Saturday, January 14, 2017

RIP Dick Gautier

Dick Gautier, Hymie the Robot on 'Get Smart,' Dies at 85

The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes

The actor got his start as a stand-up comic and received a Tony nomination for playing the Elvis-like singer in the original production of 'Bye, Bye Birdie.'

Dick Gautier, who starred on Broadway in the original production of Bye, Bye Birdie and then famously played Hymie the Robot on the sitcom Get Smart, has died. He was 85.

Gautier died Friday night at an assisted living facility in Arcadia, Calif., after a long illness, his daughter Denise told The Hollywood Reporter.

Gautier, who started his career as a stand-up comic, received a Tony nomination in 1961 for playing Conrad Birdie, the character based on Elvis Presley, in the memorable, original 1960 production of Bye, Bye Birdie, starring Dick Van Dyke.

The handsome actor appeared as Hymie on just six episodes of Get Smart over four seasons, yet he was one of the spy spoof's most popular characters.

Hymie, who was incredibly strong and had a supercomputer for a brain and wires and components in a compartment in his chest, originally was built for the evil organization KAOS but came over to CONTROL (the good guys) because Max (Don Adams) was the first one to treat him like a real person.

"When I met with the powers that be, I told them that when I was a kid in Canada I saw a man in a storefront window acting like a manikin to drum up business," he said in 2013. "If you could make him smile, you’d get $10. So, I tried, but not by acting crazy — I merely imitated his movements. I didn’t win the $10, but I got the part of Hymie, which was a little better."

Eventually, Max picked Hymie to be his best man for his wedding with Agent 86 (Barbara Feldon), and Gautier returned as the robot for a 1989 Get Smart TV movie.

In 1975, Gautier starred as Robin Hood on the short-lived ABC series When Things Were Rotten, co-created by Mel Brooks, who, of course, had launched Get Smart as well.

Gautier was a veteran stand-up performer and working at The Blue Angel nightclub in New York as an opener for headliner and singer Margaret Whiting when he was spotted by Bye, Bye Birdie director Gower Champion and Charles Strouse, who did the music for the production.

"They asked me to read for this thing," he recalled in a 2014 interview with Kliph Nesteroff. "I was a little put off because I didn't like rock and roll. Not at that point. I said, 'I don't think it's for me. I like Jerome Kern and George Gershwin.'

"They said, 'Will you at least come in and audition?' I went in and they said, 'Would you sing an Elvis song?' I said, 'I don't know any Elvis songs.' So they just played some blues and I ad-libbed and I guess they liked it. Couple months later they called.

Gautier told his agent, "'It's not for me. I feel very inhibited and very intimidated by this whole Elvis thing because it's not me.' He said, 'It's a satire.' Then I went, 'Ohhhhh.' When he said that, then I got it. Suddenly it was OK. I got the part, got a Tony nomination, and my career was in a whole different place. I didn't work nightclubs anymore."

Gautier was born on Oct. 30, 1931, in Culver City, and his father, a French-Canadian, worked as a grip at MGM. He spent some time growing up in Montreal and sang and did a comedy act with a band that wound up on a local TV show in L.A.

He served in the U.S. Navy, where he booked acts, including a young Johnny Mathis. When he got out of the service in San Francisco, he hung out at the hungry i nightclub and decided to try stand-up. He and the legendary Mort Sahl were among the first comics to be booked at the club, which would go on to become a renowned breeding ground for stand-ups.

The charming Gautier played clubs all over the country and for a time toured with the folk act Kingston Trio. When he was looking for material for an act in Las Vegas, he paid Jay Leno and David Letterman $100 an hour to write jokes for him, he said in the chat with Nesteroff.

Gautier appeared in a guest stint on The Patty Duke Show and was in the Joshua Logan-directed Ensign Pulver (1964), and he had regular roles on the short-lived series Mr. Terrific and Here We Go Again, starring Larry Hagman. He also played an amorous sportscaster on an episode The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

He co-wrote the 1968 pot movie Maryjane (1968) with future Hollywood Squares host Peter Marshall and the 1972 film Wild in the Sky (1972), starring Georg Stanford Brown.

Gautier also appeared in such films as Divorce American Style (1967) — playing Van Dyke's attorney — Fun With Dick and Jane (1977) and Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1977) and on TV shows like Charlie's Angels, The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, Silk Stalkings and Nip/Tuck.

He also was a guest on many game shows, including Tattletales, on which he appeared with his then-wife, actress Barbara Stuart.

Starting in the mid-1980s, Gautier worked often as a voice actor on such shows as Galtar and the Golden Lance, G.I. Joe, The Transformers, The New Yogi Bear Show and The Addams Family.

