Judith Crist

Judith Crist
Born Judith Klein
(1922-05-22)May 22, 1922
The Bronx, New York City, New York, United States
Died August 7, 2012(2012-08-07) (aged 90)
Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States
Alma mater Hunter College
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Occupation Film critic and academic
Spouse(s) William B. Crist (1947-1993; his death; 1 child)

Judith Crist (/krɪst/; May 22, 1922 – August 7, 2012) was an American film critic and academic. She appeared regularly on the Today show from 1964 to 1973[1] and was among the first full-time female critics for a major American newspaper, in her case the New York Herald Tribune.[1] She was the founding film critic at New York magazine and become known to most Americans as a critic at the weekly magazine TV Guide and at the morning TV show Today.[1] She appeared in one film, Woody Allen's dramatic-comedy film Stardust Memories (1980), and was the author of various books, including The Private Eye, The Cowboy and the Very Naked Girl; Judith Crist's TV Guide to the Movies; and Take 22: Moviemakers on Moviemaking.

Early life and education

Crist was born Judith Klein in The Bronx, borough of New York City, New York, the daughter of Helen (née Schoenberg), a librarian, and Solomon Klein, a manufacturing jeweler.[2][3][4] She attended Morris High School in The Bronx, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hunter College and a Master of Science degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.


After graduating from Columbia in 1945, she was employed by The New York Herald Tribune as a reporter, film critic and arts editor for 22 years, and also worked as TV Guide's resident film critic. After the Tribune ceased publication, she was named the first film critic at New York magazine. She was an adjunct professor at Columbia's School of Journalism starting in 1958 and taught for more than 50 years.[5]

Like Dwight Macdonald, Crist reviewed films for the Today show in the 1960s. She conducted the Judith Crist Film Weekends at Tarrytown House, in Tarrytown, New York, from 1971 to 2006. She was a longtime member of the Executive Committee of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Alumni Association and served three terms as President of the Alumni Association during the 1960s.

In 1963, she was awarded an Alumni Award by the Journalism School Alumni Association. On April 5, 2008, the school presented her with its Founder's Award on her completion of 50 years as a faculty member. She taught until just before her death.[5]

She wrote the article "Tribute to a Partnership", a tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein, in 1965, for a booklet that accompanied RCA Victor's original LP release of the soundtrack album of The Sound of Music. However, the article has not been reprinted for any of the CD releases of the soundtrack.

She cited Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush as her "first and to-this-day-most-vivid film experience."[6]

Personal life

Judith married William B. Crist in 1947, changing her last name.[5] Her husband died in 1993.[1] Judith Crist died at age 90 in her Manhattan home.[1]

She was the mother of Steven Crist,[1] a thoroughbred handicapper and publisher of the Daily Racing Form.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 (registration required) Martin, Douglas (August 8, 2012). "Judith Crist, Zinging and Influential Film Critic, Dies at 90". The New York Times.
  2. Who, Inc Marquis Who's (January 1, 1991). "Who's Who of American Women, 1991-1992". Marquis Who's Who via Google Books.
  3. Diamonstein, Barbaralee (February 29, 1972). "Open secrets; ninety-four women in touch with our time". Viking Press via Google Books.
  4. Commrie, Anne (February 2, 1990). "Something about the Author". Gale via Google Books.
  5. 1 2 3 Bergan, Ronald (August 10, 2012). "Judith Crist obituary" via The Guardian.
  6. Judith Crist, "The Critical Years", Silurian News, May, 1997.
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