PHILLIP RHODES Died Jan. 2009
Make-up artist Phillip Rhodes died at age 92. Mr. Rhodes was known for his work with actors Marlon Brando and Charles Bronson. He worked on 10 films with Mr. Brando and 12 films with Mr. Bronson. He was the guys who gave Marlon Brando the jowels to play Don Vito Corleone in "The Godfather." Phillips Rhodes' many credits include "The Freshman," "The Island of Dr. Moreau," "One-Eyed Jacks," "Reflections in a Golden Eye," "Superman," "Last Tango in Paris," "Guys and Dolls," "Burn," "Breakheart Pass," "Death Wish," "From Noon Till Three," "Hard Times," "Love and Bullets," "The Mechanic," "Mr. Majestyk," "The Stone Killer," "Telefon," "Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood," "Johnny Got His Gun" and "Marlowe."
FRED KNITTLE Died Jan. 1, 2009
Fred Knittle died of cancer at age 83. Mr. Knittle was one of the singers featured in the documentary "Young@Heart." The movie chronicled a singing group from a senior citizen center who sang Rock songs. Fred Knittle served his country in the US Army during WWII. He worked as an executive at a school for the deaf in his younger years. Mr. Knittle's strength, humor and great personality made him a compelling figure in the excellent documentary film.
EDMUND PURDOM Died Jan. 1, 2009
British actor Edmund Purdom died at age 84. Mr. Purdom appeared in over 80 films and TV shows during his career. He worked in England before moving to Hollywood in the 1950s. Mr. Purdom left the US for Italy where he had a long career playing in various genre films. Mr. Purdom played the title role in MGM's "The Student Prince" after Mario Lanza was cut from the part. He starred in the 1950s British TV series "Sword of Freedom." Mr. Purdom's other film and TV credits in the US and UK include "Sophia Loren: Her Own Story," "The Winds of War," "It Takes a Thief," "Strange Intruder," "The Egyptian," "The Prodigal," the Marlon Brando version of "Julius Caesar," the original version of "Titanic," "The Yellow Rolls-Royce," "The Comedy Man" and voice work in "The Diary of Anne Frank." Mr. Purdom worked for much of his career in Italy. He appeared in Sword and Sandal films, Spaghetti Westerns and a slew of horror movies. His later credits include "The Rift," "2019: After the Fall of New York," "Horror Safari," "Ator the Invincible," "Pieces," "Monster Hunter," "City of the Walking Dead," "Mr. Scarface," "Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks," "Sex Italian Style," "Shoot to Kill," "The Last Ride to Santa Cruz," "Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile," "Suleiman the Conqueror," "Fury of the Pagans," "The Cossacks," "The Night They Killed Rasputin" and "The Vikings."
JEAN LAFITTE Died Jan. 1, 2009
Editor Jean Lafitte died at age 52. Ms. Lafitte did post-production editing in Hollywood and Dallas. He was also a Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor for Narconon. Mr. Lafitte's credits include "Playboy: 21 Playmates Centerfold Collection" and the TV series "Space: Above and Beyond."
JOHANNES MARIO SIMMEL Died Jan. 1, 2009
Swiss writer Johannes Mario Simmel died at age 84. Mr. Simmel was a novelist and screenwriter. He wrote over two dozen novels. Mr. Simmel's film credits include "The Roaring Fifties," "To the Bitter End," "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made of," "Operation Caviar," "The Nina B. Affair," "The Witch" and "The Diary of a Married Woman."
BETTE SOUTH Died Jan. 2, 2009
Former Las Vegas showgirl,model and bit-part actress Bette L. South died at age 82. Ms. South was the ex-wife of Hitchcock cinematographer, the late Leonard South. She received a 'Special Thanks' credit in the documentary "Obsessed with Vertigo."
ADELE BURNETT Died Jan. 2, 2009
Actress Adele Burnett died at age 80. Ms. Burnett was active in region theater in the Seattle area. She appeared in the movies "The Engagement Party" and "Sweet Revenge."
STEVEN GILBORN Died Jan. 2, 2009
Actor Steven Gilborn died of cancer at age 72. The former college professor turned to acting in the late 1970s. He appeared in over 110 feature films and TV shows. Mr. Gilborn was best known for such roles as Ellen DeGeneres' father on "Ellen" and the math teacher on "The Wonder Years." He played Howard Stern's agent in the feature film "Private Parts." Among his many credits are "Without a Trace," "NYPD Blue," "Judging Amy," "8 Simple Rules," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "The West Wing," "The Practice," "Malcolm in the Middle," "Nurse Betty," "Touched by an Angel," "JAG," "Melrose Place," "Alien: Resurrection," "Boy Meets World," "ER," "Joyride," "The Brady Bunch Movie," "Lois & Clark," "Dream On," "Picket Fences," "L.A. Law," "Murphy Brown," "The Golden Girls," "Knots Landing," "Perfect Strangers," "Law & Order," "Kate & Allie" and a number of the "Columbo" TV movies.
ROSS TANOAI JR. Died Jan. 2, 2009
Driver Ross Lasi Tanoai Jr. died at age 61. Mr. Tanoai worked on many films and TV shows shopt in Hawaii. He appeared in the films "Windtalkers" and "Punch-Drunk Love" as well as the TV series "Magnum, P.I." Mr. Tanoai worked as a driver on "Bobby" and "Alpha Dog" among others.
JUSTUS TAYLOR Died Jan. 3, 2009
Cameraman Justus Taylor died at age 68. Mr. Taylor was a renaissance man with many, many talents and occupations. He spent a decade as a freelance cameraman. He shot footage for "National Georgraphic Specials." His credits also include "A Time for Burning."
CAROL THERIOT Died Jan. 3, 2009
Carol Theriot died at age 59. Under the pen name, Carol Donahue, Ms. Theriot published the true-crime book "Deadly Relations: A True Story of Murder in a Suburban Family." The book was turned into the Made for TV movie "Deadly Relations" starring Robert Urich. Ms. Theriot was a feature writer for the Denham Springs News in Louisiana.
PAT HINGLE Died Jan. 3, 2009
Tony-nominated character actor Pat Hingle died at age 84. James Brown was called the hardest working man in show business. Pat Hingle had to have been a close rival. Mr. Hingle worked constantly from the early 1950s up until shortly before his death. Mr. Hingle appeared in nearly 200 feature films and TV shows as well as in 20 Broadway productions. He was nominated for a Best Featured Actor in a Play Tony Award for his work in the 1958 production of "Dark at the Top of the Stairs." Pat Hingle had a wide range. Heroics, pathos, comedy…he could do it all. Mr. Hingle added depth to the most routine parts. Good-guy or heavy, rube or sophisticate, Pat Hingle was a journeyman actor who had the chops to improve whatever production he took part in. Pat Hingle served his country in the US Navy aboard a destroyer during WWII.
Mr. Hingle made his film debut playing a bit part in "On the Waterfront." Most of Mr. Hingle's work in the 1950s was on Broadway and TV. He made two other feature films in the 1950s "The Strange One" was based on the play "End as a Man." Mr. Hingle also appeared in that play on Broadway. His third film from the 1950s was the excellent "No Down Payment." Mr. Hingle performed in six Broadway productions during the 1950s including "J.B.," the original production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs." Mr. Hingle's TV credits from the 1950s include "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Suspicion," "Studio One" and "The Phil Silvers Show."
The 1960s saw Pat Hingle's career expand. Eight feature films, eight Broadway productions and over 30 TV credits. He played Warren Beatty's powerful and overbearing father in "Splendor in the Grass." He held his own with Marlon Brando in "The Ugly American." One of his most memorable films was the 1963 drama "All the Way Home." Western fans remember Mr. Hingle for his work in Clint Eastwood's "Hang 'Em High," Steve McQueen's "Nevada Smith" and "Invitation to a Gunfighter." Pat Hingle appeared in eight Broadway productions during the 1960s. He was a replacement in the role of Oscar Madison in the original production of "The Odd Couple." Other Broadway credits include "The Glass Menagerie" and "Strange Interlude." Pat Hingle's 1960s TV credits include such shows as "The Invaders," "Gentle Ben," "Judd for the Defense," "Mission: Impossible," "The Andy Griffith Show," "The Defenders," "The Fugitive," "Daniel Boone," "Rawhide," "Route 66," "Dr. Kildare," "The Twilight Zone" and "The Untouchables."
