Friday, July 3, 2015

"The Three Stooges" Actor Curly "Curly Joe" DeRita 1993 Valhalla Cemetery

Joe "Curly Joe" DeRita (July 12, 1909 – July 3, 1993), born Joseph Wardell, was an American actor and comedian who is best known for his stint as the sixth member of the Three Stooges, and the second to be billed as Curly, under the persona of "Curly Joe."

Early life

DeRita was born into a show-business family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Florenz (DeRita) and Frank Wardell, and of French-Canadian and English ancestry.[2] He was the youngest of his 5 brothers. Wardell's father was a stage technician, his mother a professional stage dancer, and the three often acted on stage together from his early childhood. Taking his mother's maiden name, DeRita, the actor joined the burlesque circuit during the 1920s, gaining fame as a comedian. During World War II, DeRita joined the USO, performing through Britain and France with such celebrities as Bing Crosby and Randolph Scott.

Career with the Three Stooges

The Three Stooges (Curly Howard, Larry Fine and Moe Howard) had been making short comedies for Columbia Pictures since 1934. Curly suffered a stroke on May 6, 1946, forcing him to retire. He died on January 18, 1952 at the age of 48. His brother Shemp Howard, the original third Stooge before leaving the act in 1932 for a solo career, only wanted to be a temporary replacement. Joe DeRita was also starring in his own series at Columbia (in such entries as The Good Bad Egg, Wedlock Deadlock, Slappily Married, and Jitter Bughouse). Stooges producer-director Jules White attempted to recruit Joe DeRita for the Three Stooges, because he wanted "another Curly." However, the strong-willed DeRita refused to change his act or imitate another performer, and White eventually gave up on DeRita (DeRita's own short-subject contract was not renewed after four films, the final entry being Jitter Bughouse).[3] DeRita returned to burlesque, and recorded a risque LP in 1950 called Burlesque Uncensored.

When Shemp Howard died unexpectedly of a Heart Attack on November 22, 1955 at age 60, he was succeeded by Joe Besser. Columbia eventually shut down the short-subjects department at the end of 1957, and Besser quit the act to take care of his ailing wife. The two remaining Stooges seriously considered retirement. Then Columbia's television subsidiary, Screen Gems, syndicated the Stooges' old comedies to television, and The Three Stooges were suddenly television superstars.

Moe and Larry now had many job offers, but were in need of a "third Stooge." Larry had seen DeRita in a Las Vegas stage engagement, and told Moe that DeRita would be "perfect for the third Stooge." Howard and Fine invited DeRita to join the act, and this time he readily accepted. When he first joined the act in 1958 (shortly after appearing in a dramatic role in the Gregory Peck western, The Bravados), DeRita wore his hair in a style similar to that of former Stooge Shemp Howard, and did so during initial live stage performances. However, with television's restored popularity of the Three Stooges shorts featuring Curly Howard, it was suggested that Joe shave his head in order to look more like "Curly." At first, DeRita sported a crew cut; this eventually became a fully shaven head. Because of his physical resemblance to both Curly and Joe Besser, and to avoid confusion with his predecessors, DeRita was renamed Curly Joe.

The team embarked on a new series of six theatrical Three Stooges films, including 1959's Have Rocket, Will Travel (DeRita's on-screen debut with the Stooges) and Snow White and the Three Stooges. Aimed primarily at children, these films rarely reached the same comedic heights as their shorts and often recycled routines and songs from the older films. (Moe and Larry's advanced ages - Moe was 62 and Larry 57 at the time of the first Curly Joe film - plus pressure from the PTA and other children's advocates, led to the toning-down of the trio's trademark violent slapstick.) While DeRita's physical appearance was vaguely reminiscent of the original "Curly," his characterization was milder, and not as manic or surreal. Curly Joe also showed a bit more backbone, even occasionally talking back to Moe, calling him "buddy boy."

Through the 1960s, DeRita remained a member of the team, participating in animated cartoons (with live-action introductions) and a failed television pilot titled Kook's Tour. However, Larry Fine suffered a paralyzing stroke in January 1970 (thus he died on January 24, 1975 at 72) during production of Kook's Tour, putting all new Stooges-related material on hold. Emil Sitka was named as "the middle stooge", but never got to perform with the team. Before Moe's death on May 4, 1975 at age 77, the Stooges (with Sitka succeeding the deceased Larry) had planned to film an R-rated movie called The Jet Set (later produced with the surviving members of the Ritz Brothers and released as Blazing Stewardesses).

