Cultural world celebrates ‘Diary of Anne Frank’


LOS ANGELES (JTA) — A flurry of events will accompany what would have been Anne Frank’s 80th birthday.

Gala screenings of George Stevens’ 50-year old film, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” will be held in Los Angeles on June 9 at the Skirball Cultural Center, and in New York on June 15 at the Pierre Hotel. Surviving stars of the film will be on hand to share their recollections. Next week, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the film on Blue-ray and DVD, with added features.

The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles will present live readings from Frank’s diary by Asli Bayram, a Turkish-German actress who is a Muslim and former Miss Germany, on June 11, 12 and 14.

Frank was born on June 12, 1929 and spent most of her final two years of life hidden in an attic during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, documenting her days in a well-kept diary. She died in March 1945 in Bergen-Belsen.

The “Diary of Anne Frank” has been translated into 67 languages and has become among the most widely read books in the world. 

As a film, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” based largely on the earlier Broadway play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, was a considerable success, winning three 1959 Oscars and five additional nominations.

Millie Perkins, then a completely unknown fashion model, was plucked from among 10,000 hopefuls for the title role, with Diane Baker as Anne’s sister Margot. Both actresses will discuss their experiences at the two screenings, together with George Stevens, Jr., son of the film’s director.

Next October, Perkins will travel to Jerusalem to present her original movie script to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.

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