Avenue of the stars


Alexandre Michel Gérard Desplat is a French film composer and conductor. Among other awards and nominations he is the winner of two Academy Awards for his film musical scores (The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Shape of Water). CIFF honored Desplat with the Transcendent Award in 2021 at the Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute dinner at Hotel Del..


A Swiss documentary filmmaker best known for “Doc of the Dead,” “The People vs. George Lucas,” and the 2017 post-modern documentary examination of the “Psycho” shower scene directed by Alfred Hitchcock entitled “28/52” which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. He is a graduate of NYU Steven Tisch Film school and is Creative Director and co-owner of Denver-based Cinema Vertige. CIFF is proud to welcome Alexandre and his film, “Lynch/ Oz” to Coronado and the festival. Director David Lynch and The Wizard of Oz? Who knew? See the movie!

ALEX WOLFF (b. 1997)

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 CIFF 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, 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.

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 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.


An award-winning Danish documentary filmmaker known for “The Ballroom Dancer” (2011),  “Albert’s Winter” (2009), and “At Home in the World” (2015). CIFF is pleased to welcome Koefoed to an innovative CIFF series called “Parallel Worlds: Art in Film,” and a screening of his compelling documentary, “The Lost Leonardo.” It tells the story of the sale of a painting at a Christie’s art auction for a whopping $450 million to Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman – the most expensive painting ever sold. Salvatore Mundi was much painted over when first discovered and thought to be of little value, but as time went on, museums and restoration experts who  analyzed the painting made a shocking discovery: they believed it to be a long lost masterwork painted by Leonardo da Vinci. The record-breaking sales price was plastered all over the internet, distracting the world from one crucial detail: Not all experts were convinced it had actually been painted by da Vinci! See the movie!

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 at age 19. She lives in North San Diego County.

ANITA PAGE (1910 – 2008)

Was a big star in the days of the flapper at the biggest studio of the day, MGM. 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 in this flapper film genre. In 1929 she made The Flying Fleet, the first film about Naval Aviation,  filmed at Pensacola and North Island, which included scenes of Hotel del Coronado, Tent City, and San Diego 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.

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 a vacation destination.

BABE RUTH (1895-1948)

Swept into town in January of 1927, charming local newspapermen as he posed for photos in a bathing suit during his week’s stay at Hotel del Coronado, saying “You call this winter?” As the first known “sports celebrity,” his career in Major League baseball spanned 22 seasons (1914-1935). What’s lesser known is his career in Hollywood, his personal and professional relationship with actor/comedian/producer Harold Lloyd. Ruth’s grandson and Lloyd’s granddaughter participate in a 2022 CIFF Special Presentation, moderated by host Leonard Maltin, exploring their connection to each other and to Coronado.

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). In 2001 and again in 2002, director Steven Spielberg anonymously bought Davis’ two Best Actress Oscars at auction 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)

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; The Apartment). Wilder is near and dear to the hearts of Coronado due to his brilliant writing and directing of the 1959 treasure, 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 CIFF’s inaugural festival in 2016 with the first CIFF Legacy Award.

BRAD PITT (b. 1963)

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, behind Humphrey Bogart.  He was a regular guest at The Del, and in 1955 married Kay Williams, the former wife of Adolph Spreckels, son of longtime Hotel Del owner and Coronado philanthropist John D. Spreckels.

CHARLES FOX (b. 1940)

Has been a top composer and songwriter for film and TV for more than half a century and is the recipient of the CIFF 2022 Transcendent Award for his astonishing body of work. Fox and his frequent collaborator Norman Gimbel (who died in 2018) were nominated twice for Best Original Song Oscars (“Richard’s Window”/ The Other Side of the Mountain, and “Ready to Take a Chance Again”/ Foul Play), and were nominees or winners of multiple Emmy and Grammy Awards, including their most famous song, “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” which won the Grammy Song of the Year in 1973. Charles was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004, and has recently returned the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after a hiatus. A documentary about his life, “Killing me Softly With His Songs, will be released later this year, and will screen at CIFF 2022.


