Saturday, March 30, 2013

August 2007 Film World Obituaries

KAY DOTRICE Died Aug. 2, 2007

British actress Kay Dotrice died of a heart attack at age 78. He husband was actor Roy Dotrice. The pair appeared together in "Cheech and Chong's The Corsican Brothers." Ms. Dotrice was the mother of actresses Karen, Yvette and Michelle Dotrice. Karen Dotrice played the daughter in "Mary Poppins."

JOHN GARDNER Died Aug. 3, 2007

Writer John Gardner died of heart failure at age 80. Mr. Gardner was chosen to continue in Ian Fleming's footsteps and write new "James Bond" novels. Mr. Gardner wrote 14 new books in the series and two movie novelizations. Mr. Gardner wrote several series of novels. His book "The Liquidator" was turned into a 1965 Rod Taylor thriller. Charles Bronson starred in the brutal Michael Winner cop drama "The Stone Killer." "The Stone Killer" was based on Mr. Gardner's novel "A Complete State of Death." Mr. Gardner served his country in the Royal Marines during WWII.

JAMES CALLAHAN Died Aug. 3, 2007

Character actor James Callahan died of esophageal cancer at age 76. Mr. Callahan appeared in over 120 films and TV shows during his career. Mr. Callahan was best known for his role as Scott Baio's grandfather in the TV series "Charles in Charge." Mr. Callahan was a regular on the TV series "The Governor and JJ," "Wendy and Me" and "The Runaways." He also had a recurring role on the series "Dr. Kildare." Mr. Callahan's film roles include principle parts in "Lady Sings the Blues," "Outlaw Blues" and "Tropic of Cancer." His TV movie roles include Disney's "The Mystery of Dracula's Castle" and "The Missiles of October." Mr. Callahan made guest appearances on numerous TV series including "Police Story," "Perry Mason," "Route 66," "Have Gun-Will Travel," "My Favorite Martian," "The Time Tunnel," "The Fugitive," "The Untouchables," "M*A*S*H," "Cybill," "The Practice" and "ER."

JULIA BRANSBY Died Aug. 3, 2007

Former film editor Julia Bransby died at age 103. Following a career as a teacher in California, Ms. Bransby began working as a film editor for her brother John Bransby. She then went to work for director Jerome Hill 1950s and 60s. She worked as an editor on several of his films including the 1957 Oscar-winning documentary "Albert Schweitzer."

LEE HAZELWOOD Died Aug. 4, 2007

Singer/songwriter/record producer Lee Hazelwood died of kidney cancer at age 78. Mr. Hazelwood wrote hits for such people as Dean Martin and Frank and Nancy Sinatra. He and Nancy Sinatra were frequent collaborators, recording several albums together and appearing in such TV shows and "Movin' With Nancy" and "Nancy and Lee in Las Vegas." He also recorded many of his own hit records. Nancy Sinatra's 1966 number #1 hit record "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" may be his best known song. Mr. Hazelwood's music has been used on the soundtracks of many films. Sinatra's "Boots" was used to great effect to open the second half of Stanley Kubrick's Vietnam War classic "Full Metal Jacket." Mr. Hazelwood's music can be heard on the soundtracks of such films as "Forest Gump," "Tony Rome," "The Sweet Ride," "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" and "Ocean's Thirteen."

PETER GRAHAM SCOTT Died Aug. 5, 2007

BAFTA-nominated producer/director Peter Graham Scott died at age 83. Mr. Scoot was nominated for a BAFTA for producing the TV series "The Onedin Line." Hammer film fans remember Mr. Scott for directing the excellent Peter Cushing thriller "Captain Clegg" AKA "Night Creatures." Mr. Scott directed episodes of some of the most popular British TV series of the 1960s including "Danger Man," "The Avengers" and "The Prisoner." Mr. Scott was the man who cast Diana Rigg in the role of Emma Peel. Thanks very much for that! Mr. Scott began his career as a film editor. He eventually became one of the busiest TV directors and producers in the UK. Mr. Scott served his country in the Royal Artillery during WWII.


Comedian Stanley Myron Handelman died of a heart attack at age 77. I first noticed Stanley Myron Handelman on the hilarious "Dean Martin Presents the Golddiggers" show. That took some doing as my raging hormones pulled most of my focus toward the beautiful Golddiggers on the variety show. Mr. Handelman made guest appearances on a number of variety TV shows during the 1960s. Mr. Handelman was one of the writers on the TV special "Rodney Dangerfield: It's Not Easy Being Me." He made a guest appearance on the Danny Thomas series "Make Room for Daddy" and had a recurring role on the sequel series "Make Room for Granddaddy." Mr. Handelman turned to teaching and shared his craft with others until his death.

PHILIP KEATLEY Died Aug. 6, 2007

Canadian producer Philip Keatley died just shy of his 78th birthday. Mr. Keatley produced and wrote 12 episodes of the TV series "Cold Squad." He was nominated for a Best Dramatic Series Gemini Award for the show. Mr. Keatley's also produced the TV shows "Beachcombers," "Cariboo County" and "Trust in Me."

ERNESTO ALONSO Died Aug. 7, 2007

Award-winning actor/producer/director Ernesto Alonso died of pneumonia at age 90. Mr. Alonso was a prolific Mexican filmmaker. He produced over 150 TV series during his lengthy career, earning him the nickname 'Senor Telenovela.' Mr. Alonso also directed many of the TV series that he produced. Mr. Alonso acted in over 60 films and TV shows during a career that began in the 1930s. He was nominated for Mexico's highest film award, the Ariel as Best Actor in Luis Bunuel's 1955 crime drama "Rehearsal for a Crime." Mr. Alonso also worked with the famed director in "Wuthering Heights" and "The Young and the Damned." He appeared as himself in two documentaries about director Luis Bunuel. Last year Mr. Alonso was honored with a Special Golden Ariel for his lifetime of contributions to the Mexican film and TV industry.

