Sunday, May 23, 2010



The world of Pro Wrestling lost one of it most beloved members. Elizabeth Hulette died of as yet undisclosed causes at age 42. Hulette was known in the Wrestling world as ‘Miss Elizabeth.’ Hulette was at the home of wrestler Lex Luger (Larry Pfohl) in Georgia when a 911 call was placed for medical assistance. Pfohl was questioned by police and released. Ms. Hulette appeared in over 30 WWF and WCW videos between 1984 and 1999.

GEORGE WYLE Died May 2, 2003

"Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, that started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship…" George Wyle, the author of "The Ballad of Gilligan’s Island" has died at age 87 of leukemia. The Emmy nominated TV composer also wrote music for "The Andy Williams Show," "The Flip Wilson Show" and many TV specials. Mr. Wyle also wrote the famous Christmas song "The Most Wonderful Tine of the Year." Mr. Wyle composed over 400 songs during his lifetime.

SUZY PARKER (DILLMAN) Died May 3, 2003

Proto-super model/actress Suzy Parker has died at age 69. Ms. Parker is survived by her husband of 40 years, actor Bradford Dillman, four children and two step children. Ms. Parker was one of the most beautiful and elegant models in the world during the 1950s and 60s. Ms. Parker was the highest paid model in the world at the height of her career. Ms. Parker appeared in a number of films before retiring to private life in 1968. Her film credits include "Funny Face" with Audrey Hepburn, "Kiss Them for Me" with Cary Grant, "Ten North Frederick" with Gary Cooper, "The Best of Everything" with Hope Lange, "A Circle of Deception" with future husband Bradford Dillman and the horror film "Chamber of Horrors." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

WILSON VIANNA Died May 3, 2003

Brazilian actor Wilson Vianna died of a heart attack at age 75. Mr. Vianna appeared in nearly 30 films and TV shows during his career. Mr. Vianna was best known for his role as ‘Captain Aza’ on Brazil’s TV Tupi from 1966 through 1979. The children’s show is considered to be a classic in Brazil and is revered along side "Speed Racer" and others by those who grew up with the uniformed super hero. Mr. Vianna appeared in one of the cheesiest horror films of the 1950s: "Curucu, Beast of the Amazon."

QUETA CLAVER Died May 3, 2003

Spanish actress Queta Claver died of heart disease at age 73. Ms. Claver’s film career spanned 36 years. Ms. Claver appeared with Antonio Banderas in "Against the Wind" and "Pestanas Postizas." Other credits include "Prince of Shadows" with Terrence Stamp, "The Impeccable Sinner," "Time of Silence" with Victoria Abril, a Spanish version of Henry James’s horror classic "Turn of the Screw," "Extrano Matrimonio" with Pedro Armendariz Jr. and Camilo Jose Sela’s "The Beehive."

MICHAELA DENIS Died May 4, 2003

Belgian wildlife filmmaker Michaela Denis died at age 88. Ms. Denis, along with her late husband Armand filmed a 1950s BBC wildlife series in Africa called "Safari." The pair also made a couple of feature films. Ms. Denis was the cinematographer for the documentary "Under the Southern Cross." Ms. Denis appeared as herself in the documentary "Below the Sahara." The Denis’s TV show was helped in the ratings by the fact that Ms. Denis was one sexy woman almost as much as it was by the show’s exotic locales. Armand Denis died in 1971 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

CARL ISAACS Died May 6, 2003

Murderer Carl Isaacs had the distinction of being the longest surviving inmate on death row in America. The state of Georgia executed Carl Isaacs by lethal injection for the murder of six-members of a Georgia farming family. Mr. Isaacs escaped from prison in Maryland with two other men. The trio were joined by Mr. Isaacs’ little brother as they fled south. On May 14, 1973, they slaughtered the family of Ned Alday. The case was the subject of a movie called "Murder One." Carl Isaacs was portrayed by actor James Wilder. ET’s Henry Thomas played Billy Isaacs. Mr. Isaacs was executed 8 days shy of the 30th anniversary of the Alday family massacre. The 1994 movie "Midnight Edition" was also based on these events. Actor Michael DeLuise played the character based on Carl Isaacs.

