist) (winner)
Francesco Quinn (actor)
Silvio Narizzano (director)
Claude Laydu (actor)
John Wood (actor)
Robert Breer (director)
Raul Ruiz (director)
Gaultiero Jacopetti (producer)
Jimmy Sangster (producer, writer, director)
John Howard Davies (actor)
Jack Hayes (composer, arranger) (nominee)
Sybil Jason (actress)
Brian Reilly (producer)
Rosel Zech (actress)
Frank Warner (sound) (winner)
George Kuchar (director)
+ Cliff Robertson (actor, director) (winner)
Jordan Belson (director)
+ John Calley (producer, executive) (winner)
David Zelig Goodman (writer) (nominee)
+Steve Jobs (executive)
Charles Napier (actor)
Diane Cilento (actress)
Andrew Laszlo (cinematographer)
Ray Aghayan (costumes) (nominee)
Sue Mengers (agent)
Peter E. Berger (editor) (nominee)
Norman Corwin (writer) (nominee)
Barbara Kent (actress)
+ Gilbert Cates (director, producer)
Theodora Van Runkle (costumes) (nominee)
Hal Kanter (director, writer, producer)
Bruno Rubeo (costumes) (nominee)
John Neville (actor)
Shelagh Delaney (writer)
Gene Cantamessa (sound) (winner)
Walter Doniger (director, writer)
+ Ken Russell (director, writer) (nominee)
Harry Morgan (actor)
Bill McKinney (actor)
Joe Farrell (executive)
+ Bert Schneider (producer) (winner)
Pedro Armendariz Jr. (actor)
Don Sharp (director)
Cheetah (possibly) (actor)
Bob Anderson (stunts)October 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm #41190
Charles NAPIER (actor)
A very busy character/supporting actor who became very familiar in the 1970s and 80s – one of those people most would instantly recognize if not remember his name.
He started with Russ Meyer (Cherry Harry & Raquel, Super Vixens), then became regular with Jonathan Demme from his B-movie days but also in most of his later films, Blues Brothers (the “corn on the cob” line), a scheming intelligence officer battling Rambo, many others.
He was 75, and had been living in Bakersfield CA
Diane CILENTO (actress)
This Australian-born actress was an early success – a Tony nominee in the mid 1950s – then was based mainly in London for the next period. Best known for her supporting actress nominated role in Tom Jones (one of three from that film in that category), her film career otherwise was sporadic – best known roles were Agony and The Ecstasy, Hombre and The Wicker Man.
She was Sean Connery’s first wife (1962-1973), mother of his only child (actor Jason Connery). She returned to Australia later on, establishing an experimental theatre under her own management, and is where she died at 78.
Andrew LASZLO (cinematopgrapher)
Lenser Andrew Laszlo dies Was cinematographer on ‘First Blood,’ ‘The Warriors’ By Variety Staff Emmy-nominated cinematographer Andrew Laszlo, who shot “The Night They Raided Minsky’s,” “The Warriors,” “First Blood” and Star Trek V,” as well as the miniseries “Shogun,” died Oct. 7. He was 85.
Born in Papa, Hungary, Laszlo started as a camera apprentice at the Motion Picture Studios of Budapest when WWII began. He and his family were sent to a Nazi concentration camp, and he was the clan’s sole survivor; in 1947 he immigrated to the U.S. and became a freelance still photographer. Drafted into the U.S. Army, he served in the Signal Corps as a combat photographer during the Korean War.
After working for a producer of industrial films in Pittsburgh, he began work in television during the mid-’50s, at first as a camera operator on “The Phil Silvers Show.” He was cinematographer on “Naked City” in 1962-63 and later on the series “Coronet Blue.”
Laszlo made his feature d.p. debut on “One Potato, Two Potato,” shot the documentary “The Beatles at Shea Stadium” and then worked as with a young Francis Ford Coppola on the latter’s 1966 film “You’re a Big Boy Now.”
In 1968 he lensed William Friedkin’s “The Night They Raided Minsky’s.” From that point Laszlo was in demand as a cinematographer for more than two decades.
His next bigscreen projects included Arthur Hiller’s “The Out of Towners,” Herbert Ross’ “The Owl and the Pussycat” and “Somebody Killed Her Husband.” For TV his efforts included Delbert Mann’s 1973 telepic “The Man Without a Country,” drawing an Emmy nom; miniseries “The Dain Curse”; and epic mini “Shogun,” for which he picked up a second Emmy nom.
Laszlo shot three films for director Walter Hill: “The Warriors,” “Southern Comfort” and “Streets of Fire.”
