Wednesday, May 12, 2010

APRIL 2003 FILM WORLD OBITUARIES

JEAN-YVES ESCOFFIER Died Apr. 1, 2003


French cinematographer Jean-Yves Escoffier died of heart failure at age 52. After establishing himself as one of the freshest eyes behind a camera in Europe, Mr. Yves-Escoffier began working in America. He lensed many over 30 films. He was nominated for a Cesar Best Cinematography Award for "Bad Blood." He won the Best Cinematographer Award at the European Film Awards for his work on "The Lovers on the Bridge." Mr. Escoffier’s credits include "The Human Stain," "The Crow II: City of Angels," "Three Men and a Cradle," "Good Will Hunting," "The Rounders," "Cradle Will Rock," "15 Minutes" and "Nurse Betty."


LESLIE CHEUNG Died April 1, 2003


Hong Kong actor Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing committed suicide by throwing himself out a window of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong. Police report that the 46-year-old actor left a suicide note. Mr. Chueng co-starred with Chow-Yun Fat in John Woo’s landmark action film "A Better Tomorrow." He also appeared in the sequel "A Better Tomorrow II." Mr. Cheung is best known to mainstream audiences for his lead role in the epic, Oscar nominated film "Farewell My Concubine." Mr. Cheung appeared in nearly 60 films. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.


BOOKER BRADSHAW Died Apr. 1, 2003


Booker Bradshaw was a renaissance man who made his mark in the world of film, television and music. Mr. Bradshaw died of a heart attack at age 62. Bradshaw was a Harvard graduate who was also given a full scholarship to the Royal Academy in London. Mr. Bradshaw sang on the "Ted Mack Amateur Hour" in 1951. Think old school "Star Search." Mr. Bradshaw acted in several films and TV shows. He appeared as Dr. M’Benga in several episodes of the original "Star Trek" TV series. He co-starred with Pam Grier in the sexy Blaxploitation film "Coffy." Other film credits include the Burt Reynolds’s missing-link film "Skullduggery" and the anti-Vietnam war film "The Strawberry Statement." Mr. Bradshaw wrote for many TV shows including "Sanford and Son," "Columbo," "The Rockford Files," "The Jeffersons" and "Planet of the Apes." Mr. Bradshaw was also a noted record producer and tour manager for Motown.


JOHN M. EAST Died April 1, 2003


Author/screenwriter/actor and British porn star John East died at age 70. Mr. East had suffered a stroke in 1999 and had been in poor health ever since. Mr. East’s grandfather was a silent film actor in England. His father was also an actor. Mr. East trained as a legitimate actor. He wrote a respected biography of British comedian Max Miller. In 1977, Mr. East entered the world of porn starring in a series of films with the late British sex symbol Mary Millington. His credits include "The Playbirds" and "Emmanuelle in Soho."


EDWIN STARR Died Apr. 2, 2003


Motown recording artist Edwin Starr died at age 61 of an apparent heart attack. I remember spending the summer of 1970 singing along with the radio every time his best known song "War" came over the airwaves. Edwin Starr’s song became an anthem of the anti-war movement during the Vietnam era. Starr appeared in the British surfing movie (now there’s a concept) "Blue Juice" with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Ewan McGregor. He also appeared as himself in the made for TV documentary "We Are Family." Starr’s song "War" was featured prominently on the soundtrack of the Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker vehicle "Rush Hour." Starr was featured on the soundtrack for Larry Cohen's Blaxploitation film "Hell Up In Harlem" with Fred Williamson. Starr was also a regular on British TV appearing on "Later with Jools Holland" and "GMTV."


MICHAEL WAYNE Died Apr. 2, 2003


Michael Wayne, the oldest son of actor John Wayne, died of heart failure following surgery at age 68. Mr. Wayne co-produced a number of his father’s films including "The Alamo," "The Green Berets," "Brannigan," "Chisum" and "McQ." Mr. Wayne was the chairman of the John Wayne Foundation. Wayne was involved with many Hollywood charities and organizations.


PAT LEAVY Died Apr. 2, 2003


Irish actress Pat Leavy died of undisclosed causes in Dublin. Ms. Leavy appeared in several great films. She appeared in John Boorman’s tale of true-life Irish gangster Martin Cahill" "The General." Other credits include "The Commitments" and "Moll Flanders."


ADALBERTO MARTINEZ Died Apr. 4, 2003


Veteran Mexican actor Adalberto Martinez died at age 87 of emphysema. The song and dance man appeared in over 100 Mexican films and TV shows. He was nominated for a Silver Ariel as Best Actor in 1957 for his performance in the film "El Rey de Mexico." In 1994 he was awarded a Special Golden Ariel for his lifetime of contributions to the Mexican film industry.


ANTHONY CARUSO Died Apr. 4, 2003


Veteran character actor Anthony Caruso died at age 86. Mr. Caruso appeared in nearly 120 films and nealy 110 guest roles on various TV series during his 50 year career. Mr. Caruso was type cast as the heavy in many films. It didn’t matter if the movie was set in Chicago of the 1920s or the Old West, Mr. Caruso was perfect as the villain. Among Mr. Caruso’s many credits are the films "Zebra Force," "Never a Dull Moment," "Young Dillinger" with Nick Adams, "Never Steal Anything Small" with Jimmy Cagney, "Baby Face Nelson," John Huston’s classic Noir "The Asphalt Jungle" and one of my all time favorite WWII films "Objective, Burma!" with Errol Flynn. Among Mr. Caruso’s many TV guest appearances are "Baretta," "Police Story," "Gunsmoke," ‘The Streets of San Francisco," "Star Trek," "The Wild, Wild West" and "Perry Mason."


CECILE DE BRUNHOFF Died Apr. 5, 2003


Cecile De Brunhoff made up stories about an Elephant King for her small boys back in the early 1930s. The boys told their father, Jean the stories their mother had made up and he wrote them out an illustrated the resulting book: "Babar, The King of the Elephants." Cecile insisted that her name be taken off the books as her role was minor. The Babar books have been made in to numerous animated films and TV series.


SUSAN FRENCH Died Apr. 6, 2003


Actress Susan French died at age 91. Ms. French was a character actress who appeared in "Jaws 2," "The House," "The Sting," "The Executioner’s Song," "Somewhere in Time" and "Flatliners."


DAVID GREENE Died Apr. 7, 2003


David Greene was a British actor, writer and director. His work encompasses some of the best shows ever written for TV. Mr. Greene won several Emmy Awards for directing episodes of "Roots," "Rich Man, Poor Man" and the TV movie "Friendly Fire." Mr. Greene’s film "Godspell" (based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew) was nominated for the Golden Palm at Cannes and for the WGA Award by the Writer’s Guild of America. Mr. Greene died of pancreatic cancer at age 82.


In addition to acting in such films as "Daughter of Darkness," writing and producing, Mr. Greene directed over 70 films and TV shows. His credits include "The Twilight Zone," "The Shuttered Room," "The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald," "Gray Lady Down," "Fatal Vision," "Small Sacrifices," "A Season in Purgatory," "The People Next Door" and "Hard Country."

