Saturday, May 18, 2019

RIP Carlo Marini

Italian actor and director of dubbing films, Carlo Marini died in Rome, Italy on January 5, 2019. As an actor he starred in films such as “W la seal” directed by Nando Cicero, “My Cousins” by Marcello Avallone and “Von Buttiglione Strurmtruppenfuhrer by Mino Guerrini and the Rai fiction film “Can I Call You Love?” also the Mediaset “The Witness”.
He was also a theater actor appearing in two operas.

He was a dubbing director of films such as “Platoon”, “Terminator” and “Edward Scissorhands”.

For many years he was the narrator of many documentaries of “The Time Machine” program broadcast on Rete 4.

Born: 4/27/1950, Spoleto, Perugia, Umbria, Italy
Died: 1/5/2019, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Carlo Marini’s western – voice dubber:
Alamo – 2004 [Italian voice of Leon Rippy]

RIP Sammy Shore

Sammy Shore, Legendary Stand-Up Comedian, Dies at 92

The Wrap
By Beatrice Verhoeven

Sammy Shore, the legendary stand-up comedian and co-founder of the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, has died. He was 92.

According to his family, Shore passed away Saturday from natural causes while in his home in Las Vegas, surrounded by his wife, Suzanne, and the rest of his family.

Shore co-founded the world-famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles with his writing partner Rudy De Luca in 1972 — it would soon become to premier stand-up club in the world.

Shore’s career began in the Catskills, where he partnered with Shecky Greene. When Elvis Presley chose him to open for his comeback at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in 1974, Shore’s career took off, and he continued to open for Presley over the next seven years.

Over the course of his 70-year career, Shore opened for people like Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones, Sammy Davis, Jr., Connie Stevens and Glen Campbell, among many others. While he lived in Los Angeles, he became a member of the famous “Friars Club.” He was voted Best Comedy Act in Atlantic City by the Atlantic City Press and even had a day named after him on July 24, 1990 by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors. He’s also known to be the only comedian who worked Harrah’s Casinos and Hotels more than any other entertainer.

Over the last 25 years, Shore toured and performed with his son and fellow comedian, Pauly. But Shore was also an accomplished author, publishing books such as “The Man Who Made Elvis Laugh” and “The Warm-Up.” Before his death, he was finishing up a book titled, “Last Comic Sitting (Confessions of a Pissed-Off Comic).”

“Dad, you lived an amazing life and I’m so proud to say that you are my father. When you’re in heaven I’ll be killing the crowds night after night and carrying on your legacy. Love you Dad. Rest in peace,” Pauly wrote in a long Twitter thread, retelling his experience working with his father on stage.

He recorded several albums titled “Brother Sam, Come Heal With Me” and “70 Sucks, but 80 is Worse,” among others. He also performed in several one-man shows and appeared in several films including “The Bellboy” with Jerry Lewis and ‘Life Stinks” with Mel Brooks. He also appeared on the “Ed Sullivan Show.”

When Shore moved to Las Vegas, he and his wife joined with the Nevada SPCA to host fundraisers under “Funny Bones” to raise money to pay for the critical care of animals who weren’t otherwise adoptable.

Shore is survived by his wife, his three dogs and his four children, as well as two grandchildren.

SHORE, Sammy (Samuel Shore)
Born: 2/7/1927, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 5/18/2019, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

Sammy Shore’s western – actor;
Texas Across the River – 1966 (Indian)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

RIP Ron Smerczak

TV With Thinus
May 13, 2019

The veteran, British-born South African actor Ron Smerczak has died from a heart attack. He was 69.

Ron Smerczak's decades-long career on South African television ranged from roles in SABC productions like Shaka Zulu, John Ross, Generations and Isidingo,'s Rhythm City, to kykNET's (DStv 144) Villa Rosa, Jongo on BET (DStv 129) and many more.

He also appeared in international series filmed in South Africa and Cape Town like Warrior and Strike Back on M-Net (Dstv 101), and Black Sails that was shown on History (DStv 186).

Besides television he appeared in several roles on stage and in film.

"That moment when you think back to the last time you spoke to someone for whom you have the greatest respect & admiration. You agreed to coffee and catch up. Then he's gone. Actor, icon, legend & guide Ron Smerczak is no more," wrote Jack Devnarain, the former Isidingo actor and chairperson of the South African Guild of Actors (SAGA), in a tribute.

SAGA in a statement said "SAGA mourns the passing of the veteran actor and industry stalwart Ron Smerczak. His love for Shakespeare, stage, TV and film defined his decades of service to the industry. We remember him as a friend, mentor and inspiration and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his family. We are all poorer for his loss."

