CHAR FONTANE Died Apr. 1, 2007
Actress/singer Char Fontane died of cancer at age 55. Ms. Fontane was the daughter of singer Tony Fontane and former actress Kerry Fontane. Ms. Fontane appeared in several films and TV shows as well as in a Broadway production of "Grease." Ms. Fontane co-starred in the TV series "Joe & Valerie." She also had a nice supporting role in the WWII mini series "Pearl." Other credits include "Love American Style," "The Love Boat," "Supertrain" and "The Punisher."
GEORGE SEWELL Died Apr. 1, 2007
British actor George Sewell died at age 82. Mr. Sewell appeared in over 70 films and TV shows during his lengthy career. He also enjoyed success as a stage actor in the UK. Mr. Sewell's film and TV credits include the original version of "Get Carter," Lindsay Anderson's "This Sporting Life," "Z Cars," "The Vengeance of She," "Journey to the Far Side of the Sun," "UFO," "Softly, Softly," Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon," "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," "Bleak House" and "Dr. Who." Mr. Sewell served his country during WWII in the RAF.
THOMAS W. MOORE Died Apr. 1, 2007
Emmy-winning producer and former TV Exec Thomas Moore died at age 88. Mr. Moore was an exec with ABC TV from 1958 through 1969. He was president of the network during the last seven years of his tenure. Thomas More was nominated ten times for Emmy Awards. He won five Emmy Awards for producing the animated series "Gnomes," "The Body Human: The Miracle Months," "The Body Human: The Magic Sense," "The Body Human: The Bionic Breakthrough" and the documentary series "Lifeline." Mr. Moore left ABC and founded his own production company Tomorrow Entertainment. He and/or his company produced such memorable Made for TV Movies as "A War of Children," "Judge Horton and the Scottsboro Boys," "The Disappearance of Aimee," "Sgt. Matlovich Vs. The US Air Force," "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman," "Father Damien: Leper Priest" and "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." Mr. Moore also co-produced the Charles B. Pierce feature film "The Town That Dreaded Sundown." Mr. Moore served his country during WWII in the US Navy.
SALEM LUDWIG Died Apr. 1, 2007
Stage and screen actor Salem Ludwig died at age 91. His stage career began in the late 1930s. Mr. Ludwig appeared in a number of Broadway plays as well as working on TV and in film. Mr. Ludwig appeared in over 40 films and TV shows. The number cut short due to being blacklisted in the mid-50s. Mr. Ludwig's credits include "I Love You Alice B. Toklas!," "Never Love a Stranger," "What's So Bad About Feeling Good?," "For the Love of Money" and "The Object of My Affection." Less emotional credits include "All in the Family," "The Sopranos," "Unfaithful" and "The Savages."
LADISLAV RYCHMAN Died Apr. 1, 2007
Czech director Ladislav Rychman died at age 84. Mr. Rychman directed the hit 1964 film "The Hop Pickers." The movie was popular with young audiences for combining rock and roll music with a love story. Mr. Rychman directed a number of films in the 1950s and 60s. He did not work as much following the 1968 Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia.
JIMMY LEE SMITH Died Apr. 1, 2007
Convicted murderer Jimmy Lee Smith died in prison at age 76. Smith and Gregory Powell were "The Onion Field" killers. In 1963, they kidnapped Los Angeles police officers Karl Hettinger and Ian Campbell. The two officers were driven to an onion field in Bakersfield, California. Campbell was shot and killed, but Hettinger escaped. Former polie officer turned author Joseph Wambaugh wrote about the case in his non-fiction book "The Onion Field." Mr. Wambaugh later produced the excellent film version of his book. Smith and Powell were sentenced to death for the murder, but were reprieved when the California Supreme Court ruled the Death Penalty unconstitutional in the early 1970s. Franklyn Seales played Smith in the 1979 film. James Woods portrayed killer Gregory Powell. Actors Ted Dansen and John Savage portrayed police officers Ian Campbell and Karl Hettinger. On a strange note, the picture at right is a screen capture from a documentary found on the DVD for "The Onion Field." The DVD came out in 2001. The caption under Mr. Smith's picture says 'deceased'.
RONALD SHEDLO Died Apr. 2, 2007
Producer Ronald Shedlo died at age 66. Mr. Shedlo was an independent film producer and also a former studio exec at Columbia. He worked in the US and in Britain. The US born Shedlo became Errol Flynn's secretary at age 16. Flynn died three years later. Mr. Shedlo's film credits include "Carrington," "Back Roads," "A Great American Tragedy" and "The Reckoning." Dame Edith Evans received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her work in "The Reckoning." Mr. Shedlo was nominated for a Best British Film BAFTA for Christopher Hampton's "Carrington."
PAUL REED Died Apr. 2, 2007
Actor Paul Reed died at age 97. Mr. Reed was best known for his work on TV during the late 1950s and early 1960s. He played Captain Block on the comedy series "Car 54, Where are You?" Mr. Reed's other credits include "The Phil Silvers Show," "Bewitched" and "The Beverly Hillbillies." Mr. Reed also appeared in a few feature films including "Fitzwilly" and "Did You Hear the One About the Traveling Saleslady?" Mr. Reed began his career on stage and appeared in 18 Broadway productions.
THOMAS HAL PHILLIPS Died Apr. 3, 2007
Award-winning author Thomas Hal Phillips died at age 84. The Mississippi writer won numerous awards for his work including an O. Henry Award, a Fulbright Scholarship and a Guggenheim Fellowship for Fiction. Mr. Phillips collaborated with director Robert Altman on several films. He created and played the character of the presidential candidate Hall Phillip Walker in Altman's masterpiece "Nashville." While Mr. Phillips was never seen, his voice permeated the film through traveling loudspeakers with the candidate's voice. He played the same character in Altman's misfire "O.C. & Stiggs." Mr. Phillips was a producer on Altman's depression-era crime film "Thieves Like Us." He also made a cameo appearance in Altman's comedy "California Split." Director John Sayles cast Mr. Phillips in the Oscar nominated "Matewan." Mr. Thomas served his country during WWII in the US Navy.
