ROYCE APPLEGATE Died Jan. 1, 2003
Character actor Royce Applegate was killed in a major house fire in Los Angeles on New Year’s day. Mr. Applegate’s familiar face has been seen on TV and in film for more than 30 years. Mr. Applegate played Henry, the store owner who sold young Jimmy Morris his baseball socks in last year’s "The Rookie." Credits include the upcoming Civil War drama "Gods and Generals," "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?," "Under Seige 2," "The Getaway" (remake), "White Sands," "Armed and Dangerous," "Splash," "Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan," and Burt Reynold’s "Fuzz." Mr. Applegate did voice work on "Rain Man," "Driving Miss Daisy" and "Ramblin Rose." His TV credits include the sci-fi series "Sea Quest," "Mayberry RFD," "Twin Peaks," "Starsky and Hutch," "Quantum Leap" and "Dallas" among others. Mr. Applegate also wrote two films: "Evil Town" and "Loose Shoes."
GIORGIO GABER Died Jan. 1, 2003
Italian singer and actor Giorgio Gaber died at age 63 after a lengthy illness. Mr. Gaber was known best for creating a form of theater which combined one-man singing and acting. Mr. Gaber appeared in several films. He starred in "Rosini! Rosini!" with Philippe Noiret and Jacqueline Bisset, "Il Minestrone" with Roberto Benigni and the crime comedy "Operazione San Gennaro" with Senta Berga and Harry Guardino.
CYRIL SHAPS Died Jan. 1, 2003
British actor Cyril Shaps died at age 79. Mr. Shaps appeared in over 60 films during his career. Mr. Shaps credits include "The Looking Glass War," "11 Harrowhouse," "The Odessa File" with Jon Voight, the TV mini-series "Jesus of Nazareth," "The Madness of King George," "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "The Pianist."
ROBERT HATHAWAY Died Jan. 1, 2003
Veteran sound and music editor Robert Hathaway died at age 67 after a lengthy illness. Mr. Hathaway worked in the film industry for 40 years. His credits include some of the biggest and most popular films released during my lifetime. Mr. Hathaway’s editing credits include Brian De Palma’s "Sisters," Ridley Scott’s "Alien," "Superman II, III and IV" "Splash," Blake Edward’s "Victor/Victoria," "The Falcon and the Snowman," "Lifeforce," "Enemy Mine," "Labyrinth," "Heat," "Golden Eye," "Restoration" and "Waking Ned Devine." Mr. Hathawy won the "Golden Reel Award" from the Motion Picture Sound Editors for Best Sound Editing-Music-Musical Feature for the film "Hilary and Jackie."
ERIC JUPP Died Jan. 2, 2003
Australian composer Eric Jupp died at age 80 due to complications from a blood clot. Mr. Jupp composed the scores to several films and TV series. His credits include the Mel Gibson films "Tim" and "Attack Force Z."
JOSE MARIA GIRONELLA Died Jan. 3, 2003
Aclaimed Spanish author Jose Maria Gironella died in Barcelona at age 85. Mr. Gironella fought in the Spanish Civil War on the nationalist side. He was a lifelong supporter and then apologist for the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. Mr. Gironella appeared in the 1969 romantic musical "Carola de Dia, Carola de Noche."
CONRAD HALL Died Jan. 4, 2003
I was talking to actor Dan Poor today during the first day of shooting on Jeremy Benson’s film "The Smallest Oceans." We were talking about the great scene at the end of "In Cold Blood" in which Robert Blake talks to the prison priest about his relationship with his father. During the scene, the shadow of raindrops on a windowpane reflect on Mr. Blake’s face, symbolic of tears his character can’t shed. I told Mr. Porter that in the great documentary "Visions of Light," cinematographer Conrad Hall said the effect was pure accident. Needless to say, I was surprised when I got home and found out that the man we had been discussing had just died. Conrad L. Hall, one of the greatest cinematographer who ever lived died of complications from bladder cancer. Conrad Hall was born in Tahiti, the son of James Norman Hall, the man who wrote "Mutiny on the Bounty."
Conrad Hall was nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar nine times! He won twice, for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "American Beauty." Mr. Hall began his career doing TV commercials and industrial films. Some of the best films of the last 40 years are among his 35 credits. He worked with director Richard Brooks on three films including "In Cold Blood" and the great Western "The Professionals." Hall was nominated for both films.
