ALEX WOLFF (b. 1997)

Alex Wolff is an American actor, singer and musician who first gained recognition with his brother Nat in the Nickelodeon musical comedy series “The Naked Brothers Band,” created by his mother, Polly Draper. He received “The Rising Star Award” at The Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute in 2016 for his performance in “Coming Through the Rye,” a film about J.D. Salinger by James Sadwith. Wolff’s filmography includes the highly acclaimed 2021 feature film, “Pig,” starring Nicholas Cage, which is featured in the CIFF 2021 lineup

AL PACINO (b. 1940)

Perhaps best known for his role in The Godfather (1972) Mr. Pacino has had a long and successful career including winning an Oscar for Scent of a Woman in 1992. He is also known for his portrayals of a gangster in Scarface (1983) and a cop in Serpico in 1973.


Amber Edwards is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker with three decades of experience telling cinematic stories of musicians, artists, dancers, performers, and American cultural history. She first came to CIFF in 2017 with her film, “Vince Giordano: The Future is in the Past,” and has been a festival participant ever since – as performer, filmmaker and panelist. In 2021, she combined creative forces with the prolific novelist Justin Scott, her husband, to bring their just-published, co-written novel, “Forty Days and Forty Nights”(her first) to the shores of Coronado. While here, they will conduct a CIFF Master Lab called “From Book to Script to Film.”  The couple lives in Connecticut.

ANDY GARCIA (b. 1956)

Andrés Arturo Garcia Menéndez was born in Havana, Cuba and escaped with his family as a young child when Castro seized power. The Academy-Award- nominated actor (The Godfather: Part III, 1990) first rose to prominence in Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables alongside Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, and Robert De Niro. Excellent roles and stellar performances have continued since then. Married to his wife, Marivi Loridi, since 1982, the couple has 4 children. One of the most talented, respected, and likeable leading men in Hollywood, Garcia was honored with the Actor Award at Coronado Island Film Festival’s Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute in 2018.

ANITA PAGE (1910 – 2008)

Anita Page was a big star in the days of the flapper at the biggest studio of the day, M-G-M.  Page was born Anita Evelyn Pomares in Flushing, New York. Her lineage was Spanish. After moving to Hollywood, she got a contract at MGM and was a hit in her second film Our Dancing Daughters opposite Joan Crawford in 1928. Two more hits followed for this flapper film trio. In 1929 she made The Flying Fleet, the first film about Naval Aviation and one filmed at Pensacola and North Island, which included scenes of the Hotel del Coronado, Tent City, and the bay. Anita retired from MGM in 1933. She married Navy Lt. (later Admiral) Hershel House in 1937 and moved to 717 A Avenue in Coronado where she and her husband lived many years.

 ANN BLYTH (b. 1928)

Born in New York, Ann Blyth was a seasoned performer by the time she was in elementary school. As a member of New York’s Children’s Opera Company, she made her Broadway debut at age 13. Still beautiful today at 94 years young, the petite dark-eyed actress with the lyric soprano voice is the 2021 recipient of the Coronado Island Film Festival Legacy Award. Her star turns with Golden Age leading men such as Gregory Peck, William Powell and Robert Montgomery showcased her dramatic talents, but because of her vocal talent, she was predominately cast in musical roles. Playing opposite Mario Lanza in “The Great Caruso” (1951), a fan favorite, the duo introduced opera to mainstream movie audiences. Her performance as Veda Pierce, the scheming, ungrateful daughter of Joan Crawford in  “Mildred Pierce” (1945) earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She lives in San Diego County.

ANTHONY QUINN (1915 – 2001)

Manuel Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca, known professionally as Anthony Quinn, was a Mexican actor, producer, painter, writer and director, known for his portrayal of earthy, passionate, virile characters such as Zorba in Zorba the Greek, for which he received a 1964 Best Actor Oscar nomination. Quinn often chose Coronado’s Hotel del Coronado as a favorite vacation destination.

BETTE DAVIS (1908 – 1989)

Ruth Elizabeth “Bette” Davis was an American actress with a career spanning more than 50 years and 100 acting credits. Remembered for playing strong female characters, she garnered 11 Oscar nominations and won twice (Jezebel in 1939, and Dangerous in1936). At auctions in 2001 and 2002, director Steven Spielberg anonymously bought Davis’ two Best Actress Oscars in order to donate them to the Academy of Arts and Sciences Museum. He did this to protect the Oscar from further commercial exploitation. Davis was a frequent visitor to Hotel del Coronado.

BILLY WILDER (1906-2002)

Billy Wilder was an Austrian-American film director, producer and screenwriter. His career in Hollywood spanned 5 decades, and he is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Classical Hollywood Cinema. He received 21 Academy Award nominations and won 6 (The Lost weekend, Sunset Boulevard, and The Apartment). Wilder is near and dear to the hearts of Coronado due to his writing and directing of the 1959 “Some Like it Hot,” starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis, filmed at Hotel Del and considered to be one of the best comedies ever made. Wilder was honored at the CIFF inaugural festival in 2016 with the first CIFF Legacy Award.

BRAD PITT (b. 1963)

Brad Pitt is best known for his breakthrough role in the 1991 film “Thelma and Louise” and his subsequent starring role in the 1992 “A River Runs Through It.” He also starred in “The Fight Club” (1999), “Oceans Eleven” (2001) and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” in 2005, when he began his relationship with future wife Angelina Jolie.  He was married to Jennifer Aniston at the time. Pitt and Jolie raised 6 children together and divorced in 2019. His role in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (2019) won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Pitt’s producer credits include “The Departed”(2006) and “Twelve Years a Slave” (2013). 

CARY GRANT (1904 – 1986)

Handsome Leading Man Cary Grant was a frequent guest at the Hotel Del Coronado in the 1960s and 1970s. He has many films to his credit including classic favorites To Catch a Thief (1955) and North by Northwest (1959). He served on many boards, including that of Hollywood Park, the Academy of Magical Arts, and MGM. The American Film Institute named him the second most important male star of the Golden Age of Hollywood, second to Humphrey Bogart.  He was a regular guest at Hotel del Coronado, and in 1955 married Kay Williams, the former wife of Adolph Spreckels, son of longtime Hotel Del owner and Coronado philanthropist John D. Spreckels.


In his prime Charlie Chaplin was the best-known movie star in the world. Charles Spencer Chaplin was born in London, England. He grew up in poverty and began working as a boy but soon honed his entertainment skills in London music halls. He came to America aged 19 with a troupe and was signed up with the Keystone Studio. There he developed his Tramp persona in silent film that he kept throughout his career. Chaplin frequently stayed in Coronado and played on a local Polo team in the 1920s. Charlie Chaplin was given an Honorary Award by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 1972 after being gone from the U.S for twenty years.

