ADRIENNE SHELLY Died Nov. 1, 2006
Actress/writer/director Adrienne Shelly was murdered in her office. The 40-year-old actress was found hanging in her shower. A construction worker was later arrested and reportedly admitted that he killed the actress and then tried to make it look like a suicide. Ms. Shelly was known for her work in the Hal Hartley films "The Unbelievable Truth" and "Trust." Other acting credits include "Hexed," "Sleeping With Strangers," "Law & Order" and "Factorum." Ms. Shelly directed several films including "I’ll Take You There" and the upcoming "Waitress." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.
MILLIE VITALE Died Nov. 1, 2006
Italian actress Millie Vitale died of undisclosed causes at age 74. Ms. Vitale enjoyed success in her native land and in the US. She appeared in over 50 films during her career. Her many film credits include "The Brothers Karamazov," "The Seven Little Foys," King Vidor’s version of "War and Peace," "The Barbarians" opposite Jack Palance, "Catherine of Russia" and "Gangster ’70."
WILLIAM STYRON Died Nov. 1, 2006
Author William Styron died of pneumonia at age 81. Mr. Styron wrote the novel "Sophie’s Choice." The novel was turned into an Oscar winning film. Director Alan J. Pakula was nominated for his script adaptation of Mr. Styron’s novel. Mr. Styron’s daughter Susanna adapted her father’s short story "Shadrach" to the screen. She also directed the film. Mr. Styron appeared as himself in the film "Naked in New York" as well as in several documentaries.
BETTE ACKERMAN JAFFE Died Nov. 1, 2006
Actress Bettye Ackerman Jaffe died of Alzheimer’s Disease at age 82. Ms. Jaffe was the widow of actor Sam Jaffe (Gunga Din). The couple worked together on the TV shows "Ben Casey" and "Harry O." Ms. Jaffe appeared in nearly 50 films and TV shows. Her credits include "Studio One," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Perry Mason," "Bonanza," "Mannix," "The Rookies," "Police Story," "Police Woman," "The Waltons" and "St. Elsewhere."
FLORENCE KLOTZ Died Nov. 1, 2006
Tony-Award winning costume designer Florence Klotz died at age 86. Ms. Klotz won six Tony Awards during her lengthy stage career. She also designed the costumes for the film versions of "A Little Night Music" and "Something For Everyone."
PAUL LEE LINDER Died Nov. 1, 2006
British casting director Paul Lee Linder died at age 69. Mr. Linder cast several of the best British films of the 1960s. His credits include Richard Lester's hilarious "The Knack…and How to Get It," "The Lion in Winter" and the original version of "The Italian Job." Other credits include "Smashing Time," "The Best House in London," "A Nice Girl Like Me," "Connecting Rooms," "Nightmare" and the British TV version of "The Four Feathers."
JEAN HAYET Died Nov. 2 2006
French stage actor Jean Hayet died at age 66. Mr. Hayet appeared in 1500 stage productions during his life. He appeared in a few films and TV shows including "Bluebeard’s Escapade" and "Leopold."
LEONARD SCHRADER Died Nov. 2, 2006
Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director Leonard Schrader died of heart failure at age 62. Mr. Schrader received and Oscar nomination for "The Kiss of the Spider Woman." He was the brother of writer/director Paul Schrader. The brothers co-wrote the screenplay for the excellent crime drama "Blue Collar." His brother Paul directed. One of my favorite gangster films is Sydney Pollack’s "The Yakuza." Mr. Schrader provided the story, which brother Paul and Robert Towne turned into a screenplay. Mr. Schrader’s other writing credits include "Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters," "Tora-San 24," "Old Boyfriends" and "Naked Tango." Mr. Schrader directed the films "The Killing of America" and "Naked Tango." Mr. Schrader taught English literature in Japan during the 1960s and 70s.
SPUTNIK MONROE Died Nov. 3, 2006
Wrestler Sputnik Monroe died of natural causes at age 78. Sputnik Monroe was one of the most colorful characters in the history of pro-wrestling. He was loved by legions of fans despite his designation as a villain. Sputnik Monroe appeared in the documentary film "Lipstick & Dynamite, Piss & Vinegar: The First Ladies of Wrestling."
PAUL MAURIAT Died Nov. 3, 2006
Conductor and composer Paul Mauriat died of natural causes at age 81. Mr. Mauriat was best known for his hit version of "Love Is Blue." The instrumental love song was one of the most beautiful pieces of music to emerge from the 1960s. Mr. Mauriat also wrote the hit single "I Will Follow Him." Mr. Mauriat’s music was heard on the soundtracks of such films as "Goodfellas" and "The Kid Stays in the Picture."
PATRICIA HENNIN Died Nov. 3, 2006
Solar powered housing champion Patricia Hennin died of breast cancer at age 63. Ms. Hennin and her husband Pat founded the Shelter Institute to teach people how to build energy efficient houses. Their work was the subject of the Oscar nominated documentary short subject "Urge to Build."
JOSEFA MOE Died Nov. 3, 2006
Dancer and businessman Josefa Moe died at age 73. The Samoan entertainer led a varied life. He entertained in the nightclubs of Hawaii. Mr. Moe also appeared on stage in England. He was an artist and a businessman. Mr. Mow died extra work on the TV series "Hawaii 5-0." He appeared in the film "Forbidden Island." Mr. Moe served in the US Army.
ERNESTINE GILBRETH CAREY Died Nov. 4, 2006
Author Ernestine Gilbreth Carey died at age 98. Along with her brother Frank Gilbreth Jr., she co-wrote the autobiographical novel "Cheaper By the Dozen." The book was filmed twice, first in 1950 and then in 2003. The 2003 version spawned the sequel "Cheaper By the Dozen 2." Ms. Gilbreth’s book "Belles on Their Toes" was a sequel to "Cheaper By the Dozen." It was filmed in 1952. Actress Barbara Bates portrayed the author in the 1950s films.
MARK RODGERS Died Nov. 5, 2006
Writer/producer Mark Rodgers died of Parkinson’s Disease. His age was not given. Mark Rodgers wrote a number of films and TV shows. His film credits include the Raquel Welch movie "Flareup" and William Castle’s horror film "Let’s Kill Uncle." Most of Mr. Rodgers’ work was in TV. He wrote for the excellent TV series "Police Story" as well as three "Police Story" TV movies. Other credits include "Police Woman," "The Dirty Dozen: The Fatal Mission," "Wonder Woman," "Kojak" and "Ironside." Mr. Rodgers also produced such TV shows as "T.J. Hooker" and "The F.B.I."
DELLE CHATMAN Died Nov. 7, 2006
Author and screenwriter Delle Chatman died of ovarian cancer at age 54. Ms. Chatman wrote the books "The Unteachable Ten" and "Death of a Parent." Her screen credits include the Sidney Poitier cable TV movie "Free of Eden" as well as "The Young Riders" and "Whiskey, Riddles, and Dandelion Wine."
