MARLON BRANDO Died July 1, 2004
Marlon Brando, the greatest film actor of the post WWII era died of undisclosed causes at age 80. Brando was the epitome of male sexuality during the 1950s. His influence on actors who came after him can not be calculated. Brando’s troubled life was the subject of tabloid gossip for decades. No matter what you think about his personal life and beliefs, one fact can not be denied, Brando was blessed with great talent and created some of the most memorable screen performances of all time. Even in his many misfires, Brando enthralled.
Brando made his film debut in Fred Zinneman’s "The Men." Brando starred as a paraplegic WWII vet trying to adjust to his plight. I always remember the way Brando delivered the line "She makes me feel like a bug." Brando shot to instant stardom with his second film: "A Streetcar Named Desire." "Stella!" I don’t know of a more famous and imitated line in the history of cinema. Brando’s Stanley Kowalski was a rogue brut who oozed sexual power. James Dean and countless others followed Brando’s lead from "Streetcar." Brando received his first Oscar nomination for "Streetcar."
Brando re-teamed with "Streetcar" director Elia Kazan for his next film "Viva Zapata!" The bio-pic told the story of Mexican revolutionary Emilio Zapata. Anthony Quinn won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Brando’s brother Eufineo. Though "Zapata" lacked the magic of "Streetcar," Brando received his second Oscar nomination for the movie. Brando and Kazan both hit pay dirt on their next collaboration "On the Waterfront." Before "On the Waterfront," Brando donned a toga as Marc Anthony in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s "Julius Caesar." He received his third Oscar nomination in as many films.
Brando wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for "The Wild One," but the film confirmed his status as a rebellious idol for the young. Based on a true story, Brando played the leader of a biker gang that invades a small California town. "What’re you rebelling against, Johnny?" "Whaddya got?" Cool daddy-o!
"On the Waterfront" brought Brando his fourth Oscar nomination and his first win. "You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it. It was you, Charley." Brando’s exchange with actor Rod Steiger is the stuff of legend. It was also the end of his most productive period. Brando continued to make box-office hits during the 1950s, but none of these later films captured Brando’s animalistic persona. His later films of the 1950s include "Desiree," "Guys and Dolls," "Teahouse of the August Moon" "The Young Lions" and "Sayonara." Brando received his fifth Oscar nomination for "Sayonara."
Brando tried his hand at directing for his first film of the 1960s. "One Eyed Jacks" is a flawed Western based on the life of Billy the Kid." Karl Malden co-starred in the ‘Pat Garrett’ role. The film had a troubled production history, but Brando proved himself a very competent director. Unfortunately, "Jacks" was his only directorial effort.
Brando’s films of the 1960s were an eclectic group of misfires. He was completely wrong as Mr. Christian in "Mutiny on the Bounty." Brando costarred with Robert Redford and an all-star cast in Lillian Hellman’s "The Chase." Brando played a redneck sheriff who can’t be bought. Brando was directed by legendary actor/director Charlie Chaplin in "The Countess from Hong Kong." Brando hated the experience. His best performance from the 1960s was as Sir. William Walker in "Burn!" The cult classic tells the true story of mercenary William Walker spreading destruction in the Caribbean. He followed this up with one of my favorite kinky films "The Nightcomers." "The Nightcomers" is a prequel to the Henry James horror-classic "The Turn of the Screw" which was filmed as "The Haunting." Brando and Stephanie Beacham portray Peter Quint and Miss Jewel, the groundskeeper and nanny who warp poor Miles and Flora.
Brando re-emerged as one of the best actors alive with his next film. Brando won his second Oscar as the Mafia boss Don Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s "The Godfather." Brando snubbed the Academy when he sent actress/activist Sacheen Littelfeather to refuse his Best actor Oscar in protest of the treatment of Native American’s in the movies. Controversy aside, Brando’s performance was brilliant. He followed "The Godfather" with one of the best performances of his career. Brando was also nominated for an Oscar for his work in Bernardo Bertolucci’s "Last Tango in Paris." Brando played a middle-aged man whose wife committed suicide. Brando works through his grief with in an obsessive sexual relationship with a young Parisian girl. Maria Scheider co-starred.
"The Missouri Breaks" is a flawed Western. I have fond memories of it because I saw it with my favorite girlfriend from high school. Brando played a cross-dressing hitman sent after a band of cattle rustlers led by Jack Nicholson. Arthur Penn directed. The movie is worth watching for Brando’s gonzo performance. His death scene is one of the best and most unexpected in screen history.
I waited for the release "Apocalypse Now!" for years. I was in high school when the film began production. The press began to ask "Apocalypse When?" I road a motorcycle from the Grand Canyon to Los Angeles to see it when it was finally released. Brando appears as a bloated shell of his former self. He still mesmerizes, but it is a shame that his scenes don’t match the majesty of the first 3/4ths of the film.
Brando’s last memorable performance was really a reprise of his Don Corleone role. In "The Freshman," Brando gently mocks his earlier performance. The movie is warm and funny.
Despite all of his on screen fame, Brando’s personal life was full of tragedy. He had an abusive father, a series of wives, the suicide of a child and another who faced murder charges. Brando will have found out by now whether he was right to be an atheist.
PETER BARNES Died July 1, 2004
Oscar and Emmy nominated writer Peter Barnes died of a heart attack at age 73. Barnes was best known for writing the black comedy "The Ruling Class." Along with "If…" and "A Clockwork Orange," "The Ruling Class" was one of the best British films of the 1970s. Mr. Marnes was nominated for a Best Screenplay Adapted Oscar for "Enchanted April." He was nominated for an Emmy for writing the TV mini-series "Merlin." In addition, Mr. Barnes produced and directed several films, which he also wrote.
WILLIAM MCCLURE Died July 2, 2004
Emmy winning TV producer William McClure died of heart failure at age 81. Mr. McClure was one of the original producers of the CBS news magazine "60 Minutes." Mr. McClure was an employee of CBS for 41 years.
CHARLES ANDREWS Died July 2, 2004
Veteran TV writer/producer Charles Andrews died of acute pancreatitis at age 88. Mr. Andrews wrote for such shows as "Stud’s Place" which starred writer Studs Terkel and "Garroway at Large" with Dave Garroway. Mr. Andrews also wrote for Mr. Garroway on the original "Today Show." Mr. Andrews produced such shows as "The Athur Godfrey Show," "The Steve Allen Show," several "Emmy Awards" and "Candid Camera."
