Saturday, April 13, 2013

December 2007 Film World Obituaries

ANTON RODGERS Died Dec. 1, 2007

British stage and screen actor Anton Rodgers died at age 74. He appeared in over 90 films and TV shows during his lengthy career. Mr. Rodgers was best known to British TV audiences for her work on the series "Fresh Fields" and "May to December." Mr. Rodgers many film credits include the Roger Moore film "The Man Who Haunted Himself," Albert Finney's "Scrooge," "Where Eagles Dare," Fred Zinnemann's classic "The Day of the Jackal," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and "Son of the Pink Panther."

TED STEINBERG Died Dec. 1, 2007

Writer/producer Ted Steinberg died of pancreatic cancer at age 64. Mr. Steinberg co-wrote and produced Lionel Chetwynd's "Celsius 41.11: The Temperature at Which the Brain…Begins to Die." The documentary was a conservative response to Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." Mr. Steinberg's other credits include "Get Out the Vote," "The Earth Day Special" and "Victory & Valor: Special Olympics World Games."

JOSEPH SIKORSKI Died Dec. 1, 2007

Sound effects editor Joseph Sikorski died just shy of his 85th birthday. His credits include "Quincy M.E." and "The Magnificent Seven Ride!" Mr. Sikorski also wrote, produced, animated, edited and directed the short comedy film "The Return of the King?"


Award-winning Italian actress Eleonora Rossi Drago died of a brain aneurysm at age 82. Ms. Drago won Best Actress awards from the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists and the Mar Del Plate Film Festival for her performance in the 1959 film "Violent Summer." She appeared in nearly films in a career that spanned the years 1949 through 1970. She retired from acting after getting married. Ms. Drago's film credits include Edgar Ulmer's "Pirates of Capri," "Sensualita" with Marcello Mastroianni, Michelangelo Antonioni's "The Girlfriends," "David and Goliath," "Under Ten Flags," "Sword of the Conqueror," "Assassination in Rome," as Lot's Wife in John Huston's "The Bible," in the Helmut Berger version of "Dorian Gray" and in Radley Metzger's stylish soft-core erotica "Camille 2000."

SPAIN LOGUE Died Dec. 3, 2007

Actor Spain Logue died of AIDS at age 60. Mr. Logue appeared in the 1979 Broadway production of "Sweeney Todd." He was also in a filmed TV production of the play. His film and TV credits include Oliver Stone's "JFK" and "All My Children." Mr. Logue had another connection to the assassination of President Kennedy. His cousin was on the grassy knoll the day the president was killed. His cousin and wife appear in a famous photograph laying on the ground shielding their child from gunfire.


Film producer and National Film Board of Canada studio-administrator Dorothy Lecour-Courtois died of cancer. Her age was not given. Ms. Lecour-Courtois was with the Film Board for nearly 30 years. She was an associate producer on the award-winning film "The Tin Flute."


German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen died of undisclosed causes at age 79. Mr. Stockhausen was a pioneer in electronic and avant-garde music. His music was used in several films including Nicholas Roeg's "Walkabout." He was one of the many faces to grace the cover of the Beatles' "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album (to the left of W.C. Fields). Mr. Stockhausen incurred the wrath of many when he stated that the 9/11 attacks on the US were "the greatest work of art one can imagine."

GARY SHAFFER Died Dec. 3, 2007

Casting director Gary Shaffer died of cancer at age 72. Mr. Shaffer was nominated for an Artios Award by his peers at the Casting Society of America for his work on the TV series "Dynasty." His many credits include "Life with Lucy," "Matt Houston," "Vega$," "She's Dressed to Kill," "In the Matter of Karen Ann Quinlan," "CHiPs," "The Deadly Tower," "Harry in Your Pocket" and " "The Courtship of Eddie's Father."

DANNY DUKES Died Dec. 3, 2007

Adult film actor Danny Dukes (real name Danny Salas Jr.) died of a drug overdose at age 33. Mr. Dukes acted in several adult films between 2002 and 2004. He was also a sometime agent. He leaves behind a young son. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends. Some say that the adult film industry leads to drug abuse. Of course there are enough examples of legit film industry insiders getting hooked on drugs to make one wonder about such blanket condemnations. However, the bottom line is this, drugs will kill you. First they will kill your soul, then your body. All that remains is the pain you leave behind because you didn't care enough to fight the addiction.

MELVIN SHAPIRO Died Dec. 4, 2007

Film Editor and producer Melvin Shapiro died at age 82. Mr. Shapiro produced the horror film "Student Bodies" and a number of episodes of A&E's "Biography" series. His many editing credits include "Where the Boys Are '84," "Portrait of a Stripper," "Ice Castles," "American Hot Wax," "Taxi Driver," "Smile, Jenny, You're Dead," "Arnold," "Police Story," "B.S. I Love You," "The McMasters," "Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here," "Finian's Rainbow," "Sonny & Chér in Good Times," "The Glory Guys," "Executive Action" and "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory."

KEN SOUTHWORTH Died Dec. 5, 2007

Veteran animator Ken Southworth died of a series of strokes at age 89. Mr. Southworth worked for most of the major animation houses during his lengthy career. He spent the bulk of his career with Hanna-Barbera. His many credits include "Song of the South," "The Three Caballeros," "Tom and Jerry" "Davy and Goliath," "Shinbone Alley," "Smurfs," "Scooby Doo! Where Are You?," "Johnny Quest" and "Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night." In addition to his work as an animator he directed episodes of the PBS series "Book of Virtues."

JILLIAN KESNER Died Dec. 5, 2007

Actress Jillian Kesner died of a staph infection at age 57. Ms. Kesner had been battling leukemia. Jillian Kesner was the widow of director Gary Graver. Ms. Kesner was a former martial artist and B-movie actress. She met her future husband when she appeared in the movie "The Student Body." Mr. Graver was the cinematographer. The film had a footnote in history as the movie that Randall Adams was watching the night of the murder of a Dallas policeman. Mr. Adams was falsely accused of the murder. The case was the subject of the excellent documentary "The Thin Blue Line" in which scenes from Ms. Kenser's film were shown. Jillian Kesner's husband died last year. She worked with him on the documentary "Working With Orson Welles." Ms. Kesner's many acting credits include "Firecracker," "Inferno," "Beverly Hills Vamp," "T.J. Hooker," "Mork & Mindy," "The Rockford Files," "Happy Days" and "S.W.A.T."

