CARRIE SNODGRESS Died Apr. 1, 2004
Oscar nominated actress Carrie Snodgress died of heart failure while awaiting a liver transplant. She was 57 years old. Ms. Snodgress received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her second feature film "Diary of a Mad Housewife." She was also nominated for a Best Actress BAFTA as Best Newcomer for the same film. She won the Golden Globe and Golden Laurel awards for the film. I always enjoyed Ms. Snodgress's work. She reminded me of Yoda's line in "The Empire Strikes Back": "Judge me by my size do you? And well you should not." Ms. Snodgrass had a waif-like outward appearance, yet she brought forth an inner strength that made her characters memorable. Even in non-flashy roles like "Pale Rider," Ms. Snodgress commanded the screen. A personal favorite of mine is Brian DePalma's "The Fury." The cheesy sci-fi/occult/thriller benefited greatly from Ms. Snodgress's performance. She brought a human center to the gonzo film. Ms. Snodgress played the girlfriend of Kirk Douglas. Her tragic death packs the only real emotional impact in the film. The scene is also one of Brian DePalma's best set pieces. Other film credits include "Easy Rider," "Rabbit Run," "Murphy's Law," "8 Seconds," "Blue Sky" and "Wild Things." She gave up the movies during the early 70s and moved in with Neil Young. The couple had a son Zeke who suffers from Cerebral Palsy. Ms. Snodgress also had a relationship with the late Oscar winning musician Jack Nitzsche. Nitzsche was arrested for assaulting Ms. Snodgress. The attack was so severe that Snodgrass almost lost a thumb. Ms. Snodgress had to have the inner strength she brought to the screen in real life. She endured rough relationships and raised her son through many hardships. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends. May she find a well-deserved rest.
JAMES E. HAMNER Died Apr. 1, 2004
James E. Hamner, youngest brother of Earl Hamner Jr. died of emphysema at age 67. Mr. Hamner was the basis for the character Jim-Bob in the hit TV series "The Waltons." "The Waltons" became one of the most popular TV series in America in the 1970s. It told the story of a poor mountain family facing the challenges of the Great Depression. James Hamner's character Jim-Bob was portrayed by actor David W. Harper. Good night Jim-Bob.
PAUL ATKINSON Died Apr. 1, 2004
The Zombies guitarist and music producer Paul Atkinson died at age 58. I remember trying to impress a girl in fourth grade by singing "Time of the Season" to her. She didn't go for it. Oh well. The Zombies had a string of hits including "She?s Not There" and "Tell Her No." The band appeared as themselves in Otto Preminger's thriller "Bunny Lake is Missing." Mr. Atkinson later became a successful music industry executive, signing such acts as ABBA, Pattie Smyth and Judas Priest.
PAUL ERANGEY Died Apr. 1, 2004
Actor Paul Erangey died of undisclosed causes at age 37. As a child, Mr. Erangey appeared in the TV series "Brendon Chase" and "Penmaric."
JOAN RICHMAN Died Apr. 2, 2004
Emmy-winning CBS news producer Joan Richman died at age 64. Ms. Richman won two Emmy Awards for her coverage of the Apollo Manned Space Program. She also produced the "CBS Sports Spectacular" and the weekend edition of the "CBS Evening News.
NATASHA KROLL Died Apr. 2, 2004
Award-winning Production Designer Natasha Kroll died at age 89. Ms. Kroll was a long-time production designer for the BBC and the stage before turning to film work. She won the BAFTA for Best Production Design for the film "The Hireling." She also designed the look of Ken Russell's beautiful "The Music Lovers." Other film credits include "Absolution," "Age of Innocence," "Hedda Gabler" and the 1970 BBC production of "MacBeth."
AUSTIN WILLIS Died Apr. 3, 2004
Canadian actor Austin Willis died at age 86. He was best known as the host of the long-running CBC TV series "This is the Law." Mr. Willis had successful careers on both stage and screen. Among his film credits are "Goldfinger," the hilarious "The Mouse that Roared," Clint Eastwood's "Firefox," "The Last Flight of Noah's Ark," "The Boston Strangler," "Hour of the Gun," the TV series "Mannix," "The Rat Patrol," Vega$" and "The FBI."
GABRIELLA FERRI Died Apr. 3, 2004
Popular Italian cabaret singer Gabriella Ferri died from a fall from her third floor balcony. Her family denies that her death was a suicide. Ms. Ferri's singing career began in the early 1960s. She appeared on a number of Italian TV shows. Her biggest hit was the song "Always." She starred in the 1976 film "Remo o Romolo."
NIKITA BOGOSLOVSKY Died Apr. 3, 2004
Russian composer Nikita Bogoslovsky died at age 90. Mr. Bogoslovsky was one of the former Soviet Union's most popular composers. During WWII, he gave front line concerts for the troops. His most famous composition was "Dark Night." He composed scores for over 120 films including the Russian versions of "Treasure Island" and "Mysterious Island."
