×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Eva Monley dies at 88

Location scout helped Hollywood films in Africa

Eva Monley, a location scout, assistant director, production manager and, later, producer who brought her expertise on Africa to many films and worked with the likes of John Huston, John Ford, Otto Preminger, David Lean and Steven Spielberg, died at her home in Nanyuki, Kenya, on Nov. 12. She was 88.

The Berlin-born Monley escaped from Nazi Germany with her mother, landing at a farm in Kenya; over time she developed a detailed knowledge of the country and became fluent in Swahili. While working as a secretary in Nairobi, she picked up her first film job, as an assistant and script supervisor on 1950’s “King Solomon’s Mines,” shot in Africa in the Belgian Congo, Kenya and Tanzania. After following that assignment with similar work on Huston’s “The African Queen,” she was soon frequently employed by American and British film producers shooting in Africa, including Hemingway adaptation “The Snows of Kiliminjaro”; “White Witch Doctor,” with Robert Mitchum and Susan Hayward; and John Ford’s “Mogambo.”

Monley also worked on films lensed outside Africa, such as 1955 Lana Turner-Richard Burton starrer “The Rains of Ranchipur” and George Cukor’s 1956 “Bhowani Junction,” both lensed in India, and on 1957 Hemingway adaptation “A Farewell to Arms,” shot in Italy.

She began a five-film association with director Preminger on 1960’s “Exodus,” on which she was production manager. (She also worked as production manger on the director’s “The Cardinal,” “In Harm’s Way,” “Bunny Lake Is Missing” and “Hurry Sundown.”)

Monley spent two years working as a location manager on Lean’s epic “Lawrence of Arabia.”

Later in her career Monley was associate producer on a number of films, starting with “The Pack” in 1977 and continuing with Gil Cates’ “The Promise,” John Irvin’s “Champions” in 1984, franchise starter “Highlander” and Bruce Beresford’s 1990 “Mr. Johnson,” shot in Nigeria. In 1993 she brought to the screen “A Far Off Place,” based on the book by South African writer Laurens van der Post, a close friend. Reese Witherspoon in the Monley-produced film.

Among her other credits are Don Siegel’s “Black Windmill,” Sydney Pollack’s “Out of Africa,” Huston’s “The Man Who Would Be King,” Ken Russell’s “Billion Dollar Brain” and Spielberg’s “Empire of the Sun.”

Monley’s papers were donated to the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, and she received a lifetime achievement award from the British Film Institute.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Leonardo Dicaprio Once Upon a Time

    Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance Commits $5 Million to Amazon Fires

    Earth Alliance, an environmental initiative backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, has committed $5 million toward the preservation of the Amazon rain forest following an alarming surge in wildfires. After launching Sunday, the organization’s emergency Amazon Forest Fund is working to support local partners and indigenous communities in their efforts to protect the sensitive habitats within the [...]

  • (from left) Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson)

    Box Office: 'Hobbs & Shaw' Scores $102 Million Debut in China, Nears $600 Million Globally

    Universal’s “Hobbs & Shaw” returned to first place on the international box office charts, thanks to a massive $102 million debut in China. The “Fast & Furious” spinoff, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, collected another $120 million overseas, boosting its foreign tally to $441 million. “Hobbs & Shaw” is nearing the $600 million mark [...]

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Box Office: 'Angel Has Fallen' Rises to No. 1 With $21 Million Debut

    “Angel Has Fallen,” the third chapter in Lionsgate and Millenium’s action franchise starring Gerard Butler, had a stronger opening weekend than expected, collecting $21.25 million during its first three days of release. Those ticket sales were enough to top domestic box office charts, bumping last weekend’s champ, Universal’s comedy “Good Boys,” to second place. Starring [...]

  • Amanda

    ‘Amanda’ Takes Home Best Int’l Film at 15th Sanfic

    SANTIAGO, Chile    French director Mikhael Hers’ “Amanda” scooped up the Best Int’l Film award Saturday (Aug. 24) at the 15th Santiago Int’l Film Fest (Sanfic), which reported a 20% audience uptick in the past two years and continues to grow its reputation as the most vibrant and prominent film festival in Latin America’s Southern [...]

  • disney d23

    Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther's Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two

    Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday. The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content