Hollywood movie-maker Vincent Sherman died on Sunday night (18JUN06) of natural causes - just one month ahead of his 100th birthday. The acclaimed director dominated cinema in the 1940s and 1950s before being ostracised for his suspected communist sympathies. He later went on to direct a string of hugely successful TV series including THE WALTONS and BARETTA. Aside from his string of hit films, Sherman was famed for romancing his leading ladies, including Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth and his three-movie dalliance with Joan Crawford. FRANCINE YORK, his companion for the last nine years, says, "Vince was in good condition until two months ago. "In January he had appeared on a documentary about Humphrey Bogart, and he told a lot of good stories. He was the last of the gentlemen, a real Southern gentleman." Sherman is survived by a son, daughter, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.