Wednesday, January 16, 2008

35th Academy Awards

The 35th Academy Awards, honoring the best in film for 1962, were held on April 8, 1963 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California. They were hosted by Frank Sinatra. Sinatra almost missed the show because he forgot his parking sticker and was turned away from the arrivals area by security guards. He had to park his own car elsewhere and run to the auditorium, barely arriving in time.

The Best Picture winner, Lawrence of Arabia is an award-winning 1962 film based on the life of T. E. Lawrence. It was directed by David Lean (who also won his second Oscar for Directing) and produced by Austrian Sam Spiegel (through his British company, Horizon Pictures), from a script by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson (Lean and Spiegel had recently completed the acclaimed film, The Bridge on the River Kwai). The film stars Peter O'Toole in the title role. It is widely considered one of the greatest and most influential films in the history of filmmaking. The dramatic score by Maurice Jarre, and Super Panavision 70 cinematography by Freddie Young, are also hugely acclaimed. The film depicts Lawrence's experiences in Arabia during World War I, in particular his attacks on Aqaba and Damascus and his involvement in the Arab National Council. Its themes include Lawrence's emotional struggles with violence in war (especially the conflicts between Arabic tribes and the slaughter of the Turkish army), his personal identity, and his divided allegiance between his native Britain and its army, and his newfound comrades within the Arabian desert tribes. The film is unusual in having no women in speaking roles. The use of the locations in Almería, Spain for the train sequences and others made that region popular with international film makers. Most famously, it became the setting of virtually all of the Spaghetti Westerns of the '60s and '70s, specifically those of Sergio Leone.

The Best Actor Oscar went to Gregory Peck. He was one of 20th Century Fox's most popular film stars, from the 1940s to the 1960s, and played important roles well into the 1990s. One of his most notable performances was as Atticus Finch in the 1962 film version of To Kill a Mockingbird, for which he won his Academy Award. President Lyndon Johnson honored Peck with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 for his lifetime humanitarian efforts. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Peck among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time, ranking at No. 12. Peck's first film, Days of Glory, was released in 1944. Though many critics initially dismissed Peck's acting as wooden, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor five times, four of which came in his first five years of film acting: for The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Yearling (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), and Twelve O'Clock High (1949). Among his other popular films were Moby Dick (1956 film),On the Beach, which brought to life the terrors of global nuclear war, The Guns of Navarone (1961), and Roman Holiday (1953), with Audrey Hepburn in her Oscar-winning role. Peck and Hepburn were close friends until her death; Peck even introduced her to her first husband, Mel Ferrer. Peck once again teamed up with director William Wyler in the epic Western "The Big Country" (1958), which he co-produced. Peck won the Academy award with his fifth nomination, playing Atticus Finch, a Depression-era lawyer and widowed father, in a film adaptation of the Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Released in 1962 during the height of the US civil rights movement in the South, this movie and his role were Peck's favorites. In 2003, Atticus Finch was named the top film hero of the past 100 years by the American Film Institute. He served as the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1967, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Film Institute from 1967 to 1969, Chairman of the Motion Picture and Television Relief Fund in 1971, and National Chairman of the American Cancer Society in 1966.Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum and Martin Balsam all had roles in the 1991 remake of Cape Fear directed by Martin Scorsese. All three were in the original 1962 version. Peck retired from active film-making in 1991. Like Cary Grant before him, Peck spent the last few years of his life touring the world doing speaking engagements in which he would show clips from his movies, reminisce, and answer questions from the audience. He came out of retirement to appear in the 1998 remake of one of his most famous films, Moby Dick, portraying Father Mapple (played by Orson Welles in the 1956 version), with Patrick Stewart as Captain Ahab, the role Peck played in the earlier film. Before his death he spent his final afternoons combining two of his life's greatest passions, making a positive impact on youth's minds and animation, as he babysat over 200 kids in his mansion on weekday afternoons, watching cartoons with them all. In October of 1942, Peck married Finnish-born Greta Kukkonen with whom he had three sons.They were divorced on December 30, 1955 and maintained a very good relationship as parents. Their sons are Jonathan, Stephen and Carey Peck. Jonathan Peck, a television news reporter, committed suicide in 1975. Stephen Peck is active in support of American veterans from the Vietnam war and Stephen's first wife Kimi Peck is an accomplished screenplay writer. Gregory supported Carey's political ambitions when running for a California Representative. Carey's wife Lita Albuquerque is an outstanding artist. On December 31, 1955, he married his second wife, Veronique Passani, a Paris news reporter who had interviewed him in 1953 before he went to Italy to film Roman Holiday. He asked her to lunch six months later and they became inseparable. They had a son Anthony Peck, and a daughter Cecilia Peck. Peck had many grandchildren from both marriages. Stephen has a daughter named Marisa, and a younger son named Ethan. Carey has four children, three daughters Marisa, Isabelle, and Jasmine, and a son Christopher. Anthony has a son, Zack, with model Cheryl Tiegs. Cecilia has two children with writer Daniel Voll, son Harper and daughter Ondine.On June 12, 2003, Peck died in his sleep from cardiorespiratory arrest, and bronchial pneumonia, at the age of 87 at Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California (the accuracy of this fact is as of now contested, see comment below). His wife of 48 years was at his side.