Conrad Hall contributed to so many great movies. He worked on the Esperanto language horror film "Incubus" with William Shatner. Mr. Hall lensed one of my all time favorite films, "Cool Hand Luke" with Paul Newman. Other credits include "Hell in the Pacific" with Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune, John Huston’s "Fat City," "Tell Them Willie Boy is Here" and "Electra Glide in Blue" both with Robert Blake and Michael Ritchie’s satirical look at beauty pageants "Smile." "Day of the Locust" provides one of the best portraits of the unforgiving under belly of Hollywood. Mr. Hall received his 5th Oscar nomination for that chilling film. Mr. Hall also captured the tension of William Goldman’s great script in 1976’s "Marathon Man."
Conrad Hall took ten years off, but returned to film in 1987 with Theresa Russell and Debra Winger in "Black Widow." Mr. Hall picked up more Oscar nominations for "Tequila Sunrise," "Searching for Bobby Fischer," "A Civil Action" and he won his second for Sam Mendes' brilliant "American Beauty." Mr. Hall’s final film was last years "Road to Perdition."
EDWARD DUFF THOMAS Died Jan. 4, 2003
Documentary filmmaker Edward Duff Thomas died of pancreatic cancer at age 64. Mr. Thomas made industrial and news documentaries for his company Cinemasound Limited. Mr. Thomas received awards for his work from the White House News Photographers Association.
MASSIMO GIROTTI Died Jan. 5, 2003
Italian actor Massimo Girotti died of heart failure at age 84. Mr. Girotti made his screen debut in 1939. He recently completed his 188th film. Mr. Girotti worked with some of the greatest Italian directors including Bernardo Bertolucci, Vittorio De Sica, Robert Rosellini, Mario Bava, Luchino Visconti, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Michelangelo Antonioni. Mr. Girotti also appeared in films directed by the great Jean Renoir and Roberto Benigni. Mr. Girotti’s film credits include "The Last Tango in Paris," "The Monster," "The Innocent," "Baron Blood," "Medea," "Tosca," "The Witches," "Story of Spartacus," "Gate of Heaven" and the unauthorized Italian version of "The Postman Always Rings Twice": "Ossessione." Mr. Girotti won Both a Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Silver Ribbons from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists for his work in the films "Passion D’Amore" and "In Nome Della Legge."
JEAN KERR Died Jan. 5, 2003
Renowned playwright and author Jean Kerr died of pneumonia at age 80. Three of Ms. Kerr’s works were turned into movies and a TV series. Kerr’s most famous work was the book "Please Don’t Eat the Daisies" which was filmed with Doris Day and David Niven. "Please Don’t Eat the Daisies" was later turned into a TV series which ran from 1965 through 1967. Kerr’s play "Knave of Hearts" was filmed as "That Certain Feeling" with Bob Hope and Eva Marie Saint. Kerr also wrote the play "Mary, Mary" which Mervyn Leroy filmed with Debbie Reynolds and Barry Nelson.
BOSKO BOSKOVIC Died Jan. 7, 2003
Yougoslavian director/write/actor Bosko Boskovic died at age 80. Boskovic’s film "Nebeski Odred" was nominated for the Grand Prix Award at the 1961 Moscow film festival.
JOSE VIANA Died Jan. 7, 2003
Portuguese actor Jose Viana died in an automobile accident at age 80. Mr. Viana appeared in numerous short films including the award winning "Senhor Jerónimo," Mr. Viana also appeared in TV series and a few feature films. He appeared in cult director Jesus Franco’s "Love Letters From a Portuguese Nun." Mr. Viana was the husband of actress Dora Leal, father of actress Madalena Leal, singer Maria Viana and journalist Raquel Viana .
RON GOODWIN Died Jan. 8, 2003
British composer Ron Goodwin died at age 77. Mr. Goodwin was nominated for a Golden Glode for his Score of Alfred Hitchcock’s "Frenzy." In addition to Goodwin’s score for "Frenzy," Mr. Goodwin composed the music for several other horror/sci-fi/suspense films including "Day of the Triffids," "Children of the Damned" and "Village of the Damned." Mr. Goodwin was also noted for scoring War films. His credits in that genre include "Where Eagles Dare" with Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, "663 Squadron" with Cliff Robertson, "The Battle of Britain," "Operation Crossbow," "Submarine X-1" with James Caan and "Force Ten From Navarone" with Robert Shaw and Harrison Ford. Mr. Goodwin composed scores for nearly 65 films. Other credits include several Miss Marple Murder Mysteries, "Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines," "Of Human Bondage," "The Executioner," "Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter" with Peter Noone’s band Herman’s Hermits and Disney’s "Candleshoe" with David Niven and Jodie Foster. Mr. Goodwin won several Ivor Novello Awards including a Life Achievement Award in 1993.
