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Living Stars of Hollywood’s Golden Era

Living Stars of Hollywood’s Golden Era


One of the best moments of Cher’s last sit-down with David Letterman was her quip—and I paraphrase, “Sometimes the best career move is to die young.”  This got me to thinking about some of the actors of Hollywood’s Golden Era who have not heeded Cher’s advice and are still alive.  I immediately began to write this loving listicle of movie stars who have completely ignored Cher’s advice.   As I began my research, I was surprised at the number of times that I was unsure myself if someone was alive, which imbued my mission with an even greater sense of purpose. I decided somewhat arbitrarily that in order to qualify, the actor had to have made their film debut before 1962 and preferably been under contract during the studio era.

Olivia De Havilland illustration
Portrait of Olivia de Havilland in “The Heiress” by Alvaro

And then just as the piece startled to settle—horrors—the honorees began to expire.  I lost two: Peter O’Toole and Joan Fontaine, in one week, which was both terribly sad and structurally inconvenient, forcing a rewrite.  After weeks of toiling, I was finally about to publish it yesterday, February 11, when I read the news that Shirley Temple had passed.  Dang!  She was not only one of the most iconic members of my glittering, dwindling group of 31 (now 30), but I was also meant to run her adorable picture as the featured image for the piece, my visual hood ornament for this whole unwieldy enterprise.

After the unfortunate Fontaine/O’Toole departure, I considered making the list shorter, but the mere thought of cutting people from a list meant to hedge against anonymity made me feel ungrateful and cold, so I continued chipping away at my bloated nostalgia choo choo train, prayerful that the cast would hold their positions and just stop dying long enough for me to finish the tribute. Now with my post-Shirley Temple rewrite finished, the piece is done and barring any additional departures in the next 12 hours, I will publish my list of 30 with no further delay and a big sigh of relief.  While I’m certain that this piece will age as poorly as any of its celebrant’s very worst films, I feel good that at least I will have done my small part to remind people who these folks were and why they mattered. Mea culpa for any oversights or factual errors but my heart was in the right place.

Oh, one more thing: my intention here is not ironic. Though it may feel a bit like a parlor game, my objective is really to shine the spotlight once again on older people, a community that in our youth obsessed culture, never seems to get the respect they deserve. For every Debbie Reynolds or Shirley MacLaine who is still working and retains a modicum of cultural presence, there are folks we just don’t hear about in the present tense, like Angie Dickinson or Sophia Loren.  Many we don’t hear about in any tense at all which actually makes a history buff like me, well…tense.  This Stargayzing tribute is for all of them.

After the jump we’ll commence, beginning with 72-year-old Ann-Margret, (the baby of our group), a list of 30 stars from youngest to oldest (I am notoriously bad at math—putting this list in reverse order by age was a major drag).  Please comment and tell us who we may have omitted.

Ann-Margret flowerAnn-Margret (born Apri 28, 1941 – age 75)

“I just love my privacy.”

An actress/singer/dancer who is equally comfortable in musicals like Viva Las Vegas (1964) and Bye, Bye Birdie (1963), or in dramas like Carnal Knowledge (1971), Ann-Margret has been a major star of film, TV, records, and the stage since the 1950s.  I love Ann-Margret best for the numerous variety show appearances that peppered my childhood. My first Ann-Margret memory was learning in Rona Barrett Hollywood magazine in late-1972 about the actresses’s terrible 22-foot fall from scaffolding to the stage in Lake Tahoe which almost killed her and required facial reconstruction.  Happily she recovered fully, though I’m still getting over it. Other than her alter-ego’s appearance on The Flintstones (as “Ann-Margrock”), my first non-catastrophic Margret memory was in Ken Russell’s Tommy.  At age 10 her famous baked bean scene in an all-white room made no sense to me whatsoever but was so visually stunning that it made an indelible impression.   Twice nominated for the Oscar and winner of five Golden Globe awards, Ann-Margret continues to work today, winning her first Emmy in 2010 for an episode of Law and Order: SVU.  She has a lovely website I recommend.

Margaret O’Brien (born January 15, 1937 – age 80)

“When I cry, do you want the tears to run all the way or shall I stop halfway down?”

Adorable MGM moppet Margaret O’Brien made her screen debut at the age of four in Babes on Broadway (1941), followed by her breakthrough role the following year in Journey for Margaret.  She gave a convincing performance as a young French girl in Robert Stevensen’s wonderful 1944 version of Jane Eyre, followed by the role for which she is best remembered, “Tootie” in Vincente Minnelli’s Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).  As Judy Garland’s younger sister, that role won O’Brien a juvenile Academy Award and remains one of the all-time most affecting screen performances by a child. O’Brien had a difficult transition to adult roles, though she worked from time to time on TV and stage.  She pops up on TCM from time to time to share her warm memories of her childhood in Hollywood and is active on the autograph show circuit.  Toward that end, she maintains a website primarily devoted to purchasing O’Brien ephemera.


Sophia LorenSophia Loren (born September 20, 1934 – age 82)

“Sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got and fifty percent what people think you’ve got.”

Sophia Loren has been the screen’s most famous embodiment of the ideal Italian woman since the early 1950s.  She won her Academy Award in 1962 for Vittorio De Sica’s Two Women, becoming the first actress to win the statuette in a foreign film.  Other well-known films include Houseboat with Cary Grant (1958), El Cid, Vittorio De Sica’s Marriage Italian-Style with Marcello Mastroianni (1964), Arabesque with Gregory Peck (1966), Charlie Chaplin’s final film The Countess from Hong Kong with Marlon Brando (1967), and Robert Altman’s Ready to Wear (1995), among many others.  She was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1991 and the Cecil B. DeMille Golden Globe award in 1995. Despite the fact she works infrequently she remains one of the most  famous international film stars and powerful symbol of the sensual European woman.



Shirley MacLaine youngShirley MacLaine (born April 24, 1934 – age 82)

“I can’t advise any of the young ones, because I don’t know what their background was, but I would suggest that anyone who wants to be famous more than anything—there’s a real problem.”

It’s hard to write a thumbnail about someone who has enjoyed as long, varied, and prolific a career as Shirley MacLaine.  Singer, actress, best-selling author, and dancer, MacLaine is a powerhouse who became one of the true greats.  Here is but a tiny piece of her filmography: The Trouble with Harry (1955); Some Came Running (1958, Oscar nomination); The Apartment (1960, Oscar nomination); Irma La Douce (19630; Sweet Charity (1969); The Turning Point (1977, Oscar nomination); Being There (1979); Terms of Endearment (1983, Oscar); Steel Magnolias (1989); Postcards from the Edge (1990); Bernie (2011); and the recent remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013).   She has won the Golden Globe four times as well as receiving their Cecil B. DeMille award in 1998.  On TV she won an Emmy for her 1975 TV Special Gypsy in My Soul and gave a well-publicized star turn on the 2012/2013 season of PBS’ Downton Abby.  In 2012 she was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award.  At 79 she is still every inch a great star, down to the de rigeur bitter autobiography by her daughter Sachi Parker in 2012. She has a shockingly unattractive website that looks more like an e-commerce site for a housewife who sells homeopathic remedies out of garage in Oregon than Shirley MacLaine’s online home:  For those of you who are not familiar with Miss MacLaine’s earlier work, this fantastic number from Bob Fosse’s 1969 adaptation of Sweet Charity does an excellent job of showing the unique combination of talents that made Shirley so dynamic.


Shirley Jones youngShirley Jones (born March 31, 1934 – age 83)

“I had done 25 motion pictures prior to The Partridge Family and nobody knew my name.”

