Mackendrick, Hilary Frances Thelwell
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May 29, 1925 - March 24, 2011
Born Hilary Frances Thelwell Loyd, in Wales in 1925, she was raised in the seaside town of Cardiff between the two World Wars. After moving to London following WWII, she embarked on a lifetime of adventures.
In London, Hilary worked for the BBC, beginning as a secretary and ultimately working as one of the first female radio producers in BBC history. It was in London that she met her husband, Alexander (Sandy) Mackendrick at the Chelsea Arts Ball. During the 1950s and 1960s, she traveled the world with Sandy as he directed classic films with Ealing Studios. In the late 1960s, Hilary and Sandy moved to Los Angeles where Sandy became the first Dean of the Film School at Cal-Arts. In 1972 Hilary received her BA in Business and embarked on a successful career, first as a production executive for Hollywood Television Theater at KCET. Later, she became a fundraising executive for several high profile Los Angeles organizations, first as Director of Development for the USC Film School. She set up the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields Orchestra Foundation in Los Angeles. Following that she served as Vice President of Development and Public Relations for Pacific Clinics and the Visiting Nurses Association. She remained in retirement serving on the board of BAFTA-LA and as board Secretary for two years. It was her work and generous contribution that helped to create the BAFTA-LA Heritage Archive, now the largest archive of its kind outside the UK. She also served proudly as Vice President of Hollywood Symphony Orchestra Society.
In addition to all of her professional efforts, Hilary was a extraordinary mother, hostess, and friend. Dinner parties at the Mackendrick household were always an event, creating guest lists that often included established Hollywood talent, breaking bread and sharing conversation with up and coming artists. She surrounded herself with friends, and could be counted on to organize any event with style and grace. A testament to her organizational skills was seen early on when she was with Sandy in Africa filming. They received word that Buckingham Palace would like to meet Sandy and screen one of his films. While Sandy didn't quite understand the meaning of a "command performance," Hilary was able to manage all the arrangements, and within hours, they appeared before the Queen, looking elegant. It was widely regarded that she provided the "adult supervision" for all the Mackendrick men, including Sandy and later her sons Mathew and John.
Hilary will be missed by all that knew her, and her memory will hold an honored place in all of our hearts. She is survived by her son John, his wife Dorothy; stepson Kerry Mackendrick, his wife Tessa, their son Conal and great grandson James.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 31 at 2:00 pm at Beverly Hills All Saints Episcopal Church. Donations can be made in Hilary's honor to All Saints, BAFTA-LA or Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 28 to Mar. 31, 2011