Sunday, April 19, 2015

RIP George Cooper

RIP George Cooper

San Luis Obispo The Tribune
April 19, 2015

George Cooper George Healey Cooper passed February 14, 2015. He was 95 years old. George was born in January 1920 in Brooklyn, New York, the same month prohibition began. His father, George Healey Cooper was a stage and silent film actor. He moved to Hollywood, California when he was nine months old before moving to Santa Monica in 1927. He loved California and lived there most of his life. He enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and attended The Ben Bard Players acting school in 1945 where he met and married Valerie Conte the mother of his four children. Noteworthy accomplishments include an actor under contract with RKO Studios and later worked in both film and television before developing George Cooper Publications. He was a fine art marine artist, husband and loving father. He enjoyed traveling and spending time near the ocean. He spent the last 15 years of his life on the Central Coast of California and always referred to it as his oasis. He was most grateful and proud to have forty-four years of sober living. George is survived by his children: George Cooper III, Christine Alton Shiers, Mary Leavitt, and Kerry Germain; grandchildren: Kameron Alton, Ryan Alton, and Jack Germain, and great- granddaughter, Hazel Alton. His ashes will be scattered over the Pacific Ocean during a private family service and celebration of his life. Sign his guestbook at

COOPER, George (George Healey Cooper)
Born: 1/24/1920, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 2/14/2015, San Luis Obispo, California, U.S.A.

George Cooper’s westerns – actor:
Blood on the Moon – 1948 (Fred Barden)
Roughshod – 1949 (Jim Clayton)
The Gene Autry Show (TV) – 1951 (Johnny ‘Buckeye’ Hollis)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

RIP Robert Rietty

British-born voiceover actor who specialized in James Bond villains and was so in demand he played 98 roles in one film

Hollywood Reporter
Mike Barnes

Robert Rietti, “The Man of a Thousand Voices” who dubbed for several James Bond villains and uttered every single Orson Welles line heard in the 1972 film Treasure Island, died April 3, The Times of London reported. He was 92.

When filmmakers wanted to rerecord dialogue after production was done or if they needed lines translated to other languages for movies to play in other countries, they often turned to the prolific Rietti, who worked for more than seven decades as an actor and voiceover artist.

Many of his 256 acting credits found on IMDb list his character as “voice, uncredited,” and the London native said he spoke for an incredible 98 characters alone on Waterloo (1970), which starred Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer and Welles, a longtime friend.

“Sometimes, a director will be happy with the physical performance of an actor on the screen but not like his voice, in which case one has a great deal of license to change everything,” Rietti said in a Film 94 profile of him that aired on the BBC. “But on other occasions, when the person is well-known on the screen, one doesn’t want to change his voice, so then one must serve him and really take the best from what he does.”

In the latter case, he imitated Welles’ famous baritone as Long John Silver for Treasure Island. “There’s not a word of his on the original track,” he said. “It’s all my voice, I am afraid, doing Orson Welles.”

Rietti also provided the voice of the cold-blooded, eyepatch-wearing Emilio Largo (portrayed onscreen by Adolfo Celi, who spoke with a thick Italian accent) in Thunderball (1965), and he spoke as the cat-loving evil genius Ernst Stavro Blofeld (this time played by Englishman John Hollis) in another Bond film, For Your Eyes Only (1981).

“In nearly every Bond picture, there’s been a foreign villain, and in almost every case, they’ve used my voice,” he once said.

It was Rietti whom audiences heard out of the mouth of British Intelligence chief John Strangways (Tim Moxon), who is killed near the start of the first Bond movie, 1962’s Dr. No. Rietti is then heard a couple of minutes later, replacing the voice of another character at a card table.

His Bond work also includes dubbing as Japanese secret service agent Tiger Tanaka (Tetsuro Tanba) in You Only Live Twice (1967), donating several voices to Casino Royale (1967) and appearing onscreen in Never Say Never Again (1983).

