Sunday, April 21, 2013

February 2008 Film World Obituaries

SHELL KEPLER Died Feb. 1, 2008

Actress Shell Kepler died of renal failure at age 49. She was best known for playing Nurse Vining on the soap opera "General Hospital." Her character was the sister of Laura during the series 'Luke & Laura' era. Ms. Kepler reprised her role in the spin-off series "Port Charles." Other credits include "Getting Wasted," "Three's Company" and "Homework." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

BETO CARRERO Died Feb. 1, 2008

Brazillian actor turned businessman Beto Carrero died of heart failure at age 70. Mr. Carrero was the founder of Beto Carrero World, the largest amusement park in Latin America. His film and TV credits include "The Mystery of Robin Hood," "Bunglers in the Kingdom of Fantasy," "The history of Ana Raio and Zé Trovão" and "Dedé and the Crazy Command."

BRYAN LANGLEY Died Feb. 1, 2008

Cinematographer and special effects artist Bryan Langley died at age 98. Mr. Langley was the cinematographer on Alfred Hitchcock's 1932 film "Number 17." Mr. Langley lensed over 50 films including "The Monkey's Paw," "The Dark Eyes of London," "Dead Men Tell No Tales," "Mutiny on the Elsinore," "No Exit" and "The Streets of London." Mr. Langley provided special effects for several films including Jacques Tourneur's "Night of the Demon," the original version of "1984," "A Town Like Alice," "The Good Die Young" and "The Lavender Hill Mob."

BARRY MORSE Died Feb. 2, 2008

Prolific character actor Barry Morse died at age 89. The British turned Canadian actor was best known for his role as Lt. Girard on the TV series "The Fugitive." Every week for four season, the determined detective tracked down Dr. Richard Kimball (David Jansen) for the murder of his wife. Of course, he was after the wrong man. Mr. Mrose turned down a cameo appearance in the feature film version of the TV show. Tommy Lee Jones played the role in the film version.

Barry Morse appeared in over 120 films and TV shows during his career. He had several thousand acting roles when you take his stage and radio work into account. He played prime minister Menachem Begin in the TV movie "Sadat." Mr. Morse played two different historical figures in the excellent miniseries "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance." He played Joseph Kennedy, patriarch of the political family in "Hoover vs. the Kennedys: The Second Civil War."

Horror and sci-fi fans remember Mr. Morse for a whole host of performances in movies and TV shows. He had a regular role on the series "Space 1999." He was part of a great ensemble cast in the Amicus omnibus horror film "Asylum." I saw "Asylum" on my first double date! Mr. Morse had a nice supporting role in the creepy ghost story "The Changeling." Other genre credits include "The Twilight Zone," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "The Outer Limits," "The Invaders," "The Shape of Things to Come," "The Martian Chronicles," "Ray Bradbury Theater" and "Dracula: The Series."

Mr. Morse's non-genre credits include "Naked City," "Wagon Train," "The Untouchables," "The Defenders," "Justine," "Puzzle of a Downfall Child," "Truman at Potsdam" the excellent Chris Sarandon version of "A Tale of Two Cities" and "Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story."

RICHARD N. MORGAN Died Feb. 2, 2008

Writer Richard N. Morgan died at age 76. Mr. Morgan wrote for a number of TV shows. His many credits include "Space Patrol," "Cimarron City," "Riverboat," "Tales of Wells Fargo," "Dragnet," "The FBI," "Adam 12," "Trapper John," "Barney Miller," "Mission Impossible," "Land of the Lost," "Adam-12," "Flamingo Road," "Bonanza" and "Emergency!" He was the uncle of filmmaker Greg Morgan.

CARLOS AURED Died Feb. 3, 2008

Spanish director Carlos Aured died of a heart attack at age 71. Mr. Aured was best known for his horror collaborations with actor/writer/director/Spanish horror movie legend Paul Naschy. The pair collaborated on four films. "Horror Rises From the Grave" was the most successful of their films. It was followed by the Giallo "House of Psychotic Women," "Curse of the Devil" and "The Vengeance of the Mummy." Mr. Aured switched genres and began making soft-core erotica during the 1980s. Several of his films starred Lina Romay, the frequent star of fellow Spanish genre director Jesus Franco.

CHARLES FAWCETT Died Feb. 3, 2008

Actor and freedom fighter Charles Fawcett died at age 92. Charles Fawcett lived the kind of life a Hollywood screenwriter could only dream of creating. Mr. Fawcett appeared over 60 films during his lengthy career, but that is the least interesting thing about his full, adventure laden life. I first heard of Mr. Fawcett while listening to either Sean Hannity or Michael Savage on the radio. Whoever it was told the tale of a very interesting gentleman who spent his life trying to help those being victimized by tyrants. What an amazing life. Charles Fawcett fought against tyranny during WWII, in the Greek Civil War, the Hungarian uprising against Russia, the Belgian Congo and during the Soviet/Afghan war. During most of these battles, Mr. Fawcett was suffering from TB. He rescued British POWs from the Nazis. He married a number of Jewish women in order to get them Visas to escape to America. He flew for the RAF! Mr. Fawcett flew rescue mission to Hungary and the Belgian Congo to free refugees. Mr. Fawcett was the man who filmed Russian atrocities against the Afghans which lead to US funding of the freedom fighters who eventually defeated the Soviet war machine. Someone should make a movie about the amazing Charles Fawcett.

As for his film career, Charles Fawcett worked mainly in Europe. He appeared in numerous B-Movies throughout the years. Mr. Fawcett is known to horror movie fans for his role in "I, Vampiri." The 1957 film kicked off the revival of gothic horror films in Europe during the late 1950s. "I, Vampiri" predated both of Hammer Film's better known entries in the cycle "The Horror of Dracula" and "The Curse of Frankenstein." Mr. Fawcett's other credits include "Barabbas," "The 300 Spartans," "The Secret of Dr. Mabuse" and "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

AUGUSTA DABNEY Died Feb. 4, 2008

BAFTA nominated actress Augusta Dabney died at age 89. Ms. Dabney was nominated for a Best Foreign Actress BAFTA for the 1957 film "That Night!" Ms. Dabney appeared in over 50 films and TV shows during her career. She also appeared in 10 Broadway productions. Ms. Dabney was best known for her Soap Opera work. She spent 10 years on the soap "Loving." Other soap credits include "General Hospital," "Another World," "As the World Turns," "Love is a Many Splendored Thing" and "The Guiding Light." She appeared in the Neil Simon films "Plaza Suite" and the original version of "The Heartbreak Kid." Ms. Dabney was married to actor Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) for 20 years. Her second husband was actor William Prince (Network). They married in 1964 and remained married until his death in 1996.

MAGGIE OSTROFF Died Feb. 4, 2008

Assistant sound editor Maggie Ostroff died at age 72 after a lengthy illness. Ms. Ostroff's many credits include "Enemy of the State," "Armageddon," "Speed 2: Cruise Control," "The Rock," "Broken Arrow," "Crimson Tide," "Hocus Pocus," "Patriot Games," "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country," "The Naked Gun 2 ½," "2 Fast 2 Furious," "Proof of Life" and "Her Alibi."

RALPH B. WHITE Died Feb. 4, 2008

Cinematographer Ralph White died of an aortic aneurism at age 66. Mr. White was one of the world's foremost underwater cinematographer. He made over 30 dives on the wreck of the Titanic. Mr. White was a long time cinematographer for "National Geographic." He documented the first dive newly discovered the wreck of the Titanic. Director James Cameron called upon his expertise on the Oscar-winning "Titanic" as well as the documentary "Ghosts of the Abyss." Mr. White's ability to shoot film at great depths made him much in demand. Other credits include "Titanic's Final Moments: Missing Pieces," "Last Mysteries of the Titanic," "Titanic: Secrets Revealed," "Bimini Code," "World of the Sea" and "The Challenging Sea."

