Two Legends of Acting Pass Away

On Sunday we lost two legendary actors -- Peter O'Toole, who passed away at the age of 81, and Joan Fontaine, who died at the age of 96.

O'Toole earned eight Oscar nominations, and even though he never won, his performances in classic movies such as Lawrence of Arabia, Becket, The Lion in Winter, and Man of La Mancha. He's given film fans many memories with appearances in The Bible: In the Beginning, Caligula, and Stardust, and even underpar motion pictures like Supergirl and Troy.

Joan Fontaine won an Academy Award for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's Suspicion and was nominated for Rebecca. Her filmography also included spectacular work in Gunga Din, The Women, Jane Eyre, Ivanhoe, and The Witches.

A couple of years ago, a friend of Joan Fontaine called me and asked for a picture of a rose named after her that was on display in our Rockefeller Rose Garden. I obliged. A few weeks later I received a lovely handwritten thank you note from Ms. Fontaine herself. She was a class act from the Golden Age of Hollywood when actors and actresses really were stars instead of today's over-abundance of the ordinary dime a dozen variety. 
Ms. Fontaine and Mr. O'Toole will be missed. May they rest in peace.