Saturday, April 24, 2010


PEGGY HEWITT Died Mar. 1, 2002

Ms. Hewitt was primarily a stage actress. Her one film credit was in the 1983 TV mini series "Kennedy." Ms. Hewitt said she specialized in playing "ugly old broads."

HARRY NALDER Died Mar. 1, 2002

Mr. Nalder was the assistant director on the documentary "Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror." Mr. Nalder died of a heart attack.

MARY GRANT PRICE Died Mar. 2, 2002

Vincent Price gave me my first autograph. My mother ran into him at the Brooks Museum in Memphis when I was 12. I still treasure it. Mary Grant Price was his wife for nearly 25 years. Besides being Mr. Price's ex-wife, Ms. Grant-Price was a Hollywood costume designer from 1946 to 1959. Her film credits include "We're No Angels" "Sweet Smell of Success" and "Separate Tables."

DON HAIG Died Mar. 2, 2002

Producer Don Haig was one of the most prominent members of the Canadian film industry. Mr. Haig produced nearly 150 films and television shows. While Mr. Haig did produce some feature films, the majority of the films he produced were documentaries. Mr. Haig also worked as an editor on 3 films and he narrated another. Mr. Haig was once the president of the National Film Board of Canada. In 1985 he was awarded a "Genie" (the Canadian Academy Award) for his "Outstanding Contribution to the Canadian Film Industry."

WILLIAM BERG Died Mar. 2, 2002

Disney artist who worked on "Pinocchio" "Jiminy Cricket" shorts and most notably "Donald Duck." Mr. Berg wrote Donald Duck scripts and helped create the character of Ludwig Von Drake. He also wrote and drew the newspaper cartoon "Scamp" before retirement.


Soviet born writer who immigrated to Austria. His best known work is the Soviet Sci-Fi classic "Solaris."

DAN SONNEY Died Mar. 3, 2002

Mr. Sonney was a sexploitation filmmaker for nearly 40 years. His imaginative titles include "My Tale is Hot" (1964), "Trader Hornee" (1970), "A Virgin in Hollywood" (1948), "Knockers Up" (1963) and "The Notorious Daughter of Fanny Hill" (1968). The 86 year old writer/producer/director died of Heart failure at age 86. Mr. Sonney often produced films under the name Semore Tokus!

SHIRLEY RUSSELL Died Mar. 4, 2002

Ms. Russell was a twice Oscar nominated costume designer for "Reds" and "Agatha." She was also nominated 8 times for the British Oscar, winning twice. Ms. Russell was the ex-wife of gonzo director Ken Russell. They had five children, two of which (Xavier and Victoria) are in the movie business. Ms. Russell’s long list of credits includes "Women in Love," "The Boys in the Band," "The Devils," "Tommy," "Listzomania," "Cuba," "Yanks," "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes" and "Hope and Glory."

ERIC FLYNN Died Mar. 4, 2002

Mr. Flynn was a British actor who appeared in "Empire of the Sun" and "Dr. Syn, Alias the Scarecrow." He appeared in numerous British TV shows. He was the father of actors Daniel and Jerome Flynn.

WILLIAM NAGLE Died Mar. 5, 2002

In the late 70s, Australian cinema moved to the forefront of world cinema due to the works of Peter Weir, George Miller, Bruce Beresford and the other George Miller. During that time I looked for every Australian film I could find to watch. I discovered a quirky little war movie called "The Odd, Angry Shot." It caught my eye because of the presence of Bryan Brown, one of the lead actors in my all-time favorite Australian movie "Breaker Morant." "The Odd, Angry Shot" was a low-key, character driven study of Australian soldiers serving in Vietnam. I only saw it once but it made an impression on me. The movie was based on a book by former Special Forces soldier William Nagle. Mr. Nagle wrote two other films that I am aware of. "The Death of a Soldier" is based on a true story of an American soldier who is trial for a series of sex murders in Australia. James Coburn delivers a knockout performance as the military attorney assigned to represent the accused. My favorite film of Mr. Nagle's was a little film called "The Siege of Firebase Gloria." The film stars Wings Hauser (Vice Squad) and R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket). It is an action packed study of men at war. The ending includes some of the most realistic and saddening battle footage you will see in a film of this caliber. It is saddening because of the attention to detail show by Mr. Nagle in the creation of these characters. You care when these characters die in combat. Mr. Nagle wrote from the heart and from experience.

