Saturday, August 29, 2009

RIP Mady Rahl

Mady Rahl was a German stage and film actress.

Born Edith Gertrud Meta Raschke in Neukölln, Berlin, Rahl trained as an actress and dancer. In 1935 she made her stage debut in Leipzig under the direction of Douglas Sirk and started her film career in 1936 with the movie Der geheimnisvolle Mister X. With her role in the circus drama Truxa (1937) Rahl became known to a wider audience. She has appeared in approximately 90 movies, several of them for UFA. In later years, she appeared frequently on television, while also pursuing her career in the theatre.

Rahl's first marriage was to Theodor Reimers, her second was to producer Wilhem Sperber, and her third was to Werner Bürkle. Her sister Ellen died in 1995 in Munich and is buried at the Nordfriedhof.

Now almost blind and suffering from dementia, Rahl lived in a retirement home in Munich. Her caregiver is Thomas Speyerer.

RAHL, Mady real name (Edith Gertrud Meta Raschke)
Born: 1/3/1918, Neukölln, Berlin, Germany
Died: 8/29/2009, Muncih, Bavaria, Germany

Mady Rahl's western - voice actress:
Trinity is Still My Name – 1971 [German voice of Jessica Dublin]

Friday, August 28, 2009

RIP Antonio Virgilio Savona

Composer, arranger and singer Antonio Virgilio Savona passed away on August 27th in Milan, Italy. He was 89 years-old. Savona was born on January 1, 1920 in Palermo, Sicily. His artistic career had a very early start. In 1926, aged 6, he began studying music. Two years later he joined a choir and at the age of 10 he debuted in a radio broadcast playing a piece on a piano during a children's program. After high-school, Savona enrolled at the Saint Cecilia's Conservatory in Rome to study piano. In 1941 he replaced Iacopo Jacomelli in a vocal quartet called “Quartetto Egie”. The group changed name to “Quartetto Ritmo” at first, then to “Quartetto Cetra” one year later. On August 19, 1944. Virgilio Savona married the singer Lucia Mannucci, who later joined Quartetto Cetra to replace Enrico De Angelis who left the group in 1947. Besides singing, Savona was the group's composer and arranger. He wrote the music while Tata Giacobetti, also a member of the quartet, wrote the lyrics. They worked together for four decades and produced hundreds of songs which made up Quartetto Cetra's vast repertoire. Savona also composed music and wrote scripts for radio and TV programs, stage shows and movies. During 1970s he was quite active as pianist, orchestra conductor, arranger and producer. He also made extensive research on folk songs. In 1991 he wrote an autobiographical book about Quartetto Cetra, published by Sperling & Kupfer in the Supersound collection.

SAVONA, Antonio Viriglio
Born: 1/1/1920, Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Died: 8/27/2009, Milan, Lombardy, Italy

Antonio Virgilio Savona's western - actor, singer:
Don't Shoot Sing (TV) - 1965

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RIP Richard Moore

Panavision co-founder Richard Moore dies
Cinematographer developed 65mm camera, lenses
By Mike Barnes

Aug 26, 2009, 03:28 PM ET

Richard Moore, the co-founder of Panavision who helped develop the camera
and lenses used to produce motion pictures in the groundbreaking 65mm
format, died Aug. 16 at his home in Palm Springs of age-related
complications. He was 83.

After leaving Panavision, Moore forged an impressive career as a Hollywood
cinematographer, with credits including "The Scalphunters" (1968), "Winning"
(1969), "The Reivers" (1969), "Myra Breckinridge" (1970), "Sometimes a Great
Notion" (1970), "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean" (1972) and "Annie"

Moore shared a Scientific and Engineering Award from the Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Sciences in 1960 for his pioneering 65mm work and received
the Presidents Award from the American Society of Cinematographers in 2004.

Moore and Robert Gottschalk founded Panavision in 1953 while they were
working at the Campus Camera Shop in Westwood. Through experiments in
underwater photography, they were able to create cheaper anamorphic,
wide-screen projection lenses. Those lenses met the demands of theaters then
showing CinemaScope films, a weapon in the battle against television.

Moore left Panavision in the early '60s because he wanted to use the lenses
and cameras that he had helped design.

In a 2004 ASC interview, Moore cited "Winning," starring Paul Newman as a
race car driver, as among his favorite films. He designed and built a remote
control system that enabled him to use radio signals to operate a camera
mounted on the car driven by Newman. That was a revolutionary concept in

Moore also directed a film, "Circle of Iron," a 1978 martial arts movie shot
in Israel that starred David Carradine, Eli Wallach, Christopher Lee and
Roddy McDowall with a story by Bruce Lee, James Coburn and Stirling

Moore, a native of Jacksonville, Ill., and a graduate of USC, is survived by
his daughter Marina; son Stephen; nephew Joel; sister-in-law Mary; and
extended Freberg family members.

A life celebration is being planned in the Los Angeles area. Family members
ask that donations be sent in his care to any Humane Society in Southern

MMORE, Richard
Born: 10/4/1925, Jacksonville, Illinois, U.S.A.
Died: 8/16/2009, Palm Springs, California, U.S.A.

Richard Moore's westerns - cinematographer:
The Scalphunters - 1968
Mackenna's Gold - 1969
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean - 1972

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

RIP Toni Sailer

VIENNA (AP) — Austrian skiing great Toni Sailer, who in 1956 became the first athlete to win all three alpine ski events at a Winter Olympics, died Monday. He was 73.

Sailer died in Innsbruck after a long battle with cancer of the larynx, his Kitzbuehel Ski Club said.

Sailer won gold in the downhill, slalom and giant slalom at the 1956 Cortina Olympics in Italy. At the world championships there, he took gold in the downhill, slalom, giant slalom and combined.

He also won gold in the downhill, giant slalom and combined, as well as silver in the slalom, at the world championships in Bad Gastein, Austria two years later. Due to his speed, he became known as "the black lightning bolt from Kitz."

After retiring from competition in 1959, Sailer became a singer and an actor. He also produced skis in Canada and served as technical director of the Austrian Ski Federation between 1972 and 1976.

He was awarded the Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee in 1985. In 1999, the Kitzbuehel native — who reportedly stood on skis for the first time at the age of two — was honored as Austria's sportsman of the century.

