Friday, February 5, 2016

"Creature From the Black Lagoon" Screenwriter Harry Essex 1997 Westwood Village Cemetery

Harry Essex (November 29, 1910 – February 5, 1997) was a prolific American screenwriter and director in feature films and television. Born and raised in New York City, his career spanned more than fifty years.


After graduating from St John's University in 1936, he did welfare work by day, while writing for the theatre by night.[1] Among Essex's first jobs were stints on the New York City newspapers The Daily Mirror and The Brooklyn Eagle, short stories for Collier's and The Saturday Evening Post as well as work in a Broadway play titled Something for Nothing (which Essex later called "a resounding failure").[2]

Writing for the movies was uppermost in Essex's mind throughout the period (and he did co-write the original story for Universal's Man Made Monster (1941)), but "the big break" never came, and World War II intervened as he was called into the draft, serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Five or six days after Essex's discharge in 1947,[1] he ran into an old acquaintance whose new job was finding playwrights to turn into screenwriters for Columbia Pictures. Essex wrote or co-wrote dozens of movies and numerous TV shows during his lengthy Hollywood career.[2]

Essex co-wrote Universal's The Fat Man (1951), which starred J. Scott Smart as the obese detective Brad Runyon, a role he had played on radio since 1946. (The series was developed especially for radio by Dashiell Hammett, creator of The Thin Man, but as he had just been jailed for refusing to co-operate with the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities, Hammett's name was conspicuous by its absence on the screen credits of The Fat Man.) Another sign of those paranoid times was that Essex and Earl Felton received screenplay credit on The Las Vegas Story (1952), but not their co-writer Paul Jarrico, who had been blacklisted.[1]

Partial filmography

Year Title Job Notes

1941 Man Made Monster Writer – story Feature film 
1947 Dragnet Writer Feature film 
         Desperate Writer Feature film 
1950 The Killer That Stalked New York' Writer Sci-fi/Horror film 
1951 The Fat Man Co-writer, with Dashiel Hammett and Leonard Lee Feature film 
1952 Kansas City Confidential Wrote screenplay Feature film 
         The Las Vegas Story Writer Feature film 

1953 I, The Jury Writer Feature film 
         It Came from Outer Space Writer – screenplay Horror film 

1954 Creature from the Black Lagoon Writer Sci-fi/Horror film 
         Dragnet Writer – screenplay Feature film 
1955 Mad at the World Director Feature film 
1959–1960 Bat Masterson (TV series) Writer 4 episodes 
1960–1961 The Untouchables Writer (2 teleplays, 3 stories) 6 episodes total 
1963 77 Sunset Strip Writer – teleplay 5 episodes 
1965 The Sons of Katie Elder Writer – screenplay Western/Feature film 
          I Dream of Jeannie Writer 1 episode ("The Moving Finger") 
1971 Octaman Writer Sci-fi film 
1985 Hostage Flight Writer – story Feature film 
1996 It Came From Outer Space II Writer (earlier screenplay) Sci-fi/Horror

Death and legacy

Essex died on February 5, 1997 in Los Angeles. In 2004, he was retrospectively awarded the 1954 Retro Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form for It Came from Outer Space. 

He was interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.


1. "Obituary: Harry Essex". The Independent (UK). February 25, 1997.  
2. "Harry Essex Biography (1910–1997)". Internet Movie Database (IMDb). 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Composer and Musical Director Frank Tours 1963 Westwood Village Cemetery

Frank E. Tours (September 1, 1877 - February 2, 1963) worked as a musical director and composer on the musical state and for several motion pictures. His wife, Helen C. Tours (November 14, 1894 - January 9, 1974) is interred with him at Westwood Village Cemetery.