ALAN MANSON Died Mar. 5, 2002

Mr. Manson had an interesting career. He was a soldier in WWII when he was recruited to appear as himself in "This is the Army." 15 years later he began working in films on a regular basis. He had numerous feature films and TV credits. His work included Francis Ford Coppola's "The Rain People" "The Marcus/Nelson Murders" (the true crime TV movie which was the basis for the "Kojak" TV series), "Bang the Drum Slowly" with Robert DeNiro, The Doors and The Devil's Advocate.

MATI KLARWEIN Died Mar. 6, 2002

Legendary psychedelic artist Mati Klarwein was responsible for some of the best rock album covers ever including Santana's "Abraxas" cover. His connection to the film industry came from his loins. He is the father of actress Eleonore Klarwein, the star of the wonderful French, coming of age film "Peppermint Soda." His daughter made the transition from child to adult actress.

MIMI ROTH Died Mar. 7, 2002

Ms. Roth began her career as a writer in Radio. During the 50s, 60s and 70s she worked for United Artists as a department head in screenplay development. Mrs. Roth was the mother of Eric Roth, the Oscar winning screenwriter of "Ali" "The Insider" and "Forrest Gump" among others.

TED TANNEBAUM Died Mar. 7, 2002

Executive producer of numerous recent films such as "The Mothman Prophecies" The Gift "Arlington Road" "200 Cigarettes" and "The Real Blonde."

WINNIE MARKUS Died Mar. 8, 2002

Highly respected German actress was a student of Max Reinhardt. She appeared in 58 films between 1939 and 2001. In 1986 she was awarded a lifetime achievement award from the German Film Association for her outstanding contribution to the German cinema.

ROBIN ANDERSON Died Mar. 8, 2002

Australian documentary filmmaker. Ms. Anderson's 1983 film "First Contact" was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar. She made three other feature length documentaries. Her 1992 film "Black Harvest" won awards from the International Documentary Association, The Hawaii Film Festival and The Australian Film Institute. Her last film "Facing the Music" also won Best Documentary from the Australian Film Institute and a special jury award from the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival. She died of cancer at age 51.

JOHN HARTLEY Died Mar. 8, 2002

British actor John Hartley appeared in "Shirley Valentine" and "Cry Freedom" among others. Mr. Hartley died of a heart attack.

TED COODLEY Died Mar. 8, 2002

83 year-old Ted Coodley was a veteran make-up artist with more than 50 film credits. Among his credits were "The Rookies," "How Awful About Allan," "Women From the Prehistoric Planet," "The Haunted Palace" and "The Raven."

LEONARD GERSHE Died Mar. 9, 2002

Renowned screenwriter for several decades. Mr. Gershe wrote the Audrey Hepburn movie "Funny Face," "Silk Stockings" which starred Cyd Charisse and Fred Astaire. His play "Butterflies are Free" was turned into a Goldie Hawn movie. He also wrote "40 Carats" and the lyrics for the "Born in a Trunk" scene of Judy Garland's version of "A Star is Born."

IRENE WORTH Died Mar. 10, 2002

Ms. Worth was known primarily as a classically trained stage actress. She won three Tony awards during her nearly six decade career. She appeared in over 20 feature films from 1948 through 1999. She won the British Best Actress Award for the 1958 film "Orders to Kill." Other screen credits include Neil Simon's "Lost in Yonkers" Onegin and "Nicholas and Alexandra." Although she was born in Nebraska, she was awarded an Honorary CBE in 1975.

RENE ASSA Died Mar. 10, 2002

Mr. Assa was a character actor with credits in film and TV. He appeared in Alex Cox's misfire "Walker" about William Walker. For a better telling of that story see Marlon Brando in "Burn." Mr. Assa was one of the terrorists in the great TV movie "Raid on Entebbe." Other credits include "Postcards From the Edge" "Deep Cover" and "976-EVIL 2." TV credits include "Baywatch" "The A Team" and "Quantum Leap."

