Sunday, October 24, 2010



Award-winning Mexican actor and teacher Fernando Torre-Laphame died of respiratory failure just short of his 87th birthday. Mr. Laphame won a Silver Ariel (the Mexican equivalent of the Academy Award) as Best Actor in Carlos Carrera’s 1995 film "Sin Remitente." He won a Best Supporting Actor Silver Ariel for his performance in the multi-award-winning 1998 film "Under California: The Limit of Time." Mr. Laphame played the wedding priest in "Original Sin" with Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie. Mr. Laphame was also a respected director and actor on the Mexican stage. He began his acting career in 1940. Mr. Laphame was also a respected acting teacher at several Mexican universities.

KEMAL EL-SHEIK Died Jan. 2, 2004

Accalimed Egyptian director Kemal el-Sheik died at age 85. Mr. el-Sheik was nominated for a Golden Palm at Cannes for his 1971 short film "Langage du Geste." His 1962 film "The Thief and the Dogs" was nominated for the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. He also wrote both of those films. Mr. el-Sheik directed nearly 35 films. Egypt awarded him its highest decoration for the arts.

ETTA MOTEN Died Jan. 2, 2004

Singer/actress Etta Moten died at age 102. Ms. Moten was a pioneer and role model for Black actresses during the 1930s. She appeared in several films, breaking the custom Hollywood stereotype of a Black woman as anything more than a maid. One newspaper of the time said that Ms. Moten "was the first Negro woman to play a dignified role in the pictures." Ms. Moten appeared in "Flying Down to Rio" with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. She performed the Oscar winning song "The Carioca" in her scene with the dancing pair. Other film credits include Busby Berkley's"Gold Diggers of 1933" and "Professional Sweetheart." Ms. Moten played Bess in "Porgy and Bess" on Broadway in the 1940s. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a fan and invited her to sing at his birthday party in the White House in 1933. The University of Kansas graduate appeared in a number of other Broadway plays including "Lysistrata" and "Sugar Hill." She represented the United States during the independence ceremonies of the African nations of Nigeria, Zambia and Lusaka. She also traveled to Ghana on behalf of the US. She was married to Claude Barnett, the founder of the Black Press Association.

LYNN CARTWRIGHT Died Jan. 2, 2004

Actress Lynn Cartwright died of dementia- related illnesses following a hip fracture at age 76. Ms. Cartwright was a genre and exploitation actress who is best known to mainstream audiences as the older Dottie in "A League of Their Own." When I first saw "A League of Their Own," I thought the Older Dottie was played by Geena Davis in makeup. I was surprised when I read the credits and discovered that it was another actress. Lynn Cartwright was the widow of tough-guy actor Leo Gordon. They were married for 40 years. She appeared in several genre films in the 1950s. She appeared in "Cry Baby Killer," which was Jack Nicholson’s film debut. When I was very small, a film titled "The Wasp Woman" both aroused me and scared the crap out of me. Ms. Cartwright appeared in that. She also appeared in the Zsa Zsa Gabor cult classic "Queen of Outer Space." In the late 1960s Ms. Cartwright appeared in two X-Rated films: the wife swapping saga "All the Loving Couples" and "The Ribald Tales of Robin Hood." She appeared in Steven Speilberg’s Made for TV movie "Something Evil" in 1972. She finished the 1970s with more R-rated sex films like "Gabriella" and "The Seniors." Ms. Cartwright’s last film was her biggest: "A League of Their Own."

PAUL KEYES Died Jan. 2, 2004

Writer/producer Paul Keyes died at age 79. Mr. Keyes wrote for several notable TV series including "Laugh In" and "The Tonight Show." Mr. Keyes produced The AFI "Salute to William Wyler" and "Sinatra: The Man and His Music."

BEATRICE WINDE Died Jan. 3, 2004

Respected stage and screen actress Beatrice Winde died of cancer at age 79. Ms. Winde was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in the1972 play "Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death." Ms. Winde appeared in a number of memorable films dating back to the 1970s. She appeared in the landmark Made for TV movie "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman." She followed that with a role in the excellent thriller "The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three." Other credits include Karel Reisz’s "The Gambler" with James Caan, "Hide in Plain Site" also with James Caan, "Mandingo," "Oliver’s Story" the lame sequel to "Love Story," "Malcolm X," "A Rage in Harlem," "Jefferson in Paris," John Sayles’ "Lone Star," "Mickey Blue Eyes" and "The Hurricane." Ms. Winde won numerous awards for her stage acting and directing.

THOMAS HOLLAND Died Jan. 3, 2004

Sculptor Thomas Holland died at age 87. Mr. Holland was famous for his equestrian sculptures. He sculpted props for the 1960 version of "The Time Machine." He also acted on radio and TV.

BRIAN GIBSON Died Jan. 4, 2004

British director Brian Gibson died of a rare form of bone cancer at age 59. Mr. Gibson won a BAFTA TV Award for Best Single Play for his telefilm "Best Remembered Hills." Mr. Gibson was nominated for a DGA Award and won an Emmy as Best Director of a TV Movie or Mini series for his HBO biopic "The Josephene Baker Story." Mr. Gibson enjoyed success on both sides of the Atlantic. He directed "What’s Love Got to Do With It?" The biopic of singer Tina Turner starred Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne as Tina and Ike Turner. Mr. Gibson also directed "Poltergeist 2: The Other Side." Gibson directed "Drug Wars: The Camarena Story" for Michael Mann. Actor Ben Kingsley was nominated for a Golden Globe for his work in Gibson’s TV movie "Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story." Other credits include "The Juror," which starred Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin and "Still Crazy" with Stephen Rea. Mr. Gibson was an executive producer of Salma Hayek’s "Frida." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

JEFF NUTTALL Died Jan. 4, 2004

British actor/artist/teacher/poet Jeff Nuttall died at age 71. Mr. Nuttall
was a Renaissance man in the true sense of the word. He wrote such books as "Art and the Degradation of Awareness" and "Bomb Culture." He also taught and lectured at art schools. He was one of the founders of the performance art troupe The People Show. Mr. Nuttall’s film appearances include roles in the James Bond film "The World is Not Enough" and playing Friar Tuck in the 1991 Made for TV version of "Robin Hood." Mr. Nuttall appeared in "Scandal," which dealt with the Profumo affair and starred John Hurt, Joanne Whalley and Bridget Fonda. Other film credits include "The Browning Version" with Albert Finney, the mini-series "The 10th Kingdom" and the BBC comedy TV series "Chef!"

JOAN AIKEN Died Jan. 4, 2004

Award-winning British writer Joan Aiken died at age 79. Ms. Aiken wrote 92
novels during her life. She was primarily a children’s author, but she did write 27 novels for adults. Ms. Aiken’s short story "Marmalade Wine" became an episode of "Rod Serling’s Night Gallery." Her most famous children’s book "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase" was turned into a disappointing film in 1988. It starred Emily Hudson and Aleks Darowska as protagonists Bonnie and Sylvia. Stephanie Beacham played Miss Slighcarp. A better film adaptation of Ms. Aiken’s work was the French thriller "Death on a Rainy Day." Ms. Aiken wrote for the children’s TV series "Blackhearts in Battersea." Her children’s stories were adapted by the BBC for both radio (in the 1940s) and TV series. She was the daughter of Pulitzer Prize winning poet Conrad Aiken.