LEO LYDEN Died Aug. 7, 2007

Irish actor Leo Lyden died at age 78. Mr. Lyden enjoyed success on stage screen and TV. He appeared in 14 Broadway plays including revivals of "King Lear" with Christopher Plummer in the title role and "The Merchant of Venice" with Dustin Hoffman as Shylock. Mr. Lyden's film credits include the cult horror film "The Mask," "1776" and "I.Q."

HAL FISHMAN Died Aug. 7, 2007

Los Angeles TV newsman Hal Fishman died of colon and liver cancer at age 75. Mr. Fishman was the anchor for KTLA for nearly 32 years! In addition to his TV news career, Mr. Fishman was an accomplished pilot and held 12 world records for speed and altitude. Mr. Fishman co-wrote two aviation novels with pilot Barry Schiff. Mr. Fishman appeared as himself or as a TV newsman in such films as "Black Sunday," "When Hell Was in Session," "Joe Dirt" and "Spider Man 3."

MEL SHAVELSON Died Aug. 8, 2007

Oscar nominated writer/director and producer Mel Shaevelson died of natural causes at age 90. Mr. Shavelson shared two Best Writing Oscar nominations for the Cary Grant/Sophia Loren comedy "Houseboat" and the biopic "The Seven Little Foys." He directed both films. Mr. Shavelson co-wrote both films with Jack Rose. Mr. Shavelson was also nominated for seven WGA awards, winning once for "The Five Pennies." Mr. Shavelson was honored by the WGA with the Valentine Davis Award, the Morgan Cox Award and the Laurel Award for Screen Writing Achievement. He wrote and directed a number of other films including "Yours, Mine and Ours" and "Cast a Giant Shadow." Mr. Shavelson created the TV series "Make Room for Daddy" and "My World and Welcome To It."

DONALD CHU Died Aug. 8, 2007

Film editor Donald Chu was killed when he was struck by a car while walking through a shopping center. Mr. Chu was 91 years old. Mr. Chu was the first Chinesse-American member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild Local #776. Mr. Chu's credits include "Sky Riders," "Catastrophe" and "The Tender Warrior."

ULRICH PLENZDORF Died Aug. 9, 2007

German writer Ulrich Plenzdorf died of cancer at age 72. Mr. Plenzdorf wrote about East German life in such DEFA films as "The Legend of Paul and Paula," "The Suspicion" and "Island of Swans."

TONY WILSON Died Aug. 10, 2007

Tony Wilson, the British TV presenter and founder of Factory Records died of a heart attack at age 57. Mr. Wilson had been battling cancer for a couple of years, but the heart attack was unrelated to his illness. Mr. Wilson's life was the subject of the movie "24 Hour Party People." He was portrayed by actor Steve Coogan. Mr. Coogan based his TV character Allan Partridge from the TV series "I'm Allan Partridge" on Tony Wilson. Tony Wilson conducted the first TV interview with "The Sex Pistols." For this, Mr. Wilson was known as the man who introduced Punk to the UK. Mr. Wilson was a presenter on a number of British TV shows including "So It Goes," "Granada Reports" and "Topranko" a quiz show on "MTV Europe."


E. THOMAS CASE Died Aug. 10, 2007

Veteran makeup artist E. Thomas Case died at age 80. Mr. Case's many credits include the original version of "Around the World in Eighty Days," "Shampoo," "Foul Play," "The First Wives Club," "Serial Mom," "Death Becomes Her," "V.I. Warshawski," "The Doors," "Everybody's All-American," "Heartbreak Ridge," "Peggy Sue Got Married," "Prizzi's Honor," "The Karate Kid," "Romancing the Stone," "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," "Private Benjamin" and "Chapter Two." Mr. Case served his country in the US Navy during WWII.

MICHAEL SMIDT Died Aug. 10, 2007

Assistant director Michael Smidt died of undisclosed causes at age 47. Mr. Smidt's credits include the TV series "Scarecrow and Mrs. King," the mini-series "Around the World in 80 Days," "Addicted to His Love" and "False Witness."

RICHARD COMPTON Died Aug. 11, 2007

Actor turned director Richard Compton died at age 69. Mr. Compton was the husband of "Alien" actress Veronica Cartwright. Fans of 1970s B-Movies have a dear place in their heart for Richard Compton. He co-wrote with Max Baer, and directed the drive-in classic "Macon County Line." The surprise hit spawned the so-so sequel "Return to Macon County" which was also written and directed by Richard Compton. Mr. Compton also directed the notorious "Welcome Home, Soldier Boys." While the film did a disservice to returning Vietnam vets by portraying all combat vets as psychopathic killers, the movie works on a purely visceral level. It foreshadows the message delivered in "Rambo" by 10 years. Mr. Compton also directed the biker film "Angels Die Hard," "The Ransom" and "Ravagers." In the 1980s and 90s Mr. Compton turned to directing episodic TV helming such shows as "Babylon 5," "Miami Vice," "The Equalizer," "The X-Files," "Sliders" and "Charmed." Mr. Compton directed the Jan & Dean rock and roll TV biopic "Dead Man's Curve." Mr. Compton's acting credits include guest shots on the original "Star Trek" Series."

FRANZ ANTEL Died Aug. 11, 2007

Austrian director Franz Antel died in his sleep at age 94. Mr. Antel made a number of comedy films popular in Austria and Germany. He directed nearly 80 films and TV shows during a career that began in the post-WWII years. He directed the award-winning 1981 anti-Nazi film "Der Bockerer" which was about a butcher in Vienna who survives the Nazi era. Mr. Antel made three sequels to "Der Bockerer." Mr. Antel's other credits include "Casanova & Co." with Tony Curtis and several films in the "Sexy Susan" series.

JOAN FINNIGAN Died Aug. 12, 2007

Canadian novelist Joan Finnigan died at age 82. Ms. Finnigan published over 30 books during her career. She won the Canadian Genie Award for Best Screenplay for the 1968 Margot Kidder film "The Best Damn Fiddler From Calabogie to Kaladar." The film also won the Canadian Film Award for Film of the Year.