    Adapted from The Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre by Kurt Gänzl:
    Frank Edward Tours was born in London, 1 September 1877. He died in Los Angeles, 2 February 1963. He was a conductor, arranger, orchestrator and sometime composer to the musical stage on both sides of the Atlantic.
    The son of the well-known conductor, composer and arranger Berthold Tours, Frank Tours studied music at the Royal College of Music in London and was employed thereafter, for many years, as a theatre conductor. At the age of 21 he was musical director for Marie Lloyd's tour of Granville Bantock's musical comedy The ABC, and over the next 20 years he conducted shows in a series of London theatres (Lady Madcap, The Little Cherub, The Gay Cordons, The Dashing Little Duke, Captain Kidd, Irene et al) and, latterly and increasingly, in American houses (The Kiss Waltz, Tonight's the Night, Follow Me, Irene, Love o' Mike, Rock-a-Bye Baby, The Lady in Red, Mecca, several editions of the Ziegfeld Follies, Smiles, Face the Music, As Thousands Cheer, Jubilee, the Music Box Revues, Red, Hot and Blue etc). He was also, for a period, musical director at the Plaza picture theatre in London.
    As a composer, he made an early attempt at comic opera with a musical version of The Lady of Lyons, but he was best known as an adept at the additional number, composing songs or part-scores for such pieces as Mr Wix of Wickham, The Dairymaids, The Little Cherub, See See, The New Aladdin, Broadway's semi-British The Hoyden, and The Gay Cordons. He turned down the opportunity to write the full score for the last-named piece, but he did write the whole music for Seymour Hicks's subsequent The Dashing Little Duke, only to find it perforated with Jerome Kern numbers in the course of the run. After the limited success of this piece, he returned to composing piece-work and wrote individual songs for a number of further shows, including Mr. Manhattan (1916), Follow Me (1916),Mayflowers (1925) and Blue Eyes (1928) as well as for the music halls (Beyond the Sunset', 'Red Rose', 'In Flanders Fields'). His only other full score was that for the musical comedy Girl o' Aline (including a song 'Silver Lining'), produced by Elisabeth Marbury and the Shuberts for 48 performances in 1918 and then taken around America as The Victory Girl. He later adapted the British adaptation of Walzer aus Men for Broadway and spent six years working for Paramount Pictures in Britain and in America.
    In spite of his long period as a contributor to the musical stage, Tours's most successful single song was not a show number but his setting of Rudyard Kipling's 'Mother o' Mine' as performed by Richard Crooks et al.
    1901 Melnotte, or The Gardener's Bride (Arthur Anderson/ Herbert Shelley) Coronet Theater 30 September
    1902 Mr Wix of Wickham (w Frank Seddon, George Everard, Herbert Darnley/Darnley) Borough Theatre, Stratford East 21 July
    1906 The Dairymaids (w Paul Rubens/Rubens, Arthur Wimperis/Alexander M Thompson, Robert Courtneidge) Apollo Theatre 14 April
    1907 The Hoyden (w Rubens/Tristan Bernard ad Cosmo Hamilton) Knickerbocker Theater, New York 19 October
    1909 The Dashing Little Duke (Adrian Ross/Seymour Hicks) Hicks Theatre 17 February
    1910 Little Johnnie Jones (Preston Wayne/H M Vernon) 1 act Tottenham Palace 9 May
    1911 La Belle Paree (w Jerome Kern/Edward Madden/Edgar Smith) Winter Garden, New York 20 March
    1912 0-Mi-Iy (w Herman Finck/Hicks) 1 act London Hippodrome 25 March
    1918 Girl o' Mine (aka Oh Mama!) (w Augustus Barrett/Philip Bartholomae) Bijou Theater, New York 28 January
    1918 The Victory Girl revised Girl o' Mine (ad Alex Sullivan, Lynn Cowan) Syracuse, 16 November
    1920 Mimi (w Adolf Philipp/Edward Paulton/Paulton, Philipp) Shubert Belasco Theater, Washington 14 March

From IMDB:

