PASSINGS: Alain Corneau, Jackson Gillis, Francisco Varallo


Alain Corneau

Acclaimed French filmmaker

Alain Corneau, 67, the French filmmaker who leapt to international notice with the 1991 hit “Tous les Matins du Monde,” died Monday after suffering from cancer, Artmedia talent agency said in Paris.


Throughout a career lasting more than 35 years, Corneau directed many legends of French cinema, including Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu.

Depardieu starred alongside his son Guillaume in “Tous les Matins du Monde” (“All the Mornings of the World”). The film, the story of a 17th century musician, won considerable critical acclaim at home and abroad. It garnered seven Cesar awards, the French equivalent of the Academy Awards, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for best foreign film.

Born Aug. 7, 1943, Corneau dabbled in music before making his start in cinema as an assistant for Greek-born filmmaker Costa-Gavras. Early in his career, he made a series of thrillers, including “Choice of Arms,” a 1981 gangster flick starring Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu and Yves Montand.

An avid follower of literature, Corneau adapted seven of his 16 films from novels. His latest movie, “Love Crime,” starring Kristin Scott Thomas, opened in France in mid-August.

Jackson Gillis

Longtime writer for television


Jackson Gillis, 93, a longtime writer for television shows ranging from “ Lassie” to “Columbo,” died Aug. 19 of pneumonia in Moscow, Idaho, said his daughter, Candida.

Gillis wrote multiple episodes for several television series during his long career, including “Lassie” from 1954 to 1960, “Adventures of Superman” from 1953 to 1955, “Perry Mason” from 1956 to 1960, “Lost in Space” from 1965 to 1968, “Tarzan” from 1967 to 1968, “Mission: Impossible” from 1970 to 1972 and “Columbo” from 1971 to 1992.

He also wrote for “The Adventures of Spin and Marty” and “The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure,” which were serials on the televised “Mickey Mouse Club” program.

Jackson Clark Gillis was born Aug. 21, 1916, in Kalama, Wash. His family moved to California when he was a teenager and he graduated from Sacramento High School. He attended Cal State Fresno and graduated from Stanford in 1938 with a bachelor’s degree in English.

Gillis married actress Patricia Cassidy in 1941, whom he met acting at the Barter Theatre in Virginia. She died in 2003.

He served in the Army during World War II as an intelligence officer in the Pacific theater.


His writing career started in radio for such shows as “The Whistler” and “Let George Do It.” Gillis also wrote the detective novels “The Killers of Starfish” and “Chain Saw.”

Francisco Varallo

Last surviving player in first World Cup

Former Argentine soccer star Francisco Varallo, 100, the last surviving player from the first World Cup in 1930, died Monday in La Plata, Argentina. His death was confirmed by his former Argentine club Gimnasia y Esgrima, which did not specify a cause.

Varallo played in the 1930 final between Uruguay and Argentina in Montevideo, Uruguay. Argentina lost, 4-2.

He began his career with the club Gimnasia y Esgrima but made his mark with Boca Juniors. He is Boca’s second-leading scorer with 194 goals, behind only current striker Martin Palermo. Varallo was nicknamed “Canoncito” or “Little Cannon” for his powerful shot.


-- Times staff and wire reports