ALAIN DONDEN Died Apr. 7, 2003


French film technician Alain Dondin was killed in a road accident. Mr. Donden did lighting and was an electrician on several well known films including "The Ninth Gate," "Ronin," "Blue," "White" and "Dangerous Liaisons." It takes a lot of foot soldiers to make a movie. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.


ALEKSANDR FATYUSHIN Died Apr. 7, 2003


Russian actor Alexandr Fatyushin died in Moscow at age 52. Mr. Fatyushin had a lead role in the Oscar winning foreign film "Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears." Mr. Fatyushin appeared in over 30 films and TV series in Russia. Other credits include "Blood for Blood," "Tanks are Running on Taganka," "The Code of Silence" and "The Kidnapping."


CEDRIC FRANCIS Died Apr. 7, 2003


Multi-Oscar nominated producer Cedric Francis died of Alzheimer’s Disease at age 87. Mr. Francis was nominated for Oscars four times for Best Short Subject. Mr. Francis moved to TV in the late 1950s where he worked on such series as "Maverick," "77 Sunset Strip" and "Hawaiian Eye." In addition to his TV producing, Mr. Francis directed a number of episodes of the series "Colt .45." He also produced the Rock Hudson/Julie Andrews film "Darling Lili."


FERENC NEMETHY Died Apr. 8, 2003


Hungarian stage and film actor died at age 77. Mr. Nemethy appeared in nearly 50 films and TV series. While acted primarily in Hungarian films, he did appear in several made for TV films in America and the UK. His credits include parts in horror movie icon Stuart Gordon’s "Daughter of Darkness," "Muderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story" and its companion film "Max and Helen" with Martin Landau and Treat Williams. Other credits include the HBO movie "Rasputin" and "Mary, Mother of Jesus."


NEIL RUSSELL Died Apr. 8, 2003


Neil "Bing" Russell, actor, minor league baseball owner and father of Kurt Russell died after a short battle with cancer at age 75. Mr. Russell appeared in over 100 films and TV shows during his 40 year acting career. Mr. Russell is beloved by baseball fans in Portland Oregon for the wonderful way he ran his Class A baseball team, The Mavericks. Mr. Russell’s credits (and uncredited appearances) include such films as "Last Train From Boot Hill," "The Magnificent Seven," "Tarantula," "The Deadly Mantis," "Cheyenne Autumn," "Dick Tracy" and "Tango & Cash." Mr. Russell appeared in the great John Carpenter TV movie "Elvis" with son Kurt. The real-life father and son team played father and son Vernon and Elvis Presley! Prayers of comfort for the family.


VERA ZORINA Died Apr. 9, 2003


Famed ballet dancer Vera Zorina died at age 84 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ms. Zorina appeared in several MGM films during the 1940s. She was married to choreographer George Balanchine during her MGM years. Ms. Zorina’s credits include "The Goldwyn Follies," "Lover Come Back," "Follow the Boys" and the documentary "That’s Dancing!"


KATHIE BROWN MCGAVIN Died Apr. 10, 2003


Actress Kathie Brown died of natural causes at age 63. Ms. Brown is the wife of actor Darren McGavin. They have been married since 1969. Ms. Brown’s credits include "Murder By Contract," "City of Fear," the TV series "Slattery’s People," "Cinderfella" with Jerry Lewis," "Happy Mother’s Day, Love George" and over 100 guest appearances on such TV shows as "Kolchak: The Night Stalker," "Get Smart," "Gunsmoke," "Perry Mason" and "The Love Boat." Ms. Browne was a breast cancer survivor. Donations to the American Cancer Society would be appreciated. Prayers of comfort for her husband, family and friends.


DAVID SCHALL Died Apr. 11, 2003


Christian actor David Schall died of a heart attack in Los Angeles as age 53. Mr. Schall founded the Actor’s Co-op; an organization aimed at helping Christians succeed in the entertainment industry. Mr. Schall appeared on stage, screen and TV. His credits include "The Sitter," "What Love Sees," "The Theory of Everything," "L.A. Law," "ER" and "Murder She Wrote."


LUCY SAROYAN Died Apr. 11, 2003


Actress Lucy Saroyan died of cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis C at age 57. Ms. Saroyan was the daughter of playwright and novelist William Saroyan. Ms. Saroyan was the stepdaughter of the late actor Walter Matthau. Ms. Saroyan appeared in several of her stepfather’s films including the hilarious comedy "Kotch" and the taut thriller "The Taking of Pelhem One, Two, Three." Among Ms. Saroyan’s other films is Paul Schrader’s excellent "Blue Collar" in which she played Harvey Keitel’s wife.


SYDNEY LASSICK Died Apr. 12, 2003


Veteran character actor Sidney Lassick’s died at age 80 after a long battle with diabetes and related health problems. Mr. Lassick is best known for his performance as Cheswick in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest." Another memorable role was as Mr. Fromm, the high school English teacher in Brian De Palma’s classic horror film "Carrie." Mr. Lassick appeared in over 100 films and over 200 TV shows during his 44-year career. His first two movie appearances were in the gangster films "The Bonnie Parker Story" with Dorothy Provine and "Al Capone" with Rod Steiger. Mr. Lassick’s career was confined mainly to the stage until the role of Charlie Cheswick came along. Lassick’s touching performance as the kind hearted Cheswick made the powers that be take notice. He never looked back. Mr. Lassick appeared uncredited in Steven Speilberg’s "1941." Other credits include Mel Brook’s "The History of the World: Part I," the John Sayles’s scripted "Alligator," "The Unseen," the great B-movie "Fast Walking" with James Woods and Tim McIntire, "Deep Cover" with Laurence Fishburne, "Sister Act 2" and Milos Forman’s "Man On the Moon" with Jim Carrey. Mr. Lassick served in the Navy during WWII.


ADDIE MCPHAIL Died Apr. 14, 2002


Silent and early talkie screen actress Addie McPhail died at age 97. Ms. McPhail was the last wife of doomed silent screen comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Arbuckle was one of the top silent film stars of the 1920s. His popularity rivaled that of Charlie Chaplin. That was, until Arbuckle threw a huge party at a hotel in San Francisco where starlet Virgina Rappe died. Arbuckle was accused of raping Ms. Rappe and either his great weight or a champagne bottle used in a forceful manner caused an internal injury from which she died. Although Arbuckle was eventually acquitted of Ms. Rappe’s death, his career was all but finished. Arbuckle married Ms. McPhail in 1932 and died the next year. Ms. McPhail appeared in around 30 films during the 1920s and 30s.


TREVOR MURRAY Died Apr. 14, 2003


Irish special effects man Trevor Murray was found dead on location in Bangkok at age 33. According to The Nationalist and Leinster Times foul play was ruled out. Mr. Murray was a model maker of some renown. He built models’ for James Cameron’s "Titanic" and Stuart Gordon’s "Space Truckers." Mr. Murray was the art director on "Dancing at the Blue Iguana," "The Forsaken" and "Bit Players."


MILLA SANNONER Died Apr. 14, 2003


Italian actress Milla Sannoner died at age 62 in Milan.  Ms. Sannoner appeared in Sergio Leone’s comedy "Avanti la Musica." She also appeared in the spaghetti Western’s "Massacre at the Grand Canyon" with James Mitchum and "3 Bullets for Ringo" with Mickey Hagerty. Ms. Sannoner also appeared in "Io, Emmanuelle," which was the first film made from Emmanuelle Arsan’s erotic memoirs.