CHARLTON HESTON (1923 – 2008)

He was born in No Man’s Land, Illinois, but the ruggedly handsome Charlton Heston was soon to make a name for himself, starring in nearly 100 films over the course of 60 years. After serving in the Army as a radioman during World War II, Heston made his way to Hollywood. His breakout role was in Cecil B. Demille’s blockbuster, “The Greatest Show on Earth” (1952) and thereafter Heston began punching out hit after Hollywood hit. He played Moses in the epic film, “The Ten Commandments” (1956), for which he received his first Golden Globe Award nomination. He starred in “Touch of Evil” (1958) with Orson Welles; “Ben-Hur,” a Biblical epic running over three and half hours, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor (1959);  “El Cid” (1961); and portrayed Michelangelo in “The Agony and the Ecstasy” (1965).

In 1968, Heston starred as time traveling astronaut George Taylor in  “Planet of the Apes” (1968).  And will we ever forget Taylor’s first words when he regains his voice, “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!”  He was a frequent visitor at Hotel del Coronado, handsome as always in crisp tennis whites on the Hotel courts.

In his later years, Heston became a political activist, first in support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As he aged, he moved from liberal Democrat to conservative Republican, and in his later year served as President of the NRA. On Aug. 9, 2002, Heston announced (via a taped message) that he had been diagnosed with symptoms consistent with Alzheimer’s disease. In his final public appearance in July 2003, Heston received the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House from President George W. Bush.

CLARK GABLE (1901 – 1960)

Perhaps best known as the King of Hollywood, Gable’s final on screen appearance was that of an aging cowboy in the Misfits, which was released posthumously in 1961. He was one of Hollywood’s most consistent box office performers. His role in It Happened One Night (1935) with Claudette Colbert cinched his stardom but he was also nominated for an Oscar for Gone with the Wind (1940) and Mutiny on the Bounty in 1935. Mr. Gable starred in the 1931 film Hell Divers, which was filmed on NAS North Island, Coronado. 

CLORIS LEACHMAN (1926 – 2021)

One of America’s most accomplished and beloved actresses, Cloris Leachman’s career spanned a whopping seven-plus decades. As comfortable with drama as she was with comedy, her range as an actress was astonishing, garnering her a long list of awards for her work in film and television, including a 1972 best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Peter Bogdonavich’s The Last Picture Show. After that came her unforgettable Frau Blucher in the Mel Brooks classic film Young Frankenstein, followed by Brooks’s hilarious High Anxiety. She won two primetime Emmys as Phyllis Lindstrom, Mary’s neighbor in The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Leachman was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2011, has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was granted an honorary doctorate in 2014 by her Alma Mater, Northwestern University. Her star turn as the oldest competitor on the ABC hit series, Dancing With the Stars, established her as the coolest octogenarian of all time.

In one of Leachman’s final public appearances, Leonard Maltin presented her with the Coronado Island Film Festival’s 2019 Legacy Award in the Crown Room of the iconic Hotel del Coronado. She literally brought the house down when she climbed onto Leonard Maltin’s lap during the presentation! RIP Funny Lady.

DANIEL STERN (b. 1957)

Daniel Jacob Stern is an American actor, writer and director with an impressive filmography to his credit, including his role as Marv Murchins in “Home Alone” and “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.” He wowed a sold-out CIFF Classic Film Series audience with his specially taped introduction to “Breaking Away” (1979) in May (National Bicycle Month) of 2018 at Coronado’s Village Theatre.

Stern is also an accomplished sculptor. As part of Coronado’s Public Art collection, his “Handstand” can be seen atop the wall of Coronado Community Center. He says, “As an actor, director, and writer, I have spent my entire life telling stories to audiences. My sculpture work is no different.”

DAVID JANSSEN (1931 – 1980)

David Janssen may be best remembered for portraying Dr. Richard Kimble in the television film series “The Fugitive” (1963-1967), but he also had title roles in three other detective services: “Richard Diamond, Private Detective;” “O’Hara, U.S. Treasury,” and “Harry O,” where he played a world-weary private investigator forced to leave the San Diego Police Department after a bullet became lodged near his spine. Season One was filmed in Coronado in 1973, where Harry sets up practice out of his beach house on Coronado Island, and when he’s not working on cases, he spends his time fixing up his boat, “The Answer.” Harry O didn’t own a flashy car; he preferred to ride the bus. In Season Two, the series was retooled, moving Harry up to Los Angeles, and his beach house somewhere between Santa Monica and Malibu. That was Hollywood’s mistake; the show was canceled after the second season. A very disappointed Janssen nonetheless received kudos from critics for his performance that embodied a contemplative nature and loner personality, set off by a twisted smile and signature tweed sports coat.David Janssen may be best remembered for portraying Dr. Richard Kimble in the television film series “The Fugitive” (1963-1967), but he also had title roles in three other detective services: “Richard Diamond, Private Detective;” “O’Hara, U.S. Treasury,” and “Harry O,” where he played a world-weary private investigator forced to leave the San Diego Police Department after a bullet became lodged near his spine. Season One was filmed in Coronado.

DAVID LYNCH (b. 1946)

Don’t be surprised if you spy American filmmaker, painter, visual artist, musician and writer David Lynch walking about the streets of Coronado – his sister Martha Lynch Levacy is a longtime Coronado resident.

A recipient of the Academy Honorary Award in 2019, Lynch has also received three Academy Award nominations for Best Director, for “Mulholland Drive” (2001), Blue Velvet” (1987) and “The Elephant Man” (1981), for which he also was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. After making several short subject films, his first feature length film, the surrealist “Eraserhead” (1977) became a cult favorite. He next directed “Elephant Man,” “Dune” (1984) and “Blue Velvet.”

Other notable films include  ‘Lost Highway” (1997) and “Inland Empire” (2006). Actress Laura Dern has starred in many of Lynch’s films.

In 1990, Lynch worked with television producer Mark Frost (Hill Street Blues) in developing a drama series with supernatural undertones, “Twin Peaks” (1990 -1991). The series, set in a small Washington town, seeks to discover who murdered high school student Laura Palmer. It was also made into a motion picture.

Lynch is an avid practitioner of Transcendental Meditation and in 2005 he founded the David Lynch Foundation, which seeks to fund the teaching of the practice in schools to at-risk populations, including the homeless, veterans and refugees.

DEAN CUNDEY (b. 1946)

Dean Cundey, A.S.C., is an Academy Award-nominated cinematographer (“Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” 1988) known for his successful collaborations with directors John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, and his extensive work in the horror genre and comedy films. He is a much-loved friend to CIFF who has generously shared his talents and knowledge, including guest lectures to Coronado’s digital arts students.

Cundey was a special guest at CIFF’s Classic Movie Series sold-out screenings of his “Romancing the Stone” and “Back to the Future” (with an actual DeLorean cooling at the curb of Coronado’s Village Theatre). He received the CIFF Cinematography Award at Leonard Maltin’s Celebrity Tribute in 2017, and the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers in 2014.

DESI ARNAZ (1917 – 1986)

Desi Arnaz – born Desiderio Alberto Arnaz Y De Acha III – hailed from an affluent family in Santiago, Cuba. Following the 1933 Cuban revolution in which all their property was seized, the family fled to Miami, Florida.  Five years later, Arnaz formed his own band in Miami Beach, which helped him gain popularity in the American music industry. In 1939 Arnaz was offered the opportunity to audition for a Broadway musical titled “Too Many Girls.” The following year, he went to Hollywood to act in the film adaptation of the musical, where he met Lucille Ball; the couple married in November 1940. They subsequently created their own production company, Desilu Productions, which, among its assets was the popular “I Love Lucy” show, which debuted on CBS in 1951.

