KING FAHD BIN ABDUL AZIZ AL SAUD Died Aug. 1, 2005
King Fahd, the ruler of Saudi Arabia died of complications following a stroke at age 83. The son of the founder of Saudi Arabia, Fahd served first under his brother Fisal, and later for his other brother Khalid before ascending to the throne in 1982. Director Spike Lee gave King Fahd a Special Thanks credit for allowing him to film portions of his bio-pic "Malcolm X" in Mecca. King Fahd also appeared in the documentary "Just the Facts: 16 Royal Families." There is much to say about King Fahd’s reign and his legacy on the world…much that is pertinent, especially with the war in Iraq. I’ll leave that to the political pundits and to better minds than mine to say those words.
TERRY CARR Died Aug. 1, 2005
Life is strange and death is often stranger. Producer/production manager/director Terry Carr was found dead in his car along with his nine-year-old daughter Arieka in Clearlake Oaks, California. The car was parked in a shopping center parking lot with a shopping car full of his personal belongings behind the vehicle. The previous day, Mr. Carr was at a store with his wife and daughter. He left his wife in the store and drove off in the car. Mr. Carr suffered a fatal heart attack and fell on top of his daughter, suffocating the child. The week before the deaths were discovered, more of Mr. Carr’s personal belongings were discovered in a farmer’s field. There is still no explanation why Mr. Carr took his daughter and left his wife in the store the day before the bodies were discovered or why Mr. Carr had dumped many personal belongings in a farmer’s field the week before the deaths.Mr. Carr produced several films including "Predator 2" and the truly awful Pavarotti vehicle "Yes, Giorgio!" Mr. Carr was the production manager on the Oscar winner "On Golden Pond." He also was production manager on the 1976 remake of "King Kong," "The River" and "Jagged Edge." He directed the film "Welcome to 18" and did second unit direction on Woody Allen’s "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* but were afraid to ask."
DONALD BROOKS Died Aug. 1, 2005
Multi-Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning costume designer Donald Brooks died of a heart attack at age 77. Mr. Brooks’ work was nominated three times for Oscars. His costumes for Blake Edwards’s "Darling Lili," Robert Wise’s "Star!" and Otto Preminger’s "The Cardinal" were all given Oscar nods. He won an Emmy for "The Letter" and was nominated for another for "The Two Mrs. Grenvilles." Mr. Brooks was also a successful Broadway costume designer and was also nominated for one Tony Award. Other credits include the sci-fi thriller "The Terminal Man" and "The Bell Jar."
CANDIDA CONERY Died Aug. 1, 2005
Emmy-nominated hairstylist Candida Conery died of breast cancer at age 52. Ms. Conery was nominated for an Emmy for her work on the biopic "Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story." Ms. Conery’s credits include such films as "Rich and Famous," "Annie," "Peggy Sue Got Married," "City Slickers," "Boxing Helena," "Nash Bridges" and "The Fast and the Furious."
JOHN GOWER Died Aug. 1, 2005
Acclaimed British stage actor John Gower died at age 74. Mr. Gower was respected musical star on the West End stages of London. During his 50+ year career, Mr. Gower appeared in many of the best known stage productions in London. His film credits were few. He appeared in "Evita" as well as a number of BBC TV shows including "Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady" and "Dixon of Dock Green."
BENJAMIN KARIM Died Aug. 2, 2005
Muslim minister Benjamin Karim died of injuries sustained in fall at age 73. Mr. Karim was one of Malcolm X’s top assistants. Prior to the death of Malcolm X, Mr. Karim was known as Benjamin 2X. He was the man who introduced Malcolm X to the audience at the Audubon Ballroom the day Malcolm X was slain. He appeared as himself in the TV documentary "Malcolm X: Make it Plain." Mr. Karim was a consultant to Spike Lee on the director's Oscar-nominated biopic "Malcolm X." Actor Jean-Claude LaMarre portrayed Benjamin 2X in the same film.
LOULIE JEAN NORMAN Died Aug. 2, 2005
Soprano singer Loulie Jean Norman died today. No cause of death or age was given. Ms. Norman was a well-known studio singer who worked with just about everyone from Frank Sinatra to Spike Jones. She was the widow of Norman Henry Price, a decorated WWII hero who died of cancer. Ms. Norman worked closly during her career with composer Gordon Jenkins. Ms. Norman provided the wordless singing on the opening credits of the hit TV series "Star Trek." Ms. Norman also provided the female soprano work on the Tolkins’ hit song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." She dubbed Diahann Carroll’s singing voice for the song "Summertime" in the film version of "Porgy and Bess." Ms. Norman did studio work with many of the greatest singers of the 20th Century Including Frank Sinatra and Elvis.
SANDRO BOLCHI Died Jul. 2, 2005
Italian TV writer/director Sandro Bolchi died at age 81. Mr. Bolchi was known for his classical TV mini-series, which dated back to the 1950s. Among Mr. Bolchi’s many works are "Anna Karenina," Dostoyevsky’s "The Demon" and "The Brothers Karamazov," "Puccini," "Camilla," "Lulu" and Victor Hugo’s "Les Miserables."
LUIS BARBERO Died Aug. 3, 2005
Prolific, award-winning actor Luis Barbero died five day shy of his 89th birthday. Mr. Barbero was one of Spain’s most respected actors. He began his stage career in 1939. Mr. Barbero appeared in over 200 films and numerous TV shows. He won the Best Spupporting Actor Award from the Cinema Writers Circle Awards for his work in "The Beehive." Mr. Barbero won a new audience late in life on the 1995 TV series "Family Doctor."
ANNABEL BUFFET Died Aug. 3, 2005
French actress/model/novelist Annabel Buffet died at age 77. Ms. Buffet was the widow of painter Bernard Buffet. Her late husband committed suicide in 1999. Ms. Buffet’s life was marred by suicide as both of her parents also took their own lives. Ms. Buffet was best known for her series of autobiographical novels. She appeared in the documentaries "Desordre" and "Desordre is 20 Years Old."
TOM HUTCHINSON Died Aug. 3, 2005
British film critic and author Tom Hutchinson died at age 75. Among his many film books was a personal favorite of mine. Mr. Hutchinson wrote "Horror & Fantasy in the Movies." The cover is pictured at right. Other books by Mr. Hutchinson include "Horrors: A History of Horror Movies," "Screen Greats: Elizabeth Taylor," "Screen Greats: Marilyn Monroe," "Rod Steiger: Memoirs of a Friendship" and "Niven’s Hollywood." Mr. Hutchinson hosted the British TV series "The Late Late Show." The series showed foreign films accompanied by Mr. Hutchinson’s introductions. Mr. Hutchinson was publicity director for the WWII film "Battle of Britain." He was the Secretary of the Film Section for the Critic’s Circle. Mr. Hutchinson was a film critic for The Sunday Telegraph, Radiotimes.com and Now! magazine among other publications.
NICK PERITO Died Aug. 3, 2005
Multi-Emmy nominated musical director Nick Perito died of pulmonary fibrosis at age 81. Mr. Perito’s work earned him twelve Emmy nominations! Six nominations were for his work on various "Kennedy Center Honors" programs. Five other nominations were for the "Perry Como Christmas Specials" and his other nomination was for the 1980 TV series "The Big Show." Mr. Perito worked with crooner Perry Como for nearly 30 years on both his TV shows, recordings and live performances. Mr. Perito is pictured on the right with Perry Como.