BURT TOPPER Died Apr. 3, 2007
Writer/producer/director Burt Topper died of pulmonary failure at age 78. Mr. Topper made films for American International. He was one of the founders of the Independent Screen Producers Association in 1972. While Mr. Topper's films were regularly panned by American critics, his praised were sung by the French in the magazine "Cahiers du Cinema." He began as a writer and director before turning to production. One of Mr. Topper's early directorial efforts has a footnote in history. "War is Hell" was playing on a double bill with "Cry of Battle" at the Texas Theater when Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested by the Dallas police. Mr. Topper's film "War is Hell" was the movie playing at the actual time of Oswald's arrest. He also directed the horror film "The Strangler," which starred Victor Buono. Burt Topper produced such films as "Fireball 500," "Devil's Angels," "Wild in the Streets" and more family friendly films like "C.H.O.M.P.S." His final film was "The Day the Lord Got Busted." Burt Topper served his country during WWII in the US Navy.
BOB and ARIEL CLARK Died Apr. 4, 2007
Award-winning writer/director/producer Bob Clark was killed along with his 22-year-old son, former actor and budding composer Ariel in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. Mr. Clark was 67 years old. Bob Clark won two Genie Awards for Best Direction and Best Screenplay for his modern classic "A Christmas Story." The Genie Award is Canada's equivalent of the US Oscar. Mr. Clark was also nominated for a Best Picture Genie for "A Christmas Story." His screenplay also received a WGA nomination. Mr. Clark directed Jack Lemmon to an Oscar-nominated performance in the tear-jerker "Tribute." Mr. Clark was also recognized for his lesser works, garnering two Razzie nominations as Worst Director for "Rhinestone" and "SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2."
Though I love "A Christmas Story" my appreciation for Mr. Clark's work stems from his darker side. Bob Clark's 1974 horror film "Black Christmas" was one of the best horror films of all time. The film relied more on suspense than gore to achieve such a high level of tension. Actress Margot Kidder shored up her position as one of the 70s top scream queens as a foul-mouthed sorority girl. Mr. Clark also provided the creepy phone voice for the film's killer. I still get goose bumps thinking about that voice. Mr. Clark also directed the horror films "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" and "Dead of Night." Both films were written by his early collaborator Alan Ormsby. Mr. Clark produced the Ed Gein based horror film "Deranged." The film was do-directed by Ormsby.
Next to "Black Christmas," my favorite film by Bob Clark was the excellent "Murder By Decree." The film set Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson on the trail of Jack the Ripper. Christopher Plummer and James Mason played the famous pair. For all of its suspense, "Murder By Decree" had a healthy dose of good-natured humor. One of my favorite scenes had James Mason as Dr. Watson gripping about how to politely pick up the last green pea from his plate with just a fork. Christopher Plummer's Holmes watches perplexed, takes the fork from Watson's hand and squashes the pea, then eats it. James Mason's look is priceless as Holmes walks away. "You squashed my pea. It's not nice to squash a man's pea."
Bob Clark reaches millions of teenage boys in the 1980s with his raunchy comedy "Porky's." The hit film spawned two sequels: "Porky's 2: The Next Day" and "Porky's Revenge." Mr. Clark directed the first sequel. Mr. Clark directed the under-rated "Turk 182!," which starred Timothy Hutton and Robert Urich.
As a child, Ariel Clark appeared in three of his father's films. He played the Marble Kid in "It Runs in the Family." "It Runs in the Family" was the not-so-successful sequel to "A Christmas Story." Ariel Clark also appeared in his father's films "I'll Remember April" and "Baby Geniuses." The younger Mr. Clark was studying music composition at Santa Monica College. Prayers of comfort for their family and friends.
JOHN FLYNN Died Apr. 4, 2007
Director John Flynn died in his sleep at age 75. Mr. Flynn was one of those workhorse directors who never really got the recognition for his films that he deserved. Mr. Flynn began his career working with director Robert Wise as a script supervisor. Mr. Flynn was an apprentice on Mr. Wise's Film Noir classic "Odds Against Tomorrow." He worked with Mr. Wise as script supervisor on "West Side Story." Mr. Flynn then worked as a second assistant director on Elvis Presley's "Kid Galahad," "Kings of the Sun," "Two For the Seesaw" and "What a Way to Go!." He was an assistant director on John Sturges' classic POW film "The Great Escape" and Lee J. Thompson's "John Goldfarb, Please Come Home." Mr. Flynn's debut film as a director was the, then cutting edge drama "The Sergeant," which starred Rod Steiger. Steiger played an Army sergeant who has to come to terms with his latent homosexuality once he discovers he is attracted to a private played by John Phillip Law. Mr. Flynn's forte was the action film. Mr. Flynn is best remembered for the brutal revenge film "Rolling Thunder." William Devane starred as a Vietnam vet who returns home, only to be robbed, have his hand shoved into a garbage disposal and then witness the death of his wife and daughter. He gets pissed off to say the least. Devane enlists the help of a former Nam buddy played by Tommy Lee Jones to drive down to Mexico to kill the perps. "Rolling Thunder" is one of the best B-movies produced during the 1970s. Mr. Flynn is also recognized by fans for his film "The Outfit." Robert Duvall starred in this sequel to John Boorman's "Point Blank." Again, it is a compact and badass piece of filmmaking. John Flynn's other credits include the cool Steven Seagal actioner "Out For Vengeance," Stallone's "Lock Up," "Best Seller" with James Woods, "Defiance" with Jan Michael Vincent and the horror film "Brainscan."
EDWARD MALLORY Died Apr. 4, 2007
Actor Edward Mallory died after a lengthy illness at age 76. Mr. Mallory was a regular for fourteen years on the soap opera "Days of Out Lives." He player Dr. Bill Horton from 1966 until 1980. Mr. Mallory appeared in over 20 films and TV shows during his career. His film credits include "The Birdman of Alcatraz," "The Underwater City," "Diamondhead" and "Kill Me If You Can: The Caryl Chessman Story." Mr. Mallory's other TV credits include "Perry Mason," "Bewitched," "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" and "The Munsters." Mr. Mallory was the father of actor John Mallory Asher with his ex-wife, actress Joyce Bulifant.