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 to help the family, and soon honed his entertainment skills in London music halls. He came to America at age 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 was a frequent guest at Hotel del Coronado and played on a local Polo team in the 1920s. Charlie Chaplin was given an Honorary Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 1972 after being away from the USA for twenty years.


Is a San Diego based writer, producer, photojournalist, comedian, artist, and passionate Veterans Advocate. Her 2019 documentary film, Libertas, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, was filmed on location in Normandy, France, Frederick, Oklahoma and New York City, and screened at the 2019 Coronado Island Film Festival. It featured, among other surviving WWII heroes, Honor Flight veteran paratrooper Tom Rice, a spry 97 at the time! On Aug 7, 2021, Rice celebrated his 100th birthday with a jump, landing before a cheering crowd, on his hometown beach in front of Hotel del Coronado.

CLARK GABLE (1901 – 1960)

Once 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. It was also the final movie of Gable’s co-star, Marilyn Monroe. Clark Gable was one of Hollywood’s most consistent box office performers. His role in It Happened One Night (1935) with Claudette Colbert cinched his stardom, and he was nominated for an Oscar for Gone With the Wind (1940) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1935). Gable also starred in the 1931 film Hell Divers, which was filmed on NAS North Island, Coronado. 


Is CIFF’s Head Juror for documentary films. She is a well-respected entertainment journalist, film critic, and film festival programmer. She was on staff at USA Today as lead film critic, and before that was staff writer for the LA Times. Currently, she is a critic for NPR’s Film Week and President of the Los Angeles Film Critic’s Association.

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 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 a 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 her final public appearances, Leonard Maltin presented Leachman 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,” the latter in which he played a world-weary private investigator forced to leave the San Diego Police Department after a bullet became lodged near his spine. In Season One, appearing in 1973, 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.


Janssen, a heavy smoker, died a sudden and early death at age 48, after being stricken with a heart attack. He had many friends in the entertainment field, including Clint Eastwood and Martin Milner, whom he met at boot camp at Fort Ord, and Richard Harris, who was so besot at Janssen’s passing that he sat for hours alone in the snow to assuage his grief.

DAVID LYNCH (b. 1946)

Don’t be surprised if you spy American filmmaker, painter, visual artist, musician and writer David Lynch out and about on the 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 and 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” (where an actual DeLorean was 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.


Is a director/producer especially recognized for his documentary films celebrating the makers of music, their friendships, their climb up the ladder, and their passion for their craft (The Wrecking Crew; Immediate Family). Tedesco brought The Wrecking Crew  to CIFF in 2017 and Immediate Family is part of CIFF 2022.  Tedesco regularly serves on CIFF panel discussions.

DESI ARNAZ (1917 - 1986)

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, California, where they lived in semi-retirement. He owned a horse-breeding farm in Corona, California 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 in return for CHA’s help with her architectural research and connection with local homeowners.

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 special piano performance of her best-known favorites, with singer Marisa Corvo.

DICK VAN DYKE (b. 1925)

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),

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.


Is an American writer, producer and director of films. His 2022 film, “The Inspection,” is the CIFF 2022 Centerpiece Feature from the A24 studio, and will be introduced by Bratton. It’s a fictionalized account based on his own life story, about the improbable journey of a young gay Black man on a downward spiral who makes the life-saving but difficult decision to become a United States Marine. Which he does, against all odds, and how the experience turns his life around. Elegance Bratton is the recipient of the CIFF 2022 Trailblazer Award.

EMMA STONE (b. 1988)

Emily Jean “Emma” Stone was born in Scottsdale, AZ and is one of Hollywood’s most saught-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 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,” which is where his love of the sea came from. 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. After 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 was also a famous yachtsman, sailing his yacht The Zaca to Coronado and living aboard in Glorietta Bay while he filmed Dive Bomber at North Island in 1941. His 17-minute film, The Cruise of the Zaca, screened at CIFF 2021, with his daughter Rory Flynn in attendance.