Arnaz and Ball retreated to The Del in 1950 to polish their comedy routine under the direction of “Pepito the Spanish Clown,” a renowned vaudeville performer. They stayed at the hotel for a couple of weeks, where they also developed their “Ricky and Lucy” personas (he the serious Cuban bandleader; she, his zany star-struck wife).

In one episode of “I Love Lucy”, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo stay at Hotel del Coronado with their friends, Fred and Ethel Mertz.

Behind the scenes, Arnaz introduced many firsts to television including the first to film in front of a live studio audience, and the first with fixed adjacent sets.Arnaz and Ball divorced in 1960. He and his second wife, Edith, eventually moved to Del Mar, Calif., where he lived the rest of his life in semi-retirement. He owned a horse-breeding farm in Corona, Calif. and raced thoroughbreds. In his later years, he donated to several charities and nonprofit organizations, including San Diego State University.


Diane Keaton is an Academy Award-winning actress known for her idiosyncratic personality and quirky fashion style. In addition to her 1978 Best Actress Oscar as the title character in Annie Hall (starring with Woody Allen, who also wrote and directed), she has won a British Film Academy Award, two Golden Globes, and the AFI Life Achievement Award. Her 2003 Something’s Gotta Give with Jack Nicholson earned her an Oscar nomination, and the 2018 Book Club with Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen was a fan favorite. Keaton, a well-informed aficionado of California art and architecture, is also the author of several books. She was a familiar site in Coronado in 2007, touring several historic homes while researching her coffee-table book, California Romantica. Upon publication, she held a book signing reception at Coronado Historical Association.

DIANE WARREN (b. 1956)

Prolific songwriter Diane Warren has garnered many prestigious awards in her impressive career. But in spite of being nominated for an Oscar twelve times, she is yet to win! Her comment was, “Yikes! Well at least I hold a record for something!” She has written nine Number 1 songs and thirty-two Top-10 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, including “If I Could Turn Back Time” (Cher, 1989), “Because You Loved Me,”(Celine Dion, 1986), and “How Do I Live” (Lee Ann Rimes, 1997). She is the first songwriter in history to have seven hits, all by different artists, on the singles chart at the same time.

Warren was in Coronado to accept the Transcendent Award at Coronado Island Film Festival’s 2019 Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute Dinner at Hotel del Coronado. She also thrilled festival guests with a performance of her best-known favorites with singer Marisa Corvo.

DICK VAN DYKE (b. 1925)

Dick Van Dyke is a treasured show business icon whose 7-decades-long career as an actor, writer, comedian, singer and dancer has graced radio, television, nightclubs, film, and the Broadway stage. He is beloved to this day for his portrayal of Bert in the film Mary Poppins (1964), as well as TV’s popular Dick Van Dyke Show with Mary Tyler Moore (1961-1966). Van Dyke and his family lived in Coronado for a time in the 1970s.

DONALD O’CONNOR (1925 – 2003)

Perhaps best known for singing and dancing his way into America’s hearts in Singing in the Rain with Gene Kelly (1952), and as the companion to Francis the Talking Mule in the popular television series, O’Connor’s many movie credits include Cry for Happy, filmed at Hotel del Coronado with Glenn Ford in 1960, and Francis Joins the Navy in 1955, which was filmed at Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado.


Fairbanks was born Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman in Denver Colorado.  He was attracted to the theater from an early age and moved to New York and then Los Angeles to get into the movies. His athletic skills soon had him playing the swashbuckling and costumed roles such as Zorro, Robin Hood, d’Artagnan, Don Juan, and others that made him famous in the silent film era. He met and married “America’s Sweetheart,” actress Mary Pickford, and together they formed the United Artists studio along with Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith. Fairbanks often stayed at the Hotel del Coronado when on vacation or when he was making a film in San Diego.

EDWARD G. ROBINSON (1893 – 1973)

Edward G. Robinson, cast mostly in tough guy/gangster roles, appeared in more than 100 films and 30 Broadway plays. His career spanned 50 years. Although never nominated for an Academy Award, he is remembered for his roles in Little Caesar (1932), Double Indemnity (1944) and the Ten Commandments (1956). The Hotel Del Coronado was a favorite Robinson vacation destination.

EMMA STONE (b. 1988)

Emily Jean “Emma” Stone was born in Scottsdale, AZ and is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actresses. She is the recipient of many awards and accolades, including an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work in “La La Land” (2016). Other films include “The Help” (2012), “Birdman” ((2015), “Easy A” (2011), and “Crazy Stupid Love” (2012).

Growing up, her family spent summer vacations in Coronado, where she has mentioned in interviews that their favorite place for breakfast was our own Night and Day Café!

ERROL FLYNN (1909 – 1959)

The great swashbuckler and romantic lead Errol Flynn was born in Battery Point, Tasmania. His father was a professor and he said his mother was descended from “seafaring folk,” from where his love of the sea came. He attended school in London and Australia but was restless and worked odd jobs between Sydney and New Guinea. His looks got him a role as Fletcher Christian in an Australian film about the mutiny of the Bounty. He then made his way to Hollywood and Warner Bros. Although he had a couple of very small roles, Captain Blood made him an instant star, along with Olivia de Havilland. The Adventures of Robin Hood in 1938, also with Olivia de Havilland, made him one of the top stars of Warner Bros. Errol Flynn also became a famous yachtsman. He sailed his yacht The Zaca to Coronado and stayed on it at Glorietta Bay while he filmed Dive Bomber at North Island in 1941. His 17-minute film, The Cruise of the Zaca, is included in the CIFF 2021 lineup, with his daughter Rory Flynn as a special guest, along with historian Tim Reid and actor Richard Dreyfuss, a Flynn family friend.

FRANK CAPRA (1997-1991)

Frank Russell Capra was an Italian-born film director, producer and writer who became the creative force behind some of the major award-winning films of the 1930s and 1940s. The three-time Academy Award winner is remembered for films with uplifting messages, such as “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946), “It Happened One night” (1934), and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939).

In his autobiography, “The Name Above the Title” (1971), Capra writes affectionately of his many visits to Coronado with his wife Lu, and the good times they enjoyed at Hotel del Coronado.

FRANK WELLS (1932 – 1994)

Frank Wells was born in Coronado and traced his ancestry back to the Mayflower. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and a graduate of Stanford Law School. He was president and vice-chairman at Warner Bros. before being recruited by Roy E. Disney to become Disney’s president and chief operating officer (1984 until his death in 1994), alongside Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg

A born adventurer, Wells died in a helicopter crash at age 62 on Easter Sunday 1994 while returning from a heliskiing trip in Nevada’s rugged Ruby Mountains. He was a good friend of Clint Eastwood, who had been skiing with him on that weekend. Eastwood had left in his own helicopter just an hour before Wells’ departure.

