Wednesday, December 1, 2010



On occasion, I have had guests write an obituary of a particular film industry person. I came across a paid obituary for Joseph Red Flame Tayac Proctor in the New York Times while researching this column. Needing more information, I sent off a few e-mails. I was fortunate enough to hear back from a family member of Joe Tayac. His son-in-law, Daniel Medina graciously sent me the booklet from Mr. Tayac’s funeral. As I read of Mr. Tayac’s life, I realized that I could not do him justice unless his entire story was told. Mr. Medina has allowed me to pay tribute to his late father-in-law by sharing this with you. I was moved by what I read. I wish I had known Mr. Tayac.


Joseph Bedford Proctor, Red Flame Tayac, always said that he was "like a time traveler." He was born to the late Piscataway medicine man, Chief Turkey Tayac, and Mary Emma Scott in Washington, D.C. on January 8, 1928. From this extraordinary heritage, he went on to create an incomparable life of his own.

He was a modern day Sinbad, rejoicing in his self-titled persona, the "Terror of the South China Sea." Joe joined the Merchant Marines at the age of 16 in 1944, and was at D-Day in Normandy. He sailed for 40 more years as an officer and a navigator, making more than 100 sea voyages to every part of the world. Joe was drafted into the Army off of a ship and served in the Korean War where he went on to jungle training in the Philippines. He sailed into combat zones on the Mekong River in the Vietnam War.

In the late 1950s, Joe moved to New York City where he enjoyed a liberating, intellectual, and bohemian life in Greenwich Village when he was on land. In 1961 at Washington Square Park, he met Barbara Goldstein, whom he described as the "most fascinating person I ever met," and they were married on January 26, 1963. Their daughter, Gabrielle Astra Tayac, was his best friend and the pride of his life. Joe played chess at a Grand Master's level, earned a well-deserved reputation as a gourmet chef, hosted fabulous parties, danced a graceful tango, and told thousands of fantastic stories. At the age of 66, Joe joined the Screen Actor's Guild and appeared in a number of films including Searching for Bobby Fisher and The Royal Tenenbaums.

Joe was fiercely devoted to his family and to his friends. He became a venerated elder counselor presiding gleefully at the Sun Dance kitchen at Tayac Territory. He stood by his brother, Chief Billy Tayac, his nephews, and his nieces in the struggle for Native rights - for Joe being Indian meant being a free person. Joe deeply adored his grandchildren, Sebastian and Jansikwe. He was everyone's Uncle Joe. Joe was not afraid to live, not afraid to love, and at the very end not afraid to die. Sail on, beloved sea warrior, into the stars to find your place among the hero ancestors who watch over us all.

TERRY KNIGHT Died Nov. 1, 2004

Music producer/composer Terry Knight was stabbed to death in Temple, Texas. He was 61 years old. Temple police are questioning the 26-year-old boyfriend of Knight’s daughter concerning the murder. Terry Knight produced my favorite 60s and 70s power trio "Grand Funk Railroad." "Grand Funk Railroad" came from the remains of Terry Knight’s band "Terry Knight and the Pack." Knight left the band to work in radio. When he heard Mark, Don and Mel rehearse Terry brought them to the forefront of the American and then world music scene. The band fired Knight after accusing him of stealing their money. The story is told in the VH1 "Behind the Music: Grand Funk Railroad" documentary. IMDB states that Terry Knight composed the score for the 1967 thriller "The Incident." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

MAE MADISON Died Nov. 1, 2004

British filmmaker Austin Mutti-Mewse informed me today that silent screen and early talkie actress Mae Madison died at age 89. Ms. Madison was one of the actresses who appeared in the Mutti-Mewse brother’s documentary "I Used to Be In Pictures." Ms. Madison was a favorite of director Busby Berkley. She appeared in most of his films in the 1930s. Ms. Madison told the Mutti-Mewse brothers "Buzz (Berkeley) got to like me so I was never out of his pictures. He'd telephone me and say "Mae bring your swimsuit to the studios your gonna be my gal in this new picture". You know the pictures where the girl jumps off the high board into the pool and swims through the legs of thirty girls and comes up smiling? I was that girl!" In addition to her work with Busby Berkley, Ms. Madison worked with John Barrymore in "The Mad Genius," John Wayne in "The Big Stampede" and William Wellman in "So Big!" among others.

ALAIN FOURNIER Died Nov. 1, 2004

French writer Alain Fournier died at age 56 after a long illness. Mr. Fournier used the pseudonym A.D.G. He was one of France’s best crime novelists. Mr. Fournier specialized in police novels. A number of his books were turned into TV films and a TV series.

RUSTY ALLEN Died Nov. 1, 2004

Actress Rusty Allen died at age 60 in Las Vegas. I spoke with director Herschel Gordon Lewis today. He was saddened by the brevity of her obituary in the Las Vegas Sun. Rusty Allen starred in Mr. Lewis’s nudist camp exploitation film "Daughter of the Sun."

Mr. Lewis shared his thoughts with me concerning his former star: "When my partner Dave Friedman and I shot the film "Daughter of the Sun" in Miami all those years ago, we billed her as "The most beautiful girl in the world" ... and that appellation wasn't movie hype. We sincerely believed it. Often, I've compared her sunny disposition and cooperative attitude with those of other actresses with whom I've worked. She usually scored at the top.

In addition to her starring role in "Daughter of the Sun," Ms. Allen also appeared with Elvis in "Girl Happy." She had a minor role as one of Linda Darnell’s prostitutes in the Rory Calhoun Western "Black Spurs." Ms. Allen was also the star of the 1965 exploitation film "The Sexperts." Ms. Allen’s real name was Terri Kay Cooper. She was a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild.

ROBERT M. ANDERSON Died Nov. 1, 2004

Property master, stunt man and set decorator Robert M. Anderson died at age 38. Mr. Anderson was a property master on nearly 50 films and TV series. He was the property master and set decorator on Robert Altman’s classic film "Nashville." Other credits include Michael Cimino’s "The Deer Hunter," John Milius’s great gangster bio-pic "Dillinger," "Plaza Suite," the over-looked comedy "Mother, Juggs and Speed," the hilarious "Skin Game" and several great Made for TV movies including "The Night Stalker" and "Genesis II."

THEO VAN GOGH Died Nov. 2, 2004

Controversial writer/director/producer/actor Theo Van Gogh was murdered on an Amsterdam street. The 47-year-old filmmaker was stabbed and shot. Dutch police arrested a Dutch-Moroccan man after a shootout in which the suspect was wounded. Mr. Van Gogh was the great grand son of Theo Van Gogh, brother of painter Vinvent Van Gogh. Mr. Van Gogh had received death threats after the release of his film "Submission," which criticized the treatment of women in the Islamic faith. Mr. Van Gogh won a number of awards for his work at various film festivals around the world. He directed over 20 films, many which he also wrote and produced. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

EDWARD GORSUCH Died Nov. 3, 2004

Actor Edward Gorsuch died of brain cancer at age 63. Mr. Gorsuch was a rocket scientist for the Honeywell Corporation. After retiring, he took up acting. Mr. Gorsuch trained in acting technique, scene study, improv and auditioning. He appeared in several feature and student films. Mr. Gorsuch appeared in a TV version of Strinberg’s "Dream Play." He played the lead in the student film "Weiner." Mr. Gorsuch was the father of director/screenwriter/production manager Edward Gorsuch Jr.