An accomplished artist, Gautier also wrote and illustrated several books about drawing and how to become a cartoonist.

"Cartooning has been my hobby, my therapy, a delicious pastime and on occasion my salvation — it got me through some tight financial spots when I was a struggling actor," he wrote in the introduction to his 1989 book, The Creative Cartoonist.

In addition to Denise, survivors include his wife Tess, daughter Chris and son Rand.

GAUTIER, Dick (Richard Gautier)
Born: 10/30/1931, Culver City, California, U.S.A.
Died: 1/13/2017, Arcadia, California, U.S.A.

Dick Gautier’s western – actor:
Zorro and Son (TV) – 1983 (El Excellente)

Friday, January 13, 2017

RIP William Peter Blatty

'Exorcist' author William Peter Blatty has died

USA Today
January 13, 2017

NEW YORK  — Novelist and filmmaker William Peter Blatty, a former Jesuit school valedictorian who conjured a tale of demonic possession and gave millions the fright of their lives with the best-selling novel and Oscar-winning movie The Exorcist, has died. He was 89.

Blatty died Thursday at a hospital in Bethesda, Md., where he lived, his widow, Julie Alicia Blatty, told the Associated Press. The cause of death was multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, she said.

Inspired by an incident in a Washington suburb that Blatty had read about while in college, The Exorcist was published in 1971, followed two years later by the film of the same name. Blatty's story of a 12-year-old-girl inhabited by a satanic force spent more than a year on The New York Times fiction best-seller list and eventually sold more than 10 million copies.

It reached a far wider audience through the movie version, directed by William Friedkin, produced and written by Blatty and starring Linda Blair as the young, bedeviled Regan.

"RIP William Peter Blatty, who wrote the great horror novel of our time," Stephen King tweeted Friday. "So long, Old Bill."

Even those who thought they had seen everything had never seen anything like the R-rated The Exorcist and its assault of vomit, blood, rotting teeth, ghastly eyes and whirlwind head-spinning — courtesy of makeup and special effects maestro Dick Smith. Fans didn't care that Vincent Canby of The New York Times found it a "chunk of elegant occultist claptrap," or that the set burned down during production. They stood for hours in freezing weather for the winter release and kept coming even as the movie, with its omnipresent soundtrack theme, Mike Oldfield's chilly, tingly Tubular Bells, cast its own disturbing spell.

From around the world came reports of fainting, puking, epileptic fits, audience members charging the screen and waving rosary beads, and, in England, a boy committing murder and blaming The Exorcist. The Rev. Billy Graham would allege that the film's very celluloid was evil.

"I was standing in the back of a theater in New York at the first public press screening of the film, too nervous to sit down," Blatty told in 2000. "And along came a woman who got up in about the fifth or sixth row. A young woman, who started walking up the aisle, slowly at first. She had her hand to her head. And then I could see her lips moving. She got close enough, and I could hear her murmuring, 'Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.'"

Named the scariest movie of all time by Entertainment Weekly, The Exorcist topped $400 million worldwide at the box office, among the highest at the time for an R-rated picture. Oscar voters also offered rare respect for a horror film: The Exorcist was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and received two, for best sound and Blatty's screenplay.

"When I was writing the novel I thought of it as a super-natural detective story, and to this day I cannot recall having a conscious intention to terrifying anybody, which you may take, I suppose, as an admission of failure on an almost stupefying scale," Blatty told The Huffington Post in 2011.

BLATTY, William Peter
Born: 1/7/1928, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 1/12/2017, Bethesda,Maryland, U.S.A.

William Peter Blatty’s western – screenwriter:
The Great Bank Robbery - 1969

RIP Horacio Guarany

Horacio Guarany dies at the age of 91

The popular singer, owner of an extensive artistic trajectory, died of a cardiac arrest in his city, Luján

Horacio Guarany passed away to the 91 years.  This was confirmed by his manager, Ruben López, in social networks.

 "With deep pain I have to confirm that our teacher has gone to other celestial festivals . Thank you Guara for everything ," he wrote.  Then, in communication with Clarí, he reported that his departure had been " quiet , at peace and at home with his people", and that the reasons for his death had to do with "things of the age, added to the Diseases that accumulate over the years. "

 He also informed that by decision of his relatives there would be no public wake and that, at least for the moment, the intention is to do something more intimate .  On that plane, Kike Teruel, musician of Los Nocheros, confirmed that only a ceremony would be held for his relatives and close friends in Lujan , where Guarany had his house.

A little less than a year ago, the manager and representative of the singer and writer had revealed that Guarany suffered from chronic heart failure . "It is not yet to work, so we had to suspend the Fisherman and Jesus Maria and at the end of the month have a control in The Favaloro, "he had said last January.

