NICK REYNOLDS Died Oct. 1, 2008
Musician Nick Reynolds died of respiratory disease at age 75. Mr. Reynolds was a founding member of the folk-singing group The Kingston Trio. He is the second member of the group to pass away this year. John Stewart died of a stroke in January. The film "The Legend of Tom Dooley" starring Michael Landon was based on the group's hit song. Mr. Reynolds appeared ith the Kingston Trio on numerous TV shows including "The Bell Telephone Hour," "The Andy Williams Show," "The Jack Benny Program," "What's My Line?," "The Perry Como Show," "The Pat Boone Show," "The Dinah Shore Show," "The Garry Moore Show" and "The Milton Berle Show."
ROBERT ARTHUR Died Oct. 1, 2008
Actor Robert Arthur died at home at age 83. Mr. Arthur appeared in over 45 films and TV shows during his career. I remember him best as the airman that Gregory Peck demotes from sergeant to private and then promotes back to sergeant in the classic WWII film "Twelve O'clock High." Mr. Arthur's credits include such films and TV shows as "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," "Hellcats of the Navy," "Take the High Ground!," "The Lone Ranger," "Sky King," "Mother Wore Tights," "Nora Prentiss," "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi" and "Mildred Pierce."
J. DON FERGUSON Died Oct. 1, 2008
Actor J. Don Ferguson died of Leukemia at age 75. Mr. Ferguson was active in regional theater and TV in Savannah Georgia. He appeared in over 100 films and TV shows during his career. His many credits include "The Legend of Bagger Vance," "Remember the Titans," "Major League III," "From the Earth to the Moon," "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Matlock," "Radioland Murders," "The Program," "My Cousin Vinny," "Freejack," "The Return of Swamp Thing," "Maximum Overdrive," "Murder in Coweta County," "Sharky's Machine," "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," "The Long Riders," "Norma Rae" and the original version of "The Longest Yard."
HOUSE PETERS JR. Died Oct. 1, 2008
Actor House Peters Jr. died of pneumonia at age 92. Though Mr. Peters was a character actor with over 120 film and TV credits to his name, he was best known as the original "Mr. Clean" in the TV commercials for Proctor & Gamble. House Peters Jr. was the son of silent film actor House Peters. Mr. Peters received a Golden Boot award in 2000 for his contribution to the Western genre on TV and in film. Mr. Peters' many film and TV credits include "Lassie," "The Great Sioux Massacre," "Perry Mason," "77 Sunset Strip," "Wagon Train," "Gunsmoke," "The Twilight Zone," "M Squad," "Northwest Passage," "Sugarfoot," "Broken Arrow," "Bombers B-52," "Tales of Wells Fargo," "Johnny Tremain," "The Lone Ranger," "The Roy Rogers Show," "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon," "Rebel Without a Cause," "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp," "Strategic Air Command," "Hopalong Cassidy," "Death Valley Days," "Kansas City Confidential," "The Cisco Kid," "Hellgate," "Red Planet Mars," "The Day the Earth Stood Still," "The Red Badge of Courage," "The Gene Autry Show," "Love Happy," "Adventures of Frank and Jesse James" and "Flash Gordon."
ROB GUEST Died Oct. 1, 2008
Actor Rob Guest died of a stroke at age 57. The British born actor was a popular stage and TV actor in Australia and New Zealand. He played the Phantom for seven years in the stage version of "Phantom of the Opera," longer than any other actor to play the role. He hosted the TV show "Man O Man." Mr. Guest's other TV credits include "Good as Gold!," "Whose House Is It Anyway?," "Lotto's Midnight Millionaire" and "Great Performances: Les Misérables in Concert."
DAPHNEY HLOMUKA Died Oct. 1, 2008
South African actress Daphney Hlomuka died of cancer at age 59. She was a popular TV and stage actress in her native land. International audiences knew her from her work in the TV series "Shaka Zula" and "Tarzan: The Epic Adventures." She also appeared in the feature film "Soweto Green."
IAN COLLIER Died Oct. 1, 2008
British actor Ian Collier died. His age was not given. Mr. Collier was best known for playing the villain Omega in the "Dr. Who" TV series. MR. Collier appeared in nearly 50 films and TV shows during his career. His other credits include "Jeeves and Wooster," "Keeping Up Appearances," "All Creatures Great and Small," "Agatha Christie: Poirot," "EastEnders," "Are You Being Served?," "Hitler's S.S.: Portrait in Evil," "The Next Man" and "Rentaghost."
JIN-SIL CHOI Death discovered Oct. 2, 2008
South Korean actress Jin-Sil Choi died at age 40. Police suspect that Ms. Choi committed suicide. Ms. Choi was the victim of false rumors earlier this month when it was aledged she was connected to the suicide of former actor Jae-Hwan Ahn. Police recently arrested a woman for starting the rumors. Ms. Choi was found hanging from her shower curtain by an elastic band. Ms. Choi appeared in nearly 20 films during her career.
TONY HOARE Died Oct. 2, 2008
Who says Film School is the only way to break into the business? British screenwriter Tony Hoare took a completely different route altogether. Tony Hoare took a shine to writing while serving time in prison for robbing banks. Writer Alan Plater was told about Tony Hoare while Mr. Hoare was doing time in England's Hull Prison. Mr. Plater wrote for the British cop series "Z Cars." Tony Hoare's many writing credits include "The Turnaround," "Minder," "London's Burning," "Bergerac," "The Sweeney," "Target," "New Scotland Yard," "Within These Walls" and "Crown Court." Tony Hoare died of a heart attack at age 70.
GIL ROSSELLINI Died Oct. 3, 2008
Producer/director Gil Rossellini died of flesh eating virus at age 51. Mr. Rossellini was the adopted son of director Roberto Rossellini. He documented his battle with the flesh eating staphylococcus bacteria in the documentary "Kill Gil Volumn 1." Mr. Rossellini worked as a production assistant on Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America" and Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy." He was assistant director on the Pia Zadora vehicle "The Lonely Lady."
ROBERT STOVER Died Oct. 3, 2008
Emmy-nominated set decorator Robert Stover died the day before his 45th birthday. Mr. Stove shared an Emmy nomination for his work on "Northern Exposure." Mr. Stover was a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local #44. His film and TV credits include "Sweet Valley High," "Till Death Us Do Part," "Lords of Dogtown," "I Heart Huckabees," "Dodgeball," "House of Sand and Fog," "Holes," "Adaptation," "Auto Focus," "Scream 3" and "Tombstone."
BETTY MOOS Died Oct. 4, 2008
Production assistant Betty Moos died at age 79. Ms. Moos acted as assistant to a number of different film producers. Ms. Moos was the mother of production manager Adam Moos and producer Devorah Moos-Hankin. Ms. Moos worked in the industry for four decades. Her credits include "Matinee," "The 'burbs," "Innerspace," "Explorers," "Top Secret!," "Airplane!," "Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story" and "Unleashing the Beast: Making The Howling."
FREDERIC KIMBALL Died Oct. 4, 2008
Actor and producer Frederic Kimball died of lung cancer at age 75. Mr. Kimball co-wrote "Looking for Richard" with Al Pacino and also appeared in the film. He also appeared on Broadway with Al Pacino in "King Richard III." Mr. Kimball's other film credits as an actor include "Author! Author!" and "The Murderer." Mr. Kimball wrote and appeared in the TV movie "Blind Alleys."
KIM CHAN Died Oct. 5, 2008
Chinese actor Kim Chan died in Brooklyn, New York. His exact is age not known. Mr. Chan was born in 1917 in China. His family came to the US in 1928. Mr. Chan appeared in over 30 films and TV shows during his career. TV fans remember him for his two roles in the 1990 TV series "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues." Mr. Chan had several memorable film roles. He played Jerry Lewis's butler in the Martin Scorsese's dark look at fame "The King of Comedy." Mr. Chan also had a small but memorable role in "The Fifth Element." His other film and TV roles include "16 Blocks," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Shanghai Knights," "Now and Again," "The Corruptor," "Mad About You," "Lethal Weapon 4," "Kundun," "The Devil's Advocate," "Private Parts," "Alice," "Cadillac Man," "The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd," "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Nine 1/2 Weeks," "Spenser: For Hire," "Desperately Seeking Susan," "The Cotton Club," "Moscow on the Hudson" and "The Owl and the Pussycat." Mr. Chan also produced and starred in "Zen Noir."