During the 1970s Pat Hingle continued to work in film, on Broadway and TV. Mr. Hingle co-starred with Shelly Winters as the kidnapping victim in Roger Corman's gangster biopic "Bloody Mama." The pair had previously worked together on Broadway in "Girls of Summer." His feature film credits include the Oscar winner "Norma Rae," "When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?," Clint Eastwood's "The Gauntlet" and "The Carey Treatment." Among his four Broadway performances was in the original production of Jason Miller's "That Championship Season." Made for TV movies came into their own during the 1970s. Mr. Hingle appeared in the highest rated TV movie of the decade. He played Col. Tom Parker in John Carpenter's "Elvis." Among his dozen TV movie credits of the decade was the outstanding Vietnam Was POW tale "When Hell Was in Session." Mr. Hingle's TV credits include "Vega$," "Barnaby Jones," "Hawaii Five-O," "The Streets of San Francisco," "McCloud," "Medical Center," "The Six Million Dollar Man," "The F.B.I.," "The Rookies," "Kung Fu," "Ironside" and "The Bold Ones."
Pat Hingle was known to younger audiences for his role as Commissioner Gordon in the first four "Batman" feature films. Tim Burton's "Batman" was one of twelve feature films Mr. Hingle made in the 1980s. He reteamed with Clint Eastwood as one of the villains in the third "Dirty Harry" film "Sudden Impact." He played Timothy Hutton's father in the true-life espionage thriller "The Falcon and the Snowman." Mr. Hingle filmed "Maximum Overdrive" in North Carolina. He liked the area so much that he made it his home. Mr. Hingle's other feature film credits from the decade include "The Land Before Time," "Baby Boom," "Brewster's Millions," "Running Brave" and "Running Scared." Pat Hingle only performed once on Broadway in the 1980s: "A Life." Notable Made for TV movie credits include "Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure," "War and Remembrance," "LBJ: The Early Years," "Manhunt for Claude Dallas," "Of Mice and Men" and "Off the Minnesota Strip." He also appeared in such TV shows as "The Equalizer," "Matlock," "Amazing Stories," "Magnum, P.I.," "St. Elsewhere" and "M*A*S*H."
If you like doing something you keep on doing it. Mr. Hingle felt that acting was the talent God gave him and so he used that talent until the end. During the 1990s he made another dozen feature films. Three of them were as Commissioner Gordon in "Batman Returns," "Batman Forever" and "Batman & Robin." Mr. Hingle was outstanding as the bartender in Sam Raimi's "The Quick and the Dead." He also turned in a memorable supporting performance in "The Grifters." Pat Hingle's lone Broadway credit during the 1990s was as Ben Franklin in "1776." This was Mr. Hingle's final appearance on the Great White Way. Notable Made for TV movies and miniseries credits include "Citizen Cohn," "Truman" and "The Shining." He made guest appearances on such TV shows as "Touched by an Angel," "Homicide: Life on the Street," "Wings," "In the Heat of the Night," "Cheers" and "Murder, She Wrote." Pat Hingle slowed things down during his last years. He made ten feature films after the turn of the century. Mr. Hingle starred in and produced "Angel Doll." Other credits include the remake of "Shaft" and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."
ALVIN GANZER Died Jan. 3, 2009
Prolific director Alvin Ganzer died at age 97. Mr. Ganzer began his career in the casting department for Paramount in the 1930s. He then became an assistant director in 1939. He worked on nearly 20 feature films including "Elephant Walk," "At War with the Army," "Chicago Deadline," "The Paleface," "The Unseen," "Going My Way," "The Hitler Gang," "Birth of the Blues" and "Million Dollar Legs." Alvin Ganzer directed nearly 60 TV shows and films. He worked mainly on TV, but did helm a handful of feature films. His many TV credits include "Police Woman," "Quincy M.E.," "The Blue Knight," "Ironside," "The Rookies," "Hawaii Five-O," "GunsmokeThe F.B.I.," "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," "The Wild Wild West," "Lost in Space," "Route 66," "Kraft Suspense Theatre," "The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor," "Ben Casey," "Bonanza," "Hawaiian Eye," "Men Into Space," "The Twilight Zone," "Have Gun - Will Travel," "Zane Grey Theater" and "Highway Patrol."
SIOUX LEHNER Died Jan. 3, 2009
Dancer and choreographer Sioux Lehner died just shy of her 51st birthday. Ms. Lehner taught dance and performed at venues around the country. She was David Copperfield's onstage assistant at one time. Ms. Lehner was choreographer on the TV series "Adventures with Kanga Roddy."
GERALDINE BROCK Died Jan. 3, 2009
Actress and singer Geraldine Brock died at age 79. Ms. Brock was a noted singer in Texas. She starred in director Spencer Williams famous 1946 'Race Film' "The Girl in Room 20." She is shown here in a still from the movie. 'Race Films' were movies made for Black American audiences by Black filmmakers. Unlike the stereotyped characters found in mainstream Hollywood productions 'Race Films' were designed to uplift as well as entertain Black movie audiences. In the movie Ms. Brock played Daisy Mae Walker, an aspiring Texas singer who seeks fame in the Big Apple. She grows up fast after falling prey to a con man. Director Spencer Williams directed a dozen movies in the 1940s. He was also a noted songwriter. Mr. Williams was also known for playing Andy on the TV series "The Amos and Andy Show."
TERRY TERRILL Died Jan. 3, 2009
Script supervisor and actor Terry Terrill died. Mr. Terrill's age was not given. Mr. Terrill began working as an actor in the 1950s before turning to writing. He eventually became a script supervisor. Mr. Terrill had the distinction of writing Elvis Presley's first screen test for Paramount! Mr. Terrill worked as script supervisor on such films and TV shows as "T.J. Hooker," "Splash," "The Incredible Shrinking Woman," "Sextette," "Harry and Walter Go to New York," "Freebie and the Bean," "Dirty Mary Crazy Larry," "Bad Company," "Gunsmoke," "Five Easy Pieces" and "Getting Straight." Mr. Terrill played bit parts in a number of films and TV shows including "Have Gun - Will Travel," the original version of "Around the World in Eighty Days" and "Dragnet."
LINDA JEAN MARLOWE Died Jan. 3, 2009
Art director and production designer Linda Jean Marlowe died on her 51st birthday. She had been battling cancer for five years. Her credits include "Simple Things," "Miles Ahead," "Communication Breakdown," "Weekend Warriors" and "Sinkhole."
OLGA SAN JUAN Died Jan. 4, 2009
Actress Olga San Juan died of kidney failure at age 81. Ms. San Juan appeared in films, on Broadway and radio. She was known as the 'Puerto Rican Pepperpot.' She was married to actor Edmund O'Brien from 1948 until their divorce in 1976. She is the mother of actors Brendan and Maria O'Brien. Ms. San Juan starred on Broadway in the original production of "Paint Your Wagon." Ms. San Juan's film credits include "The 3rd Voice," "The Barefoot Contessa," "The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend," "The Countess of Monte Cristo," "One Touch of Venus," "Blue Skies," "Duffy's Tavern" and "Caribbean Romance."
DAVID WITHERS Died Jan. 4, 2009
Sound editor turned TV executive David Withers died at age 80. Mr. Withers began his career as a sound editor in the 1940s. His editing credits include Alfred Hitchcock's "Stage Fright," "Green for Danger," "Police Dog" and "The Girl in the Picture." Mr. Withers became and executive for the ITC TV network.
SANDY VEITH Died Jan. 4, 2009
Writer Sandy Veith died at age 60 of kidney and liver disease. Mr. Veith wrote for such TV shows as "Diff'rent Strokes," "Maude," "The Jeffersons" and "One in a Million." Mr. Veith won a court case against Universal which stated that the TV series "Northern Exposure" was based on a script he wrote for a potential TV series called "Colletta." Mr. Veith and his attorney Glen Kulik fought Universal for five years. The jury found that Mr. Veith was the creator of the TV series and awarded him a 7.3 million-dollar verdict. Mr. Veith collected nearly 10 million dollars by the time the case was affirmed by the Supreme Court of California.
GARY SHERMAN Died Jan. 5, 2009
Dolly grip and technical coordinator Gary B. Sherman died at age 53. Mr. Sherman was a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local #80. His technical coordinator credits include "Dharma & Greg" and "Then Came You." Mr. Sherman worked as a dolly grip on such TV shows as "Perfect Strangers" and "Valerie."
KATHRYN NUNNALLY Died Jan. 5, 2009
Set decorator and actress Kathryn Nunnally died at age 87. Ms. Nunnally acted in regional theater. She was the set decorator on the syndicated hit TV show "Hee Haw."
NED TANEN Died Jan. 5, 2009
Studio executive and producer Ned Tanen died at age 77. Ned Tanen gave the green light to some of the biggest hits of the 1970s. Mr. Tanen ran Universal Pictures from 1976 through 1984. Universal enjoyed a period of great success under Mr. Tanen's direction. He moved on to Paramount in 1984 and brought his Midas touch with him. Mr. Tanen produced such films as "Mary Reilly," "Guarding Tess," "St. Elmo's Fire," "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles."
BRIAN FREEMAN Died Jan. 6, 2009
Canadian film exec Brian Freeman after a lengthy illness. His age was not given. Mr. Freeman worked in various capacities with the Canadian Broadcast Corporation including Executive in Charge of Production for Movies and Miniseries. His credits include "Waking Up Wally: The Walter Gretzky Story," "Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity," "External Affairs," "Rollercoaster" and "The Five Senses."