PAT DON AROMA Died Nov. 8, 2006
Best Boy Pat Don Aroma died at age 71. The I.A.T.S.E. Local 44 member worked on such films as John Cassavetes' "Opening Night."
MARIAN MARSH Died Nov. 9, 2006
Former actress Marian Marsh died at age 93. Ms. Marsh appeared in over 40 films during her career in the 1930s and early 1940s. Howard Hughes featured Ms. Marsh in his classic war film "Hell’s Angels." Ms. Marsh starred opposite Peter Lorre in Josef Von Sternberg’s "Crime and Punishment." Among Ms. Marsh’s other film credits are "Svengali," "The Road to Singapore," Michael Curtiz’s horror film "The Mad Genius" opposite John Barrymore, "Counterfeit" and "House of Errors." Her sister was the late actress Jean Fenwick.
BASIL POLEDOURIS Died Nov. 9, 2006
Emmy-winning composer Basil Poledouris died of cancer at age 61. Mr. Poledouris won an Emmy Award for his score of "Lonesome Dove." He composed the scores for nearly 100 films. Mr. Poledouris scored such films as "Conan the Barbarian," "Big Wednesday," "The Blue Lagoon," "Summer Lovers," "Red Dawn," "Flesh & Blood," "Iron Eagle," "RoboCop," "Cherry 2000," "Farewell To the King," "The Hunt for Red October," "Free Willy," "Serial Mom," "Starship Troopers" and "Mickey Blue Eyes."
ED BRADLEY Died Nov. 9, 2006
Emmy-winning TV news journalist Ed Bradley died of leukemia at age 65. Ed Bradley won 19 Emmy Awards for his work. He was a 25-year-veteran of the CBS news magazine "60 Minutes." The only way I can describe the man is that he was a class act. Mr. Bradley’s style and demeanor on TV never sank below the highest levels of professionalism. During his decades of reporting, Ed Bradley tried to make the world a better place by exposing injustice and highlighting those things that are good in the world. In addition to his many years with "60 Minutes," Mr. Bradley also hosted the 1992 CBS documentary news series "Street Stories." Ed Bradley also made appearances as himself on such TV shows as "Murphy Brown" and "The Chris Rock Show." Mr. Bradley covered the Vietnam War for CBS news. Ed Bradley was wounded in the back and arm by shrapnel from a mortar round while working in Cambodia during the spring of 1973. He recovered and volunteered to return to Vietnam. Such was his dedication to news reporting.
DIANA COUPLAND Died Nov. 10, 2006
British actress Diana Coupland died of complications following heart surgery at age 74. Ms. Coupland was a well-known TV star in Great Britain. He many TV credits include "Bless This House," "EastEnders," "Softly, Softly," "Dixon of Dock Green," "Z Cars" and "Casualty." Ms. Coupland also starred in the film version of the comedy "Bless This House." She had a supporting role in Mel Brooks’ comedy classic "The Twelve Chairs." Other film credits include "Charlie Bubbles" and "The Family Way." Ms. Coupland dubbed the singing voice for Ursula Andress in the first James Bond film: "Dr. No."
JACK PALANCE Died Nov. 10, 2006
With one performance, Jack Palance became a screen icon. He personified evil, the perfect badguy. Jack Palance’s performance as the gunslinger Wilson in George Steven’s classic Western "Shane" cemented his reputation as one of the screen’s great heavies. Oscar-winning actor Jack Palance died of natural causes at age 87. Though Jack Palance made a career of playing the badguy, he won his Oscar for the 1991 comedy "City Slickers." In a refreshing moment of madness, the then 72-year-old actor accepted his Best Supporting Actor Oscar by doing a set of one-armed pushups. Jack Palance proved that ‘3rd times the charm’ with "City Slickers." He was previously nominated twice for Best Supporting Oscars for his work in "Shane" and the Joan Crawford film "Sudden Fear." Other awards include an Emmy for the "Playhouse 90" production of "Requiem for a Heavyweight" and a Golden Globe for "City Slickers."
George Steven’s "Shane" is what I call a gateway Guy flick. The classic tale of good vs. evil appeals to guys from the ages 8 to 80. Central to the tale is the menacingly memorable gunslinger Jack Wilson. In just a few scenes, the character portrayed by Jack Palance embues the movie with a sense of dread. His duel with the drunken Elisha Cook Jr. taught me at an early age that not everyone fights fair. Palance’s low-key approach to the role was perfect. His Jack Wilson was the type of killer who didn’t have to act brashly; his talent with the gun spoke loudly enough when the moment came.
Jack Palance made his film debut starring opposite Richard Widmark in Elia Kazan’s 1950 Film Noir "Panic in the Streets." Mr. Palance came to Elia Kazan’s attention when he was Marlon Brando’s understudy in the play "Streetcar Named Desire." His second film was the ensemble cast WWII film "Halls of Montezuma" also starring Richard Widmark. Mr. Palance’s third film garnered him his first Oscar nomination. In "Sudden Fear" he played Joan Crawford’s homicidal husband. Jack Palance became of the few in Hollywood to receive back-to-back Oscar nods when he followed "Sudden Fear" with "Shane." The 1950s was a busy time for Jack Palance. He worked steady in both film and on TV. His film and TV credits during the 1950s include "Studio One," "Playhouse 90," "The Motorola Hour," "The Silver Chalice" and "I Died a Thousand Times." "I Died a Thousand Times" was a so-so remake of the Humphrey Bogart gangster classic "High Sierra."
Jack Palance began the 1960s working on one of French director Able Gance’s final films: "Austerlitz." Mr. Palance appeared in more European films during the 1960s than American ones. He worked with cult director Jesus Franco in the sexploitation film "Justine." One of my first memories of Jack Palance was in Dan Curtis’ excellent Made for TV movie "Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde." I was haunted by Mr. Palance’s maniacal laugh as he slit open the nose of someone who crossed him in that film. Maybe that was where Roman Polanski came up for that gag in "Chinatown." He played the Mexican revolutionary who had kidnapped Claudia Cardinal in Richard Brooks outstanding Western "The Professional." In "Che!" Mr. Palance portrayed Fidel Castro. Mr. Palance starred in the Amicus horror film "Torture Garden." Other credits from the 1960s include "Barabbas," "The Barbarians" and "A Bullet for Rommel."
Jack Palance began the 1970s with a pair of fine Westerns: "The McMasters" and "Monte Walsh." He starred in the TV police series "Bronk" in 1975 and 76. He continued to work both in the USA and overseas. Stanley Kramer cast him opposite George C. Scott and Faye Dunaway in "Oklahoma Crude." Dan Curtis called upon him once more to play the title role in the excellent TV version of "Dracula." Mr. Palance played the John Wayne role in "The Godchild," a TV remake of John Ford’s classic "Three Godfathers." Other memorable credits include the Charles Bronson Western "Chato’s Land," "The Hatfields and the McCoys," "The Sensuous Nurse" with Ursula Andress, "Mr. Scarface," "Portrait of a Hitman" and "The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang."