PHILLIP ROCK Died Apr. 3, 2004
Novelist and screenwriter Phillip Rock died of cancer at age 76. Mr. Rock wrote the John Sturges Civil War film "Escape From Fort Bravo." He later wrote the sci-fi film "The Most Dangerous Man Alive." His novel "The Extraordinary Seaman" was filmed starring David Niven. The less than positive critic response made him wary of Hollywood. His biggest success came in the literary field. His trilogy "The Passing Bells," "Circles of Time" and "The Future Arrived." The trilogy was a critic and commercial success. Mr. Rock wrote the novelizations of several popular films including "Dirty Harry." Mr. Rock was the son of silent film actor/director Joe Rock. He served his country in the Navy during WWII.
GORDON BOOS Died Apr. 3, 2004
Award-winning assistant director Gordon Boos died of brain cancer at age 45. Mr. Boos shared the DGA Best Director Award with Oliver Stone for "Platoon." Oliver Stone was so impressed with Mr. Boos' work on the film that he had his name listed in the opening credits. Mr. Boos worked on a number of popular films including "Valley Girl," "Tucker: The Man and His Dream," "The Godfather: Part III," "Play it to the Bone," "The Rookie," "In Country" and "Tin Cup." Mr. Boos also directed several films including "Touch Me" and "Red Surf," which he also wrote. Prayers of comfort to his family and friends.
JOHN GOODELL Died Apr. 4, 2004
Oscar nominated filmmaker John Goodell died at age 94. Mr. Goodell's film "Always a New Beginning" was nominated for the Best Feature Documentary Oscar in 1974. The film dealt with doctors studying the way children learn. Mr. Goodell also wrote and directed the film "Satan's Touch."
LEONARD REED Died Apr. 5, 2004
Tap dancer Leonard Reed died of congestive heart failure at age 97. Mr. Reed co-created the tap dance format the "Shim Sham Shimmy." Mr. Reed produced shows at both the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater. He also managed the Apollo Theater. He co-wrote and co-directed the revue films "Basin Street Revue" and "Rhythm and Blues Revue."
BERLE KANSEAH Died Apr. 5, 2004
Tribal elder Berle Kanseah died of cancer at age 65. Mr. Kanseah was a Chiricahua Apache Indian. He was also a member of the Mescalero tribe. Mr. Kanseah was one of only a few hundred people who could still speak the Chiricahua language. He worked to promote younger Native Americans to learn the language. He was a technical concultant on Ron Howard's film "The Missing." He taught Tommy Lee Jones to speak the language for his role as a white man who chose to live with the Apache. Mr. Kanseah was a Councilman for the Mescalero tribe. He held that position for 30 years.
RALPH KEMPLEN Died Apr. 5, 2004
Oscar nominated film editor Ralph Kemplen died at age 91. Mr. Kemplen was nominated for an Oscar and won a BAFTA for Best Editing of Fred Zinneman's thriller "Day of the Jackal." Mr. Kemplen edited 50 films during his 50-year career. Mr. Kemplen edited six films for director John Huston including "The African Queen," "Moulin Rouge," "Night of the Iguana," "Freud," "The Bible" and "Beat the Devil." Other film credits include "Room at the Top," "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone," "A Man for All Seasons," "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," "Oliver!," "The Odessa File," "The Great Muppet Caper" and "The Dark Crystal."
NIKI SULLIVAN Died Apr. 6, 2004
Former Cricket Niki Sullivan died in his sleep at age 66. Despite what Steve Rash?s "The Buddy Holly Story" said, there were four members of the band "Buddy Holly and the Crickets." Two of them wore glasses! Niki Sullivan and Buddy Holly wore the famous black-framed glasses. Niki Sullivan was the rhythm guitar player for The Crickets. He left the band at the end of 1957 after an arduous year of touring. Mr. Sullivan was with the band when they played "The Ed Sullivan Show." He was also at the famous Apollo Theater performance immortalized in Steve Rash's bio-pic. Mr. Sullivan played on 27 of the 32 songs recorded by Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Mr. Sullivan is at far left in the picture. Jerry Allison is on drums and Joe B. Mauldin is on bass. Everyone knows which one is Buddy.
MAUREEN POTTER Died April 7, 2004
Irish actress and comedienne Maureen Potter died at age 79. Ms. Potter was one of Ireland's foremost stage actresses. She began performing as a child. Ms. Potter regretted performing for Adolph Hitler during a tour of Germany in the 1930s. Though she was best known for her stage work, Ms. Potter appeared in four films. She acted in two films by John Ford: "The Rising of the Moon" and "Gideon of Scotland Yard." Ms. Potter also appeared in two film adaptations of the works of fellow countryman James Joyce: "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" and "Ulysses." Ms. Potter was also a renowned pantomime artist. She also wrote the children's book "Tommy the Theater Cat." Ms. Potter was given an honorary doctorate degree by Trinity College University in Dublin.
JOSE ANTONIO DE LA LOMA Death Announced Apr. 7, 2004
Spanish writer/director Jose Antonio de la Loma died at age 80. Mr. de la Loma was a teacher during the late 1940s. Her wrote a novel about his experiences teaching troubled children. The book "Without God's Smile" was turned into a movie. Mr. de la Loma turned to screenwriting. He has over 70 writing credits. Mr. de la Loma also directed nearly 40 films. He wrote and directed a number of action films including many Spaghetti Westerns. Some of his later action films featured international stars like Andrew Stevens, Richard Jaeckel, Lee Van Cleef, Max Von Sydow, Margaux Hemingway and Chuck Conners.