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.

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.

FRANK SINATRA (1915 – 1998)

“Old Blue Eyes” was born to Italian immigrants in Hoboken, New Jersey, going on to become one of the best-selling music artists of all time (with an estimated 150 million record sales), and a respected actor. He won the 1953 Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in From Here to Eternity and was nominated for Best Actor in 1955 for his role as a pathetic heroin addict in Man With the Golden Arm. He’s also known for some fun (and lucrative) film projects with his Rat Pack buddies Sammy Davis Junior and Dean Martin, especially Oceans Eleven (1962).

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, becoming a lawyer. 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 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, and  the Frank G. Wells Building is a large five-story office building inside the main gate on Disney’s Burbank Studio lot. Members of the Wells family continue to live in Coronado.

GARY COOPER (1901 – 1961)

Gary Cooper is considered to be 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.

GEENA DAVIS (b. 1966)

Who doesn’t remember Geena in “Thelma and Louise” (1991) or “A League of Their Own” (1992), to name a few from her long list of movie credits? The recipient of this year’s Legacy Award at the Leonard Maltin Industry Tribute dinner, Davis also happens to be in town just in time to introduce her new memoir, “Dying of Politeness,” to festival attendees. The recipient of various awards, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe, in 2004 she founded the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, based in Los Angeles, which has engaged in several large scale research projects concerning the current conditions for women in mass media, clearly raising awareness and beginning to make a difference. In 2022 the Institute was awarded the prestigious Governor’s Award by The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

GEORGE SANDERS (1906 – 1972)

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 silver screen (silent and sound) was born Greta Gustafsson in Stockholm Sweden.  She studied at the Royal Dramatic Acting School in Stockholm and was spotted in a film 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 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. She became extremely reclusive in her later years, wearing various disguises when out in public. True or not, her most famous quote, spoken in a deep, accented voice, is “I vont to be alone!”

HAROLD LLOYD (1893 – 1971)

Was an American film actor and producer, most famous for his silent comedies. He ranks alongside Charlie Chaplain and Buster Keaton as one of the most popular and influential comedians of the silent film era. He made nearly 200 films, both silent and “talkies,” between 1914 and 1947, including “Speedy,” with his friend Babe Ruth in 1928. Both his granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd and Ruth’s grandson Tom Stevens are part of a special CIFF 22 presentation, “Babe and Harold Return to Coronado,” hosted by Leonard Maltin and historian Tim Reid.

HELEN HAYES (1900 – 1993)

Who could 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 pearl 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 famous actors including son Peter and daughter Jane, Henry Fonda is especially remembered for his roles in 12 Angry Men and the 1981 On Golden Pond with Katharine Hepburn and his 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 known simply 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 interest 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).


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.

JACK LEMMON (1925 -2001)

An American actor who was considered to be equally proficient in drama and comedy, Jack Lemmon starred in over 60 films and was nominated eight times for an Academy Award, winning twice, along with many other awards and nominations. He was also a gifted musician and a distinguished graduate of Harvard University. Near and dear to the heart of Coronado Island Film festival goers for his spot-on comedic performance in the 1959 Some Like it Hot, (CIFF’s signature closing night film, shown outdoors at Hotel del Coronado where the film was shot), Lemmon received the CIFF 2016 Legacy Award, which was accepted by his son Chris Lemmon, also an actor and musician.


In 2018, as his parents and sisters looked on from a table nearby, the twelve-year-old Canadian actor Jacob Tremblay joined Leonard Maltin on stage in the Crown Room of the Del to accept the CIFF 2018 Actor Award, impressing the packed room of festival guests with his poise, professionalism and humility. His breakout performance as the young son of a kidnap victim in “Room” (2015), starring Brie Larson won him a nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. The surprise 2017 hit “Wonder”(grossing more than $300 million worldwide), with Tremblay opposite Julia Roberts, screened at the festival as a Special Presentation that year, with a Q & A with Tremblay and Stephen Chbosky, writer of “Wonder” and winner of the 2018 CIFF Screenwriter Award.

