Thursday, November 15, 2018

RIP Roy Clark

Roy Clark, ‘Hee Haw’ Host, Dies at 85

November 15, 2018

Roy Clark, a country music star and former host of the long-running TV series “Hee Haw,” died Thursday, his publicist told CNN.

He was 85.

Clark died of complications from pneumonia at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to publicist Sandy Brokaw.

Raised in Washington D.C., the guitarist and banjo player began his musical career as a young teen. He made his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry at age 17.

Band gigs led to television appearances on “The Tonight Show,” and “American Bandstand”.

In 1969, Clark and Buck Owens were tapped to co-host “Hee Haw.” The country music and comedy show aired in syndication for more than two decades, with Clark as host or co-host its entire run.

In a tribute to Clark sent by his representatives, they shared some quotes from the country star about his career.

“A TV camera goes right through your soul,” Clark said of his screen work. “If you’re a bad person, people pick that up. I’m a firm believer in smiles. I used to believe that everything had to be a belly laugh. But I’ve come to realize that a real sincere smile is mighty powerful.”

With hits like “The Tips of My Fingers” and “Yesterday, When I Was Young,” Clark was one of the first cross-over artists to land singles on both the country and pop charts.

In 1982, Clark won a Grammy for best country instrumental performance for “Alabama Jubilee.” He was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry

“Soon as you hit the edge of the stage and see people smiling and know they’re there to hear you, it’s time to have fun,” Clark once said about performing. “I keep a band of great young people around me, and we’re not musically restrained. It’s not about ‘let’s do it correct’ but ‘let’s do it right.'”

Clark ended each of his performances with a humorous note of appreciation, “We had to come, but you had a choice. Thanks for being here.”

He is survived by extensive family and his wife of 61 years, Barbara.

A memorial celebration is planned in Tulsa in the coming days, according to Clark’s representative.

CLARK, Roy (Roy Linwood Clark)
Born: 4/15/1933, Meherrin, Virginia, U.S.A.
Died: 11/15/2018, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A.

Roy Clark’s westerns – actor:
Up Hill All the Way – 1986 (Ben Hooker) [singer]
Palo Pinto Gold - 2009 (storyteller)

RIP Morten Grunwald

Morten Grunwald is dead

November 15, 2018

Morten Grunwald is best known for the films about the Olsen Gang.  But the theater was close to him too.  He was 83 years old.

Actor Morten Grunwald slept quietly Wednesday evening after a small day's hospitalization at Sankt Lukas hospice.  A long course of cancer has taken place before.

Morten Grunwald had won a lot of prizes and participated in more than 50 films, probably the most famous for the 14 of the Olsen Gang films.

With yellow socks, a goose's goose and the reply 'Skide goed Egon', Morten Grunwald made the Danes known with the ever-optimistic Benny in the Olsen Gang.

The 14 'Olsen Gang' films were made for Grunwald from 1968 to 1998.

Although it's the role of Benny, who made him known and loved, he also had roles in a number of other feature films, TV shows and theater shows in his more than 55 year career.

However, he had never concealed the fact that the 'Olsen Gang' films have a special meaning.  He had never been sad that people have dunked him in the back and said 'Hey Benny' - on the contrary.

It was also during these films that he had a close relationship with both Poul Bundgaard and Ove Sprogøe, who formed the rest of the band.

In connection with the 50th anniversary of the first 'OlsengGand' film, Morten Grunwald again recounted that comedy films about the three criminals have filled a lot.  "Obviously, that's something I've been very happy and grateful for - and proud of-having helped," said Grunwald.

He played in the act when he entered the school of the Aarhus Teaterskole in 1956. The last part of the student day took place in Copenhagen, where he in 1962 also got one of his first major roles in the 'Billy Løgneren' and at the same time began his career on film and on television.

In 1965, he got a Bodil for his role in 'Fem man and Rosa', and in 1968 he became famous at the time when the first story about the 'Olsen Gang' hit the Danish cinemas.

The role did not prevent him from turning his eyes in other directions, and in 1971 he became director of the Bristol Theater in Copenhagen, where his wife, Lily Weiding, was also affiliated.

In 1980 he continued to Alléscenen, renamed the Betty Nansen Theater.

Morten Grunwald sat for 12 years in the executive chair before joining Østre Gasværk, where he put up the musical successes 'Les Miserables' and 'Miss Saigon'.

 In 1998 he decided to stop as busy and stressed theater director.  He gave up his job and did something about his lifestyle with too much food and drink at all times of the day.  It meant 40 fewer kilos and that he could again fit the pants from the first 'Olsen Gang' movie.

After a long break, Grunwald returned to the film studio, and in 2008 he was rewarded with a Bodil for his efforts in the movie 'White Night'.