JUDGE GEORGE E. OLIVER Died July 2, 2004
Judge George E. Oliver died at age 89. The long time Georgia judge presided over the trials that became the basis for the book and film "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." Actor Sonny Seiler portrayed the character based on Judge Oliver.
FRANK CHASE Died July 2, 2004
Actor turned writer Frank Chase died at age 80. Mr. Chase appeared in bit parts a number of films during the 1950s including "Winchester ’73" and "Thunder Bay." Mr. Chase is a familiar face to 1950s sci-fi fans for his cameos in "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman," "The Beginning of the End" and "The Creature Walks Among Us." Mr. Chase’s writing credits include the TV series "Bonanza," "The Rebel," "Branded," "The Viriginian" and "The High Chaparral." Mr. Chase was the son of Oscar nominated writer Bordon Chase (Red River).
ANDRIAN NIKOLAYEV Died July 3, 2004
Andrian Nikolayev, one of the original Russian cosmonauts, died of a heart attack at age 74. Mr. Nikolayev was the third Soviet Cosmonaut to fly in space. Nikolayev flew aboard Vostok 3. Vostok 3 flew at the same time as Vostok 4. It was the first time two spacecraft flew in space at the same time. Nikolayev also commanded the 18-day Soyuz 9 flight, which set a space endurance record in 1970. Mr. Nikolayev was married to Valentina Tereshkova from 1963 till 1983. Tereshkova was the first woman in space. Tereshkova was the subject of the documentary "Valentina Tereshkova" and she edited the film "Far From St. Petersburg." Mr. Nikolayev appears in archived footage of a number of documentaries.
JOHN BARRON Died July 3, 2004
British character actor John Barron died at age 83. Barron served his country as an officer in the Royal Navy during WWII. He appeared in over 70 films and TV shows. Mr. Barron achieved his greatest fame in the UK for the TV series "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin." Mr. Barron’s credits include "Sink the Bismark," "The Day the Earth Caught Fire," "Doomwatch," "Jigsaw" and "Hitler: The Last Ten Days."
PLATO SKOURAS Died July 4, 2004
Producer Plato Skouras died of a heart attack at age 74. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Skouras at the 2001 Memphis Film Festival. Mr. Skouras was present for a screening of his 1957 war film "Under Fire." The film co-starred Western actor Jon Locke. Mr. Locke introduced me to his friend and producer Plato Skouras. Plato Skouras produced several films during the 1950s and 60s including "Francis of Assisi." He was the son of producer and 20th Century Fox studio head Spyros Skouras.
MIKE WALKER Death announced July 5, 2004
New Zealand director Mike Walker died at age 72. Mr. Walker trained his camera on the struggles of the Maori people of New Zealand. He wrote/produced and directed the three films "Kingpin," "Kingi’s Story" and "Mark II." "Kingpin" was nominated for the Golden Prize at the 1985 Moscow Film Festival.
PHOEBE BRAND Died July 5, 2004
Broadway actress Phoebe Brand died at age 97. Ms. Brand had a lengthy stage career both on and off-Broadway. Ms. Brand appeared in Louis Malle’s film "Vanya on 42nd Street." She appeared as herself in the documentaries "The John Garfield Story" and "Broadway’s Dreamers: The Legacy of the Group Theater." Ms. Brand was the widow of actor Morris Carnovsky. The pair were blacklisted when director Elia Kazan named them and other Group Theater members as communists before the House Un-American Activities committee.
SYREETA WRIGHT Died July 5, 2004
Songwriter Syreeta Wright has died of cancer at age 58. Ms. Wright was the ex-wife of Stevie Wonder. She wrote a number of hit songs for others including "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours). Her biggest hit as a singer was her duet with Billy Preston "With You I’m Born Again." That song was featured in the Gabe Kaplan basketball comedy "Fast Break." Ms. Wright also sang songs featured in the films "The Last Dragon," "Loving Couples," "Marilyn: The Untold Story" and the 80’s slasher film "Happy Birthday to Me."
ERIC DOUGLAS Died July 6, 2004
Eric Douglas, the youngest son of Kirk Douglas was found dead in New York. He was 46. The younger brother of Oscar winner Michael Douglas had battled problems with drugs and alcohol for several years. Mr. Douglas acted in several films and TV episodes. He made his film debut in his father’s 1971 Western "A Gunfight." He also starred opposite his father in an excellent episode of HBO’s "Tales From the Crypt." The episode "Yellow" dealt with the younger Douglas’s character facing a firing squad during WWI. There were some intentional similarities to his father’s classic film "Paths of Glory." Other credits include "The Flamingo Kid," "The Golden Child," "Highway to Heaven" and "Delta Force 3." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
LUCHO BENDER Died July 6, 2004
Argentinean director Lucho Bender died of a heart attack at age 47. Mr. Bender drew critical praise for his debut film "Felicidades." He was pre-production on his second film when he died. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
ANGEL FERNANDEZ SANTOS Died July 6, 2004
Award winning Spanish writer Angel Fernandez Santos died of cancer at age 70. Mr. Santos won a Best Screenplay award at the 1994 Goyas for the script "Madregilda." His other credits include "The Spirit of the Beehive," "Our Father" and "Winter Diary." Mr. Santos was a noted film critic and historian.
JIMMIE SKAGGS Died July 6, 2004
Actor Jimmie Skaggs died of lung cancer at age 59. While Mr. Skaggs appeared in a number of famous films, such as "Catch Me if You Can" and "Lethal Weapon," I’ll always remember him as Neil Gallagher in the 1989 horror cult classic "Puppet Master." Mr. Skaggs has a bookend role. His best work comes at the end of the film. Mr. Skaggs was also impressive as the badguy in the otherwise lame horror film "Ghost Town." Mr. Skaggs appeared in over 60 films and TV shows. Among his other credits are "Cutthroat Island," the Dan Aykroyd version of "Dragnet," "Pink Cadillac," "Hollow Man," "Sunset Strip" and "Woman on Fire."
JEAN LEFEBVRE Died July 8, 2004
French actor Jean Lefebvre died of a heart attack at age 84. Mr. Lefebvre appeared in over 125 films during his lengthy career. Among his many credits are the original version of "Les Diaboliques," Rager Vadim’s 1st version of "…And God Created Woman," "Gigot," the campy Richard Burton film "Bluebeard," the Orson Welles version of "Treasure Island," "The Mysterious Island of Captain Nemo" and "Casanova & Co."