Both “The Lion King” (1994) and “Waking Sleeping Beauty” (2009) are dedicated to his memory. Members of the Wells family continue to live in Coronado.

FRED MACMURRAY (1908-1991)

Frederick Martin MacMurray appeared in over one hundred films and a successful television series in a career that spanned nearly half a century. Tall (6’-3”) and handsome, his career as a major film Leading Man began in 1935, but his most-remembered role was in Billy Wilder’s film noir, “Double Indemnity.”

In 1939, MacMurray starred in the Warner Bros. film “Dive Bomber” alongside Errol Flynn and Ralph Bellamy as three Naval aviators, which was filmed in Coronado.


Recipient of the 2021 CIFF Cinematography Award, Luis Gabriel Beristain, ASC, BSC, AMC, was born in Mexico City and is a Mexican cinematographer, producer, and television director known for his work on numerous films including “The Distinguished Gentleman,” The Spanish Prisoner,” Blade II,” and “Street Kings,” in addition to several entries in the “Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

He has collaborated with filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro, Derek Jarman, David Mamet, and David Ayer. He is an active member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

GARY COOPER (1901 – 1961)

Gary Cooper has been ranked as one of the most natural actors of all time, with an innate ability to underplay and deliver restrained performances.  He understood the camera’s ability to record slight gestures and facial movements; perhaps that came from his early ambition and training to become an artist.

Cooper’s acting career spanned thirty-six years, from 1925 to 1961. He appeared in eighty-four feature films, from the end of the silent film era to the end of the Golden Age of Hollywood.  His specialty was Westerns, mirroring his preference for the outdoors and several years working in Yellowstone National Park.

He was nominated five times for Best Actor Oscars, and won for two, the first, Sergeant York (1942). In accepting the award, Cooper in his characteristic humble fashion, said: “It was Sergeant Alvin York who won this award. Because to the best of my ability, I tried to be Sergeant York. Shucks, I’ve been in the business 16 years and sometimes dreamed I might get one of these things. That’s all I can say… Funny, when I was dreaming I always made a good speech.”

He also won an Oscar for “High Noon” (1953), playing opposite Grace Kelly, and asked John Wayne to accept for him. And, just two months before his death from cancer, Cooper was presented with an Honorary Oscar, accepted by his close friend Jimmy Stewart, who said, “Coop, I’ll get this to you right away.”

Cooper was also close friends with Ernest Hemingway and starred in two movies penned by the author, “Farewell to Arms “(1932) and “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (1943). Hemingway had said the lead character in the latter book was modeled in part on Cooper, with whom he often fished and hunted.  Hemingway shot himself one month after Cooper’s death.

Cooper made several visits to San Diego County. In a partnership that included Bing Crosby and Oliver Hardy, Cooper was responsible for the building of the Del Mar racetrack in 1937. Due to his age, Cooper did not serve in the military during World War II, but did get involved in the war effort by entertaining the troops, and in June 1943 he visited military hospitals in San Diego.

GARY SINISE (b. 1955)

Gary Alan Sinise is an award-winning American actor especially remembered for his portrayal of disabled military veteran Lt. Dan in the film Forest Gump. That role changed his life, inspiring him to form the Gary Sinise Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 to raise money for veterans groups and first responders. His fundraising Lt. Dan Band live beachfront concerts at Hotel del Coronado are a regular summer highlight.

GEORGE SANDERS (1906 – 1972)

George Sanders was a British actor whose upper-class accent and smooth bass voice often made him the perfect choice for sophisticated, villainous roles. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in All About Eve in 1950. He also starred in 

Rebecca in 1940, and hosted a television series, The George Sanders Mystery Theater, in 1957

GOLDIE HAWN (b. 1945)

Goldie Hawn rose to fame as part of the cast of Rowan & Martin’s “Laugh-in” in which she played zany, bikini-clad Sparkle Farkle and showed America how big a smile could be.

She received an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for her performance in “Cactus Flower” (1969).  She also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her title role in “Private Benjamin” (1980). Other notable films are “Bird on a Wire” opposite Mel Gibson (1990), “Death Becomes Her” (1992) with Meryl Streep, “Housesitter” (1992) with Steve Martin and “The First Wives Club” (1996) with Diane Keaton and Bette Midler. In a movie entitled “$” (also known as “The Heist) made in 1971, Hawn played opposite Warren Beatty, with the final hotel sequence filmed at Hotel del Coronado.

 Hawn has been in a relationship with actor Kurt Russell since 1983. They have a child together, actor Wyatt Russell; Hawn also has two children, actress Kate Hudson and Oliver Hudson. Hawn and Russell have made three movies together, “Swing Shift” (1983); “Overboard” (1987) and “The Christmas Chronicles, Part II” (2020).  She also made a cameo in “The Christmas Chronicles” (2018).

GRETA GARBO (1905-1990)

The great star of the silent and sound silver screen was born Greta Gustafsson in Stockholm Sweden.  She studied at the Royal Dramatic Acting School in Stockholm and was in a film spotted by MGM’s boss L. B. Mayer, who invited her to come to Hollywood. Production head Irving Thalberg groomed her and costume designer Adrian created her image in one silent film hit after another. Her look was imitated around the world. Many silent film stars with accents tanked in the transition to talkie, but her husky voice and slight accent only helped her sexy appeal. She starred in such classics as Romance, Mata Hari, Grand Hotel, Queen Christina, and Camille. Garbo was one of the many stars that vacationed at the Hotel del Coronado.

HELEN HAYES (1900 – 1993)

Who can ever forget Helen Hayes’ portrayal of stowaway Ada Quonsett in the movie “Airport” (1970), for which Hayes won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress! But it was not Hayes’ only Oscar – her first came way back 1932 for Best Actress in the film “The Sin of Madelon Claudet,” one of the film industry’s early “talkies” in which she played a prostitute sacrificing for her son.

Hayes was bestowed the nickname “First Lady of American Theatre” for a career that spanned 80 years, beginning as a child actor at age five. She was one of just sixteen people who have achieved an “EGOT” –winning an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony Award. She also was a 1980 Kennedy Center honoree.

Hayes always seemed to have a twinkle in her eye, dropping several pearls of wisdom along the way, including “If you rest, you rust,” “The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy” (stated when she was 73), and “Age is not important unless you’re a cheese.”

HENRY FONDA (1905 – 1982)

The patriarch of a family of actors, including son Peter and daughter Jane, Henry Fonda is remembered for his roles in 12 Angry Men, and the 1981 On Golden Pond, his last film, with Katharine Hepburn and daughter Jane, which garnered him his Oscar. He is also remembered for his powerful role as Tom Joad in the 1940s production of Grapes of Wrath.

HUMPHREY BOGART (1899 -1957)

He was simply known as “Bogie” and in 1999 the American Film Institute named him the greatest male star of classic American cinema.  His portrayals of detectives Sam Spade in “The Maltese Falcon” and Phillip Marlowe in “The Big Sleep” became the model for all actors appearing in film noir. 