JOCELYN HERBERT Died May 6, 2003

Oscar nominated production designer Jocelyn Herbert died at age 86. Ms. Herbert was a renowned British stage designer. She was one of the most innovative stage designers from the 1950s through the 1980s. Ms. Herbert shared an Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction with Ted Brinton and Ralph Marshall for their work on "Tom Jones." Ms. Herbert’s other film credits include "Oh Lucky Man!" and "If…" by director Lindsey Anderson, Karel Reisz’s "Isadora" and "Ned Kelly" which starred Mick Jagger as the famed Australian outlaw.

LOWELL HAWLEY Died May 6, 2003

Writer Lowell Hawley died of age related causes at 94. Mr. Hawley wrote and composed songs for the 1050s TV series "Zorro." Mr. Hawley’s other TV credits include "My Friend Flicka" and "The Loretta Young Show." Mr. Hawley wrote several scripts for Disney including the classic adventure tale "Swiss Family Robinson." His other Disney scripts include "Babes in Toyland," "In Search of the Castaways" and "The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band" which starred Buddy Ebson and a very young Kurt Russell. Mr. Hawley was nominated for a Writers Guide Award for Best Musical along with Ward Kimball for the movie "Babes in Toyland."

JANINE FLUET Died May 8, 2003

French Canadian actress Janine Fluet died of Lung Cancer. Ms Fluet appeared on TV and in film during a career that spanned over three decades. Ms. Fluet is best known to American audiences for her role in "Agnes of God." Other credits include "L’ Apparition" and "Bingo."

DOTTIE KEY Died May 8, 2003

Professional baseball player Dottie Key died of cancer at age 80. Ms. Key played for the Rockford Peaches for 10 years. Ms. Key appears in film clips in the 1987 documentary short "A League of Their Own." Ms. Key was one of the inspirations for Madonna’s Character in the feature film of the same name.

BERNARD SPEAR Died May 9, 2003

British character actor/singer Bernard Spear died at age 83. Mr. Spear served in the British forces during WWII. He began his career in radio. Mr. Spear appeared in over 300 TV episodes in England. He appeared in the sci-fi series "Quatermass and the Pit." Mr. Spear was also a successful stage actor appearing in "Man of La Mancha" as Sancho Panza. Mr. Spear’s film credits include roles in the original (and best) version of "Bedazzled" with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, "Yentl" with Barbra Streisand and "Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang" among others.

JACK GELBER Died May 9, 2003

Writer Jack Gelber died of blood cancer at age 71. Mr. Gelber wrote the controversial and groundbreaking play "The Connection" in 1959. The play dealt with a group of jazz musicians waiting to score some heroin. The play was adapted to the screen in 1961. Mr. Gelber made a cameo appearance in Woody Allen’s "Another Woman."

LEONARD MICHAELS Died May 10, 2003

Writer and professor Leonard Michaels died of lymphoma at age 70. Mr. Michael’s novel "The Men’s Club" was nominated as Best Novel by the National Book Critics Circle. That book was made into a film with Harvey Keitel, Roy Scheider and others. Mr. Michaels adapted his own novel for the screen.

NOEL REDDING Died May 11, 2003

Irish rocker Noel Redding died of undisclosed causes at age 57. Mr. Redding was the bass player for "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" from 1966 through 1969. Redding can be seen in the great documentary film "Monterey Pop," which marked the American debut of the reinvented Jimi Hendrix. The climax of the set features Jimi burning his guitar during the song "Wild Thing." Noel Redding played on all three "Jimi Hendrix Experience" albums. Prior to joining the "Experience," Mr. Redding played with his band "Fat Mattress." "Fat Mattress" made an appearance on the British TV show "Beat Club," as did "The Jimi Hendrix Experience." Mr. Redding was involved in a protracted legal suite to recover royalties he claimed were never paid from his years with "The Jimi Hendrix Experience." Mr. Redding was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. Mr. Redding appeared as himself in the documentary "Plaster Caster" about groupie/artist Cynthia Plaster Caster, who made plaster casts of the genitalia of many famous Rock and Roll stars of the 60s and 70s. Mr. Redding also appeared in the documentary "Robert Wyatt: Little Red Riding Hood," about Robert Wyatt of "Soft Machine." Mr. Redding’s mother passed away shortly before her son. Thanks for the great music. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends. 