Musical Department

The Brighton Strangler (composer: stock music - uncredited) 1943
Gildersleeve's Bad Day (composer: stock music - uncredited) 1943
Journey Into Fear (composer: stock music - uncredited) 1942
Seven Miles from Alcatraz (composer: stock music - uncredited) 1941
Lady Scarface (composer: stock music - uncredited) 1940
The Villain Still Pursued Her (musical director) 1940
Too Many Girls (orchestra conductor) 1940
Men Against the Sky (musical director) 1939
Conspiracy (musical director) 1939
Career (composer: stock music - uncredited) 1939
Almost a Gentleman (musical director) 1939
Beauty for the Asking (musical director) 1939
Boy Slaves (musical director) 1938
The Duke of West Point (musical director) 1938
Tarnished Angel (musical director) 1938
Smashing the Rackets (musical director) 1938
Mother Carey's Chickens (musical director) 1938
Joy of Living (musical director) 1938
Everybody's Doing It (musical director) 1937
She's Got Everything (musical director) 1937
Fight for Your Lady (composer: stock music - uncredited) / (musical director) 1935
The Scoundrel (musical director) 1934
Gambling (musical director) 1934
Crime Without Passion (music arranger) 1933
The Emperor Jones (musical director) 1931
Personal Maid (musical advisor - uncredited) 1931
One Heavenly Night (musical director) 1930
Laughter (musical director) 1929
Glorifying the American Girl (musical director - uncredited) 1929
The Cocoanuts (musical director)


Repent at Leisure (uncredited) 1940
The Villain Still Pursued Her (uncredited) 1940
Men Against the Sky (uncredited) 1940
Beyond Tomorrow 1939
Conspiracy 1939
Trouble in Sundown (uncredited) 1939
Beauty for the Asking (uncredited) 1939
Boy Slaves (uncredited) 1938
Smashing the Rackets (uncredited) 1938
Mother Carey's Chickens (uncredited) 1934
Crime Without Passion 1933
The Emperor Jones 1931
His Woman (uncredited) 1931
My Sin (uncredited) 1931
Night Angel (uncredited) 1929
Booklovers (Short) 1929
The Cocoanuts (uncredited) 


Flight for Freedom (music: "Sonny" - uncredited) 1941
Citizen Kane (music: "Theme" - uncredited) 1940
Beyond Tomorrow (writer: "Louisiana Lady" - uncredited) 1929
The Cocoanuts (writer: "BALLET MUSIC" (1929) - uncredited)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

"Guys and Dolls" Producer Samuel Goldwyn 1974 Forest Lawn Glendale Cemetery

Samuel Goldwyn (August 17, 1879 – January 31, 1974), also known as Samuel Goldfish, was a Jewish Polish American film producer. He was most well known for being the founding contributor and executive of several motion picture studios in Hollywood.[1] His awards include the 1973 Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award,[2] the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1947, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1958.

Early life

Goldwyn was born Szmuel Gelbfisz in Warsaw, Kingdom of Poland, Russian Empire, to a Hasidic, Polish Jewish family. His parents were Aaron Dawid Gelbfisz (1852-1895), a peddler, and his wife, Hanna Reban (née Jarecka) (1855-1924).[3] At an early age, he left Warsaw on foot and penniless. He made his way to Birmingham, England, where he remained with relatives for a few years using the name Samuel Goldfish. He was 16 when his father died.

In 1898, he emigrated to the United States, but fearing refusal of entry, he got off the boat in Nova Scotia, Canada, before moving on to New York in January 1899. He found work in upstate Gloversville, New York, in the bustling garment business. Soon his innate marketing skills made him a very successful salesman at the Elite Glove Company. After four years, as vice-president for sales, he moved back to New York City and settled at 10 West 61st Street.[4]


In 1913, Goldwyn along with his brother-in-law Jesse L. Lasky, Cecil B. DeMille, and Arthur Friend formed a partnership, The Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company, to produce feature-length motion pictures. Film rights for the stage play The Squaw Man were purchased for $4,000 and Dustin Farnum was hired for the leading role. Shooting for the first feature film made in Hollywood began on December 29, 1913.[5]