ALLEN MINER Died Jan. 4, 2004

Director Allen Miner died at age 86. Mr. Miner was a combat photographed in the Navy during WWII. He photographer General MacArthur’s landing in the Philippines! Mr. Miner’s love of sailing was put to use in his work. According to his family, Mr. Miner was one of the many directors of "The Old Man and the Sea," which starred Spencer Tracey. Mr Miner directed such feature films as "The Black Pirates," the documentary feature "The Naked Sea," "Ghost Town," "The Ride Back" and "Black Patch," which he also produced. Mr. Miner also wrote, produced, photographed and edited the documentary "The Naked Sea." Mr. Miner also directed numerous TV shows including "The Untouchables," "Route 66," "Wagon Train" and "Then Came Bronson." After ten years of TV work, Mr. Miner wrote and directed one last feature "Chubasco," which starred Christopher Jones in one of his few films before chucking stardom and disappearing.

KEN MCELDOWNEY Died Jan. 5, 2004

Have you ever walked out of a movie theater and said to yourself, "I could make a better movie than that"? Florist Ken McEldowney did just that in 1947. His wife, an MGM publicist dared him to do so. He did. Ken McEldowney produced the 1951 hit "The River." French director Jean Renoir helmed the project. "The River" was filmed on location in India and was the first film shot on location to use magnetic sound recording. The film was nominated for Best British Film and Best Film from Any Source at the 1953 BAFTAs. The film won the International Award for director Jean Renoir and was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 1951 Venice Film Festival. Ken McEldowney took his wife up on a dare and proved he could make a better movie. It was his only film. Ken McEldowney died of natural causes at age 97.

TUG MCGRAW Died Jan. 5, 2004

Baseball superstar Tug McGraw lost his battle to brain cancer at age 59. Famous for his screwball pitch, McGraw led the 1973 Mets from the bottom of the cellar to the World Series. They lost, but it was one of baseball’s grand stories. McGraw coined the phrase "You Gotta Believe" that year. A lot of Mets fans did believe. McGraw pitched the final out in the 1980 World Series giving the Philadelphia Phillies their one World Series title. Mr. McGraw is also the father of country singer Tim McGraw. I’m conflicted here because I couldn’t find a single movie credit for Mr. McGraw. I’m sure he must have appeared through archived footage in some documentary about baseball. It’s my column so I can include Mr. McGraw if I want to. I admired his tenacity. It was great to be a baseball fan in the 1970s. Tug McGraw was one of the reasons for that. Prayers of comfort for his family, fans and friends.

UPDATE: Thanks to Dan, a regular at Voy Forum Celebrity Obits Board for pointing out that Mr. McGraw appeared, along with some of his 1969 Miracle Mets team mates on an episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond." I knew he had to have at least one film or TV credit to his name! Thanks Dan!


Actress Patricia Falkenhain died of a heart attack at age 77. Ms. Falkenhain was a respected stage actress. Ms. Falkenhain won three Obie Awards and one Drama Critic’s Award for her Off-Broadway performances. Ms. Falkenhain’s film credits include Mike Nichol’s "Heartburn," Jonathan Demme’s "Something Wild," "The House on Carroll Street" and the TV version of the Tony Award winning play "The House of Blue Leaves." The stage version of "The House of Blue Leaves" marked Ms. Falkenhain’s last Broadway appearance.


Famed photographer Francesco Scavullo died of heart failure at age 82. Mr. Scavullo photographed just about every celebrity of the modern era. He was in high demand by the rich and famous as a portrait photographer. Mr. Scavullo published six books featuring collections of his work. He work also graced many well-known magazine covers. He appeared as himself in several episodes of the "Intimate Portrait" series of TV documentaries. He also directed "The Crystal Gale Special," which aired in December 1979. He also appeared in the 1985 documentary "The Look."

INGRID THULIN Died Jan. 7, 2004

Award-winning Swedish actress Ingrid Thulin died at age 77. Ms. Thulin gained fame and is best known for her association with director Ingmar Bergman. Ms. Thulin acted in 10 films with the award winning director. Ms. Thulin was a versatile actress with great emotional range. She was able to make the viewer overlook her outer beauty and focus on what was inside the character. Ms. Thulin appeared in several of Mr. Bergman’s bleakest and profound films. I first noticed her in Bergman’s brilliant essay on the loss of faith: "Winter Light." She played the doomed Ester in Berman’s desolate classic "The Silence." Ms. Thulin also starred in two Bergman films that are certifiable masterpieces: "Wild Strawberries" and "Cries and Whispers." The two films couldn’t be more opposite from one another. One is heartwarming while the other is simply harrowing. In "Wild Strawberries," Ms. Thulin plays the niece of Victor Sjöström’s character. The film chronicles the journey of an elderly professor making a trip to receive an award for his lifetime of service. Along the way, the professor remembers his long life. A wonderful and sentimental film experience. "Cries and Whispers" deals with death. Ms. Thulin plays one of two sisters who are watching their third sister die. Incredible acting. Bergman’s approach to the subject matter is unflinching. If you can stomach the film, you are in for a rewarding experience. Ms. Thulin also appeared in Bergman’s only foray in the horror film genre. "Hour of the Wolf" is almost experimental in nature. An overlooked film that should be seen by all.

Ingmar Bergman wasn’t the only noted director to work with Ms. Thulin. She starred with Yves Montand in Alain Resnais’ excellent "La Guerre est Finie." She co-starred with Dirk Bogarde in "The Damned," Luchino Visconti’s decadent trip through the hell of Hitler’s pre-WWII Germany. A movie that is hard to forget. Aldo Lado’s "Malestrano" (Short Night of the Glass Dolls) is one of the best films of the Giallo genre. Ms. Thulin plays an older woman of mystery in this film where the hero is a corpse! Ms. Thulin wasn’t as successful in her American films. She appeared in "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" with Glenn Ford, the disaster film "The Cassandra Crossing" and the Made for TV movie "Moses the Lawgiver." Ingrid Thulin directed several films including "Broken Sky" and "One and One."

Ms. Thulin was nominated for Best Actress for "Cries and Whispers" at the 1974 BAFTA’s. She won as Best Actress at Cannes in 1958 for Bergman’s "Nara Livet." She also won Best Actress for "The Silence" at the Swedish Guldbagge Awards.

CHARLES BROWN Died Jan. 8, 2004

Actor Charles Brown died of cancer at age 57. Mr. Brown was nominated for two Tony Awards in 1980 and 2001. Mr. Brown appeared in a number of TV shows and films. He portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the TV mini series "Kennedy." Mr. Brown was known to soap opera fans for his work on "All My Children." Other film credits include "Trading Places," "Legal Eagles" and "Without a Trace." Mr. Brown served his country in the Navy during the Vietnam War.