OTTO LACKOVIC Died Feb. 4, 2008

Czech actor Otto Lackovic died at age 82, Mr. Lackovic acted in over 50 films during his career. His best known work outside the Iron Curtain was the 1963 sci-fi epic "Ikarie XB 1." American International changed the ending and released the film in the US as "Voyage to the End of the Universe."

BERTHA MOSS Died Feb. 4, 2008

Argentine actress Bertha Moss died of heart failure at age 88. Ms. Moss worked in her home land as well as Mexico. She appeared in over two-dozen films in Argentina before moving to Mexico. He enjoyed success on stage, TV and in film in Mexico. Among her over 80 credits are "The Exterminating Angel," "Invasion of the Vampires," "A Woman Possessed" and "Count Frankenhausen."


Polish editor turned award-winning director Katarzyna Maciejko died. Her age was not given. Ms. Maciejko edited over 150 documentary films. She edited most of the films of director Marcel Lozinski including his Oscar-nominated "89mm From Europe." Ms. Maciejko directed the award-winning documentary "Benek Blues." Ms. Maciejko shared her craft with others as a professor at the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing.


Spiritual leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died at age 91. The Maharishi was the world's leading proponent of transcendental meditation. His celebrity followers during the 1960s included the Beatles, Donovan and Mia Farrow. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi appeared in a number of documentaries including "The Complete Beatles," "The Beatles: Anthology," "Reel Radicals: The Sixities Revolution in Film," "All My Loving" and "The Late Great Planet Earth."

JOHN ALVIN Died Feb. 6, 2008

Movie poster artist John Alvin died at age 59. Mr. Alvin created some of the most memorable movie posters of the past 35 years. His posters helped promote such films as "Blazing Saddles," "Young Frankenstein," "Blade Runner," "E.T." and the "Harry Potter" films.

TAMARA DESNI Died Feb. 7, 2008

German actress Tamara Desni died at age 97. She was the daughter of actress Xenia Desni. Ms. Desni appeared in a handful of films between 1931 and 1950. Her credits include "Dick Barton at Bay," "The Torso Murder Mystery," "Fire Over England," "Hell's Cargo" and "Forbidden Territory."

FEDERICA GORI Died Feb. 7, 2008

Italian porn star turned sports team mascot Federica Gori died of undisclosed causes. Her age was not given. Ms. Gori's porn star name was Lollipop. She was the TV mascot of the Italian football club Fiorentina. Ms. Gori appeared in the 2002 adult movie "Blue Angel."

MICHAEL LAMBERT Died Feb. 7, 2008

Electrician Michael Lambert died at age 42. Mr. Lambert worked as a gaffer and in other capacities on a number of films. His many credits include "The Skeleton Key," "Bewitched," "Scary Movie 2," "Swordfish" the remake of "Mighty Joe Young," "Alien: Resurrection" and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

POLLY WILLIAMS Died Feb. 8, 2008

Polly Williams is believed to have committed suicide at age 33. Ms. Williams suffered from the eating disorder anorexia. She was featured in the Emmy-nominated documentary "Thin." The HBO film told the story of four women undergoing treatment for anorexia and bulimia at a Florida treatment center. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

EVA DAHLBECK Died Feb. 8, 2008

Swedish actress Eva Dahlbeck died of an infection at age 87. Ms. Dahlbeck appeared in six films by Ingmar Bergman. She won the Best Actress Award at Cannes for her work in Bergman's "Brink of Life." She was nominated for a Best Foreign Actress BAFTA for her work in Bergman's "Smiles of a Summer Night." Her other Bergman credits are "A Lesson in Love," "Secrets of Women," "Dreams" and "All These Women." She appeared in nearly 60 films during her career. She co-starred in the Roman Polanski scripted "A Day At the Beach." Other credits include "Loving Couples," "Tintomara" and "The Creatures." Ms. Dahlbeck gave up acting and became a successful novelist.

ROBERT DOQUI Died Feb. 9, 2008

Prolific character actor Robert DoQui died at age 74. Mr. DoQui appeared in over 110 films and TV shows during his lengthy career. Action movie fans will remember him best as the no-nonsense police Sgt. Reed in the "Robo Cop" films. Mr. Doqui was adept at playing heroes, villains and comedic roles. Robert Altman cast him in three of his best films. Mr. DoQui played the bartender who rescues the talentless character played by Gwen Welles from humiliation in the classic film "Nashville." The following year Altman cast Mr. DoQui in "Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson." His final film with Robert Altman was 1993's "Short Cuts."

Robert DoQui's many film credits include the Blaxploitation classic "Coffy." He played the pimp King George opposite Pam Grier in the title role. In 1966 master director Billy Wilder cast Mr. DoQui in the comedy "The Fortune Cookie." One of his first film roles was in a supporting part in Norman Jewison's "The Cincinnati Kid." He replaced Felton Perry as Obra in the sequel "Walking Tall Part 2." Mr. DoQui had a supporting role in "The Man" which dealt with the first Black president of the USA. If he had lived until next fall there would have been an excellent chance of Mr. DoQui seeing that even happen in real life!

Other film and TV credits include "The Practice," "ER," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "NYPD Blue," "Picket Fences," "The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson," "Miracle Mile," "Cloak & Dagger," "Hill Street Blues," "Knots Landing," "The White Shadow," "Guyana: Crime of the Century," "Centennial," "How the West Was Won," "Maude," "The Rockford Files," "The Jeffersons," "The Streets of San Francisco," "Sanford and Son," "Happy Days," "Banacek," "Longstreet," "Mission: Impossible," "Ironside," "The Name of the Game," "The Devil's 8," "Up Tight!," "The High Chaparral," "The Guns of Will Sonnett," "The Mod Squad," "Get Smart," "Tarzan," "Daktari," "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," "The Fugitive," "I Dream of Jeannie," "Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion" and "The Outer Limits."

THOMAS SCOT HALPIN Died Feb. 9, 2008

If his story appeared in a movie, no one would believe it. 1n 1973 Scot Halpin was a 19-year-old rock and roll fan watching The Who rock the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Drummer Keith Moon passed out twice during the concert. After Moon's second collapse, Pete Townsend called out for anyone in the audience who could play drums. Scot Halpin answered the call and played drums for 15 minutes to end the set. Scot Halpin died of a brain tumor at age 54. He appeared in the documentary "The Who: Thiry Years of Maximum R&B."

STEVE GERBER Died Feb. 10, 2008

Comic book writer Steve Gerber died of complications from pulmonary fibrosis at age 60. Mr. Gerber created several cartoon characters including the sarcastic superhero "Howard the Duck." The innovative "Howard the Duck" comic books did not fare well when they were translated to the big screen. George Lucas produced the box-office disaster which took all of the edge away from Gerber's original work. The result was an expensive, ugly looking film which disappointed fans around the world. Mr. Gerber was not to blame for the mess. Mr. Gerber wrote for a number of TV shows including "The New Batman Adventures," "The Batman/Superman Movie," "Superman," "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "G.I.Joe."

