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'The Poseidon Adventure' Adventure Director Dies At 99

June 18th, 2010 2:49pm EDT

Poseidon-Adv-ps02.jpg British director Ronald Neame has died at the age of 99 after failing to recover from a fall.

The Poseidon Adventure filmmaker passed away at a Los Angeles hospital on Wednesday (16Jun10), his friend Peter Bowes has confirmed.

Born in London to photographer Elwin Neame and actress Ivy Close, Neame began his career in the film industry as a messenger boy at the U.K.'s famous Elstree Studios, where he first met acclaimed director Alfred Hitchcock.

He became an assistant cameraman on Hitchcock's 1929 movie Blackmail, before working as a cinematographer on 1933 musical comedy Happy.
He turned to directing in 1947 with Take My Life, and he worked with acting legend Alec Guinness on three of his films, The Card (1952), The Horse's Mouth (1958) and Tunes of Glory (1960).

But Neame will perhaps be best remembered for 1972's The Poseidon Adventure, which earned three Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actress for Shelley Winters. The disaster movie, which also starred Gene Hackman and Ernest Borgnine, won in the two other categories it was nominated for - Best Song for The Song from The Poseidon Adventure, also known as The Morning After, and Special Achievement in Visual Effects.

During his lengthy career, Neame also worked with Judy Garland, Dirk Bogarde and Dame Maggie Smith, who won the Best Actress Oscar in 1969 for her role in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

 He is survived by his third wife Donna Friedberg, who he wed in 1993; his son Christopher, a writer/producer, from his first marriage to Beryl Heanly; and his grandson Gareth, who works as a TV producer.
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Related: Alfred Hitchcock, Ernest Borgnine, Gene Hackman, Judy Garland, The Poseidon Adventure

Photo Credits: Twentieth Century Fox

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