Friday Harbor Film Festival Presents The 2nd Annual Andrew V. McLaglen Lifetime Achievement Award to Katharine Ross And Sam Elliott
To honor the late Andrew V. McLaglen, Friday Harbor’s acclaimed film, television and stage director, for his noteworthy career and his contribution to our community, the Friday Harbor Film Festival decided to honor him in 2014 as the recipient of the 2014 Local Hero Award as well as the Festival’s first Lifetime Achievement Award, which was been named in his honor. Andrew received both awards posthumously, his daughter Mary McLaglen accepted for him.
Andrew passed away peacefully at his home on August 30, 2014. We find comfort knowing he was aware that we had planned to honor him this year, and he was very touched and appreciative. At the awards ceremony, there was a screening of an 18-minute biographical film produced by his good friend and fellow filmmaker Lazslo Pal. Followed by the screening of his film Shenandoah on Friday evening in the Whittier Theatre of San Juan Community Theatre.
Andrew had a long history of involvement with the local community and San Juan Community Theatre. He purchased property on San Juan Island in the late 1970s and built his home here. In 1992 he directed the stage play Shenandoah for San Juan Community Theatre. Since that time, he directed many shows there, including Uncle Vanya, Private Lives, Mister Roberts, Twelve Angry Men, Death of a Salesman, Lost in Yonkers, Lend Me a Tenor, To Kill a Mockingbird, Funny Money, Plaza Suite, On Golden Pond, Rumors and The Odd Couple.
Born in 1920, Andrew emigrated to the United States as a young boy, after his father, the British actor Victor McLaglen, relocated from London to Hollywood. Growing up on the sets of his father’s films, Andrew expressed an interest in directing motion pictures from an early age. In his first job as a production clerk for Republic Pictures he worked on Dakota, starring John Wayne. He worked his way up over the next decade through jobs as assistant director, unit production manager and producer.
In 1956, he directed his first two feature films, Man in the Vault and Gun the Man Down (the latter of which was produced by John Wayne). Shortly thereafter, he was offered the opportunity to direct the television show Gunsmoke, which led to a long career in TV during which he directed 95 Gunsmoke episodes and 116 episodes of Have Gun — Will Travel. He also worked on Gunslinger, Rawhide, Banacek, Perry Mason, The Wonderful World of Disney, The Virginian and The Lieutenant.
Returning to the big screen in the 1960s, Andrew directed many major westerns and action films that starred John Wayne and James Stewart, including McClintock (1963), Shenandoah (1965), The Rare Breed (1966), The Devil’s Brigade (1968), Hellfighters (1968), The Undefeated (1969), Chisum (1970), Cahill U.S. Marshall (1973), Mitchell (1975), The Last Hard Men (1976), The Wild Geese (1978), North Sea Hijack (1979), The Sea Wolves (1980), and his final film, Return from the River Kwai (1989). He also directed two mini-series –The Blue and the Gray (1982) and On Wings of Eagles (1986).
Andrew was the subject of a book by film historian Stephen B. Armstrong. Titled Andrew V. McLaglen: The Life and Hollywood Career (McFarland & Co., 2011), the book provides readers with a comprehensive survey of his experiences in the movies, television and the theater.
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