Thursday, May 05, 2011

Notable Passings

...Arthur Laurents, the highly regarded screenwriter, playwright, and Broadway director, has died at 93.

Laurents' screenplays included Hitchcock's ROPE (1948) and Max Ophuls' CAUGHT (1949), which I just saw a few weeks ago at the Noir City Film Festival in Hollywood. He also wrote ANASTASIA (1956) and THE TURNING POINT (1977). Laurents was Oscar nominated as both screenwriter and co-producer of THE TURNING POINT.

Laurents' Broadway credits included writing the book and directing WEST SIDE STORY and GYPSY.

Additional obituaries have been published by the Los Angeles Times and Playbill.

...Tony-winning actress Marian Mercer has died at 75.

I have fond memories of seeing Mercer in a stage production of THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER circa 1979, with James Whitmore as Sheridan Whiteside. Mercer played the role Ann Sheridan portrayed in the film version.

More on Mercer's life can be found at Playbill and The New York Times.

May 6th Update: ...Award-winning actress Sada Thompson has passed away at the age of 83.

Among Thompson's credits, I particularly appreciated the 1977 television production of OUR TOWN, in which she appeared along with Hal Holbrook, Barbara Bel Geddes, Ned Beatty, Glynnis O'Connor, and Robby Benson.

Additional obituaries can be found at New York Times and Playbill.


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