JAMES GARNER (1928 – 2014)

James Garner may best be remembered for starring in several memorable television series for over five decades, most notably 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 files over his career, including “The Great Escape” (1963) with Steve McQueen, “The Americanization of Emily” (1964) and Victor/Victoria (1982), both opposite Julie Andrews, and “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 also filmed at The Del during the 1970s and ‘80s, including “Space,” with Garner, Blair Brown and Bruce Dern.


Is a British actress and the CIFF 2022 Cultural Icon Award winner. Her career began in 1965, started to take off in 1967 with her role in the Albert Finney/Audrey Hepburn film Two for the Road, and she has worked steadily ever since. CIFF will screen one of her personal favorites, “Day into Night”(1973), directed by François Truffaut, as well as her latest film, “Loren and Rose,” with both Bissett and writer/director Russell Brown on hand for a Q & A.

JIM MORRISON (1963-1971)

Was an American singer, poet and songwriter who was the lead vocalist of the rock band the Doors. He was the estranged son of a retired Navy Admiral and his wife who lived in Coronado. Morrison died at age 27 of mysterious causes (no autopsy was performed) in Paris, where he had gone to continue to work on his poetry. He is buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris. It has been reported that his father, before he died in 2008, made peace with his son by traveling to Paris to visit his grave, installing there a plaque of his own making. Translated from the Greek, it reads: “True to his own spirit.” The family continues to pay for upkeep of the gravesite.

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 accepting 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.

JOE DANTE (b. 1946)

Is an American film director, producer, editor and actor. His films, notably “Gremlins” and its sequel “Gremlins 2, often successfully mix 1950-style B movies with cartoon comedy. As part of CIFF 2022’s popular Master Lab series during festival weekend (which Joe calls “Dante’s Inferno”), he will invite attendees to have an inside peek at different aspects of his own, completely unique, creative vision and quirky approach to cinematic storytelling.  An open Q & A and conversation with attendees will follow.

JOE E. BROWN (1891-1973)

Comedian and actor Joseph E. Brown was born in Holgate Ohio. His huge smile and slicked hair parted in the middle made him a recognizable face from his earliest movie-star days in the late 1920s. But by then he had already been in the circus, vaudeville, and even played professional baseball. He is best known in Coronado for his role as the millionaire Osgood Fielding III in Some Like it Hot, and his great delivery of the film’s last line: “Nobody’s perfect!”


A local artist and Navy Reservist will be on hand with an exhibit of his art to help CIFF celebrate Veterans Day 2022. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at Coronado’s Performing Arts Theatre (6th and D) on Friday, 11/11 at 11! Joe’s art is interactive and honors veterans, service members, first responders and other heroes. Coronado and the film festival are deeply honored to have Joe with us on this special day.

JOHNNY DOWNS (1913 – 1994)

Although Johnny Downs was born in New York City, he was known locally as “Mr. Coronado.” 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 with his family, 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 fixtures in the lively Coronado tennis scene.

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.  Withhim 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)

Born Marion Robert Morrison, aka John Wayne and nicknamed “The Duke,” he was the ideal leading man/hero of Hollywood’s Golden age, especially in Western and war movies. In his amazing four decades of acting, with his trademark drawl and good looks, he appeared in over 250 films, many still popular today. He starred, along with George Brent and Olivia  de Havilland, in Warner Bros.’ The Flying Fleet, shot in Coronado, and one of several films about the US military that would hit the screen before the start of WWII. When not involved with film projects, one of Wayne’s favorite R & R getaways was a relaxing stay at Hotel del Coronado. He died at age 72 after battling lung cancer for ten years.


