ROBERT COBO Died Aug. 2, 2002
Mr. Cobo was a renowned Mexican actor. Mr. Cobo achieved world notice in Luis Bunuel's classic 1950 film "Los Olivados" (The Young and the Damned). The film dealt with impoverished street kids. Mr. Cobo received an Ariel (the Mexican Oscar) for his work in Bunuel's film. Cobo won a second Ariel portraying a transvestite father in the 1978 film "El Lugar Sin Limites" (A Place Without Limits). Mr. Cobo appeared in over 60 films during his 50+ year career. Mr. Cobo was nominated for two other Ariel's during his lifetime. The 72 year old actor died after a long battle with cancer.
DANNY SUE NOLAN Died Aug. 3, 2002
Ms. Nolan appeared in several b-movies and a Three Stooges short in the early
1950s. She died of a stroke.
PETER MILES Died Aug. 3, 2002
Mr. Miles was a child actor born in 1938. His first credit came in 1939! He appeared in over 20 films before retiring at age 16! He was Peter Cratchet in the 1954 TV version of "A Christmas Carol." Mr. Miles died of cancer.
CHICK HEARN Died Aug. 5, 2002
Chick Hearn had one of the most distinctive deliveries in broadcasting. The long-time sports announcer was known for his rapid-fire play-by-play as the voice of the Los Angeles Lakers for over 40 years. Mr. Hearn appeared in over 20 films during his career, appearing either as sports announcers or himself. Hearn's credits include "Fletch," James Caan's "The Gambler," "Busting," Robert Aldrich's great comedy "All the Marbles,' "White Men Can't Jump" and "Love and Basketball." The 85 year-old broadcaster died after falling down and striking his head at his home.
MATTHEW ROBINSON JR. Died Aug. 5, 2002
Writer/producer/actor died after a 20 battle with Parkinson's disease. Mr. Robinson played the first "Gordon" on "Sesame Street" from 1969 to 71. His writing credits include the 1972 Shirley MacLaine horror film "The Possession of Joel Delaney," "Save the Children" and "Amazing Grace." His TV writing credits include "The Cosby Show," "Eight is Enough" and "Sanford and Son."
JOSHUA RYAN EVANS Died Aug. 6, 2002
20 year old actor Joshua Ryan Evans died during an undisclosed medical procedure. The 3 foot 2 actor appeared on such TV series as "Alley McBeal," "Poltergeist: The Legacy" and "7th Heaven." He portrayed the Grinch as a child in the Jim Carrey film "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." His latest role was in the soap opera "Passions" where, ironically, his character was recently killed off.
KATHERINE SCHOFIELD Died Aug. 6, 2002
British actress Katherine Schofield died of cancer. Ms. Schofield’s credits include Tobe Hooper’s gonzo, Sci-Fi/horror film "Lifeforce," "The Greek Tycoon" with Anthony Quinn and "Nicholas and Alexandra."
BRUCE JOHNSTON SR. Died Aug. 7, 2002
Christopher Walken's performance in the film "At Close Range" was one of the most chilling and cold-blooded of his career. He portrayed a character based on Bruce Johnston Sr.. Mr. Johnston murdered several members of his gang and his own son's girlfriend. He died of natural causes in prison.
DONNA HALL FISHBURN Died Aug. 7, 2002
Ms. Fishburn was one of the great female stunt doubles. A respected horsewoman, Ms. Fishburn doubled for many of the great actresses of Hollywood's golden era. Her credits include "How the West Was Won," "Calamity Jane," "The Maverick Queen" and "Cat Ballou." Ms. Fishburn died of lung disease at age 74.
PETER MATZ Died Aug. 9, 2002
Mr. Matz was an Oscar-nominated composer. Matz won both Emmy and Grammy awards for his music. His credits include "Marlowe" with Bruce Lee, the Oscar nominated "Funny Lady," Paul Bartel's "Lust in the Dust" and the great made-for-TV, true-crime movie "The Killing of Randy Webster. Mr. Matz had nearly 50 credits. He was active in raising money for AIDS research. Mr. Matz was 72 when he died of lung cancer.
