We pay tribute to Saul Zaentz, Alicia Rhett, James Avery, and Juanita Moore
Saul Zaentz, 1921-2014
The lauded independent producer of the Oscar-winning films One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The English Patient — and winner of the Academy’s prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for “consistently high quality of motion picture production” — died in San Francisco on Jan. 3, after battling Alzheimer’s. He was 92.
Alicia Rhett, 1915-2014
One of the last living cast members of Gone With the Wind died of natural causes on Jan. 3 at age 98 in Charleston, S.C. Rhett played India, the sister of Ashley Wilkes, in the iconic 1939 film. Also an artist, she was known to sketch portraits of her Gone With the Wind castmates on set between takes.
James Avery, 1945-2013
Famous for playing Uncle Phil opposite Will Smith on the NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the beloved character actor passed away on Dec. 31 in Glendale, Calif., due to complications from heart surgery. He was 68. “Every young man needs an Uncle Phil,” Smith wrote in a Facebook tribute to his costar. “Rest in Peace.”
Juanita Moore, 1914-2014
The actress, who drew praise for her emotional performance as Annie Johnson in the 1959 Lana Turner film Imitation of Life, died of natural causes in L.A. on Jan. 1 at age 99. That role earned Moore an Oscar nod, making her, at the time, only the fifth African-American to vie for an Academy Award.