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TOH! Remembers Talent the Film Community Lost in 2013 (PART 1)

Thompson on Hollywood By TOH! | Thompson on Hollywood December 23, 2013 at 11:00AM

As Part 1 in our series of "TOH! Remembers" posts, we look back at some of the talent the film community lost in 2013.
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A.C. Lyles

Who: A.C. Lyles

Born: 1918

Known for: More famed for his nearly-80-year tenure on the Paramount lot (he started there as an office boy straight out of high school and ended up as an exquisitely-groomed and well-dressed ambassador for the studio, interviewed for countless documentaries) than the undistinguished string of Westerns he produced there in the 50s and 60s.

Career breakout: Associate producer on "Rawhide" television series

High point: Awarded star on Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame in 1988

Low point: Produced "Night of the Lepus," about giant mutant rabbits, in 1972

Yes, it's true: Last credit was as consulting producer on David Milch's "Deadwood," 2005 -- 2006, at age of 88; both his wives were named Martha. -- Meredith Brody

Who: Ted Post

Ted Post

Born:  March 31, 1918

Known For: Directing hundreds of episodes of such television series as “Peyton Place,” “Rawhide,” Gunsmoke,” “Wagon Train” and “Combat.”

Career Breakout: Directing Clint Eastwood’s first American movie, “Hang ‘Em High” (1968), after Eastwood’s success in Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns, and the actor’s second “Dirty Harry” movie, “Magnum Force.” (1973)

High Point: His 1978 Vietnam War movie “Go Tell the Spartans,” which is now considered a classic and arguably the best movie made about the Vietnam War.  The title echoes the epitaph for the 300 soldiers who died at Thermopylae fighting Persian invaders in 480 BC:  "Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, that here, obedient to their laws, we lie.”

Low Point: “Go Tell the Spartans,” which failed commercially and was dismissed by most critics in 1978.  Starring Burt Lancaster, the clear-eyed movie about how the war could not ever be won had the misfortune to be competing against Michael Cimino’s savage Vietnam movie, “The Deer Hunter” which won five Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Yes, it’s True: In Hollywood, where marriages are tossed away almost as often as old clothes, Post married at the age of 22 and was still married to his first wife when he died 73 years later. --Aljean Harmetz

Who: Gilbert Taylor

Gilbert Taylor

Born: April 21, 1914

Known for: British director of photographer for black-and-white and color films who worked with Polanski, Hitchcock, Kubrick and Lucas.

Career breakout: In 1964, Taylor lensed two B&W films by soon-to-be-major auteurs: Polanski's psychosexual horror "Repulsion" and Kubrick's wartime black comedy "Dr. Strangelove."

High point: In 1977, George Lucas brought Taylor aboard "Star Wars: A New Hope" as cinematographer, defining the visual landscape of the franchise.

Low point: Taylor never received an Academy Award nomination.

Yes, it's true: He used his wife's silk stocking as a camera filter to create the soft, eerie look of Richard Donner's 1976 satanic thriller "The Omen." --Ryan Lattanzio

Next up: TOH! remembers the leading men the film community lost in 2013.

This article is related to: Features, Obit


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.