TONY TENSER Died Dec. 5, 2007

Tigon British Film Productions founder and beloved horror movie producer Tony Tenser died at age 87. Mr. Tenser once said that only two things are guaranteed to sell a movie: Sex and Horror. Mr. Tenser began his career with Sex and had his biggest impact with the Horror genre. Mr. Tenser's first film was a producer was the Pamela Green nudie "Naked as Nature Intended." Today's film audience is indebted to Mr. Tenser for his support of directors Roman Polanski and Michael Reeves. Mr. Tenser produced Roman Polanski's first two English language films, the horror classic "Repulsion" and the black comedy "Cul-De-Sac." Mr. Tenser produced the last two films of British director Michael Reeves including his 1968 masterpiece "The Witchfinder General." This photo of Mr. Tenser with actor Vincent Price is from the set of that film. Unfortunately Michael Reeves died at age 25 of a drug overdose. Mr. Tenser's other genre credits include "The Crimson Cult," "Doomwatch" and "The Beast in the Celler." He also produced the Raquel Welch/Jim Brown Western "Hannie Caulder." The film was redeemed by a memorable cameo by Christopher Lee as a master gunsmith.

JOE BROOKS Died Dec. 5, 2007

Actor/stuntman/assistant director Joe Brooks died at age 83. Mr. Brooks was best known for his comedic role as Trooper Vanderbilt, the nearly-blind sentry on the TV series "F Troop." Mr. Brooks appeared in over 30 films and TV shows during his career. His acting credits include "The Fighting Seabees," "East of Eden," "The Young Philadelphians," "Flaming Star," "Robin and the Seven Hoods," the original version of "The Bad News Bears," "The Big Bus" and "Gremlins." Mr. Brooks did stunt work on the original version of "Vanishing Point." Mr. Brooks worked as a second unit director on John Huston's "The Dead" and John Huston's son Danny's "Mr. North."

DODE WEYANT Died Dec. 5, 2007

Negative cutter and business woman Dode Weyant died at age 77. Ms. Weyant helped edit such films as "'night, Mother," John Carpenter's "Prince of Darkness," "Satisfaction" and "Bat*21."

CHRISTINE FINN Died Dec. 5, 2007

British actress Christine Finn died at age 78. Ms. Finn was best know for her voice work in the animated TV series "Thunderbirds Are Go!" Ms. Finn provided the voice of engineer Tin-Tin Kyrano in the series. The Tracy boys would not have been able to go out and save the world of Tin-Tin Kyrano didn't keep their vehicles running. Christine Finn's other credits include "Dr. Finlay's Casebook," "Dixon of Dock Green," "Quatermass and the Pit," "The Long Rope" and "Naughty Arlette."

BERNARD BALMUTH Died Dec. 6, 2007

Emmy-nominated film editor and teacher Bernard Balmuth died at age 89. Mr. Balmuth was nominated for an Emmy for his work on the Michael J. Fox TV series "Palmerstown, U.S.A." Other credits include the excellent miniseries "QBVII," "The Monkees," "Taxi" and "Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac." Mr. Balmuth passed his skills on to others as a teacher at U.C.L.A. and through his book "Introduction to Film Editing."

TOM MILLER Died Dec. 6, 2007

Publicist and novelist Tom Miller died at age 85 following a brief illness. Mr. Miller was the publicist for a number of well known films. He helped get the word out about such films as "Alex in Wonderland," "Shaft," "The Graduate," "Dr. Zhivago," "Ryan's Daughter," "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight," the original version of "The Producers," "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon-Marigolds," Robert Mitchum's "The Wrath of God," "The Last American Hero," Brian DePalma's "Blow Out" and Francis Ford Coppola's "The Cotton Club." Tom Miller wrote several novels including "Boy at Sea." Mr. Miller served his country in the US Coast Guard during WWII and saw action at the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

ANDRAS SZOLLOSY Died Dec. 6, 2007

Hungarian composer Andras Szollosy died at age 87. Mr. Szollosy was an internationally renowned classical composer. He was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Hungarian Film Week in 2000. Mr. Szollosy composed the scores for a number of films including "Shadow on the Snow," "80 Hussars," "Baptism," "Red Letter Days" and "Current."

MEL CHEREN Died Dec. 7, 2007

Mel Cheren, the Godfather of Disco died of AIDS related illness at age 74. Mr. Cheren was a record producer for ABC/Paramount, Scepter Records and his own label West End Records. He co-founded the club the Paradise Garage. Mr. Cheren produced and was the subject of the documentary film "The Godfather of Disco." The movie was based on his autobiography "My Life and the Paradise Garage: Keep on Dancin'." Mr. Cheren also appeared in the documentaries "NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell" and the award-winning "Gay Sex in the 70s."

PETER ORTON Death announced Dec. 7, 2007

HIT Entertainment founder Peter Orton died after an 11-year battle with throat cancer at age 64. Mr. Orton's company was one of the world leaders in children's entertainment. HIT shows such as "Bob the Builder," "Thomas the Tank Engine" and "Barney" have entertained and educated children for years. Mr. Orton retired from HIT after it was sold in 2005. He then dedicated his time to charitable work and raising awareness for cancer research. I will always have fond memories of fixing my daughter Lauren breakfast and watching "Bob the Builder" before taking her to first grade classes. Thanks for the together time your shows provided for millions of parents and their children.


VP of Development ofr Scott Rudin Productions Samuel Robert Cassel was killed in a car crash. Mr. Cassel was 28 years old. Mr. Cassel worked with Mr. Rudin on such films as "The Queen," "The Hours," "Team America," "Notes on a Scandal" and "No Country for Old Men." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

ION FISCUTEANU Died Dec. 8, 2007

Award-winning Romanian actor Ion Fiscuteanu died of colon cancer at age 70. Mr. Fiscuteanu gained international notice and several awards for his performance in the dark comedy "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu." The film about the last night in the life of a sarcastic alcoholic was Mr. Fiscuteanu's final film. He won Best Actor Awards at the Copenhagen and Transylvania Film Festivals for the film. Mr. Fiscuteanu also enjoyed success as a stage actor in his native land.

ROGER KING Died Dec. 8, 2007

TV syndication tycoon Roger King died of a stroke at age 63. Mr. King and his brother Michael founded King World Productions. The company backed such hit shows as "Wheel of Fortune," "Jeopardy" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Me. King was the producer of the 1994 feature film "The Little Rascals."

DONALD BURTON Died Dec. 8, 2007

British actor Donald Burton died of emphysema at age 73. Mr. Burton was married to actress Carol Baker. Mr. Burton worked primarily in TV though he did appear in a few films including "Mohammed, Messenger of God" and "Hudson Hawk." Mr. Burton's TV credits include "Z Cars," "Upstairs, Downstairs," "Dixon of Dock Green" and the miniseries "War and Peace."