In the 1970s, at an ailing Moe's suggestion, DeRita attempted to form a truly "new" Three Stooges. He recruited burlesque and vaudeville veterans Mousie Garner and Frank Mitchell, who had worked with original Stooges organizer Ted Healy decades earlier in an abortive attempt to replace the Stooges after they had split from Healy (Mitchell had also actually replaced Shemp as the "third stooge" in a 1929 Broadway play), to replace Moe and Larry for nightclub engagements, but DeRita himself was eventually forced by health issues to retire, ending the group.

On August 30, 1983, the Three Stooges received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Joe Besser was the only stooge to show up at the ceremony because of DeRita's illness; Stooges co-actor Emil Sitka spoke for him. Sometime after the new star award, Besser eventually fell ill with Heart Failure which led to his death on March 1, 1988 at age 80.

Personal life

DeRita was married to a chorus girl named Bonnie Brooks in 1935. After her death in 1965, he married Jean Sullivan.

DeRita is unique among all of the people to have been a member of The Three Stooges in that he was not Jewish.


On July 3, 1993, DeRita died of pneumonia at age 83, at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California where Curly and Larry had died previously, nine days before DeRita's 84th birthday. [4] DeRita is interred in a grave at the Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, California; his tombstone reads "The Last Stooge," as he outlived Joe Besser by 5 years (although Emil Sitka died in 1998 and Mousie Garner died in 2004, their position as "official" Stooges is debatable as they never appeared on screen in this capacity).


With Moe Howard and Larry Fine in 1959 Although DeRita enjoyed working with Moe and Larry and made a living doing it, he was not a fan of the Stooges' humor. He once told an interviewer the following:

“ I don't think the Stooges were funny. I'm not putting you on, I'm telling the truth — they were physical, but they just didn't have any humor about them. Take, for instance, Laurel and Hardy. I can watch their films and I still laugh at them and maybe I've seen them four or five times before. But when I see that pie or seltzer bottle, I know that it's not just lying around for no reason. It's going to be used for something. I was with the Stooges for 12 years and it was a very pleasant association but I just don't think they were funny.[5] ”

Despite his indifference to the team's brand of comedy, he had nothing but respect and appreciation for the Stooges, proudly saying "Moe and Larry were the best. We worked well together and enjoyed every minute of it."[5]

In popular culture

In the spring of 2000, ABC aired a made-for-television movie about the Stooges, with actor Peter Callan playing the role of Joe DeRita.


1. Reighter, Frank. The Three Stooges Journal #133 (2010) p. 5 
3. Forrester, Jeff (2004). The Three Stooges: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the Most Popular Comedy Team of All Time. Donaldson Books. 
 4. Pace, Eric (1993-07-05). "Curly-joe DeRita, 83, Last of the Three Stooges". The New York Times. 
 5. Lenburg, Jeff; Howard Maurer, Joan; Lenburg, Greg; (1982, rev. 2012). The Three Stooges Scrapbook, p. 59, 93, Citadel Press.

"Gilligan's Island" Actor Jim Backus 1989 Westwood Village Cemetery

James Gilmore "Jim" Backus (February 25, 1913 – July 3, 1989) was an American radio, television, film, and voice actor. Among his most famous roles are the voice of nearsighted cartoon character Mr. Magoo, the rich Hubert Updike III on the radio version of The Alan Young Show, Joan Davis's character's husband (a domestic court judge) on TV's I Married Joan, James Dean's character's father in Rebel Without a Cause and Thurston Howell, III on the 1960s sitcom Gilligan's Island. He also starred in his own show of one season, The Jim Backus Show, also known as Hot off the Wire. An avid golfer, Backus made the 36-hole cut at the 1964 Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournament.

Early life

James Gilmore Backus was born February 25, 1913, in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in Bratenahl, Ohio, a wealthy village surrounded by greater Cleveland. He was the son of Russell Gould Backus, a mechanical engineer,[1] and Daisy Taylor (née Gilmore) Backus. Backus attended Shaw High School in East Cleveland, Ohio. Backus was expelled from the Kentucky Military Institute for riding a horse through the mess hall.



Backus was acting on radio as early as 1940, playing the role of millionaire aviator Dexter Hayes on Society Girl on CBS.[2] He had an extensive career and worked steadily in Hollywood over five decades, often portraying characters with an "upper-crust," New England-like air, such as Thurston Howell, III in Gilligan's Island. He appeared in A Dangerous Profession (1949) (as well as narrating), Deadline – U.S.A. (1951), with Humphrey Bogart, Pat and Mike (1952), with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1957), and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963). He also made appearances on The Beverly Hillbillies (1962).

Backus was the voice of the nearsighted cartoon character Mr. Magoo. In 1952, he had a brief scene in Don't Bother to Knock with Marilyn Monroe. Years later, when Backus was a frequent talk show guest, he would recount the time Monroe urgently beckoned him into her dressing room. Once there, she exclaimed in her breathy voice, "Do Mr. Magoo!"