LITTLE MILTON CAMPBELL Died Aug. 4, 2005
Blues and R&B legend Little Milton died after suffering a stoke at age 70. Little Milton enjoyed a 50-year-career. He recorded for both Sun Records and Stax, two of the most historical recording studios in Memphis, Tennessee. His biggest hit was the 1965 #1 record "We’re Gonna Make It." Little Milton’s great voice and powerful stage performance can be heard and seen in Mel Stuart’s great concert film "Wattstax." He also appeared in the TV documentaries "Soul Comes Home" and "The Blues." Little Milton won six W.C. Handy Awards and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
ILEEN GETZ Died Aug. 4, 2005
Actress Ileen Getz died of cancer at age 44. Ms. Getz was best known for her supporting role as Judith Draper on the TV sitcom "3rd Rock From the Sun." Ms. Getz appeared in several films during her career. Some of her notable roles were in the acclaimed "The Station Agent," "Changing Lanes," "Lovely & Amazing," "That 70s Show," the cartoon "Hey Arnold!," "Cybill" and "NYPD Blue." Ms. Getz was also a successful stage actress. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends, especially her two children.
EDMOND CHEVIE Died Aug. 4, 2005
Producer Edmond Chevie died at age 83. Mr. Chevie produced the 1950s films "Eighteen and Anxious" and "Rock Pretty Baby." Mr. Chevie was the man who convinced Ballet Russe ballerina Yvonne Craig to turn to acting. Ms. Craig made her film debut in "Eighteen and Anxious." Chevie later became Ms. Craig’s agent and got her roles on the TV series "Perry Mason" and the film "The Young Land." Ms. Craig was best known as Batgirl on the 1960s TV series "Batman."
JOSEPH GOSS Died Aug. 5, 2005
Emmy-winning special effects artist Joseph Franklin Goss died; neither his age or cause of death was given. Mr. Goss shared an Emmy Award with Oscar winners John Dykstra and Robert Edlund for his work on the great sci-fi TV series "Battlestar Galactica." Mr. Goss did the mechanical special effects on the show. The I.A.T.S.E. Local 44 member also did the special effects on the feature film "The Concorde: Airport ’79."
MIKEL GARMENDIA Died Aug. 5, 2005
Basque actor Mikel Garmendia died at age 60 after a lengthy illness. Mr. Garmendia appeared in a number of films in Spain, but he was best known for his work in Basque language soap operas including "Goenkale," which is now in its 10th season on the air. Mr. Garmendia was honored this past June by his fellow Basque actors with the Abrazo Award for his body of work.
ANGELINA ESTRADA Died Aug. 5, 2005
Actress Angelina Estrada died at age 73. She was best known for her small role in the romantic comedy "Ghost." She played séance attendee Rosa Santiago in a funny scene with Whoopie Goldberg. She also had a supporting role in "Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke." Among Ms. Estrada’s many other credits are "Carbon Copy," "The Jigsaw Murders," "Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare," "Chico and the Man" and "Dream On." Ms. Estrada was the mother of former Bad Religion drummer Bobby Schayer.
LYLE MURPHY Died Aug. 5, 2005
Composer/arranger Lyle ‘Spud’ Murphy died of complications from surgery at age 96. Mr. Murphy was the man who took the old children’s song "Three Blind Mice" and arranged it as the theme song for The Three Stooges. Mr. Murphy’s films credits as either composer/orchestrator or arranger include "Glamour Girl," "Cigarette Girl," "Ever Since Venus" and "You Were Never Lovelier." He contributed music to over 50 films during his career.
JANE LAWRENCE Died Aug. 5, 2005
Actress Jane Lawrence died at age 90. Ms. Lawrence was the widow of sculptor Tony Smith, a close friend of painter Jackson Pollock. Ms. Lawrence was the subject of Mr. Pollock’s painting "No. 7." Ms. Lawrence appeared on Broadway in such hits as "Oklahoma!" and "Where’s Charley?" Playwright Tennessee Williams was best man at the marriage of Ms. Lawrence and Mr. Smith. Ms. Lawrence’s family stated that she was one of the inspirations for Mr. Williams’s character Blanch DuBois! Ms. Lawrence appeared in several films including "Sailor’s Holiday." She was the mother of artists Kiki and Seaton Smith.
PETER ROSS WILSON Died Aug. 6, 2005
Producer/writer Peter Wilson died at age 60. He was the son of Grammy-winning composer Stanley Wilson.
ILSE WERNER Died Aug. 7, 2005
German actress Ilse Werner died of pneumonia at age 84. Ms Werner began her career at UFA studios. She was at the height of her popularity during WWII. She also participated in Nazi propaganda films such as "U-Boats Westward." This caused her problems when she moved to the US and married an American journalist. She was unable to make US films, though she continued to make German films. Among her many film credits was the 1943 version of "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen." Her career slowed down in the 1950s, but she continued to work sporadically in TV and film until 2000. One of her last films was the romantic comedy "Everything Because of Robert DeNiro."
PETER JENNINGS Died Aug. 7, 2005
Former ABC anchor man Peter Jennings died of lung cancer at age 67. Mr. Jennings announced his retirement four months ago citing his lung cancer as the reason. I didn’t always agree with Mr. Jennings's politics, but he was an intelligent responsible newsman. He first anchored "The ABC Evening News" in 1965. His tenure at the desk was short-lived and Peter Jennings matured and grew as a newsman as a field reporter and foreign correspondent. Mr. Jennings returned as anchor following the death of Frank Reynolds in 1983. A high school dropout, Peter Jennings was the son of Charles Jennings, the first news anchor of the Canadian Broadcast Corporation. Peter Jennings appeared in numerous documentaries including "One Day in September" about the Munich Olympic massacre of the Israeli Olympic team.
Li-li Li Died Aug. 7, 2005
Chinese actress and professor Li-li Li died at age 80. Ms. Li was the daughter of actor parents. She became one of the biggest stars in China prior to WWII. During the Japanese occupation, Ms. Li made anti-Japanese films in Hong Kong. Following WWII, Ms. Li traveled to the US and went to college. Upon her return to China, she found herself ostracized by the new Communist government. Though she was not allowed to act anymore, she was given a position at the Beijing Film Academy.
SVEN METHLING Died Aug. 7, 2005
Award-winning Danish writer/director Sven Methling died at age 86. Mr. Methling won two Best Picture Bodil Awards for the films "There Comes a Day" (1955) and "Vi er Allesammen Tossede" (1959). The Bodil Award is Denmark’s highest film honor. Mr. Methling directed mainly comedies. He made over 40 films during his lengthy career. He was best known in his native land for the "Soldaterkammerater" (The Soldier Friends) film series. Mr. Methling directed five popular films in the series about a group of Army buddies who do what they can to survive the grind of military life. Mr. Methling directed the late actor Axel Strobye (see last month’s column) in the sex comedy "1001 Danish Delights." Toward the end of his career, Mr. Methling directed "The Crumbs," a film series of family comedies.
BARBARA BEL GEDDES Died Aug. 8, 2005
Oscar and Tony-nominated actress Barbara Bel Geddes died of lung cancer at age 82. Ms. Bel Geddes was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for George Steven’s 1948 film "I Remember Mama." However, Ms. Bel Geddes was probably better known for her Emmy-winning performance as Miss Ellie Ewing on the mega-hit TV series "Dallas." She was nominated for three Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards for the role, winning an Emmy 1980 and a Golden Globe in 1982. Ms. Bel Geddes played Miss Ellie for twelve of the show’s thirteen-year run. Actress Donna Reed took over the role for the 1984-85 season because of Ms. Bel Geddes’s health problems. Her film roles were few, but memorable. She played Jimmy Stewart’s hapless girlfriend in Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece "Vertigo." She also worked with Hitchcock on his TV show, starring in one of the most famous episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents." In the "Lamb to the Slaughter" episode, Ms. Bel Geddes plays a woman who kills her husband with a frozen leg of lamb, and then cooks the murder weapon and serves it to the police investigating the death! Ms. Bel Geddes also worked with director Elia Kazan, playing Richard Widmark’s wife in the thriller "Panic in the Streets." A personal favorite of mine is Henry Hathaway’s "Fourteen Hours." Ms. Bel Geddes was part of the great ensemble cast. Ms. Bel Geddes was raised in a theater family and the stage was her first love. She had a long and successful Broadway career. Ms. Bel Geddes was nominated for two Tony Awards for her work in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Mary, Mary."
