RICHARD CARTER Died Sept. 1, 2007
Writer Richard Carter died at age 89. Mr. Carter wrote a number of novels, but he was best known for his books on horse race handicapping written under the pseudonym Tom Ainslie. His book "The Man Who Rocked the Boat" was turned into the crime film "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue."
MARCIA MAE JONES Died Sept. 2, 2007
Former child actress Marcia Mae Jones died of complications from pneumonia at age 83. She began working as a toddler during the silent film era. Ms. Jones, at age 6, was one of the founding members of the Screen Actors Guild! She continued to act as an adult, but she is best remembered for her childhood roles. She played Tom's sister Mary in the classic "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." Memorable performances include roles in the Shirley Temple version of "Heidi," the original version of "The Champ," "These Three," "The Garden of Allah" and "The Life of Emile Zola." As an adult, Ms. Jones appeared in such TV shows as "Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.," "Mr. Ed" and "Barnaby Jones." He final film appearance was in the romancer "The Way We Were."
JANIS MARTIN Died Sept. 3, 2007
Rockabilly star Janis Martin died of cancer at age 67. Ms. Martin began performing publicly while Elvis Presley was still high school student. Her song "Bang Bang" is a classic of the genre. She was signed by RCA at age 16. Her career was cut short when it was discovered she was married and pregnant. Her music stands as a testament of her power. The over-looked Rock and Roll pioneer was billed as "The Female Elvis" by RCA, although Ms. Martin didn't like the title. She appeared as herself in the documentaries "Welcome to the Club: The Women of Rockabilly" and "Rebel Beat: The Story of LA Rockabilly."
STEVE RYAN Died Sept. 3, 2007
Actor Steve Ryan died at age 55 after a lengthy illness. Mr. Ryan was a regular on several TV series during his career. He played Detective Nat Grossman on the cop drama "Crime Story." More recent TV credits include regular roles on "The West Wing" and "Arrested Development." Mr. Ryan's many credits include the excellent B-Movie "Night of the Juggler," "D.A.R.Y.L.," "Attica," "Old Friends," "Quiz Show," "The X Files," "NYPD Blue" and "Six Feet Under."
MICHAEL EVANS Died Sept. 4, 2007
Veteran stage and screen actor Michael Evans died at age 87. Mr. Evans was best know to Soap Opera fans for his 16-year stint as Col. Douglas Austin on "The Young and the Restless." Originally from the UK, Mr. Evans began acting and studied at The Old Vic. He came to the US in 1950 to appear in the Broadway production of "Ring Around the Moon." The following year he co-starred in the original Broadway production of "Gigi" with Audrey Hepburn. Mr. Evans' many film and TV credits include "Bye, Bye Birdie," "Dr. Kildare," "Combat!," "The Rat Patrol," "Riot on the Sunset Strip," "I Spy," "Mannix," "Time After Time," "The Bob Newhart Show" and "Hart to Hart."
ROGER MERYETT Died Sept. 4, 2007
Propmaker and construction foreman Roger Meryett died at age 51. Mr. Meryett was a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local #44. His film credits include "The Mambo Kings," "Ed Wood," "Deep Star Six" and "Major League."
CHARLOTTE ZUCKER Died Sept. 5, 2007
Charlotte Zucker, actress and the mother of directors Jerry and David Zucker and actress Susan Breslau died at age 86. Ms. Zucker appeared in numerous films written and/or directed by her sons. Her many credits include "Kentucky Fried Movie," "Airplane!," "Top Secret!," "Ruthless People," "The Naked Gun," "Ghost," "First Knight," "My Best Friend's Wedding," "BASEketball," "Rat Race" and "My Boss's Daughter."
D. JAMES KENNEDY Died Sept. 5, 2007
Pastor D. James Kennedy died of heart illness at age 76. Dr. Kennedy had been in the prayers of millions following his heart attack in December of last year. Though I never watched his TV service "The Coral Ridge Hour," Dr. Kennedy's radio sermons will be missed by myself and many others. His no-nonsense style and authoritative grasp of the Bible made Dr. Kennedy one of the best Bible teachers around. Dr. Kennedy has been labeled as a bigot and divisive by some due to his preaching of the gospel. That is a shame. Those with ears to hear and eyes to see recognize the truth spoken by Dr. Kennedy. Dr. Kennedy produced and appeared in the Christmas TV special "Scrooge and Marley."
