3 items from 2015
Mary Ellen Trainor, best known for her performances as Stephanie Woods in the Lethal Weapon movies and Mrs. Walsh in The Goonies, died on May 20 in her Montecito, California home, The New York Times reported yesterday. She was 62. The case of death was due to complications with pancreatic cancer, as confirmed by Trainor's friend Kathleen Kennedy on Monday. In addition to her roles in the movies mentioned above, the actress is also remembered for her acting turns in Die Hard, The Monster Squad, Scrooged, Ghostbusters II. She also had a recurring role in the TV series "Roswell," which ran from 1999-2002. Before her acting career, Trainor served as a producer's assistant, on films such as Big Wednesday, Hardcore and Steven Spielberg's 1941, where she met her future husband Robert Zemeckis. She would go on to have small roles-to-cameos in a number of her husband's movie, including Romancing the Stone, Back to the Future Part II, »
- Will Ashton
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
Edward Aiona, the prop master for 31 feature films, including three that won Academy Awards for best picture, “Ordinary People” (1980), “Rain Man” (1988) and “Unforgiven” (1992), as well as 28 episodes of network series television, died March 31 at Tarzana Hospital of lung cancer compounded by chronic heart trouble. He was 83.
Aiona was closely associated with Clint Eastwood: Aiona made his debut as property master on Dirty Harry film “Magnum Force” in 1973 and then worked on every Eastwood film until Aiona’s retirement in 1996.
Between films with Eastwood, Aiona also collaborated as prop master with directors including Martin Scorsese (“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”), John Milius (“Big Wednesday”), Sydney Pollack (“The Electric Horseman” and “Absence of Malice”), Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”) and John Carpenter (“Memoirs of an Invisible Man”).
“He was extreme in getting what was required for the screenplay,” said Mike Sexton, Aiona’s assistant before becoming prop master at Eastwood’s »
- Variety Staff
3 items from 2015
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