DAVID CHARNAY Died Oct. 1, 2002
David Charnay was the owner and president of Four Star Productions during the 1960s. Four Star Productions was responsible for such TV series as "The Rifleman," "Wanted: Dead or Alive" and "The Big Valley." Mr. Charnay was 90 years old. Mr. Charnay served in the OSS during W.W.II. He wrote several novels also.
SAM BARKAN Died Oct. 1, 2002
Special effects man Sam Barkan died of a heart attack. Mr. Barkan was a special effects coordinator on "Driven," "The Watcher" and "Hi Fidelity" among other films. Mr. Barkan worked on 20 films and TV shows in some capacity as a special effects man. He also did the stunts on the TV movie "Evil Has a Face." IMDB credits Mr. Barkan with an acting credit in the pilot episode of "Turks."
DR. RAYMOND McNALLY Died Oct. 2, 2002
Dr. Raymond McNally turned a life long love of horror movies and European history into an avocation. Mr. McNally spent years researching the origins of the legend of Count Dracula. The Boston College professor was the first person to link Bram Stoker’s fictional character with the Romanian Vlad Tepes. His 1972 book was made into the documentary "Vem Var Dracula?" (In Search of Dracula) starring Christopher Lee. The 71 year-old McNally died of cancer.
BRUCE PALTROW Died Oct. 3, 2002
Producer/director Bruce Paltrow died in Rome of pneumonia at age 58. Mr. Paltrow was the husband of actress Blythe Danner, and the father of actress Gwyneth Paltrow and director Jake Paltrow (NYPD BLUE). Mr. Paltrow’s first big success was as the writer and producer of one of my all-time favorite made-for-TV movies, "Shirts/Skins." "Shirts/Skins" deals with six friends who play basketball once a week. The pent-up frustration and rage of these successful businessmen always causes their games to degenerate into a fight. To prove who is the best, the guys split into two teams and each agree to hide a basketball in plain sight somewhere in the city. The team, which finds the other guy’s ball first, is the winners and presumably the bigger men. The game soon resorts to a series of felonies. It is a hilarious movie about the little boys inside of grown men. Catch it is you can.
Mr. Paltrow was nominated for two Emmy awards as producer of the Ken Howard basketball TV series "The White Shadow." Mr. Paltrow also directed episodes of that series. Mr. Paltrow produced and directed episodes of the TV series "St. Elsewhere." His feature film directing credits include "A Little Sex" and his final film "Duets." Prayers of support for his family and friends.
ANDRE DELVAUX Died Oct. 4, 2002
Award-winning Belgian director Andre Delvaux died at age 76 of a heart attack at the World Arts Meeting in Spain. Mr. Delvaux was considered one of the fathers of the Belgian film community. Mr. Delvaux received three Golden Palm nominations at Cannes for his films "The Abyss" (1988), "Woman in a Twilight Garden" (1979) and "Belle" (1973). His film "Benvenuta" won the Special Jury Prize at the Montreal World Film Festival. "Appointment at Bray" won the Prix Louis Delluc in 1971. Mr. Delvaux was honored with several Lifetime and Career achievement awards.
BUDDY LESTER Died Oct. 4, 2002
86-year-old comedian Buddy Lester has died of cancer. Mr. Lester was a peripheral member of the Rat Pack. He was one of Danny Ocean’s 11 thieves in the original "Ocean’s 11." He also appeared in the Rat Pack film "Sergeants 3." He was a frequent co-star of Jerry Lewis also, appearing in "The Patsy," "The Nutty Professor," "Hardly Working," "The Big Mouth" and "Cracking Up." Mr. Lester was the bartender in the trying to make an "Alaskan Polar Bear Heater" in a hilarious scene of the original "The Nutty Professor." Mr. Lester also appeared in the underrated Peter Sellers comedy "The Party" directed by Blake Edwards. Mr. Lester was a semi-regular on one of my favorite TV series of the 70s, "Starsky and Hutch." He appeared in numerous other TV series including "Barney Miller," "Switch," "Mayberry RFD," "Petticoat Junction" and "Alias Smith and Jones." He co-starred with Christopher Lee and Sammy Davis Jr. in the made for TV movie "Poor Devil" in which he played Al Capone.
SHONY ALEX BRAUN Died Oct. 4, 2002
Shony Alex Braun survived Auschwitz and Dachau. He was a violin virtuoso who is best know for his composition "Symphony of the Holocaust." His film credits include, the indie film "’68." Mr. Braun composed the score for the film, which dealt with a conservative father dealing with his two sons, one gay, one communist, in San Francisco during 1968. The flawed but sincere film also features a cameo by rocker Neil Young. Mr. Braun also appeared in that film. Mr. Braun also is credited as the "violin advisor" in Joseph Wambaugh’s romantic murder mystery, "The Black Marble.’ There is a running gag in the movie in which aging cop Robert Foxworth forces street musician James Woods to play the violin for Foxworth and the woman he loves played by Paula Prentiss. The hapless Woods has to play at gunpoint when he refuses to play for money anymore!
MIA SLAVENSKA Died Oct. 5, 2002
Mia Slavenska was one of the world’s premiere ballerinas. The 86 year old dancer died of natural causes. Ms. Slavenska taught dancing after her retirement. She became the prima ballerina of the Met in 1954. She appeared in the films "The Great Waltz," "Ballerina" and "The Living Corpse."