GLENN SAVAN Died Apr. 14, 2003


Writer Glenn Savan died or either a stroke or heart attack at age 49. Mr. Savan was suffering with Parkenson’s disease as well as a debilitating bone and joint disease. Mr. Savan wrote two novels: "White Palace" and "Goldman’s Anatomy." "White Palace" was made into a film with Susan Sarandon and James Spader.


MAURICE RAPF Died Apr. 15, 2003


Screenwriter Maurine Rapt died at age 88. Mr. Rapt was one of the founders of the Screen Writers Guild. Mr. Rapt also started the nation’s film college film society at Dartmouth, where he later taught film. Mr. Rapt’s credits include Disney’s rarely seen version of the Uncle Remus tales "Song of the South" and several other films in the 30s and 40s. Walt Disney specifically hired Rapf to write "Song of the South" because of Mr. Rapf’s background as both a Communist and a Jew. Disney felt that Rapf’s background would deflect any critics who might claim that "Song of the South" was a racist film. Ironically, in interviews, Mr. Rapf himself stated that he thought the film was inherently racist and should not have been made. Mr. Rapf’s father, Harry Rapf was one of the founders of Metro Goldwyn Mayer.


GRAHAM P. JARVIS Died Apr. 16, 2003


Veteran character actor Graham Jarvis died of multiple myeloma at age 72. The generation of the 1970s will remember Mr. Jarvis for his role in the cutting edge sit-com "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." My how times have changed. My hometown of Memphis was a hotbed of censorship in the 1970s. "American Grafitti" was Rated R in Memphis. "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" was considered so subversive that it was aired at mid-night! I’d forgotten about all that until strange time until I read about Mr. Jarvis’s death.


Mr. Jarvis turned in some very funny cameos and major performances during the 70s. He played the helpful New Yorker who ends up robbing Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis in Neil Simon’s "The Out of Towners." Jarvis’s second movie was the anti-war classic "Alice’s Restaurant." Other credits include "RPM," "A New Leaf," the hilarious "Cold Turkey," the Watergate mini-series "Blind Ambition" in which he played John Ehrlichman, "Silkwood," "Deal of the Century" and "Tough Guys."


In addition to his work on "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," Mr. Jarvis appeared in recurring roles on such TV series as "7th Heaven," "Six Feet Under," "Fame" and "Forever Fernwood."


LILI MURATI Died Apr. 16, 2003


Hungarian actress Lili Murati died at age 92. Ms. Murati appeared in numerous films including David Lean’s "Dr. Zhivago." Ms. Murati was the subject of one of the most famous movie urban legends. Ms. Murati played the woman with a baby who tries to jump onto a train in Dr. Zhivago. She fell during the take. Legend has it that the woman had her legs amputated in the fall. In fact, she wasn’t severely hurt and came back several weeks later to do the scene again. Ms. Murati appeared in nearly 40 films between 1935 and 1995. David Lean biographer Kevin Brownlow relied on the letters of Ms. Murati when writing his biography of the great director.


JAN SCOTT Died Apr. 17, 2003


Art director and production designer Jan Scott died at age 88. Ms. Scott had the distinction of winning 11Emmy Awards, more than any other woman in history. Ms. Scott worked both on TV and feature films. Ms. Scott’s credits include "The World of Henry Orient," "Roots," the truly terrifying "Trilogy of Terror," "A Girl Named Sooner," "Blind Faith," "Eleanor and Franklin," "Eleanor and Franklin: The Whitehouse Years" and George Cukor’s final film "Rich and Famous."



EMIL LOTEANU Died Apr. 18, 2003


Russian director Emil Loteanu died at age 66. Mr. Loteanu was nominated for Golden Palm at Cannes in 1978 for his film "The Shooting Party." His films "Fiddlers" and "Queen of the Gypsies" both won prizes at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. Mr. Loeanu’s other credits include "Anna Pavlova," "The Shell" and "The Morning Star" among others.


JOHN MORRIS Died Apr. 19, 2003


Australian movie pioneer John Morris died of cancer at age 69. Mr. Morris directed and produced nearly 50 documentaries in his early days. Mr. Morris became one of the more powerful figures in the Australian film industry during the 1970s and 80s. Mr. Morris was responsible for helping such budding Australian directors as Peter Weir and Bruce Beresford when he worked at the South Australian Film Corporation. Mr. Morris later became the CEO of Australian Film Finance Corporation. The Australian Film Finance Corporation had numerous hits during Mr. Morris’s tenure including "Shine" and "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert."


DEBBIE BARHAM Died Apr. 20, 2003


26-year-old British screenwriter Debbie Barham died of anorexia nervosa. Ms. Barham began writing for British radio while still a teenager by lying about her age and submitting unsolicited jokes. She wrote the comedy short "The Real Men Behaving Badly." Her other credits include the TV series "Planet Mirth" and "Rory Bremmer, Who Else?"


JOHN DOUGLAS Died Apr. 20, 2003


British composer John Douglas died of prostate cancer at age 82. Mr. Douglas’s score for the 1970 film "The Railway Children" was nominated for the Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards. Mr. Douglas worked in film and TV, in England and America. He scored the great British sci-fi film "The Day of the Triffids." He also scored the pre-"Core" the-world-is-going-to-blow-up-from-the-inside-out-sci-fi thriller "Crack in the World" with Dana Andrews! He also scored the great John Moxey horror film "Circus of Fear." Mr. Douglas might be best known to American audiences for his TV themes for "The Incredible Hulk," "G.I. Joe" and
"Transformers."


NINA SIMONE Died Apr. 21, 2003


American born singer Nina Simone died at age 70 in her adopted home of France. Ms. Simone sang a wide range of musical genres. Her best work focused on love, heartbreak and social causes. Ms. Simone appeared as herself in the documentary "Brel" about composer Jacques Brel. Her music was featured in numerous films. The American remake of "La Femme Nikita," "Point of No Return" not only featured her music but her spirit as well. The lost killer played by Bridget Fonda often discusses Nina Simone’s views of men, love and sex during the film. Ms. Simone’s credits as singer and composer on film also include Sean Penn’s "The Crossing Guard," "Four Women," "Shallow Grave," "Stealing Beauty" and "The Thomas Crown Affair."


DON WIDENER Died Apr. 22, 2003


Documentary filmmaker Don Widener died of lung cancer at age 73. Mr. Widener’s most famous film was only aired once. Widener made a documentary called "The Powers That Be," which warned of the dangers of a nuclear reactor melt down. Ironically, the 1971 film was narrated by Jack Lemmon, eight years before Lemmon starred in "The China Syndrome." Pacific Gas and Electric brought suite against Widener, alleging that he doctored the audio portions of an interview with a Pacific Gas and Electric employee. Widener was eventually vindicated by the courts, but the film was kept off of the air and his career ruined.


