Helmed 'Anne of the Thousand Days,' 'Mary'

Charles Jarrott, who directed Hal Wallis-produced historical dramas “Anne of the Thousand Days” and “Mary, Queen of Scots,” died March 4 at the Motion Picture & Television Fund campus in Woodland Hills, Calif., where he’d been living for seven years. He was 83 and had prostate cancer.

“Anne of the Thousand Days” (1969) drew Oscar nominations for actors Richard Burton, Genevieve Bujold and Anthony Quayle as well as seven other bids, winning for costume design, and Jarrott won a Golden Globe for best director for the film; 1971’s “Mary Queen of Scots” drew five Oscar nominations, including one for Vanessa Redgrave as actress.

Born in London to a former singer-dancer at London’s Gaiety Theater, Jarrott served in the Royal Navy during WWII.

Jarrott was first an assistant stage manager with the Council of Great Britain Touring Company, then focused on acting and directing with the Nottingham Repertory.

In 1953 he moved to Canada and spent two years acting at the Ottawa Theater before he began to direct live dramas for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

His TV directing credits include “Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story”; “The Woman He Loved,” about the Prince Edward/Wallis Simpson affair; and the biopic “Lucy and Desi: Before the Laughter.”

For 1994’s “A Promise Kept: The Oksana Baiul Story,” Jarrott received a best director Emmy.

After the Hal Wallis films, Jarrott went on to direct pics such as a “Lost Horizon” remake (1973); “The Dove” (1974); “The Other Side of Midnight” (1977); “The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark” (1980); “The Boy in Blue” (1986), with Nicolas Cage; and “The Secret Life of Algernon” (1997).

Some of his other TV credits include “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus” and “Jackie Collins’ Lady Boss.”

Jarrott is survived by a brother and three stepchildren.

Donations may be made to the Motion Picture & Television Fund.

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