Other bigscreen work during the 1980s included Sylvester Stallone starrer “First Blood,” MGM documentary “That’s Dancing!,” “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins,” “Poltergeist II: The Other Side,” “Innerspace” and “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.” His final films, in the early 1990s, were “Ghost Dad” and the musical “Newsies.”
Laszlo was busy in other spheres as well. He had formed Andrew Laszlo Prods. as a producer of commercials, and he taught other cinematographers. In addition, he was the author of several books, including, with Andrew Quicke, the text ” Every Frame a Rembrandt: Art and Practice of Cinematography” in 2000. His autobiography, “Footnote to History,” was published in 2002, and he also wrote a novel.
He is survived by his wife, Ann; three sons and a daughter; and five grandchildren.
Donations may be made to Hospice of Southwestern Montana or the Smile Train.
Ray AGHAYAN (costumes)
From The Wrap:
Ray Aghayan, who won the first Emmy awarded for costume design, died Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 83.
Aghayan, who dressed stars like Judy Garland, Cher, Diana Ross, Lucille Ball, The Jackson Five and Barbra Streisand, was nominated for three Oscars for his costuming work, beginning with the 1969 Norman Jewison comedy “Gaily, Gaily.” He also received Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design for “Lady Sings the Blues” and “Funny Lady.”
Aghayan’s last two Oscar nominations, along with his first Emmy win — for the 1967 TV movie “Alice Through the Looking Glass” — were shared with his longtime professional partner, fellow costume design legend Bob Mackie.
Aghayan began his career as Mackie’s assistant.
The Archive of American Television website hosts several video interviews with Aghayan, in which he talks about designing costumes for the 1984 Summer Olympics and Oscar telecasts, and about his partnership with Mackie.October 16, 2011 at 2:24 pm #41191
Sue MENGERS (agent)
One of the most iconic agents in the film world (think a female version of Ari Gold) has died.
Sue Mengers dies
Was superagent at ICM in the 1970s
By Variety Staff
Mengers in 1985
Sue Mengers, who was perhaps the most powerful agent in Hollywood in the early 1970s and represented the likes of Sidney Lumet, Peter Bogdanovich, Brian De Palma and Mike Nichols as well as Michael Caine, Cher, Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman and Barbra Streisand at various times before she retired from ICM in 1986, died Saturday night in Beverly Hills. She was reported to be 81, though she claimed 78, and had recently suffered a series of small strokes.
Mengers’ death was confirmed by her longtime friend and associate, Boaty Boatwright.
“Sue opened doors,” ICM chairman Jeff Berg told the L.A. Times in 1987. “Sue knows that at some point the carrier pilot must decide about making more night landings. She’s tactical enough, and brave enough, to walk away from the day-to-day shorthand.”
In a 1973 profile, Time magazine said, “As a vice president of mighty Creative Management Associates, Sue Mengers is, in the rueful words of one of her ex-clients, ‘more powerful than the stars she handles.'”
Her parties were considered key networking opportunities, and even after she retired, her home was a center of the Hollywood social scene. She brought out the town’s top talent (“single name stars” like “Warren, Jack, Barbra, Elton, Ali, Anjelica, Bette, Sting and Trudy, along with friends with last names like Geffen, Diller, Poitier, Lansing, Friedkin, Semel, Lourd and Zanuck”), as Graydon Carter recalled in a remembrance on Vanityfair.com.
Mengers was an icon within Hollywood, though not well known to the general public: Dyan Cannon’s character in Herbert Ross’ 1973 film “The Last of Sheila” was based on her.
Mengers was born in Hamburg to parents who would later flee Germany as the Holocaust got started. She was 8 when the family arrived in the U.S., and her father committed suicide a few years later.
She began in showbiz as a secretary at MCA in 1955, then worked in a similar job at the William Morris Agency, where she remained until a former co-worker, Tom Korman, hired her as a talent agent when he started his own agency. Her first success was landing Broadway star Julie Harris.
As the rep for Anthony Perkins, she secured him a role in Rene Clement’s film “Is Paris Burning?” (1966).
Her next step up came when she was hired by Freddie Fields’ agency Creative Management Associates. The agency, which repped Paul Newman, Robert Redford and McQueen, was purchased by Marvin Josephson’s International Famous Agency to creative International Creative Management in 1974.
Mengers was married to Belgian writer-director Jean-Pierre Tramont from 1973 until his death in 1996.October 16, 2011 at 8:22 pm #41192
Nikki Finke repeats a famous example of Mengers’ wicked humor.