MORAG HOOD Died Oct. 5, 2002
Scottish stage and film actress Morag Hood has died of Cancer. Ms. Hood played Natasha in the BBC production of "War and Peace." The TV mini series also starred Anthony Hopkins. Her last film was the soccer film "A Shot at Glory" with Robert Duvall and Michael Keaton. Other credits include "Wurthering Heights," "Frankenstein," "Jane Eyre" and "Diversion." Ms. Hood was 61 years old.
ROBERT H. CHAPMAN Died Oct. 5, 2002
Mr. Chapman played the priest who married Pam and Bobby Ewing on "Dallas." His film roles included character parts in "J.F.K.," Ron Howard's "Skyward" and "The Jesse Owens Story."
JAY R. SMITH Died Oct. 5, 2002
Jay R. Smith is the fourth cast member of "The Little Rascals" to die this year. Mr. Smith was found in the desert near Las Vegas. Mr. Smith had been stabbed multiple times. Mr. Smith appeared in 38 "Our Gang" shorts during the silent film era. He out grew the role by the time movies learned to talk. He did not continue to act after 1929. Mr. Smith had taken a homeless man into his home after the death of his wife. The police believe the homeless man is the murderer.
CHRISTOPHER SHELDON Died Oct. 5, 2002
Christopher Sheldon was the skipper of the sailing ship Albatross. In 1961, Mr. Sheldon’s ship was sunk in a freak storm that killed six people on board. The incident was the subject of Ridley Scott’s under-rated film "White Squall." Jeff Bridges portrayed Mr. Sheldon in the film. The 76 year-old sea captain died of pancreatic cancer.
PHYLLIS CALVERT Died Oct. 8, 2002
Veteran British actress Phyllis Calvert died at age 87. Ms. Calvert was very popular in England during WWII. She starred in several costume dramas with Stewart Granger and James Mason. Ms. Calvert didn’t achieve as much acclaim in America when she worked here following the war. She continued to work in British films and TV series, as well as on stage. She made over 50 films during her career, the last one being 1997’s "Mrs. Dalloway." She appeared in Richard Attenborough’s "Oh! What a Lovely War." She was nominated for a British Best Actress Academy Award in 1953 for the film "Mandy."
AILEEN WUORNOS Died Oct. 9, 2002
The state of Florida executed female serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Ms. Wuornos murdered six men while posing as a prostitute. She was an oddity as a majority of serial killers are white males. Ms. Wournos appeared in the documentary "Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer." She was portrayed by Jean Smart in the TV movie "Overkill: The Aileen Wuornos Story." Ms. Wuornos denied her guilt for a long time. She recently dropped her appeals, admitted guilt and said she had made peace with God. Prayers for the families of her victims and Ms. Wuornos’ family. UPDATE: Charlize Theron won the 2004 Best Actress Oscar for her great portrayal of Ms. Wuornos in Patty Jenkins's revisionist look at the killer: "Monster."
CHARLES GUGGENHEIM Died Oct. 9, 2002
Multi-Oscar winning documentary director Charles Guggenheim died of pancreatic cancer at age 78. Mr. Guggenheim was nominated 12 times for Best Documentary both Short Subject and Feature. He won four Oscars during his career. Mr. Guggenheim documented some of the most important events of the 50s and 60s. He won Oscars for "Nine From Little Rock" about the integration of Little Rock’s Central High School in the 1950s, "RFK: Remembered," "The Johnstown Flood" and "A Time for Justice."
TERESA GRAVES Died Oct. 10, 2002
Actress Teresa Graves died in a fire at her home in Los Angeles. The 54-year-old actress is best known for her role in the 1974-75 TV series "Get Christie Love." "Get Christie Love" was one of the inspirations for Quentin Tarantino’s "Jackie Brown." Fans of "Reservoir Dogs" will remember the scene inside a car in which Chris Penn, Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi and Tim Roth were talking about favorite TV shows. The four actors said the "Get Christie Love" catch phrase, "You’re under arrest, sugar!" in unison. Ms. Graves also appeared in the movies "Black Eye," "That Man Bolt" and the David Niven horror spoof "Old Dracula." She also appeared on the TV series "Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In" and the short lived (1 episode) "Turn On." Ms. Graves gave up acting due to her strong religious beliefs which she felt contradicted the types of roles she had played and was being offered.
ESTHER BENSON Died Oct 11, 2002
Esther Benson was a renowned stage actress who also appeared in several made for TV films. Ms. Benson appeared in the comedy "Jailbirds" with Dyan Cannon and Phylicia Rashad. Other credits include the award winning "Little Girl Lost" with Tess Harper and Frederic Forrest, "The Man Who Broke a 1,000 Chains" with Val Kilmer. "The Man Who Broke 1,000 Chains" was a remake of the Paul Muni classic "I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang." Ms. Benson also appeared in the Lauren Bacall/Michael Beihn thriller "The Fan." Ms. Benson died of heart failure at age 79.
PAUL CRUMP Died Oct. 11, 2002
In 1953, Paul Crump and four other men pulled off a robbery in which a guard was killed. Mr. Crump got the death penalty. He missed 15 dates with the electric chair. Mr. Crump wrote a book called "Burn, Killer Burn." Many people, including Billy Graham took the work as a sign or rehabilitation. Mr. Crump’s sentence was commuted to 119 years in prison. He was paroled out in 1993. Director William Friedkin made his directorial debut in 1962 with the documentary film "The People vs. Paul Crump." Mr. Crump was also the subject of a song by Phil Ochs. Mr. Crump died of lung cancer in a mental hospital where he had been incarcerated for the last two years.
