Posted on Tuesday August 22, 2006
BALTIMORE, MD, USA (August 22, 2006) – Edward Hilbert, former child actor of such Hungarian classics as A Meseauto (1934) and Az uj foldesur (1935) has died after long battles with ramifications of lung cancer. He was 78-years-old.
At the time of his passing, Mr. Hilbert and his wife, Judy, were the subjects of Freedom Dance, a half-hour animated documentary retelling the adventurous story of the Hilberts’ life-changing escape from Communist Hungary to the US during the violent 1956 Hungarian Revolution. During his four months on the road to freedom, Hilbert (a professional artist) kept a journal in cartoon form detailing an adventure that included having their apartment hit by a blast from a Russian tank; a tense smuggling out a Budapest in a truck of crated apples; the robbery by an opportunistic escort; and a horrific ocean voyage across the January Atlantic.
Mr. Hilbert also designed and illustrated hundreds of pictures used as the basis for the movie’s unique 2-and-a-half-’D’ animation. Freedom Dance is scheduled for release in November 2006, though it has already experienced much popularity in the UK, its trailer and a special 4-minute cut appearing on Channel 4’s FourDocs web showcase and Sky Digital Satellite. Freedom Dance is produced by Emmy-Nominated filmmaker Steven Fischer and Telly-Award winning animator Craig Herron.
“Edward was always generous with his time and talents,” Fischer said. “He was a very positive person who easily saw the silver lining around even the darkest cloud, encouraging young people to follow their dreams while they were still young.”
Herron added, “Working with Edward has been one of the great experiences of my life. Life may end, but art and cinema continue on and I am hoping that the story of Edward and Judy Hilbert will continue to inspire for many decades to come.”
In the past year, Mr. Hilbert bravely battled lung cancer, succumbing to complications in the afternoon of August 22. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Judy; daughters Rose Crowley and Michelle Batt; and a baby granddaughter. The Hilbert family request, in