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TCM Remembers: From Elizabeth Taylor to Tura Satana

“TCM Remembers 2011” is out. Remembered by Turner Classic Movies are many of those in the film world who left us this past year. As always, this latest “TCM Remembers” entry is a classy, immensely moving compilation. The haunting background song is “Before You Go,” by OK Sweetheart.

Among those featured in “TCM Remembers 2011” are Farley Granger, the star of Luchino Visconti's Senso and Alfred Hitchcock's Rope and Strangers on a Train; Oscar-nominated Australian actress Diane Cilento (Tom Jones, Hombre), formerly married to Sean Connery; and two-time Oscar nominee Peter Falk (Murder, Inc., Pocketful of Miracles, The Great Race), best remembered as television's Columbo. Or, for those into arthouse fare, for playing an angel in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire.

Also, Jane Russell, whose cleavage and sensuous lips in Howard Hughes' The Outlaw left the puritans of the Production Code Association apoplectic; another Australian performer, Googie Withers, among whose credits – mostly in Britain – is the classic horror film Dead of Night; and 1930s child actors Edith Fellows (Pennies from Heaven), Sybil Jason (The Singing Kid), and Jackie Cooper (from Our Gang shorts to Superman). Cooper remains the youngest ever Best Actor Academy Award nominee – for Skippy, 1930-31.

And more: centenarian French cinema veteran Paulette Dubost, who had a key role in Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Games; multiple Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sidney Lumet (Fail Safe, Network, Dog Day Afternoon, The Verdict); Michael Sarrazin and the Oscar-nominated Susannah York of Sydney Pollack's They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (in the TCM clip, York is seen in Tom Jones); and beautiful 1950s leading ladies Anne Francis (Forbidden Planet, Blackboard Jungle), Dana Wynter (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Airport), Yvette Vickers (Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Attack of the Giant Leeches), and Elaine Stewart (the Gene Kelly musical Brigadoon, Anne Boleyn in Young Bess).

Plus powerhouse agent Sue Mengers, among whose clients were Ann-Margret, Barbra Streisand, and Natalie Wood, and the inspiration for the Shelley Winters character in Blake Edwards' Hollywood satire S.O.B.; two-time Oscar winner and super-celebrity emeritus Elizabeth Taylor (Giant, A Place in the Sun, Butterfield 8, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?); and three-time César winner Annie Girardot, among whose credits are Visconti's Rocco and His Brothers, Marco Ferreri's The Ape Woman, and Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher and Hidden.

Also Anna Massey (one of the victims in Michael Powell's controversial Peeping Tom), Marie-France Pisier (Cousin Cousine, The Other Side of Midnight), William Campbell (Dementia 13), Tyrone Power's second wife Linda Christian (Athena, The V.I.P.s), Oscar nominee Pete Postlethwaite (In the Name of the Father, The Usual Suspects, Inception), screenwriter Kevin Jarre (Glory, The Mummy), and MGM musical actress-singer Betty Garrett (On the Town, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, My Sister Eileen).

Also: child actor John Howard Davies (David Lean's Oliver Twist), Charles Chaplin discovery Marilyn Nash (Monsieur Verdoux), director and Oscar ceremony producer Gilbert Cates (Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams, I Never Sang for My Father), veteran Japanese actress Hideko Takamine (House of Many Pleasures), Jeff Conaway of Grease and the television series Taxi, and Tura Satana of the cult classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!.

More: Neva Patterson, who loses Cary Grant to Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember; Ingmar Bergman cinematographer Gunnar Fischer (Smiles of a Summer Night, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries); Marlon Brando's The Wild One leading lady Mary Murphy; and two actresses featured in controversial, epoch-making films: Lena Nyman, the star of the Swedish drama I Am Curious (Yellow), labeled as pornography by prudish American authorities back in the late '60s, and another Brando leading lady, Maria Schneider, the star of Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris, deemed pornographic by prudes everywhere in the early '70s.

More: Oscar winner Cliff Robertson (Picnic, Autumn Leaves, The Best Man, Charly, Obsession), later of Spider-Man fame; Margaret Field, the star of The Man from Planet X and mother of Sally Field; the recently deceased Harry Morgan of TV's MASH fame; actor John Wood (The Madness of King George); composer John Barry (Born Free, Diamonds Are Forever); actor John Neville (Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Terror); and David Nelson (Peyton Place, The Big Circus, Cry-Baby) of TV's The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet fame.

And daring, iconoclastic filmmaker Ken Russell (The Boy Friend, Tommy, The Devils, Women in Love, Altered States); two-time Oscar nominated director Peter Yates (Bullitt, The Dresser, Breaking Away); screenwriter and playwright Arthur Laurents, among whose film credits include Bonjour Tristesse, whose Broadway musicals include Gypsy and West Side Story, and who was at one point the lover of fellow 2011 departed Farley Granger; stage and sometime film actress Jill Haworth (In Harm's Way, Exodus), who originated Cabaret's Sally Bowles on Broadway; and veteran British actor Michael Gough, whose career went from a supporting role in Julien Duvivier's Anna Karenina, starring Vivien Leigh, to providing the voice for the Dodo Bird in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Gough also found time to play Alfred Pennyworth in Burton's Batman, Batman Returns and a couple more sequels.

And finally, marking the end of an era, silent film actresses Miriam Seegar (When Knights Were Bold, Seven Keys to Baldpate) and Barbara Kent (Lonesome, Flesh and the Devil). (Curiously, TCM missed out on another silent film performer who died twice, the last time in Nov. 2010: Eva von Berne, whose – actual – death was reported in early 2011.) Seegar and Kent were the last two (relatively well-known) leading ladies in English-language silent films.

Perhaps it's only a mere coincidence that 2011 is also the year a silent movie – that's Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist – made a cultural splash. But then again, perhaps not.

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7 Comments to TCM Remembers: From Elizabeth Taylor to Tura Satana

  1. Andre

    As mentioned in the previous post, the background song is “Before You Go,” by OK Sweetheart.

  2. bryn

    Someone please let me know who sings the beautiful song…”To Your Song”…thanks

  3. Andre

    Thanks for the additions. The article was getting so long, I had to stop…
    (Though I did list John Neville.)

  4. Darci

    In “TCM Remembers” but not in this article: Jimmy Sangster, James Arness, Len Lesser, Paul Picerni, Edward Hardwicke, Roberts Blossom, Charles Napier, Norma Eberhardt, John Neville, Bill McKinney, Kenneth Mars, G. D. Spradlin, Leslie Brooks, Paul Massie, and John Calley. Thanks for identifying the haunting background song.

  5. Tom M.

    The TCM Remembers 2011 is very moving, helping us remember some huge names. Their choice of music is perfect and is what brought me here. I had to know who did it. Thank you.

  6. Andre

    Annie Girardot, Paulette Dubost, Marie-France Pisier, Gunnar Fischer, Hideko Takamine, etc. are hardly “no-names.” I think it's great that TCM included them.

    Though of course I agree that Dolores Fuller should have been included as well. After all, Tura Satana was there…

    Also, I believe Ann Savage was included in the TCM Remembers of 2009. Gotta look into that. She died in late Dec. 2008 — too late for inclusion on TCM's 2008 tribute clip.

  7. Sheamus O'Dhanussey

    TCM missed Dolores Fuller, Ed Wood's favorite actress. How they could include overseas no-names but miss a low-budged movie legend is beyond me. They did the same with Ann Savage in 2008. TCM must look down upon B-movies. Disgraceful.