Sunday, February 28, 2010

RIP Richard Devon

Richard Devon, 84, died February 26, 2010 of vascular disease in Mill Valley, California. I will post a full obitiary when one becomes available.

DEVON, Richard
Born: 12/11/1926, Glendale, California,. U.S.A.
Died: 2/26/2010, U.S.A.

Richard Devon's westerns – actor:
Scorching Fury – 1952 (Kirk Flamer)
The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin (TV) – 1955, 1956 (Chief Sassabi, Kessala)
Frontier (TV) – 1956 (Hesse)
The Buckskin Lady – 1957 (townsperson)
3:10 to Yuma – 1957 (Wade henchman)
Boots and Saddles (TV) – 1957
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (TV) – 1957, 1958 (Rance Purcell, Dan Leving)
Zane Grey Theater (TV) – 1957, 1958, 1959 (Army Hendricks, Walker, Turlow, Grady
Wagon Train (TV) – 1957, 1963 (Perk Lopely)
Badman's Country – 1958 (Harvey Logan)
The Badlanders – 1958 (prison guard)
Yancy Deringer (TV) 1958-1959 (Jody Barker)
Wanted: Dead or Alive (TV) – 1958, 1959 (Phil, Gar Foley, Freighter Jack)
Trackdown (TV) – 1958, 1959 (Thad Winter, Fenn Dooley, Morgan Larker, Rufus Cole)
Tales of Wells Fargo (TV) – 1958, 1962 (Mr. Bolton, Pierre Corondelet)
Money, Woman and Guns – 1959 (Detting Sun)
Zorro (TV) – 1959 (Mauridio Alviso)
The Rough Riders (TV) – 1959 (Sam Blackwell)
Johnny Ringo (TV) – 1959 (Jessie Mead)
Colt .45 (TV) – 1959 (Ed Pike)
Law of the Plainsman (TV) – 1959, 1960 (Johnny, Cy Erby)
The Rifleman (TV) – 1959, 1962 (Lovett, Gus Potter, Ben Macowan, Jack Adams, Walt
Ryerson, Austin Stark, Jethroe)
Gunfighters of Abilene – 1960 (Ruger)
Riverboat (TV) – 1960 (Barney)
The Texan (TV) – 1960 (Tim Craven)
The Rebel (TV) – 1960 (Deputy Clyde Vollmer)
Hotel de Paree (TV) – 1960 (Chief Whitefeather)
Sugarfoot (TV) – 1960 (Steve Wyatt)
Overland Trail (TV) – 1960 (Harlan Deall)
The Tall Man (TV) – 1960 (John Lesley)
Stagecoach West (TV) – 1960, 1961 (Ohio, Dan Murchison, Hody, Ed Bush)
Laramie (TV) – 1960, 1962 (Del Shamley)
Bonanza (TV) – 1960, 1964, 1967 (Mr. Hawkins, Jake Rubidah, Weaver, Blackie)
The Comancheros – 1961 (Esteban)
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1962 (Deke)
Rawhide (TV) – 1963 (Cole Stryker)
Cattle King – 1963 (Vince Bodine)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1963 (Asa Janin, Pitts)
The Virginian (TV) – 1963, 1966, 1970 (Arthur Faber, Beamer, Ed Beal, Haskell)
Destry (TV) – 1964 (Benson)
Daniel Boone (TV) – 1964, 1966, 1968, 1969 (Tice Fowler, Hotallah, Stokes, Archer,
Many Lives)
A Man Called Shenandoah (TV) – 1965 (Lloyd Fitts)
Laredo (TV) – 1965, 1966 (Max Fender, Max Vander)
The Big Valley (TV) – 1965, 1968 (Phelps, Link)
The Iron Horse (TV) - 1967 (DeWitt)
The High Chaparral (TV) – 1967 (Kansas)
The Guns of Will Sonnett (TV) – 1968 (Crawford)
Three Guns for Texaas – 1968 (Max)
Lancer (TV) – 1969 (Sexton Joe)

