Wednesday, October 27, 2010

RIP Chris Udvarnoky, star of The Other (1972)



Yesterday I read a post on the Internet Movie Database claiming that Chris Udvarnoky (seen above), who played the disturbed Niles Perry in one of my favorite films, Robert Mulligan's The Other (1972), had passed away. This comes as a very, very shocking coincidence for me, since I have been writing about a handful of Mulligan's films for the past two weeks and was just about to publish a piece on The Other this week.

At first I thought this rumor about Udvarnoky's death was a hoax--I hadn't read a single piece online confirming it, and even today I still have read nothing. But then a blogger in charge of a site known as The Raving Queen turned me to this obituary at New Jersey's Star Ledger website, which reads:

Christopher Udvarnoky, 49, died on Monday, Oct. 25, 2010, at Father Hudson House in Elizabeth. Services will be held at Memorial Funeral Home, 155 South Ave., Fanwood, on Friday at 11 a.m. Cremation will be private. Visitation will be Thursday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the funeral home. For additional information or to sign the guestbook, please visit www.fanwoodmemorial.com. Born in Flint, Mich., Chris lived most of his life in Westfield. He graduated from Westfield High School in 1979, and was employed as an X-ray technician with Overlook Hospital, and, more recently, Rahway Hospital. Chris was also a longtime member of the Westfield Rescue Squad. He was predeceased by his father, Charles, who died in 2002. He is survived by his mother, Edith D'Andrea (and her husband, John); his twin brother, Marty (and his wife, Debbie); his former wife, Laureen Del Priore, and his nephew and niece, Ryan and Amanda. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the Polycystic Kidney Foundation (www.pkdcure.org).

Okay, here's my first question: Why doesn't this obituary mention The Other? Why doesn't it mention that whenever people think of Tom Tryon's novel and Mulligan's movie and that whenever they hear the name "Niles Perry", the first image they think of is Chris Udvarnoky's face? I'm afraid I don't understand what the deal is.



My only guess is that after the movie was made, Chris and his twin brother, Martin, like a lot of child movie stars, went to great efforts to erase all evidence of their work on that movie and fold up into normal lives. Neither of them ever made a movie again. Maybe they don't want people to remember them as murderous little boys from that one movie about the evil twins.



If that is the case, then I despair--but if that's truly how the Udvarnoky boys wanted it, and if they couldn't live with the fame, and if living normal lives made them happier, then I am grateful. I guess my problem here is that The Other is just too awesome of a movie for the accomplishment of its stars and its late writer & director to go uncelebrated. But I digress.



Chris Udvarnoky, RIP. You gave one of the most blistering child performances in the history of the American cinema. It's a performance that I believe Haley Joel Osment's performance in The Sixth Sense owes something to. It's a performance that will haunt me for the rest of my days.

In honor of Udvarnoky's memory, and in honor of Mulligan's film as a whole (one of his best, in my opinion), I am going to have a piece published on The Other either today, tomorrow or Friday. I hope this obituary of mine spreads news of Udvarnoky's passing around the Web so that more people know about this tragedy. My condolensces go out to Martin and the rest of the Udvarnoky family, and I wish them peace.

A reminder: The Other is going to be airing on Turner Classic Movies on Friday, October 29 at 2:00 AM, very early in the morning. Please do not miss it.

EDIT 10/30/2010: Roger Ebert has tweeted about this tribute.

48 comments:

  1. Truly creepy film, and a damn shame to have someone pass away so young.

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    1. I've been a fan of suspense movies since I was a child. Without any question, The Other is the best movie of its kind. The performance of these two boys were more than excellent. Mulligan saved the novel, which in my opinion, was one in 100 million. As a fact, I got a copy of the novel after seeing the movie, but couldn't read more than two pages. If Tyron is a writer then I am an astronaut, which is false in both instances. Thanks to Mulligan that awful novel was transformed into a piece of art. I'm sorry for the death of Chris.

