EmptyKevin McClory, an Irish screenwriter, producer and director known for his long legal battle with Ian Fleming over the writing credits and later the film rights to "Thunderball," died Nov. 29 in Great Britain. He was 80.
McClory also was known for his "rogue" Bond production "Never Say Never Again" (1983), in which he lured Sean Connery back to the 007 role.
McClory began his career in motion pictures as assistant to director John Huston and boom operator on "The African Queen" (1951) and "Moulin Rouge" (1952). Huston promoted McClory to assistant director on his 1956 epic "Moby Dick," and McClory then became associate producer on "Around the World in Eighty Days" (1956).
In 1958, McClory, Fleming and Jack Whittingham collaborated on a possible film or television series featuring Fleming's secret agent, James Bond. When the project was scrapped, Fleming took the screenplay and turned it into his ninth novel, "Thunderball," in 1961. Eventually, McClory won a credit on all reprints of the novel and retained the film rights.
Sandy Sturges, the widow of film director Preston Sturges, died Nov. 26 at her home in Manhattan Beach, Calif., after a brief bout with cancer. She was 79.
Her book "Preston Sturges by Preston Sturges," in which she completed her late husband's unfinished memoir, was hailed by New York's Village Voice as "a whirling tale of success and misfortune; a story every bit as fast and wild as a Sturges movie."
The book sparked new interest in his career as a writer and director of such acclaimed romantic comedies as "The Lady Eve" (1941) and "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek" (1944).
Sandy Sturges was working as a nurse at UCLA when she met Preston in Hollywood in front of his restaurant, the Players, at her bus stop. They married in August 1951, had their first son, Preston, in 1953 and moved to Europe. Their second son, Thomas, arrived in 1955. Preston Sturges died of a heart attack two years later.
Claude Jade, a French actress who starred in several of director Francois Truffaut's major films, died Dec. 1 of eye cancer at a hospital in the Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt. She was 58.
The young actress caught Truffaut's attention while appearing onstage in Shakespeare's "Henry IV" in the 1960s. He cast her as a young woman in love in the 1968 film "Baisers voles" (Stolen Kisses) alongside leading man Jean-Pierre Leaud. Truffaut continued the story of the characters' marriage and divorce in "Domicile conjugal" (Bed & Board) and "L'amour en fuite" (Love on the Run).
Jade, who became a knight in France's Legion of Honor, had a role in Alfred Hitchcock's 1969 film "Topaz," about a French spy network, and also appeared alongside crooner Jacques Brel in the 1969 film "Mon Oncle Benjamin" (My Uncle Benjamin).
Perry Henzell, a filmmaker whose reggae classic "The Harder They Come" helped introduce Jamaican pop culture to a global audience, died Nov. 30 of cancer in Jamaica. He was 70.
Henzell's death came one day before the Jamaican premiere of his new feature, "No Place Like Home," set for the Flashpoint Film Festival in the resort town of Negril.
He directed and produced "Harder They Come," Jamaica's first feature film, from 1970-72. Shot on a shoestring budget, it became an international success, winning an award at the 1973 Venice International Film Festival.