CHERYL HOLDRIDGE Jan. 6, 2009
Former Mousketeer and actress Cheryl Holdridge died of lung cancer at age 64. Ms. Holdridge was an original cast member of "The Mickey Mouse Club." Ms. Holdridge appeared in over 20 TV shows. She as also known for playing Wally Cleaver's girlfriend Julie Foster in the TV series "Leave it to Beaver." Other credits "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas," "Still the Beaver," "Bewitched," "Wagon Train," "My Three Sons," "Dr. Kildare," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "Hawaiian Eye," "The Donna Reed Show," "Dennis the Menace," "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," "The Rifleman," "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet," "Bachelor Father" and "A Summer Place."
BILL WRIGHT Died Jan. 6, 2009
Film editor Bill Wright died. His age was not given. Mr. Wrights credits include "A Merry War," "Bodyguards," "Murder in Mind," "The Singing Detective," "The Chinese Detective," "Going Straight" and the 1977 miniseries version of "Anna Karenina."
JOHN SCOTT MARTIN Died Jan. 6, 2009
British actor John Scott Martin died at age 82. Mr. Martin was best known for playing the chief Dalek in the "Dr. Who" TV series. He appeared in over 100 episodes of the popular show. Mr. Martin appeared in nearly 70 feature films and TV shows. His film credits include "Ali G Indahouse," "Erik the Viking," "Little Dorrit," the remake of "Little Shop of Horrors," "Young Sherlock Holmes," "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life," "Pink Floyd The Wall" and "The Blood Beast Terror." Mr. Martin's many notable TV credits include "The Pickwick Papers," "Z Cars," "The Duchess of Duke Street," "I, Claudius," "Softly Softly," "Poldark," "The Onedin Line," "Upstairs, Downstairs," "The Man in the Iron Mask," "The Forsyte Saga," "A for Andromeda" and "Quatermass and the Pit."
BOB WILKINS Died Jan. 7, 2009
Monsterkids are mourning the passing of another childhood Icon. Bob Wilkins died of Alzheimer's Disease at age 76. Mr. Wilkins was the host of "Creature Features" in the Bay Area from 1971 through 1982. Unlike many "Creature Feature" type hosts around the country, Mr. Wilkins didn't dress up like a monster, zombie of ghoul. He relied on his dry humor during his popular stint as the show's host. Ed Wood's "Plan Nine From Outer Space" and George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" both made their television premieres on Mr. Wilkin's "Creature Features."
RAY DENNIS STECKLER Died Jan. 7, 2009
Legendary B-Movie filmmaker Ray Dennis Steckler died at age 70. Mr. Steckler wrote, produced, directed and shot a number of low-budget films during the 1960s and 70s. To every person who wanted to pick up a camera and make a movie, Ray Dennis Steckler was an inspiration. His movies weren't great, but the fact that he had the guts and determination to get them made makes him an indie movie legend. He put his time and money on the line to create his films with passion. From start to finish, Ray Dennis Steckler was the complete filmmaker: he wrote, cast, produced, directed and promoted his films all by himself. He also acted in several of his films under the name Cash Flag.
His best known movie is "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies." Mr. Steckler took a page out of the William Castle book of showmanship and had theater employees dressed as zombies run through the audience during the climax of "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies." Mr. Steckler gave two young cameramen by the names of Lazlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond their start on his 1963 cult-classic!
Mr. Steckler began his career as a camera man. He worked on ABCs "Wide World of Sports" and the TV series "The Professionals." He also did camera work on the 1962 monster movie "Eegah!" Mr. Steckler also has many fans of his "Lemon Grove Kids" comedy shorts. The three films were a tribute to the old "Bowery Boys" movie series. He also did a send up of the "Batman" titled "Rat Pfink a Boo Boo." The title was supposed to be "Rat Pfink and Boo Boo" but a technical goof in processing the credits result in the last two letters of the word and being left out. Correcting the problem was cost prohibitive and the resulting title just added to the films goofy charm. Mr. Stecklers other credits include "Wild Ones on Wheels," "Wild Guitar," "The Thrill Killers," "Sinthia, The Devil's Doll," "Body Fever," "Blood Shack," "The Hollywood Strangler Meets the Skidrow Slasher," "Las Vegas Serial Killers," "Summer Fun" and "One More Time."
RUTH (CLOKEY) PARKLANDER Death announced Jan. 7, 2009
Producer and co-creator of "Gumby" Ruth Parklander died of Alzheimer's Disease at age 85. Ms. Parklander was the ex-wife of stop-motion animator Art Clokey. The couple created the character "Gumby." Mrs. Clokey ran their production studio for over a decade. She was producer on the religious children's TV series "Davey and Goliath." She continued to produce "Davey and Goliath" following her divorce from Art Clokey in 1966. Ms. Parklander once said that "Davey and Goliath" was the thing she was most proud of in her life. Ms. Parklander later became a literature professor at Augstana College in Illinois.
MATTHEW SCHAEFER Died Jan. 7, 2009
Actor and producer Matthew Schaefer died at age 36. The cause of death was not disclosed. Mr. Schaefer was a model and appeared in a number of TV commercials. He was the executive producer of and appeared in the horror movie "RE(e)volution." He was an associate producer of and appeared in the comedy "Idol." Mr. Schaefer's other acting credits include "English as a Second Language," "The Man Show" and "Swap Meet." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
MEGANN RATZOW Died Jan. 7, 2009
Casting director Megann Ratzow died nine days after being diagnosed with cancer. She was 55. Ms. Ratzow worked on over 30 films during her career. She was the owner of the Megann Ratzow Casting agency. Her many credits include "Rocket Science," the excellent horror movie parody "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon," "Thumbsucker," "Men of Honor," "Halloweentown," "Free Willy," "Dr. Giggles."
DON GALLOWAY Died Jan. 8, 2009
Actor Don Galloway died at age 71 after a short illness. Mr. Galloway was best known for his role as office Ed Brown in the 1960s TV series "Ironside." Mr. Galloway appeared in nearly 70 films and TV shows during his career. His best known film role was as JoBeth Williams' husband in Lawrence Kasden's "The Big Chill." Other feature film credits include "Two Moon Junction," "Listen to Me," "Rough Night in Jericho," "Ride to Hangman's Tree," "Gunfight in Abilene," "Satan's Mistress" and "The Rare Breed." IMDB states that Mr. Galloway played a member of Henry Fonda's gang during the climatic flashback of Sergio Leone's masterpiece "Once Upon a Time in the West." I was shocked to discover this as "Once Upon a Time in the West" is my all-time favorite film. After freeze framing the scene, I'm still not sure if the person is in fact Don Galloway. Don Galloway first gained notice on the soap opera "The Secret Storm" in the early 1960s. He returned to the world of soaps in the late 1980s playing Dr. Buzz Stryker on "General Hospital." He had a small recurring role during the 1990 season of "Dallas." Mr. Galloway portrayed director John Frankenheimer in the TV biopic "Rock Hudson." Mr. Galloway's many TV credits include "The Return of Ironside," "MacGyver," "Murder, She Wrote," "In the Heat of the Night," "Perry Mason: The Case of the Defiant Daughter," "Hunter," "Matlock," "Knight Rider," "Scarecrow and Mrs. King," "The Fall Guy," "E/R," "Fantasy Island," "Hotel," "CHiPs," "Hart to Hart," "Mork & Mindy," "Charlie's Angels," "Vega$," "Police Woman," "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams," "Medical Center," "Marcus Welby, M.D.," "Get Christie Love!," "Love, American Style," "The Bold Ones," "The Virginian," "12 O'Clock High," "Wagon Train" and "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour."
CORNELIA WALLACE Died Jan. 8, 2009
Former Alabama First Lady Cornelia Wallace died of cancer at age 69. Ms. Wallace was the ex-wife of former Alabama governor George Wallace. Ms. Wallace and the governor were divorced in 1978. She was with Mr. Wallace when he was shot and paralyzed in an assassination attempt while running for president in 1972. Mr. Wallace was shot by Arthur Bremer in Laurel Maryland in 1972 ending his for the democratic nomination for president against George McGovern. Ms. Wallace was sensually portrayed by Angelina Jolie in mini-series "George Wallace." Gary Sinese costarred as Governor Wallace in the John Frankenheimer film.
KEN RICHARDS Died Jan. 8, 2009
Actor Ken Richards died at age 80. Mr. Richards worked on Broadway, in regional theater as well as film and TV. Mr. Richards appeared in five Broadway productions including "Unsinkable Molly Brown," "Funny Girl" and "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever." His film and TV credits include "Quiz Show," "Raging Bull," "All My Children" and "Kate & Allie."