EDWARD WARSCHILKA Sr. Died Nov. 6, 2004

Veteran film editor Edward Warschilka Sr. died at age 76. Mr. Warshilka was the father of Emmy-nominated film editor Edward Warschilka Jr. and sound effects editor Paul Warschilka. The elder Mr. Warschilka cut the film "Child's Play 3" with the junior Edward Warschilka. Among Mr. Warschilka's many credits are several of my personal favorites including Hal Ashby's dark comedy "Harold and Maude," the cool mystery "The Last of Sheila," the overlooked gem "Raggedy Man," Walter Hill's classic Western "The Long Riders" and the great 1960s cartoon series "Johnny Quest." Other credits include "The Landlord," "Childs Play," "Rambo III," "The Running Man" and "Brainstorm." Ed Warschilka Jr. has worked with director John Carpenter on a number of films including "Vampires," "Village of the Damned," "In the Mouth of Madness," "Big Trouble in Little China," "Body Bags" and "Escape From L.A."

ELIZABETH ROGERS Died Nov. 6, 2004

Actress Elizabeth Rogers died of complications from a series of strokes and lung cancer. Ms. Rogers played Lt. Palmer on the original "Star Trek" TV series. She also played David Keith’s mother in Taylor Hackford’s "An Officer and a Gentleman." She was the wife of actor/property master Erik L. Nelson. She was a personal friend of producer Irwin Allen. As such, she appeared in bit parts in several of his films including "The Poseidon Adventure," "The Towering Inferno" and "The Swarm." Ms. Rogers’s other credits include "Something Evil," "Grand Theft Auto," "The Van," "Mannix," "Gunsmoke," "The Little House on the Prairie," "Bonanza" and "The Time Tunnel."

PETE JOLLY Died Nov. 6, 2004

Musician Pete Jolly died of bone marrow cancer and heart problems at age 72. Mr. Jolly performed on the soundtracks of hundreds of movies and TV shows. He appeared as a member of a Jazz Combo in true-crime bio-pic "I Want to Live!" The noted keyboardist performed on the title themes of such TV shows as "M*A*S*H," "Mannix," "Dallas" and many others. His film credits include "The Wild Party," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Man With the Golden Arm." He was nominated for a Grammy Award for his composition "Little Bird."

ROBERT LANG Died Nov. 6, 2004

British actor Robert Lang died of cancer at age 70. Mr. Lang had a long and distinguished career on the British stage. During the 1960s he he was one of the up-and-coming actors in Sir. Laurence Olivier’s National Theater Company. Mr. Lang appeared in nearly 100 films and TV shows. He never achieved the on-screen recognition that he earned on stage, however, Mr. Lang was a versatile actor who improved any vehicle he appeared in. He delivered a number of memorable supporting roles. Mr. Lang appeared in Ken Russell’s challenging "Savage Messiah," "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "The House That Dripped Blood," "The Mackintosh Man," "The Great Train Robbery," "The Medusa Touch," "Night Watch," "Othello," "Rasputin," "Uncle Vanya" and the Dave Clark Five vehicle "Catch Us If You Can"

HATTIE BILSON Died Nov. 6, 2004

Writer Hattie Bilson died at age 97. Ms. Bilson began her career as the head of Warner Brother’s Trailer Department. She was a journalist for several movie magazines during the 1940s and 50s. A few years back, I had the pleasure of interviewing former child actor Gary Gray. Mr. Gray starred in the RKO short film series about "Pal," a dog rescued by a boy named Gary. Ms. Bilson wrote four of the short films, which also starred Flame, the Wonder Dog! Ms. Bilson was the mother of Emmy winning director Bruce Bilson (Get Smart), the grandmother of writer/producer/director Danny Bilson (creator of the TV series "Viper") and the great-grandmother of actress Rachel Bilson (The O.C.).

HOWARD KEEL Died Nov. 7, 2004

MGM musical star Howard Keel died of colon cancer at age 85. The burly baritone starred in a number of classic musicals. His career underwent a revival in the 1980s when he was a regular cast member on the hit TV series "Dallas." Howard Keel appeared on stage in Rogers and Hammerstein’s "Oklahoma" and "Carousel." He followed success on stage with a lengthy film career. His large physique made it easy for him to play action and leading man roles as well as his work in musicals. Howard Keel appeared in over 60 films and TV shows. His credits include such classic musicals as "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," "Show Boat," "Kismet," "Annie Get Your Gun," Pagan Love Song," "Calamity Jane" and "Kiss Me Kate." Several of his more famous scenes were used in the great anthology movies "That’s Entertainment" and "That’s Entertainment II."

In addition to his musical roles, Howard Keel appeared in a number of Westerns and other films. He played St. Peter in "The Big Fisherman." He took a stab at Sci-Fi in the scary "The Day of the Triffids." His Western credits include "Waco," "Red Tomahawk" "Zane Grey Theater," "Tales of Wells Fargo," "Death Valley Days," and "The War Wagon." In 1981 Mr. Keel for success in prime time TV. He was hired to play the second husband of Miss Ellie on "Dallas" following the death of actor Jim Davis. Mr. Keel remained with the show until its end in 1991.

EVE WASSERMAN Died Nov. 7, 2004

Eve Wasserman, former story editor at Universal Studios died of natural causes at age 91. Ms. Wasserman was the sister of Tony winning playwright Dale Wasserman (Man of LaMancha) and the sister of one time Disney Studios head librarian Billie Wasserman. Ms. Wasserman worked as a story editor for Universal from 1950 through the early 1960s.

JOHNNY RAHM Died Nov. 7, 2004

39-year-old gay porn star Johnny Rahm (born Barry Rogers) committed suicide by hanging himself in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Mr Rahm was one of the more popular gay porn stars during the 1990s. He was HIV positive and had been trying to get SSI. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

FRANK SHELLEY Died Nov. 8, 2004

Prolific British stage actor and director Frank Shelley died at age 86. Mr. Shelley’s stage career dated back to the 1930s. He worked with many of the greats of the English stage, and even discovered quite a few new talents. Mr. Shelley worked on a few TV series and feature films. He had a nice cameo in John Schlesinger’s wonderful "Darling." He played appeaser Neville Chamberland in the Merchant/Ivory film "The Remains of the Day."

ED WATERS Died Nov. 9, 2004

Emmy winning writer/producer Ed Waters died at age 74. Mr. Waters won an Emmy for one of my all-time favorite TV series "Police Story." The anthology series was created by L.A.P.D. vet turned writer Joseph Wambaugh. I wish someone would release the series on DVD! Mr. Waters was the nephew of actor Edmund O’Brien. He wrote "Man Trap," which was directed by O’Brien. Mr. Waters also wrote scripts for the outstanding series "The Equalizer." Other credits include "Kung Fu," "Jake and the Fatman," The F.B.I.," "Mannix," "The Virginian," "Baretta" and "Combat!"

IRIS CHANG Died Nov. 9, 2004

Author Iris Chang committed suicide by shooting herself in the head. Ms. Chang wrote the best-selling book "The Rape of Nanking" about the Japanese atrocities of rape, torture and murder committed against hundreds of thousands of Chinese people in 1937. Ms. Chang suffered a breakdown several months ago while researching a new book about the Bataan Death March. Ms. Chang appeared as herself in the TV documentary "The Genocide Factor." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

EMLYN HUGHES Died Nov. 9, 2004

British soccer star Emlyn Hughes died of a brain tumor at age 57. Mr. Hughes was known for his fierce competitive nature and insatiable desire to win. Mr. Hughes was one of the top British soccer players during the 1960s and 70s. After a distinguished career on the field, Mr. Hughes became a TV celebrity in his native land. He was featured in the documentary "The Story of Football." Mr. Hughes appeared on the TV shows "I Love 1970’s," "Sports Triangles," "A Question of Sports" and "The Grand Knockout Tournament."