RIP John Shay

Shay, John Philip Patrick 94, of Irvine, CA died Sunday, February 21, 2010 at his home. Born in Chicago, IL, Jack graduated from Fenwick High School in Oak Park, and later received a degree in English from St. Benedict's (now Benedictine) College in Achison, Kansas. A 70 year member of the Screen Actor's Guild, Jack gave up acting at 29 to serve his country in WWII, surviving 31 missions in Germany in a B-24 with the 491st Bombardment Group in 1943 and 1944. He then returned to acting on Stage, Screen and Television. He once lived with Robert Mitchum, and was more recently knocked out in a bar fight with Kirk Douglas in "The Last Sunset" (1961). He was trained to ride motorcycles at age 65 by Officers of the California Highway Patrol and years later attended his 60th high school reunion driving a Honda Aspencade motorcycle from Irvine, CA to Chicago. Following his 94th birthday last year, he continued his workouts 3 times a week at the 24 Hour Fitness in Tustin with a loyal group of friends. He also met weekly for lunch with retired and active duty Officers of the Santa Ana CHP office. To say he will be missed, redefines the word. Services are set for viewing on Sunday, 2/28/10 from 5 to 8 pm at FDA Pierce Brother's Mortuary at 2425 W. Lincoln in Anaheim. Mass at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, 3/1/10 at St John Neumann Catholic Church at 5101 Alton Parkway in Irvine. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the John Shay Scholarship Fund, Benedictine College, Achison, Kansas, or The Motion Picture and Television Fund in Los Angeles, CA.

SHAY, John Philip Patrick
Born: 7/21/1915, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Died: 2/21/2010, Irvine, California, U.S.A.

John Shay's westerns - actor:
Bad Men of the Hills - 1942 (Marshal Dave Upjohn)
The Valley of Vanishing Men - 1942 (Mullins henchman)
Law of the Northwest - 1943 (Mayo)
Angel and the Badman - 1947 (gambler)
Jefferson Drum (TV) - 1958 (Will Shenandoah)
The Last Sunset - 1961 (Bowman)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

RIP Rudy Larriva

Rudy Larriva, who as an animator and cartoon director for nearly six decades with stints at Warner Bros. Cartoons and UPA, died Feb. 19 in Irvine, Calif. He was 94.
Larriva worked on classic WB series including "Looney Toons," "Elmer's Pet Rabbit" and "Porky's Cafe" as well as Disney's "Song of the South" and King Ent.'s "Popeye the Sailor."

Born in El Paso, Texas, he started in animation with Warner's 1939 "Dog Gone Modern," directed by Chuck Jones. Larriva worked as an animator and later a director for Warner Bros., United Prods. of America, Format Films, Filmation and Disney. He animated toons including "Robin Hoodlum," "Gerald McBoing Boing," "Mr. Magoo" and "Fangface."

As a director, he helmed TV toons including "The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Show," "Run Run Sweet Roadrunner," "Thundarr the Barbarian," "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and "Mister T."

He also was the animation director for the opening credits of "The Twilight Zone" in 1959-60.

His last outing was 1990's TV series "Merrie Melodies: Starring Bugs Bunny and Friends."

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. March 1 at Eternal Hills Cemetery, Oceanside, Calif.

Survivors include a son, three grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

LARIVVA, Rudy (Rudolph Larriva)
Born: 2/12/1916, El Paso, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 2/19/2010, Irvine, California, U.S.A.

Rudy Larivva's western - director:
The Lone Ranger (TV) - 1966

Sunday, February 21, 2010

RIP Ken Clark

I learned today from Robert Woods that American actor Ken Clark died last June in Rome, Italy where he had living. Born Kenneth Donovan Clark on June 4, 1927 in Neffs, Ohio. Clark was a model before signing a contract at 20th Century-Fox and made appearances in several 1950's films. Ken appeared in five films in 1956, three being westerns. By the end of the 1950s Fox did not renew his contract. Clark continued his career appearing in low-budget Sci-Fi films suchas “Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959) and “12 to the Moon” (1960). He also appeared on several TV shows during this time and shot a pilot episode for “Brock Callahan” but it was not picked up. Clark decided to go to Europe and see if he could cash in on the 'Sword and Sandal' craze. Here he became a recognized star and appeared in a number of spy, giallo and western films. His Eurowesterns were: “The Road to Ft. Alamo” (1964), “Savage Gringo” (1966) and “A Man Called Sledge” (1969). Ken continued to act and appear on TV until the late 1990s. He decided to make Rome, Italy his home and died there of a heart attack sometime in June 2009.