The Best Actress award went to Anne Bancroft. In 1958 she appeared opposite Henry Fonda in the Broadway production of Two for the Seesaw, for which she won a Tony Award, and another in 1962 for The Miracle Worker. She took the latter role back to Hollywood, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1962. A highly acclaimed television special, "Annie: the Women in the Life of a Man" won her an Emmy award for her clowning, singing and acting. Bancroft is one of a very select few entertainers to win an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony award.Other major film roles were in The Pumpkin Eater, 7 Women, and what is unquestionably her best-known role, Mrs. Robinson, opposite Dustin Hoffman in the film The Graduate. Ironically, Bancroft, then only 36 years old, played opposite a 30-year-old Hoffman. Although Bancroft is now iconically identified as Mrs. Robinson, she was not the first choice for the role; Patricia Neal (who had recently suffered a stroke), Doris Day and Jeanne Moreau turned it down. Bancroft was ambivalent about her appearance in The Graduate; she stated in several interviews that the role overshadowed all of her other work. From July 1, 1953, to February 13, 1957, she was married to Martin May. The marriage produced no children.
In 1961, Bancroft met Mel Brooks in a rehearsal for the Perry Como variety show. Brooks bribed a studio employee to find out where she was having dinner so he could meet her again. Once Bancroft met Brooks, she went to her therapist and told him they had to conclude the therapy as fast as possible because she had met the man she was going to marry. They married on August 5, 1964, in New York City Hall and were together until her death. They had one son, Maximillian, in 1972. Bancroft died on June 6, 2005 of uterine cancer aged 73 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Her death came as a surprise to even some of Bancroft's friends; she was intensely private and had not released details of her illness.

The Best Supporting Actor award went to Ed Begley. Begley began his career as radio actor while in his teens, and then progressed to Broadway. His radio work included a stint as Charlie Chan and Stroke of Fate amongst other roles. He also starred in the 1950s radio program "Richard Diamond, Private Detective", playing Lieutenant Walter Levinson, head of homicide at the 5th Precinct, Manhattan. In the late 1940s, he began appearing regularly in supporting roles in films. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Sweet Bird of Youth (1962). Some of his other notable films include 12 Angry Men (1957) and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964). He also worked extensively in television, appearing in guest roles in such popular programs as Bonanza. He is the father of the actor and environmental advocate Ed Begley, Jr. He died of a heart attack in Hollywood, aged 69.

The Best Supporting Actress award was won by Patty Duke. Duke's first major role was playing Helen Keller (with Anne Bancroft as Annie Sullivan) in the Broadway play The Miracle Worker, which ran for nearly two years. Midway through the run, her name was placed above the title on the marquee. The play was subsequently made into a 1962 film, for which Duke received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. At 16, Duke was the youngest person at that time to receive an Academy Award in a competitive category. She is also one of only three actresses to win an Oscar for a non-speaking role, since Duke had no dialog other than grunts and screams in the film.At the age of 18, Duke married director Harry Falk who was 31 years old at the time. Duke's heavy drinking and drug abuse, coupled with suicide attempts and anorexia, stressed the marriage. Falk eventually began an affair that ended the marriage after four years. Duke quickly married rock promoter Michael Tell, whom she had literally just met. The marriage was annulled two weeks later. After her marriage to Michael Tell, Duke discovered she was pregnant with her first child.On February 25, 1971, she gave birth to her first son Sean. In 1972, actor John Astin married Duke, adopted her son and fathered her second son, Mackenzie, who was born in 1973. Duke and Astin worked together extensively during their marriage. For a time, Patty Duke added Astin to her professional name. The marriage and her children greatly improved her self confidence and her career. In 1985, Duke and Astin divorced, and in 1986 she married drill sergeant Michael Pearce, whom she met on the set of a TV movie, A Time to Triumph. The couple moved to Idaho and adopted a son together.

"Days of Wine and Roses" is a popular song, from the 1962 movie of the same name.
The music was written by Henry Mancini, the lyrics by Johnny Mercer. They received the Academy Award for Best Original Song for their work. The best-known recording of the song was by Andy Williams in 1963, but several other recording artists have done the song, including Perry Como and composer Henry Mancini.

Sundays and Cybele is a 1962 French film directed by Serge Bourguignon. Its original French title is Les dimanches de ville d'Avray (Sundays in Ville d'Avray), referring to the Ville-d'Avray suburb of Paris. The film tells the tragic story of a 12-year-old French orphan girl who is befriended by an innocent but emotionally disabled young French Vietnam War veteran. The film is based on a novel by Bernard Eschasseriaux, who collaborated on the screenplay. The movie won the Oscar as Best Foreign Language Film.


Anonymous said...

Gregory Peck passed away during his sleep at his home in Holmby Hills while holding hands with the love of his life, his wife Veronique

tashmara said...

I am sorry for the you perhaps have proof of it? If so I will make sure I post the correct fact. Thank you.