LUCIANO PAVAROTTI Died Sept. 6, 2007
The greatest. Sports fans can debate who was the greatest home run hitter: Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron or Barry Bonds. Same goes for the greatest film director: Kurosawa, Ford, Spielberg, Hitchcock or Bergman. One thing there can be no debate about is who is the greatest operatic tenor the world has ever seen. Luciano Pavarotti died of pancreatic cancer at age 71. Pavarotti was nominated for ten Emmy Awards for his many televised operatic performances. He won for "Rigoletto." Pavarotti's biggest cinematic mistake was the 1982 vehicle "Yes, Georgio!" Though his winning personality comes through in the movie, the romantic comedy is a notorious misfire. Why dwell on the bad, since Pavarotti left us with so many wonderful performances.
Luciano Pavarotti's many film and TV performances include "Tosca," "Aida," "La Boheme" and "Pagliacci." His music can be heard on the soundtracks of such films as "Man on Fire," "The Witches of Eastwick," "Fatal Attraction" and "The Mirror Has Two Faces." Mr. Pavarotti appeared as himself in over 50 TV specials. Among his many best selling albums was "The Three Tenors in Concert" with Placido Domingo and Joseph Carreras.
MADELEINE L'ENGLE Died Sept. 6, 2007
Award-winning author Madeleine L'Engle died of natural causes at age 88. Ms. L'Engle book "A Wrinkle in Time" won the Newbery Medal in 1963. Her novels "A Wrinkle in Time" and "A Ring of Endless Night" were adapted into films. Many of Ms. L'Engle's 60 books dealt with her Christian faith.
RONALD MAGILL Died Sept. 6, 2007
British actor Ronald Magill died at age 87. Mr. Magill was best known for his role as Amos Brearly on the long-running British soap opera "Emmerdale Farm." Mr. Magill was a regular on the show for 19 years. His other credits include the 1970 version of "Julius Caesar" and the TV series "Special Branch" and "Codename."
PERCY RODRIGUES Died Sept. 6, 2007
Prolific character and voice actor Percy Rodrigues died of kidney disease at age 89. Mr. Rodriguez was one of the most recognizable character actors for film and TV from the 1960s forward. His voice is also highly recognizable as he narrated numerous movie trailers including the original "Jaws" trailer. Percy Rodrigues played Dr. Harry Miles for two seasons on the soap opera "Peyton Place." Mr. Rodrigues many film and TV credits include "Star Trek," "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," "Come Back, Charleston Blue," "Genesis II," "Rhinoceros," "Galaxina," "Heavy Metal," "Deadly Blessings," "Brain Waves" and "The Atlanta Child Murders."
SIDNEY ELLIS Died Sept. 6, 2007
Writer Sidney Ellis died at age 89. Mr. Ellis wrote for a number of TV series including "The Outer Limits," "Combat," "Bonanza," "Death Valley Days," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," "The Fugitive," "Baretta," "The A-Team" and "Hunter." He also worked as story editor on "The A-Team" and "Hunter."
ANN CHEGWIDDEN Died Sept. 6, 2007
BAFTA-nominated film editor Ann Chegwidden died of cancer at age 86. The British editor was hired by Roger Corman to edit his masterpiece "The Masque of Red Death." Ms. Chegwidden worked on nearly 30 films, documentaries and TV shows during her career. She was nominated three times for the Best Film Editor BAFTA. Ms. Chegwidden's other credits include "Rocket to the Moon," the 1970 version of "Wuthering Heights," "The Hiding Place" and the TV series "Heart of the Dragon."
ROBERT ENDERS Died Sept. 7, 2007
Filmmaker and teacher Robert Enders died of undisclosed causes. Mr. Enders began his career in radio and TV. He produced the TV series "The Best of the Post." Mr. Enders produced the "Laugh In" film spin-off "The Maltese Bippy." Enders wrote and produced the excellent George Kennedy mystery "Zigzag." Enders moved to the UK in the 1970s where he went into business with Glenda Jackson. Their films together include "Nasty Habits," "Stevie," "The Maid," "The Princess and the Goblin" and "Strange Interlude." Mr. Enders also adapted the play "Conduct Unbecoming" into a fine film. Mr. Enders shared his writing craft with others as a professor at UCLA and USC.
ALEX ROMERO Died Sept. 8, 2007
Choreographer and dancer Alex Romero died at age 94. Mr. Romero appeared as a dancer in a number of films including "On the Town," "An American in Paris," "Follow the Boys" and "The Jolsen Story." Mr. Romero's most famous choreography number was in Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock." His many choreography credits include "Words and Music," "Love Me or Leave Me," "tom thumb," "The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm," "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?," "The Fastest Gun Alive," "The Stripper," "The Grissom Gang," "Clambake," "Double Trouble," "The Frisco Kid," "Love at First Bite" and "Zorro, the Gay Blade."