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    2. It's funny you mention that Manuel because Tryon himself really hated the movie. He even complained in an interview that he wish he had directed it instead of Mulligan, which is an absurd idea if there ever was one!

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  2. I am very upset about this news. I have followed this movie since my childhood, and was in the process of trying to get a hold of marty and chris to discuss the past 30-40 years of their life. I am so shell shocked that i never knew that chris was ill. I will miss him greatly. I send my condloences out to all the udvarnoky family and they will be in my prayers. I should of tried a bit harder to locate them both to put a closure on my childhood dream of meeting the 2 boys who created such a fantastic film.
    RIP CHRIS !!!!

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  3. Thanks for the condolensces, guys. Like I said, I hope newspapers around the country pick this story up. It doesn't seem to have attracted the attention of the masses just yet.

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  4. For years, I have loved this movie and the amazing acting talent of the twins, Chris & Marty. The movie is on TCM right now and as always, I'm watching it again! However, I am deeply saddened by the news of Chris Udvarnoky's untimely passing and also that he and his brother chose to leave acting after such a fine
    performance. I was an admirer of Tom Tryon as an actor and loved his book, "The Other" which, IMO, the movie following very closely. I will always remember that I lent my VHS to a co-worker who had a set of twin boys and he immediately returned it to me very upset at the content. That proves that it was powerful. Condolences to his family and kudos to you, Mr. Zanzie, for such a fine write-up for such a
    memorable movie and cast. Thanks and God Bless You also!

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  5. Polycystic kidney disease is a very serious condition that eventually leads to hemodialysis if a transplant is not performed and succeeds. I'm curious if his twin brother had it, and if not if he donated a kidney to Chris.

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  6. I loved the book and the movie - deliciously creepy and original. But maybe if they've gone to all this trouble to live normal lives you should ask the surviving brother if he minds before publicizing his brother's death and creating the link again?

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  7. It takes incredible talent to be able to share the screen with a masterful performer like Uta Hagen. Only slightly older than myself, that role certainly spoke to me, and the movie has long been one of my favorites. "Holland...where is the baby?" will always be one of the most chilling lines in the history of film. How very, very sad.

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  8. Beatrice, thank you so much. I first heard about the movie by noticing that old VHS in video stores when I was younger... incredible cover art, hehe. I was happy to see the movie being broadcast (for the first time!) on TCM last night, although I was regretful that Robert Osborne didn't make mention of Udvarnoky's death. I guess Osborne's introduction was taped beforehand. Although it's more likely that TCM, like most everyone else, doesn't know about Udvarnoky's death yet.

    Cynthia, interesting observation about Chris' kidney disease. I truly hope that Martin doesn't have it.

    Alison, I understand what you're saying, but I do think that the news of Chris' death would be something that fans of The Other (and fans of Robert Mulligan's films) would want to know about, even though the Udvarnoky family does seem embarrassed with the film itself. It would be like fans of Catcher in the Rye not knowing about Salinger's demise. Regardless, I hope Chris lived a happy life, and my same wish goes out to Martin and the rest of the family.

    senski, Uta Hagen is excellent, isn't she? I need to seek out more of her performances. I tried to figure out how to put "Holland... where is the baby?" in my review somewhere, but it just didn't seem to fit. Although I suppose it's better if viewers hear those words from Chris Udvarnoky instead of me!

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  9. What a complete shock. I just watched the movie last night (early this morning..) and got up and decided to try and find out ANYTHING I could about the twins. Wow. I have loved this movie since I was a kid of about 13, my uncle took me and a few other nephews to see it in downtown Pittsburgh when it came out, and I will never forget it. I was so thrilled to see that it was on last night, and for the first time ever, according to Turner Classic Movie host, Robert Osborne. Anyway, RIP Christopher. You have many many fans that will never forget you and Martin's performance. Dan in Naples, FL

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  10. Anonymous, I was just as surprised that the movie had never aired on TCM before tonight. I would have thought it had been airing on the channel since the 90's.

