Thursday, November 14, 2019

RIP Lawrence G. Paull

Lawrence G. Paull, Oscar-Nominated Production Designer on 'Blade Runner,' Dies at 81

The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes

He also worked on such films as 'Back to the Future,' 'Romancing the Stone,' 'The Hired Hand' and 'Escape From L.A.'

Lawrence G. Paull, the production designer and art director who received an Oscar nomination for his work on the Ridley Scott sci-fi classic Blade Runner, died Sunday in La Jolla, California, a publicist announced. He was 81.

Paull's distinctive design style also can be seen in director Robert Zemeckis' Back to the Future (1985) and Romancing the Stone (1984) and in Ron Underwood's City Slickers (1991), starring Billy Crystal and Jack Palance.

Paull also worked on Peter Fonda's The Hired Hand (1971); Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976), American Flyers (1985) and Another Stakeout (1993), all directed by John Badham; John Carpenter's Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992) and Escape From L.A. (1996); Jonathan Kaplan's Project X (1987) and Unlawful Entry (1992); Jon Avildsen's W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings (1975); and Paul Schrader's Blue Collar (1978).

He shared his Oscar nom for art direction-set decoration with David L. Snyder and Linda DeScenna.
"Ridley really knew how to appeal to the art department, he was very wise about it," Paull once said in a rare interview. "What he would say, up in the art department: 'If you build it, I'll shoot it.' And who could resist the temptation of that? Because we've all suffered, making films with gigantic sets, and beautiful sets, and all that is shown are talking heads. And that was disappointing. But because [Ridley] was an art director, he knew he could hook us with that bait. And he did it — if we built it, he shot it."

Scott in a statement recalled that he was "always struck by [Paull's] staunch and faithful support of the strange plan for the unique world of Blade Runner." He continued, "Between Syd [Means, visual futurist on the film] and myself and Larry, it was a challenging, monumental task for him and against all odds — the proof is in his work in the film. So I guess we won. My hat comes off for him."
His film résumé also included Harlem Nights (1989), Predator 2 (1990), Born Yesterday (1993), Naked Gun 33-1/3: The Final Insult (1994), Sgt. Bilko (1996) and Light it Up (1999).

Born in Chicago on April 13, 1938, Paull received a B.A. in architecture from the University of Arizona and began working in films as a set designer and art director before advancing to production designer.

His early career as art director includes more than 20 TV movies and feature films by such celebrated directors as Robert Mulligan, Delbert Mann and Lamont Johnson. He also designed the Emmy-winning Friendly Fire in 1979; Oprah Winfrey's ABC miniseries The Wedding in 1998; David Greene's Rehearsal for Murder in 1982; Burt Reynolds' Hard Time in 1998; and James Keach's Murder in the Mirror in 2000.

Following his retirement from the motion picture industry, Paull in 2004 joined Chapman University in Irvine, California, where he created and taught a new curriculum that is required for a masters of fine arts degree in production design.

Before Chapman, he was senior filmmaker-in-residence at the AFI in Los Angeles, creating the curriculum required for another masters in production design. He worked with the adjunct faculty on the format and content of each course. He also was a guest speaker at Harvard, USC, UCLA, Catholic University and the University of Arizona.

Survivors include his wife of 36 years, Marcy; son Michael; sister Lesley; and brother-in-law Craig. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made in his memory to the charity of your choice. There will be no services.

PAULL, Lawrence G.
Born: 4/13/1938, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Died: 11/10/2019, LaJolla, California, U.S.A.

Lawrence G. Paull’s westerns – production designer, art director:
The Hired Hand – 1971 [production designer, art director
Ciry Slickers -1991 [production designer]

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

RIP Niall Tóibín

Veronica Guerin and Ballykissangel star Niall Tóibín dies aged 89

November 13, 2019

Irish actor and comedian Niall Tóibín has died aged 89. The star has passed away following a long illness, according to RTÉ. Tóibín was best known for his role in Jerry Bruckheimer’s award-winning film Veronica Guerin, in which he played Judge Ballaugh alongside Cate Blanchett. The Cork-born actor also appeared in Ryan’s Daughter in 1970 and went on to appear in the TV series Bracken, Ballykissangel and Brideshead Revisited. Other roles from his career, which spanned four decades, include The Ballroom of Romance, Far and Away and The Clinic.