He frequently could be heard on prime-time radio programs in the postwar era, including The Jack Benny Program, and portrayed an exceedingly vain character named Hartley Benson on The Mel Blanc Show on the CBS Radio Network; as well as a similar character named Hubert Updike on The Alan Young Show on the NBC Radio Network. He also starred on the short lived variety program The Jim Backus Show on the ABC Radio Network in 1957 and 1958, when that network changed its name to the American Broadcasting Network (ABN) and tried out a "Live and Lively" format of "Big Time Radio" with orchestras and audiences. Backus costarred in the comedy show I Married Joan from 1952 to 1955, portraying the husband of Joan Davis.

In stark contrast to his usual affluent characters, he appeared on The Brady Bunch as an old gold prospector, a role he also played on a Gilligan's Island episode. He also appeared in the final season episode "The Hustler" in which he plays Mike's boss, Mr. Matthews.

Backus stayed with Gilligan's Island between 1964 and 1967 and did revivals of the TV series in TV films made between 1978 and 1982 (though in the third and final film, The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island, ill health forced him to only make a cameo appearance). He also did revivals of Mr. Magoo from 1964 to 1977, which included The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo and What's New, Mr. Magoo.

In 1977, Backus appeared in "Never Con a Killer," the pilot for the ABC crime drama The Feather and Father Gang.

Writing and recording

Backus and his wife, Henny Backus, co-wrote several humorous books, including: ...Only When I Laugh, his autobiography, Backus Strikes Back, a memoir, Forgive Us Our Digressions: An Autobiography, and What Are You Doing After the Orgy? — the title taken from a line Backus spoke in the 1965 film John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! He also co-wrote the 1971 family film Mooch Goes to Hollywood, about a dog who tries to become a movie star.

In the late 1950s, he made two novelty 45 rpm records, "Delicious" and "Cave Man." In 1974, a full-length comedy LP album was released on the DORE label under the title The Dirty Old Man, with sketches written by Bob Hudson and Ron Landry, who also appear on the album, along with voice-actress Jane Webb. Backus also played the voice of God in the recording of Truth of Truths, a 1971 rock opera based on the Bible.

Television commercials

Backus acted in several television commercials. As Mr. Magoo, he also helped advertise the General Electric line of products over the years.[3] He was also spokesman for La-Z-Boy furniture during the 1970s. In the late 1980s, he was reunited with former co-star Natalie Schafer in an advertisement for Orville Redenbacher's Popcorn. They reprized their roles from Gilligan's Island, but instead of still being shipwrecked, the setting was a luxurious study or den. Both performers were rather frail and this would be the last television appearance for both.


On July 3, 1989, Backus died in Los Angeles, California from complications of pneumonia, after suffering from Parkinson's disease for many years.[4] Backus was buried at the southwest corner of Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los Angeles.

Partial filmography

A-Lad-In His Lamp (1948) (uncredited voice) 
Father was a Fullback (1949) 
Easy Living (1949) 
The Great Lover (1949) 
A Dangerous Profession (1949) 
One Last Fling (1949) 
Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town (1950) 
M (1951) 
Bright Victory (1951) 
His Kind of Woman (1951) 
Half Angel (1951) 
Hollywood Story (1951) 
The Man with a Cloak (1951) 
I'll See You in My Dreams (1951) 
I Want You (1951) 
Here Come the Nelsons (1952) 
Deadline – U.S.A. (1952) 
Pat and Mike (1952) 
The Rose Bowl Story (1952) 
Don't Bother to Knock (1952) 
Androcles and the Lion (1952) 
Above and Beyond (1952) 
Angel Face (1953) 
I Love Melvin (1953) 
Francis in the Navy (1955) 
Rebel Without a Cause (1955) 
Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956) 
The Opposite Sex (1956) 
The Girl He Left Behind (1956) 
You Can't Run Away from It (1956) 
The Great Man (1956) 
Top Secret Affair (1957) 
Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) 
The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1957) 
Macabre (1958) 
Ask Any Girl (1959) 
The Wild and the Innocent (1959) 
Ice Palace (1960) 
The Horizontal Lieutenant (1962) 
Boys' Night Out (1962) 
Zotz! (1962) 
The Beverly Hillbillies (1962) 
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962) 
Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol (1962) (TV) (voice) 
Operation Bikini (1963) 
My Six Loves (1963) 
Critic's Choice (1963) 
Johnny Cool (1963) 
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) 
Sunday in New York (1963) 
The Wheeler Dealers (1963) 
Advance to the Rear (1964) 
Gilligan's Island (1964) 
Billie (1965) 
John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! (1965) 
Hurry Sundown (1967) 
Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? (1968) 
Hello Down There (1969) 
Wake Me When the War Is Over (1969) (TV) 
Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County (1970) 
Myra Breckinridge (1970) 
The Brady Bunch (1971) 
Now You See Him, Now You Don't (1972) 
Miracle on 34th Street (1973) 
The Girl Most Likely to... (1973) (TV) 
Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus (1974) (TV) (voice) 
Crazy Mama (1975) 
Friday Foster (1975) 
The Magic Pony (1975) (voice) 
Pete's Dragon (1977) 
Rescue from Gilligan's Island (1978) (TV) 
Angels' Brigade (1979) 
The Castaways on Gilligan's Island (1979) (TV) C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979) 
The Rebels (1979) 
The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island (1981) (TV) 
Slapstick of Another Kind (1982) 
Prince Jack (1985)