VICTOR ARGO Died Apr. 7, 2004
Tough-guy character actor Victor Argo died of lung cancer at age 69. Mr. Argo's 90 plus film and TV credits include some of the best films of the past 30 years. This may have something to do with the fact that Mr. Argo worked with Martin Scorsese on six films! Mr. Argo was also a regular in the films of director Abel Ferrara. Argo appeared in Scorsese's "Taxi Driver," as Peter in "The Last Temptation of Christ," "Mean Streets," "Boxcar Bertha," "After Hours" and "New York Stories." Mr. Argo also made six films for Abel Ferrara. Those films include Ferrara's masterpiece from Hell "Bad Lieutenant" and "The King of New York." Other credits include "Angel Eyes," "The Yards," "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai," "Smoke" and its sequel "Blue in the Face," "True Romance," "Shadows and Fog," "Her Alibi," "The Rose," "The Terminal Man" and "Which Way is Up?"
MARIAN MCCARGO BELL Died Apr. 7, 2004
Tennis champion turned actress Marian McCargo-Bell died of pancreatic cancer at age 72. Ms. Bell appeared in John Wayne's "The Undefeated." Other film and TV credits include "Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round," "Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell," "Doctor's Wives," "Mannix," "Perry Mason," "The Virginian," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" and "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." Ms. Bell was the mother of actors William and Rick Moses and director Harry Moses. Her second husband and widower is former US Representative Alphonzo Bell Jr.
FRED OLIVI Died Apr. 8, 2004
Former Lieutenant Colonel Fred Olivi died from complications following a stroke he suffered last year. Mr. Olivi was 82. Mr. Olivi was the co pilot of the B-29 Super Fortress "Bock's Car." He co-piloted the flight that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, ending WWII. Mr. Olivi stated in 1994 that he believed the bomb was necessary as it made it unnecessary for the US to have to invade Japan. Mr. Olivi remained in the Air Force reserve following the war and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Like many Americans (myself included), Mr. Olivi was repulsed by the politically correct rewriting of history that took place at the Smithsonian Institute?s 50th Anniversary Exhibit on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mr. Olivi appeared as himself in Tim Curran?s documentary "Enola Gay and the Atomic Bombing of Japan." Thanks for the service to your country.
BARBARA SUE DAVIS Died Apr. 8, 2004
Costume designer Barbara Sue Davis died of congestive heart failure at age 52. Ms. Davis designed costumes for one of the great romantic couples of all time: Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog. Her credits include "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland," "Muppets from Space," "The Muppet Show," "The Dark Crystal," "Cinderelmo" and "The Muppets Take Manhattan." Ms. Davis received an Emmy Nomination for her work on "The Muppet Show."
HERB ANDRESS Died Apr. 8, 2004
German actor Herb Andress died of cancer at age 69. Mr. Andress appeared in nearly 50 films and TV shows. Mr. Andress had early roles on the US TV series "Combat!" and "My Favorite Martian." His film credits include "The Last Rebel" with New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath. Other credits include "Lady Frankenstein" with Joseph Cotten, "Lili Marleen," "Inside the Third Reich," "Enemy Mine," "The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini" and "What Did You Do in the War Daddy?"
KORY FUNK Died Apr. 8, 2004
Not everyone in the film industry works in front of the camera. If not for hundreds of unknown craftsmen and artisans, we would never get to see the finished film. Electrician and cam-mate operator Kory Funk was one such person. Mr. Funk died at age 43. He worked on the films "Office Space," "The Faculty" and "Crosswalk" among others.
JAMES HAWTHORNE BEY Died Apr. 8, 2004
Musician and African folklorist Chief Bey died of stomach cancer at age 91. Mr. Bey taught students to play the 'shekere,' a West African percussion instrument. Mr. Bey had a lengthy recording career. He performed as an African drummer in the play "Raisin." Chief Bey appeared in the wonderful film "Smoke" and its worthy companion film "Blue in the Face."
JOHN VLAHOS Died Apr. 8, 2004
Emmy-winning writer John Vlahos died of natural causes at age 87. Mr. Vlahos won an Emmy for his work on the TV series "The Defenders." Mr. Vlahos wrote a number of scripts for Broadway, radio, TV and film. During the age of live-TV dramas, Mr. Vlahos wrote scripts for such classic series as "Studio One," "The Philco Television Playhouse," "Robert Montgomery Presents," "Climax!" and "The Alcoa Hour." Other credits include "Marcus Welby M.D.," "Thriller," "Route 66," "The Nurses" and the Made for TV movie "Silent Night, Lonely Night." Mr. Vlahos served his country as an officer in the Navy during WWII.
ALLEN REISNER Died Apr. 8, 2004
Film and TV director Allen Reisner died at age 80. Mr. Reisner worked mainly in the medium of TV, but he did direct several feature films including "All Mine to Give" and "St. Louis Blues." Mr. Reisner directed the excellent TV mini-series "Captains and the Kings." He worked in TV beginning in the 1950s. He directed a number of live TV dramas. Among his many credits are "Murder She Wrote," "Kojak," "Mannix," "Kung Fu," "Night Gallery," "Ironside," "The Green Hornet," "I Spy," "Gunsmoke," "The Untouchables," "The Twilight Zone" and "Rawhide."