ROY SCHEIDER Died Feb. 10, 2008

Oscar-nominated actor Roy Scheider died of complications from a staph infection at age 75. Mr. Scheider suffered from the blood plasma cell cancer multiple Myeloma for the past few years. Roy Scheider was nominated twice for acting Oscars. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in the true-crime action film "The French Connection." Mr. Scheider played Gene Hackman's partner Sgt. Buddy Russo in the 1971 Best Picture Oscar-winning film. Mr. Scheider reprised his role as Buddy Russo in Philip D'Antoni's gritty 1973 cop drama "The Seven Ups." Mr. Scheider was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar in Bob Fosse's autobiographical "All That Jazz." Roy Scheider may be best remembered for playing Chief Brody in Steven Speilberg's blockbuster "Jaws." Roy Scheider gave up the Robert DeNiro role in "The Deer Hunter" to reprise his role as Chief Brody in the clunker "Jaws 2."

Roy Scheider appeared in nearly 90 films and TV shows during his career. He appeared in a dozen or so TV shows and films during the 1960s. He also appeared in Broadway in "Tartuffe" during the 1960s. It wasn't until the 1970s that Roy Scheider broke through and became a major film star. His first major notices came playing Jane Fonda's pimp in "Klute." That role was followed by his Oscar-nominated role in William Friedkin's "The French Connection." He followed these two hit films with the French crime drama "The Outside Man," "The Seven Ups" and "Shelia Levene is Dead and Living in New York." In 1975 "Jaws" changed the way movies were made and marketed. It also cemented Roy Scheider's place on the A-List. His follow-up film was as Dustin Hoffman's CIA agent brother in "Marathon Man." Roy Scheider reteamed with William Freidkin starring in "Sorcerer." The underrated action movie was an excellent remake of the French classic "The Wages of Fear." Unfortunately, the film bombed at the box-office. Roy Scheider ended the 1970s with a second Oscar nomination in "All That Jazz." Mr. Scheider also received BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of the death and sex-obsessed Broadway choreographer.

Roy Scheider made his second and final Broadway appearance during the 1980s starring in the 1980 production "Betrayal." His biggest box-office hit of the 1980s was John Badham's "Blue Thunder." He also starred in the sci-fi sequel "2010: The Year We Make Contact." Other memorable films from the 1980s include "Still of the Night" and "52 Pick-Up." Roy Scheider continued to co-star in major films during the early 1990s. He appeared in "The Fourth War," "The Russia House," "Naked Lunch" and "Romeo is Bleeding." Following this period, Roy Scheider appeared mainly in TV shows and B-movies. He did have occasional supporting roles in major films such as "The Peacekeeper" and "The Rainmaker." Mr. Scheider starred in the sci-fi TV series "Sea Quest DSV." He had a recurring role on the TV series "Third Watch." Roy Scheider had finished work on the upcoming films "Dark Honeymoon" and "Iron Cross."

RON LEAVITT Died Feb. 10, 2008

TV producer Ron Leavitt died of lung cancer at age 60. Mr. Leavitt co-created the hit TV series "Married With Children." He also wrote over half of the series' 262 episodes. Mr. Leavitt also produced such shows as "Happy Days," "Laverne & Shirley" and "The Jeffersons." The picture at right is from a cameo Mr. Leavitt made on "Married With Children."

FREDDIE BELL Died Feb. 10, 2008

Vegas rocker Freddie Bell died of cancer at age 76. Freddie Bell's cover version of Big Mama Thorton's song "Hound Dog" inspired Elvis Presley to record the song. Freddie Bell and the Bellboys appeared in the films "Rock Around the Clock," "Rumble on the Docks" and "Get Yourself a College Girl." The band performed on "The Colgate Comedy Hour" and "The Ed Sullivan Show."

KIRK BROWNING Died Feb. 10, 2008

Emmy-winning TV director Kirk Browning died at age 86. Mr. Browning directed over 150 episodes of "Live From Lincoln Center." He was for 10 Emmy Awards for his work, winning twice. Mr. Browning's other credits include "Damn Yankees!," "The Trial of Mary Lincoln," "Snow White Live" and "Tosca."

EMILIO CARBALLIDO Died Feb. 11, 2008

Award-winning Mexican writer Emilio Carballido died of a heart attack at age 82. Mr. Carballido wrote novels, short stories, plays and screenplays. He was nominated four times for his nation's highest film award the Ariel. Mr. Carballido won two Ariels for the 1972 film "The Barefoot Eagle." He also was nominated for the 1982 film "D.F./Distrito Federal" and the 2001 film "Written on the Body of Night." Mr. Carballido was honored with a Golden Ariel in 2002 for his life's work.

COLETTE MAIRE Died Feb. 11, 2008

French actress Colette Maire died at age 55 of an undisclosed illness. Ms. Maire was primarily a stage actress. She appeared in a handful of films including Philippe De Broca's "The Keys to Paradise" and Claude Lelouch's "One 4 All."

TOM LANTOS Died Feb. 11, 2008

US Congressman Tom Lantos died of esophagus cancer at age 80. Mr. Lantos had served in congress for 17 years. He was the only survivor of the Holocaust to ever serve in the US Congress. Mr. Lantos' mother was murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz. Tom lantos appeared as himself in the Oscar-winning documentary "The Last Days" as well as the documentary "To Bear Witness." Thanks for your service to our country.

FRANK E. PONTIUS Died Feb. 11, 2008

Sound engineer Frank Pontius died at age 84. Mr. Pontius worked in the film industry for nearly 40 years. He received the Samuel L. Warner Award for Motion Picture Sound in 1991 in recognition of his contribution to the consistent improvement in the manufacture of light valves and optical sound recording cameras, used today for most optical stereophonic sound tracks for theatrical release around the world. Mr. Pontius worked for NBC, RCA and Westrex. He was part of the RCA team which won a Technical Academy Award in 1941 for the development of a uni-directional microphone.

LYDIA SUM Died Died Feb. 12, 2008

Hong Kong actress and TV personality died of liver cancer at age 60. Mr. Sum appeared in over 100 films. She began acting while still in her teens. Ms. Sum's many credits include the action/comedy films "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World" and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World 2." Other credits include "To All the Girls," "In-Laws, Out-Laws," "A Recipe for the Heart," "Just Married" and "The Perfect Match."

DOUGLAS MOENING Died Feb. 12, 2008

Actor Douglas Moening died at age 54. Mr. Moening appeared in several TV shows. He was also active in regional theater in the Seattle area. Mr. Moening's credits include "Unsolved Mysteries," "Waiting for the Light" and "I Love You to Death."

PRESTON HANSON Died Feb. 12, 2008

Actor Preston Hanson died at age 87. Mr. Hanson worked on Broadway as well as on film and TV. He appeared on Broadway in "Billy Budd," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Saint Joan." His film and TV credits include "Cops and Robbersons," "L.A. Law," "Beauty and the Beast," "Action Jackson," "The A-Team," "Dallas," "Hill Street Blues," "Goodbye, Norma Jean," "My Three Sons," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," "Operation Petticoat," "Highway Patrol," "Gunsmoke" and the Marlon Brando version of "Julius Caesar." Preston Hanson was a decorated combat pilot with the US Army-Air Corp during WWII. He flew over 60 combat mission over Europe during the war.

DAVID GROH Died Feb. 12, 2008

Actor David Groh died of kidney cancer at age 68. Mr. Groh was best known for his role as Valerie Harper's boyfriend Joe on the hit TV series "Rhoda." Mr. Groh appeared in over 75 films and TV shows. Soap Opera fans remember Mr. Groh for his role as D.L. Brock on "General Hospital." Though best known for his role in the comedy "Rhoda" he was often cast as the heavy. Mr. Groh's many credits include "Two-Minute Warning," "Victory at Entebbe," "Police Story," "Fantasy Island," "L.A. Law," "Get Shorty," "The X Files" and "Baywatch."

