“Despite having designed costumes for British films since 1947, Julie Harris, who has died aged 94, came into her own in the swinging 60s, reflecting the fashion revolution of the decade,” writes Ronald Bergan for the Guardian. “This was most evident in two Beatles features A Hard Day’s Night (1964) and Help! (1965), both directed by Richard Lester, and John Schlesinger’s Darling (1965) for which Harris won an Academy Award.”
In the early 50s, Harris worked at Britain’s Rank studio, where “she designed not only film costumes but also evening wear for the stars’ public appearances at premieres and festivals such as Cannes,” writes Josephine Botting for Sight & Sound. “As Rank began to wind down, Julie went freelance and found herself in great demand. Over the next 30 years, she worked with Hollywood stars such as Jayne Mansfield, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Lauren Bacall and Alan Ladd and directors Alfred Hitchcock, Joseph Losey, Billy Wilder and John Schlesinger…. Julie lived for her work and didn’t let up throughout the 1970s and 80s, working on the Bond title Live and Let Die (1973), science fiction film Rollerball (1975) and John Badham’s 1979 version of Dracula, starring Frank Langella and Laurence Olivier.”
“Anne Meara, the Emmy- and Tony-nominated comedian long paired personally and professionally with Jerry Stiller and the mother of actor-director Ben Stiller, died Saturday,” reports Variety‘s Carmel Dagan. “Stiller and Meara were a top comedy act in the 1960s, appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show 36 times…. But Meara was also a serious dramatic actress who received a 1993 Tony nomination for featured actress in a play for her work in Eugene O’Neill’s Anna Christie, which starred Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson. She also penned a couple of plays that made it to Off Broadway.”
“Chicago-born director Prashant Bhargava died of a heart attack on May 15 in New York,” reports Shalini Dore for Variety. Omer M. Mozaffar explains why the news has hit the staff at RogerEbert.com particularly hard: “Roger gave his film, Patang (2011) four stars, inviting him to present it at Ebertfest. Bhargava was a meticulous artist, a consummate auteur, whose craft affected every detail of his films. His source materials and canvases were the Indian experience, in India as well as in diaspora.”
“Mary Ellen Mark, whose unflinching yet compassionate depictions of prostitutes in Mumbai, homeless teenagers in Seattle and mental patients in a state institution in Oregon made her one of the premier documentary photographers of her generation, died on Monday [May 25] in Manhattan,” reports William Grimes in the New York Times. “After she moved to New York in the late 1960s, Look magazine assigned her to photograph Federico Fellini on the set of Satyricon in Rome, and also heroin addicts at a London clinic. She went on to work for Life, Time, Rolling Stone, the New York Times Magazine and other publications.”
The photographs Mark took at Oregon State Hospital would become a classic book, Ward 81. She’d been working on the set of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was filmed at the hospital, when she became fascinated with the patients and lived with them in the ward for 36 days. The Guardian‘s Sean O’Hagan notes that Mark “photographed the making of more than 100 movies, including Mike Nichols’s Catch-22 (1969), Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979) and Baz Luhrmann’s epic Australia (2008).”
“Wally Cassell, a film-noir favorite who played Cotton Valletti, one of Jimmy Cagney’s gang, in the electric 1949 crime thriller White Heat, has died. He was 103.” The Hollywood Reporter‘s Mike Barnes: “Cassell stood out in such film-noir movies as Cornell Woolrich’s The Guilty (1947); Quicksand (1950), which starred [Mickey] Rooney and Peter Lorre; the crime-doesn’t-pay drama Highway 301 (1950), opposite Steve Cochran; Breakdown (1952), a boxing saga with Ann Richards and Sheldon Leonard; and City That Never Sleeps (1953), starring Gig Young.”
Also: “John Compton, who appeared in the classic 1945 melodrama Mildred Pierce and then starred in a Jack Webb-produced TV crime series, The D.A.’s Man, has died. He was 91…. Compton also had small roles in such prominent pictures as Pride of the Marines (1945), starring John Garfield; San Antonio (1945), with Errol Flynn; Night and Day (1946), starring Cary Grant; and The Ten Commandments (1956), directed by Cecil B. DeMille.”
Betsy Palmer “was best known to modern audiences as Pamela Voorhees, the mother of the immortal, mask-wearing killer Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th films,” writes Sam Barsanti at the AV Club. Palmer, who was 88, “also had parts in countless movies and TV shows dating back to the early 1950s.”
“Gill Dennis, who co-penned the screenplay for the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, has died.” Variety‘s Maane Khatchatourian reports that Dennis, who was 74, “also wrote the screenplays for Walter Murch’s Return to Oz (1985) and Judy Davis’s drama On My Own (1991), in addition to penning and directing Angelina Jolie’s thriller Without Evidence (1995) and the 1973 film Intermission.”
“Robert Drasnin, composer of the film The Kremlin Letter and many classic TV shows including Twilight Zone, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Mission: Impossible, died Wednesday, May 13,” reports Variety‘s Jon Burlingame.
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