With nearly two decades of live television experience and 7 regional Emmy Awards to his name, John brings his high energy and award winning style to every project he touches. His career began in sports broadcasting as host of the San Diego Padres Pregame and Postgame shows, a job he held for 10 years. During that time he also covered the San Diego Chargers, SDSU Athletics, USD Athletics and countless other sporting events, including Super Bowl XXXVII.

 More recently, John has shown his versatility as the host of Tiny House Nation on A&E and Netflix, where he helps families prepare for the extreme downsizing it takes to live in 500 sq. ft. or less. Married in 2008, he lives in San Diego with his wife Megan and their son Jake.

JON HAMM (b. 1971)

Best known for his award-winning turn as Don Draper on the long running period television series “Mad Men” (2007-2015), Jon is more recently known to Coronado locals for his role as a Navy Admiral in the 2022 smash hit movie “Top Gun: Maverick.”

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 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.


“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, and she came 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.


Is an Australian new media artist participating this year in CIFF’s compelling “Parallel Worlds: Art in Film” series. Known and respected internationally, she currently teaches Cinematic Arts at USC. Through her work in painting, drawing and 2D/3D animation, Smith explores consciousness and dreams as they pertain to the landscape, through emotions of hope, fear and desire. She has been a guest artist at Sundance and at film festivals worldwide.


Is an American music group that helped launch the folk music revival that took the country – indeed the world – by storm in the late 1950s to late 1960s. The group started as a San Francisco Bay Area nightclub act and was founded by Dave Guard, Bob Shane and Coronado’s own Nick Reynolds (1933-2008). Reynolds grew up in Coronado as part of a big, fun, musical family whose local roots go back to the turn of the twentieth century. Many family members are still here. Who here, still to this day, doesn’t  know the words to “Tom Dooley?”

KIRK DOUGLAS (1916-2020)

Born Issur Danielovitch, Kirk Douglas was an American actor who rose from an impoverished childhood to a thrice-nominated Academy Award Hollywood leading man (The Champion; The Bad and the Beautiful; Lust for Life). He appeared in 90 films and was known for his explosive acting style. He was the father of actor Michael Douglas.

KRIS BOWERS (b.1989)

Is a prolific American composer and pianist and Academy-Award nominated filmmaker (“A Concerto is a Conversation,” his short documentary, screened at CIFF 2021). Bowers was in Coronado in 2018 with Best Picture winner “Green Book,” which was the CIFF opening night film.  He performed a live piano concert for festival attendees as part of the CIFF celebration of Music in the Movies.


Is a playwright, screenwriter, producer, and writer of the powerful documentary, “Anxious Nation,” which explores the alarming increase in anxiety and depression in young people. CIFF 2022 is honored to welcome the film, co-director Morton, and Academy-Award-winning director Roth to Coronado. 

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 her 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, Bacall noticeably pregnant with their son John. 

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 for the role.


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,” followed in 2021 by longtime President of Searchlight Pictures Nancy Utley, and, this year, presented to writer/director/author Ron Shelton, best known for his beloved 1986 Bull Durham.

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, who recognized his ability to connect with intimate groups, making 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.

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 and had a lifetime fascination with the theater, especially writing. 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, staying at the Hotel del Coronado or at a rented house on Star Park Circle. He lived his final years in Hollywood, producing films. He died in 1919 before the great 1939 movie Wizard of Oz became a hit.


Coronado’s own Lisa Bruce is an Academy Award-nominated producer (“The Theory of Everything”; “Darkest Hour”) whose first job as a young teen was sweeping up between films at the local Village Theatre. Destiny! She has made feature films both independently and with major studios, and had garnered awards and nominations on an international scale.

Lisa is CIFF ‘s Head Juror for Feature Films, is a yearly festival panel member and moderator (this year she is moderating “The State of the Industry” panel), and a treasured member of Coronado Island Film Festival’s Industry Advisory Board. She grew up in Coronado in a Navy family; who continue to live here.