BILLY VAN Died Jan. 8, 2003
Canadian comedian Billy Van died at age 68 after a long battle with cancer. Mr. Van appeared on numerous TV series during the last three decades. He was a regular on "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour," "The Ray Stevens Show," "The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show" and the cult kids comedy show "The Hilarious House of Frightenstein" with Vincent Price. Mr. Van appeared in Nora Ephron’s film "This Is My Life."
PETER TINNISWOOD Died Jan. 9, 2003
British TV comedy writer Peter Tinniswood died of cancer at age 66. Mr. Tinniswood wrote for numerous British TV series during his 40-year career. His credits include David Frost’s TV show "That Was the Week That Was," "Tales From a Long Room," "Mog," "I Didn’t Know You Cared" and "Heartbeat." Mr. Tinniswood was also a novelist. Thanks for the laughs.
JOSE MARIA GUTIERREZ Died Jan. 10, 2003
Argentinean actor/writer/director Jose Maria Gutierrez died of a heart attack at age 69. Mr. Gutierrez was nominated for the Palm d’Or for Best short film in 1969 for "El Triunfo de la Muerte." Mr. Gutierrez appeared in over thirty films and directed another six.
MAURICE PIALAT DIED Jam. 11, 2003
French writer/director/actor Maurice Pialat died at age 77 after suffering from high blood pressure and kidney problems. Mr. Pialat directed 11 films during his 42-year career. He was nominated four times for the Palm d’Or at Cannes. He won in 1987 for his film "Under the Sun of Satan." Mr. Pialat was also nominated for the Ceasar, (the French equivalent of the Oscar) eight times. Pialat won for Best Picture in 1983 for "A Nous Amores." Mr. Pialat’s directing credits also include "Van Gogh," "Loulou," "Village d’enfants" and "Janine." Mr. Pialat acted in several films including Claude Charbrol’s powerful study of death, bereavement and revenge "The Beast Must Die."
MAURICE GIBB Died Jan. 11, 2003
Bee Gees member Maurice Gibb died at age 53. Mr. Gibb suffered heart failure while waiting to undergo surgery for a blocked intestine. Mr. Gibb was a member of the pop/rock group The Bee Gees, along with his twin brother Robin and older brother Barry.
The Bee Gees emerged during the 1960s with a long string of top-10 hits. The band surpassed their own achievements in the 1960s with the advent of disco. Their soundtrack for the movie "Saturday Night Fever" remains one of the best selling soundtrack albums of all time.
Maurice Gibb contributed to films as a composer, songwriter and actor. The Bee Gee’s attempt to break into film as actors was in the 1978 movie version of the Beatles classic album "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band." The movie bombed. Mr. Gibb also wrote, produced and starred in 1970 musical comedy "Cucumber Castle." The Bee Gee’s biggest contributions to the movie industry came via their music. Bee Gee’s songs have appeared in numerous films including "The Magical Garden of Stanley Sweetheart," "Saturday Night Fever," "Neighbors," "Staying Alive," "Short Circuit," "Cadillac Man," "Mars Attacks!," "True Lies," "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid," "Mystery Men" and "Zoolander."
SIR. ANTHONEY HAVELOCK-ALLAN Died Jan. 11, 2003
Oscar nominated British producer Sir. Anthony Havelock-Allan has died at age 98. Sir. Anthony had three films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: David Lean’s "Great Expectations" and "Brief Encounter" and Franco Zeffirelli’s "Romeo and Juliet." Sir. Anthony produced over 60 films during his 40-year career. In addition to his Oscar nominated films, Sir. Anthony’s credits include "Ryan’s Daughter," "Othello," "The Mikado," "In Which We Serve" and "A Stolen Life."
RICHARD W. SIMMONS Died Jan. 11, 2003
Veteran character actor Richard W. Simmons died at age 89. Mr. Simmons was best know for the lead role in the TV series "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon." Simmons played the role during the series three-year run. Mr. Simmons appeared in over 60 films and TV shows. His credits include the Rat Pack films "Sergeants Three" and "Robin and the Seven Hoods," "The Devil’s Brigade" with William Holden and Cliff Robertson, "A Star is Born," "Rear Window," "Rogue Cop," "I Dream of Jeannie," "Three Guys Named Mike" and the original "Angels in the Outfield."