MERV GRIFFIN Died Aug. 12, 2007

Entertainer turned TV mogul turned real-estate tycoon Merv Griffin died of prostate cancer at age 82. Merv Griffin won ten Daytime Emmy Awards and was nominated for another 22! He received a Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 2005 Daytime Emmy Awards. Merv Griffin began his career as a singer. As the singer for The Freddy Martin Band, Mr. Griffin scored a huge hit with the 1949 novelty song "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts." This success lead to a few movie roles. It was in television that Merv Griffin left his mark on the industry. His talk show "The Merv Griffin Show" ran in several incarnations between 1962 and 1986. While the bulk of the series was a daytime talk show, he was moved to nights in 1969 to take on late night king Johnny Carson. The failed experiment last a few years and Mr. Griffin's show returned to daytime TV. Millions of TV fans are endebted to Merv Griffin for creating the hit game shows "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune." The shows brought Mr. Griffin a real fortune when Coca-Cola and Sony bought him out for $250,000,000.00 in 1986. Mr. Griffin then expanded his business interests into hotels and resorts. Merv Griffin appeared in a few films including "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" and "Phantom of the Rue Morgue." He did voice work in several films as a radio announcer including Ray Harryhausen's "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms."

HENRY LEFF Died Aug. 12, 2007

Actor and teacher Henry Leff died of a variety of illnesses at age 88. Mr. Leff worked on radio, TV, stage and in film. He was a regular on the NBC radio drama "Candy Matson, Yuhon2-8209" during the 1940s. Mr. Leff is best known to film fans for his role as Woody Allen's father in the crime comedy "Take the Money and Run." His other film credits include "They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!" and "The Strawberry Statement." Mr. Leff shared his craft with others as a broadcasting professor at the City College of San Francisco. Mr. Leff served his country in the US Army during WWII.

AIDA YOUNG Died Aug. 12, 2007

British producer Aida Young died at age 87. Ms. Young was a producer for Hammer films. She produced several of Christopher Lee's "Dracula" films. Her credits include "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave," "Taste the Blood of Dracula," "Scars of Dracula," "She," "One Million Years B.C.," "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth," "The Vengeance of She," "Hands of the Ripper," "Steptoe and Son" and "Steptoe and Son Ride Again." Ms. Young also produced episodes of the TV series "Danger Man." She began her career as an assistant director working on such films as "The Quatermass Experiment" and "Vengeance is Mine." She worked as a production manager on the TV series "Danger Man," "The Invisible Man," "William Tell" and "The New Adventures of Charlie Chan."


British actor Geoffrey Wilkinson died of a heart attack at age 64. Mr. Wilkinson suffered a heart attack moments after finishing a performance of the play "Vacant Possession." Mr. Wilkinson was a familiar face in the UK for his many TV appearances. His TV credits include such shows as "Coronation Street," "Heartbeat" and "The Falklands Play." Mr. Wilkinson's film credits include "Calendar Girls" and "Paris By Night."

JOE VAN SLYKE Died Aug. 13, 2007

Chicago stage actor Joe Van Slyke died of lung cancer at age 55. Mr. Van SLyke was fixture on Chicago stages for nearly 30 years. His film and TV credits include "Prison Break," "Hoodlum," "Early Edition" and "Meet the Applegates."

PHIL RIZZUTO Died Aug. 14, 2007

Baseball Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto died at age 89. The former New York Yankee shortstop's career spanned the 1940s and 50s. He appeared in five All Star Games and was part of seven World Series winning Yankee teams. Younger baseball fans remember Phil Rizzuto as the voice of the Yankees. His radio career as an announcer lasted 40 years. Mr. Rizzuto was inducted into Cooperstown in 1994. Phil Rizzuto was known for his enthusiastic radio style and the phrase "Holy Cow!" whenever he saw a spectacular play. Rocker Meatloaf called on Phil Rizzuto to provide play-by-play commentary for his hit song "Paradise By the Dashboard Light." Mr. Rizzuto was unaware that his contribution to the song was actually a double-entendre for the singer's attempt to lose his virginity. Phil Rizutto appeared as himself in a number of TV shows and documentaries. He was the very first mystery guest on the TV show "What's My Line?" Other credits include "Arli$$," "ESPN SportsCentury" and "Summer of Sam." Mr. Rizzuto served his country in the US Navy during WWII.

EDUARDO NORIEGA Died Aug. 14, 2007

Mexican actor Eduardo Noriega died of a heart attack at age 90. Mr. Noriega died one week after his contemporary, actor Ernesto Alonso. Mr. Noriega appeared in nearly 150 films and TV shows during his career. Mr. Noriega enjoyed success in his native land as well on US screens with RKO. He appeared in one of my guilty pleasures, the B-movie classic "High Risk." My first exposure to Mr. Noriega was in the Edward Nassour directed and animated monster movie "The Beast of Hollow Mountain." Among Mr. Noriega's many credits are John Wayne's "Tycoon," "Plunder of the Sun" with Glenn Ford, "The Far Horizons," "The Sun Also Rises," "Zorro, the Gay Blade" and the original and superior version of "The In-Laws."

SAYOKO YAMAGUCHI Died Aug. 14, 2007

Japanese supermodel Sayoko Yamaguchi died of pneumonia at age 57. Ms. Yamaguchi became one of the first Japanese models to rise to the top of the business during the 1970s. She appeared in several films including "The Fruits of Passion." The Klaus Kinski film was a sequel to the erotic French film "The Story of O."

TIKHON KHRENNIKOV Died Aug. 14, 2007

Russian composer Tikhon Khrennikov died at age 94. Mr. Khrennikov was appointed by Josef Stalin as Secretary of the Composer's Union in 1948. He held the post until the fall of the Soviet Union. He did so by toting the Communist Party line that music should uplift the ideals of the state. This stance made him enemies with other musicians. Mr. Khrennikov composed scores for a number of movies including "They Met in Moscow" and "The Cossack's Dream."

