End Credits #27: Cinema's 2015 Lost Treasures Anita Ekberg, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Rod Taylor, Donna Douglas
These are some of Cinema's sad departures of 2015 taken from my personal notes soon after the tragic events took place:
Anita Ekberg (September 29, 1931 - January 11, 2015) the Swedish born actress has died at age 83. After winning the title of Miss Sweden in 1950, she secured a modeling contract in the U.S. which lead to her appearances in Blood Alley, War and Peace, Back From Eternity and Paris Holiday amongst others, not to mention a most unusual starring role in Screaming Mimi. After traveling to Italy she landed her breakthrough part in Frederico Fellini's La Dolce Vita forever cementing her notoriety as Sylvia, the ravenous beauty who whimsically plays in Rome's famous Trevi Fountain. Afterward, she made some Italian films i.e. Boccaccio '70, Woman Times Seven and mostly lighter U.S. fare i.e. Call Me Bwana, and 4 For Texas. Her later career most notably included an appearance as herself in Fellini's 1987 Intervista.
Samuel Goldwyn Jr. (September 7, 1926 - January 9, 2015) son of legendary producer Samuel Goldwyn (the 'G' in MGM) has died at age 88. Features he produced include The Proud Rebel, The Young Lovers (which he also directed) Cotton Comes to Harlem, Mystic Pizza (which helped propel the career of Julia Roberts) Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and his last, 2013's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (his father produced the hit 1947 version). In 1979 he founded the Sam Goldwyn Co., for its time, right at the forefront of distributing small budget and foreign films. This also helped Goldwyn become a seminal figure in promoting these important independent films and the creative talent behind them.
Another very painful loss of highly distinguished talent has occurred: Actor Rod Taylor. He seemed like the perfect gentleman in his better roles on television (And When the Sky Was Opened episode of The Twilight Zone), films such as his breakthrough role as Herbert George Wells in The Time Machine or in real life according to those who met or knew him. He gave his gift of personable strong assurance to an array of incredible performances in such fine motion pictures as The Birds, The V.I.P.'s, Fate is the Hunter, 36 Hours, Young Cassidy, Hotel, and his last role as Winston Churchill in Inglourious Basterds. He was an Australian who came to Hollywood in the 1950's landing a few roles in notable TV series' (e.g. Studio 57, Lux Video Theatre, and Playhouse 90) and prominent motion pictures (e.g. The Catered Affair, Giant, The Rack, and Raintree County). Another fallen star who shined so bright will be sorely missed. Rod Taylor (January 11, 1930 - January 7, 2015) gone forever at age 84. R.I.P.
Rod Taylor on how honoured he was when Quentin Tarantino asked him to play Winston Churchill in his 2009 WWII film 'Inglourious Basterds'. This was the recently departed actor's last motion picture role.
Actress Donna Douglas (September 26, 1933 - January 1, 2015) best known for playing critter loving Elly May Clampett on TV's immensely popular The Beverly Hillbillies has died at age 81. She sparkled in the films Career, Li'l Abner and Lover Come Back and co-starred with Elvis Presley in Frankie and Johnny. Douglas made other TV appearances most notably the exceptional The Twilight Zone episode The Eye of the Beholder.