Thursday, June 12, 2008

January 2001 Film World Obituaries


French actress Madeline Barbulee died at age 90. Ms. Barbulee appeared in over 100 films and TV shows during her 50+ year career. Ms. Barbulee also wrote children’s books and painted. Her film credits include "The Seven Deadly Sins," "Beauties of the Night," "The Aristocrats," "Marie-Antoinette," the Anthony Quinn version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Les Miserables," "David Copperfield" and "The Miser."

RAY WALSTON Died Jan. 1, 2001

Emmy-Award winning actor Ray Walston died of Lupus at age 86. Mr. Walston had successful careers on stage, screen and TV. He was best known for the TV series "My Favorite Martian." Walston won two Emmy awards for his work on the quirky TV series "Picket Fences." Walston was adept at both comedy and drama. He won a new generation of fans for his portrayal of the "Hawaii 5-0" obsessed teacher Mr. Hand in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Among Mr. Walston’s numerous credits are "South Pacific," "Damn Yankees!," "Tall Story," Billy Wilder’s "The Apartment," "Paint Your Wagon," "The Sting," "Silver Streak," "Popeye," "Galaxy of Terror," "Johnny Dangerously," "Of Mice and Men" and the excellent TV mini-series version of Stephen King’s book "The Stand." Aloha Mr. Hand!

ALISON DE VERE Died Jan. 2, 2001

Director/animator Alison De Vere died at age 73. Ms. De Vere was a design director on The Beatle’s "Yellow Submarine." She made an animated cameo during the "Eleanor Rigby" scene. Ms. De Vere was nominated for a Best Short Film BAFTA for her 1979 film "Mr. Pascal." The movie won the Gran Prix at the Annecy Festival. Ms. De Vere also directed "The Black Dog," "Two Faces," "CafĂ© Bar" and "Psyche and Eros."

TERI DIVER Died Jan. 2, 2001

Porn star Teri Diver died of an accidental prescription drug overdose. She was 29 years old. Ms. Diver appeared in over 100 adult films. She also directed 20 adult films. Ms. Diver was married to adult film director Ren Savant. Ms. Diver suffered from long term migraine headaches. She took too much of her painkiller and died.

MARTY GLICKMAN Died Jan. 3, 2001

Hall of Fame sportscaster Marty Glickman died after suffering complications during open heart surgery. Mr. Glickman was 83 years old. Mr. Glickman was part of the 1936 US Olympic track team. The Jewish athlete was prevented from competing when Avery Brundage caved into Nazi pressure to remove Glickman and fellow Jewish teammate Sam Stoller were replaced with Jessie Owens and Ralph Metcalfe. Brundage was rewarded for his cooperation. His construction company was allowed to build the new German embassy in Washington D.C. Mr. Glickman was the announcer for a number of New York sports teams including the Nets and the Giants. Mr. Glickman appeared in the films "Go, Man Go!," "84 Charing Cross Road" and "A Lovely Way to Die."

GEORGE H. BROWN Died Jan. 3, 2001

Producer/writer George H. Brown died at age 87. Mr. Brown produced over 30 films during his career. He was best known for casting British actress Margaret Rutherford in the part of Agatha Christie’s detective Miss Marple. Ms. Rutherford became identified with the role. Brown produced two of the four Miss Marple films: "Murder She Said" and "Murder at the Gallop." Mr. Brown produced the excellent war film "The Guns at Batasi." Mr. Brown also wrote and produced the comedy "Hotel Sahara."

LES BROWN Died Jan. 4, 2001

Bandleader Les Brown died of lung cancer at age 88. Mr. Brown led the Big Band Les Brown and His Band of Renown. Mr. Brown’s song "Sentimental Journey" has appeared on the soundtrack for a number of movies including "Sentimental Journey," "Four Rooms," "Joys," "Maria’s Lovers" and "Women of Valor."