ROBERT STACK Died May 14, 2003

Oscar nominated, Emmy winning actor Robert Stack died of heart failure at age 84. My love of gangster movies and history came about in part from growing up watching the weekly adventures of Elliot Ness and his Untouchables in the classic 1950s TV series "The Untouchables." Robert Stack’s no-nonsense approach to the role was both heroic and simple. Robert Stack appeared in a number of my favorite childhood TV series. In addition to "The Untouchables," Stack co-starred in the very cool TV series "The Name of the Game." Robert Stack, Gene Barry and Anthony Franciosa starred in the series, which was really three TV series in one. Stack played a retired FBI agent working for a rich publisher played by Gene Barry. Stack’s episodes dealt with his character’s battle with organized crime.

Robert Stack made his film debut in 1939 in "First Love." Stack co-starred with Universal teen star Deanna Durbin. He planted Ms. Durbin’s first screen kiss on her. Stack re-teamed with Ms. Durbin two years later in "Nice Girl?" Stack made four more films before enlisting in the Navy to serve his country in WWII. Mr. Stack made 19 more films after WWII before landing the role for which he is best identified. Among his pre-Eliot Ness credits are the films "Bwana Devil" which told the same story as Michael Douglas’s "Ghosts in the Darkness," "The High and the Mighty" with John Wayne and Douglas Sirk’s "Written on the Wind," for which Mr. Stack received a Best Supporting Oscar nomination.

While Robert Stack continued to make feature films after "The Untouchables," he became more and more recognized as a TV actor at this point. I remember watching Mr. Stack in ABC TV’s version of the great mystery "Laura." ABC promoted the heck out of the fact the film co-starred Lee Radziwill, the sister of former First Lady Jackie Kennedy. Mr. Stack co-starred in "Airplane," which was inspired by his earlier film "The High and the Mighty." Stephen Speilberg’s WWII comedy "1941" was universally reviled. One thing the critics agreed on was that Robert Stack was great as the "Dumbo" obsessed General Joe Stilwell.

Many younger people know Robert Stack as the host of "Unsolved Mysteries." Robert Stack was perfect as the host. He brought the same honest, straightforward quality to that show that he brought to every performance. Robert Stack wasn’t the greatest actor who ever lived, but he always brought a high degree of professional quality to his work. Whether playing an iconic hero, romantic lead, whiny rich kid, or slightly addled military man, Robert Stack gave his all. No film failed because of Mr. Stack’s performance. He was a professional and an entertainer. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

DAME WENDY HILLER Died May 14, 2003

Oscar-winning British actress Dame Wendy Hiller died at age 90. I first noticed Dame Hiller in the Agatha Christie classic "Murder on the Orient Express." Wendy Hiller shone among a stellar cast that included Six Oscar Winners and Five Oscar Nominees! Wendy Hiller creeped me out in "Murder on the Orient Express." She played grand Princess Dragomirof, the aged matriarch of the family haunted by the kidnapping and murder of her young grandson. Her make-up was unforgettable. The way she brought it to life was even more remarkable. Miss Hiller turned in one her most touching performances as the sympathetic but stern head nurse in David Lynch’s "The Elephant Man."

Wendy Hiller won her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the 1958 film "Separate Tables," co-starring David Niven and Burt Lancaster. Miss Hiller was nominated twice more for Best Supporting Actress Oscars in the films "A Man for All Seasons" (1966) and George Bernard Shaw’s "Pygmalion" (1938).

Other film credits include "Major Barbara," "Sons and Lovers," "Toys in the Attic" and "Voyage of the Damned." Wendy Hiller also had a remarkable career on various London stages. Miss Hiller married Robert Gow in 1937. They remained married until his death in 1993!


Harlem drag queen Pepper LaBeija died of a heart attack at age 54. LaBeija was one of the featured performers in Jeannie Livingston’s award winning documentary "Paris is Burning." "Paris is Burning" looked inside the world of Drag Balls in New York. I saw this on cable many years ago. A fascinating look into a sub-culture many are rarely exposed to. Ms. Livingston’s film is also a learning experience for would be documentarians.

