Friday, June 22, 2018

RIP Maria Rohm

RIP Maria Rohm

By Ivan Zingariello
June 22, 2018

Austrian actress Maria Rohm has died, a muse of Jesus Franco and interpreter of many of his cult movies, from 99 Women to Justine, from Paroxismus to Il conte Dracula.

Another heroine of the cinema has been silenced, Maria Rohm. The muse of Jesus Franco and widow of his producer Harry Alan Towers, died in Toronto on Monday 18 June at the age of 72, as announced on his Facebook profile by his friend actress Hunter Phoenix: "Dear friends, it is with great sadness that I share the news that our dear friend Maria Towers / born Maria Rohm has disappeared. I'm sure you all have many questions and I'm happy to answer you in due time, but I ask you to respect the privacy of those closest to you in this difficult moment. We will miss him not only for his work, but above all for his kindness and compassion ".

Maria Rohm (Helga Grohmann) was born in Vienna in 1945 (but some sources report 1943) and since she was a child she stages the stages, in classics taken from Shakespeare, Tolstoy and working with great actors. At 18, the beautiful and blonde aristocratic Maria gives an audition for producer Harry Alan Towers, who loses his head over her and, after having married her in 1964, launched her in international films directed by Jeremy Summers, The 5 dragons d'oro (1967) and Le faire vergini (1968) with Vincent Price. Almost all of the films interpreted by Rohm will be produced by her husband (often also as a screenwriter), including The Blood of Fu Manchu which in 1968 marks the beginning of the association with the Spanish b-movie master Jesus Franco, where she will become a muse like the ill-fated Soledad Miranda.

With Franco, Maria Rohm shoots her most famous films, nine in just five years. In most of them there is a high rate of eroticism, frequent lesbian scenes, perversions, sadism and, often, even hard core insertions, as the tradition of the Spanish director. After the aforementioned Fu Manchu with Christopher Lee and the adventurous Sumuru queen of femina, the first W.I.P. Francoist 99 women, in which she is a victim of prison violence with Maria Schell, Luciana Paluzzi and the sensual Rosalba Neri. Following the "de sadiano" Justine or the misadventures of virtue, in which is Juliette, sister of the very young Justine / Romina Power, with Klaus Kinski in the role of the famous and perverse Marquis.

It is then she turn out the Francoist masterpiece, Paroxismus - Can a dead relive for love ?, where the ghost of a murdered girl persecutes the protagonist, seeking justice towards those who killed her. We then move on to the costume movie with The throne of fire, which sees Rohm intent on revenging her sister Margaret Lee, burnt as a witch by the inquisitor Christopher Lee, who in the next film, De Sade 70, will instead lead a sect of sadists to whom Rohm will try to procure girls. The most famous of those films directed by Jesus Franco and produced by Towers is, however, The Count Dracula, which brings the stainless Christopher Lee to dress the clothes that made him famous at the time of Hammer, flanked by the inevitable Kinski / Renfield, while Rohm is the beautiful Mina. The partnership with Franco ended in 1972 with the unknowable Sex Charade, with the maniac Paul Muller who keeps the unfortunate Soledad Miranda in captivity (who prematurely died in an accident two years later).

For Maria Rohm she did little else in the post Franco: in 1970 she shoots Dorian Gray by Massimo Dallamano, The God called Dorian, in which she is impaled by Helmut Berger, while two years later she is in the cast of troubled Treasure Island with Orson Welles and de The Call of the Wild with Charlton Heston. The last important role is instead that of the maid Elsa Martino, second "little Indian" to die in ... and then, there remained none (1974) by Peter Collinson. The last film by Rohm is instead the erotic post Emmanuelle set in Hong Kong The end of innocence, still directed by Dallamano, after which the actress decides to retire from the scene ending her career with a scarce thirty titles.