THOMAS MADIGAN Died July 8, 2004
TV producer Thomas Madigan died during heart surgery at age 85. Mr. Madigan produced the Emmy winning documentary "The Hunter and the Hunted" and the Emmy winning series "The Adams Chronicles." Mr. Madigan also produced the feature documentary "Salvador Dali: A Soft Self-Portrait." That film won the Best Documentary Award at the 1969 Venice Film Festival. Mr. Madigan served his country in the US Army during WWII.
CARLO DI PALMA Died July 9, 2004
Award winning cinematographer Carlo Di Palma died at age 79. Mr. Di Palma was given a lifetime achievement award at the European Film Awards in 2003. The Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists awarded Mr. Di Palma with four Best Cinematography Awards during his career. He was nominated for a Best Cinematography BAFTA for his work on Michaelangelo Antonioni’s "Blow Up." Mr. Di Palma was a favorite of director Woody Allen. The two worked on 11 feature films and one Made for TV film. Mr. Di Palma’s many credits include "L, Assassino," "Divorce-Italian Style," "The Black Stallion Returns," "Hannah and Her Sisters," "Radio Days," "Shadows and Fog," "Manhattan Murder Mystery," "Mighty Aphrodite," "Bullets Over Broadway" and "Deconstructing Harry."
SAM MCKIM Died July 9, 2004
Child actor turned Disney artist Sam McKim died of heart failure at age 79. Mr. McKim appeared in dozens of B-movies from the 1930s through the early 1950s. Among his credits are "The Lone Ranger," "Dick Tracy’s G-Men," "Sons of the Legion," "Annie Oakley" and "Hi-Yo Silver." Mr. McKim graduated from the Disney funded art school Chouinard (now CalArts) and went to work for Walt Disney. Mr. McKim was part of a group known as the Imagineers who were responsible for designing the many Disney theme parks. Mr. McKim said that Walt Disney was free with compliments. He claimed the the biggest compliment that Mr. Disney ever gave was the fact that you were allowed to continue working for him. Mr. McKim served his country in the US Army during both WWII and the Korean War.
ISABEL SANFORD Died July 9, 2004
Actress Isabel Sanford died of undisclosed causes at age 86. Ms. Sanford was best known for her role as ‘Weezie’ in "The Jeffersons." Ms. Sanford co-starred with Sherman Hemsley in the "All in the Family" spin-off. Ms. Sanford was the first Black actress to win a Best Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy. "The Jeffersons" ran for 10 years. Ms. Sanford was nominated for an Emmy seven times during the show’s lengthy run. Ms. Sanford was a Broadway actress for over 30 years before she made the move to Hollywood. Among her many film and TV credits are "Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner," "The Comic," "The New Centurions," "Hicky and Boggs," "Lady Sings the Blues," "Up the Sand Box" and "Love at First Bite."
INGE MEYSEL Died July 10, 2004
German actress Inge Meysel died of heart failure at age 94. Ms. Meysel was one of Germany’s favorite TV actresses. Her career dated back to pre-WWII Germany. She appeared in 0ver 100 films and TV shows. She also had a successful stage career. Ms. Meysel was half Jewish. Because of that she was banned from performing during the Nazi’s reign of terror. She won numerous awards in her native land include six Bambi Awards, a lifetime achievement award from the German Television Awards, a Golden Camera and Telestar Award.
FRANCES HYLAND Died July 11, 2004
Canadian stage and screen actress Frances Hyland died of respiratory failure at age 77. Ms. Hyland was one of Canada’s best known and respected stage actress. She both acted in and directed plays in Canada for 50 years. She appeared in the TV series "Avonlea" as the character Louisa Banks. Among her other film and TV credits are the horror films "Happy Birthday to Me" and "The Changeling." Other credits include "The Twilight Zone," "Lonely Knights" and "Hounds of Notre Dame."
RENEE SAINT-CYR Died July 11, 2004
French actress Renee Saint-Cyr died at age 99. Ms. Saint-Cyr’s film career dated back to 1932. She appeared in over 70 films during her career. She also had a successful stage career. Ms. Saint-Cyr’s son is renowned director Georges Lautner. Among her many credits are "Pierre and Jean," "Toto," "The Beautiful Trip," "Lafayette" and "The Cowboy."
DOROTHY HART Died July 11, 2004
Actress Dorothy Hart died at age 82. Ms. Hart delivered several strong supporting performances in the 1940s and 50s. She is best known as the female lead in the Noir classic "The Naked City." Ms. Hart’s other credits include "Gunfighters," "I Was a Communist for the FBI," "Tarzan’s Savage Fury," "The Countess of Monte Cristo," "Undertow" and "Larceny."
CARL-IVAR NILSSON Died July 11, 2004
Swedish actor Carl-Ivar Nilsson was killed in a house fire in Stockholm. Mr. Nilsson was 64 years old. Mr. Nilsson appeared mainly in Swedish TV shows. He played the lead in the Swedish TV version of Edward Albee’s play "Zoo Story."
JOE GOLD Died July 11, 2004
Gold’ Gym founder Joe Gold died of undisclosed causes at age 82. Mr. Gold founded the world famous weight lifting gym in the 1960s. His most famous client is now the governor of California. Mr. Gold appeared in Cecil B. DeMille’s "The Ten Commandments." He played an Egyptian guard. He also appeared in the original version of "Around the World in Eighty Days" as well as an episode of "I Spy."
WALTER WAGER Died July 11, 2004
Novelist Walter Wager died of complications from brain cancer at age 79. Mr. Wager was a Harvard Law School graduate and a Fulbright Scholar. He wrote more than 30 volumes. Three of his works were turned into popular films. The movies "Die Hard 2," "Twilight’s Last Gleaming" and "Telefon" were all adapted from Mr. Wager’s books. "Telefon" is a great little espionage tale about Russian sleeper agents in America activated by a rouge KGB officer. Charles Bronson plays a KGB agent sent to track down the long dormant agents before they can spark WWIII. "Twilight’s Last Gleaming" starred Burt Lancaster as an insane US Army general who takes over a nuclear missile silo. Wager’s book "58 Minutes" became "Die Hard 2." Mr. Wager wrote novelizations of the TV series "I Spy" and "Mission Impossible" under the pseudonym John Tiger.