SAILER, Toni real name Anton Engelbert Sailer
Born: 11/17/1935, Kitzbühel, Tirol, Austria
Died: 8/24/2009, Innsbruck, Austria

Toni Sailer's western - actor:
Lost Treasure of the Aztecs – 1964 (Alan Fox)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

RIP Elmer Kelton

Elmer Kelton dies at 83

Originally published 02:56 p.m., August 22, 2009
Updated 03:49 p.m., August 22, 2009

Remembering Elmer Kelton
1926 - 2009

Editors Note: Award-winning novelist Elmer Kelton of San Angelo died Saturday. He was 83. Below is his obituary, written by his family.

SAN ANGELO — Elmer Stephen Kelton, 83, died Saturday. He was born April 29, 1926, at Horse Camp in Andrews County to Mr. and Mrs. R.W. “Buck” Kelton, and grew up on the McElroy Ranch in Upton and Crane counties. He completed his education at the University of Texas after serving in Europe during World War II.

Kelton married Anna Lipp of Ebensee, Austria in 1947 and began a career in agriculture journalism at the San Angelo Standard-Times in 1949. He became editor of the Sheep & Goat Raiser magazine in 1963 and associate editor of Livestock Weekly in 1968, retiring in 1990. Kelton maintained a parallel career as a freelance writer, beginning with short stories in the post-war pulp magazine trade, progressing to novels, non-fiction books and countless magazine articles. In all, he wrote more than 40 books, including “The Time it Never Rained,” “The Wolf and the Buffalo,” “The Day the Cowboys Quit,” and “The Good Old Boys,” which became a Turner Network movie directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones. Kelton was named the number-one Western writer of all time by the Western Writers of America. The WWA voted him seven Spur awards for best Western novel of the year and the career Saddleman Award, and he received four Western Heritage Wrangler awards from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ann Kelton of San Angelo, sons Gary Kelton of Plainview and Steve Kelton of San Angelo, with wife Karen McGinnis, and daughter Kathy Kelton, also of San Angelo and companion Pat Hennigan. He and Ann have four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. He is also survived by his brothers, Merle and wife Ann of May, Texas, Bill and wife Pat of Atlanta, Texas, and Eugene and wife Peggy of McCamey.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the giver’s favorite charity or the Tom Green County Library’s Elmer Kelton statue fund through the San Angelo Area Foundation at 2201 Sherwood Way, Suite 205. Arrangements are pending at Johnson’s Funeral Home.

KELTON, Elmer Stephen
Born: 4/29/1926, Crane, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 8/22/2009, San Angelo, Texas, U.S.A.

Elmer Kelton's westerns - screenwriter:
Maverick (TV) - 1958
The Good Old Boys (TV) - 1995

Friday, August 21, 2009

RIP Semyon Farada

Popular Russian Actor Farada Dies In Moscow

Semyon Farada appeared in some 70 films.
August 21, 2009

MOSCOW -- Russian actor Semyon Farada, who rose to fame during the Soviet era, has died at the age of 76 in Moscow, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Farada worked in Moscow's Taganka Theater for some 30 years. He acted in such popular plays as "Hamlet" and "Master and Margarita," based on the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. His roles in "Magicians," "To Kill the Dragon," "The Formula of Love," "Garage," and other films made him a celebrity during the 1970s and 1980s.

Farada worked as a mechanical engineer until his early 30s, appearing only in amateur theater. He made his film debut in 1967, when he was 34, and went on to appear in some 70 films during his career.

He was married to actress Maria Politseimako. Their son, Mikhail Politseimako, is also an actor.

Farada had been in declining health since suffering a stroke in 2000.

FARADA, Semyon real name Semyon L’vovich Ferdman
Born: 12/31/1933, Moscow, Russia, U.S.S.R.
Died: 8/20/2009, Moscow, Russia

Semyon Farada's western - actor:
The Man from Boulevard Des Capucines – 1987 (Pan Thompson)

RIP William Pullen

[I was just advised of a passing from last December.]

Bill Pullen, 91, remembered as teacher and actor

By EUNICE LEE, staff writer Desert Dispatch

When William Augustus Pullen, better known as Bill, moved to Barstow in 1963, he brought more life experience to the city at age 46 than most people gather in a lifetime.

The steamboat worker turned Hollywood actor had left the Los Angeles area, relocated to Barstow and was trying his hand at a new profession: teaching.

During that time, Barstow Community College, the city's first and still only college, was just starting up. They were looking for someone to head the new drama department. The pieces fell into place.

Pullen died Monday at age 91 after battling generalized weakness due to cancer.

Les Wilbur, BCC president from 1962 to 1965, said Pullen brought a working actor's training as well as experience that served as an invaluable asset to the school.

"He brought a lot to the community in terms of enriching the cultural environment," said Wilbur, Pullen's former colleague and longtime friend.

"Because it's a small college, each appointment is extremely important," said Wilbur, who lived in Barstow until 1992 and then moved to Hawaii for retirement.

Pullen directed two plays every year for almost three decades — a production that his son, also Bill, remembers wasn't an easy task.

"He built the sets, my mom did the costumes, and he hung the lights," said Bill, who lives in Los Angeles.

Students like Sharlene Bradley were among those that benefited from Pullen's stage skills as well as his talent for teaching.

Bradley, who took drama and speech classes taught by Pullen in 1984 as a college junior, recalls one incident where she got back an assignment for speech class marked up with lots of red ink. Bradley said she had felt hopeless and remembers bursting into tears, going to Pullen's office, and telling him, "I'm sorry, I guess I am not going to be able to do this."

But Pullen wasn't about to see his student give up that easily. "He gave me so much encouragement," said Bradley. "That has always stayed with me."

Wilbur agreed: "He was very kind and very empathetic with students and that's one reason why they responded to him," he said.

Growing up, Pullen left home as a teenager and worked on commercial steamers that traveled between Seattle, Wash., and Shanghai, China.

During that time he became fluent in the Mandarin dialect and taught Chinese pilots English during WWII while stationed in Roswell, N.M.

Pullen got into acting while attending college at UCLA. A classically trained stage actor, Pullen also had some success scoring roles in movies, television shows and commercials.

Pullen acted alongside stars like Clint Eastwood, on an old western series in one of Eastwood's first television roles, and Marilyn Monroe, in her only known television commercial for Royal Triton gasoline.

His son said that Pullen's first love of acting was stage performance. Pullen was involved for several years with the Ramona Pageant,

California's longest running outdoor performance, and was even cast as the lead role. The pageant was also where he met his wife, Ann.

He retired from his teaching career at BCC in 1987, at age 70.

Pullen is survived by his son, Bill, and his second wife Deborah.

PULLEN, William Augustus
Born: 11/11/1917, Seatlle, Washington, U.S.A.
Died: 12/8/2008, Barstow, California, U.S.A.