GEORGE JENKINS Died Apr. 6, 2007
Oscar-winning production designer George Jenkins died of natural causes at age 98. Mr. Jenkins shared a Best Art Direction-Set Decoration Oscar with George Gaines for their work on Alan J. Pakula's "All the President's Men." Their meticulous recreation of the Washington Post newsroom is still impressive. Mr. Jenkins was nominated for a second Oscar for his art direction on "The China Syndrome." Mr. Jenkins began his career working in the theater in 1938 for Jo Mielziner. His first film job was as art director on William Wyler's classic "The Best Years of Our Lives." Mr. Jenkins also worked on eleven films with Alan J. Pakula including excellent thriller "The Parallax View" and "Klute." Arthur Penn called on his talents three times. Arthur Penn wanted Mr. Jenkins to work on a fourth film called "Bonnie and Clyde." Mr. Jenkins was already committed to "Wait Until Dark" and had to turn the project down. Other notable film credits include "The Miracle Worker," "Up the Down Staircase," "Wait Until Dark," "No Way to Treat a Lady," "The Subject Was Roses," "Mickey One," "The Paper Chase," "Night Moves," "Comes a Horseman," the remake of "The Postman Always Rings Twice," "Sophie's Choice" and "Presumed Innocent." Mr. Jenkins continued to work in the theater throughout his career. He received three Tony nominations for his work on the plays "The Happiest Millionaire," "The Miracle Worker" and "13 Daughters." He was the widower of TV pioneer Phyllis Adams.
STAN DANIELS Died Apr. 6, 2007
Emmy-winning writer/director/producer Stan Daniels died of heart failure at age 72. Mr. Daniels won eight Emmy Awards during his lengthy career. He was nominated for another six Emmy Awards as well as for three of the Canadian Gemini Awards. Mr. Daniels was the co-creator of the hit TV series "Taxi." Five of Mr. Daniels' Emmy Awards were for "Taxi" and the other three were for his work on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." Mr. Daniels other credits include "Phyllis," "For Richer, For Poorer" and "The Betty White Show."
LUIGI COMENCINI Died Apr. 6, 2007
Award-winning Italian director Luigi Comencini died at age 90. Mr. Comencini was nominated for three Golden Palm Awards at Cannes for his films "Misunderstood," "Somewhere Beyond Love" and "Traffic Jam." Mr. Comencini's films have won awards at the Berlin International Film Festival, from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists, at the Venice Film Festival and the Moscow International Film Festival. Mr. Comencini made a number of films for children and about children. His credits include "Bread, Love and Dreams," "Jail Break" and "The Adventures of Pinocchio."
JOHNNY HART Died Apr. 7, 2007
Comic strip artist Johnny Hart died at age 76. Mr. Hart created the comic strip "B.C." and "The Wizard of ID." "B.C." was created in 1958. "The Wizard of ID" was a co-creation of Mr. Hart and cartoonist Brant Parker. Mr. Hart's prehistoric comic strip was adapted to the small screen in "B.C.: The First Thanksgiving" and "B.C.: A Special Christmas." Mr. Hart drew the ire of unbelievers for sharing his faith in Christ in his comic strips. Mr. Hart was not ashamed of his Lord and his Lord will not be ashamed of Mr. Hart. Thanks for the years of laughs and inspiration.
MARGARET PERRY Died Apr. 7, 2007
Former actress Margaret Perry died at age 94. Ms. Perry began acting on stage while still a teen. She made her Broadway debut in 1931. Ms. Perry's mother was Antoinette Perry, the woman for whom the Tony Award is named. Ms. Perry's film credits include "Go West, Young Man," "New Morals for Old" and "Ceiling Zero." Ms. Perry was married three times, including marriages to actor Burgess Meredith and her final husband art director Paul Fanning.
JIM MARCHESE Died Apr. 7, 2007
Property master and set dresser Jim Marchese died at age 56. Mr. Marchese worked in the industry for over 30 years. His credits include "What is Love," the TV series "Reba," "Boston Public" and the "CBS Schoolbreak Special."
BARRY NELSON Died Apr. 7, 2007
Tony Award nominated actor Barry Nelson died at age 89. The cause of death has not been determined. Barry Nelson had the distinction of being the first actor to play Ian Fleming's super secret agent James Bond. "Casino Royale" aired on October 21, 1954. The first James Bond was nothing like his cinematic brothers. He drinks scotch! That's down right sacrilegious. He's an American! I guess TV audiences in the 1950s wouldn't go for a suave British agent. Mr. Nelson's Bond was pit against millionaire, megalomaniac Peter Lorre. The Brits were represented by MI6's 'Maurice Leiter' played by Michael Pate.
Barry Nelson began his career in the early 1940s. He appeared in over 80 films and TV shows during his career. Mr. Nelson switched from screen to stage in the 1960s and earned a Best Actor in a Musical for his work in the 1978 production of "The Act."
My first memory of Mr. Nelson was of his appearance in the ironic "Crime Does Not Pay" episode "The Luckiest Guy in the World." The short subject was nominated for an Oscar. Check it out if you get a chance. It is available as one of the extras on Warner Brothers' Film Noir Vol. 3 DVD collection. Mr. Nelson plays a man who accidentally commits the perfect crime and almost gets away with it. Macabre and fun. I also remember him as Enola Gay B-29 pilot Paul Tibbets in "The Beginning of the End." And, of course, like all devout horror movie fans, I fondly remember Barry Nelson for being miscast in Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining." I guest he wasn't miscast as Mr. Kubrick's film was more of an original work that a true adaptation of the Stephen King book. I'm still not sure what I think about that movie. Barry Nelson played the hotel manager who hired Jack Nicholson as the winter care-taker of the Overlook.
Barry Nelson's many film credits include "Shadow of the Thing Man," "Rio Rita," "Bataan," "Winged Victory," "A Guy Named Joe," "Time To Kill." Mr. Nelson began to focus more on TV than film during the 1950s and 60s. He did guest shots on many of the top TV series of that era, with the occasional film role thrown in for good measure. Other credits include "Airport," "Pete and Tillie," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "The Twilight Zone," "Ben Casey," "Dr. Kildare," "The Name of the Game," "The F.B.I.," "The Love Boat," "Dallas," "Fantasy Island," "Magnum P.I." and "Murder She Wrote."
Barry Nelson served his country in the US Army during WWII.
LUKE TILLMAN Died Apr. 7, 2007
Special effects tech Luke Tillman died at age 86. Mr. Tillman was a 59-year-member of I.A.T.S.E. Local #44. Mr. Tillman's credits include "Little House on the Prairie," "The Bugaloos" and "Sam's Son."
A.J. CAROTHERS Died Apr. 9, 2007
Screenwriter A.J. Carothers died of cancer at age 75. Mr. Carothers wrote a number of popular films and TV shows including "Never a Dull Moment," "Miracle of the White Stallions," "The Secret of My Succe$s," "The Happiest Millionaire," "Studio One" and "Hero at Large."