KEN OGATA Died Oct. 5, 2008
Award-winning Japanese actor Ken Ogata died at age 71 after a long battle with liver cancer. Mr. Ogata was nominated for ten Best Actor and two Best Supporting Actor awards by the Japanese Academy. He won three Best Actor awards for Kinji Fukasaku's "House on Fire," Shohei Inamura's "Ballad of Narayama" and Yoshitaro Nomura's "The Demon." Mr. Ogata's best known work was in director Inamura's classic "Vengeance is Mine." He also starred in director Paul Shrader's "Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters." Mr. Ogata worked with director Shohei Inamura on five films including the Japanese segment of "September 11." Mr. Ogata also appeared in Kinji Fukasaku's international sci-fi thriller "Virus." He also appeared in the 1989 film "Zatoichi" which marked actor Shintaro Katsu's 26th and final appearance in the title role of the blind samurai. Mr. Ogata appeared in over 70 films and TV shows. His many credits include "A Long Walk," "The Samurai I Loved," "The Hidden Blade," Takashi Miike's "Izo," "Proof of the Man," "Shooting Star," "Shogun's Shadow," "Memories of You," "The Geisha," "The Castle of Sand" and "Takôki."
LLOYD THAXTON Died Oct. 5, 2008
Emmy-winning producer Lloyd Thaxton died of multiple myeloma at age 81. Mr. Thaxton was the host of the popular teen-dance show "The Lloyd Thaxton Show" during the 1960s. The Los Angeles based rock and roll dance show began in 1959 as a local show. The show was picked up nationally in 1964. Mr. Thaxton turned to directing and producing TV shows. He won Emmy awards for producing "Fight Back! With David Horowitz." Mr. Thaxton also produced "The Today Show."
SERVANDO GONZALEZ Died Oct. 5, 2008
Mexiacn director Servando Gonzalez died of cancer at age 85. Mr. Gonzalez was once the official documentary filmmaker for the Mexican government. International audiences know him for the 1964 Civil War era horror/drama film "The Fool Killer" which starred Anthony Perkins and Edward Albert. Mr. Gonzalez won the Golden Ariel for his 1980 film "The Big Waters."
OLGA KALJAKIN Died Oct. 6, 2008
Artist Olga Kaljakin died of emphysema at age 57. Ms. Kaljakin designed many popular movie posters. She designed posters for such films as "Moonstruck," "Field of Dreams," "The Untouchables" and "The Last Samurai."
PETER COPLEY Died Oct. 7, 2008
British character actor Peter Copley died at age 93. Mr. Copley appeared in over 150 films and TV shows during a career that began in the 1930s. He played the jeweler who tried to cut the sacrificial ring off of Ringo's hand in "Help!" Among his many feature film credits are "Kingdom of Heaven," "Empire of the Sun," "Shout at the Devil," "Hennessy," "Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed," "The Shoes of the Fisherman," "Quatermass and the Pit," "The Jokers," "The Knack ...and How to Get It," "Victim" and "Foreign Intrigue." Mr. Copley made guest appearances on numerous TV shows including "Lovejoy," "Play for Today," "Tales of the Unexpected," "The New Avengers," "Doctor Who," "Father Brown," "Softly, Softly," "Z Cars," "Doomwatch," "The Forsyte Saga," "The Saint," "Danger Man," "Maigret," "Sherlock Holmes."
EILEEN HERLIE Died Oct. 8, 2008
Tony and Daytime Emmy-nominated Scottish actress Eileen Herlie died at age 90. Ms. Herlie was best known to US audiences for her role in the soap opera "All My Children." She received four Daytime Emmy nominations for her work as Myrtle Fargate in the popular soap opera. Ms. Herlie was a successful stage and film actress as well. She starred opposite Laurence Olivier in his Oscar-winning film version of "Hamlet." Ms. Herlie appeared in nine Broadway productions. She received a Tony nomination for her work in "Take Me Along." Ms. Herlie reprised her Queen Gertrude role opposite Richard Burton in the 1964 Broadway production of "Hamlet." Her other film credits include John Huston's "Freud."
HERBERT BOTTICHER Died Oct. 8, 2008
German actor Herbert Botticher died of a heart attack at age 79. Mr. Botticher appeared in over 75 films and TV shows during his career. He starred with Senta Berger in the hit German TV series "Lilli Lottofee." Mr. Botticher's many credits include "Hallo Robbie!," "Tatort," "Candida" and "Hamlet."
LAUREN DOMBROWSKI Died Oct. 8, 2008
WGA nominated writer/producer Lauren Dombrowski died of cancer at age 51. Ms. Dombrowski was a producer and head writer for the hit TV series "MADtv." She shared in three WGA nominations for her work on the series. Ms. Dombrowski began her career as a stand-up comedian in Boston. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.
FRANCISCO IBANEZ Died Oct. 9, 2008
Mexican TV star Francisco 'Paco' Ibanez died of ALS at age 60. Mr. Ibanez was best known for his appearances on the "Candid Camera" type TV series "Holiday Laughs." Mr. Ibanez and fellow comedians Pablo Ferrel and Pedro Romo were known as Pedro, Paco y Pablo. They appeared in numerous editions of "Holiday Laughs." Mr. Ibanez's other credits include "Mexican Bloodbath," "VidaTv" and "Real Love."
CHARLES DUGAN Died Oct. 9, 2008
Actor Charles Dugan died at age 96. After a successful career in the insurance industry, he and his wife retired to Los Angeles and became actors. Mr. Dugan appeared in such films and TV shows as "When Harry Met Sally," "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," "Quantum Leap," "Wings," "Beverly Hills Ninja," "ER," "L.A. Law" and "Jack the Bear." Mr. Dugan served his country in the US Army-Air Corps during World War II.
BRAD STEWART aka GIDGET GEIN Died Oct. 9, 2008
Rocker Brad Stewart was found dead of a suspected drug overdose at age 39. Mr. Stewart was a former bass player for Marilyn Manson. His stage name was Gidget Gein. He played with Manson for four years before being fired for drug use. Mr. Stewart acted in a few films. His credits include "In a Spiral State," "The Devil's Muse" and "The Three Trials." His music can be heard on the soundtracks of such films as "Nowhere" and "Strange Days." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
MILAN KYMLICKA Died Oct. 9, 2008
Award-winning Czech composer Milan Kymlicka died at age 72. Mr. Kymlicka received four of Canada's Genie Award nominations for his movie scores. He won for the film "Margaret's Museum." Mr. Kymlicka scored over 50 films and TV shows during his career. His credits include "The Question of God: Sigmund Freud & C.S. Lewis," "The Hidden Fortress," "Revenge," the 1990 TV version of "Lassie," "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World," "Dancing on the Moon," "Little Men," the TV series version of "The NeverEnding Story," "The Paper Boy," "Matusalem," "The Neighbor," "The Amityville Curse," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Babar" and "The Busy World of Richard Scarry."
GIL STRATTON Died Oct. 10, 2008
Sportscaster and actor Gil Stratton died of congestive heart failure at age 86. Though best known for his many years as a sports announcer (he was the voice of the LA Rams), Gil Stratton also had a respectable film career. Mr. Stratton appeared in nearly 40 films and TV shows. His best known film role was as William Holden's sidekick 'Cookie' in Billy Wilder's classic "Stalag 17." Mr. Stratton was a prolific radio actor in the days before TV. He appeared on Broadway in 1942 in "Best Foot Forward." The following year he appeared in the film version. Mr. Stratton served his country in the US Army-Air Corps during WWII. His film and TV credits include "The Wild One" with Marlon Brando, "Sextette" with Mae West, "Malcolm & Eddie," "Boy Meets World," "Mama's Family," "Remington Steele," "Cagney & Lacey," "Inside Moves," "Wonder Woman," "The Cat from Outer Space," "Police Story," "The Red Skelton Show," "Dragnet," "Monkey Business," "Here Come the Marines," "Mr. Belvedere Goes to College" and "Girl Crazy."