GEORGE MALLABY Died July 12, 2004
I’ve never been a soap opera fan. I take that back. I used to watch the Australian soap opera "Prisoner Cell Block H." I watched more as an appreciation for the ‘women in prison’ theme than any thing else. Veteran Australian TV actor George Mallaby appeared on the show during its second season. Mr. Mallaby died at age 64. He had suffered a series of strokes that left him wheelchair bound. Mr. Mallaby was best known for his work in the Australian TV shows "The Box" and "Homicide." Mr. Mallaby won a Best Actor Logie Award for his work in the 1975 TV series "The Box." Mr. Mallaby had a small role in the James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me."
JEFF MORRIS Died July 13, 2004
Character actor Jeff Morris has died at age 69. Mr. Morris had memorable small roles is a number of big pictures. My first memory of Mr. Morris is from the Clint Eastwood war/caper/comedy "Kelly’s Heroes." Morris played the Texas-born Pvt. Cowboy. Pvt. Cowboy was the butt of several jokes by Don Rickles’ character Sgt. Crapgame. At one point, a German tank has blown up a latrine. Pvt. Cowboy and another Southern soldier are covered in feces. Crapgame throws a jab at Cowboy: "Kinda makes you feel homesick, doesn’t it?" When Crapgame leaves, the second Southern soldier turns to Cowboy and says "You know, it really does!" Mr. Morris was a real Texan. Born in Lubbock, he was a school mate of the late rocker Buddy Holly.
Morris may be best known for his portrayal of Bob, the owner of ‘Bob’s Country Bunker’ in John Landis’ comedy classic "The Blues Brothers." You remember Bob’s Country Bunker. They have both kinds of music: Country and Western!
Mr. Morris appeared in seven films with actor Jack Nicholson. He turned in his most chilling performance as the evil slave-trader/drug-dealer JJ in Tony Richardson’s "The Border." Mr. Morris also worked with Mr. Nicholson in "Goin’ South," "Ironweed," "The Two Jakes," "The Crossing Guard," "Anger Management" and "About Schmidt."
Mr. Morris appeared in many TV shows in guest roles. Mr. Morris’ film and TV credits include "The Bonnie Parker Story," "Bonanza," "Mission Impossible," "Death Valley Days," "Kid Galahad," "The Gauntlet" and the overlooked but worthwhile C&W character study "Payday" starring Rip Torn.
PAT ROACH Died July 13, 2004
Wrestler turned actor Pat Roach died of cancer at age 67. Mr. Roach appeared in some of the most popular films of all time. He was best known as one of the leads in the BBC TV series "Auf Weiersehen Pet." The TV series just began filming its newest season. Those unfamiliar with the BBC action series will recognize Mr. Roach for his memorable cameos in several popular films. Mr. Roach appeared in all three of the "Indiana Jones" films. In "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Mr. Roach played the bald-headed Nazi who fought Harrison Ford underneath a pilotless German fighter aircraft. The photo at right shows Mr. Roach in each of the three "Indiana Jones" films. Roach fought Sean Connery’s James Bond in "Never Say Never Again." Mr. Roach was the evil General Kael, chief henchman for Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) in Ron Howard’s "Willow." The character's name was a tribute to the famed film critic Pauline Kael. Stanley Kubrick gave Mr. Roach his first movie job. Mr. Roach was one of the bouncers at the Korova Milk Bar in the opening sequence of "A Clockwork Orange." Kubrick also gave Mr. Roach a part in his period piece "Barry Lyndon." It was Mr. Roach’s character, the mythic god Hephaestus who created the annoying robotic owl in Ray Harryhausen’s final film "Clash of the Titans." Other credits include the final part of Richard Lester’s "Musketeer Trilogy": "The Return of the Musketeers," Kevin Costner’s "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," "Red Sonja" and "Conan the Destroyer."
NELLY BORGEAUD Died July 14, 2004
Veteran Swiss actress died after a lengthy illness at age 72. Ms. Borgeaud appeared in films by such master directors as Francois Truffaut and Alain Renais. She was nominated for two Best Supporting Actress Cesar Awards. Ms. Borgeaud’s credits include Truffaut’s "The Man Who Loved Women." She worked with Alain Renais on three films: "Mon Oncle d’Amerique," "The Time of Return" and "Same Old Song." Ms. Borgeaud’s other credits include "Mississippi Mermaid," "Love Songs," "The Accompanist" and "Jeanne and the Perfect Guy."
CHARLES W. SWEENEY Died July 15, 2004
General Charles W. Sweeney died of undisclosed causes at age 84. Gen. Sweeney was the pilot of the B-29 Superfortress "Bock’s Car." On August 9th, 1945 his crew dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, effectively ending WWII and saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of American service men who would have been lost during the Invasion of Japan. Sweeney’s co-pilot Fred Olivi died this past April. General Sweeney was the technical military advisor on the docudrama "The Beginning or the End." General Sweeney wrote about his experiences in the book "War's End: An Eyewitness Account of America's Last Atomic Mission." Point of trivia, General Sweeney also flew on the first A-Bomb mission to Hiroshima. Sweeney piloted an instrument plane, which accompanied the more famous B-29 the "Enola Gay" to its target.
PETER BAIRD Died July 16, 2004
Puppeteer/actor Peter Baird died of cancer at age 52. Mr. Baird was the son of puppeteers Bil and Cora Baird. Bil Baird created the puppets used in the wonderful puppet show in Robert Wise’s "The Sound of Music." Mr. Baird’s film and TV credits include "The Muppets Take Manhattan," "Howard the Duck," "Shining Time Station," "Davy Jones’ Locker" and "Howling III." Mr. Baird also lent his talents to hundreds of commercials and industrial films.
BRUCE MACADIE Died July 17, 2004
British production designer/art director Bruce Macadie died of a heart attack at age 54. Mr. Macadie worked on many of the BBC’s best known TV dramas. His credits include "I, Claudius," "The Mayor of Casterbridge," "Pennies From Heaven," "Death of a Salesman," "Broken Glass," "Hard Times," "Hour of the Pig" and "Star Quality." Mr. Macadie was also a successful theatrical production designer.
