British writer-director Bryan Forbes has died in Surrey, England, after a long illness. He was 86. His credits include helming 1975’s The Stepford Wives and writing Chaplin and The Angry Silence, earning an Oscar nomination for the latter. He scored a WGA nom for 1980’s Hopscotch and received a Special Award from BAFTA in 2007.
Veronique Passani Peck, the widow of actor Gregory Peck and longtime arts patron, died Friday of heart failure at her Los Angeles home. She was 80. Born in Paris, the French journalist met the actor when she interviewed him …
Screen and TV writer, author and playwright Arthur Marx, the son of legendary comedian Groucho Marx, died this week at his home in Los Angeles of natural causes. He was 89. Marx had a prolific career that spanned more than 60 years. Born in New York in 1921, he spent some of his early years on the road with his father and uncles, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo, during the Marx Brothers’ tours of Vaudeville. By the early 1930s, with the Marx Brothers established as film stars, the family moved to Los Angeles. Following a stint in the Coast Guard during World War II where he served in the Philippines, Marx began his Hollywood career working at MGM as a reader. Eventually, he became a screenwriter, working on the popular Pete Smith shorts and several films in the Blondie series, including Blondie In The Dough.
While continuing to write for film and TV, Marx published his first novel, The Ordeal Of Willie Brown in 1951, loosely based on his own experiences as a nationally ranked junior tennis player. In 1954, he wrote Life With Groucho, the first of several books that dealt with his father and their sometimes tempestuous relationship. Marx also turned out a number of Hollywood biographies, including Goldwyn: The Man Behind the Myth, Red Skelton, The Nine Lives of Mickey Rooney, and The Secret Life of Bob Hope. His 1974 book on Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime (Especially Himself), was adapted into the 2002 made-for-TV movie Martin And Lewis.