Some readers may already know Shirley’s birthday from the popular Partridge Family 1972 album Up to Date, but long before she came into our living rooms as Shirley Partridge, Shirley Jones was, of course, one of the last singing ingenues of the Hollywood film musical, starring in Oklahoma! (1955), Carousel (1956), and The Music Man (1962).  Jones won an Oscar for best supporting actress playing against type in the drama Elmer Gantry in 1960.  The film starred and was produced by Burt Lancaster, who fought director Richard Brooks to cast Miss Jones. Though she will forever be best known for playing Shirley Partridge, Jones has enjoyed a long career that encompasses film, TV, records and live performances.  She is still active, visible, and sexy at 79.


Joan Collins featuredJoan Collins (born May 23, 1933 – age 82)

“Age is just a number. It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine.”

What can I say about the still-gorgeous, imperious Miss Collins that I haven’t already said before in Stargayzing?  Well, perhaps that out of the stars whom I’ve had the pleasure (or, in some cases displeasure) to know personally over the years, Miss Collins was one of the most fun and definitely one of the very best conversationalists.  A true raconteur, I always enjoyed the chance to hear her tell stories about the many people she’s known over the years.  I generally found her to be open, funny, and only too glad to tell a story. From the high to the low, Joan Collins has held our attention for over 50 years and no matter where she is, she is invariably the biggest star in the room.  She has recently finished a new film for the USA network called Molly Moon: The Incredible Hypnotist.


Kim Novak sweaterKim Novak (born February 13, 1933 – age 84)

I didn’t want to start relying on what someone else thought was right. It was easier to go away all together.”

Kim Novak was the quintessential Hollywood blonde and a huge star in the 1950s.  Credits include Phffft (1954), Picnic (1955), The Man With the Golden Arm (1955), Pal Joey (1957), Bell, Book, and Candle (1958), and The Mirror Crack’d (1980).  Of course she is best known as the star of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.  She also starred on TV in Falcon Crest in the mid-1980s. When the roles started slowing down in the mid-1960s, Novak retreated from Hollywood.  She lives in Oregon and raises horses and llamas.  She has no website and likes to paint.



Debbie Reynolds pinkDebbie Reynolds (born April 1, 1932 – age 83)

Debbie Reynolds died December 28, 2016, age 84

“I think one of my favorite films is ‘Dark Victory’ with Bette Davis. Why? She was so wonderful in that film. And…maybe I just want a good cry once in a while without having to go through a divorce.”

Debbie Reynolds has been a force of nature since forever and she’s still out there doing her thing (she was amazing earlier this year as Liberace’s mother in Behind the Candelabra).  From hit singles (“Tammy,” 1957), to iconic films (Singin’ in the Rain, 1952), to starring roles on Broadway (Irene, 1973 – Tony Nomination), Debbie Reynolds has been sharing her exuberance and love of performing since she was a teenager.  Other notable roles include The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964, Oscar nomination), That’s Entertainment (1974), and Albert Brooks’ Mother (1996).  She is an avid lover of film history and collector of film memorabilia.  She published her autobiography Unsinkable earlier this year. As if being Carrie Fisher’s mother didn’t give her eternal street cred, Debbie is on twitter and has an awesome website,, where we all can purchase some of her beloved film memorabilia.  (For film lovers like me it was a great deal of fun rummaging around in Miss Reynolds’ closet)  As if that isn’t enough, check out the website for the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio.  There’s also a really cute fans called DebbieReynoldsOnline. It’s hard not to admire the professionalism and spirit of this 81-year-old show business veteran.  Viva La Debbie!



Angie Dickinson sweaterAngie Dickinson (born September 30, 1931 – age 85)

“You can’t stop the aging process. There’s only so much oil you can put on your body. I’ve always just tried to go with my age. If the part requires somebody a little younger or older, I can probably get away with that.”

Angie Dickinson has gone back and forth between TV and film since the early 1950s.   Some of her most memorable film roles include Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo (1959), Don Siegel’s The Killers (1964), John Boorman’s Point Blank (1967), and Brian DePalma’s Dressed to Kill (1980).  On TV Dickinson is best known at Pepper Anderson on Police Woman, a breakthrough role for woman.  The hit show ran from 1974-1978. The glamorous Dickinson still works from time to time.  She has no website, but writer Chris Erskine wrote a lovely piece about her in  the L.A. Times a few months ago.



Mitzi Gaynor TVMitzi Gaynor (born September 4, 1931 – age 85)

“[On ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’] I found a way to keep Ethel (Merman) cool. Whenever Marilyn (Monroe) wouldn`t come out of her dressing room, I gave Ethel a wink, hinting that something naughty was going on in there. Of course that wasn`t true, but if Ethel thought maybe some hanky-panky was going on, she could enjoy the situation.”

For some reason that I’m still not completely sure of, the Eating With the Stars’ edition of Mitzi Gaynor’s Tangy Rice Pilaf has been a consistently robust feature on Stargayzing.  I can only assume there is still a fervent fan base for the legendary hoofer, or that there is a dearth of good recipes for Tangy Rice Pilaf out there.  Either way, Mitzi is a great friend of this blog.



Tab Hunter colorTab Hunter (born July 11, 1931 – age 85)

“The star thing is over. I’ve knocked around quite a bit in the past few years and now I’m just another actor looking for work. Acting is what I know and what I do best…I’m trying to find a new niche…something to help erase that bland image the studios gave me in the Fifties. I’m looking for roles that will establish me as a more mature actor.” 

Tab Hunter is one of the few stars on this list I’ve actually had the experience of meeting.  He was amazingly down to earth, warm, and friendly.  He seems to have really adjusted well to a post-teen idol life.  A few years back he wrote a first-rate celebrity autobiography Tab Hunter Confidential, which was adapted into a documentary. He has a website that is as good looking as he is.



Leslie CaronLeslie Caron (born July 1, 1931 – age 85)  

“There were many good actresses in my time like Jane Powell and Debbie Reynolds, but I was the only dancer.”

Miss Caron appeared in 45 films between 1951 and 2003, including An American in Paris (1951), Lili (1953), Daddy Long Legs (1955), and Gigi (1958).  Her autobiography Thank Heaven was published in 2010.  She won an Emmy in 2006 for a guest performance on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.



Claire Bloom colorClaire Bloom (born February 15, 1931 – age 86)

“I think that few professions have so much to do with chance and so little to do with the calculation of will.”

English actress Claire Bloom made a memorable screen debut in Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight (1952).  Over the years she has starred opposite Lawrence Olivier in Richard III (1955) and Clash of the Titans (1981).  She starred with Richard Burton in Look Back in Anger (1956) and The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965).  Other film roles include Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) and Mighty Aphrodite (1995).  She also appeared in The King’s Speech (2010). In addition to her film work, Bloom has worked extensively on stage and television.  Like almost every living actor, she has appeared on Law and Order.  She was married to Oscar-winning actor Rod Steiger in the 1950s and writer Philip Roth in the 1990s.



Sean Connery redSean Connery (born August 25, 1930, age 86)

“More than anything else, I’d like to be an old man with a good face, like Alfred Hitchcock or Pablo Picasso. “

Legend Sean Connery will probably always be most closely associated with James Bond, a role he played seven times, beginning in 1962 with Dr. No, and continuing until 1983’s Never Say Never Again.  Other memorable roles over the years include Hitchcock’s Marnie (1964), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), The Name of the Rose (1986), The Hunt for Red October (1990), and Finding Forrester (2000).  He won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for The Untouchables (1987). He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2000.  He has won three Golden Globe awards and the Kennedy Center honor.