RICHARD NEY Died July 18, 2004
Actor turned Wall Street counselor Richard Ney died of heart problems at the age 87. Mr. Ney made his film debut in the Oscar winning Best Picture winner "Mrs. Miniver." Actress Greer Garson played the title role and won the Best Actress Oscar for her work. Richard Ney played her son. Mr. Ney and Ms. Garson fell in love and married during the film. They divorced 5 years later. Mr. Ney appeared in over 30 films and TV shows. Mr. Ney’s film and TV credits include Roger Corman’s "The Premature Burial," the Doris Day thriller "Midnight Lace," "Joan of Arc," "Your Show of Shows," "Studio One," "Peter Gunn," "The Shirley Temple Storybook" and "Have Gun-Will Travel." Mr. Ney retired from film and became a best-selling financial author. Mr. Ney served his country as an officer in the US Navy during WWII.
GEORGINE DARCY Died July 18, 2004
Actress/dancer Georgine Darcy died of natural causes at age 68. Ms. Darcy was the sexy newlywed "Miss Torso" in Alfred Hitchcock’s kinky classic "Rear Window." Ms. Darcy’s character was the frequent subject of Jimmy Stewart’s voyeuristic tendencies. Ms. Darcy appeared in several films and TV shows including "Mannix," "Harrigan and Son," "M Squad," "Don’t Knock the Twist," "Woman and the Bloody Terror," and "The Delta Factor."
SUSAN BOYD Died June 18, 2004
Writer Susan Boyd died of a brain hemorrhage at age 55. Ms. Boyd wrote for a number of BBC TV series during her career. Her credits include the TV series "Casualty," "EastEnders," "BBC Play of the Week," "Take the High Road" and "Holby."
SEBASTIAN GRAHAM JONES Died July 18, 2004
Actor/director Sebastian Graham-Jones died of cancer at age 56. Mr. Jones was best known to English theater goers. He had a lengthy career as a production assistant, actor and director in England. He did appear in a handful of films. He also directed several British TV shows including "Coronation Street." He appeared in my favorite lesbian vampire film, "Twins of Evil." Mr. Jones also appeared in the John le Carre thriller "The Little Drummer Girl."
IRVIN S. YEAWORTH JR. Died July 19, 2004
Director/missionary Irvin Yeaworth was killed in an automobile accident at age 78. Mr. Yeaworth was a religious filmmaker who is best known for his 1958 sci-fi cult classic "The Blob." Mr. Yeaworth made over 400 religious films including some with Billy Graham. He cut his teeth on several low-budget sci-fi films in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Mr. Yeaworth desired to make religious films, but didn’t want to put out a subpar product. He took on "The Blob" in order to learn his trade. "The Blob" made a star of a young Steve McQueen. Mr. Yeaworth also directed "The 4D Man" and the children’s prehistoric monster movie "Dinosaurus!" "Dinosaurus!" was one of my childhood favorites. It seems a bit quaint now. The animated dinosaurs weren’t in the same class as either Willis O’Brien or Ray Harryhausen. Mr. Yeaworth was killed in Jordon. He was putting the finishing touches on a theme part aimed at bringing Jews and Arabs closer together.
ANTONIO GADES Died July 20, 2004
Famed flamenco dancer Antonio Gades died of cancer at age 67. Mr. Gades was the first director of the National Ballet of Spain. He appeared in 10 films which showcased his talents. The most notable were "Blood Wedding," "Carmen" and "Love, The Magician." "Carmen" was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1984. Gades was an avowed communist. Fidel Castro was best man at his wedding.
JERRY GOLDSMITH Died July 21, 2004
I had the pleasure of spending an hour or so with Jerry Goldsmith during my college days. I had to take a couple of art classes. I signed up for "The History of Rock and Roll" being taught by Bob Tucker of The Bill Black Combo. One day, Mr. Tucker brought in a guest speaker. Jerry Goldsmith was in town to conduct the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. He sat in the small room with the dozen or so lucky students and shot the breeze for over an hour. I found him to be an open and unpretentious man. I’m not a musical person. I was not able to pick his brain about the ins and outs of composing music. At the time, Mr. Goldsmith was on a high. Paul Verhoven’s "Basic Instinct" was being released that weekend. Goldsmith’s score for the movie would turn out to be one of the highlights of his career. I remember asking him to comment on what I called "dated scores." I mentioned that these types of scores were very prevalent in some 1960s Westerns. The composer would use trendy rock music from the day to score the film. What worked back in the day, now dated the movie. Mr. Goldsmith laughed and refused to comment. He said it was quite possible that he had committed that sin himself. He was open about discussing the work of his contemporaries. He was open and honest in his criticism as he was talking to students. They could smell bullshit and he wasn’t going to deliver any. Out of respect for the situation, I won’t repeat his searing indictments concerning the work of a couple of specific people. The reason he brought this up with these students was to hopefully inspire them to produce the best music they could, not just to compose enough to get by. That day was one of the highlights of my undergraduate experience. I enjoyed the day because I had long admired Mr. Goldsmith’s work. If that day was any example of the type of person he was everyday, then Jerry Goldsmith was a decent human being.
Oscar winning composer Jerry Goldsmith died of cancer at age 75. Mr. Goldsmith was nominated for 18 Oscar’s during his long, brilliant career. He won the Best Original Score Oscar for his work on the horror film "The Omen." Mr. Goldsmith’s work set the standard for modern film composers. His list of awards and nominations is more than impressive. Five Grammy nominations, eight Golden Globe nominations, Four Emmy Awards, twelve BMI Film and TV Awards, four BAFTA nominations, one Annie Award, Seven nominations and one Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. There are many more but you get the idea.
Mr. Goldsmith composed scores for over 300 films and TV shows. During the 1950s, Mr. Goldsmith contributed to such classic TV shows as "Perry Mason," "Gunsmoke," "Wagon Train," "Playhouse 90," "Studio One," "Dr. Kildare," "Ben Casey," "Have Gun-Will Travel," "Wanted: Dead or Alive," "Climax!" and "The Twilight Zone." He continued to compose for TV during the remainder
Mr. Goldsmith’s first Oscar nomination was for John Huston’s 1963 biopic "Freud." Goldsmith would receive four Oscar nominations during the 1960s. The others were for "A Patch of Blue," "The Sand Pebbles" and the innovative score of "Planet of the Apes." Mr. Goldsmith’s other credits from the 1960s include "The List of Adrian Messenger," "Lilies of the Field," "Seven Days in May," "In Harm’s Way," "Von Ryan’s Express," "Our Man Flint," "The Blue Max," "The Illustrated Man" and "100 Rifles."