2. "Thursday's Highlights" (PDF). Radio and Television Mirror 13 (5): 50. March 1940. 
3. General Electric advertisement featuring Mr. Magoo. Life Magazine December 14, 1959 
4. Collins, Glenn (July 4, 1989). "Jim Backus, 76, Character Actor Best Known as Mr. Magoo, Dies". The New York Times.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Sweet Smell of Success" Writer Ernest Lehman 2005 Westwood Village Cemetery

Ernest Paul Lehman [1] (December 8, 1915 – July 2, 2005) was an American screenwriter.[2] He received six Academy Award nominations during his career, without a single win.[2] At the 73rd Academy Awards in 2001, he received an Honorary Academy Award for his ingenious and influential works for the screen that has inspired new generations of screenwriters and captivated filmmakers, actors, film critics, and audiences by the beauty of his screenwriting. He was the first screenwriter to receive that honor. The award was presented to him by friend and The Sound of Music star Julie Andrews.

Early years

Lehman was born in New York City, the son of Gertrude (Thorn) and Paul E. Lehman.[3] He was from a wealthy Jewish Long Island family whose fortunes were seriously affected by the Great Depression. Upon his graduation from College of the City of New York (The City College of New York), Lehman became a freelance writer. Lehman felt that freelancing was a "very nervous way to make a living" so he began writing copy for a publicity firm which focused on plays and celebrities. This experience helped form the basis of his 1957 film Sweet Smell of Success, which he co-wrote with Clifford Odets. Lehman wrote many short stories and novellas for magazines like Colliers, Redbook and Cosmopolitan. These attracted the attention of Hollywood and in the mid-1950s Paramount Pictures signed him to a writing contract. His first film, Executive Suite, was a success and he was asked to collaborate on the romantic comedy Sabrina, which also became a hit. Some of his most visible contributions to the Hollywood canon are the screenplay adaptations of West Side Story[2] and the mega-hit film version of The Sound of Music.[2]

Amateur Radio

Lehman held amateur radio callsign K6DXK. He was an active member of the Bel Air Repeater Association.

Collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock

In 1958, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had hired Hitchcock to make a film called The Wreck of the Mary Deare. Collaborating with Lehman, Hitchcock gave the studio North by Northwest instead. One of Lehman's only original screenplays, the film starred Cary Grant as Roger O. Thornhill, a Madison Avenue advertising executive who is mistaken for a government agent by a group of menacing spies (led by James Mason and Martin Landau). Lehman later said he intended North by Northwest to be "the Hitchcock picture to end all Hitchcock pictures." The writing process took Lehman an entire year, including several periods of writer's block as well as a trip to Mount Rushmore to do research for the film's climax.

North by Northwest was one of Lehman's greatest triumphs in Hollywood and a huge hit for Hitchcock. For his efforts, Lehman received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, as well as a 1960 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Motion Picture Screenplay.

Other projects

In addition to screenwriting, Lehman tried his hand at producing, and was among a distinct few in Hollywood who had faith in a film adaptation of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. He managed to persuade studio executive Jack L. Warner to allow him to take on the project, and the stark film was a critical sensation, garnering many Academy Award nominations. Lehman was nominated for an Academy Award for 1969's Hello, Dolly! starring Barbra Streisand.[2]

In 1972, Portnoy's Complaint, based on the novel by Philip Roth, was the first and only film Lehman directed.[2] Later, the 1976 screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's Family Plot earned Lehman a second Edgar Award. By 1979, Lehman had stopped writing screenplays aside from some television projects, turning down offers to write for Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs and Brian De Palma's Mission: Impossible. Lehman did complete adapted screenplays for two never-made films, one an adaptation of the Noël Coward classic Hay Fever, another a musical version of Zorba the Greek envisioned for director Robert Wise and actors Anthony Quinn and John Travolta.