Joanne Woodward 1950sJoanne Woodward (born February 27, 1930 – age 87)

“There aren’t a lot of movies for people our age, and I was never terribly enamored of making movies — mainly because I like to work on stage. I didn’t make a lot of movies. I’m very happy doing what I’m doing now: I like to direct and act occasionally on stage. Once in a while, I do television. It’s more likely that somebody my age can find a part in television.” – June 2000 

Best known for her Oscar-winning role in The Three Faces of Eve (1957) and for being the long-time spouse of legend Paul Newman, Woodward has enjoyed a long and esteemed career.  Highlights include The Long Hot Summer (1958), Rachel, Rachel (1968), Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973), the TV movie Sybil (1975), and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990).



Tippi Hedren portraitTippi Hedren (born January 19, 1930 – age 87)

[on Alfred Hitchcock] “To be the object of somebody’s obsession is a really awful feeling when you can’t return it.” 

Poor Tippi Hedren: when she did not reciprocate svengali Alfred Hitchcock’s amorous feelings, he evidently ruined her career.  She rose quickly to stardom in his 1963 hit The Birds.  Under contract to the powerful director, he cast her in Marnie (1964).  Other film roles over the years have included a small part in Charlie Chaplin’s last film The Countess from Hong Kong (1967), Citizen Ruth (1996), and I Heart Huckabees (2004). Her great passion is the Shambala wildlife preserve, which rescues wild animals.



Jane Powell color portraitJane Powell (born April 1, 1929, age 88)

“I didn’t quit movies. They quit me.” 

Best known as an MGM ingenue in films like Royal Wedding, A Date With Judy, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  When film work slowed in the late-1950s, Powell turned to TV and stage work.  Her last major TV role was on—you guessed it—Law and Order.  She lives with her fifth husband, former child star Dickie Moore in New York and Connecticut. I had the pleasure of meeting Miss Powell at Liza Minnelli’s bridal shower and she was just lovely.  This factoid is completely irrelevant here but so random and fun to say that I couldn’t resist.



Ann Blyth portraitAnn Blyth (born August 16, 1928 – age 88)

“As an actress, I have always believed that the truer challenge, the deeper obligation, begins after the camera stops. My role as a woman in my community and in my home has always overshadowed the excitement of any part I have ever played on stage or screen.”

Though best known for her Oscar-nominated portrayal of Veda Pierce, one of the most ungrateful children in film history in the 1945 noir classic Mildred Pierce, Ann Blyth has worked steadily since the early 1940s in film, TV, and on stage.  Her last TV appearance was in a 1985 episode of Murder, She Wrote.  She is the mother of five and, apparently, considered one of the best-known residents of L.A. suburb Toluca Lake.



Sidney PoitierSidney Poitier (born February 20, 1927 – age 90)

“I decided in my life that I would do nothing that did not reflect positively on my father’s life.” 

Sidney Poitier is both an actor of rare skill and presence and an enduring symbol of the civil rights movement.  It is simply not possible to separate the man’s work from what it represents not only to generations of black actors, but to generations of black filmgoers, who saw in his work a reflection of themselves.  Poitier was the first African American man to win the Oscar for best actor for Lillies of the Field (1963).  Other notable films include: In the Heat of the Night (1967); Sneakers (1992); Uptown Saturday Night (1974); Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (1967);  To Sir, With Love (1967); A Patch of Blue (1965); Porgy and Bess (1959); and A Raisin in the Sun (1961).  He has no website.



Jerry Lewis colorJerry Lewis (born March 16, 1926 – age 88)

[looking back on more than 60 years in show business] “I was about as discreet as a…bull taking a piss in your living room.”

For a long time Jerry Lewis was a comic legend.  Then he sort of became a joke, then he became a legend again.  This suggests that contrary to my Cher quote in the introductory paragraph, sometimes the best career move is to keep living.  As one half of the Martin and Lewis comedy team with Dean Martin, Lewis owned supper clubs in the early-1950s.  He went on to have a spectacular film career on both sides of the camera.   He is a spectacular egotist and phenomenal showman.  His reunion with Dean Martin on his Muscular Dystrophy Telethon made me teary even though I was far too young to understand why.  If you need any proof about how great Jerry Lewis is, check out his brilliant performance in Martin Scorcese’s The King of Comedy (1982).


Angela Lansbury colorAngela Lansbury (born October 16, 1925 – age 91)  

[on the desire to perform until the very end] “My son said to me ‘Mom, honestly, the best thing for you would be to keep working and just go out on stage’ and I think that’s a good thing to aim for.”

Angela Lansbury is truly a show business legend, having distinguished herself in film, TV, and on stage in one of the most impressive careers in entertainment history.  She has won five Tonys, six Golden Globe awards, and has been nominated for three Oscars and an unbelievable 18 Emmy awards (though she has never won).  She was given an honorary Oscar in 2013 commemorating 70 years of film work. Though best known today as the star of Murder, She Wrote, one of the most successful TV shows of all-time, Miss Lansbury was a Hollywood legend long before she ever played Jessica Fletcher.  Notable films include Gaslight (1944, Oscar nomination), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945, Oscar nomination), State of the Union (1948), The Manchurian Candidate (1962, Oscar nomination), Death on the Nile (1978), and Beauty and the Beast (1991). In 2014 Queen Elizabeth II appointed Miss Lansbury a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.  I was rather surprised that she doesn’t appear to have a website.


Eva Marie Saint youngEva Marie Saint (born July 4, 1924 – age 92)  

“My mom lived to be 91 and her advice was, ‘Honey, just keep moving.'”

The still-lovely Eva Marie Saint will always be best known for her film debut in Elia Kazan’a On The Waterfront (1954), a role that won her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.  Other notable films include Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959), Raintree County (1957), Superman Returns (2006), and Winter’s Tale (2013).   One of my favorite performances is in Irvin Kershner’s Loving (1970) opposite George Segal. Miss Saint has also worked extensively on TV over the years earning many Emmy nominations and one win, for the 1990 TV movie People Like Us.  If her personal life is any indication, Eva Marie Saint is a model of normalcy, having been married to the same man since 1951.  She is a mother and grandmother.


Rhonda Fleming portraitRhonda Fleming (born August 10, 1923 – age 93)

“Mine was a very rare and wonderful Cinderella story, a complete Cinderella story that could have only happened during the studio system era.” 

I first learned who Rhonda Fleming was in the late-1980s when Sire Records president Seymour Stein took to calling me “Rhonda Fleming” because of my long red hair.  Some research led to discover my namesake.  Lovely starlet Rhonda Fleming has appeared in over 40 films since making her debut in a small part in the 1943 feature In Old Oklahoma.  Notable film performances include Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945), and a trio of film noir classics, The Spiral Staircase (1946, directed by Robert Siodmak), Out of the Past (1947, directed by Jacques Tourneur), and While the City Sleeps (1956, directed by Fritz Lang).   She has co-starred with superstars like Bing Crosby, Robert Mitchum, Dana Andrews, Burt Lancaster, and Vincent Price. In the 1950s and 1960s, Miss Fleming appeared regularly on TV.  She is on her sixth marriage and maintains a perfectly lovely website:


Doris Day featuredDoris Day (born April 3, 1922, age 95)*

“The really frightening thing about middle age is the knowledge that you’ll grow out of it.”

Doris Day was the Cameron Diaz or Drew Barrymore of the 1950s and 1960s as well as being the Katy Perry of her era.  Equally at home in a recording studio or on a soundstage, Miss Day certainly enjoyed one of the biggest careers of the middle 20th century: she ranked the biggest box office star for four years in the early 1960s and was ranked the number one female vocalist in the country by Billboard magazine nine times in ten years (1949-1958).  The 1950s belonged to Doris Day. She basically invented the contemporary romantic comedy in films like Pillow Talk (1959), Lover, Come Back (1961), and Send Me No Flowers (1964, all with Rock Hudson and Tony Randall).  She starred with Cary Grant in That Touch of Mink (1962) and James Garner in Move Over Darling and The Thrill of it All (both 1963). As sexual mores changed in the middle part of the decade Day’s career began to sputter, though she fulfilled her commitment to a TV show, the Doris Day Show, which ran from 1968-1973.   She lives in Carmel, California with a harem of pets.