IRVING R. BUSH Died Jan. 8, 2009
Renowned trumpeter and composer Irving R. Bush died of20multiple myeloma at age 78. He composed chamber music for brass instruments including the famous Four Fanfares for 4 Trumpets. Mr. Bush played with some of the great Big Bands of his day including Harry James and Nelson Riddle. He was Nat King Coles first seat trumpeter for several years. In these days of lengthy movie credits, the many musicians who actually play on a films score are not credited. Irving Bush was one such unsung hero. Mr. Bush played on the soundtracks of hundreds of films and TV shows produced by such studios as 20th Century Fox, MGM, Columbia, Disney, Universal, Paramount and Warner Brothers.
JON HAGER Death discovered Jan. 9, 2009
Singer and comedian Jon Hager died in his sleep at age 67. Mr. Hager and his twin brother Jim gained fame on the surprise hit TV series "Hee Haw." The Hagers were regulars on the show for nearly 20 years! They were also successful country recording artists with five song which charted. The Hagers performed live with many top musical acts over the past 40 years. Jon and his brother starred in the 1976 ABC TV movie "Twin Detectives" opposite Lillian Gish! The twins also appeared in an episode of "The Bionic Woman." Jon Hager's brother Jim died of a heart attack in May of 2008.
HARRY ENDO Died Jan. 9, 2009
Actor Henry Endo died of a stroke at age 87. Mr. Endo was best known for his role as Che Fong on the hit TV series "Hawaii 5-0." He was an original cast member and worked on the series for its entire run from 1968 through 1980. Mr. Endo also worked on the TV shows "Jake and the Fatman," "Magnum, P.I.," "Murder, She Wrote" and "Code Name: Diamond Head." Mr. Endo served his country in the US Army during WWII.
JAMES HARDER Died Jan. 9, 2009
Actor James Harder died. His age was not given. Mr. Harder received a Drama Desk nomination for his work in the 1975 Broadway revival of "Very Good Eddie." Mr. Harder's film and TV credits include "Ed," "Author! Author!," "Paternity" and "The Telephone Book."
LINDA RAINSBERRY Died Jan. 10, 2009
Canadian TV producer Linda Rainsberry died. Her age was not given. Ms. Rainsberry won two Gemini Awards for the TV programs "Saying Goodbye: The First Snowfall" and "Spoken Art: A Letter to Harvey Milk." "Saying Goodbye: The First Snowfall" was a ten-part documentary series on grief and bereavement. Ms. Rainsberry also produced the miniseries "Exploring Ontario's Provincial Parks."
DANIEL ALLAR Died Jan. 10, 2009
Actor Daniel Allar died of cancer at age 46. Mr. Allar was very Active in Chicago theater. He appeared in a number of films and TV shows. His best known role was as the scary character Avacado in season one of "Prison Break." Other credits include "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Part 2," "Chasing Robert," "What About Joan" and "Tangled." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
GEORGES CRAVENNE Died Jan. 10, 2009
Georges Cravenne, the founder of the French film award the César died at age 94. The former journalist and film publicist created the César in 1975. The César is the French equivalent of the Oscar. Mr. Cravenne w2as a journalist for Cine-Magazine in the 1930s. He worked as a publicist and producer over the years. His film credits in various capacities include "My Life to Live," "House of Pleasure," "Atoll K" and "Heads or Tails."
STEWART MORRIS Died Jan. 10, 2009
British TV producer Stewart Morris died at age 78. Mr. Morris produced a number of variety shows for the BBC during a 409 year career. His many credits include "Eurovision Song Contest," "The Royal Variety Performance," "Drumbeat," "International Cabaret," "The Rolf Harris Show," "The Shirley Bassey Show," "Open House," "Opportunity Knocks," "The Marti Caine Show," "Bobby Darin in London" and "Allan Sherman: Folk Singer?"
CLAUDE BERRI Died Jan. 12, 2009
Oscar-winning producer, director, writer and actor Claude Berri died of a neurological condition at age 74. Mr. Berri won the 1962 Best Short Subject Oscar for the film "The Chicken." He was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar for producing Roman Polanski's Tess. Mr. Berri directed over 20 films including the hugely popular "Jean de Florette" and its sequel "Manon of the Spring." Mr. Berris Jean de Florette earned him a Best Picture and Best Screenplay BAFTA as well as a Best Director BAFTA nomination. Monom of the Spring received a Best Foreign Film BAFTA nomination. In his native land, Mr. Berri was nominated for fourteen Cesar awards: 5 Best Film, 4 Best Writing, 5 Best Director. He won the Best Film Cesar for his 2007 movie "La Graine et le Mulet."
Claude Berri drew international notice for his 1972 comedy "Le Sex Shop." The comedy examined the effects of the swinger lifestyle on a middle-aged couple in a troubled relationship. Mr. Berri produced, wrote, directed and starred in the film. Claude Berri began his career as an actor in the early 1950s. He appeared in over 30 films during his career including "Behold a Pale Horse." He produced nearly 60 films and wrote and directed over 20.
LAURENS MOORE Died Jan. 12, 2009
Actor Laurens Moore died at age 89. Mr. Moore worked on stage and screen. He appeared on Broadway in "Only in America." Mr. Moores film and TV credits include "Separate But Equal," "Dracula's Widow," "Chattahoochee," "Summer Heat," "Firestarter" and the excellent miniseries "Chiefs." Mr. Moore served his country in the US Navy during World War II.
RUSS CONWAY Died Jan. 12, 2009
Prolific character actor Russ Conway died in his sleep at age 95. Mr. Conway is another one of those 'I know the face, but can't quite place the name' actors. He appeared in over 200 feature films and TV shows during his lengthy career. Mr. Conway served his country in the US Army during WWII. He began his film career following the war. Mr. Conway played the young pastor in the original version of "War of the Worlds." He was Elvis Presley's buddy Ed Galt in the King's debut film "Love Me Tender." Mr. Conway played the police officer who discovered Joan Crawford's body on the beach at the end of "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" Mr. Conway's other feature film credits include "The World's Greatest Athlete," "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre," "Our Man Flint," "The Screaming Skull," "Bombers B-52," "Somebody Up There Likes Me," "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars," "Ma and Pa Kettle on Vacation," "I Was a Communist for the FBI," "Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man," "Twelve O'Clock High," "I Was a Male War Bride," "Flamingo Road," "Larceny" and "Buck Privates Come Home."
Russ Conway was a prolific TV actor. He played the father of the teen detectives in the 1950s TV series version of "The Hardy Boys." His multitude of TV credits include "The F.B.I.," "Mission: Impossible," "Mannix," "Adam-12," "Ironside," "The Mod Squad," "Judd for the Defense," "Get Smart," "Bonanza," "The Invaders," "The Green Hornet," "The Fugitive," "The Time Tunnel," "Petticoat Junction," "The Munsters," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Perry Mason," "Wagon Train," "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," "Leave It to Beaver," "Rawhide," "Sea Hunt," "The Untouchables," "Men Into Space," "Sugarfoot," "77 Sunset Strip," "M Squad," "Have Gun - Will Travel," "You Are There," "The Lone Ranger," "The Public Defender," "Mr. & Mrs. North," "Dragnet."
GARY KURFIRST Died Jan. 13, 2009
Rock band manager Gary Kurfirst died at age 60. Mr. Kurfirst managed such bands as The Ramones, Jane's Addiction, Mountain and Talking Heads. He founded the New York club which eventually became the Fillmore East. Mr. Kurfirst produced four films. He was nominated for two Independent Spirit Wards for his work. His credits include the outstanding Talking Heads concert film "Stop Making Sense," David Byrne's "True Stories," the Ramones' film "We're Outta Here" and "Siesta." Mr. Kurfirst appeared in the Rockumentary "Too Tough to Die: A Tribute to Johnny Ramone."
EVELYNE KRAFT Died Jan. 13, 2009
Swiss actress Evelyn Kraft died of a heart attack at age 57. Ms. Kraft was best known for her role in the Hong Kong B-movie "The Mighty Peking Man." Ms. Kraft played a beautiful woman raised by a giant ape after her parent's death. She played the title role in the 1978 film "Lady Dracula." She was turned into a vampire by Count Dracula, played by Stephen Boyd (Ben-Hur) in his final movie. Ms. Kraft's other credits include "Assassination," "The Bod Squad," "Der Kommissar" and the giallo thriller "The French Sex Murders."
RICARDO MONTALBAN Died Jan. 14, 2009
Award-winning actor Ricardo Montalban died at age 88. The Mexican born actor gained fame fame as Mr. Roarke on the hit TV series "Fantasy Island." Mr. Montalban began working in films in the 1940s and remained busy his entire career. He fought for the end of racial discrimination and stereotyping of Latino actors and actresses. Mr. Montalban won an Emmy award for his work in the TV miniseries "How the West Was Won." He was nominated for a Tony award for his work in the 1958 production of "Jamaica." In 1994 he was honored with a Life Achievement Award by his peers in the Screen Actor's Guild. Mr. Montalban also won two Outstanding Villain awards from the Soap Opera Digest Awards for his work on the primetime soaps "Dynasty" and "The Colbys." To sci-fi fans, Mr. Montalban will, first and foremost be Khan in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."