He and third wife Lauren Bacall, 25 years his junior, played each other’s love interests in “Dark Passage” (1947) and “Key Largo” (1948). He received the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as the cantankerous river steamboat captain opposite Katharine Hepburn’s straight-laced missionary in the World War I adventure “The African Queen” (1951)

JACK LEMMON (b.1925-2001)

Who doesn’t know and love Jack Lemmon? Equally proficient in both dramatic and comic roles, Lemmon was known for his anxious, middle-class everyman screen persona. The winner of two Academy Awards, he is best known to Coronado for his hilarious role in “Some Like it Hot” with Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis, filmed at Hotel del Coronado in 1958. Lemmon has been called “the most successful tragi-comedian of his age.”


Actor, producer, director and screenwriter, Jack Nicholson has received three Academy Awards and twelve nominations. His big break came with the film Easy Rider (1969) followed by Five Easy Pieces (1970), Chinatown (1974) and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). With his trademark dark sunglasses, Nicholson is known as a Hollywood Bad Boy and is the most nominated male actor in the Academy. His versatility includes romantic leads (Something’s Gotta Give in 2003 with Diane Keaton) and comic characters. He has called himself “semi-retired” and can be found courtside when his favorite team, the LA Lakers, is in town



Jacob Tremblay is a Canadian actor who starred as Jack Newsome in “Room” (2015), for which he became the youngest nominee for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Poised beyond his years, Tremblay was in Coronado with his family in 2018 to accept the Coronado Island Film Festival Actor Award at the Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute. The surprise hit, “Wonder,” in which Tremblay starred with Julia Roberts, screened at the 2018 festival.

JAMES GARNER (1928 – 2014)

James Garner may best be remembered for starring in several memorable television series over five decades, most notably as Bret Maverick in the 1950’s Western series “Maverick” and as Jim Rockford in the 1970s private detective series “The Rockford Files.”

But Garner also starred in more than 50 theatrical films over his career, including “The Great Escape” (1963) with Steve McQueen, “The Americanization of Emily” (1964) and Victor/Victoria (1982), both opposite Julie Andrews, “Murphy’s Romance” (1985) with Sally Field, and “Space Cowboys” with Tommy Lee Jones and Donald Sutherland.

In 2004 Garner received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild.  That same year, he also received A Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for “The Notebook,” in which he played opposite Gena Rowlands.

Many television shows and made-for-TV movies were filmed at The Del during the 1970s and ‘80s, including Space with James Garner. He also spent time there in 1984, when filming the 13-hour mini series, “Space” that also starred Blair Brown and Bruce Dern.

JOAN CRAWFORD (1906 – 1977)

Joan Crawford once described her onscreen performances succinctly, saying “If you want to see the girl next door, go next door.”  And the noted writer F. Scott Fitzgerald also offered his opinion: “Joan Crawford is doubtless the best example of the flapper, the girl you see in smart night clubs, gowned to the apex of sophistication, toying iced glasses with a remote, faintly bitter expression, dancing deliciously, laughing a great deal, with wide, hurt eyes. Young things with a talent for living.”

That was the Crawford of the 1920s, when she married the first of three husbands, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., after she was cast in a few silent films, most notably opposite Lon Chaney in “The Unknown” (1927).  She made several films at MGM Studios, including three cast opposite rising star Clark Gable, in the early 1930s.  But by 1938, she was named “Box Office Poison,” although she fared better in 1939 with “The Women,” playing opposite her professional nemesis, Norma Shearer.

Crawford redeemed her reputation, winning an Oscar in 1946 for “Mildred Pierce.”  She notably was not present at the ceremony, as she feigned illness, but upon hearing on the radio that she had won, she ushered the press into her bedroom where she dramatically expressed her appreciation.

Although they were rumored to disdain one another, Crawford and Bette Davis agreed to bite the bullet and star in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” (1962). When Davis was nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award, Crawford got in touch with the four other nominated candidates, who were all situated on the East Coast, offering to accept the award on their behalf should they win. They all agreed and when the winner was announced, it was Crawford who mounted the stage, passing Davis, and warmly accepted the Oscar for Anne Bancroft (“The Miracle Worker”).

Crawford adopted four children. Her oldest, Christina, penned a book, “Mommie Dearest,” in 1978, in which she alleged mental abuse by Crawford; it was made into a movie in 1981 of the same name starring Faye Dunaway.

JOHNNY DOWNS (1913 – 1994)

Although Johnny Downs was born in New York City, he was known locally as “Mr. Coronado.” But first, he started his career in Hollywood as a child actor in the early Our Gang series for the Hal Roach studio. When he was to old for the part he started singing and dancing in clubs around the country until he got back into movies. He appeared in Coronado (1935) costarring Betty Burgess and Jack Haley (the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz). Coronado was set at the Hotel del Coronado.After Downs retired from film, he settled in Coronado where he sold real estate and began a television show for children, The Johnny Downs Show, on KFSD and later KOGO, which lasted seventeen years. He and his wife June were familiar friends to the local tennis set, seen regularly on the Coronado courts.

JOHN TOLL (b. 1952)

John Toll, ASC, is an American cinematographer and one of only four to win back-to- back Academy Awards for Best Cinematography (“Legends of the Fall” in 1994 and “Braveheart” in 1995). He was nominated for his work on Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line.” Toll’s filmography spans a wide variety of genres, including epic period drama, comedy, science fiction, and contemporary drama. In 2016, Toll received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers (AMC).

Toll was in town in 2019 to accept the CIFF Cinematography Award at the Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute Dinner at Hotel del Coronado.  With him was his wife, the costume designer Lois Burwell, also an Oscar winner (“Braveheart”), who accepted the CIFF Artistry in Filmmaking Award that same year.

JOHN WAYNE (1907-1979)

Marion Robert Morrison, known professionally as John Wayne and nicknamed “Duke,” became a popular icon through his starring roles in films made during Hollywood’s Golden Age, especially in Western and war movies. He filmed “Wings Over the Navy” at North Island Naval Air Station, Coronado with George Brent and Olivia de Havilland, and won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in 1969.

JON HAMM (b. 1950)

Jon Hamm of course is best known for his role as Don Draper in the multi award-winning period television drama, “Mad Men,” which has attained near cult-following status. Locals also look forward to seeing Hamm as Navy Vice Admiral Cyclone in the much anticipated (and delayed) “Top Gun: Maverick,” which was filmed in Coronado and is due in theatres in spring of 2022.

JUDY GARLAND (1922 – 1969)

Actress, singer, and dancer Judy Garland, born Frances Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, packed a lifetime of achievements into a career that began as a child on vaudeville and ended with her premature death from an accidental barbiturate overdose when she was just 47 years old.

Garland left us with a legacy of her work that included her role as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939) and her immortal singing of  “Over the Rainbow.”  Of course, the Oz series of books were penned by L. Frank Baum, who wrote many of the stories while living in Coronado.

Garland received an Academy Juvenile Award for her double performances in “The Wizard of Oz” and “Babes in Arms” (also 1939). She also received a Golden Globe, and a Special Tony Award and was the first woman to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, which she did in 1961 for “Judy at Carnegie Hall.”

Notable films also included “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944), “The Harvey Girls” (1946), and “A Star Is Born” (1954), all of which captured Garland singing memorable songs in her remarkable voice.