Mr. Goldsmith began the 1970s with an Oscar nomination for "Patton." The 1970s would see Mr. Goldsmith nominated for seven Oscar including his win for "The Omen." Mr. Goldsmith received two nominations for "The Omen," winning for Best Original Score. Other Oscar nominations from the 1970s include "Papillion," "Chinatown," "The Wind and the Lion" and "The Boys From Brazil." Mr. Goldsmith’s other credits from the 1970s include Sam Peckinpah’s lyrical ode to the west "The Ballad of Cable Houge," "Tora, Tora, Tora," "Shamus," "Police Story," "QB VII," "The Reincarnation of Peter Proud," "Breakheart Pass," "Logan’s Run," "Twilight’s Last Gleaming," "Contract on Cherry Street," "Coma," "Capricorn One" and "Alien." Mr. Goldsmith also scored the third "Planet of the Apes" sequel as well as the three "Omen" sequels."
During the 1980s, Mr. Goldsmith received four Oscar nominations for the films "Star Trek: The Motion Picture," "Hoosiers," "Poltergeist" and "Under Fire." Other film credits from the 80s include "Outland," "Raggedy Man," "The Secret of NIMH," "Rambo: First Blood," "Psycho II," "Twilight Zone: The Movie," "Gremlins," "Legend," "Rambo II," "Innerspace," "Lionheart" and "Criminal Law."
Mr. Goldsmith received his last three Oscar nominations during the 1990s for "Basic Instinct," "L.A. Confidential" and "Mulan." He scored 95 films and TV shows during the 1990s and the 2000s! Among his final credits are "Matinee," "The Vanishing," "Dennis the Menace," "Bad Girls," "Malice," "The River Wild," "The Ghost and the Darkness," "Air Force One," Hollow Man" and "Timeline."
Mr. Jerry Goldsmith was both a prolific and innovative composer. His music helped mold the way films were experienced during the last 40 years. He left behind thousands of hours of work that will hopefully inspire those who score movies in the future. Thanks for sharing your talents with the world. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
LES FOXCROFT Died July 21, 2004
Australian character actor Les Foxcroft died at age 85. Mr. Foxcroft worked in Australian film and TV for nearly 30 years. Though his work in "Phar Lap" and "And Millions Will Die" was seen worldwide, most his work was centered in his native country. Mr. Foxcroft co-starred with Paul Chubb in the cult comedy horror film "The Rolly Polly Man." This overlooked gem has finally been released on DVD. The film is a clever mix of film noir, comedy and horror. It deals with a bumbling detective who stumbles onto a murder that might just involve giant slugs. Mr. Foxcroft is great as the lead character’s sidekick. Mr. Foxcroft served his country in the Australian Air Force during WWII.
JOAN MORGAN Died July 22, 2004
British silent film star Joan Morgan died at age 99. Ms. Morgan starred in a string of British and American films during the silent era. Ms. Morgan was the daughter of director Sidney Morgan. Ms. Morgan began as a child actress. He favorite role was in her father’s film "Little Dorrit." She retired from acting and turned to writing in the late 1920s. Ms. Morgan wrote a number of novels and screenplays during the 1930s and 40s. Her writing credits include "The Callbox Mystery" and "This Was a Woman." Ms. Morgan recounted he past in Austin and Howard Mutti-Mewse’s documentary "I Used to Be In Pictures."
ALEXANDRE DISTEL Died July 22, 2004
Guitarist Sacha Distel died at age 71. Mr. Distel was a popular singer and jazz guitarist in the 1950s and 60s. Mr. Distel was best known for writing the music for the song "The Good Life"which was made popular by singer Tony Bennett. He gained some fame for his romantic relationship with Bridget Bardot. Mr. Distel appeared in a few films including "Woman of Paris," "Careless Love" and "The Fanatics." He appeared on stage in the role of Billy Flynn in Bob Fosse’s "Chicago."
PIERO PICCIONI Died July 23, 2004
Italian composer Piero Piccioni died at age 82. Mr. Piccioni scored over 100 films during his career. He worked with such directors as Lina Wertmuller, Jean-Luc Godard, Radley Metzger and Italian master Roberto Rossellini. Mr. Piccioni won the Best Score award from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists for the film "Salvatore Giuliano." Mr. Piccioni credits include "The Assassin," "Swept Away," "The 10th Victim," "The Devil," "After the Fox," "The Witches," "Camille 2000," "The Seduction of Mimi" and "Lucky Luciano."
NICK ROSSITER Died July 23, 2004
British director/producer Nick Rossiter died at age 43. Mr. Rossiter directed a number of documentary films for the BBC. Among his credits are "The Secret Life of Mona Lisa," "Renaissance," "A Vision of Britain," entries in the "Leonardo" series about famed artist/inventor Leonardo Da Vinci. Mr. Rossiter produced the TV series "American Visions," "Sister Wendy’s Odyssey," "Heart Bypass" and "The Human Face." Mr. Rossiter’s "The Human Face" was nominated for an Outstanding Non-fiction Special Emmy. Mr. Rossiter produced "War Stories," a 50-minute interview with Steven Spielberg.
SERGE REGGIANI Died July 23, 2004
Italian born actor/singer Serge Reggiani died of a heart attack at age 82. Mr. Reggiani’s family moved to France to escape Mussolini. Reggiani became one of the most popular singers in France. He also had a lengthy and successful career as an actor on stage and screen. Mr. Reggiani appeared in nearly 100 films. He worked with many of the greatest directors in Europe. His credits include Max Ophuls’ Oscar nominated "La Ronde," "Les Miserables," Luchino Viconti’s "The Leopard" and "Manon." He is the father of actor Simon Reggiani. Two of Mr. Reggiani’s three wives were actresses.
WIM VERSTAPPEN Died July 24, 2004
Dutch writer/producer/director Wim Verstappen died of cancer at age 67. Mr. Verstappen directed the famous Dutch erotic film "Blue Movie." Verstappen became a millionaire from the success of "Blue Movie." The film about an ex-con making love to an apartment building full of horny women marked the end of the Dutch censorship laws. Jan de Bont was the cinematographer! Verstappen’s film "Alicia" drew fire from the Coca-Cola Company for a scene in which a woman masturbates with a Coke bottle. The scene was re-shot with another brand. Verstappen’s "Pastorale 1943" was a big-budget war film. It starred "Emmanuel" actress Sylvia Kristel and Rutger Hauer. Verstappen also had success with the thriller "Outsider in Amsterdam" again starring Rutger Hauer. Mr. Verstappen was awarded the Gold Calf Award for his contributions to the Dutch film industry.