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  11. I was very shocked to hear of Chris's death. I don't think the family should be embarassed by the movie THE OTHER. Chris's performance as NIles was truly unforgettable. He wasn't playing a murderous child, he was playing a very disturbed child; disturbed because of the sweetness, honesty and innocence that was his outer appearance, and the actions that belied them. It remains a heartbreaking performance because you really feel for this child and the pain that he is suffering. My heartfelt condolences to Martin and the rest of the family. May Chris RIP forever.
    (PS--THE OTHER has aired many times on TCM and on Fox Movie Channel as well. Perhaps Osbourne's claim that is was the first airing was taped long ago. I know it appears on TCM almost every year, right around Halloween)

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  12. Hello Adam. I am the creator of an elementary school Facebook group where Chris' former classmates and teachers go to reconnect with each other. I was recently alerted of your blog by a member of the group. The day of his passing a friend of my family provided me with notice of this sad news about Chris and then I shared the news with the group. I was too young to know Chris as a child-star, however my family knew his family. My mother might have known him as a lifesaver while she was a member of the Westfield Rescue Squad, but I have no stories of my own to share. Except for the part that whenever "The Other" aired as a TV movie, I would hear brief stories about who the twins were. It might seem unfortunate to you that his brief acting role was not mentioned in the obituary, but sometimes people move on after they've tried out one career that they might not have felt suited for. They find other exciting passions in life. Perhaps news of him having left this earth should be mentioned at the next Academy Awards ceremony. His passing certainly is sad news. I give his family and Martin my condolences. I'm sure that wherever he is now, he's probably playing a role filled with peace and joy. RIP Chris

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  13. I fully agree that he should be included in next year's Oscar tribute. They remembered to include Robert Mulligan in their tribute from two years ago, so I hope they'll remember Chris.

    What's the name of your Facebook group, Tom? I'm interested in checking out the discussions over there.

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  14. November 15, 2010. Thanks to your website which I found by searching, I found out about Chris Udvarnoky had passed away. I have not heard of his passing on the news, on the websites nor on Twitter. The Other (1972) was my favorite thriller film as a teenager. I always had to watch it when it was on television. As popular as The Other (1972) was, I'm surprised no mention was made of his passing. Entertainment Weekly does not have his death listed yet. My heart goes out to Martin Udvarnoky.

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  15. James, I still haven't seen any news articles whatsoever about his passing. I've only seen two professional acknowledgements of it: Ebert's tweet, as well as an update on his IMDB page. But that's it for now.

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  16. I can remember when Chis and Marty came back from Hollywood and Marty was describing how the special effects people made it look like chris had cut marty's hand off. I will miss him and I miss the rest of you from Grant Elementary.

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  17. Hi Adam. I can't believe I'm just hearing about this truly sad news. I'm stunned. I interviewed Chris and Marty for a magazine when they were 17, then met them when I was invited to stay at their home and attend their 18th birthday bash in 1979. We stayed in touch for a few years, but I moved around so much that we eventually lost contact. I'm going to have to find the storage box that has all the pictures I took that week I was there. It was such a fun time. I would like to comment on your article. After The Other, the boys returned to NJ and resumed their lives. They returned to L.A. for the world premiere, which coincided with their 11th birthday. For three or so years after The Other they auditioned for other films, but never landed a role in any of them. They were both up for the lead when Steinbeck's "The Red Pony" was being remade for TV, but the producers ultimately chose another young actor. After a while, they put acting behind them and moved on. I don't know where the ideas that they tried to disassociate themselves from the film and that the family was embarrassed by it came from. Nothing could be further from the truth... at least that was the case when I met them so many years ago. Both boys were proud of their performances and the favorable reviews they received for their natural acting talent. It has always frustrated me that the critics praised their work so highly, yet they were never able to land more roles in other films. In response to one of the other comments, I'm certain that if Marty had been able to donate a kidney for transplant he would have done so without hesitation. It's possible that as fraternal twins there might have been something that prevented that. I don't know much when it comes to the medical world, so I really can't comment in that regard. If you'd like any information about The Other, I still have files full of information about the production and dozens of behind-the-scenes pictures that were taken by their parents. I believe my files also have a lot of family pictures from their childhood before The Other. I'm devastated by this news and my heart goes out to both Marty and their mother Edie. I deeply regret that I didn't try harder to keep in contact with them over the years.

