Katherine Stenholm, American film director, Died at 98

  Dead Famous

Katherine Corne Stenholm was born on June 19, 1917, and died on November 3, 2015.

He was an American film director and the founding director of Unusual Films, the production company of Bob Jones University.

Katherine was born and reared in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

As a high school student during the Depression, she supplemented her family’s income by writing movie reviews for a local newspaper.

Rejecting a college scholarship to Wellesley, Katherine attended the fledgling Bob Jones College in Cleveland, Tennessee, after an evangelist convinced her that a Christian young person should attend a Christian college.

At BJC, she majored in speech and became a private student of Bob Jones, Jr., eventually helping him direct Shakespearean plays.

After earning her undergraduate degree, she served on the BJC speech faculty while attending graduate school at Northwestern University for twelve summers.

During this period Katherine married Gilbert R. Stenholm (1915 to 1989), who became an influential administrator at the institution; they had one son.

In 1950, after the college moved to Greenville and became Bob Jones University, Bob Jones, Sr. and Jr. asked Stenholm to head a newly conceived campus film production company, Unusual Films.

Katherine then attended summer film school at the University of Southern California, making important professional contacts.

Katherine was a quick learner and soon “became one of only a handful of women in the United States to direct feature films.”

Through her career, she produced seventy-two films of various types including sermon films, religious documentaries, promotional films, and multi-image presentations.

Katherine directed five feature-length religious films, all costume dramas: Wine of Morning, Red Runs the River, Flame in the Wind, Sheffey, and Beyond the Night.

The National Evangelical Film Foundation named Stenholm Director of the Year in 1953, 1955, and 1963; and her favourite film, Sheffey, received a Silver Medallion award from the International Film and Television Festival of New York.

Katherine passed away at age 98 in November 2015.