CLARK, Ken (Kenneth Donovan Clark)
Born: 6/4/192, Neffs, Ohio, U.S.A.
Died: 6/?/2009, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Ken Clark's westerns - actor:
The Proud Ones - 1956 (Pike)
The Last Wagon - 1956 (Sergeant)
Love Me Tender - 1956 (Mr. Kelso)
The True Story of Jesse James - 1957 (sergeant)
Death Valley Days (TV) - 1958 (Joseph Chapman)
Colt .45 (TV) - 1959 (Bass' cohort)
Sugarfoot (TV) - 1959
Heller in Pink Tights - 1960 (soldier)
The Road to Fort Alamo - 1964 (Bud Massedy/Lt. John Smith/Arizona Bill)
Savage Gringo - 1966 (Nebraska)
A Man Called Sledge - 1969 (Floyd)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

RIP Clark Howat

Clark Howat passed away October 30, 2009, in Arroyo Grande, in the Central Coast of California, where he had been living with his wife Muriel for the last several years of his 91 year life. He was known for his warm heart, sense of humor, and devotion to his wife and children.

Clark was an actor, who worked in Hollywood for more than 40 years. Clark
acted in numerous television programs, commercials and films from the late
1940's through the 1980's.

He was best known for his recurring role in Jack Webb's Dragnet, as a police
captain, appearing in more than 20 episodes during the 1960's.
He appeared in many other television series, spanning the history of

Although Clark played many different kinds of roles during his career, he
was frequently chosen to portray law enforcement officials during his life.
He also appeared in films including the Giant Claw, the Hitchhhiker,
Suddenly, the Glass Webb, Airport, Billy Jack and Running Hot.

Clark also was a writer and producer of training films for several
California corporations. He was known for his extensive work for the
California Real Estate Association, helping to train and motivate real
estate professionals.

Clark is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Muriel, daughter Geneve
and son Stan.

HOWAT, Clark (John Clark Howat)
Born: 1/22/1918, U.S.A.
Died: 10/30/2009, Arroyo Grande, California, U.S.A.

Clark Howat's westerns - actor:
California Passage - 1950 (croupier)
Only the Valiant - 1951 (Lt. Underwood)
Death Valley Days (TV) - 1955 ('Murph' Murphy)
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (TV) - 1955, 1960 (Major Jim Hope)
Cheyenne (TV) - 1957 (Morgan)
Broken Arrow (TV) - 1957 (Secretary Thrale)
Tales of Wells Fargo (TV) - (Mace Kimball)
Tales of the Texas Rangers (TV) - 1958 (Burt Wilson)
The Texan (TV) - 1958 (Tom)
The Restless Gun (TV) - 1958 (Arthur)
Bat Masterson (TV) - 1959 (Murdoch)
Wagon Train (TV) - 1960 (Aaron Oliver)

RIP Mary Scott

Mary Scott died on April 22, 2009 in Riverside County, Los Angeles, under the name Mary Lydia Heller.

Scott accrued a number of film and television credits from the early forties through the early sixties, but she will probably be remembered as (1) the wife of British character actor Sir Cedric Hardwicke, in one of Hollywood’s more unlikely May-December romances; and (2) the star of “Mr. Blanchard’s Secret,” one of the seventeen episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents directed by the Master of Suspense himself.

Born in Los Angeles on December 9, 1921, Scott began her movie career at Twentieth Century-Fox in 1940. She was still underage when the head of that studio, Darryl Zanuck, spotted her working in the coat-check room at Ciro’s. Zanuck admired her legs and directed an underling to sign Scott to a player contract. She made her film debut in an early scene in Kings Row, as one of the Ross sisters. (The other sister was Julie Warren, who gave up her acting career to marry John Forsythe.)

Hardwicke, an esteemed character actor of the English stage with a famously plummy voice, was under contract to Fox at the same time. Their romance began on a double date in Beverly Hills, and Scott followed the married Hardwicke back to Broadway (where he contrived to have her replace Lilli Palmer, his co-star in Caesar and Cleopatra, when Palmer took ill) and then on to London. Only when she became pregnant with a son, Michael, did Hardwicke divorce his first wife and marry Scott, who was twenty-eight years his junior.

More socialite than serious actress, Scott played small roles in a number of films and TV segments during the fifties. She supported Grace Kelly and Richard Greene (TV’s Robin Hood) in a live production of “Berkeley Square” for the Prudential Family Playhouse, and turned up on M Squad, Hazel, and The Patty Duke Show. “Mr. Blanchard’s Secret,” a semi-parody of Rear Window, had Scott as distaff version of James Stewart’s character, a mystery writer who thinks her neighbor may have committed a murder.