In 1914, Paramount was a film exchange and exhibition corporation headed by W. W. Hodkinson. Looking for more movies to distribute, Paramount signed a contract with the Lasky Company on June 1, 1914 to supply 36 films per year. One of Paramount's other suppliers was Adolph Zukor's Famous Players Company. The two companies merged on June 28, 1916 forming The Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. Zukor had been quietly buying Paramount stock, and two weeks prior to the merger, became president of Paramount Pictures Corporation and had Hodkinson replaced with Hiram Abrams, a Zukor associate.[6]

With the merger, Zukor became president of both Paramount and Famous Players-Lasky, with Goldwyn being named chairman of the board of Famous Players-Lasky, and Jesse Lasky first vice-president. After a series of conflicts with Zukor, Goldwyn resigned as chairman of the board, and as member of the executive committee of the corporation on September 14, 1916. Goldwyn was out as an active member of management, although he still owned stock and was a member of the board of directors. Famous Players-Lasky would later become part of Paramount Pictures Corporation, and Paramount would become one of Hollywood's major studios.[7]

Goldwyn Pictures

In 1916, Goldwyn partnered with Broadway producers Edgar and Archibald Selwyn, using a combination of both names to call their movie-making enterprise Goldwyn Pictures. Seeing an opportunity, Samuel Gelbfisz then had his name legally changed to Samuel Goldwyn, which he used for the rest of his life. Goldwyn Pictures proved successful but it is their "Leo the Lion" trademark for which the organization is most famous.

On April 10, 1924, Goldwyn Pictures was acquired by Marcus Loew and merged into his Metro Pictures Corporation. Despite the inclusion of his name, Goldwyn had no role in the management or production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Samuel Goldwyn Productions

Before the sale and merger of Goldwyn Pictures in April 1924, Goldwyn had established Samuel Goldwyn Productions in 1923 as a production-only operation (with no distribution arm). Their first feature was Potash and Perlmutter, released in September 1923 through First National Pictures. Some of the early productions bear the name "Howard Productions," named for Goldwyn's wife Frances Howard.

For 35 years, Goldwyn built a reputation in filmmaking and developed an eye for finding the talent for making films. William Wyler directed many of his most celebrated productions, and he hired writers such as Ben Hecht, Sidney Howard, Dorothy Parker, and Lillian Hellman. (According to legend, at a heated story conference Goldwyn scolded someone—in most accounts Mrs. Parker, who recalled he had once been a glove maker—with the retort: "Don't you point that finger at me. I knew it when it had a thimble on it!" Another time, when he demanded a script that ended on a happy note, she said: "I know this will come as a shock to you, Mr. Goldwyn, but in all history, which has held billions and billions of human beings, not a single one ever had a happy ending."[8])

During that time, Goldwyn made numerous films and reigned as the most successful independent producer in the US. Many of his films were forgettable; his collaboration with John Ford, however, resulted in Best Picture Oscar nomination for Arrowsmith (1931). William Wyler was responsible for most of Goldwyn's highly lauded films, with Best Picture Oscar nominations for Dodsworth (1936), Dead End (1937), Wuthering Heights (1939), The Little Foxes (1941) and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). The leading actors in several of Goldwyn films, especially those directed by William Wyler, were also Oscar-nominated for their performances.

Throughout the 1930s, Goldwyn released all his films through United Artists, but beginning in 1941, and continuing almost through the end of his career, Goldwyn released his films through RKO Radio Pictures.


In 1946, the year he was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, Goldwyn's drama The Best Years of Our Lives, starring Myrna Loy, Fredric March, Teresa Wright and Dana Andrews, won the Academy Award for Best Picture. In the 1950s Samuel Goldwyn turned to making a number of musicals including the 1952 hit Hans Christian Andersen (his last with Danny Kaye, with whom he had made many others), and the 1955 hit Guys and Dolls starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra, and Vivian Blaine, which was based on the equally successful Broadway musical. This was the only independent film that Goldwyn ever released through MGM.