MAXINE CANTWAY Died July 25, 2004
Dancer Maxine Cantway died at age 91. Ms. Cantway was a chorus girl in New York. She moved to Los Angeles to get into the movies. Ms. Cantway made several short films before becoming a Goldwyn Girl in 1932. Ms. Cantway’s film credits include "42nd Street," "The Kid From Spain," "Pride of the Marines," "Little Giant," "Gold Diggers of 1933" and "Two in a Crowd."
MASAMI SHIMOJO Died July 25, 2004
Actor Masami Shimojo died of pancreatic cancer at age 81. The Japanese actor appeared in over 50 films during his lengthy career. He appeared in fourteen of the "Tora-San" films. Mr. Shimolo played the uncle of the lead character. He was the father of actor Atomu Shimojo.
ALEXANDER HAMMID Died July 26, 2004
Experimental filmmaker Alexander Hammid died at age 96. Mr. Hammid was married to legendary avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren from 1942 through 1947. The pair made the films "Meshes in the Afternoon" and "The Private Life of the Cat" together. The Austrian born filmmaker was the artistic advisor on one of my personal favorites, the classic silent film "Erotikon." Mr. Hammid was a film journalist in the 1920s and 30s. He made "Aimless Walk" his first film in 1930. Mr. Hammid took part in all aspects of filmmaking. He wrote, shoot and directed his own films as well as editing and photographing films for others. During WWII he directed films for the US Government’s Office of War Information. Late in life, Mr. Hammid worked on several IMAX films including the excellent "To Fly!" Mr. Hammid was the subject of Martina Kudlacek’s documentary "Aimless Walk-Alexander Hammid."
ABRAHAM LUBOFF Died July 26, 2004
Musician Abraham Luboff died at age 87. Mr. Luboff was a long-time Los Angeles musician and music teacher. He spent most of his career working on the soundtracks of TV shows and films. Next time you watch "Jaws" think of Abraham Luboff. That’s him on the bass viola playing the famous bass theme.
JANE HOFFMAN Died July 26, 2004
Broadway actress Jane Hoffman died at age 93. Ms. Hoffman appeared in over 20 plays during her 50+ year career. Ms. Hoffman’s film credits include "Up the Sandbox," "*batteries not included," "Tattoo," "In & Out," "Deconstructing Harry" and "The Sentinel." Ms. Hoffman appeared in the soap operas "The Edge of Night" and "Love of Life."
EUGENE ROCHE Died July 28, 2004
It was the death of U.S. soldier Edgar Derby at the hands of German soldiers in the bombed out city of Dresden that triggered the mental collapse of hero Billy Pilgrim in Kurt Vonnegut’s "Slaughterhouse-Five." I remember character actor Eugene Roche from many movies, but his performance as Edgar Derby in George Roy Hill’s adaptation of "Slaughterhouse-Five" stands out in my mind as one of his best. Veteran character actor Eugene Roche died after two heart attacks. He was 75. Eugene Roche was one of the most highly recognizable and respected character actors of the last 45 years. He appeared in over 130 films and TV shows. Mr. Roche was also a respected stage actor. Roche was able to play any range of character. Good guy, bad guy, it didn’t matter. He was one of the many great things found in Robert Benton’s overlooked gem "The Late Show." In the comedy "Foul Play," Roche played twin brothers, one a priest and the other a hitman. Mr. Roche may be best known for his role as "Pinky Peterson" on Norman Lear’s groundbreaking TV series "All in the Family." Other film credits include "Cotton Comes to Harlem," "The Happening" and the wonderful "They Might Be Giants." His TV credits include "Webster," "Star Trek: Voyager," "Murder She Wrote," "Magnum, P.I.," "Night Court," "Highway to Heaven," "Starsky and Hutch," "Gimme a Break," "Vega$," "Quincy," "Barnaby Jones," "Kojak," "McCloud," "Hawaii 5-0" and "Naked City." Mr. Roche served his country in WWII and Korea.
ALEXEI DE KEYSER Died July 28, 2004
TV producer Alexei de Keyser was found dead at age 36. The cause of death has not been determined, but police say they do not suspect foul play. Mr. de Keyser was the son of actor David de Keyser. He produced the popular BBC TV series "Casualty." Other production credits include the TV shows "Grease Monkeys" and "Waking the Dead."
SAM EDWARDS Died July 28, 2004
My six-year-old daughter’s room features a framed, autographed "Bambi" VHS sleeve. The cover was autographed by actors Ann Gillis (the voice of Bambi’s girlfriend) and Sam Edwards (the voice of Thumper). I met them at the 2001 Memphis Film Festival. Mr. Edwards was a nice gentleman. He did not remember many of the films I asked him about, as he was getting on in years. Mr. Edwards delighted the many fans when he joined Kim Hunter, William Windom, Jon Locke, Ann Gillis and Veronica Carlson on stage for a reenactment of an old "Gunsmoke" radio show. Radio and voice work was Mr. Edwards' first love. He appeared in nearly 150 films and TV shows, but his favorite form of acting took place on the radio or supplying the voices for animated characters. Actor Sam Edwards died following a heart attack at age 89. Mr. Edwards delivered a fine supporting performance as the put-upon Lt. Birdwell in the war classic "Twelve O’Clock High." His performance is still inspirational to fighting men and women everywhere. Mr. Edwards was a featured player in the Columbia movie serial "Captain Midnight." He appeared with John Wayne in "Operation Pacific" and "Flying Leathernecks." When I met Mr. Edwards, actor Robert Blake had just been accused of murder. Edwards appeared with Mr. Blake in "Revolt in the Big House." Mr. Edwards didn’t remember the picture or working with Blake. Other film credits include "Hello Dolly!," "Escape to Witch Mountain" and the Bob Rafelson remake of "The Postman Always Rings Twice." Mr. Edwards appeared in over 100 TV episodes. Odds are if a TV series was in production in the 1950s, 60s or 70s, Mr. Edwards did a guest shot on it. His TV credits include "Dragnet," "Gunsmoke," "Peter Gunn," "The Andy Griffith Show," "Green Acres," "The Invaders," "The F.B.I.," "Hawaii 5-0," "Mannix," "The Streets of San Francisco," "Barnaby Jones" and "The Dukes of Hazzard."