ED KEMMER Died Nov. 9, 2004

Actor Ed Kemmer died of a stroke at age 83. Mr. Kemmer played Commander Buzz Cory on the ABC TV and Radio series "Space Patrol." The series ran for five years. He was also a well known Soap Opera actor. Mr. Kemmer was a regular on "The Edge of Night," "The Secret Storm," "The Doctors," "Clear Horizon," "Another World," "Somerset" and "All My Children." My first memory of Mr. Kemmer was as the star of Bert I. Gordon’s "Earth vs. the Spider." He appeared in nearly 80 TV shows and films. Mr. Kemmer served his country during WWII in the US Army/Air Corp. He was shot down over France following D-Day. He was interred in the same prison camp immortalized in "The Great Escape." Mr. Kemmer escaped the camp but was later recaptured. For his service to his country, Mr. Kemmer was awarded an Air medal with three oak leaf clusters, the European campaign ribbon with two battle stars and a Purple Heart.

KEN SWOR Died Nov. 10, 2004

Award-winning assistant director/production manager/producer Ken Swor died of heart disease at age 69. Mr. Swor’s assistant director credits include Monty Hellman’s cult classic "Two Lane Blacktop." He shared the DGA Award for his work on the Made for TV movie "The Queen of the Stardust Ballroom." Other director credits include the thriller "Two Minute Warning," "Secrets," "The Other Side of the Mountain" and "The Great Santini." Mr. Swor produced one of my favorite guilty pleasures: "Endangered Species." He was also production manager on that under-rated film as well as "The Formula" and "Diner."

YASSER ARAFAT Died Nov. 11, 2004

Terrorist leader Yasser Arafat died of undisclosed causes after lingering in a coma at age 75. The Egyptian born Arafat was the founder of the PLO. Though he tried to cultivate his status as that of a statesman, Arafat never denounced the bloody terrorism that he encouraged and directed during his decades long war on Israel. He was the mastermind of the bloody massacre of the Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics. Arafat was the first person to address the general assembly of the UN while carrying a gun. He appeared in a number of documentaries including Oliver Stone’s "Persona Non Grata."

DAYTON ALLEN Died Nov. 11, 2004

Voice actor/comedian Dayton Allen died of natural causes at age 85. Mr. Allen provided the voice for a number of famous cartoon characters such as "Deputy Dawg," "Heckle and Jeckle" and "Flub a Dub" on "The Howdy Doody Show." He worked on over 120 cartoons. Francis Ford Copolla cast Mr. Allen in a small role in his gangster/musical "The Cotton Club." Mr. Allen was a semi-regular on the Steve Allen version of "The Tonight Show." He played the "man on the street" in a number of comic sketches. His catch-phrase from "The Tonight Show": "Why Not?" was also the title of his autobiography.

RICHARD DEMBO Died Nov.11, 2004

Oscar winning writer/director Richard Dembo died suddenly at age 56. The cause of death was not announced. Mr. Dembo’s first film "Dangerous Moves" won the 1984 Best Foreign Film Oscar and the French Cesar for Best First Work. Mr. Dembo did not direct his second film "The Instinct of the Angel" for another ten years. He was involved in the post-production of his third and fourth films when he died.

ELIZABETH EMANUEL Died Nov. 11, 2004

Author and Fox Senior Research Assistant Elizabeth Emanuel died at age 93. Ms. Emanuel worked for disaster-film producer Irwin Allen. She worked on "The Poseidon Adventure," "The Towering Inferno" and the TV series "Lost in Space," "Land of the Giants" and "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea." Ms. Emanuel also contributed dialogue to "My Fair Lady." Ms. Emanuel also wrote children’s books. She wrote "Baby Baboon" and "Climbing Sun: The Story of a Hopi Indian Boy."

NORMAN ROSE Nov. 12, 2004

You knew his voice more than likely. I was a huge fan of the "CBS Radio Mystery Theater" during the 1970s. It was a ritual listening to the scary tales every night at 9 P.M. Norman Rose was one of the more prolific actors on the radio show. He worked on nearly 60 episodes. Actor Norman Rose died of pneumonia at age 87. If you’re to young to remember the the "CBS Radio Mystery Theater" then you surely know his voice through the "Juan Valdez" coffee commercials. Woody Allen employed his distinctive voice in his wonderful "Radio Days." Mr. Rose wasn’t always behind the camera. He appeared in a number of films. He played Woody Allen’s attorney in Martin Ritt’s great film about the Blacklist: "The Front." He had a supporting role in one of my favorite crime capers: "The Anderson Tapes." One of his funnier roles was in the twisted comedy "The Telephone Man." He played the world’s best obscene phone caller. Other film and TV credits include "Biloxi Blues," "Who Killed Mary What’s Her Name ?," "The Edge of Night," "All My Children" and "One Life to Live." Mr. Rose was the narrator of the English dubbed version of the classic Russian film "War and Peace." Despite all of his work on radio, film and TV, I think my favorite piece of Norman Rose’ work was the National Lampoon take off on the poem "Desiderata." The Lampoon version was called "Deteriorata" Some of the more memorable lines were to "go placidly amid the noise and waste" and "You are a fluke of the universe. You have no right to be here. And whether you can hear it or not, the universe is laughing behind your back." The parody appeared on the 1972 album "Radio Diner."

JACQUES DYNAM Died Nov. 12, 2004

French character actor Jacques Dynam died at age 91. Mr. Dynam’s film career stretched back to the 1930s. He dubbed a number of American Western films for release in his native land. Among Mr. Dynam’s nearly 149 film and TV credits are a number of the "Fantomas" films, "The Taming of the Shrew," "Dangerous Games," "Agent 38-24-36," "The Sleeping Car Murders," "French Connection II" and Claude Charbrol’s version of "Madame Bovary."

BILLY SCOTT Died Nov. 12, 2004

British variety star and composer Billy ‘Uke’ Scott died at age 81. Mr. Scott got his nickname from his trademark ukulele. Though Mr. Scott mainly performed on British radio and variety halls, he did appear in a couple of WWII era films: "Rainbow Round the Corner" and "A Night of Magic." Mr. Scott was the subject of a British TV documentary "The Impresarios."

JOAN O’BRIEN Died Nov. 12, 2004

Writer Joan O’Brien died of complications from a stroke. Ms. O’Brien was a publicist who worked for legendary producer David O. Selznick. She also was an agent for Elvis and Ronald Reagan. Not bad! Representing a King and a President. She also helped create the TV series "To Rome, With Love." Ms. O’Brien co-wrote with TV critic Charles Denton, one of the most famous films that has never been released. "The Day the Clown Cried" is the infamous Jerry Lewis film, which revolves around a German clown who entertains children at Auschwitz as they enter the gas chambers. The film was shot years before "Life is Beautiful." Due to protracted legal wranglings, the movie was never released. The negative is in a vault in Sweden and Mr. Lewis has a video copy in his safe. Producer Nate Waschberger ran out of money to complete the film. Ms. O’Brien was never paid for the rights to her story. In fact, the producer’s option to make the film expired before the cameras ever rolled! Mr. Lewis used his own money to finish the movie, but post production was never completed. Ms. O’Brien and Mr. Denton never agreed to the film’s completion and blocked all efforts to have the movie finished. Maybe her heirs will think differently.