In his final film, made in 1959, Samuel Goldwyn brought together African-American actors Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Pearl Bailey in a film rendition of the George Gershwin opera, Porgy and Bess. Released by Columbia Pictures, the film was nominated for three Oscars, but won only one. It was also a critical and financial failure, and the Gershwin family reportedly disliked the film and eventually pulled it from distribution. The film turned the opera into an operetta with spoken dialogue in between the musical numbers. Its reception was a huge disappointment to Goldwyn, who, according to biographer Arthur Marx, saw it as his crowning glory and had wanted to film Porgy and Bess since he first saw it onstage in 1935.


In 1957, Goldwyn was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes. On March 27, 1971, Goldwyn was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon.[9]


Goldwyn died at his home in Los Angeles in 1974 from natural causes, at the probable age of 94. He was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.[10] In the 1980s, Samuel Goldwyn Studio was sold to Warner Bros.. There is a theater named after him in Beverly Hills and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1631 Vine Street.


From 1910 to 1915, Goldwyn was married to Blanche Lasky, a sister of Jesse L. Lasky. The marriage produced a daughter, Ruth. 

In 1925, he married actress Frances Howard to whom he remained married for the rest of his life. 

Their son, Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., would eventually join his father in the business.


Samuel Goldwyn's grandchildren include:

Francis Goldwyn, founder of the Manhattan Toy Company and Managing Member of Quorum Associates LLC 
Tony Goldwyn, actor, producer and director. currently starring as President Fitzgerald Grant III in Scandal (TV series) 
John Goldwyn, film producer Peter Goldwyn, the current vice-president of Samuel Goldwyn films 
Catherine Goldwyn, created Sound Art, a non-profit organization that teaches popular music all over Los Angeles 
Liz Goldwyn, has a film on HBO called Pretty Things, featuring interviews with queens from the heyday of American burlesque;[11][12] her book, an extension of the documentary titled, Pretty Things: The Last Generation of American Burlesque Queens, was published in October 2006 by HarperCollins.[13] 


Goldwyn's relatives include Fred Lebensold (see Lebensold Family), an award-winning architect (best known as the designer of multiple concert halls in Canada and the United States). Fred was the son of Sam's younger sister, Manya (who, despite the best efforts of Sam and his brother Ben in 1939 and 1940, could not be extricated from the Warsaw Ghetto and perished in the Holocaust).

The Samuel Goldwyn Foundation

Samuel Goldwyn's will created a multimillion-dollar charitable foundation in his name. Among other endeavors, the Samuel Goldwyn Foundation funds the Samuel Goldwyn Writing Awards, provided construction funds for the Frances Howard Goldwyn Hollywood Regional Library, and provides ongoing funding for the Motion Picture andTelevision Country House and Hospital. The Samuel Goldwyn Company Several years after the Sr. Goldwyn's death, his son, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., initiated an independent film and television distribution company dedicated to preserving the integrity of Goldwyn's ambitions and work. In 1997, the company's assets were acquired by MGM.


Samuel Goldwyn was also known for malapropisms, paradoxes, and other speech errors called 'Goldwynisms' ("A humorous statement or phrase resulting from the use of incongruous or contradictory words, situations, idioms, etc.") being frequently quoted. For example, he was reported to have said, "I don't think anybody should write his autobiography until after he's dead."[14] and "Include me out." Some famous Goldwyn quotations are misattributions. For example, the statement attributed to Goldwyn that "a verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on" is actually a well-documented misreporting of an actual quote praising the trustworthiness of a colleague: "His verbal contract is worth more than the paper it's written on." The identity of the colleague is variously reported as Joseph M. Schenk[15] or Joseph L. Mankiewicz[16] Goldwyn himself was reportedly aware of—and pleased by—the misattribution.