HARRY RASKY Died Apr. 9, 2007
Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Harry Rasky died of a heart attack at age 78. The prolific documentarian was nominated for an Oscar and won the DGA for Best Documentary for his 1977 film "Homage to Chagall: The Colours of Love." He won the Canadian Genie Award for his documentary "Being Different," which dealt with people living with birth defects.
RICHARD REILLY Died Apr. 9, 2007
Editor and post production supervisor Richard E. Reilly died at age 89. Mr. Reilly worked in the film industry for nearly 40 years. He was editorial administrator on the TV series "The Big Valley." His film editing credits include the TV movie "In Search of America." When Mr. Reilly retired he was post production supervisor of the TV series "Cagney and Lacey."
JACK WILLIAMS Died Apr. 10, 2007
Stuntman Jack Williams died six days shy of his 86th birthday. He was the son of stuntman George Williams. At four years of age, the young Mr. Williams was passed from a horse to a stagecoach in the MGM movie "The Flaming Forest." Mr. Williams worked on over 90 films. Mr. Williams perfected the famous horse fall in which it appears that the horse has been shot and both horse and rider fall safely to the ground. He was a stunt double for such stars as Charlton Heston, Errol Flynn and Kirk Douglas. Mr. Williams worked on many classic films. His notable credits include "The Charge of the Light Brigade," "Gone With the Wind," "They Died With Their Boots On," "3 Godfathers," "Red River," "Fort Apache," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "The Left Handed Gun," "The Old Man and the Sea," "Spartacus," "El Cid," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," "How the West Was Won," "Major Dundee," "Cheyenne Autumn," "Cat Ballou," "The Professionals," "The Sons of Katie Elder," "The War Wagon," "Will Penny," "The Wild Bunch," "Paint Your Wagon," "The Ballad of Cable Hogue," "A Man Called Horse," "Beneath the Planet of the Apes," "The Omega Man," "Soylent Green," "Rio Lobo," "The Master Gunfighter," "Innerspace" and the film version of "The Wild, Wild West." Mr. Williams was given a Golden Boot Award in 1999 for his lifetime of work and contributions to the Western Film.
JORDAN TEPLITZ Death announced Apr. 10, 2007
Chicago attorney and actor Jordan Teplitz died at age 75. Mr. Teplitz was very active in the Chicago theater scene. He appeared in several films including the Will Ferrell hit "Stranger Than Fiction."
ROBERT WHITNEY Died Apr. 10, 2007
Background actor Bob Whitney died of cancer at age 94. Mr. Whitney worked as an extra for 35 years. He played the cop who rains on Gene Kelly's parade at the end of the classic "Singing in the Rain" song and dance sequence in the film of the same name. Mr. Whitney can also be spotted somewhere in the background in such films as "Joan of Arc," the original "Around the World in 80 Days," "Hand of Death" and "Here's Lucy."
ROSCOE LEE BROWNE Died Apr. 11, 2007
Emmy-winning and Tony-nominated actor Roscoe Lee Browne died of cancer at age 81. Mr. Browne appeared in over 125 films, TV shows and documentaries during his lengthy career. Mr. Brown won an Emmy Award for a guest appearance on "The Cosby Show." He was nominated for another Emmy for a guest shot on the comedy series "Barney Miller." Mr. Browne was nominated for a Tony as Best Actor for the 1992 production of August Wilson's "Two Trains Running." Roscoe Lee Browne and fellow actor Anthony Zerbe spent a number of years touring in the two-man show "Behind the Broken Words." The pair created and first performed the play in the late 1970s. They began touring with the play annually beginning in 1996. The play was filmed as a movie in 2003.
Mr. Browne and Mr. Zerbe co-starred with Lee J. Cobb in William Wyler's final film "The Liberation of L. B. Jones." Mr. Browne played the title character in the 1970 film. He played a successful southern businessman seeking a divorce from his adulterous wife (Lola Falana). The rub is the fact that his wife is having an affair with a white policeman played by Anthony Zerbe. The shame of this taboo leads the characters to violence. Made at the height of the civil rights battle in America, Wyler's swansong was a powerful indictment of organized racism. Mr. Browne was universally praised for his performance of a man insisting he be treated like a Man.
Other memorable film roles include the cook in John Wayne's "The Cowboys" and as a spy in Hitchcock's "Topaz." Roscoe Lee Browne's many credits include "Black Like Me," "Terror in the Sky," "The Comedians," "Cisco Pike," "Superfly TNT," Disney's "The World's Greatest Athlete," "Uptown Saturday Night," "King," "Twilights Last Gleaming," "Logan's Run," voice work in "Oliver and Company," "Legal Eagles," "Naked in New York," "The Mambo Kings" and "The Beast." Mr. Browne was prolific voice artist. He leant his vocal talents to such films and TV shows as "Babe," "Babe: Pig in the City," "Batman," "Epic Movie," "Spiderman" and "Treasure Planet."
Roscoe Lee Browne was a frequent guest star on many TV shows over the past 40 years. He was a regular on the controversial TV series "Soap." Mr. Browne's TV credits include "Mannix," "The Invaders," "The Name of the Game," "Sanford and Son," "Bonanza," "All in the Family," "Good Times," "Starsky and Hutch," "Bensen," "Hart to Hart," "Falcon Crest" and "E.R."
KURT VONNEGUT Died Apr. 11, 2007
Back in my 'high' school days I saw the movie "Slaughterhouse-Five" while tripping on acid. All of the universe's deepest secrets were revealed to me that night. Unfortunately, once I came down, the only thing I could remember from this great revelation was that Valerie Perrine sure had pretty breasts. So it goes. Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse-Five" was one of my favorite films of the era. George Roy Hill's wonderful adaptation of the book is still a powerful experience. Even more powerful is the wonderful experience of reading Vonnegut's words for yourself. Though he had his detractors, Kurt Vonnegut struck a chord with generations of readers from the 1960s onward. I could never write anything as profound or meaningful as he did. I can enjoy his work though. Kurt Vonnegut wrote 14 novels and a number of plays during his lifetime. The 84-year-old writer sustained brain injuries in a fall a few weeks ago. He died of complications from those injuries.