CHRISTINA GORDON Died Dec. 9, 2007

Script supervisor Christina Gordon died of a brain aneurysm at age 47. Ms. Gordon worked on such films as "Breaking Point," "Stand Up," "Pandemic" and "The Wailer." She was the producer and AD on "The Wedding Video." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

LORETTA WEAVER Died Dec. 10, 2007

Former vaudeville and film actress Loretta Weaver died at age 96. Ms. Weaver was the daughter of June Weaver. June Weaver and her husband Frank and brother-in-law Leon made up the vaudeville act "The Weaver Brothers and Elviry." Loretta Weaver appeared with the act on stage and in a number of films during the 1930s and 40s. She played the character Violey Weaver in such films as "Mountain Moonlight," "Arkansas Judge," "Grand Ole Opry" and "In Old Missouri."


Former child actress Ashleigh Aston Moore died at age 26. I originally reported that Ms. Moore died of a drug overdose. This was based on research, news articles and phone calls to Canada. I was recently contacted by someone claiming to be Jaysone Moore, Ms. Moore's youngest brother. He states that his sister died of pneumonia and bronchitis. Ms. Moore was a child actress best known for her role in "Now and Then." The film looked at four girl friends as children and as adults. Ms. Moore and Rita Wilson played the same character as child and adult respectively. Ms. Moore was a regular on the award-winning sci-fi TV series "The Odyssey." Ms. Moore's final acting credit was a 1997 episode of "Touched By an Angel." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

KIM FRY-MOSDELL Died Dec. 11, 2007

Napoleaon said that "an army travels on its stomach." I guess the same thing applies to a film production. If not for the craft service table a film crew would starve. Kim Fry-Mosdell was one of the army of craft service people working behind the scenes to feel the hungry army of filmmakers. She worked as craft services on such films as "Air Bud 2," "Lake Placid" and "Psych." Ms. Fry-Mosdell died at age 41 after a two-year illness. Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

FREDDIE FIELDS Died Dec. 11, 2007

CMA co-founder and film producer Freddie Fields died at age 84. Freddie Fields and David Begelman created the super agency in 1959 and sold it in 1974. They represented some of the biggest A-List stars and directors in Hollywood. Mr. Fields created the production company First Artists with Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Sidney Portier, Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman. Mr. Fields produced such films as "Lipstick," "American Gigolo," "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" and "Glory." His first wife was actress Polly Bergan and his second wife was actress and former Miss Universe Corinna Tsopei.

JOHN ANDERSON Died Dec. 11, 2007

Animator John Anderson died of undisclosed causes at age 39. Mr. Anderson worked on numerous projects including "Surf's Up," "Madagascar" the remake of "House of Wax," "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," "Toy Story 2" and "A Bug's Life." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

IKE TURNER Died Dec. 12, 2007

Grammy-winning musician/composer and Rock and Roll pioneer Ike Turner died of undisclosed causes at age 76. Ike Turner recorded the song "Rocket 88" at Sam Phillip's Sun Studios. "Rocket 88" is considered by many historians to be the very first Rock and Roll song. Mr. Tuner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. Ike Turner and his ex-wife Tina Turner were one of the hottest musical acts of the 1960s and 70s. Turner's musical contributions were overshadowed by ex-wife Tina Turner's revelation that he was an extremely abusive husband and a drug addict during their stormy marriage. Actor Laurence Fishburne received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his dark portrayal of Ike Turner in "What's Love Got to Do With It." Ike Turner steadfastly denied the accusations of abuse. The Ike and Tina Turner Revue put on one of the most energetic stage shows in Rock history. The band appeared on numerous TV shows and in the films "The Big TNT Show," "It's Your Thing" and "Gimme Shelter." Mr. Turner's songs can be heard on the soundtracks of such songs as "Kill Bill Vol. 1," "Blue Collar," the original "Hairspray," "The Sopranos" and "Bull Durham."

SCHUSTER VANCE Died Dec. 12, 2007

Actor and stunt driver Schuster Vance died of cancer at age 47. Mr. Vance appeared in such films as "The Sopranos," "Live Free or Die Hard," "16 Blocks," "Annapolis," "xXx: State of the Union" and "Wedding Crashers."

NANCY GREGORY MULLE Died Dec. 12, 2007

Assistant director and TV commercial producer Nancy Gregory Mulle died of pancreatic cancer. Her age was not given. Ms. Mulle was an AD on the Emmy-winning film "All Kids Do It" and the Emmy-nominated TV special "I Think I'm Having a Baby." Mr. Mulle owned her own production company which specialized in TV commercials.

SYBILLE SCHLOSS Died Dec. 12, 2007

German poet and actress Sybille Schloss died at age 97. Ms. Schloss was the daughter of poet Karl Schloss who was killed by the Nazis at Auschwitz in 1944. Ms. Schloss had a successful stage career in pre-WWII Germany. She appeared in the silent documentary film "Hunger in Waldenberg." Ms. Schloss came to the US just before WWII broke out. Though a film career in the US never materialized she remained in America until her death.

JOHN CLARK Died Dec. 12, 2007

Art director and architect John Clark died of heart failure at age 73. Mr. Clark helped define the look of several notable films. Mr. Clark worked on 10 films during his film career. His film work was sandwiched between his career as a successful architect. Mr. Clark's film credits include such visually dazzling films as "Performance," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Tommy." Other credits include the underrated "Inserts" with Richard Dreyfuss, "The Offense" with Sean Connery and "Secret Ceremony" with Elizabeth Taylor.

KEN PARRY Died Dec. 12, 2007

British actor Ken Parry died at age 77. Mr. Parry enjoyed success as a stage actor as well as on TV and in feature films. His many credits include "Dixon of Dock Green," "Z Cars," "The Avengers," the Richard Burton/Liz Taylor version of "The Taming of the Shrew," the hilarious "Start the Revolution Without Me," Ken Russell's outrageous biopic "Lisztomania" and what is without a doubt the best naked space vampire movie of all time Tobe Hooper's "Lifeforce."

LEN MARCUS Died Dec. 12, 2007

Costume designer Len Marcus died at age 66. Mr. Marcus' credits include "Three's Company," "The Ropers" and "General Hospital."

MARY HUGHES Died Dec. 13, 2007

Beach movie actress Mary Hughes died of cancer at age 63. Ms. Hughes was the tall gorgeous blond seen in most of the Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello beach films of the 1960s. Ms. Hughes was married to singer Lee Michaels for nearly 20 years. At the time of her death she was married to businessman Paul Zimmerman. Ms. Hughes was a personalo trainer for nearly 30 years. Mary Hughes' credits include "Muscle Beach Party," "Pajama Party," "Beach Blanket Bingo," "The Ghost in the Invisibile Bikini," "Murderers' Row," "Double Trouble," "Fireball 500," "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" and "Ski Party." Ms. Hughes was once the girlfriend of guitarist Jeff Beck. His "Psycho Daisies" was his tribute to her.