Jack Palance appeared in fewer films during the 1980s. Among his more memorable credits are "Young Guns," "Batman," "Without Warning" and "Tango & Cash." During the 1980s Mr. Palance had the pleasure of working with his daughter Holly as co-hosts of the TV series "Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!"
Of course, 1991 saw Jack Palance finally win his Oscar for playing the crusty old cowhand Curly Washburn. His push-up acceptance speech became a classic Hollywood moment. Mr. Palance appeared in the sequel "City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold" playing the twin brother of his character in the first film. His final film and TV credits include "The Swan Princess," as Long John Silver in "Treasure Island" and "Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter’s End."
Jack Palance served his country in the US Army-Air Corp during WWII.
ANICEE ALVINA Died Nov. 10, 2006
French actress Anicee Alvina died of cancer at age 53. Ms. Alvina was best to to American audiences for her starring role in the 1971 teen romance film "Friends." Ms. Alvina and actor Sean Bury played the young lovers. The film also featured a Grammy nominated theme song by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The hit film spawned a mediocre sequel called "Paul and Michelle." Ms. Alvina appeared in nearly 30 films and TV shows. Except for "Friends," most of her work has been seen only in Europe. She was typecast in sexy roles during the 1970s and often appeared nude on screen. Ms. Alvina also attempted to start a singing career.
NICHOLAS PROFFITT Died Nov. 10, 2006
Journalist and author Nicholas Proffitt died of kidney cancer at age 63. Mr. Proffitt was a war correspondent during the Vietnam War. He wrote the novel "Gardens of Stone." The novel dealt with the lives of the soldiers who work the Honor Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. Before his career as a journalist, Mr. Proffitt served in the US Army at Arlington. Director Francis Ford Coppola filmed Mr. Proffitt’s book in 1987. The movie starred James Caan, James Earl Jones and Anjelica Huston."
JOSEPH SCULLY Died Nov. 10, 2006
Veteran casting director Joseph Scully died at age 80. Mr. Scully cast nearly 120 films and TV shows. His many credits include such notable films as "In Like Flint," "Tony Rome," "Valley of the Dolls," the original version of "Planet of the Apes," "Pretty Poison," "Hello, Dolly!," "Blacula," "Lady Sings the Blues," "Play It As It Lays," "The Stone Killer," "The Parallax View," "The Man in the Glass Booth," "Mahogany" and "Lifeguard."
HANS-PETER MINETTI Died Nov. 10, 2006
East German actor Hans-Peter Minetti died of heart failure at age 80. Mr. Minetti appeared many films produced by the East German DEFA studio during the 1960s and 70s. Mr. Minetti was a ranking member of the communist party during the Cold War. His film career did not survive the reunification of Germany.
ELENA DAVINCI Died Nov. 10, 2006
Actress and radio journalist Elena DaVinci died at age 81. Ms. DaVinci appeared in such films as Christian Nybe’s "Hell on Devil’s Island," "The Girl in the Kremlin," "Ghost Diver" and the TV pilot "Studio House." Ms. DaVinci hosted the radio interview show "Magazine of the Air" where she once interviewed JFK.
BELINDA EMMETT Died Nov. 11, 2006
Australian actress and TV host Belinda Emmett died after a lengthy battle with bone cancer. She had previously won her battle with breast cancer. Ms. Emmett appeared in the Eric Bana comedy "The Nugget." She was best known in her native land as a TV host. She hosted such shows as "All Time Greatest Bloopers" and "All Time Squares." She also worked with her husband Rove McManus on his TV show "Rove Live." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.
VINCIL HART Died Nov. 11, 2006
Propmaker Vincil Hart died at age 90. Mr. Vincil was a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local 44. He worked on many, many films including "The Hindenburg" and "Assault on the Queen."
RONNIE STEVENS Died Nov. 11, 2006
Prolific British comedy actor Ronnie Stevens died at age 81. Mr. Stevens enjoyed a 50 year career in film and TV. Hi many film and TV credits include "Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines," "The Avengers," the Peter O’Toole version of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," "Rumpole of the Bailey" and the remake of "The Parent Trap."
FRANCAIS ‘RUSTY’ TULLIS Died Nov. 11, 2006
Rusty Tullis, the mother of the late Rocky Dennis died of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident at age 70. Ms. Tullis was involved in a three-wheeler accident on October 14. Ms. Tullis’son Rocky Dennis was the subject of the Oscar-winning film "Mask." Ms. Tullis was portrayed by Cher in the film. Eric Stolz played her son. Both performers were nominated for Golden Globe Awards for their work.
KARL-ERNST SASSE Died Nov. 12, 2006
Prolific East German composer Karl-Ernst Sasse died at age 83. Mr. Sasse composed music for over 500 films from the East German DEFA film studio. The communist controlled film studio produced some unusual and powerful films that have only recently begun to be discovered and appreciated by those of us in the west. Ms. Sasse composed music for many of them. I often receive DEFA DVDs to review from First Run Features. I am currently watching a boxed set of Western films that focus on the Native American Indian as Hero. The DVD box says they are Westerns With a Twist. Mr. Sasse composed scores for nine of the twelve films in the series. Serbian actor Gojko Mitic played the hero in all twelve of the films. It is evident that Mr. Sasse’s music was influenced by the music found in American Westerns. What is unique about the movies is the non-stereotypical portrayal of the Indians.
MARIO MEROLA Died Nov. 12, 2006
Italian singer/actor Mario Merola died of a heart attack at age 72. Mr. Merola was an old-style crooner who enjoyed great popularity with Italians worldwide. Mr. Merola appeared in a number of films including "Big Mamma," "The New Godfathers," "The Scicillian Boss" and "The Mafia Triangle."
ANDREE CHAMPEAUX Died Nov. 12, 2006
Actress and casting director Andree Champeaux died just shy of her 101st birthday. Ms. Champeaux’s film career spanned seven decades. Her credits include "Sins of Youth," "Mam’zelle Bonapart" and the cult classic "Diva." Ms. Champeaux was on of the first casting directors in France. She discovered a young actress named Isabelle Huppert.
ANGELINA CAMERON Died Nov. 13, 2006
Canadian hair department head Angelina Cameron died of a heart attack one month shy of her 40th birthday. Ms. Cameron was nominated by the Hollywood Makeup Artists and Hair Stylist Guild for Best Period Hair Styling for her work on "The 13th Warrior." She was also nominated by the Canadian Network of Makeup Artists for Best Hairstylist for a Feature Film for "I, Robot." Ms. Cameron’s many film credits include "Scary Movie," "Cats & Dogs," "The Butterfly Effect," "Five People You Meet in Heaven" and "Scary Movie 4." She was a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local 891. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.