Kurt Vonnegut served his country in the US Army during WWII. He saw combat in the Battle of the Bulge. He was captured by the Germans and sent to a work camp in Dresden. On February 13 and 14, 1945 four air raids were carried out by the RAF and US Army-Air Corp. Over 3,900 tons of bombs were dropped on Dresden, incinerating the city and killing thousands. Vonnegut survived the air raid and witnessed the carnage as he was forced to clear the dead bodies. This experience marked the rest of his life. The book and film "Slaughterhouse-Five" deal with this event.
A number of Mr. Vonnegut's works have been turned into films. They include "Mother Night," "Breakfast of Champions" and "Happy birthday, Wanda June." It's been a while since I've picked up my dog-eared copy of "Slaughterhouse-Five." Might be a good time to revisit that old friend.
DAVE MARTIN Death announced Apr. 11, 2007
British TV writer Dave Martin died of lung cancer at age 72. Mr. Martin was the writing partner of Bob Baker. The pair wrote a number of episodes of the "Dr. Who" sci-fr TV series. Mr. Martin was also the co-creator of the character K9, a robotic dog in the "Dr. Who" series. Mr. Martin's other credits include "Z Cars," "Private Eye," "Machinegunner" and "Succubus."
JAMES LYONS Died Apr. 12, 2007
Editor James Lyons died of AIDS related cancer at age 46. Mr. Lyons collaborated with director Todd Haynes on the films "Velvet Goldmine," "Safe," "Poison," "Far From Heaven" and "Dottie Gets Spanked." Mr. Lyons also edited Sophia Coppola's "The Virgin Suicides." Other credits include "Spring Forward," "The Chateau," "Prozac Nation" and "Imaginary Heroes." Mr. Lyons also acted in several films including "I Shot Andy Warhol," "Safe" and "Swoon." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
BOB MILES Died Apr. 12, 2007
Stuntman Bob Miles died of emphysema at age 79. Mr. Miles first wife was actress Vera Ralston. Vera Miles took her husband's name professionally and kept it after their divorce. Mr. Miles was the stunt coordinator of the TV series "Bonanza." He was also Michael Landon's stunt double on the series. Mr. Miles began his career as a stuntman 61 years ago. He later worked with Landon on "Little House on the Prairie" and "Highway to Heaven." Mr. Miles worked on such films as "Spartacus," "Dirty Harry" and "Halloween 4."
BILL MCFADDEN Died Apr. 12, 2007
Inventor Bill McFadden died at age 96. During the 1930s Mr. McFadden headed up a group of engineers at Walt Disney Studios which invented the innovative multiplane animation cameras and other devices necessary for the continuous productions of full-length animated motion pictures. These inventions made it possible for Disney to produce the classic films "Snow White," "Pinocchio," "Dumbo" and "Fantasia." Mr. McFadden later worked for Hycon Manufacturing and Chief Engineer who developed the "B" camera for the U-2 spy plane program.
DON SELWYN Died Apr. 13, 2007
Maori actor/producer/director/teacher Don Selwyn died after a lengthy illness. His age was not given. Mr. Selwyn produced and directed the first film shot entirely in the Maori language: "The Maori Merchant of Venice." Mr. Selwyn was a Shakespearian actor who worked hard to make sure his fellow Maori people were given a voice in the cultural world of New Zealand. During the 1980s Mr. Selwyn ran a film and TV training course for the Maori and other native Pacific people to teach them the technical skills needed to express themselves in the mediums. He was honored with numerous awards for his contributions to the film and theater communities in New Zealand. Mr. Selwyn acted in such films as the cult classic "Goodbye Pork Pie" as well as Sam Neill/Warren Oates thriller "Sleeping Dogs."
DON HO Died Apr. 14, 2007
Hawaiian singer Don Ho died of heart failure at age 76. He was best known for his hit song "Tiny Bubbles." Don Ho began singing in a family owned bar in Hawaii. He spent most of his career performing on the islands he loved. He was popular worldwide and played Vegas and other venues. Don Ho hosted the ABC TV series "The Don Ho Show" during the 1970s. Like many other baby boomers, I remember his guest appearance on "The Brady Bunch." Other film and TV credits include "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson," "First Daughter," "Joe's Apartment," "Hawaiian Eye," "Fantasy Island," "Charlie's Angels" and "Sanford and Son." I just wonder how he missed appearing on "Hawaii 5-0" or "Magnum P.I."
JIM THURMAN Died Apr. 14, 2007
"Roger Ramjet and his eagles, fighting for our freedom!" The cartoon "Roger Ramjet" had to be my first exposure to the writing of Jim Thurman and Gene Moss. The pair wrote all of the episodes of the 1960s cartoon series. Writer Jim Thurman may have had his biggest impact on the children of the late 60s and early 70s as one of the writers on the TV series "The Electric Company." Mr. Thurman won an Emmy for his work on the hipper than "Sesame Street" kids show. The focus was on phonetics and grammar. Maybe it is time to bring the show back. Mr. Thurman provided words for such great regulars as Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby, Gene Wilder and Rita Moreno. Mr. Thurman had a "Sesame Street" connection as he provided the voice of the 'Teeny Little Super Guy.'
BRANT PARKER Died Apr. 15, 2007
Cartoonist Brant Parker died of Alzheimer's Disease at age 86. Mr. Parker was the co-creator of the comic strip "The Wizard of ID" with Johnny Hart. Mr. Parker died eight days after his longtime creative partner Johnny Hart. Mr. Parker and Mr. Hart also worked together writing episodes of the children's TV show "Curiosity Shop."
JUSTINE SAUNDERS Died Apr. 15, 2007
Aboriginal Australian actress Justine Saunders died of cancer at age 54. Ms. Saunders appeared in the award-winning "The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith." She also appeared in Wim Wenders sci-fi "Until the End of the World" The only soap opera I ever watched was the Australian women in prison show "Prisoner Cellblock H." Ms. Saunders played Pamela Madigan in nearly 20 episodes of the long-running show. She also made a guest appearance on "Farscape." Ms. Saunders was an advocate of Aboriginal theater in her homeland.