Rietti voiced multiple characters in the Agatha Christie film Ten Little Indians (1974), once again stepping in for, among others, Celi. “When people didn’t realize that was not his voice, he achieved many international films, and I had a job for life,” he said with a grin during the BBC piece.

Rietti appeared as a child actor in such films as The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934), starring Leslie Howard, and later was heard (and even seen!) in such films as The Italian Job (1969), The Omen (1976) and Hannibal (2001).

Rietti replaced Plummer's voice for some scenes in The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969) so that American audiences could more clearly understand his words, and he dubbed for Robert Shaw in Avalanche Express (1979) after the actor died of heart attack.

He voiced “Number Two” in some episodes of the ITV show The Prisoner and often stood in, orally, for veteran English actor Jack Hawkins, who had lost his voice to throat cancer.

Rietti also can be heard on such noteworthy films as The Guns of Navarone (1961), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), Doctor Zhivago (1965), Barbarella (1968), Frenzy (1972), Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Trail of the Pink Panther (1982).

Of course, few knew the voiceover expert was involved with any of these pictures.

“The simple answer to the question of whether Robert has received the recognition that he deserves is no, he hasn’t,” Julian Granger of the British Film Institute says in the short documentary, The Man With the Thousand Voices. “Hardly anyone knows about the work he’s done. Which I think is a terrible shame.”

RIETTY, Robert (Lucio Rietti)
Born: 2/8/1923, Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Died: 4/3/2015, London, England, U.K.

Robert Rietty’s westerns – voice actor:
Mackenna’s Gold – 1969 [English voice of Ted Cassidy]
The Valley of Gwangi – 1968 [English voice of Gustavo Rojo]
The Desperados – 1969 [English voice of David Thompson]
Land Raiders – 1969 [English voice of Harper wagon master]
A Talent for Loving – 1969 [English voice of two unknown characters]
Captain Apache – 1971 [English voice of unknown character]
A Town Called Hell – 1971 [English voice of Michael Craig]
The Genius – 1975 [English voice of Patrick McGoohen]

RIP Jonathan Crombie

Jonathan Crombie, Anne of Green Gables actor, dead at 48

Actor best known for playing Gilbert Blythe in TV movies, also played lead in Drowsy Chaperon in 2008

CBC News
April 18, 2015

Jonathan Crombie, who played Gilbert Blythe in the Anne of Green Gables movies, has died at the age of 48, CBC News has learned.

He was also the son of David Crombie, who was mayor of Toronto from 1972 to 1978 and served as a federal Progressive Conservative cabinet minister in the 1980s.

The actor's sister, Carrie Crombie, told CBC News on Saturday that her brother suffered a brain hemorrhage and died in New York City on April 15.

"We've been going through lots of stories the last couple days," she said.

"He was funny, he was sweet, he loved acting, he loved comedy and singing and dancing. As a little kid, he just loved Broadway shows and all of that kind of stuff and would sing and dance in the living room."

Answered to the name Gil

Jonathan Crombie will be best remembered for his role in the CBC TV movie Anne of Green Gables in 1984 and its two sequels in 1987 and 2000.

Carrie Crombie said her brother never shied away from the fame that came along with playing the role of Gilbert Blythe, and happily answered to the name Gil when recognized by fans on the street.

"I think he was really proud of being Gilbert Blythe and was happy to answer any questions...he really enjoyed that series and was happy, very proud of it — we all were," she said.

"[But] I think his proudest part was when he played the lead in Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway. That was just an amazing thing for him to be able to do."

Anne of Green Gables producer Kevin Sullivan said dozens of actors, including Jason Priestley, tried out for the role of Gilbert Blythe but none captured the spirit of the character.

Casting director Diane Polley eventually discovered the then-17-year-old Crombie while he was acting in a high school play. Polley is also the mother of Sarah Polley, who portrayed the main character in the Road to Avonlea series.

"She said, 'Trust me. He's it," Sullivan said. "We never screen-tested him. We met him and he was cast. It was a perfect storm...It just all worked perfectly."