LAURA HUXLEY Died Dec. 13, 2007

Writer Laura Huxley, the widow of Aldus Huxley died of cancer at age 96. Ms. Huxley wrote her husband's biography "This Timeless Moment: A Personal View of Aldus Huxley." As her husband died on November 22, 1963 Ms. Huxley injected him with LSD, as per his wish. She appeared in the documentaries "Drug Taking and the Arts" and "Aldus Huxley: Darkness and Light."

PHILIPPE CLAY Died Dec. 13, 2007

French actor and singer Philippe Clay died of cardiac arrest at age 80. Mr. Clay appeared in over 80 films and TV shows during his career. He was a successful recording and cabaret artist in Europe. Mr. Clay's many credits include the Anthony Quinn version of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Bell Book and Candle" and "Lautrec." As a teenager, Mr. Clay fought against the Nazis as a member of the French Resistance.


Singer turned actor Floyd Red Crow Westerman died of complications from leukemia at age 71. Mr. Westerman was best known for his portrayal of Ten Bears in Kevin Kosner's classic "Dances With Wolves." Oliver Stone cast him as the Shaman in his mystic rock bio "The Doors." Mr. Westerman had recurring roles on "Walker, Texas Ranger," "D'harma & Greg," "Northern Exposure" and "The X-Files." Mr. Westerman appeared in nearly 50 films, TV shows and documentaries. Other credits include "Powwow Highway," "L.A. Law," "Millennium," "Judging Amy" and "Hildago." Mr. Westerman was a well known musician who performed with many top acts including Sting, Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt.

ALAIN PAYET Died Dec. 13, 2007

French porn director Alain Payet died of cancer at age 60. Mr. Payet directed nearly 100 films in a career that began in the mid-1970s. Mr. Payet often made adult versions of mainstream French films. He also shot a number of exploitation Nazi porn films.

ST. CLAIR BOURNE Died Dec. 14, 2007

Emmy-nominated producer/director St. Clair Bourne died of a pulmonary embolism at age 64. Mr. Bourne was a noted documentary filmmaker who chronicled Black culture in America. He shared an Emmy-nomination for "Half Past Autumn: The Life and Work of Gordon Parks." He won the IDA Award from the International Documentary Association for "American Masters: Paul Robeson: Here I Stand." Other credits include "Making 'Do the Right Thing,'" "John Henrik Clarke: A Great and Mighty Walk" and "Pusher Man."

JACK GROSS JR. Died Dec. 14, 2007

Writer Jack Gross Jr. died at age 79. Mr. Gross wrote for a number of TV sitcoms during the 1960s. He also contributed to the script for Laurence Harvey's final film "Welcome to Arrow Beach." Laurence Harvey also directed the B-horror movie. Mr. Gross' other credits include "Gilligan's Island," "My Favorite Martian," "Tarzan," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" and "Diff'rent Strokes."

MARK CONNOLLY Died Dec. 14, 2007

Stuntman Mark Connolly died of pancreatic cancer at age 45. Mr. Connolly worked on the films "Doom Runners" and "Babe: Pig in the City." He was just beginning his career when he was severely injured during a motorcycle stunt on the set of "Mission Impossible 2." Mr. Connolly sued second unit director Billy Burton over his career-ending injury. Mr. Connolly was awarded $1 Million dollars in damages the same day that he died. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

FRANK MORGAN Died Dec. 14, 2007

Saxophonist Frank Morgan died of colon cancer just shy of his 74th birthday. Mr. Morgan was the son of Stanley Morgan, guitarist for The Ink Spots. Mr. Morgan began performing and recording while still a teen. He idolized Charlie Parker and began using heroin to be more like his hero. This lead to a 30-year prison stretch. Mr. Morgan paroled out in the mid 1980s and stayed clean the rest of his life. He also returned to the world of recording and performing. Mr. Morgan composed the music for the documentary film "Blue Neon Light: Michael Connelly's Los Angeles."

RUTH KENNEDY Died Dec. 14, 2007

Executive assistant Ruth Kennedy died at age 76. Mr. Kennedy was an assistant to comedians Bob & Ray, Phyllis Diller and eventually TV producer Dan Curtis. Ms. Kennedy worked with Dan Curtis for over 20 years. She was his assistant on such TV shows and films as "Dark Shadows," "The Winds of War," "War and Remembrance," "The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang," "When Every Day Was the Fourth of July," "Burnt Offerings" and the great TV movie starring Jack Palance "Dracula."

GIUSEPPE RINALDI Died Dec. 15, 2007

Italian actor Giuseppi Rinaldi died at age 88. Mr. Rinaldi appeared in a number of films during his lengthy career, however his area of expertise was in dubbing the voices of American actors for the film's Italian release. He dubbed several hundred films for most of the major stars past and present. He voiced Marlon Brando in "The Godfather," "The Chase" and "Last Tango in Paris." Mr. Rinaldi voiced Paul Newman in a number of films including "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "The Sting." He also voiced Peter Seller's roles in "The Pink Panther" and "Dr. Strangelove." Mr. Rinaldi also dubbed several Disney films including "Bambi" and "Peter Pan."

ACE VERGEL Died Dec. 15, 2007

Philippine actor Ace Vergel died of a heart attack at age 55. Mr. Vergel was a tough-guy actor in his native land. He won his nation's Best Actor Award for his work in the film "Anak ng Cabron." Other credits include "Suicide Force," "The Killer 2" and "Jacob." His parents were movie stars in the 1950s. He made his first film when he was 7-years-old.

MICHAEL MOLNAR Died Dec. 15, 2007

Grip and gaffer Michael Molnar died at age 53. Mr. Molnar worked on the lighting crew for such films as "Ghoulies," "Wisdom" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

JOHN BERG Death discovered Dec. 16, 2007

58-year-old character actor John Berg committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. Mr. Berg appeared in the feature film "Star Trek: Nemesis" and numerous TV shows including "House M.D.," "Monk," "NCIS," "Boston Legal" and "Law & Order." Mr. Berg did not leave a suicide note. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

DAN FOGELBERG Died Dec. 16, 2007

Singer Dan Fogelberg died of prostate cancer at age 56. I can't help but tear up everytime I hear his beautiful song "Leader of the Band." It always makes me want to call my dad, even though he had been dead for 10 years. Dan Fogelberg's "Longer: The Power of Gold" is one of the greatest soft-rock love songs of all time. Mr. Fogelberg's music can be heard on the soundtracks of such films as "FM," "About Scmidt" and "Urban Cowboy."