NICK and MARY YANKOVIC Died Apr. 9, 2004
Nick and Mary Yankovic died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in their home. The Yankovics were the parents of recording star "Weird Al" Yankovic. Mr. Yankovic was 86 and Mrs. Yankovic was 81. They had apparently started a fire in their fireplace with the flu closed. Mr. Yankovic served his country during WWII. The pair appeared in a number of their son?s videos and on "The Weird Al Show." Prayers of comfort for their family and friends.
HARRY BABBITT Died Apr. 9, 2004
Singer Harry Babbitt died at 90 of old age. Mr. Babbitt was the lead vocalist for the Kay Kyser Orchestra. Mr. Babbitt appeared in a number of WWII era films with the Kay Kyser Orchestra. Among his credits are "Stage Door Canteen," "Playmates" and "Carolina Blues." Mr. Babbitt sang "The Woody Woodpecker Song" in the animated short "Wet Blanket Policy." The song was nominated for a Best Song Oscar! That's Mr. Babbitt's voice you hear when Woody Woodpecker laughs. Mr. Babbitt also appeared on the radio show "Kay Kyser?s Kollege of Musical Knowledge."
JIRI WEISS Died April 9, 2004
Czech director/playwright Jiri Weiss died at age 91. Mr. Weiss' films won awards at numerous film festivals including Berlin, Venice, San Sebastian and Vancouver. Mr. Weiss wrote and/or directed 40 films. His credits include "Night and Day," "Martha and I," "Ninety Degrees in the Shade," "The Golden Fern," "Murder Czech Style" and "Romeo, Juliet and Darkness."
NORMAN CAMPBELL Died Apr. 12, 2004
Director/producer/composer Norman Campbell died from complications following a stroke. He was 80 years old. Mr. Campbell composed the score for the musical version of "Anne of Green Gables." The Canadian director helmed episodes of "All in the Family," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "One Day at a Time." He won two Emmy Awards for "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty."
COLONEL VIOLET FAULKNER Died Apr. 12, 2004
Col. Violet "Pat" Faulkner, casting director and controller of the British Auxiliary Territorial Service during WWII died the day after her 98th birthday. Col. Faulkner worked with the Korda bothers and cast many of the best known British films of the 1930s. She cast Charles Laughton in his Oscar winning role as King Henry VIII in "The Private Lives of Henry VIII." She introduced Laughton to his beard/wife Elsa Lanchester (Bride of Frankenstein). Ms. Faulkner became Col. Faulkner when she served Britain during WWII leading 15,000 women volunteers in the Auxiliary Territorial Service.
CARON KEATING Died Apr. 13, 2004
Irish TV presenter Caron Keating died of breast cancer at age 41. Ms. Keating was a presenter on the BBC TV series "Blue Peter," "This Morning" and "Holiday." "Blue Peter" was one of the most popular children's shows in the UK during the past 40 years. Ms. Keating was a presenter on "Blue Peter" between 1986 and 1990. She also hosted the public affairs program "We Can Work it Out."
MICHELINE CHAREST Died Apr. 14, 2004
Award-winning producer and co-founder of the Cinar Animation Studio Micheline Charest died at age 51. Initial reports stated that Ms. Charest died of complications from plastic surgery. An autopsy is pending. Ms. Charest's death comes shortly after she sold her stock in Cinar. Cinar has been the subject of several scandals. The company's stock dropped 70% in one day when it was revealed that over $120 million of its dollars had been invested with a Bahamas investment firm without the knowledge of the board of directors. The company is also being investigated for violation of tax regulations concerning the use of American workers on Canadian productions. Ms. Charest produced a number of animated and live action children's TV series. Ms. Charest won two Daytime Emmy Awards of Outstanding Children?s Animated Series for "Arthur." She also won a Cable ACE Award for "Chris Cross."
WILL FOWLER Died Apr. 14, 2004
Will Fowler was one of the last of a dying breed. He was an old-time newspaperman cut from the same cloth as the likes of Ben Hecht. He was also a screenwriter, author of numerous non-fiction books, co-founder of the Greater Los Angeles Press Club, teenage drinking buddy of John Barrymore and W.C. Fields, son of legendary screenwriter Gene Fowler and a host of other things. After a long and full life, Will Fowler succumbed to prostate cancer at age 81. Mr. Fowler was the first reporter on the scene of the Black Dahlia murder case. The 1947 murder of prostitute Elizabeth Short remains one of the most famous unsolved crimes in America. Ms. Short was cut in half at the waist and all of her blood was drained. She was left in a posed position in a vacant Los Angeles lot. Mr. Fowler found Ms. Short with her eyes open. The sight disturbed him and he closed her eyes. Police found Ms. Short's address book left by the killer. One page, presumably containing the killer's identity had been removed.
