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In Memoriam: Film Greats Take Their Last Curtain Calls

Monday, January 1, 2007------While a lot of ink (or bytes) will be spent on the films and performers who will win accolades in the busy awards season to come (from the Golden Globes through the Independent Spirit Awards to the Oscar extravaganza), it seems appropriate, on this first day of the New Year, to take a moment to list the celebrated actors, directors, producers and other film professionals who took their final curtain calls in 2006. We remember them all, and how wonderful that their talents will continue to live on, as captured on the magic of film.

IN MEMORIAM
The list is organized in chronological order, from January through December 2006, marking the dates of the final transition for the following:


SHELLY WINTERS
The respected and outspoken actress who won two Oscars for The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) and A Patch of Blue (1965).

ANTHONY FRANCIOSA
A television and film actor who starred in such 1950s films as A Hatful of Rain (1956) and a Face In The Crowd (1958).

CHRIS PENN
The brother of actor Sean Penn and a respected character actor in his own right, best known for his turns in Footloose (1985), Robert Altman’s Short Cuts (2001) and Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs (2003).

MOIRA SHEARER
A British ballerina and actress whose debut film The Red Shoes (1948) was an international sensation.


GORDON PARKS
A pioneering African-American director whose films Shaft and The Learning Tree inspired future generation of black filmmakers.

MAUREEN STAPLETON
A celebrated Broadway and film actress who won an Oscar for her Best Supporting Actress role in Warren Beatty’s Reds (1981).

RICHARD FLEISCHER
A Hollywood director of the 1950s and 1960s, whose best known work was the Disney produced 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.

VICTOR SJOMAN
Swedish director who pioneered the controversial soft-core porn films including I Am Curious Yellow (1968).


ALIDA VALLI
Italian actress who starred in films in Europe and Hollywood, whose best known performance was in the Carol Reed masterpiece The Third Man (1949).

JAY PRESSON ALLEN
Broadway playwright and Hollywood scenarist, nominated for an Oscar for her adaptation of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969), which won an Academy Award for its lead actress Maggie Smith.

HENRY BUMSTEAD
Veteran Hollywood production designer who won an Oscar for his work on the film To Kill A Mockingbird (1962).


SHOHEI IMAMURA
Celebrated Japanese director who won the Cannes Film Festival Palme D’Or for his epic The Ballad of Narayama.

INGO PREMINGER
Brother of director Otto Preminger and a noted Hollywood producer in his own right, whose best known film was Robert Altman’s anti-war smash M*A*S*H* (1970).

JUNE ALLYSON
Hollywood singer/dancer/actress known as the “good wife” in a series of domestic films that teamed her with such vintage stars as James Stewart, Van Johnson and John Wayne.

RED BUTTONS
Actor-comedian who won an Oscar for his supporting role in the film Sayonara (1958).


JACK WARDEN
The quintessential character actor, who was nominated several times for the Oscar for his gruff performances in such films as Shampoo (1971) and Heaven Can Wait (1981).

JOSEPH STEFANO
Novelist and screenwriter whose work on the Hitchcock classic Psycho (1960) claimed his fame for all time.

GLENN FORD
An enduring actor for four decades, best remembered for his role as a gambler in the glitzy noir Gilda (1946) and the struggling teacher in the urban drama The Blackboard Jungle (1956).


SVEN NYKVIST
Oscar-winning Swedish cinematographer who memorably worked with directors Ingmar Bergman and Woody Allen.

GILLO PONTECORVO
Italian director who directed the memorable 1966 epic The Battle of Algiers, about the Algerian uprising against the French.

JACK PALANCE
A forceful actor who won a career-capping Oscar for his performance in the Western satire City Slickers.

ROBERT ALTMAN
Pioneering film director whose string of influential films included MASH (1970), Nashville (1975), The Player (1992), Gosford Park (2001) and this past year’s A Prairie Home Companion.


PHILLIPE NOIRET
Respected and prolific French actor, best known for his roles in The Clock Maker (1983) and Il Postino (1989).

BETTY COMDEN
Lyricist for both Broadway and Hollywood musical hits, including such classics as On The Town (1949), Singing In The Rain (1952) and Bells Are Ringing (1956).

PERRY HENZELL
Filmmaker whose cult film the Harder They Come (1971) introduced reggae music and Jamaican culture to an international audience.

PETER BOYLE
Beloved character actor who made impressions with his roles in the films Joe (1970) and Young Frankenstein (1972).


Sandy Mandelberger
Awards Watch Editor

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