GORDON KIRSCHBAUM Died Nov. 13, 2006
Construction coordinator Gordon Kirschbaum died at age 86. Mr. Kirschbaum worked in the film and TV industry for 40 years. He worked for Aaron Spelling for 20 years. Mr. Kirschbaum’s many credits include "Wake Me Up When the War is Over," "The Girl Who Came Gift Wrapped," "The Legend of Valentino," "Charlie’s Angels," "The Love Boat" and "Hart to Hart." Mr. Kirschbaum was a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local #44.
JOHN HALLAM Died Nov. 14, 2006
Irish character actor John Hallam at age 64. Mr. Hallam appeared in nearly 100 films and TV shows during his lengthy career. Mr. Hallam was memorable as the villain in the 1981 film "Dragonslayer."He was best known in his native land for his work on the TV series "The Mallens." Mr. Hallam’s many credits include such films as "Murphy’s War," "The Last Valley," "Nicholas and Alexandra," "The Offence," "Hitler: The Last Ten Days," the original version of "The Wicker Man," "The People That Time Forgot," "Flash Gordon," "Lifeforce" and "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves."
IRVING LIPPMAN Died Nov. 15, 2006
Cinematographer and still photographer Irving Lippman died one week after his 100th birthday! Mr. Lippman’s lengthy film career dates back to the 1920s. Mr. Lippman began his career as an assistant cameraman in the silent film era. He later became a noted photographer. Mr. Lippman worked as a still photographer on such noted films as "Lost Horizon," "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "Meet John Doe," "All the King’s Men" and "From Here to Eternity." Mr. Lippman’s cinematographer credits include the Mickey Dolenz TV series "Circus Boy" and "The Monkees." He was Ray Harryhausen’s cinematographer on the great 1950s sci-fi creature feature "20 Million Miles to Earth." Mr. Lippman also shot the final feature film for Ronald Reagan "Hellcats of the Navy."
CHUCK MCCLAIN Died Nov. 15, 2006
Emmy-nominated producer and TV exec Chuck McClain died of a heart attack at age 63. Mr. McClain was nominated for an Outstanding Miniseries Emmy for "Nutcracker: Money, Madness & Murder." Other credits include the miniseries "North & South," "Judgement Day: The John List Story" and "Overkill: The Aileen Wuornos Story." Mr. McClain was an exec with CBS, Lorimar and Warner Brothers Television during his career.
MALCOLM KNIGHT Died Nov. 15, 2006
Actor turned theatrical producer Malcolm Knight died of heart disease at age 71. Mr. Knight began his acting career as a teen. He appeared in a number of films and TV shows. Between 1975 and 1990 Malcolm Knight produced touring theatrical shows in the UK. He produced over 100 plays during his career. Mr. Knight's many acting credits include the TV series "Quatermass II," "Dixon of Dock Green," "Bleak House" and "Z Cars." His film appearances include the classic "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner."
GARY GRAVER Died Nov. 16, 2006
Cinematographer Gary Graver died of cancer at age 68. I first heard of Gary Graver during an interview with director Curtis Harrington. Mr. Harrington was a long-time friend of Mr. Graver. Mr. Graver came up in the conversation when I asked Mr. Harrington about working with Orson Welles on the famous unreleased film "The Other Side of the Wind." Mr. Graver and Eric Sherman (Pep Squad) were the two cinematographers on Orson Welles unseen 1972 film. According to Mr. Harrington, one of Orson Welles’ daughters has successfully blocked the completion of the movie. Gary Graver devoted a number of years trying to get the movie released. Unfortunately it was not to happen during his lifetime. Mr. Graver filmed Curtis Harrington’s short film "Usher," which was based on the Edgar Allan Poe story "The Fall of the House of Usher." Gary Graver served his country in the US Navy during the Vietnam War. He went on to have a prolific career as a cinematographer and director on hundreds of films. Mr. Graver worked in the adult film industry as well as main stream Hollywood. His legit credits include Orson Welles’ short film "Moby Dick," Ron Howard’s directorial debut "Grand Theft Auto," "Moonshine County Express," "Bugs Bunny Superstar," Al Adamson’s "I Spit on Your Corpse" and "Dracula vs. Frankenstein." Mr. Graver shot the sexploitation film "The Student Body." The movie starred Jillian Kessner. Mr. Graver and Ms. Kessner were married for 25 years! She survives her longtime husband. Mr. Graver directed many porn films under the name Robert McCallum.
ART COLLIER Died Nov. 16, 2006
Key Grip and Best Boy Art Collier died at age 81. Mr. Collier had been a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local 891 since 1965. His film credits include "Rambo: First Blood," "The Changeling" and "Runaway."
JOHN VEALE Died Nov. 16, 2006
Composer John Veale died at age 84. Mr. Veale’s lengthy career include scoring several feature films. His film credits include "The Purple Plain," "No Road Back" and "Clash By Night."
EUSTACE LYCETT Died Nov. 16, 2006
Oscar-winning photographic special effects wizard Eustace Lycett died of natural causes at age 91. Mr. Lycett won two Oscars for Best Special Effects and was nominated for two others. Mr. Lycett began working for Walt Disney in 1937 in the engineering department. Mr. Lycett's Oscars were for the films "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" and "Mary Poppins." I remember being upset at the time that "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" beat out stop-motion animator Jim Danforth for "When Diniosaurs Ruled the Earth." What the heck did I know, I was only 13 at the time. He was nominated twice more for "The Black Hole" and the original version of "The Absent Minded Professor." Mr. Lycett's many credits include "The Ugly Dachshund," "The Love Bug," "The Shaggy DA" and "Pete's Dragon."
RUTH BROWN Died Nov. 17, 2006
R&B legend and Tony-winning actress Ruth Brown died of a heart attack and stroke at age 78. Ms. Brown won the Tony Award for her work in the 1989 play "Black and Blue." She recreated her role in the TV version of the same play. Her film credits include John Waters’ "Hairspray" and John Sayles upcoming film "Honeydripper."
ORIN BORSTEN Died Nov. 18, 2006
Publicist and screenwriter Orin Borsten died of natural causes at age 94. Mr. Borsten wrote the screenplay for the 1961 film "Angel Baby." The George Hamilton movie also marked the film debut of Burt Reynolds. His TV writing credits include "The Outer Limits," "Naked City," "The U.S. Steel Hour" and "11th Hour." Mr. Borsten was best known for his publicity work. He worked on numerous films including "Texas Across the River," "Topaz," "Porky’s," "Hellfighters" and "Zorro: The Gay Blade."
REX MALCOLM Died Nov. 18, 2006
Producer Rex Malcolm died at age 79. Mr. Malcolm was an author and teacher. He was a consulting producer on the documentaries "Anthropology: A Study of People" and "Asia: An Introduction."
FRANCIS GIROD Died Nov. 19, 2006
French director/writer/producer/actor Francis Girod died of a heart attack at age 61. Mr. Girod was nominated for the Golden Palm award at Cannes for his film "The Elegant Criminal." He was nominated for a Cesar Award for co-writing the script for "Le Bon Plaisir." Mr. Girod directed nearly 20 films. He did second unit work on Roger Vadim’s "The Game is Over," which starred then wife Jane Fonda.