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  18. I only just learned of this sad news a couple days ago. I interviewed Chris and Marty for a horror magazine when they were 17 years old. A few months later I was invited to stay at their home and take part in their 18th birthday bash, for which I flew from CA to NJ to attend. It was great fun, and I found both Chris and Marty to be friendly, courteous (Chris insisted I sleep in his bedroom, while he slept on the sofa), bright, well-grounded, sensible young men. Their mother, Edie, had done a fine job of raising them alone for the 7 or so years since her divorce from their father, whom I also met when they visited him in NYC. I eventually lost contact with them because I moved around a lot for my work. I just can't believe Chris is gone... and at such a young age.

    I'd like to address a few things that have been posted...

    After The Other finished production, Chris and Marty returned to NJ and resumed their lives. They went to auditions, but they never appeared in another movie or did any TV work. What troubled me about that is after the movie was released, their performances were singled out in almost every review and they were highly praised for being unknowns with such natural acting abilities. Robert Mulligan was the perfect director because he knew how to pull such memorable performances out of all the young actors he'd worked with throughout his career. The Other was yet another testament to that fact.

    Ironically, Chris and Marty studied acting at the famed Herbert Berghoff Studio in NYC. Berghoff was Uta Hagen's husband. She was the first actor Mulligan signed to be in The Other and for a while the press claimed she was behind Chris and Marty getting cast in the movie. She always denied that claim and said she wasn't even aware Mulligan had auditioned them, nor did she even mention them to him. I tend to believe that. After meeting her myself, I got the impression she wasn't at all the type to condone such a thing. Chris and Marty landed those roles on their own merits.

    Edie and Chuck were still married when The Other was produced and released. After returning to NJ, they left the decision of whether or not to continue acting entirely up to both boys, and ultimately, after so many auditions that resulted in nothing, they decided to go back to being just regular kids doing regular things like Little League and Boy Scouts and high school football.

    As for being embarrassed by The Other, or trying to disassociate themselves from it, or other similar comments that have been made, when I knew them, nothing could have been farther from the truth. Both parents were very proud of their fine performances and the abundance of critical praise they received. I can't imagine that in later years Chris and Marty would have such a change of heart and want to sever any connection to a truly great movie. I could be wrong. People do change as they get older. Frankly, I don't believe anything like that could possibly be true.

    Regarding the omission of The Other from Chris' obit, many things get left out of obits. My great grandfather's obit left out the fact that for 30 years before moving the family to NE, he lived and raised the family in IA. His obit mentions him living in NY (less than 6 months!) and WI (also less than 6 months!), but leaves out the 3 decades he lived in IA. I think in Chris' case, they probably decided to include the highlights of his adult life and career and the things he'd done in the nearly 40 years it's been since he was in The Other. Plus, you can only cram so much into an obit before the newspaper charges for exceeding size limits.

    Marty and Edie must be devastated by this loss. My heart goes out to them, and I can only hope they are doing well. Chris will be missed by many, not just family and friends, but also the many fans who, to this day, regard The Other and his and Marty's performances as major cinematic high points of the last century.

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  19. P.S.

    I completely agree with Tom Stone's comment that Chris should be included in the "In Memoriam" segment of the next Academy Awards show. I plan to write to them and send a video clip from the movie of one of Chris' memorable moments.

    If anybody else feels like writing and asking them to include Chris, here's the address:

    Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
    8949 Wilshire Boulevard
    Beverly Hills, California 90211-1907

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  20. Ebert's Twitoaster feed, for anyone interested in reading the responses to his Tweeting of this piece.