PAUL CADEAC Died Jan. 8, 2004

French producer/director Paul Cadeac died of heart failure at age 86. Mr. Cadeac produced the popular "Fantomas" film series. Actor Paul Marais, the Beast in Jean Cocteau’s "Beauty and the Beast," appeared in six films by Cadeac including three of the "Fantomas" series. Mr. Cadeac directed the 1954 film "Quai des Blondes." Other credits include the 1958 version of "Les Meserables," "The Gold Robbers," "Captain Blood" and Claude Berri’s "The Two of Us."

ED ZWANEVELD Died Jan. 8, 2004

Academy and Emmy Award winning inventor Ed Zwaneveld died of a heart attack at age 64. Mr. Zwaneveld was part of a group, which received a technical Academy Award in 1998 for the invention of DigiSync. DigiSync helped simplify the film editing process. He also received an Emmy Creative Arts Engineering Award in 1994. Mr. Zwaneveld was a former lab manager for MGM and also worked for Consolidated Film Industries at one time.

AARON WEAVER Died Jan. 8, 2004

Chief Warrant Officer Aaron Weaver was killed in the crash of a Blackhawk helicopter in Iraq. Eight other soldiers also died in the crash. Officer Weaver was an Army Ranger. He survived the fierce Battle of Mogadishu in 1993. During the Battle of Mogadishu, Weaver was in a vehicle that took a direct hit from an RPG. He wasn’t hurt in that incident. That battle was the subject of the book and film "Blackhawk Down." Officer Weaver appeared in the documentary film "The True Story of Blackhawk Down." Weaver had cancer. He sought and received a waiver so that he could serve his country in Iraq. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends. What joy that we have such men willing to serve our country. What sorrow that this one is gone.


Award-winning Brazilian filmmaker Rogerio Sganzerla died of brain cancer at age 57. Mr. Sganzerla directed features, documentaries and shorts. Mr. Sganzerla was a fan of the late Orson Welles. His 1990 documentary "A Linguagem de Orson Welles" dealt with Orson Welles love for the art and culture of Brazil. John Huston was one of the interviewees for that film. The documentary also shed light on Mr. Welles attempt to film a movie in Brazil during the 1940s. Mr. Sganzerla revisited this subject in his last film "O Signo do Caos." "O Signo do Caos" was a dramatization of Welles battles to make his unfinished film "It’s All True." Mr. Sganzerla’s 1986 feature "It’s Not All True" also dealt with Welles’ unfinished film! Mr. Sganzerla’s documentary "HQ" was a 9-minute short covering the history of comic books from the early 1900s through 1969. Mr. Sganzerla’s best known film was "The Red Light Bandit," which dealt with a Brazilian criminal similar to the executed California rapist Caryl Chessman.

LYNDON BROOK Died Jan. 9, 2004

Actor/writer Lyndon Brook died at age 77. Mr. Brook had a successful career on both stage and screen. He also wrote several plays, most notably the comedy "Mixed Doubles." Mr. Brook’s father was the actor Clive Brook who played Sherlock Holmes in two films. Mr. Brook’s film and TV credits include "The Avengers," "Plenty," "Defense of the Realm," "I, Claudius," "The Longest Day," "Song Without End," "Reach for the Sky" and "Above Us the Waves."

SIDNEY MILLER Died Jan. 10, 2004

Actor/director/composer Sidney Miller died of Parkinson’s Disease at age 87. Mr. Miller appeared in over 100 films and directed a number of television shows. He is the father of actor Barry Miller who played Bobby C in "Saturday Night Fever" and Ralph Garcey in the movie "Fame." Mr. Miller was a contract player for MGM during the 1930s and 40s. Mr. Miller was the comedy partner of the late Donald O’Conner. Mr. Miller turned to directing TV shows in the 1950s and 60s. His director credits include "The Monkees," "The Mickey Mouse Club," "Get Smart" and "Bewitched." Late in his career, Mr. Miller provided voice work for animated shows such as "The Smurffs" and "Challenge of the Go-Bots." Mr. Miller’s film credits include Bob Fosse’s "Star 80," Woody Allan’s "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* But Were Afraid to Ask," "Experiment in Terror," "Wing and a Prayer," "Alias Boston Blackie," "Boy’s Town" and "Life Begins for Andy Hardy." Mr. Miller also composed songs for a number of films from the 1940s.

ALEXANDRA RIPLEY Died Jan. 10, 2004

Writer Alexandra Ripley died of natural causes at age 71. Ms. Ripley was chosen by the estate of Margaret Mitchell to write "Scarlett," a sequel to "Gone With the Wind." Ms. Ripley specialized in writing historical novels. Though many folks wondered "what were they thinking?" when it came to "Scarlett" the book became a best seller. The book was turned into a TV mini-series with Joanne Whalley playing the title role and Timothy Dalton playing Rhett Butler.

ERLE JOLSON KRASNA Died Jan. 11, 2004

The widow of producer Norm Krasna and fourth wife of actor Al Jolson and died of cancer at age 81. Ms. Krasna was the first wife of "The Jazz Singer" actor Al Jolson. After Al Jolson’s death in 1950, Ms. Krasna married Oscar winning screenwriter Norman Krasna. "Perry Mason" actress Barbara Hale portrayed Ms. Lrasna in the 1949 film "Jolson Sings Again."

CINDY TURTLE WALDEN Died Jan. 11, 2004

Producer/Showtime Cable TV/talent agent Cindy Tuttle died of cancer at age 60. Ms. Walden owned The Turtle Agency and represented a number of industry figures.

MOLLY CRAIG KELLY Died Jan. 13, 2004

87 year old Molly Craig Kelly died in her sleep. Ms. Kelly was the subject of Philip Noyce’s outstanding film "Rabbit Proof Fence." Ms. Kelly was one of the half Aborigine half White children taken away from their parents and raised to be slaves by the Australian government during the earlier part of this century. Ms. Kelly her sister and cousin escaped from the camp and trekked almost all the way across Australian to freedom. Ms. Kelly was portrayed in the film by Everlyn Sampi.

UTA HAGEN Died Jan. 13, 2004

Award-winning actress/teacher Uta Hagen died at age 84. The German born actress moved to the US as a child. He childhood dream was to be an actress. She fulfilled her dream in spades. Ms. Hagen won a Tony Award for her performance as Martha in the original Broadway production of "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe?" Elizabeth Taylor played the role in the film version. In some respects, Ms. Hagen was a lot like the late Kim Stanley. She was a great stage actress who only made a handful of films. Those fortunate enough to have seen Ms. Hagen on stage can count their blessings. The rest of us can only see glimpses of her great talent from the few films she left behind. My first memory of Ms. Hagen was in the eerie occult film "The Other." Ms. Hagen played the grandmother of twin boys, one good, one evil. I have never been able to shake the crazed fast motion image of Ms. Hagen playing the piano in one scene. Ms. Hagen played an important cameo role in the film version of Ira Levin’s "The Boys From Brazil." Ms. Hagen played the woman who placed all of the little Hitler clones with their adoptive families. Ms. Hagen also played Glenn Close’s personal maid in Barbet Schroeder’s "Reversal of Fortune." Ms. Hagen was a world-renowned acting teacher. Her book "Respect for Acting" is among the most highly regarded in the genre.