William Pullen's westerns - actor:
The Red Badge of Courage - 1951 (narrator)
The Lawless Breed - 1953 (Joe Hardin)
War Paint - 1953 (Jeb)
Those Restless Redheads from Seattle - 1953 (Rev. Louis Petrie)
Ride Clear of Diablo - 1954 (Tom Meredith)
Canyon Crossroads - 1955 (Harry)
The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (TV) - 1955 (Al, Sloan)
The Cisco Kid (TV) - 1955 (Charlie Ponca, Cheyenne Jones)
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (TV) - 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960 (Deputy Sam Renfro, Cpt. Stewart)
Death Valley Days (TV) - 1956 (Alex Todd)
Hell Canyon Outlaws - 1957 (Tom)
Bronco (TV) - 1959 (Lt. George Bailey)
Yancy Derringer (TV) - 1959 (Major Henry)
Bonanza (TV) - 1959 (Sheriff Sam Toller)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

RIP Jim Dickinson

Jim Dickinson Died
Sunday, August 16, 2009

Jim Dickinson Died, Famed record producer and session pianist Jim Dickinson died today in Memphis, TN after recovering from triple bypass heart surgery earlier this summer, Commercial Appeal reports. He was 67 years old.

Whenever the likes of Bob Dylan or The Rolling Stones needed a pianist on a track, Dickinson was a preferred player in the 1960s and 70s. He played keys on the Stones’ “Wild Horses,” Aretha Franklin’s Spirit in the Dark album, and dozens of other classic recordings. Dickinson is perhaps even better known as a record producer, having produced Big Star’s 3rd, The Replacements’ Pleased to Meet Me, Mudhoney’s Tomorrow Hit, and many more.

His sons Cody and Luther Dickinson are famous musicians in their own right as members of the North Mississippi Allstars.

“He had a great life, and he was a consummate family man,” Dickinson’s wife, Mary, said. “He loved music and his family. And he loved Memphis music, specifically.”

DICKINSON, James Luther "Jim"
Born: 11/15/1941, Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.A.
Died: 8/15/2009, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Jim Dickinson's western - musician:
The Long Riders - 1980 [organ, piano, harmonium]

Monday, August 17, 2009

RIP Henry Ramer

Henry Ramer passed away in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on August 9th, he was a native of Romania and very secretive of his birth date but by most accounts he was in his 80s. Ramer was sometimes referred to as "the Voice of Canadian broadcasting." He was one of the many Canadian character actors who turned up to fill the benches and backrooms of politics in the TV series, Quentin Durgens, MP, which starred Gordon Pinsent. Often heard on CBC radio, Ramer was the voice of "the mysterious Luther Kranst" who served as host of the excellent late night series, Nightfall, which featured science-fiction, mystery, fantasy, and human drama themes, in addition to the staple of supernatural and horror plays. Adaptations of stories such as The Monkey’s Paw and The Tell-Tale Heart”, as well as original plays like Welcome to Homerville and Wind Chill, kept many Canadian writers, actors and producers busy eventually producing 100 episodes between 1980 and 1983. In addition to voicing hundreds of commercials, Ramer starred with Orson Welles, Richard Dreyfus, Kate Reid, Leslie Nielson, Eli Wallach and Christopher Plummer as well as playing Elizabeth Taylor's lover in Between Friends.

RAMER, Henry
Born: 192?, Romania
Died: 8/9/2009, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Henry Ramer's westerns - actor:
Adventures in Rainbow Country (TV) - 1969-1970 (Ralph Walters)
Welcome to Blood City - 1977 (Chumley)
Sodbusters (TV) - 1994 (Governor)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ed Reimers, 'good hands with Allstate' voice, dies

NEW YORK — Ed Reimers, the actor who told television viewers "you're in good hands with Allstate" for decades, died Sunday in upstate New York, a relative said. He was 96.

Reimers, who also served as an announcer for several TV shows in the 1950s and '60s, died at his daughter's home in Saratoga Springs, said Dean Lindoerfer, his nephew by marriage. The cause of Reimers' death wasn't immediately clear.

With his white hair and resonant voice, Reimers was best known for delivering the Allstate Corp.'s famous slogan. He was the insurance giant's TV spokesman for 22 years, starting in 1957, according to the Northbrook, Ill.-based company's Web site.

Meanwhile, Reimers was an announcer for programs ranging from the popular Western "Maverick" to the game show "Do You Trust Your Wife?", later known as "Who Do You Trust?" and hosted for much of its run by Johnny Carson. Reimers also appeared in episodes of several shows, including "Star Trek" and the 1950s hit "The Millionaire."

His movie credits included the 1965 comedy "The Loved One," starring Robert Morse.

Edwin W. Reimers was born Oct. 26, 1912, in Moline, Ill. After early jobs at radio stations in cities including Des Moines, Iowa, he lived in Los Angeles for most of his life. He moved to Saratoga Springs after his wife's death in 2007.

Survivors include his daughter, Kathryn, two grandsons and a niece.

REIMERS, Edwin R. "Ed"
Born: 10/26/1912, Moline, Illinois, U.S.A.
Died: 8/16/2009, Saratoga Springs, Florida, U.S.A

Ed Reimer's westerns - voice announcer:
Cheyenne (TV) - 1955-1963
Maverick (TV) - 1958-1961

RIP Virginia Davis

Virginia Davis, Walt Disney's first human star and the original Alice of his partly animated Alice Comedies, died Saturday morning, animation historian Jerry Beck said on the Cartoon Brew site. She was 90.

Also known as Virginia Davis McGhee, she had been in failing health for the past year, Beck said.

In an interview published in this February's issue of Autograph magazine, Davis reflected: "In particular, I like to think that those who said over and over 'It all started with a mouse…' became aware that Walt Disney's career really started with a little four-year-old girl -- me!"

In 1924 and 1925, Davis appeared in the first 13 titles of Disney's Alice Comedies series, which was an innovative blend of live action and animation on film.

The comedies -- one-reel (5- to 10-minute) low-budget projects -- featured simple plots about the adventures of a live girl in Cartoonland. As Davis later recalled, "It was always a little story where I would get into the cartoon through a dream or I was hit on the head with a baseball, and suddenly I'd find myself in a world of cartoon characters."

She was born Virginia Margaret Davis in Kansas City, Missouri on December 31, 1918 to a homemaker and a traveling salesman. At age two, Davis began taking dance and dramatic lessons. A couple of years later, when Walt Disney was struggling with his first studio, Laugh-O-gram Films, he happened to see Davis in a Warneke's Bread advertisement in a local theater.