*Her age was confirmed in 2017 and it appears Miss Day is 95. Apparently this was a surprise to her as well.


Mickey Rooney color portraitMickey Rooney (born September 23, 1920)

Mickey Rooney died April 6, 2014, age 93  R.I.P.

“I was a thirteen-year-old boy for thirty years.”

Mickey Rooney was the top box office star of 1939, 1940, and 1941 and the 12th biggest star of the 1930s, according to the Quigley ranking.  He is one of the last surviving stars who began in the silent era.  One of the rare child stars who transitioned well to adult roles, Rooney will as the adolescent partner of Judy Garland in a phenomenally successful string of films which included Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), Babes in Arms (1939), Babes on Broadway (1941), and Girl Crazy (1943).  Other notable films include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935),  Reckless (1935),  Captain Courageous (1937),  Boys Town (1938),  The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1955),  Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961),  It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), Pete’s Dragon (1977),  The Black Stallion (1978), and The Muppets (2011). Though certainly irascible—even ill-tempered—it’s hard not admire Rooney’s astonishing durability and the staggering length of his career he made his first short subject in 1926 and went on to make over three hundred films.  He has been married 8 times.  He has a website: 


Maureen O'Hara greenMaureen O’Hara (born August 17, 1920 – age 93)

Maureen O’Hara died October 24, 2015, age 95.  R.I.P.

I’m very lucky I really had some wonderful movies.”

The stunning Irish blonde born Maureen FitzSimons has been active in front of the camera since 1938.  Notable films include The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939),  A Bill of Divorcement (1940),  How Green Was My Valley (1941),  Miracle on 34th Street (1947),  Rio Grande (1950),  The Quiet Man (1952),  Our Man in Havana (1959),  The Parent Trap (1961), and Only the Lonely (1991). She lives in Arizona and in Glengariff, County Cork, Ireland.



Kirk Douglas youngKirk Douglas (born December 9, 1916 – age 100)

“No matter how bad things are, they can always be worse. So what if my stroke left me with a speech impediment? Moses had one, and he did all right.”

The great Kirk Douglas is one of the most enduring leading men in Hollywood  history.  He made his film debut in 1946 with Barbara Stanwyck in The Strange Loves of Martha Ivers.  Other notable films include Out of the Past (1947), A Letter to Three Wives (1949),  Young Man with a Horn (1950),  Ace in the Hole (1951),  The Bad and the Beautiful (1952, Oscar nomination),  Lust for Life (1956, Oscar nomination),  Seven Days in May (1964),  The Fury (1978), and Tough Guys (1986). He received an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement in 1996, the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1991, and the Kennedy Center Honor in 1994.  He has also written 11 books, including The Ragman’s Son (1988), and his most recent, I Am Spartacus!: Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist (2012).


Zsa Zsa Gabor jewelryZsa Zsa Gabor (born February 6, 1917 – age 99)  

“How many husbands have I had? You mean apart from my own?”

Zsa Zsa Gabor died December 18, 2016, age 99

Though she ostensibly has some actual acting credentials, Miss Gabor has always struck me as someone who has been famous for being famous or, in other words, decades ahead of her time.   Some research did reveal that the Hungarian beauty emigrated to the US in 1941 and has worked with some important directors over the years, like Vincente Minnelli, John Huston, and Mervyn LeRoy.  But I ask you what is having worked with Oscar winners like George Sidney against being married 9 times? Gabor appeared on TV incessantly frequently playing herself or some version thereof.  I enjoyed her many, many appearances on game shows and talk shows as a kid.  Tabloids have documented her poor health in the last few years.  She lives in Bel Air in Elvis Presley’s old house with Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt who judging by the tone and amount of bizarre press he has managed to generate, might be crazy.


Olivia De Havilland colorOlivia De Havilland, (born July 1, 1916 – age 100)

“Famous people feel that they must perpetually be on the crest of the wave, not realising that it is against all the rules of life. You can’t be on top all the time, it isn’t natural.”

Two-time Academy Award winner Olivia DeHavilland will always be remembered for her role as Melanie in Gone With the Wind (1939).  Other famous roles include The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Hold Back the Dawn (1941), To Each His Own (1946 – Academy Award, Best Actress), The Snake Pit (1948, Oscar nomination), The Heiress (1949, Academy Award, Best Actress), Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), and Airport ’77 (1977). Always a beacon of goodness and warmth, Miss DeHavilland simply radiates kindness and has made her such an enduring star.  She has no website.


Luise Rainer colorLuise Rainer (born January 12, 1910)

 Luise Rainer died December 30, 2014, age 104 RIP

“The Oscar is not a curse. The real curse is that once you have an Oscar they think you can do anything.”

The champion long liver in the Stargayzing listicle is the winsome, wonderful Luise Rainer.  Best remembered today as the “Viennese Teardrop” who won two back-to-back Oscars in the 1930s—for The Great Ziegfield (1936) and The Good Earth (1937)—and then summarily left Hollywood, disillusioned with the assembly line mentality of the studio system, among other things.  She is regarded today as, perhaps, the ultimate example of someone who was hurt by her brief flash of success; a victim of the “Oscar curse.” The Austrian actress is distinguished for several interesting Oscar-related accomplishments: she was the first actor to win multiple awards; she was the first woman to win two Oscars and the first person to win them consecutively.  Finally, at 104, she is the oldest living Academy Award winner.  She currently lives in England.

Portraits of Doris Day and Olivia de Havilland by Alvaro

Continue reading:

Stars of Hollywood’s Golden Era Who Are Still Alive, Volume 2


You may also enjoy:

Bing Crosby’s 10 Favorite Performers of All Time

Behind the Scenes at MGM’s 1974 Premiere of That’s Entertainment

10 Forgotten Stars of the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Eating With The Stars: Mitzi Gaynor’s Tangy Rice Pilaf

Past Imperfect: The Joan Collins Chronicles, Including Her Tutorial on How to Seat a Star The Truth Comes Out!

The Sexual Secrets of the Golden Age of Hollywood’s “Gentleman Hustler” Revealed!

The Best Hollywood Birthday Party Ever! The Night Bruce Roberts and I Went to Connie Stevens’ House and Wound Up in the Attic with Tab Hunter; Plus: Two Sublime Connie Stevens Recipes in Eating With The Stars!


  1. Peter Laval
    February 12, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Lauren Bacal
    Vera Miles
    Rita Moreno

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 12:08 am

      I’ve mentioned on a few social media sites I’m fairly mortified by the lack of Bacall recall. I can’t really explain it. At least with Rita Moreno I wrote about her the other day.

  2. Michael Joseph Pieper
    February 12, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    One notable star you missed is Eli Wallach age 99. Nice Job.

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 12:07 am

      Mea culpa. I love Eli Wallach. I actually worked with him on Nuts which makes my omission even more distressing.

    • Susan
      October 25, 2015 at 4:13 am

      I do believe Mr. Wallach did pass away, as did Lauren Bacall. Both of whom I think passed in 2014.

  3. Matthew Rettenmund
    February 12, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Nice list. Here is mine:
    I’ve been updating it with pink denoting RIP. 🙁

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 12:10 am

      Hi Matthew. Thanks for sharing. So I guess I’m not the only person with Hollywood OCD, huh? Please keep in touch. David

    • momsold
      February 20, 2014 at 6:23 am

      hey, love this list..I know how hard it must be with folks tipping over in used to be I thought it was my fault, I’d say I would like to meet someone and they would leave if to escape..LOl..thanks for this..great job!