PHILIP CROSBY Died Jan. 13, 2004

Philip Crosby, the last surviving child of Bing Crosby’s first marriage died at age 69. Mr. Crosby appeared in "None But the Brave" and "Robin and the Seven Hoods." He also was part of a singing act with his brothers. Philip’s brothers Dennis and Lindsay committed suicide. Brother Gary died of cancer. Brother Gary wrote a tell all book painting father Bing Crosby as a cruel tyrant. Philip denied many of Gary’s allegations. Either way, Philip and his brothers had a hard life. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

DEAN MILLER Died Jan. 13, 2004

Actor turned newsman Dean Miller died of cancer at age 79. Mr. Miller was a contract player for MGM during the late 1940s. He may be best remembered for his role on the long-running TV series "December Bride." That show ran from 1954 through 1961. In the 1970s Mr. Miller worked as a news anchorman in Detroit. His film credits include "Skirts Ahoy," "Dream Wife" and "Small Town Girl."

DONALD ALAN SIEGAL Died Jan. 13, 2004

Composer Donald Siegal died of leukemia at age 53. Mr. Siegal composed songs for childrens shows such as "Captain Kangaroo" and "Sesame Street." He wrote the stage musical "Lewis and Clark" about the famed explorers. Other song credits include "Frosty the Snowman," "Loony Tunes," "The Tangerine Bear" and "Alex and the Wonderful Doo-Wah Lamp." Mr. Siegal was working on songs for Mel Brook’s "Shakespeare’s Itch" and Disney’s "The Corsair."

HERMAN CLEBANOFF Died Jan. 13, 2004

Violinist Herman Clebanoff died of natural causes at age 86. Mr. Clebanoff began playing the violin as a child. His professional career spanned seven decades. He was the conductor for the NBC Orchestra in Chicago. Mr. Clebanoff was the founder and conductor of the Clebanoff Strings. The group recorded numerous albums with worldwide sales. He recorded music for both film and television. Mr. Clebanoff was the concertmaster for the Chicago Civic Orchestra.

RON O’NEAL Died Jan. 14, 2004

Boy I feel old. Another cultural icon from my youth has passed on. Actor Ron O’Neal died of pancreatic cancer at age 66. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends. "Superfly" wasn’t that good a movie. The movie may seem better in memory because of Curtis Mayfield’s outstanding score. Blaxploitation films stormed the pop culture scene during the early 70s as if it was a beachhead on Normandy. The early civil rights battles paved the way for the visions of Black artists and filmmakers to be heard. The label Blaxploitation was at once derogatory and at the same time a badge of honor. Those who pointed to these films as an insult to the dignity of Black Americans just didn’t get it. These films were no different from the action films aimed at White folks. Ron O’Neal’s "Superfly" was every bit as much an anti-hero as any number of Paul Newman’s early characters. "Superfly" was "Cool Hand Luke" for the ghetto. Some folks got it right away. For others, it took people like Quentin Tarantino to point out what gems these films really were.

Ron O’Neal broke into acting on the stage. He won a number of Awards for his theatrical work. It was "Superfly" that brought the handsome actor stardom overnight. O’Neal was cast as a Harlem drug dealer fighting to make enough money to retire rich. The film was directed by Gordon Parks. Some viewers, critics and moral naysayers condemned "Superfly" for allowing the criminal hero to walk away without paying any consequences. Of course there was no such uproar when Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw got away with their crimes in "The Getaway." O’Neal’s character threatened those in America who weren’t used to hearing a Black man speak his mind. O’Neal’s Youngblood Priest was a good-looking badass with a brilliant mind. The film spawned a less than successful sequel "Superfly T.N.T." O’Neal wrote and directed the second film. As quickly as Ron O’Neal’s star rose, it seemed to fade.

O’Neal continued to act, but his most famous role seemed to hold him back. Mr. O’Neal played the Tom Laughlin’s rival in the abysmal Western "The Master Gunfighter." That film’s failure had more to do with Mr. Laughlin’s hubris than anything Ron O’Neal did. Either way, it hurt O’Neal to be in such a high profile box-office bomb. During the 1980s Ron O’Neal appeared in a recurring role on my favorite TV series of that decade: "The Equalizer." O’Neal played police Lieutenant Smalls opposite Edward Woodward’s urban avenging angel Robert McCall. The 1980s also saw O’Neal playing the Cuban badguy in John Milius’ WWIII film "Red Dawn." In the end, O’Neal joined up with other actors to pay homage to the genre that brought him fame and also left him typecast. "Original Gangstas" starred O’Neal, Jim Brown, Pam Grier, Richard Roundtree, Paul Winfield, Isabelle Sanford, Robert Forster and Charles Napier. More a curiosity and a tribute than an attempt to revive the genre. Rest in Peace, Youngblood Priest.

SEXCILIA Died Jan 14, 2004

Drag performer Sexcilia died of complications from AIDS at age 33. Reynaldo Pagan Rivera was one of the top drag performers in South Beach. One of Sexcilia’s most notorious stage acts was his performance of Sharon Stone’s interrogation scene from "Basic Instinct," which included a full-Monty crotch shot. Sexcilia appeared in Troy Beyer’s "Let’s Talk About Sex."

OLIVIA GOLDSMITH Died Jan. 15, 2004

Writer Olivia Goldsmith died at age 54. Ms. Goldsmith lapsed into a coma due to complications from the anesthesia administered while undergoing plastic surgery. Ms. Goldsmith wrote the novel "The First Wives Club." That book was made into a film starring Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler. Ms. Goldsmith’s book "Fashionable Late" was the basis for the Brazilian TV series "Desejos de Muhler." She also wrote the screenplay for "Clink, Inc.," which is in production with Rod Lurie as director.

RAY STARK Died Jan. 17, 2004

Oscar nominated producer Ray Stark died at age 88. Mr. Stark was given the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award by the Academy in 1980. Ray Stark produced a number of films starring Barbra Streisand and a number of films written by Neil Simon. He was nominated for Best Picture Oscars for films made with both collaborators. Mr. Stark’s films "Funny Girl" and "The Goodbye Girl" were both nominated for Best Picture Oscars. Ray Stark was the son-in-law of vaudevillian Fanny Brice. Stark produced "Funny Girl" (on stage and screen) and "Funny Lady" in tribute to Ms. Brice. Both films starred Barbra Streisand. Stark also produced Streisand’s chick-flick classic "The Way We Were" and "The Owl and the Pussycat." Mr. Stark produced 11 film adaptations of Neil Simon’s work. Among those films are "The Sunshine Boys," "Murder by Death," "Lost in Yonkers," "Chapter Two," "California Suite," "Brighton Beach Memories" and "Biloxi Blues." Mr. Stark was also a patron of John Huston’s work. He produced four films by the famed director: "Night of the Iguana," "Fat City," "Annie" and "Reflections in a Golden Eye." Other memorable films include Richard Lester’s tale of an aging Robin Hood: "Robin and Marian." Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn starred in this wonderful film about Robin Hood and Maid Marian. Other credits include "The Electric Horseman," "Steel Magnolias," "Somewhere in Time," "This Property Condemned," "The World of Suzie Wong," the HBO telefilm "Barbarians at the Gates" and "The Black Bird" with George Segal as Sam Spade Jr.

