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Article from—May 2, 2020


The Film Critics Circle just announced this year's nominations, and while some actors and films were snubbed, and others were nominated as suspected, the biggest surprise is that Evelyn Conaway will be honored with the esteemed lifetime achievement award. Conaway's career skyrocketed in 1970, when she starred in Every Time We Meet as the wealthy and doe-eyed Diane Tyler opposite leading man James Jenkins, who played Henry, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The film won an Academy Award for Best Picture and scored Conaway a nomination for Best Actress. It is arguably the greatest romantic film of the twentieth century.

Conaway quickly became a household name. For years, you couldn't go anywhere without seeing her face on a billboard or magazine cover. She and Jenkins would go on to star in five films together and were known for their dynamic chemistry on- and off-screen. They were married in 1970 and divorced after only two years before marrying again in 1974. After their second divorce in 1979, Conaway married movie producer Freddy Stevens, who died of lung cancer in 1988. In 1990, Conaway and Jenkins rekindled their romance and married a third time, only to divorce once again in 2012.

Many believe the incident at the 2012 FCCs was to blame for their last divorce. That year, Jenkins was set to receive the very same lifetime achievement award, and by then, he'd had a number of tumultuous years behind him. In the late '80s and early '90s, he struggled with drug addiction and had multiple stints in rehab, but by 2012, he was slowly putting his career back together.
The night of the ceremony, Conaway, who was still his wife at the time, made one of the most memorable speeches in Film Critics Circle history. Instead of praising Jenkins for his career accomplishments, she called him a liar and said he didn't deserve the award. And then, to everyone's astonishment, she walked offstage with his award in hand. She agreed to return it only after security chased her down. Jenkins's stunned face splashed across the theater's screens.

To this day, we don't know why Conaway reacted so strongly. She refused to give any interviews, remaining tight-lipped. She moved out of her Beverly Hills home and, essentially, dropped off the face of the earth. This year's FCCs will be the first time she's made a public appearance since that night. Meanwhile, Jenkins did, in fact, manage to turn his career around. He's now known to the younger generation as the beloved grandfather in the Aliens Attack Earth movie franchise.

In related news, this August also marks the fiftieth anniversary of Every Time We Meet, the film that shot both Conaway and Jenkins to stardom. There has been talk of a remake, and lately many have petitioned for Conaway's granddaughter, Evie Jones, to star as this generation's Diane.

Jones has been in the spotlight recently, as she was just cast as the lead in legendary director Paul Christopher's newest psychological thriller, Deep Within. She was only a week shy of graduating from Los Angeles's prestigious Mildred McKibben Performing Arts Academy when the casting announcement was made, and this will be her second feature film. Last fall, she had a minor role in Paul Christopher's Mind Games, playing Alanna Thomas, who was killed off early on but quickly became a fan favorite.

If we want Jones to play Diane in an Every Time We Meet remake, then who should play Henry? He'd have to be just as charismatic as Jenkins. Can we all agree that there is nothing more swoon-worthy than the final scene, when Henry says to Diane, "Well, darling, I'm sure glad you showed up"?

We here at Film Buzz are waiting in eager anticipation for Conaway to receive her award at the FCCs and for Jones's star to rise.

When asked about the recent developments in her burgeoning career, Jones stated, "I'm incredibly lucky to be in this position, and I'm grateful for all the support I've received."

Conaway could not be reached for comment.

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