ANDREA KING Died Apr. 22, 2003


Actress Andrea King died of natural causes at age 84. Ms. King was a contract actress with Warner Brothers during the 1940s and 50s. Ms. King never made the jump to Movie Star with the public. She appeared in strong supporting roles in several very good movies. She also appeared with top billing in a number of smaller B-movies. Ms. King’s credits include "God Is My Co-Pilot," "Hotel Berlin," "The Beast With Five Fingers" with Peter Lorre, "My Wild Irish Rose," "Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid" with William Powell, "Red Planet Mars" with Peter Graves, "Prescription-Murder" which was the pilot film for Peter Falk’s "Columbo" TV series, the Blaxploitation horror film "Blackenstein" and "The Linguini Incident" with David Bowie. Ms. King had a lengthy TV career starting in the 1950s. She appeared in several episodes of "Perry Mason" and "77 Sunset Strip" among others. Ms. King was given a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1970.


ROBERT SUHOSKY Died Apr. 24, 2003


Robert Suhosky, 11-year US Marine veteran, Fox publicist and writer of the 1982 horror film "The House Where Evil Dwells" died of pancreatic cancer at age 74. Mr. Suhosky oversaw publicity of FOX’s TV division during the 1960s. His film "The House Where Evil Dwells" is considered a minor ‘bad-movie’ cult classic by genre fans.


LYRIC BENSON Died Apr. 25, 2003


Budding actress Lyric Benson was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend who shall remain nameless out of respect to Ms. Benson. It seems that Ms. Benson recently returned to her Christian roots and decided that she needed to re-examine the fact she was living with her boyfriend without being married. Apparently her ex also had some other problems. Ms. Benson was shot in the face in the presence of her mother who also witnessed the ex-boyfriend’s suicide. Ms. Benson was a graduate of Yale. She had recently completed an episode of "Law and Order: Criminal Intent." Although they share the same name, Ms. Benson is not the same actress named Lyric Benson who is the daughter of actor Robby Benson. It was reported that Ms. Benson had left instructions to donate her organs. Prayers of comfort for Ms. Benson’s family and friends. May they gain comfort from their friend and daughter’s faith.


PETER STONE Died Apr. 26, 2003


Peter Stone became the first writer to win the Oscar, Tony and Emmy! Mr. Stone died of pulmonary fibrosis at age 73. Mr. Stone sometimes wrote under the pseudonym Peter Joshua, which happened to be the name of Cary Grant’s character in the great film "Charade" also written by Mr. Stone. Stone won the Oscar for Best Screenplay for his WWII comedy "Father Goose" also starring Cary Grant. Mr. Stone wrote one of my favorite films of the 70s: "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" with Walter Mathau and Robert Shaw. His other screen credits include "Sweet Charity" with Shirley MacLaine, the hilarious "Skin Game" with James Garner and Louis Gossit Jr., the underrated "Silver Bears" with Michael Caine and Cybil Shepard, "Arabesque" with Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren and the all-star comedy thriller "Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?" Mr. Stone won an Emmy for his work on the TV series "The Defenders." Mr. Stone won three Tony awards for the musicals "1776," "Titanic" and "Woman of the Year." "1776" was later turned into a film.


JESSE NILSSON Died Apr. 26, 2003


25-year-old actor Jesse Nilsson died heart failure related to his lifelong asthma and a recent bout with pneumonia. Mr. Nilsson was the co-star of the TV series "Adventure Inc." with Michael Biehn. Mr. Nilsson appeared in the film "The Skulls." Other credits include "Teenage Space Vampires" and the TV series "Our Hero" and "University."


CICCIO INGRASSIA Died Apr. 28, 2003


Famed, award winning Italian comic actor Ciccio Ingrassia died at age 79 of heart failure. Mr. Ingrassia made more than 150 films with his comedy partner, Franco Franchi. Mr. Ingrassia had a memorable cameo in Federico Fellini’s "Armacord." He also appeared in Vitoria De Sica’s "The Last Judgment." Other credits include the black comedy "Traffic Jam," "The Handsome, the Ugly and the Stupid," Mario Bava’s "Dr. Goldfoot and the Sex Bombs" with Vincent Price and "War, Italian Style" which was one of Buster Keaton’s final films. Mr. Ingrassia made 14 films with Italian horror/gore director Lucio Fulci, however all of their films were comedies! Mr. Ingrassia won Best Supporting Actor Awards from both the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists and the David di Donatello Awards.


LIONEL WILSON Died Apr. 30, 2003


Voice actor Lionel Wilson died at age 79. Mr. Wilson was the voice of the funnel-headed animated character ‘Tom Terrific’ on "The Captain Kangaroo Show."  Mr. Wilson also provided the voice of the old farmer Eustace Bagg on the Cartoon Network’s darkly twisted "Courage, The Cowardly Dog." Other voice characters include ‘Billy Bear’ from the 1960s and the voices of ‘Sidney the Elephant and Stanley the Lion’ from another series of animated shorts in the 1960s. Mr. Wilson did live action work appearing in Hal Ashby’s "The Landlord" and "The Aldrich Family" TV series.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

MARCH 2003 FILM WORLD OBITUARIES

ELAINE BARRYMORE Died Mar. 1, 2003


The fourth wife of actor John Barrymore died at age 88. Elaine Jacobs swore at age 16 she would marry the world’s greatest actor. Three years later, she did just that. Her husband was 34 years older than her! Mrs. Barrymore didn’t have much of a film career herself. She acted under the names Elaine Barrie and also Elaine Barrymore. She appeared in two shorts which are cult classics: "How to Undress in Front of Your Husband" and "How to Take a Bath." It’s nice to know Hollywood cares enough to produce such educational films for the ladies! Ms. Barrymore appeared in "Midnight" with her husband, Don Ameche and Claudette Colbert. While you might think Drew Barrymore was the first actress in the famous family to get naked for her craft, Elaine Barrymore holds that distinction stripping on stage.


HANK BALLARD Died Mar. 2, 2003


Rock and Roll songwriter and performer Hank Ballard died of throat cancer at age 75. The leader of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters charted with 22 songs during his lengthy career. Ballard wrote "The Twist" which kicked off a worldwide dance craze in the early 1960s. Chubby Checker’s cover of Ballard’s tune became the best known version of the song. Ballard appeared in Roy Mann’s 1992 documentary film "The Twist." Mr. Ballard was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.




MALCOLM WILLIAMSON Died Mar. 2, 2003


Master of the Queen’s Music, Malcolm Williamson died at age 71 after a lengthy illness. Mr. Williamson not only composed for Queen Elizabeth, but also Hammer Studios. He scored several of their horror films including "The Brides of Dracula," "The Horror of Frankenstein" and "Crescendo." Mr. Williamson provided incidental music for the animated film "Watership Down." He was supposed to compose the entire score, but he never finished.


FRED FREIBERGER Died Mar. 2, 2003


Writer/producer Fred Freiberger died at age 88. Mr. Freiberger wrote the script for Ray Harryhausen’s first solo feature "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms." "Beast" was adapted from a short story by Ray Bradbury first published in the Saturday Evening Post. One of Mr. Freiberger’s less successful 50s sci-fi scripts was for Bert I. Gordon’s horrendous "The Beginning of the End." Gordon’s film achieved cult status due to the terrible special effects, which include grasshoppers photographed on 8x10 photos of sky scrappers in Chicago. Mr. Freiberger wrote scripts for many of the most popular TV series of the 1960s, 60s and 70s including "Bonanza," "Rawhide," "The Wild, Wild West," "Ben Casey," "The Fugitive," "Starsky and Hutch" and "Space 1999." Mr. Freiberger turned to producing in the 1960s. His credits include the original "Star Trek" series, "Ben Casey" and "The Six Million Dollar Man." Reader Ty from Texas wrote with this bit of trivia: Speaking of "Star Trek," such was his talent for creating techno-props for series that the gizmos became known as "Freibergers."