KURT WEINZIERL Died Oct. 10, 2008
Austrian actor Kurt Weinzierl died at age 77. Mr. Weinzierl enjoyed success as both a stage and film actor. He appeared in nearly 100 films and TV shows during his lengthy career. Among his many credits are Rainer Werner Fassbinder's "Berlin Alexanderplatz," "Kommissar Rex," "The Nasty Girl" and "Tatort."
LANCE BRACKETT Died Oct. 10, 2008
Stage technician Lance Brackett died at age 64. Mr. Brackett worked for ILM for nearly 20 years. His many credits include "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi," "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," "Mission: Impossible III," "Minority Report," "The Witches of Eastwick," "Explorers" and "Starman." Mr. Brackett made a short appearance in Chric Columbus' "Young Sherlock Holmes."
LEO ROSNER Died Oct. 10, 2008
Holocaust survivor Leo Rosener died in Australia at age 90. Mr. Rosner was one of those saved by Oskar Schindler. He was portrayed by actor Piotr Polk in Steven Spielberg's Oscar-winning "Schindler's List." Mr. Rosner also appeared as himself in the film's epilogue where the survivors pay their respects at the grave of Oskar Schindler. Mr. Rosner composed the score of the documentary "Schinder: The Documentary."
DON HULETTE Died Oct. 10, 2008
Composer, producer and director Don Hulette died at age 80. Mr. Hulette produced and directed the 1977 Chuck Norris action film "Breaker! Breaker!" The film marked Mr. Norris' second major starring role. Mr. Hulette directed two other films. Don Hulette composed the scores for a number of films and TV shows. In 1974 he composed scores for eight of Harold Lloyd's silent films including the classics "Safety Last" and "The Freshman." Mr. Hulette's music credits for contemporary films include "Outlaw Force," "Take Two," "Death Machines," "Horror High," "Blood of Dracula's Castle" and "They Saved Hitler's Brain."
WALTER ELLIOT Died Oct. 11, 2008
Music editor Walter Elliot died at age 95. His credits include the TV series "The Incredible Hulk," "The Dark Secret of Harvest Home" and "Aspen."
VIJA ARTMANE Died Oct. 11, 2008
Latvian actress Vija Artmane died of a stroke at age 79. Ms. Artmane was a renowned actress in the former Soviet Union. She rose to stardom in the 1966 film "Nobody Wanted to Die." She was honored with a Best Actress Nika Award for the 1990 film "Katafalk." Her final film credit was as Russian Empress Catherine the Great in the 2002 film "The Golden Age."
NEAL HEFTI Died Oct. 11, 2008
Emmy and Grammy-nominated composer Neal Hefti died of a heart attack just shy of his 86th birthday. Mr. Hefti was best known for writing the theme for the TV series "Batman." He played trumpet for the Woody Herman Orchestra during the big band era. Mr. Hefti received an Emmy Award nomination for "The Fred Astaire Show" and a Grammy nomination for "The Odd Couple." His many credits include "Barefoot in the Park," "Sex and the Single Girl," "Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood," "Last of the Red Hot Lovers," "A New Leaf," "Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad," "Lord Love a Duck," "Boeing Boeing," "Harlow," "How to Murder Your Wife," "Rush Hour 2," "61*," "Wayne's World 2."
Voice actor Wally Wingert was a friend of Mr. Hefti. He shared these memories with me: "I'm also saddened to inform you that a friend of mine has passed away at the age of 85, just a few weeks shy of his 86th birthday. Film and TV composer Neal Hefti apparently died of a heart attack on 10/11/08. I heard the news tonight at my church, First Christian Church of North Hollywood, where Neal was active. Neal and I had become good friends in the past few years. He was a sweet guy and I'm glad we sat down and had all those lunches where he told me the stories about his work. This photo of Neal was taken in February at the church. We had an 85th birthday celebration for the great Larry Storch, and Neal came by to say hi to Larry, since they had worked together before in "Sex and the Single Girl."
Photo: From left to right: Wally Wingert, Chuck McCann, Neal Hefti and Larry Storch. My thanks to Mr. Wingert for sharing his memories and this great picture.
DON CANDLIN Died Oct. 11, 2008
Film editor Don Candlin died at age 59. His credits include the "Frontline" episode "Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?," "Trains That Passed in the Night" an episode of "The Magnificent Evans."
MARK SHIVAS Died Oct. 11, 2008
BAFTA and Emmy-winning British producer Mark Shivas died at age 70. Mr. Shivas produced many memorable films and TV shows. Mr. Shivas was nominated for eight BAFTAs. He won a BAFTA for the 1970 feature "The Six Wives of Henry VIII." Mr. Shivas won an Emmy for an episode of Jim Henson's "The Storyteller." Mr. Shivas produced over 70 films and TV shows during his career. If you include individual TV episodes with various series, the number of credits rises well over 100. My personal favorite of his films was "The Witches" with Angelica Huston. I spent many happy hours watching the film with my oldest daughter when she was a child. Mr. Shivas' many memorable credits include "Hideous Kinky," "The Wicked, Wicked West," "A Man of No Importance," "The Railway Station Man," "Enchanted April," "Truly Madly Deeply," "Moonlighting," "The Borgias," "Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years," "BBC2 Playhouse," "BBC2 Play of the Week," "Play for Today," "The Edwardians," "Casanova" and "Danton."
WILLIAM CLAXTON Died Oct. 12, 2008
Famed photographer William Claxton died of congestive heart failure at age 80. Mr. Claxton was best known for his photographs of such music legends as Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan. Mr. Claxton was a founding member of the Recording Academy which went on to run the Grammy Awards. His wife was model Peggy Moffitt. His photographs of her in designer Rudi Gernreich's topless bathing suit became one of the the most iconic pictures of the 1960s. Mr. Claxton was the subject of the documentary film "Jazz Seen: The Life and Times of William Claxton." He also appeared in the documentary "Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool" and "Trying to Get Good: The Jazz Odyssey of Jack Sheldon."
JAMES E. REILLY Died Oct. 12, 2008
Prolific, award-winning soap opera writer James E. Reilly died while recovering from heart surgery. He died sometime during the weekend prior to the announcement of his death. Mr. Reilly was nominated for ten Daytime Emmy awards, winning once for his work on "The Guiding Light." He also won a WGA for "The Guiding Light." Mr. Reilly wrote over 500 episodes of "Days of Our Lives." He was also the head writer for the soap "Passions."
GUILLAUME DEPARDIEU Died Oct. 13, 2008
Award-winning French actor Guillaume Depardieu died of pneumonia at age 37. He was the son of actor Gerard Depardieu. Mr. Depardieu fell ill while filming a movie in Romania. He died in a Paris hospital. Mr. Depardieu worked with his father on seven films including the TV mini series "Napoleon" and "Les Miserables." He appeared in over 40 films and TV shows during his career. Mr. Depardieu was nominated for three of France's Cesar Awards, winning for Most Promising New Actor for his work in "Les Apprentis." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
FRANK ROSENTHAL Died Oct. 13, 2008
Gambler and casino boss Frank Rosenthal died of a heart attack at age 79. Mr. Rosenthal was considered to be one of the best sports gamblers in the world. He was responsible for introducing sports bookmaking to Las Vegas casinos. His alleged ties to the Chicago mob and Tony Spilatro ended Frank Rosenthal in the Nevada Black Book of people banned from casinos. Mr. Rosenthal's story was turned into the nonfiction crime novel "Casino" by Nicholas Pilleggi. Martin Scorsese adapted the book to film, though he changed the names of the characters. Robert DeNiro portrayed Mr. Rosenthal in the film.
