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Filmmaker Richard Fleischer Dies

  • WENN
Veteran director Richard Fleischer died on Saturday of natural causes at the Motion Picture And Television Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 89. The 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea movie-maker's death has sparked a flurry of tributes from Hollywood's finest - including California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who worked with Fleischer on 1984's Conan The Destroyer. Schwarzenegger says, "(He was) a true Hollywood legend. He was a man of great talent and an extraordinary director." Fleischer was born into a showbiz family - his father, Max Fleischer, was the animator behind Betty Boop and Popeye. Starting off making B-movies in the late 1940s, Fleischer quickly made a name for himself, going on to direct hits including Tora! Tora! Tora!, the Charles Bronson-starring Mr. Majestyk, and Doctor Dolittle with Rex Harrison - although he admitted the famously unpopular Harrison needed "a swift kick in the head." Fleischer is survived by his wife Mary, their three children and five grandchildren.

Director Richard Fleischer Dies at 89

  • WENN
Director Richard Fleischer Dies at 89
Director Richard Fleischer, a prolific filmmaker who helmed such movies as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Fantastic Voyage, and Soylent Green, died Saturday of natural causes in Los Angeles; he was 89. The son of pioneering animator Max Fleischer (one of the men behind famed characters Betty Boop and Popeye), Richard joined RKO's New York branch in the early 40s as a writer and producer for the studio's Flicker Flashbacks series and won an Oscar for the documentary Design for Death. By the end of the decade was ensconced in Hollywood, directing a number of low-budget noir thrillers, one of his most famous being the train-set The Narrow Margin, one of the first films to use a handheld camera and filmed in only 13 days; it was later remade in the 90s. In 1954, Fleischer got his big break courtesy of Walt Disney (his father's rival), who tapped him to direct the big-screen adaptation of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea starring Kirk Douglas and James Mason. Disney's first entire live-action movie made in the United States, it became one of the studio's most famous and well-known films, inspiring attractions at Disney's theme parks that utilized versions of the Nautilus submarine and the famed battle with a giant squid. Fleischer's career was marked by forays into numerous genres, with some of his more notable movies being The Vikings (1958), Fantastic Voyage (1966), The Boston Strangler (1968), Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), Soylent Green (1973), and the Neil Diamond version of The Jazz Singer (1980). He also directed some of Hollywood's most well-known flops, including the Oscar-nominated musical Doctor Dolittle, the biopic Che! and the slave drama Mandingo. Throughout the 80s, Fleischer worked on a number of modern-day B movies, including cult faves Conan the Destroyer (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Grace Jones) and Red Sonja. He is survived by his wife, Mary, three children and five grandchildren. --Prepared by IMDb staff

Keith Andes Dies

  • WENN
Tora! Tora! Tora! star Keith Andes was found dead in his Santa Clarita, California home earlier this month. He was 85. The Los Angeles County coroner's office has ruled the actor's death was suicide by asphyxiation. His longtime friend Marshall LaPlante confirmed the New Jersey-born actor had been suffering from cancer of the bladder. The New Jersey-born actor launched his film career after Hollywood studio head Darryl F. Zanuck saw him performing in the Broadway, New York production of Winged Victory and offered him a role in the film version of the play in 1944. Andes spent four decades on the big screen, with roles as Marilyn Monroe's leading man in 1952's Clash By Night, The Farmer's Daughter in 1947 and Tora! Tora! Tora! in 1970. On the small screen, he starred opposite Glynis Johns in the 1963 Sitcom Glynis and police drama The Man Dawson. Andes is survived by his two sons Mark and Matt and his grandson Ryan.

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