    • David Munk
      February 20, 2014 at 10:35 pm

      Hi Molly,

      Thank you so much for the kind words. You made me laugh: “folks tipping over in clumps.” You are either British or a writer or both. Best wishes and many thanks for chiming in.


    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 12:14 am

      Checked out your blog – I really like it. Are you based in the states?

  4. canadaeh
    February 12, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Angela Landsbury (88) is still kicking around. Her film career started in the early 1940’s

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 12:06 am

      Angela is in there!

  5. John Richkus
    February 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Bravo David! I loved this article – as good or better than anything in Entertainment Weekly (though that may be damning with faint praise!). It was worth the wait.

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 12:05 am

      All I can say is thank God I omitted Sid Caeser or this would be out of date less than 24 hours later.

  6. Gerald Michael
    February 12, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Arlene Dahl and Gloria DeHaven are 89, and Janis Paige is 92. Mary Carlisle, 1930s Paramount co-star of Bing Crosby is 102. Louis Jourdan is 92, and Baby Peggy, the very first child star is alive and well at 95 and living in Central California. Broadway, television and movie star Nannette Fabray is 94.

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 12:05 am

      Gerald you are intense, my friend. Arlene Dahl almost made the list but I actually cut her to make an even 30. I feel terribly guilty, especially since I’d met her a bunch of times and she was a hoot.

  7. Gerald Michael
    February 12, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Hugh O’Brian and Clint Walker… 1950s stars.

  8. Gerald Michael
    February 12, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Marge Champion, MGM dance star and Disney model.

    • David Munk
      February 12, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      I was going to include her but I had difficulty finding a nice quote and being rather OCD I wanted them all to have quotes. I had to overlook some people as the sheer sprawl of the piece was overwhelming when you consider the time factor and that they were dying almost weekly. Thank God I hadn’t included Sid Caeser or the piece would already be out of date! Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll stay in touch.

  9. Michael Joseph Pieper
    February 13, 2014 at 12:36 am

    David I know you had to make a lot of conciderations assembling this and some people probably evaded your memory but one of the older stars still living and is probably more qualified to be on this list than half of these others is Christopher Lee age 93 or 94. Still I really enjoyed this and appreciate the effort it took you. I was surprised to find a few still alive I thought had passed like Jane Powell who is one of serveral on the list I have met.

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 12:55 am

      You’re absolutely right about Christopher Lee. I feel the same way about Eli Wallach and Lauren Bacall, particularly. This piece evolved over so many months and with so many setbacks (dying honorees) that I just needed to get it published. In the end I was more excited about the dialogue with readers about omissions than creating something comprehensive, so in that sense I truly appreciate your input. Please stay in touch with me. David

  10. Michael Joseph Pieper
    February 13, 2014 at 1:04 am

    I am appalled at myself for forgetting Lauren Bacall also. Do you have a facebook profile? I would be glad to remain in touch with you.

  11. Mark Nelson
    February 13, 2014 at 1:33 am

    My friend, Mamie Van Doren just turn 83 Feb 5, 2014
    She was one of the Three M’s
    Marilyn, Mansfield and Mamie
    She looks incredible and is busy with a full life in Southern California

    • David Munk
      February 14, 2014 at 3:57 am

      Yes of course. I love Mamie and regularly check in with her website which is so much fun. I’m going to be in LA next week. Do you think she’d like to be interviewed for the blog? It would be a wonderful way to make up for my egregious oversite! Best , David

  12. Gerald Michael
    February 13, 2014 at 6:45 am

    I enjoyed the article; we all love the stars!

  13. Gerald Michael
    February 13, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Marcia Hunt and Eva Marie Saint; also, I believe Dina Merrill is still with us.

    • David Munk
      February 14, 2014 at 3:56 am

      Ah yes – Dina Merrill, the former Mrs. Cliff Robertson, yes? Thanks again Gerald. Your feedback has been awesome. David

  14. dsinla
    February 13, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Join the facebook page:

    Doris Day to be (finally) Honored by the Oscars?

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      I did join and appreciate the suggestion. Thank you for sharing the piece. I noticed that after I did the same. Best, David

  15. Sam
    February 13, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Stella Stevens

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Great idea. Thanks for reading Sam. David

  16. Camille Becker
    February 13, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Just a few off the top of my head, Eli Wallach was mentioned above but what about his wife, Anne Jackson. Also, Carol Channing, Rose Marie and Marjorie Lord. (Whom I just recently discovered is the mother of Anne Archer!!!) I’m sure there are more, but these ladies left their mark, for sure! Love the article, maybe do a top “40”!

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Hello Camille,
      I have enough feedback here to do a part two and I appreciate your ideas. Carol Channing is all over Stargayzing which makes her omission particularly odd to me. Stay in touch. David

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      Hi Camille. Thank you for these great ideas. I will definitely have to do a sequel! I hope you stay in touch and keep reading my blog. david

  17. Richard Harries
    February 13, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Petula Clark aged 81 and issuing albums and touring, star of Finian’s rainbow and Good bye Mr Chips. Julie Andrews over 80.

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      I love Petula Clark and definitely hope to write about her at some point. Julie Andrews is an icon but was one of those people who was sort of on the cusp. What was her first film? I think she may have come after the arbitrary date I set in order to try and organize the list. I should defintiely write about her in the future. Thanks Richard for commenting and I hope you’ll keep reading the blog. Best, David

  18. glenn kephart
    February 13, 2014 at 9:04 am

    you missed jane withers who starred with shirley temple at fox, dickey moore another childhood star, & june lockhart who was in my favorite movie “meet me in st louis” who worked at MGM. the list is impressive & it was the golden age of hollywood!!

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      Hi Glenn. Thanks so much for the ideas. I hope to do a part two and incorporate these wonderful suggestions. Please stay in toucha and let me know how I’m doin’! Oy – I sound like Ed Koch. David

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Ugh. My bad. These are great ideas. Thanks Glenn. Hope to do a part two and your suggestions are great. Best, David P.S. Keep reading the blog

  19. Maggie Breitmeier
    February 13, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Dont´t forget Julie Adams (87)! She played in many Western Movies and got most famos in “The Creature From The Black Lagoon”

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      Hi Maggie,
      As I’ve mentioned my readers are smarter than I! I will definitely have to do some due diligence regarding Miss Adams. thanks for reading and please stay in touch! David

  20. Bruce
    February 13, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Omitting Bacall and Wallach but including Ann- Margret??? She is WAY too young to be a Golden Age star.
    The late 50’s is not considered the Golden Age, the 20s 30s and 40s and early 50s at best. Why not include Clint Eastwood, he is 83.

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Hey Bruce. Omissions were generally oversights as opposed to conscious choices. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere I am appalled at having forgotten Bacall and Wallach, particularly. The list was never intended to be comprehensive but rather a sampling. I knew that the conversation afterwards would be as important as my aggregation. Perhaps I will do a part two and take into account these wonderful suggestions.

      Thanks again for reading and please stay in touch so you can keep me in line! David

  21. Jason
    February 13, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Most of the ones I noted you missed others already caught… However you did miss Betty Lynn

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      My readers are definitely smarter than I. I will have to do a bit of research on Miss Lynn as I am not familiar off the top of my head. This is such a wonderful aspect of blogging – I get to learn from you. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I hope you’ll stay in touch. David

  22. John
    February 13, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Maureen O’Hara lives in Idaho

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      So noted. I read that she lived in Ireland, the Virgin Islands and wherever else I mentioned. Mostly she lives in the hearts of film lovers though, right? Thanks for reading John! Best, David

  23. Judi Brannigan
    February 13, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Robert Wagner. He just had his 84th birthday.

