Sunday, July 04, 2010

Gloria Stuart Centennial (And The 25 Oldest Living Oscar Nominees!)

One hundred years ago on this very day 30s actress Gloria Stuart was born in Santa Monica. Happy birthday Gloria! Stuart made her name on James Whale's pictures like The Old Dark House (fun movie) and The Invisible Man before her screen career petered out in the 1940s. Then, über famously, James Cameron resurrected her to play the 100 year old survivor of Titanic. And the best part... she's still with us today!

Were you confused like Britney Spears when she tossed the Heart of the Ocean back into it in Titanic? Do you think Kate Winslet hopes to grow up to look just like her?
"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying."
-Woody Allen
Since Gloria is not the oldest living Oscar nominee, it's list time. Who's still with us? (If I forgot anyone, do let me know in the comments.)

The Oldest Living Oscar Nominees
  1. Robert F Boyle (Honorary Winner and 4 time nominee as Art Director Fiddler on the Roof) is nearing 101.
    Update: August 1st, 2010
    (RIP). What a career he had.

  2. Luise Rainer (2 time winner The Good Earth & The Great Ziegfield) is 100½.
  3. Gloria Stuart (nominee Titanic) is 100 exactly.Update Sept 26, 2010: (RIP). a long life well -travelled.
  4. Douglas Slocombe (3 time nominee) cinematographer of Raiders of the Lost Ark among other classics.
  5. Kevin McCarthy (nominee Death of a Salesman) is 96.
    Update: Sept 11, 2010: RIP
  6. Olivia de Havilland (2 time winner The Heiress & To Each His Own) is 94. Yes, she still hopes to publish memoirs and no, she's not the only surviving Gone With the Wind cast member.
  7. Kirk Douglas (Honorary Oscar and 3 time nominee), Spartacus himself, is 93.
  8. Ernest Borgnine (winner Marty) is 93.
  9. Celeste Holm (winner Gentleman's Agreement) is 93.
  10. Joan Fontaine (winner Suspicion) is 92. Yes, it's true. She and sister Olivia de Havilland are still not speaking.
  11. Tom Daly (5 time nominee) this Canadian producer nominated in short film and documentary categories just turned 92.
  12. Joyce Redman (2 time nominee Tom Jones) is 91. [Trivia note: Tom Jones is the only film to have ever won three nominations in Supporting Actress. Pity that Robert Altman's Nashville didn't repeat the trick.]
  13. Dino de Laurentiis (Thalberg winner and a producing winner for La Strada) is almost 91.
  14. Michael Anderson (nominee, directed Around the World in 80 Days) is 90.
  15. Ravi Shankar (nominee, the co-composer for Gandhi) is 90.
  16. Ray Harryhausen (Gordon Sawyer Award recipient), the f/x legend, just turned 90.
  17. Mickey Rooney (Honorary Oscar and 4 time nominee) is 89.
  18. Joe Mantell (nominee Marty) is 89.
  19. Carol Channing (nominee Thoroughly Modern Millie) is 89. "Razzzzzbbberrries!"
  20. Hal David (winner "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) is 89.
  21. Deanna Durbin (Juvenile Award winner) is 88. She was only 18 when she won her Juvenile statue (shared with Mickey Rooney) but she retired from the screen just nine years later.
  22. Doris Day (nominee Pillow Talk) is 88. There's a few Facebook groups trying to get her an honorary Oscar. Filmmaker Douglas McGrath pushed for it, too. [Trivia note: There is some controversy about Doris Day's exact age. But most sources now claim she was born in 1922 so she would have turned 88 this past April.
  23. Mihalis Kakogiannis (3 time nominee, all nominations from Zorba the Greek) just turned 88.
  24. Eleanor Parker (3 time nominee Caged) just turned 88. She's best remembered today as the (not totally) wicked would be stepmother in The Sound of Music but that doesn't paint the whole picture at all. Isn't it time for renewed interest in her career? Smart cinephiles think so.
  25. Blake Edwards (Honorary Oscar and nominee for Victor/Victoria), aka Mr Julie Andrews, is almost 88.
  26. Norman Lear (television giant who was Oscar nominated for writing Divorce, American Style), one day younger than Blake Edwards, is also almost 88
  27. Jackie Cooper (nominee Skippy) is 87. Trivia note: He is the youngest Best Actor nominee of all time, having been up for the prize when he was but 9 years old. He's likely to keep that Oscar record. The closest anyone ever got was Mickey Rooney -- also on this list -- at the age of 19.

    but I couldn't stop there. Partially because I missed a handful of people. Partially because I definitely have undiagnosed untreated OCD. Carpal tunnel syndrome here I come. It's a top 40!