Will Fowler acted in a couple of B-movies during the 1940s: "This Man's Navy" and "The Doughgirls." He later wrote for the TV series "The Red Skelton Show." He was a PR man for the TV series "Daniel Boone" and "M*A*S*H." He wrote a number of books, some dealing with the film industry including "The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe." Mr. Fowler was a major contributor to the play "Barrymore," about actor John Barrymore. Mr. Fowler was also a composer. He wrote Doris Day?s hit song "He's So Married." He wrote a number of songs. Mr. Fowler studied music under "Grand Canyon Suite" composer Ferde Grofe. I highly recommend that anyone interested in Mr. Fowler's life read his autobiographical books "The Second Handshake" and "Reporters: Memoirs of a Young Newspaperman." My father was a Pulitzer nominated reporter. I grew up with a great respect for people like Will Fowler and Ben Hecht. They are, unfortunately, a dying breed, the likes of which are rarely found among modern reporters.
HARRY HOLT Died Apr. 14, 2004
Disney animator Harry Holt died at age 93. Mr. Holt worked for Disney for 20 years. Later he moved to TV and worked for Hanna-Barbera. Mr. Holt's credits include "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves," "Lady and the Tramp," "Tom and Jerry," "The Flintstones," "Donald?s Diary," "Chips Ahoy," "The Challenge of the Super Friends," "The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo" and "The Herculoids." Mr. Holt was also instrumental in the development of many of the figures and attractions used at Disneyland, Disney World and EPCOT.
DONNA MICHELLE Died Apr. 14, 2004
1964 Playboy Playmate of the Year, Donna Michelle died of a massive heart attack while shopping for groceries. Ms. Michelle was 58. Ms. Michelle had small parts in several films and TV shows including "Mickey One" with Warren Beatty, "Beach Blanket Bingo," "The Big Valley" and "I Spy."
JOHN BRADY Died Apr. 15, 2004
Producer/stuntman Jack Brady died at age 77 after a short illness. Mr. Brady did stunt work on "Gone With the Wind" and "King Solomon?s Mines." He started "Jack Brady Productions" in the 1960s. His company produced documentary films.
MITSUTERA YOKOYAMA Died Apr. 15, 2004
Writer Mitsuteru Yokoyama died in a house fire. He was 69 years old. Mr. Yokoyama is best known for his Manga (printed cartoons/comic book) "Tetsujin 28," AKA "Gigantor." His Manga was the source for several animated TV series and films in Japan. Mr. Yokoyama's credits include "Sally, the Witch," "Tetsujin 28," "Giant Robo" and "Red Shadow: Akakage." Mr. Yokoyama won the Manga Artists Association Award in 1991.
JOHN D. HESS Died Apr. 15 2004
Writer John D. Hess died of natural causes two days before his 86th birthday. Mr. Hess wrote for the stage and TV. After serving his country as a combat officer in WWII, he wrote the book "Move Out, Verify: The Combat Story of the 743rd Tank Battalion." Mr. Hess? credits include the soap operas "Love of Life," "The Secret Storm" and "General Hospital." He originated "Love of Life." Mr. Hess also wrote the feature film "A Matter of Morals." Other credits include the TV shows "M*A*S*H," "The Nurses," "The Streets of San Francisco," "The Rockford Files," "Good Heavens," "Karen," "Espionage" and "Startime."
WARDE Q. BUTLER Died Apr. 16, 2004
Character actor Warde Q. Butler died of pneumonia at age 83. Mr. Butler turned to acting late in life. He had roles in nearly 50 films. Mr. Butler's credits include "Smokey and the Bandits," the TV series "In the Heat of the Night," "To Dance With the White Dog," "Six Pack" and "Caroline?"
CHE MOODY Died Apr. 17, 2004
Stage actress Che Moody died at age 78. Ms. Moody had a lengthy stage career in Texas. She studied her craft at the Pasadena Playhouse. She also studied under Oscar winner William Hickey in New York. Ms. Moody appeared in a number of regional theaters during a 60-year-career. She appeared in the horror film "Carnage." Other film credits include "The Lonely Guy," Woody Allen's "Zelig" and "Legal Eagles."
SOUNDARYA Died Apr. 17, 2004
Indian movie star Soundarya was killed in a plane crash along with her producer/brother Amarnath and two others. She was 32 years old. Soundarya appeared in over 100 films in India. During her 12-year career, Soundarya rose to become on of India's most popular actresses. She won the Best Actress Award at Filmfare for her performance in "Dweepa." Her brother produced the film. Soundarya was active in Indian politics. The actress was on a campaign trip for the Bharatiya Janata Party when the plane went down. The Cessna 180 crashed moments after takeoff and burst into flames. There were no rescue crews near by. Witnesses tried to put out the fire with sand and dirt. Witness stated that the actress waved her arms for help before being engulfed in flames. All four victims were burned beyond recognition. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.
PETER RUNFOLO Died Apr. 17, 2004
Production manager Peter Runfolo died of heart failure at age 65. Mr. Runfolo also had credits as a location coordinator and second assistant director. His credits in various capacities include "The Godfather," "Carnal Knowledge," "Little Murders," "Fingers," "Superman," "Maid in America, " Grace Quigley" and Brian De Palma's misfire "The Bonfire of the Vanities." Mr. Runfolo was given the Frank Capra Award by the DGA in 1994.