Later, when he went to produce his first Alice Comedy, Alice's Wonderland, he remembered her long, blonde ringlets and charming smile. Disney placed a call to her parents, and Davis became a star.

Due to legal complications, Alice's Wonderland did not see theatrical release, although it was shown privately to cartoon distributors in 1923. It was released decades later on the DVD collection Disney Rarities.

For the next two years, Davis starred in such Disney shorts as Alice's Wild West Show and Alice's Spooky Adventure for M.J. Winkler Productions. The "Alice Comedies" have been periodically featured on the Disney Channel during its Vault Disney segment.

Alice's Day At Sea, also with Davis, set a record many years later. In April 1994, a poster for the 1924 short was sold at Christie's in London for the equivalent of $36,534 U.S. This, according to Guinness World Records, is the highest price ever paid for a cartoon poster.

Davis later ended her tenure with Disney, who went on to make more than 40 other Alice films. She continued performing in the theater, including a West Coast tour of Elmer Rice's Street Scene, and in a number of films for such studios as MGM, RKO, Paramount and Fox.

Among her credits are Three on a Match (1932), starring Joan Blondell as Mary Keaton. She portrayed Blondell's character as a child. (Also in the film were a young Bette Davis and -- in a smaller role -- Humphrey Bogart.)

Later, Davis did voice testing for Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as well as for some of the little boys' voices in Pinocchio.

In The Harvey Girls (1946), she was an uncredited Harvey Girl, appearing alongside Cyd Charisse and Judy Garland. She was in the scene in which Garland and Ray Bolger introduced the Oscar-winning song "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe."

She also appeared in such early TV shows as Your Hit Parade and One Man's Family.

Davis went on to earn a degree from the New York School of Interior Design and became a decorating editor for the popular 1950s magazine Living for Young Homemakers. In 1963, she began a successful career in the real estate industry in Connecticut and later, Southern California.

Over the years, Davis remained in contact with the Walt Disney Company, and was often a special guest at such events as the annual Disneyana Conventions held at either Disneyland or Walt Disney World.

She was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1998.

In 2005, Leonard Maltin interviewed her for the Walt Disney Treasures DVD set. That year, the Annie Awards presented her with its Winsor McCay Award for lifetime achievement.

She lived in Montana and Idaho during her final years.

Virginia Davis was predeceased in 2005 by Robert A. "Bob" McGhee, her husband since 1943. She is survived by daughters Margaret Sufke and Laurieanne Zandbergen, and by granddaughters Kristianne, Nicole and Juliette Zandbergen.

DAVIS, Virginia Margaret
Born: 12/31/1918, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.
Died: 8/15/2009, Corona, California, U.S.A.

Virginia Davis's westerns - actress
Alice's Wild West Show - 1924 (Alice)
The Man from Red Gulch - 1925 (Cissy Falloner)
The Harvey Girls - 1946 (Harvey girl)

Friday, August 14, 2009

RIP John Bentley

John Bentley Dies

Written by Mike Watkins
Friday, 14 August 2009 18:01

From episode 86 in 1965 through to 1977 actor John Bentley became a housewives favourite as Crossroads' Hugh Mortimer. He also helped the soap reach its biggest-ever ratings in 1975 when he married Meg Richardson, the matriarch of the Crossroads Motel since episode one in 1964. John also had a successful movie, theatre and television career outside of soap, which included his own series, African Patrol.

In Crossroads, as businessman Hugh Mortimer, he became the lead male opposite, as Terry Lloyd - reporting for ITN on her death commented, 'The Queen of British Soaps' Noele Gordon. Noele as Meg had won every soap award possible in her reign as the owner of a small motel in the fictional Midland village of Kings Oak. With her popularity, John's increased too. However, not always to his advantage.

Speaking to the Crossroads Fan Club in 2006 he commented: "I recall one point Hugh was very popular with the fans and a certain gentleman engaged me for a couple of nights cabaret work in Birmingham. He didn't seem interested whether I could actually sing or do a turn, he simply hired me because Hugh was popular and would fill the club.It was all going well, with further bookings. Until one day the phone rang, the promoter said he'd have to cancel my cabaret bookings. It seems in the series Hugh had "done the dirty" on Meg and the audience were furious with him. I persuaded the promoter that the event was still worth doing, as people would know the difference between Hugh Mortimer and John Bentley. Come the night of the cabaret, the greeting to yours truly was incredible - for all the wrong reasons! I stepped out onto the stage to be greeted with jeers and very loud booing. It was petrifying at the time, but it does show the power of Crossroads. I won the audience over in the end, although how I don't know."

John was also greatly proud of the 'social awareness' Crossroads brought to its viewers. In the storylines he suffered numerous heart-attacks which won praise from Medical bodies for the portrait of how to deal promptly and correctly with an attack, and also how to improve lifestyle afterwards. In 1975 18 million watched the on-screen wedding of Hugh and Meg, while fans of the show brought Birmingham city centre to a halt to watch the recording at the city's Cathedral.

He was also a strong defender of the programme, again commenting in 2006: "The press may have disliked us because Crossroads was not very British in production style or values. ATV originally boasted that we were using an American idea and format. The press, I think, didn't like that at all. But of course the things they mocked happened in every other programme of the era too. Every "as live" programme had the same problems and mistakes. I don't know why we were singled out from the rest."

Outside of the soap opera world he had a long and varied career. From acting in movies alongside Diana Dors to leading a cast in the police drama African Patrol back in the 1950s. John first got his break by singing as he recalled to the Crossroads Fan Club:

"Apart from the odd school play, I had very little interest in the theatrical world until I was sixteen and that was quite by accident. I got into the business through radio producer Martyn C. Webster. On one of his radio broadcasts he offered listeners to come to his studio and audition. Those who were good enough would be offered work at the station.

I actually decided that I would be quite a good singer, so armed with a 78 record to accompany my performance, I sang for Martyn. He liked what he heard and offered me a part in a radio musical. And that is where the singing evolved into acting. Other radio dramas soon followed thankfully."

In the 1950s he began featuring on ATV programming, including the popular daytime live chat show, Lunch Box where he was one of the guest singers. This show just happened to be produced by Reg Watson, who later went on to create Crossroads and was hosted by Midland icon, Noele Gordon.

"When a few years later they were casting the part of Hugh Mortimer, Noele Gordon suggested me for the role to Reg, and they both agreed I was the perfect choice."

Born: 12/2/1916, Birmingham, England, U.K.
Died: Petworth, Sussez, England, U.K.