On the stage, the actor played Brendan Behan in the original adaptation of Borstal Boy at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. In 2011, Tóibín – a fluent Irish speaker – was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Irish Film and Television Academy. Four years later, he was awarded the Freedom of Cork in recognition of his TV, film and stage work. Niall is survived by his five children – Sighle, Aisling, Fiana, Sean and Muireann – and his seven grandchildren. His wife of 45 years Judy died in 2002.

TOBIN, Niall

Born: County Cork, Irish Free State
Died: 11/13/2019, Dublin, Ireland

Niall Tóibín’s western – actor:

Far and Away – 1992 (Joe)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

RIP Virginia Leith

Virginia Leith, Female Lead in Stanley Kubrick’s First Film, Dies at 94

By Erin Nyren
November 12, 2019

Actress and model Virginia Leith, who starred in Stanley Kubrick’s first film “Fear and Desire,” which he later disavowed, has died. She was 94.

According to family spokesperson Jane Chalmers, Leith died after a brief illness at her home in Palm Springs, Calif. on Nov. 4.

Born on Oct. 15, 1925, Leith met Kubrick in the 1950s when he shot her for the cover of Look magazine.

“Fear and Desire,” which received moderately positive critical reviews upon its release, was not a box office success. After distributor Joseph Burstyn died, the film fell out of circulation and Kubrick is said to have destroyed the original negative and any other prints he could find. Some original prints still exist, however, and Film Forum organized a screening in 1994. Kubrick released a statement through Warner Bros. at the time, calling it “a bumbling amateur film exercise” and urging press not to attend.

Following her appearance in “Fear and Desire,” Leith was signed by 20th Century Fox, starring in Richard Fleischer’s “Violent Saturday” (1955) with Victor Mature and Gerd Oswald’s “A Kiss Before Dying” (1956), opposite Robert Wagner and Jonanne Woodward. She also appeared in “Toward the Unknown” opposite William Holden.

One of her best-known roles in recent years was in Joseph Green’s 1962 low-budget science fiction cult classic “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die,” in which she played the disembodied head of the main character’s fiancee, which he keeps alive after discovering how to keep human body parts from dying.

Leith left show business in 1960 when she married Canadian actor Donald Harron, but following their divorce, she returned to the screen, appearing in numerous television series through 1980, including “Starsky and Hutch,” “Baretta,” “Police Woman,” “The White Shadow,” “Barnaby Jones,” and “Condominium.” She also remained close with her stepdaughters, Martha Harron and Mary Harron, director of “American Psycho” and “Charlie Says.”

LEITH, Virginia (Cora Virginia Leith)
Born: 10/15/1925, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.
Died: 11/4/2019, Palm Springs, California, U.S.A.

Virginia Leith’s western – actress:
White Feather – 1955 (Ann Magruder)

RIP Charlie LeSueur

Wild Bunch Film Festival’s Charlie LeSueur passed away

Arizona Range News
By Brooke Curley
November 12, 2019

WILLCOX- Charlie LeSueur, Western Film Historian and master of ceremonies for Wild Bunch Film Festival passed away on November 10.

LeSueur was named Arizona's Official Western Film Historian in 2014, and has appeared over 200 commercials, television programs as well as radio shows. He also wrote multiple books.

“Sadly, Arizona's Official Film Historian, Charlie LeSueur passed away at his home in Mesa, AZ on Sunday, November 10th. Charlie was our friend and The Wild Bunch Film Festival's emcee and award show co-host for the last three years in Willcox, AZ. He will be missed by us and so many others. He made an indelible mark on the world of Cowboys and leaves an enormous hole within the western lifestyle community.,” said Rock Whitehead, Wild Bunch Film Festival director. “Our deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers to all of his family, friends, and fans. RIP Charlie.”