HORST BUCHHOLZ Died Mar. 3, 2003


According to the Berliner Morgenpost, actor Horst Buchholz died at age 69 from complications from a broken thigh bone. Actor Buchholz was one of the original "The Magnificent Seven." Only Charles Bronson and Robert Vaughn remain of the original seven. Mr. Buchholz made 75 films during his lengthy career. I first remember seeing him as Naturam Godse, the man who killed Ghandi in "Nine Hours to Rama." Mr. Buchholz made 15 films in Europe before his international breakthrough role in "The Magnificent Seven." He followed this with a number of American made films, though he continued to work predominately in Germany and Europe. Other credits include Billy Wilder’s so-so "One, Two, Three" with Jimmy Cagney, the awful "Avalanche Express" and Roberto Benigni's "Life is Beautiful." Mr. Buchholz delivered an outstanding performance as one of the main terrorists in the true-life, made for TV film "Raid on Entebbe."


CAPTAIN JAMES VERINIS Died Mar. 3, 2003


The Memphis Belle played a big part in my imagination as a child. I remember playing under the shade of the B-17 Flying Fortress’s wings as my sister took her dog to obedience school at the National Guard Armory in Memphis. The old war horse has been given more suitable housing since those days. Captain James Verinis was the co-pilot as the Memphis Belle fought over the skies of Europe in WWII. He became the first man to complete 25 combat missions in that war. Mr. Verinis and the rest of the crew appear in William Wyler’s outstanding WWII documentary "The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress."


BERT LUXFORD Died Mar. 4, 2003


British special effects pioneer Albert J. Luxford died after a short illness. Mr. Luxford was the cinematic equivalent of "Q" from the James Bond series. Mr. Luxford was the special effects man who created most of the more famous James Bond goodies. The Aston Martin on "Goldfinger" was Mr. Luxford’s work. He was known in the British film industry as "The Gimmick Man." Mr. Luxford worked on over a hundred films, many times without screen credit. His films include the Hammer vampire film "Twins of Evil" starring the Playboy twins Mary and Madeleine Collinson, Ingrid Pitt’s "Countess Dracula," Frank Zappa’s "200 Motels," the original "Highlander" and many others. Mr. Luxford was indispensable to the James Bond series. He also contributed quite a bit to the British comedy movies in the "Carry On…" series.


BILL REDDICK Died Mar. 4, 2003


Character actor Bill Reddick died of a heart attack at age 84. Mr. Reddick appeared in the Dirty Harry film "Sudden Impact," Francis Ford Copolla’s "Tucker: The Man and His Dream" and Alan Parker’s brutal divorce film "Shoot the Moon." Mr. Reddick was married to actress Jean Sheperd.


SEBASTIEN JAPRISOT Died Mar. 4, 2003


French writer/director S├ębastien Japrisot died at age 71. Sebastien Japrisot was a psuedonym made from an anagram of his birth name Jean-Baptiste Rossi. Mr. Japrisot wrote a one of my favorite films. "Le Passiger de la Pluie" (Rider on the Rain) is a taut psychological thriller starring Charles Bronson. Bronson plays an Army officer tracking a psychotic serial killer across the French countryside. The film’s opening sequence is beautiful. Bronson also starred in Japrisot’s "Farewell, Friend." Japrisot also wrote the erotic S/M-B/D classic "The Story of O" which starred Corinne Cleary. Japrisot’s novel "The Lady in the Car with the Glasses and the Gun" was filmed with Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar. Oscar winning writer/director Costa Gravis turned Japrisot’s novel "The Sleeping Car Murder" into a very good mystery film. Mr. Japrisot won the Cesar (France’s Oscar) for Best Screenplay for his psycho-sexual thriller "L’ Ete Meurtrier." Mr. Japrisot directed four films.


BERNARD SCHWAB Died Mar. 4, 2003


Bernard Schwab, along with his three brothers, founded Schwab’s Pharmacy in Los Angeles. The store located on Sunset Blvd. Became the hangout out for film folk for nearly 50 years. Legend has it that high school sweater girl Lana Turner was discovered sitting on a stool in Schwab’s. The pharmacy was mentioned in countless films of the era, including Billy Wilder’s "Sunset Blvd." Mr. Schwab died at age 94. He was the last surviving member of the four brothers.


HARDY AIMES Died Mar. 5, 2003


Self proclaimed snob and clothes designer to Queen Elizabeth II, Hardy Aims died at age 93. Mr. Aimes designed costumes and did wardrobe on Stanley Kubrick’s "2001: A Space Odyssey," "The Alphabet Murders" and "Two for the Road."


JOHN SANFORD Died. Mar. 6, 2003


Blacklisted writer John Sanford died of an aortic aneurysm at age 98. Mr. Sanford had a long, but not too successful career as a novelist. He was blacklisted in the 50s for his ties to the communist party. Mr. Sanford wrote the film "Honky Tonk" with his wife, prolific screenwriter Marguerite Roberts.


HAROLD AYER Died Mar. 6, 2003


British character actor Harold Ayer died at age 86 from a stroke. Mr. Ayer made his film debut in Carol Reed’s noir classic "The Third Man" with Orson Welles and Joseph Cotton. He appeared in the Oscar winner "The Sting." Other credits include the Linnea Quigley horror romp "Night of the Demons" and Bo Derek’s vanity film "Tarzan the Ape Man." Mr. Ayer was a prolific TV actor, appearing in numerous shows in guest roles. Two of Mr. Ayer’s three children followed him into show business while his third child is a teacher. Mr. Ayer was the son of famed songwriter Nat Ayer.


MANFRED DURNIOK Died Mar. 7, 2003


Oscar winning producer Manfred Durniok died of a heart attack at age 68. Mr. Durniok had over 600 film credits to his name. Durniok’s "Mephisto" won the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1981. "Mephisto" is a chilling portrait of an actor who sells his soul to the Nazis for fame. The movie was loosely based on the life of actor Emil Jannings. Mr. Durniok's film "Colonel Redl" won the British Best Foreign film award. "Colonel Redl" was also nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. Both films were directed by Istvan Szabo.


ADAM FAITH Died Mar. 8, 2003


British 60s pop star and actor died at age 60 of a heart attack. Mr. Faith enjoyed great popularity in England during the early 1960s with 20 songs hitting the British charts. Mr. Faith made the transition to acting. He appeared in one of the best Rock and Roll movies ever made. Mr. Faith co-starred with fellow British rocker David Essex in Michael Apted’s wonderful "Stardust." "Stardust" is the excellent sequel to the equally outstanding "That’ll Be the Day." The two films chronicle the rise and fall of David Essex’s band "The Stray Cats." Mr. Faith played the band’s manager in "Stardust." I can’t recommend these two films more highly. They are probably two of the best films you’ve never seen. Mr. Faith turned in an excellent performance as the manager who couldn’t help his star from self-destructing. 1980 was another great year for Adam Faith’s film career. He appeared in Adrian Lyne's excellent coming-of-age story "Foxes" starring Jodie Foster, Cherie Currie of "The Runaways." He also co-starred in Roger Daltry’s powerful modern gangster movie "McVicar." Mr. Faith was a natural actor who was sorely underused in the movies.