“Mr. Blanchard’s Secret” was a major showcase for Scott, and much like “Into Thin Air,” an earlier Hitchcock episode built around Hitch’s daughter Pat, it feels as if someone had carried out an act of star-building – albeit perhaps more as a favor than out of true conviction in the prospective star’s talent. Mary Scott appeared in seven more segments of Alfred Hitchcock Presents or The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and, like Pat Hitchcock’s roles on that series, Scott’s parts gradually diminished in size until, in 1965’s “The Trap,” she was just an extra in a crowd scene.

SCOTT, Mary (Mary Lydia Heller)
Born: 12/9/1921, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 4/22/2009, Riverside, California, U.S.A.

Mary Scott's westerns - actress:
Law of the Lash - 1947 (Jane Hilton)
Apache Country - 1952 (Laura Rayburn)

Friday, February 19, 2010

RIP Caroline McWilliams

Caroline Margaret McWilliams, accomplished actress and director, passed away peacefully at her home in LA on February 11, 2010. Ms. McWilliams is survived by her loving son Sean Douglas of Los Angeles, sisters Patti McWilliams (Marge Mount) and Norma Liedtke of San Francisco and Kelly-Jo Dvareckas (Jack) of Nashua, NH, nephews John Liedtke and Casey Dvareckas and niece Jill Dvareckas. Her parents, Dr. Joseph G. and Patti McWilliams, predeceased her.
Caroline grew up in Barrington, RI. She majored in drama at Carnegie Mellon and at the Pasadena Playhouse. Her career included numerous feature television roles, starting with her breakthrough role as Janet Mason on Guiding Light and followed by starring roles on Soap, Benson, Nearly Departed, and Beverly Hills 90210. Broadway credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Rothschilds. Off-Broadway Caroline performed in productions for the NY Shakespeare Festival and American Shakespeare Festival. Film credits include Mermaids, White Water Summer and Highway Time. Director credits include Divorcons, Love Letters, The Making of n Justice, Chang and Eng, You Havent Changed a Bit and Other Lies and benefit productions for ALS.

Off-camera Caroline loved life and adventure, happiest spending time with family and friends while kayaking and hiking in New Hampshire, carving fresh tracks on the slopes, roller skating at the beach, body-surfing in the waves of Cape Cod and doing the bunny hop around the Chatham Bandstand.

McWILLIAMS, Caroline Margaret
Born: 4/4/1945, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
Died: 2/11/2010, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Caroline McWilliams' western - actress:
Dundee and the Culhane (TV) - 1967

Thursday, February 18, 2010

RIP Ariel Ramirez

Ariel Ramirez was born in Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz, on September 4, 1921, and died February 18, 2010 in the City of Buenos Aires.

Musician, pianist, concert pianist, composer and conductor Argentinian president of the Society of Authors and Composers of Music, composed the Misa Criolla, which ran first in the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires with the stage version by Roberto Oswald and Anibal Lapiz, and 15 days later at the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York and St. Patrick's Cathedral in the same city. That version offered Ariel Ramírez (piano), with Zamba Quipildor (voice), Jaime Torres (charango) and whole, Domingo Cura (percussion), Jorge Padin and the Argentine National Polyphonic Choir conducted by Robert Saccente.

In early February Ariel was hospitalized for pneumonia and his condition was aggravated by a kidney problem.

Telam news agency released: "Apart from this complication of a clinical nature, Ramirez for years had a disease that had virtually lost his memory" (Alzheimer's).

He is better remembered as a great creator.

Born: 9/4/1921, Santa Fe, Argentina
Died: 2/18/2010, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ariel Ramirez's western - composer:
The Wrath of God - 1972

RIP Kathryn Grayson

Kathryn Grayson, whose beauty and lilting soprano voice brightened such popular MGM musicals of the 1040s and '50s as "Anchors Aweigh," "Show Boat" and "Kiss Me Kate," has died at age 88.

Grayson died Wednesday at her Los Angeles home, the actress' longtime secretary and companion, Sally Sherman, told The Associated Press.

"She just went to sleep and didn't wake up," Sherman said Thursday.

Grayson's youthful ambition was to sing opera, but she wasn't able to accomplish that dream until after her movie career ended. While still a teenager, she was placed under contract at MGM at a time when the studio was assembling a stable of musical talent that would dominate the era of great musicals.