DAVID JOHN Died Mar. 11, 2002

Mr. John died of cancer. He worked as a sound mixer on numerous films. His credits include "The Jackal," "The Haunting," "Entrapment," "Goldeneye," "The Princess Bride" and "The Long Good Friday."

RUSSELL STONEHAM Died Mar. 12, 2002

Mr. Stoneham was a producer who is best known for the excellent "Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. The Ku Klux Klan." That film told the same story covered in "Mississippi Burning" only better and more factual!

NASIR HUSSAIN Died Mar. 13, 2002

Popular director in "Bollywood." Mr. Hussain directed a number of Hindi language musical comedies in India. He retired in 1988. Mr. Hussain won the Indian version of Best Picture and Best Screenplay Oscar (The Filmfare Award) for his last movie "Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak". He also won a lifetime achievement award at the Zee Awards. His son and nephew are also very influential in the Indian film industry.

SYLVESTER "PAT" WEAVER Died Mar. 15, 2002

Emmy and Peabody Award winning writer/producer Pat Weaver died at age 83. One time president of NBC, Mr. Weaver created both the "Today" and "Tonight" shows. Mr. Weaver was the father of actress Sigorney Weaver. Pat Weaver served his country in the US Navy during WWII.

DANILO " BATA" STOJKOVIC Died Mar. 16, 2002

I discovered a movie called Underground(1995) last year. The Serbian made film is a hilarious and dark examination of the Yugoslavia's troubled history. It is one of my favorites and a review can be found on EI's "Video Risk" page. Mr. Stojkovic was one of many great actors who contributed to this great film. In his nearly 40-year movie career, Mr. Stojkovic appeared in over 100 feature films.

CARMELO BENE Died Mar. 16, 2002

Classically trained Italian stage actor who moved into films in the 60s and 70s. He wrote, directed and starred in his re-interpretation of "Hamlet" in 1973. He directed 5 films and acted in nearly a dozen.

WILLIAM WITNEY Died Mar. 17, 2002

B-movie action-film director with well over 100 screen credits. Mr. Witney is
generally regarded as the director who introduced choreographed fight sequences to the movies. He directed numerous cliffhanger serials in the 1930s and 40s, along with many Roy Rodgers movies. He later turned to directing TV westerns including "The Wild, Wild West." His movie credits include one of my all-time favorite B-movies, the lurid "Bonnie Parker Story" with Dorothy Provine. Mr. Witney's admirers included Steven Speilberg and Quentin Tarantino.

ROSETTA LENOIRE Died Mar. 17, 2002

Renowned Black actress and winner of the National Medal of Arts. Ms. LeNoire began her career on the stage. She appeared in Orson Welles all Black version of Hamlet. Best known to TV audiences as Grandma Winslow on "Family Matters." Her film credits include one of my favorites, John Sayles Sci-Fi social satire "Brother From Another Planet." She also appeared in "The Sunshine Boys" Walter Hill's "Brewster's Millions" and she lent her vocal talents to Ralph Bakshi for his X-rated cartoon "Fritz the Cat."

JEFFERY BENJAMIN Died Mar. 18, 2002

Mr. Benjamin was assistant to the producer on one of my all time favorites: The Mechanic with Charles Bronson. He was the associate producer of "The Toy" and "King of the Mountain."

DENIS FOREST Died Mar. 19, 2002

French-Canadian actor with numerous feature film and TV credits. Mr. Forest appeared in the Stephen King mini series "Storm of the Century." Other credits include "Strange Brew" "The Mask" "Eraser" and "Cliffhanger." His TV credits include "The X-Files" "Friday the Thirteenth" and Nikita. The 41 year old actor collapsed at his home. His death is under investigation.

CARL ROUP Died Mar. 20, 2002

Mr. Roup was an extra in the silent films. He worked as a script supervisor on the Spencer Tracy version of "Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde." He was an assistant director on the TV series "Mission Impossible" and "High Chaparral." He was also assistant director on the second Dirty Harry film "Magnum Force."