MARY AMADEO INGERSOL Died Aug. 8, 2005
Former news anchor turned actress Mary Amadeo Ingersol died of breast cancer at age 52. Ms. Ingersol worked for KTTV in Los Angeles during the early 1980s. She then turned to acting. Ms. Ingersol’s credits include "Alien Nation: The Udara Legacy," "Alien Nation: The Enemy Within" and "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.
PAUL LE PERSON Died Aug. 8, 2005
French actor Paul le Person died at age 74. The prolific character actor appeared in over 120 films and TV shows. He began his career playing likable characters before transforming himself into a memorable heavy. Among his many credits are "The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe," "The Wings of the Dove," "The Return of the Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe," "Le Train" and "A Man and a Woman."
TIMOTHY GRUVER Died Aug. 9, 2005
Film festival founder and former Dreamworks animator Timothy Gruver died at age 33 after suffering a grand mal seizure. Mr. Gruver was the founder of the Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita, Kansas. Mr. Gruver was also the co-founder of the Wild Indians Entertainment Group. He produced the award-winning short film "The Moment After." He wrote and produced the documentary film "Absolutely Everybody" and directed the short film "The Open Window." Mr. Gruver worked at Dreamworks on the films "The Prince of Egypt," "El Dorado" and "Shrek." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
DORRIS BOWDEN Died Aug. 9, 2005
Actress Dorris Bowden died of heart failure and strokes at age 90. Ms. Bowden was the widow of Oscar-nominated screenwriter Nunnally Johnson. She was also the grandmother of actor Jack Johnson who played Will Robinson in the feature film version of "Lost in Space." Ms. Bowden was best known for her performance as Rose-of-Sharon in John Ford’s classic film "The Grapes of Wrath." Ms. Bowden is pictured on the far left of the photo with Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell in a still from the 20th Century Fox Oscar winner. Ms. Bowden also work with director Ford in "Young Mr. Lincoln" and "Drums Along the Mohawk." Ms. Bowden’s husband wrote the script for "The Grapes of Wrath" just as he wrote the script for Ms. Bowden’s final screen appearance: "The Moon is Down." Both films were based on novels by John Steinbeck.
JUDITH ROSSNER Died Aug. 9, 2005
Writer Judith Rossner died of complications from diabetes and leukemia at age 70. Ms. Rossner authored 10 novels during her lifetime. Her best known work was a pop-culture sensation during the 1970s. "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" came out in the days before AIDS. It was pre-Herpes time. The sexual revolution was still in full swing. Ms. Rossner based her novel on a real-life story of a New York school teacher who cruised the single’s bars and ended up murdered. The book’s heroine Theresa is one of the best-developed women characters in any novel from that era. Diane Keaton delivered a great performance as the doomed and lonely teacher in the 1977 Richard Brooks film adaptation of the novel. Tuesday Weld earned an Oscar nomination as Ms. Keaton’s hot sister. Richard Gere received his first real critical praise as the dangerous lover that Theresa can’t resist. Tom Berringer has a nice against-type cameo as the one guy Theresa should have said "No" to. Ms. Rossner had a gift for cutting to the heart of her characters. I enjoyed her work and only wish she had written more.
MATTHEW MCGRORY Died Aug. 9, 2005
7 foot 6 inch actor Matthew McGrory died of natural causes at age 32. Howard Stern fans knew of Mr. McGrory long before he became known to movie goers. Billed as Bigfoot, Mr. McGrory was a regular guest on The Howard Stern Radio Show for a number of years. Mr. McGrory was just one of the many wonderful things in Tim Burton’s "Big Fish." He played Karl the Giant in Burton’s ode to fatherhood. His scenes with Ewan McGregor (pictured together at right) are warm and charming. I find it hard to watch "Big Fish" and not cry because I can’t pick up a phone to call my Dad. Mr. McGrory is also familiar to horror movie fans. Rob Zombie cast McGrory in his schlock horror films "House of a 1000 Corpses" and the sequel "The Devil’s Rejects." Other genre films include "Men in Black II" and "The Dead Hate the Living!" At the time of his death, Mr. McGrory was working with director Drew Sky on a biopic about professional wrestler Andre the Giant. The two had previously worked together on the cult comedy "Planet of the Pitts." The Pitss in the title are a number of Brad Pitts! Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
KAY TREMBLAY Died Aug. 9, 2005
Award-winning actress Kay Tremblay died at age 91. She adopted Canada as her homeland in the 1950s. Ms. Tremblay was best known for her role as Aunt Eliza on the TV series "Road to Avonlea." The series ran from 1989 until 1996. She won a Gemini Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series during the final season of "Road to Avonlea." She was nominated for Best Guest Performance in a Series by an Actor or Actress Gemini for the 1965 TV series "Night Heat." The Gemini is Canada’s highest film and TV award. Ms. Tremblay was also a well-known stage actress in Canada. Her other film and TV credits include "Stephen King’s Storm of the Century," "Who is Cleatus Tout?," "National Lampoon’s Senior Trip," "Oh! Heavenly Dog" and Veronica Lake’s final film "Flesh Feast."
SALLY ANN KELSO Died Aug. 9, 2005
Former actress Sally Ann Kelso died of cancer and pulmonary disease at age 58. Ms. Kelso acted under the name Sally Ann Richard. She appeared in Boris Sagal’s Made for TV movie "The Movie Murderer." The movie marked Tom Selleck’s film debut. Warren Oates starred as a psycho arsonist. Ms. Kelso had a bit part as a hippie chick named Beaver. He best line of dialogue was "Don’t hurt me, man. I’m a dropout!" Ms. Kelso also bit parts in the TV shows "I Dream of Jeannie" and "The Courtship of Eddie’s Father." She was the wife of newspaper columnist/humorist John Kelso. Mr. and Mrs. Kelso were extras in new version of "The Alamo."
JOHN BRYSON Died Aug. 10, 2005
Respected photojournalist John Bryson died of complications from heart disease at age 81. Mr. Bryson was one of the top photographers for "Life" magazine. He captured images of the powerful and the famous. He published the book "The Private Life of Katherine Hepburn" which featured many of his great pictures. Mr. Bryson was a friend of director Sam Peckinpah. He appeared in three of his films: "The Getaway," "Convoy" and "The Osterman Weekend." In "The Getaway," Peckinpah’s biggest box-office hit, Mr. Bryson played the brother of corrupt politician Ben Johnson. Fans of the movie will remember his spectacular death scene in which Steve McQueen severs the cables of an elevator with his shotgun. The elevator carrying Bryson’s character drops him to a bumpy demise. Mr. Bryson had less prominent roles in Peckinpah’s "The Osterman Weekend" and "Convoy." Mr. Bryson appeared as himself on the racing film "Grand Prix."
ZACHARY WESTON Died Aug. 10, 2005
Yet another young person who may have made major contributions to the industry has died before their talent was fully realized. 22 year-old film student/actor Zachary Weston disappeared while hiking on Mt. Rainier. He is presumed dead. Mr. Weston was a senior at MIT where he had a double major of filmmaking and aerospace engineering! We really could have used a true rocket scientist in Hollywood. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends on this tragic loss.
