The Oscar-winning actress broke into acting in the 1960s on the Broadway stage, before going on to film some of the most iconic movies of all time.
To wish Dunaway a very special 70th birthday, WENN has compiled 10 fascinating facts about the onscreen siren:
- She was born Dorothy Faye Dunaway on a farm in Bascom, Florida in 1941.
- The actress has been married twice - from 1974 to 1979 to Peter Wolf, lead singer of rock group The J. Geils Band, and from 1984 to 1987 to British photographer Terry O'Neill.
- Dunaway has one son with O'Neill called Liam.
- Her breakthrough role was in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde, which catapulted her to superstardom opposite Warren Beatty. She saw off competition from Natalie Wood and Beatty's sister Shirley MacLaine to land the part.
- She auditioned for the role of Daisy in The Great Gatsby, but it went to Mia Farrow. She later called her autobiography Looking For Gatsby: My Life.
- Dunaway won a Best Actress Academy Award for 1976's Network.
- In 1977 she was offered the part of Lillian Hellman in Julia - she turned it down and the role went to Jane Fonda, who picked up a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.
- In 1996 she converted to Roman Catholicism.
- Dunaway is one of only four actresses to win both an Oscar for Best Actress, as well as a Razzie Award for Worst Actress. The other stars boasting the same dubious honour are Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock and Liza Minnelli.
- She appears in both versions of The Thomas Crown Affair. Dunaway starred in the original 1968 film, as well as 1999's remake with Pierce Brosnan.
While passing through Cairo during a sabbatical from the priesthood following World War II Father Lankester Merrin (Stellan Skarsgard) receives an offer from Semelier Ben Cross) a collector of rare antiquities to join a British archeological excavation in the remote Turkana region of Kenya where a Christian Byzantine church has been unearthed. Although Merrin has lost his religion (he left the church after being forced by the Nazis to commit atrocities against people of his parish) the skilled archeologist accepts the mission out of curiosity: The pristinely preserved church dates back more than 1 000 years before Christianity even reached the East African plain. Once there Merrin anxiously heads to the excavation sight and enters the partially buried church to discover it has been vandalized--or so he thinks; a large wooden cross has been broken and hung upside down. He also encounters Dr. Sarah Novack (Izabella Scorupco) who runs a local hospital and informs the men that the last man in charge of the excavation had gone mad and was now in a sanitarium in Nairobi. The mystery thickens when a local boy Joseph (Remy Sweeney) shows signs of satanic possession. The Turkana blame the mysterious church for the unexplained supernatural activity including a woman's delivery of a Satan-like maggot-covered still born infant. Soon tension mounts between the Turkana and the British troops stationed there.
Poor Skarsgard. To his credit the veteran actor tries his best to add a dash of distinctiveness to his underdeveloped character Father Merrin. Skarsgard (King Arthur) supplies Merrin with an air of attitude a sort of aloofness that screams I don't owe anyone anything. Armed with brute strength and fearlessness (he moves a large concrete slab without breaking a sweat and crawls through unlit basements without ever flinching) Merrin is practically transformed into sexy religious superhero. But Skarsgard even can't escape the silly dialogue that explains what is self-explanatory. "If everyone died who buried them?" Merrin asks aloud outside a cemetery where a plague supposedly whiped out the village's population. Scorupco (Reign of Fire) meanwhile doesn't inject anything extra into her rather forgettable role as Sarah a rather sweet but boring physician. Her metamorphosis in an identical looking Regan MacNeil form the original 1973 Exorcist however pumps some much needed thrills into what's otherwise lackluster horror. One of the most memorable performances comes from Alan Ford (Brick Top Polford form Snatch) who plays a perpetually drunk archeologist with a putrid skin ailment. Ford's rendition of Jeffries is so alarmingly disgusting that it makes Lucifer look like a sweetie pie.
The best thing about Exorcist: The Beginning is its deceptively promising opening set in Africa in the mid 400s. It's an eerie scene bound to make audiences' hair stand on end as a lone bedraggled priest slogs through a dry and dusty plain littered with millions of corpses nailed to upside-down crosses. But in its post-World War II setting the film suffers a setback both in storytelling and visuals. The film was originally directed by Paul Schrader who replaced helmer John Frankenheimer who died before filming began. But producers reportedly thought Schrader's version wasn't frightening enough and handed the reins over to Renny Harlin (Driven) in hopes he would turn out a more spine-chilling rendition. But sadly there is no chilling of the spine to be experienced here. Harlin uses horror film clichés to spook the audience like the faithful light-going-out-in-dark-settings scenario that the film feels more like an episode of Scare Tactics. Harlin's special effects are laugh-out-loud funny too including his inane man-eating CGI hyenas with beaming blue eyes. The beasts move about the screen as if they have no weight or substance to them. What makes those cartoony hyenas even sillier though is the fact that their presence is not needed (they're hardly scary) or even explained which pretty much sums up the film's biggest problem: The spotty story leaves too many questions unanswered. The script credited to Caleb Carr and William Wisher and later revised by Alexi Hawley is so vague it's irritating.