LOIS BURWELL (b. 1960)

One of Hollywood’s most revered makeup artists, Lois Burwell won the 1995 Best Makeup Oscar for her work on “Braveheart,” followed in 1998 by a nomination for “Saving Private Ryan,” the first of her many collaborations with director Steven Spielberg, which went on to include notable films such as “Lincoln” and “Bridge of Spies.” She met her husband, two-time Oscar winning cinematographer John Toll, while working together on “Braveheart.”  Both Burwell and Toll were in Coronado in 2019 to be honored at the CIFF Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute.

LANA TURNER (1921 – 1995)

Legend has it that Lana Turner was “discovered” while sitting at the lunch counter in Schwab’s Drugstore in Hollywood. She was famously known as MGM’s “Sweater Girl” and starred in many notable films including “The Postman Always Rings Twice” (1946) and “Love Finds Andy Hardy with Mickey Rooney” (1938). But 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.

LUCILLE BALL (1911-1989)

With her striking red hair and vibrant blue eyes, Lucille Ball could have been a Hollywood heartthrob, and as a contract player with RKO Radio Pictures, she did appear in several movies as a chorus girl or similar roles in the 1930s and ‘40s. But she married Cuban band director Desi Arnaz in 1940 and her career took a different direction. In 1948, the couple created their own production company, Desilu Productions, which organized their programs on stage, screen, and radio. After introducing a zany character on radio, Ball and Arnaz ventured into the new medium of television, creating the beloved CBS sitcom “I Love Lucy.”

In the 1950s, to prepare for her “I Love Lucy” role as “The Professor,” a vagabond musician who wanted to appear in husband Ricky Ricardo’s orchestra, Ball sequestered herself with her acting mentor, Buster Keaton, at the Hotel del Coronado. She and Arnaz also spent two weeks at the hotel, where they enjoyed playing tennis.

Following her divorce from Arnaz in 1960, and buying out his share of Desilu, her company also produced other TV series, including “The Untouchables,” “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible” and “The Lucy Show.” Ball also returned to movies, most notably playing opposite Henry Fonda in “Yours, Mine and Ours” and the musical, “Mame.”

MARILYN MONROE (1926 – 1962)

Born Norma Jean Mortenson, Marilyn Monroe was famous for playing comedic “blonde bombshell” characters. She was one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and early 60s, as well as an emblem of the era’s sexual revolution. She was married and divorced three times, most notably to baseball legend Joe DiMaggio (1954-1955) and playwright Arthur Miller (1956–1961). Coronado of course remembers her for her role as Sugar in “Some Like it Hot” (1958), shot at the Hotel Del, where locals lined the beach every day to watch the filming of her scenes with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. In August, 1962, Fox Studio fired her after repeated absences from the set of “Something’s Got to Give.” On August 5, 1962 Monroe was found dead in her Brentwood bungalow from an overdose of barbiturates. She was 36 years old.

MAUREEN O’HARA (1929 – 2015)

A stunning red-haired Irish beauty, Maureen O’Hara  was billed alongside Hollywood’s  top leading men in a slew of features in the 1940s and 50s. She and John Wayne dazzled audiences with a powerful on-screen chemistry and appeared in several movies together, including John Ford’s “Rio Grande” (1950), “The Quiet Man” (1952), and “The Wings of Eagles” (1957). She was a frequent vacationer at Hotel del Coronado.

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.” She was 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 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 Award given in 1929 for Coquette.

MAYES RUBEO (b.1960)

Is an Academy Award- nominated Mexican costume designer known for her work on films such as Apocolypto, Avatar, John Carter, World War Z, Thor: Ragnarok and Jojo Rabbit. Her Oscar nom (2020) was for her work on Jojo Rabbit, which also garnered a BAFTA Award nomination. She was the recipient of the 2021 CIFF Artistry in Film Award.