The Wild Bunch Film Festival is an annual event and a national western screenplay and movie competition. Located at the Willcox Historic Theater, independent screenwriters and directors mingle as the festival spanned Rex Allen Days weekend. The festival spans over three days of film screenings and a red carpet award show. This year the show was hosted by Charlie LeSueur and Bobbi Jeen Olson, and included multiple filmmaker Q&A sessions.

"Charlie LeSueur will be missed. He was not only very professional at everything he did, but his knowledge of not just western movies but also movie trivia was of the highest quality,” said Willcox Historic Theater Manager Gary Clement. “I have learned from my time working with him on being able to up my knowledge and skill thanks to his professionalism at what he did.”

LeSUEUR, Charlie (Charles Thomas LeSueur)
Born: 1/22/1951, Mesa Arizona, U.S.A.
Died: 11/10/2019, Mesa, Arizona, U.S.A.

Charlie LeSueur’s westerns – producer, director, actor:
High Chaparral Reunion (TV) 2015 [screenwriter]
Wanted – 2015 (Charlie)
C-Bar – 2015, 2017 (John ‘Doe’ Doherty) [producer]
Mysteries of the Superstition Mountains – 2017 [executive producer]
One Day Only”: Big Nose Kate – 2019 (barkeep)
C-Bar, II – 2019 (John Doe)
Horse Camp (TV) – 2020 (Preacher John)

Friday, November 8, 2019

RIP Fred Bongusto

Italian singer Fred Bongusto dead

Light music performer was big in the 1960s and 70s

Rome, November 8 - Fred Bongusto died overnight at his home in Rome, the Italian singer-songwriter's press office said on Friday.

    The light music performer was big in the 1960s and 70s and he had several international hits.

    Bongusto was very popular in South America, especially Brazil, as well as in his homeland.

    He composed the soundtracks of many movies too.

Born: 4/6/1935, Campobasso, Campobasso, Italy

Died:  11/8/2019, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Fred Bongusto’s westerns – composer, singer:
Adios Gringo – 1965 [singer]
Blood for a Silver Dollar – 1965 [singer]
Day After Tomorrow – 1968 [composer, singer]

Thursday, November 7, 2019

RIP Nik Powell

Nik Powell, Producer of ‘The Crying Game’ and Virgin Group Co-Founder, Dies at 69

By Nick Vivarelli
November 8, 2019

British music and film producer Nik Powell, who was among the Virgin Group co-founders with Richard Branson and became an influential force in U.K. cinema, producing more than 60 titles including Neil Jordan’s Oscar-winning “The Crying Game,” died Thursday at age 69.

The cause of death was an unspecified form of cancer, Britain’s National Film and Television School (NFTS) – which Powell headed for more than a decade – said in a statement. He died in Oxford surrounded by his family.

Born on November 4, 1950, in the small village of Great Kingshill, in Buckinghamshire, Powell started out running a record shop and was among the founding partners in 1972 of Virgin Records, which became one of the U.K.’s top recording labels before being sold to EMI 20 years later.

In 1983 Powell co-founded U.K. video label and production outfit Palace Pictures with Stephen Woolley. They produced a string of standout titles such as “The Company of Wolves” (1984), and Neil Jordan’s “Mona Lisa” (1986) and “The Crying Game,” which won a best screenplay Oscar in 1993.

On the distribution side, where Powell put his savvy from the record business to good use, Palace Video titles included David Lynch’s “Eraserhead,” Derek Jarman’s “The Tempest” and Werner Herzog’s “Fitzcarraldo.” Then, when they expanded into theatrical, Palace Pictures was behind the U.K. releases of films including Sam Raimi’s “The Evil Dead,” Nagisa Oshima’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence,” the Coen brothers’ “Blood Simple,” Rob Reiner’s “When Harry Met Sally,” as well as films by big local names like Mike Leigh, Ken Loach and Peter Greenaway.