CAMILLA STULL Died Apr. 16, 2007
Camilla Stull died of leukemia at age 12. The 7th grader fought the disease for three years. Ms. Stull looked to Drew Barrymore as a role model and wished to be an actress when she grew up. The actress befriended Ms. Stull and introduced her to "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane. Mr. MacFarlane cast her to do a voice role in his hit animated series. Camilla Stull played 'Baby Girl' in the episode of "The Family Guy" which aired on April 29th. No parent wants to outlive their children. I hope that the knowledge that all children who leave this world so young rest easy in the arms of the Lord is of some comfort to this brave little girl's parents. Donations may be made to the "Community for Camilla" account at Umpqua Bank, 2095 Central Ave, McKinleyville, 707-839-3281 for a memorial in McKinleyville honoring Camilla's memory. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.
NAIR BELLO Died Apr. 17, 2007
Brazilian actress Nair Bello died of heart disease just shy of her 76th birthday. Ms. Bello worked in radio, film, stage and TV. Her career spanned over 60 years. Ms Bello was best known as a soap opera actress. Her credits include the TV series "Bang Bang," "A Grand Family," "Kubanacan" and "A Viagem."
KITTY CARLISLE Died Apr. 18, 2007
Actress/singer Kitty Carlisle died of heart failure at age 96. April 13th was the 10th anniversary of my father's death. It was a tough weekend. The passing of Kitty Carlisle brought back a forgotten, happy memory. In the early 1970s, a local Memphis TV station shows reruns of the panel show "To Tell the Truth." It was a nightly ritual for our family to sit down in the den and watch it together. Gave Dad time to unwind after work with the kids on the floor in front of the TV at his feet. Like the panelists on the show, we would all argue over who was the 'real' contestant and who were the phonies. Kitty Carlisle was a panelist on every incarnation of the TV game show. Her most famous film role was as Rose Castaldi in The Marx Brothers "A Night at the Opera." Other film roles include an appearance as herself in "Hollywood Canteen." Kitty Carlisle's Broadway career spanned six decades. She was an aggressive patron of the arts. President George Herbert Walker Bush awarded Kitty Carlisle with the National Medal of the Arts in 1991. Ms. Carlisle was the widow of two-time Oscar-nominated writer Moss Hart.
JEAN-PIERRE CASSEL Died Apr. 19, 2007
French actor Jean-Pierre Cassel died at age 74 following a lengthy illness. Mr. Cassel was a familiar face to audiences around the world. He appeared in a number of international hits. Mr. Cassel appeared in nearly 200 films during his career. Many of his films were romantic comedies in his native country. Mr. Cassel worked in minor roles and as an extra before Gene Kelly cast him in the 1956 film "The Happy Road." I loved his bumbling performance as King Louis XIII in Richard Lester's excellent films "The Three Musketeers" and "The Four Musketeers." Mr. Cassel also stood out among an incredible cast of actors as the conductor on "The Murder on the Orient Express." He also appeared in the excellent Jeff Goldblum horror film "Mr. Frost." Jean-Pierre Cassel was the father of actors Vincent and Cecile Cassel as well as rap singer Matthias Cassel. Mr. Cassel's many film credits include "Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines," "Is Paris Burning?," "Oh! What a Lovely War," "La Rupture," Luis Bunuel's Oscar-winning "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie," "The Three Musketeers," "Murder on the Orient Express," "The Four Musketeers," "Superman II," "The Return of the Musketeers," "Vincent & Theo," "The Maid," "The Favor, The Watch and the Very Big Fish," "L' Enfer" and "Prêt-à-Porter." Mr. Cassel worked with his son Vincent in four films and TV movies. The actor was currently working with his son on two films about French master criminal Jacques Meserne.
SIDNEY FEINBERG Died Apr. 20, 2007
Harvard educated entertainment lawyer Sidney Feinberg died at age 67. Mr. Feinberg spent 43 years practicing law. He represented over 100 Made for TV films during his career. Mr. Feinberg also represented the production of many feature films and Broadway shows. Mr. Feinberg's feature film credits include "Sleuth," "The Heartbreak Kid," "The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3" and the original version of "The Stepford Wives."
JANET MEYER Died Apr. 20, 2007
Former film editor and stock footage company founder Janet Meyer died at age 85. Ms. Meyer edited films for Jack Wrather Productions. After suffering the onset of deafness, Ms. Meyer became the film librarian for Four Star Productions. After retiring in the early 1980s, Ms. Meyer founded Cameo Film Library, which provides stack footage for filmmakers. Among the company's credits are "South of Heaven, West of Hell" and "The Dukes of Hazzard."
NORMAN BANDLER Died Apr. 20, 2007
Writer Norman Badler died of undisclosed causes at age 35. Mr. Bandler was co-creator of the award-wining, patriotic children's video "All Aboard America." He also provided the voice of the President of the United States in the video.
ERICA CASSETTI Died Apr. 21, 2007
Modeler/animator/artist Erica Casetti died of undisclosed causes at age 35. Ms. Cassetti began her career as a computer animator on the original Coca Cola polar bear commercial. She worked for Disney on a number of films including "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Hercules," "Tarzan" and "Atlantis: The Lost Empire." Ms. Casetti also worked on Dreamworks' film "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.
ANNE PITONIAK Died Apr. 22, 2007
Tony-nominated actress Anne Pitoniak died at age 85. You're never too old to give your dream a shot. Ms. Pitoniak enrolled in the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute at age 53! Ms. Pitoniak originated the role of Thelma Cates in the Broadway play "'night Mother" opposite Kathy Bates. Both women earned Tony nominations for their work. Ms. Pitoniak was nominated a second time in a revival of "Picnic." Ms. Pitoniak's film and TV credits include "Agnes of God," "Sister, Sister," "House of Cards," "The Ballad of Sad Café" and "Unfaithful."
MICHAEL SMUIM Died Apr. 23, 2007
Tony and Emmy-winning Choreographer Michael Smuim died of a heart attack at age 69. Mr. Smuin won a Tony Award for the 1987 production of "Anything Goes." He won several Emmy Awards for the ballets "Romeo and Juliet," "The Tempest" and "A Song of Dead Warriors." Mr. Smuim worked with Francis Ford Coppola on "The Cotton Club," "Rumble Fish" and "Bram Stoker's Dracula." Other credits include "Return of the Jedi," "Fletch Lives," "The Golden Child" and "A Walk in the Clouds."
ROBERT MOORE Died Apr. 23, 2007
Emmy-nominated film editor Robert Moore died of natural causes at age 93. Mr. Moore was nominated for an Emmy for his work on "The Love Boat." He edited the 1950s horror movie "Blood of Dracula." His other TV credits include "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet," "Starsky and Hutch," "I Spy," "Gilligan's Island," "The Andy Griffith Show," "The Odd Couple" and "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." Mr. Moore served his country as a glider pilot in the US Army-Air Corps during WWII.