Justin Scott is a prolific American novelist and was a frequent collaborator with author Clive Cussler, who died in 2020. He sometimes writes under the pseudonyms Paul Garrison and J.S. Blazer. His latest novel, “Forty Days and Forty Nights,” is a collaborative effort with his wife, filmmaker Amber Edwards. Scott and Edwards are the hosts of CIFF 2021 Master Lab called “From Book to Script to Film.”


 “The Great Kate” was named in 1999 by the American Film Institute to be the greatest female star of classic Hollywood cinema. Over the course of her 60-year career, she was nominated twelve times for an Academy Award, and won four times, –  the first in 1934 for “Morning Glory” (1933), then in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967), “The Lion in Winter” (1969) in which she tied for the award with Barbra Streisand (“Funny Girl”) and “On Golden Pond” (1981). And still, there were other great films: “The Philadelphia Story,” “Little Women” and “The African Queen.”

Hepburn was raised in Connecticut by wealthy, progressive parents, which may have been the seed for her own headstrong independence. She tended to choose onscreen roles that matched her values, often playing strong-willed, spirited women.

In nine films, most notably “Woman of the Year,” “Pat and Mike,” and “Adam’s Rib,” Hepburn played opposite Spencer Tracy, with whom she acknowledged a 26-year love affair. Their final film together was “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” Spencer, who was suffering from heart disease, died just 17 days after shooting their final scene together.

Hepburn is among the Hollywood legends who have stayed at Hotel del Coronado; her film “The Lion in Winter” was a complete sellout as part of Coronado Island Film Festival’s Classic Movie Series at the Village Theatre.

KRIS BOWERS (b. 1989)

Kristopher Bowers is a Julliard trained musician who composes scores for films, documentaries, video games, and television. Bowers has received numerous awards and accolades for his excellence in jazz performance, as well as composing the score for 2019 Best Picture winner (and CIFF 2018 Opening Night film) “Green Book.” In addition to being the “piano-playing double” for the film’s star Mahershala Ali, Bowers accepted the CIFF 2018 Music Award and wowed Coronado’s festival goers with a live piano performance.

LANA TURNER (1921 – 1995)

Known as MGM’s “Sweater Girl”, Lana Turner starred in many notable films including The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) and Love Finds Andy Hardy with Mickey Rooney (1938). Her private life often overshadowed her film career. In addition to marrying eight times, her daughter, Cheryl Crane, was convicted of murdering Lana’s boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato, in 1958. Ms. Turner was a frequent guest at the Hotel Del Coronado and starred in The Easy Way, filmed at the Del in 1964.

LAUREN BACALL (1924-2014)

“You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.” Lauren Bacall, with her low, sultry voice, will always be remembered for that line in the 1944 film, “To Have And Have Not.” At just age 19, Bacall delivered that line to her love interest (and soon to be husband) Humphrey Bogart. That was her first Hollywood role, secured after she appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar and was discovered by “Slim” Keith, who brought her to the attention of her producer/director husband Howard Hawks, who soon invited Bacall out to Hollywood for a screen test.  She passed with raving marks and soon was making several “Bogie-Bacall” movies, including “Key Largo” (1948). Just after that film made its debut, the couple visited Hotel del Coronado. 

Following Bogart’s death in 1957, Bacall alternately appeared on Broadway and on the silver screen. She won Tony Awards for her roles in Applause (1970) and “Woman of the Year (1981). In 1996, Bacall appeared in “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” opposite Barbra Streisand. For that role, Bacall was nominated as Best Actress in a Supporting Role both for an Academy Award and the Golden Globes, winning the Golden Globe.


Arguably the film industry’s best-known critic, reviewer, historian, and author alive today, Leonard Maltin and his wife Alice have captured the collective heart of Coronado and become beloved members of the CIFF family. Leonard has been a generous and knowledgeable resource to this festival since its earliest planning days, and has been with us ever since. He serves as Festival Host and Honorary Jury President, presiding each year over film introductions, panels, Q&A’s, and CIFF’s signature red-carpet event, the Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute Dinner at Hotel del Coronado. In 2020, CIFF created the prestigious Leonard Maltin Tribute Award, named in his honor, which was presented to Chloe Zhao, director of “Nomadland.”

L. FRANK BAUM (1856-1919)

The legendary author of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) and several sequels was born in Chittenango New York. Baum was restless; he had a lifetime fascination with the theater and writing fantasy. He was unsuccessful in several careers but his writing of the Oz books finally made him rich and well known.  He spent many of his winters in Coronado, bringing his family to stay at the Hotel del Coronado or at a rented house at Star Park. He lived his final years in Hollywood, producing films. He died in 1919 before the great 1939 movie Wizard of Oz became a hit.

LIBERACE (1919 – 1987)

Wladziu Valentino Liberace was a child prodigy of Polish origin born in West Allis, Michigan. As a singer, actor and pianist, he enjoyed a successful career spanning four decades. In 1950, he was a popular entertainer at Hotel del Coronado, where he had been hired as a pianist. On a slow evening, with just a few in attendance, management gave him the option to cancel the night’s engagement. Fortunately he declined, and was “discovered” by a television producer in the audience that night who recognized his ability to connect with intimate groups, declaring him “perfect for the small screen.” Remembered primarily for his glitzy outfits and signature chandelier atop his piano, Liberace was long derided for his effeminate ways, vehemently denying that he was gay in an era when that revelation would destroy a career. That fact was later confirmed, however, and, sadly, he died of Aids in 1987.


Coronado’s own Lisa Bruce is an Academy Award-nominated producer (“The Theory of Everything” and “Darkest Hour”) whose first job as a young teen was sweeping up between films at the local Village Theatre. She makes feature films both independently and with major studios, and consistantly garners awards and nominations. She has been a key advisor and participant since the earliest days of CIFF, regularly serving on panels. In 2017 she received the CIFF Producer Award. She currently serves on the CIFF Industry Advisory Board.

LOIS BURWELL (b. 1960)

This petite British makeup artist has had an amazing career working with Hollywood’s most celebrated directors, including Steven Spielberg, Mel Gibson, Robert Redford, Frances Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Franco Zefferelli, Rob Reiner, Robert Zemeckis and Ridley Scott. Her films of note include Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me if You Can, War of the Worlds, War Horse, Lincoln, Ready Player One, West Side Story (2021), Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Last Samerai, Collateral, The Green Mile, and Hilary and Jackie. She won the Academy Award for her work on Braveheart in (1995), followed by another Oscar nomination in 1998 for Saving Private Ryan.

Burwell has been married since 1998 to Oscar-winning cinematographer John Toll. They were both in Coronado in 2019 to accept awards at the CIFF Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute Dinner at the del.

MARILYN MONROE (1926-1962)

Born Norma Jean Mortenson, Marilyn Monroe was famous for her comedic “blond bombshell” characters. She became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and early 1960s and was emblematic of the era’s sexual revolution.

She was an electric presence in Coronado in 1958 during the filming of Billy Wilder’s enduring comedic masterpiece “Some Like it Hot” at Hotel del Coronado, where locals lined the ropes along Coronado beach every day to watch the filming.