NANCY PARSONS Died Jan. 5, 2001

Actress Nancy Parsons died of diabetes at age 58. Ms. Parsons was best known as the evil gym teacher Beulah Balbricker in "Porky’s." Ms. Parsons appeared in nearly 50 films and TV shows. In addition to the three "Porky’s" movies, Ms. Parson’s credits include "Where the Buffalo Roam," "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden," "Motel Hell," "Pennies From Heaven," "Honkey Tonk Freeway," "Steel Magnolias," "The Lady in Red," "L.A. Law," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Charlie’s Angels" and "Ladybugs."

SCOTT MARLOWE Died Jan. 6, 2001

Actor Scott Marlowe died of a heart attack at age 69. Mr. Marlowe appeared in over 100 films and TV shows during his lengthy career. Mr. Marlowe played the second Eric Brady on the soap opera "Days of Our Lives." He was a familiar face on episodic TV during the 1960s and 70s. His TV credits include "Gunsmoke," "The Time Tunnel," "Fame," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "The Wild, Wild West," "The FBI," "Bonanza" and "The Outer Limits." Mr. Marlowe’s film credits include "Attila," "Young and Wild," "Circle of Power," "Lightning in a Bottle" and "Crash Dive 2."

DONALD BRODIE Died Jan. 8, 2001

Actor Don Brodie died at age 101! He appeared in over 200 films during his career. Mr. Brodie had a small part in one of my favorite films: Robert Aldrich’s wrestling comedy "All the Marbles." Mr. Brodie appeared in a number of classic films. He was in the Laurel and Hardy gem "Sons of the Desert." He appeared with Shirley Temple in "Little Miss Marker." He played a reporter in the crime drama "Manhattan Melodrama." That movie was famous as the movie John Dillinger saw at the Biograph Theater the night he was killed by Melvin Purvis and the FBI. Mr. Brodie appeared in the movie serial "Flash Gordon." Mr. Brodie lent his vocal talents to Walt Disney for the classic "Pinocchio." He also appeared in the boxing classic "Golden Boy." "Golden Boy" was William Holden’s debut film. He also appeared in Charlie Chaplin’s Nazi spoof "The Great Dictator." Other credits include "The Pride of the Yankees," the film noir classic "Detour," "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House," "Donovan’s Brain," "Fear Strikes Out," "Bell, Book and Candle," "Little Big Man," "The Last Tycoon" and "Heart Beat."

WANDA JEAN ALLEN Died Jan. 11, 2001

Murderer Wanda Jean Allen was executed by the state of Oklahoma for the killing of her lover Gloria Jean Leathers. Ms. Allen was a retarded, Black lesbian. Needless to say, there were many groups fighting against her execution. Ms. Allen was the subject of the HBO documentary "The Execution of Wanda Jean."

MICHAEL WILLIAMS Died Jan. 11, 2001

Actor Michael Williams died of lung cancer at age 65. Mr. Williams was the husband of actress Judi Dench. Mr. Williams co-starred with his wife in the TV series "A Fine Romance" and the feature films "September Song" and "Tea With Mussolini." Mr. Williams credits include the disturbing "Marat/Sade," "Enigma," Henry V" and "Educating Rita."

JAMES HILL Died Jan. 11, 2001

Writer/producer James Hill died of Alzheimer’s Disease at age 84. Mr. Hill was partners with actor Burt Lancaster and agent Harold Hecht in the production company Hecht-Hill-Lancaster. The company produced a string of hit films including the classics "Sweet Smell of Success," "Run Silent, Run Deep" and "Separate Tables." Mr. Hill was married to actress Rita Hayworth from 1958 through 1961.

ADEMAR DA SILVA Died Jan. 12, 2001

Two time Olympic Gold Medallist Ademar Da Silva died at age 73. Mr. Da Silva won Gold Medals in the triple jump during the 1952 and 1956 Olympics. Mr. Da Silva only made two films. He was best known for his role as the angel of death in Marcel Camus classic "Black Orpheus." Mr. Da Silva also appeared in the 1971 film "The Sandpit Generals" which was based on a famous Brazilian novel.