ROY JENSON Died Apr. 24, 2007
Prolific character actor, stuntman and heavy Roy Jenson died of cancer at age 80. Mr. Jenson appeared in over 170 films and TV shows during his career. He was one of the most familiar films on TV during the last half century. He appeared in six films with actor Clint Eastwood. He was usually the foil to Eastwood's hero. He worked with Clint Eastwood on "Paint Your Wagon," "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot," "The Gauntlet," "Every Which Way But Loose," "Any Which Way You Can" and "Honkytonk Man." Sam Peckinpah cast the veteran tough guy as one of the baddies in "The Getaway."
In "Chinatown," Mr. Jenson played Claude Mulvihil, a police detective despised by Jack Nicholson's Jake Gittes. Jenson endured one the screens greatest insults in the film.Gittes: Mulvihil! What are you doing here?
Mulvihil: The shut my water off. What's it to you?
Gittes: How'd you find out about it? You don't drink it; you don't take a bath in it... They wrote you a letter. But then you have to be able to read.
Roy Jenson was beloved by Western fans as the kind of badguy you loved to hate. His many Western credits include "Tom Horn" with Steve McQueen, "Breakheart Pass" with Charles Bronson, John Huston's quirky "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean," "Big Jake," "5 Card Stud," "Will Penny," "The Bandits," "Waterhole #3," "How the West Was Won," "Warlock" and "Westward the Women." Mr. Jenson also appeared on most of the famous TV Westerns during the 1960s.
Roy Jenson's many credits include "The Caine Mutiny," "Somebody Up There Likes Me," "Al Capone," "The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond," the original version of "13 Ghosts," "North to Alaska," "Flaming Star" with Elvis, "The George Raft Story," "Baby the Rain Must Fall," "The Great Race," "Our Man Flint," "Harper," "The Ambushers," "Halls of Anger," "Dillinger" with Warren Oates, "The Way We Were," "Soylent Green," "The Wind and The Lion," "Helter Skelter," "Telefon" and "Red Dawn."
Roy Jenson also did stunt work. He added excitement to such films as "The Great Escape," "McClintock!," "The Rounders," "4 for Texas," the original "The Thomas Crown Affair," "Sometimes a Great Notion" and "Cherry 2000."
BOBBY 'BORIS' PICKETT Died Apr. 25, 2007
Bobby Picket was one of the best known novelty song artist in history. His hit song "The Monster Mash" became a perennial favorite and charted three times since its release in 1962. Mr. Pickett sand the song with a dead-on impersonation of famed actor Boris Karloff. Mr. Pickett died of leukemia at age 69. The song became the basis for 1995's "Monster Mash: The Movie" starring Mr. Pickett. Mr. Pickett appeared in a number of films and TV shows. The picture at right shows Mr. Pickett with director Ray Danton on the set of the Robert Quarry vampire film "The Deathmaster." Other credits include "Chrome and Hot Leather," "Sister, Sister," "The Baby Maker," "Bonanza" and "The Beverly Hillbillies."
FRANK STRONG Died Apr. 25, 2007
Big Band trombonist Frank Strong died at age 88. Mr. Strong played in a number of Big Bands including Benny Goodman's and Woody Herman's. Mr. Strong played music on a number of soundtracks including "The Benny Goodman Story," "South Pacific," "The Great Race" and "McHale's Navy."
JACK VALENTI Died Apr. 26, 2007
Jack Valenti died of complications from a stroke at age 85. Jack Valenti was the most influential single person in the US film industry during the past 50 years. Jack Valenti oversaw the death knell of the studio system and the production code. He created the Motion Picture Association of America and created the film rating system. Jack Valenti ushered in an era of more realistic filmmaking in America. Under his leadership films such as "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?," "The Graduate" and "Bonnie and Clyde" wiped away the self-imposed era of censorship which began in the early 1930s as the Hayes Office and the Production Code. Mr. Valenti had his detractors, but there is not an American filmmaker working today who does not owe him a debt of gratitude for the freedom they enjoy to express themselves in this medium we all love. Jack Valenti lived a life of service. He was a B-25 bomber pilot during WWII. He worked as a special assistant to vice-president and later president Johnson. Mr. Valenti was present when JFK was assassinated and can be seen in the famous photograph of LBJ being sworn in on Air Force One. Thank you for your service to your country.
(Earlier this year my obit column was being partially published in a Los Angeles entertainment newspaper. That relationship ended in part because the newspapers editor would often rewrite my obits. I was angered greatly when the LA writer who would change my words took a swipe at Jack Valenti in an obit of another filmmaker. That writer basically implied that Mr. Valenti was a Nazi. This was done using my byline. I insisted on a retraction, which I did not get. I mention that episode here in case any Internet readers in LA saw that particular obit and felt that I was being a hypocrite in my praise of Mr. Valenti. The article published in that unnamed LA weekly under my byline was not my writing and did not reflect my sentiments. I had nothing but the greatest respect for Mr. Valenti's work to free US films from an era of censorship.)
KIRILL LAVROV Died Apr. 27, 2007
Renowned Russian actor Kirill Lavrov died at age 81 following a long illness. Mr. Lavrov was nominated for the Golden Prize at the 1969 Moscow International Film Festival for his lone directorial effort "The Brothers Karamozov." Mr. Lavrov appeared in nearly 60 films during a career that spanned a half century. Mr. Lavrov's many credits include "Leningrad" with Gabrielle Byrne and Mira Sorvino, "The Gentle Age," "Skin," "The Hunting Party," "The Ocean" and "Tchaikovsky."
AL HUNTER ASHTON Died Apr. 27, 2007
Actor/writer Al Hunter Ashton died of heart failure at age 49. Mr. Hunter appeared in nearly 60 films and TV shows. He was best known in the UK for his role on the TV series "London's Burning." Other acting credits include "A Fish Called Wanda," "Ever After" and "From Hell." Mr. Ashton wrote episodes fopr a number of TV shows including "Emmerdale Farm" and "EastEnders."
RON PHILLIPS Death announced Apr. 28, 2007
Actor Ron Phillips died at age 95 from complications from a fall. Mr. Phillips played an Ewok in "Return of the Jedi."
