One of the most famous American movie critics, who was a trailblazer as a writer for a major newspaper and also appeared regularly on television, has died. The New York Times reports that Judith Crist died today at her home in Manhattan. She was 90.
As the critic for the New York Herald Tribune, “she was the first woman to be made a full-time critic for a major American newspaper,” the story reports. She also was the founding film critic for New York magazine and a longtime writer for TV Guide, with her review appearing in the magazine for 22 years. She had a regular gig as a reviewer on the “Today” show from 1963 to 1973.
“Ms. Crist came to prominence at a time when film was breaking with the conventions of the Hollywood studio era while experiencing a resurgence in popularity, much of it fueled by baby boomers,” the story reports. “She championed a new generation of American directors like Steven Spielberg, Sydney Pollack and Woody Allen and new actors like Robert De Niro and Faye Dunaway.”
Crist wrote for many publications, including Saturday Review, Gourmet and Ladies’ Home Journal.
The report adds: “A Harris Poll of moviegoers in the 1960s cited her as their favorite critic. In 1968, Film Quarterly called her ‘the American critic with the widest impact on the mass audience.’ When TV Guide decided to dismiss her in 1983 to replace her column with a computerized movie summary, executives told her they might come crawling back to her in six months to beg her to return. The magazine was deluged with letters, and asked her back three weeks later. She was given a raise and stayed until 1988.”