Upon being told that a book he had purchased for filming, The Well of Loneliness, couldn't be filmed because it was about lesbians, he reportedly replied: "That's all right, we'll make them Hungarians." The same story was told about the 1934 rights to The Children's Hour with the response "That's okay; we'll turn them into Armenians."[17] Upon being told that a dictionary had included the word "Goldwynism" as synonym for malapropism, he raged: "Goldwynisms! They should talk to Jesse Lasky!"

Having many writers in his employ, Goldwyn may not have come up with all of these on his own. In fact Charlie Chaplin took credit for penning the line, "In two words: im-possible"; and the quote, "the next time I send a damn fool for something, I go myself," has also been attributed to Michael Curtiz.

In the Grateful Dead's Scarlet Begonias,[18] the line "I ain't often right but I've never been wrong" appears in the bridge—this is very similar to Goldwyn's "I’m willing to admit that I may not always be right, but I am never wrong."


1. Obituary Variety, February 6, 1974, p. 63. 
2. Jang, Meena (January 31, 2015). "Samuel Goldwyn: Remembering the Movie Mogul on the Anniversary of His Death". The Hollywood Reporter.
3. "Goldwyn". 
4. A. Scott Berg, Goldwyn, a Biography 
5. A.Scott Berg, Goldwyn, a Biography. pp. 31–35, 41. 
6. A.Scott Berg, Goldwyn, a Biography. pp. 49, 58 
7. A.Scott Berg, Goldwyn, a Biography. pp. 58, 59, 63 
8. Silverstein, Stuart Y., ed. (1996, paperback 2001). Not Much Fun: The Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker. New York: Scribner. p. 42, n. 75. ISBN 0-7432-1148-0.
9. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Richard Nixon, 1971. 1971. p. 490. ISBN 0160588634.
10. Samuel Goldwyn at Find a Grave 
11. Pretty Things at the Internet Movie Database 
12. "Pretty Things". Liz Goldwyn Films.
13. Pretty Things: The Last Generation of American Burlesque Queens. Google Books. 
14. Quoted in Arthur Marx, Goldwyn: The Man Behind the Myth (1976), prologue. 
15. Paul F. Boller, John George, They Never Said It (1990), p. 42. 
16. Carol Easton, The Search for Sam Goldwyn (1976). 
17. These Three 18. "The Annotated "Scarlet Begonias"".

"Dead Reckoning" Actress Lizabeth Scott Dies at Cedars-Sinai 2015

Lizabeth Virginia Scott (September 29, 1922 – January 31, 2015) was an American film actress, known for her "smoky voice" and "the most beautiful face of film noir during the 1940s and 1950s." After understudying the role of Sabina in the original Broadway and Boston stage productions of The Skin of Our Teeth, she emerged internationally in such films as The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), Dead Reckoning (1947), Desert Fury (1947) and Too Late for Tears (1949). Of her 22 feature films, she was leading lady in all but one. In addition to stage and radio, she appeared on television from the late 1940s to early 1970s.

Lizabeth Scott died of congestive heart failure at the age of 92 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on January 31, 2015. Lizabeth Scott has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to motion pictures at 1624 Vine Street in Hollywood.

"Ryan's Daughter" Actor Christopher Jones 2014 Hollywood Forever Cemetery

William Frank Jones, better known as Christopher Jones (August 18, 1941 – January 31, 2014), was an American stage, movie, and television actor from Jackson, Tennessee.[1]

Early life

He was born in Jackson, Tennessee, where his father was a grocery clerk and his mother Robbie was an artist. Jones father admitted her to the State Hospital in Bolivar, Tennessee, in 1945 for holding a gun to his head after he was caught being unfaithful. Jones and his brother were then placed in Boys Town in Memphis, where he became a fan of James Dean after being told he bore a resemblance to him. He then joined the Army, but went AWOL and after serving a sentence in a military prison he moved to New York where he began his acting career. His mother died when he was 19.[2]

Acting career

Jones (adopting the stage name Christopher) made his Broadway debut on December 17, 1961, in Tennessee Williams's The Night of the Iguana, directed by Frank Corsaro and starring Shelley Winters. Winters introduced Jones to actress Susan Strasberg, the daughter of Method acting progenitor Lee Strasberg. Jones later studied at Strasberg's Actors Studio. Despite friction with Lee, Jones married Susan in 1965. The couple had a daughter, Jennifer Robin Jones, in 1966, named as a tribute to actress Jennifer Jones.