JOHN ELSENBACH Died Nov. 13, 2004

Award-winning cinematographer John Elsenbach died of heart failure at age 79. Mr. Elsenbach received three Emmy nominations for his work behind the camera on the shows "The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory," "Murder She Wrote" and "Code Name: Firefox." He won two ASC Awards for his work on the TV series "Murder She Wrote." Though he worked mainly on TV, Mr. Elsenbach shot a few films. He was a camera operator on Roger Corman’s gangster bio-pic "Bloody Mama," which starred Shelly Winters as Ma Barker. He also did second unit work on the comedy "Love at First Bite." Mr. Elsenbach’s other credits include "Bah Bah Black Sheep," "Kojak," the TV series version of "The Paper Chase" and "Knot’s Landing."

CARLO RUSTICHELLI Died Nov. 13, 2004

Prolific Italian composer Carlo Rustichelli died surrounded by his family at age 87. Mr. Rustichelli composed the scores for over 400 films during a career that stretched back to the 1930s. He worked with such directors as Mario Bava and Billy Wilder. Mr. Rustichelli was awarded two Silver Ribbons by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists for his work. He scored three of the best films by Italian horror master Mario Bava: "Blood and Black Lace," "The Whip and the Body" and "Kill, Baby…Kill!" He also scored Bava’s historical mini-series "The Adventures of Ulysses." He was the music arranger on Billy Wilder’s "Avanti!" Rustichelli scored dozens of Spaghetti Westerns and Sword and Sandal movie. Among his other credits are "And Then There Were None," "Alfredo, Alfredo," "Operation Snafu," Sharon Tate’s final film "The 13 Chairs," "The Secret War of Harry Frigg," "The Gospel According to St. Matthew," one of my guilty pleasures "The Cavern," "Divorce – Italian Style" and "Torpedo Bay."

HARRY LAMPERT Died Nov. 13, 2004

Comic book illustrator and writer Harry Lampert died of cancer at age 88. Mr. Lampert collaborated with writer Gardner Fox to create the super hero "The Flash." As a teenager, Mr. Lampert worked as an inker on the cartoons of Fleischer Studios. He worked on "Popeye" and "Betty Boop" among others. Lampert’s most famous creation was the subject of both a 1990 TV movie and subsequent TV series aptly titled "The Flash." Mr. Lampert was also a noted bridge player. He wrote the book "The Fun Way to Serious Bridge."

RUSSELL JONES Died Nov. 13, 2004

Rapper Russell Jones, better known as Ol’ Dirty Bastard collapsed and died of a drug overdose in a Manhattan recording studio. Mr. Jones complained of chest pains before collapsing. He would have been 36 on Monday. Mr. Jones was a founding member of the rap group "Wu Tang Clan." He appeared in the documentaries "And You Don’t Stop: 30 Years of Hip Hop" and "Wu Tang." Jones also enjoyed a successful solo career. In 2001 he was jailed for drug possession and escape. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.


Writer/producer Richard Alan Simmons died of natural causes at age 80. Mr. Simmons was nominated for two Emmy Awards for his work on "Columbo" and "The Dick Powell Show." The episode of "The Dick Powell Show" won an Emmy for a young actor named Peter Falk. Mr. Falk and Mr. Simmons collaborated many times after that. Simmons eleven of Mr. Falk’s "Colombo" TV movies. Mr. Simmons wrote over 30 films and TV shows. He did uncredited script doctoring on the 1950s classic sci-fi film "The Incredible Shrinking Man." He wrote the excellent Made for TV horror-thriller "Fear No Evil." Mr. Simmons wrote the story for the great Western-comedy "Skin Game." Perhaps his greatest achievement was staying married for 53 years in Hollywood!

SEELEG LESTER Died Nov. 14, 2004

Writer Seeleg Lester died at age 91. Mr. Lester was a prolific TV writer during the 1950s and 60s. His TV and film credits include the Lee Marvin film "Sergeant Ryker," "Perry Mason," "Climax!," "The Outer Limits," "The Virginian," "Bonanza" and "Hawaii 5-0." He also wrote and produced the film "Change of Mind" about the transplant of a white man’s brain in a black man’s body! Mr. Lester also co-wrote the sports biopic "The Winning Team." Former president Ronald Reagan co-starred with Doris Day in the film about all-star baseball pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander.

MICHEL COLOMBIER Died Nov. 14, 2004

Award-winning French composer Michel Colombier died of cancer at age 65. Mr. Colombier won the Best Original Music Written for Film Cesar for Jean Becker’s 1995 film "Elisa." In addition, Mr. Colombier was nominated for a Grammy for his work on the so-so remake of "Out of the Past": "Against All Odds." He received a Golden Globe nomination for his work on "White Nights." Even though Mr. Colombier was a prolific movie composer, he also had a successful career as a symphony conductor and as the composer of twenty ballets. Mr. Colombier scored nearly 110 films and TV shows both in his native country and in the US. Among his many credits are "Purple Rain," the great sci-fi film "Colossus: The Forbin Project," "The Money Pit," "Ruthless People," "The Golden Child," "Who’s Harry Crumb?," "New Jack City," "Barb Wire," "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and the dreadful remake of Lina Wertmuller’s "Swept Away."

MARIO SCARPETTA Died Nov. 14, 2004

Actor Mario Scarpetta died just shy of his 51st birthday. Mr. Scarpetta appeared in a number of films including Lina Mertmuller’s "The End Of the World in Our Usual Bed in a Night Full of Rain." He was a favorite of Ms. Wertmuller’s. Mr. Scarpetta was the assistant director on her film "Blood Fued." He also appeared in that film as well as Wertmuller’s "Softly, Softly," the TV movie "Saturday, Sunday and Monday" and "A Complex Plot About Women, Alleys and Crimes."

EVELYN WEST Death discovered Nov. 14, 2005

Famed St. Louis stripper Evelyn West (real name Amy May Coomer) was found dead in her home in Tampa Florida after she had not been seen for several days. Ms. West died of natural causes at age 83. Ms. West was known worldwide for her "$50,000 Treasure Chest." Her treasure was a 39-inch bust, which she claimed was insured by Lloyds of London. Ms. West appeared as herself in the 1947 film "A Night in the Follies."

JOHN MORGAN Died Nov. 15, 2004

Canadian comedy star John Morgan died at age 74. Mr. Morgan was one of the founding members of "The Royal Canadian Air Farce." The comedy troupe has had a TV series since 1993. Mr. Morgan retired from the show in 2001. He also appeared as himself in Disney’s "Cool Runnings."

ANGELA HAJIANIS Died Nov. 15, 2004

Specialty costumer Angela Hajianis died of cancer. Her age was not given. Ms. Hajianis worked on a number of films including "Ace Venture: When Nature Calls" and "Space Trucker." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends, especially her young daughter.

LINDSAY BOURQUIN Died Nov. 15, 2004

Actress/dancer Lindsay Bourquin died at age 84. Ms. Bourquin was a child dancer and acrobat. She entertained US military troops with the U.S.O. Ms. Bourquin played the wife of stooge Moe Howard in the short film "Gents Without Cents." She also appeared in the 1940s films "Youth Aflame" and "Affairs of Geraldine."


Assistant director Christopher Gerrity died on Nov. 16th. His age and cause of death were not announced. Mr. Gerrity was a first and second assistant director on a number of films during the 1990s. His credits include "Jerry Maguire," "The Replacement Killers," "Predator 2," "Sliver," "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country," "Love Field," "Eraser," "Hellraiser: Bloodline" and "Super Nova."