JUNE CARTER CASH Died May 15, 2003

Emmy-winning singer/songwriter June Carter Cash died at age 73 of complications following heart surgery. Johnny Cash, her husband of 35 years was at her side. Prayers for Mr. Cash that the comfort and stability his fine wife brought into his life remains with him during this difficult time.

I have to say that I am a Rocker. I grew up in the South, but I never acquired a taste for Country music. Johnny Cash was the one exception. Once every year or so, I go through a phase where I spend a couple of weeks listening to "Johnny Cash: Live at Folsom Prison." I’ve been driving my teenage kids crazy for the last two weeks. One of the highlights of the CD is the duet "Jackson" by Johnny and June Carter Cash. Mrs. Cash snarls like some feral banshee as she taunts her man to step out on her. The recording has a raw power that is rarely found on Live Albums, much less studio recordings. My five-year-old likes the CD. Today we drove home from daycare. Lauren sang along with "25 Minutes to Go." She is too young to realize that the novelty song is about a condemned man singing down to his own hanging. The song ended and I switched the CD player off and turned on "Drake and Zeke" at Rock 103. They announced that Mrs. Cash had died today. That was a creepy feeling.

Mrs. Cash occasionally acted in films. She and her husband produced the Christian film "Gospel Road" and Mrs. Cash played Mary Magdalene in the film. During the 1950s, Mrs. Cash, then June Carter appeared on two soap operas: "The Edge of Night" and "The Secret Storm." She co-starred with her husband in the true-crime TV movie "Murder in Coweta County." She played Robert Duvall’s mother in his Oscar nominated film "The Apostle." The Cash’s were frequent performers at the various crusades of Billy Graham.

WILLIAM C. ANDERSON Died May 16, 2003

Author William C. Anderson died of heart failure at age 83. Mr. Anderson, a Vietnam veteran wrote the book "Bat*21" about the real-life rescue of downed pilot Lt. Col. Iceal Hambleton during the Vietnam conflict. Mr. Anderson adapted his book to the screen for the movie starring Gene Hackman and Danny Glover. Mr. Anderson wrote 20 books. His novel "Hurricane Hunters" was made into the TV movie "Hurricane" starring Martin Milner and Larry Hagman. I was stationed in Biloxi Miss. When I was in the Air Force. That town was devastated by Hurricane Camille. For some strange reason, the TV movie "Hurricane" played several times during my stay there. It isn’t a bad little movie. Mr. Anderson also wrote an episode of the TV series "12 O’Clock High."

MAURICE MCENDREE Died May 17, 2003

Actor/producer/editor/cinematographer/writer Maurice McEndree died at age 71. Mr. McEndree was a collaborator of John Cassavetes. McEndree produced two of Cassavettes’ independent films: "Shadows" and "Faces." In addition to producing those films, he also edited both and was the cinematographer on "Faces." Mr. McEndree made a cameo appearance in Cassavetes’ "Husbands." Mr. McEndree acted in several TV Westerns during the 1950s. McEndree also appeared in the film "Hollywood Nudes Report." Mr. McEndree wrote "Bunny Yeager’s Nude Las Vegas." His one directing credit was the drama "Self Portrait."

EDITH CARLMAR Died May 17, 2003

Norway’s first woman director, Edith Carlmar died at age 92. Ms. Carlmar made 10 films between 1949 and 59. Ms. Carlmar directed actress Liv Ullman in her first starring role: "Ung Flukt" (The Wayward Girl). Ms. Carlmar received a lifetime achievement award from Norway’s Amanda Awards in 1994. All of Ms. Carlmar’s films were produced by her husband Otto Carlmar.