Ricardo Montalban appeared in over 150 films and TV shows during his career. He also worked on Broadway during the 1950s. Mr. Montalban moved to the US from Mexico in the late 1930s. He made his film debut in 1942. He married actress Georgianna Young, the sister of actress Loretta Young in 1944. The couple remained married until Ms. Young's death in 2007. Ricardo Montalban appeared in 17 films during the 1940s. In Anthony Mann's "Border Incident" Mr. Montalban played a Mexican police officer helping US cop George Murphy fight the dealing in illegal immigrant farm workers. The 1949 movie is a Film Noir classic. The same year he was part of the ensemble cast in the war movie "Battleground." Mr. Montalban worked with Esther Williams in three films in the late 1940s: "Fiesta," "Neptune's Daughter" and "On an Island With You." He worked with Frank Sinatra in one of Ol' Blues Eyes earliest films "The Kissing Bandit."
MGM cancelled Mr. Montalban's contract in the early 1950s. He diversified his acting career and branched out into TV and the theater. He appeared in his only three Broadway plays during the 1950s: "Jamaica," "Don Juan in Hell" and "Seventh Heaven." He appeared in 15 feature films including "Sayonara" and the Clark Gable Western "Across the Wide Missouri." Mr. Montalban's TV credits from the 1950s include "Riverboat," "Wagon Train" and "Climax!"
During the 1960s Mr. Montalban focused on TV work. He did appear in 13 feature films, but the bulk of his work was on the small screen. His film credits from the 1960s include "Sweet Charity," "Blue," "The Singing Nun," "Cheyenne Autumn" and "Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man" Mr. Montalban made guest appearances on over 40 TV series and nearly a dozen TV movies during the 1960s. He first portrayed Khan, one of his most famous characters in the "Space Seed" episode of the original "Star Trek" TV series. Though he was best known for playing Mr. Roarke on "Fantasy Island" there is little debate that his greatest acting achievement on the big screen was as Khan in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." Mr. Montalban's many TV credits from the 1960s include "The Name of the Game," "It Takes a Thief," "Ironside," "I Spy," "Mission: Impossible," "Combat!," "The Wild Wild West," "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," "Dr. Kildare," "Burke's Law," "The Defenders," "Ben Casey," "The Untouchables," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Bonanza" and "Death Valley Days."
The 1970s saw Mr. Montalban achieve his greatest fame as the mysterious Mr. Roarke in the ABC TV series "Fantasy Island." "Fantasy Island" was the second TV built around Mr. Montalban. He starred in the short lived series "Executive Suite" in 1976. Mr. Montalban appeared in seven feature films during the 1970s. He appeared in two of the "Planet of the Apes" movies "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" and "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes." He also appeared in the John Wayne movie "The Train Robbers" and "Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood." Mr. Montalban appeared in a number of excellent Made for TV movies and miniseries during the 1970s. He won his Emmy for "How the West Was Won." He also appeared in the excellent WWII TV movie "Fireball Forward." Other TV movies include "Captains Courageous," "The Mark of Zorro" and the Cathy Lee Crosby version of "Wonder Woman." Mr. Montalban's TV guest star credits include the excellent anthology series "Police Story," "Switch," "Here's Lucy," "Hawaii Five-O," "Nichols," "The Virginian," "Marcus Welby, M.D.," "Dan August" and "Gunsmoke."
Ricardo Montalban delivered his greatest screen performance as the villain Khan in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." It was one of three movies he made during the 1980s. The others were "The Naked Gun" and "Cannonball Run II." He played another villain on TV during the 1980s. Mr. Montalban portrayed Zach Powers on the primetime soap operas "Dynasty" and "The Colbys."
During his last 20 years Mr. Montalban appeared in a handful of TV shows and movies. He played the grandfather in Robert Rodrequez's "Spy Kids 2" and "Spy Kids 3-D." His TV guest shots include "Family Guy," "Kim Possible," "Dora the Explorer," "The Love Boat: The Next Wave," "Chicago Hope," "Dream On," "Murder, She Wrote" and "B.L. Stryker."
PATRICK MCGOOHAN Died Jan. 14, 2009
Emmy-winning actor Patrick McGoohan died at age 80 of an undisclosed illness. Mr. McGoohan won two Emmy awards for guest appearances on the TV series "Columbo." He was also nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his sole Broadway appearance in the 1985 production "Pack of Lies." As a young actor Mr. McGoohan won a BAFTA as Best TV actor. Though born in the US, Mr. McGoohan was raised in Ireland. He gained international notice for the British TV series "Danger Man." Mr. McGoohan played a spy John Drake in the series, which ran from 1960 through 1962. Following the success of the "James Bond" films, the series was revived, revamped and ran for four seasons 1964 through 1966. The US version was titled "Secret Agent." The show's theme song "Secret Agent Man" was a hit for rocker Johnny Rivers.
Mr. McGoohan's 1968/69 TV series "The Prisoner" will be what he is best remembered for by fans. The surreal series ran for 17 episodes and dealt with a retired spy held prisoner on a mysterious island. Mr. McGoohan's character was named 'Number 6.' Mr. McGoohan created and produced the series. He also wrote and directed a number of the episodes. I was too young to appreciate "The Prisoner" when it first aired. Watching it again as an adult gave me a great appreciation for Mr. McGoohan's talent. My favorite childhood memory of Mr. McGoohan's work was in the Disney TV movie "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh."
Patrick McGoohan appeared in over 60 films and TV shows. He acted in 30 feature films. Patrick McGoohan could play the leading man, but he was especially gifted when it came to playing villains. Among his notable badguy portrayals are King Edward I in Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" the warden in Clint Eastwood's "Escape From Alcatraz" and Roger Devereau in "Silver Streak." Mr. McGoohan played on his super spy TV rep as the British agent David Jones in Howard Hughes' favorite film "Ice Station Zebra." Other notable feature film credits include "A Time to Kill," "Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend," "Scanners," "Brass Target," "Mary, Queen of Scots," "The Moonshine War," "The Three Lives of Thomasina," "I Am a Camera" and "The Dam Busters."
ANGELA MORLEY Died Jan. 14, 2009
Oscar and BAFTA-nominated and Emmy-winning British composer Angela Morley died of cancer at age 84. Angela Morley was born Walter Stott. Mr. Stott underwent sexual reassignment surgery in 1972 and became Angela Morley. Ms. Morely was nominated for two Best Music Oscars for "The Slipper and the Rose" and "The Little Prince." Ms. Stott was also nominated for a BAFTA for "The Slipper and the Rose." Ms. Morley was nominated for eleven Emmy awards. She won three including two for her work on Julie Andrews' TV specials. Ms. Morley worked with John Williams as an orchestrator on many of his screen scores. Ms. Morley's composer credits include "Falcon Crest," "The Colbys," "Hotel," "Dallas," "Watership Down," "Captain Nemo and the Underwater City," "The Looking Glass War" and "Hancock's Half Hour." Ms. Morley was an orchestrator on nearly 50 films. Her credits include "Schindler's List," "Home Alone 2," "Hook," "Home Alone," "The Karate Kid," "The Right Stuff," "The Verdict," "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," "Deathtrap," "Used Cars," "Carny," "The Empire Strikes Back," "Superman," "The Brink's Job," "Equus," "Star Wars," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes," "The Victors" and "Peeping Tom." The Wally Stott Orchestra was, along with the Ray Ellington Orchestra, the house band on the classic British radio series "The Goon Show."
TAPAN SINHA Died Jan. 15, 2009
Renowned Indian director Tapan Sinha died at age 84. Mr. Sinha learned his craft in the UK in the late 1940s. He loved the films of such US directors as John Ford and Billy Wilder. He directed a number of films which did not fit the typical Bollywood paradigm of commercial success. Mr. Sinha's work was screened at film festivals around the world. His many credits include "Daughters of This Century," "Ek Doctor Ki Maut," "Return of Robin Hood," "The Garden of Bancharam," "The Ascent," "Hungry Stones" and "Upahar."
CHUCK GASPAR Died Jan. 15, 2009
Oscar-nominated special effects wiz Chuck Gaspar died 10 days shy of his 71st birthday. Mr. Gaspar was nominated for an Oscar for his work on "Ghost Busters." Mr. Gaspar worked on nearly 70 films during his career. Mr. Gaspar worked with Clint Eastwood on a number of films. Those credits are "The Dead Pool," "Bird," "Heartbreak Ridge," "Pale Rider," "Sudden Impact," "Firefox," "Escape from Alcatraz," "Every Which Way But Loose" and "The Gauntlet." Mr. Gaspar also worked with director Richard Brooks on "Bite the Bullet," "In Cold Blood" and "The Professionals." His first film was Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." Mr. Gaspar's other credits include "Armageddon," "Twister," "Waterworld," "Batman Returns," "Beetle Juice," "Lethal Weapon," "Blue Thunder," "Altered States," "Exorcist II: The Heretic," the Barbra Streisand version of "A Star Is Born," "Farewell, My Lovely," "The Drowning Pool," "Police Story," "Oklahoma Crude," "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask," "Fools' Parade," "Valdez Is Coming," "Marooned," "Head," "The Monkees" and "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World."