NOBLE WILLINGHAM Died Jan. 17, 2004

Character actor Noble Willingham died of natural causes at age 72. Willingham was discovered by Peter Bogdanovich when he was casting "The Last Picture Show." Mr. Willingham has over 120 film and TV credits. He played bar owner C.D. Parker on the Chuck Norris TV series "Walker Texas Ranger." Among Mr. Willingham’s many notable film credits are Peter Bogdanovich’s "Paper Moon," Roman Polanski’s "Chinatown," Sidney Furie’s "The Boys in Company C," Martin Ritt’s "Norma Rae," Richard Lester’s "Butch and Sundance: The Early Days," Stuart Rosenberg’s "Brubaker" the Coen Brother’s "The Hudsucker Proxy," "Good Morning Vietnam," "City Slickers" and Joe Dante’s "The Howling." Mr. Willingham appeared in a number of great B-movies during the 1970s. Among those credits are "Aloha Bobby and Rose" with Paul LeMat and Dianne Hull, "Big Bad Mama" with Angie Dickinson, "Fighting Mad" with Peter Fonda, "Hit!" with Billy Dee Williams and "Greased Lightning" with Richard Pryor. Mr. Willingham was a teacher before his acting career. Mr. Willingham ran for local politcal office and Texas. He returned to acting having failed to get elected.

ELSA BUCHANAN Died Jan. 17, 2004

British actress Elsa Buchanan died at age 95. The stage actress came to Hollywood in the 1930s. She appeared in over 20 films but never really achieved Hollywood stardom. She may be best known as the sexy, comic maid in "Charlie Chan in London." Other film credits include "Little Lord Fauntleroy," "Becky Sharpe," "Lloyd’s of London," "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" and "Riptide." She retired from film in the late 1930s having married a British merchant marine.

HARRY BLUM Died Jan. 18, 2004

Producer/distributor Harry Blum died of congestive heart failure at age 71.
Mr. Blum produced one of my favorite Brian DePalma films. DePalma’s "Obsession" did little to change the mind of critics that he was a copycat of Alfred Hitchcock. Nonetheless, "Obsession" is a great little film. Cliff Robertson, John Lithgow and Genevieve Bujold starred in DePalma’s tale of murder, guilt and redemption. The film borrowed themes and plot points from Hitchcock’s "Vertigo." "Obsession" still plays well today. The film hints of better things to come from DePalma. Thanks to Mr. Blum for helping make that happen. Mr. Blum’s other credits include the action flick "Diamonds," which starred Robert Shaw and Richard Roundtree. He also produced one of the Victorian dinosaur films starring Doug McClure. "At the Earth’s Core" was on of the better films in that series of B-Movies from the 70s. Peter Cushing co-starred.

REBECCA STEELE Died Jan. 19, 2004

Adult film performer Rebecca Steele died of a drug overdose while in the final stages of full blown AIDS. She took her life two days after her 42nd birthday. Ms. Steele performed in a large number of adult films during the 1990s. Her story is long and sad. She was born into a tough situation and learned to live to survive. It is easy to judge the mistakes made by Ms. Steele. It would be better to let her story serve as a warning to others. Whatever your profession, be it porn star or pastor, drugs will kill your soul. Prayers of comfort for her family.

CHIEN YING-CHANG Death Announced Jan. 19, 2004

Chinese artist Chien Ying-Chang has died at age 90. Ms. Ying-Chang studied art in Great Britain. She spent the last 50 years of her life in England. Ms. Ying-Chang was world renowned for her artwork. Her connection to the film industry was limited. She worked on sets and costumes for the Ingrid Bergman film "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness." She also did work on "The World of Suzie Wong" and the Hope/Crosby film "The Road to Hong Kong."

JERRY NACHMAN Died Jan. 20, 2004

Journalist/producer/writer Jerry Nachman died of gall bladder cancer at age 57. Mr. Nachman produced and wrote for the TV series "Politically Incorrect." He was editor in chief and vice-president of MSNBC. He hosted his own TV show "Nachman." Mr. Nachman announced his illness on that show. Mr. Nachman co-wrote the award-winning short film "John." He also wrote an episode of the TV series "UC: Undercover."

DR. BERNARD PUNSLY Died Jan. 20, 2004

There are some movies in which it is okay for a guy to cry while watching and
not have to question their sexuality. "Angels With Dirty Faces" is one such
film. James Cagney starred with Pat O’Brien and the Dead End Kids in a tale of a gangster’s redemption. Cagney play Rocky, a John Dillinger type gangster that the Dead End Kids idolize. Rocky goes to the electric chair. The Kids know that he won’t turn yellow at the last minute. Priest O’Brien pleads with Rocky on his way to the chair to give up his façade so the kids won’t continue their hero worship. Cagney goes to the chair squealing like a coward so the Kids won’t end up like him. It may seem sappy today, but the film’s powerful ending gets me every time. It remains my favorite gangster film from the 1930s. Dr. Bernard Punsly was one of the original Dead End Kids. Punsly along with Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordon, Billy Halop and Gabriel Dell first appeared in the gritty crime drama "Dead End" with Humphrey Bogart. The Kids appeared in a number of such serious films portraying the hardscrabble life of life during the Great Depression. The Kids eventually evolved into the Bowery Boys and the films became slapstick comedies. Punsly appeared in 19 films between 1937 and 43. Punsly served his country during WWII. He then became a doctor, practicing medicine for 50 years. Bernard Punsly, the last surviving member of the original Dead End Kids died at age 80.

ITALIA COPPOLA Died Jan. 20, 2004

Italia Coppola, the matriarch of the famed filmmaking family died at age 91. Ms. Coppola was the widow of composer Carmine Coppola. She was the mother of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire. Nicolas Cage, Sophia, Roman, Marc, Christopher and the late Gian-Carlo Coppola, Jason and Robert Schwartzman are her grandchildren. Son Francis gave his mother cameos in his films "The Godfather Part II" and "One From the Heart." Prayers of comfort to her family and friends.

LUIS CUENCA Died Jan. 21, 2004

Award-winning Spanish actor Luis Cuenca died of a pulmonary disorder at age 82. Mr. Cuenca won the Goya Award as Best Actor for his work in David Trueba’s "The Good Life." Though Mr. Cuenca appeared in over 20 films dating back to the 1950s, his greatest acting success came late in life. Mr. Cuenca was also nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Goya for his work in director Trueba’s "The Masterpiece."

YORDAN RADICHKOV Died Jan. 21, 2004

Bulgarian novelist/playwright Yordon Radichkov died from complications following a stroke at the age of 75. Mr. Radichkov’s works dealt with themes of freedom in a world of communist oppression. A number of his plays and novels were turned into feature films in his native land.

JERRY STOLL Died Jan. 21, 2004

Famed photographer and documentary filmmaker Jerry Stoll died of natural causes at age 80. Mr. Stoll was best known for his photographic chronicles of the San Francisco jazz and bebop scene. He was the official photographer of the Monterey Jazz Festival. Mr. Stoll was also a documentary filmmaker. His film "Sons and Daughters" dealt with a group of Berkeley anti-war protestors marching from Berkeley to the Oakland Army Terminal. It featured music by the Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix. Mr. Stoll also made films about Pentagon Papers thief Dr. Daniel Ellsberg and the Black Panthers. Mr. Stoll produced and distributed films for American Documentary Films. Mr. Stoll served his country during WWII with the 7th Armored Division.