Her most famous client was Barbra Streisand. When the latter found out she was on the Manson Family hit list, she was terrified. Mengers’ reassuring answer: “Don’t worry, kid. They’re only killing bit players.”October 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm #41193
Peter E. Berger (editor)
Film and TV editor Peter E. Berger, who was Oscar nominated for his work on “Fatal Attraction” and cut several films in the “Star Trek” film franchise, died Sept. 22. He was 67.
Berger’s long list of credits include “Mommie Dearest,” “Less Than Zero” and “Coach Carter,” as well as “Star Trek” pics “IV: The Voyage Home,” “V: The Final Frontier, “Generations” and “Insurrection.”October 18, 2011 at 9:33 pm #41194
Norman CORWIN (screenwriter)
Curious to see an obit for an Oscar nominee that buries his film credits deep into the story – but here’s one case
Norman Corwin dies at 101
Was sometimes called ‘radio’s poet laureate’
By Carmel Dagan
Emmy-winning writer-producer Norman Corwin, who was among the first to use the new entertainment media of the 20th century to explore social issues of importance, died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. The cause was not given. The man sometimes called “radio’s poet laureate” was 101.
Before Norman Lear or Rod Serling, Corwin, like Orson Welles, using the medium of radio drama to explore the issues of the day.
Born in Boston, Corwin first worked as a writer at a couple of Massachusetts newspapers and later as a newsreader for radio station WBZA. He moved to New York in 1936 and first created programs for an independent radio station there.
Corwin began working for the CBS Radio Network in 1938. His CBS series “Norman Corwin’s Words Without Music” — which marked the first use of a writer’s name in a program title — included rhymed fantasy “The Plot to Overthrow Christmas” and “They Fly Through the Air,” Corwin’s galvanizing response to the Spanish Civil War.
In 1941, CBS’ “The Columbia Workshop” series provided Corwin with a 26-week slot, “26 by Corwin”; he produced a wide-ranging series of programs, many of which reflected his sense of social justice. His run ended a month before Pearl Harbor. He adopted a similar approach for 1944’s “Columbia Presents Corwin.”
In December 1941, Corwin wrote and produced the landmark program “We Hold These Truths.” This celebration of the Bill of Rights’ 150th anniversary, narrated by Welles, aired simultaneously over all four networks a week after Pearl Harbor.
For V-E Day in 1945, Corwin created “On a Note of Triumph.” Carl Sandburg called this program “one of the all-time great American poems.” The show had been conceived as a morale booster for the troops before the end of the war was anticipated; Corwin was told, however, that President Truman wanted the program to air not despite but because of the victory. Corwin’s most famous program drew an audience of 60 million at a time when the U.S. population was about 130 million.
Three months later came his V-J Day documentary “14 August,” narrated by Welles.
For his efforts in advancing the notion that the world should become more unified, Corwin became the first winner of the One World Award, established by the Common Council for American Unity along with the (Wendle) Wilkie Memorial of Freedom House. The honoree received an around-the-world trip, and Corwin made good use of the prize, setting out on a four-month journey in June 1946 accompanied by a CBS recording engineer. His 100 hours of recorded interviews with world leaders and ordinary citizens were molded by CBS into a 13-part documentary that aired in 1947.
Corwin left CBS in 1948 and produced a series of programs for United Nations Radio.
Also during the 1940s, Corwin wrote several books and penned the libretto to an opera, “Warriors,” that was produced at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1947.
During the 1950s and early 1960s Corwin penned several screenplays. He drew an Oscar nomination for his adaptation of Irwin Stone’s “Lust for Life” in 1957. He also scripted “The Blue Veil” (1951), “Scandal at Scourie” (1953), “No Place to Hide” (1956), “The Naked Maja” (1958), “The Story of Ruth” (1960) and “Madison Avenue” (1962) and did uncredited work on “The Band Wagon” and John Huston’s “Moby Dick.”
He was also writing and sometimes directing plays, including “The Rivalry,” with Richard Boone as Abraham Lincoln, in 1959, and “The World of Carl Sandburg,” with Bette Davis, in 1960, both on Broadway.
In 1969 he performed poems he’d written on two episodes of “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and in 1972 he produced and hosted the TV series “Norman Corwin Presents” for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. He scripted the 1974 telepic “Judgement: The Court Martial of the Tiger of Malaya — General Yamashita,” about the trial of a Japanese war criminal after WWII. In 1978 he wrote, with Hildy Parks, the seven-part docu series “CBS: On the Air,” celebrating the first 50 years of CBS broadcasting.