HAROLD LOEB Died May 17, 2003

Producer/director Harold Loeb died of cancer at age 84. Mr. Loeb served his country in WWII and was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge. Loeb worked as a publicist and turned to directing for TV in the 1950s. Mr. Loeb is best known for producing two box-office hits in 1970. I saw Clint Eastwood’s WWII comedy "Kelly’s Heroes" at the Federal Drive-In in Pompano Beach Florida when it was first released. I remembered that night when I heard about Mr. Loeb’s passing. I have a strange ability to recall in which theater I’ve seen just about any movie. I wish I could channel that memory to something more productive. Mr. Loeb’s second big hit of 1970 was Ralph Nelson’s violent and controversial "Soldier Blue." The film starring Candice Bergman dealt with the massacre of Native Americans by the US Calvary during the 1800s. "Soldier Blue" was the subject of a bitter ratings battle. Director Mike Nichols cited the film in one of his most famous quotes. Nichols battles the MPAA over the rating of his film "Carnal Knowledge." Nichols film received an R Rating, while "Soldier Blue" was rated GP (the old rating system). Nichols quipped "If you kiss a woman’s breast on film, you get an R Rating, but if you cut a woman’s breast off with a sword you get a GP."

ALBERT SENDREY Died May 18, 2003

Longtime MGM composer and arranger Albert Sendrey died of congestive heart failure at age 91. Mr. Sendrey contributed in one capacity or another to nearly 170 films. His credits include "Royal Wedding," "Father’s Little Dividend," "A Date With Judy," "Guys and Dolls," Mary Martin’s TV special "Peter Pan" and Walter Hill’s "Hard Times."

LINDA MABALOT Died May 19, 2003

Documentary filmmaker and mentor to a host of Asian American filmmakers Linda Mabalot died of cancer at age 49. Ms. Mabalot founded the Asian Pacific Film and Video Festival 19 years ago. She acted as a mentor to a number of up-and-coming Asian filmmakers. Ms. Mablot produced and directed the documentary film "Manong" which chronicled the history of Filipino farm workers in California.

JEAN YANNE Died May 19, 2003

Award-winning French writer/actor/producer/director/composer Jean Yanne died of a stroke just short of his 70th birthday. Mr. Yanne appeared in nearly 100 films during his lengthy career. He also wrote, produced and directed nearly 10 more films. Mr. Yanne appeared in the international hit "Brotherhood of the Wolf." Yanne appeared in a number of films with director Claude Chabrol including "Madame Bovary" with Isabelle Huppert, "Le Boucher," "The Beast Must Die" and "Line of Demarcation." He also starred in Claude LeLouch’s "Attention Bandits!" He starred in director Costa Gavras’ "Hannah K." opposite Jill Clayburgh. Mr. Yanne also starred in Jean Luc-Goddard’s "Weekend." Mr. Yanne won the Best Actor award at Cannes in 1972 for Maurice Pialat’s "We Will Not Grow Old Together." He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Cesar (the French equivalent of the Oscar) for his work in the film "Indochine" which starred Catherine Deneauve.

EDDIE LITTLE Died May 20, 2003

Ex-con turned writer Eddie Little died of a heart attack at age 48. Mr. Little wrote about his introduction to drugs as a teenager and descent in a life of crime in the novel "Another Day in Paradise." "Paradise" was made into a film, which starred James Woods and Melanie Griffith. Mr. Little also wrote a column for the L.A. Weekly called "Outlaw L.A."

HOWARD ’SANDMAN’ SIMS Died May 20, 2003

Legendary tap dancer ‘Sandman’ Sims died at age 86. Mr. Sims appeared as himself in the 1979 documentary film "No Maps on My Taps." His acting credits include the films "The Cotton Club," "Tap" and "Harlem Nights."

FELICE ORLANDI Died May 21, 2003

Actor Felice Orlandi, husband of actress Alice Ghostley, died at age 73. Mr. Orlandi and Ms. Ghostley had been married since 1953! Mr. Orlandi was a familiar face to movie and TV viewers for his appearances in many tough-guy films. Orlandi is probably best known for his role in Peter Yates "Bullitt." Orlandi played Edward Rennick, the patsy hired to impersonate mob-guy turned informant Johnny Ross. Mr. Orlandi’s character is the guy shot-gunned to death by hitmen he mysteriously lets into his hotel room near the beginning of the movie. Mr. Orlandi worked with Walter Hill on several films including "Hard Times" with Charles Bronson and James Coburn, "The Driver" with Ryan O’Neal and Bruce Dern, "The Long Riders" with the Carradines, the Quaids and the Keaches and "Another 48hrs" with Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy. Mr. Orlandi made his film debut in Stanley Kubrick’s "Killer’s Kiss." Other credits include Bogart’s last movie, "The Harder They Fall," "Never Love a Stranger" with Steve McQueen, Mike Nichols’ misfire "Catch 22," Sidney Pollack’s classic "They Shoot Horses Don’t They?" and the TV adaptation of Gay Talese’s biography of syndicate chieftain Joseph Bonnano "Honor Thy Father." Mr. Orlandi played a recurring role on the TV series "Hogan’s Heroes" in addition to guest starring roles on such series as "Police Story," "The Naked City," "The Bionic Woman," "Mission Impossible" and "Tales From the Darkside."