John Bentley's western - actor:
The Singer Not the Son - 1961 (Chief of Police)

RIP Reynald Bouchard

The actor Reynald Bouchard has died

The Canadian Press

Quebec actor Reynald Bouchard died Sunday of a heart attack, his agent confirmed Wednesday. He was 63 years.

The actor, spouse of the dancer Louise Lecavalier, has held numerous roles in various television series, including L'or du temps, Les Bougon, Watatatow, Les héritiers Duval et Marguerite Volant.

He was recently seen in the film Dédé à travers les brumes, in which he played the father of Dédé Fortin. He also participated in Ma Tante Aline, Aurore and Séraphin - A man and his sin, as well as The Widow of Saint-Pierre by Patrice Leconte.

He also headed the August theater for many years and founded the event "Christmas in the Park".

Born: 1945 Sainte-Coeur-de-Marie, France
Died: 8/9/2009, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Reynal Bouchard's western - actor:
Les fils de la liberte (TV) - 1981 (Jacquot)

RIP Ruth Ford

Actress, Brookhaven native Ruth Ford dies at 98


Mississippi native and actress Ruth Ford, for whom William Faulkner wrote Requiem for a Nun, died Wednesday in New York City at her home in the Dakota. She was 98.

Ford was a successful fashion model in the 1930s. Her theater and film career stretched from the 1930s through the 1960s. She was the sister of poet, artist and editor Charles Henri Ford, who died in 2002 at age 94. He co-wrote The Young and Evil, considered by many the first gay novel.

"As a brother and sister team, they were quite spectacular," said Allen Frame, a family friend.

Born in Brookhaven, Ruth Ford lived in various towns in Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas and Mississippi as a child (her father worked in the hotel business), attended school in Vicksburg and later at the University of Mississippi.

Erik LaPrade, who worked closely with her brother, provided career details. Ruth Ford moved to New York in the 1930s and her first hit, Shoemaker's Holiday, was performed on Orson Welles' theater group in 1939.

She married Peter Van Eyck in 1940, with whom she had a daughter, Shelley. She moved to Hollywood and made more than 26 films, including appearances in John Huston's Across the Pacific and Gregory Peck's first feature The Keys of the Kingdom.

She returned to New York in 1946 and enjoyed critical success in Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit, directed by Huston.

She married actor Zachary Scott in 1950.

Ford met Faulkner in Oxford and later befriended him in Hollywood. She collaborated with him on the stage adaptation of Requiem for a Nun. It opened at the John Golden Theatre in 1959.

FORD, Ruth
Born: 7/7/1911, Brookhaven, Mississippi, U.S.A.
Died: 8/12/2009, New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Ruth Ford's westerns - actress:
Roaring Frontiers - 1941 (Reba Bailey)
The Devil's Trail - 1942 (Ella)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

RIP Les Paul

Guitar, studio wizard Les Paul dies at 94

Paul died in White Plains, New York, from complications of severe pneumonia, according to the statement.

Paul was a guitar and electronics mastermind whose creations -- such as multitrack recording, tape delay and the solid-body guitar that bears his name, the Gibson Les Paul -- helped give rise to modern popular music, including rock 'n' roll. No slouch on the guitar himself, he continued playing at clubs into his 90s despite being hampered by arthritis.

"If you only have two fingers [to work with], you have to think, how will you play that chord?" he told in a 2002 phone interview. "So you think of how to replace that chord with several notes, and it gives the illusion of sounding like a chord."

"The world has lost a truly innovative and exceptional human being today. I cannot imagine life without Les Paul," said Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. "He would walk into a room and put a smile on anyone's face. His musical charm was extraordinary and his techniques unmatched anywhere in the world."
Lester William Polfuss was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on June 9, 1915. Even as a child he showed an aptitude for tinkering, taking apart electric appliances to see what made them tick.

"I had to build it, make it and perfect it," Paul said in 2002. He was nicknamed the "Wizard of Waukesha."

In the 1930s and '40s, he played with the bandleader Fred Waring and several big band singers, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and the Andrews Sisters, as well as with his own Les Paul Trio. In the early 1950s, he had a handful of huge hits with his then-wife, Mary Ford, such as "How High the Moon" and "Vaya Con Dios."
His guitar style, heavily influenced by jazzman Django Reinhardt, featured lightning-quick runs and double-time rhythms. In 1948, after being involved in a severe car accident, he asked the doctor to set his arm permanently in a guitar-playing position.

Paul also credited Crosby for teaching him about timing, phrasing and preparation.
Crosby "didn't say it, he did it -- one time only. Unless he blew the lyrics, he did one take."

Paul never stopped tinkering with electronics, and after Crosby gave him an early audiotape recorder, Paul went to work changing it. It eventually led to multitrack recording; on Paul and Ford's hits, he plays many of the guitar parts, and Ford harmonizes with herself. Multitrack recording is now the industry standard.
But Paul likely will be best remembered for the Gibson Les Paul, a variation on the solid-body guitar he built in the early 1940s -- "The Log" -- and offered to the guitar company.

"For 10 years, I was a laugh," he told CNN in an interview. "[But] kept pounding at them and pounding at them saying hey, here's where it's at. Here's where tomorrow, this is it. You can drown out anybody with it. And you can make all these different sounds that you can't do with a regular guitar."

Gibson, spurred by rival Fender, finally took Paul up on his offer and introduced the model in 1952. It has since become the go-to guitar for such performers as Jimmy Page.

Paul is enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Inventors Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He is survived by three sons, a daughter, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Until recently he had a standing gig at New York's Iridium Jazz Club, where he would play with a who's-who of famed musicians.

He admired the places guitarists and engineers took his inventions, but he said there was nothing to replace good, old-fashioned elbow grease and soul.
"I learned a long time ago that one note can go a long way if it's the right one," he said in 2002, "and it will probably whip the guy with 20 notes."

PAUL, Les real name Lester William Polfuss
Born: 6/9/1915, Waukesha, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
Died: 8/13/2009, White Plains, New York, U.S.A.

Les Paul's western - musician:
Texas Lady - 1955 [soundtrack]

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

RIP John Quade

John Quade dies at 71; character actor specialized in playing heavies
Quade appeared in several Clint Eastwood films, including 'Every Which Way But Loose' and 'The Outlaw Josey Wales,' and he played Sheriff Biggs in the TV mini-series 'Roots.'
By Dennis McLellan

August 12, 2009 | 5:53 p.m.

John Quade, a veteran character actor who specialized in playing heavies and appeared in several Clint Eastwood movies, including "Every Which Way But Loose" and its sequel "Any Which Way You Can," has died. He was 71.