DENNIS PATRICK Died Oct. 12, 2002
Yet another actor has died in a house fire. Just two days after Teresa Graves perished in a fire at her home, veteran character actor Dennis Patrick also died in a fire at his home. Mr. Patrick was 84 years old. Dennis Patrick co-starred with Peter Boyle and Susan Sarandon in the 1970 cult classic "Joe." Mr. Patrick played Susan Sarandon’s father in the story of a wealthy business man who murders his daughter’s drug dealing boyfriend. Mr. Patrick played Vaughn Leland for five years on "Dallas." Mr. Patrick played two roles on the gothic-horror soap opera "Dark Shadows" during the 1960s. He also appeared in the feature film spin-off "House of Dark Shadows." Mr. Patrick appeared as a guest star on nearly 100 different TV series episodes. His TV credits include "The Twilight Zone," "The Fall Guy," "Remington Steele," "The Incredible Hulk," "All in the Family" and "Lost in Space." Some of Mr. Patrick’s other film credits include "Dear Dead Delilha," "The Missiles of October," "The Sophisticated Gents" and "Night Games."
RAY CONNIFF Died Oct. 12, 2002
Bandleader Ray Conniff died after a fall. He was 85 years old. Mr. Conniff’s orchestra recorded many movie themes for release on albums. He won a Grammy for his version of "Lara’s Theme" from "Dr. Zhivago." Mr. Conniff was the composer on the TV series "Archie Bunker’s Place."
SIDNEY PINK Died Oct. 12, 2002
Producer Sidney Pink was responsible for several gimmick films. Like William Castle, Sidney Pink was a schlock showman who saw the potential of situations and exploited them. Mr. Pink was the associate producer of the first feature length 3-D film "Bwana Devil." "Bwana Devil" was based on the same true story filmed in the Michael Douglas/Val Kilmer film "The Ghost in the Darkness." Mr. Pink produced the 50’s sci-fi film "Angry Red Planet." The movie was tinted red and pink through an optical printer to give the illusion of a Martian atmosphere. Mr. Pink moved his base of operations to Europe in the 1960s. He produced the terrible Danish creature feature "Reptilicus." Mr. Pink produced an early spaghetti western, "Finger on the Trigger." His final film was the sex/spy spoof "The Man From O.R.G.Y.." In addition to producing almost 20 films, Sidney Pink wrote the scripts for eight of his scripts and directed another six films. Mr. Pink was 86 years old.
KEENE CURTIS Died Oct. 13, 2002
TV fans knew actor Keene Curtis as the owner of the restaurant upstairs from "Cheers." Curtis also had a recurring role on the TV series "The Pretender." Mr. Curtis’s greatest critical acclaim came from his Broadway career. He won a Tony award in 1971 for "The Rothschilds." Curtis also played Daddy Warbuck in "Annie" on Broadway. Mr. Curtis’s film credits include the Orson Welles version of "MacBeth," Warren Beatty’s "Heaven Can Wait," "The Buddy System," "American Hot Wax" about rock and roll DJ Alan Freed, "The Missiles of October" and "I.Q.." Mr. Curtis did vocal work on the cartoons "Scooby Doo" and "The Smurfs." Mr. Curtis has over 50 TV guest star credits. The 79 year old actor died of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease.
STEPHEN AMBROSE Died Oct. 13, 2002
Stephen Ambrose was one of the foremost military historians in the world. Mr. Ambrose wrote over 30 books, fiction and non-fiction dealing with history. Mr. Ambrose appeared as himself in several historical documentary films. He also wrote and produced several others. Tom Hanks turned Mr. Ambrose’s best-selling novel "Band of Brothers" into a highly acclaimed HBO mini-series Mr. Ambrose served as a technical advisor on the Stephen Speilberg films "Saving Private Ryan" and "Price of Peace." Mr. Ambrose appeared in the films "Moments of Truth With Stephen Ambrose," "Shooting War," "From War to Peace" and "D-Day: The Total Story."
HORACE LEE LOGAN Died Oct. 13, 2002
Horace Lee Logan began the famous "Louisiana Hayride" which featured such up-and-coming Rock and Roll stars as Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly. Mr. Logan was the man who first said "Elvis has left the building!" Mr. Logan played the Master of Ceremonies in Roger Corman’s 1957 schlock-rock movie "Carnival Rock." Mr. Logan was 86 years old. He too, has left the
AL LOHMAN Died Oct. 13, 2002
Long time radio personality Al Lohman died at age 69 of stomach and bladder cancer. Mr. Lohman was part of the comedy team, "Lohman and Barkley." Mr. Lohman’ film and TV credits include the John Landis comedy "Amazon Women on the Moon," "Spies, Lies and Naked Thighs," "Bedtimes Stories" and "Name Droppers."
NORBERT SCHULTZE Died Oct. 14, 2002
German composer/director and actor Norbert Schultze died at age 91. Mr. Schultze is best known for the song "Lili Marleen." The song about a German soldier and the two girls he left behind became popular with both Axis as well as Allied troops during WWII. Mr. Schultze composed scores for nearly 50 films. Mr. Schultze also wrote propaganda songs for the Nazis during the war. Unlike actor Emil Jannings, Mr. Schultze was a reluctant collaborator. He claimed that he was given the choice to compose music or die. The song "Lili Marleen" became the signature song for actress Marlene Deitrich. The song appeared on the soundtracks of such films as "Judgement at Nuremburg," Michael Caine's excellent WWII movie "Play Dirty" and the TV series "The Rat Patrol." Rainer Werner Fassbinder made a 1980 documentary about the famous song. Mr. Schultze wrote, directed and appeared in one film: "Max and Morris" in 1956.