JOHN T. ROSS Died Sept. 8, 2007
Canadian film producer John T. Ross died at age 77. In addition to producing hundreds of TV commercials, Mr. Ross produced such films and TV shows as "House of Pride," "Caged Terror," "Hey Cinderella!," Patty Duke's 1965 film "Billie" as well as an episode of "The Patty Duke Show." He was the chairman of the completion bond company Film Finances Canada Ltd.
HUGHIE THOMASSON Died Sept. 9, 2007
Rocker Hughie Thomasson died of a heart attack at age 55. On July 4, 1976 I joined 75,000 other Memphians for an all-day rock concert at the Liberty Bowl Stadium. For a mere $10.00 ticket price I got to see The Outlaws, Blue Oyster Cult, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top. Hughie Thomasson's band The Outlaws opened the show. I'd be lying if I said I remembered their set as I was too busy making time with my date. (I wonder what ever happened to Teri Williams?) The third act, I do remember. Ronnie Van Zandt leading Lynyrd Skynyrd. Just over a year later that band's plane would crash killing Van Zandt, guitarist Steve Gaines and his sister, singer Cassie Gaines. Hughie Thomasson's Outlaws would continue to create southern fried rock for a long time. In the 1990s Mr. Thomasson joined the reformed version of Lynyrd Skynyrd writing songs and playing kickass guitar licks. He appeared in concert in the films "Lynyrd Skynyrd Lyve From the Steel Town" and "Lynyrd Skynyrd Lyve: The Vicious Cycle Tour." He also performed with the band at the "47th Annual Grammy Awards" in 2005. Mr. Thomasson reformed The Outlaws in 2005. His death came in the middle of their current tour. He played his final concert in Nevada the day before his death. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
JANE WYMAN Died Sept. 10, 2007
Oscar-winning actress Jane Wyman has died. Ms. Wyman's age was in dispute and has been reported to be either 90 or 93. She was the first wife of former President Ronald Reagan. The couple were the parents of Maureen and Michael Reagan. Ms. Wyman was nominated four times for the Best Actress Oscar. She won for her performance as the deaf/mute rape victim in the 1947 film "Johnny Belinda." Ms. Wyman was also nominated for Oscars for her work in the films "The Yearling," "The Blue Veil" and "Magnificent Obsession." Jane Wyman appeared in over 100 films and TV shows during her lengthy career. In addition to her Oscar nominations, Ms. Wyman was honored with two Emmy nominations, four Golden Globe Awards and another Golden Globe nomination.
Ms. Wyman began her film career in the early 1930s with bit parts in nearly 20 films including "My Man Godfrey" and "The Gold Diggers of 1937." Beginning with the 1937 film "Smart Blonde" Ms. Wyman began to get bigger roles. The following year she appeared in "Brother Rat" with future husband Ronald Reagan. The pair would make two more feature films together: "Brother Rat and a Baby" and "An Angel From Texas." The Reagans married in 1940. They were divorced in 1949.
Ms. Wyman became a leading lady during the 1940s. Her notable film roles include "Larceny, Inc." with Edward G. Robinson, the Oscar-winning "The Lost Weekend" with Ray Milland, "Night and Day" with Cary Grant," "The Yearling" with Gregory Peck and "Johnny Belinda."
Jane Wyman began the 1950s co-starring with Marlene Dietrich in Alfred Hitchcock's "Stage Fright." Though she appeared in a number of great films, Ms. Wyman became one of the first major stars to make the jump to TV. She received two Emmy nominations for her TV series "Jane Wyman Presents the Fireside Theater." Ms. Wyman's film career continues full steam during the 50s and she earned two more Oscar nominations. He feature film credits from the 1950s include "The Glass Menagerie," Frank Capra's "Here Comes the Groom," "The Blue Veil," "The Story of Will Rogers," "So Big," "Magnificent Obsession," "All That Heaven Allows" and the classic tear-jerker "Miracle in the Rain."
Careerwise, Jane Wyman slowed things down in the 1960s. She only appeared in three feature films: "Pollyana" with Hayley Mills, "Bon Voyage!" with Fred MacMurray and "How To Commit Marriage" opposite Bob Hope and Jackie Gleason. Her TV work during the 1960s consisted of guest appearances on six TV series. Jane Wyman continued to make sporadic TV appearances during the 1970s and 80s. In 1981 she was cast in the lead of the prime time soap "Falcon Crest." She starred in the series during the entire nine seasons. She won a Golden Globe and was nominated for several Soap Opera Digest Awards for her work on "Falcon Crest." Jane Wyman's final work on film was a guest appearance on "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman" in 1993.