TOMMY HILL Died Mar. 21, 2002

Country and Western songwriter best known for his sappy CB radio classic "Teddy Bear." Mr. Hill's single film credit was as the musical director of the 1966 country music melodrama "The Tennessee Beat." He was 72 years old.

BORIS SICHKIN Died Mar. 21, 2002

79-year old Russian actor Boris Sichkin died of heart failure. He appeared in many Russian films. He also appeared in the 1998 TV movie "World War III." He portrayed former Soviet premiere Leonid Brezhnev in Oliver Stone’s "Nixon."

JACQUIE LYNN Died Mar. 21, 2002

Child actress in the 30s whose career was ended by salary demands made by her parents. Ms. Lynn appeared in a couple of Laurel and Hardy shorts including "Pack Up Your Troubles." She also appeared in a couple of "Our Gang" shorts including the one in which Spanky is running a mule-powered Taxi service.

JOSEF VON STROHEIM Died Mar. 22, 2002

Josef von Stroheim was one of the top sound editors and sound effects specialists in the business. He won 2 Emmy Awards and 5 Golden Reel awards given by his fellow sound editors. He was also nominated for a British Academy Award for best soundtrack for his work on the 1976 version of "A Star is Born." Mr. von Stroheim was the son of Erich von Stroheim, the director of the silent-film masterpiece "Greed." The elder von Stroheim also played Max, Gloria Swanson's enabling manservant in Billy Wilder's classic "Sunset Blvd." Josef von Stroheim worked on some of the best films of the 70s. His credits include Sam Peckinpah's The Getaway, Martin Scorsese's "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," Sidney Pollack's "Jeremiah Johnson" and "Three Days of the Condor," and Mike Nichols' "Carnal Knowledge." He also worked extensively in TV. Mr. von Stroheim was a combat photographer in WWII. He worked on several B-horror movies in the 50s including "The Amazing Colossal Beast" and "The Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow."

BILL BRODIE Died Mar. 22, 2002

Long time production/art designer Bill Brodie died at age 61. Mr. Brodie was nominated for 4 Genie Awards for his art direction. He won for the film "The Gray Fox." His film credits include "Superman," "The Blues Brothers 2000," "Body Parts" and "Short Circuit 2." Mr. Brodie was an assistant art director on Stanley Kubrick’s period piece "Barry Lyndon." He also directed one film "Terry Whitmore, For Example" in 1970. If you get the chance to see the 1967 film "Privilege," on which Mr. Brodie also worked, don’t miss it. It is a bit dated, but it is worth seeing for fans of the 60s.

GWEN DAVENPORT Died Mar. 23, 2002

Ms. Davenport was a novelist. Her book "Mr. Belvedere" spawned 3 movies, two starring Clifton Webb and a 1980s TV series .

EILEEN FARRELL Died Mar. 23, 2002

Very popular opera star who made the cross over to Pop music. Ms. Farrell provided the singing voice of actress Eleanor Parker in the 1955 Oscar winning film "Interrupted Melody." Ms. Farrell also made an uncredited cameo in that same film. She also appeared as a guest several times on "The Carol Burnett Show."

RICHARD BRADFORD Died Mar. 23, 2002

I saw "Red Sky At Morning" when it was first released. I was 12 and the coming of age story meant a lot to me at the time. Richard Bradford wrote the wonderful book that the movie was based on. As good as the film was, the book is better. Mr. Bradford's tale was set in Northern New Mexico. Mr. Bradford died in Sante Fe, the land he loved and shared through his writing.

RICHARD SYLBERT Died Mar. 23, 2002

Last night I was watching the DVD Frances. The featurette included a lengthy interview with Richard Sylbert, the film's production designer. Mr. Sylbert's architectural eye captured the long gone glory of Hollywood in the 30s. His comments revealed him to be a passionate artist. Needless to say, I was shocked today to read that he died. He was in my living room last night. That is the wonder of the medium, Mr. Sylbert's work is immortalized in film. Mr. Sylbert was nominated for 6 Oscars. He won 2 ("Dick Tracy" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.") My Sylbert has provided the look to some of the most influential movies of the last 50 years.

