Suzette Winter: Marilyn’s Hollywood Documentarian Dies at 90

Suzette St. John Winter, who co-wrote and directed 30 documentaries on classic Hollywood stars with husband Gene Feldman, has died aged 90, the New York Times reports.

She was born in London in 1931. After a first marriage resulting in two children, she met Gene Feldman, a documentary filmmaker, in Australia. They married in 1967 and settled in New York. After Suzette earned her masters’ degree, she collaborated with her husband on a children’s film, Danny (1977.) She wrote the screenplay – and a later novelisation – about a girl and her horse.

The couple began their TV documentary series, known as the Hollywood Collection, in 1982. Subjects included Cary Grant, Jack Lemmon, Barbara Stanwyck, and Vivien Leigh. The Hollywood Collection documentaries are still in circulation, airing on PBS and major cable networks, including Lifetime, TNT and HBO’s Cinemax. Commercial distribution rights are owned by Janson Media, and the documentaries can be viewed for free on YouTube.

Suzette Winter and husband Gene Feldman with actress Audrey Hepburn

Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend (1986) featured interviews with Amy Greene, wife of photographer Milton Greene;  All About Eve star Celeste Holm; Bus Stop director Joshua Logan; photographer Laszlo Willinger; actors Don Murray and Robert Mitchum; publicist John Springer; plus Marilyn’s actress friends, Shelley Winters and Susan Strasberg, and Sheree North. The hour-long documentary was directed by Richard Widmark, Marilyn’s leading man in Don’t Bother to Knock, and also included archive footage of Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller, Milton Greene, and Pat Newcomb, and clips from Marilyn’s movies. (A full transcript is available via Kindle.)

The couple earned an Emmy nomination for Audrey Hepburn Remembered (1993.) After Gene Feldman’s death in 2006, Suzette Winter moved to a retirement home in Sleepy Hollow, NY.

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