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Elliot Silverstein Obituary – Death: ‘Cat Ballou’, ‘A Man Called Horse’ Director Has Passed Away At 96, Cause Of Death

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Elliot Silverstein Obituary – Death: ‘Cat Ballou’, ‘A Man Called Horse’ Director Has Passed Away At 96, Cause Of Death

Elliot Silverstein, the esteemed director known for helming the 1965 comedy-Western “Cat Ballou,” featuring Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin in an Oscar-winning performance, passed away on November 24 in Los Angeles at the age of 96. His family members announced his peaceful departure.

Born on August 3, 1927, in Boston, Silverstein commenced his directing career in the 1950s, contributing to television programs like “Omnibus” and the Alfred Hitchcock-produced mystery series “Suspicion.” Throughout the 1960s, he remained actively involved in episodic series, including notable credits such as “Route 66,” “Have Gun – Will Travel,” “Naked City,” “Dr. Kildare,” “The Defenders,” and four episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” with the fan-favorite being the Rod Serling-penned 1961 installment titled “The Passersby.”

While Silverstein continued his television career sporadically into the 1990s, directing episodes of “Tales From The Crypt” and “Picket Fences,” he gained prominence for his feature films, starting with his directorial debut, “Cat Ballou,” in 1965.

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In 1967, he directed “The Happening,” a comedy featuring Anthony Quinn, now remembered for being the debut film of a pre-“Bonnie and Clyde” Faye Dunaway and for providing The Supremes with a hit single, the title track.

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Silverstein’s next feature film, “A Man Called Horse” (1970), starred Richard Harris as an English aristocrat enslaved by a Native American tribe, tapping into the Revisionist Western genre’s then-popular trend. Although the film’s depiction of the Sioux people has faced criticism, it achieved both financial and critical success. Silverstein’s subsequent credits included “Nightmare Honeymoon” (1974) and the cult-favorite horror film “The Car” (1977), starring James Brolin.

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In recognition of his achievements, Silverstein received the Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of America in 1985 and was honored as a life member of the DGA in 1990. Following his retirement, he contributed his expertise by teaching film at USC.

Survived by his brother Jason, a private service in Boston will commemorate Silverstein’s impactful career and legacy.

 

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