DEREK BELL Died (Date Unknown)
Derek Bell was one of the members if the Irish band "The Chieftains." The Chieftains released over 40 albums of Celtic folk music. Mr. Bell’s cause and date of death this week are unknown. Mr. Bell and The Chieftains appeared in the concert film "An Irish Evening: Live at the Grand Opera House, Belfast." The concert features guest star Roger Daltry of The Who.
AILEEN RIGGIN SOULE Died Oct. 17, 2002
Ms. Soule was the oldest living American Olympic Gold Medalist. Ms. Soule won a Gold medal at age 14 in the 1920 Olympics. Ms. Soule was a diver and swimmer. She won the Gold for springboard diving. In 1924, she also competed and won a Silver and Bronze medal at the Paris Olympics. Unlike fellow Olympians Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe, Aileen Riggin Soule didn’t make the movies a career. Ms. Soule made two uncredited appearances in films during the Great Depression. She appeared as a dancing slave-girl in the 1933 film "Roman Scandals." In 1936 she appeared in the American debut film of fellow Olympian Sonja Henie "One In a Million." Ms. Soule skated in the Sonja Henie movie. Ms. Soule died in her sleep at age 96.
BEECHER RAY KIRBY Died Oct. 17, 2002
90 year old musician and comedian Beecher Kirby has died. The Grand Ole Opry star appeared in the 1944 film "Sing, Neighbor Sing."
ROMAN TAM Died Oct. 18, 2002
Kong Kong pop sensation Roman Tam died of liver cancer at age 52. Mr. Tam recorded 56 albums during a career that started in 1967. Mr. Tam sang canto-pop, Cantonese language songs popular in Hong Kong. The Chinese singer has one movie credit according to IMDB. Mr. Tam appeared in John Woo’s 1982 comedy "Ba cai Lin Ya Zhen" (Plain Jane to the Rescue). Director Woo appeared in the film also.
KAM FONG (Kam Tong Chun) Died Oct. 18, 2002
Kam Fong was a police office in Hawaii from 1946 to 1962. He retired from the force and took up the badge on TV’s "Hawaii 5-0." Mr. Fong played Detective Chin Ho Kelly for 10 of the series 12-year run. Other credits include the film "Gidget Goes Hawaiian," "Ghost of the China Sea," "Diamond Head" and "The Seven Women From Hell." Mr. Fong died of lung cancer at age 84.
FRANK ROSENBERG Died Oct. 18, 2002
Producer Frank Rosenberg died at age 88. Mr. Rosenberg produced several of my favorite films. His best know film was the Marlon Brando/Karl Malden take on Billy the Kid. "One Eyed Jacks" is an epic, flawed Western. Brando played the Kid while Karl Malden played the character based on Pat Garrett. If you have not seen "One Eyed Jacks" it is well worth seeing at least once. Rosenberg produced another film I have fond memories of. "The Reincarnation of Peter Proud" was a sexual thriller starring Michael Sarrazin and Margot Kidder. I haven’t seen it since high school, but I remember enjoying it then. Mr. Rosenberg produced nearly 20 films. He also dabbled in screenwriting. His scripts include the Charlton Heston submarine film "Gray Lady Down" and the Otto Preminger film noir thriller "Where the Sidewalk Ends." His son John is a film editor, and his son Daniel is a former actor turned lawyer.
MICHELLE PARMA Died Oct. 19, 2002
27 year old Michelle Parma was killed in a car crash in Texas. The former Dallas Cowboy cheerleader was part of the 1994 European cast of MTV’s "Road Rules." She also appeared in the 2001 "The Real World/Road Rules: Extreme Challenge." Ms. Parma also received some notoriety for the 1998 Internet hoax "Our First Time." Ms. Parma and another actor claimed to be 18 year-old virgins who were going to lose their virginity live on the Internet. The hoax was exposed by the web-hosting service.
JOHN MEREDYTH LUCAS Died Oct. 19, 2002
John Meredyth Lucas was a writer/producer/director in both film and TV. Mr. Lucas died at age 83 of leukemia. On TV, Mr. Lucas was known for his medical and sci-fi shows. Mr. Lucas wrote and produced the Vince Edwards’ TV series "Ben Casey." He was also responsible for the Chad Everett series "Medical Center." Mr. Lucas also wrote episodes of "The Fugitive," "Planet of the Apes" "Logan’s Run," "Kojak" and "The Six Million Dollar Man." Mr. Lucas directed numerous TV episodes also. He directed three episodes of the original "Star Trek," four episodes of "The Fugitive" and an episode of Rod Serling’s "Night Gallery" among others.
BERNARD FRESSON Died Oct. 20, 2002
French actor Bernard Fresson died at age 71. Mr. Fresson appeared in over 100 movies and TV series since his debut in Alan Resnais’s 1959 New-Wave classic "Hiroshima, Mon Amour." Mr. Fresson was nominated for two French Cesar Awards for Best Supporting Actor in "Garcon" (1983) and "Place Vendome" (1998). Mr. Fresson played a lead role in John Frankenheimer’s over-looked "French Connection II" opposite Gene Hackman and Fernando Rey. Fresson also appeared in Resnais excellent "La Guerre is Finie." He appeared uncredited in Luis Bunuel’s sexual/psychological thriller "Belle De Jour." Other credits include Costa Gravis’s Oscar winning "Z" and Roman Polanski’s offbeat thriller "The Tenant." One of Mr. Fresson’s final roles was in last year’s "Brotherhood of the Wolf."