ARNE SKOUEN Died May 23, 2003

Award winning Norwegian filmmaker Arne Skouen died at age 89. Mr. Skouen was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Norwegian Amanda Awards in 1986. His 1959 film "Herren og Hans Tjenere" was nominated for a Golden Bear award at the Berlin International Film Festival. Mr. Skouen wrote and directed nearly 20 films between 1949 and 1969.

FRED BERGER Died May 23, 2003

Oscar nominated and Emmy winning film editor Fred Berger died at age 94. Mr. Berger was nominated for a Best Editing Oscar for the hilarious 1972 heist film "The Hot Rock" with Robert Redford, George Segal. Mr. Berger was nominated for four Emmy Awards, winning for the "Welcome to Korea" episode of the "M*A*S*H" TV series. Mr. Berger was nominated three times for his work on "Dallas." Mr. Berger was four Best Editing Awards from the American Cinema Editors for his work on "M*A*S*H" and "Dallas." He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Cinema Editors. He is survived by Francis, his wife of 66 years!

ARTHUR BREWER Died May 24, 2003

Special effects coordinator Arthur Brewer died of cancer at age 57. Mr. Brewer worked on a number of popular films including "Smokey and the Bandit," "The Blues Brothers," a personal favorite of mine "Carney" with Robbie Robertson, Gary Busey and Jodie Foster, the camp sci-fi flick "Cherry 2000" with a very sexy Melanie Griffith, "The Hitcher" and "Swamp Thing."

RACHEL KEMPSON Died May 24, 2003

Matriarch Rachel Kempson died at age 92. Ms. Kempson was the widow of British actor Michael Redgrave. Her children are actors Vanessa, Lynn and Corin Redgrave. Her grandchildren are actors Natasha and Joley Richardson and Jemma Redgrave. Quite a talented family. Ms. Kempson appeared in over 30 films during her career. Her credits include "Tom Jones," "Grand Prix," "Georgy Girl" which starred daughter Lynn, "Curse of the Fly," "The Sea Shall Not Have Them" and "Out of Africa." Ms. Kempson was married to Michael Redgrave for 50 years. He passed away a few months after their 50th anniversary. Ms. Kempson was a stage actor also, debuting at the ‘Old Vic’ in 1935. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

JULES LEVY Died May 24, 2003

Veteran producer Jules Levy died at age 80. One of the first credits I ever remember seeing as a small child was Jules Levy (along with partner’s Arthur Gardner and Arnold Laven) at the beginning of "The Rifleman" with Chuck Conners. Levy produced Sam Peckinpah’s series during its five year run. Levy also produced the popular Western series "The Big Valley." Mr. Levy produced over 39 movies and TV series. His film credits include a pair of under-rated but very good 1950s horror films: "The Vampire" and "The Return of Dracula." Other credits include "The Flame Barrier," "Clamback" with Elvis, "White Lightning" "Gator" and "Sam Whiskey" with Burt Reynolds. "White Lightning" is one of the best redneck B-movies ever made. Gene Hackman and Oliver Reed starred in Levy’s kinky, bloody Western "The Hunting Party." Mr. Levy also produced John Wayne’s two attempts to move in on Clint Eastwood’s "Dirty Harry" territory: "McQ" and "Brannigan."