In 1991, 50 years after his show “We Hold These Truths” first aired on radio, Corwin produced a show for American Public Radio with the same name and some of the same material, again celebrating the Bill of Rights.
Norman Lear and Ray Bradbury were interviewed for Les Guthman’s feature docu “Corwin,” which aired on PBS in 1996.
“A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin” won the Oscar for best documentary (short feature) in 2006.
In 2001, NPR broadcast six new Corwin plays under the title “More by Corwin.”
Corwin was a writer in residence at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in recent year.
In 1972 Corwin received the WGA’s Valentine Davies Award. Corwin was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993.October 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm #41195
Barbara KENT (actress)
One of the very last non-child silent film stars has died at 103.
From the NYTimes:
Barbara Kent, Star of Silent Movies, Dies at 103
By BRUCE WEBER
Barbara Kent, one of the last surviving stars of silent films, who performed alongside Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo and Harold Lloyd, died last Thursday in Palm Desert, Calif. She was 103.
Her death was confirmed on Wednesday by a spokesman for the Marrakesh Country Club, where she lived.
A brunette, baby-faced beauty, both shapely and petite — most sources say she was under five feet tall — Ms. Kent made her film debut in “Prowlers of the Night,” a 1926 western in which she was the only woman in the cast. She followed that with a featured role in “Flesh and the Devil,” playing a lovelorn young woman with a crush on a man (played by John Gilbert) who is enthralled by the wily vamp played by Garbo.
Ms. Kent was an inexperienced performer, but Universal Studios had offered her a contract and provided rudimentary acting lessons after she won the 1925 Miss Hollywood beauty pageant.
“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life,” she told Michael G. Ankerich in an interview for “The Sound of Silence,” his 1998 book about Hollywood in the transition from silent to sound pictures. But, she added, “being an actress was not it.”
Nonetheless, she had a successful film career for several years.
In the 1927 film “No Man’s Law,” which featured Oliver Hardy as a lustful villain, she was shown swimming, apparently in the nude (though she was wearing a bodysuit), in a scene that caused a minor scandal. Her other silent films included “That’s My Daddy” (1928), a comedy with Reginald Denny, and “Lonesome” (1928), a romantic drama set in Coney Island that included a few talking sequences.
Ms. Kent made the switch to talkies with apparent ease. She appeared opposite Lloyd in his first talking film, “Welcome Danger” (1929), in which she plays his love interest, though when they meet he first thinks she is a man. The film was shot as a silent, but once it became clear that sound was here to stay, the dialogue was dubbed.
She worked with Lloyd again in “Feet First” (1930), in which, as a shoe salesman, he goes to ever more improbable lengths to impress the woman (Ms. Kent) he thinks is the boss’s daughter.
The same year, in the thriller “Night Ride,” she played a newlywed whose husband, a journalist (Joseph Schildkraut), is kidnapped by a murderous gangster played by Edward G. Robinson. In 1931 she played Swanson’s younger sister, who is in love with a rogue, in “Indiscreet,” directed by Leo McCarey. She also had featured roles in the first talking adaptations of “Vanity Fair” (1932) and “Oliver Twist” (1933). But within a few years her film career was over.
Ms. Kent was born Barbara Cloutman in Gadsby, Alberta, on Dec. 16, 1907 (although many sources say 1906), and moved to California with her family when she was 13. She married a Hollywood agent, Harry Edington, in 1932, but by that time she was losing interest in her film career. She acted only occasionally for the rest of the decade.
Mr. Edington died in 1949. Ms. Kent married Jack Monroe, a Lockheed engineer, in the mid-1950s, and became an avid golfer and an airplane pilot. Mr. Monroe died in 1998. No immediate family members survive.
After she had left acting behind, Ms. Kent rarely consented to interviews for the rest of her life, or even acknowledged that she had ever had a film career.November 1, 2011 at 9:40 am #41196
Gilbert CATES (director, producer)
Best known here for producing 14 Oscar telecasts, TMZ reports that Cates, was found dead Monday afternoon in the parking lot of UCLA, where he was a long time professor and past Dean of the School of Theatre, Film and Television. He was recovering from heart surgery last month.
Cates was active in both film and TV. His film directing credits include I Never Sang for My Father, Summer Wishes Winter Dreams, The Promise and Oh God Book II. He made around 20 TV movies as well.
He won an Emmy for directing the Oscars one year.
He was also active in theatre, among other things founding the LA Geffen Theatre.
He also was past president of the DGA and served several terms as a member of the Academy Board of Governers.