GEORGE HALL Died Oct. 21, 2002
85 year old actor George Hall died of a stroke. Mr. Hall was best known as a Broadway actor. He played Indian Jones at age 93 in the TV series "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles." Other credits include Adam Sandler’s "Big Daddy," "Mrs. Brown" with Judi Dench and "Johnny Be Good."
RICHARD HELMS Died Oct. 22, 2002
Richard Helms was a longtime CIA employee. Helms headed the spy organization for nearly 6 years. He was fired by President Richard Nixon, because (some say) he wouldn’t partake in the Watergate cover-up. Mr. Helms appeared in two TV docudramas: the 1994 mini-series "Watergate" and "Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?" Mr. Helms was suffering from multiple melanomas. He died in his sleep at age 89.
BEULAH QUO Died Oct. 23, 2002
Asian actress and community activist Beulah Quo has died at age 79. Ms. Quo had a lengthy film and TV career that was marked by dignified roles which avoided negative stereotypes to Asian people. Ms. Quo started one of the first Asian/American Theater troops in Los Angeles California. Ms. Quo became an actress by accident. The University of Chicago educated Ms. Quo was a sociology professor when she answered an ad for a dialect coach for the 1955 film "Love is a Many Splendored Thing." She was cast in a small part and never looked back. Ms. Quo appeared in several of my personal favorites including Steve McQueen’s Oscar Nominated film "The Sand Pebbles." She also had a supporting role in Roman Polanski’s classic "Chinatown." Other credits include "MacArthur," "Brokedown Palace" and John Landis’s over-the-top comedy "Into the Night." Ms. Quo won a local Emmy for her documentary about the brilliant cinematographer James Wong Howe. Ms. Quo also produced a California community affairs TV program "Expressions East West." That show was moderated by George Takei of "Star Trek" fame.
NATHAN JURAN Died Oct. 23, 2002
Oscar winning art director and filmmaker Nathan Juran is mourned by a legion of fans. Mr. Juran is best known as a long time collaborator of special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen. Mr. Juran directed some of the best Ray Harryhausen films. His Harryhausen credits include "20 Million Miles to Earth" featuring the Venusian beast Ymir, "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" with Kewin Matthews, a nasty Cyclops and one bad-ass, sword-wielding skeleton and the humorous H.G. Wells story "First Men IN the Moon."
Juran’s art direction background bode well for him as a b-movie director. Mr. Juran was an architect before he turned to the movies. His incredible turn-of-the-century Irish sets for John Ford’s classic "How Green Was My Valley" won the Oscar for Best Art Direction for Mr. Juran. Probably higher praise that the Oscar was the fact the John Ford himself praised Mr. Juran. John Ford was known to be very conservative with compliments. In addition to winning an Oscar for "How Green Was My Valley," Mr. Juran was nominated for another for the movie "The Razor’s Edge. Other Art Direction credits include "Charley’s Aunt" and my all time favorite boxing film, "Body and Soul" with John Garfield."
Mr. Juran directed numerous other sci-fi and horror films besides the ones for Ray Harryhausen. Duran directed "The Deadly Mantis," "Jack the Giant Killer," the original "Attack of the 50ft Woman" and "The Brain From the Planet Arous." Mr. Juran also contributed to the world of sci-fi on TV. He directed episodes of "Lost in Space," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," "Land of the Giants" and "The Time Tunnel." Mr. Juran is also known for directing "Hellcats of the Navy," the only film in which former president Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan appeared together. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films gave Mr. Juran a life achievement award in 1998. The 95-year-old Juran died of natural causes.
MARIANNE HOPPE Died Oct. 23, 2002
German actress Marianne Hoppe died at age 93. Ms. Hoppe appeared in nearly 50 films dating back to 1933. She was Mrs. Grohmann in the 1966 version of Agatha Christie’s "Ten Little Indians." Ms. Hoppe openly associated with the Nazi elite including Hitler himself, during WWII. Stupid move.
LUCILLE RYMAN CARROLL Died Oct. 23, 2002
Ms. Carroll was on of the first female studio executives. Ms. Carroll was an exec with MGM in charge of developing new talent. She worked directly with Louie B. Mayer. Ms. Carroll was responsible for hiring Marilyn Monroe, June Allyson and Janet Leigh. Ms. Carroll was the executive producer of the film "Ride in a Pink Car." Ms. Carroll was the widow of actor John Carroll. Ms. Carroll died at age 96.
ADOLPH GREEN Died Oct. 24, 2002
Adolph Green was an artistic jack of all trades. Mr. Green was a writer, composer, lyricist and actor who achieved success on stage, screen and TV. Mr. Green collaborated for most of his career with Betty Comdon. Mr. Green was nominated for two Oscars for his screenplays "Band Wagon" and "It’s Always Fair Weather." Mr. Green also wrote the screenplays for "Singing in the Rain," "Auntie Mame" and "On the Town." Mr. Green was the lyricist for four TV versions of "Peter Pan." He composed the songs for the movie "Take Me Out To the Ballgame." Mr. Green appeared in nearly 20 films, usually playing himself. He appeared in the Peter O’Toole film "My Favorite Year" about the days of live TV.
RICHARD HARRIS Died Oct. 25, 2002
Irish actor Richard Harris died in London after a long battle with Hodgkin’s Disease and lymphatic cancer. Mr. Harris was a man’s man. His movie performances enlivened many great and mediocre films. Mr. Harris was nominated for Oscars as Best Actor for "The Field" (1990) and "The Sporting Life" (1963). He won a Golden Globe as Best Actor for his performance as King Arthur in "Camelot." On the other end of the spectrum, Harris received a Razzie as Worst Actor in the Bo Derek vanity film "Tarzan the Ape Man."