MARIA LADYNINA Died Mar. 8, 2003


Russian film icon from the Stalin era, Marina Ladynina died in Moscow at age 98. Ms. Ladynina made a series of films during the reign of Joseph Stalin that furthered the ideals of the Stalin regime. She stopped making films when Stalin died. Ms. Ladynina was given a lifetime achievement award at the 1998 Nikas Awards (the Russian equivalent of the Oscars). Her son is Russian film director Andrei Ladynin.


HURREM ERMAN Died Mar. 8, 2003


Turkish producer Hurrem Erman died at age 90. Mr. Erman produced nearly 50 films during a 30 year career. Mr. Erman was given an honorary award at the 1990 Istanbul International Film Festival.


KAREN MORLEY Died Mar. 8, 2003


Blond bombshell Karen Morley died at age 93 of pneumonia. Ms. Morley was married to actor Lloyd Gough. Ms. Morley played the second female lead in Howard Hawks gangster classic "Scarface." Ms. Morley appeared in nearly 50 films before her career was cut short during the HUAC witchhunts. Ms. Morley appeared before HUAC, but didn’t name names. She only appeared in a couple of movies after her appearance on Capitol Hill. Ms. Morley’s other credits include "Mata Hari" with Greta Garbo, "Arsne Lupine" with John Barrymore, "The Mask of Fu Manchu" with Boris Karloff, George Cukor’s "Dinner at Eight," "The Littlest Rebel" with Shirley Temple, "Pride and Prejudice" with Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier and John Ford’s "Flesh."


STAN BRAKHAGE Died Mar. 9, 2003


Pioneering avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage died of cancer at age 70. Mr. Brakhage made nearly 400 experimental films during his 50-year career. Mr. Brakhage’s film "Dog Star Man" is listed in the National Registry of Films. In 1986, Mr. Brakhage was given the "Maya Deren Independent Film and Video Artists Award" from the American Film Institute.


PHILIP JONES Died Mar. 9, 2003


Indie and B-movie writer/director/producer Philip Jones died of cancer at age 39. Mr. Jones produced a series of B-movies in the late 1980s and 90s. His credits include "Princess Warrior," "Time Barbarians," "Getting Lucky" and "Backflash" with Jennifer Esposito and Robert Patrick. Mr. Jones also wrote and directed "Backflash." Mr. Jones had complete shooting on his latest film as a director: "Hellborn." Prayers of comfort for his wife and two children.


DAVID SCASE Died Mar. 11, 2003


British theater director and actor David Scase died at age 83. Mr. Scase was best know for directing plays in England. A merchant marine in WWII, Mr. Scase survived his ship being torpedoed. Mr. Scase appeared in the films "Truckers," the Sherlock Holmes episode "The Master Blackmailer" and the early Hammer film"Never Look Back" among others.


ZINN ARTHUR Died Mar. 11, 2003


Big band leader turned celebrity photographer Zinn Arthur died at age 90 of natural causes. Mr. Arthur toured with Irving Berlin, entertaining troops during WWII. The tour was the basis for the movie "This is the Army." After the demise of the Big Band Era, Mr. Zinn became a celebrity photographer. Mr. Zinn did special photographic art for Joshua Logan’s 1961 film "Fanny" which starred Leslie Caron and Horst Buchholz.


HOWARD FAST Died Mar. 12, 2003


Best-selling blacklisted author Howard Fast died at age 88. 14 of Mr. Fast’s novels were translated to film and TV. Mr. Fast wrote the novels which formed the basis for Stanley Kubrick’s "Spartacus," the Robert Mitchum/Loretta Young/William Holden film "Rachel and the Stranger," John Ford’s poetic "Cheyenne Autumn" and the Gregory Peck thriller "Mirage." Mr. Fast also wrote several teleplays. He wrote for the great, early-1960s legal TV series "The Defenders." Mr. Fast also penned the outstanding TV movie "21 Hours at Munich" about the murder of the Israeli Olympic athletes during the 1972 Olympic Games.


LYNN THIGPEN Died Mar. 12, 2003


Tony award winning actress Lynn Thigpen died suddenly at age 54. The coroner stated that Ms. Thigpen died of an enlarged heart, cardio hemmorrhage and cerebral hemorrhage. Ms. Thigpen may be best known for her role in the children’s geography TV show "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" She was currently was co-starring in the TV series "The District" with Craig T. Nelson on CBS. Ms. Thigpen won a Tony Award for her performance in the play "An American Daughter." Ms. Thigpen plays the judge in the soon to be released Adam Sandler/Jack Nicholson comedy "Anger Management." Ms. Thigpen appeared in nearly 50 films and TV series during her career. She made her debut in the rock version of the Gospel According to Matthew "Godspell." Walter Hill fans know her as the female D-Jay in "The Warriors" and from "Streets of Fire." She also appeared in Sidney Pollack’s "Tootsie," "Bob Roberts," "Sweet Liberty," "The Paper," "Naked in New York," "The Insider," the remake of "Shaft," "Novocaine" and the TV version of "An American Daughter." Ms. Thigpen had recurring roles on "L.A. Law," "Gimmie a Break," "thirtysomething" and "Law and Order." Ms. Thigpen was also nominated twice for the Image Award for her work on "All My Children" and "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?"


NIELS BJORN LARSON Died Mar. 13, 2002


Danish choreographer, dancer and world famous mime, Niels Bjorn Larson has died at age 89. Mr. Larson was choreographer for numerous Danish films. His best known film, internationally was 1988’s "Babette’s Feast."


IVAN RASSIMOV Died Mar. 13, 2003


Italian exploitation actor , Ivan Rassimov died at age 65. Rassimov appeared in a large number of horror and soft core erotic films. Among Rassimov’s nearly 500 credits include two films by Italian Horror master Mario Bava: "Planet of the Vampires" and "Schock" (Beyond the Door II). Mr. Rassimov also appeared in numerous cannibal films including "Jungle Holocaust," "Eaten Alive by Cannibals" and "Deep River Savages." Mr. Rassimov also appeared in several films in the soft-core Emmanuelle series.


FRANK DELMAR Died Mar. 13, 2003


Hollywood wardrober costume designer Frank Delmar died at age 93. He had suffered two heart attacks in recent years. Mr. Delmar worked both in film and TV. He worked on Cecile B. Demille’s "The Ten Commandments" and Arthur Penn’s epic "Little Big Man." Other films include the so-bad-its-good tree-monster movie "From Hell It Came," "Tank Battalion" and "Jeopardy." Mr. Delmar was best known in the industry for his meticulous period costumes on such TV shows as "The Untouchables" and "The Wild, Wild West."