Maria Rohm then joined her husband Harry Alan Towers to become independent film producers, including the adventurous Black Arrow (1985) with Oliver Reed and Donald Pleasence, and the horror Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on the edge of madness (1989) with Anthony Perkins and Dorian (2004) with Malcolm McDowell, until the summer of 2009, when she was widowed after 45 years of marriage.

ROHM, Maria (Helga Grohmann)
Born: 8/13/1945, Vienna, Austria
Died: 6/18/2018, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Maria Rohm’s western – actress:
The Call of the Wild – 1972 (Mercedes)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

RIP William Beaudine Jr.

Remembering William Beaudine, Jr.

Directors Guild of America
February 14, 2018

Former DGA Secretary-Treasurer and 1983 Frank Capra Achievement Award recipient William Beaudine, Jr. recently passed away.
The son of director William Beaudine, Bill Jr. got his start in small roles in some of his father’s films before becoming a 2nd AD on Beaudine Senior’s Philo Vance Returns in 1947, joining the DGA that same year. He worked as an AD throughout much of the 1950s on films such as Frank McDonald’s Yukon Gold and Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers before becoming a UPM for the series Lassie. Some of his other credits include Tom Laughlin’s feature The Trial of Billy Jack, Steven Hilliard Stern’s movie-for-television Miracle on Ice; and episodes of the television series Quantum Leap. He also received Emmy nominations for producing Paul Bogart’s mini-series Dress Gray and Glenn Jordan’s mini-series Nutcracker: Money, Madness & Murder.

An active Guild member during his career, Beaudine served as a member of the National Board from 1960-1985 and was elected as the DGA Secretary-Treasurer from 1979-1981. He also served on the Western AD/UPM Council from 1967-1982 and 1991-1996; and was a longtime Trustee of the Directors Guild Foundation. In recognition of his service to the industry and to the DGA, in 1983 Beaudine was presented with the Frank Capra Achievement Award.

BEAUDINE Jr., William
Born: 4/28/1921, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 2/?/2018, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

William Beaudine Jr’s, westerns – production manager, assistant director:
Sierra Passage – 1950 [assistant director]
The Titled Tenderfoot – 1950 [assistant director]
Yukon Manhunt – 1951 [assistant director]
Adventures of Wild Will Hickok (TV) – 1951-1952 [assistant director]
Behind Southern Lines – 1952 [assistant director]
The Ghost of Crossbone Canyon – 1952 [assistant director]
Yukon Gold – 1952 [assistant director]
Border City Rustlers – 1953 [assistant director]
Born to the Saddle – 1953 [assistant director]
Secret of Outlaw Flats – 1953 [assistant director]
Six Gun Decision – 1953 [assistant director]
Son of Belle Starr – 1953 [assistant director]
Two Gun Marshal – 1953 [assistant director]
Yukon Vengeance – 1954 [assistant director]
Canyon Crossroads – 1955 [assistant director]
Phantom Trails – 1955 [assistant director]
Westward Ho, the Wagons – 1956 [assistant director]
The Further Adventures of Spin and Marty (TV) – 1956 [assistant director]
Casey Jones (TV) – 1957 [assistant director]
Escort West – 1959 [assistant director]
Fury (TV) – 1959-1960 [production manager]

Friday, June 15, 2018

RIP Pab Schwendimann

RIP Pab Schwendimann

Santa Fe New Mexican
June 15, 2018

Paul (Pab) Frederick Schwendimann peacefully passed away on March 13, 2018 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Paul was born on October 4, 1968 in Dallas, Texas to Frederick W. Schwendimann and Carol Reichelt Schwendimann. The famiy moved to Santa Fe in 1980 and Paul attended Acequia Madre Elementary, Capshaw Middle School and Santa Fe High School. Following graduation in 1986, Paul spent a year in Australia as an exchange sttudent. He then entered Rice University. Paul was a creative and multi-talented individual. He was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and had parts in movies and television. Following in the footsteps of his maternal grandfather and paternal great grandfather, Paul was a member of the Masonic Lodge. Paul is survived by his father Fred Schwendimann and his wife Phillipa of Albuquerque, his mother Carol Schwendimann of Santa Fe, and sister Amy Roe, her husband, Josh and their daughter, Maya of Sonora, California. Paul will be remembered by the family in a private gathering in June.