JAMES BOOTH Died Aug. 11, 2005
I love the anti-hero in film. The guy who thumbs his nose at authority, but also proves himself worthy of our admiration and respect. Paul Newman’s Luke in "Cool Hand Luke" is the best example I can think of to illustrate this kind of character. Another that comes to mind is the true-life character Pvt. Henry ‘Hookie’ Hook from Cy Enfield’s classic war film "Zulu." Actor James Booth played the role of his film career in the 1964 film. Booth’s Hookie was a malingering soldier who bucked his superiors and did what he could to stay in hospital. But when push came to shove for the British soldiers defending the mission station at Rorke’s Drift against thousands of Zulu warriors in January 1878, Pvt. Hook fought of dozens of the enemy and saved the lives of several of his fellow soldiers. The real Pvt. Hook was awarded the Victoria Cross for his heroism. James Booth brought this colorful character to brilliant life in one of my personal favorite films. I especially love the scene where, after a lengthy and harrowing battle, Booth breaks the glass of a medical supply cabinet, takes out some medicinal brandy and downs a slug. The look on Booth’s face is priceless. He was cool, even under fire. Actor/screenwriter James Booth died at age 77. James Booth enjoyed success on both sides of the Atlantic. Auteur director David Lynch cast Booth as Jane Greer’s ex-convict husband in his groundbreaking TV series "Twin Peaks." Mr. Booth played a supporting role in the excellent 1973 Rock and Roll drama "That’ll Be the Day." He played the father of David Essex’s character in the film. Though Mr. Booth did not appear in the 1974 sequel "Stardust," both films are very much worth watching. Mr. Booth appeared in nearly 80 films and TV shows. Among his credits are "The Secret of My Success," "Robbery," "Rentadick," "The Bliss of Miss Blossom," "Adam’s Woman," "Macho Callahan," "Brannigan," "Darker Than Amber" and "Airport 77." Mr. Booth was also a screenwriter. His writing credits include the Farrah Fawcett thriller "Sunburn." In addition to his celluloid career, Mr. Booth had a respected stage career. Mr. Booth served his country in the British Army, mustering out with the rank of Captain.
CARL HARMS Died Aug. 11, 2005
Puppeteer and actor Carl Harms died at age 94 after a brief illness. Mr. Harms appeared on such TV shows as "Johnny Jupiter," "Howdy Doody," "The Tempest," "Your Show of Shows" and "The Ed Sullivan Show." He provided the voice of Pooh's pal Tigger in an episode of "Shirley Temple’s Storybook." Mr. harms was a Shakespearean actor who also appeared on Broadway. NASA used Mr. Harms talents as a puppeteer to act out the Gemini spacewalks and the Apollo Moon Landings for viewers. Mr. Harms was on the Board of Directors of the union Actor’s Equity. He was a member of Equity for nearly 60 years! Although Mr. Harms was a conscientious objector during WWII, he still served his country in the Merchant Marines providing support during D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge.
TERUO ISHII Died Aug. 12, 2005
Japanese writer/director Teruo Ishii died of lung cancer at age 81. He began working at Toho Studio as an assistant cameraman and assistant director in the late 1940s. He helmed his first film in 1957. Mr. Ishii directed films in several popular series during his career. He directed three feature films and seven TV episodes in the "Super Giant" series. "Super Giant" was a Japanese hero from space ALA "Superman." Mr. Ishii’s most famous film series was the "Abashiri Prison" films. He directed eighteen films in the series for Toei Company. In fact, Mr. Ishii did most of his 90+ films for Toei on a free-lance basis. The "Abashiri Prison" films starred Japanese superstar Ken Takakura. Mr. Ishii also directed several of the "Gyangu" detective films. During the late 1960s Mr. Ishii directed a number of S/M films, or the ‘abnormal love’ series which have a cult following around the world. Among his many other film credits is the final installment in the popular "Streetfighter" series starring Sonny Chiba. "The Streetfighter’s Last Revenge" was my favorite of the three sequels.
ARMAND DEUTSCH Died Aug. 13, 2005
In the four years I’ve written this column I’ve occasionally come across tales of tragedy in which a young person was murdered before their potential as an actor, actress, writer or director has really been fulfilled. In at lease one obituary I’ve posed the question "What would have happened if this person had not been murdered?" What contributions might they have made? In some ways, the life of Armand Deutsch answers that question. In 1924, Mr. Deutsch was an eleven-year-old boy. He came from a prominent Chicago family. He almost became the victim of one of the most infamous murders of the 20th Century. Mr. Deutsch was the intended victim of thrill killers Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. The twisted, rich lovers felt they were the Supermen of Nietzsche’s philosophy. They believed the only sin they were capable of making was to make a mistake. If not for an opportune dentist appointment, Armand Deutsh would have followed his usual routine and walked home from school. Instead, he was picked up and driven to the dentist and avoided the fate that befell another. History records that 14-year-old Bobby Franks, a distant relative of Loeb’s was brutally murdered by the morally bankrupt supermen. Only the legal oratory of Clarence Darrow saved the pair from the death penalty. Darrow got stiffed on his fees! Loeb was sliced to death with a razor blade by fellow inmate James Day. In January of 1936 Richard Loeb attempted to rape James Day in the shower at Joliet prison. Day sliced him 56 times with a razor in order to repulse the attack. Nathan Leopold was paroled to Puerto Rico in 1958 and died of heart failure in 1971. So much for the killers. What about the intended victim? How did he turn out?
Armand Deutsch died at age 92, 81 years more than Leopold and Loeb would have allowed. 81 years more than Bobby Franks was allowed. Armand Deutsch was a patron of the arts in Los Angeles for many years. He was the president of the board of directors of the Center Theater Group. Mr. Deutsch was appointed by his good friend Ronald Reagan to the Presidential Task Force on the Arts and Humanities. He produced the Broadway plays "The World of Carl Sandberg" and "The Wooden Dish." Mr. Deutsch was a movie producer for MGM during the 1940s and 50s. He produced one of my favorite old Westerns "Carbine Williams," which starred Jimmy Stewart. He also produced the Stewart Granger/Grace Kelly adventure film "Green Fire." Other credits include Robert Taylor Western "Ambush," "The Magnificent Yankee," The Jane Wyman/Van Johnson comedy "Three Guys named Mike," the over-looked thriller "Slander" and "Saddle in the Wind" with John Cassavetes in an early starring role. Mr. Deutsch served his country in the US Navy during WWII. You can read more about Mr. Deutsch in his great autobiography "Bogie and Me : Friends and Acquaintances from a Life in Hollywood and Beyond" co-authored by Sidney Sheldon. Mr. Deutsch is pictured with his wife Ardie.
ALLEN WAYNE DAMRON Died Aug. 13, 2005
Austin folk singer/poet and club owner Allen Wayne Damron died of pneumonia at age 66. Mr. Damron was one of the musical artists who put Austin on the map. Though he was not as famous outside Texas, Mr. Damron’s influence helped gain worldwide attention to the Austin music scene. He co-founded the Chequered Flag Club, which was one of the pioneer spots for the modern appreciation of Texas music. Mr. Damron was a history buff and re-enactor. He appeared in the IMAX film "Alamo, The Price of Freedom." Other credits include the Dennis Quaid version of "DOA," "Two for Texas," "Michner’s Texas" and "Save the Dog."
