Friday, May 27, 2016

RIP Rosanna Huffman

RIP Rosanna Huffman

Los Angeles Times
May 27, 2016

August 12, 1938 - May 20, 2016 Rosanna Levinson, nee Huffman, passed away on May 20, 2016 at her home in Santa Monica, CA. After a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, she decided not to seek treatment but instead to spend her final days at home with the family she loved, her cat Happy, and Turner Classic Movies. Even through her illness Rosanna kept her wicked sense of humor.

Rosanna was born in 1938 in Timblane, a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania, to Doras and Christine Huffman, followed later by her beloved brother Joe. Despite not knowing the rules of any sport, Rosanna was her high school's head cheerleader and Homecoming Queen. She put herself through two years of teaching college before moving to New York with the dream of singing on Broadway. She promptly did, landing the lead role in "Half a Sixpence."

She met television writer Richard Levinson at a party and after multiple proposals, she finally said yes. The two were married, moved to Los Angeles, and had one daughter, Chrissy. Rosanna continued to act in Los Angeles, both on stage and screen. She played the lead role in the critically acclaimed musical "Jane Heights" and worked as a voiceover artist for nearly 30 years in both film and television.

After losing her adored husband Richard to a heart attack when she was only 47, Rosanna raised their daughter with joy, love, and endless support. No one had more fun than she did, and the friends who filled her life were equally joyful and cherished. Before she died, she made clear that she would desperately miss seeing her grandchildren, Leo and Margot, grow into adults; she would miss her nightly calls with her daughter; she would miss Christmas dinner, but she also made clear that it was her time, and that she was ready to go.

Her service will be private, but if you wish to make a donation in her name, she was a big supporter of The Humane Society. The sun will shine a little less bright without her, but Rosanna would rather have you sing than cry. So hum a little tune for her.

HUFFMAN, Rosanna
Born: August 12, 1938, Timblane, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Died: May 20, 2016 Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.

Rosanna Huffman’s western – actress:
The Big Valley (TV) – 1967 (Martha Dunn)

RIP Angela Paton

'Groundhog Day' Actress Angela Paton Dies at 86

The Hollywood Reporter
By The Associated Press
May 26, 2016

Paton most recently appeared in a 2012 run of 'Harvey' on Broadway.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Angela Paton, an actress best known for appearing with Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, has died. She was 86.

Her nephew George Woolf says Paton died Thursday in Oakland, California, where she had been in hospice care after a recent heart attack.

Paton played Mrs. Lancaster, the kindly, elderly, small-town innkeeper who played host to Murray on his never-ending day in 1993's Groundhog Day.

She had 91 film and television credits, nearly all of them after she was in her late 50s.

Before that she had a long stage career based mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area, and founded a theater in Berkeley. She most recently appeared in a 2012 run of Harvey on Broadway.

Her movie credits also include 2003's American Wedding and the 1997 Lolita.

PATON, Angela
Born: 1/11/1930, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 5/26/2016, Oakland, California, U.S.A.

Angela Paton’s western – actress:
The Last of His Tribe (TV) – 1992 (Mrs. Gustafson)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

RIP Nancy Dow

RIP Nancy Dow

Daily Mail
By Regina F. Graham
May 25, 2016

Actress Jennifer Aniston's estranged mother, Nancy Dow, passed away sometime on Wednesday, reports say.

The Friends star visited her 79-year-old mother for the first time in nearly five years on May 12, according to In Touch Weekly.

'Jen must have had a wake-up call and wanted to see her mother one last time before she passes,' an insider told the magazine.

Dow reportedly had suffered a series of strokes and lost the ability to speak and walk prior to her death, the magazine reported.

According to Radar Online, Dow was rushed from her apartment unit in Toluca Lake, California just after midnight on Sunday by four paramedics.

A neighbor who witnessed the emergency situation said that she 'was apparently close to death.'
'Her hands were curled up to her face and her skin was grey,' another source told Radar Online.
'She was wheeled out then very late at night at 1.30am. On Monday morning, all the lights were on in the apartment and the door was wide open.'

DOW, Nancy E.
Born: 7/22/1936, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 5/25/2016, Toluca Lake, California, U.S.A.

Nanvy E. Dow’s western – actress:
The Wild Wild West (TV) – 1967 (Tersa)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

RIP Beth Howland

Beth Howland, Accident-Prone Waitress From the Sitcom ‘Alice,’ Dies at 74

The New York Times
By William Grimes
May 24, 2016

Beth Howland, who made high anxiety an art form as the ditsy, accident-prone waitress Vera Louise Gorman on the 1970s and ’80s sitcom “Alice,” died on Dec. 31, 2015, in Santa Monica, Calif., her husband said on Tuesday. He had refrained from announcing her death earlier in keeping with her wishes. She was 74.

The cause was lung cancer, her husband, the actor Charles Kimbrough, said, adding that she had not wanted a funeral or a memorial service.

“It was the Boston side of her personality coming out,” Mr. Kimbrough said. “She didn’t want to make a fuss.”

Ms. Howland was a modestly successful television actress, with a handful of Broadway credits on her résumé, when Alan Shayne, the president of Warner Bros. Television, began casting roles for “Alice.” The CBS series, based on the 1974 Martin Scorsese film “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” required three waitresses for Mel’s Diner, the locus of the action, one of them the high-strung Vera, played in the film by Valerie Curtin.

Mr. Shayne had seen Ms. Howland on Broadway in the Stephen Sondheim musical “Company,” where, as a nervous prospective bride named Amy, she sang a lightning-fast patter song, “Getting Married Today.”