STAN FREEMAN Died Jan. 13, 2001

Emmy-winning composer Stan Freeman died of emphysema at age 80. Mr. Freeman shared an Emmy award with Artie Malvin for their musical contribution to "The Carol Burnett Show" in 1967. Mr. Freeman composed the music for a number of Broadway plays. He also composed many popular songs including "Guy With the Voodoo" and "The Fickle Finger of Fate." Mr. Freeman’s film and TV credits include appearing as himself and as composer. His credits include "Three’s Company," "Sweet November," "Manhattan Memories," "That Was the Week That Was" and "Marlene Dietrich: Shadow and Light."

ARMANDO DE OSSORIO Died Jan. 13, 2001

Spanish horror film writer/director Armando De Ossorio died at age 86. Mr. De Ossorio was best known for his "Blind Dead" series of films. The movie series dealt with vampiric zombies Templar Knight’s rising from the grave seeking the blood of the living. In addition to the four films in the "Blind Dead" series, Mr. De Ossorio wrote and or directed the following: "The Sea Serpent," "When the Screaming Stops," "Demon Witch Child," "Night of the Sorcerers" and "Fangs of the Living Dead." Mr. De Ossorio is also credited with providing the special effects for "Medusa Against the Sons of Hercules."

LAURE LOURIE Died Jan. 13, 2001

Technical advisor and costume designer Laure Lourie died of cancer at age 89. Ms. Lourie was born in France but moved to the US to be near her daughter. She was married to American painter John Ferren of Portland. She later married production designer Eugene Lourie. Ms. Lourie was a technical advisor on the original version of "Around the World in 80 Days," "The Song of Bernadette," Billy Wilder’s "Irma la Douce" and "Cyrano de Bergerac." Ms. Lourie was the costume designer for a number of films including "Krakatoa, East of Java," "Custer of the West," "The Battle of the Bulge" and "Crack in the World."

ANTHONY MORTON Died Jan. 15, 2001

British actor Anthony Morton died after a lengthy illness at age 73. Mr. Morton’s credits include "Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense," "Performance," "Oh! What a Lovely War," "Dempsey & Makepeace," "The Ripper," "Village of Daughters," "The Saint" and "Queen Kong."

TED MANN Died Jan. 16, 2001

Producer/theater owner Ted Mann died of complications from a stroke at age 84. Mr. Mann bought Sid Grauman’s Chinese Theater in 1973. The theater is a Hollywood landmark due in large part to the courtyard full of the footprints and handprints preserved in concrete of many stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood. I made my first trip to the theater back in 1979. The name had been changed from Grauman’s Chinese Theater to Mann’s Chinese Theater. Time has tempered the controversy caused by the name change. These days, it seems that only old farts like myself even know the theater once was called something else. It will always be Grauman’s to me. Oh well. Tedd Mann produced a number of low budget, but successful films in the 60s and 70s. He produced "Lifeguard" with Sam Elliot, "The Illustrated Man" with Rod Steiger, "Buster and Billie," the "Get Smart" feature film "The Nude Bomb," Robert Redford’s excellent prison film "Brubaker" and "Krull." Mr. Mann is survived by his wife, actress Rhonda Fleming.

RICHARD WOODS Died Jan. 16, 2001

Actor Richard Woods died of cancer at age 77. Mr. Woods had a long career on stage appearing in a number of Broadway productions as well as off-Broadway and regional stage productions. His film and TV credits include "Dark Shadows," "Fresh Horses," "Miller’s Crossing," "The Hudsucker Proxy," "Mr. North" and "In & Out." During the 1980s, Mr. Woods made a number of Made for TV films. He played Dr. Watson in the 1981 TV movie "Sherlock Holmes."

VIRGINIA O’BRIEN Died Jan. 16, 2001

Singer/comedian Virginia O’Brien died of natural causes at age 81. Ms. O’Brien was a contract player with MGM during the 1940s. She appeared in four films with longtime friend Lucille Ball: "DuBarry was a Lady," "Thousands Cheer," "Meet the People" and "Ziegfield Follies." Among Ms. O’Brien’s other credits were the Marx Brothers’ comedy "The Big Store," "Sky Murder," "Lady Be Good," "Ship Ahoy," "The Harvey Girls," "Till the Clouds Roll By," "Francis in the Navy" and "Gus."