SKEDGE MILLER Died Sept. 10, 2007
Actor Skedge Miller died of Alzheimer's Disease at age 93. Mr. Miller appeared on Broadway as well as Off-Broadway. His TV credits include "Saturday night Live," "Hallmark Hall of Fame" and "Tales of Tomorrow."
JAMES LEASOR Died Sept. 10, 2007
Novelist and biographer James Leasor died at age 83. Mr. Leasor's true-crime book "Who Killed Sir Harry Oakes?" was turned into the TV movie "Passion and Paradise." Other films based on his works include "The Sea Wolves," "Where the Spies Are" and "The One That Got Away." Mr. Leasor ghost wrote biographies of actors Jack Hawkins and Kenneth Moore.
LORETTA KING HADLER Died Sept. 10, 2007
Former actress Loretta King Hadler died of natural causes at age 90. As Loretta King, she starred in Ed Wood's infamous "Bride of the Monster." According to the movie "Ed Wood" the director gave her the leading role because he thought she was going to finance the movie! Ms. King was portrayed by actress Juliet Landau in the Tim Burton movie. During the 1970s, under the name Loretta Hadler, she appeared in two movies by director Horace Jackson: "Johnny Tough" and "Joey."
MARK COPELAND Died Sept. 11, 2007
Stedi-cam operator and videographer Mark Copeland was killed in a helicopter crash near Sarasota Florida. The 44-year-old filmmaker was filming a speedboat when, apparently one of the helicopter's skids hit the water causing the crash. Another photographer was also killed in the crash. Mark Copeland won a regional Emmy award for his coverage of the John Glenn space shuttle flight. Mr. Copeland worked as a local TV cameraman in Tennessee before going freelance. He was a stedi-cam operator on such productions as "The Ultimate Gift," "Pucked" and "Cold Storage." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
GERLIND AHNERT Died Sept. 12, 2007
German actress and TV host Gerlind Ahnert died at age 73. Ms. Ahnert appeared in a dozen films during the 1950s and 60s. She worked as an East German TV announcer for 25 years. She was married twice, first to director Wolfgang Luderer and then to cameraman Detlev Hertelt.
JOACHIM HANSEN Died Sept. 13, 2007
German actor Joachim Hansen died of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 77. Mr. Hansen was known to German and international audiences for his appearances in over 70 films and TV shows. Mr. Hansen appeared in such international hits as "The Boys From Brazil," "Is Paris Burning?," "The Bridge at Remagen" and "The Eagle Has Landed." Mr. Hansen portrayed Lt. Gen. Alfred Jodl in the TV miniseries adaptations of Herman Wouks' "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance." Mr. Hansen emigrated to Canada in 1986 but returned to Germany to work on the stage.
JACQUES MARTIN Died Sept. 14, 2007
French actor, writer, director and TV host Jacques Martin died of cancer at age 74. Mr. Martin wrote and produced the popular French TV series "La Petit Rapporteur." He wrote, directed and starred in the hit comedy film "Na!" Mr. Martin's acting credits include a supporting role in Claude Beri's international hit comedy "Le Sex Shop." He was the father of French actor David Martin.
EMILIO RUIZ DEL RIO Died Sept. 14, 2007
Special effects whiz and set decorator Emilio Ruiz del Rio died of respiratory failure at age 84. Mr. Ruiz del Rio worked on over 400 films during his career. He was nominated for multiple Goya Awards, winning three. Mr. Ruiz del Rio worked on such films as "Spartacus," "Lawrence of Arabia," "Dr. Zhivago," "Travels with My Aunt," "Conan the Destroyer," "Dune," "Cat's Eye," "Red Sonja," "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery" and "Pan's Labyrinth."
BRETT SOMERS Died Sept. 15, 2007
Actress and comedian Brett Somers died of stomach and colon cancer at age 83. Ms. Somers was the wife of actor Jack Klugman. Though they were separated for 33 years they did not divorce. Ms. Somers was a regular panelist on the popular game show "Match Game." Fans of the TV series "The Odd Couple" remember Ms. Somers for her recurring role as Blanche Madison, the ex-wife of Jack Klugman's character Oscar Madison. Brett Somer's many TV credits include "Barney Miller," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "The Fugitive," "Have Gun Will Travel," "Ben Casey," "Love, American Style" and "Naked City." Among her few film credits is Larry Cohen's underrated directorial debut "Bone."
SINARA STULL Died Sept. 16, 2007
Actress, author and motivational speaker Sinara Stull died of cancer at age 60. Ms. Stull acted on the TV shows "True Confessions," "Cheers" and "General Hospital." She then began a career in the business sector, giving talks on various ways to improve work place environments and other business related topics.
