Oscar-worthy Tigers: A Weekly Blog quiz
This year's Academy Awards will be handed out Feb. 24, and for a few Princeton alumni, it could be a memorable evening. Ethan Coen ’79 and brother Joel have been nominated in the Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay categories for their film No Country for Old Men. (The Coens won the 1996 Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Fargo.) In the Best Documentary category, producers Todd Wider ’86 and Jedd Wider ’89 have been nominated for Taxi to the Dark Side, which explores the arrest, torture, and death of an Afghani taxi driver at an American Air Base.
To honor this year's Princeton nominees, The Weekly Blog is taking a look back at other Tiger stars and the movies that made them famous. If you can name the five films described below, e-mail your responses to us. You could win a vintage Princeton Alumni Weekly poster and have your name mentioned in our next blog post. Answers will be posted Feb. 27.
1. Bo Goldman ’53 won a pair of screenwriting Oscars, in 1975 and 1980, and was nominated in the 1992 Best Adapted Screenplay category for this Al Pacino movie. (Princeton viewers may notice that an early scene was filmed in Holder Courtyard, not a New England prep school.)
2. James Stewart ’32, Princeton's most memorable leading man, was nominated for Best Actor five times but only won once, for this 1940 film. (The star-studded cast included Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant.)
3. Jose Ferrer ’33, Stewart's onetime Triangle Club colleague, also won Best Actor, 10 years after Stewart, for the title role in this 1950 romance. (Gerard Depardieu played the same character in a 1990 version of the story.)
4. This Oscar-winning 2001 film, based on a biography by Sylvia Nasar, told the story of a Princeton graduate alumnus and Nobel laureate who struggled with schizophrenia. (It was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won four, including Best Picture.)
5. Screenwriter Ring Lardner Jr. ’36 won two Oscars, 28 years apart (a span that included his refusal to give testimony to the House Committee on Un-American Activities and subsequent blacklisting in Hollywood). The first award was for Woman of the Year, which earned Best Original Screenplay in 1942. The second was for this 1970 war comedy. (It inspired a popular ’70s TV series.)
Bonus question: Katharine Hepburn was nominated for the Best Actress award for her role as the title character in this 1935 film, adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Booth Tarkington 1893. (The movie's posters called her "Tarkington's loveliest heroine.")
Princetonians say 'Be my Valentine'
Whether celebrating Valentine's Day with a meal on Nassau Street or touting "Singles Awareness Day," Princetonians ventured out Feb. 14 to find their crushes. Participants on the University Student Government-sponsored Crush Finder Web site, in operation for the second consecutive year, got an e-mail informing them of their "match" if both students independently selected each other through the site. Campus sororities sponsored a charity drive for cancer at which students purchased "Crush" soda cans that were delivered to the door of the person of their choice. (For $1 and up, the sender could buy anonymity and would only be discovered if the recipient returned to the table in Frist and doubled their secret admirer's donation.) Also among the Valentine's Day activities was a USG-sponsored event for the Class of 2009 that featured cookie decorating and a giveaway of boxer shorts emblazoned with the phrase "Be Mine ’09." By Julia Osellame ’09
At right, Crush cans outside a student's dorm room on Feb. 14. Photo by Julia Osellame ’09
Gengler ’75, Lapidus ’81 earn tennis honors
Two of Princeton's most accomplished tennis alumni, Louise Gengler ’75 and Jay Lapidus ’81, will be inducted into the Mercer County Tennis Hall of Fame Feb. 23.
Gengler left an indelible mark on Princeton athletics as both a player and a coach. As an undergraduate, she captained an undefeated field hockey team and played on the University's first women's ice hockey team. But her finest moments were on the tennis court, where she was undefeated in dual match play for four years. Gengler returned in 1979 to become the head coach of women's tennis, leading the Tigers to seven Ivy League titles in 25 seasons.
Lapidus, a Princeton native and prep star at the Lawrenceville School, captained the University's men's tennis team and reached the top of the collegiate rankings in 1980. He was a three-time All-American and later played for the U.S. Davis Cup team. For the last 20 years, Lapidus has been the men's tennis coach at Duke, where his teams have a combined mark of 362-113. From 1996 to 2004, his Blue Devils won 58 consecutive ACC regular-season matches.