Carlotta Mercedes McCambridge (March 16, 1916 – March 2, 2004) was an Academy Award-winning and Golden Globe-winning American actress. Orson Welles called her “the world’s greatest living radio actress.”
McCambridge was born in Joliet, Illinois, the daughter of parents Marie and John Patrick McCambridge. She graduated from Mundelin College in Chicago. She began her career as a radio actor during the 1940’s while also performing on Broadway.
Her Hollywood break came when she was cast opposite Broderick Crawford in All the King’s Men (1949). McCambridge won the 1949 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role, while the film won Best Picture for that year. McCambridge also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and New Star of the Year – Actress for her performance.
In 1954, the actress co-starred with Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden in the offbeat western drama, Johnny Guitar, now regarded as a cult classic. McCambridge and Hayden publicly declared their dislike of Crawford, with McCambridge labeling the film’s star “a mean, tipsy, powerful, rotten-egg lady.”
McCambridge played the supporting role of ‘Luz’ in the George Stevens epic, Giant (1956), which starred Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean in his last role. In 1959, McCambridge appeared opposite Katherine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’ film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer.
Of more interest to casual readers of this site, McCambridge provided the dubbed voice of the demonically possessed child Regan in The Exorcist, acted by Linda Blair. McCambridge was promised a screen credit for the film’s initial release, but she discovered at the premiere that her name was absent. Her dispute with director William Friedkin and Warner Bros. over her exclusion ended when, with the help of the Screen Actors Guild, she was properly credited for her vocal work in the film.
In the 1970’s, she toured in a road company production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as Big Mama, opposite John Carradine as Big Daddy. She appeared as a guest artist in college productions such as El Centro College’s 1979 The Mousetrap, in which she received top billing despite her character being murdered less than 15 minutes into the play.
In the mid-1970’s, McCambridge briefly took a position as director of Livingrin, a Pennsylvania rehabilitation center for alcoholics. She was at the same time putting the finishing touches on her soon-to-be released autobiography, The Quality of Mercy: An Autobiography (Times Books, 1981).
McCambridge died on March 2, 2004 in La Jolla, California, of natural causes.
Check out these storyboard panels from The Exorcist. Click on the image to see larger panels…
Deadline reports that the William Friedkin-directed black comedy Killer Joe will be released by LD Entertainment on July 27 with an NC-17 rating. The film received that rating in late February, and the decision was made after the distributor and filmmaker unsuccessfully went through the appeals process before deciding they didn’t want to change the ending.
It’s not the first time Friedkin turned in a cut of a film that drew a dreaded rating from the MPAA. While Friedkin tackled rough subject matter in films like The Exorcist and To Live And Die In L.A., he got an X-rating for the 1980 film Cruising, in which Al Pacino played a detective who goes undercover looking for a killer preying on gay men. Friedkin said he had to cut 40 minutes of that movie to get an R rating. But he won’t have to cut a frame of Killer Joe. LD Entertainment will release a trailer for the film tomorrow, and it will wear the NC-17 rating like a red badge of courage.
Killer Joe is a garish, sexy black comedy that stars Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon and Thomas Haden Church. It is provocative, but played strongly in Venice, Toronto (where it was acquired by LD Entertainment) and SXSW.
LD Entertainment’s Dinerstein confirmed the decision and issued this statement: “We support the artistic integrity of our filmmakers — Academy–award winning director, William Friedkin and our screenwriter Pulitzer-Prize winner Tracy Letts — and the film will be released in theaters on July 27th in its original version as an NC-17 film. The film has played to enthusiastic crowds at the Venice, Toronto and SXSW Film Festivals where many critics have noted this is Matthew McConaughey’s best performance to date. As our initial LD Entertainment release, we are to excited to bring this very entertaining, funny and provocative film to audiences this summer.”
Jason Miller (April 22, 1939 – May 13, 2001) was an American actor and playwright. He received the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play That Championship Season, and was widely recognized for his role as Father Damien Karras in the 1973 classic horror film The Exorcist.
Miller was born John Anthony Miller in Long Island City, Queens. His family moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where Miller was educated at St. Patrick’s High School and the Jesuit-run University of Scranton. He then attended The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C.