  28. Arthur Penn (3 time nominee, directed Bonnie & Clyde) is 87. I know I've given this book a million plugs but you must read "Pictures at a Revolution" for a detailed fascinating account of how that landmark movie was constructed. Choosing a director wasn't the least bit simple. And directing Warren Beatty isn't so simple either. Penn did it twice.
  29. Juanita Moore (nominee Imitation of Life *see it* It's a beauty) is 87.
  30. Valentina Cortese (nominee Day for Night) is 87. She holds the extremely rare honor of a supporting acting nomination from a foreign language film. Those are so very infrequent.
  31. Franco Zeffirelli (2 time nominee, director of Romeo and Juliet), another Italian (!), is 87.
  32. Charles Durning (2 time nominee, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) is 87.
  33. Richard Attenborough (2 time winner, director of Gandhi) is 86.
  34. Cliff Robertson (winner Charly) is 86.
  35. Glynis Johns (nominee The Sundowners) is 86
    We're glad she got that one last burst of mid 90s comedy gold in While You Were Sleeping and especially The Ref. Well done, Sister Suffragrette ♪ ! Unfortunately, she's been little seen since.
  36. Arthur Hiller (Hersholt Huminatarian winner, nominee for Love Story) is 86.
  37. Ron Moody (nominee Oliver!) is 86. For a recent article on this underappreciated sixties musical, click here.
  38. Stanley Donen (Honorary Oscar) is 86. He's one of the best musicals director, most famous for that thrilling barn sequence in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and the entirety of Singin' in the Rain.
  39. Sidney Lumet (Honorary Oscar, plus 5 time nominee) just turned 86 last week. His classics include 12 Angry Men, Network, The Verdict and Dog Day Afternoon and he's also the man behind the extremely undervalued Running on Empty (1988). The best part is that he's still active. He recently made Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.
  40. Eva Marie Saint (winner On the Waterfront) turned 86 today, so we'll bookend with this other birthday girl. Happy birthday, Eva! Don't forget your gloves when you leave the party tonight.
Big screen actress icons I had to pass up for this list included Jane Russell, Maureen O'Hara, and Esther Williams. All are still among the living but none were ever Oscar nominated and haven't been given Honorary Awards. What a world, what a world. Christopher Lee, is another biggie that's never been nominated. He still works so consistently at 88 that it's possible they'll yet find a way to nominate him. Next up for Lee is Martin Scorsese's The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

Carol Channing for Exit Music!


Further Reading? Try this substantial Gloria Stuart tribute at Ehrensteinland and if you're in LA, please note that AMPAS will be honoring Stuart's centennial at the Samuel Goldwyn theater on July 22nd.


/3rtfu11 said...

You forgot Ruby Dee

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post! I like to keep track of these things and I forgot about some of these people! It's amazing how many of them are still around 90+ I think there is something to that Oscar Gold ;) Hope they are around for much longer, Happy Birthday Gloria! You forgot Dorothy Malone who is 85 and Eva Marie Saint (her birthday is today to!) who is 86. Other's mentionable but not nominated include Rhonda Fleming (86) Ann Rutherford (89) Betty Garrett (90) Zsa Zsa Gabor (93) Marsha Hunt (92) Lizabeth Scott (87) Gloria DeHaven (84) and Audrey Totter (91) :)

Guy Lodge said...

@/3rtfu11: Ruby Dee is only 85. ("Only" ... ha.)

Happy birthday, Gloria ... but I'm still so relieved you lost that Oscar. I love that the Academy was going through such an unsentimental phase then (having passed up Bacall for Binoche the year before).

par3182 said...

@anonymous - if dorothy malone is 85 and eva marie saint is just 86 today that would make them younger than the oldest 25, and therefore not forgotten

Anonymous said...

Juanita Moore (nominee, Imitation of Life will be 88 in October according to Wikipedia.


ooh, anon. love her in that movie. I shall add her.