EDITH CAMPION Died Sept. 16, 2007
Actress Edith Campion died at age 83. Ms. Campion was a renowned stage actress in New Zealand during the 1950s. She was the mother of directors Jane and Anna Campion. Ms. Campion appeared in her daughter Jane's film "An Angel at My Table." She also appeared in her daughter Anna's short film "The Audition."
WADE DENNING Died Sept. 16, 2007
Composer and arranger Wade Denning died of cancer at age 85. Mr. Denning was the music arranger for "Ted Mack's Family Hour" and "Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour" for over 20 years. Mr. Denning composed the music for over 500 commercials. His best known commercial was the Maxwell House percolator commercial. Mr. Denning also composed music for "The Fred Allen Show" and the Earnest Borgnine movie "Rain for a Dusty Summer." No Halloween party would be complete without Mr. Denning's famous album "Sounds of Terror!"
VICTOR DUNCAN Died Sept. 18, 2007
Cinematographer and director Victor Duncan died in his sleep at age 82. Mr. Duncan directed the 1960s country music movie "Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar." What a great title. He also shot the early Steve McQueen movie "The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery." Mr. Duncan shot a number of documentaries as well. He and his wife started the largest motion picture equipment rental and sales companies in the Midwest. Mr. Duncan served his country in the US Navy during WWII.
SALLIE BROPHY Died Sept. 18, 2007
Actress and theater director Sallie Brophy died of non-Hodkin's lymphoma at age 78. Ms. Brophy appeared in a number of films and TV shows during the 1950s and 60s. She starred in the 1959 TV series "Buckskin." Her film credits include William Wyler's "The Children's Hour," "Storm Center" with Bette Davis and "The Green-Eyed Blonde." Ms. Brophy's many TV credits include "Ben Casey," "The Fugitive," "Studio 57," "Wagon Train" and "Slattery's People." Ms. Brophy was married to writer George J. W. Goodman. Ms. Brophy taught theater and acting for 20 years. In 1984 she directed an off-Broadway production of Joyce Carol Oates play "Presque Island" at New York's Theater of the Open Eye.
MAIA SIMON Died Sept. 19, 2007
French actress Maia Simon committed medically assisted suicide at age 67. The actress, who was suffering from cancer, traveled to Switzerland where passive medically assisted suicide is legal. Ms. Simon worked primarily on French TV. Her film credits include "Pardon Mon Affair, Too!"
JEAN DESCHAMPS Died Sept. 18, 2007
French actor and theater festival founder Jean Deschamps died of complications following a fall at age 87. Mr. Deschamps founded the City Theater Festival at Carcassonne, France. In addition to his prolific stage career, Mr. Deschamps worked quite frequently on French TV. His film credits include a supporting role in the Best Foreign Film Oscar nominated "A Simple Story."
ROBERT SABAROFF Died Sept. 19, 2007
Writer/producer Robert Sabaroff died of leukemia at age 72. Mr. Sabaroff's TV credits go back to the 1950s. He was the co-creator of the excellent TV series "Then Came Bronson," which starred Michael Parks. Mr. Sabaroff wrote for such TV shows as "Flipper," "Bonanza," "Marcus Welby M.D.," "Star Trek" and "The Equalizer."
PHILIP MCENENY Died Sept. 19, 2007
Broadway and TV stage manager Philip McEneny died of Alzheimer's Disease at age 86. Mr. McEney was an assistant stage manager on the original 1946 Broadway production of "Annie Get Your Gun." During the 1950s he worked as a stage manager for NBC TV. He worked on "The Howdy Doody Show" and Hanna-Barbera's "Ruff and Reddy." Mr. McEneny served his country as an officer in the US Navy during WWII and saw action on D-Day.
CHRISTINE HEWETT Died Sep. 19, 2007
Model and actress Christine Hewett died of cancer at age 64. Ms. Hewett was best known to "Star Wars" fans for her cameo appearance in the Cantina sequence of the original film. Ms. Hewett's other credits include "Space 1999," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?," "Bridget Jones Diary" and "Four Weddings and a Funeral."
LEE MCLAUGHLIN Died Sept. 20, 2007
Actor/stuntman/horse breeder Lee McLaughlin died at age 71. Mr. McLaughlin acted in a number of films and TV shows including Martin Scorsese's "Bound For Glory," "The Car," "The Silver Streak" and "Bonanza." Mr. McLaughlin was partners with "Bonanza" star Lorne Green in the thoroughbred horse ranch Greenlee Farms. Mr. McLaughlin did stunt work in such films as "Smokey and the Bandit 3" and "Young Guns."