BRUCE BOA Died Apr. 17, 2004
Canadian born actor Bruce Boa died after a long illness. Mr. Boa had lived in the UK for 45 years. He was a professional soccer player for Calgary before moving to England. The actor appeared in many well-known films and TV shows, often playing American characters. While Mr. Boa's biggest fan base comes from his performance as General Rieekan in "The Empire Strikes Back," I will always remember his sardonic cameo as the Pogue Colonel in Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket." Mr. Boa played the officer who berates Matthew Modine?s character for having "Born to Kill" and a "Peace Symbol" on his helmet. Mr. Boa played the American commander of the German air force base in the James Bond film "Octopussy." Fans of the BBC TV comedy "Fawlty Towers" remember Bruce Boa as the American customer Mr. Hamilton in the hilarious "Waldorf Salad" episode. Other credits include "The Omen," the creepy "The Ninth Configuration," "Superman," "Ragtime," "Carry On Emmanuelle," "Return to Oz" and the underrated sci-fi film "Slipstream."
OLGA DRUCE Died Apr. 18, 2004
Actress/producer/director Olga Druce died of natural causes at age 92. Ms. Druce produced and directed the early TV series "Captain Video and His Video Rangers." Ms. Druce came to TV from radio. She directed the radio shows "Superman" and "House of Mystery" among others. Ms. Druce also acted on Broadway.
FRANCES RAFFERTY Died Apr, 18, 2004
One of my earliest memories is watching a TV series with an old lady and Harry Morgan. I was a pre-schooler, maybe three or four years old. I remember the Harry Morgan character always came over to the old lady?s house, sat in his chair backwards and griped about his nagging wife. When I was a teenage, I did some research and found out the name of the series: "December Bride." The old lady was played by Spring Byington and Ms. Byington?s daughter was played by the sexy Frances Rafferty. Ms. Rafferty, along with Harry Morgan appeared in the spin-off series "Pete and Gladys." Frances Rafferty died in her sleep at age 81. Ms. Rafferty was a popular pinup model with soldiers during WWII. She appeared in a number of B movies starting in the 1940s. She retired in 1961. Ms. Rafferty was married to her husband for 56 years! Ms. Rafferty?s credits include "Hitler's Madmen," "Thousands Cheer," "Dragon Seed," "Girl Crazy," "Abbott and Costello in Hollywood" and "The Shanghai Story."
DAVID CLARKE Died Apr. 18, 2004
Actor/playwright/theatrical family patriarch David Clarke died at age 95. Mr. Clarke was the husband of late actress and vocal coach Nora Dunfee. Mr. Clarke's two daughters were also actresses. Daughter K.C. Ligon is married to actor/director Tom Ligon. Daughter Susan Bennett acted under the name Susan Dunfee during the 1960s and 70s. David Clarke had a long, successful career on stage, screen and TV. He is best known for his Film Noir roles during the 1940s and 50s. Mr. Clarke always brought depth and menace to his roles. He appeared uncredited one of my personal favorites: "Odds Against Tomorrow." Among Mr. Clarke's Film Noir appearances are John Huston's "The Asphalt Jungle," Robert Wise's "The Set Up," Anthony Mann's "Raw Deal," "Too Late for Tears," "The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery" and Richard Fleischer's "The Narrow Margin." Mr. Clarke also appeared in the excellent Western "The Gunfighter" with Gregory Peck. Other film appearances include "The Boy With Green Hair," "The House on Telegraph Hill," "Foreign Agent," "State of the Union," "Adam's Rib," "Wake of the Red Witch," "Sands of Iwo Jima," "The Red Badge of Courage," Woody Allen?s "The Front" and "The Waltons." Mr. Clarke wrote a number of plays in addition to his many acting credits. He made his Broadway debut in 1938.
JULIA COMPTON MOORE Died Apr. 18, 2004
Julia Moore, wife of Lt. Gen. Harold Moore died of cancer at age 75. Mrs. Moore?s husband was the co-author of the non-fiction Vietnam War memoir "We Were Soldiers." Mel Gibson and Madeline Stowe portrayed the Moore?s in the 2002 film version of the book. Mrs. Moore fought to change the manner in which the US Army notified wives that their husbands had died in combat.
GLENN LEEDY Died Apr. 19, 2004
Child actor Glenn Leedy died of emphysema at age 68. Mr. Leedy played Toby in Walt Disney?s now controversial "Song of the South." He was seven years old when he was cast in the part. The 1946 film, set after the end of the Civil War has been the subject of much controversy due to its portrayal of contented Black characters in the South. Mr. Leedy's Toby and Bobby Driscol's Johnny played a Black and White boy who were friends. The movie was last shown in America 1986. Our more enlightened cousins in England seem to be able to put the film in historical context as it is shown regularly on the BBC! According to Roy Disney, Michael Eisner refuses to re-release the film to the theaters or on DVD. I saw it in the early 70s. While I can understand the issues the movie raises, I'm sorry that Disney Studios is caving into politically correct censorship by shelving the movie.