JACK ZANDER Died Dec. 17, 2007

Animator/director/producer Jack Zander died at age 99. Mr. Zander worked for Warners and MGM at the beginning of his career. He animated several "Tom and Jerry" cartoons. He was nominated for an Emmy award for the TV series "Gnomes." Other credits include "Popeye Meets the Man Who Hated Laughter" and several animated segments on "Saturday Night Live."

JANET SCANLON Died Dec. 17, 2007

Janet Scanlon died at age 77. You won't find Ms. Scanlon's name in the credits of any films, but you've seen her work. At least fans of Esther Williams movies have seen her work. Ms. Scanlon was a champion skater and swimmer. She made the US Olympic team in the early 1940s. The game were cancelled due to WWII, so she never competed. Ms. Scanlon was a member of the Aquamaids water skiing team. She appeared with the team performing in the film "This is Cinerama." She also appeared in the Esther Williams aquatic musical "Easy to Love."

JACK LINKLETTER Died Dec. 18, 2007

Actor and TV host Jack Linkletter died of lymphoma at age 70. He was the son of TV legend Art Linkletter. Jack Linkletter worked in TV for a number of years before turning to business as the head of Linkletter Enterprises. He hosted the Rock and Roll TV variety show "Hootenanny." Mr. Linkletter also co-hosted his father's TV show "House Party" on a recurring basis. Other credits include "Here's Hollywood," "The Bob Cummings Show" and "The Plot Thickens."

JOHN BEAR CURTIS Died Dec. 18, 2007

Character actor John Bear Curtis died at age 59. Mr. Curtis appeared in nearly 40 films and TV shows during his career. His final appearance was in the sexy "Masters of Horror" episode "The Deer Woman." Mr. Curtis' many credits include "The 13th Warrior," "Stargate SG-1," "Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years," "The NeverEnding Story III," "Stay Tuned," "MacGyver," "The Hitchhiker" and "Wiseguy."

HUGH MCAFEE SR. Died Dec. 18, 2007

Stunt man and actor Hugh McAfee Sr. died at age 76. His many stunt credits include "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," the feature film version of "McHale's Navy" and "Barton Fink." He acted in "Livers Ain't Cheap" and "Asteroid." Mr. Jenson was the uncle of special effects tech Gary Jensen.

WALLACE BENEPE Died Dec. 19, 2007

Poet, pro-tennis player and film producer Wallace Benepe died at age 68. Mr. Benepe was the executive producer of the documentary "The American Hobo." Ernest Borgnine narrated the film which featured interviews with such diverse people as author James Michener and country singing legend Merle Haggard.

FRANK CAPRA JR. Died Dec. 19, 2007

Emmy-nominated producer Frank Capra Jr. died at age 73. He was the son of famed director Frank Capra. Though the junior Capra didn't equal his father's success, he was responsible for producing a number of popular films. Mr. Capra was also an influential force in turning North Carolina into a major film production center. Mr. Capra was an associate producer on one of my favorite B-Movies: "Vice Squad." The film featured Wings Hauser as one of the screen's baddest badguys. It also featured the line "Go ahead, make my day!" before Clint Eastwood said it in "Sudden Impact." During the 1970s and 80s Mr. Capra produced a number of popular films including "Marooned" with Gregory Peck, "Escape From the Planet of the Apes," "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes," "Battle for the Planet of the Apes," Joseph Wambaugh's "The Black Marble," Stephen King's "Firestarter," "The Seduction" and Chuck Norris' "An Eye for an Eye." Presidential candidate Fred Thompson made his screen debut playing himself in the Capra produced film "Marie." Mr. Capra also produced the least successful of the "Billy Jack" films: "Billy Jack Goes to Washington." The movie was based on his father's classic film "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Frank Capra Jr. was nominated for an Emmy for producing the TV special "High Hopes: The Capra Years." In 2004, Mr. Capra was honored with the North Carolina Distinguished Filmmaker Award.

Documentarian Bruce Crawford's latest Omaha Film Event featured Mr. Capra's father's classic "It's a Wonderful Life." Mr. Crawford informed the crowd in attendance at the charity event that Frank Capra Jr. had just passed away. Mr. Crawford shared his memories of Frank Capra Jr. with me: Frank Capra Jr. was a class act all the way. He was a most unassuming man. Not only did he carry one of the most famous names in film history, but he also made a name for himself as a most successful producer. Many of the most successful Planet of the Apes films were produced by Frank. I spoke with him last, just in September and he sounded like he was still working on more projects. He will be missed.

JAMES COSTIGAN Death discovered Dec. 19, 2007

Emmy-winning writer James Costigan died of heart failure at age 81. Mr. Costigan, who lived alone, was found by concerned neighbors. He may have been dead for as long as a week. Mr. Costigan wrote some of the best TV movies of the 1970s. He was nominated five times for Emmy Awards and won three. The Writers Guild honored him with the Laurel Award for TV Writing Achievement in 1979. Mr. Costigan won Emmy Awards for the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production of "Little Moon of Alben," as well as the TV movies "Love Among the Ruins" and "Eleanor and Franklin." His other two nominations were for "Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years" and the 1959 production of "The Turn of the Screw." Other notable TV credits include the IRA drama "A War of Children," "F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood" and "In the House of Brede." His feature film credits include the sexy vampire film "The Hunger," Bruce Beresford's "King David" and "Mr. North."

EDWARD HANSEN Death announced Dec. 20, 2007

Disney animator and producer Edward Hansen died at age 82. Mr. Hansen began working for Disney Studios in the early 1950s. He did animation work on such films as "Peter Pan," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and "Lady and the Tramp." He worked as an AD on seven features including "Sleeping Beauty," "Robin Hood," "Jungle Book," "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" and "The Aristocats." Mr. Hansen managed the animation division during much of the 1970s. He was production manager on "The Fox and the Hound" and "Mickey's Christmas Carol." Mr. Hansen was the Executive in Charge of Production on "The Black Cauldron" and "The Great Mouse Detective." Edward Hansen served his country in the US Navy during WWII and the Korean War.

KAZUMI TANAKA Died Dec. 20, 2007

Japanese voice actor Kazumi Tanaka died of heart failure at age 56. Mr. Tanaka leant his vocal talents to a number of well known anime films and TV shows. His credits include "Vampire Hunter D," "Akira," "Dragon Ball Z," "Transformers" and several of the "Crying Freeman" films.

