With each passing year, it is hard for classic film fans, old and young alike, to witness the passing of their favorite actors, actresses and directors who made it their life’s work to entertain them. In 2009, the entertainment industry witnessed the unexpected passings Natasha Richardson and David Carradine. We also witnessed the heartbreaking passings of the terminally ill Patrick Swayze and Farrah Fawcett. With them, many other legends both on the screen and behind-the scenes made their final curtain call.
Actress Jennifer Jones received her first academy award on her twenty-fifth birthday when she attended the 1944 Academy Awards ceremony; she won for her role as “Bernadette Soubirous” in “Song of Bernadette” (1943). The following year, Miss. Jones was nominated for another academy award for “Best Supporting Actress” for her role as “Jane Hilton” in “Since You Went Away” (1944). She was nominated another three times for an academy award for her performances throughout her career. Her last film was in 1974 where her performance as "Lisolette Mueller” in “The Towering Inferno” nominated her for a Golden Globe. Afterwards, she quietly retired from film. Miss. Jones passed away at the age of 90 on December 17, 2009, leaving behind a legacy of fantastic films.
Throughout the 1980s, filmmaker John Hughes set the film trend formally known as “The Brat Pack” with his directorial debut of “Sixteen Candles” (1984). He quickly followed the film up with such other classics like “The Breakfast Club” (1985), “Pretty In Pink” (1986), “Weird Science” (1985) and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986). Hughes also reignited the “National Lampoon” franchise when he wrote three films featuring actor Chevy Chase as “Clark Griswold,” a father who is always trying to bring his family closer together through zany vacations. In 1991, Hughes walked away from the director’s chair but continued writing and producing films well into the last decade before his untimely death.
Along with Jennifer Jones and John Hughes, we remember the others who passed with them this year:
Al Martino, Bea Arthur, Dan O'Bannon (writer), David Carradine,
Dom DeLuise, Edward Woodward, Farrah Fawcett,Gale Storm, Howard Zieff (director)
James Whitmore, Jane Bryan, Joseph Wiseman, Karl Malden,
Kathleen Byron, Larry Gelbart, Natasha Richardson, Patrick Swayze, Pat Hingle
Paul Burke, Richard Todd, Sam Bottoms, Susanna Foster,
Sydney Chaplin (actor, son of Charlie Chaplin)