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Duly noted. Thanks for the suggestion Judi! David

  24. feaito
    February 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Besides the aforementioned you missed Lizabeth Scott.

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Wow I didn’t realize she was alive. I just saw her in that movie with Bogie – the name escapes me at the moment. Thanks for the input and keep stargayzing. David

    • feaito
      February 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      Glad I was of help. She and Lauren Bacall have similar styles and they both co-starred with Bogey. The film you are thinking of is Dead Reckoning (1947), a fave of mine. 🙂

    • David Munk
      February 14, 2014 at 3:55 am

      Yes of course – “Dead Reckoning”. Thanks again for the wonderful input. David

  25. Jonathan Tamarkin
    February 13, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Nanette Fabray, Carla Laemmle, Carl Reiner, Rose Marie, Betty White, Joan Collins, Mel Brooks, Don Rickles, Shecky Greene, Carol Channing, Patricia Morrison, Harry Dean Stanton,

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      Hi Jonathan. That’s some great list you gave me! Joan is actually included so you can scratch her off. Carol Channing is well-represented in Stargayzing but certainly should have been included. What can I say? The list should have been twice as long, for sure, but then it was starting to feel like a toothache because of the amount of time it took to aggregate and the tendency of the honorees to, you know…die. Thank you for checking in – please keep reading and let me know how we’re doing. Best, David

    • Ellie
      February 20, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      FINALLY someone said the one name I was looking for……………… still going strong and still beautiful, Miss Betty White……………

    • David Munk
      February 20, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      Hi Ellie – well of course. I think I didn’t include her because I think of her primarily as a TV star, but I know she must have made films. There is plenty of Betty White in Stargayzing – if you click on her star you’ll see. Even a recipe for her chicken wings, I believe. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. David

  26. Danny Proctor
    February 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Doris Day actually has a website at and posts personal messages (some audio) from time to time. They’re presently gearing up for a “90 Days to 90” celebration for her 90th birthday on April 3, 2014, culminating in a big birthday bash in Carmel. No word if Doris will actually attend. TCM is devoting it’s April 3 lineup to a Doris Day movie marathon.

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      Hi Danny,
      I think the 90 Days to 90 is a few years old, as Miss Day is 91. Irrespective of her age she deserves recognition and appreciation for her life’s work. Thanks for reading and checking in. David

  27. Beatrice Varias
    February 13, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    The darling Piper Laurie who is still working. She just starred in a renewal of “A Little Night Music”.

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      Yes! I love Piper Laurie. I love the feedback this piece is getting Beatrice. Of course I couldn’t include everyone but I am duly chagrined to have forgotten a few of the really great ones. Thanks for reading and please stay in touch with the blog. David

  28. Raúl Zingle
    February 13, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Really nice piece! You should update this with all the suggested stars from the comments. This list can’t stand as is without Rita Moreno, Eli Wallach, and Lauren Bacall! Expand to a Top 40 format! (Maybe you could keep the Joan Fontaine/Peter O’Toole/Shirley Temple entries on hand for a tribute later.) Also, I loved the quotes that you included. Makes me appreciate both talent and longevity!

    • David Munk
      February 13, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      That’s a great idea Raul. I concur and will definitely try to acknowledge the omissions in some way in short order. Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll stay in touch. David

  29. Christian
    February 14, 2014 at 4:04 am

    Julie Andrews?

    • David Munk
      February 15, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      I know, I know. I thought about Julie (whom I love, of course). Most of her work prior to my arbitray cut off point was on stage or on TV, unless you count the voice work she did on the 1949 “The Singing Princess”. Otherwise her film debut was in 1964’s “Mary Poppins.” I thought, once again, completely arbitrarily that if I included Julie, I was getting into Jane Fonda territory and all those people. I will try to write something special about Julie in the future. Thanks for your feedback and I hope you’ll keep Stargayzing. David

  30. Christian
    February 14, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Two time Academy Award nominee Shirley Knight?

    • David Munk
      February 15, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      Good one Christian. What was that movie I loved with her – “The Rain Peopole?” I think I saw it in film school. Thanks for reading! David

  31. Luann
    February 14, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Lovely piece, and you are brave to tempt fate! I would add Joan Leslie, who starred opposite James Cagney, Gary Cooper, and Fred Astaire all before she was out of her teens.

    • David Munk
      February 15, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      Hi Luann. Wonderful suggestion that I will keep in mind for part two. Thanks for reading Stargayzing – I hope you’ll stay in touch. David

  32. mary ann
    February 15, 2014 at 5:12 am

    Great Job! I really enjoyed all this info, and can’t believe all their ages!!!!!

    • David Munk
      February 15, 2014 at 6:58 pm

      Right? I know it is very strange to contemplate. By dint of film’s ability to freeze time we visualize actor’s at different points in the past. I wish people would think of me that way! Thanks for reading and letting me know you enjoyed it. It means so much to me. david

  33. Howard Green
    February 15, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Enjoyed this wonderful blog. Nice work!

    • David Munk
      February 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      Why thank you Howard. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Please stay in touch with Stargayzing!

  34. Eric
    February 20, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Some folks have already mentioned a few who could be on the list, not sure the criteria, but Raquel is missing.

  35. Lori Triffet
    February 20, 2014 at 7:33 am

    What about Julie Andrews Age 78? I’m seriously thinking that w/ALL that she’s done she should have made the list! Below is some of what I could find on Ms. Andrews.

    Andrews is a former child actress and singer who appeared on the West End in 1948, and made her Broadway debut in a 1954 production of The Boy Friend, and rose to prominence starring in musicals such as My Fair Lady and Camelot, both of which earned her Tony Award nominations. In 1957, she appeared on television with the title role in Cinderella.
    Andrews made her feature film debut in Mary Poppins (1964), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She received her second Academy Award nomination for The Sound of Music (1965), and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical. Adjusted for inflation, the latter film is the 3rd highest grossing film of all time.[2] Between 1964 and 1967, Andrews had other box office successes with The Americanization of Emily, Hawaii, Alfred Hitchcock’s Torn Curtain, and Thoroughly Modern Millie, making her the most successful film star in the world at that time.
    In the 1970s, Andrews’ film career slowed down following the commercial disappointments of Star!, Darling Lili, and The Tamarind Seed. She returned to prominence with the critical and commercial successes of 10 (1979) and Victor Victoria (1982), receiving a third Academy Award nomination. During the remainder of the 1980s, she starred in critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful films such as That’s Life! and Duet for One, before her career went into eclipse in the 1990s.
    Andrews’ film career revived once more in the 2000s with the successes of The Princess Diaries (2001), its sequel The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004), the Shrek animated films (2004–2010), and Despicable Me (2010). Her vocal range, which was originally very impressive, was damaged during a throat operation in 1997. In 2003, Andrews revisited her first Broadway success, this time as a stage director, with a revival of The Boy Friend at the Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, New York.
    Andrews is also an author of children’s books, and in 2008 published an autobiography, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, which includes memories of surviving the London Blitz. In addition to an Academy Award, she has won a BAFTA, five Golden Globes, three Grammys, two Emmys, the Disney Legend award and the Kennedy Center Honors. In 2002, she was placed at number 59 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.

    • David Munk
      February 21, 2014 at 3:15 am

      Hi Lori. Thanks for the recommendation and the information. Definitely plan on including her in the next installment.

  36. Meredith Michaelis
    February 20, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I was surprised not to see Julie Andrews in your list of phenomenal actors from that Era. She was is an amazing talent that is still performing today. Mostly known for her portrayals of Mary Poppins and Maria Von Trap. She will always be one of my favorites.