Harris appeared in nearly 100 films during his career. Among his early films were "The Long and the Short and the Tall," "The Guns of Navarone" and the Marlon Brando version of "Mutiny on the Bounty." Harris starred opposite Charlton Heston in Sam Peckinpah’s studio-butchered Civil War film "Major Dundee." Hopefully the original director’s cut of this lost classic will someday be restored. (Hint, hint Ted Turner!)
Harris had a great run during the late 1960s through the early 1970s. "Camelot" made him a major star. He followed that with "Cromwell," "The Molly Maguires" opposite Sean Connery, "A Man Called Horse," "Man in the Wilderness" and "The Return of a Man Called Horse." A couple of my personal favorites came from this period of Richard Harris’s career: "Juggernaut," "The Wild Geese" and "Robin and Marian."
Harris two worst films both involved the sexy Bo Derek. 1977’s "Orca" is unwatchable. The aforementioned "Tarzan the Ape Man" benefits from Harris’s presence but has nothing else (including a nude Bo) to recommend it.
Richard Harris turned in his best film performances late in life. Clint Eastwood’s masterpiece "Unforgiven" is one of Harris’s best films. The jail house scene between Gene Hackman and Richard Harris is a classic of macho brutality. Harris’s strong performance in "The Field" garnered him a second Oscar nomination. He lost to Anthony Hopkins for "Silence of the Lambs." Harris played the lead role in the made-for-TV biblical epic "Abraham." Harris outshined his many co-stars in Ridley Scott’s "Gladiator."
Harris became known to a new generation through the film "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone." He reprised his role as Headmaster Albus Dumbledore for the upcoming "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." One of his final roles was in this year’s "The Count of Monte Cristo."
Mr. Harris had a distinguished stage and recording career also. He had a hit with the song "MacArthur Park." He was married twice to Elizabeth Rees and actress Ann Turkle, the inventor of the tan through swim suit!. Harris has three sons. One of his sons is film director Damian Harris (The Rachel Papers, Deceived). The other two sons, Jamie and Jared are actors. Harris lived life in high gear. A notorious hard drinker, Harris was a long time friend of Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole.
PEGGY MORAN Died Oct. 25, 2002
Scream Queen Peggy Moran died of complications from injuries suffered in an August car crash. Ms. Moran was 84 years old. Although she appeared in nearly 40 films, Ms. Moran is best remembered and adored for her horror films. She starred in the 1940 film "The Mummy’s Hand." In 1941 she reteamed with "The Mummy’s Hand" costar Dick Foran in "Horror Island." Other credits include "Stage Door Canteen," "The Gold Diggers of 1938" and "Ninotchka" with Greta Garbo. She also appeared in "King of the Cowboys" with Roy Rogers. Ms. Moran retired from films in 1939 when she married director Henry Koster.
ALAN L. NINEBERG Died Oct. 25, 2002
Alan Nineberg was an Emmy Nominated sound technician. Mr. Nineberg was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the TV mini series "Shogun." Mr. Nineberg was nominated for the Golden Reel Award by the American Association of Sound Editors for Tim Burton’s "Planet of the Apes." Mr. Nineberg worked as a sound editor, dialogue editor and ADR editor on nearly 40 films. His credits include "North Dallas Forty," "Beverly Hills Cop," "Witness," "Back to the Future," "The Color Purple," "Empire of the Sun," "The Lost Boys" and "Home Alone." Mr. Nineberg was 60 years old.
CHERYL "RAINBEAUX" SMITH Died Oct. 25, 2002
I was saddened today to discover that 47 year-old B-Movie goddess Cheryl "Rainbeaux" Smith died B-movie actress Cheryl Smith died of hepatitis after years of drug abuse on October 25, 2002. Cheryl Smith was the object of lust for an entire generation of guys (and some gals). Anyone who went to the drive-in during the 1970s knew the petite blonde actress. Ms. Smith was unusual in that she was accepted into the casts of A-List films, B-Movies and the occasional X-rated movie. I challenge you to find another actor with as diverse a list of credits. Maybe Cheryl was accepted so widely because she had IT. You can’t define IT, but you know IT when you see IT!
Cheryl grew up just off the Sunset Strip during the 60s. Her nickname "Rainbeaux" was given to her because she spent so much time in the Rainbow Room, a famous rock club on the Strip. "Rainbeaux" provided beautiful colors to the 70s. Sitting in the darkened Fare 4 theater in Memphis, I fell in love with Cheryl Smith as I watched Rene Daalder’s Cult Classic "Massacre at Central High." I was pissed off as Ms. Smith and co-star Robert Carradine were crushed to death beneath a well-aimed boulder. Actually, I could have cared less that Robert Carradine’s character was squashed, but the idea that anyone would have wanted "Rainbeaux" Smith’s character out of the picture made me mad.
Ms. Smith was a wisp of a woman, but she had a huge amount of talent. Cheryl Smith was able to exude sensuality, vulnerability, strength and humor with equal finesse. Ms. Smith showed great promise. In addition to her acting skills, Ms. Smith was an accomplished musician. In the movie "DuBeateo" she contributed some of the music. She played Joan Jett's drummer in that film. She was also an artist and painter. Unfortunately, her career and life slid away from her. But that comes later. The movies are such a powerful medium. The fact that fans will stalk celebrities they don’t even know and sometimes kill them speaks volumes about the seductive power of celluloid and light. Cheryl Smith, for a brief time, held court in theaters around the world. What films!