Phoebe Cates is his niece.
He was 77.
Among film-related deaths this year, although he was only somewhat known outside the community, this might the one that has the most personal impact to Academy members of any, quite a few of whom considered him a personal friend.November 2, 2011 at 2:58 pm #41197
The LA Times today had coverage of Cates’ death equal to that of the biggest name star or director – a main article starting on the front page, then two major appreciations dominating the first page of the Calendar (entertainment) section. He was indeed considered a really major force out here (his Oscar producing jobs being only a small part of this).November 7, 2011 at 9:05 pm #41198
Theodore Van Runkle (costume designer)
Theadora Van Runkle dies
Costume designer was thrice Oscar nominated
By Variety Staff
Costume designer Theadora Van Runkle, who was Oscar nominated for “Bonnie and Clyde,” “The Godfather: Part II” and “Peggy Sue Got Married,” died Friday, Nov. 4, in West Hollywood from complications of lung cancer, which she had been battling for almost a year. She was 82.
“Theadora was one of the most iconic costume designers we’ve ever had as well as one of the greatest illustrators and artists,” said Mary Rose, president of the board for the Costume Designers Guild, who knew Van Runkle for 25 years. “On a person level, she was whimsical, most charming, sometimes childlike and always kind. She was a free and wonderful person, and will be greatly missed.”
Raised in Beverly Hills and married at the age of 16, Van Runkle attended the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and began as a fashion illustrator. Her first film credit was for work as a sketch artist on the 1966 film “Hawaii.”
She drew an Oscar nomination for her very first film as a costume designer, “Bonnie and Clyde,” for which Van Runkle was recommended by multiple Oscar-winning designer Dorothy Jeakins after the latter could not do the picture due to a scheduling conflict. The film was released in 1967 amid the fashion frenzy for miniskirts, but hemlines dropped in response to the popularity of the 1930s outfits Van Runkle had designed for star Faye Dunaway. Van Runkle would continue to design for Dunaway for a number of years; she was credited as the wardrobe designer for the actress on 1968’s “The Thomas Crown Affair.”
Van Runkle’s next films included “I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!” (for which she designed a great deal of hippie regalia); Steve McQueen actioner “Bullitt”; Elia Kazan’s “The Arrangement,” with Kirk Douglas and Dunaway; “Myra Breckinridge”; and the 1974 adaptation of musical “Mame,” with Lucille Ball, for which she designed a plethora of elaborate hats.
Also in 1974, Van Runkle scored her second Oscar nomination for her work designing the tailored mobwear in “The Godfather: Part II.”
She also demonstrated a flair for early 20th century fashion in the films “Nickelodeon” and “New York, New York,” in which she provided Liza Minnelli with a sleeker look than had previously been associated with the actress; she brought her artistry to the fashion of the 1950s in “Peggy Sue Got Married,” for which she picked up her third Oscar nom. Other film highlights include “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” “Everybody’s All American” and “The Butcher’s Wife.”
Van Runkle picked up an Emmy in 1983 for her work on an episode of the CBS series “Wizards and Warriors.”
Her final credit was a Paul Sorvino-directed TV adaptation of “That Championship Season” in 1999.
In addition to her career in film and television, Van Runkle also taught at the Chouinard and the Otis Parsons School.
Van Runkle appeared in the 1995 AMC special “The Hollywood Fashion Machine.”
She won a Career Achievement Award from the Costume Designers Guild in 2002.
Van Runkle is survived by a son and a daughterNovember 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm #41199
Hal Kanter (director, writer, producer)
From the LA Times:
Hal Kanter dies at 92; Emmy-winning comedy writer, director A writer who won Emmys for the Oscar telecasts, Kanter was the creator of the landmark TV show ‘Julia,’ the first sitcom to star an African American actress as a professional rather than a domestic.
By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
November 8, 2011
Hal Kanter, an Emmy Award-winning comedy writer, and a director and producer whose career included writing for Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, directing Elvis Presley and creating a landmark 1960s TV series starring Diahann Carroll, has died. He was 92.
Kanter, who for decades was a writer for the annual Oscar telecast, died Sunday of complications from pneumonia at Encino Hospital, said his daughter, Donna Kanter.
“What a dear man,” longtime friend Carl Reiner said Monday after learning of Kanter’s death.
“He was considered one of the wits of the industry; there’s no question about it,” said Reiner, noting that Kanter was master of ceremonies for the Directors Guild of America’s awards dinner for many years. “Any time he was called upon, he always could make the audience laugh.
