Here are 10 things you should know about Olivia de Havilland, who is celebrating her 102nd birthday today. Make it a point to raise a toast to her at some point today!
The lovely Eva Marie Saint was born 92 years ago today in Newark, New Jersey. Here are 10 EVS Did-You Knows:
- Saint attended Bethlehem Central High School in Delmar, New York, graduating in 1942.
- Saint won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her first theatrical picture, Elia Kazan‘s On The Waterfront, in which appeared opposite Marlon Brando. All 18 of her earlier credits were on television.
- Just two days after winning the Oscar, Saint gave birth to her son Darrell.
- Saint’s competition for the role of Edie Doyle in that picture was Elizabeth Montgomery. Saint won the role by a nose.
- Saint graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1946. There is a theatre on the campus that is named after her.
- Saint’s waist-length hair was cut short for her role as a seductive spy opposite Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock‘s North by Northwest; the director insisted it made her more exotic. Hitchcock also personally chose Saint’s outfits for the film during a shopping trip to Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.
- Her nickname in high school was “Bubbles.” She was the senior class secretary and also a cheerleader.
- Saint was named after her mother, Eva Marie Rice.
- Her favorite movie is Francois Truffaut’s Day for Night.
- Saint has been married to writer-director-producer Jeffrey Hayden since 1951.
Happy birthday, Eva Marie Saint, and many happy returns of the day!
Olivia de Havilland was born Olivia Mary de Havilland 100 years ago today to British parents in Tokyo, Japan. Here are 10 OH Did-You-Knows:
- Her mother, Lilian Fontaine, was a stage and film actress.
- De Havilland and her sister, Joan Fontaine, were both nominated for the Best Actress Oscar in 1941. Never terribly close, the competition increased the tension between them and they never fully reconciled.
- Since December 15, 2014, de Havilland has been the only surviving major member of the cast of Gone with the Wind. Mickey Kuhn is the only other surviving member of the cast who received a screen credit.
- Since the 1950s, De Havilland as lived in Paris, France. In 1962, she published Every Frenchman Has One, a well-received memoir of adapting to French life.
- De Havilland declined the role of Blanche DuBois in Elia Kazan‘s screen adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951).
- Her father, Walter Augustus de Havilland, was a patent attorney in Japan who wrote a book in 1910 about a Japanese board game called The ABC of Go. He lived for 96 years.
- De Havilland and Fontaine were the first sisters to win Oscars and the first to be Oscar-nominated in the same year.
- De Havilland appeared in eight movies with Errol Flynn; the pair enjoyed a mutual attraction, but no romance ever sparked between them.
- She was named after William Shakespeare‘s romantic heroine in Twelfth Night.
- Olivia de Havilland was awarded the 2008 American National Medal of the Arts.
Happy birthday, Ms. de Havilland, and here’s to the next hundred years!
In February 2008, NYC’s Film Forum held a tribute to director Sidney Lumet, who died today at the age of 86. The celebration of Lumet’s life and career took the form of a two-hour Q&A, interspersed with clips from some of his most memorable films. We were lucky enough to be on hand, and we are pleased to offer, as a tribute to a very talented movie maker, our account of the evening.
Lumet shared in the early part of the discussion that his father, Baruch, was an actor in the Yiddish theatre, and Sidney himself got his start there at a very early age.
Lumet went on to appear in a number of Broadway shows, among them a Max Reinhardt production, before slipping behind the camera as a television director in the 1950s.
So it was fitting that the evening opened with a clip from One Third of a Nation (1939), which boasts Lumet’s only film acting appearance. The then-14-year-old director-to-be starred as the nephew of Sylvia Sidney.
The next clip shown was from the first movie he directed, Twelve Angry Men (1957). Asked if he’d made a specific effort to make the film in a cinematic style, so as to prove to the industry bigwigs that he could direct as well for the large screen as for the small, Lumet admitted with a laugh, “I was too arrogant. It never occurred to me that I might need to convince anyone.”
Asked later about working with Henry Fonda, Lumet said Fonda was constitutionally unable to make a false or dishonest move as an actor. “I don’t think he could’ve done it if I’d asked him to,” Lumet said. “He could only play the truth.”
Lumet said that filming on Twelve Angry Men was completed in 19 days. He said he shot the film in a very particular way. There were three levels of lighting in the film—sunlight through the windows, cloudy skies, as a storm approached outside, and with the overhead lighting in the jury room illuminated once the storm is underway.
Lumet shot the film entirely out of sequence, rotating around the room, getting each shot he needed from each actor under that particular lighting. Once he’d shot all of his sunlit shots, Lumet had the set relit to suggest cloudy conditions and slowly worked his way around the room again, going from character to character, getting every shot he needed.
Finally, he had the set relit once last time, with overhead lighting lit, and made the rounds again.
Lumet said he never used storyboards, as Alfred Hitchcock was famous for doing. Instead, he preferred to rehearse his actors for two weeks, as if they were mounting a play, and when he had all the blocking down, then he considered where to place the camera in each scene.
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