ANTHONY CARRAS Died Aug. 15, 2007

Producer/director/editor Anthony Carras died at age 86. Mr. Carras was a Roger Corman alumni working as an editor and sound editor on a number of Corman quickies before becoming a producer on the Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello Beach movies. Mr. Carras edited a number of Roger Corman's films including "A Bucket of Blood," "Beast From Haunted Cave," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "Master of the World," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "Tales of Terror" and "X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes." Mr. Carras co-produced such films as "Master of the World," "The Comedy of Terrors," "Beach Blanket Bingo," "Pajama Party," "Bikini Beach," "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini," "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine" and "The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini." Anthony Carras wrote and directed "The Fearmaker." The Mexican horror film starred Katie Jurado. Anthony Carras served his country as a B-24 Liberator pilot in the US Army-Air Corp. Mr. Carras flew 35 combat missions during WWII.

Mr. Carras's grand-daughter Katrina shared the joy her grandfather brought into her life: My grandpa had a tremendous love for his family, and he proved that in the last few weeks of his life in what I consider to be a miracle. Although I'm sad he's passed onto the other world, he gave me a gift that has changed the way I see the world, and I can't ever thank him enough for it.

UPDATE: Mr. Carra's daughter Cathy contacted me. I asked if Katrina was her daughter. She answered that question and kindly provided me with more information concerning her late father: "Katrina is my Niece. Her dad is my brother Anthony who once as a baby slept in Buster Keaton's Trailer when he was making one of the Beach Party Movies. It looks like you had a lot of info regarding my dad. I will give you some additional info. My dad graduated 2nd in his class from Pasadena Playhouse in 1950. He worked with Charlie Chaplin on the movie "Limelight." Did not get credit for this. Charlie taught my dad how to film edit. He told me that his first pic with Roger Corman was the "Pit and the Pendulum." Roger was so happy with my dad's work that he got him on full time with AIP and also bought him a case of champagne. One of the movies that my dad edited but did not take credit for was "Little Shop of Horrors." He didn't care for the movie. He also had the idea of having the Beach Boys perform in The Beach Party Movies. He met with their father, Murray Wilson. But the guys up top turned the offer down. The movie "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" was co-produced by my father. He had asked Bill Asher's wife Elizabeth Montgomery to play a very small part at the end of the movie "Bwana's Daughter the Witches Witch." This was right before she started doing her TV Show called "Bewitched." She was not credited for this role and did not want to be compensated for it. So my Dad told me he bought her a pair of Season Tickets with the Los Angeles Dodgers for that year. Lastly, in one of Vincent Price's books he wrote that he felt the best editor he ever worked with was my father."

MAX ROACH Died Aug. 15, 2007

Jazz percussionist Max Roach died at age 83 after a long illness. Mr. Roach performed with such jazz greats as Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. He appeared in the classic 1960 documentary "Jazz on a Summer's Day," which chronicled the 1958 Newpoert Jazz Festival. He also appeared in the film "Carmen Jones. His music can be heard on the soundtracks of such films as "The Notorious Betti Page" and the Made for TV bipic about Malcolm X "Death of a Prophet."

TIM SUSCO Died Aug. 15, 2007

Location manager Tim Susco died at age 25. Though the cause of death was not released, a tribute site for Mr. Susco asks for donations to be made to a foundation researching brain aneurisms. Mr. Susco was the key assistant location manager on the TV series "Heroes." Mr. Susco was the location manager on several films including "The Woodsman" and "Careless." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

CLIVE EXTON Died Aug. 16, 2007

British screenwriter Clive Exton died at age 77. Mr. Exton wrote primarily for British TV, however he did write several very good films. True crime buffs will remember his chilling portrait of serial killer John Christie in "10 Rillington Place." Richard Attenborough portrayed the killer and John Hurt played the simpleton Timothy Evans who was wrongly executed for Christie's killing. The miscarriage of justice lead to the abolishment of capital punishment in the UK. Mr. Exton's taut script helped make "10 Rillington Place" one of the best films of its type ever produced. Mr. Exton dealt with similarly morbid subject matter previously in the Albert Finny thriller "Night Must Fall." Horror movie fans will remember Mr. Exton's 1980 mummy movie "The Awakening" with Charlton Heston and Susannah York. Other credits include "Red Sonja" and "Doomwatch."

PIERRE JOURDAN Died Aug. 16, 2007

French producer/director Pierre Jourdan died at age 74. He was the brother of actor Louis Jourdan. Mr. Jourdan was a world-renowned opera director. He worked on stage as well as adapting many opera productions for film and TV. He spent the last 20 years of his life promoting French operas at the Theatre Impererial de Compiegne. Mr. Jourdan directed feature film versions of "Aida," "Phedra" and "Tristan and Isolde" among others.

VITO PALLAVICINI Died Aug. 16, 2007

Italian pop composer Vito Pallavicini died at age 83. He was a frequent collaborator with Paul Conte. His song "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" was recorded by Elvis and performed in the movie "Elvis: That's the Way It Is." The song also can be heard on the soundtracks of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Fanny and Elvis" and "The Wedding Tackle." Mr. Pallavicini's songs have been recorded by such artists as Gene Pitney, Petula Clark, Wilson Pickett and Shirley Bassey.

TANJA LIEDTKE Died Aug. 17, 2007

Dancer Tanja Liedtke was killed when she was struck by a garbage truck in Sydney Australia. The 29-year-old dancer was the new artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company. Ms. Liedtke performed her craft in the short film "The Cost of Living." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

GEORGE GILES Died Aug. 17, 2007

British actor George Giles died. His age was not given. Mr. Giles was know to fans of the British sci-fi series "Dr. Who" for his performance as the Guard Captain in "The Curse of Peladon." Mr. Giles' other credits include "Z Cars," "Bless This House" and "The Troubleshooters."