EMMA KELLY Died Jan.17, 2001

Singer Emma Kelly died at age 82. Singer Johnny Mercer dubbed Ms. Kelly the "Lady of 6000 Songs" because she reportedly had that many songs in her memory. Ms. Kelly gained world wide fame with the publication of the true-life crime book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." Director Clint Eastwood cast her as herself in his 1997 film version of the book. Ms. Kelly also appeared in the documentary "Midnight in Savannah" and the film "Hedd Wyn."

GREGORY CORSO Died Jan. 17, 2001

Beat poet Gregory Corso died of prostrate cancer at age 70. Corso was a contemporary of Jack Kerouac and Allan Ginsberg. He appeared as a character in their works. Mr. Corso appeared in several documentaries about the Beat Generation. Francis Ford Coppola cast him in a bit part in "The Godfather Part III." Other film credits include "The Beat Generation: An American Dream," "Me and My Brother" and "Couch."

AL WAXMAN Died Jan. 18, 2001

Canadian actor/director Al Waxman died during heart surgery at age 65. Mr. Waxman was a familiar face in numerous films from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. He was called "The King" in his native Canada. Mr. Waxman was best know for his roles on the TV series "Cagney and Lacey" and "The King of Kensington." Mr. Waxman’s numerous screen and TV credits include "The War Lover," "The Victors," he was the bemused crug dealer in "Atlantic City," "Heavy Metal," "Spasms," "Millennium," "Meatballs III" and "Gotti."

PAUL WAIGNER Died Jan. 19, 2001

Emmy-winning producer Paul Waigner died of cancer at age 56. Mr. Wagner won an Emmy for the series of "Bicentennial Minutes" which were aired on CBS in 1976. Mr. Waigner was a stage manager on Broadway. His TV credits include being one of the original producers of the hit TV series "Beverly Hills 90210." Other credits include "The Scarecrow and Mrs. King" and "Hunter."

JOSEPH O’CONOR Died Jan. 21, 2001

Actor/writer Joseph O’Conor died at age 84. Mr. O’Conor appeared in over 50 films and TV shows during his lengthy career. He also has a successful stage career. Mr. O’Conor also wrote several novels, plays and children’s books. Among Mr. O’Conor’s many credits are "Gorgo," the TV version of "1984," the TV series "The Forsythe Saga," "Oliver!," "Anne of a Thousand Days," "Doomwatch," as the narrator of "The Dark Crystal," "Tom & Viv" and Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc."

BYRON DE LA BECKWITH Died Jan. 21, 2001

Byron De La Beckwith, the assassin of Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers died of heart failure in prison at age 79. On June 12, 1963, De La Beckwith shot and killed Medgar Evers as he returned to his home in Jackson Mississippi. He was tried and acquitted in of the killing in 1964. He was convicted of violating Mr. Evers civil rights in 1994. Actor James Woods delivered a chilling performance in his portrayal of the racist killer in the film "Ghosts of Mississippi." Mr. De La Beckwith appeared as himself in the documentary "Southern Justice: The Murder of Medgar Evers."

SANDY BARON Died Jan. 21, 2001

I remember growing up watching "The Della Reese Show" with my mom. Ms. Reese’s TV sidekick was comedian Sandy Baron. Comedian/singer Sandy Baron died of emphysema at age 63. Mr. Baron appeared in a number of films and TV shows. He was best known for his night club act. Mr. Baron’s film credits include Peter Bogdanovich’s chilling "Targets," the hilarious "It It's Tuesday This Must Be Belgium," the original version of Neil Simon’s "The Out of Towners," "The Police Story," "Straight Time" with Dustin Hoffman, "Birdy," "Sid and Nancy" and "The Grifters."

PHILLIP TRENT Died Jan 24, 2001

Actor Phillip Trent died at age 93. Mr. Trent appeared in a number of films during the 1930s and 40s. He was best known for playing reporter Jasper Jenks in the 1940 movie serial "The Green Hornet." Mr. Trent played Spencer Tracy’s son in "The Power and the Glory." He two parts in "Gone With the Wind." Mr. Trent co-starred with W.C. Fields in "Tillie and Gus." Mr. Trent was often credited in film as Clifford Jones. He retired from the movies in 1942.