“He was a funny elder statesman, and there’s nothing better than having a witty elder statesman.”
After launching his comedy writing career in radio in the late 1930s, Kanter moved into television in 1949 as head writer for “The Ed Wynn Show,” a live comedy-variety show.
He went on to create, produce and head the writing team on “The George Gobel Show,” another live comedy-variety program for which he shared an Emmy Award in 1955 for best written comedy material.
In the 1960s, Kanter made TV history when he created and produced “Julia,” the 1968-71 NBC sitcom starring Carroll as Julia Baker, a young widowed nurse and the mother of a young son, Corey (played by Marc Copage), whose best friend is white.
Eighteen years after Ethel Waters debuted as the star of the TV version of “The Beulah Show,” an ABC situation comedy about a stereotypical black maid, Carroll became the first black actress to star in her own TV sitcom playing a character who was a professional woman rather than a domestic worker.
Although “Julia” was not carried on some TV stations in the South the first couple of weeks, “eventually, the show became such a hit, they were forced to carry it,” Kanter recalled in a 1997 interview with the Television Academy Foundation’s Archive of American Television.
Carroll’s Julia “opened a door,” Kanter said in a 1969 Times interview. “Bill Cosby in ‘I Spy’ first opened it [in 1965], but Julia opened it wider.”
Kanter said “Julia” had been criticized for not dealing in depth with any social issues. “But that was not our purpose,” he said. “We wanted to create an entertaining comedy, nothing more.
“You see, I feel that if we had starred [white actress] Hope Lange in ‘Julia’ and Diahann Carroll in ‘The Ghost and Mrs. Muir,’ the results would have been about the same. I also feel that if we made social comment within our context, our show would have been a failure.”
On the other hand, he said, “there is a fallout of social comment. Every week we see a black child playing with a white child with complete acceptance and without incident. One of the recurring themes in the thousands of letters we get is from people who thank us for showing them what a black child is like — he’s like any other child.”
Kanter, who also created the TV series “Valentine’s Day” and “The Jimmy Stewart Show,” was a writer and producer on “Chico and the Man” and had a brief 1975 stint as executive producer of “All in the Family.”
Among his movie credits as a writer are Hope and Crosby’s “Road to Bali,” Hope’s “Bachelor in Paradise” and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis’ “Money from Home” and “Artists and Models” — as well as the movies “Pocket Full of Miracles” and “Move Over, Darling”
He also directed Presley in the 1957 movie “Loving You,” which Kanter co-wrote; and he wrote the screenplay for Presley’s 1961 film “Blue Hawaii.” And in a change of pace from comedy, he collaborated with Tennessee Williams on the 1955 screen adaptation of Williams’ drama “The Rose Tattoo.”
Kanter’s longest-running writing job was the annual Academy Awards ceremony. Beginning in 1952, a year before the broadcast moved from radio to television, he wrote for the Oscar show at least 33 years.
In 1991 and 1992, Kanter was among the Oscar show writers who shared Emmys for outstanding writing in a variety or music program.
“Giving some actors a joke is like handing a straight razor to a baby,” Kanter, who was a member of the Academy’s Board of Governors, told Newsday in 1994. “You can never give an actor a blank piece of paper. You have to give him something with words on it before he can destroy it.”
Many presenters and hosts, however, had a way with Kanter’s words.
When the Associated Press asked him in 2001 for his favorite line from past Oscar telecasts, Kanter recalled: “On one of the shows, Walter Matthau announced that the broadcast was being seen simultaneously in 300 countries. I had him say, ‘If my tailor in Hong Kong is watching, it still doesn’t fit.’ “
For decades, Kanter was the go-to wit to act as master of ceremonies or speak at Hollywood functions and other events.
At a testimonial dinner, he introduced comedy writer Sherwood Schwartz by saying: “Sherwood Schwartz. He sounds like Robin Hood’s rabbi.”
He even enlivened memorial services, including one for playwright Robert E. Lee, at which Kanter introduced himself by saying, “I’m the internationally famous writer-director who’s known to his barber as ‘Next!’ “
Kanter was born Dec. 18, 1918, in Savannah, Ga., and moved to Long Beach, N.Y. when he was about 16. Or as he liked to say, he moved “from the deep South to the shallow North.”
His Russian-born father, Albert, who exposed his children to great literature and was a humorous storyteller, later created and published “Classic Comics,” a popular comic-book series featuring adaptations of famous literary works that became known as “Classics Illustrated.”