ANDREW WYETH Died Jan. 16, 2009
American treasure Andrew Wyeth died at age 91. Mr. Wyeth was one America's greatest painters. He was the son of illustrator N.C. Wyeth. Mr. Wyeth's family, life and career was the subject of a "Smithsonian World" TV documentary in 1986: "The Wyeths: A Father and His Family." Director King Vidor's last film was the documentary short subject "The Metaphor" which dealt with Mr. Wyeth's painting. He also made his craft accessible to small children by appearing on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" in 1972.
JOHN MORTIMER Died Jan. 16, 2009
British writer John Mortimer died at age 85. Mr. Mortimer was also a lawyer. He created the fictional lawyer "Rumpole of the Bailey." Actor Leo McKern brought his character to life in the British TV series which ran from 1978 through 1992. Mr. Mortimer wrote nearly 60 films and TV shows as well as many novels. Mr. Mortimer's work was honored with numerous nominations. He received an Emmy nomination for the miniseries "Brideshead Revisited." Mr. Mortimer was nominated for both a Golden Globe and Writer's Guild award for the feature film "John and Mary." He received two BAFTA nominations for "Summer's Lease" and "Rumpole of the Bailey." Mr. Mortimer wrote Otto Preminger's thriller "Bunny Lake Is Missing." He also did some script doctoring on the classic ghopst story "The Innocents." Among Mr. Mortimer's many credits are "In Love and War," "Don Quixote," "Tea with Mussolini," "A Voyage Round My Father," "A Flea in Her Ear," "Carol Reed's The Running Man" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."
RUTH DUNLAP Died Jan. 16, 2009
Actress Ruth Dunlap died at age 87. Ms. Dunlap was born in the US but relocated to England after she and her husband, photographic historian Aaron Scharf were blacklisted for being communists. They relocated to England where she joined the British Communist party. Ms. Dunlap worked on stage, film and TV. Her credits include "Inspector Morse," "The Ted Kennedy Jr. Story," "Highlander," "The Lords of Discipline," "The Adding Machine" and "BUtterfield 8."
JOANN MODICA Died Jan. 16, 2009
Joann Modica died at age 81. Ms. Modica began working for Disney in the late 1960s. She was Roy Disney's first administrative assistant.
SUSANNA FOSTER Died Jan. 17, 2009
Actress and singer Susanna Foster died at age 84. She had been in ill health for some time. Ms. Foster is best remembered for starring opposite Claude Raines and Neslon Eddy in the 1943 remake of "Phantom of the Opera." Ms. Foster was groomed to be a child star by MGM. She appeared in 11 films (starring in most of them) before quitting Hollywood in 1945. She went on to a successful stage and opera career before losing everything to mental illness and alcoholism. Ms. Foster's other credits include "That Night with You," "Bowery to Broadway" and "The Climax" opposite Boris Karloff.
KATHLEEN BYRON Died Jan. 18, 2009
British actress Kathleen Byron died at age 87. Ms. Byron was unforgettable as the mentally unstable Sister Ruth in the Powell/Pressburger classic "Black Narcissus." Though she was not top-billed, Kathleen Byron stole the film from her c-stars Deborah Kerr, Jean Simmons and Flora Robson. Ms. Byron appeared in over 100 films and TV shows during her career. The four films she made for Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger at the beginning of her career should have insured stardom for Ms. Byron. Unfortunately that did not happen. Sure, Ms. Byron continued to work steady until 2001, she was never given a role worthy of her talents after "Black Narcissus." This is not a place for plugs, but you should really check out the Criterion Collection DVD of this film to catch one of the great screen performances of all time. Ms. Byron plays a nun who slowly slips into lust and madness at a remote Himalayan convent.
In her later years Ms. Byron made some noted cameo appearances. She played the elderly wife of Private Ryan during the prologue and epilogue of Stephen Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan." She was also in David Lynch's "The Elephant Man." Horror movie fans remember Ms. Byron in final film in Hammer's Karnstein trilogy "Twins of Evil" as well as "Burn, Witch, Burn!" Ms. Byron's many credits include "Perfect Strangers," "Midsomer Murders," "Emma," "Reilly: Ace of Spies," "Emmerdale Farm," "Blakes 7," "Z Cars," "North and South," "One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing," "Anne of Avonlea," "The Avengers," "Callan," "Danger Man," "Tom Brown's Schooldays," "Madness of the Heart," "The Small Back Room," "A Matter of Life and Death" and "The Young Mr. Pitt."
TONY HART Died Jan. 18, 2009
British children's TV host Tony Hart died at age 83. Mr. Hart was an artist who inspired kids in the UK to express themselves though art via a number of TV shows ver the past half century. Mr. Hart's credits include "The Amazing Adventures of Morph," "On Your Marks," "Hartbeat," "Take Hart," "Playbox" and "Studio E." Tony Hart served his country as an officer with the 1st Gurkha Rifles during WWII.
BOB MAY Died Jan. 18, 2009
Actor and stuntman Bob May died of congestive heart failure at age 69. His fans may not even know what Bob May looks like as his best known role was as the Robot in Irwin Allen's 1960s TV series "Lost in Space." Mr. May split Robot duty with actor Dick Tufeld who also provided the voice of the Robot. Mr. May did a guest role on Irwin Allen's "The Time Tunnel" where he played Adolph Hitler. Mr. May's stuntman credits include the 1966 remake of "Stagecoach," "Palm Springs Weekend," the original version of "The Nutty Professor," "Surfside 6," "Hawaiian Eye" and "77 Sunset Strip."
HEATHER PHILIPSEN Died Jan. 18, 2009
Actress turned casting director/assistant Heather Philipsen died of complications following brain injury suffered in a car accident in 2007. She was 32 years old. Ms. Philipsen's acting credits include "One Tree Hill" and "Dead Meat." Her casting director/assistant credits include "Say Hello to Stan Talmadge," "Killer Movie," "The Starter Wife," "The Tudors," "Football Wives" and "Commander in Chief." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.
JORGE COTTINI Died Jan. 18, 2009
Actor Jorge Cottini died at age 46. Mr. Cottini appeared in the movies "Spun" and "Bubble Boy."
CAROL MITCHELL-LEON Died Jan. 19, 2009
Actress Carol Mitchell-Leon died at age 57. Ms. Mitchell-Leon suffered a heart attack while undergoing surgery. She had suffered kidney illness for several years and had undergone a kidney transplant. Ms. Mitchell-Leon was a noted theater actress in Atlanta. She appeared in a number of films and TV shows including "Fried Green Tomatoes," "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," "House of Payne," "Idlewild," "Juwanna Mann," "I'll Fly Away" and the TV series version of "In the Heat of the Night."
JACQUES BAR Died Jan. 19, 2009
French producer Jacques Bar died at age 87. Mr. Bar produced over 80 films during a career that began in the late 1940s. Mr. Bar produced such films as "Eros," "My Father the Hero," "The Pawn," "The Babysitter," "Jules Verne's Mysterious Island of Captain Nemo," "The Outside Man," "Guns for San Sebastian," "Bang Bang," "Joy House," "Rififi in Tokyo," "Any Number Can Win," "A Very Private Affair," "The Bed" and "Don Juan's Night of Love."
ELISABETH COTTER Died Jan. 20, 2009Color timer and color imaging supervisor Elisabeth Cotter died at age 43. Ms. Cotter worked on a number of noted feature films including "The Princess Diaries," "102 Dalmatians," the remake of "Gone in Sixty Seconds," "Mission to Mars," "Inspector Gadget," "Armageddon," "Apocalypto" and "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow."
LEO FUCHS Died Jan. 20, 2009
Producer and photographer Leo Fuchs died at age 80. Mr. Fuchs was still photographer on a number of films including "Bedtime Story," "The Victors," "Irma la Douce," "To Kill a Mockingbird," the original "Cape Fear," "Lover Come Back," "Exodus," "Solomon and Sheba," "The Nun's Story" and "The Young Lions." Mr. Fuchs added film producer to his list of achievements with over a dozen films to his credit. Mr. Fuchs produced "Just the Way You Are," "The Passengers," "The Secret War of Harry Frigg," "Gambit" and "Catherine & Co."
