The reading of Joseph Mankiewicz's original screenplay for 20th Century Fox featured Calista Flockhart — of “Ally McBeal” fame — as Eve Harrington opposite the Margo Channing of Tony Award winner Stockard Channing. Others who took part in the benefit included John Ritter as Bill Sampson, Angela Lansbury as Birdie, Blythe Danner and Victor Garber as Karen and Lloyd Richards, Tim Curry as Addison de Witt, Carl Reiner as Max Fabian, Kirk Douglas as the presenter and Melissa Manchester as the pianist. Based on Mary Orr's "The Wisdom of Eve," the classic film concerns a young aspiring actress (Eve) who insinuates her way into the life (and career) of Broadway star Margo Channing.
Playwright David Rambo adapted the screenplay for the starry event, which was directed by Gordon Davidson. D. Martyn Bookwalter was the reading's lighting designer and John Gottlieb the sound designer. Celeste Holm, who starred as Karen Richards in the original film, chaired the event, and Tom Mankiewicz, the screenwriter/director's son, was honorary chairperson.
The 1950 film "All About Eve" starred Bette Davis as Margo Channing, Anne Baxter as Eve Harrington, George Sanders as Addison De Witt, Holm as Karen Richards, Gary Merrill as Bill Sampson, Hugh Marlowe as Lloyd Richards, Gregory Ratoff as Max Fabian, Barbara Bates as Phoebe, Marilyn Monroe as Claudia Casswell and Thelma Ritter as Birdie Cooper. The movie was nominated for 14 Academy Awards, winning the prize for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (George Sanders); Best Costume Design, Black-and White (Edith Head and Charles Le Maire); Best Director (Joseph L. Mankiewicz); Best Picture (Darryl F. Zanuck); Best Sound, Recording; and Best Writing, Screenplay (Mankiewicz).
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