Born: 3/7/1949, Blackpool, England U.K.
Died: 5/13/2019, Johannesburg, South Africa

Ron Smerczak’s westerns – actor:
Trigger Fast – 1994 (Sergeant Tring)
Hooded Angels – 2002 (Packer)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

RIP Giampiero Boneschi

Addio Giampiero Boneschi

By Massimo Privitera
May 16, 2019

The famous Maestro Giampiero Boneschi, a rather important and historical figure of the Italian music and author of several soundtracks for cinema and multiple films, left us on May 12th at his home in Segrate, in the Milanese province, at the venerable age of 92 years. acronyms for Rai and Mediaset. Born January 31, 1927 in Milan, he was a pianist, composer, arranger, producer and conductor, as well as the founder of the first post-war Italic jazz group and a member of a trio called Gambarelli-Mojoli-Boneschi and popular jazz ensembles.

His famous television themes have accompanied legendary Rai and Canale 5 programs such as ‘Lascia o radoppia’? and ‘Scherzi a parte’, and has collaborated with names such as Luigi Tenco, Gino Paoli, Umberto Bindi and Fabrizio De André, recording with famous record labels, see La voce del padrone, Odeon, Philips, Cam and Dischi Ricordi. He composed the scores for animated films such as the cult feature “West and Soda” by Bruno Bozzetto in 1965, in which he uses the typical stylistic features of the western symphonic tradition of the Hollywood Golden Age, with some winks to experimentations Morriconiane of the progenitor of the Leonian trilogy, “For a Fistful of Dollars” in 1964, and for the short film “Mr. Rossi Buys the 1966 Automobile”, and for another animated film, “The Long Green Stocking” by R. Gavioli from 1961. Care for music from Duccio Tessari's 1965 film, “A Wish to Die”.

BONESCHI, Giampiero
Born: 1/31/1927, Milan Lombardy, Italy
Died: 5/12/2019, Segrate, Lombardy, Italy

Giampiero Boneschi’s western - composer:
West and Soda – 1964

RIP Russ Fast

Oregon’s Art Watch
March 23, 2019

Russ Fast, who died Feb. 20 at age 71 after a fight with cancer, left a lot of memories for a lot of people across a lot of areas when he moved on. He was a sometime musician – a drummer and backup singer – and made an early name for himself as a tap-dancer and lip-syncher. He was a man of the theater, performing, by his own count, in 143 productions in Portland, New York, Seattle, and elsewhere. He sometimes made his living as an accomplished voice actor, and worked regularly in film: movies, television, commercials, industrials. He directed, and taught acting. And with his friend, the actor B. Joe Medley, and Jeanne Medley he opened Character Actors, one of the first talent agencies in the Pacific Northwest.

Friends, family, and fans will gather from 2 to 4 p.m. next Saturday, March 30, for a celebration of remembrance in his honor at Milagro Theatre, 525 S.E. Stark St., where he once was “privileged to play my lifelong hero, Pablo Neruda,” in Burning Patience, Antonio Skarmeta’s play about the great Chilean poet. It’s open to all. There’ll be a light potluck, and attendees are encouraged to share memories and stories.

Russell George Fast was born July 19, 1947, in Pasco, Wash., and moved with his family while he was still in school to Portland. He graduated from Grant High School, then attended the Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatrical Arts, toured with the school’s children’s theater, worked with the Hollywood Actor’s Group, and moved back north to work with the Director’s Studio in Seattle.

He found a theatrical home in Portland at the old Slabtown Stop Theater, working there for five years before heading for New York, where he studied at HB Studios and worked in more than a dozen shows Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. In 1983 the New York Times reviewed a revival of the Greek comedy The Birds that Fast directed and in which he performed. “There is a good time to be had,” reviewer Richard F. Shepard began, “in the current presentation of The Birds, an ancient but not timeworn comedy by Aristophanes that opened in Athens in 414 B.C. and is now enjoying, in every sense, a revival, in English by the Greek Theater of New York.” Later, the review praised Fast’s direction, which “gives the show its fast-paced merriment,” and his performance as Euelpides, “a dimwitted straight man as bird or human.”

For all of his stage work, Fast was at least as well-known for his work on film. He played the lead, a young serial killer, in director George Hood and writer Don Gronquist’s 1973 made-in-Oregon feature Rockaday Richie and the Queen of the Hop (renamed Stark Raving Mad on its re-release) and voiced the Geographer in director Will Vinton and writer Susan Shadburne’s 1979 Claymation adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Éxupery’s The Little Prince. He had roles in several movies, among them Breaking In, with Burt Reynolds; The Temp, with Timothy Hutton; and Disney’s Don Knotts Western comedy Hot Lead and Cold Feet. He performed in about 20 television movies or series.