PAULETTE ATTIE Died Jan. 21, 2009
Singer and actress Paulette Attie died at age 82. Ms. Attie was primarily a stage actress and cabaret singer. She appeared in a number of off-Broadway productions including her critically acclaimed one-woman show "About Time." Ms. Attie's film and TV credits include "The Lemon Sisters," "Mercy or Murder?," "The Yanks Are Coming," "The Betty Hutton Show," "One Life to Live," "General Hospital," "Another World," "All My Children" and "Sesame Street."
ERNIE BOURNE Died Jan. 21, 2009
Actor Ernie Bourne died at age 82. The British born actor worked in Australia and appeared in over 30 films and TV shows. He played the warden in the women in prison soap opera "Prisoner Cell Block H." Mr. Bourne was known to Australian kids for playing Fester Fumble in the TV series "Adventure Island." His many credits include "Neighbours," "Lonely Hearts," "Cop Shop," "The Picture Show Man," "Homicide," "Matlock Police," "The True Story of Eskimo Nell" and "Hey You."
CHARLES H. SCHNEER Died Jan. 21, 2009
Time to shed another tear as one of my childhood Icons passes away. It is not often one mourns the passing of a producer the way you would a favorite actor, actress or director. However Charles H. Schneer fueled the imaginations of generations of children during the 1950s, 60s and even today. Mr. Schneer was the producer responsible for most of stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen's films. He was a business and creative partner with Mr. Harryhausen beginning in the early 1950s. One may say that Harryhausen's talent alone would attract any number of producers, but a cursory examination of Willis O'Brien's sad career shows a continuous series of projects which never got off the drawing board due to lack of financial backing. For no other reason than his patronage which enabled millions of fans to enjoy Harryhausen's magic, Charles Schneer will have a permanent place in motion picture history. Charles H. Schneer died at age 88 after a lengthy illness.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ray Harryhausen in 2003. Though time was limited during the interview, Mr. Harryhausen shed some light on his collabloration with Mr. Schneer.
When discussing the script process for his films, Mr. Harryhausen stated: "…these stories were developed through Charles Schneer. I would bring him a 20-page outline. He would hire a professional writer. He would submit 10 pages and the three of us would tear it apart."
Later in the interview Mr. Harryhausen talked about his first collaboration with Mr. Schneer: "It Came From Beaneath the Sea." He stated: "That started with Charles Schneer. He first contacted me. He wanted to have a giant octopus after he saw "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms." So he said, he'd like to go over some of the areas of America to tear down. Stop-motion in that period, unfortunately was only noted for monster pictures, you know, invading the city.
Charles H. Schneer produced 26 films during his career. 12 of them were the films of Ray Harryhausen. During the 1950s Mr. Schneer helped Ray Harryhausen destroy San Francisco via a giant octopus: "It Came From Beaneath the Sea," wreck Rome via the Venusian space monster Ymir: "20 Million Miles to Earth" and demolish Washington D.C.: "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers." This early period of the Schneer/ Harryhausen collaboration was their sci-fi period. They shifted to the world of fantasy in 1958 with the classic "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" starring Kerwin Matthews. This was the first of three "Sinbad" films the pair would make.
They made five films together during the 1960s. "The 3 Worlds of Gulliver" also starred Kerwin Matthews. Next came my first, and still personal favorite Ray Harryhausen film "Mysterious Island" which features a beautiful score by Bernard Herrmann. Charles Schneer said that his personal favorite film as a producer was the epic mythological fantasy "Jason and the Argonauts." The following year the pair collaborated on the H.G. Wells' tale "First Men IN the Moon." Their final film of the decade was the cowboys vs. dinosaurs romp "The Valley of Gwangi."
Mr. Schneer's final three films with Ray Harryhausen were the 1974 masterpiece "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad," the lame "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger" and Ray's final film in 1981, "Clash of the Titans."
Charles H. Schneer produced over a dozen other films. "Hellcats of the Navy" starred former president Ronald Reagan and his future wife Nancy Davis. Other credits include the biopic "Wernher von Braun," "The Executioner," "Battle of the Coral Sea" and "Good Day for a Hanging."
CARL PRICKETT Died Jan. 21, 2009
Teacher and actor Carl Prickett died at age 87. Mr. Prickett was a teacher in Oregon. He studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. Mr. Prickett's film and TV credits include "The Big Valley," "Perry Mason," "A Tiger Walks" and "Gunsmoke." Mr. Prickett was the descendant of several US military heroes dating back to the Revolutionary War. Mr. Prickett served his country in the US Army-Air Corps during WWII.
DARRELL SANDEEN Died Jan. 22, 2009
Actor Darrell Sandeen died of a stroke at age 78. Mr. Sandeen was best known to film fans for the role of rogue cop Buzz Meeks in the Oscar-winning "L.A. Confidential." Mr. Sandeen appeared in five Broadway productions including "Young Abe Lincoln" and the 1965 revival of "Guys and Dolls." Mr. Sandeen's other film and TV credits include "Satin," "Big Love," "String Theory," "They Call Me Bruce?," "Father Murphy," "Blazing Saddles," "Bonanza" and "Route 66."
MICKELL NOVAK SELTZER Died Jan. 22, 2009
Writer Mickell Seltzer died of heart failure at age 91. Ms. Seltzer was the wife of producer Walter Seltzer. The couple married in 1938. Mr. Seltzer survived his wife. Mickell Seltzer co-wrote the screenplay for Hal Roach's 1940 film "One Million, B.C." The movie starred Victor Mature, Lon Chaney Jr. and Carole Landis. Ms. Seltzer's script was adapted by other writers for the 1966 Ray Harryhausen epic "One Million Years B.C." which starred Raquel Welch. Ms. Seltzer's other credits include "Road Show" and "Turnabout."
MANFRED STEFFEN Died Jan. 22, 2009
German actor Manfred Steffen died at age 92. Mr. Steffen appeared in over 50 films and TV shows during his career. Mr. Steffen was also a prolific voice actor who worked on radio, reading books on tape and dubbing foreign films into German. He provided the voice for Gandalf for the German release of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Mr. Steffen's many credits include "Derrick," "Look Homeward, Angel," "Dark Eyes of London" and "Doctor Crippen."
ARMAND MEFFRE Died Jan. 22, 2009
French actor and playwright Armand Meffre died at age 79. Mr. Meffre appeared in nearly 70 films and TV shows during his career. He was also a playwright whose first play "The Breakwater" was produced in 1974. Mr. Meffre had supporting roles in Claude Berri's "Jean de Florette" and the sequel "Manon of the Spring." Among his other credits are "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles," "Verdict," "The Monk," "Quentin Durward" and "Ticky."
PHILIP NEWBY Died Jan. 23, 2009
Actor Philip Newby died at age 37 of undisclosed causes. Mr. Newby worked in film and TV as well as being active in the Los Angeles theater scene. His credits include "Scream of the Bikini," "Boston Legal," "Alien Raiders," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "American Zombie" and "ER." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
JD HAWKINS Died Jan. 23, 2009
Actor, producer, writer and director JD Hawkins died. His age was not given. Mr. Hawkins was a stage actor who worked in New York and Houston. He also worked in film. Mr. Hawkins wrote and directed the feature film "Wounded Hearts." He also wrote and co-directed the horror film "Street Tales of Terror." His acting credits include "The Man Who Came Back," "Cook County," "The Enemy Inside," "Friday Night Lights" and "The Evening Star."
FRANCES KAVANAUGH Died Jan. 23, 2009
Writer Frances Kavanaugh died of lymphoma at age 93. Ms. Kavanaugh was known as the "Cowgirl of the Typewriter" because of her prolific output of movie Westerns. Ms. Kavanaugh wrote over 30 films during her decade in Hollywood. She wrote scripts for such Western Icons as Tim McCoy, Duncan Renaldo, Ken Maynard, Hoot Gibson, Bob Steele and Lash LaRue. Ms. Kavanaugh retired to raise a family after marrying writer Robert Hecker. Her many credits include "Cattle Queen," "Tumbleweed Trail," "Song of Old Wyoming," "Outlaw Trail," "Lone Star Law Men" and "Dynamite Canyon."
HISAYUKI TORIUMI Died Jan. 23, 2009
Japanese director Hisayuki Toriumi died at age 67. Mr. Toriumi directed a number of animated films and TV series. His credits include "Like the Clouds, Like the Wind," "Lily C.A.T.," "Area 88," "The Ultraman," "Gatchaman Science Ninjas" and "Judo Boy."
ANDRE BADIN Died Jan. 23, 2009
French character actor Andre Badin died at age 77. Mr. Badin appeared in over 120 films and TV series during his career. His many credits include "Fantômas," "From Hong Kong with Love," "Operation Lady Marlene," "The Bitch Wants Blood," "Dear Caroline," "The Vampire of Dusseldorf," "The Gorillas," "Fantomas 70," "Landru" and "Arsene Lupin vs. Arsene Lupin."
MICHAEL ROTHWELL Died Jan. 24, 2009
Actor Michael Rothwell died. His age was not given. Mr. Rothwell appeared in over a dozen films and TV shows during the 1960s and 70s. He played supporting roles in suich films and TV shows as "Rentadick," "Start the Revolution Without Me," "The First Churchills," "The Mummy's Shroud" and "Softly Softly."