DON HANMER Died May 24, 2003

Prolific TV actor Don Hanmer died at age 83. Mr. Hanmer made guest appearances in nearly 50 TV series during his career. Mr. Hanmer also acted in a number of feature films. He played the butterfly trader who sets up Steve McQueen for capture in "Papillion." He also appeared in the Jack Nicholson directed film "Drive, He Said." Other film credits include "St. Ives" with Charles Bronson, "Newman’s Law" with George Peppard," "Rhinestone" with Sylvester Stallone and Joseph Wambaugh’s "The Blue Knight" with George Kennedy.

LOIS ROSENFIELD Died May 25, 2003

"Bang the Drum Slowly" is a movie that guys can cry at. The list also includes "Field of Dreams" and "The Dirty Dozen." Maybe "Old Yeller" and "Shane." Lois Rosenfield produced the film version of "Bang the Drum Slowly" about a dying redneck catcher playing baseball for New York. Robert DeNiro starred with Michael Moriarty in the 1973 baseball classic. Ms. Rosenfield died at age 78.

SLOAN WILSON Died May 25, 2003

Writer Sloan Wilson died at age 83 after a lengthy illness. Among Mr. Sloan’s work were two novels which became successful films during the 1950. "The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" won an OCIC Award at Cannes for director Nunnally Johnson. The film examined the ethical dilemmas facing a young business exec. The film starred Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones. Mr. Sloan’s book "A Summer Place" examined adultery and premarital sex. The film version is very tame by today’s standards. The movie’s theme song became a huge hit. Sloan served in the Coast Guard during WWII. Mr. Sloan appeared through archived footage in the documentary "The Fifties."


Brazillian soap opera star Carlos Eduardo Dolabella died at age 65 of multiple organ failure. Mr Dolabella starred in over 50 soap operas, mini series and TV movies in Brazil. Mr. Dolabella was the husband of actress Pepita Rodrigues and the father of actor Dado Dolabella.

KATHLEEN WINSOR Died May 26, 2003

Novelist Kathleen Winsor died at age 83. Ms. Winsor could be considered the mother of the modern romance novel Her first book "Forever Amber" was a romantic period piece full of graphic sexual descriptions. Released in 1944, "Forever Amber" had the distinction of being banned in Boston. Director Otto Preminger turned the book into a 1947 film with Linda Darnell, Cornel Wilde, George Sanders, Jessica Tandy, Leo G. Carroll and Richard Green.

BURR DEBENNING Died May 26, 2003

Actor Burr DeBenning died at age 66. The character actor appeared in nearly 100 films and TV shows during his career. His credits include the excellent Made for TV movie "The House on Greenapple Road," "Wolfen," "The Incredible Melting Man," "A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child," "St. Ives," "Cruising," "Love Field," "Matlock," "Matt Houston," "Mike Hammer," "Magnum, P.I.," "Matt Helm," "Medical Center," "McCloud" and "Medical Story."

LUCIANO BERIO Died May 27, 2003

Renowned Italian composer Luciano Berio died at age 77. Mr. Berio pushed the use of electronic technology to new heights in his music. Mr. Berio composed the scores to an eclectic group of documentaries, shorts and avant-garde movies during the 70s and 80s. His credits include Michelangelo Antonioni’s documentary "China," "The Base of the Air is Red" about the New Left and the turbulent years of 1967 and 68, the avant-garde "Le Rougue de Chine" among others.

ERNIE WALLENGREN Died May 27, 2003

TV writer Ernie Wallengren died of Lou Gehrig’s disease at age 50. Mr. Wallengren’s credits include the TV series "The Waltons," "Little House on the Prairie," "Touched By an Angel," "Baywatch," "Eight is Enough," "Falcon Crest," "Knight Rider," "Flipper," "Promised Land" and "Doc."

JOHN CARLYLE Died May 27, 2002

Stage, film and TV actor John Carlyle died at age 72. Mr. Carlyle made his TV debut at age 20 in a "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production. Mr. Carlyle’s film credits include Ken Russell’s "Whore," the TV mini-series "Rich Man, Poor Man," "The Spirit of St. Louis," "The Monster that Challenged the World" and a scene that was cut from the Judy Garland/James Mason version of "A Star is Born."

JANET COLLINS Died May 28, 2003

Ballerina Janet Collins died in Texas at age 86. Ms. Collins was the first Black artist to perform at the Met. Though Ms. Collins performed mainly on stage, she did appear in the movie "The Thrill of Brazil." Ms. Collins also worked with avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren.