Fast moved back to Portland after his years in New York, and besides making films worked regularly for the city’s theater companies, including the old Portland Rep, Peter Fornara’s The Production Company (where he starred in Edward J. Moore’s O’Neill-inflected two-hander The Seahorse with Michele Mariana, who also played the Prince in Vinton’s The Little Prince), and Portland Civic Theatre. My own most indelible stage memory of Fast is from another two-hander, in Portland Civic’s intimate Blue Room, a wondrous and definitive performance with the late Lyn Tyrrell of Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory.

Barbara Fast, his former wife, who cared for him in his final days, called Fast “the sweetest man in the world” and “my best friend since I was 14.” Their son Nathan Fast, in a Facebook post, called him “the greatest friend, mentor, man, teacher and of course Father that I could have ever wanted.” His friend and fellow actor Mariana remembered him as “an avid reader, a loyal friend, a kind, funny, deeply spiritual, fiercely private man ever curious and willing to learn.”

There’ll be more stories about Fast on Saturday at Milagro. If you have one, or want to hear some, drop on down

FAST, Russ (Russell George Fast)
Born: 7/19/1947, Pasco, Washington, U.S.A.
Died: 2/20/2019, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

Russ Fast’s western – actor:
Hot Lead and Cold Feet - 1978

RIP Tim Conway

Tim Conway, Star of 'McHale's Navy' and 'The Carol Burnett Show,' Dies at 85

The Hollywod Reporter
By Chris Koseluk

The playful five-time Emmy Award winner also got huge laughs as Dorf, a pint-sized sports enthusiast, and starred in a pair of 'Apple Dumpling Gang' movies.

Tim Conway, the cherub-faced comedian who became a TV star for playing the bumbling Ensign Parker on McHale's Navy and for cracking up his helpless colleagues on camera on The Carol Burnett Show, has died. He was 85.

A five-time Emmy Award winner, Conway died Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. in Los Angeles, his rep told The Hollywood Reporter. According to recent reports, he was suffering from dementia and unable to speak after undergoing brain surgery in September.

For four seasons beginning in October 1962, the impish actor provided the heart and a lion's share of the laughs on ABC's McHale's Navy as the sweet, befuddled second-in-command on a PT boat full of connivers and con men led by the show's title character, played by Ernest Borgnine.

Despite having the best intentions, Ensign Charles Parker always managed to make things worse with his ineptitude. Joe Flynn, as the harried Captain Binghamton, was usually on the receiving end of his missteps. Their exchanges often led to slapstick catastrophe — much to viewers' delight — and Conway earned an Emmy nomination in 1963 for his work.

Conway's popularity skyrocketed after he joined CBS' The Carol Burnett Show in 1975 for good after making numerous guest appearances on the program (he would be a regular on four of its 11 seasons). His array of goofy characters, combined with his impeccable comic timing, helped make the show a classic. He won two Emmys and a Golden Globe for performing and another Emmy for his writing on the series.

In an October 2013 appearance in Beverly Hills to tout the release of Conway's memoir, What's So Funny?: My Hilarious Life, Burnett — wiping tears of laughter from her eyes — recalled how "Tim's goal in life was to destroy Harvey Korman," Conway's frequent sketch partner on the show.

Conway was a consummate prankster and Korman his favorite victim. During one of their hilarious sketches in which Conway played a dentist and Korman his patient, Burnett swore that Conway's unrehearsed improvisations pushed Korman so far to the edge of breaking, if you look closely …

"Harvey wet his pants," Conway proclaimed proudly.

Sensing the rising popular of VHS in the 1980s, Conway struck gold with a direct-to-video series based around a character named Dorf, a pint-sized sports enthusiast with a Scandinavian accent similar to the Tudball character he created for The Carol Burnett Show.

In a 2004 interview for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television, Conway revealed how he came up with the idea.

"Harvey and I were doing a show for CBS, and we were doing a takeoff on Fantasy Island. I was doing Herve [Villechaize]," said Conway. "I had shoes on my knees and I said, 'You know, you put a hole in the floor here, I could stand in the hole, you could put the shoes on my knees, and it would look like I'm standing on the ground and doing some unusual moves.' So on Stage 33, CBS dug a hole, and I put my feet in it."

Released in 1987, his Dorf on Golf featured the character presenting insights on links play while being harassed by his dim-witted caddy (Vincent Schiavelli). Anytime Dorf rocked back and forth or swung a club, hilarity ensued. The 30-minute comedy proved so popular, it launched a franchise that included Dorf's Golf Bible (1988), Dorf Goes Auto Racing (1990), Dorf Goes Fishing (1993) and Dorf on the Diamond (1996).

Born Thomas Daniel Conway on Dec. 15, 1933, in the Cleveland suburb of Willoughby, Ohio, Conway majored in speech and radio at Bowling Green State University. After graduation, he served with the U.S. Army before returning to Cleveland and landing a job at a radio station. His initial duties were answering mail and writing promotional material.