  37. dave
    February 20, 2014 at 9:03 am

    James Garner, Stuart Margolin,

  38. Mark McClafferty
    February 20, 2014 at 10:30 am

    I grew up watching the Sunday afternoon matinees as child here in the UK. I was lucky enough to have lived in Hollywood for 10 years during my mid-20s.
    It is hard to remember everyone, as there were so many!
    I have really enjoyed seeing this list and reading up on everyone. It has brought back some great memories, and i have to say, i am shocked at how many of these people are still alive! haha. God bless them.

    Lets hope the next generation can look back on our current crop of movie stars with such fondness in another 50/60 years!

    Great article.
    Keep up the good work.

    • David Munk
      February 21, 2014 at 3:16 am

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the kind words and thoughtful comments. I hope you’ll stay in touch. David

  39. Helen Earl
    February 20, 2014 at 11:03 am

    What about Dean Stockwell? b1936 Child actor in the ’40s, co-star of Quantum Leap, part in Battlestar Galactica reboot and still working to this day? Nearly 200 acting credits to his name in both movies and TV.

    • David Munk
      February 21, 2014 at 3:12 am

      Hi Helen,

      That’s a great suggestion. I will definitely think of him when I do volume two next month. Thanks for the input. David

  40. Emily
    February 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Carol Burnette? Christopher Plummer? Dick Van Dyke? Julie Andrews?!

    • David Munk
      February 20, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Hi Emily,
      All good suggestions. Carol Burnett didn’t make films prior to 1963 or whatever my completely arbitrary cut off was. If I had made it people over 75 or something it might have been easier to organize. Nevertheless, I am planning a part deux and will certainly be incorporating reader’s suggestions. Thanks so much for checking in.

  41. Fabiana Uteda
    February 20, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I have enjoyed so much reading this article, I, although born in 1962 and not having had a TV for most of my early years, had the great benefit of my parents love for all the movies all this (and many more) entertainers, both dead and alive (my favorite was probably Danny Kaye as an “all rounder”) acted in.

    Also my dad’s gigantic collection of bands and music from the ’30s ’40s and ’50s on the old 78 records format, have influence my taste in music and I still sing many of those songs (to the total dismay of my 6 children) and still remain to this days some of my favorite years.

    Thank you so much for this and will try to print it so I can share it with my mum, who is 80 this year. I know she will love it!! <3 <3 <3

    • David Munk
      February 20, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Hi Fabiana. What a lovely note and I am so pleased that you will share this with your mother. I was born in 1964 and have spent my life studying what happened before my lifetime. I am always dismayed when I mention something to a young person and I get some version of the response, “that was before I was born.” I feel like every time I hear that it tugs at my heart – mostly because I feel like those who have no interest in history are missing so much, right? Thanks again for commenting. If you would like, I have a monthly newsletter that you can sign up for on the home page which makes keeping up to date very easy. David

  42. Fabiana Uteda
    February 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    BTW I am looking forward to the sequel!! <3 <3 <3

  43. Afton Hefley
    February 20, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    The dames Maggie Smith & Judi Dench!

    • David Munk
      February 20, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      Hi Afton. You’re so right! Volume 2 coming at some point – keep your eyes out! Thanks for commenting! David

  44. Tonia
    February 20, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    I am pretty sure that Olivia De Havilard died

    • David Munk
      February 21, 2014 at 3:11 am

      That was her sister Joan Fontaine.

  45. Lee
    February 21, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Mitzi Gaynor was in South Pacific. Sean Connery was in a movie, looking young and handsome, set in Ireland or Scotland. Don’t remember the name, but the Banshees came to take his love away. And Angela Lansbury in Bed Knobs and Broomsticks!

  46. Cora Artim
    February 21, 2014 at 4:12 am

    There is no mention of Betty White she is 90 plus or Florence Henderson 80

  47. Max Fraley
    February 28, 2014 at 4:28 am

    Oops. Forgot to add Arlene Dahl (88) to my previous list.

    • David Munk
      March 1, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      She’ll definitely make volume 2. Thanks for reading Max.

  48. Max Fraley
    February 28, 2014 at 6:56 am

    While we wonder let’s submit Robert Duvall (83).

    • David Munk
      March 1, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      Point taken and though I think he made his film debut in “To Kill a Mockingbird” and would therefore qualify for my completely arbitrary pre-1963 cut off, I do tend to think of him as a more modern sort of protypical 1970s film star, but I will definitely add him to the list. David

  49. ailsa
    February 28, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Was just thinking of Sidney Poitier the other day, glad to know he is still with us, thanks.

    • David Munk
      March 1, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      He is indeed. Thank you for reading Alisa. David

  50. Kathryn Williams
    March 5, 2014 at 5:35 am

    I loved your article, primarily because I adore Doris Day and Maureen O’Hara. I did want to tell you that Maureen moved from Glengarriff, Ireland to Boise, Idaho in September of 2012 to live near her grandson and his family. Her archivist, June Parker Beck, runs a wonderful Facebook site that is brimming with information (Maureen O’Hara Magazine on Facebook). The other thing I wanted to mention was Doris Day’s age. I know that there was a census from 1940 that said she was 18, but her book explains the disparity, as I do believe that her true birthday is April 3, 1924, and there is a big 90th birthday party (and fundraiser for the animals) in Carmel the April 3-5, and I shall be attending. When she was offered a job as a band singer, she was too young and so her mother added 2 years to her age so that she would be 18 instead of 16. It seems reasonable, and I think Doris is too down to earth to be celebrating a 90th on what is really a 92nd…IMHO. She’s not vain or ego driven. Thanks.

    • David Munk
      March 6, 2014 at 12:24 am

      Hi Kathryn,

      This is all so interesting and I am so thrilled that you shared what you know. The Doris Day story seems quite plausible to me. Perhaps I will amend the entry to acknowledge this discrepancy. I hope you will stay in touch and keep Stargayzing. There is a newsletter that goes out about once a month which is the best way to keep up with the latest. The signup form is super quick and located on the home page. Thanks again. David

  51. Eduardo
    March 5, 2014 at 9:29 am

    How about Lauren Bacall? I think she is still alive isn’t she?

    • David Munk
      March 6, 2014 at 12:22 am

      An egregiouis oversight. She will be included in volume 2. Thanks for reading Eduardo!

  52. Sherwin Rubin
    March 13, 2014 at 12:53 am

    I guess I missed out on this one. I just watched, “Letter rom and Unknown Woman” made in 1948 starring Joan Fontaine. That was a great film. There are so many comments, maybe you won’t see this on.

    Keep on plugging.

    • David Munk
      March 17, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      I always see your comments Sherwin! Thanks for reading and taking the time to check in . David

  53. David S.
    March 13, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Love your articles and found myself checking many of the websites. I ended up writing Rhonda Fleming and got a wonderful reply from her assistant. I also included a link to this page. Rhonda said that she found the article very interesting to read about so many wonderful stars who were still with us. Maybe you will hear from her>

    • David Munk
      March 17, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      Hi David. I’m so glad to hear you liked the piece and love that you reached out to Rhonda Fleming. I would love to hear from her and am so pleased that I could focus some attention her way. I hope you’ll stay in touch. Feel free to sign up for the monthly Stargayzing newsletter on the home page. Thanks again for reaching out. David

  54. David Wells
    April 4, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Enjoyed reading…
    for future and to add to the others mentioned I did not notice Roger Moore and Patrick Macnee.

    • David Munk
      April 6, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Hi David,

      Excellent additions. Thanks for reading. David

  55. SELINA
    April 7, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Mickey Rooney just died last night

    • David Munk
      April 7, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      I know. I will add that in the piece today. Thanks for reading. David

  56. tim dahlberg
    April 14, 2014 at 5:28 am

    You also forgot the studly actor STUART WHITMAN!