Quade died in his sleep of natural causes Sunday at his home in Rosamond, near Lancaster, said his wife, Gwen Saunders. In a more than two-decade career in films and television that began in the late 1960s, Quade played character roles in numerous TV series and in films such as "Papillon," "The Sting" and Eastwood's "High Plains Drifter" and "The Outlaw Josey Wales." He also played Sheriff Biggs in the 1977 TV miniseries "Roots."

"Everybody remembers him for 'Every Which Way But Loose' and 'Any Which Way You Can,' " Quade's wife said Wednesday. "He played Chola, the leader of the motorcycle gang. It was more of a comic relief of the movie; they were a bumbling motorcycle gang."

Although Quade's name might not be familiar to many moviegoers, his face was. In fact, he had a face made for playing heavies.

"He was one of the nicest men you'd ever want to know, but he looked mean and nasty," his wife said. "He looked like he could do murder and mayhem at any moment, but he was a big teddy bear -- the kind that he just loved little kids, but they were always afraid of him.

"His face definitely stands out in a crowd. He had to be careful he didn't overshadow scenes just by the way he looked. The first film he did with Clint Eastwood, Clint hired him for his face and told him afterward that he felt like he got a bonus because John could act."

Born John William Saunders III on April 1, 1938, in Kansas City, Kan., Quade arrived in California in 1964. "He got involved in missile and aerospace for awhile," said his wife. "He built parts that are still on the moon."

One day, she said, "He was sitting in a restaurant with a bunch of guys and this man noticed him and said, 'Have you thought about acting?'

"It had to be his face; it wasn't anything else."

Quade was appearing in a play in Hollywood in 1968 when a casting director saw him and cast him in his first TV show, an episode of "Bonanza."

In addition to his wife of 38 years, he is survived by six children, Heather Clark, John Saunders IV, Steven Saunders, Joseph Saunders, Katherine Adame; and Rebecca Saunders; his mother, Norma; his brothers, Merlin and Robert; his sisters, Joyce Copeland and Norma Jean Anderson; and 10 grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Joshua Memorial Park and Mortuary, 808 E. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster.

QUADE, John real name John William Saunders III
Born: 4/1/1938, Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.A.
Died: 8/9/2009, Rosamond, California, U.S.A.

John Quade’s westerns – actor:
The Wild Wild West (TV) – 1968 (man)
The High Chaparral (TV) – 1969 (bartender)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1971 (Shaw)
Bonanza (TV) – 1968 (telegrapher), 1971 (Tallman)
Cade's County (TV) - 1971 (Mule Mueller)
Nichols (TV) – 1971-1972 (Scully)
Bad Company – 1972 (Nolan)
High Plains Drifter – 1973 (Jake Ross)
Dusty’s Trail (TV) – 1973 (Jake)
Honky Tonk (TV) – 1974
Kung Fu (TV) – 1974 (Johnson)
The Godchild (TV) – 1974 (Denton)
Rancho Deluxe – 1975 (Circular Face)
The Last Hard Men – 1976 (Will Gant)
The Outlaw Josey Wales – 1976 (Comanchero leader)
The Quest (TV) – 1976 (Neeley)
Peter Lundy and the Medicine Hat Stallion (TV) – 1977 (Adam)
Go West Young Gilr (TV) – 1978 (Ingalls)
How the West Was Won (TV) – 1979 (Waddie Travers)
Cattle Annie and Little Britches – 1981 (Morgan)
Big Bend Country (TV) – 1981 (Hart)
No Man’s Land (TV) – 1984 (Henry Lambert)
“Dream West” (TV) – 1986 (Big Fallon)
Houston: The Legend of Texas (TV) – 1986 (Senator Stansbury)
Longarm (TV) – 1988
The Tracker (TV) – 1988 (Lomax)
Lucky Luke (TV) 1990-1991 (Frank)
Lucky Luke – 1990 (Frank)
Return to Lonesome Dove (TV) – 1993 (Martin)

Monday, August 10, 2009

RIP Lola Lemos

Spanish actress Lola Lemos died in Madrid, Spain on August 6th, she was 96. Lola was born during a theatrical tour by her parents on May 5, 1913 in Brea de Aragón in Zaragosa, Spain. Her family’s lineage in the theater goes back to the 18th century. Her brother was actor Carlos Lemos (1909-1988). Lola took dramatic lessons and appeared in her first film “Llegaron dos hombres” in 1959. Her film career was not very extensive although she would appear in over 30 films. In contrast it was in television that she would find her greatest popularity. She appeared in such series as “Historias para no dormer”, “Estudio 1” and “Novela”. Late in life she became the consummate grandmother figure in such shows as “Menudo is mi padre” (1996-1998), playing the mother in “El Fary” and “Abierto 24 horas” (2000-2001) giving life to the ghost’s mother Pilar Bardem. During her long life and career Lola Lemos appeared in one Euro-western 1965’s “Dos mil dolares por Coyote” (aka “Ballad of a Bounty Hunter”) starring James Philbrook.

LEMOS, Lola real name Dolores Garcia Lemos
Born: 5/5/1923, Brea da Aragón, Zaragosa, Aragón, Spain
Died: 8/6/2009, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Lola Lemos' western - actress:
Ballad of a Bounty Hunter - 1965

Sunday, August 9, 2009

RIP Donlin Many Bad Horses

BUSBY, Montana - Donlin Many Bad Horses, 70, of Busby died Wednesday, July 8, 2009, at the Billings Clinic in Billings, Montana of stomach cancer, he was 70. Donlin was an historian and spiritual leader of the Northern Cheyenne tribe. He was dedicated to see an Indian memorial at the Custer Battlefield National Monument changed to the Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument. This memorial to the Indian warriors who fell at the battle was dedicated on June 15, 2003 and fulfilled the dream of Mr. Many Bad Horses and the other Indian leaders who petitioned the U.S. Government for the memorial for their fallen forefathers. Donlin Many Bad Horses appeared in one Euro-western “Foreign Land” (2002) where he played a Cheyenne.

Born: 1939, Montana, U.S.A.
Died: 7/8/2009, Billings, Montana, U.S.A.

Donlin Many Bad Horses western - actor:
Foreign Land - 2002 (Cheyenne)

RIP Eckhard Becker

Theater 89 in Potsdam Germany has released a statement that actor Eckhard Becker died on June 20, 2009 in Potsdam of a stroke. Becker was a member of the theater troop and played in ten major roles with the company. Becker was also a film actor and appeared in over 25 motion pictures from 1969-2007. Among them were two European Westerns.