JEANNE CARMEN Died Dec. 20, 2007

Actress and pin-up queen Jeanne Carmen died of lymphoma at age 77. Ms. Carmen died peacefully at home holding the hand of her son Brandon James. Ms. Carmen was one of the most recognized pin-up models of the 1950s. Her pictures graced the covers and pages of dozens of magazines. Ms. Carmen's break into show biz came when Bert Lahr hired her for his Broadway play "Burlesque" in 1948. Ms. Carmen was 17-years-old at the time. Monster movie fans remember Ms. Carmen for her role in "The Monster of Piedras Blancas." Ms. Carmen also appeared in the Diana Barrymoore biopic "Too Much, Too Soon." She appeared in the short subject "The Merry Mix Up" with the Three Stooges. She played Stooge Joe Besser's girlfriend in the movie. One of my first memories of Ms. Carmen was in the old "Gang Busters" TV show from the 1950s. She played Pretty Boy Floyd's girlfriend on the show. The episode was combined with two other episodes and turned into the feature film "Guns Don't Argue." Ms. Carmen also had a supporting role in the cult-classic juvenile delinquent movie "Untamed Youth" which starred Mamie Van Doren.

Ms. Carmen was an excellent golfer. She was taken under the wing of trick shot artist Jack Redmond and PGA champ Jimmy Demaret and became an expert trick-shot artist. Ms. Carmen may be best known for her claimed friendship with Marilyn Monroe. Ms. Carmen appeared in a number of documentaries based on her stories of her friendship with the late star. Ms. Carmen caught flack from some quarters because of this part of her life. These attacks include an insulting online obituary by a Marilyn Monroe biographer. I would rather remember the pleasure Ms. Carmen's work and exploits added to my life than indulge in posthumous trashing. Thanks for living large Ms. Carmen!

Ms. Carmen's son Brandon James shared some of his thoughts about the passing of his mother with me. Mr. James penned his mother's memoir "Jeanne Carmen: My Wild, Wild Life as a NY Pin-Up Queen."

"My Mom was the most beautiful, funniest, warmest, kindest girl I ever met in my life. Most importantly, she was my best friend. My Mom was born in Paragould, Arkansas on August 4, 1930. She ran away at age 13 with a girlfriend and hitched a ride to Saint Louis for a few years and then on to NYC. She always considered herself a Southern Girl at heart or as she said on her E! True Hollywood Story "a hillbilly cottonpicker with attitude."

I've written a screenplay about her and the script is currently with Scarlett Johansson's agent and Kate Bosworth's agent. Christina Aguilera was approached earlier in the year and she was excited about doing it but her pregnancy made her drop out. My Mom really thought Christina had the look and the attitude of a born pin up girl. It's quite a rare thing. It's a look and an attitude. So we were willing to give Christina a shot at acting in a role that wouldn't be your traditional "singer playing a singer" in their first movie.

But now with the Writers strike, Hollywood is shut down and no one will commit to anything until the strike is over so maybe Christina will have her baby and the role will come back to her?

One thing to clear up...the media has been talking about this movie and somehow, many websites have misinterpreted it as Scarlett, Kate and Christina being up for the role of Marilyn Monroe and that's wrong. They are up for the role of Jeanne Carmen. The movie is about a girl from the South who goes to NY and becomes a famous Pin Up Girl and becomes a Trick Shot Golfer who gets hooked up with Mobster Johnny Rosselli and becomes a golf hustler for the Mob in Las Vegas. It's a wild road movie comedy. It has nothing to do with Marilyn Monroe.

BILLY DAYDODGE Died Dec. 20, 2007

Native American actor Billy Daydodge died at a Loma Linda hospital at age 78. Mr. Daydodge had a recurring role on the TV series "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." Other credits include John Candy's final film "Wagons East." Mr. Daydodge provided voice-over narration for the A&E TV series "The Real West." Mr. Daydodge's other credits include "North," "Nate and the Colonel," "Son of the Beach," "Grizzly Adams and the Legend of Dark Mountain" and "Navajo Blues."

NORTON NASCIMENTO Died Dec. 21, 2007

Brazilian TV star Norton Nascimento died of a heart infection at age 45. Mr. Nascimento underwent a heart transplant in 2003 when an aortic aneurysm was discovered. Mr. Nascimento was a familiar face on TV in his native land. He appeared in 15 TV series and was a regular on several including "New Wave." Mr. Nascimento also worked in film and on stage. Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

JOHN MCPHERSON Died Dec. 21, 2007

Emmy-winning cinematographer John McPherson died a week shy of his 66th birthday. Mr. McPherson won an Outstanding Cinematography for a Series Emmy for his work on Steven Speilberg's "Amazing Stories." He received two more Emmy nominations for his work on "The Incredible Hulk" and "Amazing Stories." He also was nominated by his peers at the American Society of Cinematographers for "Amazing Stories." Mr. McPherson worked as a gaffer on the "Dirty Harry" sequel "The Enforcer." He was the DP on such feature films as "*batteries not included," "Fletch Lives" and "Short Circuit 2." Mr. McPherson directed numerous TV shows including "Beverly Hills, 90210," "Nash Bridges," "Babylon 5," "Sliders" and "Swamp Thing."

JOHN DETROIA Died Dec. 22, 2007

Teamster and stuntman John DeTroia died at age 62. Mr. DeTroia worked as a teamster on such films as "Panic" and "Friday." He worked as a stunt man on the cult classic "Laserblast." Mr. DeTroia was a production assistant on Mark Lester's excellent "Stunts.


OSCAR PETERSON Died Dec. 23, 2007

Jazz legend Oscar Peterson died of kidney failure ate age 82. Pianist Oscar Peterson played with such musicians as Charlie Parker and Ella Fitzgerald. The Canadian musician played on over 100 recordings during his lengthy career. His fil work includes creating or performing music for such films as the excellent thriller "The Silent Partner," "Play It Again Sam," "Bright Lights, Big City" and the HBO series "Six Feet Under."

MICHAEL KIDD Died Dec. 23, 2007

Multi-Tony-award winning choreographer Michael Kidd died at age 92. Michael Kidd won five Best Choreography Tony Awards and was nominated for another six Tony awards. His other nominations included three Best Direction nods. Mr. Kidd received an honorary Oscar in 1997 for his contribution to the art of dance on the screen. He was nominated for an Emmy award for the TV special "Baryshnikov in Hollywood." Mr. Kidd won Tony awards for his work on "Finian's Rainbow," "Guys and Dolls," "Can-Can," "Li'l Abner" and "Destry Rides Again." Michael Kidd's film work includes staging the dance and musical numbers for "The Band Wagon," "Guys and Dolls" and "Li'l Abner." He choreographed the classic film musical "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." The dance numbers remain some of the vigorous in the genre. Michael Kidd directed the Danny Kaye comedy "Merry Andrew." My fondest memory of Michael Kidd's work was his excellent supporting role in Michael Ritchie's over-looked "Smile." The satirical film exposed the world of small town beauty pageants. Mr. Kidd stole the show as Tommy French, the pageant's choreographer. The movie is a classic gem that you should seek out at all costs.