JACKSON BECK Died July 28, 2004
Famed voice actor Jackson Beck died at the age of 92. Mr. Beck was one of the most prolific radio actors of the past century. He was best known for his work as the lead characters in the "Philo Vance" and "Cisco Kid" radio shows. Mr. Beck was a familiar voice in the world of cartoons. He voiced Popeye’s nemesis Bluto and then Brutus in nearly 100 cartoons. Mr. Beck played Perry White in the 1940s cartoon "Superman." His voice was heard in Woody Allen’s excellent "Radio Days." Mr. Beck also narrated Allen’s "Take the Money and Run." Mr. Beck made a rare in front of the camera appearance in the soap opera "The Edge of Night" during the 1968-69 season.
MARGO MCLENNAN Died July 28, 2004
British actress Margo McLennan died of cancer at age 66. Ms. McLennan began her career as an ice skater in musical productions. She switched to acting in the 1960s and began to appear in British TV and films. She was best known for her two roles in the Australian women in prison soap opera "Prisoner Cell Block H." She appeared in the first season as a woman who ran over and killed the man who raped her daughter. The story line was dropped. Two years later returned as a guard. She was married to Australian actor Rod McLennan. Her other credits include "Prisoner Queen" about a man obsessed with the TV show "Prisoner Cell Block H," "Danger Man," "The Getting of Wisdom," "The Man From Interpol," "Spaceflight 1C-1" and the TV mini series "All the Rivers Run."
RENA VLACHOPOULOU Died July 29, 2004
Greek comedian/actress Rena Vlachopoulou died of complications following stomach surgery. The 81-year-old actress had also suffered from diabetes, heart and lung problems. She appeared in numerous films and TV series during her 40+ year career. Her credits include "The Girl From Corfu."
JENNIFER BARRETT-PELLINGTON Died July 30, 2004
Costume designer Jennifer Barrett-Pellington died after an ongoing illness at age 42. Ms. Barrett-Pellington began her career as a model, but switched to costume design. Her credits include "Arlington Road" and the short Jon Bon Jovi film "Destination Anywhere." Ms. Barrett-Pellington was the wife of director Mark Pellington who directed "Arlington Road." Her husband included a "Special Thanks" credit in his film "The Mothman Prophecies" to his wife for her support of him on that film. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends, especially her young daughter.
J. EDWARD MCKINLEY Died July 30, 2004
Actor J. Edward McKinley died in Beverly Hills at age 86. The Washington State native was a familiar face in film and on TV during the 1950s through 70s. He appeared in Blake Edwards hilarious and overlooked gem "The Party." Mr. McKinley played the producer whose house is reduced to rubble by the bumbling Peter Sellers. Other credits include the original version of "The Angry Red Planet," "How the West Was Won," "The Great Race," "Advise and Consent," "The Cincinnati Kid," "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken," "Charro!" with Elvis Presley," "The Legend of Lizzie Bordon," "Highway to Heaven," "The Rockford Files" and "Perry Mason."
ANDRE NOBLE Died July 30, 2004
Canadian actor Andre Noble died at age 25. He is believed to have died after ingesting the sap of a highly poisonous flower while on a camping trip. Mr. Noble was a native of Newfoundland. He appeared in the TV film "Random Passage" and in the upcoming feature film "Sugar." Other credits include "Twist" and "Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
LAURA BETTI Died July 31, 2004
Italian actress Laura Betti died at age 70. Ms. Betti worked with such master directors as Frederico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, Bernardo Bertolucci, Mario Bava and especially Pier Paolo Pasolini. Ms. Betti was a longtime friend of the late Pasolini who was murdered in 1975. They made seven films together. Ms. Betti herself made a documentary about him. She also recently donated his archives to the film library in Bologna. Ms. Betti’s first screen appearance was in Fellini’s look at an amoral and decadent Rome: "La Dolce Vita." She appeared in two films for horror director Mario Bava including his masterpiece "Twitch of the Death Nerve." Though she worked on Bertolucci’s "Last Tango in Paris" her scenes were deleted. She did make it to the screen in both Bertolucci’s epic "1900" and controversial film about incest "Luna." She did voice work on Pasolini’s final and most controversial film "Salo or 129 Days of Sodom." "Salo" was a political statement about Italy’s collaboration with the Nazis. The film was also an explicit adaptation of the Marquis de Sade’s sadistic classic "120 Days of Sodom." Ms. Betti appeared in over 75 films during her career. She won Best Actress Awards at the Venice and San Sebastian film festivals.
VIRGINIA GREY Died July 31, 2004
Actress Virginia Grey died of heart failure at age 87. Ms. Gray appeared in over 100 film during a career that began in the days of silent films. Ms. Grey made her movie debut in the 1927 version of "Uncle Tom’s Cabin." She played Little Eva. Ms. Grey made the transition from child actress to adult actress as well as the transition from silent films to talkies. Ms. Grey appeared in the biopic "The Great Ziegfield." She appeared as a singer in "Gold Diggers of 1935." She worked with Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy in "Test Pilot." Ms. Grey had a supporting role in George Cuckor’s classic "The Women." She played the female lead opposite the Marx Brothers in "The Big Store." My mother told me about seeing the cast of "Tarzan’s New York Adventure" in a hotel in Tallahassee when she was a little girl. Virginia Grey played the second female lead in that film. Ms. Grey and Johnny Weissmuller appeared in three more films together: "Swamp Fire," "Jungle Jim" and "Stage Door Canteen." I remember seeing Ms. Grey as the lead in the cheesy monster movie "Unknown Island." I was a kid and thought the guys in rubber dinosaur suits were great. I was a huge "Andy Hardy" fan growing up. Virginia Grey appeared in "The Hardys Ride High." I was also a huge "Thin Man" fan. Ms. Grey was excellent in "Another Thin Man." During the 1950s Ms. Grey appeared in several excellent films including "The Rose Tattoo," "All That Heaven Allows" and "Jeanne Eagles." She also appeared in a couple of my favorite films from the 1960s: Sam Fuller’s "The Naked Kiss" and the horror film "The Black Zoo." Other film credits include "Flower Drum Song," "Madame X" and the original "Airport." Ms. Grey also appeared in numerous TV shows in guest roles. Her TV credits include "Climax!," "Wagon Train," "Peter Gunn," "Bonanza," "My Three Sons" and "I Spy."