PHILIP LOCKE Died Apr. 19, 2004
British actor Philip Locke died at age 76. Locke was a respected stage actor. He received a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of Professor Moriarity in the 1974 play "Sherlock Holmes." He also won the Plays and Players Awards Best Supporting Actor award for his portrayal of Horatio in "Hamlet." Mr. Locke is best known to movie goers as "Vargas" in the James Bond film "Thunderball." He was the assassin skewered by Bond with a spear gun and impaled on a palm tree. Mr. Locke had over 60 film and TV credits. Among his credits are "Hitler: The Last Ten Days," "The Avengers," "Inspector Morse" and "Stealing Heaven."
TIM BURSTALL Died Apr. 19, 2004
Director/writer/producer Tim Burstall died of a stroke at age 76. Mr. Burstall directed the Australian WWII action film "Attack Force Z." "Attack Force Z" starred John Phillip Law, Sam Neill and a young Mel Gibson as a group of commandos who attack a Japanese stronghold. Mr. Burstall wrote, produced and directed a number of films during the emergence of the Australian film industry during the 1970s and 80s.
NORRIS MCWHIRTER Died Apr. 19, 2004
Norris and Ross McWhirter were twin brothers. They co-founded the "Guinness Book of World Records." Mr. McWhirter died of a heart attack at age 78. Allen Dace stated that Mr. McWhirter "was a familiar face on the BBC's children?s TV show "Record Breakers" for many years." Mr. McWhirter was a well-known athlete and became a sports commentator for the BBC. Mr. McWhirter was the time keeper for Roger Bannister when he broke the four-minute mile record. Mr. WcWhirter's twin brother Ross was murdered by the IRA in 1975. Both brothers held strong political views.
ALEJANDRO FERRETIS Death Announced Apr. 19, 2004
Award-winning Mexican actor Alejandro Ferretis was found murdered in his home in early April. The 59-year-old actor made his film debut in Carlos Reygadas? "Japon." Ferretis won the Best Actor award at the Buenos Aires International Film Festival for the film. He was nominated for the Best Actor Ariel for his debut performance. The Ariel is Mexico?s highest film honor. Mr. Ferretis failed to show up at the March 30 Ariel Award ceremony. His body was found a few days later.
MARY SELWAY Died Apr. 21, 2004
Legendary British casting director Mary Selway died of cancer at age 68. Ms. Selway was given the Michael Balcon Award for her outstanding contribution to the British Film Industry at the 2001 BAFTAs. Ms. Selway cast over 100 feature films and TV shows. Her credits include many of the best films of the last 30 years. Ms. Selway's many credits include "Alien," "Aliens," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Return of the Jedi," "Superman," "Tess," "Excaliber," "Outland," "The Duelists," "Out of Africa," "Gorillas in the Mist," "White Hunter, Black Heart" and "Gosford Park."
MAYBELLE Died Apr. 22, 2004
43-year-old African Elephant Maybelle died at the San Francisco Zoo. Maybelle was the second elephant to die at the Zoo in two months. Maybelle was one of the baby elephants who stole the show in John Wayne's classic adventure film "Hatari!" Maybelle and her pachyderm co-stars helped John Wayne corral love interest Elsa Martinelli during the film?s humorous finale.
FRANCO DELLI COLLI Died Apr. 22, 2004
Italian cinematographer Franco Delli Colli died in Rome at age 75. Mr. Delli Colli worked on over 50 films during his career. He shot the sci-fi film "The Last Man on Earth" which starred Vincent Price. Based on Richard Matheson's novel, the movie was remade as "The Omega Man" with Charlton Heston. Mr. Delli Colli was the lighting cameraman on Sergio Leone's underrated epic Western "Fist Full of Dynamite" aka "Duck You Sucker!." He worked on a number of horror films including "Rats," "Night Child" and "Revenge of the Dead."
WILLIAM BRUNDIGE Died Apr. 23, 2004
Veteran sports broadcaster Bill Brundige died of heart failure at age 89. Mr. Brundige was a sports reporter for over 40 years. He covered it all. In addition to his excellent sports coverage, Mr. Brundige tried his hand at acting a few times. He appeared in several episodes of "Dragnet." Other credits include "Perry Mason" and "The Donna Reed Show." He played himself in the football biopic "Crazylegs."
JOHN SEELY Died Apr. 23, 2004
Composer John Seely died at age 80. Mr. Seely worked for Warner Brothers for a number of years. He wrote the theme songs to several well-known TV series. His credits include "Loony Tunes," "Trackdown," "The Gumby Show," "The Donna Reed Show," "Dennis the Menace," "The Bugs Bunny Show," the schlock horror film "The Hideous Sun Demon." Mr. Seely served his country in the Army during WWII.
RICHARD SVARE Died Apr. 24, 2004
Richard Svare, artist, actor and longtime companion of painter Morris Graves, died of lung cancer at age 74. Mr. Svare and Graves traveled the world mingling with the best and brightest of their generation. He studied drama and voice in Norway. Mr. Svare spoke seven languages. Mr. Svare appeared in the Russian film "Bare et Liv: Historien om Fridtjof Nansen." Other credits include "Onassis: The Richest Man in the World," "Pretty Smart" and "Drifting Cities."