KINJI FUKASAKU Died Jan. 12, 2003
Prolific Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku died of cancer at age 72. Fukasaku directed over 60 films. His masterwork was the five-feature-film crime series "The Yakuza Papaers: Battles Without Honor & Humanity." The epic series followed the rise to power of several Yakuza families from the end of WWII until the early 1970s. The series is a must see for gangster movie fans.
Mr. Fukasaku was nominated as Best Director and Best Screenplay by the Awards of the Japanese Academy for his controversial film "Battle Royale." "Battle Royale" caused a stir with its morbid storyline. In a futuristic society, the government decides to solve juvenile crime by taking a high-school class to a deserted island. The kids are given weapons. The rules are simple. Kill each other. The last person standing may return to society! Fukasaku’s other credits include the cheesy "Star Wars" rip-off, "Message From Space" with Sonny Chiba and Vic Morrow, portions of the Pearl Harbor bore "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and the goofy sci-fi monster movie "The Green Slime." Thanks for the fun movies.
NORMAN PANAMA Died Jan. 13, 2003
Oscar nominated writer/director/producer Norman Panama died of Parkinson’s Disease at age 88. Mr. Panama was nominated for Best Screenplay three times. He received a life achievement award from the Writers Guild of America in 1984. Five of his scripts also received Best Writing nominations by the WGA. Mr. Panama had 30 scripts produced between 1942 and 1984. His writing credits include some gems of the silver screen. One of my all time favorite comedies is "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" with Myrna Loy and Cary Grant. Mr. Panama wrote and produced that classic. The scene in which Myrna Loy tells the contractors what color she wants different parts of the house painted is one of the funniest scenes in the history of film. Mr. Panama wrote/produced and directed another all time comedy great. "The Court Jester" with Danny Kaye plays as well today as when it came out in 1956. Don’t forget that "The Flagon with the Dragon has the pellet with the poison, the vessel with the pestle has the brew that is truwe." If you’ve seen the movie you know what I’m talking about. Other writing credits include "White Christmas," "That Certain Feeling," "Not With My Wife, You Don’t!," "Li’l Abner," "Knock on Wood" and "The Road to Hong Kong." Mr. Panama directed and produced 15 films. Mr. Panama made eight films with Bob Hope.
PAUL MONASH Died Jan. 14, 2003
Yet another major player involved in the film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" has died. Producer Paul Monash died at age 85 after a brief illness. Mr. Monash was the executive producer on the Oscar nominated film. "Sundance" director George Roy Hill and cinematographer Conrad Hall also died recently. Paul Monash was the son of silent film actress Rhoda Melrose. Mr. Monash was a screenwriter and producer. Mr. Monash began writing for TV during the days of live dramatic shows. He wrote some of the best dramatic shows ever filmed for TV. His credits include the "Kraft Television Theater" and "Studio One." Later TV writing credits include Stephen King’s vampire saga "Salem’s Lot," the Turner Network biographies of "Stalin" with Robert Duvall, "George Wallace" with Gary Sinise and "Kingfish: The Story of Huey P. Long" with John Goodman. Mr. Monash co-created the TV series "Peyton Place" and wrote the sci-fi mini-series "V." Mr. Monash also wrote the teleplay for the 1980 Made for TV "All Quiet on the Western Front" with Richard Thomas and Ernest Borgnine. Mr. Monash’s feature film writing included uncredited work on Orson Welles’ classic "Touch of Evil."
While Paul Monash was a powerhouse writer, he also had success in the industry as a producer. Mr. Monash produced numerous TV shows and feature films. Along with "Sundance," Mr. Monash also produced director George Roy Hill’s "Slaughterhouse Five." Other credits include Brian De Palma’s "Carrie," "The Front Page" with Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau, John Carpenter’s "Big Trouble in Little China" and "Carrie 2: The Rage." Mr. Monash produced one of the best crime movies of the 1970s. "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" with Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle has been on my short list of films to write a "Video Risk" about. Do not miss the change to rent or buy this movie. A great crime/character study, with Robert Mitchum in a great performance.