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 screened “Pig” in 2021. Along with Block, Sarnoski is a graduate of Yale University, where he studied art and film.


Born Michelle Gilliam, she has had a turn as singer, songwriter, actress and model, and is best known as a vocalist in the 1960s folk/pop musical quartet, The Mamas and the Papas, which included her husband John Phillips. The group enjoyed hit after hit before disbanding in 1968. John and Michelle were divorced in 1969. In 2018 Michelle was in Coronado to receive the Cultural Icon Award at the Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute. She was featured in the documentary, “Echo in the Canyon,” which screened at the festival that same year.

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.


As Chairman of Fox Searchlight, and then Searchlight Pictures (upon sale of studio to Disney in 2018), Nancy Utley oversaw many of that studio’s successful films, racking up a whopping 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.  Six months after departing Searchlight in 2021, Utley opened a new production company, Lake Ellyn Entertainment, producing film and TV content in a first-look deal with Chernin Entertainment. In 2021, she was in Coronado with husband Raymond Fitzpatrick to accept the second annual Leonard Maltin Tribute Award, as well as participating in the Geena Davis Institute’s panel on “Ageism in the Media and lending her formidable voice to a lively “The Buzz Builders” panel discussion while here.


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 (1939) she made a movie in Coronado – Wings of the Navy – opposite 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.

RAY BOLGER (1904-1987)

Raymond Wallace Bolger was an American actor, dancer, vaudevillian and stage performer who began his career in the silent-film era. He was a major Broadway performer in the 1930s and beyond. He is best-known to Wizard of Oz-loving Coronado as the beloved, rubber-legged scarecrow who desperately wanted to ask the Wizard for a brain.

RALPH BELLAMY (1904 – 1991)

Ralph Rexford Bellamy was an American actor whose career spanned 62 years on stage, screen and television. He appeared in over 190 film and TV roles from 1931 to 1990, including Dive Bomber (1939) with Errol Flynn and Fred MacMurray, all playing Naval aviators and filmed in Coronado.

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. 


No stranger to Coronado, Richard was in town last year to accept the Cultural Impact Award at the Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute at The Del. While in Coronado, he was a lively participant in the special presentation of Errol Flynn’s Cruise of the Zaca with Errol’s daughter Rory Flynn, historian Tim Reid, and host Leonard Maltin. Dreyfuss is an accomplished actor and passionate social activist for student engagement in Civics. He received an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA Award for his performance in The Goodbye Girl (1978). He and his wife Stella dreyfuss live in North San Diego County.

RICHARD RUSH (1929-2021)

Rush made many films in his long career, but was known primarily for his iconoclastic movie The Stunt Man (1980), for which he was nominated for Academy Awards for both writing and directing. It was filmed at Hotel del Coronado and starred Peter O’Toole (also nominated), Barbara Hershey, and Steve Railsback.  In 2016, CIFF’s inaugural year, Rush was in Coronado to receive the Director’s Award at the first Leonard Maltin Celebrity Tribute at the Del, and introduce a whole new generation of movie goers to The Stunt Man at a special screening at our Village Theatre. He died in 2021 at age 91. RIP, lovely, generous, brilliant man.


Robert John Wagner is an American actor of stage, screen and television. He is best known for starring in the television shows It Takes a Thief and Hart to Hart, an episode of which was filmed at The Del. He was married to actress Natalie Wood until her mysterious death in 1981, and is currently married to actress Jill St. John.

RON SHELTON (b. 1945)

CIFF is thrilled to welcome director, screenwriter and author Ron Shelton to Coronado to accept the 2022 Leonard Maltin Tribute Award, the third recipient of this prestigious award. Shelton was a minor league baseball infielder before heading to Hollywood to make films based on his own knowledge and experience. His enduring Bull Durham (1988) has been named by Sports Illustrated magazine as the best sports film ever made, which is why we just couldn’t resist screening it at our festival. Among other films, he also directed White Men Can’t Jump (1992), Tin Cup (1996), and Cobb (1994).