THORA HIRD Died Mar. 15, 2003


British actress Dame Thora Hird died at age 91 after suffering a stroke. Better known in England than America, Ms. Hird appeared in over 90 films and TV shows during her career. She was awarded four BAFTA (the British Oscar) awards for her work including a lifetime achievement award. Ms. Hird appeared in several of my favorites. Michael Winner’s "The Nightcomers" is a kinky mess starring Marlon Brando. The film is a prequel to Henry James classic novel "The Turn of the Screw." "The Turn of the Screw" was filmed as "The Innocents" with Deborah Kerr. Brando gives one of his most bizarre performances in a film full of strange happenings. "The Quatermass Experiment" was the first of the great British sci-fi movies about Professor Bernard Quatermass. Brian Donlevy played Quatermass in this classic British film. Ms. Hird was third billed in the Val Guest film. Ms. Hird had a smaller role in the seldom seen "The Magic Box." "The Magic Box" is another great British film. The movie tells the story of the forgotten inventor of motion pictures. Its not who you think. Ms. Hird also appeared in Tony Richardson’s "The Entertainer" with Laurence Olivier and John Schlesinger’s "A Kind of Loving" with Alan Bates.


PAUL STOJANOVICH Died Mar. 15, 2003


TV producer Paul Stojanovich died at age 47 in a fall from a 300 foot cliff in Oregon. Mr. Stojanovich’s body has not been recovered. The waves were 14 to 16 feet at the time Stojanovich fell. Mr. Stojanovich was the creator of the long running reality TV show "COPS." Mr. Stojanovich served as a video consultant on Oliver Stone’s "Natural Born Killer’s." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.


PEGGY CONKLIN Died Mar. 18, 2003


Stage actress Peggy Conklin has died at age 96. Ms. Conklin first achieved fame in the role of Gabby Maple in the Broadway production of "The Petrified Forest." She starred opposite Humphrey Bogart. Bogart became a screen star when he reprised his role as John Dillinger based character Duke Mantee in the film version. Bette Davis played Ms. Conklin’s role in the film version. While Ms. Conklin has a long and distinguished career on stage, she made relatively few movies. Her film credits include "The President Vanishes," "The Devil is a Sissy" and "Having a Wonderful Time."


LEWIS GREIFER Died Mar. 18, 2003


Renowned British TV writer Lewis Greifer died at age 87. Mr. Greifer began his career writing for radio. He wrote for the groundbreaking comedy show "The Goon Show" with Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers. Mr. Geifer wrote several precursors to the TV mini series. In 1959 he wrote two six-part shows: "The Man Who Cheated Death" and "Voodoo Factor." Mr. Greifer was also one of the writers on two of the greatest British TV shows of all time: "Dr. Who" and "The Prisoner." Mr. Greifer also wrote radio documentaries including a biography of Paul Robeson.


EMILE GENEST Died Mar. 19, 2003


French-Canadian character actor Emile Geneset has died at age 81 after suffering a heart attack. Mr. Genest appeared in nearly 30 films including Norman Jewison’s "The Cinncinati Kid" with Steve McQueen.  Mr. Genest appeared in countless TV shows during the 1960s. He appeared in many TV WWII dramas including "The Rat Patrol," "Combat" and "Garrison’s Guerillas." He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Award at the Genie Awards for his work in "Les Plouffe." Mr. Genest starred in the original version of Walt Disney’s "The Incredible Journey."


DON HOOD Died Mar. 20, 2003


Verteran character actor Don Hood died of heart failure at age 62. Hood is probably best known for his supporting role in Sidney Lumet’s "Absence of Malace." Hood played the politically ambitious District Attorney torpedoed by a vengeful Paul Newman. Hood also played corrupt Tennessee governor Ray Blanton in the true-life drama "Marie" which starred Sissy Spacek. Mr. Hood also appeared in "Alien Nation," "Fletch Lives," "The River," "Ed Wood," "Cat People" and "Bad Girls." Hood also appeared in the excellent HBO film "Doublecrossed" with Dennis Hopper. Mr. Hood’s other credits include Brian De Palma’s "Obesssion" and Louis Malle’s "Pretty Baby."


BEN BRADY Died Mar. 20, 2003


Writer/producer Ben Brady died at age 94. Mr. Brady worked in TV for decades. Mr. Brady produced some of the greatest early TV shows including "Perry Mason," "Rawhide," "Have Gun, Will Travel," "The Outer Limits" and "The Johnny Carson Show." Mr. Brady was the founder of the Television Producer’s Guild. Mr. Brady also wrote several books about TV writing and production.


EISEI AMAMOTO Died Mar. 23, 2003


Legendary Japanese character actor Eisei Amamoto has died at age 77. Mr. Amamoto in 50 films during his lengthy career. He is best known to American audiences for his work in numerous Toho Studios monster movies. Mr. Amamoto appeared in Akira Kurosawa’s "Yojimbo" with Toshiro Mifune. "Yojimbo" was the basis for the Sergio Leone western "A Fist Full of Dollars" with Clint Eastwood. Mr. Amamoto made his film debut in the Golden Globe Best Foreign Film winner "24 Eyes." Among his many monster movies was the campy "Attack of the Mushroom People" where he played the Skulking Transitional Matango! Other monster movie credits include "Atragon," "Dagora, the Space Monster," "King Kong Escapes," "Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster," "Godzilla Versus the Sea Monster" and "Godzilla’s Revenge." Mr. Amamoto appeared in the Japanese spy film purchased by Woody Allen and turned into "What’s Up, Tiger Lilly?" In Allen’s film, the tall, skinny Amamoto was given a Peter Lorre type voice to hilarious effect. Mr. Amamoto was fascinated by all things Spanish. He was an acomplished Flamenco dancer.


PHILIP YORDAN Died Mar. 24, 2003


Oscar winning writer Philip Yordan died of pancreatic cancer at age 88. Yordan won an Oscar for his screenplay "Broken Lance" in 1954. Yordan had been nominated twice previously for "Detective Story" with Kirk Douglas and Lee Grant and the movie that made Lawrence Tierney a star "Dillinger." Among Mr. Yordan’s 61 produced scripts are Charlton Heston’s "El Cid," Tony Curtis’s "Houdini," "The Harder They Fall" with Humphrey Bogart, "King of Kings," "55 Days at Peking" and "The Unholy." Mr. Yordan is credited with seven scripts, which were in fact written by other people. Mr. Yordon acted as a front for two blacklisted writers: Ben Maddow and Bernard Gordon. Those scripts include "The Battle of the Bulge," "The Day of the Triffids" "God’s Little Acre" and "No Down Payment."


DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN Died Mar. 25, 2003


Four-term US Senator from New York Daniel Patrick Moynihan died from complications following a burst appendix at age 76. The longtime democratic leader served in the US Senate from 1977 through 2001. Senator Moynihan served in official capacities to Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Gerald Ford. Senator Moynihan appeared as himself in the documentary about Washington D.C. hosted by Richard Dreyfus: "Mr. Dreyfus Goes to Washington." Senator Moynihan also appeared in the PBS mini series "New York: A Documentary Film." In addition to these appearances, Senator Moynihan was the subject of an episode of A&E’s Biography."


