Veteran British director Ronald Neame has died in hospital in Los Angeles aged 99. He directed a series of successful UK films, including The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) and The Horse’s Mouth (1958) before making one of the first of the great disaster movies, The Poseidon Adventure (1972) .
His father Elwin Neame was a film director and his mother Ivy Close a film star, so his career in the film industry seemed an obvious one. In the 1920s he worked at newly opened Elstree Studios, working as an assistant cameraman for Alfred Hitchcock on Blackmail in 1929.
He became a cinematographer in the 1930s, and in 1944, after they worked together on In Which We Serve, joined with director David Lean and producer Anthony Havelock-Allan to form production company Cineguild, making films including Brief Encounter (1945) and Great Expectations (1946).
After the company folded in 1947 he became a film director with Take My Life (1947), going one to make a variety of film genres – including comedy The Card (1952), musical Scrooge (1970) and thriller The Odessa File (1974) – and in 1969 directed Maggie Smith in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, for which she received her first Best Actress Oscar.