Actress-director Anjelica Huston may have been born into movie royalty and may have fulfilled that royal destiny by becoming the third generation, after actor grandfather Walter and director-actor-screenwriter father John Huston , to win Oscar gold, but its early runs weren’t the stuff movie dreams are made of.
“Casino Royale” is the film where she first appeared, as a young, uncredited teenager 55 years ago this month. It is widely regarded as an overcooked comedic fiasco, or as Variety considered it at the time “an attempt to usurp the pants of James Bond”. The film had no less than five directors, including her father, John.
Variety was kinder to John Huston’s 1969 film “A Walk With Love and Death”, Anjelica’s first leading role, but most other outlets were tougher on the film and Huston’s performance , and it came and went without notice.
In a vain attempt to overcome this fate, 20th Century Fox commercial took Anjelica and her co-star, Assi Dayan (son of Israeli war hero Moshe Dayan) on a multi-city promotional tour and aired this first item. quirky branded content in Variety:
“Assaf Dayan is in love with his co-star Anjelica Huston, under the watchful eye of his director-father, John Huston. “A little stuck, what? I asked. Assaf shrugged philosophically. pleasure to pursue her in front of anyone’s eyes,” he said. “Look at that ravishing forehead! That elegant figure! That enigmatic smile! because he doesn’t feel connected to what he does. The year is 1358 AD. but you think times have changed so much? I was too busy looking at Anjelica to respond. Then her old man kicked me off the set.
With the rapid demise of “Death,” Huston’s acting career continued without much fanfare until 16 years later. While still in her early 30s, Huston picked up her Oscar for her comedic turn in crime “Prizzi’s Honor,” which landed eight Oscar nominations, including one for her director father, John.
The distinguished roles that followed brought Huston further success as well as the opportunity to work with many of the most important directors of the late 20th century. In addition to starring in the Disney attraction short “Captain EO” with Michael Jackson for director Francis Coppola (1986) and her father’s last film, “The Dead” (1987), she was in “Crimes and Misdemeanors” by Oscar-nominated Woody Allen. (1989), was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for “Enemies: A Love Story” (1989) for Paul Mazursky and was nominated for an Academy Award for her lead performance in “The Grifters” by Stephen Frears ( 1990).
Huston also starred in Nicolas Roeg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The Witches” (1990) and iconically revived Charles Addams’ wonderful cartoon character Morticia in Barry Sonnenfeld’s hit comedy “The Addams Family” (1991).
Emmy-nominated for the hit TV miniseries ‘Lonesome Dove’ (1989), Larry McMurtry’s western earned just one of its seven Emmy nominations, including a win for ‘Iron Jawed Angels’ (2004 ).
A muse of sorts for indie film icon Wes Anderson over the past two decades, Huston has starred in five of his films, including ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ (2001), ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ (2004) , “The Darjeeling Limited” (2007), “Isle of Dogs” (2018) and “The French Dispatch” (2021).
First movie: “Casino Royale” (1967)
First project mentioned in Variety: “A Walk with Love and Death” (1969)
Breakthrough movie: “Prizzi’s Honor” (1985)
Achievements: Three Oscar nominations, six Emmy Award nominations, two Spirit Awards, three BAFTA nominations, one Golden Globe Award (seven nominations)