JEREMY SLATE Died Nov. 19, 2006
Actor Jeremy Slate died of complications following surgery for esophageal cancer at age 80. Die-hard "Billy Jack" fans will forever remember actor Jeremy Slate as the villain of the first "Billy Jack" movie: "The Born Losers." Writer/director Tom Laughlin knew that to make his heroic character Billy Jack all the more memorable, he had to have Billy jack face a memorable badguy. Jeremy Slate fit the bill perfectly as the biker Danny Carmody. The charismatic biker held your attention whenever he was on screen. Slate’s badguy was not above rape and murder. Director Laughlin gave him one of the most memorable death scenes in film history. Slate’s character calls Billy Jack’s bluff and gets shot right between the eyes for his trouble. Slate’s sunglasses split open from the impact of the bullet. He flies backwards against the wall slams into a James Dean poster. The blood from his wound stains the poster in the corner of James Dean’s mouth. It is very cool filmmaking. Jeremy Slate was a prolific TV actor. Soap Opera fans remember him for his 8-year run as Chuck Wilson on the TV series "One Life to Live." Mr. Slate appeared in nearly 100 TV shows and films. His movie credits include "North By Northwest," "GI Blues," "Girls! Girls! Girls!," "The Sons of Katie Elder," "True Grit," "The Mini Skirt Mob" and "The Lawnmower Man." Mr. Slate co-wrote the story for the biker movie "Hell’s Angels 69." Jeremy Slate was also a songwriter. He served his country during WWII and took part in the D-Day invasion.
DORIS CHILLCOTT Died Nov. 19, 2006
Canadian actress Doris Chillcott died of leukemia at age 75. Ms. Chillcott was inducted into the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame. She worked on stage, in film and TV. Ms. Chillcott also passed on her craft to others as a drama teacher. Ms. Chillcott appeared in numerous films and TV shows. She also lent her vocal talents to dubbing Japanese anime films into English. Ms. Chillcott’s many credits include such TV shows as "Millennium," "Monk," "Viper," "The Outer Limits" and "The Dead Zone." She appeared in the films "Cats & Dogs," "Stranger in My Bed" and "The Wolfpen Principle." Ms. Chillcott’s voice credits include "The Legend of the Dog Warriors: The Hakkenden" and "Ogre Slayer."
RAY BROOKS Died Nov. 20, 2006
Makeup artist Ray Brooks died at age 77. Mr. Brooks was one of the first Black makeup artists working regularly in Hollywood. Mr. Brooks worked on the Blaxploitation films "Melinda" and "Coffy." He worked for many years on the TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard." Mr. Brooks served his country in the USAF during the Korean War.
ROBERT ALTMAN Died Nov. 20, 2006
He was one of the grand masters of cinema. Robert Altman was the greatest talent to emerge from the Hollywood renaissance of the 1970s. He work stands the test of time. He was a director of few equals. Robert Altman is enshrined in the pantheon of great directors that includes Kurosawa, Bergman, Ford and Hitchcock. Robert Altman did what no other director has been able to achieve. In films such as "Nashville" and "Short Cuts" Robert Altman presented twenty or so characters and almost as many plot lines, all fully developed, all meaningful and all so very memorable. "Nashville" remains one of the greatest American films ever made. Its complexity of construction is almost overlooked because of the simplicity of its accessibility. Robert Altman was able to fully develop a character with a minimum of scenes. We knew these people because of their humanity. He presented people from all walks of life, with many different philosophies. It didn’t matter that the characters may believe or behave differently from the viewer, we still got IT. Robert Altman presented the entire gamut of the human experience better than any other film director in history. Our strengths, our weaknesses, our dark side and idiosyncrasies were all within his grasp as a storyteller. Robert Altman didn’t always succeed. Neither did the other directors mentioned above. However, when Robert Altman hit the mark, his aim was as true as anything ever captured on celluloid.
Oscar winning director Robert Altman died of undisclosed causes at age 81. Robert Altman was given a Lifetime Achievement Oscar earlier this year. Actresses Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep presented the award to Mr. Altman. Their incredible introduction, in which they spoke over each other was a fitting tribute to the director. His films require multiple viewings as he often has his characters talk over each other, or have more than one conversation take place at the same time. One of the great oversights of the Academy voters was to overlook Robert Altman with an actual Best Director Oscar. He was nominated five times for Best Director and twice for Best Picture. Those Best Director nominations came for "M*A*S*H," "Nashville," "The Player," "Short Cuts" and "Gosford Park." "Nashville" and "Gosford Park" also earned Mr. Altman Best Picture nominations. Other awards and nominations include four DGA nominations and Lifetime Achievement Award, two Emmy nominations (1 Win), five Golden Globe nominations (1 Win), four Independent Spirit nominations (2 Wins), three Writer’s Guild nominations, three New York Film Critic’s Circle Awards, seven BAFTA nominations (2 Wins), seven Berlin International Film Festival nominations (2 Wins), Four Bodil Award nominations (3 Wins), eight Cannes nominations (2 Wins) and many, many others.
Robert Altman began his film career in the early 1950s. After directing a number of short films and documentaries, Robert Altman made his feature film debut with "The Delinquents." The movie starred future "Billy Jack" star and director Tom Laughlin. Mr. Altman followed that with the documentary tribute "The James Dean Story." Mr. Altman then went on to hone his craft working in TV. He directed countless episodes of various TV series during the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s. During this time he also directed an excellent TV movie "Nightmare in Chicago." The film told the tale of a serial killer terrorizing the Windy City. He finished out the 1960 with the sci-fi film "Countdown" and the drama "That Cold Day in the Park."
In 1970 Robert Altman rose to the ranks of A-List directors with the critical and popular success of "M*A*S*H." The searing comedy was Robert Altman’s poke at the US involvement in Vietnam. Though Robert Altman served his country in WWII as a bomber pilot in the US Army Air-Corps, his view of Vietnam was different altogether. The movie earned five Oscar nominations. Robert Altman continued to directed hit after hit during the 1970s. He worked with ensemble casts who begged for parts. Many top stars worked for low salaries just to work with the master. His films grew in scope and complexity. In 1970 he also released "Brewster McCloud" was a quirky character study of a boy who wanted to fly. Bud Cort starred. Mr. Altman’s most poetic film was released in 1971. Warren Beatty and Julie Christie starred in the bittersweet "McCabe and Mrs. Miller." The film was set in a Washington state lumber town during the late 1800s. Altman’s love story was also a jibe at corporate greed. Beatty played a gamble named McCabe. Beatty's performance as McCabe is one of his mose human and warm performances. Julie Christie (in an Oscar nominated performance) played a cynical prostitute named Mrs. Miller. The part join forces to build the best house of ill-repute in town. Many of Altman’s regular cast members were on hand for the film. Keith Carradine gives one of his best performances as a good-natured cowboy in love with prostitute Shelly Duval. There is a memorable score by Leonard Cohen.