MAX HODGE Died Aug. 17, 2007

Writer Max Hodge died at age 91. Mr. Hodge created the "Mr. Freeze" character for the 1960s "Batman" TV series. The character was portrayed by director Otto Preminger in the TV series and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the feature film "Batman and Robin." Mr. Hodge's other credits include the TV series "The Wild, Wild West," "Mission Impossible," "The Girl From U.N.C.L.E." (also produced), "Ironside" and "The Waltons." Mr. Hodge served his country in the US Navy during WWII.

ELIZABETH CALLAN Died Aug. 17, 2007

TV producer Elizabeth Callan died of injuries sustained in a house fire at age 57. Ms. Callan was a producer for "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." She won the CINE Golden Eagle Award for a series of reports she did on Alzheimer's Disease. Ms. Callan worked for NBC News of 11 years before joining "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" in 1987. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

SANDRA FEIJOO Died Aug. 18, 2007

Makeup artist Sandra Feijoo died of undisclosed causes at age 32. Ms. Feijoo worked on over 20 films and TV movies during her career. Her credits include Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator," "The Art of War," "Hitler: The Rise of Evil," "Slow Burn" and "Kart Racer." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends, especially her son Jack.

MICHAEL DEAVER Died Aug. 18, 2007

Michael Deaver, a longtime aide to former president Ronald Reagan died of pancreatic cancer at age 69. Mr. Deaver joined Ronald Reagan's staff in 1966 while Reagan was governor of California. Mr. Deaver was in charge of President Reagan's image. Mr. Deaver later became a lobbyist and was convicted of perjury for lying to Congress about his activities. Michael Deaver acted as a technical consultant for director Steven Soderbergh on the Washington DC based TV series "K Street." Mr. Deaver appeared as himself in several documentaries including "With God On Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America."

FRANCIS RYCK Died Aug. 19, 2007

French mystery/crime novelist Francis Ryck died at age 87. Mr. Ryck published nearly 30 novels during his lifetime. Many of his books were adapted to the screen. Those films include "Only the Cool" with Klaus Kinski, "The Secret" with Jean-Louis Trintignant and Costa Gavras's "Family Business."

TERRI JEAN MESSINA Died Aug. 21, 2007

Actress, film editor and songwriter Terri Messina died at age 61. Ms. Messina appeared in several films and TV shows during the 1960s and early 70s. Ms. Messina played a teen sexpot in the 1971 proto-slasher film "Blood and Lace." This horror film foreshadowed elements of "Halloween" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" nearly a decade before those films were produced. Ms. Messina's other credits include "The Monkees," "Gidget," "Ironsides," "Love American Style," "How Sweet It Is!" and Jayne Mansfield's final film "Single Room Furnished." Ms. Messina also played a character named Penny in two episodes of the campy 1960s TV series "Batman." Ms. Messina also worked behind the camera. She was an assistant editor on John Cassavettes' "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie." Ms. Messina's great love was "The Byrds" singer/songwriter Gene Clark. When Mr. Clark was inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" he proclaimed to the world "Terri is the love of my life." Mr. Clark passed away in 1991. Ms. Messina co-wrote the song "Feelin' Higher" with Mr. Clark. The song was released in 1979 by the band "McGuinn, Clark & Hillman." Ms. Messina spent the last 16 years caring for her parents.

HALEY PAIGE Died Aug. 21, 2007

Adult film star Haley Paige died at age 25. The cause of death is currently under investigation. Ms. Paige entered the adult film business in 2000 and has appeared in nearly 300 adult videos. She stepped behind the camera in 2006 to direct the video "Virgin Territory." There are a number of rumors circulating concerning the cause of death. Once it has been confirmed, I will update her obituary. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

KEITH KNIGHT Died Aug. 22, 2007

Canadian actor Keith Knight died of brain cancer at age 51. Mr. Knight may be best remembered for his debut film "Meatballs." Mr. Knight played camp counselor Finkelstein in the hit Bill Murray comedy. His standout scene was the hotdog eating contest. Other film credits include "Gas," "My Bloody Valentine" and "Class of 1984." He appeared in a number of TV series and later did voice work.

FRANCISCO GARCIA Died Aug. 22, 2007

Former wrestler Francisco Garcia died at age 84. Mr. Francisco wrestled under the name 'Frank "El Carnicero" Butcher.' He performed in Mexico during the 1950s and 60s before moving to Canada in 1971. He appeared in one of the first Mexican wrestling films "Huracan Rameirez" in 1953.

FARUK BEGOLLI Died Aug. 23, 2007

Kosovo actor and theater director Farul Begolli died at age 63. Mr. Begolli appeared in nearly 70 films during his career. He was also a noted theater director and college professor in his homeland. Mr. Begolli appeared in the internationally seen film "The Battle of Neretva," which starred Yul Brynner and Orson Welles.

ROBERT SYMONDS Died Aug. 23, 2007

Actor Robert Symonds died of prostate cancer at age 80. Mr. Symonds was the husband of actress Priscilla Pointer and the step-father of actress Amy Irving and director David Irving. Mr. Symonds was a noted stage actor in California. He appeared in nearly 70 films and TV shows during his career. His film credits include "The Exorcist," "Gray Lady Down," "…And Justice For All" and "Primary Colors." Mr. Symonds also appeared in a number of excellent Made for TV movies including the political biopic "Tail Gunner Joe," "The Legend of Lizzie Borden," "Murder in Texas" and "The Blue and the Gray." His step-son David directed him in the horror film "C.H.U.D. 2." He and wife Priscilla Pointer appeared together in a number of films including Blake Edwards' "Micki + Maude" That film starred his step-daughter Amy Irving. Mr. Symonds served his country in the US Army during WWII.

MARK KAMPS Died Aug. 23, 2007

Emmy-nominated sound editor and college professor Mark Kamps died of undisclosed causes at age 44. Mr. Kamps was nominated for three Emmy Awards for his work on the TV series "The Pretender" and the two mini-series "Sleeper Cell" and "Desperation." Mr. Kamps was an adjunct professor at Loyola Marymount where he shared his craft with future sound editors. Mr. Kamps worked on many films including "A League of Their Own," "Waterworld," "Last Action Hero," "Grosse Point Blank," "The Last Don" and "Nip/Tuck."