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  21. I'm so sorry to hear the passing of my friend Chris, this is totally unbelievable!
    Me and him use to work together at a trucking company back in 1991 in New Jersey
    At that time i did not know he was a child actor it was just a coincidence that in a conversation we had I just popped up and said what was your fond memories back in early seventies as a child.

    He told me that he did some acting and I said: really want a play?
    He said no in a major motion picture he brought in the next day his VHS tape of the movie the others.
    I watched it went back to work and I could not stop calling him Niles, lol!!
    I have not seen Chris since 1993 that was the time I moved to San Diego.
    In 2003 I wait back to New Jersey and around 2008 I've been trying to search for him on friend finder web site.
    and today to find out that he has passed away. its such a shame that i will not ever see him again.

    Rest in peace my friend.

    p.s I wish my condolences to all of Chris is family and friends.

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  22. I lived next door to the boys when they filmed "The Other". They brought home "the finger", which was really cool, as well as other souvenirs from their experience. Movie stars or not, they managed to return from Hollywood to their life as "normal kids". So sorry to hear about Chris' passing. A huge loss for Westfield, Marty, family and friends.

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  23. I didn't know Chris or Marty, but I knew their father, Chuck. He and I sang in a NJ choral ensemble in the late 60s/early 70s, before I had my driver's license. He offered to drive me to/from rehearsals (since he went near my street)and my parents asked his to come over so that they could meet him and decide if this was a safe arrangement (it was).

    Chuck told them about Chris and Marty and HIS version of the story was that a school teacher (in Westfield) was a regular reader of _Variety_ and let the family know about an audition opportunity for twins. He, also, told us that they had the same contract agreement as the kinds in _Summer of '42_, but that they had received no other movie offers.

    Sorry to hear about Marty and Chuck. I can't imagine what it is like for a twin to lose their counterpart.

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  24. Just read my post and saw the obvious mistake. Wish that I could pull it back and correct it, but I don't see options for that. Sorry.

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  25. I grew up across the street from the Udvarnoky twins. Saint Marks Ave. in Westfield, NJ. Nice kids. I remember their dad going all out to prevent their dog from killing a litter of kittens which had just been born under the porch of the house behind theirs. They never mentioned "The Other".

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  26. No, it's not true about The Udvarnoky Twins trying to distance themselves from the film. They probably just wanted credit for helping others. Chris was a volunteer EMT and an x-ray tech. Marty is a massage therapist. Actually, I contacted Marty only two days before Chris died, and he told me they were both surprised at how many people remembered them. He added that he was glad I enjoyed the film. As for how they managed to snag the roles, their father's version is correct. A press kit stated that their school teacher learned of the search for twin boys to appear in "The Other", submitted their photos, and it went from there. They indeed tried to resume with acting, and a poster on IMDB who worked with Chris said that he auditioned with Jodie Foster and had the chance to kiss her. On a side note, Marty looks exactly the same today, and Chris did as well.

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  27. Wow...what a disturbing shock. "The Other" is one of the most original horror movies, and set in such a green and pastoral panorama. And Chris Udvarnokys brilliant and haunting performance,has made an impact on me, since the 70s. REST PEACEFULLY, Mr. Chris Udvarnoky

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  28. i just saw the movie last night, after having taped it on TCM (probably the airing date mentioned above). fantastic performance from Chris, and a terrific movie overall. i'm a bit sadder reading this today, R.I.P.

