Film Festival Today

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Those We Lost In 2011

Written by: FFT Webmaster | December 26th, 2011

It is a customary ritual at this time of the year to reflect on the persons and personalities who left us in the past year, remembering their careers, both brief and lengthy, and honors their accomplishments as we mark the passage from the old year to the new. There are a few true legends on the list below, but most blazed brightly during their individual heydays and their names are not as well known to our generation as they were to their own. No matter….the history of cinema as a collaborative art form means whets our appetite about who these shadows were and the light they shone during their peak moments. So, drumroll please, here are the names of the people the film industry lost this past year to whom we say adieu.

  • Elizabeth Taylor, two-time Oscar winner and super-nova celebrity whose film career, personal life and philanthropic work made her one of the most recognizable names and faces in the world, with such triumphant films as A PLACE IN THE SUN, GIANT, BUTTERFIELD 8 and WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF.
  • Farley Granger, the star of Luchino Visconti’s SENSO and Alfred Hitchcock’s ROPE and STRANGERS ON A TRAIN
  • Two-time Oscar nominee Peter Falk (MURDER INIC., POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES, THE GREAT RACE, WINGS OF DESIRE) and tv star of the COLUMBO series


  • Jane Russell, whose cleavage and sensuous lips made her a sexy siren of the 1940s and 1950s in such films as THE OUTLAW  and GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES.


  • Oscar winner Cliff Robertson (PICNIC, THE BEST MAN, CHARLY, OBSESSION)


  • Film director and longtime Oscar ceremonies producer Gilbert Cates (SUMMER WISHES, WINTER DREAMS, I NEVER SANG FOR MY FATHER)
  • Swedish cinematographer and Bergman collaborator Gunnar Fischer (SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT, THE SEVENTH SEAL, WILD STRAWBERRIES)
  • Iconoclastic British filmmaker Ken Russell (THE BOY FRIEND, TOMMY, THE DEVILS, WOMEN IN LOVE, ALTERED STATES, WHORE)
  • Oscar nominated director Peter Yates (BULLITT, THE DRESSER, BREAKING AWAY)
  • Screenwriter and playwright Arthur Laurents (WEST SIDE STORY, GYPSY)
  • Oscar nominee Pete Postlethwaite (IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, INCEPTION)
  • Harry Morgan, a lifelong character actor who found fame late in life on TV’s MASH
  • British actor John Wood (THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE)
  • Movie composer John Barry (BORN FREE, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER)
  • Jackie Cooper, who went from child roles in such 1930s classics as SKIPPY and THE CHAMP to a career of character roles including the blustery editor in SUPERMAN
  • Oscar-nominated Australian actress Diane Cilento (TOM JONES, HOMBRE)
  • Michael Sarrazin, dark-haired male lead of the 1960s and 1970s whose best known film was director Sydney Pollack’s THEY SHOOT HORSES DON’T THEY?
  • Susannah York, a porcelain-skinned English beauty best known for TOM JONES
  • Anne Francis, blonde actress of FORBIDDEN PLANET and BLACKBOARD JUNGLE
  • Dana Wynter, English actress of cult classic INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS
  • Powerhouse talent agent Sue Mengers, among whose clients included Ann-Margret, Barbra Streisand, Warren Beatty, Steve McQueen and Natalie Wood
  • German actress Maria Schneider, who memorably starred opposite Marlon Brando in Bernardo Bertolucci’s controversial erotic drama LAST TANGO IN PARIS
  • Three-time César winner Annie Girardot (ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS)
  • French actress Marie-France Pisier (COUSIN COUSINE)
  • Stage and film actress Jill Haworth (IN HARM’S WAY, EXODUS) who originated the role of Sally Bowles in CABARET on Broadway
  • 1950s screen beauty Linda Christian (ATHENA, THE V.I.P.s)
  • MGM musical actress-singer Betty Garrett (ON THE TOWN, MY SISTER EILEEN)
  • British child actor John Howard Davies (OLIVER TWIST)
  • Comic actor Jeff Conaway (GREASE and television’s TAXI)
  • Veteran Japanese actress Hideko Takamine (HOUSE OF MANY PLEASURES)
  • Busty actress Tura Satana, star of the cult classic FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL KILL
  • Lena Nyman, star of the Swedish erotic drama I AM CURIOUS (YELLOW)
  • Silent film actresses Miriam Seegar (WHEN KNIGHTS WERE BOLD, SEVEN KEYS TO BALDPATE) and Barbara Kent (LONESOME, FLESH AND THE DEVIL)

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