DABBS GREER Died Apr. 28, 2007
Actor Dabbs Greer died at age 90. Mr. Greer had the honor of being the first person to be saved by George Reeves as Superman in the 1950s TV series "The Adventures of Superman." Mr. Greer appeared in two other episodes of the series. Mr. Greer played Reverand Alden on the TV series "Little House on the Prairie." Modern audiences may know Mr. Greer best as the elderly version of Tom Hanks character in "The Green Mile." Mr. Greer appeared in over 250 films and TV shows during a career that stretched back to the 1940s. It would be easier to list the TV shows that Mr. Greer did NOT appear in! His many feature film work includes such films as "The Bad and the Beautiful," "Monkey Business," the original "House of Wax," "The Seven Little Foys," the original version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "Away All Boats," "The Spirit of St. Louis," "Baby Face Nelson," "I Want To Live!," "Last Train From Gun Hill," "Roustabout" with Elvis, "Shenandoah," "The Cheyenne Social Club," "Rage" with George C. Scott, as Burt Reynolds' dad in the drive-in classic "White Lightning," "Two Moon Junction," "Pacific Heights" and "Con Air."
TOMMY NEWSOM Died Apr. 28, 2007
Musician Tommy Newsom died of bladder and liver cancer at age 78. Mr. Newsom was a member of the famed "Tonight Show Band" during the Johnny Carson era. On nights when Doc Severinsen was not present, Tommy Newsom would lead the band. The talented saxophonist became the butt of Johnny Carson's jokes on these occasions. Carson dubbed him 'Mr. Personality' for his perceived blandness in that department. Of course it was all an act and Mr. Newsom became a beloved figure to a generation who laughed at and with him as he played straight man to Johnny Carson.
ARVE OPSAHL Died Apr. 29, 2007
Norwegian actor Arve Opsahl died of heart failure at age 85. Mr. Opsahl starred in the popular "Olsen Gang" film series in his native land. He played gang boss Egon Olsen in 14 of the popular comedy films. Mr. Opsahl appeared in over 50 films and TV shows during his career. He also was a successful stage actor.
ZOLA TAYLOR Died Apr. 30, 2007
Singer Zola Taylor died at age 69. Ms. Taylor was one of the original members of the singing group "The Platters." The group recorded such classic songs as "Only You," "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" and "The Great Pretender." She appeared with the singing group in such films as "Rock Around the Clock" and "The Girl Can't Help It." Halle Berry portrayed Ms. Taylor in the movie "Why Do Fools Fall In Love?" "The Platters" were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
GORDON SCOTT Died Apr. 30, 2007
Actor Gordon Scott died of complications following heart surgery performed several months ago. Mr. Scott was 79 years old. Gordon Scott was best known for his performances in several top-notch, shot-on-location Tarzan movies from the late 1950s and early 60s. Gordon Scott donned the loincloth six times in "Tarzan's Hidden Jungle," "Tarzan and the Lost Safari," "Tarzan and the Trappers," "Tarzan's Fight for Life," "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure" and "Tarzan the Magnificent." Several of the productions were British films and the others were US backed films. The British productions were far superior to the US films.
Gordon Scott was my second favorite Tarzan following Johnny Weissmuller. I have great childhood memories surrounding "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure." During the late 1960s and early 1970s on New Years Eve the local CBS station in Memphis would always play "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure." My parents always went out leaving us kids. It was a yearly ritual to stay up with my little sister and watch "Tarzan's Greatest Adventure." Years passed before I saw the movie again. It still holds up. The movie also features a young Sean Connery as a badguy.
Gordon Scott was also a movie Icon for his many Sword and Sandal movies. After making his debut in the "Tarzan" series, Gordon Scott moved to Italy and made another 19 films. He and friend Steve Reeves starred in a series of Italian muscleman epics set in ancient Rome. Scott enjoyed international success with these films. He and Steve Reeves played Romulus and Remus in "Duel of the Titans." Gordon Scott is the second ex-husband of Vera Miles to die in the past five months!
TOM POSTON Died Apr. 30, 2007
Emmy-winning actor Tom Poston died at age 85. Tom Poston won an Emmy in 1959 for his work on "The Steve Allen Show." Mr. Poston was nominated in the 1986 for his work on "Newhart," "Mork and Mindy" and "Coach." My first memories of Tom Poston were for his starring roles in the William Castle horror/comedy films "Zotz" and the remake of "The Old Dark House." Tom Poston appeared in nearly 100 films and TV shows. He was a master of comedy. Whether playing deadpan ALA Buster Keaton or over the top, Tom Poston delivered the goods. Next to Tim Conway, he was the most consistently funny man working during the 60s and 70s. Of course, Tom Poston enjoyed a busy career up until his death. Several generations of TV viewers have all enjoyed Tom Poston's work. My father loved his work in the 50 on, while I became a fan in the mid 60s. Now my youngest daughter is a fan for his recent work in such films as "The Princess Diaries 2" and "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody."
Tom Poston may be best remembered for his work with Bob Newhart in the TV series "Bob," "The Bob Newhart Show" and "Newhart." The pair also worked together in the comedy film "Cold Turkey."
Tom Poston's feature film credits include "City That Never Sleeps," "Soldier in the Rain" with Steve McQueen, "The Happy Hooker," Joan Rivers' lone directorial effort "Rabbit Test," "Up the Academy," "Carbon Copy," "Krippendorf's Tribe," "Beethoven's 5th" and "Christmas With the Cranks." He also had a successful Broadway career. In fact Mr. Poston began his acting career on BRaodway in the 1947 production of "Cyrano de Bergerac."
Mr. Poston's first wife was actress Jean Sullivan. Their daughter Francesca is also an actress. Mr. Poston married his "The Bob Newhart Show" co-star Suzanne Pleschet in 2001. Tom Poston was a decorated pilot in the US Army-Air Corps during WWII. He flew missions during D-Day. Thanks for your service to the country and thanks for the millions of laughs.
SYDNEY ROSE Died Apr. 30, 2007
Producer Sydney Rose died of pancreatic cancer at age 68. Mr. Rose was the executive producer of one of the greatest rockumentaries of all time. "The Kids Are Alright" followed the career of the rock band The Who from their beginnings until 1978 just prior to drummer Keith Moon's death. Mr. Rose also produced two concerts called the Glad Rag Ball which were later televised.