• U.S.

Milestones, Jan. 5, 1976

2 minute read

Died. William Lundigan, 61, perennial supporting actor; after a long illness; in Duarte, Calif. A radio announcer in his native Syracuse, N.Y., Lundigan caught the ear of a movieland talent scout with the resonance of his bass voice. Signed on the spot to his first film contract, a commercial for a Tarzan film, Lundigan went to Hollywood in 1937. He played in such rough-and-tumble epics as Dodge City (1939) and The Fighting 69th (1940); otherwise, he said, “nothing much happened” in a 17-year career during which he appeared in more than 125 films. Later Lundigan moved to TV to become the host of CBS’s Climax (1954-58) and Shower of Stars (1954-58).

Died. Bernard Herrmann, 64, innovative film composer who won an Academy Award at 30 with his music for All That Money Can Buy; of an apparent heart attack; in Los Angeles. Herrmann’s association with Orson Welles dated from the radio days of the 1930s to his scoring of Welles’ landmark film Citizen Kane. Later, for such Sci-fi thrillers as The Day the Earth Stood Still and Beneath the 12-Mile Reef, he mingled discordant wails of electronic instruments to evoke the sounds of rolling thunder or blood-curdling shrieks. Among Herrmann’s nonfilm credits were his opera Wuthering Heights (1950) and a cantata, Moby Dick (1940).

Died. Tilly Losch, seventyish, prima ballerina of the 1920s and ’30s, whose supple, fluid movements enchanted audiences of the Vienna State Ballet until she began a second career that included musicals with the Astaires and roles in such movies as The Good Earth and The Garden of Allah; of cancer; in Manhattan.

Died. René Floriot, 73, doyen of France’s criminal lawyers whose logical, even-paced courtroom arguments lost him only three of his thousands of clients to executions over a 52-year career; of a heart attack; in Neuilly, France.

Died. Rowland Lee, 84, durable Hollywood director-producer of more than 60 films; of an apparent heart attack; in Palm Desert, Calif. Lee left Columbia University for an acting career, went to Hollywood in 1916 and directed several silent movies, including Doomsday, starring Gary Cooper. When the talkies killed the silents, the adaptable Lee quickly met the challenge by turning out the grim, chilling Derelict and a cloak-and-sword drama, The Count of Monte Cristo, with equal dexterity. He retired in 1945 to his San Fernando Valley ranch but came back in 1959 to produce The Big Fisherman.

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