STEVEN KOZLOWSKI Died Aug. 23, 2007

Actor Steven Kozlowski died of undisclosed causes at age 30. Mr. Kozlowski's credits include "Southie," "Collateral," "Holes," "NYPD Blue," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "Good Will Hunting."

AARON RUSSO Died Aug. 24, 2004

Emmy-winning producer, director, rock promoter and political activist Aaron Russo died of cancer at age 64. Mr. Russo began his career promoting rock concerts in the 1960s. He went on to manage Bette Midler's career. He produced Ms. Midler's TV special "Bette Midler: Ol' Red Hair is Back" for which he won an Emmy. The following year, Mr. Russo produced "The Rose" which garnered Bette Midler an Oscar nomination as Best Actress. His other producer credits include "Trading Places," "Teachers" and "Wise Guys." Mr. Russo directed the controversial film "America: From Freedom to Fascism." He supported the Libertarian Party and sought their nomination for president in 2004.

JOSH BURTON Died Aug. 24, 2007

Actor Josh Burton died at age 61. Mr. Burton founded the New Court Theater at Beloit College in Wisconsin. Mr. Burton appeared on Broadway in "The Sunshine Boys" with Jack Gilford and Lou Jacobi. Mr. Burton appeared on the soap operas "The Doctors" and "The Guiding Light."

HANSJORG FELMY Died Aug. 24, 2007

German actor Hanjorg Felmy died at age 76. Mr. Felmy appeared in over 50 films and TV shows during his career. He had a major supporting role in Alfred Hitchcock's "Torn Curtain." Mr. Felmy also starred in three films based on novels by Bryan Edgar Wallace, the son of author Edgar Wallace. Those films were "The Racetrack Murders," "The Monster of London City" and "The Mad Executioners." Mr. Felmy's "Dead One in the Thames River" was based on a novel by the senior Edgar Wallace. These films were part of the 'Krimis' film movement. Krimis films were lurid crime films popular in Germany during the early 1960s. Many were based on the works of Edgar and Bryan Edgar Wallace.

BILL CATCHING Died Aug. 24, 2007

Veteran stuntman/actor/second unit director Bill Catching died at his home in Arizona. His age was not given. Mr. Catching acted or did stunts in over 120 films and TV shows. He was second unit director on the TV show "The Fall Guy" and the feature film "Moon Over Parador." Fans of Alfred Hitchcock saw Mr. Catching get punched in the face by Cary Grant during the auction sequence of "North By Northwest." Director Sam Peckinpah used Mr. Catching in his TV series "The Rifleman" as well as the films "Ride the High Country" and "Major Dundee." Mr. Catching's many film credits include Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus," "The Beast of Hollow Mountain," "The Cowboys," "The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid," "The Poseidon Adventure," Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets," "Blazing Saddles," "Westworld," "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry" and "Earthquake." Mr. Catching was inducted into the Stuntman Hall of Fame. He also received the Golden Boot Award in 1994.

DENNY MARTIN FLYNN Died Aug. 24, 2007

Screenwriter, choreographer, actor and author Denny Martin Flynn died of cancer at age 59. Mr. Flynn co-wrote what many consider to be the best film in the "Star Trek" series: "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country." He co-wrote the script with Nicholas Meyer. Mr. Flynn acted in a number of Broadway plays. He choreographed the Nicholas Meyer film "The Deceivers" in 1988. Mr. Flynn wrote several books dealing with screenwriting and auditioning for parts.

CATHERINE CREWE Died Aug. 25, 2007

Canadian born actress Catherine Crewe died at age 66. Ms. Crewe enjoyed success as a regional theater actress in the UK. She appeared in the films "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever," "The Raging Moon" and "It Could happen to You." Ms. Crewe also appeared in a BBC production of "Summer and Smoke" starring Lee Remick.

ANN HOVEY Died Aug. 25, 2007

Documentary filmmaker Austin Mutti-Mewse informed me that actress Ann Hovey died at age 95. Regular readers know that Mr. Mutti-Mewse has contributed several obituaries to my column. He and his brother Howard made the great documentary "I Used To Be In Pictures." My thanks to Mr. Mutti-Mewse for allowing me to publish his tribute to Ms. Hovey.

Ann Hovey, who has died in Arizona aged 95 was a much glorified dark-haired, wide-eyed Hollywood movie actress who starred in a bevy of Movie Musicals made during the early 'Talkie' era.

A descendent of Alvin Peterson-Hovey, Governor of Indiana 1888-1891, she was born Anna Jacques Hovey in the exclusive Walnut Grove area of Mount Vernon on July 29, 1912. Her mother was a San Francisco society girl and her father a prominent banker. Both assumed their daughter would marry into a similar background; however, Ann Hovey only wanted to act. Shortly before her seventh birthday however, Ann Hovey was involved in car accident and lost the sight in her left eye, fortunately overtime her sight was restored as was her ardor to act.

After graduating from an Indiana High School in 1929, Ann Hovey head off to Hollywood where she quickly found movie director's willing to give her parts in pictures. She had a concrete offer from BP Schulberg at Paramount.

Schulberg, who was having an affair with the actress Sylvia Sidney, fell in love with Hovey, who was not too dissimilar in looks to Sylvia. Although Ann Hovey suggested the friendship purely platonic Sylvia Sidney became jealous and before her boyfriend's latest find found a movie role at Paramount, Sidney had Schulberg ring Warner Bros. to sign her instead.

Ann Hovey donned frills for her first role "The Kid from Spain" (1932) with Eddie Cantor and Ruth Hall and then "shuffled off to buffalo" in "42nd Street" (1933) and wore a giant gold coin for "Gold Diggers of 1933" (1933), with William Warren, Ginger Rogers and Ruby Keeler, with a stellar performance from Aline MacMahon as Trixie.

