From the 1940s through the 1960s, photographer Sid Avery took candid photographs of some of Hollywood’s most glamorous stars, including Paul Newman, Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, Sophia Loren and Steve McQueen. He was the founder of the Hollywood Photographer's Archive and, in the 1980s, established the Motion Picture and Television Photo Archive. To showcase his work, Avery’s son Ron—along with Tony Nourmand and Graham Marsh—have put together a real page-turner, a handsome 288-page volume containing hundreds of rare images of cinema’s most compelling figures. For a chance to receive Sid Avery: The Art of the Hollywood Snapshot, click here, and be sure to type “Avery” in the subject line. The winner will be determined by a random drawing. Entries must be received by 11:59 EST, Sunday, April 21, 2013.
Entries in audrey hepburn (7)
Alan Arkin is born in New York City, 1934. The sheer pleasure some actors feel in playing a villain did not come Arkin’s way when he assumed the role of Harry Roat in the 1967 thriller Wait Until Dark. Not only did his character torment a blind woman, the woman in question was played by one of the most beloved actresses in film, Audrey Hepburn. “It was the only heavy I'd ever played up until then,” the actor recalled, “and I had a miserable time…she was an extraordinary person in every way, and I just hated terrorizing her.” So nasty is this guy that Stephen King, in his non-fiction book Danse Macabre, writes that Arkin’s performance “may be the greatest evocation of screen villainy ever.” The final confrontation between Arkin and Hepburn still elicits a sincere shriek of terror.
Mel Ferrer dies of heart failure in Santa Barbara, California, 2008. A former Broadway dancer and actor, Ferrer began his movie career as the director of The Girl of the Limberlost (1945), a low-budget, 60-minute Columbia movie based on the novel by Gene Stratton-Porter. Movie audiences first set eyes on him in Lost Boundaries (1949) playing a black man passing as white. His most famous acting roles were in Lili (1953), War and Peace (1956) and The Longest Day (1962). Behind the camera, he made The Secret Fury (1950) with Claudette Colbert and Green Mansions (1959) with wife Audrey Hepburn; he would go on to produce Hepburn’s 1967 thriller Wait Until Dark prior to their divorce the following year. “I curl up inside and freeze when I have to act,” Ferrer once said. “I much prefer sitting on the sidelines and trying to get the best out of other people.”
It was an idea that Charles Brackett and I had long before we tackled it. We wanted to do it, believe it for not, five years before we actually got around to it. We wanted to make a picture with a kind of a passé star. We wanted to do it with Mae West. That’s all I can tell you. But it didn’t come out this way.
There is no such thing as somebody sitting down and saying, “Now, all right, I’m going to make a new picture.” Not at all. You have ideas stashed away, dozens of them—good, bad or indifferent. Then you pull them out of your memory, out of your drawer, you combine them. An actor is available, and that’s the way it starts. People think when it comes to a screenplay you start with absolutely nothing. But the trouble is that you have a million ideas and you have to condense them into a thousand ideas, and you have to condense those into three hundred ideas to get it under one hat, as it were. In other words, you start with too much, not with nothing, and it can go in every kind of direction. Every possible avenue is open. Then you have to dramatize it—it is as simple as that—by omitting, by simplifying, by finding a clean theme that leads someplace.
Sunset Boulevard was a picture where everything sort of fell into my lap. I needed the Paramount studio, and we got permission to shoot at Paramount. I needed Cecil B. DeMille to play DeMille, and he played it. I needed somebody to play the part Stroheim played. Stroheim at one time had been a director and had, indeed, directed Gloria Swanson in Queen Kelly. We needed old faces and got Buster Keaton. Everything was just right.
When we made that picture with Gloria Swanson people forget that she herself was considered sort of an old bag from silent picture times. At the time when we shot the picture she was actually fifty years old, that was all. She was then three or four years younger than Audrey Hepburn is today. But it was the split, you know, the divide between sound pictures and silent pictures that made such a difference. She was actually very young for that thing. She was just forgotten because she had stopped making pictures when she was about thirty, when sound came in. But what would she be doing today? As you heard in the picture, she had those oil wells, pumping, pumping, pumping. I guess she would have four or five gigolos. She would now be living somewhere in Santa Barbara with George Hamilton.
Anne Baxter dies of a brain aneurysm in New York City, 1985. Though she was lovely in The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), heartbreaking in The Razor’s Edge (1946) and wickedly conniving in All About Eve (1950), we will always love her for “Oh Moses, Moses, you stubborn, splendid, adorable fool!” Baxter’s utterance in The Ten Commandments (1956) is one of the most howlingly bad lines of dialogue in any of Cecil B. DeMille’s movies (which is saying quite a bit). Appearing opposite Charlton Heston as Moses and Yul Brynner as Ramses, the actress throws herself into the role of Egyptian queen Nefertiri, a part for which Audrey Hepburn was initially considered, but passed over because of her waifish figure. If you’ve never seen the biblical epic, simply wait for Easter and then turn on the TV.