SCHWENDIMANN, Pab (Paul Schwendimann)
Born: 10/4/1968, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 3/13/2018, Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

Pab Schwendimann’s western – actor:
Longmire (TV) – 2014 (Bryant)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

RIP Béla Paudits

Béla Paudits has died

Euro News
June 13, 2018

Bela Paudits, 68, was transported to the hospital last Friday after having a stroke in his home. His caretaker informed the Story magazine of his death.

Béla Paudits was born on 19 August 1949 in Budapest. Between 1968 and 1972 he studied at the College of Theater and Film, and in 1986 he completed the College of Catering.

From 1972 to 1974, Attila József Theater, from 1974 to 1983, member of the Madách Theater; Between 1983 and 1985, and since 1997 he was freelancer. Between 1993 and 1997 he lived in Toronto. In 1993 he was awarded the Mari Jászai Prize.

He has seen audiences in several TV shows, major stage performances: Osrick (Shakespeare: Hamlet); Antal Fusz (Molnár: One, Two, Three); Charley (Thomas: Charley's sister); Barber Assistant (Molnár: Harmony); Charles (Hubay-Vas-Ránki: Three nights of love); Moncrief Algernon (Wilde: Bunbury); Giliszta Jack (Brecht-Weill: Awakening and Fall of the Mahagonny); Borracchio (Shakespeare: A lot of cool for nothing); Mr. Oxenby (Harwood: The Dressup); Quaxo (Rice-Webber: Cats); Puppet (Sobol: Ghetto); József (Rice-Lloyd Webber: József and the color widescreen sleeping coat); Conferences (Kander: Kabaré).

Born: 8/19/1949, Budapest, Hungary
Died: 6/13/2018, Budapest, Hungary

Béla Paudits’s western – actor:
Hol colt, hol nem colt (TV) – 1980 (cowboy)

RIP Stanislav Govorukhin

Film Director, Politician Stanislav Govorukhin Dead at 82

The Moscow Times
June 14, 2018

Stanislav Govorukhin, an actor, celebrated film director, screenwriter and political figure, died on Thursday after a long illness, as reported in Russian media. He was 82 years old. At the time of his death he was a deputy in the State Duma from the United Russia Party.

Born in the Urals, he began work in television in Kazan, but then moved to Moscow to study filmmaking. He was one of the most popular directors of films for movie theaters and television in the late Soviet period, most renowned for the television series starring Vladimir Vysotsky, “The Meeting Place Can’t Be Changed (1979) and “Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn” (1981).

His 1990 documentary, “We Can’t Live Like This,” drew audiences of millions across the country and became the most famous symbol of glasnost. Two years later his films “Alexander Solzhenitsyn” and “The Russia That We Lost” continued to criticize the Soviet period and gave a positive if romanticized view of pre-Revolutionary Russia.

Although Govorukhin continued to write scripts, direct and produce films for the big and small screen, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union he became active as a politician. In 2000 he ran for President (getting less than 1 percent of the vote), and was a deputy in the State Duma since 1993.

In the early thoughts his political views appeared to change, and in 2005 he joined the United Russia Party. In 2011 Govorukhin was chosen to be head of Vladimir Putin’s campaign in the 2012 elections. Govorukhin received dozens of awards over his career, including several Nika awards, the highest cinema prize in Russia.

He held the title of People’s Artist of the Russian Federation.

