Both John Huston and Lee Marvin had long, mostly prosperous careers in Hollywood -- but last week also saw the death of an actor whose stint in front of the cameras was short lived and ultimately tragic.
Seven years ago, 12-year-old Fernando Ramos da Silva was plucked off the streets of Brazil by director Hector Babenco and cast as the lead in "Pixote," Babenco's gripping story of youngsters surviving outside the law. He won enormous acclaim for that role, but it proved, sadly, to be a case of typecasting: Ramos da Silva's acting career fizzled after a couple of stage plays and six months on a Brazilian TV show, and he reportedly turned to crime. Three years ago, he was arrested for burglary and subsequently escaped from jail. Early last week, Sao Paulo police arrived at the scene of a robbery in progress; a gunfight with the suspects ensued; and Ramos da Silva was shot and killed.
An Oscar Hunt Attention, Oscar winners: In its quest to celebrate its 60th anniversary by collecting and displaying one Academy Award from each year's ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is still seven statues short. To date, the Academy still needs Oscars from 1931-32, '34, '46, '61, '66, '79 and '86; the other 53 go on display in the Academy's Beverly Hills headquarters next week.
Among the statues the Academy has borrowed for the occasion: the Best Picture award for "All Quiet on the Western Front"; an editing Oscar for "Gone With the Wind"; best actress Oscars to Mary Pickford, Jane Wyman and Katharine Hepburn; best actor awards to Jack Nicholson and Jimmy Stewart; the eight Oscars (one full-sized and seven miniature) given to Walt Disney for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"; and Dalton Trumbo's 1957 screenwriting award for "The Brave One," which the then-blacklisted writer won under a pseudonym and didn't pick up until 1975, shortly before he died.
Coming Attractions Speaking of the blacklist, Abe Polonsky -- a writer who was not among the "Hollywood Ten" but was shunned in Hollywood for 14 years because of the investigations -- is writing a screenplay about those times. The script is titled "Season of Fear," and Irwin Winkler plans to produce it for United Artists, with French director Bertrand Tavernier (" 'Round Midnight") behind the camera ... After star-making roles in "The Untouchables" (in a part he wasn't entirely comfortable playing) and "No Way Out" (in a part he was comfortable with, except for the sex scene), Kevin Costner will portray a minor league baseball player in Orion's "Bull Durham" ... It sounds like somebody she might have been in a previous life, but "Madame Sousatzka" is actually the name of Shirley MacLaine's next character, and the name of her next movie. Directed by John Schlesinger, the film deals with an eccentric American piano teacher who tutors child prodigies in London. Dame Peggy Ashcroft and Twiggy are set to costar ... And in the lead role of John Sayles' "Eight Men Out," actor Emilio Estevez has been replaced by his brother, Charlie Sheen. The same switch happened once before, on "Platoon."
Forman's New 'Liaisons' After the success he had with "Amadeus" (and the less acclaimed job he did on "Hair"), director Milos Forman is certainly no stranger to adapting stage plays to the big screen. But although Forman's next film sounds like a stage-to-screen adaptation, it's not: Forman is preparing a version of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" that's based on the 1782 novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, not the successful Broadway musical inspired by that novel. Jean-Claude Carrie`re, who also wrote the screenplay for Luis Bunåuel's "That Obscure Object of Desire," is scripting the film, which reportedly begins shooting early next year in France