RAY GOSNELL Died Aug. 14, 2005
DGA-award-winning-assistant-director turned studio exec turned agent Ray Gosnell Jr. died of lung cancer at age 81. Mr. Gosnell shared the DGA Award for his work as First Assistant Director on George Roy Hill’s Best Picture Oscar winner "The Sting." Mr. Gosnell was an AD for many of the top directors of the 60s and 70s. He worked with George Roy Hill not only on "The Sting" but also "Slaughterhouse-Five," "The Great Waldo Pepper" and "Hawaii." He was John Huston’s AD on the biopic "Freud." Peter Bogdanovich enlisted his help on the great comedies "Paper Moon" and "What’s Up Doc?" Other memorable films which benefited from Mr. Gosnell’s assistance are the original version of "Ocean’s Eleven," the original version of "Cape Fear," "Cat Ballou," "Lover Come Back" and "Pork Chop Hill." Mr. Gosnell also served as a production manager on Billy Wilder’s "Kiss Me Stupid." During the 1970s Mr. Gosnell was an executive VP in production management at Fox. Mr. Gosnell ended his career as one of the partners in the Smith Gosnell Nicholson & Associates Agency. He represented many behind the scenes talent crafts such as cinematographers and editors.
ALAN SCHECHTER Died Aug. 14, 2005
Producer Alan Schechter committed suicide by self-inflicted gunshot at age 40. Mr. Schechter was a one-time assistant to producer Joel Silver. He had worked his way up in the business from a production assistant with Cannon Films, to various other positions with organizations such as Vestron, ICM, Orion Pictures and Silver Pictures. Mr. Schechter was a native of Cleveland, Ohio and based four Hollywood productions in his home town. Mr. Schechter was known for his action films. His film credits as producer include "Showdown," "Double Dragon," "Renegade Force" which he also wrote, "Made Men" and "Proximity." During his tenure with Joel Silver Mr. Schechter worked on such films as "Predator 2" "Die Hard 2," "Lethal Weapon 3," "The Last Boy Scout," "Executive Decision" and "Lethal Weapon 4." He was a producer of and a panelist on the NBC TV series "Next Action Star." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
JAMES DOUGHERTY Died Aug. 15, 2005
James Dougherty, the first husband of Norma Jean Baker died of leukemia at age 84. Mr. Dougherty married the future Marilyn Monroe just after she turned 16 years old. The pair were married from 1942 until 1946. Mr. Dougherty was sent overseas during WWII and Norma Jean was discovered by a photographer. Dougherty stated that when Norma Jean signed her contract with 20th Century Fox, the agreement required her to remain single so she filed divorce papers. Mr. Dougherty is the second husband of Marilyn Monroe’s to die this year. Playwright Arthur Miller died in February. Mr. Dougherty is the third husband of Ms. Monroe’s to die this year if you believe the claims of movie director Robert Slatzer. Mr. Slatzer died in March of this year and maintained that he and Monroe were briefly married. James Dougherty appeared on the TV show "To Tell the Truth" as the mystery panelist. The shows stars had to question Dougherty and two others to see who was the real first husband of Marilyn Monroe. Mr. Dougherty appeared as himself in the documentaries "Marilyn’s Men," "We Remember Marilyn" and "The Many Loves of Marilyn Monroe: The E! True Hollywood Story."
HERTA WARE Died Aug. 15, 2005
Actress and activist Herta Ware died at age 88. Ms Ware was once married to actor Will Geer of "The Waltons" fame. Ms. Ware and Will Geer were involved in the labor movement during the 1930s and 40s. As a result of their involvement with procommunist organizations, Mr. Geer was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. Ms. Ware acted on stage, screen and TV. Her best known movie role was as Jack Gilford’s wife in Ron Howard’s "Cocoon." Among her many film credits are "2010," "Promised Land," "Slam Dance," "Soap Dish," "Species," the TV series "The Golden Girls," "Top Dog" and "Cruel Intentions." Ms. Ware also played Yvette Gessard Picard, mother of Jean-Luc Picard, in the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode "Where No One Has Gone Before."
EVA RENZI Died Aug. 16, 2005
German actress Eva Renzi died of cancer at age 60. Ms. Renzi was well known to horror movie fans for her strong supporting role in Dario Argento’s first important film "The Bird With the Crystal Plumage." Tony Musante starred in Argento’s Giallo film, a movie which showed the seeds of promise that would later come to fruition in such films as "Suspiria" and "Profundo Rosso." Ms. Renzi played the owner of an art gallery who survives an attack in the beginning of the film. To tell more about her character would ruin the film for first time viewers. Eva Renzi was once married to Swiss actor Paul Hubschmid, star of Ray Harryhausen’s "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms." The pair appeared in five films together including the Michael Caine thriller "Funeral in Berlin." Ms. Renzi and Mr. Hubschmid were the parents of actress/model Anouschka Renzi. Following her divorce from Hubschmid, Ms. Renzi took her daughter to India to study with Bagwhan sect. She became a harsh opponent of the leaders of the sect after she left among claims of drug trafficing and brutal tactics. Ms. Finally found success in her native land as a TV star during the 1980s.
TONINO DELLO COLLI Died Aug. 16, 2005
Award-winning cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli died in his sleep at age 82. Mr. Colli captured some of the most beautiful images ever for many of the best directors of the last century. His work was recognized by many organizations with honors and awards. His recognition came from the Golden Globes (Lifetime Achievement Awards), the BAFTAs (1 nomination), the American Society of Cinematographers (International award), Brothers Manaki International Film Festival (Lifetime achievement awards), the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists (6 Silver Ribbon Awards) and Italy’s highest film award the David di Donatello Awards ( 4 David Awards).
Mr. Colli started in the film industry while still a teenager. He was hired as a camera assistant at Rome’s famous Cinecitta Studio at age 16. Mr. Colli lensed nearly 150 films during his lengthy career. Directors such as Federico Fellini, Sergio Leone, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Louis Malle trusted the astute cinematographer with their vision. Mr. Colli shot twelve films for Pasolini including "The Gospel According to St. Matthew," "The Decameron" and "Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom." He worked with Italian master Federico Fellini on four films including "Fred and Ginger" and "Spirits of the Dead." He shot the Oscar nominated "Lacombe Lucien" for Louis Malle." Mr. Colli shot the fantasy "The Wonders of Aladdin" for horror film master Mario Bava.
Sergio Leone was one of my all-time favorite directors. His visual style has never been matched by hoards of imitators. Mr. Colli photographer Leone’s best work: the masterpieces "Once Upon a Time in the West" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" as well as Leone’s swan-song film "Once Upon a Time in America." In 2003, Paramount released an amazing 2-Disk DVD of "Once Upon a Time in the West." Mr. Colli appears in the documentaries "An Opera of Violence" and "The Wages of Sin," in which he reminisces about working with Leone to capture the film’s stunning visuals.
Other credits include Oscar-winner "Life is Beautiful," "Death and the Maiden," "The Name of the Rose," Lina Wertmuller’s "Blood Feud" and "Seven Beauties" and one of my guilty pleasures "Situation Normal: All Fouled Up."
VASSAR CLEMENTS Died Aug. 16, 2005
Virtuoso violinists Vasser Clements died of lung cancer with his daughter at his side at age 77. Vasser Clements was considered one of the greatest fiddlers in history. He was nominated for five Grammy Awards during his career. His influence was felt far beyond the worlds of Bluegrass and Country music. In the early 70s, Mr. Clements was enlisted by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to record the album "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." That album lead to Mr. Clements discovery by numerous rock and pop artists. A wider audience soon discovered what Bluegrass and country fans already knew, that man can play! Director Robert Altman cast Vasser Clements to play himself in his masterpiece, Oscar-nominated film "Nashville." The two men worked together once more when Mr. Clements music was used in the Altman produced film "Welcome to L.A."