Later that year Ann Hovey moved into an apartment at the luxurious Garden of Allah. She was joined there by her mother. The property, the former home of silent star Alla Nazimova was craved up into bungalows and apartments and inhabited by Ginger Rogers, Mildred Shay, Laurence Olivier his wife Jill Esmond, Gary Cooper, Sergei Rachmaninov and Harpo Marx.

Ann Hovey was crowned a WAMPAS Baby star of 1934, and appeared with the other twelve WAMPAS starlets including Lucille Lund Lu Ann Meredith and Gigi Parrish in two movies "Kiss and Make Up," as Lady Rummond-Dray, and opposite Judith Allen "Young and Beautiful" (both 1934). Hovey won good reviews as Kane Richmond's snobbish sister in "Circus Shadows" (1935), co-starring Dorothy Revier and was a gangster moll in "Behind the Headlines" (1936).

The following year Ann Hovey was signed to RKO Studios where she rode the range in the B-Western "Glory Trail" with Tom Keene and Joan Barclay. She remained at RKO for the next four years, appearing as a Cheerleader in the Wheeler and Woolsey comedy "On Again, Off Again" (1937), starred opposite Ann Sothern and Jack Oakie in "Super-Sleuth" (1938) and showed a flair for comedy as the numb nut Ida in the Joe E. Brown and Beverly Roberts vehicle "Flirting with Fate" (1938), this was her last movie.

Ann Hovey retired from acting to marry William Crowell of the Crowell Publishing Company. The pair divorced. Later she married press agent Robert Husey, and ran a successful Public Relations company in Arizona.

On learning during the mid-1990s that she was being sort after by fans of her old films Ann Hovey said, "I'm surprised. I never thought I was any good." Ann Hovey died on August 25 2007

ELIZABETH INGLIS Died Aug. 25, 2007

Elizabeth Inglis, former actress, widow of TV exec Pat Weaver and mother of actress Sigorney Weaver died at age 94. Ms. Inglis appeared in several films during the 1930s and 40s. Her second film was Alfred Hitchcock's classic "The 39 Steps." Other credits include "Thunder in the City" with Edward G. Robinson, a 1939 TV version of "Gaslight" and William Wyler's Film Noir classic "The Letter." Ms. Inglis acted with her daughter Sigorney Weaver in the sci-fi masterpiece "Aliens." In an ironic bit of casting the mother and daughter team played a mother and daughter, only the roles were reversed. Sigorney Weaver's Ripley was frozen in hyperspace for 58 years. When she returned to earth, he young daughter was now an old woman. Unfortunately the scene was cut from the theatrical version of the movie. You can see the scene on DVD.

MIKE BOISCLAIR Died Aug. 25, 2007

Dolly grip Mike Boisclair died at age 59. Mr. Boisclair was a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local #33. Mr. Boisclair's credits include the TV version of "Charley's Aunt," "The Eagles: When Hell Freezes Over," "Bette Midler in Concert: Diva Las Vegas" and "An Evening With the Dixie Chicks."

RUBY GARCIA Death discovered Aug. 25, 2007

Actress Ruby Garcia was found dead beside her husband David Garcia. No cause of death for the couple has yet been released. The 40-year-old actress appeared in the upcoming horror film "Pocahauntus."

SANDRA SUE WORTH Died Aug. 26, 2007

Actress and Miss America contestant Sandra Sue Wirth died at age 71. Ms. Worth won the talent competition in the mid-1950s Miss America contest for baton twirling. She appeared in the classic 1957 film "A Face in the Crowd" showing off her talent in the scene in which Andy Griffith first lays eyes on Lee Remick. Other credits include "Happy Days" and "Laverne and Shirley."

SANFORD GREEN Died Aug. 26, 2007

Composer Sanford Green died at age 93. Mr. Green contributed music to a number of films in the 1930s and 40s including "Alcatraz Island," "Kid Galahad," "Man from Oklahoma" and "Main Street Follies." Mr. Green appeared as himself in the documentary TV film "Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story."

RAMON ZAMORA Died Aug. 26, 2007

Philippine action star Ramon Zamora died of a heart attack at age 72. Mr. Zamora was called "The Bruce Lee of the Philippines" Mr. Zamora was given his nickname after starring in a string of hit action films during the 1960s and 70s. His credits include "Return of the Dragon," "Death Raiders" and "Dragon, Lizard Boxer."

HANS RUESCH Died Aug. 27, 2007

Novelist and anti-vivisectionist Hans Ruesch died at age 94. Mr. Ruesch's novel "The Racers" was turned into a 1955 feature film starring Kirk Douglas. The novel was also adapted as an episode of "The 20th Century Fox Hour" starring Farley Granger. Mr. Ruesch's adventure novel "Top of the World" was turned into the feature film "The Savage Innocents" with Anthony Quinn and Peter O'Toole. Mr. Ruesch was the founder of the scientific based anti-vivisectionist movement. His goal was to fight vivisection based on more than moral or emotional grounds.

JIM CARLSON Death Announced Aug. 27, 2007

I'll never forget my 5th grade teacher Mrs. Upchurch. The 1967-68 school year at Scenic Hills Elementary school was a very special time. Ms. Upchurch took a Montessori style approach to teaching. One day a week the class was allowed to put on skits, give presentations or just talk about what was going on. Being some what of a Ham, I enjoyed this creative freedom. "Laugh-In" was the most popular TV show at the time, at least with our class. Many of the skits we would do in class were just reenactments of gags we had seen on "Laugh-In" that week. The gags that got the best responses from the class were those based on Artie Johnson's dirty-old-man hitting on Ruth Buzzie's little-old-lady character. Probably the best gag performed by this duo went like this:

Artie Johnson: Do you believe in the hereafter?
Ruth Buzzi: Yes.
Artie Johnson: Then you know what I'm here after!

That classic joke was written by Jim Carlson. I never heard of the man before today, but his work has added much joy to my life. My memories of Mrs. Upchurch's class flooded back as I read a report of Mr. Carlson's passing. Mr. Carlson died one week shy of his 75th birthday. His many credits include "The Love Boat," "Battlestar Gallactica" and "Magnum P.I." Thanks for the memories. Also, Mrs. Upchurch, if you are still out there, thanks for making a difference in your student's lives!