MEL BOURNE Died Jan. 14, 2003
Oscar nominated Art Director/Production Designer Mel Bourne died of heart failure after a brief illness. Mr. Bourne was 79 years old. Mr. Bourne is best known for his association with Woody Allen. Mr. Bourne was the production designer on six Woody Allen films and the Art Director on another. Mr. Bourne was nominated for a Best Art Director Oscar for Woody Allen’s "Interiors," Barry Levinson’s "The Natural" and Terry Gilliam’s "The Fisher King." Mr. Bourne also appeared in "The Fisher King." He played the millionare that Robin Williams’s character believes is the owner of the Holy Grail.
Mr. Bourne also collaborated with director Michael Mann on the TV series "Miami Vice," the great crime drama "Thief" with James Caan and the original Hannibal Lecktor movie "Manhunter."
Mr. Bourne’s credits include "Interiors," "Broadway Danny Rose," "Annie Hall," "Zelig," "Stardust Memories," "Manhatten," "F/X," "The Miracle Worker," "A Midsummer’s Night Sex Comedy," "Fatal Attraction," "Indecent Proposal," the remake of "Gloria," "Reversal of Fortune" and "Striptease."
JOHN MANTLEY Died Jan. 14, 2003
TV producer/writer John Mantley died of heart failure at age 82. Mr. Mantley produced the TV series "Gunsmoke," "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," "How the West Was Won," "The Macahans" and "The Wild, Wild West." Mr. Mantley also produced the 1968 Jimmy Stewart/Henry Fonda Western "Firecreek." Mr. Mantley’s writing credits include "Rawhide," "The 27th Day" and "My Blood Runs Cold."
IMOGENE BLISS Died Jan. 14, 2003
Character actress Imogene Bliss died at age 84. Ms. Bliss appeared in Bob Rafelson’s "The King of Marvin Gardens" with Jack Nicholson. She starred in the 1972 film "Richard." Other credits include "Chapter Two" with James Caan and Marsha Mason.
DORIS FISHER Died Jan. 15, 2003
Songwriter Doris Fisher died at age 87. Ms. Fisher composed songs for over 25 films. Her credits include the movies "Gilda" with Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth, "Meet Me On Broadway," "Little Miss Broadway" and "The Corpse Came C.O.D.."
RICHARD CRENNA Died Jan. 17, 2003
Veteran actor Richard Crenna died suddenly of pancreatic cancer at age 76. The widely recognized actor leaves his wife Penni and three children.
Richard Crenna was probably the first actor I knew by name. I remember watching "The Real McCoys" every afternoon as a pre-schooler in the early 1960s. Mr. Crenna was an established veteran of TV and radio by that time. Mr. Crenna’s acting career began in radio while he was still in high school. Mr. Crenna gained national notice in the 1950s TV series "Our Miss Brooks." He followed that show with the role of a poor California farmer in "The Real McCoys." Mr. Crenna received the first of four Emmy nominations for his portrayal of Luke McCoy. Crenna made the transition from comedy to drama in the early 1960s. He received two more Emmy nominations for his work in "Slattery’s People," a TV series about a dedicated state legislator.
Mr. Crenna made over 100 feature and made for TV movies. He is probably best known worldwide for his role as Colonel Samuel Trautman in the "Rambo" trilogy. Mr. Crenna turned in some wonderful performances in many films. While he was perfect as the square-jawed Green Beret in the Rambo movies, Mr. Crenna was an actor of great depth and range. He appeared in many of my favorite films.
Steve McQueen received his only Oscar nomination as Navy engineer Jake Holman in Robert Wise’s "The Sand Pebbles." Richard Crenna played Commander Collins, the commander of the San Pablo, a US gunboat in 1920s China. Crenna has a wonderful scene in which his crew has disgraced the flag. He is alone in his cabin, contemplating suicide when word comes that his ship is needed for war. The conflict and distress that Crenna displayed in that scene is a lesson for any actor.
Mr. Crenna was able to portray both good-guys and bad-guys. Some of his more memorable heavy roles were in the films "Wait Until Dark" with Audrey Hepburn, "Breakheart Pass" with Charles Bronson and "Body Heat" with Kathleen Turner and William Hurt.
Mr. Crenna won an Emmy the fourth time he was nominated. "The Rape of Richard Beck" is a brutal, uncompromising TV film. Crenna plays a cop who feels that female rape victims are asking for it what happens to them. The tables turn when Beck, himself is raped. Crenna’s performance is one of the best you will see. Mr. Crenna portrayed detective Frank Janek in seven made for TV movies beginning with 1985’s "Doubletake." The Janek films are show quite often on Lifetime and Court TV. There’s not a bad film in the bunch.