In September of 2015, the singer was hospitalized of urgency in the Foundation Favaloro after a decompensation provoked by a heart failure.  "Horacio is a 90-year-old person who is very demanding and only being of that age makes it difficult for doctors to work with tranquility and wisdom," Lopez explained at the time.

Horacio Guarany was born on May 15, 1925 in Las Garzas, Santa Fe province, with the name of Eraclio Catalín Rodríguez .  At age 17 he settled in Buenos Aires with the project to succeed as a singer.  At the beginning of his career he played folklore, but also tangos and boleros, while earning his living as a stevedore in the port.

 At the age of 32 he published the first of the 57 albums that includes the career of one of the most popular folk artists;  A trajectory that had its apogee in the years '60 and '70, with its messages of protest and its vindication of the lives of the peones, the peasants and the swallow workers.

 He won 15 Gold Records and a dozen Platinum Records , and in 2005 won a Gardel Award.  Already in 1985 he had been honored with a Platinum Konex as the greatest male singer of folklore.

Clarification on the health of Horacio Guarany

 The singer remained active practically until a year ago.  In January of 2015 had acted in the Festival of Jesus Maria , although in 2016, for reasons of health, suspended its recital.

GUARRANY, Horacio (Eraclio Catalín Rodríguez Cereijo)
Born: 5/15/1925, Santa Fe, Argentina
Died: 1/13/2017, Luján, Argentina

Horacio Guarrany’s western – actor:
The Return of Martin Fiero - 1974

RIP Paula Dell

RIP Paula Dell

Los Angeles Times
January 12, 2017

November 15, 1926 - January 9, 2017 Paula Adele Unger Boelsems, (stage name Paula Dell) 90 passed away at her long time Santa Monica home with her son by her side. Born in Longmont, Colorado to Ralph and Clayton Unger. Her family moved to California in 1935 where she became the Queen of Muscle Beach, a Hollywood stunt woman, an international acrobatic judge, a school teacher, a graduate of Santa Monica High School, Stephens College and USC. Predeceased in death by husband Hal, a lifetime Santa Monica resident, survived by son Randy ( K. C.) and granddaughters Emily & Gracie Boelsems, sister Rosalie Cloud, 6 nieces, 4 nephews and their families. Memorial Services January 25, 2017, 11 AM Grace Lutheran Church, 4427 Overland, Culver City, CA 90230. Followed by Celebration of Life in the church fellowship hall. Interment 2 PM Woodlawn Cemetry, 1847 14th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 Casual dress and Beachwear are appropriate. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in her name, to Grace Lutheran Church of Culver City.

DELL, Paula (Paula Adele Unger)
Born: 11/15/1926, Longmont, Colorado, U.S.A.
Died: 1/9/2017, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.

Paula Dell’s western – stuntwoman:
Blazing Saddles - 1974

RIP Marietta Elliott

RIP Marietta Elliott

Los Angeles Times
January 13, 2017

September 19, 1925 - December 2, 2016 Marietta Elliott Hayes passed away quietly, surrounded by family and friends. Born in New York City, she was the only child of Clyde E. Elliott, a motion picture director known for Frank Buck's "Bring 'Em Back Alive" and "Devil Tiger"; and Marie Flavia Elliott, an actress born in Poland. As a child, Marietta traveled throughout Asia as her father filmed adventures for Paramount, eventually settling down in Los Angeles and attending Hollywood High school. While there, Marietta excelled as a fencer studying with the great Ralph Faukner at the old Falcon studios. She gave up the blade to study ballet. She began her dancing career as one of the renowned Earl Carroll Girls, known for their exceptional beauty, then segued into several productions done by the Los Angeles Light Opera. She danced on many musical variety Television shows and in feature films such as "Showboat", "Singing in the Rain", "An American in Paris" and "Gunsmoke".

While under contract at Fox, she met the novelist and screenwriter Alfred Hayes, whom she later married. When she retired from dance, she went on to have a long career as a real estate agent and broker throughout Los Angeles. A wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, and tireless defender of all animals great and small, she was as tough as she was gentle. A true wild Irish rose. She will be greatly missed. Marietta is survived by her two sons, Alfred Elliott and Alan Clyde, their families, granddaughter Asia Bleu, and an extended network of friends and loved ones. The family has requested to honor Marietta, any donations be made in her memory to Actors and Others for Animals. 11523 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601.

ELLIOTT, Marietta
Born: 9/19/1925, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 12/2/2016, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Marietta Elliott’s westerns – actress:
Annie Get Yout Gun – 1950 (cowgirl)
The Half-Breed – 1952 (Can-Can girl)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1953 (saloon dancer)