The last time he was seen in the cinema, was in 2014, where he appered in the movie 'Silent Heart' and played a husband for a woman - played by Ghita Nørby who, due to incurable illness, will commit suicide.

In 2017 he retired from the theater.

For a while, he also served as a film consultant for feature film at the Danish Film Institute.

Morten Grunwald lived since 1965 with Lily Weiding, whom he married in 1980. Together they have Tanja, the wife's two daughters from a former marriage.

In mid-October, Grunwald he was told he had cancer.

GRUNWALD, Morten (Walter Morten Grunwald)
Born: 12/9/1934, Odense, Denmark
Died: 11/14/2018, Hellerup, Denmark

Morten Grunwald’ western – actor:
Wilde West (TV) – 1965 (Chuck Cooper)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

RIP Katherine MacGregor

'Little House on the Prairie' star Katherine MacGregor dies at 93

She had been retired and living at the Motion Picture and Television Fund's home in California.

By Randee Dawn
November 14, 2018

Katherine "Scottie" MacGregor, best known for her role as Harriet Oleson on "Little House on the Prairie," died Tuesday in Woodland Hills, California, her representative confirmed to NBC News. She was 93.

MacGregor played the gossipy, mean-spirited Harriet Oleson for 153 episodes of the popular 1970s series. On the show, she and her daughter Nellie (Alison Arngrim) served as the sour foils to the wholesome Ingalls, including Pa (Michael Landon) and Laura (Melissa Gilbert).

Born Dorlee Deane MacGregor in 1925 in Glendale, California, MacGregor grew up in Colorado and changed her name to "Scottie" after relocating to New York, where she received applause for her theatrical roles. She moved to California and appeared in 1954's "On the Waterfront" in an uncredited role, then began to work in television on shows like "Ironside," "Emergency!" and "Mannix."

"It was a rude awakening coming to Hollywood," she told the Santa Cruz Sentinel in 1981, according to the "Little House on the Prairie" official website. "I was used to doing juicy parts on the stage ... They didn’t know what to do with me."

Then came the role that would define her career.

"I was getting ready to go back to New York and my agent called and said, 'Could you go see somebody this afternoon?'" the official website reports. "And I said, 'Who did you say I'm supposed to meet?' She said, 'Michael Landon.' And I said, 'Well, who's he?'"

The role of Mrs. Oleson (who contrasted with her more mild-mannered husband Nels, played by Richard Bull) made her famous, though she told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that she looked for ways to make her more than just "black-and-white mean."

"Anyone that mean has to be a fool," she said. "So I began mixing farce into it."

Ultimately, she was unable to film the final episode in the series in 1983; she was on pilgrimage in India at the time, focusing on her Hindu faith.

Her co-star Melissa Gilbert posted on Instagram about MacGregor's passing, noting: "The thing people outside of our prairie family didn’t know, was how loving and nurturing she was with the younger cast."

MacGregor was married twice for brief times; she wed Edward G. Kaye-Martin in 1969, and divorced him the following year. She was also married to actor Bert Remsen in 1949.

She had been living at the Motion Picture Fund Long Term Nursing Care facility in Woodland Hills, California, when she died. One of her fellow residents had been Bull; when he died in 1999, she had lunch with his widow, Barbara Collentine. "Little House" actor Dean Butler said that afterward, MacGregor reported "they both had lost a wonderful husband."

MacGREGOR, Katherine (Dorlee Deane MacGregor)
Born: 1/12/1925, Glendale, California, U.S.A.
Died: 11/13/2018, Woodland Hills, California, U.S.A.

Katherine MacGregor’s westerns – actress:
The Traveling Executioner – 1970 (Alice Thorn)
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1974-1983 (Harriet Oleson)

RIP James Greene

Debuting on Broadway 1951, he acted in Lincoln Center Rep and APA-Phoenix Rep at the start of a long New York and regional career.

American Theater
November 13, 2018

James Greene, a character actor with an illustrious stage career perhaps best known for his four-year stint on TV’s “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd,” died on Nov. 9 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 91.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Els Collins. James had been a successful working actor for more than 70 years. Born James Thomas Nolan in Lawrence, Ma., on Dec. 1, 1926 to Tim and Martha Nolan, he graduated from Emerson College in 1950.

He made his Broadway debut in 1951 in Romeo and Juliet starring Olivia de Havilland. Between that debut and his last appearance on Broadway in 1991, in David Hirson’s play La Bête, he appeared in 22 Broadway plays and 29 Off-Broadway. Highlights included two productions of The Iceman Cometh, with Jason Robards and directed by José Quintero, and Foxfire, with Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn. He was an original member of the Lincoln Center Repertory Company under the leadership of Elia Kazan and Robert Whitehead.