VERN CHAPMAN Died Feb. 12, 2008

Canadian actor Vern Chapman died in Toronto at age 84. Mr. Chapman was the former artistic director of Canada's Gryphon Theater. He had a successful satge career all across Canada. His film and TV credits include "Elvis Meets Nixon," "Billy Madison" and "Cagney & Lacey." Mr. Chapman provided vocal talent for such animated shows as "The Adventures of Tin Tin" and as Dr. Octopus in the 1967 series "Spider-Man."

CLEMENT HUREL Died Feb. 12, 2008

French artist Clement Hurel died at age 80. Mr. Hurel's artwork included a number of famous movie posters. Mr. Hurel provided poster art for such films as Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America," Roman Polanski's "The Fearless Vampire Killers" and Jean-Luc Godard's "Breathless."

OSCAR BRODNEY Died Feb. 12, 2008

Oscar-nominated screenwriter died six days shy of his 101st birthday! Mr. Brodney was nominated for an Oscar and a WGA for "The Glenn Miller Story." He was nominated for another WGA for "The Gal Who Took the West." Mr. Brodney wrote over 50 films and TV shows during his career. He also produced four films including "All Hands on Deck." Mr. Brodney's many writing credits include "Harvey," three of the "Francis the Talking Mule" films, the several episodes of the TV series "It Takes a Thief" and two "Tammy" movies. He also wrote "The Black Shield of Falworth." The film was made famous for allegedly containing Tony Curtis' famous line "Yonder lies da castle of my fodda." In fact, the line of dialogue is urban legend. Wasn't in the movie.

RAJENDRA NATH Died Feb. 13, 2008

Hindi actor Rajendra Nath died of heart failure at age 76. Mr. Nath was a popular comedic actor in his native land. He appeared in nearly 200 films during a career that began as a child in the 1930s. His best know film was the 1961 comedy "Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai." His brothers Prem (who died in 1992) and Narendra are also actors.

HENRI SALVADOR Died Feb. 13, 2008

French composer and singer Henri Salvador died of an aneurysm at age 90. Mr. Salvador had a prolific output, recording in many different styles of music from jazz, the bosa nova, Rock and Roll or blues, just to name a few. His music can be heard on the soundtracks of such films and TV shows as "Ghosts of Mississippi," "Go," "The X-Files" and the remake of "Ocean's Eleven." Mr. Salvador performed on TV variety shows around the world including "The Ed Sullivan Show."

KON ICHIKAWA Died Feb. 13, 2008

Japanese master director Kon Ichikawa died of pneumonia at age 92. Mr. Ichikawa was regarded by many to be the greatest Japanese director next to Akira Kurosawa. Mr. Ichikawa directed the 1956 film "The Burma Harp," which was nominated for the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 1957. Mr. Ichikawa was nominated for dozens of awards around the world for his work. His films "Kagi" and "Ototo" won awards at Cannes. Mr. Ichikawa won two BAFTAs for his documentary "Tokyo Olympiad." Mr. Ichikawa was nominated for seven Best Director Awards by the Awards of the Japanese Academy. Kon Ichikawa directed nearly 90 films during a career that began in the 1940s. He produced Akira Kurosawa's Oscar-nominated film "Dodes'ka-den." Mr. Kurosawa wrote Mr. Ichikawa's 2000 film "Dora-heita."

LIONEL MARK SMITH Died Feb. 13, 2008

Actor Lionel Mark Smith died of cancer at age 62. Mr. Smith was a frequent collaborator with David Mamet. He appeared in several films and plays by the writer/director. Mr. Smith's many film and TV credits include "The Unit," "The Shield," "Spartan," "State and Main," "Magnolia," the film version of "The Mod Squad," "NYPD Blue," "The Spanish Prisoner," "Seinfeld," "Beverly Hills, 90210," "Homicide," "Things Change," "L.A. Law," "Hill Street Blues," "St. Elsewhere," the Jack Nicholson/Jessica Lange version of "The Postman Always Rings Twice" and "Galaxina" starring the late Dorothy Stratton.

BOB VORIS Died Feb. 13, 2008

Real estate company owner and film producer Bob Voris died of complications following a massive stroke at age 85. Mr. Voris was the grandfather of actress Mercedes Leanza. He was the executive producer of Ms. Leanza's upcoming film "Jelly." The movie was also the last film project of actor David Groh who died the day before Mr. Voris. Bob Voris served his country as an officer in the US Navy during WWII. His realty company was one of the most successful businesses in the Santa Cruz community. He was active in many organizations to make Santa Cruz a better place to live. Mr. Voris was the younger brother of Navy Captain Roy 'Butch' Voris who was hand-picked by Admiral Chester Nimitz to organize and found the Blue Angels naval aviator flight team. Mr. Voris lead the Blue Angels during their first public performance and through the early years of the team's existence.

BYRON MORGAN Died Feb. 13, 2008

Documentary filmmaker Byron Morgan died of pulmonary failure at age 87. Mr. Morgan worked as a filmmaker for NASA. His films of the space program in the 1960s include "The Astronauts: United States Project Mercury," "Flight of Freedom Seven" and "Project Apollo: Manned Flight to the Moon." Mr. Morgan was a technical consultant on the TV miniseries "James Michener's Space." Mr. Morgan saw combat action as a Navy pilot during WWII. His father, screenwriter Albert Byron Morgan was one of the writers for the Laurel and Hardy classic "Sons of the Desert." Mr. Morgan's father died in 1963.

DONALD WAHLBERG Died Feb. 14, 2008

Donald Whalberg patriarch of the acting clan died on Valentine's day. His age was not given. Mr. Wahlberg was the father of actors Mark, Donnie and Robert Wahlberg. Mr. Wahlberg served his country in the US Army during the Korean War. Thanks for your service to our country and for the legacy of your children both in and outside the industry.

MAGGIE HEDIN Death announced Feb. 14, 2008

Actress Maggie Hedin died of lung cancer at age 90. She was the widow of art director/writer/producer George Van Marter. Ms. Hedin appeared in such films and TV shows as "Dream Wife," "Boston Blackie," "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" and "Mystery Theater." She worked with her husband on a script for the TV series "The Millionaire."

PERRY LOPEZ Died Feb. 14, 2008

Actor Perry Lopez died of lung cancer at age 78. Mr. Lopez was best remembered for his role as Lt. Escobar in Roman Polanski's Oscar-winner "Chinatown." Lt. Escobar was the friend and former colleague of Jack Nicholson's Jake Gittes. Mr. Lopez repised his role in the sequel "The Two Jakes." However his character was now Captain Escobar. Perry Lopez made his film debut as a doomed Brazilian native in the Universal monster movie "Creature from the Black Lagoon." Another early role was in the classic "Mister Roberts." Other film credits include the John Wayne Western "McLintock!," "Bandolero!" with Raquel Welch, Clint Eastwood's WWII action/comedy "Kelly's Heroes," "Flaming Star" with Elvis Presley, "Omar Khayyam," "Taras Bulba," "I Died a Thousand Times" and the Charles Bronson films "Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects" and "Death Wish 4."

Mr. Lopez appeared in many, many TV series. He often appeared in Western series. His TV credits include "Hart to Hart," "The Fall Guy," "Charlie's Angels," "The Mod Squad," "Mannix," "The Wild Wild West," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," "Judd for the Defense," "Tarzan," "The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ," "Star Trek," "The Time Tunnel," "Mission: Impossible," "The F.B.I. ," "The Virginian," "Wagon Train," "Bonanza," "Have Gun - Will Travel," "The Rebel," "The Rifleman," "Zorro" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."