MAHLON CLARK Died Sept. 20, 2007
Clarinetist Mahlon Clark died of natural causes at age 84. Mr. Clark performed the memorable clarinet solo in the song "Baby Elephant Walk" for the John Wayne movie "Hatari!" The song was a hit for both Henry Mancini and Lawrence Welk. Mr. Clark performed on both recordings. He was a member of the Lawrence Welk Orchestra during the 1960 and married fellow Welk performer Kathy Lennon of The Lennon Sisters. Mr. Clark performed as a Hollywood studio musician for Paramount Studios performing on the soundtracks of numerous films between the 1950s and 1990s. He was also a popular accompanist for Frank Sinatra performing on many of Mr. Sinatra's albums.
ALICE GHOSTLEY Died Sept. 21, 2007
Tony Award winning actress Alive Ghostly died of cancer at age 84. Ms. Ghostly was also nominated for an Emmy Award for her work on the TV series "Designing Women." The prolific character actress appeared in over 100 films and TV shows during her lengthy career. She was the widow of actor Felice Orlandi who died in 2003. Ms. Ghostly was nominated for two Tony Awards, winning in 1965 for her performance in Lorraine Hansberry's "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window." Ms. Ghostley appeared in nine Broadway productions.
Alice Ghostley was best known for her comedic TV performances. She had recurring roles in several TV series including "Bewitched," "Evening Shade" and "Designing Women." Ms. Ghostley played Dill's Aunt Stephanie in the classic "To Kill a Mockingbird." She played one of the evil stepsisters in the 1957 CBS TV musical "Cinderella," which starred Julie Andrews. Ms. Ghostley's many film credits include "The Graduate," "The Flim-Flam Man," "With Six You Get Eggroll," "Viva Max!," "Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies," "Gator," "Grease" and "Rabbit Test."
GEORGE EDE Died Sept. 21, 2007
Actor George Ede died at age 75. Mr. Ede enjoyed success on stage and screen. He appeared in over 20 films and TV shows during his career. Mr. Ede's many credits include "Spin City," "It Had to Be You," "Murder, She Wrote," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "The House on Carroll Street," "The World According to Garp," "Ryan's Hope" and "Serpico."
VIJAYAN Died Sept. 22, 2007
Indian actor Vijayan died of a heart attack at age 63. Vijayan went from leading man to character actor and villain during his lengthy career. He acted in both Tamil and Malayalam language films. He worked in over 100 films during his career.
JOEL FEIN Died Sept. 22, 2007
Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning sound editor Joel Fein died at age 63. Mr. Fein shared an Oscar nomination for his work on the great biopic "The Buddy Holly Story." Mr. Fein was a re-recording mixer. His work on the "National Geographic Special" was honored with an Emmy Award. He was nominated for two more Emmy Awards for the TV movies "A Time For Miracles" and "Truman." Mr. Fein was part of the teams which restored the soundtracks of the classic films "Spartacus," "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth." Mr. Fein's many credits include "Carney," "Blade Runner," "Midnight Run," "Fletch Lives," "Early Edition," "Dawson's Creek" and the remake of "Brian's Song."
KARL HARDMAN Died Sept. 22, 2007
Actor/producer Karl Hardman died at age 80. Mr. Hardman produced and acted in George Romero's 1968 classic horror film "Night of the Living Dead." Mr. Hardman portrayed Kevin Cooper, the protective father who insisted on staying in the basement during the zombie attack. His real life daughter Kyra Schon played his on screen daughter in the film. Mr. Hardman's wife Marilyn Eastman played his wife in the film as well as one of the zombies in that film. Miss Schon's character in the film ended up killing and eating her parents! The photo at right is of Mr. Hardman, his wife and daughter from "Night of the Living Dead." Mr. Hardman contributed electronic sound effects to the film. He and his wife also did makeup for the zombies. Mr. Hardman also acted in the 1996 horror film "Santa Claws." He appeared as himself in the "Night of the Living Dead: 25th Anniversary Documentary" and the upcoming "One For the Fire: Night of the Living Dead: 40th Anniversary Documentary."