POLLI MAGARO Died Dec. 23, 2007

Character actress Polli Magaro died of natural causes in a New York hospital. He age was not given. Ms. Magaro was a contract player at the Metropolitan Opera for 20 years. Her film and TV credits include "The Brotherhood," "Saturday Night Live," "Cagney & Lacey," "ED," "Prizzi's Honor," "Avenging Angelo," "Primary Colors," "Mr. Destiny" and "Paradise Alley."

JONATHAN WALSH Died Dec. 24, 2007

Actor Jonathan Walsh died of cancer. His age was not given. Mr. Walsh became an actor after retiring from a career in sales. Mr. Walsh played Father McCasslin in the Oscar nominated film "In the Bedroom." Other credits include "The Good Man's Sin."

MICHAEL GAY Died Dec. 24, 2007

Visual effects and assistant editor Michael Gay died at age 37. Mr. Gay was an assistant editor on numerous films including "Art School Confidential," "Van Helsing," "Bad Santa," "The Bourne Identity," "Undercover Brother," "The Mummy Returns," "Waking the Dead," "The Mummy" and "Barney's Great Adventure." He was a visual effects editor on the upcoming "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor," "Blades of Glory," "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" and "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

PAT KIRKWOOD Died Dec. 25, 2007

British actress/singer Pat Kirkwood died at age 86. Ms. Kirkwood Appeared in several films during the 1930s and 40s. She made five films in the UK before coming to the US. She starred opposite Van Johnson in the comedy "No Leave, No Love." The movie failed at the box office and Ms. Kirkwood returned to her home land. Ms. Kirkwood enjoyed success on stage at London's West End, TV and the radio in the UK. Her third husband, Hubert Gregg wrote two of Ms. Kirwood's film: "Stars in Your Eyes" and "After the Ball."

GP SIPPY Died Dec. 25, 2007

Producer GP Sippy died at age 93. Mr. Sippy's 1975 crime thriller "Sholay" remains the biggest box office success in India. The brutal tale of revenge was directed by the producers son Ramesh Sippy. The film's style was inspired by the works of Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone. The movie was referred to as the first 'Curry Western' by some film critics. Mr. Sippy was the grandfather of producer Rohan Sippy. GP Sippy produced nearly 20 films and directed several more.

BRIAN TUBBERT Died Dec. 25, 2007

Actor Brian Tubbert died of undisclosed causes at age 45. Mr. Tubbert appeared in "ESP: Extra Sexual Perception," "Love Letter" and "Suicide Regimen."

STU NAHAN Died Dec. 26, 2007

Famed sportscaster Stu Nahan died of lymphoma at age 81. Mr. Nahan worked as a sportscaster in the LA market for 31 years. He appeared nearly 30 films and TV shows, usually playing sports announcers. He played himself opposite Sean Penn in the character Jeff Spicolli's dream sequence in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." Mr. Nahan appeared in all six of the "Rocky" films. Other credits include the original version of "Brian's Song," the TV biopic "Babe," "Gus," "Private Benjamin," "Meteor," "Baywatch" and "The Great White Hype."

JAAN KROSS Died Dec. 26, 2007

Estonian writer Jaan Kross died at age 87. Mr. Kross was nominated several times for the Nobel Prize for literature. Mr. Kross spent nine years imprisoned in a Soviet gulag under the Stalin regime. Mr. Kross wrote several screenplays and had several of his novels turned into films and TV miniseries.

JANIS CRESWELL Died Dec. 27, 2007

Casting assistant Janis Creswell died of cancer at age 46. Ms. Creswell worked on such films and TV shows as "America's Most Wanted," "Passenger 57," "Psycho IV: The Beginning," "Problem Child 2" and "Super Boy." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

TAB THACKER Died Dec. 27, 2007

College wrestling champ turned actor Tab Thacker died at age 45 of complications from diabetes. Mr. Thacker won the 1984 NCAA wrestling championship when he attended North Carolina State University. He was not allowed to compete in the 1984 Olympics due to his weight, even though he beat the Russian national champion that same year. Mr. Thancker played Officer 'House' Conklin in two of the "Police Academy" movies. He was one of Goldie Hawn's fottball players in "Wildcats." Other credits include "City Heat" and "Identity Crisis."


Oscar-nominated Polish director Jerzy Kawalerowicz died of a hemorrhage at age 85. Mr. Kawalerowicz's 1965 film "Pharoah" received a Best Foreign Film Oscar nomination. In 2005 Mr. Kawalerowicz was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Polish Film Awards. He won a Special Jury Prize at Cannes for the 1961 film "Joan of the Angels." His final film was a TV miniseries version of "Quo Vadis?"

SUN DAOLIN Died Dec. 27, 2007

Chinese actor and director Sun Daolin died at age 86. Mr. Daolin appeared in over 100 films. He directed the award winning film "Zhan Tianyou" in 2000.

JEAN-FRANCOIS REMI Died Dec. 27, 2007

French actor Jean-François Rémi died at age 80. Mr. Remi costarred in Alan Resnais'1966 Oscar nominated film "La Guerre est Fine" (The War is Over). He also appeared in Abel Gance's 1960 film "The Battle of Austerlitz." Other credits include "Verdict" and the TV miniseries "Orient Express."

BENAZIR BHUTTO Died Dec. 27, 2007

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at a campaign rally near Islamabad, Pakistan. Ms. Bhutto returned to Pakistan from exile in London this past October. Assassins attempted to kill her the day she returned. 134 died in the October attempt. News reports state that Ms. Bhutto was attacked by a suicide gunman/bomber who shot her in the neck and chest before detonating a bomb. Ms. Bhutto returned to Pakistan to try and restore democracy to the troubled land. She pledged, if elected to rid Pakistan of the Taliban and Al Quaeda. I imagine that the rat Osama Bin Laden is smiling from the depths of some dank cave this day. Like Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Benazir Bhutto put herself in harm's way for the principles of freedom in which she believed. As was the case with Ghandi and King, the principles by which Ms. Bhutto lived will not be silenced by the cowardly act of a fanatical extremist. Benazir Bhutto appeared in the documentary "Our Own Private Bin Laden."

CLODY BERTOLA Died Dec. 27, 2007

Romanian actress Clody Bertola died in her sleep at age 94. Ms. Bertola was a renowned Romanian stage actress who performed in productions ranging from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams. Ms. Bertola also appeared in several films including the Cannes Film Festival award winner "Baragan Thistles."