Moving to Hollywood, Jones was cast in the title role of ABC's television series The Legend of Jesse James (produced by 20th Century Fox), which ran for 34 episodes in the 1965–66 season. When the series ended, he accepted the title role in the 1967 movie Chubasco, with Susan Strasberg playing his character's lover/wife. Their real marriage did not survive the filming, and they divorced in 1968.[3]

Jones's next acting role, as rock star and presidential aspirant Max Frost in the film Wild in the Streets (1968), costarring Shelley Winters, propelled him to the peak of his fame. 

He appeared later in the same year with Yvette Mimieux in the sex comedy Three in the Attic

Jones also became friends with actress Sharon Tate and her husband Roman Polanski. He later recounted that he had an affair with Tate while she was pregnant with Polanski's child and that she had a premonition of her death (she was murdered by members of the Manson family).[4]

After two films in Europe with Pia Degermark (The Looking Glass War and Brief Season, both 1969), Jones was cast by director David Lean in Ryan's Daughter (1970). The two men had a difficult relationship, as did many actors who worked with David Lean. This intensified when production of the film took 12 months instead of the expected six because David Lean would wait for the right composition of clouds or the perfect storm to brew. Unknown to Christopher, he was drugged during his filming of Ryan's Daughter by Sarah Miles, according to her first autobiography A Right Royal Bastard, which caused Christopher to believe he was having a breakdown. Jones also was involved in a car crash,[5] not knowing he had been drugged. The director and producers never informed him of the drugging. Later, Lean would dub his voice, causing a bad reputation for Jones (Beyond the Epic: The Life and Films of David Lean). This took a personal toll on Jones, who returned from Ireland to California after filming ended (staying for a time in his manager Rudy Altobelli's guest house, the cottage behind the house where Tate had died), and abandoned his acting career.[6] He engaged in a few long-term relationships, did painting, art deco, and Roman classic sculpting in clay and had a family life, living quietly at the beach with his children.

Later life

Jones was offered the part of Zed in Pulp Fiction (1994) by director Quentin Tarantino, but he turned it down.[7] He made a final screen appearance in crime comedy Mad Dog Time (1996) for his friend director/actor Larry Bishop, who appeared in Christopher's first movie Wild in the Streets. In his later years, he had a career as an artist and sculptor. His works included an oil painting of Rudolph Valentino that was displayed at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.[6]


Christopher Jones died on January 31, 2014, at the age of 72, due to complications arising from gallbladder cancer.[6] He is entombed at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. He is survived by seven children, Jennifer Strasberg, Christopher Jones Jr., Jeromy McKenna, Delon Jones, Tauer Jones, Calin Jones, and Seagen Jones.[1]


1. Vitello, Paul (February 8, 2014). "Christopher Jones, Actor who Quit Field, Dies at 72". The New York Times. 
2. Christopher Jones Biography at cinetropic
3. Jan E. Morris "Christopher Jones - Wild at Heart" 
4. Das, Linda. "The final affair of Roman Polanski's murdered wife Sharon Tate". Daily Mail. 
5. Phillips, Gene (2006). Beyond the Epic: The Life and Films of David Lean. p. 383. 
6. Barnes, Mike (February 1, 2014). "'Ryan's Daughter' Star Christopher Jones Dies at 72". The Hollywood Reporter. . 
7. Colker, David (February 4, 2014). "Christopher Jones dies at 72; actor quit at peak of career". The Los Angeles Times.