BOB KEESHAN Died Jan. 22, 2004

I had to call my Mom tonight. Captain Kangaroo had died. I grew up in a time when a Mom could stay home with the kids if she wanted to. I was lucky enough to have a parent home with me before I started first grade. I have vivid memories of my morning routine. Breakfast at the kitchen table, Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Green Jeans and Mr. Moose on the 12-inch black and white TV. Same thing every morning before going out side to play cowboys and Indians with my buds. I guess I’m showing my age. I told my 17-year-old daughter that Captain Kangaroos had died. "Captain Who?" she asked. Oh well. Bob Keeshan will always be remembered as Captain Kangaroo to millions of baby boomers. The older boomers even remember Mr. Keeshan as Clarabelle the Clown from "The Howdy Doody Show." I’m not that old! "Captain Kangaroo" ran from 1955 through 1984.

ANN MILLER Died Jan 22, 2004

Tap-dancing dynamo Ann Miller lost her long battle with lung cancer at age 81. Ms. Miller began her career as a child dancer. She rose to the top ranks of the MGM stable acting and dancing with Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Bob Fosse and others. During the 1980s, Ms. Miller made an incredible comeback in the Broadway play "Sugar Babies." The play had 1700 performances on Broadway. Miller and co-star Mickey Rooney took the show on the road and enjoyed several years of success. Ms. Miller’s film career included a number of great films from the Golden Era of Hollywood. Her film credits include Frank Capra’s "You Can’t Take it With You," "Room Service" with The Marx Brothers, "Easter Parade" with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland, "The Kissing Bandit" with Frank Sinatra, "On the Town" with Gene Kelly and Sinatra, "Kiss Me Kate" with Howard Keel and Bob Fosse and "The Opposite Sex" with June Allyson. Ms. Miller retired from film in 1956. She made a cameo appearance in the lame 1976 comedy "Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood." In 1996 she appeared in David Lynch’s "Mulholland Drive." This was an ironic choice for Ms. Miller as she often said she left film because of the increase in the amounts of sex and violence being shown on film.

TICKY HOLGADO Died Jan. 22, 2004

French comedic actor Ticky Holgado died at age 68. Mr. Holgado appeared in nearly 80 films during the last 20 years. He may be best known to American audiences for his work in the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Those include the delightful "Amelie," the disturbing "The City of Lost Children" and the bizarrely hilarious "Delicatessen." Among Mr. Holgado’s other credits are "Les Miserables," Claude Berri’s "Manon of the Spring," Claude LeLouch’s "And Now...Ladies and Gentlemen" and "Let There Be Light." Mr. Holgado was nominated for two Cesar’s as Best Supporting Actor for the films "French Twist" and "Wonderful Times."

ROBERT DONLEY Died Jan. 22, 2004

Character actor Robert Donley died at age 92. Mr. Donely played James Garner’s father in the pilot episode of the TV series "The Rockford Files." Noah Berry took over the role for the series itself. Mr. Donley was a prolific radio actor working on nearly 50,000 shows. Mr. Donley’s film credits include "Cocktail," "Bloodhounds of Broadway," "Bushwhacked" and "Tenderfoots." He also appeared in the TV series "Kojak," "Kung-Fu," "Matlock," "Seinfeld" and "Mad About You."

BILLY MAY Died Jan. 22, 2004

Composer Billy May died at the age of 87. Mr. May was a world-renowned composer, bandleader and arranger. Mr. May worked on over 50 films and TV series as a composer, orchestrator or arranger. Among his many credits are "Daddy Long Legs," "Tony Rome," "The Front Page," "Racing With the Moon," "Cocoon," "Field of Dreams" and "The Rocketeer." Mr. May appeared in several films during his days with The Glenn Miller Orchestra and as the leader of The Billy May Orchestra. Those films include "Sun Valley Serenade" "Orchestra Wives, "Free and Easy" and "Nightmare."

CHARLOTTE ZWERIN Died Jan. 22, 2004

Documentary filmmaker Charlotte Zwerin died of lung cancer at age 72. Ms. Zwerin edited and co-directed the harrowing Rolling Stones film "Gimmie Shelter." "Gimmie Shelter" chronicled the fall from Eden of the hippie generation. The film follows Mick Jagger and the Stones during their doomed 1970 US Tour. "Gimmie Shelter" climaxes at the Stones free concert at the Altamont Motor Speedway. The killing of a gun-wielding fan by a Hell’s Angel is captured on film. Ms. Zwerin created this great film with long time collaborators Albert and David Maysles. "Gimmie Shelter" alone would be enough to guarantee a filmmaker a lifetime of respect and admiration. Thing is, Ms. Zwerin made a number of outstanding films. Her documentary "Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser" is the best documentary on the subject of jazz ever made. In fact the two films make a great double feature. Fellow Jazz fan Clint Eastwood produced the film. Ms. Zwerin directed "Thelonious Monk" by herself. She collaborated with the Maysles brothers on several other films including "Salesmen," "The Fence" and the Sundance nominated documentary "Islands."

HELMUT NEWTON Died Jan. 23, 2004

Photographer Helmut Newton died in an automobile accident at age 83. Mr. Newton was leaving the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles when he lost control of his car and crashed into a wall. Mr. Newton photographer most of the rich and famous during his career. He was most famous for his artistic/erotic nude photography. Mr. Newton provided the photographs shot by Faye Dunaway’s character in "The Eyes of Laura Mars." He was the subject of Adrian Maben’s documentary feature "Frames From the Edge." Mr. Newton also appeared Julian Benedikt’s documentary "Jazz Seen: The Life and Times of William Claxton." Thanks for the beautiful images!

ALBERT HENDERSON Death Announced Jan. 23, 2004

Actor Albert Henderson died at age 88. Mr. Henderson played in a number of notable films during his career. He often played cops. Mr. Henderson appeared in two films by action director Don Siegel: "Madigan" and "Coogan’s Bluff." Other film credits include "Serpico," "Cops and Robbers," "The Super Cops" and the TV movie "Serpico: The Deadly Rage." He also played a police officer in the erotic supernatural thriller "The Reincarnation of Peter Proud." Other credits include Bob Rafelson’s version of "The Postman Always Rings Twice," "Barfly," "Big Top Peewee" and "Trancers 2." Mr. Henderson may be best known for the role Seaweedhead Greaser in Robert Downey Sr.’s over the top religious parody "Greaser’s Palace."

TOMIO AOKI Died Jan. 24, 2004

Japanese actor Tomio Aoki died of lung cancer at age 80. Mr. Aoki was a child actor in the 1930s. He took the name Tokkan Kozo as a screen name from the character he played in the 1929 film "A Straightforward Boy." His character was a evil brat kidnapped by some thugs. He turns the tables on his kidnappers. This was 60 years before "Home Alone." There’s nothing new under the sun. Mr. Aoki appeared in 15 films during the 1930s. He returned to film in the late 1950s, making two films: "The Brute" and "Washi To Taka." After another 30 years he returned to film again in the late 1990s.