Mr. Sylbert began as an art director in the 1950s. His imprint can be seen in several of the best films from that time. He worked on Elia Kazan's "Baby Doll" (1956) and the powerful portrait of power gone mad "A Face in the Crowd" (1957). My Sylbert turned to production design in the early 60s. Film credits include the gritty crime drama "Murder Inc." (1960), John Frankenheimer's classic The Manchurian Candidate (1962), the dark Rod Steiger vehicle The Pawnbroker (1964), Roman Polanski's horror classic "Rosemary's Baby" (1968). Mr. Sylbert worked with Polanski again on the masterpiece "Chinatown" (1974). During the 60s, Mr. Sylbert produced his only film "What's New Pussycat?"

Mr. Sylbert worked many times with Mike Nichols. In addition to the Oscar winning "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" My Sylbert collaborated with Mr. Nichols on "The Graduate" (1967), "Catch 22" (1970), "Carnal Knowledge" (1971) and "The Fortune".

During the 1970s Mr. Sylbert helped create the illusion of wealth, the color of war and the grit of the street. In John Huston's "Fat City" with Stacy Keach and Jeff Bridges, Mr. Sylbert captured the seamy underside of boxing. He captured the decadence of 1968 Los Angeles in Hal Ashby's satirical "Shampoo" (1975).

During the 80s, Mr. Sylbert designed some of the more stylish films of the decade. His credits include "Reds"(1981), "Francis" (1982), "Breathless" (1983),"The Cotton Club" (1984), "Tequila Sunrise" and "Shoot to Kill" (both 1988). He continued his influential work through the 90s with "Dick Tracy" (1990), "Carlito's Way" (1993), "Mulholland Fall's" in which he also acted (1996) and "My Best Friend's Wedding" (1997). His final film was "Who Shot Victor Fox?" (2002).

FRANCIS LEROI Died Mar 24, 2002

French director of soft-core erotica, which caught on with mainstream studios in the late 70s. He directed seven of the "Emmanuelle" movie made popular by the beautiful body of Sylvia Kristal. He wrote and/or directed nearly 30 erotic films.

LOUIS M. HEYWOOD Died Mar. 26, 2002

81 year-old writer produced Louis Heywood has died of pneumonia. Mr. Heywood began his career in radio and TV. He worked for American International Pictures, Hanna Barbera and as a consultant for DIC children's entertainment. His son Andy is the creator of "Inspector Gadget." Though Mr. Heywood is well known for many prestigious shows such as the Emmy-award-winning TV movie, "The Gathering" and as the first writer for TV's first interactive show, "Winky Dink and You," I will always be indebted to him for the numerous excellent horror films he produced.

Curtis Harrington's "Who Slew Auntie Roo?" was just one of many great films Mr. Heywood produced for AIP. Other credits include "The Witchfinder General" with Vincent Price. Mr. Heywood also wrote additional dialogue for that film. You will be hard pressed to find a better horror film from the late 60s than this highly regarded film. Mr. Heywood's version of "Murders in the Rue Morgue" with Jason Robards is also considered to be one of the finest horror films of that era. Other credits include "The Crimson Cult" with Christopher Lee and Boris Karloff in one of his last roles. He produced "Scream and Scream Again" which was the only film in which Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing all appeared together. Mr. Heywood also produced "The Oblong Box" with Christopher Lee and Vincent Price and "Cry of the Banshee." Mr. Heywood also produced the two "Dr. Phibes" films with Vincent Price: "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" and "Dr. Phibes Rises Again." Fans of horror films from the late 60s and early 70s will recognize all of these titles. Others may want to check them out. Thanks to Mr. Heywood for the hours of pleasure he brought film fans over the years. Prayers for his family.

RANDY CASTILLO Died Mar. 26, 2002

Heavy metal drummer Randy Castillo died of cancer at age 51. Mr. Castillo was a drummer for Ozzy Osbourne, Lita Ford and was Tommy Lee's replacement in Motley Crue. Mr. Castillo appeared in Andrew Dice Clay's action comedy "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane." He also appeared in two rockumentaries: "Don't Blame Me" and "Ozzy Osbourne: Live and Loud."