In 1977, Lehman published the bestselling novel The French Atlantic Affair, about a group of unemployed, middle-class Americans who hijack a French cruise ship for a $35 million ransom. It was adapted as a TV miniseries in 1979.


Lehman died at UCLA Medical Center after a prolonged illness and was buried at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. He was survived by a wife, Laurie, and his son Jonathan, as well as two sons (Roger and Alan) from his first marriage.

Writing credits


Executive Suite (1954) 
Sabrina (with Billy Wilder and Samuel Taylor) (1954) 
The King and I (1956) 
Sweet Smell of Success (with Clifford Odets) (1954) (also Story) 
North by Northwest (1959) 
West Side Story (1961) 
The Prize (1963) 
The Sound of Music (1965) 
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) 
Hello, Dolly! (1969) 
Portnoy's Complaint (1972) (also Director) 
Family Plot (1976) 
Black Sunday (with Kenneth Ross and Ivan Moffatt) (1977) 


Sweet Smell of Success: And Other Stories, short stories (1957) 
The French Atlantic Affair, novel (1977) 
Screening Sickness and Other Tales of Tinsel Town, essays (1982) 
Farewell Performance, novel (1982)


Lehman received a total of six Academy Award nominations throughout his whole career, yet he failed to receive a single win. At the 73rd Academy Awards ceremony in 2001, he became the first screenwriter to receive an Honorary Academy Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Lehman did, however, receive more honorable recognition from the Writers Guild of America than any other screenwriter in film history.



2. Fox, Margalit (July 6, 2005). "Ernest Lehman, 89, Who Wrote 'North by Northwest,' Dies". The New York Times. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"Crossfire" Director Edward Dmytryk 1999 Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery

Edward Dmytryk (September 4, 1908 – July 1, 1999) was a Canadian-born American film director. He was known for his 1940s film noirs and received a nomination for Best Director Oscar for Crossfire (1947).

In 1947 he was named as one of the Hollywood Ten, a group of blacklisted film industry professionals who refused to testify to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in their investigations during the McCarthy-era 'Red scare'. They all served time in prison for contempt of Congress. In 1951, however, Dmytryk did testify to HUAC and rehabilitated his career.

First hired again by independent producer Stanley Kramer in 1952, Dmytryk is likely best known for directing The Caine Mutiny (1954), a critical and commercial success. The second highest-grossing film of the year, it was nominated for Best Picture and several other awards at the 1955 Oscars.[1] Dmytryk was nominated for a Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures.


Early life

Dmytryk was born in Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada, the son of Ukrainian immigrant parents. His family moved to San Francisco, California. After his mother died, his father, Michael Dmytryk, remarried. In San Francisco, the boy attended local schools and became interested in the developing film industry. He eventually reached Hollywood for work.

In 1939 at the age of 31, Dmytryk became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Film career, early years

Dmytryk made his directorial debut with The Hawk in 1935.[2] His best-known films from these early years were film noirs: Murder, My Sweet (1944), adapted from Raymond Chandler's novel, Farewell, My Lovely; and Crossfire (1947), for which he received a Best Director Oscar nomination. He made two World War II films: Hitler's Children (1943), the story of the Hitler Youth; and Back to Bataan (1945), starring John Wayne.

The "Hollywood Ten"

After the war, many Americans were alarmed by Soviet actions in Europe, and by reports of covert Communist activity in the U.S. This period has been dubbed the Second Red Scare. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) investigated Communist Party influence in the film industry, and Dmytryk was among those called to testify about it before HUAC in 1947. Dmytryk had briefly been a Communist Party member in 1945. He was persuaded by his former Party associates to join nine other Hollywood figures in a public refusal to testify. The "Hollywood Ten" were cited for contempt of Congress and sentenced to prison terms.[3]

Dmytryk fled to England and was unofficially ostracized. In England he made Give Us this Day (1949), a neo-realistic movie sympathetic to the working man, based on the novel Christ in Concrete. The movie, which was successful in Europe, was released as Christ in Concrete in the United States and quickly suppressed. When his passport ran out, Dmytryk returned to the United States, where he was arrested and imprisoned.

After several months behind bars, Dmytryk decided that he had been duped by the Communists. They had cost him exile and imprisonment so they could win sympathy for the "Ten" as persecuted innocents, although as Dmytryk knew, all ten were current or former Party members. He agreed to testify and to name people he knew were Communist Party members. On April 25, 1951, Dmytryk appeared before HUAC for the second time, answering all questions. He spoke of his own brief Party membership in 1945, and named 26 other Party members. He said that John Howard Lawson, Adrian Scott, Albert Maltz, and others had pressured him to include Communist elements in his films. His testimony damaged several court cases that others of the "Ten" had filed. He recounted his experiences of the period in his book, Odd Man Out: A Memoir of the Hollywood Ten (1996).