JOE RANFT Died Aug. 16, 2005
Oscar-and-Emmy-nominated writer and award-winning storyboard supervisor Jope Ranft was killed, along with another person when the driver of the car he was riding in lost control and went of the Pacific Coast Highway and plunged 130 feet to the sea. Mr. Rantf was 45 years old. He was nominated for a Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Oscar for co-writing the Pixar hit "Toy Story." Mr. Ranft shared an Emmy nomination for "The Brave Little Toaster." His peers in the Animation Guild with an Annie Award for his storyboards "Toy Story 2" as well as a nomination for co-writing "A Bug’s Life." Joe Rantf was a legend in the animation world. He worked for Disney and Pixar. Mr. Ranft was the Pixar’s story department for more than a decade. His writing credits include "Oliver & Company," "The Rescuers Down Under," "Beauty and the Beast," "The Lion King," "Toy Story," "A Bug’s Life" and "Fantasia 2000." On the animation side of the aisle, Mr. Ranft’s credits include "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?," "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "James and the Giant Peach" and "Monsters, Inc." If that were not enough, Joe Ranft was also a voice actor. He provided the voice of Heimlich in "A Bug’s Life." Other voice credits include "Finding Nemo," "The Brave Little Toaster," "Toy Story" and "The Incredibles."
STANLEY DESANTIS Died Aug. 16, 2005
Character actor Stanley DeSantis died of a heart attack at age 52. Mr. DeSantis appeared in a number of popular films and TV shows during a career that began in the 1970s. In addition to his acting career, Mr. DeSantis was a successful T-Shirt designer. Holding licenses to pop-culture Icons, Mr. DeSantis designed such famous shorts as the "Surrender Dorothy" T-Shirt that gained popularity during the 1970s. Mr. DeSantis played seceral movie producers during his career. He appeared as MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer in Martin Scorsese’s "The Aviator." In Tim Burton’s "Ed Wood," Mr. DeSantis played the producer that Johnny Depp tried to get to release his transvestite classic "Glen or Glenda." Mr. DeSantis once again played a movie producer in the current HBO TV series "Entourage." Mr. DeSantis’s many credits include "I Am Sam," "Boogie Nights," "Rush Hour," "Bulworth," "Candyman," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Six Feet Under" and the TV series version of "The Paper Chase."
PETER GERRETSEN Died Aug. 16, 2005
Christian filmmaker and Pro-Life activist Peter Gerretsen died of lung cancer at age 65. Mr. Gerretsen also taught filmmaking at Ryerson University in Canada. Mr. Gerretson wrote and produced both feature films, Made for TV movies and films in support of his Pro-Life activities. His film "Apocalypse" dealt with one interpretation of the Great Tribulation foretold in the book of Revelations. He also wrote and directed the 1987 TV movie "The Kidnapping of Baby Jane Doe." That same year he wrote and directed "Night Friend" about a Priest’s attempt to get a teenage prostitute off the street. Mr. Gerretsen worked from his adopted country of Canada. His work was recognized with two Canadian Genie Award nominations.
JAY JACKSON Died Aug. 16, 2005
TV host Jay Jackson died at age 86. Mr. Jackson was an announcer and host of several shows during the early days of network TV. Mr. Jackson hosted such game shows as "Twenty Questions" and "Tic Tac Dough." He played himself in a classic episode of "The Honeymooners" (pictured at right) in which Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden was competing on a game show. Mr. Jackson narrated a number of documentaries including "Laurel and Hardy’s Laughing 20s" and "The Further Perils of Laurel and Hardy."
MEREDITH NICHOLSON Died Aug. 18, 2005
Emmy-nominated cinematographer Meredith Nicholson died at age 92. Mr. Nicholson was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the hit TV series "The Fugitive." During the 1960s and 70s he shot such TV shows as "My Three Sons," "Batman," "Get Smart," "Twelve O’clock High," "The Invaders," "M*A*S*H," "Mork and Mindy" and "Get Christie Love." Horror fans may recognizes several B-movies Mr. Nicholson lensed during the 1950s including "She Demons," "The Amazing Transparent Man" and "Frankenstein’s Daughter." Mr. Nicholson was one of the founders of Panavision. Mr. Nicholson served in the military during WWII.
MEL WELLES Died Aug. 18, 2005
Actor/writer/director/producer Mel Welles died of a heart attack. Mr. Welles played flower shop owner Gravis Mushnik in Roger Corman’s cult classic "Little Shop of Horrors." He appeared in nearly 80 films and TV shows during his career. In the 1960s, Mr. Welles moved to Europe and began directing and producing films. Mr. Welles worked with legendary horror film director Michael Reeves in the 1966 film "Sister of Satan." He played a voyeuristic inn-keeper. Reeves directed four horror classics before dying of an overdose of drugs and alcohol at age 25. Mr. Welles appeared in a number of memorable and infamous films such as "The Silver Chalice," "Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy," "Attack of the Crab Monsters," "The Brothers Karamazov," "High School Confidential!," "Hemmingway’s Adventures as a Young Man," "Wolfen" and "The Last American Virgin." Mr. Welles wrote and directed such films as "Baby Dolls," "Daughter of Frankenstein" and "The Bloodsuckers."
HAL FRANK Died Aug. 18, 2005
Michael Mann’s "Thief" is one of the best crime movies ever made. It is one of the movies I always recommend to folks looking for an overlooked gem. James Caan delivers the performance of his career as a lone-wolf thief who is pulled into the orbit of a local Chicago crime boss played by Robert Prosky who wants Caan to work for him. The movie starts out with an amazing and detailed heist accented by the blazing score by Tangerine Dream. Once Caan has the diamonds he turns them over to his fence, a character named Joe Gags. Gags is murdered and the loot stolen. This is the beginning of Caan’s collision course Prosky. In the small but memorable role of Joe Gags was Chicago actor Hal Frank. Actor/singer Hal Frank died at age 68. Mr. Frank made his film debut in the cult favorite "Somewhere in Time." He also appeared in the Disney film "Class." Mr. Frank was a sci-fi fan and was a member of the sci-fi fan group The Dorsai Irregulars. The Dorsai Irregulars provide security at a number of sci-fi conventions. He was also an accomplished singer who sang with the Chicago Sacred Harp Singers.
DALE CUMMINGS Died Aug. 19, 2005
Actor Dale Cummings died at age 72. Mr. Cummings served his country as a Navy SEAL during the Korean War. His military background paid off in Hollywood as Mr. Cummings appeared in a number of War movies and TV shows. His many credits include "The Enemy Below," "Operation Petticoat," "Navy Log," "Battle of the Damned" and "The Rangers." Other credits include "Have Gun, Will Travel," "Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell," "Samurai Cop" and "L.A.Law."
ARTHUR TOOKOYAN Died Aug. 19, 2005
Actor Arthur Tookoyan died at age 82. Mr. Tookoyan was an actor and singer who performed primarily on Broadway, but he did have parts in a few films. His Broadway credits include "Peter Pan," "The Happiest Girl in the World," "The Sound of Music," "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" and "Milk and Honey." He played a pirate in the Mary Martin TV version of "Peter Pan." He had small parts in Cecil B. Demille’s "The Ten Commandments" and Vincent Minelli’s "Kismet." Mr. Tookoyan served his country in the US Navy.
STEVEN BLAND Died Aug. 21, 2005
Rodeo champion and part-time actor/wrangler Steven "Dooky" Bland died at age 48 after a sudden illness. Mr. Bland began winning awards for his rodeo work while still in high school. He continued to compete in college and then turned pro. Mr. Bland worked as a wrangler and actor in a number of films. His credits include "American Outlaw," "The Alamo," "Dancer, Tex. Pop. 81," "Blood Trail," "Secondhand Lions," "All the Pretty Horses," "The Postman" and "The Good Old Boys" among others.