Mr. Crenna’s credits include "It Grows on Trees," "The Pride of St. Louis," "Midas Run," "Marooned," "Catlow," "Red Sky at Morning," "The Flamingo Kid," "Summer Rental," "The Case of the Hill Side Stranglers," "Hot Shot! Part Deux," "Sabrina" and "Wrongfully Accused."
FRITZI BURR Died Jan. 17, 2003
Actress Fritzi Burr died at age 78 of natural causes. Ms. Burr’s career lasted nearly seven decades. She worked in vaudeville, Broadway, TV and film. Ms. Burr played Mr. Mulwray’s secretary in Roman Polanski’s "Chinatown." Other film credits include "3 Ninjas," "Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night" and "Fraiser the Sensuous Lion." Ms. Burr was a frequent guest star on many TV shows including "Friends," "The Rockford Files," "Seinfeld," "Mad About You," "What’s Happening!!," "Quincy M.E.," "Melrose Place" and "Baretta" among others.
GAVIN LYALL Died Jan. 18, 2003
British author Gavin Lyall died at age 70. Mr. Lyall was a pilot in the RAF. He turned to writing and authored 15 thrillers during his career. Mr. Lyall co-wrote the story for Hammer Film’s sci-fi thriller "Moon Zero Two" directed by Roy Ward Baker.
FRANCOISE GIROUD Died Jan. 19, 2003
French writer and journalist Francoise Giroud died of a head injury suffered in a fall at age 86. Ms. Giroud had 18 screenwriting credits including a TV mini-series based on her book about Madame Curie. Ms. Giroud was the assistant director on three films, appeared as herself in two documentaries and was the script girl on Jean Renoir’s classic film "The Grand Illusion." Ms. Giroud was best known as a journalist. She ran "Elle" magazine for eight years and co-founded the news magazine "L'Express."
AL HIRSCHFELD Died Jan. 19, 2003
Artist Al Hirschfeld created the most recognizable caricatures in the world. Mr. Hirschfeld died in his sleep at age 99. Mr. Hirschfeld covered the world of theater for nearly 70 years. His work is immediately recognizable to anyone who has been alive in the last century. Mr. Hirschfeld’s pen and ink drawings usually held a hidden word "NINA" for his daughter. Mr. Hirschfeld was the subject of a 1996 documentary "The Line King: Al Hirschfeld." He also appeared as himself in several other documentaries including "Marlene: Inventing Dietrich," "The Tramp and the Dictator" and "Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There." Mr. Hirschfeld was also an artistic consultant on the updated "Fantasia: 2000."
NEDRA VOLZ Died Jan. 20, 2003
Actress Nedra Volz died of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease at age 94. Ms. Volz made a career out of playing "Old Ladies." Ms. Volz was a regular on several TV series including "Different Strokes," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "The Fall Guy," "Filthy Rich" and "Babes." Ms. Volz made guest appearances on many other TV shows including the Norman Lear series "All in the Family," "Maude" and "The Jeffersons." Her film credits include Blake Edwards’ "10," "Moving Violations," "Lust in the Dust," "Earth Girls Are Easy" and the HBO comedy "The Great White Hype."
BILL MAULDIN Died Jan 22, 2003
WWII history buffs will be saddened to learn about the death of cartoonist Bill Mauldin. Mauldin created the two GIs named "Willie" and "Joe" who represented the hard work, suffering, humor, frustration and victories of the American fighting men in WWII. Mauldin drew his famous cartoons while serving as an Army Sergeant in the European theater of war. Mauldin’s "Willie and Joe" novels "Up Front" and "Back Up Front" were both made into movies. Mauldin appeared as himself in the documentary "America in the 1940s." Mauldin acted in the movies "The Red Badge of Courage" and "Teresa." Mr. Mauldin became an editorial cartoonist after the war. One of his most famous cartoons was the image of the statue of Abraham Lincoln with its head in its hands crying at the news of JFK’s assasination. Mr. Mauldin was 81 years old.