Return to Filmmaking

Independent American producer Stanley Kramer was the first to hire him again, choosing him to direct a trio of low-budget films beginning in 1952. Next Kramer selected Dmytryk to direct The Caine Mutiny (1954); the World War II-drama, adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Herman Wouk, was a critical and great commercial success. It was the second highest-grossing film of the year, and in 1955 received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor and other awards.

Through the 1950s and 1960s, Dmytryk continued to make films for major studios such as Columbia, 20th Century Fox, MGM and Paramount Pictures; his works in the 1950s included The Left Hand of God (1955), Raintree County (1957), The Young Lions (1958), and a 1959 remake of The Blue Angel.

Later in the 1960s and 1970s, he directed The Carpetbaggers (1964), Where Love Has Gone (1964) -both based on novels by Harold Robbins; Anzio (1968) - his last WWII film; Alvarez Kelly (1966), Shalako (1968), and Bluebeard (1972).

Later years

After his film career tapered off in the 1970s, Dmytryk entered academic life. He taught about film and directing at the University of Texas at Austin, and at the University of Southern California film school. He wrote several books on the art of filmmaking (such as On Film Editing). He also appeared on the lecture circuit, speaking at various colleges and theaters, such as the Orson Welles Cinema.

Dmytryk died from heart and kidney failure on July 1, 1999, aged 90, in Encino, California. He was buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in the Hollywood Hills.[4]

Personal life From 1948 until his death he was married to actress Jean Porter.


This filmography lists all the feature films Dmytryk directed, and is believed complete.

The Hawk (1935) 
Million Dollar Legs (uncredited; 1939) 
Television Spy (1939) 
Emergency Squad (1940) 
Golden Gloves (1940) 
Mystery Sea Raider (1940) 
Her First Romance (1940) 
The Devil Commands (1941) 
Under Age (1941) 
Sweetheart of the Campus (1941) 
The Blonde from Singapore (1941) 
Secrets of the Lone Wolf (1941) 
Confessions of Boston Blackie (1941) 
Counter-Espionage (1942) 
Seven Miles from Alcatraz (1942) 
Hitler's Children (1943) 
The Falcon Strikes Back (1943) 
Captive Wild Woman (1943) 
Behind the Rising Sun (1943) 
Tender Comrade (1943) 
Murder, My Sweet (1944) 
Back to Bataan (1945) 
Cornered (1945) 
Till the End of Time (1946) 
So Well Remembered (1947) 
Crossfire (1947) 
Obsession (1949) 
Give Us This Day (1949) 
The Sniper (1952) 
Mutiny (1952) 
Eight Iron Men (1952) 
The Juggler (1953) 
The Caine Mutiny (1954) 
Broken Lance (1954) 
The End of the Affair (1954) 
Soldier of Fortune (1955) 
The Left Hand of God (1955) 
The Mountain (1956) 
Raintree County (1957) 
The Young Lions (1958) 
The Blue Angel (1959) 
Warlock (1959) 
Walk on the Wild Side (1962) 
The Reluctant Saint (1962) 
The Carpetbaggers (1964) 
Where Love Has Gone (1964) 
Mirage (1965) 
Alvarez Kelly (1966) 
Anzio (1968) S
halako (1968) 
Bluebeard (1972) 
The 'Human' Factor (1975) 
He Is My Brother (1976)

Legacy and honors

1948, nominated for Best Director for Crossfire at the Oscars 
1955, The Caine Mutiny nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars 
1955, Dmytryk was nominated for a Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures.


1. "The 27th Academy Awards (1955) Nominees and Winners".  
2. Vallance, Tom (July 3, 1999). "Obituary: Edward Dmytryk". The Independent. 
3. "Hollywood Ten". Encyclopædia Britannica.  
4. Edward Dmytryk at Find a Grave

"The Odd Couple" Actor Walter Matthau 2000 Westwood Village Cemetery

Walter Matthau (October 1, 1920 – July 1, 2000) was an American actor best known for his role as Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple and his frequent collaborations with Odd Couple star Jack Lemmon, as well as his role as Coach Buttermaker in the 1976 comedy The Bad News Bears. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1966 Billy Wilder film The Fortune Cookie. Besides the Oscar, he was the winner of BAFTA, Golden Globe and Tony awards.