ROBERT MOOG Died Aug. 21, 2005
Robert Moog died of brain cancer at age 71. Mr. Moog was the inventor of the Moog Synthesizer. His invention revolutionized electronic music. Mr. Moog was the subject of the 2004 documentary "Moog." He also appeared in the documentaries "Modulations" and "Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey." Mr. Moog’s instrument has been used by countless musicians on countless movie and TV soundtracks. Like many people my age, I first became aware of Mr. Moog’s instrument with the release of Wendy Carlos’s album "Switched on Bach." Carlos was one Mr. Moog’s first clients. She is probably the world’s foremost electronic synthesizer musician. Ms. Carlos used the Moog Synthesizer to compose soundtracks for Stanley Kubrick’s "A Clockwork Orange" and "The Shining" as well as the Disney sci-fi film "Tron."
Ms. Carlos was kind enough to share some of her memories of her early days with Mr. Moog with me: "Bob Moog and I met at a mid-60's audio convention in NYC. I stumbled upon his exhibit at the hotel during a quiet afternoon (he was exhausted getting here, and was taking a nap, so accidentally I woke him). Very impressive to see his novel voltage controlled modules sitting on the table in a row. Bob introduced himself and generously answered all my impertinent questions.
We soon came to be good friends, and he seemed like a bright older brother. Bob was an engineer who spoke music; I was a musician who spoke science. He was rather shy, and certainly less of a chatterbox than me; but I found him also to be open, modest, witty, and devoid of dogma or axes to grind. It was an ideal collaboration.
Don't know how I'd have been able to begin my career in electroacoustic music without Bob's fine toolmaking skills. It was an idea whose time had come -- concepts which had been in the air for several decades were now about to be brought together properly for the first time. Today it seems inevitable. But then it felt completely undefined, new paths to explore, those of us lucky enough to have been there at that moment."
COLIN MCEWAN Died Aug. 21, 2005
Australian actor/comedian Colin McEwan died at age 64 after falling into a coma. Mr. McEwan was a familiar face on Australian TV for nearly 40 years. He was best known for his work on "The Naked Vicar Show." Mr. McEwan was also a frequent guest on the variety TV show "Melbourne Tonight." Mr. McEwan’s many TV credits include "Fran," "Day of the Roses," "The Boardroom," "Adventure Island" and "Hey You." He was also a regular on the popular 1970s detective series "Ryan."
HENRI GENES Died Aug. 22, 2005
French comedic actor/singer/cabaret star Henri Genes died at age 86. Mr. Genes enjoyed a 60 year career as a singer in Europe. He appeared in over 80 films during his career. Mr. Genes’s film credits include "A Woman of Evil," "The Brain," "The Animal," "The Miser" and "Waiter!"
SIX FEET UNDER Last Broadcast Aug. 22, 2005
Filmmaker Anthony C. Francis suggested I put this TV series in my column. After thinking about the suggestion I decided to go with it because of the HBO series’s subject matter. This isn’t the first time I’ve added an object as opposed to a person in the Hollywood Obituary column. Although I can’t see adding cancelled TV series in the future. In his letter Mr. Francis laid out the reasons for adding "Six Feet Under" to my column. He said it better than I could: It was a brilliant show about death and grieving. It spoke on how we as humans are afraid to grieve and fearful to accept the fact that death is inevitable. It was a powerful, groundbreaking, brilliant show that will never be equaled and always will be missed.
BROCK PETERS Died Aug. 23, 2005
Tony-nominated actor Brock Peters died of pancreatic cancer at age 78. Brock Peters left us with many memorable performances, but he is best known for his performance as Tom Robinson in "To Kill a Mockingbird." Mr. Peters delivered a stoic and noble performance as the poor Black man falsely accused and convicted of rape in Richard Mulligan’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic novel. I watched the movie with my father when I was 10-years-old. I remember the outrage I felt when the movie jury convicted Robinson and how tears welled in my eyes when the news came that Robinson was killed while ‘escaping.’ Sure it was just a movie, but when I saw it that first time the year was 1968. Dr. King had been murdered in my city that year. The powerful film brought insight to my young mind as to just how important it was to end the hatred of racism.
Brock Peters left us with much more that "To Kill a Mockingbird" though. He played goodguys and badguys. His work encompassed many genres from musicals to dramas to Sci-Fi to Westerns. Many Black actors of today owe a debt to people like Sidney Poitier and Brock Peters for breaking the Stephen Fetchit stereotypical acting styles forced on Black actors in generations past. Mr. Peters never played a character that could not be called A Man. Mr. Peters was nominated for a Tony Award for the play "Lost Among the Stars." The play was filmed in 1974 as part of the American Film Theater series. In 1991 the Screen Actor’s Guild honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Brock Peters played a suave, sophisticated crime lord in Sidney Lumet’s powerful "The Pawnbroker." Sam Peckinpah cast him as a Union soldier in his misfire "Major Dundee." Peters reteamed with "Major Dundee" star Charlton Heston in the great sci-fi thriller "Soylent Green." He made his film debut in the musical "Carmen Jones." Mr. Peters’s second film was also a musical: "Porgy and Bess." Mr. Peters was well-known to "Star Trek" fans. He had a recurring role in the TV series "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." Mr. Peters also played Admiral Cartwright in the films "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" and "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." Other credits include "The L-Shaped Room," "The Incident," "Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off," "Two-Minute Warning" and "Ghosts of Mississippi." Mr. Peters also produced the films "Five On the Black Hand Side" and the 1963 version of Ossie Davis's "Purlie Victorious" called "Gone Are the Days!"
GUO ZHENQING Died Aug. 24, 2005
Chinese actor Guo Zhenquin died at age 58. Mr. Zhenqing began his film career at age 25. He was well known in China for his debut film "Guerilla of the Plane." His film "Heroes in the Storm" dealt with the 1936 Long March.
RUTH HAMPTON Died Aug. 25, 2005
Beauty queen turned actress Ruth Hampton died at age 74. Ms. Hampton had a brief film career during the early and mid 1950s. Ms. Hampton made her film debut opposite Ronald Reagan in the Western "Law and Order." She also appeared in "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars," "The Glenn Miller Story" and "Ricochet Romance." After getting married, Ms. Hampton gave in to her husband’s wishes and retired. Though they divorced shortly afterwards, Ms. Hampton did not return to the screen.
TERRENCE MORGAN Died Aug. 25, 2005
British actor Terrence Morgan died at age 83. Mr. Morgan began his career on the stage. He was a member of the Old Vic Company. In the 1950s Mr. Morgan turned to film. After a series of films, he found his biggest success in title role of the TV series "Sir Francis Drake." He made his film debut in Laurence Olivier’s Oscar winner "Hamlet." Among Mr. Morgan’s film and TV credits are the Hammer horror film "Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb," "Mandy," "Svengali," "The Scamp" and "The Penthouse."
MAURICE BRENNER Died Aug. 25, 2005
Broadway and film actor Maurice Brenner died at age 80. Mr. Brenner appeared in several films and TV shows including "The Purple Rose of Cairo," "Lilith," "The Phil Silvers Show," "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "Car 54 Where are You?" Among Mr. Brenner’s many Broadway credits are "The Mad Woman of Chaillot," "Lunatics and Lovers" and "Two’s Company."