BECKER, Eckhard
Born: 1945, Germany
Died: 6/20/2009, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany

Eckhard Becker's western - actor:
Apaches - 1973 (gold miner)
Blood Brothers - 1974 (reporter)

Friday, August 7, 2009

RIP Tony van Renterghem

War hero Tony van Renterghem dies
By Mike Barnes

Aug 6, 2009, 04:01 PM ET

Tony van Renterghem, a Dutch war hero who spent 35 years in Hollywood working in cinematography and as a technical, historical and script adviser, died July 19 at his home in Sequim, Wash. He was 90.

For several years, van Renterghem served as an adviser to George Stevens Sr. and worked on such films from the director as 1959's "The Diary of Anne Frank" (he also was a consultant for the Pulitzer Prize-winning play) and the 1965 biblical epic "The Greatest Story Ever Told."

He did four years of research on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth for the latter release, including one year with uncredited screenwriter Carl Sandburg.

As a cameraman, van Renterghem worked on TV Westerns including "Gunsmoke," "Cimarron Strip" and "The Wild Wild West."

A member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., IATSE and SAG, van Renterghem emigrated to the U.S. in 1948.

Raised in Amsterdam, he was trained as one of the nation's last mounted cavalry officers. He served eight years in the Netherlands Armed Forces, seeing combat against German paratroopers during the Blitz, and five years in the Dutch Resistance during the German occupation of Holland that began in 1940.

Van Renterghem worked in high-level espionage, helped hide those fleeing Nazi persecution, and initiated and ran the film and photo units of the Dutch Resistance (known as the "underground camera"). He was condemned to death by the Nazis but continually eluded them.

For his wartime activities, he received numerous awards from the Dutch government, including the World War II Dutch Resistance Cross from Queen Beatrix and the Israeli Yad Vashem "Righteous Among the Nations" Honor for his efforts in saving Jewish lives.

Van Renterghem is survived by Susanne Severeid, his wife of 34 years, and their son Pablo.

Born: 7/28/1919, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands
Died: 7/22/2009, Sequim, Washington, U.S.A.

Tony van Renterghem's westerns - cinematographer:
Gunsmoke (TV) - 1955
The Wild Wild West (TV) - 1965
Cimarron Strip (TV) - 1967

Thursday, August 6, 2009

RIP Ted Swanson

August 6th, 2009
Hollywood Production Manager Ted Swanson Dies At 72
Shannon Moore - Celebrity News Service Reporter

Los Angeles, CA (CNS) - Hollywood production manager Ted Swanson has passed away at the age of 72 of congestive heart failure. Swanson, who was known for his work on films such as "Rocky" and "Caddyshack," passed away on July 23.

His other credits include "Witness," "Harry and the Hendersons" and the television miniseries "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman."

He began his career in the 1960s, first in television at Los Angeles' KNXT (KCBS) as a page, eventually moving up to the head of production for local programming. He then went on to produce to produce numerous television shows and various films.

SWANSON, Theodore "Ted"
Born: 7/28/1936, Watertown, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Died: 7/23/2009, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Ted Swanson's westerns - assistant director:
Tell Them Willie Boy is Here - 1969
A Man Called Horse - 1970

Monday, August 3, 2009


Harry Alan Towers dies at 88

B-movie producer made more than 100 films


Prolific B-movie producer and writer Harry Alan Towers, who made more
than 100 films working with cult stalwarts such as Christopher Lee and
director Jess Franco, died August 2 of heart failure in Toronto. He was

During the 1960s and 1970s, he wrote and produced dozens of films, sometimes credited as Peter Welbeck. Among the actors he worked with were Orson Welles, Michael York, Michael Caine, Richard Harris, James Earl Jones and Tony Curtis.

Towers often shot in locations such as South Africa, Ireland and Bulgaria on films such as "The Face of Fu Manchu," Iran-filmed "Ten Little Indians," South African classic adaptation "Cry the Beloved Country" and "Klondike Fever."

His association with Italian giallo auteur Franco produced films which have become underground classics including "Venus in Furs," "Eugenie," "Marquis de Sade: Justine" and "Night of the Blood Monster."

Capitalizing on the industry's need for video titles during the 1980s and early 1990s, Towers provided a steady pipeline of films such as Robert Englund starrers "Phantom of the Opera" and "Danse Macabre," "Warrior Queen" and "Delta Force 3."

Towers started as a child actor in Britain and during WWII, he became a radio writer while serving in the Royal Air Force. He and his mother started a company called Towers of London after the war to sell syndicated radio shows around the world, and he went on to produce numerous programs for British television including "The Scarlet Pimpernel" and "Tales from Dickens."

His literary agent, Albert T. Longden, said he was working on an autobiography. Recently he had been working on an adaptation of "Moll Flanders," which was at one time set to be directed by Ken Russell.

He is survived by his wife, actress Maria Rohm.

TOWERS, Harry Alan (aka Joachim Linden, Peter Welbeck)
Born: 10/19/1920, London, England, U.K.
Died: 8/2/2009, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Harry Alan Towers westerns - producer, screenwriter:
The Call of the Wild - 1972 [producer, screenwriter as Peter Welbeck]
White Fang - 1973 [dialogue as Peter Welbeck]

Sunday, August 2, 2009

RIP Tom Runyon

Tom Runyon dies at 89; fiction writer and actor shared name with
Hollywood Hills canyon

The Old Place, the restaurant-saloon he opened with his wife, Barbara,
in Agoura in 1969, reflected an Old West that had long disappeared.

By Valerie J. Nelson
August 3, 2009

Tom Runyon, who shared his family name with a Hollywood Hills canyon
and his simple fare at his rough-hewn roadhouse on Mulholland Highway
with the famous and famously interesting, has died. He was 89.

Runyon, a fiction writer and occasional actor, died July 17 of cancer
at his longtime home in Malibu, said his son, Morgan.

His ties to the gorge in the heart of the Hollywood Hills date to 1919
-- the year before he was born -- when his uncle, coal baron Carmen
Runyon, bought what was then known as No Man's Canyon, gave it his
name and built a hunting lodge.

Young Tom learned to hunt in Runyon Canyon, giving him an appreciation
for the outdoors. While attending University High, he hid a rifle in
his locker so that on his way to his home in Brentwood he could shoot
pigeons to feed the falcons that he raised, his son said.

The Old Place, the restaurant-saloon he opened with his wife, Barbara,
in Agoura in 1969, reflected an Old West that had long disappeared,
just as the city landscape of his youth had. He had played in avocado
orchards on Hollywood Boulevard and developed a taste for the lima
beans farmed next to his house in Brentwood.