GOVORUKHIN, Stanislav (Stanislav Sergeevich Govorukhin)
Born: 3/29/1936, Berezniki, Russia, U.S.S.R.
Died: 6/14/2018, Bravikha, Moscow, Russia

Stanislav Govorukhin’s westerns – director, writer:
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn  (TV) – 1981 [director, screenwriter]
Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer – 2001 [director]

RIP Georgann Johnson

RIP Georgann Johnson

Los Angeles Times
June 14, 2018

Georgann Johnson Prager Tenner
August 15, 1926 - June 4, 2018 An actress whose professional career lasted 65 years and spanned Broadway, live television, Oscar-winning films, soap operas, and more, has died at 91. Ms. Tenner, whose professional name was Georgann Johnson, was born August 15th, 1926 in Decorah, Iowa to George and Helene Johnson. She graduated from Decorah High School, received her BA from Luther College, and a Master's Degree in Oratory from Northwestern University. After at stint at Alvina Krause's theater in Bloomsburg, she moved to New York City in 1950. Georgann liked to say that the only non-acting job she ever held was the two weeks she spent selling gloves at Lord & Taylor's. Throughout the 1950's she worked in the new medium of television, appearing on episodes of the Goodyear Playhouse, Kraft Theatre, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents and many others. She appeared with actors such as James Dean in "Life Sentence", and as Paul Newman's wife in the original television production of "Bang the Drum Slowly". She also starred as Tony Randall's wife in the television show "Mr. Peepers" and in the movie "Shortcut to Hell" directed by James Cagney. In 1954, she was on Broadway in "Reclining Figure" directed by Abe Burrows. It was in a revival of "Room Service" that she met the actor Stanley Prager. They married in 1956 while Prager was starring as Prez in the original production of "The Pajama Game". It was the McCarthy era and Prager had already been called to testify in front of HUAC. They went to Rhode Island to marry in hopes that it would not make the papers. Prez was one of his last roles and, after decades as an actor, Prager switched to directing. "Of course it was in the papers," Georgann would say but the couple survived the blacklist and both continued to work in show business. In the 1960's, Georgann was on Broadway, starring opposite Henry Fonda in "Critic's Choice" directed by Otto Preminger. On television she appeared in episodes of "Dr. Kildare", "The Doctors", and "The Fugitive", among others. In 1969, she had a role in "Midnight Cowboy" which won the Oscar for Best Picture. In the 1970's it was soap operas, with long running roles on both "Another World/Somerset" as Ellen Grant and "As the World Turns" as Jane Spencer. Throughout the next 35 years, Georgann continued her work, with recurring roles on such television shows as "Our Family Honor", "Wiseguy", "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill", and "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman", and in movies directed by, among others, Hal Ashby, Robert Altman, and Martin Ritt. Some years after Stanley's death in 1972, she relocated to Los Angeles and, in 1981, married the Honorable Jack Tenner, a Superior Court Judge and civil rights activist. She said some of her happiest times as an actor were the improvisations she and Jack did to raise funds at the many events they attended. They remained married until his death in 2008. Georgann is survived by her four daughters: Carol Prager, Annie Prager, Sally Seymour (Ralph), and Molly Boyll (David), and three grandchildren, Hannah Seymour, Gabriel Seymour, and Caroline Boyll. She will be greatly missed.

JOHNSON, Georgann
Born: 8/15/1926, Decorah, Iowa, U.S.A.
Died: 6/4/2018, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Georgann Johson’s western – actress:
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (TV) – 1993-1997 (Elizabeth Quinn)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

RIP Frank Bresee

Noted Radio Actor and Historian Frank Bresee Dead at 88

“Golden Days of Radio” show aired on AFRN from 1967 to 1995

Radio World
Tom Vernon· 
June 7, 2018

You just never know where a nickel tour of a radio station may take you. On a 1939 school field trip, 10-year old Frank Bresee visited KFAC, a classical music station in Los Angeles. It must have made quite an impression, because later that year, he asked to be on the air. And thus began the career of one of the best known radio historian in the U.S. Bresee passed away on June 5 at the age of 88. Through his long tenure in broadcasting, he touched many lives. His friend and co-host of the “Friday Night Live” show on the Yesterday USA Radio Networks, Walden Hughes, shared his recollections of Frank Bresee with me.