FRANKIE SCOTT Died Apr. 24, 2004
Western actress and singer Frankie Scott died of a stroke at age 84. Ms. Scott was married to Grand Ole Opry star Tommy Scott. They married in 1940. Mr. Scott survives his wife. The pair co-starred in the movie "Trail of the Hawk." Other film and TV credits include "Mountain Capers," "Hillbilly Harmony," "Smokey Mountain Jamboree" and "The Ramblin? Tommy Scott Show."
JOSE GIOVANNI Died Apr. 24, 2004
French writer/director Jose Giovanni died of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 80. Mr. Giovanni wrote and directed tough, taut crime thrillers. Mr. Giovanni knew of what he wrote. He was sentenced to death for his criminal activities following WWII. He later received a pardon. Mr. Giovanni wrote and directed over 50 films. Among his many credits are "Symphony for a Massacre," "Hit Man," "Two Against the Law," "Boomerang," "Riff Raff Girls," "Birds of Prey," "The Sicilian Clan" and "The Gypsy." Mr. Giovanni served his country in the French Resistance during WWII.
MAHMOUD MORSI Died Apr. 24, 2004
Egyptian actor Mahmoud Morsi died of a heart attack at age 81. Mr. Morsi appeared in several groundbreaking Egyptian films. "Song in a Corridor" was one of the first Egyptian movies to deal with their loss to Israel in the 7-Day War. "Family" deals with a faithful Muslim standing up to terrorism. Other credits include "Sour Grapes," "Last Night" and "The Rebel."
ALBERT PAULSEN Died Apr. 25, 2004
Emmy winning character actor Albert Paulsen died at age 78. Mr. Paulsen had supporting roles in several very good movies. He appeared in the classic "The Manchurian Candidate." He worked with Walter Matthau and Bruce Dern in the cool mystery "The Laughing Policeman." Other credits include "All Fall Down" with Frank Sinatra, Blake Edwards' "Gunn," the Made for TV movie "The Missiles of October," which dealt with the Cuban Missile Crisis, "The Next Man" with Sean Connery and "Eyewitness" with William Hurt and Sigorney Weaver. Mr. Paulsen won an Emmy for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his work in the "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" episode of the "Bob Hope Present the Chrysler Theater" TV show. Mr. Paulsen appeared in numerous TV shows, often playing a villain or German army officer.
MEREDITH BLUME Died Apr. 25, 2004
Dreamworks Pictures publicist Meredith Blume died of kidney cancer at age 33. Ms. Blume had previously worked for Disney. She was involved in the publicity of every Dreamworks picture in the studio's brief history.
TERRENCE MOORE Died Apr. 25, 2004
Actor Patrick William "Terrence" Moore died of natural causes at age 91. Mr. Moore played the Pharaoh's son in Cecil B. DeMille's original version of "The Ten Commandments." Mr. Moore was believed to be the last living member of the cast and crew of the 1923 film. Mr. DeMille remade the film in 1956. Mr. Moore appeared as himself in this year?s documentary "Cecil B. DeMille: American Epic." He acted in over 30 silent films including "My American Cousin," "The Queen of Sheba" and "The Young Rajah" with Rudolph Valentino.
HUBERT SELBY JR. Died Apr. 26, 2004
Writer Hubert Selby Jr. died of lung disease at age 75. Mr. Selby wrote harrowing novels about life on the edge of society. "Last Exit to Brooklyn" and "Requiem for a Dream" were both highly lauded books. Both were turned into films. "Requiem for a Dream" was one of the best films of 2000. Difficult to watch and impossible to forget. "Last Exit to Brooklyn" was not as successful a screen adaptation of Mr. Selby?s work, but it does contain an outstanding performance by the always-courageous Jennifer Jason Leigh. Selby wrote about the dark world of drug addiction. He overcame his addiction to drugs in the 1960s. Mr. Selby served his country in the merchant marines. He was a writing teacher at USC.
GORDON THOMAS Died Apr. 27, 2004
Documentary filmmaker Gordon Thomas died at age 82. Mr. Thomas was a reporter for the London Daily Telegraph before moving to America. Mr. Thomas produced and directed a series of documentaries for US network TV. His most influential film dealt with the resurgence of syphilis in the US.
ROY ROBERTS Died Apr. 27, 2004
British TV producer Roy Roberts died at age 73. Mr. Roberts was the casting director for BBC competitor Granada Television during the 1970s. He produced a number of TV series and programs. His credits include the mini series "The Mallens" and "A Tale of Two Cities." Other credits include "The Dog It Was That Died," "Miss A & Miss M" and "The Ebony Tower."
TODD JAMIESON Died Apr. 28, 2004
Seattle stage actor Todd Jamieson died of bladder cancer at age 51. Mr. Jamieson was a respected regional actor. He spent the last couple of years teaching through the pain by sharing his craft with local kids in several theater classes. Mr. Jamieson appeared in the films "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle," "Smoke Signals" and "American Heart." He leaves a wife and three children. Prayers of comfort for his family, friends and students.
TONY DWYER Died Apr. 29, 2004
Prop maker and set builder Tony Dwyer died at age 102! Mr. Dwyer worked for Warner Brothers from 1932 to 1970. He was Department head of the Sheet Metal Shop. After leaving Warner Brothers, Mr. Dwyer began his own business, which continued to provide props and sets for the entertainment industry.