The film screens every year at the Del where it was filmed, on the closing night of Coronado Island Film Festival.

MARY PICKFORD (1892 – 1979)

Mary Pickford was the biggest female star of the silent screen. She was so popular that she was nicknamed “America’s Sweetheart.” Born Gladys Marie Smith in Toronto, Canada, her single mother’s poverty drove the family to hard work in the theater in Canada and the U.S. She began appearing in bit roles in films and moved to Hollywood with the Biograph Co. and became known as “The Biograph Girl,” before stars had credited names. But she soon became so popular with the public that she had the first million-dollar contract with Famous Players/Lasky (later to become Paramount). She also started her own production company and then began a partnership, United Artists, with her husband Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith. She knew Coronado well. In 1915 she made the movie, A Girl from Yesterday, directed by Allan Dwan, but now for Paramount Pictures. The movie featured scenes on John D. Spreckels’ own yacht. Spreckels owned the Hotel del Coronado as well as many other interests in San Diego. Pickford won the second Best Actress Academy Award, presented in 1929 for Coquette.

MAYES RUBEO (b. 1962)

Mayes Castillero Rubeo is a Mexican costume designer known for her work on films such as Apocalypto, Avatar, John Carter, World War Z, Warcraft, and Thor: Ragnarok. Her work on the 2019 Oscar-nominated Jojo Rabbit won her an Oscar nomination for best Costume Design. Coronado Island Film Festival is pleased to welcome Mayes to Coronado to receive the 2021 Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute Award for Artistry in Filmmaking.


Michael Sarnoski is an American screenplay writer who made his directorial debut in 2021 with the highly acclaimed feature film “Pig,” starring Nicholas Cage, Adam Arkin and Alex Wolff. “Pig” is co-written by Sarnoski with the film’s producer, Vanessa Block. Sarnoski and Block are familiar faces at Coronado Island Film Festival, which is pleased to screen “Pig” in 2021. Sarnoski is a graduate of Yale University, where he studied art and film


Michelle Gilliam Phillips is an American singer, actress and former model. She rose to fame as a vocalist in the musical quartet The Mamas and the Papas in the mid 1960s.  Her voice was described in Time Magazine as “the purest soprano in pop music.” She was featured in the film “Echo in the Canyon,” a documentary about the 1960s musicians who gravitated to the Laurel Canyon area of the Hollywood Hills, which was included in the CIFF 2019 lineup. Phillips was in Coronado that same year to receive the Cultural Impact Award at the Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute.


One of the most respected and influential women in Hollywood for more than two decades, Nancy Utley retired in 2021 (along with co-president Steve Gilula) from the top job at Searchlight Pictures. She was a defining force at Searchlight for 21 of its 27 years, providing for what she referred to as her “Searchlight  family,” a supportive and creative work environment that is not likely to happen again anytime soon in Hollywood.

Ms. Utley oversaw many of Searchlight’s most successful films to date, with a total of 122 Golden Globe® and 165 Oscar® nominations, including Best Picture winners “Nomadland,” “The Shape of Water,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Birdman” and “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Recent releases include “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” “Summer of Soul,” “The Night House,” “The French Dispatch,” and “Nightmare Alley.” Past successful films include “Jojo Rabbit,” “A Hidden Life,” “The Favourite,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” “The Old Man & The Gun,” “Isle of Dogs,” “Super Troopers 2,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “The Shape of Water,” “Gifted,” “Jackie,” “Brooklyn,” “Birdman,” “Wild,” “12 Years A Slave,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “The Descendants,” “The Tree of Life,” “Black Swan,” “127 Hours,” “Crazy Heart,” “500 Days of Summer,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Wrestler,” “Juno,” “Once,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “The Last King of Scotland,” “Sideways” and “Napoleon Dynamite.”

CIFF is proud to welcome Nancy Utley to CIFF 2021 to receive the second annual Leonard Maltin Tribute Award, named in honor of  CIFF Festival Host and Honorary Jury President, at Hotel del Coronado.

NICK NOLTE (b. 1941)

Nick Nolte began his stage work at the Pasadena Playhouse and got his breakthrough role on the TV mini series Rich Man, Poor Man in 1976. In 1991 he starred in Prince of Tides and the following year was named People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.


Golden Age movie star Olivia de Havilland was born in Tokyo Japan where her English father served as an English professor at the Imperial University. Her mother had been a stage actress. Out of high school in California, de Havilland jumped from a community theater play at the Hollywood Bowl to a Warner Bros. contract in 1935. She starred in Captain Blood with Errol Flynn in 1936, and costarred with him in eight films. She also starred as Melanie in Gone with the Wind. That same year of 1939 she made a movie in Coronado – Wings of the Navyopposite George Brent and John Payne. De Havilland had a fifty-year career in film, winning two Best Actress Oscars for To Each His Own (1946), and The Heiress (1949). Dame Olivia De Havilland died in 2020 at the age of 104

PETER O’TOOLE (b. 1932-d. 2013)

Peter Seamus O’Toole was a British stage and film actor. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the British Old Vic and with the English Stage Company. In 1962, he was chosen by director David Lean to play T.E. Lawrence in Lean’s epic drama, “Lawrence of Arabia,” which earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. His Oscar-nominated performance in Richard Rush’s “The Stunt Man” in 1982 made him a familiar site at the Hotel Del, where it was filmed. O’Toole, widely recognized as one of the greatest actors of his time, was nominated for eight Academy Awards.

RALPH BELLAMY (1904-1991)

Bellamy’s career spanned 62 years with roles as leading men and supporting actor. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1938 for Best Supporting Actor in “The Awful Truth” and in later years his supporting actor roles in “Pretty Woman” and “Trading Places” are still etched in our minds. He received a Tony Award for Best Actor – Dramatic in 1958, portraying President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in “Sunrise at Campobello.”  Under Bellamy’s leadership in his first six years as President of Actor’s Equity, the organization doubled its assets and was successful in establishing the first pension fund for actors.  He was so well liked and respected by his peers that he was given an honorary Academy Award in 1987 for his contributions to the acting profession.

Bellamy portrayed Lt. Cmdr. Lance Rogers, MD, in Dive Bomber (1941) filmed at North Island Naval Air Station, starring with Fred MacMurray and Errol Flynn.  The film, in Technicolor, contains many shots of a (then) sparsely populated Coronado, a very active North Island Naval Air Station and backdrops of a very rural San Diego.

RAY BOLGER (1904 – 1987)

Ray Bolger, who portrayed “The Scarecrow” in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz,” was the last survivor of the band of travelers who made their way down the Yellow Brick Road.

Bolger was a dancer and actor, known for his “rubbery leg” style, who first performed in vaudeville, then on Broadway, then on film. MGM studios signed him in 1936 where his first role was in “The Great Ziegfeld.” In his later years, he guest starred on several TV shows, including “Fantasy Island,” “Battlestar Galactica” and, in 1985, co-hosted with Liza Minnelli, the documentary film “That’s Dancing!’