ROBERTO GUZMAN Died Aug. 9, 2002
Mr. Guzman was one of the most popular actors in Mexico. He appeared in nearly 70 feature films and TV series. Known as "Flaco" (Skinny), the 65-year-old actor died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Mexico City.
MIRA COHADADIC Died Aug. 9, 2002
Ms. Cohadadic was a Serbian costume designer with over 80 credits during her 40 year career.
DON CHASTAIN Died Aug. 9, 2002
Mr. Chastain was an actor who appeared numerous TV shows, but he was best
known for soap operas. His credits include "As the World Turns," "One Life to Live," "Another World," " Search for Tomorrow" and "General Hospital." Mr. Chastain appeared in "The Black Godfather" and the terrible Joe Namath/Ann-Margret biker flick "C.C. and Company." Mr. Chastain also wrote an over-looked, but worthwhile horror film called "The Mafu Cage."
MICHAEL HOUSER Died Aug. 10. 2002
Michael Houser was the lead singer and guitar player for the popular jam band "Widespread Panic." Mr. Houser died at age 40 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. The concert documentary "The Earth Will Swallow You" followed the band on tour. "Widespread Panic" had a following not unlike "The Grateful Dead." According to the band's website: Memorials may be sent to: The Michael Houser Music Fund; Athens Academy; PO Box 6548; Athens, GA 30604. Mr. Houser was very involved in the Athens Academy in an attempt to provide children with an appreciation of the richness that music has to offer.
DORIS WISHMAN Died Aug. 10, 2002
Doris Wishman was one of the few female directors working in exploitation films during the 1960s. Her films such as "Nude on the Moon" and "Bad Girls Go To Hell" featured lots of topless women but no real sex. Like most of the classic exploitation films, the films delivered less than they promised. The advent of hardcore pornography in the early 70s sounded the death knell for Wishman's type of exploitation films. Ms. Wishman and Russ Meyer were two of the masters of the genre to continue making these types of movies. Ms. Wishman had some success in the 70s with a couple of films starring the aptly named Chesty Morgan. Ms. Wishman later tried her hand at splatter films. "A Night to Dismember" is her best known film in that genre. She was actively working right up to her death. She recently completed her final film "Each Time I Kill." The 77 or 82 or 90 year old director died of cancer. There is some dispute about her age.
COLIN EGGLESTON Died Aug. 10, 2002
41-year-old Australian director Colin Eggleston died is Switzerland. Mr. Eggleston directed several B-movies in the 70s and 80s. His best film "The Long Weekend" was his first. Catch it if you can. Other credits include "Innocent Prey," the horrendous "Sky Pirates" and "Outback Vampires."
NORMAN JOLLEY Died Aug. 13, 2002
Writer/producer/actor Norman Jolley died of a heart attack while undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer. Mr. Jolley was 86 years old. Jolley began his career as an actor in B-Westerns. He became the head writer for the early sci-fi TV series "Space Patrol." He produced the Raymond Burr police show "Ironsides." Mr. Jolley's feature film credits include the 1957 sci-fi film "The Monolith Monsters" about giant crystal creatures from space which attack a southwestern town.
ALEXANDER KLEIN Died Aug. 13, 2002
Alexander Klein's spy novel "The Counterfeit Traitor" was made into a 1962 film with William Holden. Mr. Klein also wrote the screenplay for the 1976 Israeli film "Ha-Banana Hashehora" (The Black Banana). Mr. Klein taught writing at Fordham University. He was 83.
PETER HUNT Died Aug. 14, 2002
British film editor and director Peter Hunt cut the first five James Bond
films and directed another. In addition to "Dr. No," "Thunderball," "You Only Live Twice," "From Russia With Love," and "Goldfinger," Mr. Hunt edited "Sink the Bismark" and Michael Caine's Harry Palmer spy film "The Ipcress File." Mr. Hunt also edited the great British war film "A Hill in Korea." Mr. Hunt directed what may be the best Bond film of the series: "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." Mr. Hunt directed several other action films such as "Gold" and "The Wild Geese II."