FRANCOISE SEIGNER Died Oct. 13, 2008
French actress Françoise Seigner died of pancreatic cancer at age 80. She was the daughter of actor Louis Seigner and the aunt of actresses Emmanuelle, Mathilde and Marie-Amelie Seigner. Ms. Seigner appeared in over 20 films and TV shows during her career. Her credits include Francois Truffaut's "The Wild Child," "By The Pricking Of My Thumbs," "The Other Woman" and "Tartuffe."
KIMBERLY KIRK Died Oct. 13, 2008
Set dresser and production assistant Kimberly Kirk died at age 47 following a short illness. Ms. Kirk appeared as an extra is a few films including "Iron Jawed Angels," "The Summer of Ben Tyler" and "The Kennedy Years." Ms. Kirk was the on-set dresser for "Stephen King's The Night Flier." She was also set set-dresser for "Bloodmoon." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.
CHRISTOPHER WICKING Died Oct. 13, 2008
Screenwriter Christopher Wicking died of a heart attack at home in France. He was 65 years old. Mr. Wicking was best known to horror movie fans for his Hammer and AIP films of the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was brought into "The Oblong Box" project by director Michael Reeves to rewrite the script. Reeves left the project and director Gordon Hessler came on board. This would be the first of five films on which Christopher Wicking and Gordon Hessler would collaborate. Four of the films were with AIP: "The Oblong Box," "Scream and Scream Again," "Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "Cry of the Banshee."
Christopher Wicking also wrote three films for Hammer during the studio's final years. He adapted the Bram Stoker novel "Jewel of the Seven Stars" into the sexy "Blood From the Mummy's Tomb" Mr. Wicking also wrote the thriller "Demons of the Mind" for Hammer. This film has been on my must see list for years, but I've yet to find a copy. Mr. Wicking also co-wrote Hammer's final film "To the Devil a Daughter." This is a bad film that remains one of my guilty pleasures.
Mr. Wicking's other film credits include "Medusa," "Jack Higgins' on Dangerous Ground," "Absolute Beginners," "Lady Chatterley's Lover" and "Venom."
LAURA LAMSON Died Oct. 13, 2008
American-born British screenwriter Laura Lamson died of cancer at age 60. Ms. Lamson lived in England for 40 years and became a British citizen. Her writing credits include "The Happiness Thief," "Wren: The Man Who Built Britain," "The Alchemists" and the TV series "The Men's Room."
WILLIAM HARDY Died Oct. 14, 2008
Actor William Hardy died at age 75. Mr. Hardy worked in regional theater, national touring companies as well as in film and on TV. His final screen appearance will be in Terrence Mallick's up-coming "Tree of Life." Mr. Hardy's credits include "Muhammad Ali: King of the World," "Walker, Texas Ranger," "Streets of Laredo," "Separate But Equal" and "Blood Red." Mr. Walker served his country in the US Army during the Korean War.
GRANT CRABTREE Died Oct. 14, 2008
Canadian documentary filmmaker Grant Crabtree died at age 96. Mr. Crabtree was a director and cinematographer who began making films in the early 1940s. He made nearly 50 films between 1942 and 1978.
EDIE ADAMS Died Oct. 15, 2008
Tony-winning and Emmy-nominated actress and singer Edie Adams died of cancer and pneumonia at age 81. Edie Adams won a Tony in 1957 for her role as Daisy Mae in "L'il Abner." Edie Adams was well known for her sexy Muriel cigar commercials in which she coaxed me to "pick one up, and smoke it some time." She was nominated for Emmy awards for "The Ernie Kovacs Show" and the TV special "Here's Edie." Edie Adams first husband was TV comedic genius Ernie Kovacs. Mr. Kovacs was killed in a car crash in 1962. Their daughter Mia Kovacs was also killed in a car crash in 1982. She later married Marty Mills and then musician Pete Candoli.
Edie Adams appeared in over 100 films and TV shows during her lengthy career. Her many credits include "Designing Women," "Murder, She Wrote," as Mae West in her late husband's biopic "Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter," "Fantasy Island," "The Love Boat," "Up in Smoke," "The Blue Knight," "Harry O," "Evil Roy Slade," the camp classic "The Oscar," "The Best Man," "Love with the Proper Stranger," "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World," "Under the Yum Yum Tree," "Call Me Bwana," "Lover Come Back," "The Spiral Staircase," Billy Wilder's "The Apartment," "The Red Skelton Show," "Cinderella," "The Ernie Kovacs Show," "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," "The Carol Burnett Show," "The Jackie Gleason Show," "The Dean Martin Show," "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Steve Allen Show."
JACK NARZ Died Oct. 15, 2008
Announcer and TV game show host Jack Narz died of complications following two strokes at age 85. Mr. Narz was the brother of TV game show host Tom Kennedy. Mr. Narz was the host of such game shows as the 1970s version of "Concentration," "Beat the Clock" and "Now You See It." Mr. Narz also was the announcer or narrator on several shows. Those credits include "The Spike Jones Show," "Adventures of Superman" and "Space Patrol."
NATHAN DAVIS Died Oct. 15, 2008
Actor Nathan Davis died at age 91. Mr. Davis began his acting career late in life. He first appeared in the low-budget sleeper hit "Stony Island" which was directed by his son Andrew and starred his son Richard. Mr. Davis appeared in over 30 films and TV shows during his career. Horror movie fans remember him as Rev. Henry Kane in "Poltergeist 3." Actor Julian Beck played the part during "Poltergeist 2" but died shortly after finishing his scenes. Voice actor Corey Burton did ADR work to finish Mr. Beck's lines in "Poltergeist 2" and ADRed all of Mr. Davis' lines in "Poltergeist 3." Mr. Davis appeared in one of my personal favorites: Michael Mann's brutal "Thief." His other credits include "Holes," "Becker," "ER," "Chain Reaction," "Dunston Checks In," "Frasier," "Cheers," "The Package," "Flowers in the Attic," "Crime Story," "Hill Street Blues," "Tough Guys," "Code of Silence," "Risky Business," "Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy" and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
VICKI GRAEF Died Oct. 15, 2008
Costume designer Vicki Graef died of cancer at age 58. She began her film career as a costumer on "Marie" and wardrober on "The Evil Dead 2." Ms. Graef was also a costumer on "Dick Tracey." She was an assistant costume designer on "The Godfather Part 3." Ms. Graef was costume designer on 40 films and TV shows. Her credits include "16 Blocks," the remake of "Assault on Precinct 13," "Welcome to Mooseport," "We Were the Mulvaneys" which had EI's own Jon Ted Wynn in a major supporting role, "Gilmore Girls," "The Last Don II," "Booty Call," "China Moon," "The Return of Swamp Thing" and "Kandyland."
SUZANNA Died Oct. 15, 2008
Horror movie fans love their Scream Queens. The Brits have the Hammer girls, we Yanks have Jamie Leigh Curtis and in Indonesia they had Suzanna. Suzanna appeared in over 40 films during her career. She was best known and loved for the dozen or so horror and fantasy films she starred in during the 1970s and 80s. Suzanna died of complications from diabetes the day after her 66th birthday. Suzanna retired from films in the late 1980s to focus on her children. She recently made a comeback with this year's horror film "Hantu Ambulance." Suzanna's many credits include "The White Alligator," "Samson & Delilah," "The Hungry Snake Woman," "The Snake Queen," "Black Magic" and "Birth in the Tomb."
WARREN WELCH Died Oct. 15, 2008
Emmy-nominated set decorator Warren Welch died at age 82. Mr. Welch shared an Emmy nomination for his work on "Rascals and Robbers: The Secret Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn." Mr. Welch was a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local #44. His film and TV credits include "Dennis the Menace Strikes Again!," Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac," "A Walton Easter," "ER," "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.," "Gunsmoke: To the Last Man," "The Violation of Sarah McDavid," "More Wild Wild West," "The Wild Wild West Revisited," "First, You Cry," "Strangers in 7A," "Tony Rome" and numerous episodes of the camp 60s series "Batman."