Bolger’s dancing days ended in 1984 in California, when his funny legs gave out as he descended from a stage after a performance in Coronado.  His doctor diagnosed that almost all the cartilage from his hips was gone


Richard Stephen Dreyfuss is an accomplished American actor known for starring in films such as “American Griffiti,” “Jaws,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and “ The Goodbye Girl,” for which he won an Oscar in 1978.

CIFF is beyond proud to welcome Richard and his wife Stella to the 2021 Coronado Island Film Festival, where Richard will receive the 2021 Cultural Impact Award at the Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute Dinner at Hotel del Coronado.

Dreyfuss has become known for his passion for political engagement, inspired by his peace-activist mother Geraldine, who nurtured in her son a deep personal belief that America’s future will be shaped by how we educate the next generation in the democratic process.  This passion about teaching civics education to young people led to the founding of The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative; a non-profit organization that aims to revive the teaching of civics in American public schools, empowering future generations with the critical-thinking skills they will need to fulfill the vast potential of American citizenship.  The organization’s programs are meant to promote the advancement of civic education, civic virtue and the role citizens can play in the success of our country.  The work Dreyfuss is doing is especially relevant today, providing a healing opportunity in today’s divisive political climate. 

RICHARD RUSH (1929 – 2021)

Richard Rush was an American film director, scriptwriter, and producer, best known for his many-layered film “The Stunt Man,” which earned him a Best Director nomination. He was a most gracious guest at the inaugural 2016 Coronado Island Film Festival, where “The Stunt Man” screened and where he accepted the Director Award at the festival’s first Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute.

RITA HAYWORTH (1918 – 1987)

Trained as a dancer by her father who later moved the family to Hollywood, where he opened a dance studio and trained stars like Jimmy Cagney, “Rita Cansino” began appearing in movies mostly as an exotic foreigner for Fox studios. But Columbia studio head Harry Cohn spotted her raw talent and took charge of her image; she was now Rita Hayworth with lustrous red hair. Her breakout role was playing opposite Cary Grant in the aviation drama, “Only Angels Have Wings.” She danced opposite Fred Astaire in the musical “You’ll Never Get Rich (1941) who later said she (not Ginger Rogers) was his favorite dance partner.

In August 1941, a Life magazine photo of Hayworth wearing a negligee with a black bodice, catapulted her into the No. 1 Pin-Up girl for GIs serving in World War II.

Her image as the quintessential femme fatale, was cemented with her title role in the 1946 noir film, “Gilda,” where she played opposite Glenn Ford.  She once quipped, “Every man I knew went to bed with Gilda… and woke up with me.” 

In later years, Hayworth had problems with alcohol, but her second (of five) husbands, Orson Welles, didn’t think the problem was alcoholism “although it imitated alcoholism in every way” including her out-of-control rages. After her divorce from Welles, Hayworth married Prince Aly Khan, who was very involved in horse racing and the couple often visited the Del Mar Race Track, as well as Hotel del Coronado.By 1972, when she was just 54, Hayworth could not remember lines in the movie “The Wrath of God” and co-star Robert Mitchum suggested they shoot just one line at a time. In 1980, it was disclosed that Hayworth had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, leading to her death at age 68.  The diagnosis drew attention to Alzheimer’s, which was largely unknown by most people at the time, and helped to increase public and private funding for Alzheimer’s research.


Known as “The Latin Lover,” Valentino was an Italian actor based in the United States who starred in several romantic dramas. He made two films at Hotel del Coronado, The Married Virgin (1918) and Beyond the Rocks with Gloria Swanson (1922). The Married Virgin is available on DVD and shows wonderful footage of the Del, its gardens and its beach. His star status was evident after his sudden death from a ruptured ulcer at age 31, causing fans worldwide to grieve.


Best known for her portrayals of independent, strong-willed and often quirky characters, actress/singer/dancer/author Shirley MacLaine burst onto the movie scene in 1955, starring in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Trouble with Harry.” She has been nominated for a Best Actress Oscar five times, winning for Terms of Endearment (1983).  She won the BAFTA for best foreign actress for “The Apartment,” (1960), one of her Academy Award nominations, playing opposite Jack Lemmon. She was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2013 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from AARP’s “Movie for Grownups” awards in 2019. MacLaine was on location at Hotel del Coronado in 1979 with actor James Coburn, filming “Loving Couples” and was more recently spotted vacationing at the Del’s Beach Village.

STEVE MARTIN (b. 1945)

Actor, comedian, musician, art collector, writer and producer Steve Martin’s distinguished career includes a Primetime Emmy Award, five Grammy awards, the 2005 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, a 2007 Kennedy Center Honor, an Honorary Academy Award in 2014, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 2015. Martin’s career began with his first job at Disneyland, where he entertained customers at the Magic Shop with magic tricks, juggling, and creating balloon animals.  After writing for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1960 and appearing on Saturday Night Live, Martin’s movie career took off with films he wrote and starred in, including “The Jerk,” “Roxanne” and “L.A. Story.”

Martin starred with Rick Moranis in “My Blue Heaven” (1990) filmed at Hotel del Coronado.  He stayed in Coronado during the debut of his bluegrass musical, “Bright Star,” at the Old Globe Theatre. Nominated for five Tony awards in 2016, including Best Musical, Martin’s play went up against stiff competition, a new play by the name of “Hamilton,” which captured Best Musical and 10 more awards that year.


Perhaps one of the best-known and most-respected Hollywood directors, he has won numerous awards including an Oscar for Schindler’s List (1994), Saving Private Ryan (1998) and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1987. In 2021 he directed the much-anticipated remake of West Side Story. Spielberg is the head of Amblin Partners, which develops and produces films.


Actor, writer, director and producer, Sylvester Enzio Stallone has many film credits to his name, including the hugely successful Rocky series in the 1970s and the Rambo films of the 1980s.

TONY CURTIS (1925-2010)

Tony Curtis was an American actor whose career spanned six decades, achieving the height of his popularity in the early 1960s. He acted in more than 100 films, in roles covering a wide range of genres, from light comedy to serious dramas. He can be seen yearly on closing night of the Coronado Island Film Festival in Billy Wilder’s classic “Some Like it Hot,” where he stars alongside Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon. Still amazing audiences to this day, the film was shot at Hotel del Coronado in 1958.


Producer, director, and writer Vanessa Block is a familiar face at Coronado Island Film Festival, where she has served as an esteemed juror, a participant in panel discussions, a workshop presenter, and as producer and co-writer (with director Michael Sarnoski) of the highly acclaimed film, “Pig,” starring Nicholas Cage, Alex Wolff and Adam Arkin, which screened at CIFF 2021. She is a graduate of Yale University and holds a master’s degree in global medicine from USC.

WILL ROGERS (1879 – 1935)

The beloved American humorist of the vaudeville stage and silent and sound films, Will Rogers began his career performing a vaudeville rope act, which led to success in the Ziegfield Follies. He was known as “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son” and made 71 films (50 silent and 21 talkies). He also wrote weekly articles for the New York Times in the early 1920s, which totaled 4,000 nationally syndicated newspaper columns in all.

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