In 1972 Altman directed the chilling and little seen "Images." John Williams received one of his many Oscar nominations for the score. Next, Robert Altman updated Raymond Chandler’s private eye Philip Marlowe to the decadent Hollywood of the 1970s in "Play It As It Lays." Elliot Gould starred as the jaded PI. Actor Sterling Hayden delivered one of the best performances of his career as an alcoholic writer on the verge of suicide. It is brilliant in a low-key kind of way. Altman’s next film is one of my personal favorites. The 1974 film "Thieves Like Us" starred Keith Carradine and Shelly Duval as Mississippi rednecks living and loving in the depths of the Great Depression. The movie paints a more accurate and moving portrait of desperate characters than the flashy "Bonnie and Clyde." Altman also released "California Split" in 1974. George Segal and Elliot Gould play a pair of gambling addicts. The ‘one-eyed piccolo player’ scene is hilarious.
1975 was my Junior year in high school. That was the first year I truly recognized Robert Altman’s genius. "Nashville" earned five Oscar nominations include Best Picture. The film follows 20 different characters over a four-day period. The movie comments on everything from politics, love, fame, loyalty and the war in Vietnam. If you have never seen "Nashville" you owe it to yourself to do so quickly. This was the apex of Robert Altman’s career.
His next two films are interesting in a quirky kind of way. This was the beginning of Altman’s trend toward smaller, more personal films. While I like both "Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson" and "3 Women," they are acquired tastes. His 1978 follow-up "A Wedding" is one of his best comedies. Again, Altman relies on a large ensemble cast. He comments on so many aspects of our life, that you can’t help but smile throughout. Though the film reaped numerous honors abroad, the film was overlooked by the Academy. I saw his last two films of the 1970s as a sneak preview double feature. The studio was behind the Paul Newman sci-fi film "Quintet," but the movie had no heart. The second feature on the double bill was "A Perfect Couple." Paul Dooley and Marta Heflin starred in the older man/younger woman romantic comedy. It is a real sleeper. The music also rocks!
The 1980s were hit and miss for Robert Altman. His greatest failure occurred in 1980. Altman directed Robin Williams in a live action version of "Popeye." I swat through it once. Never again. That same year, he tried to recapture the glory of "Nashville" with "H.E.A.L.T.H." The movie has its moments, but it is rough going for most of the way. "Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean" and "Streamers" were probably his best feature films of the decade. Mr. Altman’s biggest critical success of the 1980s came on the small screen. His mini series "Tanner ‘88" was a return to form for Altman.
1992’s "The Player" let the world know that Robert Alman had lost none of his punch. The dark look at the movie business was a hit with critics and audiences alike. His 1993 film "Short Cuts" returned to the ground explored with "Nashville." IT is a powerful film that is among his best. The self-indulgent "Pret-a-Porter" left me cold despite the amazing ending with just about every super model in the world parading down the runway stark naked. Altman’s later films aimed for commercial success. "The Gingerbread Man" and "Dr. T and the Women" were so-so films. Though his 2001 film "Gosford Park" earned his accolades around the world, I wasn’t a fan of the movie. So what. You can’t hit a homerun every time. Robert Altman not only hit a whole bunch of homeruns, he revolutionized how stories were told on film. He set the mark high and few directors since have come close to meeting it.
KEVIN MCCLORY Died Nov. 20, 2006
Producer/writer director Kevin McClory died at age 80. Ms. McClory holds an important and infamous role in the history of James Bond films. In 1958 Mr. McClory collaborated with Ian Fleming and Jack Whittingham on a script for a James Bond film. The script was never made. Ian Fleming later used the story as the basis of his novel "Thunderball" without giving Mr. McClory credit for his contributions. A lawsuit settlement resulted in Mr. McClory getting credit on the novel and retaining the film rights to "Thunderball." As a result Mr. McClory got a producer credit on "Thunderball." He was the executive producer on the 1983 remake "Never Say Never Again." The 1983 film was famous for Sean Connery’s return to the role of James Bond. "Never Say Never Again" was not produced by the Broccoli/Saltzman team.
Kevin McClory worked with John Huston in the 1950s. He was Mr. Huston’s assistant on "Moulin Rouge" and "The African Queen." Mr. Huston used him as an assistant director on "Moby Dick." Mr. McClory was an associate producer and second unit director on Michael Anderson’s original version of "Around the World in 80 Days." Mr. McClory directed the 1959 film "The Boy and the Bridge." He was nominated for the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival for his direction of "The Boy and the Bridge."
CHRIS HAYWARD Died Nov. 20, 2006
Emmy-winning writer/producer Chris Hayward died at age 81. Mr. Hayward was the co-creator of the TV series "The Munsters." Mr. Hayward also created "Dudley Do Right." He was also a noted TV screenwriter. Mr. Hayward was nominated for three Emmy Awards for his writing. Twice of work on "Barney Miller" and once for "He & She." He won the award in 1967 for "He & She." Other writing credits include "77 Sunset Strip," "My Mother the Car" and "Get Smart."
DEANNE JUDSON Died Nov. 21, 2006
Producer Deanne Judson died of undisclosed causes at St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto. Her age was not given. Ms. Judson was born in Australian and moved to Canada as a young woman. She produced or co-produced a number of feature films and documentaries. Ms. Judson produced the documentary miniseries "No Price Too High," which dealt with Canada’s contributions to WWII. Other credits include "Age of Innocence," "The Battle of Vimy Ridge," "Bonhoeffer," "Waiting for Michelangelo," "Balls Up" and the up-coming "Off Your Rocker."
YVONNE SEVERN Died Nov. 22, 2006
Former actress Yvonne Severn died at age 79. Ms. Severn was part a family of actors during the 1940s. Her parents came to America from South Africa in the 1930s. She and her siblings all worked as child actors. Ms. Severn appeared in such films as "Tower of London," "Maisie Goes to Reno," "A Guy Named Joe" and "Lloyd’s of London." She appeared with her sister Venitia in "Tower of London." Ms. Severn worked with her brothers Ray and Ernest in "A Guy Named Joe." Her siblings include former actors Clifford Severn (leader of the kids throwing snowballs at Scrooge in the Reginald Owens version of "A Christmas Carol"), Christopher Severn (Mrs. Miniver), Winston Severn (A Man Called Peter) and William (David and Bathsheba). Brother William Severn grew up to become a world famous evangelical preacher. Ms. Severn married Roy Shelley in 1950 and the couple went into business. Her husband died after 48 years of marriage.