MARIE GLORY Died Jan. 24, 2009
French actress Marie Glory died at age 103! Ms. Glory was one of the last silent film actresses other than those who worked in the silents as children. She appeared in her first film at age 20 in 1924. Ms. Glory appeared in over 50 films and TV shows during a career that spanned the years 1924 through 1964.
GERRY CRAMPTON Died Jan. 24, 2009
British stuntman, body builder and actor Gerry Crampton died at age 78. Mr. Crampton worked on nearly 100 films during his career. He was a stuntman in six "James Bond" films. Mr. Crampton was crowned Britain's Mr. Body Beautiful in 1956. He was also inducted into the Hollywood Stuntmen's Hall of Fame. His stuntman credits include "Stoned," "Merlin," "The Odyssey," "Daylight," "Dragonheart," "Mary Reilly," the live action remake of "The Jungle Book," Richard Lester's version of "The Three Musketeers," "Son of the Pink Panther," "Patriot Games," "Year of the Comet," "Batman," "Willow," "The Bride," "A View to a Kill," "The Far Pavilions," "Curse of the Pink Panther," "The Lords of Discipline," "Gandhi," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "The Spy Who Loved Me," "The Eagle Has Landed," "Diamonds Are Forever," "Man in the Wilderness," "Cromwell," "The Dirty Dozen," "You Only Live Twice," "The Heroes of Telemark," "The Hill," "Goldfinger," "From Russia with Love" and "Dr. No." Mr. Crampton's acting credits include the TV series "Tales from the Crypt," "Dirty Dozen: The Series," "Dempsey & Makepeace," "Raw Meat," "The Prisoner," "The Avengers" and "Captain Clegg."
DIANE HOLLAND Died Jan. 24, 2009
British actress Diane Holland died of pneumonia at age 78. Ms. Holland was best known for her role on the TV comedy series "Hi-De-Hi!" She was also an accomplished singer who appeared in numerous stage productions and ballets. Her film and TV credits include "Crossroads," "Casualty," "Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em," "Dillinger and Capone," "Lace II," "Tales of the Unexpected" and "Poldark."
ROBERT BROUGHTON Death announced Jan. 25, 2009
Disney special effects wiz Bob Broughton died at age 91. Mr. Broughton worked for Disney for 45 years. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2001. Mr. Broughton joined Disney in 1937. He shot the test camera for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves." Test camera is the final step in production to check the flow of animation before shooting the final product. His work photographing the multi-layered glass matte paintings gave more depth of field to the images in "Pinocchio." Mr. Broughton joined the special photographic effects department for the 1940 film "Fantasia." Mr. Broughton became the head of the department. During WWII Mr. Broughton joined the US Army and worked with director John Ford as a motion picture combat photographer. He was one of the cameramen who shot John Ford's Oscar-winning documentary about the Battle of Midway. After the war be returned to Disney and became an assistant to Ub Iwerks the co-creator of Mickey Mouse. Among Mr. Broughton's many magical cinematic effefcts was making Julie Andrews fly and Dick Van Dyke dance with penguins in "Mary Poppins." He took part in every Disney film up until his retirement after filming "The Black Hole."
ARTHUR A. JACOBS Death announced Jan. 25, 2009
Producer Arthur A. Jaconds died of congestive heart failure at age 86. Mr. Jacobs produced the low-budget horror films "She Demons" and "Giant from the Unknown." His other credits include "The Dirt Gang" and the TV series "The Lone Ranger." Mr. Jacobs was an exec with the Wrather Corp. Mr. Jacobs served his country in the US Army-Air Corps, seeing combat action in Europe during WWII.
RICHARD VITALIANO Death announced Jan. 25, 2009
Richard Vitaliano died at age 70. Mr. Vitaliano was an ad exec. He won a Clio award for a Pacific Telephone TV commercial. The TV spot about phoning home was used by director Steven Spielberg in his family classic "E.T."
KIM MANNERS Died Jan. 25, 2009
Director Kim Manners died at age 58 after a lengthy illness. Mr. Manners was best known for his work on the TV series "The X Files." Mr. Manners was nominated four for Emmy awards for "The X Files." He produced over 100 episodes and directed over 50 episodes of the series. Mr. Manners produced over 60 episodes of the hit TV series "Supernatural" and directed nearly 20. Kim Manners was a second unit director on the Burt Lancaster Western "Valdez Is Coming." His many TV directing credits include "M.A.N.T.I.S.," "The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.," "Baywatch," "21 Jump Street," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Wiseguy," "Hunter," "Simon & Simon," "Hardcastle and McCormick," "Matt Houston" and "Charlie's Angels." Actor Brent Fidler worked with Mr. Manners on the TV series "Supernatural." He shared his thoughts of working with the director: "I had the pleasure of being cast and directed by Kim on an episode of 'Supernatural' last year. I played a preacher inside a TV that exploded. I had a long speech to deliver and Kim though I nailed it after one take, and said 'Cut.. good one.. that's a print.' He knew exactly what he wanted and when he got it, trusted his instincts. Now that is a skilled director."
MICHAEL CIANCI Died Jan. 26, 2009
Boxer Michael Cianci died at age 93. Mr. Cianci was a veteran of the US Army-Air Corps where he was the welterweight champion of the 8th Air Force. Mr. Cianci put on exhibition fights for the troops during WWII with such fighters as Joe Louis and Billy Conn. Mr. Cianci was a bodyguard for such Hollywood stars as Robert Taylor, Randolph Scott and Chill Wills.
JOHN UPDIKE Died Jan. 27, 2009
Pulitzer-prize winning novelist John Updike died of lung cancer at age 76. Mr. Updike was best known for his four "Rabbit" novels. He won two Pulitzers for "Rabbit at Rest" and "Rabbit is Rich." Mr. Updike published over 50 books during his career. His novel "Rabbit Run" was turned intoa 1970 feature film. Mr. Updike's novel "The Witches of Eastwick" was made into a feature film and two TV movies. In 2000 Mr. Updike played himself on an episode of "The Simpsons."
SHARAT SARDANA Died Jan. 27, 2009
BAFTA-nominated writer Sharat Sardana died of an infection caused by the streptococcal virus at age 40. Mr. Sardana created the Emmy-winning TV series "Goodness Gracious Me." Mr. Sardana received two BAFTA nominations for his work on the series "The Kumars at Number 42." He received another BAFTA nomination for the sci-fi short "Inferno." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.
BILLY POWELL Died Jan. 28, 2009
Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell died of an apparent heart attack at age 56. Mr. Powell's intro to the rock anthem "Free Bird" is one of the most recognizable riffs in rock history. He survived the October 1977 plane crash which killed Skynyrd front-man Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and singer Cassie Gaines. Mr. Powell continued to perform with the re-formed version of Lynyrd Skynyrd which was lead by Ronnie Van Zant's younger brother Johnny. Mr. Powell and the other original bandmembers can be seen in the documentary "Free Bird: The Movie." The film captured a 1977 concert by the band in Oakland, California. I'll always have fond memories of the great July 4, 1976 concert with The Outlaws, Blue Oyster Cult, Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ Top at the Liberty Bowl stadium in Memphis. All day concert for just $10.00!
FRANCOIS VILLIERS Died Jan. 29, 2009
Award-winning French writer/director Francois Villiers died at age 88. Mr. Villiars won a Golden Globe and was nominated for the Palm 'dOr for the 1958 film "Girl and the River." Mr. Villiers was the brother of actor Jean-Pierre Aumont. He directed over 20 films and TV shows during his career.
JOHN MARTYN Died Jan. 29, 2009
British folk singer John Martyn died of pneumonia at age 60. Mr. Martyn's music can be heard on the soundtracks of such films as "Waveriders," "24 Hour Party People" and "The Talented Mr. Ripley."
CLINT RITCHIE Died Jan. 31, 2009
Actor Clint Ritchie died of a blood clot following surgery to have a pacemaker implanted. Mr. Ritchie was 70 years old. Clint Ritchie appeared in nearly 40 films and TV shows. He was best known for his role as Clint Buchanan on the soap opera "One Life to Live." Mr. Ritchie appeared on the series from 1979 through 1998. He received three Soap Opera Digest Award nominations for his work on "One Life to Live." Gangster movie fans will remember Mr. Ritchie for his role as Al Capone's henchman 'Machine Gun' Jack McGurn in Roger Corman's "The St. Valentines Day Massacre." Other film and TV credits include "Roseanne," "A Force of One," "Dallas," "Fantasy Island," "Midway," "Police Story," "Joe Kidd," "The High Chaparral," "Patton," "Land of the Giants," "Daniel Boone," "Bandolero!," "Batman," "Alvarez Kelly" and the pilot for the TV series "The Wild Wild West."