ANITA ADDISON Died Jan. 24, 2004

Producer/director Anita Addison died of undisclosed causes at age 51. Ms. Addison was one of the first Black women TV executives. Ms. Addison began her career as a director. She directed episodes of "Knot’s Landing," "Quantum Leap," "Freddy’s Nightmares," "ER," "Sirens" and "Judging Amy." Ms. Addison also directed the Made for TV movies "There Are No Children Here" starring Oprah Winfrey and David Keith and "Deep in My Heart" starring Ann Bancroft. She held executive positions at CBS, Lorimar and Warner Brothers Television. Ms. Addison was the executive producer or producer of the TV series "Sisters," "It Had to Be You," "That’s Life" and "St. Michael’s Crossing."

MARK CURTIS Died Jan. 24, 2004

Writer Mark Curtis died of cancer at age 52. Mr. Curtiss and his writing partner Rod Ash co-wrote the TV movie "Get Smart, Again!" They also collaborated on the TV series "Sledge Hammer," "Fridays" and "Faerie Tail Theater." Curtis and Ash wrote the Tim Burton directed episode of "Faerie Tale Theater": "Alladin and His Magic Lamp." They also wrote the "Cinderella" episode. Mr. Curtis was the subject of the upcoming documentary film "50 Things to Do Before I Die." Mr. Curtis started as a stand-up comic. He was hired to write material for such people as Jimmy Walker and Jay Leno.

TANNY MCDONALD Died Jan 25, 2004

Stage and film actress Tanny McDonald died of melanoma at age 67. While Ms. McDonald was primarily a stage actress, she did appear in several TV shows and films. Her credits include the TV mini series "Kennedy" where she played Lady Bird Johnson. Other credits include Arnold Schwartzenegger's debut film "Hercules in New York," "General Hospital," "Kate and Allie" and "Revolution #9." Ms. Tanny appeared in a number of Broadway productions including "Medea," "Macbeth" and "Man of La Mancha." She made her Broadway debut in "Fiddler on the Roof" with Zero Mostel. Ms. McDonald playe Margarethe Bohr in the touring company of "Copenhagen."

JERRY GREENWOOD Died Jan. 25, 2004

Special effects whiz Jerry Greenwood died of a heart attack at age 65. In 1975 Mr. Greenwood went to work as a construction coordinator for a new special effects studio called Industrial Light and Magic. Mr. Greenwood both contributed special effects and played the alien bear creature in ILM's first film "Star Wars." Mr. Greenwood's credits include such films and TV shows as "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Trek: the Motion Picture," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Alien," "Hook," Amazing Stories," "Air Wolf," "Knight Rider," "The A-Team" and "Max Headroom."

WOLF DIETRRICH BERG Died Jan. 26, 2004

German TV actor Wold Dietrich Berg died of cancer at age 59. Mr. Berg studied drama and music at the Westfaeli school in Bonn. He appeared in over 80 films and TV shows during his career including the excellent sci-fi mini series "Trillennium: The Future Has Begun."

CAMERON MCCULLOCH Died Jan. 26, 2004

Sound engineer Cameron McCulloch died at age 94. Mr. McCulloch was the first sound mixer hired by DesiLu Studios. He was a sound engineer on a number of TV series. His credits include the TV series "The Untouchables," "Star Trek," "The Adventures of Jim Bowie," "Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.," "Rhoda" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

JACK PAAR Died Jan. 27, 2004

Pioneering talk show host Jack Paar died at age 85 after a long illness. Mr. Paar was the second host of "The Tonight Show." Paar followed Steve Allan and preceded Johnny Carson as the King of Late Night TV. Paar took over "The Tonight Show" in 1957. Johnny Carson started in 1962. Mr. Paar followed his "Tonight Show" stint with a three-year-run hosting "The Jack Paar Show." Paar left the show in 1960 after censors edited out one of his jokes (tame by today’s standards). He returned after a couple of months. At the height of his career, Jack Paar retired from TV.

BONNIE BOGARD Died Jan. 27, 2004

Emmy Award winning TV producer Bonnie Bogard died of cancer at age 47. Ms. Bogard was hired by producer Mary-Ellis Bunim (see Jan. 29, 2004) as a production assistant. She worked for Bunim-Murray Productions for several years. Ms. Bogard won a Daytime Emmy as a producer on the soap opera "As the World Turns." Her credits include the TV series "Search for Tomorrow," "Starting Over," "The People’s Court," "Full House," "The Simple Life," "Road Rules" and the feature film "The Real Cancun."

RIKKI FULTON Died Jan. 27, 2004

Scottish actor/comedian/author Rikki Fulton died of Alzheimer’s Disease at age 79. Mr. Fulton was honored with a BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. While he was best known in his native land for his role on the TV series "Scotch and Wry," American audiences may now him best from his film roles. Mr. Fulton had a large supporting role in Bill Forsyth’s classic quirky comedy "Local Hero." I highly recommend this warm deliberate movie to those who’ve never seen it. Mr. Fulton also appeared in Michael Apted’s political thriller "Gorky Park" with William Hurt. Mr. Fulton worked with director Forsyth once more on the film "Comfort and Joy." Fulton wrote scripts for a number of his own TV specials. He also co-authored the book "For God’s Sake Ask." Mr. Fulton announced last year that he had Alzheimer’s Disease.

DON HAGGERTY Died Jan. 27, 2004

Wrestler/actor Don "Hard Boiled" Haggerty died at age 78 after a series of small strokes. Mr. Haggerty was an NFL football player turned wrestler turned actor. He played for Detroit and Green Bay while in the NFL. Mr. Haggerty’s film credits include "Dirty Harry," Josh Logan’s "Paint Your Wagon," "Earthquake," "Foxy Brown," Mark Lester’s excellent B-movie "Stunts," "Final Chapter: Walking Tall," "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," "Micki + Maude" and "The Muppet Movie." He also had numerous TV credits.

LYNN AUERBACH Died Jan. 27, 2004

Lynn Auerbach died of cancer at age 51. Ms. Auerbach assisted a number of indie filmmakers over the years as an associate director of the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program. Her passing was announced at the close of the festival. Ms. Auerbach worked for Sundance for the past 15 years. Ms. Auerbach began her career in advertising for HBO and Embassy films.

BILL CAREY Died Jan. 27, 2004

Composer/actor Bill Carey died at age 87. Mr. Carey was a songwriter for many of the greatest singers of the 20th century. His songs were recorded by Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole to name a few. He acted in the films "Roberta," "Old Man Rhythm," "Freshman Love," "Yank at Oxford," "Something to Sing About" and "Campus Confessions." Mr. Carey’s songs appeared on the soundtracks of "Summer Love" and "Rock, Pretty Baby."

JANET FRAME Died Jan. 28, 2004

New Zealand writer Janet Frame died at age 79. Ms. Frame had leukemia. Three of Ms. Frame’s books were autobiographical accounts of her youth. She had been misdiagnosed with schizophrenia and spent eight years in mental institutions. Ms. Frame underwent electroshock therapy a multitude of times and was almost lobotomized. Jane Campion’s film "An Angel at My Table" was based on Ms. Frame’s trilogy. Actresses Kerry Fox, Alexia Keogh and Karen Furgusson portrayed Janet Frame in the movie, playing the writer during different stages of her life. Janet Frame had been considered for the Nobel Prize in literature, but was not nominated.

