Alexander Mackendrick

Alexander (Sandy) Mackendrick, director of such classic comedies as “The Man in the White Suit” and “Sweet Smell of Success,” died of pneumonia Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 81.

Mackendrick directed five films for Britain’s Ealing Studios, “Whiskey Galore” (released in the U.S. as “Tight Little Island”); “The Man in the White Suit,” starring Alec Guinness; “Mandy,” released in the U.S. as “The Crash of Silence”; “The Maggie” and “The Ladykillers,” starring Guinness and Peter Sellers.

In 1955, Ealing Studios was sold to the BBC and Mackendrick left for the U.S. shortly thereafter.

He became associated with the production company Hill, Hecht and Lancaster (the latter being Burt Lancaster), where he directed the film “Sweet Smell of Success,” which was named to the Library of Congress National Film Registry this year.

Mackendrick directed just three features after that, “Sammy Goes South,” released in the U.S. as “A Boy Ten Feet Tall”; “A High Wind in Jamaica” and “Don’t Make Waves.”

In 1969, Mackendrick, after retiring from directing, was appointed Dean of the Film School at the California Institute of the Arts. In 1978, he became a Fellow of the Institute and continued teaching at CalArts.

Survivors include his wife and three sons.

More Scene

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream hosted by AT&T and from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized [...]

  • Emile Hirsch, Matt SmileyEmile Hirsch hosts

    Emile Hirsch Hosts Smiley Face Art Opening at Mondrian Hotel

    Despite the rain on Wednesday night in West Hollywood, there were plenty of smiles inside the Mondrian hotel thanks to artist Matt Smiley‘s Refresh exhibition. Not only is Smiley his real last name, but several of his paintings and other pieces in the exhibit feature smiley faces. “I’ve seen more smiley symbolism lately, and I’ve [...]

  • Randall Park, left, and Constance Wu

    Constance Wu Wants Her 'Fresh Off the Boat' Co-Star Randall Park to Host the Oscars

    While the Academy may have decided to go hostless for this year’s Oscars, that doesn’t mean the rest of Hollywood has stopped thinking about who would be a good choice for the emceeing gig. Former host Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested Ken Jeong. Jeong said, when he was a guest on “The View,” Goldberg told him [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content