JAMES PLUNKETT Died May 28, 2003

Irish writer James Plunkett died at age 83. Mr. Strumpett wrote the historical novel "Strumpet City" set in 1913 Dublin. "Strumpet City" was made into TV series in Ireland. The series featured such stars as Peter O’Toole and Cyril Cusack.

MARTHA SCOTT Died May 28, 2003

Oscar nominated actress Martha Scott died at age 90 of natural causes. Ms. Scott was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her work in the 1940 film "Our Town." Ms. Scott reprised the role she originated on stage. While Ms. Scott appeared a numerous films, her first love was the stage where she acted, produced and directed. Ms. Scott played Miriam in "Ben Hur." She also starred with Charlton Heston in "The Ten Commandments" where she played Yochabel. Her other film credits include "The Turning Point," "Airport 1975," ""Charlotte’s Web" where she voiced the character of Mrs. Arabel and "Sayanora" with Marlon Brando and Red Buttons in his Oscar winning role. Ms. Scott was a regular on the TV series "Dallas," "General Hospital" and "The Bionic Woman."

PETER MACLEAN Died May 28, 2002

Actor Peter MacLean died of lymphoma at age 67. Mr. MacLean had a lengthy career on TV and in a few films, but he was best known as a Shakespearean stage actor. Mr. MacLean had a small role in one of my favorite crime drama’s, "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" with Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle. Mr. MacLean also appeared in one of the worst horror films ever made: "Squirm." "Squirm" is a redneck horror movie about killer earthworms. Mr. MacLean appeared in guest roles in many TV series including "Police Story" and "Starsky and Hutch." He also had recurring roles on the soap operas "General Hospital," "Days of Our Lives" and "The Secret Storm."

LEHMAN KATZ Died May 29, 2003

Studio executive Lehman Katz died of heart failure at age 89. Mr. Katz worked in the motion picture industry in various roles for over 50 years. He was an uncredited assistant director on "Casablanca." Mr. Katz was an associate producer on "Topkapi" and John Huston’s "Moby Dick."

HENRY GARSON Died May 29, 2003

Writer Henry Garson died at age 91. Mr. Garson wrote for both film and TV. He was nominated by the Writer’s Guild of America for Best Musical Comedy for the Elvis film "G.I. Blues." While I’m not a big Jerry Lewis fan, Garson’s scripted "Don’t Give Up the Ship" always makes me laugh. Mr. Garson also co-adapted Gore Vidal’s play "Visit to a Small Planet" for Jerry Lewis.

HASKELL BOGGS Died May 30, 2003

Camera operator turned cinematographer Haskell "Buzz" Boggs died of heart disease at age 94. Mr. Boggs was a camera operator on numerous films including Michael Anderson’s Oscar winner "Around the World in 80 Days." Among Mr. Bogg’s credits as cinematographer is the 1950s sci-fi classic "I Married a Monster From Outer Space" with Tom Tyron. Exploitive title aside, "I Married a Monster From Outer Space" ranks among the best sci-fi films of that decade. The film plays on the fears of the McCarthy era and is comparable to Don Siegel’s original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Mr. Boggs excellent use of light and shadows was one of the major contributing factors to the film’s longevity and success. Another film, which owes part of its success to Mr. Boggs, is the baseball biopic "Fear Strikes Out" with Anthony Perkins playing Jimmy Piersall. Mr. Boggs worked extensively with both Jerry Lewis and Michael Landon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Robert Stack said the following:

"When I was offered the role of Deanna's leading man in FIRST LOVE, I lost no time in accepting it. It was the opportunity I was waiting for - a chance to play opposite an excellent actress with a story and production plans that were infallible. My work on this picture, with Deanna, Helen Parrish, Lewis Howard, and countless other young screen actors, was made considerably easier, as I had just completed several roles with a very talented group of young players in the "Little Theatre." This being my first picture, it was to my advantage to work again with a young cast, who made me feel completely at ease during my first few days on the set. I was very happy to have appeared with Deanna Durbin in my first attempt in pictures; and to me all the praise that I could possibly give her will always seem insufficient."