Early life

Matthau was born Walter John Matthow[2][3] on October 1, 1920, in New York City's Lower East Side, His mother, Rose (née Berolsky), was a Lithuanian Jewish immigrant who worked in a garment sweatshop, and his father, Milton Matthow, was a Russian Jewish peddler and electrician, from Kiev.[4][5][6] As part of a lifelong love of practical jokes, Matthau himself created the rumors that his middle name was Foghorn and his last name was originally Matuschanskayasky (under which he is credited for a cameo role in the film Earthquake).[7]

As a young boy, Walter attended a Jewish non-profit sleepaway camp, Tranquillity Camp, where he first began acting in the shows the camp would stage on Saturday nights. He also attended Surprise Lake Camp. His high school was Seward Park High School.[8] He had a brief career as a Yiddish Theater District concessions stand cashier.[9]


During World War II, Matthau served in the U.S. Army Air Forces with the Eighth Air Force in England as a B-24 Liberator radioman-gunner, in the same 453rd Bombardment Group as James Stewart. He was based at RAF Old Buckenham during this time. He reached the rank of staff sergeant and became interested in acting. He took classes in acting at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School with German director Erwin Piscator. He often joked that his best early review came in a play where he posed as a derelict. One reviewer said, "The others just looked like actors in make-up, Walter Matthau really looks like a skid row bum!" Matthau was a respected stage actor for years in such fare as Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? and A Shot in the Dark. He won the 1962 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a play.

In 1952, Matthau appeared in the pilot of Mr. Peepers with Wally Cox. For reasons unknown he used the name Leonard Elliot. His role was of the gym teacher Mr. Wall. In 1955, he made his motion picture debut as a whip-wielding bad guy in The Kentuckian opposite Burt Lancaster.

Matthau appeared as a villain in subsequent movies, such as 1958's King Creole (in which he is beaten up by Elvis Presley). That same year, he made a western called Ride a Crooked Trail with Audie Murphy and Onionhead starring Andy Griffith and Erin O'Brien, which was a flop. Matthau had a featured role opposite Griffith in the well received drama A Face in the Crowd, directed by Elia Kazan. Matthau also directed a low-budget 1960 movie called The Gangster Story. In 1962, he was a sympathetic sheriff in Lonely are the Brave, which starred Kirk Douglas. He appeared opposite Audrey Hepburn in Charade.

Appearances on television were common too, including two on ABC's police drama, Naked City, as well as the 1963 episode "A Tumble from a Tall White House" of The Eleventh Hour. He appeared eight times between 1962 and 1964 on The DuPont Show of the Week and as Franklin Gaer in 1964 in the episode "Man Is a Rock" on Dr. Kildare. Lastly, he starred in the syndicated crime drama Tallahassee 7000, as a Florida-based state police investigator, in the 1961–1962 season.

Comedies were rare in Matthau's work at that time. He was cast in a number of stark dramas, such as 1964's Fail-Safe, in which he portrayed Pentagon adviser Dr. Groeteschele, who urges an all-out nuclear attack on the Soviet Union in response to an accidental transmission of an attack signal to U.S. Air Force bombers, in the tense and timely cold-war thriller.

In 1965, however, a plum comedy role came Matthau's way when Neil Simon cast him in the hit play The Odd Couple, playing the slovenly sportswriter Oscar Madison, opposite Art Carney as Felix Ungar. Matthau later reprised the role in the film version, opposite Jack Lemmon as Felix Ungar. 

Also in 1965, he played detective Ted Casselle in the Hitchcockian thriller Mirage, with Gregory Peck and Diane Baker, a film directed by Edward Dmytryk, based on a novel by Howard Fast.

He achieved great film success in a 1966 comedy as a shyster lawyer called William H. "Whiplash Willie" Gingrich starring opposite Lemmon in The Fortune Cookie, the first of numerous collaborations with Billy Wilder, and a role that would earn him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Filming had to be placed on a five-month hiatus after Matthau suffered a serious heart attack. He gave up his three pack a day smoking habit as a result.[10]

Matthau was visibly banged up during the Oscar telecast, having been involved in a bicycle accident; nonetheless, he scolded actors who had not bothered to come to the ceremony, especially the other major award winners that night: Elizabeth Taylor, Sandy Dennis and Paul Scofield.

Oscar nominations would come Matthau's way again for 1971's Kotch, directed by Lemmon, and 1975's The Sunshine Boys, another Simon vehicle transferred from the stage, this one about a pair of former vaudeville stars. For the latter role he won a Golden Globe award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.

Broadway hits turned into films continued to cast Matthau in the leads with 1969's Hello, Dolly! and that same year's Cactus Flower, for which co-star Goldie Hawn received an Oscar. He played three roles in the 1971 film version of Simon's Plaza Suite and was in the cast of its followup California Suite in 1978.