"I thought they were wasting their time and money," Grayson recalled of her first days at the studio. "I even told (studio boss) Louis B. Mayer that. He said he knew a lot more than a 16-year-old girl who is and who isn't good material for pictures.

"He offered a deal: I would make a screen test, and if the studio liked the test, I would shut up forever. If not, I would go.

"It was the longest test in motion picture history. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars; it was almost a two-reeler. I did everything_ opera, popular songs, drama, comedy. ... The studio liked it. I told Mr. Mayer I didn't like it. He went home with a heart attack."

Concerned, Grayson agreed to stay, and she turned down an offer to sing "Lucia" at the Metropolitan Opera. She later learned that Mayer had two ploys to persuade recalcitrant actors: to cry or to claim a heart attack.

Like Lana Turner, Esther Williams, Donna Reed and other MGM newcomers, Grayson was given a tryout as Mickey Rooney's sweetheart in the studio's popular Andy Hardy film series. She played the title role in "Andy Hardy's Private Secretary" and sang Strauss's "Voices of Spring." Mayer was convinced that he had a future star.

She was cast in three minor films, including a musical with Abbot and Costello, then played Gene Kelly's girlfriend in a wartime revue that included major MGM stars, "Thousands Cheer."

"Anchors Aweigh," a 1945 hit with Kelly and Frank Sinatra, confirmed her star status. Her bell-like soprano made her the ideal co-star with Hollywood's full-voiced male singers in operettas and other musicals. She made three films with Howard Keel, two with Mario Lanza, one with Gordon MacRae.

Other musicals included "Two Sisters from Boston," "Ziegfeld Follies," "Till the Clouds Roll By," "That Midnight Kiss," "The Toast of New Orleans," "Lovely to Look At," "The Desert Song" and "So This Is Love."

Normally she was the most congenial of actresses during filming, but she did have one public flare-up with the temperamental Lanza. He lit the fire when he told an interviewer: "I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Kathryn because she was in my first two pictures."

She took offense because she believed as an established MGM star, they were her pictures. She told an interviewer she objected to Lanza's behavior on the set, especially his vulgar language.

Her last film, "The Vagabond King" in 1956, soured her on movies. She was scheduled to be reunited with Lanza, but he pulled one of his characteristic no-shows. An unknown Oreste Kirkpop (billed only as Oreste), was a last-minute substitution. "He couldn't speak English, so the director, Mike Curtiz, told me to speak his lines. `But I'm not Francois Villon,' I said. `It doesn't matter,' said Mike." Oreste's lines were dubbed.

"It never should have been made," she told an interviewer. "(Composer) Rudolf Friml was so upset about it that he told Paramount he was going out of town for the weekend. He went to Hong Kong."

Born Zelma Kathryn Hedrick on Feb. 9, 1922, in Winston-Salem, N.C., Grayson's father a building contractor and real estate agent. Because of his business, the family moved frequently, eventually settling in St. Louis Her parents recognized her gifted voice and arranged an audition before opera star Frances Marshall. She encouraged the girl to continue her music lessons.

The family then moved to Los Angeles so Kathryn could have more professional training. She came to the attention of Mayer, who had been searching for a lovely young soprano to rival Universal's sensational Deanna Durbin (Durbin had been under contract to MGM, but she was dropped in favor of Judy Garland).

After her movie career ended with "The Vagabond King," Grayson remained active, finally realizing her long-held ambition to sing opera. She also starred in stage productions of "The Merry Widow," "Rosalinda," Naughty Marietta," and "Camelot." She and Howard Keel toured extensively in "Man of La Mancha" and appeared together in Las Vegas. She did concerts in Australia and appeared in a one-woman show of film clips and reminiscences.

She married and divorced MGM contract players John Shelton (1940-1946) and Johnny Johnston (1947-1951). The marriage to Johnston produced her only child, Patricia Towers.

She never wed again after her second marriage, and in a 1988 interview she said she had no intention of writing a memoir because it wouldn't be the "kiss and tell" kind the publishers wanted.

"I'm a Pollyanna," she confessed. "I had to stop writing because I love everybody and I was saying everyone was beautiful. I just happen to think people are pretty wonderful."