JOAN RAMON MAINAT Died Nov. 16, 2004

Spanish producer/director Joan Ramon Mainat died at age 53 after a lengthy illness. Mr. Mainat directed the popular 1990s TV series "Cronicas Marcianas" and "La Cara Divertido." Mr. Mainat co-produced series "Cronicas Marcianas" with his brother Toni Cruz. His brother Josep Maria is a member of the popular comedy team "Trinca."


Stuntwoman Patricia Dean Hulsman died at age 81. Ms. Hulsman specialized in aquatic work. She was a stuntwoman for Esther Williams and Jane Russell among others. Her film and TV credits include "The Creature From the Black Lagoon," "Seahunt" and "Underwater."

YVES BERGER Died Nov. 16, 2004

French author Yves Berger died at age 73. Mr. Berger wrote a number of books. He was an advocate for the Native American Indians. Mr. Berger’s novel "Le Sud" was turned into a 1982 TV movie in France.

KEN HANNAM Died Nov. 16, 2004

Australian director Ken Hannam died of cancer at age 75. Mr. Hannam directed the excellent "Sunday Too Far Away." The simple film looked at rival sheep shearers in the Australian outback. It starred Jack Thompson of "Breaker Morant" fame. Though the film is regarded as one of the best Australian films of all time, the movie did not catapult Mr. Hannam to international fame like so many other Australian directors from the Australian New Wave of the 1970s. "Sunday Too Far Away" won the Golden Reel Award for Best Feature Film at the Australian Film Awards. Mr. Hannam’s other credits include a number of Australian and British TV series including "Z Cars," "The Colditz Story," "The Day of the Triffids," "Moonbase 3" and "Lovejoy."

ANTHONY MAGRO Died Nov. 17, 2004

Emmy-Award winning sound effects and film editor Anthony Magro died of pneumonia at age81. Mr. Magro was nominated for three Emmys during his career. He was recognized for his work on the TV series "Muder She Wrote" and the TV specials "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "The Executioner’s Song." He won the Emmy for the excellent account of killer Gary Gilmore’s death by firing squad "The Executioner’s Song." In addition to his sound effects work on "Murder She Wrote" he was also an associate producer of the series. Mr. Magro was also a film editor. He helped cut on of my favorite trash-classics "Attack of the Giant Leeches" featuring hottie Yvette Vickers. He also cut the Peter Fonda drive-in classic "Fighting Mad." Mr. Magro’s sound editing credits include "Earthquake," "Smokey and the Bandit," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and Sam Peckinpah’s "The Osterman Weekend." Mr. Magro served his country in the US Army during WWII.

CY COLEMAN Died Nov. 18, 2004

Oscar-nominated composer Cy Coleman died of a heart attack at age 75. Mr. Coleman was nominated for a Best Musical Score Oscar for his work on "Sweet Charity." Mr. Coleman wrote a number of classic Broadway shows. He won both Tony and Emmy Awards. In addition to writing scores for plays and movies, he had a number of hit singles. He wrote the classic "Witchcraft." Mr. Coleman’s film and TV credits include "Father Goose," "The Heartbreak Kid," "Fosse," "What Women Want," "G-String Divas," "Family Business," "Power" and "Garbo Talks."

BOBBY FRANK CHERRY Died Nov. 18, 2004

Murdering racist Bobby Frank Cherry died in prison after a long illness at age 74. Mr. Cherry was convicted for the cowardly terrorist bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama in 1963. Four young girls, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair were killed in the KKK racist terrorist bombing. Mr. Cherry was apprehended when his son turned him into the police after many tortured years of living with his father’s actions. Actor Richard Jenkins turned in a chilling performance as Mr. Cherry in the excellent TV movie "Sins of the Father." Tom Sizemore played his emotionally tortured son. One survivor, who lost an eye stated that she hoped he had made peace with God.

GREGORY MITCHELL Died Nov. 18, 2004

Actor Gregory Mitchell suffered a heart attack on stage at the Kennedy Center and died a week later. He was 52. The actor/dancer appeared in numerous Broadway plays, but also worked in film. His credits include Woody Allen’s "Everybody Says I Love You," "Chicago," "Random Hearts" and "Cradle Will Rock." Mr. Mitchell also did guest appearances of several Soap Operas as well as "The Cosby Mysteries" and "Law & Order."

MARION SCHILLING Died Nov. 18, 2004

British filmmaker Austin Mutti-Mewse had the sad task of letting me know that yet another one of his documentary subjects has passed away. She was 93. Mr. Mutti-Mewse said "Marion was the sweetest person in the world. I will miss her." Actress Marion Schilling was one of many actresses from the days of silent film and early talkies who appeared in Austin and Howard Mutti-Mewse’s documentary "I Used to Be In Pictures." Why the BBC will not release the film on DVD is a mystery to me. Marion Schilling toured with Bela Lugosi in the theatrical version of "Dracula." She ended up in Hollywood. Like a number of other young actresses, she did not achieve that top rung on the ladder of stardom. However, according to her interview with the Mutti-Mewse brothers, she had a full and happy life after Hollywood. She worked with the likes of Buster Keaton, Fatty Arbuckle and Buck Jones. Ms. Schilling appeared 40 films during her career. She was best known for her work on Western serials including "The Red Rider." She appeared in MGM’s first all-talkie "Wise Girls."

TERRY MELCHER Died Nov. 19, 2004

Songwriter/record producer Terry Melcher died of melanoma at age 62. Mr. Melchor was the only son of actress/singer Doris Day. He played a peripheral role in one of the most infamous crimes of the 20th Century. He rented his home to Roman Polanski and wife Sharon Tate. Ms. Tate and four others were murdered in the home in August of 1969. Though Melcher had turned down Charles Manson for a recording contract, it was proven that the Manson Family knew that Melcher no longer lived on Cielo Drive. Terry Melcher was one of the guiding forces behind the Beach Boys and others. Mr. Melcher co-wrote the song "Kokomo" with Mike Love and Scott Mckenzie for the movie "Cocktail." The trio won both BMI and ASCAP Film and Television Awards for the song. They were also nominated for a Golden Globe. Mr. Melcher was the executive producer of his mother’s TV series "The Doris Day Show." He also composed songs for the movies "Move Over Darling" and "The Lively Set." As a producer for Columbia records, Mr. Melchor produced the hit songs "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Mr. Tambourine Man" for The Byrds. He also produced songs for my childhood favorites Paul Revere and the Raiders.

HELMUT GRIEM Died Nov. 19, 2004

Handsome German leading man Helmut Griem died at age 72. Mr. Griem was able to portray evil like few others. My first recollection of Mr. Griem was in Visconti’s seedy, sleezy "The Damned." The film told the story of the rise of Rohmer’s Brownshirts in Nazi Germany. Griem co-starred as the sexy, seductive and thoroughly power hungry SS officer Ausenbach. The devil himself couldn’t be much different. One of my favorite WWII films of the 1970s is "The McKenzie Break." In his first English language film, Mr. Griem played a ruthless U-Boat captain trying to escape from an allied POW camp in Scotland. With a twinkle in his eye, Griem’s Captain Schluter doesn’t think twice about killing his own fellow German POWs as a diversion to cover his own escape! It is a fun movie due to Mr. Griem’s performance. He is probably best known to audiences outside his native land for his portrayal of Max in Bob Fosse’s "Cabaret." Max was the Baron who seduced both Liza Minnelli’s Sally Bowles and Michael York’s Brian Roberts. The famous exchange between Minnelli and York was shocking at the time. Roberts tells Sally "Screw Max!" Not to be outdone, Sally replies "I do." Much to Sally’s chagrin, Robert’s replied "So do I." Helmut Griem appeared in over 60 films and TV shows. He was also an accomplished theater actor. His other film and TV credits include Visconti’s "Ludwig," Stuart Rosenberg’s all-star "Voyage of the Damned," the sequel to Sam Peckinpah’s "Cross of Iron": "Sergeant Steiner," Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s classic TV mini-series "Berlin Alexanderplatz," the mini-series "Peter the Great" and as Erwin Rommel in "The Plot to Kill Hitler."