Anonymous said...

you forgot art director Robert F. Boyle, 4 time nominee and Honorary Academy Award recipient in 2008, who will turn 102 in October.

Anonymous said...

according to imbd these ladies are alive and kickin' (funny how ladies live longer then men :P

Valentina Cortesa (87)
(Day for Night)

Colette Marchand (85)
(Moulin Rouge)

Joyce Redman (91)
2 Time Nominee
(Tom Jones, Othello


i added robert, valentina and joyce but colette is too young for the list.

robb said...

robert f. boyle is "only" 100; he was born on october 10, 1909.

Andrew R. said...

Some notes:

Congrats, Mr. Boyle!

Luise Rainer is the first Oscar curse recipient.

Stuart's Oscar nom for Titanic was a career nod.

De Havilland and Fontaine are STILL not speaking? Wow.

Borgnine is a good enough actor, but his politics are horrible.

Celeste Holm and Juanita Moore are still around? Impressive! (Moore's performance in Imitation of Life is very underrated, and Holm deserved the Oscar.)

Doris Day deserves an Honorary Oscar.

Jackie Cooper is quite possibly the most annoying child actor ever. Oh wait, I forgot about Twilight.

Bergman's Oscar speech to Valentina Cortese was classy. And it's true, Cortese DID deserve that Oscar.

robb said...

oh, and i forgot to say, great list - thanks for compiling it.

vg21 said...

I know this may not be much of a contriubution to the topic but I just wanted to say that this article reminded me again how insightful and creative your posts were, Nathaniel :). You always grab something topical and make it into a so more far-reaching and more-dimensional entry. Also, I was wondering how you come up with the posts, if you have a schedule well in advance or they are more spontaneous :P. Anyhow, thanks a lot for them, we are quite spoiled here on TFE quality- and fun-wise:).

chris na Taraja said...

Wow THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE was such a bad flick. Look at Julie Andrews totally overacting in this clip. She's thinking, I just did the SOUND OF MUSIC and won the oscar for MARY POPPINS, and now I gotta stand here and watch Carol Channing pretend to play jazz instruments badly

jimmy said...

thoroughly modern millie looks so bad it could be good. didn't you forget about oscar nominee and winner Cher? I think she turned 92 this past spring.

Anonymous said...

Actor Joe Mantell, a Supporting Actor Nominee for 'Marty' is 89 :)

Anonymous said...

Director Michael Anderson (Around the World in 80 Days Nominee is 90

Director Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde, The Miracle Worker and Alices Restaurant Nominee is 87

Mihalis Kakogiannis (Nominated for Producing, Directing, and Writing 'Zorba the Greek' is 87


chris -- but the underlined large acting was the style of the whole film. I think it's so much better than people give it credit for (thoroughly modern millie) although, yes, it's very very very silly.

jimmy -- LOL.

The Man Behind The Curtain said...

Nathaniel: I just finished reading Pictures at a Revolution last month. Fantastic book!

Erin said...

Well Since I am fellow 'Actressexual' I must bring up these ole' gals since they are 85+ and still with us

Martha Hyer 86 in August
Supporting Actress nom - Some Came Running

Cara Williams 85
Supporting Actress nom - The Defiant Ones.


vg21 -- thank you much for the appreciation. It's hard work here (but fun).

it's a combo of both. I do have a
very vague outline (in advance) but most of it is day of or one day in advance. I'm happiest when I'm working a day ahead but it's hard to do.

Marc said...

I did not see Lauren Bacall's name, Best Supporting Actress nominee in "The Mirror Has Two Faces." She is 85 at present and will be 86 on September 16.


i only took it from birthday girl to birthday girl. Ruby Dee and Lauren Bacall are getting up there but they aren't as old as these folks ;)

Urey said...

Goodness, she's 100? Happy birthday, Gloria Stuart!

DeWayne said...

Wonderful list and much appreciated!

JOhn said...

Count me in the Eleanor Parker train, she was amazing, one of my favorite actresses. She is also wonderful in another film from 1950, Three secrets, with Patricia Neal (who is 84!!!). I also adore her in Scaramouche.