DAVE WILLIAMS Died Aug. 14, 2002
The lead singer and guitar player for the band "Drowning Pool" was found dead on the band's tour bus at the Oz Fest in Virginia. Toxicology reports are still pending. Williams composed the songs "Sinner" and Bodies" which were used as theme songs for the 1997 TV wrestling series "Raw is War." "Drowning Pool" took their name from the book and Paul Newman film of the same name. Stay off the drugs folks!
LARRY RIVERS Aug. 15, 2002
Larry Rivers was a jack of all arts. A Pop artist associated with Andy Warhol, a sculptor, a cartoonist, and an abstract artist. Mr. Rivers was also a filmmaker and actor. He starred with Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and other important figures from the Beat Generation in the revolutionary 1959 film "Pull My Daisy" which was based on a work by Jack Kerouac. He appeared as himself in the documentary about Warhol hanger-on Brigid Berlin: "Pie in the Sky: The Brigid Berlin Story." Those interested in learning more about Mr. River's life might want to check out the documentary "Larry Rivers: Public and Private." Mr. Rivers died of Liver Cancer at age 78. Those interested in seeing Mr. River's artwork should do a "Google" image search. I've always loved River's "Last Civil War Veteran."
JEFF COREY Died Aug. 16, 2002
We've lost one of the greatest assets Hollywood ever had. The name might not ring a bell, but you will recognize Jeff Corey's face from his 120+ film roles during a career that spanned 60 years. Jeff Corey not only contributed to the world of film through his own performances. Jeff Corey was a teacher. One of the most respected and sought after acting teachers in the world. A short list of his students includes James Dean, Jane and Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson, Roger Corman, Tony Perkins, Robin Williams and many, many others. It is amazing how a teacher may reach others through their work!
One of my favorite scenes in George Roy Hill's classic "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" involves Jeff Corey with the film's two stars. Butch and Sundance are on the run. They stop at the home of an old outlaw friend turned sheriff played by Mr. Corey. They ask him to use his influence to get them amnesty by enlisting in the army. Corey's one scene is amazing. He knows his former friends are doomed by their chosen profession. He wants to encourage them, but he knows he would just be blowing smoke by lying to the bandits. Next time you get the chance pay attention to this special scene.
Jeff Corey started in Hollywood in the late 30s. He served in WWII, and was a respected combat photographer. Corey was to fall victim to Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. When subpoenaed to the House Un-American Activities Committee, Corey refused to name names. He had given up his youthful flirtation with communism years before, but he didn't feel like ruining other people's lives so he could continue to work. He didn't work again for 10 years. Jeff Corey was a man of principle who was not afraid to pay the consequences of his convictions. His black-listing was ironic as he saw through the failure of communism and refused to defend its philosophies. He also believed American's had the right to think for themselves and refused to name names.
Corey's film appearances include "The Devil and Daniel Webster," "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman," "My Friend Flicka," "The Killers," "Miracle on 34th Street," "The Next Voice You Hear," "Fourteen Hours," "The Cincinnati Kid," "In Cold Blood," "The Boston Strangler," "Seconds," "True Grit," "Beneath the Planet of the Apes," "Little Big Man," "Oh God!," "The Wild Geese," "Battle Beyond the Stars," "Bird on a Wire" and "Color of Night."
Corey also directed on TV. He directed episodes of "Night Gallery," "Alias Smith and Jones" and "Hawkins" among others. He also acted in TV from the early 50s until 2000. Mr. Corey died at age 88 from complications from a fall he suffered at home last week.
JOHN PEYSER Died Aug. 16, 2002
86-year-old director John Peyser died in his sleep. Mr. Peyser directed numerous TV shows during the 1950s through the 70s. He also directed several exploitation films such as "Centerfold Girls." His TV credits include "Hawaii 5-O," "Switch," "Quincy" and "CHiPs."
DEAN REISNER Died Aug. 18, 2002
"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots, or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I kind of lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful hand gun in the world...and would blow you're head clean off, you've got to ask yourself just one question: 'Do I feel lucky?'...Well, do ya, punk?" Dean Riesner, the writer of some of the all-time great tough-guy movies has died at age 83.