Virgin Records, which had scored hits with the Sex Pistols among other artists, “were quite famous for their clever marketing,” Wolley told Variety. “When Nik and I started Palace Video he brought a lot of those innovative ways of thinking,” he added, noting that when he first met Powell Wolley was just 22 or 23, and he “backed me in a way that was astonishing.”

“He just would be there for you,” Wolley said. “If you wanted to close a deal; if you were talking about trying to get something different done; if you were trying to change the rules, in a way. Nick would be right behind it. And I think that was what he’s done. Certainly it’s what he did with me. He gave me an opportunity that changed my life, really.”

When Palace Pictures was forced to close in 1992 due to a series of box office misfires, Powell set up a new outfit, Scala Productions, which produced movies such as Nick Hornby adaptation “Fever Pitch,” Fred Schepisi’s “Last Orders,” Terry Gilliam’s “B. Monkey” and “Ladies in Lavender” from Charles Dance.

Powell was director of the NFTS from 2003 to 2017 while also retaining his position as chairman of Scala Productions.

Under his leadership, the NFTS underwent a transformation that helped it “gain recognition as one of the best film schools in the world,” the school said in a statement.

Said NFTS Director Jon Wardle: “I spent five incredibly happy years working with Nik as his deputy. He was a good friend and I will miss him hugely. He told me recently how his work to support and develop NFTS students to reach their full potential was probably the professional achievement he was most proud of.”

The culmination of Powell’s work at NFTS was recognized in 2018 when he and Wardle were awarded the BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema.

“Nik leaves an unrivaled legacy and no one has done more than him to set the bar high. We will continue to strive for the future success of the School in his honour,” the statement said.

“He stood up for innovation,” said Wolley. “He stood up for change and difference, and he backed young people his entire career. That’s something that people have got to remember about Nik. That he was quite a selfless person.”

Powell is survived by his two children Amie and Jack.

Born: 11/4/1950, Great Kingshill, Buckinghamshire, England, U.K.
Died: 11/7/2019, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, U.K.

Nik Powell’s western – producer:
Brimstone - 2016

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

RIP William Wintersole

William Wintersole, Star of 'Young and the Restless' and 'General Hospital,' Dead at 88

Entertainment Tonight
November 6, 2019

Rest in peace, William Wintersole.

The veteran TV actor died at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday, ET confirms. He was 88. Wintersole died of complications from cancer but died peacefully, according to his daughter.

Wintersole was best known for his role as Mitchell Sherman on Young and the Restless, which he had starred on for over 20 years. The actor also played Ted Ballantine on General Hospital in the 1980s, and appeared on I Dream of Jeannie, Kojak, Little House on the Prairie, Quincy, Bonanza, Star Trek and The Fugitive.

The Ohio native was born on July 30, 1931 and began his acting career in the 1960s. He is survived by his life partner, Marlene Silverstein, and daughters, Tiffany Harmon and Katherine Ramsey. He had three granddaughters, Kristy, Amy and Jill, as well as one great granddaughter, Abby.

Born: 7/30/1931, Portsmouth, Ohio, U.S.A.
Died:  11/5/2019, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

William Wintersole’s westerns – actor:
Rawhide (TV) – 1965 (Dr. Sturdivant)
The Wild Wild West (TV) – 1967 (Edward Baring)
Here Comes the Brides (TV) – 1969 (Avery)
Lancer (TV) – 1969, 1970 (businessman, Timothy)
The Outcasts (TV) 1969 (Krause)
Bearcats (TV) – 1971 (Colonel)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1971 (Will Standish)
Cade’s County (TV) – 1972 (Corey Waters)
Bonanza (TV) – 1973 (Frank Schulte)
The Honorable Sam Houston (TV) - 1975
Sara (TV) – 1976 (George Bailey)
Territorial Men (TV) - 1976
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1978 (Tom Henderson)