RUTH MANNING Died Nov. 19, 2004

Actress Ruth Manning died of heart failure while auditioning for a TV role. Ms. Manning was 84. Ruth manning began her career on stage. She had a long and successful career as a stage actress before turning to the film industry. Although Ms. Manning appeared in a number of films and TV shows, her widest recognition came from a series of TV commercials for Kraft Mayonnaise. I don’t know if that gig had anything to do with the fact that the last name of her agent was Mayo! Among Ruth Manning’s nearly 50 film and TV credits are Disney’s "No Deposit, No Return," "Audrey Rose," "The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark," "The Devil and Max Devlin," "The Billionaires Boy’s Club," "E.R.," "Three’s Company," "Maude," "All in the Family," "MacGyver" and "Night Court."

JIMMY TAPP Died Nov. 20, 2004

Canadian radio personality and TV talk show pioneer Jimmy Tapp died of natural causes at age 86. Mr. Tapp died one week before he was to be inducted into the Canadian Broadcasting Hall of Fame. In addition to his work on radio and TV talk shows, Mr. Tapp provided the voice of the title character on the 1960s cartoon "The Mighty Hercules." He played Shannon Tweed’s father in the 1980s horror film "Of Unknown Origin." Lucky guy! His series "The Tapp Room" was one of the first TV talk shows in Canada.

ANNA KEAVENEY Died Nov. 20, 2004

British actress Anna Keaveney died of lung cancer at age 55. Ms. Keaveney was best known in her native land for her work on the Soap Opera "Brookside." She appeared in this year’s Award-winning biopic about British abortionist "Vera Drake." Among her many other film and TV credits is the hit film "Shirley Valentine."

CHARLES LANG JR. Died Nov. 20, 2004

Writer Charles Lang Jr. died at age 89. Mr. Lang turned to writing after an acting career that included work on Broadway. As an actor he appeared in 20 films including W.C. Fields’ classic "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break" and "Guadalcanal Diary." He wrote four films for the under-appreciated director Budd Boetticher: "Killer Shark," "The Magnificent Matador," "Decision at Sundown" and "Buchanan Rides Alone." Mr. Lang also wrote for a number of TV series including "Perry Mason," "Cheyenne," "The High Chaparral" and "Bonanza."

ROBERT COURTLEIGH Died Nov. 21, 2004

Actor Robert Courtleigh died at age 88. Mr. Courtleigh was the son of William Courtleigh, one of the creators of the Actor’s Equity union. Mr. Courtleigh appeared in several films and TV shows. He was the star of the 1950s sci-fi TV series "The Atom Squad." Mr. Courtleigh also appeared in an episode of the 1960 sci-fi series "Men Into Space." He played the evil stepmother’s date in the classic TV special "Cinderella," which starred Lesley Anne Warren. Mr. Courtleigh had small supporting roles in Joh Huston’s "Winter Kills" and the Sylvester Stallone vehicle "F.I.S.T."

JERRY BICK Died Nov. 22, 2004

Producer Jerry Bick died of Alzheimer’s Disease at age 81. Mr. Bick produced a string of excellent films during the 1970s. Unfortunately, many of his 1970s films were overlooked at the box office. My personal favorite was "Thieves Like Us." Robert Altman directed the depression era gangster film. The movie was gritty and far from romanticized. It was the opposite of Arthur Hiller’s "Bonnie and Clyde." Keith Carradine and Shelly Duval starred as a pair of lovelorn rednecks lured into the world of easy money. Mr. Bick was also responsible for a trio of "Phillip Marlowe" films, the first with Elliot Gould as the detective and the final two starring Robert Mitchum. "The Long Goodbye" is set in 1970s LA. Also directed by ALtman, "The Long Goodbye" is a brutal film and features a great supporting performance by Sterling Hayden. The second of the "Marlowe" films, "Farewell My Lovely" is set in the 1930s and is a very-good remake of the 1940s version. Bick’s final "Marlowe" film "The Big Sleep" is a bit of a disaster. Once again, the action takes place in modern times and the story is transported across the pond to England. A fan of Noir fiction, Mr. Bick also produced the disastrous remake of the Film Noir classic "Out of the Past": "Against All Odds." Mr. Bick also produced Goldie Hawn’s 1984 film "Swing Shift." Mr. Bick served his country during WWII in the US Navy.


The real "Mary Ellen" has died. Marion Hamner Hawkes, the sister of "The Waltons" creator Earl Hamner Jr. died at age 74 after a lengthy illness. Ms. Hawkes was the inspiration for her brother’s creation Mary Ellen Walton." "The Waltons" was one of the most popular and critically praised TV series of the 1970s. The depression era drama focused on a tight knit family surviving hard times with love. Actress Judy Norton-Taylor portrayed "Mary Ellen."

ARTHUR HOPCRAFT Died Nov. 22, 2004

Sports writer turned screenwriter Arthur Hopcraft died just shy of his 72nd birthday. Mr. Hopcraft adapted several John Le Carre novels to the small screen. Alec Quinness starred in the excellent TV mini-series "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." Mr. Hopcraft also adapted Le Carre’s "The Perfect Spy." He won a BAFTA Writer’s Award for his adaptation of Charles Dickens’ "Bleak House." Other credits include the TV movies "Agatha" and "Rebecca." Mr. Hopcraft was considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on the game of soccer. His 1968 book "The Football Man" is still one of the best books on the subject.


British writer/actor Stephen Mallatrat died at age 57. Mr. Mallatratt’s best known work was his adaptation of Susan Hill’s novel "The Woman in Black" into a long-running play. He recently wrote the TV remake of "The Forsythe Saga" and the WWII drama "Island at War." Mr. Mallatrat contributed to the long-running British TV series "Coronation Street." His acting credits include roles in "Chariots of Fire," "Island at War," "Emmerdale," "All Creatures Great and Small" and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes."

FRANCESS LANTZ Died Nov. 22, 2004

Writer Francess Lantz died of ovarian cancer at age 52. Ms. Lantz wrote a series of popular fiction books aimed at young girls, most notably the "Luna Bay" series. She published over 30 books during her career. Two of her works "Confessions of a Marriage Junkie" and "Stepsister From Planet Weird" were turned into films. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

DANIEL MCCAULEY Died Nov. 22, 2004

Assistant director Daniel McCauley died at age 88. Mr. McCauley worked with some of the best directors in film history. He helped Alfred Hitchcock on "Vertigo," "To Catch a Thief" and "The Wrong Man." He assisted Cecil B. DeMille on "The Ten Commandments." Other credits include John Sturges’s "Marooned" and "The Last Train From Gun Hill," Otto Preminger’s "In Harms Way," Henry Hathaway’s "Nevada Smith," Roman Polanski’s "Rosmary’s Baby," Hal Ashby’s "The Last Detail," Richard Fleischer’s "Soylent Green" and Robert Wise’s "Star Trek: The Motion Picture."