JOYCE WINDSOR Died Oct. 15, 2008
British TV and stage actress Joyce Windsor died of cancer at age 76. Ms. Windsor had a recurring role on the comedy series "The Two Ronnies." Her many credits include "Doctors," "Then Churchill Said to Me," "'Allo 'Allo'," "Last of the Summer Wine," "Butterflies," "To the Manor Born," "Rumpole of the Bailey," "Steptoe and Son," "Upstairs, Downstairs," "Doomwatch," "Doctor Who" and "Z Cars."
DAVID LEE Died Oct. 16, 2008
Scottish-born Oscar, Emmy and BAFTA-winning sound editor David Lee died at age 80. Mr. Lee worked on over 70 films and TV shows during his career. He won an Oscar and a BAFTA for "Chicago." Mr. Lee was nominated for two Emmy awards, winning for the Made for TV movie "Unnatural Causes." He won athe Canadian Film Award for the great crime thriller "The Silent Partner." Mr. Lee was the father of Emmy-nominated film editor Allan Lee and sound mixer Ken Lee.
Among Mr. Lee's many notable credits are "Silent Hill," the remake of "Assault on Precinct 13," "Resident Evil: Apocalypse," "The Gospel of John," "Wrong Turn," "John Q," "X-Men," "Shanghai Noon," "Storm of the Century," "The Last Don," David Cronenberg's "Crash," "The Santa Clause," "Adventures in Babysitting," "Mrs. Soffel," "Police Academy," "Strange Brew," "Incubus," "Tribute," "A Man, a Woman and a Bank."
LEVI STUBBS Died Oct. 17, 2008
Soul singing legend Levi Stubbs died at age 72 after years of battling cancer and a series of strokes. Levi Stubbs was the lead singer of the Motown super group "The Four Tops." Founded by four high school friends in the mid 1950s, the band signed with Motown in 1963 and the rest is history. Their songs have become standards which remain as fresh today as when recorded 40 years ago. Their lengthy string of hits include "Baby I Need Your Loving," "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honeybunch)," "Reach Out (I'll Be There)," "Standing in the Shadows of Love," "Bernadette," "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)" and "Are You Man Enough." The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
Mr. Stubbs provided the voice of the space plant monster Audrey II in the Broadway and film version of the musical "Little Shop of Horrors." Mr. Stubbs performed in the great documentary "Standing in the Shadows of Motown." The music of the Four Tops can be heard on many, many film soundtracks including "Superbad," "Zodiac," "Shark Tale," "Gothika," "Auto Focus," "Forrest Gump," "A Bronx Tale," "Beverly Hills, 90210," "The Five Heartbeats," "In Country," "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka," "Alien Nation," "Into the Night," "Blood Simple," "John Carpenter's The Thing" and "Shaft in Africa."
EDWIN ADAMS Died Oct. 17, 2008
Diplomat turned actor and novelist Edwin M. Adams died of lymphoma at age 94. Mr. Adams passed up a Warner Brothers screen test in 1939 to get his law degree. That move lead to a career in the government working for the State Department. Mr. Adams served his country during WWII in the US Navy. Upon retirement from the government, Mr. Adams returned to his youthful dream of acting. He appeared in numerous films and TV shows including "Three Days of the Condor," "Airport 75," "The Last Detail," "Suspect," "Yuri Nosenko, KGB," "The Man Who Wasn't There" and "First Monday in October."
JIN XIE Died Oct. 18, 2008
Chinese director Jin Xie died at age 84. Mr. Xie was persecuted by his government for making films critical of the cultural revolution. His best know works was a trio of movies made in the 1980s which dealt with victims of the bloody cultural revolution of the 1960s. They were "The Legend of Tianyun Mountain," "The Herdsman" and "Hibiscus Town." Mr. Xie's other credits include "The Opium War," "Penitentiary Angel," "An Old Man and His Dog," "Qiu Jin: A Revolutionary," "Stage Sisters" and "Woman Basketball Player No. 5."
ERVIN ROSE Died Oct. 18, 2008
Costumer Ervin Rose died at age 90. Mr. Rose served his country in the US Navy for 20 years before beginning his career in the film industry. He eventually became Wardrobe Supervisor at Universal Studios. Mr. Roses credits include "Midway," "Jaws," "The Border," "The Blues Brothers," "Coal Miner's Daughter," "The Lost Boys," "Fresh Horses," "Violets Are Blue," "Murphy's Romance."
PETER GORDENO Died Oct. 18, 2008
Dancer, singer, actor Peter Gordeno died at age 68. Mr. Gordeno was a noted dancer and choreographer who gained his widest fame for a recurring role on the British sci-fi TV series "UFO." Mr. Gordeno danced on London's West End as well as in Las Vegas revues. His film and TV credits include "Carry on Columbus," "Urge to Kill," "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," "The Touchables" and "Secrets of a Windmill Girl."
RUDY RAY MOORE Died Oct. 19, 2008
Groundbreaking Black comedian, singer, poet and actor Rudy Ray Moore died at age 81 following an extended illness. Mr. Moore was one of the most popular Black comedians of the 1960s and 70s. He released dozens of albums of blue material that did not get any air play, but which gained him a huge following. He broke into film during the Blaxploitation era during the 1970s. His profane, badass character "Dolemite" caught on with Black Americans and brought Mr. Moore even wider recognition. "Dolemite" spawned one feature film sequel during the 1970s: "The Human Tornado" and two direct to video sequels in 2000 and 2002: "Big Money Hustlas" and "The Return of Dolemite." Mr. Moore also starred in the popular Blaxploitation film "Petey Wheatstraw." Other film credits include "Shaolin Dolemite," "B*A*P*S," "Penitentiary II," "Disco Godfather," "The Monkey Hu$tle."
RICHARD SELZER aka MR. BLACKWELL Died Oct. 19, 2008
Former fashion designer Richard Selzer died of complications from an intestinal infection at 86. Richard Selzer was better known by the name Mr. Blackwell. He was the creator of the annual 'Worst Dressed List.' He began ripping into the clothes worn by actress during the 1970s. Mr. Selzer began his career as a child actor. He turned to fashion designing in the 1950s. His acting credits include "Foreign Correspondents," "Matlock," "Matt Houston," "Juvenile Court" and "Little Tough Guy." His costumer credits include "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Promises! Promises!" Ironically Jayne Mansfield's most famous costume from "Promises! Promises!" was her birthday suit! Mr. Blackwell appeared as himself on countless TV shows including "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson."
MAUREEN HALLIGAN Died Oct. 19, 2008
Irish actress and theater professor Maureen Halligan died at age 94. Though born in Ireland, Ms. Halligan and her late husband moved to San Antonio, Texas where they were fixtures in the local theater scene. The couple developed the theater department at the Incarnate Word College. Many of her former students have gone on to successful careers in the film industry. Ms. Halligan acted on stage around the world. Her film and TV credits include Disney's "Darby O'Gill and the Little People," "Playhouse 90," "The Ed Sullivan Show," "Dead Man's Evidence," "Sword of Sherwood Forest" and "She Didn't Say No!"
KRZYSZTOF ZALESKI Died Oct. 20, 2008
Polish theater director and actor Krzysztof Zaleski died at age 59. In addition to his theater work, Mr. Zaleski appeared in nearly 50 films. His credits include the Oscar-nominated "Man of Iron."
JOHN RINGHAM Died Oct. 20, 2008
Prolific British character actor John Ringham died at age 80. Mr. Ringham was a familiar face to British TV and theater fans. He appeared in hundreds of productions. His many TV and film credits include "V for Vendetta," "London's Burning," "Terry and June," "Bergerac," "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," "Play for Today," the TV miniseries "A Tale of Two Cities," "All Creatures Great and Small," "Flambards," "The Onedin Line," "Dixon of Dock Green," "Z Cars," "Softly Softly," "Are You Being Served?," "The Death of Adolf Hitler," "New Scotland Yard," "Colditz," the miniseries "War & Peace," "Doctor Who," "Up Pompeii," "The First Churchills," "Dad's Army," "The Railway Children," "The Forsyte Saga," "The Avengers," "Bleak House."