Cheryl made her debut at age 15 in the campy "Evil Knievil." Her second feature film brought her to the attention of many. "Lemora: A Child’s Tale of Supernatural" (Lady Dracula) showcased Ms. Smith as a young church choir member who is the object of a certain lesbian vampire’s bloodlust. Cheryl followed that with "Phantom of the Paradise," Brian De Palma’s camp take on Faust and Phantom of the Opera. Cheryl began using her nickname "Rainbeaux" on her next film, "The Swinging Cheerleaders." "The Swinging Cheerleaders" was a R-rated romp through the locker rooms of some very horny California high school students. "The Swinging Cheerleaders" was the first of three cheerleader films starring Ms. Smith. The others were "The Pom Pom Girls" and "Revenge of the Cheerleaders." Cheryl also starred in the first and best of the Women in Prison films, which became popular during the 70s: Jonathan Demme’s debut film "Caged Heat." Sex played an important role in Ms. Smith’s career. She starred in the title role of the X-rated musical version of "Cinderella." Instead of a glass slipper, Smith’s Cinderella was given a snapping vagina by her gay "fairy" godfather. I remember sneaking into the movie with a couple of buddies. I think we all loved Cheryl after that film.
Cheryl Smith was also given roles in several A-List films. She appeared in the aforementioned "Phantom of the Paradise," the Phillip Marlow detective film "Farewell My Lovely" with Robert Mitchum, Joseph Wambaugh’s "The Choirboys," Jonathan Demme’s "Melvin and Howard, " the Kathleen Quinlan domestic abuse film "Independence Day" and "Drum" the big budget sequel to "Mandingo."
Cheryl Smith also held a place of honor among horror and sci-fi fans. She starred in the cult favorite "Laser Blast," "Parasite" and "Lady Dracula." Cheryl was no stranger to comedy either. She appeared in two best Cheech and Chong films: "Up in Smoke" and "Nice Dreams."
Ms. Smith appeared in two of my all time favorite B-Movies. "Vice Squad" and "Massacre at Central High." I have reviewed both films in more detail elsewhere, so I’ll not go any further into their virtues.
There is illusion, seduction and then there is reality. Countless films have dealt with the seductive call of Hollywood and the hollow underbelly that so many seem to find when they get there. "Day of the Locust," "Sunset Blvd." And David Lynch’s "Mulholland Drive" are great examples of this scenario. Cheryl Smith’s life could also be the basis for a cautionary tale. Behind the image that Ms. Smith portrayed on screen was a real human being in pain. Ms. Smith became a heroin addict during the late 1970s. She disappeared from the screen. Ms. Smith battled her addiction to heroin. Sources said that Ms. Smith had been managing her addiction with Methadone during the past five years. She did two prison terms. In prison, she put her artistic abilities to use by designing tattoos for fellow inmates. While it had been reported that Ms. Smith spent her last years a homeless person living near MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, in fact she had been living with friends who were there for her at the end. She died of complications from Hepatitis. Janis Joplin once said that on stage, she made love to 10,000 people a night, but she went home alone (and lonely). I have a brother who may join Ms. Smith soon. He chose to use drugs for nearly 30 years. His once athletic body has been decimated. No one in our family could convince him of the error of his ways. Unlike, Ms. Smith, my brother has not gotten his addiction under control. Fortunately Ms. Smith was able to get her addiction under control. Unfortunately, she was unable to do so before the seeds of fatal health consequences had been planted. Stay away from the drugs folks. The pain it eases will still be there to deal with when you sober up. Prayers for those who loved her.
ANDRE DE TOTH Died Oct. 27, 2002
For the second time this month, a director associated with the 3D-movie fad has died. Andre de Toth directed the most famous 3D movie ever produced, "House of Wax" with Vincent Price. Mr. de Toth died of an aneurysm. Director Sidney Pink, who directed the first 3D-feature film, died just 15 days before Mr. de Toth. Andre de Toth directed nearly 40 films during his long career. He also wrote several screenplays. One of my favorite Western films is "The Gunfighter" with Gregory Peck. Mr. de Toth was nominated for a Best Screenplay Oscar for "The Gunfighter." Mr. de Toth began his career in Hungary. He went to work for British producer Alexander Korda. He worked on "The Thief of Bagdad" and "The Jungle Book" for Korda. Mr. de Toth was an uncredited second unit director on David Lean’s "Lawrence of Arabia." Mr. de Toth directed one of my favorite war films also. "Play Dirty" starred Michael Caine and dealt with the war in North Africa during WWII. "Play Dirty" is a wicked little movie that is worth digging for at your local video store. Michael Caine also starred as spy Harry Palmer in the de Toth produced film "Billion Dollar Brain." "Billion Dollar Brain" was directed by gonzo director Ken Russell. Mr. de Toth directed several film noir classics. One of the overlooked films of the genre is de Toth’s "Crime Wave" with Sterling Hayden (The Godfather). I highly recommend watching that movie. Mr. de Toth was no stranger to TV. He directed episodes of "Maverick" and (the coolest TV series ever!) "77 Sunset Strip." Mr. de Toth’s final film is truly bizarre. "Terror Night" is a sub-par slasher film. I challenge you to find another film with a cast like this: Cameron Mitchell, John Ireland, Alan Hale Jr. from "Gilligan’s Island," blonde "Brat" pornstar Jamie Summers, 80s scream queen Michelle Bauer and "Grizzly Adams" himself, Dan Haggerty. The only reason to watch this film is to see Miss. Summers in the bathtub. Andre de Toth was married to film noir siren Veronica Lake for several years. In 1995, Mr. de Toth was given a "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Los Angeles Film Critic’s Society.