'A devastating tragedy'

Sullivan said Crombie and the on-screen character he came to embody were actually pretty similar.

"I think for legions of young women around the world who fell in love with the Anne of Green Gables films, Jonathan literally represented the quintessential boy next door, and there were literally thousands of women who wrote to him over the years who saw him as a perfect mate," Sullivan said.

"I think there will be hundreds of people who will be floored that this has happened. It's such a devastating tragedy. In reality, Jonathan was as generous, as kind, as sensitive and as ambitious, in some ways, as the character he came to be identified with."

Sullivan said Crombie and Megan Follows, the actress who played Anne Shirley in the movies, had a special relationship off screen.

"Megan was more of a seasoned professional, in some ways, than Jonathan was," he said.

"He was kind of a newbie and I just remember that they were able to ground each other extremely well and the relationship that they had was one of great affection...they were both very generous with each other and both really made those performances vivid and real."

'Kinda quirky'

Jonathan Crombie also performed with a sketch comedy troupe featured in the Canadian TV series Comedy Now! in 1998. Carrie Crombie said her brother was incredibly passionate about improv and sketch comedy.

"John was funny. He was kinda quirky in some ways," she said.

"Like he would only take the bus back and forth from Toronto to New York. And, to be honest, that's how we are going to be bringing him back. We felt that it was an ode to Jonathan. He would never go on a plane, so we're going to make the trek from New York to Toronto on a bus with his ashes."

Crombie said her brother just didn't feel it necessary to spend the money required to make the journey by plane.

"He always seemed to attract interesting people on buses. He always had great stories about characters on buses, so we always had fun listening to his impersonations."

Carrie Crombie said she didn't think her brother had any major health issues, and was committed to staying healthy. She said his organs have been donated, which is something he would have been proud of.

She said a "huge, wonderful celebration of life" will be held in his honor sometime in the coming weeks.

CROMBIE, Jonathan (Jonathan David Crombie)
Born: 10/12/1966, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died:  4/15/2015, New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Jonathan Crombie’s western – actor:
The Campbells (TV) - 1985-1988 (Kevin Sims)

RIP Ritchie D'Horsie

RIP Ritchie D’Horsie

Comedian Ritchie D' Horsie passes away at 58

GMA News
April 18, 2015

Comedian Ritchie D' Horsie (real name: Ricardo Reyes) has passed away due to complication of diabetes, kidney failure and brain stroke. He was 58.

According to a report on GMA News TV's Balitanghali, the Loyola Memorial Chapels & Crematorium in Marikina confirmed that the wake of the comedian will start Saturday afternoon.

The report added that the family, friends and former co-workers of D' Horsie are expected to arrive at the Loyola chapel at around 2 p.m.

His "Iskul Bukol" co-star and screenwriter Bibeth Orteza paid tribute to him in a series of posts on Facebook.

D’HORSIE, Ritchie (Ricardo Reyes)
Born: 1957, Philippines,
Died: 4/17/2015, Manila, Philippines

Ritchie D’Horsie’s western – actor:
The Return of the Long Ranger & Tonton: How the West Was Wrong – 1992 (Horse with No Name)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

RIP Peter Price

RIP Peter Price

British assistant director and production manager Peter Price died in London on April 6th. He was 85. Price started work at Ealing studios in 1946 as post boy then worked his way up to the production department and after several months training, worked as 3rd Assistant on the film "It Always Rains on Sunday", which was made again in 1948 when crews returned from the services. He then started his freelance career an Assistant Director working at all the major studios, and with many top directors. He had the privilege of working as 1st Assistant with all the Ealing Directors: Sandy Mackendrik, Charles Crichton, Basil Deardon,Les Norman, Michael Truman.

PRICE, Peter
Born: 1/9/2930, London, England, U.K.
Died: 4/6/2015, London, England, U.K.

Peter Price’s westerns – assistant director:
Shalako – 1968 [assistant director]
Chato’s Land – 1972 [assistant director]
Heaven’s Gate – 1980 [production manager]