THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960)
With the death of Rosenda Monteros, who played the young girl Petra in this iconic western, all seventeen featured players and the director are no longer with us. Their order of demise is as follows:
- VLADIMIR SOKOLOFF (1889-1962). He played the old villager and died aged 72
- STEVE MCQUEEN (1930-1980). He portrayed Vin Tanner, one of the ‘seven’, and died of cancer aged 50.
- YUL BRYNNER (1920-1985). The leader of the ‘seven’, Chris Adams, he died of cancer five years after McQueen, aged 65.
- ROBERT J. WILKIE (1914-1989). He played Wallace, the loudmouth that Britt kills in a gun v knife duel. He was 74.
- JOHN STURGES (1910-1992 ). The director of The Magnificent 7, he died at 82.
- WHIT BISSELL (1909-1996). He portrayed Chamlee the undertaker. Died aged 86.
- JORGE DE HOYOS (1920-1997). He was Hilario the villager. Died at 76.
- JAMES COBURN (1928-2002) (Nov). He played Britt, the expert with a knife, and died aged 74.
- BRAD DEXTER (1917-2002) (Dec). Harry Luck was Chris’s friend who believed there was a secret gold cache somewhere. Died at 85.
- HORST BUCHHOLTZ (1933-2003) (Mar). He was Chico, the youngest of the ‘seven’ Died aged 69.
- BING RUSSELL (1926-2003 (Apr). Father of actor Kurt Russell, he played Robert, the travelling salesman. He died aged 76.
- CHARLES BRONSON (1921-2003 (Aug).He played Bernardo O’Reilly, the one who befriended the children of the village. Died aged 81.
- PEPE HERN (1927-2009 (Feb). He was Tomas the villager. Passed away at 81.
- VAL AVERY (1924-2009 (Dec). Henry, the other travelling salesman died aged 85.
- ELI WALLACH (1915-2014). Calvera, the bandit leader, died at 98.
- RICO ALANIZ (1919-2015). The villager Sotero died aged 95.
- ROBERT VAUGHN (1932-2016). The actor who played Lee was the last of the ‘seven’ actors to die. He was 83.
- ROSENDA MONTEROS (1935-2018). The actress who portrayed Petra lived to the age of 83.
William Daniels in 1776
Actor William Daniels played the lead role in the 1969 theatrical musical titled ‘1776’. Later, he would also repeat the role in the film version of the same name released in 1972. However, he could only be nominated for a Tony as a Supporting actor in 1969 because he did not then have ‘star billing’ (i.e. his name above the title.). An indignant Daniels declined the nomination. In 1967, although only ten years his senior, Daniels portrayed Dustin Hoffman’s father in The Graduate. He also voiced KITT, the artificially intelligent electronic computer module in the body of the robotic automobile in the TV series Knight Rider (1982-86).
Glynis Johns celebrated her 99th birthday on October 5, 2022. She was born to a Welsh father (actor Mervyn Johns) and an Australian mother (concert pianist Alice Steele), in Pretoria, South Africa, whilst her parents were on tour there. Married four times in her 99 years (thus far), Glynis’s first husband was Anthony Forward (August ’42 to June ’48), and produced a son. Actor Dirk Bogarde first met Forward when Tony was a theatrical manager in 1939, before he wed Glynis. The two men moved to France together in 1968 and lived in a fifteenth-century farmhouse until 1983. When Tony passed away from cancer in 1988, the couple had been in a relationship for close to fifty years. Dirk’s only serious romance with a woman had been one that lasted for two years and involved the bisexual screen beauty Capucine. Her admitted preference was for women, however, so the relationship ultimately evolved into nothing more than a deep friendship that ended with her suicide in 1990. Bogarde said later that she was the only woman he seriously considered marrying, but friends of his remained highly dubious of that statement.
Eva Bartok & Curt Jurgens
German-born actor Curt Jurgens was married five times in his life, the third of these to Hungarian-born actress Eva Bartok (1956-7). Back in 1935, Curt was involved in a severe car accident that resulted in medics having to cut his spermatic cords. Consequently, he was left with life-long infertility from that time onwards. When his daughter, Deana, was born in 1957, her mother (Bartok) declared the father of her child to be none other than singer/actor Frank Sinatra, with whom Eva had had a brief affair in 1956, following his break-up with actress Ava Gardner. Sinatra never acknowledged paternity, but one thing is indisputable. Curt could not have been the girl’s father.
Lois Maxwell & Sean Connery
The lovely Lois Maxwell passed away in 2007 from cancer. In fact, she left this world from Fremantle, Western Australia, this writer’s home town. She was eighty. Having played Miss Moneypenny in no fewer than fourteen Bond films, she chose to retire from the role when she was asked to play it once more in The Living Daylights (1987) opposite the new James Bond, Timothy Dalton. Lois was sixty years old and Timothy was just forty-one. She decided to retire from the 007 films rather than her character be viewed as ‘Bond’s mother-figure’.
Djimon Hounsou achieved recognition on the silver screen with his performance as Juba in Gladiator (2000), followed by his two Oscar nominations for In America (2002) and Blood Diamond (2006). Born in Benin, he came to Paris at the age of thirteen in 1977, could not find a job and ended as a vagrant, sleeping under bridges and rummaging in trash cans for food. All that changed when fashion designer Thierry Mugler discovered him and made him a fashion model. Djimon learned English by watching television.
The first film in the ‘Star Wars’ franchise was Star Wars: The New Hope (1977). Due to the limited budget, the American cast and crew (including George Lucas) all agreed to fly ‘coach’ class to England, rather than first class. When Carrie Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, heard about this, she called Lucas, complaining about how insulting it was for her daughter to be flying ‘coach’. Carrie was in the room with Lucas when he took the call. After a few minutes, she asked if she could speak to her mother. Lucas handed her the phone and Carrie simply said: ‘Mother, I want to fly ‘coach’. Will you fuck off?!’ Then she hung up. Problem solved.
In the 1980 romance Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeve as Richard Collier and Jane Seymour as Elise McKenna, Miss Seymour’s fictional character is based on a real person, theatre actress Maude Adams. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in November 1872, and passed away in July 1953. Her manager was a man named Charles Frohman. He was the basis for Christopher Plummer’s character William Fawcett Robinson. Frohman (like the Robinson character) was extremely protective of Maude. Tragically, he perished on May 7, 1915 aboard the RMS Lusitania when the ocean liner was torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland during World War One.
Harold Lloyd’s clock-hanging scene in Safety Last (1923) will remain his legacy to the silent era of movies. That and his seventy-five cent pair of spectacles that became his identifying trademark. His home, a mansion called ‘Greenacres’, still exists today and has forty-four rooms, twenty-six bathrooms, twelve fountains and twelve gardens. The property is on the National Register of Historic Places.