×

Maureen Dragone, HFPA historian, dies at 93

Journalist, Hollywood Foreign Press member also founded Youth in Film org

Maureen Dragone, a journalist and member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. whose mother, Nora Laing, was one of the founding members of the HFPA, died Feb. 8. She was 93.

Dragone was the HFPA’s historian, authoring “Who Makes the Golden Globes Go Around,” an account of the org’s formation, and had recently been awarded with an honorary life membership in the HFPA. She was said to have been the only person to have been present at all 70 Globe ceremonies.

Dragone interviewed hundreds of celebrities over the course of her career writing for various international newspapers and magazines.

In her later years, the journalist came to the conclusion that some of the greatest actors and actresses went largely unrecognized in Hollywood because of their young age. To acknowledge their talent and achievements, she founded the Youth In Film Assn. in 1978. As president and executive director of this organization, she produced the Youth in Film Awards to honor outstanding young performers under age 21 in the fields of film, television and music. In 2000, the association became known as the Young Artists Foundation, also honoring those working in live theater and presenting the Young Artists Awards ceremony.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jodie Foster, Drew Barrymore, Diane Lane, Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson are among those who have received Young Artist awards.

The org has also recognized the achievements of youth in fields such as dance, radio and standup comedy. The Young Artists Foundation also grants scholarships so young performers who are financially or physically challenged may attend performing arts schools. The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has been a prominent contributor to this cause.

This year’s Young Artist Award ceremony, to be held May 5, will include a memorial tribute to Dragone.

Dragone husband Mike Dragone Sr. and son Michael Dragone Jr. preceded her in death.

She is survived by her partner of 25 years, Dan Kitchel; a daughter; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Donations to the Young Artists Scholarship Fund may be made to the Young Artists Foundation at 5632 Colfax Ave., North

Hollywood, CA 91601.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Refugees from the besieged Muslim enclave

    Sarajevo’s True Stories Market: Documenting the Atrocities of War

    Reconciliation and dealing with the tragedies of the Yugoslav Wars has been a major focus of the Sarajevo Film Festival and its CineLink Industry Days event in recent years. The True Stories Market, launched in 2016, aims to connect filmmakers with organizations that are researching and documenting the Yugoslav Wars that spanned 1991 to 2001 [...]

  • Ena Sendijarevic’s ‘Take Me Somewhere Nice’

    Ena Sendijarevic’s ‘Take Me Somewhere Nice’ Wins Top Prize in Sarajevo

    “Take Me Somewhere Nice,” Bosnian director Ena Sendijarević’s coming-of-age story about a teen raised in the Netherlands who returns to Bosnia to visit her ailing father, won the top prize at the Sarajevo Film Festival Thursday night, earning the Amsterdam-based helmer the coveted Heart of Sarajevo Award. The jury heralded the “beautifully photographed, acted, scripted [...]

  • Khadar Ahmed - BUFO - photo

    Bufo Sets Key Cast for Co-Production ‘The Gravedigger' (EXCLUSIVE)

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —   Actor Omar Abdi, who starred in the Ahmed-scripted short “Citizens,” and actress Yasmin Warsame, who made her name as a Canadian model, will topline romantic-tragedy “The Gravedigger,” the latest big screen project from Bufo, the Helsinki-based outfit behind Berlinale winner “The Other Side of Hope.” The film follows a Djibouti gravedigger [...]

  • Jacobs Ladder Movie 2019

    Film Review: 'Jacob's Ladder'

    It’s understandable that someone would want to remake “Jacob’s Ladder,” Adrian Lyne’s 1990 head-trip thriller about a Vietnam veteran haunted by fragmentary nightmare visions. I was far from alone in finding the original to be an overwrought but rather thin “psychological” horror film that was more punishing than pleasurable. And it wasn’t exactly a hit, [...]

  • Fiddler A Miracle of Miracles

    Film Review: 'Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles'

    Still beloved and routinely revived 55 years after its Broadway debut — including a Yiddish-language version now playing in New York — “Fiddler on the Roof” is a popular phenomenon that shows no sign of subsiding. Max Lewkowicz’s “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” provides an entertaining if hardly exhaustive overview of how the unlikely success [...]

  • 'Weathering With You' Heads for $100

    'Weathering With You' Heads for $100 Million Box Office Haul

    Makoto Shinkai’s animated romantic drama “Weathering with You” passed the JPY10 billion ($94 million) mark in Japan on Wednesday, according to an announcement by distributor Toho. This makes it the tenth-highest earning Japanese film of all time. Since its release on July 19 on 448 screens in 359 complexes, the film has racked up 7.52 million admissions. The [...]

  • Burn review

    Film Review: 'Burn'

    There’s more smoke than fire in “Burn,” a reasonably promising single-location thriller that never quite settles on what it wants to be — a straight-up suspense piece, twisty black comedy, oddball character study, etc. “All the above” would be a tall but not impossible order to pull off. The problem is that writer-director Mike Gan’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content