RONALD REAGAN (1911-2004)

Whether as an actor, Governor of California, or as the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan enjoyed visits to Coronado and The Del with Nancy and the family.


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.


Is a Los Angeles based filmmaker, writer and director. We’re pleased to welcome Russell to CIFF 2022, along with his latest film, Lauren and Rose, and its star, the fabulous Jacqueline Bisset, who will receive the Cultural Icon Award at the Leonard Maltin Industry Tribute.


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.

SPIG WEAD (1895 – 1947)

Was a pioneer naval aviator and early proponent of Naval aviation. Due to an unfortunate fall down a staircase in his Coronado home that left him paralyzed, he turned his energy to writing screenplays during his long rehabilitation period. He discovered that he had a gift for it, and collaborated on the script for The Flying Fleet (1929), which was filmed in Coronado. The lives of Spig Weed and director John Ford soon became intertwined, and Ford paid tribute to his friend and colleague in The Wings of Eagles (1957), based on Wead’s life, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.

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.


One of the best-known and most-respected Hollywood directors, Spielberg 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 highly acclaimed 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.

TOM CRUISE (b.1962)

Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, known professionally as Tom Cruise, is one of the world’s highest paid actors. He has received various accolades, including an Honorary Palme d’Or and three Golden Globe Awards, in addition to three Academy Award nominations. He is certainly no stranger to Coronado, is an avid fan of Naval aviation, and a Tom Cruise sighting was always a thrill for local residents during the filming of both Top Gun movies.

TONY CURTIS (1925-2010)

Acted in more than 100 films in a career that spanned six decades, achieving the height of his popularity in the 1950s and early 60’s. In Coronado we will always remember him as Joe (or “Josephine”) in Some Like it Hot (1958), shot at The Del and the festival’s signature closing night romp, screened outside where it was shot. We never get tired of this movie!


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 (“Women in Entertainment” this year), 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 with a master’s degree in global medicine from USC.


Is an Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker and social justice advocate who had been creating and overseeing social impact films, projects, campaigns, and companies for over 25 years. Her latest film, “Anxious Nation,” co-directed with screenwriter Laura Morton, is a feature documentary that shines a light on the alarming increase in anxiety and depression in kids. The film is currently receiving accolades in film festivals nationwide.  CIFF is proud to welcome Roth, Morton, and “Anxious Nation” to Coronado. Roth is the recipient of the CIFF 2022  Humanitarian Award.

VAN JOHNSON (1916-2008)

Was a film, television, theatre and radio actor, a singer and a dancer. He was a major star at MGM during and after World War II. His films included Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), The Caine Mutiny (1954), and The Last Time I saw Paris with Elizabeth Taylor (1954). He was a familiar site for many years on the Hotel Del tennis courts (the current location of the Windsor Lawn).

VAL KILMER (b. 1959)

Originally a stage actor, Kilmer found fame after appearances in comedy films as well as military action films such as both Top Gun films. He was the only actor besides Cruise who was brought back to play in Top Gun: Maverick, in the role of Admiral “Iceman” Kazansky. He gained acclaim in 1991 for his portrayal of Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s The Doors.


Is an actor, writer, director, producer, musician, and multi-media artist. Born and raised in the State of New York to a Danish father and an American mother, he also lived in Argentina during his childhood. To accurately depict the Naval Special Operations training practices for his role in GI Jane, Mortensen went to the Naval base in Coronado where all Navy Seals must complete the grueling24-week training course known as BUD/S.

WALT DISNEY (1901-1966)

Certainly needs no introduction! He was a pioneer of the American animation industry and the visionary who brought us Mickey Mouse and Disneyland. He won 26 Academy awards and 3 Golden Globes. The Walt Disney Company was founded in 1923 in Los Angeles and is now an American multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios complex in Burbank, California.

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.

Scroll to Top