DAVID A. SMITH Died Oct. 21, 2008
Sound man David Smith died of undisclosed causes at age 50. He worked on over 40 films during his career. He began working for Zoetrope on such films as "Rumble Fish," "The Outsiders," "Hammett" and "One from the Heart." Mr. Smith's other credits include "Street Kings," "Hostage," "Hidalgo," "The Missing," "Sweet Home Alabama," "Vertical Limit," "Arlington Road," "Selena," "The People Next Door," "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls" and "Daddy's Dyin'... Who's Got the Will?"
ROBIN WARREN Died Oct. 22, 2008
Assistant director Robin Warren died at age 50. She began her career as a model and actress before getting behind the camera. Ms. Warren's many credits include "Behind the Badge," "Road Trip," "Hard Time," "Rough Riders," "The Babysitter's Seduction," "Gordy," "Pure Country" and "Beverly Hills, 90210." Ms. Warren worked as a production assistant on "Misery" and "Avalon." She also directed the comedy short film "Tangled Web."
ROBERT HUMBLE Died Oct. 21, 2008
Canadian director and cinematographer Robert Humble died at age 84. He worked as a cinematographer and director for the National Film Board of Canada for over 40 years. He directed 10 documentaries and lensed over 100 others. Mr. Humble served his country as a war photographer in the Special Branch during WWII.
KANDICE HUTCHISON Died Oct. 21, 2008
'Reality' TV show contestant Kandice Hutchison was killed in a car crash at age 22. Police report that Ms. Hutchison was intoxicated while taking place in a street race when she was killed. Ms. Hutchison was a contestant on the MTV series "A Double Shot at Love" in which straight men and lesbian women vied for a relationship with the bi-sexual Rikki and Vikki Ikki twins. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends. As for the TV show itself…Nero fiddled as Rome burned.
MARY COOPER Died Oct. 22, 2008
Broadway and TV actress Mary Cooper died at home. Her age was not given. Ms. Cooper appeared in six Broadway productions including the original production of "Harvey" with James Stewart. She was not part of the opening night cast. Ms. Cooper appeared in the film "Bright Victory." She appeared in several episodes of the final season of the gothic horror soap opera "Dark Shadows." Ms. Cooper also appeared in the soap opera "The Edge of Night."
DAVID LLOYD MEREDITH Died Oct. 22, 2008
British actor David Lloyd Meredith died one week shy of his 75th birthday. Mr. Meredith enjoyed success on stage and screen. He appeared in a number of noted plays on London's West End. Mr. Meredith was best known to TV fans for his starring role as Sgt. Evans on "Softly, Softly" the spin-off of the popular "Z Cars." His other credits include "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain," "Henry V," "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby," "To the Manor Born" and "As You Like It."
E. ROGER MUIR Died Oct. 23, 2008
TV producer E. Roger Muir died opf complications from a stroke at age 89. Mr. Muir was the executive producer of the early TV hit "The Howdy Doody Show." Mr. Muir later went on to produce several TV game shows. His credits include "The Newlywed Game" and "Concentration!" Mr. Muir served his country in the US Army during WWII.
LEO BAYARD Died Oct. 23, 2008
Actor and drama coach Leo Bayard died at age 86. Mr. Bayard worked on stage and in live TV during the 1940s and 50s. He and his late wife Elizabeth ran a dance and drama school in Queens, New York for over 20 years. Mr. Bayard's credits include "Kraft Theatre," "Ford Theatre," "Man Against Crime" and "Lux Video Theatre." Mr. Bayard served his country by enlisting in the US Army during WWII.
GIANLUIGI BRASCHI Died Oct. 23, 2008
Oscar and BAFTA-nominated producer Gianluigi Braschi died of an undisclosed illness at age 45. Mr. Braschi was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar for "Life is Beautiful." Mr. Braschi won the David di Donatello award for Best Producer for the hit film. Mr. Braschi collaborated with "Life is Beautiful" star Roberto Benigni on five films. He was Mr. Benigni's brother-in-law. His other credits include "The Monster" and "Pinocchio."
MERL SAUNDERS Died Oct. 24, 2008
Keyboardist Merl Saunders died of complications following a stroke at age 74. Mr. Saunders was best known for his collaborations with Jerry Garcis and The Grateful Dead. He appeared in the Grateful Dead documentary film "The End of the Road." Mr. Saunders composed the new theme music for the 1980s version of "The Twilight Zone." His other music credits include "Vietnam: A Television History," "Steelyard Blues," "HBO's Tales from the Crypt" and "Black Girl."
MILTON KATSELAS Died Oct. 24, 2008
Tony-nominated director and acting teacher Milton Katselas died of heart failure at age 75. Mr. Katselas was nominated for a Tony for directing the 1970 production of "Butterflies are Free." He directed seven Broadway productions. Mr. Katselas went to Hollywood to direct the film version of "Butterflies Are Free." He directed four feature films and two TV movies. He directed the brutal 70s cop thriller "Report to the Commisioner." It features a great, off-kilter performance by Michael Moriarty. Mr. Katselas also directed the film version of the play "When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?" The campy film almost worked and contained one of Marjoe Gortner's patented psycho performances. Mr. Katselas founded the Beverly Hills Playhouse acting school. Mr. Katselas was one of the foremost promoters of Scientology. Some acting students stated they left his class at the Beverly Hills Playhouse because of unspoken pressure to join Scientology. Mr. Katselas other directing credits include "The Rules of Marriage," "Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter" and "40 Carats."
SANDY MCCALLUM Died Oct. 24, 2008
Actor Sandy McCallum died at age 81. Mr. McCallum was a 50 year member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival before his retirement in 2005. He did not miss a single performance during his 50 year tenure. Mr. McCallum worked primarily on stage, but he had a few film and TV credits. He played the president in Roger Corman's Cult Classic "Death Race 2000." He also appeared on the TV series "Lou Grant" and "Fantasy Island." Mr. McCallum served in the Canadian Air Force during WWII.
TEDDY JACK CRUM Died Oct. 25, 2008
Character actor Teddy Jack Crum died at age 77. Mr. Crum was a TV and Radio guy in Austin Texas. He appeared in a number of films made in the Austin area. His credits include "Rough Riders," "The Good Old Boys," "Shadows of Desire," "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe," "Red Headed Stranger" and "Confessions of a Serial Killer." Mr. Crum served his country during the Korean War.
GERARD DAMIANO Died Oct. 25, 2008
Director Gerard Damiano died of complications following a stroke at age 80. Mr. Damiano was a hairdresser turned film director. His seventh film was one of the most controversial and profitable film in the history of movies. "Deep Throat" kicked off the 'porn chic' phase where adult films became fashionable for couples, not just the raincoat crowd. The movie was made for $25,000.00 and its estimated worldwide take is somewhere around $600,000,000.00! Mr. Damiano saw little or none of that money as the movie was financed by the Columbo Mafia organization. Mr. Damiano's followed "Deep Throat" with the classic "The Devil in Miss Jones." "The Devil in Miss Jones" is probably the greatest adult film ever made. The tale of an old-maid virgin who commits suicide and is granted one-week to experience every erotic fantasy she ever imagined is not just a great adult film, it is a classic film of any genre. The haunting ending remains one of the best film endings in history. "The Devil in Miss Jones" is classic erotica, not pornography. Gerard Damiano helmed nearly 50 films during his career. As the 70s gave way to the 80s, shot on film adult films went the way of the dinosaur as video took over. Mr. Damiano followed "The Devil in Miss Jones" with another artistic film "Memories Within Miss Aggie." One critic stated that "Memories Within Miss Aggie" would stand on its own as a psychological Hitchcockian horror thriller without the sex scenes. High praise for the adult film industry's one true auteur. His filmography also includes the R-rated horror film "The Legacy of Satan." Mr. Damiano retired to a simple life in Florida.