MARY GARDNER PHILLIPS CATMUR
MARY GARDNER PHILLIPS CATMURDied Sept. 22, 2007
Miss Phillips died at age 97 of complications following surgery for a broken hip. You won't find Miss Phillips name on IMDB or in the credits of any films. Miss Phillips (that's what I always called her) was my step-grandmother during my father's third marriage. She was the first real sophisticated and refined 'lady' I had ever met. Miss Phillips was the daughter of Malcolm Rice Patterson. She was born in governor's mansion in 1910 during her father's second term as governor of Tennessee. She was also one of the first 'real' adults it was my pleasure to get to know. Miss Phillips encouraged and refined my tastes in movies. Before I knew her, I was strictly a B-movie and monster movie fan. Miss Phillips argued with my father stating I was old enough to accompany her to see "The Godfather" when I was 13 years old. She won the argument and I was totally blown away by what I saw. Miss Phillips took the time to discuss the finer points of the movie with me when it was over. Just to make sure I got more out of it than the blood and guts. For my 14th birthday she purchased two front-row tickets to a Grand Funk Railroad concert. She went out and bought their "Grand Funk" album and listened to it. When she told me that the tickets were for me and her, I was mortified. I was going to a rock concert with my Grandmother! I was relieved when the concert was cancelled. I never told her this. For years I've wondered what it would have been like to have gone to the concert with her. Miss Phillips is responsible for this obituary column in one respect. She was the person who turned me on to the film criticism of Pauline Kael. I discovered, not only great film criticism, but great literature. The very first obituary I wrote for EInsiders.com was Pauline Kael's. That was the beginning of this column. One bad thing about divorce is that you lose track of people you love. In early September I ran into my younger half-brother Christopher. He's a psychiatrist who testifies in my court sometimes. I asked about Miss Phillips and was happy to hear that she was doing fine. Last week (December 14th) I saw Christopher in court again. I found out the bad news. Please forgive this departure from my usual film industry obituaries, but Miss Phillips is one of the people who encouraged my love of cinema. Thank you Miss Phillips for all you added to my life. Rest with the angels.
MARCEL MARCEAU Died Sept. 23, 2007
Marcel Marceau, the world's greatest mime, has died at age 84. The French artist acted out the human condition on stages around the world for close to 60 years. He began performing at the end of WWII. Marcel Marceau served his country and humanity in the French Resistance during WWII. His father died in Auschwitz in 1944. He continued to serve humanity through his art. Without speaking words through his character Bip, Marcel Marceau was able to show all of us what we had in common. Not that everyone listens as the current state of the world will attest to.
Marcel Marceau performed around the world on TV shows. In the US alone he shared his art on "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Dinah Show Show," "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson," "The Hollywood Palace," "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood," "Laugh In" and "Good Morning America." Marcel Marceau's film appearances include Rager Vadim's "Barbarella" and Mel Brooks' "Silent Movie." In the Mel Brooks film, Marcel Marceau was one of a number of actors being approached by Mel Brooks to appear in his silent film. Mr. Marceau performed his famous 'walking against the wind' routine as he fought his way to the door of his home. When Marceau reached the door and is confronted by Mel Brooks he speaks the only word in the Brooks film: "Non." The joke was funnier in concept than in execution, but the movie does capture the brilliance of Marceau's work.
SCOTT BELSHE Died Sept. 23, 2007
Set dresser and swing gang member Scott Belshe died at age 44. Mr. Belshe was a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local #44. His credits include "A Face to Die For," "Gang Related" and "Double Bang."
PAUL MANCUSO Died Sept. 23, 2007
Actor and property master Paul Mancuso died of undisclosed causes at age 42. He appeared in the TV series "Teen Angel." Mr. Mancuso worked in property on such films and TV shows as "Thinner," "Virus," "In the Shadow of Evil" and "Running Mates."
COMWAY WICKLIFFE Died Sept. 24, 2007
New Zealand special effects technician Comway Wickliffe was killed in England during a camera truck crash while working on the upcoming "Batman" film "The Dark Knight." Mr. Wickliffe was riding in a camera truck doing a test run for a stunt sequence. The truck was following a stunt vehicle when it crashed into a tree. The 41-year-old effects tech had worked on a number of films during his career. His credits include "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," "Black Hawk Down," "Die Another Day," "Batman Begins," "V for Vendetta," "Children of Men," "Casino Royale" and "Fred Claus." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
GUSTAVO AGUILAR TEJADA Died Sept. 24, 2007
Mexican actor Gustavo Tejada died of renal failure. His age was not given. Mr. Tejada had withdrawn from acting as he suffered from a progressive disease which deformed his skeletal system. He appeared in numerous Mexican Telenovelas as well as films. International audiences would remember him from the Brad Pitt film "The Mexican" as well as Alejandro Jodorowski's horror film "Santa Sangre."
VELMA DAWSON Died Sept. 26, 2007
Puppet maker Velma Dawson died at age 95. Ms. Dawson created the marionette "Howdy Doody." She built all of the puppets for the TV series run from 1948 through 1960.