John... maybe i should do an eleanor parker series after Streep. haha. not that people would sign on with fervor. sigh.


i just realized that there is no one between the ages of 96 and 100. but all the other ages are there. Weird.

normadesmond said...

LOVE this list!

Marc said...

Great list! It's amazing that we have so many of these wonderful actors/actresses still with us. So many great performances, films and memories. I have some more names (not necessarily Oscar nominees, some more well known for their work on TV):
Tony Martin - 97
Harry Morgan - 95
Eli Wallach - 94
Barbara Billingsley - 94
Herbert Lom - 92
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. - 91
Louis Jourdan - 91
Nehemiah Persoff - 90
Abe Vigoda - 89
Phyllis Thaxter - 88
Betty White - 88
Patrick Macnee - 88
Michael Ansara - 88
Jack Klugman - 88
Barbara Hale - 88
William Schallert - 88

Dzierzgul said...

You should also mention the great cinematographer Douglas Slocombe (b. Febuary 10 1913), who is three time nominee. He was nominated for "Travels with my Aunt", "Julia" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Apart from that he worked on "Dead of Night", "Kind Hearts and Coronets", "The Lavender Hill Mob", "The Servant", "The Lion in the Winter", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crucade". All in all, he made movies with Spielberg, Huston, Losey, Zinneman, Cukor, Jewison, Mackendrick, Polanski and many other.
Also, he had quite a remarkable life (some stories about his career as a newsreel cameraman during World War II told at the BAFTA event in his honor couple of months ago were really interesting; I believe it's still on Youtube).
And, famously, never used light meter while filming in the desert. He just measured the light intensity by looking at the shadow of his thumb against his palm. Pretty cool, I would say.

dining table said...

I adore that lady. I am a big fun of her. I always watch her movies. Thank you for sharing this very inspirational post.

afr43210 said...

Although he has never been nominated for an oscar, Eli Wallach is still going strong at 94and is nominated for an emmy award this year for guest actor.

Anonymous said...

Betty Garrett is 91.

Elizabeth said...

The great screenwriter Suso Cecchi D'Amico, who gave us, among many others, "The Bicycle Thief" and "The Leopard," was nominated for writing for "Casanova 70." She is 96.

Thanks for the list. Wonderful!

Anonymous said...

oo creepy, suso just died the other day and now Robert F Boyle past away yesterday!! RIP

Alison Flynn said...

I didn't see three-time nominee Angela Lansbury on this list. She's going to be 85 this October. :(

Alison Flynn said...

I didn't see three-time nominee Angela Lansbury on your list. She'll be turning 85 this October.


Alison -- she's too young for this list! It's not every day she's too young for something now :). I do think, since she still has the stamina for 8 shows a week on Broadway, that we'll have her with us for some time still. YAY!

Alison Flynn said...

LOL, that's great that she's considered too young!

And yes, it's amazing how she's still going strong on Broadway. One of my favorite actresses ever.

John T said...

Nathaniel, not sure if you're counting Documentary nominees, but Tom Daly is 92.

John T said...

And out of curiosity, Nathaniel, who would be the oldest person you would have ever nominated for an Oscar? I believe the girl from Ponette you said would be the youngest, but what about the oldest?

Gary said...

One more (a real old timer): Norman Corwin, who was nominated for the screenplay of LUST FOR LIFE (1956), turned 100 on May 3.

Alison Flynn said...


I love that Angie's too young for this list, Nat. And yes, it's amazing that she's still going strong, doing 8 shows on Broadway a week. One of my favorite actresses ever.

Anonymous said...

I think no one mentioned ANN BLYTH (nominated best supporting actress for her role in Mildred Pierce). She was born in 1928. Actress and singer. She still looks unbelievable ! Ms. Blyth is surely worthy of inclusion.

Kyrkos said...

Just thought I'd mention Portuguese director Manoel De Oliveira, he will be 102 in three months' time. Hasn't been nomiated for an Oscar but has been honored in several film festivals.

Robby said...

How sad that since this was written Robert F Boyle, Kevin McCarthy, Gloria Stuart, Arthur Penn, and Joe Mantell have died. RIP

Shieldwolf2012 said...

Joe Mantell December 21, 1915 – died September 29, 2010

Owen said...

"Lizabeth Scott",is an absolute movie legend and still alive at 89,and she looks unbelievable,