The aptly named Old Place took root in a structure built around 1914
at the juncture of Mulholland Highway and Troutdale Drive. It once
housed a general store and post office for Cornell, a hamlet long ago
folded into Agoura.

"It might as well be the Yukon," a Times review of the restaurant
concluded in 1985. "Funky and rugged, booths as crude as stable
stalls, a heavy old wood bar and a beer-drinking crowd of men that are
men and women that are women. . . ."

The Old Place, invariably described as "ramshackle," had five booths,
two entrees -- steak and clams -- and a single waitress, Barbara. Tom
was both cook and dishwasher.

"It was about simple food cooked well," said his son, who plans to
reopen the restaurant, which has been closed for a few weeks. "They
would say, 'You get what you get and you don't get upset.' "

Actress Ali MacGraw used to frequent the Old Place with actor Steve
McQueen when they were a married couple in the 1970s and living in
Trancas Canyon.

"There were western frontier swinging doors that would burst open and
in would come God only knew who," MacGraw told The Times last week.
"It was just the polar opposite of Malibu 2010. . . . No one was in
stilettos or a haircut of the week. It was a hide-out."

There was "a madness to the place," MacGraw said, and "it had this
most extraordinary collection of people," sort of "Malibu renegades."

The famous -- actor Robert Mitchum, singer Bob Dylan, director Sam
Peckinpah -- could be found mingling with bikers and other locals fit
for central casting. In 1972, actor Jason Robards was driving home
from the Old Place when he had a near-fatal accident. The restaurant
was reportedly also a favorite of Ronald and Nancy Reagan when they
owned a nearby ranch.

Runyon "was a total character," MacGraw said. "He was so adored and
really smart."

Thomas Mercein Runyon was born April 27, 1920, in Washington, D.C.,
and moved to Hollywood with his family when he was 3.

His father, Charles Runyon II, was a State Department lawyer, and his
mother, Cornelia, an artist and sculptor. His older brother, Charles,
was an assistant dean at Yale Law School from 1958 to 1963.

After his father died when Runyon was 7, the family moved to
Brentwood. Runyon spent most of his high school years at Cate, a
boarding school in Carpinteria.

He joined the Army Air Forces during World War II and rose to the rank
of major, flying cargo missions in North Africa and Italy.

After the war, he studied writing at Columbia University and wrote
fiction for Argosy magazine.

In the late 1950s and early '60s, he rented an apartment above the
carousel on the Santa Monica Pier. He married Barbara in 1961 and the
couple eventually moved to the home on the west end of Malibu that his
mother had built in 1937.

He had roles in several films, partly because he would fly to wherever
his friends were making movies, then get paid to essentially play
himself, his son said.

Peckinpah cast Runyon "in a wonderful part in 'The Getaway,' " MacGraw
said of the 1972 film she made with McQueen. "The scenes with Tom as
one of the bad guys, he steals 'em."

In addition to his wife, Runyon is survived by a daughter, Alessandra,
an artist, of Santa Fe, N.M.; son Morgan, an art director of
commercials and music videos, of Topanga Canyon and Malibu; and three

RUNYON, Thomas Mercein "Tom"
Born: 4/27/1920, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Died: 7/17/2009, Malibu, California, U.S.A.

Tom Runyon's western - actor:
Tom Horn - 1980 (bartender)

RIP David Sanderson

Alfred David Sanderson, who has died at 61, was born in Narrabri, the second of three sons of Dorothy Lewington and her husband, Donald Sanderson, a solicitor. After a brief sojourn in Grafton, the family moved in 1952 to the timber town of Wauchope, close to Port Macquarie and its surfing beaches.

At 14, David was sent to board at Cranbrook School in Sydney, where his love of the arts, particularly photography, was nurtured and he was nicknamed Fender after the guitar he played.

For his leaving certificate year, Sanderson returned to Wauchope and resumed a typical North Coast teenager’s life. He surfed with mates in the early morning and played rhythm guitar – rock’n’roll with some blues – in a band, The Loose Ends. When he finished school, he joined the Commonwealth Bank. But banking was not for him.

Moving to Sydney in 1966, he became a camera assistant at ABC television. Two years later he joined the Commonwealth Film Unit (now Film Australia), working with many who would achieve recognition in the industry including Weir and Carroll, the producer Richard Brennan, the director Haydn Keenan, the actor Richard Moir and the now internationally acclaimed cinematographer Don McAlpine.

In the 1970s, he studied cinematography at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. For some years afterwards, he divided his time between Australia and the US. The movie credits he accrued included nature photography on Picnic at Hanging Rock and director of photography on Harvest of Hate, directed by Michael Thornhill. As a still photographer, he joined group exhibitions in Los Angeles and had solo shows at Hogarth Galleries in Sydney.

In Los Angeles he married Hilary Bean, an American actor who is now a jewellery designer. They lived briefly at the artist Martin Sharp’s house in Sydney.

In 1980 he received an Emmy Award for cinematography in an episode of the children’s television series, Once upon a Midnight Scary.

But in the coming decade, alcohol would interfere increasingly with his professional capacities and personal relationships. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a far less widely understood illness then.

While the creativity and the unerring eye for the visually arresting remained with him always, the film career did not. Although Haydn Keenan was delighted with his lighting and enthusiasm on the 1988 cult film Pandemonium, by the end of the 1980s Sanderson had shot his last feature. Life became a roller-coaster ride between the dullness he experienced from medication and the manic outbursts that came when he lapsed from the regime of pills.

With his marriage to Bean long over, he retired to Wauchope to care for his ageing mother. When she died, he moved with his brothers’ support to Lighthouse Beach, Port Macquarie, and worked periodically as a still photographer.

More recently various debilitating physical ailments brought several hospital stays but also a degree of personal equilibrium. Between stays in hospital he gained an arts degree from Southern Cross University and still found subjects, often single flower studies, to photograph, preferably with his trusty Hasselblad.

In 2008 he spent four months in Westmead Hospital with complications from a fall. Enormously weakened, he returned to Lighthouse Beach and tried to carry on.

He collapsed in the shower at home this month after a heart attack. The sound of running water and his cat’s meowing alerted a neighbour – but it was too late.

David Sanderson is survived by his brothers, Don and Buzz, and their families, and a circle of friends and fans.

SANDERSON, Alfred David
Born: 1948, Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia
Died: 6/?/2009, Lighthouse Beach, Port Marquarie, New South Wales, Australia

David Sanderson's westerns - cameraman:
Lonesome Dove (TV) - 1989 [cameraman]
Dances With Wolves - 1990 [cameraman]
Walker, Texas Ranger (TV) - 1993 [cameraman]