RICHARD MORRISON Died Feb. 14, 2008

Actor and social worker Richard Morrison died at age 77. Mr. Morrison was a social worker for over 30 years. He also acted on stage, TV and film. Mr. Morrison made five quest appearances on "Hawaii 5-0." He played Elvis in the dark and twisted comedy "The Dark Backward." Other credits include "ER," "Elvis and the Colonel: The Untold Story," "Death Dreams," "Mission: Impossible," "Daniel Boone" and "I Spy."

HARRY PANEY Died Feb. 14, 2008

Photographer Harry Paney died at age 81. During WWII Mr. Paney served as a Photographer's Mate in the US Coast Guard. Much of his movie footage was used in the Emmy-award-winning TV miniseries of the 1950s "Victory at Sea."

TREVOR WILLIAMS Died Feb. 14, 2008

Emmy-nominated production designer and art director Trevor Williams died of a heart attack at age 76. Mr. Williams was nominated for two Emmy Awards for his work on "The Hunchback" and "Eccentricities of a Nightingale." Horror and sci-fi fans enjoyed Mr. William's artistic touch in such films and TV shows as "Dark Shadows," "Futureworld," "The Night Stalker," "Endangered Species," "The Changeling," "The Silent Partner," the 1973 TV version of "Dracula," "Night of Dark Shadows," "House of Dark Shadows," "Murder in Space," "Mazes and Monsters," "The Norliss Tapes," "The Turn of the Screw," "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," "The Picture of Dorian Gray."

Mr. Williams captured the look of Depression-era America in a number of films including John Milius' classic "Dillinger," Walter Hill's "Hard Times," "The Kansas City Massacre" and "Melvin Purvis G-MAN." Other credits include all of the "Police Academy" films, "Who's Harry Crumb?," "Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold," "The Amateur," "Tribute," "Pretty Baby," "The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox," "Little House on the Prairie" and "To Kill a Clown."

ASHLEY CALLIE Died Feb. 15, 2008

31-year-old South African actress Ashley Callie was killed in a head-on collision in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ms. Callie won the Best Actress in a Soapie award from the South African Film and Television Awards for her work on the soap opera "Isidingo." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

MANORAMA Died Feb. 15, 2008

Veteran Indian actress Manorama died. Her age was not given, however Manorama's film career began in the late 1920s. Her final film appearance was in Deepa Mheta's Best Foreign Film Oscar-nominated "Water."

GLORIA ROIG Died Feb. 15, 2008

Spanish actress Gloria Roig died at age 71 after a lengthy illness. Ms. Roig had acted on Spanish TV since the 1960s. She appeared in the film "The Education of the Fairies." Ms. Roig was the widow of actor Jose Sansalvador. Mr. Sansalvador provided the Spanish voice for such actors as Sean Connery, Humphrey Bogart and Charlton Heston when their films were released in Spain.

WILLIAM BEGG Died Feb. 15, 2008

Actor/producer William Begg died at age 69. Mr. Begg's acting credits include "The Kid with the 200 I.Q.," "Death Wish II," "Happy Days," "Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo," "WKRP in Cincinnati," "The Cat from Outer Space," Steve McQueen's production of "An Enemy of the People," "Grand Theft Auto," "Love, American Style," "Petticoat Junction," "I Dream of Jeannie," "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," "Mayberry R.F.D," "The Andy Griffith Show," "It's a Bikini World," "Bewitched," "Gunsmoke," "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" and "Village of the Giants." Mr. Begg produced such films as "Children of the Corn III," "Leprechaun," "Angel 4: Undercover" and "The Hired Gun."

HUGO ELIZONDO Died Feb. 15, 2008

Key grip Hugo Elizondo died of undisclosed causes at age 44. Mr. Elizondo spent over 20 years in the industry. His credits include "The Muppets Tonight." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

BORIS KHMELNITSKY Died Feb. 16, 2008

Russian actor Boris Khmelnitsky died at age 67. He worked in film and on stage in his native country. International audiences would have seen his work in "The Red Tent" with Sean Connery and Peter Finch and "Jonathan of the Bears" with Franco Nero.

AGI DONATH Died Feb. 16, 2008

Agnes Anderson, who was a child film actress under the name Agi Donath died at age 89. Ms. Donath appeared in a dozen films during the 1930s including the awad-winning "Sister Maria." Ms. Donath was the first wife of legendary producer Emeric Pressburger. Mr. Pressburger and and director Michael Powell made some of the greatest films in British history. Ms. Donath dovirced and moved to the US where she married Byron Anderson. She became a successful cosmetics business woman and real estate broker.

SHELLEY BEATTIE Died Feb. 16, 2008

Athlete Shelley Beattie died at age 30. While the official cause of death has not been released, a number of news sources report that Ms. Beattie committed suicide. Shelley Beattie overcame several hardships in her life. She was made deaf by an aspirin overdose when she was 3-years-old. Ms. Beattie was severely injured during a hurdles race while a teen. Ms. Beattie turned to bodybuilding. She was Siren on the original "American Gladiators" TV series. She played her TV character in the comedy film "Hot Shots! Part Deux." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

ROBERT GINNAVEN Died Feb. 17, 2008

Advertising executive and actor Bob Ginnevan died at age 71. Mr. Ginnaven worked as a TV weather man before becoming a successful ad exec. Mr. Ginnevan appeared in a number of notable films. He was part of the cast of the great 1970s B-Movie "White Lightning," which starred Burt Reynolds. Other film credits include Billy Bob Thorton's gritty crime film "One False Move," "JFK," "Steel Magnolias," "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," "Dallas" and "The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald." Like Lane Smith, George hamilton and many others, Mr. Ginnaven was originally from my home town of Memphis, Tennessee.

BETSY MACKEY Died Feb. 17, 2008

Line producer and production manager Betsy Mackey died at age 45. Her credits include "The Hoax," "Donnie Darko," "Dr T and the Women," "Teacher's Pet," "Girl," "Victim," "Penny Dreadful" and "California Heat." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

BARRY BARCLAY Died Feb. 18, 2008

Maori director Barry Barclay died at age 63 after suffering a stroke. Mr. Barclay was the first person of Maori descent to direct a feature film. His credits include "The Feathers of Peace," "The Store House" and "The Town That Lost a Miracle."

ALAIN ROBBE-GRILLET Died Feb. 18, 2008

Writer Alain Robbe-Grillet died of heart illness at age 85. Mr. Robbe-Grillet co-wrote with director Alain Resnais the still baffling and influential "Last Year at Marienbad." The 1960 film was Mr. Resnais' second film. Audiences at the time and audiences today remain divided over the powerful enigmatic film. Harry Medved listed it in his book "The 50 Worst Films: And How They Got That Way" while Steven Schneider includes it in his book "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die." Mr. Robbe-Grillet was nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay. Mr. Robbe-Grillet wrote a number of novels which were turned into films. He also directed several films himself.

MARY BARCLAY Died Feb. 19, 2008

British actress Mary Barclay died at age 91. Ms. Barclay worked on Broadway, in film and TV. She appeared on Broadway in the 1950s in productions of "Witness for the Prosecution" and "T-Cog." Ms. Barclay was known to British Soap Opera fans for her role on "Crossroads." Ms. Barclay's many film and TV credits include "Steptoe and Son," "Sex and the Other Woman," "A Touch of Class," "The Revolutionary," "Dixon of Dock Green," and "The Headless Ghost."

