Mary and Sam spent almost all of 1958 in Italy where Sam was producing the film Ben Hur. At the end of the filming, Sam asked Mary to return to Malibu to start the rebuilding of their home, while he stayed on briefly in Italy to do some of the final film editing, especially the final chariot racing scene. Mary never saw him again. At the end of the editing, Sam had a massive heart attack, and died. Mary accepted the best picture academy award for Sam for Ben Hur in 1960.