EMMA PENELLA Died Aug. 27, 2007

Award-winning Spanish actress Emma Penella died of septicemia due to diabetes at age 76. Ms. Penella won five Best Actress and one Best Supporting Actress Cinema Writers Circle Awards during her career. She appeared in nearly 60 films and TV shows in a film career that began in 1950. Her credits include "The Search," "Badmen of the West" and "Fedra."

RICHARD HEFFRON Died Aug. 27, 2007

Director Richard Heffron died at age 76. Mr. Heffron directed a number of Made for TV movies as well as several feature films. He directed the excellent 1972 concert film "Filmore." Sci-fi fans will remember his "Westworld" sequel "Futureworld." That film starred Peter Fonda. Mr. Heffron also directed Peter Fonda in "Outlaw Blues." Mr. Heffron directed a number of memorable Made for TV movies during the 1970s and 80s. I especially liked the Martin Sheen/Vic Morrow thriller "The California Kid." Robert Culp starred in "Outrage" as a man fighting back against gang violence in his neighborhood. Mr. Heffron directed Dick Van Dyke to an Emmy-nominated performance as an alcoholic in "The Morning After." Other memorable TV movies include the Emmy nominated "I Will Fight No More Forever," "Death Scream" which was based on the Kitty Genovese murder, "Young Joe, the Forgotten Kennedy," "A Whale for the Killing," "V: The Final Battle," "North and South" and "Pancho Barnes." Mr. Heffron's feature film credits also include "Newman's Law," "Trackdown" and the 1982 version of "I, The Jury." The photographs at right were shared with me by Mr. Heffron's former niece by marriage, Natalie Mabbitt. Ms. Mabbitt shared many fun memories of spending time with her Uncle in Malibu. The top photo is of Mr. Heffron. The bottom picutre is of actor Peter Strauss, a young Natalie and her Uncle Richard on the set of "A Whale For the Killing."

DAYTON ANDERSON Died Aug. 28, 2007

Emmy-winning costumer Dayton Anderson died at age 75. Mr. Anderson won an Emmy for Costume Design work on "The Mike Douglas Show." His other credits include "Turner & Hooch" and "Ghost Busters."

MIYOSHI UMEKI Died Aug. 28, 2007

Oscar-winning actress Miyoshi Umeki died at age 78. Ms. Umeki was the first Asian actress to win an Oscar. She won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work in the 1957 film "Sayonara." She played a Japanese woman who falls in love with an American soldier. Red Buttons played her lover and won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work. Miyoshi Umeki was a popular singer in Japan before she came to the US. She was nominated for a Tony Award for the play "Flower Drum Song." She reprised her role in the 1961 film version. Ms. Umeki received her second Golden Globe nomination for that film. TV audiences remember Ms. Umeki for her role as Mrs. Livingston in the series "The Courtship of Eddie's Father." She received her third and final Golden Globe nomination for her work on that show. Her other film credits include "The Horizontal Lieutenant," "Cry For Happy" and "A Girl Named Tamiko." In addition to her regular role on "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," Ms. Umeki made guest appearances on such TV series as "Burke's Law," "Mr. Ed," "The Donna Reed Show" and "Dr. Kildare." Ms. Umeki was the widow of TV director Randall Hood.

RITA COLTON Died Aug. 28, 2007

Former actress Rita Colton died of lung cancer at age 79. Ms. Colton was featured on the Oct. 11, 1948 issue of "Life Magazine." Ms. Colton's film and TV credits include "The Honeymooners," "General Electric Theater," "Man Against Crime," "Masterpiece Playhouse" and "Project X."

MELISSA COHEN Died Aug. 29, 2007

Production coordinator Melissa Cohen lost her long battle with cancer. Ms. Cohen chronicled her battle on her blogsite. Ms. Cohen was the production supervisor on "Antwone Fisher." Her production coordinator credits include "Twelve Monkeys," "Me, Myself & Irene," "The Wedding Planner," "Ladder 49" and "Failure to Launch." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

GORDON LANGFORD-ROWE Death announced Aug. 29, 2007

British actor and school teacher Gordon Langford-Rowe died of cancer at age 71. Mr. Langford-Rowe enjoyed success on stage as well as film and TV. He appeared on Broadway and on London's West End. Mr. Langford-Rowe's film and TV credits include "Blow Dry," "Coronation Street" and "Emmerdale Farm." Mr. Langford-Rowe was an elementary school teacher for 30 years.


Actor and writer Jose Luis de Vilallonga died at age 87. Mr. de Vilallonga was a respected journalist and author in Europe. He appeared in nearly 50 films during his career. Mr. de Vilallonga's best known role was as the man Audrey Hepburn planned to marry in Blake Edward's film "Breakfast at Tiffany's." His other credits include "Cleo From 5 to 7," "Any Number Can Win," "Behold a Pale Horse" and Fellini's "Juliet of the Spirits."

ROEF RAGAS Died Aug. 30, 2007

Dutch actor Roef Ragas died of a heart attack at age 42. Mr. Ragas was known to international audiences for his role in Lars Von Trier's "Breaking the Waves." Mr. Ragas appeared in over 50 films and TV shows during his career. He starred for three years in one of Holland's most crime TV shows "Grijpstra & de Gier."

MICHAEL WOULFE Died Aug. 30, 2007

Costumer Michael Woulfe died of natural causes at age 89. Mr. Wolfe began his film career in the mid 1940s. His many film credits include the Judy Garland version of "A Star is Born," the original version of "The Thing From Another World," "The Conqueror," "Blood on the Sun," "Macao," "Jet Pilot" and "Happy Birthday, Wanda June."

JERRY BONO Died Aug. 31, 2007

Costumer Jerry Bono died at age 65. Mr. Bono's credits include "Deep Space Nine," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Speechless," "Air Wolf," "Voyagers," and the remake of "The Vanishing."

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