ANNE PRESSLY Died Oct. 25, 2008
TV news anchor Anne Pressly was murdered in her Little Rock home. Ms. Pressly was found severely beaten when she didn't report for work on October 20th. The 26-year-old Ms. Pressly later died at a hospital. She had a cameo role in Oliver Stone's new film "W." Ms. Pressly also had a bit part on the soap opera "As the World Turns." Ms. Pressly was a reporter and fill-in anchorwoman for KATV in Little Rock. The police have no suspects at this time. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.
JOHN AXON Death announced Oct. 25, 2008
British TV actor John Axon died of a suspected heart attack at age 48. Mr. Axon was best known for his role as hospital boss Nigel Harper in the TV series "The Royal." Mr. Axon appeared in over 25 TV shows during his career. His many credits include "Bear Behaving Badly," "Life on Mars," "Emmerdale Farm," "The 10th Kingdom" and "Heartbeat." Mr. Axon was the grandson of British railway hero John Axon. In 1957, the senior John Axon was the conductor of a train in which the steam brakes had failed. Scalding steam in the engineer's compartment prevented Mr. Axon from working the controls. The train slowed down as it climbed an incline. Mr. Axon could have jumped free of the train, but chose to stay with the train and try to stop it from crashing into the station on the other side of the incline. Mr. Axon was killed in the crash as was one other person.
ESTELLE REINER Died Oct. 25, 2008
Actress and singer Estelle Reiner died at age 94. Ms. Reiner was the wife of Carl Reiner and the mother of directors Rob and Lucas Reiner and writer Annie. Estelle Reiner was a renowned jazz singer who released 7 CDs during her career. She also acted in several films. Most people remember her for delivering a single line in her son Rob's film "When Harry met Sally." Following the scene in the restaurant where Meg Ryan shows Billy Crystal how easy it is for a woman to fake an orgasm, Ms. Reiner says to her waiter "I'll have what she's having." Ms. Reiner's other film and TV credits include "Hot to Trot," Mel Brooks' version of "To Be or Not to Be," "The Man with Two Brains," "Fatso" and "Marathon." Her singing can be heard on the soundtrack of "Sibling Rivalry."
PER SJOSTRAND Died Oct. 25, 2008
Swedish actor and director Per Sjostrand died at age 78. Mr. Sjostrand appeared in over 25 films during his career. He had a supporting role in Ingmar Bergman's classic "Wild Strawberries." He also appeared in Bergman's "The Touch." Mr. Sjostrand directed a number of TV movies and mini-series in his native land. He was fond of the work of writer Wilhelm Moberg and adapted five of his novels to the screen. His best known work was the mini-series version of Moberg's "Raskens."
DELMAR WATSON Died Oct. 26, 2008
Former child actor turned news photographer Delmar Watson died of prostate cancer at age 82. Mr. Watson was part of a family of nine children who appeared in more than a 1000 films combined! Delmar Watson appeared in over 300 films and short subjects himself. Mr. Watson appeared in four "Our Gang" shorts in the mid 1930s. Among his many credits are such notable films as Frank Capra's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "Young Mr. Lincoln," W.C. Fields' "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man," "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," the Reginald Owen version of "A Christmas Carol," the Shirley Temple version of "Heidi," "Annie Oakley," "The Fourth Horseman" and "Riders of the Purple Sage." Mr. Watson and several of his brothers served their country in the Coast Guard during WWII. While one family trade was the film industry, another was photography. Mr. Watson and his brothers would become the third generation of Watsons to become news photographers. He worked for the LA Mirror during the 1940s and 50s. He joined his siblings in the Six Watson Bros. Studio doing commercial photography before opening his own studio in 1967. Mr. Watson ran the Watson Family Photographic Archives which houses over two million images.
TONY HILLERMAN Died Oct. 26, 2008
Mystery writer Tony Hillerman died of pulmonary failure at age 83. Mr. Hillerman wrote over 30 novels. He wrote a series of mystery novels set in the Navajo reservation. Mr. Hillerman's fictional heroes were Navajo Tribal Police Officers Sgt. Jimmy Chee and Lt. Joe Leaphorn. Four of Mr. Hillerman's novels have been adapted to the screen. Lou Diamond Phillips played Jimmy Chee and Fred Ward played Lt. Leaphorn in the feature film "The Dark Wind." Actor Adam Beach played Jimmy Chee and Wes Studi played Joe Leaphorn in three TV movies: "Coyote Waits," "Skinwalkers" and "A Thief of Time." Mr. Hillerman began his writing career as a reporter for UPI. He served his country in the US Army during WWII. Mr. Hillerman saw action on D-Day and was later wounded in Alsace France. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during WWII.
RAY ELLIS Died Oct. 27, 2008
Composer and record producer Ray Ellis died of melanoma at age 85. In addition to his work as a composer and arranger for numerous stars of the recording industry, Mr. Ellis had a successful career in film and TV. He composed the famous "Spiderman" theme music for the 1960s animated TV series. Mr. Ellis' many credits include "Eight Crazy Nights," "Bedrooms," "Sale of the Century," "Blackstar," "The Tarzan/Lone Ranger Adventure Hour," "The New Adventures of Tom and Jerry," "Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle," "The Fat Albert Christmas Special," "Space Sentinels," "The New Adventures of Batman," "Shazam!," "The Original Ghostbusters," "Star Trek: The Animated Adventures," "The Brady Kids," "Archie's TV Funnies," "Sabrina and the Groovie Goolies," "Cauldron of Blood," "The Hardy Boys" and "The Archie Show."
CHRIS BRYANT Died Oct. 27, 2008
British screenwriter Chris Bryant died at age 72. Mr. Bryant was best known to horror movie fans for his screenplays of Nicolas Roeg's eerie "Don't Look Know," Charlton Heston's mummy movie "The Awakening" and the 1975 version of "The Spiral Staircase." Other credits include the Goldie Hawn/Hal Holbrook romancer "The Girl from Petrovka" and Tony Richardson's "Joseph Andrews." Mr. Bryant also acted in several films including "Only in Hollywood" and "Young Catherine." Ina ddition to his film career, Mr. Bryant was an attorney and politician.
ROY STEWART Died Oct. 27, 2008
British actor Roy Stewart died at age 83. Mr. Stewart appeared in over 30 films and TV shows during his acting career. Although he was often relegated to playing slaves, Mr. Stewart did play several characters which weren't stereotypical roles. Mr. Stewart was James Bond's contact man in Jamaica in "Live and Let Die." He played a Black Power militant in Jean-Luc Goddard's "Sympathy for the Devil." Hammer horror fans might remember Mr. Stewart for his roles in "Twins of Evil," "She" and "The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb." Mr. Stewart appeared in several episodes of "Dr. Who." Other credits include "I, Claudius," "Lady Caroline Lamb," the 1970 version of "Julius Caesar," "Carry on Up the Jungle," "Games That Lovers Play" and "The Avengers."
RONN COONEY Died Oct. 27, 2008
Key Grip Ronn Cooney died at age 71, Mr. Cooney worked in the industry for 45 years. He was still working this year. Mr. Cooney's many credits include Stanley Kramer's "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," the new series "90210," numerous episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Profiler" and "Crossing Jordan," "We Were Soldiers," "The Christmas Wish," "The Siege at Ruby Ridge," "Twister" and "Babe Ruth."
JACK THOMPSON Died Oct. 28, 2008
Producer/writer Jack Thompson died at age 77. Mr. Thompson worked as producer, line producer and associate producer on a number of projects. His credits include the Made for TV remake of "Stagecoach," "Saga of Sonora," "A Distant Thunder," "All the King's Horses," "Behind the Badge," "The Winning Hand," "Waylon," "50 Years of Country Music," "The 44th Annual Academy Awards," "The Johnny Cash Show" and "The Best Little Special in Texas."