FRANCES CHANEY Died Nov. 23, 2004

Actress Frances Chaney, the widow of writer Ring Lardner Jr. died of Alzheimer’s Disease at age 89. Ms. Chaney was beginning her acting career when the HUAC blacklist cut things short. She and her husband were blacklisted for being communists. Her husband was one of the Hollywood 10. Before marrying Ring Lardner Jr. she had been married to his brother David Lardner who was killed in Germany two years before. Ms. Chaney was later able to establish a successful career on the New York stage. Her film and TV credits include the soap opera "The Edge of Night," the excellent cop flick "The 7-Ups," "When Harry Met Sally" and "Paint it Black."

PAT CORLETO Death Announced Nov. 23, 2004

Assistant director Pat Corleto died at age 94. Mr. Corleto was the assistant director on "Bye, Bye, Birdie," "The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze," "Operation Mad Ball," "Under the Yum, Yum Tree" and the TV series "Dennis the Menace."

LARRY BROWN Died Nov. 23, 2004

Writer Larry Brown died of a heart attack at age 53. Mr. Brown received much critical praise for his short stories and novels. A native of Oxford, Mississippi, Brown taught himself to write. His Southern Gothic stories garnered him a number of awards including the Thomas Wolfe Award and the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. Husband and wife team Arless Howard and Deborah Winger brought Mr. Brown’s "Big Bad Love" to the screen. Brown played a cameo in the film. Mr. Brown’s life and work was the subject of the documentary "The Rough South of Larry Brown." The documentary was unusual in that it also included dramatic adaptations of three of his short stories!

FABIO SCORPION Died Nov. 23, 2004

Brazilian bisexual porn actor Fabio Scorpion died of a heart attack while undergoing calf implant surgery. It was reported that an associate of Mr. Scorpion said that the death is proof there is no God. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends and the hope that Mr. Scorpion’s associate comes to see there is a God.

JAMES WONG Died Nov. 24, 2004

Prolific Hong Kong actor/composer James Wong died of lung cancer at age 64. Mr. Wong wrote the lyrics to over 1000 songs. He composed the scores or provided additional music to many films including "City Killer," John Woo’s brutal classic "Hard Boiled," "Once Upon a Time in China" and "Bullet in the Head." Mr. Wong appeared in many films also. His acting credits include "Red-Headed Stranger," "Iron Monkey," "Return to a Better Tomorrow" and "Let’s Rock." Mr. Wong was also a TV host, author and director!


Producer and agent Howard Hinderstein died at age 79 after a long battle with myeloma. Mr. Hinderstein’s family has been ravaged by cancer. His daughter Sherry and granddaughter Alyse both died of cancer. Mr. Hinderstein was very much involved in charitable work to battle the dread disease. Mr. Hinderstein was the personal manager for a number of entertainment figures. He was Totie Field’s manager for the last 18 years of her life. Mr. Hinderstein was also a TV producer who worked on several Goodson-Todman productions including "Tattletales" and "Match Game."

MILAS HINSHAW Died Nov. 25, 2004

Documentary filmmaker Milas Hinshaw died of heart disease at age 72. Mr. Hinshaw directed, produced and shot a number of Disney’s "True Life Adventures" for the TV series "The Wonderful World of Disney." He was the cinematographer on the film "Mystery Mansion" as well as the TV series "Animal World," "American West" and "The Challenging Sea." He later produced an updated version of the series "Animal World" called "New! Animal World."

ARTHUR HAILEY Died Nov. 25, 2004

Emmy-nominated writer Arthur Hailey died of a suspected stroke at age 84. Mr. Hailey began writing for TV in the 1940s. He wrote a number of teleplays for such shows as "The Alcoa Hour," "Kraft Television Theater," "Studio One" and "General Motors Presents." His 1956 TV play "Flight Into Danger" was the basis and inspiration for the drama "Zero Hour!" and the comedy "Airplane!" Mr. Hailey’s best-known work was the novel "Airport." The film version won Helen Hayes a Best Supporting Actress Oscar and spawned three sequels. His novel "Hotel" was turned in to a feature film, a Made for TV movie and a TV series. His books "Wheels," "The Money Changers" and "Strong Medicine" were all adapted to the screen. Mr. Hailey wrote the screenplay for the 1957 Air Force film "Test Pilot" which starred future "Star Trek" actor James Doohan. Mr. Hailey was nominated for an Emmy for his "Studio One" drama "No Deadly Medicine."

DAVID BAILEY Died Nov. 25, 2004

Actor David Bailey drown at age 71. Mr. Bailey was well known to Soap Opera fans throughout the years. He currently portrayed patriarch Alistair Crane on the series "Passions." He was best known for his ten-year stint as Russ Matthews on "Another World." Other Soap credits include "The Guiding Light," Ryan’s Hope" and "As the World Turns." Mr. Bailey’s film credits include "The Good Thief," "The Believer," "Above the Rim," "Something the Lord Made," "Wicked, Wicked" and "Never Again." Mr. Bailey also had a successful stage career and was one of the founding members of The Black Book Theater Company. He gained fame in the early 1970s for a TV commercial. He was the "man in bed" in the Mitchum deodorant commercial. Mr. Bailey served his country for eight years in the US Air Force.

PHILIPPE DE BROCA Died Nov. 26, 2004

Philippe de Broca’s "The King of Hearts" set records for an art house film. The movie played for years during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The sweet, gentle and humorous anti-war film was a personal favorite of mine. I am not sure how many times I saw it during my high school years but it had to have been more than 20 times. Oscar-nominated French writer/director Philippe de Broca died at age 71 after a lengthy illness. Mr. de Broca polished his craft as an assistant director for such new wave masters as Francois Truffaut and Claude Charbrol. Mr. de Broca was the assistant director on Truffaut’s classic "The 400 Blows." He helmed over 39 films. My first exposure to his work was the great 1960s comedy thriller "That Man From Rio." Mr. de Broca was nominated for Best Original Screenplay Oscar for the 1964 film. French superstar Jean Paul Belmondo played the unlikely hero who rescues his kidnapped girlfriend and thwarts a band of thieves while on a weeks leave from the army. Mr. Belmondo worked wit de Broca on six films. Among his other notable films are "Cartouche" which starred Belmondo, "1001 Nights" and "Amazon." His final film "A Viper in the Fist" was released last month. Mr. de Broca often made cameos in both his and the films of other directors. He played a journalist in Godard’s New Wave classic "Breathless." On of Mr. de Broca’s funniest cameo’s was as Adolph Hitler in "The King of Hearts." He was once married to actress Margot Kidder.

MARGARET JEWISON Died Nov. 26, 2004

Wife of director Norman Jewison died the day after her 74th birthday. Mrs. Jewison was also the mother of producer Walter Jewison, actress Jennifer Jewison and camera operator Kevin Jewison. She was a champion of Canadian filmmakers and was an ardent supporter of research to cure spinal injuries. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

HUGH HASTINGS Died Nov. 26, 2004

Australian playwright Hugh Hastings died at age 87. Several of Mr. Hasting’s plays were turned into films. His comedies drew on his service in the Royal British Navy. His credits include "Seagulls Over Sorrento," "Crest of the Waves," "It Started in Paradise" and "Gift Horse." Mr. Hastings also acted on stage and in several TV series.

LELAND MURRAY Died Nov. 26, 2004

Actor Leland Murray died of diabetes at age 75. Mr. Murray was a respected stage actor who also appeared in a few films and TV shows. His film and TV credits include Blake Edwards’ "Thoroughly Modern Millie," "What Am I Bid?," "Pete and Tillie," "V," "Mission Impossible," "Roots" and "Riptide."