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  29. I was saddened to hear this news. I worked with Marty and Chris in the mid-80's at a company called TFI (Tape-Films, Inc.) located in the old Movielab building at 619 W. 54th St, on Manhattan's west side. The area had at one time a number of film and TV-production-related businesses, and TFI's principal function was to duplicate and distribute physical copies of TV commercials (and some syndicated programming) to TV stations across the country. We worked in customer service, speaking to ad agency contacts and taking instructions on what to do with various TV commercial edited masters once they had finished production. Marty had gotten the job through his father, "who knew somebody who knew somebody." As I recall, we were impressed by the fact he had been in the film, but aside from some initial conversations, it was not an ongoing topic of conversation. We did learn that Chris was really the star, Marty’s appearances were limited to just the scenes where to two of them were together in the shot. Marty was good at his job, he worked no less or more hard than anyone else in the department (there were a total of five or so of us.) He had a natural way with people, fit in very well, exhibiting a good sense of humor and was very likable. Our supervisor, an Irish woman from Brooklyn in her 50’s, who had never married, was a “mother hen” type, and she took a special liking to Marty. There was a bit of vulnerability about him. Due to the nature of the job (we all had to cover one another’s desks at one time or another) we did a bit of hanging out together, having a couple of beers as a group on our lunch hour in the park, things of that sort. After a couple of months, his brother Chris came to work with us as well, in the shipping department. You could tell that between the two of them, Chris was the more precocious. In the dynamic of their relationship, he was the dominant, outgoing one— maybe as a result of his having the lead role in the film, or perhaps it was cast that way because of it. My impression of them both was of two very typical, middle-upper middle class suburban kids from New Jersey. Their appearance in “The Other” was an anomaly in their lives. They gave a very “natural” performance, playing energetic young boys not too unlike themselves (setting aside the circumstances of the plot, of course.) Getting to know each one of them, I do not think either one had the drive or ambition to pursue a career in acting. That was really their father’s dream for them. The brothers had a taste of it, and if some other opportunities came their way, great, but it was not a burning passion for them. Their father made several appearances in the office, and I got the impression he had had always been the driving force in their show-business career, as he was still talking about auditions he was trying to arrange. However, I do not think their father was obsessed with that, he was just trying to do something more for his boys, of whom he was very proud, and loved very much. At that point, I think Marty had already moved on and Chris was ready as well to close that chapter in their life. TFI was just a transitional job for them; I recall Chris was already talking about being a paramedic. One of Marty’s main contacts was a very attractive blond girl named Heidi, and she eventually left the agency to become a certified massage therapist. Marty was able to take her out to lunch as a business expense, and did so on several occasions prior to her leaving. Maybe that is where he got the notion to become one himself. I came across a showing of “The Other” on television a few years later, and I was again struck by their performances Two boys, plucked from obscurity into roles seemingly written for them, delivering unforgettable performances, made even more extraordinary by the fact neither acted again. As actors, a short, but perfect career.

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  30. I just learned this sad news today, as the film came on Fox Movie Channel and I took a quick look on imdb. What a shame.

    I saw this film in the movie theatre when it was first released, and it creeped me out. And although it is a shame that the twins never made another film, their performance in The Other remains a classic.

    RIP

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  31. Thanks, Adam, for keeping this page up. Sadly, I had not heard about Chris' untimely death until I found your blog today. I was researching my family history (Haines in western Maryland) and found that Marty had married a distant cousin. Then I saw the link here to your page and was surprised and saddened to hear the news. I can't believe that Chris' passing was not listed in Fangoria or Entertainment Weekly magazine (unless I missed it). "The Other", both the film and the book, have somewhat haunted me since I first saw the film in syndication around 1974. Before that, in 1972, I remember my friend, Bobby, telling me about this great book he was reading, relating only the part about the pitchfork. I had no idea then that in two years time, the film would have such a profound effect on my life, causing me to eventually collect memorabilia and watch it routinely every summer. So much has already been said above about the wonderful acting abilities of the twins and how it made the movie such a masterpiece. I agree with every bit of praise! For me, when anyone asks what my favorite horror film is, I tell them "The Other". There are no more horrifying scenes in any film then when they take the cover off of that wine barrel or when Ada, in the barn, realizes what Niles has done. And yet, I also enjoy the contrasting serene and picturesque cinematography, not to mention the moving score by Jerry Goldsmith. Thanks to those above who knew Chris for sharing your memories! And thank you and bless you, Chris, Marty and your dear family!