MATTHEW ALLWORK Died Mar. 26, 2003


British cameraman Matthew Allwork was killed in a helicopter crash while filming an endurance horse race in the United Arab Emirates. Mr. Allwork was an inventive camera operator who won Emmy Awards for his work at the Sidney Olympics and the Janet Jackson special "Velvet Rope." He also invented the "jockey-cam" used to give an inside view of horse racing. Mr. Allwork’s feature film credits include "Out of Africa," "Indian Jones and the Last Crusade," "Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein" and Clint Eastwood’s "White Hunter, Black Heart."


PAUL ZINDEL Died Mar. 27, 2003


Award-winning playwright and screenwriter Paul Zindel died of cancer at age 66. Mr. Zindel won the Pulitzer Prize for his play "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds." Paul Newman directed the screen version, which starred Newman’s wife Joanne Woodward. Both were nominated for awards at Cannes for their work on Zindel’s movie. Woodward won the Best Actress award. Mr. Zindel was one of five writers credited with the screenplay for the outstanding action thriller "Runaway Train." Akira Kurosawa also worked on that script! Mr. Zindel wrote the scripts for Barbara Streisand’s introspective "Up the Sandbox," the Lucille Ball version of "Mame" and "Maria’s Lovers" with Nastasjja Kinski.


DWIGHT DAVID FRYE Died Mar. 27, 2003


One of the scariest moments of my childhood came watching the Bela Lugosi version of "Dracula." The scene that creeped me out so badly was when the quite mad Renfield is discovered laughing maniacally in the hold of the ship which transported Dracula to England. Renfield was played by the great horror-movie icon Dwight Frye. His son, Dwight David Frye died at age 72. The younger Frye appeared with his father in the 1937 film "The Man Who Found Himself." Mr. Frye appeared in several documentaries about the great Universal horror films his father appeared in. Those documentaries include "Lugosi: Hollywood’s Dracula," "The Road to Dracula" and "She’s Alive: Creating the Bride of Frankenstein."


LEIGH JACKSON Died Mar. 27, 2003


British screenwriter Leigh Jackson died of cancer at age 52. Mr. Jackson wrote the critically acclaimed drama "Warriors" about British troops serving as UN peace-keepers in the Balkins. He followed that film with "The Project." Two films currently in production were also written by Mr. Jackson: "Assumption" with Juliette Binoche and "Walk Two Moons" with Neve Campbell.


BOB MATZ Died Mar. 28, 2003


Long time Warner Brothers animator Bob Matz died at age 89. Mr. Matz had over 120 credits to his name. In 1987, Mr. Matz won the Golden award at the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonist’s Awards. Mr. Matz’s credits include "The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie," "You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown," "A Boy Named Charlie Brown," "The Pink Panther Show" and "Moby Duck." Mr. Matz animated many of the Pink Panther features.


RAE CREEVEY Died Mar. 29, 2003


Asian American theater pioneer, Rae Creevey died of heart failure at age 69. Mr. Creevey was one of the co-founders of the East West Players and a long time director of the Asian American theater company. In addition to promoting Asian-American theater, Mr. Creevey was the head lighting director for the soap opera "General Hospital" for eleven years.


RUDOLPH BORCHERT Died Mar. 29, 2003


TV writer Rudolph Borchert died at age 75. Mr. Borchert wrote several episodes of the great horror series "Kolchak: The Night Stalker." Other credits include "Police Woman" with Angie Dicienson, "Hunter," "Quincy" and "The Greatest American Hero." Mr. Borchert also wrote the feature film "The Little Dragons."


MICHAEL JETER Died Mar. 30, 2003


Before I go to work to deal with the constitutional rights of every kind of accused criminal you can imagine, I get my five–year-old daughter ready for preschool. It’s just her and me. A little respite before the storm called the real world. Part of our daily routine is watching "Sesame Street" together. Lauren’s favorite segment, hands down is Elmo’s daily visit with Mr. Noodle or Mr. Noodle’s brother Mr. Noodle. Lauren and I both prefer Mr. Noodle’s bother Mr. Noodle to the plane old Mr. Noodle. For the second time in as many months, a children’s television icon has passed on. Michael Jeter’s contribution of Mr. Noodle’s brother Mr. Noodle to "Sesame Street" was but a small part of his outstanding career as an actor on stage, film and TV.


Jeter turned from medicine to acting while a student at my alma mater, Memphis State University. I first noticed Jeter in his film debut in Milos Forman’s "Hair." He had a hilarious cameo as a draftee with a penchant for painted toenails. Jeter appears at the beginning of the song "White Boys." He stands naked before the Army induction NCOs except for his socks. When he refuses to take the socks off, a large soldier lifts Jeter in the air while another removes the socks, revealing his painted toenails. Then the song begins.


Jeter appeared in nearly 50 films. Although he was Gay, Jeter played both Gay and straight roles with ease. The 50-year-old actor announced that he was HIV positive several years ago. An autopsy is scheduled, but it has been reported that Mr. Jeter was in good health and his death wasn’t related to his HIV status.


Michael Jeter won an Emmy Award as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on the Burt Reynold’s series "Evening Shade." Mr. Jeter was also nominated for three other Emmy Awards. He also won a Tony Award for his role in the play "Grand Hotel." Mr. Jeter won three "Q Awards" for his work on "Evening Shade" from the "Viewers for Quality Television Awards." Nice to see a Gay guy recognized for being wholesome by a watchdog group!


Jeter turned in one of his best performances as the condemned prisoner with a pet mouse in Frank Darabont’s "The Green Mile." Jeter’s execution scene is one of the most harrowing scenes ever committed to celluloid. Other credits include the hilarious "Mouse Hunt," the Coen Brother’s gangster homage "Miller’s Crossing," Milos Forman’s "Ragtime," Woody Allen’s "Zelig," Terry Gilliam’s "The Fisher King," Clint Eastwood’s "True Crime" and "Jurassic Park III." Jeter was an actor of versatility and range. He will be sorely missed by legions of fans.


CHRISTIANE SCHMIDTMER Died Mar. 30, 2003


Sexy German actress Christiane Schmidtmer died at age 63. Ms. Schmidtmer appeared in several TV series during the 1960s including "Hogan’s Heroes," "Twelve O’clock High" and "The Wild, Wild West." Her film credits include the evil Warden Dietrich in the classic exploitation film "The Big Doll House" with Pan Grier. She also appeared in Stanley Kramer’s "Ship of Fools," "Boeing, Boeing" with Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis, Russ Meyer’s "Fanny Hill," "The Giant Spider Invasion" and horror maven Gordon Hessler’s "Scream, Pretty Peggy" with Bette Davis.


ANNE GWYNNE Died Mar. 31, 2003


Scream queen Anne Gwynne died at age 84 of a stroke following surgery. The raven-haired beauty is remembered fondly by horror movie fans for her many appearances in the Universal horror films of the 1940s. Ms. Gwynne co-starred with Boris Karloff in "The House of Frankenstein," Bela Lugosi in the remake of "The Black Cat," Lon Chaney Jr. in "Weird Woman" and "The Strange Case of Dr. RX." Ms. Gwynne co-starred with Abbott and Costello in the comedy "Ride ‘Em Cowboy." Ms. Gwynne’s final film was also one of Michael Douglas’s first starring vehicles: "Adam at 6 A.M."