WILLIAM GLEASON Died Aug. 25, 2005
Actor William Gleason died at age 76. Mr. Gleason was known mainly as a stage actor. He enjoyed success on Broadway as well as the London stage. Mr. Gleason appeared in a few films. He had a walk on with Cary Grant in the comedy "That Touch of Mink." Mr. Gleason also appeared in "The Minx" and "Shakedown." Mr. Gleason was a regular for two years on the soap opera "The Edge of Night." He also appeared on "McCloud."
HERBERT WRIGHT Died Aug. 25, 2005
Emmy-nominated writer/producer/director Herbert Wright died of bone cancer at age 58. Mr. Wright shared an Emmy nomination with Ron and Rance Howard for producing the children’s TV show "Through the Magic Pyramid." Mr. Wright’s work was well known to horror and sci-fi fans. He was an associate producer on a number of episodes of Rod Serling’s great series "Night Gallery." Mr. Wright directed the TV series "War of the Worlds" as well as the sci-fi feature film "Mars and Beyond." His writing credits include many of the early episodes of "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Mr. Wright’s widow is actress Elaine Giftos who starred in Roger Corman’s "The Student Nurses."
PERRY LAFFERTY Died Aug. 25, 2005
Emmy-nominated producer and CBS and NBC exec Perry Lafferty died of prostate cancer at age 86. Mr. Lafferty was nominated for two Emmy awards for his work. He shared a nomination wit producer Art Seidel for outstanding Drama for the 1985 landmark AIDS drama "An Early Frost." He was also nominated for a Special Classification of Outstanding Program Achievement Emmy for co producing the "AFI Salute to Bette Davis." Mr. Lafferty was the CBS head of West Coast programming during CBS’s richest period of production, the early 1970s. Mr. Lafferty was responsible for putting "All in the Family," "The Waltons" and "M*A*S*H" on the air. He moved to NBC in 1979. Mr. Lafferty began his career in radio and turned to directing and producing shows during the early days of TV. He directed episodes of "The Twilight Zone," "Rawhide" and "Robert Montgomery Presents" among others. Mr. Lafferty produced the first two seasons of "The Danny Kaye Show," "Big Hawaii" and "Murder C.O.D." After retiring from TV, Mr. Lafferty became a novelist. Perry Lafferty served his country during WWII in US Army Air Corps.
FRED JOERGER Died Aug. 26, 2005
Fred Joerger, one of Walt Disney’s original Imagineers died at age 91. Mr. Joerger’s contributions to the Disney empire have been enjoyed by millions of visitors to the various Disney Theme parks. Mr. Joerger built the design models for most of the rides at the Disney theme parks. Mr. Disney also utilized Mr. Jeorger’s model making skills in the films "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and "Mary Poppins."
WOLFGANG BAUER Died Aug. 26, 2005
Austrian writer Wolfgang Bauer died of heart disease at age 64. Mr. Bauer’s works "The Young Unknowns," "Change" and "Der Liebesschuler" were all turned into films. Mr. Bauer acted in Werner Herzog’s "Kaspar Hauser: Every Man for Himself and God Against All."
LOUISE MONTANA Died Aug. 26, 2005
Rodeo rider/stunt woman Louise Montana has died. She was the widow of Western star Montie Montana. Mrs. Montana appeared uncredited in several films and TV shows including "How the West Was Won," "Cheyenne Autumn" and "The Man Who Shoot Liberty Valance." Ms. Montana was also a stuntwoman. She worked on the hit TV series "Bonanza." Her late husband acted in Westerns from the 1930s through the 1960s. He died in 1998.
RONN DAYTON Died Aug. 27, 2005
Actor Ronn Dayton died of complications following heart surgery at age 71. Mr. Dayton was Frankie Avalon’s double in a number of the Beach movies c-starring Annette Funicello. Mr. Dayton also appeared in several Biker flicks. His credits include "Devil’s Angels," "Hell’s Belles," "Bikini Beach," "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" and "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine."
RICHARD LORING Died Aug. 28, 2005
Composer Richard Loring died of cancer at age 86. Mr. Loring composed songs with Diane Lampert. The pair’s credits include "Operation Petticoat," the Russian film "The Snow Queen," Disney’s "Toby Tyler or Ten Weeks with a Circus" and the original version of "The House on Haunted Hill." Mr. Loring’s other credits include the TV series "The Rat Patrol," "Hold Back the Dawn" and "Hi, Good Lookin’!" Mr. Loring was very active in fund-raising for HIV/AIDS benefits.
WYOTT ORDUNG Died Aug. 28, 2005
Actor/writer/director Wyott Ordung died at age 83. Mr. Ordung was a collaborator with Roger Corman during the 1950s. He directed and starred in "The Monster From the Ocean Floor." Mr. Ordung also wrote and directed the crime drama "Walk the Dark Street." He wrote the notoriously bad sci-fi film "Robot Monster." Mr. Ordung was the assistant director on "Navy vs. the Night Monsters." His other writing credits include "Target Earth" and "First Man Into Space."
JACQUES DUFILHO Died Aug. 28, 2005
Award-winning French actor Jacques Dufilho died at age 91. Mr. Dufilho was nominated for three Best Supporting Actor Cesar Awards. He won twice for Claude Sautet’s "A Bad Son" and Pierre Schoendoerffer’s "Drummer-Crab." Mr. Dufilho appeared in over 170 films and TV shows during his career. Some of his film credits include Werner Herzog’s remake of "Nosferatu," the Oscar-winning "Black and White in Color," the chop-socky film "Supermen Against the Orient," the Golden Globe nominated comedy "Benjamin," "Lady L" with Paul Newman, "Marie Antoinette" and the Anthony Quinn version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
HANS CLARIN Died Aug. 28, 2005
Actor Hans Clarin died at age 75. Mr. Clarin was a popular TV and film actor in his native land. He was loved by children for his work in the TV series "Pumuckl" where he provided the voice of the redheaded cartoon character. Mr. Clarin was currently working on the animated ghost adventure "Hui Buh: The Castle Ghost." Mr. Clarin appeared in nearly 150 films and TV series during his 50-year career. Other credits include "The Haunted Castle," "Son of El Cid," "24 Hours to Kill," "Pippi Longstocking" and "Pippi Goes On Board."
MICKEY SCOTT Died Aug. 30, 2005
Makeup artist Mickey Scott died five days after his 76th birthday. Ms. Scott’s film credits include "Oh! Calcutta!," Dorothy Stratton’s final film "They All Laughed," "The Big Chill," "D.A.R.Y.L.," "Prizzi’s Honor," "The Believers," "Big" and "Mermaids."
MICHAEL SHEARD Died Aug. 31, 2005
Actor Michael Sheard died of cancer at age 65. "Star Wars" fans remember Mr. Sheard as Admiral Ozzel in "The Empire Strikes Back." Darth Vader used the dark side of the force to strangle Mr. Sheard’s character to death when he allowed the Millennium Falcon to escape through the asteroid belt. Mr. Sheard appeared in over 150 films and TV shows. He portrayed Adolph Hitler in several films including "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "The Dirty Dozen: The Next Mission." In "Raiders of the Lost Ark" he was the German U-boat commander. Other credits include the TV remake of "All Quiet on the Western Front," "Force 10 from Navarone," "The McKenzie Break," "Doctor Who," "Blake’s 7," "Coronation Street," "Z Cars" and "On the Buses."
SUSAN MCNAIR Died Aug. 31, 2005
Tony-award winning producer Susan McNair died at age 66 after a lengthy illness. In addition to Ms McNair’s work on Broadway, she worked with director Mike Nichols on four films. She was his assistant on "Heartburn" and "Working Girl." Ms. McNair was an associate producer on Mr. Nichols’s film "Regarding Henry" and "Postcards From the Edge." Susan Nichols won a Tony for Best Musical in 1978 for "Ballroom."