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  32. I have been a fan of this film from the first time I saw it. The performance of both lads was fantastic. They brought Tyron's book to life like no other has been before or since.The acting of these lads was superb. Chris Udvarnoky will live in eternity through this movie.

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  33. I was a twelve year old kid when I saw the movie in a theater with my friend Ellen; I then read the book which is still one of the best novels I have ever read. I guess I had crush on the twins(my grandfather and first cousins are twins.) This movie/book tugged at my soul...deserved more recognition. Hope Chris is at peace and Martin is o.k. since we learned from the movied/book that IT IS SO DIFFICULT TO LOSE A TWIN.

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  34. "Rue Morgue" magazine (issue #129?) recommends "The Other" on its last page. At least it got mentioned, as it seems to have faded into obscurity over the years. The issue came out in Dec. 2012 or so, and is sold at Barnes & Noble, if you're interested.

    TCM tends to divulge surprise endings of its movies on its Web page and in newspaper write-ups, spoiling similar classic movies w/surprise endings, so be careful. I wrote to them after they spoiled the ending of William Castle's "Homicidal," and they said they'd "look into it." Hopefully they didn't ruin the surprise for "The Other."

    I noticed the Udvarnoky name in the Star-Ledger's obits, and was surprised "The Other" wasn't mentioned, but obits are ads, not news, and every word is paid for, so it kinda makes sense that the film wasn't mentioned. Oddly, Westfield is about 20 minutes from me!

    I'm 45, and saw "The Other" on CBS in elementary school. I finally read the book in college and it blew me away, and is one of the top 5 best books I've ever read. It was a book of the month club selection and across the cover was factory-printed "You've never read a novel like this one." They weren't kidding! (SPOILER!) The book opens with the writer musing how old "Miss DeGroot" is, and closes with the writer -- divulged as Holland -- annoyed that "they" call him Niles.... "They" being his fellow inmates at the asylum and Miss DeGroot a long-time employee there who knew his grandmother when she was there! (So insanity ran in the family!). He's deeply saddened by the loss of his twin, and apparently is unable to see that it was he who was dead and he's really Niles!

    Glenn

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  35. Quelle triste nouvelle que d'apprendre ainsi la disparition de Chris Udvarnoky. Même en France, "The Other" avait eu beaucoup de succès , critique et public, en 1972. J'avais alors 14 ans lorsque j'ai découvert ce film et j'en suis toujours resté profondément bouleversé. Les mots me manquent pour exprimer toute ma tristesse. Mes pensées vont à Martin Udvarnoky et à tous, famille, amis et fans.
    Repose en paix Chris. Tu restes à jamais dans mon coeur.

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  36. This is my favorite book-ever. The film I liked, but I prefer the book.

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  37. Wow. I feel awful not finding out about this until 30 months after Chris's passing, but like so many others, I am shocked. Chris (and Marty) and I were the same age, and in the same classes at Grant Elementary, and later Roosevelt Junior High and WHS. I remember when they left to go to Hollywood to make The Other; believe it was 4th grade, and they came back a year later and resumed their lives without much change. They even sang in the St. Paul's church choir with me for a year or two, although I confess I haven't seen them since graduating high school. Like so many have said, I remember Chris as a genuinely good person and while we're all worse off for his passing, we're also better for having known him. RIP, Chris. - KenW

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  38. I'm currently reading The Other (something I do at least once a year) and decided to see if I could find out what the twins are up to today. I was shocked to hear about Chris. But it's nice to finally find out I'm not the only one who loves the book and movie. I've never come across anyone who has even heard of them. It's so frustrating as the book and movie are superb. Thanks for creating this site.

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  39. So sad, I just seen the movie. It brought me back. I am the same age as these guys and wanted to say hi.

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  40. Love that movie, o much better then the knock off with the 2 sisters.