MARGARET BOOTH Died Oct. 28, 2002
William McKinley was president of the United States when film editor Margaret Booth was born. Ms. Booth began as a ‘cutter" for D.W. Griffith. Director John Stahl took Miss Booth under his wing and taught her the mechanics and rhythms of filmmaking. Ms. Booth was responsible for the elevation in status of film editors within the industry. Irving Thalberg began calling ‘cutters’ film editors in large part due to the artistry of Ms. Booth. Ms. Booth worked with many of the greats in Hollywood. Ms. Booth worked on Eric Von Stroheim’s "The Merry Widow," "Susan Lennox: Her Rise and Fall" which starred Greta Garbo and Clark Gable, "The Dancing Lady," "A Yank at Oxford" and many, many others. Ms. Booth was nominated for a Best Editing Oscar for the Clark Gable/Charles Laughton version of "Mutiny on the Bounty." Ms. Booth was given a special Oscar in 1978 for her exceptional contributions to the art of film editing. In 1939 Ms. Booth became the supervising editor for MGM studios. Not one film produced by MGM during her 30 year tenure hit the theaters without her input. Producer Ray Stark hired Ms. Booth in the mid 1970s. She worked for him as supervising editor until she retired in the 1980s. Her credits with Mr. Stark include "The Way We Were," "Fat City," "The Goodbye Girl," "California Suite" and "Annie." Ms. Booth’s career spanned 70 years. The 104-year-old Ms. Booth died of a stroke.
LARRY DOBKIN Died Oct. 28, 2002
Character actor, writer, director, producer Larry Dobkin died of heart failure at age 83. Mr. Dobkin played Detective Ellery Queen on the radio. He appeared in over 60 films. Mr. Dobkin appeared in "Patton," "The Ten Commandments," "Them!,’ the original version of "D.O.A.," "The Defiant Ones," "North by Northwest," "The Sweet Smell of Success" and "Beastmaster 2." Mr. Dobkin wrote the 1976 movie "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams." Mr. Dobkin directed numerous episodes of various TV series during the 1950s through the 80s. He was nominated for an Emmy for his 1967 performance in the ‘CBS Playhouse’ production of "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night."
GLENN MCQUEEN Died Oct. 29, 2002
Pixar animator Glenn McQueen died of Melanoma at age 41. Mr. McQueen helped create Woody from "Toy Story" and Boo from "Monsters, Inc." Mr. McQueen was also involved heavily in "A Bug’s Life" and "Toy Story 2" as a supervising animator.
MARINA BERTI Died Oct. 29, 2002
Italian actress Marina Berti died in Rome after a long illness. Ms. Berti appeared in many biblical epics and period pieces. Her credits include "Jesus of Nazareth," "Moses the Lawgiver," "Quo Vadis," "Cleopatra" and "Ben Hur." Ms. Berti appeared in Aldo Lado’s Giallo "L’ Ultimo Treno Della Notte." Ms. Berti also appeared in Mario Bava’s TV mini series "L Odissea." Ms. Berti’s final film was Costa Gravis’s "Amen."
JUAN ANTONIO BARDEM Died Oct. 30, 2002
Juan Antonio Bardem was one of Spain’s most acclaimed directors and screenwriters. Mr. Bardem was jailed by the Franco regime after the release of his 1955 film "Death of a Cyclist." Other credits include "The Player Pianos" with James Mason and Hardy Kruger, "The Mysterious Island of Captain Nemo" with Omar Shariff and "Calle Mayor" for which Mr. Bardem won a prize at Cannes. The director died of liver failure at age 80.
JASON MIZELL (JAM MASTER JAY) Died Oct. 30, 2002
Pioneer rapper and co-founder of the group Run DMC Jason Mizell was murdered by two men at his recording studio in New York. The 37 year old Mizell was the DJ for Run DMC. It is tragic that a member of Run DMC would fall victim to violence as the group preached nonviolence and unity in their music, unlike many other rappers. Run DMC almost single handedly brought hip-hop music into the mainstream of pop culture. Mr. Mizell appeared with fellow Run DMC members Joseph Simmons and Darryl McDaniels in the films "Krush Groove" and "Tougher Than Leather." Mr. Mizell leaves a wife and three children. Prayers for his family and friends. Stop the violence!
LEE KATZIN Died Oct. 30, 2002
Film and TV director Lee Katzin died of cancer at age 67. Mr. Katzin’s credits include the Steve McQueen racing film "Le Mans," the horror film "What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?" starring Geraldine Page and Ruth Gordon, Glenn Ford’s "Heaven With a Gun" and the Barry Newman spy thriller "The Salzburg Connection." Mr. Katzin directed hundreds of TV episodes. He contributed to one of my all time favorite series "Police Story." Other TV credits include "The Rat Patrol," "The Wild, Wild West" and "Mannix."
RAF VALLONE Died Oct. 31, 2002
I can’t say how moved and surprised I was when Michael Corleone confessed his sins to Cardinal Lamberto in "The Godfather Part III." That scene was one of the most unexpected scenes I’ve ever experienced. Italian actor Raf Vallone delivered a great performance as the doomed Pontif in Francis Ford Coppola’s flawed film. Raf Vallone has died at age 86. Mr. Vallone made nearly ninety films during his 60 year career. His credits include "Bitter Rice," "Two Women" with Sophia Loren, "El Cid" with Charlton Heston, "Nevada Smith" with Steve McQueen, "The Italian Job" with Michael Caine and Noel Coward, Michael Ritchie’s "An Almost Perfect Affair" and "The Lion of the Desert" with Oliver Reed and Anthony Quinn.