Dean Riesner was the son of Charles Riesner, a silent film director. As a child, Dean Riesner appeared in several silent movies including Charlie Chaplin's "The Pilgrim." Riesner appeared in several films from the 1920 through the 1980s. However, Riesner was best known as a screenwriter.
Riesner wrote movies for GUYS. Riesner served in the Coast Guard in the Pacific during WWII. A man's man, Riesner wrote or co-wrote several scripts for Clint Eastwood movies. Riesner collaborated with Harry and Rita Fink and John Milius to write "Dirty Harry." Riesner also wrote the third 'Dirty Harry' film "The Enforcer." Other Eastwood scripts include "Play Misty for Me," "Coogan's Bluff" and "High Plains Drifter." Riesner also wrote the script for "Charley Varrick." "Charlie Varrick" was a tough crime drama directed by Don Siegal, the director of "Dirty Harry."
Mr. Riesner wrote for several TV series during the 1950s and 60s, including "The Outer Limits," "Ben Casey" and "Rawhide."
During the 1980s Riesner worked uncredited as a script doctor on several hit films including the American version of "Das Boot," "Blue Thunder" and "Starman."
Riesner was nominated for an Emmy in 1971 for the all-star, political thriller "Vanished." Both "Vanished" and "Dirty Harry" garnered 'Edgar Allan Poe' nominations for best screenplays in 1971. Riesner received a second Emmy nomination for the 1976 mini series "Rich Man, Poor Man.
SWAMI SATCHIDANANDA Died Aug. 19, 2002
Swami Satchidananda was the yoga guru who gave the blessing to open the Woodstock festival in 1969. In addition to his appearance in the documentary "Woodstock," Swami Satchidananda appeared in Conrad Rooks 1966 autobiographical film "Chappaqua." Swami Satchidananda was best known as a spiritual leader. He founded the town of Yogaville in Virginia. Swami Satchidananda died at age 88 while attending a peace conference in India.
ED GELDART Died Aug. 21, 2002
Character Ed Geldart died at age 77. He played John Travolta's father in "Urban Cowboy." Mr. Geldart's credits include "Rushmore" "Futureworld" "A Perfect World" "Leap of Faith" "Robocop 2" and "Mississippi Burning." Mr. Geldart also appeared on the TV series "Walker: Texas Ranger."
ROBERT VAN SCOYCK Died Aug. 23, 2002
TV writer and producer Robert Scoyock died of diabetes at age 74. Mr. Scoyock specialized in the mystery genre. He won an "Edgar Allan Poe" award for one of his "Columbo" scripts. Mr. Scoyock wrote for "Columbo" "Magnum P.I." and "Banacek." His producer credits include "Murder She Wrote" and "The Virginian."
DENNIS FIMPLE Died Aug. 23, 2002
Veteran character actor Dennis Fimple died at age 61. Mr. Fimple acted as a regular on TV shows such as "Petticoat Junction" and "Alias Smith and Jones." His film credits include "Stay Hungry," "Goin’ South" and "Maverick."
TED ASHLEY Died Aug. 24, 2002
Ted Ashley was the chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers Studio from 1969 through 1980. During his tenure, Mr. Ashley turned the studio into one of the most successful motion picture companies of the time. The former talent agent oversaw the rebirth of Warner Brothers. He was responsible for green-lighting some of the greatest films of the 70s. Mr. Ashley died of acute leukemia at age 80.
WILLIAM WARFIELD Died Aug. 25, 2002
Mr. Warfield is best known to film fans for his rendition of "Old Man River" in the 1951 film "Showboat." That scene was also used in the 1974 anthology "That's Entertainment." Mr. Warfield also appeared in "The Green Pastures." Mr. Warfield was a Professor of Voice at Northwestern. Mr. Warfield served with U.S. Army Intelligence for four years during WWII. Mr. Warfield was best known as a stage actor. His most famous role was in Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess."