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  41. OMG - this is such a late post, but I JUST FOUND OUT and I am nearly in tears as I write this. I cannot believe what I am reading. But I am so gratified that the memory of Chris is still alive and will live on for a long time. Rest in Peace my friend...you were part of my childhood.

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  42. I have just seen the film and cannot figure out why parents would let their children play in such a dark film except obviously for money
    The two kids play wonderfully well but at such a young age I am not sure that it was a good thing for them

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    1. The Udvarnoky twins made the film simply because they are great actors.

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  43. I am really saddened by the passing of Chris. I had worked with them during the release of the film. Some tid-bits of information about the film: The film was shot in Murpheys, California. All of the night scenes were shot first. The most tedious shot was when the mother falls down the stairs. That scene took 9 takes. Each take is 3 shots. (27 shots total) just for that scene alone. They had difficulty getting the right camera angle. It was Chris who did most of the speaking scenes and Martin did most of the running scenes. I had taken many pictures of them at their home and had sent them to talent agencies and teen type magazines. At least one magazine came to photograph them. It was their second grade teacher who spotted an audition notification and informed their mother. The twins were selected from over 400 sets of twins nation-wide. Before the filming took place. The boys spent a month learning the script. As a keepsake, the boys kept the 'ring' one of two made for the film. Remember "A perigan falcon for Perry" They also kept the Prince Albert tobacco can, but did not keep the foam finger. The boys were quite handsome when the film was released. They were eleven and I believed that they had quite a future in the entertainment industry. Their father Charles thought so also. However, their mother Edith made it clear that she preferred that they lead normal lives. The industry being what it was (is) and I being a college student at the time, I could not secure a ranking agent for them. I regret that deeply. However, I did what I could, as little as it was, at the time. I wish that I had stayed in touch with them. I am saddened by Chris's passing and hope the best for Martin. I have since worked on other projects, but that is a story for another forum. Best wishes. - John (remember me Martin?) Best wishes.

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  44. Hi guys! So sorry to hear about Mr. Udvarnoky's passing. "The Other" is a great film, bar none. The twins really give uncompromisingly brilliant performances. The film is better than Tryon's novel--- Mulligan's take on the story is taut, the suspense reaching its crescendo amid a beautiful Murphys, California backdrop. What separates novel from film is that the visual horror is implied in the film; that's the most effective, unsettling jolt a good ghost story needs. Chris created a Niles Perry we cared about, even in the knowledge of what he has done. When "The Other" premiered on CBS network tv in the early 70's, the final shot has Niles looking out his bedroom window, mentally telling Holland that perhaps the sheriff will let the boys play the Game "in their new home." I purchased the DVD of the movie (an original theatrical print, mind you), and that line is not uttered. Just a shot of Chris peering out the window, then fade to end credits. Did the network feel Niles must face some judgment for his acts? Anyway, thanks to the Udvarnoky gentlemen, for allowing us viewers 100 minutes of unforgettable glimpses into the light and dark recesses of a child's imagination. Well done, boys.

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  45. I think it's fitting the Udvarnoky twins kept Prince Albert. This is a dark day for me, upon learning of Chris Udvarnoky'death. I hope Martin is doing well. Losing a brother is hard; I know from experience. You always have that empty side of yourself. What a great film, "The Other"! I believe it is a better film than Mulligan's previous, "To Kill a Mockingbird." Ironic, isn't it, that both Gregory Peck and Miss Hagen should team up in another film about boys, "The Boys from Brazil"? I wonder why, when "The Other" was broadcast on CBS in the early 70s, the last shot is of Niles looking out his window, saying to Holland that maybe the sheriff will let the boys play the Game "in their new home", when in the original version (I own a DVD print) that line is absent, only a fade to end credits? Did the network feel Niles needed punishment for his actions? Oh well. Thanks Chris, for giving me 100 minutes of light and dark glimpses into the imagination of a child. Well done. --- Scott W.

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