At age 11, while living in Florida, Kanter began writing Boy Scout news for the Miami Herald. At 14, he was freelancing as a cartoonist and selling cartoon gags. And he was not quite 18 in 1936 when a job for a comic strip ghost writer took him to Hollywood, where he got his start in radio.
Kanter, who also contributed topical jokes to Olsen and Johnson’s long-running hit Broadway revue “Hellzapoppin,” served in the Army during World War II. As part of Armed Forces Radio Service in the South Pacific, he helped build an AFRS station on Guam and hosted his own shows.
After the war, he resumed his career in radio, including several years writing for Bing Crosby’s show.
Kanter, who titled his 1999 memoir “So Far, So Funny: My Life in Show Business,” received the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television from the Writers Guild of America in 1989.
In addition to his daughter Donna, he is survived by his wife of 70 years, writer Doris Kanter; his other daughters, Lisa Kanter Shafer and Abigail Kanter Jaye; his sister, Saralea Emerson; and a granddaughter.
No funeral service will be held.November 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm #41200
Bruno Rubeo dies at 65
Production designer drew Oscar nom for ‘Driving Miss Daisy’
By Variety Staff
Italian-born production designer and art director Bruno Rubeo, a 1990 Oscar nominee for best art decoration-set decoration for his work with Crispian Sallis on “Driving Miss Daisy,” died of complications from pneumonia Nov. 2 in Foligno, Italy. He was 65.
Rubeo had continued to work until recently, earning his last credit as production designer on Taylor Hackford’s 2010 release “Love Ranch,” starring Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci.
Rubeo also worked with Hackford on the films “Blood In, Blood Out,” “Dolores Claiborne,” “The Devil’s Advocate” and “Proof of Life.”
He contributed to a number of films directed by Oliver Stone as well: “Salvador,” “Platoon,” “Talk Radio” and “Born on the Fourth of July,” even taking on small roles in “Salvador” and “Talk Radio.” Rubeo worked with several other top directors, including Ivan Reitman, Joel Schumacher, Mike Newell, John McTiernan, Michael Radford and John Dahl.
Other high-profile feature assignments included “Old Gringo,” set in old Mexico; Arnold Schwarzenegger starrer “Kindergarten Cop”; Civil War period piece “Sommersby”; WWII actioner “The Great Raid”; and pics in contemporary settings such as John Grisham adaptation “The Client,” airport dramedy “Pushing Tin” and stylish remake “The Thomas Crown Affair.”
In 2004 Rubeo was lauded for his production design on Radford’s bigscreen “The Merchant of Venice,” starring Al Pacino.
Rubeo was born and educated in Rome, graduating with a degree in production design from the Scuola Statale di Cinematografia di Roma in 1968 and earned his first production designer credit on the 1982 comedy “Spring Fever.”
He is survived by his wife, costume designer Mayes Rubeo; a son, Marco, also an art director; and a granddaughter.November 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm #41201
Ted Forstmann, CEO of IMG Worldwide, Dead at 71
Published: November 20, 2011 @ 6:18 pm
By Daniel Frankel
Ted Forstmann, former investment banker and CEO of IMG Worldwide, has died following a battle with brain cancer.
He was 71.
The company website announced the death on Sunday.
Forstmann was one of the top figures in the entertainment industry and a leading Wall Street denizen who led the world’s largest sports talent agency, IMG, since acquiring the company in 2004.
IMG represents high-profile clients across the realms of sports and entertainment — everyone from Tiger Woods to Justin Timberlake.
Prior to buying IMG, Forstmann founded investment firm Forstmann Little & Co.
In a drama that unfolded as Forstmann lived the final chapter of his life, his long-time friend Michael Ovitz tried to wrest control of the company from him.
Sick as he was, Forstmann marshalled his board and instructed that no further discussion of the matter leak to the public. Ovitz was booted from the company and COO Mike Dolan was left in charge.
In the 1980s, Forstmann was a high-profile critic of the junk-bond movement on Wall Street who famously lost a bidding war for Nabisco — a story chronicled in the book and subsequent movie adaptation “Barbarians at the Gate.”
In his personal life, Forstmann was romantically linked to Princess Diana at one point.
IMG has not announced a replacement.November 21, 2011 at 8:48 pm #41202
John NEVILLE (actor)
Actor John Neville dies at 86
Starred in ‘Baron Munchausen’
By Associated Press
By VARIETY STAFF
John Neville, a British-born Canadian actor and stage director who starred in “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” and appeared in TV series “The X Files,” died Saturday in Toronto. He was 86 and was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Neville appeared in dozens of movies, television shows and theater productions during a career that spanned six decades.