ERIK ROELFZEMA Died Sept. 26, 2007
Dutch war hero Erik Roelfzema died of undisclosed causes at age 90. Mr. Roelfzema was a hero of the Dutch resistance fighting the Nazies during WWII. He became a fighter pilot for the RAF and later adjutant to Queen Wilhelmina. Mr. Roelfzema wrote about his experience in the book "Soldaat van Oranje" which translates "Soldier of Orange." The book was adapted to the screen by Paul Verhoven. Actor Rutger Hauer portrayed the war hero in Verhoven's outstanding film. The photograph at right is of Mr. Roelfzema with actor Rutger Hauer. CLICK HERE to read my Video Risk review of the 1979 classic. A must see if you have never had the pleasure. Thanks for you service to mankind in fighting the Nazi evil.
HERBERT DOYLE Died Sept. 26, 2007
Actor Herbert Doyle died at age 79. Mr. Doyle appeared in several films including "The Bostonians" and the 1982 version of "I, the Jury."
BENJAMIN RIVERA Died Sept. 26, 2007
Actor and transportation guy Benny Rivera died at age 60. Mr. Rivera acted in several films and TV shows including "Runaway Train" and the true-crime film "Badge of the Assassin." Most of his film work was in the transportation department. Mr. Rivera got people where they needed to go on such films as "Three Amigos," "Extreme Prejudice," "One False Move" and "Colors."
HENRY DANZIGER Died Sept. 27, 2007
Cantor Henry Danziger died at age 83. Mr. Danziger was the Cantor at several Synagogues during his lifetime. He also sang opera in the UK. Mr. Danziger played a Cantor in the Oscar-winning film "Sunday, Bloody Sunday." He served his country in the British Army during WWII and was a member of the Israeli Defense Forces in 1948 and 49.
MARTIN MANULIS Died Sept. 28, 2007
Emmy-nominated producer Martin Manulis died of natural causes at age 92. Mr. Manulis was nominated for three Emmy awards for producing the miniseries "Chiefs," "Space" and the series "Climax!" Mr. Manilus produced several memorable series during the early days of TV including "Playhouse 90," "Studio One" and "Suspense." Other credits include "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," "Five Fingers" and "James at 15." Mr. Manulis produced the films "The Days of Wine and Roses" and "Luv" among others.
CHARLES B. GRIFFITH Died Set. 28, 2007
Writer/director Charles B. Griffith died at age 77. Mr. Griffith is best known for his work with Roger Corman. He penned the low-budget horror classics "A Bucket of Blood" and "Little Shop of Horrors." Mr. Griffith also provided the voice of the carnivorous plant Audry Junior and played several bit parts including the guy who tries to rob the flower shop in Corman's "Little Shop of Horrors." Mr. Griffith collaborated with Roger Corman on many films including "The Wild Angels," "It Conquered the World," "Not of This Earth," "Attack of the Crab Monsters," "Beast From Haunted Cave," "Death Race 2000" and "Eat My Dust." In addition to his many screenwriting credits, Charles Griffith directed a few films for Roger Corman including the Ron Howard car chase film "Eat My Dust." Thanks for the hours of enjoyment you provided millions of schlock fans all over the world.
LOIS MAXWELL Died Sept. 29, 2007
Canadian actress Lois Maxwell died of cancer at age 80. Ms. Maxwell was best known for playing Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond film series. Ms. Maxwell outlasted three Bonds by appearing in every Cubby Broccoli produced James Bond film from 1963's "Dr. No" through the 1985 Roger Moore Swansong "A View to a Kill." She appeared in more James Bond films (14) than any other actor except Demond Llewelyn who played 'Q' in 17 films in the series. Ms. Maxwell was perfect as the lovelorn secretary to Bonds' boss M. She pined and lusted after Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Roger Moore as they played the suave super agent James Bond. Miss Moneypenny seems to be the only female that James Bond never took to bed. Though Lois Maxwell will always be identified with the role of Miss Moneypenny, she had a career outside the world of James Bond. My first memory of Lois Maxwell was in the classic horror film "The Haunting." Ms. Maxwell's sudden appearance at the top of the spiral staircase scared actor Russ Tamblyn and everyone who ever saw the movie. Ms. Maxwell had a supporting role in Stanley Kubrick's version of "Lolita." The Canadian born actress studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London while still a teenager. She came to the US and appeared in several films including "That Hagen Girl" with Ronald Reagan and Shirley Temple. Ms. Maxwell then worked in Italy for a few years before moving to the UK. She appeared in a number of TV shows and films before landing the role of Moneypenny in "Dr. No." The rest is history.
HARRIET HALL Died Sept. 29, 2007
Actress Harriet Hall died of a heart attack at age 58. Ms. Hall was known to Soap Opera fans for her role as Andrea Moore in "Somerset." She played a supporting riole with Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn in the Hallmark movie "Foxfire." Other film and TV credits include "Tribes," "Relentless," "All My Children" and "The Witching of Ben Wagner."