In 1941, Bresee auditioned for the “Red Ryder” radio show and was runner up to his long-time friend, Tommy Cook. This show began in 1942. While Cook was busy acting in movies, Bresee played Red’s sidekick, “Little Beaver,” on the show.

In 1942 Bresee was Alvin on the radio show “Major Hopalong” also starring Mel Blanc and Arthur Q. Bryan. Bryan was perhaps better known as the voice of Elmer Fudd. Arthur later became a second father to Frank. The two often collaborated on projects.

Bresee was probably one of the first dumpster divers. As a little boy, he took his wagon, went behind radio stations and retrieved from the trash various radio broadcast transcription discs. He also collected radio scripts after attending many of the broadcasts. What began as a childhood past time grew into an important private collections of radio memorabilia. In addition to the discs and scripts, Bresee’s tape archive of around 3,900 reels is held at the Thousand Oaks Library

In August of 1949, Bresee began the “Golden Days of Radio” show with his large collection of transcription discs. He played early discs from current radio shows while new shows were being broadcasting. At the same time, Bresee spun records for Johnny Grant’s radio show. Grant hosted a late night DJ show, and Bresee would host the last hour of the show so that Grant could grab a nap. The broadcast took place at the Ham and Eggery.

Grant also recommended Bresee to Bob Hope. Bresee owned one of the first mobile tape recorders in town, and he would go over to Hope’s dressing room at Paramount and record a Hope radio spot or special materials. At the outbreak of the Korean War, Bresee was scheduled to join the armed forces. He was relieved of his duties when Hope wrote a letter requesting Bresee be a part of his staff. He travelled with Hope and was part of the radio team that traveled to Ohio when Hope starred in “My Favorite Spy” with Hedy Lamarr. Bresee also helped with Hope’s weekly radio show.

Bresee was one of the first people in Hollywood in the late 1950s to have a movie theater in his home. The theater had around 30 seats and a projector purchased from a local movie theater. Mel Torme, Elvis Presley and Natalie Wood were some of the celebrities who came over to watch films. Many autographed the wall inside the theater and later the chalk board.

This theater became the home where TV shows would have their first run though. Monty Hall and Steve Hadeck ran “Let’s Make A Deal” for six months in Bresee’s theater before they sold it to the network.

Around this time, Bresee’s “Golden Days of Radio” was being featured on KGIL and KMPC. In 1966 “The Golden Days of Radio” began to play in Germany over the Armed Forces Radio Network. It went on the full network in 1967, and became one of the main features for the next 29 years. Bresee played highlights from shows and interviewed people who worked in radio. Some of his guest included Mae West, Bob Hope, Jack Benny and George Burns.

During KFI’s celebration of its 50th birthday, Bresee produced a 12-hour special hosted by many of the stars heard over KFI in the golden days of radio. Some of the hosts were Rudy Vallee, Jim Jordan (Fibber McGee from “Fibber McGee and Molly”), Edgar Bergen and Hal Parry (the Great Gildersleeve).

Bresee had his own radio studio at the Hudson House. There, he displayed transcription discs and the handrail that Cecil B. DeMille created for the Lux Radio Theater. It was displayed next to a picture taken at a Lux Radio Theater rehearsal from 1946. Bresee regularly took pictures on Sundays at the radio rehearsal of Lux which included Lana Turner, John Hodiak and many others.

Throughout his long career, Bresee received numerous awards, including recognition from Pacific Pioneers, the Diamond of Circle, The Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio, Drama, Variety, and Comedy’s Byron Kane Award.

Born: 8/20/1929, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.  
Died: 6/5/2018, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Frank Bresee’s western – radio actor:
Red Ryder – 1942-1946 (Little Beraver)
Cisco Kid - 1955
Gunsmoke - 1956