ROBERT LOWY Died Dec. 28, 2007

Art director and set decorator Robert Lowy died at age 53. Mr. Lowy was a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local #44. His credits include "Edtv," "My Tutor," "Night Warning," "Surf II" and "Fade to Black."


South African actor Antonio Summerton was killed in a motorcycle accident at age 27. Mr. Summerton was a regular in the South African soap opera "7de Laan." His other credits include "Human Cargo" and the up-coming "Starship Troopers 3." Prayers of comfort for his family and friends.

PHIL DUSENBERRY Died Dec. 29, 2007

Advertising legend and screenwriter Phil Dusenberry died of lung cancer at age 71. Mr. Dusenberry was the former CEO of the advertising agency BBDO North America. He was inducted into the Advertizing Hall of Fame in 2002. Mr. Dusenberry co-wrote the screenplay for "The Natural" with Robert Towne. The two shared a WGA nomination for the script. Mr. Dusenberry also the 1973 comedy "Hail." He appeared in the American Movie Classics 'baseball movie' documentary "Diamonds on the Silver Screen."

KATHERINE DE HETRE Died Dec. 29, 2007

Actress Katherine De Hetre was killed in an automobile accident at age 61. Ms. De Hetre played the mother of evangelist Joni Eareckson Tada in the 1980 biopic "Joni." She had supporting roles in the Oscar-winning "Being There," "Meteor", "The Promise" and "Looker." Ms. De Hetre was an understudy in the 1975 Broadway production of "Death of a Salesman." She appeared on Broadway in the 1972 production "The Love Suicide at Schofield Barracks." Prayers of comfort for her family and friends.

SCOTT ROBINSON Died Dec. 29, 2007

Key grip Scott Robinson died of lung cancer the day before his 55th birthday. Mr. Robinson worked in the camera department on a number of noted films. His many credits include "Foxes," "Never Cry Wolf," "Colors," "Beaches," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," "Wayne's World," "LA Confidential," "The Insider," "Red Dragon" and "Memoirs of a Geisha."

SHU UEMURA Died Dec. 29, 2007

Makeup artist Shu Uemura died of pneumonia at age 79. Mr. Uemura worked on the films "My Geisha" with Shirley MacLaine and Frank Sinatra's "None But the Brave." Mr. Uemura built an international cosmetics company with locations worldwide. His company was purchased by L'Oreal in 2004.

ALFREDO DEMARCO Died Dec. 29, 2007

Propmaker Alfredo DeMarco died at age 90. Mr. DeMarco was a 60-year-member of I.A.T.S.E. Local # 44. He served his country in the US Army during WWII.

CHET LUTON Died Dec. 30, 2007

Inventor and film technician Chet Luton died of lung cancer at age 80. Mr. Luton invented an anamorphic lens, a wet-gate system to remove film scratches and a process to recover silver from film so it can be reused. Mr. Luton was a supervising engineer on Terrence Malick's beautiful "Days of Heaven." He worked on the restoration of a number of films including "Gone With the Wind" and "Dr. Zhivago." Mr. Luton served his country in the US Navy during WWII.

HARRY DARROW Died Dec. 30, 2007

Art director Harry Darrow died of lung cancer at age 57. Mr. Darrow worked on film and also was a scenic artist for several Broadway productions. Mr. Darrow's film and TV credits include a dozen episodes of "The Sopranos," Stephen King's "The Langoliers," "D3: The Mighty Ducks" and Spike Lee's "Bamboozeled." Mr. Darrow worked as a scenic artist on several Broadway productions including "Oh! Calcutta!" and "Cats."

ALBERTO ALONSO Died Dec. 31, 2007

Cuban ballet dancer and choreographer Alberto Alonso died at age 89. Mr. Alonso was the first non-Russian to choreograph for the Bolshoi Ballet. He choreographed the 1970 Russian film version of "Carmen" entitled "Carmen Syuta." Mr. Alonso' was the subject of the documentary film "Dance of My Heart."

DAVID HAMMON Died Dec. 31, 2007

Stage hand and stand-by painter David Hammon died six days after being baptized. Mr. Hammon's age was not given. He was a 30-year-member of I.A.T.S.E. Local #127. He worked on numerous films during his lengthy career. Mr. Hammon also worked on several noted tours by rock bands such as The Rolling Stones. His many film credits include "Robo Cop," "Square Dance," "Silkwood," "Places in The Heart," "Southern Comfort," "Tender Mercies," "Terms of Endearment" and "Born on the Fourth of July."

BILL IDELSON Died Dec. 31, 2007

Writer, producer and actor Bill Idelson died at age 87. Mr. Idelson was nominated for an Emmy award for the TV series "Love American Style." He began his career as a child actor on the radio. Mr. Idelson played Rush Gook on the radio show "Vic & Sade." Military service during WWII put an end to his gig on the long-running radio show. Mr. Idelson wrote the book "The Story of Vic & Sade" which was a history of the show. Though he was a prolific writer for TV during the 1960s and 70s, many will remember him for playing Rose Marie's boyfriend Herman Glimsher on "The Dick Van Dyke Show." Mr. Idelson's writing credits include "The Twilight Zone," "The Andy Griffith Show," "M*A*S*H" and "Happy Days." His daughter Ellen Idelson was a successful TV writer herself. In 2003 she tragically died of cancer at age 42.

MARKKU PELTOLA Died Dec. 31, 2007

Finnish actor Markku Peltola died of an undisclosed illness at age 51. Mr. Peltola starred in the Oscar-nominated film "The Man Without a Past." The 2002 film dealt with a man who loses his memory after a severe beating. It received a Best Foreign Film Oscar nomination. Mr. Peltola appeared in over 30 films and TV shows during his career. He was also a noted musician in his native land.

KATHRYN ISH Died Dec. 31, 2007

Kathryn Ish, actress and co-founder of the famed improv group "The Committee" died of cancer at age 71. Ms. Ish was the widow of actor Richard Stahl. The couple met while performing together off Broadway. The pair played lounge singers in the pilot film for the hit TV series "The Love Boat." The couple also acted together in the comedy film "The American President." Ms. Ish's other credits include "Laverne & Shirley," "The Death of Ritchie" and "WKRP in Cincinnati." Ms. Ish was also a prolific voice actress.

BOBBI HOLTZMAN Died Dec. 31, 2007

Theater director and actress Bobbi Holtzman died at age 81. Ms. Holtzman founded the Northridge Theater Guild and directed nearly 30 productions there. Ms. Holtzman appeared on the TV shows "Ally McBeal" and "NYPD Blue."