PHILIPPE NOIRET Died Nov. 23, 2006
Award-winning actor Philippe Noiret died of cancer at age 76. Philippe Noiret appeared in over 150 films and TV shows during his lengthy career. His work earned him numerous Best Actor awards around the world. Mr. Noiret received a BAFTA for his work in "Cinema Paradiso." He also received two Cesar Awards for his work in "The Old Gun" and "Life and Nothing But." He also received three other Cesar nominations as Best Actor. Mr. Noiret also won the Italian David Di Donatelo Awards for the same two films. Mr. Noiret was best known to American audiences for his work in "Cinema Paradiso" and "The Postman."
Philippe Noiret achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic. He made his film debut in a small part in the 1949 French version of "Gigi." Among Mr. Noiret’s many credits are "Lady L" with Paul Newman, "Night of the Generals" with Peter O’Toole, "Woman Times Seven" with Shirley MacLaine, "The Assassination Bureau," George Cukor’s "Justine," Alfred Hitchcock’s "Topaz," "Murphy’s War," "The French Conspiracy," "The Serpent," the hilarious dark comedy "The Grand Bouffe," "Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?," "Cinema Paradiso," "The Postman" and "Soliel."
ANITA O’DAY Died Nov. 23, 2006
Jazz great Anita O’Day died of cardiac arrest age 87. Ms. O’Day was a popular Big Band era singer. She sang with the bands of Gene Krupa and Stan Kenton. She appeared as herself in the films "The Gene Krupa Story," "Artistry in Rhythm" and "The Outfit." Ms. O’Day performed in the outstanding documentary "Jazz On a Summer’s Day." The film was shot at the 1958 Newpoert Jazz Festival. The movie was added to the National Film Registry in 199. Ms. O’Day is the subject of the up-coming documentary "Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer."
BETTY COMDEN Died Nov. 23, 2006
Oscar nominated lyricist Betty Comden died of heart failure at age 89. Betty Comden and creative partner Adolph Green (pictured with Ms. Comden at right) were responsible for some of the greatest musicals in the history of stage and film. The pair received two Best Screenplay Oscar nominations for the films "The Band Wagon" and "It’s Always Fair Weather." The pair was also nominated for six Writer’s Guild Awards, winning three times for "Singin’ in the Rain," "On the Town" and "Bells Are Ringing." They were also nominated for a Grammy for the soundtrack album from "Bells Are Ringing." Ms. Comden and Mr. Green won a total of seven Tony Awards during their lengthy career. In 2001 Ms. Comden and Mr. Green received the Laurel Award for Screen Writing Achievement from the Writer’s Guild. Mr. Green died in 2002.
Betty Comden, Aldoph Green and Oscar winner Judy Holiday began their careers together in the 1930s as a cabaret act called The Revuers. Betty Comden’s many screenwriting credits include "Singin’ in the Rain," "The Barkleys of Broadway," "Auntie Mame" and "Applause." Ms. Comden and Mr. Green’s music has appeared in such films and TV shows as "Take Me Out To the Ballgame," "The Adams Family," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Ronin," "Mickey Blue Eyes," "Small Time Crooks" and "Six Feet Under."
CARMEN LEWIS Died Nov. 23, 2006
Costume designer Carmen Lewis died of complications from a stroke at age 74. Ms. Lewis designed the costumes for the Tom Cruise comedy "Losin’ It." She also appeared in the film as an extra.
DASARI YOGANAND Died Nov. 23, 2006
Indian director Dasari Yoganand died of a heart attack at age 84. His 1960 historical epic "Parthabin Kanavu" won the President’s Award. Mr. Yoganand directed Telugu and Tamil language films.
THELMA SCOTT Died Nov. 23, 2006
Australian stage, radio and screen actress Thelma Scott died of a heart attack at age 93. Ms. Was one of Australia’s biggest radio stars in the 1930s and 40s. Her film and TV credits include "Sons of Matthew," "Skippy" and "The Young Doctors."
ANNE HOWARD BAILEY Died Nov. 24, 2006
Emmy-award winning writer Anne Howard Bailey died of congestive heart failure at age 82. Ms. Bailey won an Emmy Award for the PBS opera "The Trial of Mary Lincoln." She also won a Daytime Emmy for her work on the soap opera "Santa Barbara." Ms. Bailey also wrote for the soap operas "General Hospital" and "Days of Our Lives." Her other credits include "Bonanza" and "Family." Ms. Bailey started out her life as a foundling in my hometown of Memphis. She was found in a basket on the doorstep of her adoptive parents back in 1924!
PHYLLIS CERF WAGNER Died Nov. 24, 2006
Former actress Phyllis Cerf Wagner died at age 90. Ms. Wagner acted under the name Phyllis Fraser in a number of films during the 1930s. She appeared opposite John Wayne in "Winds of the Wasteland." Other credits include "Little Men," "Father Knows Best" and "Vivacious Lady." Her cousin Ginger Rogers was the star of "Vivacious Lady." In 1940, Ms. Fraser married publisher and humorist Bennett Cerf. They were married until his death in 1971. During the 1950s, Ms. Cerf was a collaborator with Dr. Suess on his children’s books. During this time she also appeared on the TV game shows "What’s My Line" and "Down You Go." Following the death of Bennett Cerf, she married former NYC mayor Robert Wagner.
LEON ROTH Died Nov. 24, 2006
Producer and former publicist Leon Roth died of pneumonia at age 87. Mr. Roth produced the award-winning Robert Show/Mary Ure film "The Luck of Ginger Coffy." Mr. Roth also produced the lame horror/slasher "I Dismember Mama." The title is much more memorable than the film itself. Mr. Roth appeared as himself in the Displaced Films produced TV documentary "Funny Old Guys." Thanks to "Funny Old Guys" director David Zeiger for the use of Mr. Roth's photo. Mr. Roth began his career in the industry working as a publicist. He worked on campaigns for several of Billy Wilder’s best films including "The Apartment" and "Some Like It Hot." Leon Roth was the father of Oscar winning screenwriter Eric Roth. Eric Roth won an Oscar for the screen adaptation of "Forrest Gump." He was also nominated two more times for "The Insider" and "Munich."
WILLIAM DIEHL Died Nov. 24, 2006
Author William Diehl died of an aortal aneurysm at age 81. Mr. Diehl wrote 9 novels during his career. He was working on a 10th at the time of his death. Two of Mr. Diehl’s books were turned into very good movies. "Sharkey’s Machine" was one of the last really good Burt Reynolds action films. The cop drama set in Atlanta co-starred the beautiful Rachel Ward and a very evil Henry Silva as the bad guy. Mr. Diehl’s novel "Primal Fear" was filmed in 1996. The movie starred Richard Geer and featured Edward Norton’s brilliant movie debut. Mr. Diehl served his country as a tail-gunner in a B-24 Liberator during WWII.