Matthau starred in three crime dramas in the mid-1970s, as a detective investigating a mass murder on a bus in The Laughing Policeman, as a bank robber on the run from the Mafia and the law in Charley Varrick and as a New York transit cop in the action-adventure The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. A change of pace about misfits on a Little League baseball team turned-out to be a solid hit in 1976, when Matthau starred as coach Morris Buttermaker in the comedy The Bad News Bears

In 1982, Matthau portrayed Herbert Tucker in I Ought to Be in Pictures, with Ann-Margret and Dinah Manoff, the daughter of Matthau's Plaza Suite co-star, Lee Grant.

Matthau played Albert Einstein in the film "IQ", also starring Tim Robbins and Meg Ryan. His partnership with Lemmon became one of the most successful pairings in Hollywood. They became lifelong friends after making The Fortune Cookie and would make a total of 10 movies together—11 counting Kotch, in which Lemmon has a cameo as a sleeping bus passenger. Apart from their many comedies, the two appeared (though not together) in the 1991 Oliver Stone drama about the presidential assassination, JFK. In 1992, he played the narrator in Doctor Seuss Video Classics: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Matthau played the role of Mr. Wilson in the 1993 movie Dennis the Menace.

Matthau and Lemmon reunited in 1993 for the surprise box-office hit comedy Grumpy Old Men, co-starring Ann-Margret, and the 1995 sequel, Grumpier Old Men, that also co-starred Sophia Loren. This led to more pairings late in their careers, notably Out to Sea and a Simon-scripted sequel to one of their great successes, The Odd Couple II. Hanging Up, a 2000 film directed by Diane Keaton, was Matthau's final appearance onscreen.

Personal life


Matthau was married twice; first to Grace Geraldine Johnson from 1948 to 1958, and then from 1959 until his death in 2000 to Carol Marcus. He had two children, Jenny and David, by his first wife, and a son, Charlie Matthau, with his second wife. David is a radio news reporter, currently at WKXW "New Jersey 101.5" in Trenton, New Jersey. Jenny is president of the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. Matthau also helped raise his stepchildren, Aram Saroyan and Lucy Saroyan. His grandchildren include William Matthau, an engineer, and Emily Rose Roman, a student at SUNY Binghamton. Charlie Matthau directed his father in The Grass Harp (1995).

Health problems

A heavy smoker and drinker, Matthau suffered a heart attack in 1966, the first of at least three in his lifetime. In 1976, ten years after his first heart attack, he underwent heart bypass surgery. After working in freezing Minnesota weather for Grumpy Old Men in 1993, he was hospitalized for double pneumonia. In December 1995 he had a colon tumor removed; it tested benign. He was also hospitalized in May 1999 for more than two months after another bout of pneumonia.[10] In November 1999, he was diagnosed with colon cancer shortly after completing his final acting role Hanging Up.


Matthau was a compulsive gambler, who once estimated his lifetime losses as five million dollars.[11]


Matthau suffered from atherosclerotic heart disease and colon cancer, which spread to his liver, lungs and brain.[12] He died of a heart attack in Santa Monica on July 1, 2000. He was 79 years old.[13] His remains are interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Less than a year later, the remains of Jack Lemmon (who died of colon and bladder cancer) were buried at the same cemetery. After Matthau's death, Lemmon as well as other friends and relatives had appeared on Larry King Live in an hour of tribute and remembrance; many of those same people appeared on the show one year later, reminiscing about Lemmon.

Carol Marcus, also a native of New York, died of a brain aneurysm in 2003. Her remains are buried on top of Matthau's.

The remains of actor George C. Scott are buried to the left of those of Walter Matthau, in an unmarked grave, and Farrah Fawcett's remains are buried to the right.


1. Matthau, Walter - Oxford Dictionaries 
2. Edelman, Rob; Audrey E. Kupferberg (2002). Matthau: a life. Lanham, Maryland: Taylor Trade Publishing. p. 4. 
3. Wright, Stuart J. (2004). An emotional gauntlet: from life in peacetime America to the war in European skies. Terrace Books. p. 179. ISBN 0-299-20520-7. 
4. Stone, Judy (September 8, 1968). "Matthau – A Sex Symbol Or a Jewish Mother?". The New York Times ( \ 
5. "Walter Matthau profile at". 
 6. Gussow, Mel (July 2, 2000). "Walter Matthau, 79, Rumpled Star and Comic Icon, Dies". The New York Times ( 
 7. "Walter Matthau". October 19, 2005. 
 8. "Famous Alumni". Seward Park High School Alumni Association. 
 9. Cofone, Annie (June 8, 2012). "Strolling Back Into the Golden Age of Yiddish Theater". The New York Times ( 
13. "Actor Walter Matthau dies". BBC News (BBC).