The 5-foot-6 Conway segued into television, taking a gig with local on-air personality Ernie Anderson, first at NBC affiliate KYW and then at CBS affiliate WJW. (Around this time, he changed his first name to avoid confusion with actor Tom Conway, the star of The Falcon movies.)

Anderson hosted a weekday morning program called Ernie's Place, built around the airing of old movies. Conway was the director, though he admitted he didn't have a clue what he was doing. He also wrote material for comedy skits that ran during breaks from the film.

"We couldn't get any guests on the show because it was so bad, so I was also the guest," Conway said during the Oral History interview. "Rose Marie from The Dick Van Dyke Show happened to be in Cleveland doing promotional work for the show, saw one of those things and said, 'That's hysterical. Let me just take something to Steve Allen.' "

Allen liked what he saw and brought Conway to Hollywood to do guest bits on his show. After several appearances, Conway returned to Cleveland and Ernie's Place. Then a call came to star in McHale's Navy.

"I said I didn't want to go," Conway remembered. "They [the TV station] fired me. So I went out there, did McHale's Navy and the next thing you know, here I am."

The sitcom was so popular, Universal Pictures parlayed the concept into two feature films — McHale's Navy (1964) and McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force (1965). Conway was the focal point of both.

After McHale's Navy sailed off into the sunset, Conway took a stab at other TV projects, with little success. Both the 1967 Western sitcom Rango and 1970's The Tim Conway Show, which reunited him with Flynn, lasted only a handful of episodes.

And then there was Turn On, created by George Schlatter as the new Laugh-In. Conway was the only recognizable name on the 30-minute comedy that debuted in 1969. It was so confusing and disjointed, viewers couldn't follow it. And they weren't laughing. Turn On was canceled after one episode, never to be seen again.

Conway, on the other hand, began turning up more and more on the big screen. He proved to be an affable laugh-getter in such family fare as The World's Greatest Athlete (1973),The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975), Gus (1976), The Shaggy D.A. (1976) and The Billion Dollar Hobo (1977).

And during the '70s, he returned to the TV spotlight with Burnett. Conway said he liked the fact that the show gave him the freedom to do the kind of comedy that played to his strengths. "Most of the time I would bring my own material," he said.

Conway also enjoyed that it was Burnett's show and there was no pressure on him. "I don't feature myself as being the head man," he said. "I would much rather stand in the background and make small, funny things than be up at the head of the class."

When the series ended its run in 1978, Conway embarked on another string of theatrical features, including They Went That-a-Way and That-a-Way (1978), The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979), The Prize Fighter (1979), The Private Eyes (1980) and The Longshot (1986). With the exception of the Apple Dumpling sequel, Conway also wrote the screenplays.

Conway said comedy scripts seemed to pour out of him, especially when inspired by his frequent co-star, Don Knotts, who also appeared in the Apple Dumpling films, The Prize Fighter and The Private Eyes.

Conway made another stab at a sitcom in 1983 with CBS' Ace Crawford, Private Eye. It was quickly canceled. To get the last laugh, Conway ordered a vanity license plate that read "13 WKS," making fun of the fact that all his solo television efforts were axed after 13 episodes.

But that doesn't mean the comedian's popularity suffered. Conway popped up on the small screen on Newhart, The Golden Palace, Cybill, Married … With Children, The Larry Sanders Show, The Drew Carey Show, Clueless, 7th Heaven, Mad About You, Diagnosis Murder, Yes, Dear, Two and a Half Men and Mike & Molly, among other shows.

He added two Emmy statutes to his trophy shelf for guest appearances on Coach and 30 Rock.

In 1999, Conway found a new generation of fans when he voiced the character of Barnacle Boy for SpongeBob SquarePants.

The comedian supported several charities. Wanting to be a jockey when he was younger and later the owner of race horses, Conway co-founded the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund to aid injured and disabled jockeys.

Conway was married twice. In 1961, he wed Mary Anne Dalton. During their 17 years together, they had six children, including L.A. radio personality Tim Conway Jr. In 1984, he married Charlene Conway, and they had one child.

His wife and a daughter from his first marriage, Kelly, sparred in court in March over whether he should be placed under a conservatorship. He also is survived by his sons Tim, Patrick, Jamie, Corey and Seann.

"The love he gave us, and the laughter he gave the world, will never be replaced but will be remembered forever. He is at peace now, but I will miss him every second of every day until we meet again in heaven," his daughter said in a statement.

"We knew he would have to leave us someday, but that day came too soon. When he used to hear the song 'Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,' he would say, 'I want that played at my funeral.'"

CONWAY, Tim (Thomas Daniel Conway)
Born: 12/15/1933, Willoughby, Ohio, U.S.A.
Died: 5/14/2019, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Tim Conway’s westerns – actor:
Rango (TV) – 1967 (Rango)
The Apple Dumpling Gang – 1975 (Amos Tucker)
The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again – 1979 (Amos Tucker)