Emmy-nominated screenwriter Dorothy Cooper Foote died at age 93. Under the name Dorothy Cooper, she wrote such films as "On an Island With You," "Small Town Girl," "A Date With Judy" and the TV shows "Father Knows Best," "My Three Sons," Gidget," "Love on a Rooftop," "The Flying Nun" and "Hazel." Ms Foote was nominated for an Emmy for her work on the Robert Young TV series "Father Knows Best." She was also nominated for a Writer’s Guild Award as the co-writer of the Esther Williams film "On an Island With You."

SHOGO SHIMADA Died Nov. 27, 2004

Japanese actor Shogo Shimada died of a stroke at age 98. Mr. Shimoda was mainly a stage actor, performing with Japan's "New National Theater" from it’s inception in 1923 until it was disbanded in the 1980s. Mr. Shimada appeared in a number of films including "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and "Zatoichi and the Chest of Gold."

MOLLY WEIR Died Nov. 28, 2004

Scottish actress Molly Weir died in her sleep at age 94. Ms. Weir was the sister of naturalist and author Tom Weir. She was best know for playing Hazel the McWitch in the children’s TV series "Rentaghost." Ms. Weir was also a newspaper columnist. Ms. Weir appeared in a number of films and TV shows. Her credits include "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," "The Hands of Orlac," "Scrooge," "Hands of the Ripper," "One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing" and "Captain Jack."

JOHN DREW BARRYMORE Died Nov. 29, 2004

Actor John Drew Barrymore died of undisclosed causes at age 72. Mr. Barrymore was the son of screen legend John Barrymore and actress Deloris Costello. His aunt and uncle were screen legends in their own right: Lionel and Ethel Barrymore. Though he had an excellent pedigree, Mr. Barrymore never attained the fame or success of his father, aunt or uncle. That success seemed to skip a generation as Mr. Barrymore’s daughter, actress Drew Barrymore certainly eclipsed her noted relatives in the fame and success department. Mr. Barrymore and his daughter had a troubled relationship, but appear to have mended fences prior to his death. Thank God for that and the peace of mind it will bring Ms. Barrymore. Mr. Barrymore is also the father of actor John Blyth Barrymore. Lack of discipline, drug abuse and a rebellious streak kept Mr. Barrymore form fulfilling his potential as an actor. He appeared in nearly 50 films and TV series. His credits include "High School Confidential!," "While the City Sleeps" and "The Sundowners." He played Dr. Stephen Ward in the fact based political scandal film "The Keeler Affair." Actor John Hurt played the part in the better known film of the Profumo Affair: "Scandal." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

DALE DUNHAM Died Nov. 29, 2004

Actor Dale Dunham died of a stroke at age 73. Mr. Dunham was a regional actor in the Twin Cities area. He had been active on the Minnesota stage since the 1960s. Mr. Dunham acted in a number of films and TV shows filmed in his home state. His credits include "Drop Dead Gorgeous," "The Mighty Ducks," "The Stranger Within," "The Naked Man" and "Naked Minnesota." As a Dee Jay in the 1950s, Mr. Dunham conducted one of the last interviews with Rock pioneer Buddy Holly. Mr. Dunham served his country during both WWII and the Korean War.

JACK DESHIELDS Died Nov. 29, 2004

Emmy-nominated production designer/art director Jack DeShields died of diabetes at age 81. Mr. DeShields was nominated foe Emmy Awards four times in recognition of his work on "Washington: Behind Closed Doors," "Barbary Coast," "The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd" and the excellent Elisabeth Montgomery movie "The Legend of Lizzie Bordon." Though Mr. DeShields worked mainly on TV, he did occasionally ply his craft in feature films. His feature film credits include "Marathon Man," the Blaxploitation film "Black Gunn" and the lame Tom Smothers’ comedy "Pandemonium."

ANGELA SCHILLER Died Nov. 30, 2004

Former actress Angela Schiller died in an apartment fire with her husband, publisher Lloyd Schiller. Ms. Schiller was 66. The fire started when she fell asleep with a lit cigarette. Ms. Schiller had parts in several films during the 1970s. Her stage name was An Tsan Hu. Her credits include the disaster movie spoof "The Big Bus," "Checkmate" and the Made for TV movie "Like Normal People." "Checkmate" was a softcore spy comedy also known as "Pepper Burnns: Agent 00X."

PIERRE BERTON Died Nov. 30, 2004

Once again, I must defer to another writer for an exceptional obituary of a very unusual guy. It wouldn’t be right for me to try and tell the story. Cryptozoologist and a very gifted guy himself Loren Coleman has been nice enough to allow me to publish his great obit of Pierre Berton. I’ll shut up now and let Loren talk…

Beloved by Canadians, folklore readers, cryptozoologists, and skeptics, the well-known writer and broadcast journalist Pierre Berton, 84, passed away on the afternoon of November 30, 2004, in a Toronto hospital, reportedly of heart failure.

Berton had a long and varied career, writing more than 40 books, most of which were nonfiction, with several award-winners among them. His remarkable humor and eccentric take on the world was legendary - as was his trademark bow tie, bushy white sideburns and dramatic cloaks. As the Canadian Press observed, merely a month before his death, Berton appeared on the CBC satire show, Rick Mercer's Monday Report, offering tips on how to roll a marijuana joint, recommending his book The National Dream as an excellent "rolling surface" and warning about the perils of a loose joint. He said a less-than-firmly rolled spliff could leave unsightly toke burns on one's bow tie.

While recent years had seen Berton called upon to be a keynote speaker at a 2003 skeptics' gathering honoring the Amazing Randi, his early days sometimes involved his fascination with cryptozoology. His 1956 book, Mysterious North was one of the first to chronicle the wide spectrum of cryptids, from hairy hominoids such as Sasquatch and Windigo, to lake monsters, across Canada. Berton has even become a footnote in the mysterious tale of a missing piece of cryptid evidence. As Mark A. Hall reports in his new book, Thunderbirds: America's Living Legends of Giant Birds (Paraview, 2004), the biologist Ivan T. Sanderson is remembered to have appeared on The Pierre Berton Show with a photostat of a huge thunderbird affixed to the side of a barn. The "missing Thunderbird photograph" and Pierre Berton's name are forever tied together in cryptozoology folklore.

Born in July 12, 1920 and raised in the Yukon, Pierre Berton worked in Klondike mining camps during his university years. He spent four years in the army, rising from private to captain/instructor at the Royal Military College in Kingston. He spent his early newspaper career in Vancouver, where at 21 he was the youngest city editor on any Canadian daily. He moved to Toronto in 1947, and at the age of 31 was named managing editor of Maclean's. In 1957 he became a key member of the CBC's public affairs flagship program, Close-Up, and a permanent panelist on Front Page Challenge. He joined The Toronto Star as associate editor and columnist in 1958, leaving in 1962 to commence The Pierre Berton Show, which ran until 1973. Since then he has appeared as host and writer on My Country, The Great Debate, Heritage Theatre, and The Secret of My Success.

For his massive contribution to Canadian literature and history, Berton was awarded more than a dozen honorary degrees. He was awarded a Doctorate of Athabasca University in 1982 in recognition of his eminence as an historian, writer, and commentator, and of his concern for, and dedication to, Canada.² He has received over 30 literary awards such as the Governor-General¹s Award for Creative Non-Fiction (three times), the Stephen Leacock Medal of Humour, and the Gabrielle Leger National Heritage Award. He served as the Chancellor of Yukon College.

Writer Alistair MacLeod, noted the Canadian Press, called Berton a "very, very good writer," and said Berton "made the history of Canada come alive. He emphasized the importance of our history as distinct from American history or British history or French history."

One of Berton's final public appearances was in October, 2004, when he attended the opening of a new $12.6 million resource library named in his honor in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada.

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