GUY TREJAN Died Jan 25, 2001

French actor Guy Trejan died of natural causes at age 79. Mr. Trejan appeared in over 50 films and TV shows during his career. Among his many credits are "Marie Antoinette," "The Gangsters," "Night Flight From Moscow," the very bizarre "The Beast" and the biopic "Piaf."

THOR PUTNAM Died Jan. 26, 2001

Disney artist Thor Putnam died at age 89. Mr. Putnam was one of Disney’s stable of background artists. His work was seen in such animated classics as "Fantasia," "Pinocchio," "Alice in Wonderland," "Peter Pan" and "Lady and the Tramp." Mr. Putnam served in the US Navy during WWII. He made 37 Navy training films during this time. He studied art at Chouinard Art Institute before joining Disney.

SALLY MANSFIELD Died Jan. 28, 2001

Actress Sally Mansfield died of lung cancer at age 87. Though Ms. Mansfield appeared in a number of feature films and was a regular on the TV series "Bachelor Father," she was best know for her role as Vena Ray in the TV series "Rocky Jones, Space Ranger." The sexy actress played Rocky’s navigator aboard his space ship. The 1950s TV show ran from 1954 through 1956. Ms. Mansfield appeared with Jerry Lewis in "The Errand Boy." She also had bit parts in "Phffft!," "The Leather Saint" and "Forever Female."

NIVEN BOYD Died Jan. 28, 2001

British actor Niven Boyd died of a heart attack at age 46. Mr. Boyd was undergoing treatment in his battle with cancer. He appeared in such films as "Out of Africa," "Sid and Nancy," "Cry Freedom," "Chicago Joe and the Showgirl," "Mary, Mother of Jesus" and the TV mini series "Shaka Zulu: The Citadel." He was a regular on the long running BBC TV series "Coronation Street" during the 1997-98 seasons.

ALLEN S. EPSTEIN Died Jan. 30, 2001

Emmy nominated producer Alan S. Epstein died at age 59. Mr. Epstein was nominated for an Emmy for the 1981 TV movie "Fallen Angel." He also produced the great mini series "Stephen King’s IT." Other credits include "Dying Room Only," "To Find My Son," "Shattered Innocents," "A Mother’s Justice," "A Killer Among Friends" and "Seduction in a Small Town."

JOHN PREBBLE Died Jan. 30, 2001

Writer John Prebble died at age 85. Though Mr. Prebble wrote a couple of my favorite films, he was best known for his many historical volumes on the history of Scotland. Mr. Prebble wrote the script for Ray Harryhausen’s classic "Mysterious Island." The Harryhausen film was directed by famed British director Cy Enfield. Cy Enfield also directed another of my favorites, also written by Mr. Prebble: "Zulu." Mr. Prebble also wrote several TV mini series and movies.

JEAN-PIERRE AUMONT Died Jan. 31, 2001

Jean-Pierre Aumont one of the greatest French film actors in history died of a heart attack at age 90. Mr. Aumont appeared in over 150 films and TV shows during his 70+ year career. In 1991 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the French Cesar Awards. Mr. Aumont was a familiar face to international movie fans. He appeared in European as well as American films. Among his many credits are "Jean de la Lune," "Taras Bulba," "The Messenger," "S.O.S. Sahara," "The Cross of Lorraine," "Lili," "Napoleon," "The Devil at 4 O’Clock," "Castle Keep," "Cauldron of Blood," "Day for Night," "The Happy Hooker," "Mahogany," "Blackout," "House of the Damned," "Nana" and "Jefferson in Paris." Mr. Aumont served his country in WWII before Hitler swept through France. He was decorated twice for his service. He is the brother of director Francois Villiers and the father of actress Tina Aumont. Mr. Aumont was married to actresses Maria Montez, Blanch Montel and Marisa Pavan.

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