    • David Munk
      April 14, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Oh Tim, mea culpa! All I can say is that I am working as fast as I can on volume two because, let’s face, I’m racing the clock on this piece. In fact, the last one took months because of the extensive research involved (and also because I couldn’t be like a normal blogger and just do them ten at a time) and several of my honorees died during that writing period, which made their departures doubly sad.

      Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll consider taking a moment to sign up for the monthly newsletter on the home page. I really appreciate you checking in with me!


  57. Keefe Sharpe
    May 6, 2014 at 12:20 am

    Wow! And to think I met three of the actresses listed above at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention. Unless you have any objections, I would like to forward this link to them and see if they can consider the other names on the list.

    • David Munk
      May 6, 2014 at 1:40 am

      No please be my guest. I would love any feedback and appreciate you taking the time to read Stargayzing. David

  58. Hiram
    June 12, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Great list though you missed some notable names but glad you’re doing a volume 2 so all is forgiven. Keep it up.

    • David Munk
      June 12, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      Hi Hiram – thanks for reading and for the encouragement. I have 32 names for the next installment. I figure two of them will pass by the time I finish so it’s good to have alternates. Kidding. Sort of.

  59. Millie O.
    July 14, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Peggy Cummins who was in Gun Crazy (1950) with John Dall.

    • David Munk
      July 14, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      Good one, Millie!

    • Millie O.
      July 24, 2014 at 4:32 am

      Also, the still gorgeous Anne Jeffreys, and how about Betsy Drake, Elaine Stritch, Phyllis Newman and Della Reese. I know you must be very busy and can’t think of them all. I hope the input you’re getting here will help you with your next blog. I love this ‘stuff’! Thanks, David! 🙂

    • David Munk
      July 25, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      Hi Millie,

      These are wonderful suggestions. I am hoping to finish the next installment very soon. Stay in touch!


  60. Millie O.
    July 24, 2014 at 4:42 am

    Oh, my, sorry, David, I just saw that Elaine Stritch passed away July 17, 2014! I didn’t know that. She was a favorite of mine. 🙁

  61. Millie O.
    August 1, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Hi David!
    I just thought of the very beautiful Coleen Gray (Red River, Kiss of Death, Nightmare Alley)! She is shown on youtube giving some really nice interviews. Also, Dorothy Malone, Patrice Wymore, Robert Vaughn, and David McCallum. I’m really looking forward to your next list of stars. You have a really nice blog! Take care!

    • David Munk
      August 1, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Hey Millie. I’m taking August off from Stargayzing to work on some other writing projects. I plan on delivering the next volume of that piece by the end of September. Thanks for reading!

  62. Millie O.
    August 1, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Oops, I did it again, David! Patrice Wymore passed away this past March 22nd! Sorry about that! Thanks!

  63. Maciste
    August 13, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Where’s Gina Lollobrigida?

    Starred with Humphrey Bogart in Beat the Devil

    Had a string of hits like Solomon and Sheba and Buenos Sera Mrs Campbell, just to name a few.

    • David Munk
      August 15, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      I know, I know. The list is far from complete, but there is a part two on its way, I promise. Thanks for reading! David

  64. fred
    August 16, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Every one seems to forget Lizabeth Scott, one of my favorites.

    August 28, 2014 at 1:04 am

    I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Shirley Temple (Black) at Gumps Dept. Store in San Francisco, Ca when I was 18. We must have talk for 30 minutes. I also had the pleaser of meeting John Wayne on several occasions in Nogales, Az at Windfield’s ranch and across the line in Nogales, Mexico at the Cavern Restaurant. I was 16 first time I met him. I also met Stewart Granger when I was 17 in Nogales, AZ. He owned a ranch near there and I had the misfortune of being cussed at by him. I later saw him get a traffic ticket and stopped and applauded. I had the great pleasure of meeting Roger Smith in Nogales, AZ I was 15 or 16 He was extremely nice. I have met several more famous people of the screen but to many to list. Stewart Granger was the only one I met that was rude and treated people with no respect.

  66. evelio
    September 6, 2014 at 5:47 am

    I think all these stars are still alive: Debra Paget, Hayley Mills, Russ Tamblin, Mona Freeman, Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon, Marisa Pavan, Anthony Hopkins, Frankie Avalon, John Gavin, Gena Rowlands, Audrey Dalton, Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero, Ali Mac Graw, Jeanne Moreau. I know I’m missing a greeat deal more. You may need to add a few more articles.

    • David Munk
      September 6, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Hi there. Thank you so much for your wonderful ideas. I am presently working on a second volume. David

  67. owen
    October 26, 2014 at 4:20 am

    Lizbabeth Scott ,always gets overlooked ,she was stunning in desert fury and still alive at 92..

    • David Munk
      October 27, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Owen,

      It’s so funny you say this, because I am writing Volume 2 and literally am in the middle of the Lizabeth Scott entry, so stay tuned! Thanks for reading. David

  68. Allyson
    November 30, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Just thought that I’d mention a few more actors that are still with us…

    Martin Landau
    Barbara Bain
    Julie Newmar
    Joseph Balogna
    Renee Taylor
    Anne Jackson
    Dorothy Malone
    Carol Lynley
    Kier Dulea
    Patty Duke
    John Astin
    Carole Cooke
    Connie Stevens
    Stella Stevens
    Kim Novack
    Olivia DeHavilland
    Nanette Fabres
    Nanette Newman
    Ursula Andres
    Richard Benjamin
    Paula Prentis
    Connie Francis

    Lauren Bacall, Ruby Dee & Esther Williams passed away in 2014… Margaret O’Brien and Ann Blythe passed…

    It’s a shame how many old time stars are gone… There aren’t very many left now… I’m sure I’ve left out many from my list that are still with us…

    • David Munk
      December 1, 2014 at 2:47 am

      Hi Allyson,

      Thank you for your fantastic list! I am writing volume two as fast as I can. I hope to have it up before the end of the year.


  69. V.E.G.
    December 13, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Well done, Mickey. Rest in peace.

  70. Bub
    December 23, 2014 at 5:22 am

    Another one for you because it’s almost Christmas and I just watched Miracle on 34th Street. Maureen O’Hara. This is great stuff. Excellent use of the internet. Thank you.

  71. Ofelia Lopes
    February 21, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    What a wonderful world! All these beautiful stars still alive, except 3 or 4 who in the meantime passed away. I still enjoying to know that the great stars of golden era are among us.
    One list is not enough! Two or even three are welcome!
    From Lisbon (Portugal) with love!

    • David Munk
      February 22, 2015 at 4:04 am

      Hi Ofelia,

      I’ve been working on Volume 2 but they keep dying faster than I can revise – but I promise to hurry up!

      Thanks for reading and please stay in touch.


  72. Timothy A
    August 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Hello,Was so many comment’s,and many more,thankfully were added.So amazing these Giant’s still walk the Earth.Some of the greatest talent’s ever.I wondered if Miss Joan Leslie was added.She was a favorite of mine.I watch and learn of star’s Like Angie D,who actually worked with John Wayne,and so many Other’s.,Kurt Douglas,is one of the finest actor’s ever.I go crazy thinking of some of the finest western’s ever made.I love each and every one of them.I also feel sad for the youth of today,wasting their time on Pc’s,When the Giant’s who Delivered with pure Heart and talent,they will never realize.Thankfully,is a few more not mentioned here.May they live forever,and they will as Long as I live,because I will never forget the gift they left behind.Great Work here,Cudos to everyone..Regards

    November 18, 2015 at 8:33 pm

    You need to update Maureen O’Hara, sadly!

    • David Munk
      February 25, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Forgive, forgive! The blog has been down for months but I will address these problems in short order. Many thanks

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    November 13, 2019 at 10:50 pm

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