He was artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in the 1980s, and in 1988 he played the title character in Terry Gilliam’s fantastical film comedy “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.”
In the ’90s he played the recurring role of the Well-Manicured Man on TV’s “The X-Files” and in the first “X-Files” film.
Well before then, however, he was a stage favorite in London’s West End during the 1950s. As a key member of the Old Vic Company, he played leading roles in many classical works of theater, including Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet” (which he repeated on a 1957 episode of NBC’s “Producer’s Showcase”and the title character in “Richard II.” In a production of “Othello,” he and Richard Burton alternated the parts of Othello and Iago. He showed a different side in “Lolita, My Love,” a musical adaptation of Nabokov’s novel, and took over the lead role in the original West End production of musical “Irma La Douce.”
Neville was born in Willesden, London. After serving in the Royal Navy during WWII, he trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and started his career as a member of the Trent Players.
During the 1950s Neville also worked frequently on British and American television, starring in Shakespeare’s “Henry V” on “BBC Sunday Night Theatre” in 1951, in “Hedda Gabler” on “ITV Play of the Week” in 1957 and in “Hamlet” in “The DuPont Show of the Month” in 1959.
He made his film debut in 1960’s “Oscar Wilde,” starring Robert Morley and Ralph Richardson, playing Lord Alfred Douglas.
On TV during the 1960s he was a regular on ITV’s anthology series “The Company of Five” and starred in the BBC’s 1969 miniseries “The First Churchills,” which became the first series aired as part of “Masterpiece Theatre” when that show launched in 1971.
Neville became artistic director of the new Nottingham Playhouse in 1963, and after he emigrated to Canada in 1972, he took up a.d. positions at a series of theater companies.
In 1993 the actor appeared in an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” as Isaac Newton.
He continued to work steadily into the 2000s, appearing in James Toback’s “Harvard Man” in 2001, a 2002 adaptation of “Crime and Punishment,” David Cronenberg’s “Spider” and as recently as last year in a short called “Bradfordian Rain.”November 21, 2011 at 8:50 pm #41203
Shelagh DELANEY (writer)
Playwright Shelagh Delaney dies
Wrote ‘A Taste of Honey,’ screenplays
By Associated Press
Playwright Shelagh Delaney, best known for her 1958 effort “A Taste of Honey,” died of cancer on Sunday night at her daughter’s home in eastern England, said agent Jane Villiers. Delaney was a few days short of her 72nd birthday.
The writer was just 19 when “A Taste of Honey” premiered. The downbeat tale of a young woman’s pregnancy following a one-night stand with a black sailor, and her supportive relationship with a gay artist, verged on scandalous at the time, but the play had successful runs in London and New York.
The play, and its subsequent film adaptation, are generally considered to be part of Britain’s “kitchen sink realism” movement of the late 1950s and 1960s, which portrayed the gritty reality of working-class life and also included works such as John Osborne’s “Look Back in Anger” and Alan Sillitoe’s “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.”
Delaney’s immediate inspiration was her dislike of Terence Rattigan’s play “Variations on a Theme.” Believing she could do better, she wrote “A Taste of Honey” in two weeks, reworking material from a novel she was writing.
Delaney and the film’s director, Tony Richardson, shared BAFTA and Writers Guild awards for best screenplay for the 1961 film adaptation, which starred Rita Tushingham.
She rebelled against the theater, which she saw as portraying “safe, sheltered, cultured lives in charming surroundings, not life as the majority of ordinary people know it.”
“No one in my play despairs,” Delaney added. “Like the majority of people, they take in their stride whatever happens to them and remain cheerful.”
Her second play, “The Lion in Love,” about a difficult marriage between a frustrated man and an aggressive woman, did not enjoy the same success when it opened in 1960. She didn’t write for the theater again until 1979, when she revised her BBC TV series “The House that Jack Built.”
In between, she wrote screenplays: “The White Bus,” 1966; “Charlie Bubbles,” 1968, for which she won a second Writers Guild Award; and “The Raging Moon,” 1970.
She also wrote the screenplay for the 1985 film “Dance with a Stranger,” based on the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed for a crime in Britain.
“A Taste of Honey” enjoyed a musical reincarnation in the work of prominent Manchester band the Smiths. The band’s songwriter, Morrissey, lifted many lines from Delaney’s play, including “I dreamt about you last night and I fell out of bed twice.”
The face of the young playwright features on the cover of the Smiths’ 1987 album, “Louder than Bombs.”
Delaney is survived by a daughter and three grandchildren.