STANLEY GREENBERG Died Aug. 25, 2002
Stanley Greenberg was an Emmy-nominated screenwriter whose work was marked by serious intelligence. Mr. Greenberg wrote the screenplays for two Charlton Heston films in the early 1970s. "Skyjacked" was a fair action thriller about the hijacking of a commercial airliner. Mr. Greenberg's best feature film script was the 1973 Sci-Fi film "Soylent Green." "Soylent Green" was made memorable by the final performance of screen legend Edward G. Robinson. Mr. Greenburg won the Nebula award given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America for his adaptation of Harry Harrison novel.
The medium in which Mr. Greenberg really shined was TV. He wrote the scripts for some of the most powerful Made for TV films of the 70s. "The Missiles of October" was a taut thriller about the Cuban missile crisis. The film made a star out of William Devane as JFK. Mr. Greenberg was nominated for an Emmy for that script "The Silence" told the true story of a West Point cadet forced to endure internal exile for an honor code violation he didn't commit. Richard Thomas delivered a great performance. Mr. Greenberg's other great script was "Pueblo." That script dealt with the capture and imprisonment of a Navy spy ship by North Korea in 1968. Hal Holbrook won an Emmy for his performance as Commander Lloyd Bucher. Mr. Greenberg died of brain cancer at age 74.
YANNIS GIONAKIS Died Aug. 25, 2002
Mr. Gionakis was a popular Greek comic actor. During the 1960s, Mr. Gionakis gained fame playing simple-minded characters. Mr. Gionakis appeared in over 90 films.
LUIS DE LIMA Died Aug. 27, 2002
Portugese actor Luis De Lima appeared in several films and TV series. He appeared as Bernardo in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s classic action film "The Wages of Fear." Mr. De Lima died of a pulmonary infection.
JANE TILDEN Died Aug. 27, 2002
Ms. Tilden was an Austrian actress who appeared in nearly 70 films during her 60-year career.
PAUL TRIPP Died Aug. 29, 2002
Paul Tripp was an actor director and musician. His greatest claim to fame were three TV shows in the 1940s and 50s, which used music to teach children. "Mr. I, Magination," "On the Carousel" and later, "Birthday House" were all highly regarded educational shows for children. In the 1980s Mr. Tripp wrote and produced "Tubby the Tuba" for HBO.
J. LEE THOMPSON Died Aug. 30, 2002
British action director J. Lee Thompson died at age 88 of congestive heart failure. Mr. Thompson directed nearly 50 films during his 40-year career. Mr. Thompson was known mainly for his action films. He directed nine of Charles Bronson's lesser films including "Death Wish IV" and "Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects." Mr. Thompson also directed two of the theatrical "Planet of the Apes" films.
Mr. Thompson's two best films came out in 1961 and 61. "The Guns of Navarone" was a grand-scale WWII film starring Gregory Peck and David Niven. Mr. Thompson received his only Oscar nomination for direction "Navarone." His best film, in my humble opinion was the original version of "Cape Fear." Thompson reteamed with Gregory Peck to create one of the best suspense films ever made. Robert Mitchum and a very sensual Polly Bergan rounded out a great cast. Thompson's "Cape Fear" is superior to Scorsese's remake in all respects.
CRAIG KINSBURY Died Aug. 30, 2002
Mr. Kingsbury played Ben Gardner, as in "Isn’t that Ben Gardner’s boat?" in a little film called "Jaws."
LIONEL HAMPTON Died Aug. 31, 2002
Legendary American jazz musician Lionel Hampton died at age 94. Mr. Hampton was the master of the "vibes" (that's vibrophone to non-fans). Mr. Hampton appeared in nearly 30 feature films or documentaries playing himself.
HORST WENDLANDT Died Aug. 30, 2002
German producer Horst Wendlandt produced over 80 films during his career. His 1978 film "A Simple Story" was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar. Mr. Wendlandt was the executive producer of two Ingmar Bergman’s "The Serpant’s Egg" and "From the Life of the Marionettes." Actor Klaus Kinski appeared in 15 films produced by Mr. Wendlandt. Mr. Wendlandt produced a wide range of films from serious dramas, to Giallo horror films and spaghetti westerns. Mr. Wendlandt died of cancer.