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Frankly my dear...

Frankly my dear...

Ernest Haller won the Academy Award for "Best Color Photography" for Gone With the Wind in 1939. It may have been his most distinguished accomplishment during his career, but he topped it 2004 when his estate with wife Mary Jane Haller was turned over to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, bestowing a $5 million gift in support of entertainment industry members.

According to her Mary Jane's executor, she remembered Ernest's love of the entertainment industry and gave the entire estate to MPTF in memory of her beloved husband. She told her executor that she wanted her assets put to good use and decided that giving everything to MPTF would enable her late husband to give back to the industry that gave him such a rewarding life and career. Mary Jane wanted to give to the charity that definitely takes care of its own.

A native Californian, Haller came to the old Biograph Studios as an actor in 1914. As a freelancer, Haller lost interest in acting and drifted towards cinematography. By 1920, he was full director of photography and spent the rest of the twenties manning the camera for films including Stella Dallas, The Dancer of Paris, and the early Frank Capra feature For the Love of Mike. Associated almost exclusively with prestige films in the 1930s, Haller ended the decade winning the Academy Award. He was nominated seven times during his career and continued in his craft with pictures such as Mildred Pierce and Humoresque until he retired in 1964. Haller died in a car accident in 1970.

The Haller estate gift was remarkably large, but estate gifts of any size have a tremendous impact on the ability of MPTF to provide valuable services and charitable assistance to members of the entertainment industry. Whether it is a will, trust, bequest, life insurance policy, IRA or charitable gift annuity, your generosity is invaluable. Many people have minimal or no estate plans, or documents that have not been updated in years. MPTF is here to help you plan for your retirement and protect your estate in ways that can give you maximum tax benefits, additional income if needed, and the means to secure your family's future while creating a lasting legacy to support future generations in the industry.

For more information and/or a private consultation with one of our Trust and Estate professionals, please call the MPTF Foundation at 818-876-1924 and ask for a Gift Planning representative.

Estate gifts have a tremendous impact on MPTF’s ability to take care of entertainment industry members by providing much needed programs and services to industry members and their families. Whether it is a bequest in a will or trust, charitable gift annuity, life insurance policy, or an IRA, these gifts all make a big difference in the lives of fellow industry members.

For samples of how a bequest can easily be included in your will, please click here or call Kathy Davis at 818-876-1924.


Douglas J. Corbin. CSPG
Senior Gift Planning Advisor
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