BUCK ADAMS Died Oct. 28, 2008
Adult film actor and director Buck Adams (real name Charles Stephen Allen) died of heart failure at age 52. Mr. Adams had a series of heart problems stemming back to several heart attacks in the late 1990s. Buck Adams was the brother of '80s porn superstar Amber Lynn. Mr. Adams followed his sister into the business after his boxing career failed to take off. He appeared in over 400 films and is best remembered for the "Babewatch" series of films. Mr. Adams also directed over 70 films during his career. One of his best directorial efforts was "Buck Adams' Frankenstein" in which he also played Dr. Frankenstein. His monster (Rebecca Wild) looked a lot better than Boris Karloff! Buck Adams died three days after adult film autuer Gerard Damiano. Mr. Adams performed in six videos directed by Mr. Damiano before Damiano's retirement in the early 1990s. Unlike many others in the industry Buck Adams was able to win his battle against drug and alcohol abuse through the 12-step program.
WILLIAM WHARTON Died Oct. 29, 2008
I drove a cab in Las Vegas during the mid 1980s. About 7 of the 12 hours of each shift were spent waiting on line for fares. I used the time to write my first (as yet unsold) screenplay. One night this led to a conversation with one of my passengers. He was a working class guy from Philadelphia. His son worked in the film industry. The man was very proud of his kid's first film. I don't remember who his son was, but I remember the look of joy on the father's face as he talked about how hard his boy had worked to get this movie made. The movie was "Birdy." I had not heard of "Birdy" at that time. I caught it on cable a year or so later. I could see why the man in my cab had been so proud of his son. From the way the man had talked, his son must have been a major player on the movie, but he could have just been a crew member. Doesn't really matter, but the memory of the conversation stuck with me. It was nice to see a parent who had supported a child in the arts. Author William Wharton died of an infection contracted while hospitalized for blood-pressure problems. He wrote more than a dozen books. "Birdy" was his debut novel and won the National Book Award. His novels "Dad" and "A Midnight Clear" were also adapted for the big screen. Keith Gordon's "A Midnight Clear" is an outstanding anti-war film that is well-worth the time to track down. Mr. Wharton served his country in the US Army during WWII. He was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge."
JOHN AHERN Died Oct. 29, 2008
Daytime Emmy winning producer and animator John Ahern died at age 74. Mr. Ahern shared a Daytime Ammy Award for the series "Muppet Babies." In addition to producing "The Muppet Babies," Mr. Ahern also produced the animated series "G.I. Joe" and "Defending the Earth." He worked in numerous capacities as an animator. Mr. Ahern was a layout artist and supervisor, animation supervisor, model design supervisor, storyboard artist, story director and the list goes on! His many credits include "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command," "Red Planet," "Jetsons: The Movie," "The Gummi Bears," "My Little Pony," "Dungeons & Dragons," "The Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Puppy Hour," "ABC Weekend Specials," "The Godzilla Power Hour," "Yogi's Space Race," "Challenge of the SuperFriends," "Scooby's All Star Laff-A-Lympics," "The All-New Super Friends Hour," "A Flintstone Christmas," "The New Tom & Jerry Show," "Speed Buggy," the 1973 feature film version of "Charlotte's Web," "Josie and the Pussycats," "The Adventures of Gulliver," "Spider-Man," "X-Men" and "Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch."
MAE MERCER Died Oct. 29, 2008
Renowned Blues singer Mae Mercer died at age 76. Ms. Mercer had been in ill health after suffering several strokes in 2007. Ms. Mercer added acting to her resume after a successful singing career in Europe. She is best known for her roles in two Clint Eastwood films. Ms. Mercer played the slave at the Southern all-girls school in Don Siegel's gothic Civil War era drama "The Beguiled." Clint Eastwood stars as a wounded soldier who cons his way into the beds of several teachers and students at the school. Only Mae Mercer's character sees through Eastwood's false veneer from the beginning. Ms. Mercer later reteamed with director Siegel and star Eastwood in the controversial cop drama "Dirty Harry." She makes the most of her one scene as the mother of a 10-year-old boy murdered by the film's psychotic villain played by Andy Robinson. Monster movie fans will remember her from the eco-horror film "Frogs." Ms. Mercer's other film and TV credits include "The Shield," "ER," "A Woman Called Moses," "Pretty Baby," "Kung Fu," "Mannix," "Ironside" and "The Hell with Heroes." Ms. Mercer produced the documentary film "Angela Davis: Portrait of a Revolutionary."
TOM RAMSEY Death announced Oct. 30, 2008
Key grip Tom Ramsey died at age 76. Mr. Ramsey worked on several landmark films including "Easy Rider" and Peter Bogdanovich's "Targets." He worked with director L.Q. Jones on his cult classic "A Boy and His Dog" as well as the horror film "The Brotherhood of Satan." Mr. Ramsey's other credits include "Stephen King's Sleepwalkers," "Above the Law," "The Milagro Beanfield War," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Sweet Dreams," "Borderline," "Melvin and Howard," "Where the Buffalo Roam," "The Kentucky Fried Movie," "Single Room Furnished" and "The Hostage." Mr. Ramsey served his country in the US Navy during the Korean War.
JOHN DALY Died Oct. 31, 2008
Producer and co-founder of Hemdale Films John Daly died of cancer at age 71. Mr. Daly and British actor David Hemmings co-founded "Hemdale" which was involved in a diverse group of activities from Film, TV and music. Hemdale Films produced a number of notable and Oscar-winning films. Mr. Daly produced such films as "Hidden Agenda," "Chattahoochee," "Shag," "Criminal Law," "The Last Emperor," "Platoon," "Hoosiers," "River's Edge," "At Close Range," "Salvador," "The Return of the Living Dead," "The Falcon and the Snowman," "The Terminator," "Strange Behavior," "Carbon Copy," the excellent B-movie "High Risk" and "The Border." Mr. Daly directed a few films including "The Aryan Couple," "The Box Collector" and "The Petersburg-Cannes Express."
STUDS TERKEL Died Oct. 31, 2008
Author and talk-radio legend Studs Terkel died at age 96. Studs Terkel was as much a part of Chicago as Mrs. O'Leary's Cow, Al Capone and Richard Daley. He lived and breathed the Windy City. For 45 years he was one of the major voices of Chicago as a pioneering talk-radio host and deejay. He gave voice to the common man and to the elite. Mr. Terkel was established in radio and had his own TV show two-years before Rush Limbaugh was born. He became a published author in the mid 1950s and a best-selling author in the mid 1969s. He wrote numerous best selling books including "Division Street: America," "Hard Times," "Working," "American Dreams; Lost and Found" and "The Good War." Studs Terkel occasionally worked as an actor. His best known role was in John Sayles's Chicago Black Sox film "Eight Men Out." Other acting credits include "The Dollmaker" and "Beginning to Date." He appeared as himself in such documentaries and TV shows as "Stud's Place," "Sacco and Vanzetti," "The Daily Show," "Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson," "Look Out Haskell, It's Real: The Making of 'Medium Cool'," "Tanner '88," "The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time" and "Cities."
JONATHAN BATES Died Oct. 31, 2008
Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning British sound editor Jonathan Bates died of a brain tumor at age 68. Mr. Bates received an Oscar nomination for his work on director Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi.” Mr. Bates collaborated with Mr. Attenborough on ten films. Mr. Bates also worked with director Otto Preminger on a number of films. Mr. Bates won a BAFTA for his work on “Cry Freedom!” Mr. Bates worked on nearly 70 films and TV shows during his career. Among his many notable credits are "Mona Lisa,“ Shadowlands,” “The Man Without a Face,” “Chaplin,” “Shirley Valentine,” “The Mighty Quinn,” “A Fish Called Wanda,” “Flash Gordon,” the Frank Langella version of “Dracula,” “Magic,” “International Velvet,” “The Eagle Has Landed,” “The 'Human' Factor,” “92 in the Shade,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “11 Harrowhouse,” “Young Winston,” Roman Polanski’s morbid classic “Macbeth,” “Kelly's Heroes,” “Where Eagles Dare,” “Fathom,” “The Comedians,” “The Three Lives of Thomasina,” “Bunny Lake Is Missing,” “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines” and “The Moon-Spinners.”