He also spent four years with the APA-Phoenix Repertory Theatre at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre. There he worked with Ellis Rabb and T. Edward Hambleton, performing in New York as well as doing two lengthy tours, one with Helen Hayes in George Kelly’s The Show-Off and another with Brian Bedford in Molière’s School for Wives. He performed regionally at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre (Otherwise Engaged), Baltimore’s Center Stage and Yale Repertory Theatre (Slavs), New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre (Oliver Oliver), Seattle’s Intiman Theatre (The Weir and Molly Sweeney), San Diego’s Old Globe (Burning Hope), Boston’s Huntington Theatre (The Birthday Party), and Hartford’s Center Stage (Desire Under the Elms).

His most recent television appearances were in “Parks and Recreation” as Councilman Milton, “Modern Family,” “Cold Case,” and “Las Vegas.” His films include Road to Perdition, Patch Adams, The Hustler, The Lincoln Conspiracy, The Missouri Breaks, and The Philadelphia Experiment II.

He is the author of A View from the Wings, a Theatre Memoir, self-published at age 90. Actor Hal Holbrook wrote the foreword to the book, in which he wrote, “Jimmie Greene’s trip from the Colonial top balcony has taken him from Off-Broadway to Broadway to Hollywood—the whole route an actor travels if he just keeps at it because that’s all he wants to do. Act.”

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Elsbeth M. Collins, son Christopher Nolan Collins, and grandchild Skylar. In addition to his son, he is survived by his stepson, Frank Askin. The family has no immediate plans for a memorial and asks for donations to the Actors’ Fund (Los Angeles 888-825-0911) in his memory.

GREENE, James (James Thomas Nolan)
Born: 12/1/1926, Lawrence, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Died: 11/9/2018, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

James Greene’s westerns – actor:
John Brown's Raid (TV) - 1960
The Traveling Executioner (TV) – 1970 (Gravey Combs)
Doc  - 1971 (Frank McLowery)
Nichols (TV) – 1971 (Lou Feeny)
The Missouri Breaks - 1976 (Hellsgate rancher)
The Quest (TV) – 1976 (Ollie)
Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, Part III: The Legend Continues (TV) - 1987
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (TV) – 1993 (Cartwright)
A Father for Charlie (TV) – 1995 (Sam)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

RIP Wayne Maunder

By Vicki L. Nelson

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that the last of the Lancers, Wayne Maunder (Scott Lancer) passed away yesterday from a heart attack. He was also the star of "Custer."

Wayne Maunder was born in New Brunswick, Canada, but grew up in Bangor, Maine. After a year at Compton Jr. College near L. A., where he had ideas of being a psychiatrist, he instead entered a drama workshop. Moving to New York, he studied in Stella Adler’s group for two years and found work in stock companies and American Shakespeare companies. A theatrical agent saw him and signed him to a contract which eventually led to three American television series between 1967 and 1974. From September 6 to December 27, 1967, Maunder starred as 28-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (1839–1876), during the time that Custer was stationed in the American West. The program, Custer, aired on ABC at 7:30 Eastern on Wednesday, opposite NBC's established western, The Virginian starring James Drury and Doug McClure. The program ended after seventeen episodes. Maunder told TV GUIDE in 1970, “My character never developed. I had ideas going in, but nothing happened. You try to be a nice guy, and you see your work suffer.”
Maunder's next series was a second western, CBS's Lancer, with co-stars Andrew Duggan, James Stacy, and Paul Brinegar. Lancer ran from 1968 to 1970, with an additional rebroadcast cycle in the summer of 1971.

Maunder's last regular series, Chase, was a 21-episode drama about an undercover police unit which aired on NBC during the 1973-1974 television season, co-starring Mitchell Ryan as Chase Reddick and Reid Smith as officer Norm Hamilton. Maunder played the role of police Sergeant Sam MacCray, one of whose duties was to handle the police dog named "Fuzz". A Jack Webb production, Chase was created by Stephen J. Cannell.

Maunder resided in the Greater Los Angeles Area. In 1967, Maunder was married the former Lucia Maisto. The couple's son, Dylan T. Maunder, was born the next year in 1968. Dylan died on April 28, 2005 from a drug overdose at age 36.

MAUNDER, Wayne (Wayne Ernest Maunder)
Born: 12/19/1937, Four Falls, New Brunswick, Canada
Died: 11/11/2018, West Hollywood, California, U.S.A.

Wayne Maunder’s westerns – actor:
The Munroes (TV) – 1967 (Michael Duquesne)
Custer (TV) – 1968 (Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer)
Crazy Horse and Custer: The Untold Story (TV) – 1968
The Legend of Custer (TV) (Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer)
Lancer (TV) – 1968-1970 (Scott Lancer)
Kung Fu (TV) – 1972 (McKay)