“Vera was written as a taut wire, ready to go to pieces at any minute,” he wrote in “Double Life: A Love Story From Broadway to Hollywood” (2011), a memoir written with Norman Sunshine. He recalled Ms. Howland, in the musical, “going to pieces in front of the audience’s eyes.”

Ms. Howland won the role, and for nine seasons, from 1976 to 1985, she kept television audiences amused with her wide-eyed, jumpy performances. Asked to describe her character, she told Knight Newspapers in 1979: “Insecure and vulnerable. Probably works the hardest of anybody in the diner. Very gullible, very innocent.”

Elizabeth Howland was born on May 28, 1941, in Boston. She studied dance at the Hazel Boone Studio and, after graduating from high school at 16, headed to New York, where she landed a replacement role as Lady Beth in “Once Upon a Mattress” and a role as a dancer in “Bye Bye Birdie.” She also appeared, alongside Valerie Harper and Donna Douglas, the future Elly May Clampett on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” as a dancer in the 1959 film “Li’l Abner.”

At 19 she married Michael J. Pollard, one of the lead actors in “Bye Bye Birdie.” The marriage ended in divorce. In addition to her husband, who played the anchorman Jim Dial on the television series “Murphy Brown,” she is survived by a daughter from her first marriage, Holly Howland.

Small parts on Broadway and in the Off Broadway hit “Your Own Thing,” a musical version of “Twelfth Night,” led to her breakthrough role in “Company” and her tour-de-force rendition of “Getting Married Today.”

“It was a perfect song for me,” she told The Los Angeles Times in 2004. “I’m not a singer, and it has maybe four notes.”

She performed it again when most of the original cast reassembled in 1993 for concert performances at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, Calif., and the Vivian Beaumont Theater in Lincoln Center.

After being cast as the wife of a character played by Bert Convy on an episode of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” she moved to Los Angeles to work in television. She appeared on “Love, American Style,” “Cannon,” “The Rookies” and other shows before taking the role of Vera on “Alice.”

Unlike many actors, Ms. Howland had never worked as a waitress. “But I just kept sitting around coffee shops and watching how it’s done, and now I can carry four dinners,” she told Knight Newspapers.

One of Vera’s most memorable moments on the show occurred a scant few seconds after the beginning of the first episode. A customer’s cheery “Hi, Vera,” caused her to throw a boxful of drinking straws into the air. The freak-out became part of the show’s opening credit sequence.

For nine years, Vera remained overwrought, but changes did occur. Toward the end of the series, she married a police officer, Elliot Novak, played by Charles Levin. In the final episode, she announced that she was pregnant.

Ms. Howland acted sporadically after “Alice” went off the air. She had small guest roles on “Eight Is Enough,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and “The Tick.”

She and the actress Jennifer Warren were the executive producers of the documentary “You Don’t Have to Die,” about a 6-year-old boy’s successful battle against cancer. It won an Academy Award in 1989 for best short-subject documentary.

HOWLAND, Beth (Elizabeth Howland)
Born: 5/28/1941, Boston Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Died: 12/31/2015, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.

Beth Howland’s western – actress:
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1976 (clerk)

RIP Buck Kartalian

Buck Kartalian, the Keeper of the Cages in Original 'Planet of the Apes,' Dies at 93

The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes
May 24, 2016

The veteran character actor, a former body builder, also portrayed the inmate Dynamite in Paul Newman's 'Cool Hand Luke.'

Buck Kartalian, the burly character actor who played the cigar-smoking gorilla Julius, the Keeper of the Cages, in the original Planet of the Apes, died Tuesday. He was 93.

Kartalian died of natural causes at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Calif., his son, Jason Kartalian, said.

Kartalian also was known for his role as Dynamite, the "champion eater" and one of Paul Newman's fellow inmates, in Cool Hand Luke (1967), and he played a shopkeeper in Clint Eastwood's The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). His career lasted more than six decades.

In Planet of the Apes (1968), Kartalian is in charge of security at the Research Complex for studying humans. He enjoys tormenting George Taylor (Charlton Heston) with a water hose before the captured astronaut escapes his jail cell. His character's cigar was his idea, and he has a memorable line in the movie: "You know what they say: 'Human see, human do.'"

Kartalian later played another gorilla named Frank in the 1972 sequel Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.

The 5-foot-3 Kartalian, a professional wrestler and body builder who was born in Detroit, portrayed Sampson in a 1951 production of Romeo and Juliet on Broadway (Olivia de Havilland starred as Juliet). He toured in a national production of Mister Roberts and then had a small role as a sailor in the 1955 Henry Fonda film version.

He came to Los Angeles in the 1960s.

Kartalian also appeared in such films as Sail a Crooked Ship (1961), Myra Breckinridge (1970), The Man With Bogart's Face (1980), The Rock (1996), My Favorite Martian (1999) and Tomcats (2001).

His TV résumé included the series Naked City, The Untouchables, Get Smart, McHale's Navy, Batman (as one of Catwoman's henchmen in the 1966 "Hot Off the Griddle" episode), Curb Your Enthusiasm, Just Shoot Me! and How I Met Your Mother.

He had a role in the 1959 Broadway play Golden Fleecing, directed by Abe Burrows.

Kartalian also is survived by children Julie and Aram.

Born: 8/13/1922, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Died: 5/24/2016, Mission Hills, California, U.S.A.

Buck Kartlian’s westerns – actor:
Stay Away Joe – 1968 (Bull Shortgun)
The Wild Wild West – 1968 (Lieutenant Bengston)
Here Come the Brides (TV) – 1968-1969 (Sam)
Mark of the Gun – 1969 (Bert)
Nichols (TV) – 1971-1972 (Samuel)
The Outlaw Josey Wales – 1976 (shopkeeper)