Legendary Lives To Celebrate At The 2012 Oscars


Remembering those that lit up the silver screen and left us last year.

On Academy Award Sunday, we all gather around the television to see the winners and losers of one of Hollywood’s most esteemed honors.

Halfway through the night’s celebration, those present along with viewers around the world will take a moment to remember and honor those who passed away in the last year – film greats who left us with phenomenal films, amazing performances and memorable moments we can never forget.

The fun part about this solemn segment of the show is seeing if you can recognize the stars and professionals shown during the short montage of lost Hollywood notables. Here are a few helpful hints to jog your memory as you watch this annual presentation during Sunday night’s show:

Classics Names You Probably Know and Recognize

Elizabeth Taylor - One of Old Hollywood's last great screen legends, Taylor got her start as a child actress at the age of 10 and went on to make more than 50 films and earn two Academy Awards for Butterfield 8 and Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf?.

Susannah York – A prominent British actress of stage and screen whose most popular role was playing the Man of Steel’s Krypton mother in Superman: The Movie and Superman II. She earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

Cliff Robertson - Veteran actor, who won an Oscar for his role as a mentally disabled man in 1968's Charly. His other film credits included PT 109, in which he played a young John F. Kennedy. More recently, Robertson appeared as Tobey Maguire's Uncle Ben in Spider-Man.

Jane Russell – The brunette bombshell whose breakout role came in the 1941 western The Outlaw and who also costarred with Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Peter Falk – Best known as Columbo on television and as the grandfather who reads his unwilling grandson a fairy tale in The Princess Bride. He had a long and vibrant screen career that counted a number of classics. In Murder, Inc., Falk earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and was in contention again for his supporting turn in Frank Capra’s final picture, Pocketful of Miracles. He also appeared alongside the likes of Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle and Ethel Merman in the caper comedy It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and had a sharp comedic turn in The In-Laws.

Sidney Lumet – Accomplished director over the course of six decades. His credits include 12 Angry Men, Henry Fonda in Stage Struck, Marlon Brando in The Fugitive Kind and Katharine Hepburn in Lond Day’s Journey into Night. In the 1970s he produced the classic crime drama, Serpico, starring Al Pacino. He also directed a fine adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, starring Albert Finney, Sean Connery and Lauren Bacall, before reuniting with Pacino on another crime classic, Dog Day Afternoon. His Oscar-winning satire, Network, became one of 1976’s biggest hits.

Jackie Cooper - In a career spanning nearly all of his 89 years, he began as a child star in the Our Gang comedies and films such as The Champ and his Oscar-nominated performance in Skippy, before going on to become a director of television and actor in the Christopher Reeve-era Superman films.

Less Familiar Names Remembered Nonetheless

Ken Russell - The Oscar-nominated director, whose films included Women in Love, Tommy and Altered States.

Wyatt Knight - The actor who played bad boy Tommy Turner in all three Porky's movies.

Leonard Stone - The actor best known for playing Violet Beauregarde's father in the 1971 fantasy film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Gil Cates - The veteran director-producer who oversaw a record 14 Academy Award telecasts.

Charles Napier - The character actor appeared in the Jonathan Demme-directed The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, as well as Rambo: First Blood Part II, Austin Powers and dozens of other films and TV shows.

Francesco Quinn - The versatile actor, and son of Anthony Quinn, made his debut in 1986's Platoon and had recurring roles on TV.

Bubba Smith - The NFL great and Police Academy star.

G.D. Spradlin - The veteran character actor who most famously played Nevada Sen. Pat Geary in The Godfather: Part II as well as the Army general who gives Martin Sheen's character the assignment to find and kill Marlon Brando's Kurtz in Apocalypse Now.

Roberts Blossom - The actor may have appeared in such films as The Great Gatsby, Escape from Alcatraz and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but he'll most likely be remembered most for playing Old Man Marley opposite Macaulay Culkin in the hit 1990 comedy Home Alone.

Ryan Dunn - The daredevil who costarred in all three Jackass movies.

Laura Ziskin - The producer best known for her work on Pretty Woman and the Spider-Man films.

Jeff Conaway - The star of Grease and Taxi.

Joseph Brooks - The Oscar-winning songwriter of the '70s hit "You Light Up My Life"

Yvette Vickers - The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman star and former Playboy pinup.

Kevin Jarre - The acclaimed screenwriter best known for penning Glory, Tombstone and Rambo: First Blood Part II.

Tim Hetherington - The documentary filmmaker nominated for an Oscar this year for codirecting the Afghanistan war story Restrepo.

Michael Sarrazin - The Canadian character actor perhaps best known for starring opposite Jane Fonda in the 1969 drama They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Farley Granger - The veteran actor best known for starring in the 1951 Alfred Hitchcock classic Strangers on a Train.

Pinetop Perkins - The boogie woogie and blues piano player who enjoyed appearances in the films The Blues Brothers and Angel Heart.

Michael Gough - The esteemed British actor whose career spanned five decades, with roles in such films as Out of Africa and The Age of Innocence, but mass movie audiences probably remember him best for playing the Caped Crusader's butler Alfred in 1989's Batman (and its three sequels).

Gary Winick - The director of Letters to Juliet, Bride Wars and 13 Going on 30, and producer of Ethan Hawke's Chelsea Walls, the Katie Holmes vehicle Pieces of April, Rebecca Miller's Personal Velocity and his own Sundance hit, Tadpole.

Kenneth Mars - The veteran film and TV actor whose résumé included The Producers, Party of Five and The Little Mermaid (the voice of Ariel's father, King Triton).

Maria Schneider - The French actress best known for her work in the controversial 1972 X-rated film Last Tango in Paris opposite Marlon Brando.

John Barry - The Oscar-winning composer who scored several James Bond movies as well as movies like The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances With Wolves.

Peter Yates - The Oscar-nominated director behind such films as Bullitt, Breaking Away and Suspect.

Pete Postlethwaite - The British actor best known for his roles in The Usual Suspects, Amistad and In the Name of the Father, for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.

Anne Francis - The veteran actress, who not only starred opposite the late Leslie Nielsen in Forbidden Planet, but also in such cinema classics as Bad Day at Black Rock and Blackboard Jungle.

And Most Recent Losses

David Kelly - Irish actor most known for his roles in Waking Ned Devine and Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Whitney Houston - Gospel-trained pop diva and the star of popular films The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale.

Bill Hinzman – Actor most known as the original Zombie from Night of the Living Dead.

Zalman King - Director most well known for movies like 9 1/2 Weeks and Red Shoe Diaries.

Ben Gazzara - Beloved actor was best known for his work in films by John Cassavetes like Husbands and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. He was also in such films as The Spanish Prisoner, Bandit and Summer of Sam.

Although they’ve left us in body, they’ll always remain fabulous in the films we remember and the roles they played.

Now that you know who they are, join the global community on Sunday to honor them as we bow our heads in reverence for their great talents that graced the silver screen through the years.