DAVID WATKIN Died Feb. 19, 2008

Oscar-winning cinematographer David Watkin died at age 82. Mr. Watkin won the Oscar for his work on Sidney Pollack's "Out of Africa." Mr. Watkin's work was also honored with nine BAFTA nominations (1 win), three BSC awards (1 win plus a lifetime achievement award) and three awards from the Los Angeles and New York Film Critics. David Watkin was a pioneer of bouncing light technique. Mr. Watkin would set up a shot by reflect lighting off of a white surface onto his subject. David Watkin worked numerous times with such noted directors as Richard Lester, Ken Russell and Tony Richardson.

Mr. Watkin shot eight films for director Richard Lester. Among them the Beatles' second film "Help!." He also shot Lester's classic 1970s films "The Three Musketeers" and "The Four Musketeers." There other collaborations were "The Knack…and How To Get It," "The Bed Sitting Room," "How I Won the War," "Cuba" and "Robin and Marian." Director Tony Richardson called on Mr. Watkin for six films. They include "The Hotel New Hampshire," "Joseph Andrews," "A Delicate Balance" and "Mahogany." Mr. Watkin shot two of Ken Russell's films: "The Boy Friend" and "The Devils."

I never understood why Mr. Watkin was not nominated for an Oscar for his stunning photography on "Chariots of Fire." His use of slow motion during the incredible race and training sequences created some of the most memorable visuals of any film of the 1980s. Another film which remains burned into the viewer's pyche is Peter Brook's disturbing "Marat/Sade." Mr. Watkin created some of the most shocking visuals of any film of the 1960s. Horror movie fans remember the luscious images he captured of Natasha Kinski in "To the Devil a Daughter." Though Mr. Watkin didn't film the entire movie, he did shoot the title sequence to the James Bond classic "Goldfinger."

His many other notable credits include the miniseries "Jesus of Nazareth," "Yentl," "Return to Oz," "White Nights," "Moonstruck," Mel Gibson's version of "Hamlet," "Memphis Belle," "Used People," "This Boy's Life," "Bopha!," Franco Zeffirelli's version of "Jane Eyre" and the remake of "Gloria."

Mr. Watkin wrote two volumes of his autobiography: "Why is There Only One Word For Thesaurus?" and "Was Clara Schumann a Fag Hag?" Mr. Watkin served his country in the British Army during WWII. Mr. Watkin was openly Gay and is survived by his civil partner Nick Hand.

STEPHEN LEVIN Died Feb. 20, 2008

Media sales exec and film producer Stephen Levin died at age 59. Mr. Levin was a media sales exec for several corporations including Telemundo. He produced the 1985 romantic comedy "Almost You." The movie won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

EMILY PERRY Died Feb. 20, 2008

Actress Emily Perry died at age 100. Ms. Perry was best known for playing the Madge Allsopp, the silent sidekick of Barry Humphries outrageous character Dame Edna Everage. Ms. Perry played Madge Allsopp in "The Dame Edna Experience," "Dame Edna's Neighbourhood Watch" and "Dame Edna's Hollywood."

SANDY COBE Died Feb. 20, 2008

Film producer and distributor Sandy Cobe died at age 79. Mr. Cobe produced several slasher films during the 1980s including "Open House" with Adrienne Barbeau, "Terror on Tour" and "Terminal Entry" with Edward Albert. Mr. Cobe made a cameo appearance as a sleazy road manager in his film "Terror on Tour." Mr. Cobe was one of the co-founders of the American Film Marketing Association. He also distributed films through the Intercontinental Releasing Corporation. Mr. Cobe was the husband of production manager Sharyon Reis Cobe and the father of casting director Lori Cobe-Ross.

BEN CHAPMAN Died Feb. 21, 2008

Ben Chapman passed away at age 82. Mr. Chapman was one of the two actors to portray Universal's monster The Gill Man in the 1954 classic "Creature From the Black Lagoon." Mr. Chapman played the Gill Man during the 'on land' scenes, while Ricou Browning played the monster in the underwater sequences. He reprised his role as the Gill Man on the "Colgate Comedy Hour" in a sketch with Abbott and Costello. The TV sketch actually aired before the film was released. Mr. Chapman was a favorite guest at fan conventions around the country. Other credits include "Pagan Love Song," "Ma and Pa Keetle in Waikiki" and "Jungle Moon Men." MR. Chapman served his country in the US Marine Corp during the Korean War.

MAX RAAB Died Feb. 21, 2008

Producer/director Max Raab died of complications from Parkinson's Disease at age 82. Mr. Raab was executive producer on the Oscar-nominated Stanley Kubrick film "A Clockwork Orange." Mr. Raab originally bought the rights to the book as a film project for The Beatles! Mr. Raab also produced Nicholas Roeg's classic "Walkabout" which starred the beautiful Jenny Agutter. Mr. Raab served his country in the US Army during WWII.

PAUL HUNTSMAN Died Feb. 21, 2008

BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated sound editor Paul Huntsman died of a brain tumor at age 55. Mr. Huntsman won a BAFTA for his work on "The Fabulous Baker Boys." His Emmy-nomination came for "Don King: Only in America." Mr. Huntsman's many credits include "The Illusionist," "Starsky & Hutch," " K-PAX," "Pay It Forward," "The Thin Red," "The Peacemaker," "Murder at 1600," "Rasputin," "Grumpy Old Men 2," the remake of "Sabrina," "To Die For," "Blue Chips," "The Firm," "Benny & Joon," "Scent of a Woman," "Havana," "White Palace," "Pacific Heights," "Major League," "Manhunter," "To Live and Die in L.A.," "St. Elmo's Fire," "The Karate Kid," "Racing with the Moon," "The Hotel New Hampshire," "Personal Best" and the classic crime drama "Thief." Mr. Huntsman served humanity for two years as a Peace Corp volunteer in Africa following graduation from film school. When sound mixer Scott Millan accepted his Oscar for "The Bourne Ultimatum," he dedicated the award to his departed friend and mentor Paul Huntsman.

ROBIN MOORE Died Feb. 22, 2008

Author, adventurer and patriot Robin Moore died at age 82. Mr. Moore was diagnosed with cancer in 2005. Robin Moore (real name Robert Moore Jr.) was the son of the co-founder of the Sheraton Hotel Chain. He turned his back on the hotel business to live a full life of adventure. Under the pen name Robin Moore, he published a number of successful novels. Mr. Moore co-wrote the true-crime book "The French Connection." The book was turned into the Oscar-winning film of the same name. Robin Moore loved the military. He served as a nose-gunner in the US Army Air Corps during WWII and saw combat over the skies of Europe. During the 1960s, Mr. Moore trained with the US Army Special Forces and went to Vietnam with them as an observer. The best-selling novel "The Green Berets" was the result. That book was also turned into a major motion picture starring John Wayne. Mr. Moore also collaborated with Green Beret Sgt. Barry Sadler on the hit record "The Ballad of the Green Berets." Robin Moore collaborated with famed prostitute and Madam Xavier Hollander on her biography "The Happy Hooker." Lynn Redgrave starred in the film version of Moore's book. Mr. Moore co-wrote the script for the Sun Myung Moon produced war film "Inchon." Mr. Moore remained active to the end of his life. In 2001 he was given escort into Afghanistan by US Special Forces to research his book "The Hunt for Bin Laden." Like actor Charles Fawcett, who died earlier this month, Robin Moore's adventure filled life would make a great movie. Thanks for your service to our country and thanks for the many books you left behind for us to enjoy.