DUDLEY MOORE Died Mar. 27, 2002

People who bring laughter into the world should be held in the highest esteem by the rest of us. Actor, writer, comedian, composer, producer and all around funny little guy, Dudley Moore passed on today after a long battle with a rare brain disorder. I first noticed Dudley more in the hilarious movie "Bedazzled" (1967) in which he and comedic partner Peter Cook took an irreverent look at love, God and the devil. Forget the remake, the original is far superior. Mr. Moore became in international superstar and unlikely romantic leading man in Blake Edwards' fantasy sex comedy "10" with Bo Derek. Mr. Moore continued his streak playing the lovable drunk in "Arthur." He was the executive producer of the sequel. Mr. Moore was also an extremely accomplished musician. He composed the score for six films. Another favorite performance of mine was as the kinky composer in the Goldie Hawn, Chevy Chase comedy "Foul Play." Mr. Moore stole the show. Mr. Moore appeared in over 40 films.

MILTON BERLE Died Mar. 27, 2002

93-year-old showbiz icon Milton Berle died of colon cancer. Mr. Berle began as a child actor in silent movies. He appeared in "The Perils of Pauline" in 1914. Best known as a comedian, Mr. Berle became known as Mr. Tuesday Night in the early 1950s as America tuned into his weekly TV show, "The Texaco Star Theater." He is probably more responsible for the sale of TVs in the early 50s than any other person. "Uncle Miltie" as he was known brought outrageous comedy right into the homes of millions of Americans. Berle dressed in drag and did whatever he could to get a laugh. As a result, moviegoers stayed away from theaters in droves. In this way, Mr. Berle was single-handedly responsible for many technological advances in the movie industry. VistaVision, Cinerama and numerous other new Widescreen (along with 3D) formats were invented to woo people back into the theaters. One of the most popular stories about Mr. Berle is that he had the largest penis in Hollywood. Mr. Berle was dining with Jackie Gleason and Forest Tucker. Mr. Tucker was also supposedly well endowed.Jackie Gleason pushed the two men to a contest to see who was bigger. When Mr. Berle balked at exposing himself in public, Gleason retorted "Berle, just take out enough to beat him!" Berle's numerous film credits include "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" "Broadway Danny Rose" "The Muppet Movie" "Evil Roy Slade" (a hilarious made for TV western spoof) and the gangster movie "Lepke." Mr. Berle's showbiz career spanned the presidential administrations of William Howard Taft through George W. Bush!

BILLY WILDER Died Mar. 27, 2002

When it rains it pours folks. March 27, 2002 looks to be a dark day for the film industry. First Dudley Moore, then Milton Berle and now Billy Wilder. In my humble opinion, Billy Wilder was, behind Akira Kurosawa, the greatest movie director of all time. The Austrian born writer/director was responsible for many of the greatest films ever made. Most directors would be proud to have directed one film as good as those written and directed by Mr. Wilder. The 95-year-old genius helmed such classics as "Sunset Blvd." "The Lost Weekend" "Stalag 17" "Double Indemnity" "The Apartment" "Witness for the Prosecution" "Some Like It Hot" and "The Seven year Itch." Mr. Wilder's non-classics were still better than most others' best films. Some of those films include "Sabrina" "The Spirit of St. Louis" "Irma La Douce" "The Fortune Cookie" "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" and "One, Two, Three."

Mr. Wilder began his career as a screenwriter. He wrote 35 scripts that were produced before he began directing films in 1942 including "Ninotchka." He always worked with a writing partner because he was self-conscious about his mastery of the English language. His two main partners were Charles Brackett and I.A.L. Diamond. Mr. Wilder not only wrote all of his own films, he continued to write scripts for others. Mr. Wilder performed a bit of uncredited script surgery on the Rat Pack's classic heist film "Ocean's 11" and the James Bond spoof "Casino Royale."

