Delbert Mann directed the 1968 made-for-television movie, "Heidi". A Kansas native, Mann moved to Nashville, Tennessee with his family when he was young. He went on to attend and graduate from Vanderbilt University in 1941. Following his college graduation, Mann joined the Army and was assigned to the Air Corps, becoming a pilot with the 8th Air Force. Having been demobilized at the end of World War II, Mann decided to pursue a career in theater, and attended the Yale Drama School. Following his graduation from Yale, Mann went on to direct for the Town Theatre of Columbia, South Carolina. He was soon given the opportunity to direct live television drama for NBC’s "Philco Television Playhouse". Mann won a Best Director Emmy nomination for the "Producer’s Showcase" episode of "Our Town", a musical adaptation that featured Paul Newman and the singing talents of Frank Sinatra. In 1956, he won an Oscar for Best Director for the film, "Marty". Mann also won an Emmy in 1969 for Outstanding Achievement in Musical Composition, and has directed eight performers to Oscar Nominations.
Delbert Mann selected two especially talented actors for roles in his version of "Heidi". The famous Maximilian Schell was cast to play the role of Herr Richard Sessemann. Born in Vienna, Austria in 1930, Schell was raised in Zurich, Switzerland, and is known as one of the most successful German-speaking actors in English-language film. Schell began acting on stage in 1952, and built his reputation by appearing in German films and television. He made is Hollywood debut in 1952 when he appeared in the World War II film, "The Young Lions". In 1961, Schell played the role of the German Defense Attorney in the television drama, "Judgment of Nuremberg". He was later cast in the same role for the movie remake of the drama, and went on to win an Academy Award for the role. He was eventually nominated for two more Oscars and won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series for his appearance in the 1993 television film, "Stalin". Schell has directed various films, and was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for the 1975 film, "The Pedestrian", which he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in. He also won a Golden Globe in the same category for the film. The godfather of famous actress Angelina Jolie, Schell continues to appear on both the American and British stage.
British beauty, Jean Simmons, was cast to play the role of Fraulein Rottenmeier. Simmons was born in 1929 in Crouch End, London. At the age of 14, Simmons was recruited from her dance school to act in the 1944 production of "Give Us to the Moon". She went on to make a name for herself in major British productions such as "Caesar and Cleopatra", Great Expectations", "Hamlet", and much more. In 1950, Simmons starred in the Frank Sinatra/Marlon Brando musical, "Guys and Dolls", and used her own singing voice. That role led Simmons to the acquisition of her first Golden Globe Award. Throughout the eighties, Simmons mainly appeared in television miniseries such as the 1985 hit, "North and South". She made a comeback to film in 1995 with her role in "How to Make an American Quilt", starring Winona Ryder.
Jacci GrahamSocial worker Jacci Graham of the Utah Grandfamilies program discusses children raised by grandparents and the film “Heidi.”
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