DENNIS LETTS Died Feb. 22, 2008

Actor and former English professor Dennis Letts died of cancer at age 73. Mr. Letts played the Governor in the Clint Eastwood/Kevin Costner film "A Perfect World." He played the Judge Roland Tate, the man who sentenced Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock to death for the Clutter family murders in the 2006 film "Infamous." Mr. Letts appeared in nearly 50 films and TV shows. Other credits include "Castaway" with Tom Hanks, "Secondhand Lions," "Walker Texas Ranger," "Fire Down Below" and "Rush." Mr. Letts had a small part in the movie "Where the Heart Is" which was based on the novel written by his wife Billie Letts.

RICHARD BAER Died Feb. 22, 2008

Emmy-nominated writer Richard Baer died of a heart attack at age 79. Mr. Baer was nominated for an Emmy award for the series "Hennesey." Mr. Baer was the father of producer Matthew Baer. Richard Baer had over 200 television writing credits. His many writing credits include "Bewitched," "That Girl," "The Munsters," "Leave It to Beaver," "Petticoat Junction," "F Troop," "Playmates," "Who's the Boss?," "Archie Bunker's Place," "Barney Miller," "M*A*S*H," "That Girl," "The Doris Day Show," "Have Gun - Will Travel" and "The Life of Riley." His autobiography was titled "I Don't Drop Names Like Marilyn Monroe Just to Sell Books."

NUNZIO GALLO Died Feb. 22, 2008

Italian singer/actor Nunzio Gallo died at age 79. Mr. Gallo was a contestant in the 1957 "Eurovision Song Contest." Mr. Gallo acted in a number of films including "Mario's War," "Desire," "Big Mamma" and "Devil's Cavaliers."

JACK KOSTELNIK Died Feb. 22, 2008

Construction foreman Jack Kostelnik died at age 65. He was the former technical director for the Department of Dramatic Arts at UC Berkeley and construction foreman for the San Francisco Opera. Mr. Kostelnik's film credits include "JFK" and "Howard the Duck."

CARL PINGITORE Died Feb. 23, 2008

Emmy-winning producer and film editor Carl Pingitore died at age 84. Mr. Pingitore won an Emmy for producing the excellent 1970s series "Police Story." He also received the NAACP Image Award for his work on "Police Story." Mr. Pingitore was an associate producer and edited the Clint Eastwood hit "Dirty Harry." Mr. Pingitore also edited Eastwood's "The Beguiled" and "Play Misty for Me." Mr. Pingitore's many film and TV editing credits include "Maverick," "77 Sunset Strip," "Cheyenne," "Sugarfoot," "The Lawman," "Of Pure Blood," "That Man Bolt," "The Deadly Trackers," the outstanding TV movie "The Marcus-Nelson Murders," "Across 110th Street," the Lee Marvin/Gene Hackman crime thriller "Prime Cut," "McCloud." Mr. Pingitore's producer credits include "The Atlanta Child Murders," the TV remake "From Here to Eternity" and "The Young Country."

DORIS SHOUMAKER Died Feb. 24, 2008

Teacher and actress Doris Schoumaker died at age 88. Ms. Schoumaker was a stage actress in Los Angeles. She was a lifetime member of Westchester Playhouse/Kentwood Players. She moved from Los Angeles to South Carolina in the 1990s where she continued acting in regional theater. Ms. Schoumaker's film credits include "Another Chance" and "Tough Guys."

GUENTHER RUECKER Died Feb. 24, 2008

German screenwriter Gunther Rucker died at age 84. Mr. Ruecker wrote a number of scripts for the East German DEFA film studio. One of his most powerful scripts was for the chilling WWII story "The Gleiwitz Case." The film chronicled the staged attack by 'Polish soldiers' on a German radio station which was used as Hitler's excuse to invade Poland. Mr. Ruecker also scripted the landmark, widescreen sci-fi film "The First Spaceship to Venus." Mr. Rucker wrote and directed the award-winning 1980 film "The Fiancee."

LARRY NORMAN Died Feb. 24, 2008

Composer and singer Larry Norman died at age 60 after a lengthy illness. Larry Norman was the father of Contemporary Christian Music. He began his career by co-founding the pop group "People," which had a Top-20 hit with the song "I Love You" which was first recorded by "The Zombies." Mr. Norman left the band and began recording Christian music with a Rock and Roll beat. He was inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame in 2001. His best known album is "I'm Only Visiting This Planet." Larry Norman appeared on "Ted Mack's Amateur Hour" in 1959. His music can be heard on the soundtracks of such films as "Left Behind 2: Tribulation Force," "A Thief in the Night" and "Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Priest." Mr. Norman appeared in the 1972 horror film "Beware! The Blob."

SIDNEY BECKERMAN Died Feb. 25, 2008

Producer Sidney Beckerman died at age 87. Mr. Beckerman produced some of the most popular films of the 1960s and 70s. He teamed up with Clint Eastwood to bring "Kelly's Heroes" and "Joe Kidd" to the screen. Mr. Beckerman produced the Oscar-nominated thriller "Marathon Man," which starred Dustin Hoiffman and Laurence Olivier. He also produced the 1968 version of "Marlowe," which featured a hilarious cameo by Bruce Lee as an Asian hitman who destroys James Garner's office. Mr. Beckerman produced the 1969 Oscar-nominated film "Last Summer" starring Richard Thomas and Barbara Hershey. The film was originally rated X. Horror fans remember Mr. Beckerman fondly for the 1980s monster movie "Blood Beach." He also produced "Serial," the hilarious look at the trendy people of 1980s Marin County. Other credits include Michael Cimino's "The Sicilian," "Raid on Entebbe," "Red Dawn," "Portnoy's Complaint," "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension," "Inchon" and "Sidney Sheldon's Bloodline."

ALAIN LEDESMA Died Feb. 25, 2008

Mexican soap opera star Alain Ledesma died of stomach cancer at age 30. Mr. Ledesma was a regular on the soap opera "Postal Code." He made guest appearances on other shows including "Pablo & Angela." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

JOHN POLONIA Died Feb. 25, 2008

Indie horror director John Polonia died of a heart aneurysm at age 39. John and his twin brother Mark began making low-budget horror films as teenagers. They continued to soldier on in the genre and produced, wrote, directed, edited and often acted in over 20 horror movies. Their first film was the 1987 movie "Splatter Farm." While there work lacked almost any budget what-so-ever, the pair continued to work and mentor others because of their love of the movies. It doesn't matter if you are Steven Speilberg or John Polonia, if you love the medium, you will find a way to make movies. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends, especially his young son.

CHRIS SENA Died Feb. 26, 2008

Actor Chris Sena died of undisclosed causes. He age was not given. Mr. Sena worked in regional theater in California and New York as well as performing with national touring companies. His film and TV credits include "All My Children," "Daybreak," "Life Script" and "Titillating Steven."

GENERAL DAN SHOMRON Died Feb. 26, 2008

Israeli military hero Dan Shomron died of a stroke at age 70. Dan Shomron lead the victorious 1976 Raid on Entebbe in which Israeli commandos rescued hijacked hostages being held in Uganda. Dan Shomron appeared as himself in the documentary "Operation Thunderbolt: Entebbe." Three films were made about the event. Charles Bronson portrayed Gen. Shomron in the TV movie "Raid on Entebbe." Harris Yulin filled the role in the TV movie "Victory at Entebbe." Actor Arik Lavie played the general in the Israeli feature film "Operation Thunderbolt."