SETH ARNETT Died Nov. 25, 2006
Stunt coordinator and stuntman Seth Arnett died of undisclosed causes at age 37. Mr. Arnett worked on numerous films during his career. He acted in the 1993 film "Alive." His many stunt credits include "The Rocketeer," "Jurassic Park: The Lost World," "Jurassic Park III," "Basic Instinct," "Amistad," "S.W.A.T." and "Ladder 49." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
KENNETH TAYLOR Died Nov. 25, 2006
Retired Air Force Brigadier General Ken Taylor died of complications following hip surgery at age 86. On December 7, 1941 Lt. Kenneth Taylor and Lt. George Welch took to the air in their P-40 fighter planes to repel the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Lt. Taylor shot down two Japanese fighters while Lt. Welch scored four Japanese fighters. Their exploits were portrayed in the film "Tora! Tora! Tora!" Lt. Welch was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his part in the action. Lt. Taylor won the Distinguished Service Cross. Actor Carl Reindel played Lt. Taylor in the Oscar winning film. Mr. Taylor retired from the US Air Force in the 1960s.
STEPHEN HEYWOOD Nov. 26, 2006
Architect Stephen Heywood died at age 37. Mr. Heywood had been battling Lou Gehrig’s disease for several years. He died when his ventilator cap came off in the middle of the night. Mr. Heywood had worked hard to raise awareness of and money for a cure for ALS. His battle against the disease and his zest for life was the subject of the documentary film "So Much/So Fast." Directors Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordon were nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year for the film. Prayers of comfort for Mr. Heywood’s family and friends.
GISELE PREVILLE Died Nov. 26, 2006
French actress Gisele Preville died just shy of her 88th birthday. Ms. Preville died three days after actor Philippe Noiret, her co-star in the 1978 film "The Witness." Ms. Preville’s film career began in the 1930s. She appeared in over 30 films during her career. Ms. Preville’s other credits include "The Life and Loves of Beethoven," "Against the Wind" and Walerian Borowczyk’s "Bloodlust."
ANTHONY JACKSON Died Nov. 26, 2006
British actor Anthony Jackson died of cancer at age 62. Mr. Jackson was best known in his native land for the children’s TV series "Rentaghost." That was, by no means the extent of his success as an actor. Mr. Jackson worked on stage and film as well as on the small screen. His versatility with voices and accents made him an actor much in demand for voice over work. He leant his vocal talents to such films as the TV series "Watership Down," "Labyrinth," "Peter Rabbit and Friends," "Shakespeare: The Animated Tales," "The Dreamstone" and "Ivor the Engine." Mr. Jackson’s live action credits include a regular role on the TV series "Bless This House," "Softly, Softly," "Lovejoy," "Dynasty," "Walker: Texas Ranger" and "Footballer’s Wives."
LYUBOV POLISHCHUK Died Nov. 28, 2006
Russian actress Lyubov Polishchuk died of undisclosed causes at age 57. Ms. Polishchuk appeared in nearly 70 films and TV shows during her career. Ms. Polishchuk first gained notice for her role in the Russian TV mini-series version of "The Twelve Chairs." Mel Brooks filmed the American version of the Russian comedy. She also appeared in a Russian version of "Baron Munchhausen." She was the mother of actor Aleksei Makarov.
ROSA MIA Died Nov. 28, 2006
Award-winning Filipino actress Rosa Mia died at age 81. Ms. Mia’s film career began following the end of WWII. The height of her popularity was during the 1950s. Ms. Mia won two Best Supporting Actress Awards in her native land for her work in the 1951 film "Roberta" and the 1956 film "Tumbando Cana."
SANDY STURGES Died Nov. 28, 2006
Sandy Sturges, the widow of director Preston Sturges died of cancer at age 79. He son is screenwriter Preston Sturges Jr. Ms. Sturges appeared as herself in the documentary "Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer." She is pictured at right with her late husband, director Preston Sturges.
MIKI ODAGIRI Died Nov. 28, 2006
Japanese actress Miki Odagiri died of heart failure at age 76. Ms. Odagiri made her film debut in Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 award BAFTA nominated film "Ikiru." She appeared in a number of films during the 1950s.
CHARLES BRABANT Died Nov. 28, 2006
French director Charles Brabant died of natural causes at age 86. Mr. Brabant wrote and directed several films during the 1950s. His credits include "Zoe," "The Respectful Prostitute," "No Escape" and "Bells Without Joy." He was the founder of the Society of Multi Media Authors.
LEON NIEMCZYK Died Nov. 29, 2006
Polish actor Leon Niemczyk died of lung cancer just shy of his 83rd birthday. Mr. Niemczyk’s cancer was detected last December. He announced he had the disease in February of this year. Mr. Niemczyk is best known for his performance in Roman Polanski’s first feature film "Knife in the Water." "Knife in the Water" was just one of nearly 200 films the prolific actor appeared in. Mr. Niemczyk appeared in two of the DEFA produced Red Westerns starring Gojko Mitic during the 1970s: "Apaches" and "Tecumseh." He appeared in a small role in the Dan Curtis produced miniseries "War and Remembrance." Other credits include the excellent WWII film "Eroica" and "The Sargasso Manuscript." Mr. Niemczyk was given a special award at the 202 Camerimage Awards.
SHIRLEY WALKER Died Nov. 29, 2006
Emmy-nominated composer Shirley Walker died of a brain aneurysm at age 61. Ms. Walker was nominated for an Emmy award for her work on "Space: Above and Beyond." Ms. Walker was nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards, winning once for "Batman Beyond." Ms. Walker was also nominated for three Annie Awards for her cores of "Superman," "Batman" and "The Zeta Project." Ms. Walker worked as a musician, orchestrator, composer and conductor. She contributed to the music of many noted films including "Apocalypse Now!," "Children of a Lessor God." "The Accused," "Scrooged," "Black Rain," "Dick Tracy," "Arachnophobia," "Edward Scissorhands," "Backdraft," "A League of Their Own," "True Lies," "Final Destination" and the remake of "Willard."
AKIO JISSOJI Died Nov. 29, 2006
Japanese director Akio Jissoji died of stomach cancer at age 69. Mr. Jissoji was best known for directing the "Ultraman" films and TV series. His 1970 drama "This Transient Life" won an award at the Locarno Film Festival.
PERRY HENZELL Died Nov. 30, 2006
Jamaican filmmaker and novelist Perry Henzell died of cancer at age 70. Mr. Henzell wrote, produced and directed the cult classic "The Harder They Come." The 1972 film made a star out of reggae singer Jimmy Cliff. "The Harder They Come" has an underlying power that overcomes the shoestring budget and low production values. The story is based on the real life exploits of Jamaican outlaw Ivanhoe Martin. It is a scathing look at the effects of poverty and despair on the human spirit. His second film "No Place Like Home" began production in the 1970s. Production delays and the loss of the shot footage for nearly 30 years led to the film not seeing theaters until this year. The movie premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2006. Mr. Henzell worked for the BBC during the 1950s. He was also a published author.
WILLIAM HERBERT Died Nov. 30, 2006
Propmaster William Herbert died at age 72. Mr. Herbert worked for many years at the Sony Prop House. His credits include the TV series "M*A*S*H." Mr. Herbert was a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local 44