Wilder excelled as a director because not only did he have a brilliant eye for camera placement and movement, he knew how to bring characters to life. His scripts provided some of the most memorable characters in film history. Acting in a Billy Wilder film would usually lead to an Oscar nomination or win for the actors in his films. William Holden (twice), Walter Mathau, Ray Milland, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Strauss, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olsen, Audrey Hepburn, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester, Jack Lemmon (twice), Jack Kruschen and Shirley MacLaine (twice) were all nominated for acting in Billy Wilder films. Mr. Wilder himself was nominated for 21 Oscars. He won six and also was given the Irving Thalberg Lifetime Achievement Award in 1988. Of the 25 films Mr. Wilder directed after fleeing Hitler's Germany, 17 were nominated for one type of Oscar or another. More than two-thirds of his work was recognized for excellence!

Mr. Wilder was able to work in many genres. "Stalag 17" is probably the best POW movie ever made. "Double Indemnity" is usually considered to be the best Film Noir ever made. Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot" was voted the best comedy of all time by the American Film Institute. Whether dealing with the twisted mind of an aging movie star ("Sunset Blvd.") or a budding young woman being pursued by wolves in black ties ("Sabrina"), Billy Wilder hit the mark. I hope there will someday be another like him.

GLEN ROBINSON Died Mar. 27, 2002

Mr. Robinson put the shake, rattle and roll in many an action adventure film. The special effects expert died at age 87. His numerous credits include "The Hindenberg," "Earthquake," "Pennies From Heaven," "The Bamboo Saucer," the remake of "King Kong," "Logan’s Run," "The Battle of Britain," "Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid" and "Flash Gordon."

CLARK JONES Died Mar. 28, 2002

The 82-year-old veteran TV director died in Key West, Florida. Mr. Jones directed numerous live TV shows during the 50s. He is best know for his direction of the Mary Martin live-TV broadcast version of "Peter Pan."

RICO YAN Died Mar. 29, 2002

Young Philippine heartthrob who died mysteriously of Pancreatitus, a rare disease which seems to strike down young men of Asian descent.

ANAND BAKSHI Died Mar. 30, 2002

Award winning Indian lyricist who wrote over 4oo songs. He contributed songs to over 60 films in his native India.

BARRY TOOK Died Mar. 31, 2002

British writer/comedian/producer, Barry Took died of cancer. He was a long time stand-up comedian. He began writing for British radio in the 50s with his partner, the late Marty Feldman. Mr. Took was involved in the creation and production of "Monty Python's Flying Circus." It was originally going to be called "Baron von Took's Flying Circus." He also wrote for "Laugh-In" in America during the 60s. Other credits include the British TV show "Marty" and the 1970 film "Every Home Should Have One."

TONINO CERVI Died Mar. 31, 2002

Italian producer, director and screenwriter. One of the first films Mr. Cervi produced was "Boccacio 70." The film consists of four short films. Three of the four were directed by three of the greatest Italian directors ever: Frederico Felleni, Vittorio De Sica and Luchino Visconti. Neither IMDB or the All Movie Guide have complete filmographies of the late filmmaker. I was able to locate 21 film credits. Mr. Cervi also produced early films of both Bernardo Bertolucci and Michelangelo Antonioni. Mr. Cervi died of a heart attack at age 71.

LUIGI LURASCHI Died Mar. 31, 2002

Mr. Luraschi was an executive with Paramount for nearly 4 decades. He worked at expanding Paramount's international department. He produced the Anthony Quinn film "Barabbas" and John Huston's bomb "The Bible." According to IMDB Mr. Luraschi worked with the CIA to promote pro-American causes during the McCarthy era. As part of this work, Mr. Luraschi campaigned against Fred Zinnemann's classic western "High Noon" in the Oscar race.

MARVIN GOLDHAR Died Mar. 31, 2002

Canadian actor Marvin Goldhar provided onscreen performances for live action films, and voice work for many animated features. He appeared in the TV films about two very lovable folks: "Gotti" and "Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean." His animated work included voices in "The Nutcracker Prince," "C.O.P.S." and the TV series "Ewoks." Mr. Goldhar was 67 at the time of his death.

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