Miller was launched into stardom in 1973 by winning a Pulitzer Prize for his play, That Championship Season. The original Broadway cast featured Charles Durning, Richard Dysart, Paul Sorvino, and Michael McGuire. That same year, he was offered the role of the troubled priest, Father Damien Karras, in William Friedkin’s horror film The Exorcist (1973), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Miller played Father Damien Karras, in The Exorcist, and its real sequel The Exorcist III. Father Karras was one of the priests (with Father Merrin played by Max von Sydow) who exorcises the demon from young Regan McNeil (Linda Blair). He is a Jesuit psychiatrist suffering a crisis of faith. He searches for proof to lead an exorcism, yet during his investigation he comes to realize that there is no better way for God to prove His own existence than to reveal the foul presence of a demon. During the exorcism, the demon frequently brings up the subject of Karras’s mother’s death and how he wasn’t there to see her die, which seems to trouble Karras emotionally.
In the sequel, The Exorcist III, it is revealed that after the demon departed, another evil spirit invaded Karras’s body. Karras was found wandering and amnesiac and was placed in the care of a mental hospital near Washington, D.C. While incarcerated there, the spirit suppresses Karras’s personality and makes forays into the bodies of other patients in order to commit a series of ritual murders.
In 1982 Miller directed the screen version of That Championship Season. Featured in the cast were Robert Mitchum (replacing William Holden, who died before filming began), Paul Sorvino, Martin Sheen, Stacy Keach, and Bruce Dern. His own film career was sporadic, preferring to work in regional theatre. He starred as Henry Drummond in the Philadelphia production of Inherit the Wind. The show is to date the longest running production in Philadelphia history.
Miller co-founded the Scranton Public Theatre. With SPT, Miller directed and starred in various productions including Blithe Spirit, California Suite, Crimes of the Heart, and The Lion in Winter. He also acted occasionally in such films as The Dain Curse (1978), The Ninth Configuration (1980), Toy Soldiers (1984), and Rudy (1993), playing a role close to his heart, Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian.
In 1998, he toured his one-man play Barrymore’s Ghost, ending the tour with a four-month run off-Broadway. In October 2000, he performed Barrymore’s Ghost in a successful and critically acclaimed production in Philadelphia. His last project was a 2001 revival of The Odd Couple for the Pennsylvania Summer Theatre Festival, in which he was to appear in the role of Oscar Madison but died before the production opened.
Miller was the father of actors Jason Patric (by first wife Linda Gleason, daughter of Jackie Gleeson) and Joshua John Miller (by second wife Susan Bernard). In 1982 Miller returned to Scranton to become artistic director of the Scranton Public Theatre, a new regional theatre company founded the year before. On May 13, 2001, Miller died of a Heart attack in Scranton, Pennsylvania, aged 62.
Fiorentino was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Washington Township High School, in Sewell, New Jersey, and is a graduate of Rosemont College in suburban Philadelphia. She has studied photography, off and on, since 1987 at the International Center of Photography in New York City.
Fiorentino got her first professional role in 1985 when she starred in Vision Quest, followed by After Hours, however it was not until 1994 that she became widely recognized, receiving accolades for her performance in the excellent modern film noir, The Last Seduction. A story about a sociopathic femme fatale, Bridget Gregory, who steals a bag of money ($700,000) from her drug-dealing husband Clay (Bill Pullman). Bridget drives off headed to Chicago when she happens to stop at a small town, Beston, a suburb of Buffalo, and meets Mike (Peter Berg), who is back in town after a whirlwind marriage and divorce in Buffalo. The two immediately hook up. Bridget is just looking for sex, while Mike is trying to find a way out of the small town.
Jade is a 1995 erotic thriller film written by Joe Eszterhas, produced by Robert Evans, directed by William Friedkin and starring David Caruso, Linda Fiorentino, Chazz Palminteri, Richard Crenna and Michael Biehn. An unrated version featuring additional scenes and more explicit sexual footage with an extra 12 minutes was later released to VHS, though it is now out of print; the theatrical cut was utilized for the DVD and Blu-ray editions. The unrated versions for DVD, and Blu-Ray were cancelled due to poor sales of the unrated VHS version.
According to Eszterhas’ autobiography, Friedkin changed the script so much that Eszterhas threatened to remove his name from the credits. He claimed Paramount settled by giving him a “blind script deal” worth two to four million dollars.
In an interview in Linda Ruth Williams’ book The Erotic Thriller in Contemporary Cinema, Friedkin admitted that he had virtually rewritten the script. But Friedkin also said that Jade was the favorite of all the films he had made. Jade grossed less than $9 million domestically while in theatres.
Fiorentino has since featured in Hollywood films such Men in Black (1997), Dogma (1999) and Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000), however her career never fully recovered after Jade…
Another nice LEGO image, this time of the classic levitating scene from The Exorcist.