MEATBALL Died Jan. 28, 2004

Adam Sandler’s beloved English Bulldog Meatball died unexpectedly at the young age of 4. Meatball was well known to Adam Sandler fans for the many short films he starred in. You can view Meatball in such comic classics as "Meat’s Drooling Around," "Stunt Meat," "Matzo Alone in the Office," "Meat’s Drinking Problem" and "Meat Works Out" by visiting Adam Sandler’s Website. Having lost my share of pets (Fred, Midnight, No Name, Black Dog and Zit) I can imagine the pain and loss Mr. Sandler must feel. Prayers of comfort for all of Meatball’s family and friends.

CMDR. LLOYD M. BUCHER Died Jan. 28, 2004

Commander Lloyd M. Bucher died at age 76. I remember riding in the car with my father to pick up my sister Lou from piano practice when the announcement came over the radio that the crew of the spy ship U.S.S. Pueblo had been freed by the North Koreans. It was December 23, 1968. 11 months earlier, Bucher’s ship was captured by North Korean torpedo boats. Bucher and his crew were tortured during their lengthy captivity. His crew credited him for keeping them alive during the harsh interment. Uncle Sam didn’t look upon Bucher so highly. He was almost court martialed for surrendering his ship. The spy ship remained behind after the crew was released. I salute him as a hero who endured unimaginable brutality for the sake of his men. Anchors away. Hal Holbrook won an Emmy as Best Lead Actor in a Drama for his portrayal of Bucher in the 1973 Made for TV movie "Pueblo."

JOE VITERELLI Died Jan. 28, 2004

Tough-guy actor Joe Viterelli died of a stomach hemorrhage at age 62. Mr. Viterelli is recognizable to any fan of action and crime movies. Among his credits are "Analyze This," "Analyze That," "Shallow Hal," "Mickey Blue Eyes," "Jane Austin’s Mafia," "The Crossing Guard," "Bullets Over Broadway," "The Firm," "Ruby," "Mobsters" and the excellent "State of Grace."

MIDGE MACKENZIE Died Jan. 28, 2004

British documentary filmmaker Midge Mackenzie died of cancer at age 65. Ms. Mackenzie was also an author. She wrote the book "Shoulder to Shoulder: A Documentary" about the woman’s suffrage movement. The book was a companion piece to the BBC TV mini series of the same name. She also produced and directed the documentary "John Huston’s War Stories." "War Stories" looked at the films John Huston made for the department of defense during WWII. Other films include "Prisoners of Childhood" and "I Stand Here Ironing." Ms. Mackenzie taught film at Harvard during the 1980s.

GUUSJE NEDERHORST Died Jan. 29, 2004

Dutch TV actress Guusje Nederhorst died of cancer at age 36. Ms. Nederhorst appeared in the Dutch TV series "GTST" and "Onderweg." She appeared as herself in the movie "All Stars" which dealt with an amateur soccer team. Ms. Nederhorst was married to Dutch rock star Dinad Woesthoff. She also wrote children’s books and songs for children.

MARY-ELLIS BUNIM Died Jan. 29, 2004

Emmy Award winning producer Mary-Ellis Bunim died of breast cancer at age 57. Ms. Bunim created the hit MTV series "The Real World." She also co-created "Road Rules," "The Love Cruise," "Making the Band," "The Real World/Road Rules Challenge," "The Simple Life" and "Starting Over." Ms. Bunim died two days after long time associate Bonnie Bogard. She won a Daytime Emmy for the soap opera "As the World Turns."

M.M. KAYE Died Jan. 29, 2004

Writer M.M. Kaye died at age 95. She wrote the epic love story "The Far Pavilions." Set in colonial India, "The Far Pavilions" told the story of a love affair between a British officer and an India girl. The HBO mini-series was one of the most expensive Made for TV movies up to that time. Ben Cross and Amy Irving starred as the ill-fated lovers. Ms. Kaye was raised in India. She spent 15 years writing "The Far Pavilions."

ANDREW KUEHN Died Jan. 29, 2004

Director/producer Andrew Kuehn died of lung cancer at age 66. Though Mr. Kuehn only directed a few films you are probably very familiar with his most famous work. Mr. Kuehn was one of the best trailer men in the business. Kuehn wrote, produced, scored and edited many of the most famous trailers from the last 30 years. He’s the guy who came up with the famous "Jaws 2" tagline: "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water." He did the trailers for "Aliens," "The French Connection," "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," "Top Gun," and the list goes on. As a film director, Mr. Kuehn directed, produced and edited the horror movie compilation "Terror in the Aisles." Other directing credits include "Get Bruce," "Flush" and "The Great American Songbook." He also produced the remake of "DOA" starring Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan. Mr. Kuehn was honored at Cannes for his lifetime contribution to movie marketing.

A.A. ENGLANDER Died Jan. 29, 2004

British cinematographer A.A. Englander died at age 88. Mr. Englander was important in the history of British TV. He was the first cameraman hired to work in the medium of film following WWII. Englander lead the way in the changeover from video to film use in BBC TV series. He was a mentor to a large number of other British cinematographers. Mr. Englander’s credits include the TV series "Quartermass and the Pit," "The Count of Monte Cristo," "Paul Temple," the 1961 TV version of "Anna Karenina," "Alistar Cooke’s America," "Maigret," "Claude Monet" and "Kenneth Clark’s Civilization." Mr. Englander also shot the documentaries "Take Thou," "24 Square Miles," "La Famille Martin," "Liver Fluke in England," "Act of Faith" and "Her People Rejoiced."

REGINALD HENDRIX Died Jan. 30, 2004

Storyboard artist Reginald Hendrix died at age 51. Mr. Hendrix designed and drew storyboards for the films "Freaked," "Look Who’s Talking Now," "Peter Pan," "*61," "Reach the Rock" and "Miracle" among others.

SURAIYA Died Jan. 31, 2004

India actress Suraiya died at age 75. Suraiya was a well known singer and actress in India during the 1940s and 50s. She appeared in over 60 films during her short career. She retired from film at age 39. Suraiya’s film credits include "Taj Mahal," "Omar Kayyam," "Sharda" and "Parwana."

ELEANOR HOLM Died Jan. 31, 2004

Olympic Swimming Gold Medalist Eleanor Holm died. There is some dispute as to her age (90 or 91). Ms. Holm won the Gold Medal in the 100-Meter Backstroke at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games. She is pictured at right with fellow Gold Medalist Johnny Weismuller. Ms. Holm was set to repeat in the Berlin Games of 1936, but she ran afoul of officials because of her behavior on the boat trip to Germany. Apparently, women athletes weren’t allowed to drink, shoot craps or sing in cabarets. Ms. Holm paid for the double standard and was kicked off the team. Ms. Holm starred in the 1938 movie "Tarzan’s Revenge," opposite Glenn Morris as Tarzan. She made a few other film appearances but none as high profile. Ms. Holm’s first husband was actor Arthur Jarrett. Holm’s second husband. was Billy Rose, ex-husband of "Funny Girl" Fanny Brice.

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