BUDDY MILES Died Feb. 26, 2008

Legendary drummer Buddy Miles died at age 60. Mr. Miles had been in poor health for some time. Buddy Miles was one of the greatest R&B drummers of all time. He played with Jimi Hendrix's "Band of Gypsies," Mike Bloomfield's "Electric Flag" and Carlos Santana. Mr. Miles scored a huge hit with the song "Them Changes." Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox formed "Band of Gypsies" after "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" disbanded. The group appeared in the documentary "Band of Gypsies: Live at the Filmore East." Mr. Miles also appeared in the 190 documentary "A Film About Jimi Hendrix." He appeared in the TV documentary "33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee." If you look quick you can spot Buddy Miles talking with Gary Busey as they board the tour bus in the Oscar-nominated "The Buddy Holly Story."

BODIL UDSEN Died Feb. 26, 2008

Danish actress Bodil Udsen died at age 83. Ms. Udsen was best known for her role as Emma in the long-running TV series "Huset på Christianshavn." Ms. Udsen had a lengthy career on stage, film and TV in Denmark. She appeared in over 70 films and TV shows during her career. Her many credits include "I Am Dina," "Baby Doll" and "I Love Blue."

WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY Died Feb. 27, 2008

Conservative author William F. Buckley died of emphysema at age 82. Mr. Buckley was probably the greatest conservative thinker of his age. Mr. Buckley carried the argument for conservative ideals to any and all who cared to debate. His grasp of the English language was finely honed and developed to a degree to which we all should aspire to achieve. Among the many films and documentaries featuring Mr. Buckley are "Rowen & Martin's Laugh-In," "Hugh Hefner: Once Upon a Time," "The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg" and "The Odyssey of John Dos Passos."

JAY SHERLOCK Died Feb. 27, 2008

Idaho actor Jay Sherlock died at age 86. Mr. Sherlock was active as an actor and director in regional theater in Idaho. He won a number of awards over the past 40 years for his contribution to the arts in his state. Mr. Sherlock had a supporting role in the horror movie "The Being." He also appeared in the Clint Eastwood films "Bronco Billy" and "Pale Rider." Mr. Sherlock served his country in the South Pacific in the US Coast Guard during WWII.

CHARLES CHAN Died Feb. 27, 2008

Charles Chan, the father of international film superstar Jackie Chan died at age 93. Thank you for the legacy of your talented son.

W.C. HEINZ Died Feb. 27, 2008

Writer W.C. Heinz died at age 93. Mr. Heinz was a journalist who began his career in the 1930s. He was a renowned sports reporter who wrote of such greats as Babe Ruth and Rocky Marciano. Mr. Heinz was also a war correspondent stationed in Europe during WWII. Mr. Heinz wrote several novels. He and Dr. Richard Hornberger collaborated on the popular novel "M*A*S*H." The book was published under the pen-name Richard Hooker. Robert Altman directed the film version. It later became one of the top TV series of the 1970s. Mr. Heinz appeared as himself in numerous episodes of "ESPN SportsCentury." He also appeared in the Ken Burn's documentary "Jack Johnson: Unforgiven Blackness."

WALLACE BEENE Died Feb. 27, 2008

Journalist turned film publicist Wallace Beene died at age 83. Mr. Beene helped promote such films as "Apocalypse Now!," "When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?" and "The Klansman." Mr. Beene had a lengthy career as a journalist including several years with Stars and Stripes during the Vietnam War. He was the only war correspondent to fly a combat mission in an F4 Phantom. Mr. Beene served his country in the US Army-Air Corps during WWII.

I.W. MARKS Died Feb. 27, 2008

Business man and Jeweler I.W. Marks died of Adeno carcinoma and multi-organ failure at age 73. Mr. Marks was a tireless patron of the arts in Houston, Texas. Mr. Marks was an associate producer of the Texas filmed comedy "The Anarchist Cookbook."

BOYD CODDINGTON Died Feb. 27, 2008

Hot-rod builder Boyd Coddington died of complications of diabetes at age 63. Mr. Coddington turned his teenage hobby of building hot rod cars into a thriving customizing business. Mr. Coddington shared his craft with millions of TV viewers in the TV series "American Hot Rod."

LARRY PIZER Died Feb. 27, 2008

British cinematographer Larry Pizer died of cancer at age 82. Mr. Pizer worked on over 50 films and TV shows during his career. His many credits include Brian De Palma's cult classic "The Phantom of the Paradise." Other credits include "Intimate Strangers," "Grace Quigley," "Murder in Coweta County," "Cattle Annie and Little Britches," "The Europeans," "Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare," "Isadora," "Morgan!" and "Mr. & Mrs. Bridge."

MIKE SMITH Died Feb. 28, 2008

Mike Smith, the lead singer of the British rock band "The Dave Clark 5" died of pneumonia at age 64. Mr. Smith was hospitalized for most of the time following a 2003 fall which paralyzed him from the waist down. Mr. Smith was recently allowed to return home where he passed away. "The Dave Clark 5" was part of the British Invasion which changed the face of Rock and Roll during the early 1960s. I was lucky enough to have older brothers and sisters in the early 1960s. I remember sneaking into their rooms while they were off to school and playing their 45rpm records. Two bands other than the Beatles caught my ear: "The Animals" and "The Dave Clark 5." I loved the music of "The Dave Clark 5" and spent lots of time trying to impress the neighborhood girls by singing their hits. Ah, the life of a pre-school Romeo. "The Dave Clark 5" scored hit after hit during the early and mid-1960s. Such songs as "Glad All Over," "Bits and Pieces," "Because," "Do You Love Me," "Catch Us If You Can," "I Like It Like That" and made "The Dave Clark 5" the biggest threat to the Beatles dominance of the billboard charts. Mike Smith played keyboards and was the lead singer. The band appeared a record 15-times on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The band starred in the 1965 film "Catch Us If You Can." John Boorman made his feature film directorial debut with the "Hard Day's Night" knock-off. A year earlier "The Dave Clark 5" played a song during a musical cameo in the film "Get Yourself a College Girl." Mr. Smith died on the eve of the band's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is an honor that should have been granted years ago, even before the 2006 death of the band's saxophone player Denis Payton. Mr. Smith is at the top right of the picture.

JOHN BLISS Died Feb. 28, 2008

Actor John Bliss died of an abdominal aneurysm at age 77. Mr. Bliss appeared in over 20 films and TV shows during his career. His credits include "A Face in the Crowd," "The Miracle Worker," "The Thing With Two Heads," "Dixie Dynamite," "Intolerable Cruelty," "My Name is Earl," "Dallas" and "Andy Richter Controls the Universe."

MISSY BOSWELL Died Feb. 28, 2008

Camera woman, producer and assistant director Missy Boswell died of breast cancer at age 51. Ms. Boswell produced and was assistant director of the 1981 short folk/fantasy film "Hannah and the Dog Ghost." Ms. Boswell worked assistant camera on a numbr of films and TV shows including "Dallas," "Miami Vice," "The Tracey Ullman Show," "To the Moon, Alice," "Roe vs. Wade," "Leap of Faith," "The Seventh Sign," "Broadcast News," "True Stories," "North and South, Book II" and "James A. Michener's Space."

GAYNE RESCHER Died Feb. 29, 2008

Emmy-winning cinematographer Gayne Rescher died at age 83. Mr. Rescher won three Emmy Awards and was nominated for five more. He won for his work on "Moviola: The Silent Lovers," "Shooter" and "Lucky/Chances." Mr. Rescher was honored by his peers at the American Society of Cinematographers with two ASC Awards and two more nominations. Mr. Rescher's other credits include "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan," "James Michener's Space," "The Legend of Walks Far Woman," "Sarah T.: Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic," Otto Preminger's "Such Good Friends," "Claudine," Paul Newman's directorial debut "Rachel, Rachel," "Murder Inc." and "A Face in the Crowd."

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