NELL CARTER Died Jan. 23, 2003
Tony and Emmy Award winning actress/singer Nell Carter died at age 54. Ms. Carter was known for her powerful singing voice and stage presence. One of the highlights of Milos Forman’s 1979 film "Hair" is Ms. Carter’s sexy/funny song "White Boys." She also sang the powerful "Ain’t Got No" in that same film. Ms. Carter’s other film roles include "Back Roads" with Tommy Lee Jones and "Modern Problems" with Chevy Chase. Ms. Carter is probably best known to TV fans for the TV series "Gimme a Break! " Ms. Carter won an Emmy Award for the TV special "Ain’t Misbehavin. She won the Tony award for the Broadway version of the same play.
CLIFF NORTON Died Jan. 24, 2003
Comedic actor Cliff Norton died of lung cancer at age 84. Mr. Norton appeared in nearly 100 films and TV shows. His credits include Stanley Kramer’s "It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," "Harlow," "Munsters Go Home," "McHale’s Navy Joins the Air Force," "The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!," "Harry and Tonto" and "Funny Lady." Mr. Norton’s TV career spanned 40 years.
ROBERT ROCKWELL Died Jan. 25, 2003
Veteran actor Robert Rockwell died of cancer at age 82. Mr. Rockwell became stereotyped playing a shy teacher on the 1950’s TV series "Our Miss Brooks." He found it difficult to get dramatic roles after that series ran. Mr. Brooks had numerous film and TV credits. He appeared in "War of the Worlds" as a park ranger at the UFO crash site. Mr. Rockwell also appeared in the great made for TV movie "Murder in Texas" with Katherine Ross, Andy Griffith, Farrah Fawcett and Sam Elliot.
SHELDON REYNOLDS Died Jan. 25, 2003
Director/producer/writer Sheldon Reynolds died of emphysema at age 79. Mr. Reynolds broke into the business with the 1950s TV series "Foreign Intrigue" which ran from 1951 to 1955. The series spawned a feature film of the same name, which starred Robert Mitchum. Mr. Reynolds also wrote and directed the TV series "Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson."
LEOPOLDO TRIESTE Died Jan. 26, 2003
Italian actor/writer/director Leopoldo Trieste died of a heart attack at age 85. Mr. Trieste appeared in 105 films. Mr. Trieste eleven screenplays which were produced and directed another two. Mr. Trieste played the part of Signor Roberto in Francis Ford Coppola’s "The Godfather Part II." The scene in which Trieste’s greedy landlord realizes just who Don Corleone (Robert De Niro) is, is the comic highlight of that classic crime film. His other film credits include "The Name of the Rose," Nicholas Roeg’s chiller "Don’t Look Now," "Divorce Italian Style," "Shoot Loud, Louder…I Don’t Understand," "The Shoes of the Fisherman," the very funny "The Secret of Santa Vittoria," Mario Bava’s "Bloodbath," "Pulp" with Michael Caine, the epic porn film "Caligula," "The Black Stallion" and "Cinema Paradiso." Mr. Trieste was awarded the Silver Ribbon for Best Supporting Actor three times by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists. Mr. Trieste also won one Best Supporting Actor award at the David di Donatello Awards.
JOY HODGES Died Jan. 26, 2003
Actress Joy Hodges died of a stroke at age 88. Ms. Hodges appeared in over 15 films including "Special Agent K-7" and "Follow the Fleet." Ms. Hodges discovered actor turned President Ronald Reagan. Ms. Hodges was also a renowned stage actress and singer.
ANTHONY EISLEY Died Jan. 29, 2003
78-year-old actor Anthony Eisley has died. Mr. Eisley acted on stage, screen and TV. Mr. Eisley appeared in episodes of numerous TV series during the 50s, 60s and 70s. He was best known for his co-starring role on the Robert Conrad TV series "Hawaiian Eye." Mr. Eisley showed up in a lot of b-horror movies. When I was about four years old, I was scarred to death by the cheesy Eisley film "Wasp Woman." Mr. Eisley’s other credits include "Portrait of a Mobster," Sam Fuller's gritty "The Naked Kiss," "Frankie and Johnny" with Elvis and Donna Douglas, "Navy vs. the Night Monsters," the spooky "The Witchmaker," "Star!" amd the terrible "Dracula vs. Frankenstein."
MARY ELLIS Died Jan. 30, 2003
102-year old Mary Ellis was recognized to be the world’s oldest living actress. Ms. Ellis appeared in the wonderful British biopic "The Magic Box" about William Friese-Greene, the inventor of the movies. Ms. Ellis also appeared in Ray Harryhausen’s fantasy "The Three Worlds of Gulliver." Ms. Ellis was primarily a stage actress.