She is survived by her daughter and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

GRAYSON, Kathryn (Zelma Kathryn Hedrick)
Born: 2/9/1922, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Died: 2/17/2010, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Kathryn Grayson's western - actress:
The Kissing Bandit - 1948 (Teresa)

Monday, February 15, 2010

RIP Peter Manley

Peter Manley, assistant director and later film producer, passed away on November 19th aged 84. He began his career in the art department at Denham (he worked on The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp) but moved to the set as an assistant director in a move to work for Gainsborough Pictures. He served as 2nd asst on The Lost People (1949), Boys in Brown (1949), So Long at the Fair (1950) and a few Ken Annakin features including two for Disney. Ken Annakin gave him his first 1st assistant job on The Planter's Wife (1952) starring Claudette Colbert and Jack Hawkins.

As a 1st AD, he worked on some the UK's best output including The Colditz Story (1955), The One that Got away (1957), Innocent Sinners (1958) as well as a couple of early Carry On films. He became a production manager at Rank for The Spanish Gardener (1956) and worked in that capacity for a long time with Disney in the 1960s. He began freelancing and worked on the John Llewellyn Moxey directed horror Circus of Fear (1966) but then move to television for The Saint television series of the 1960s. He gained his first (associate) producer credit with Hammer on The Lost Continent, a personal favourite of mine. He continued to work as a producer or production supervisor in the 19070s and 1980s i television ("Out" & "Chillers") and film (Call of the Wild, Heat and Dust, The Chain).

Born: 11/28/1925, Cleethorpes, South Humberside, England, U.K.
Died: 11/19/2009, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England, U.K.

Peter Manley's western - associate producer:
Call of the Wild - 1972

RIP Gian Fabio Bosco

Gian Fabio Bosco, half of the famous comedy team of Ric and Gian, died in a Lavagna, Genoa hospital on Sunday, February 14, 2010. He was 73. Bosco had been hospitalized for several days suffering from an aneurism. Born in Florence, Italy on July 30, 193 he had acted alone and teamed with Ric Miniggio as Ric and Gian for more than 60 years. Gian's parents were both stage actors and he first appeared on stage at the age of 8 in the Gilberto Govi acting theater along with his parents. He then worked with comedians Gino Bramieri and then Mario Ferrero before meeting singer/dancer Riccardo Miniggio in the '50s. They teamed together as Jerry and Fabio until later going by Ric and Gian. The comedy team lasted until 1987 when they both decided to go their separate ways. Gian then focused on a solo career in theater and films. He was still acting on television into the current century.

BOSCO, Gian Fabio
Born: 7/30/1936, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Died: 2/14/2010, Lavagna, Liguria, Italy

Gian Fabio Bosco's western - actor:
Rick & Gian Conquerorors the West - 1967 (Gian/John/Sean)

Friday, February 12, 2010

RIP José Ortiz Ramos

Cinematographer José Ortiz Ramos died on 16 December 2009. Ortiz Ramos was born in Michoacán in November 1911, and entered the film industry in the late 1930s as an assistant cameraman. He became a director of photography in 1940, and eventually earned nearly 250 screen credits, retiring in the early 1990s. Among the famous films featuring the photography of Ortiz Ramos: Nosotros los pobres, Una familia de tantas, Susana, Pulgarcito, Santo vs. las mujeres vampiro, El barón del terror, La casta divina, and Los años de Greta. He was nominated for four Best Photography Arieles: El camino de la vida, La casta divina, Toña Machetes and El
Maleficio II.

RAMOS, José Ortiz
Born: November 16, 1911, Tacámbaro, Michoacán, Mexico
Died: December 16, 2009, Michoacán, Mexico

José Ortiz Ramos' westerns – cinematographer:
Beautiful Michoacán – 1943
El siete Machos – 1951
My Brother the Outlaw – 1951
Poker de ases – 1952
Los margaritos – 1956
The Last Rebel – 1958
Una bala es mi testigo – 1960
Tres balas perdidas – 1961
Vuelven los cinco halcones – 1962
El revólver sangriento – 1964
La conquista de El Dorado – 1965
Alma grande – 1966
Duelo de pistoleros – 1966
Sangre en Rio Bravo – 1966
Juan Pistolas – 1966
Seven Guns for Seven Bandits – 1967
'El pistolero desconocido' (El comandante Tijerina) – 1967
Los amores de Juan Charrasqueado – 1968
With My Guns – 1968
Todo el horizonte para moris – 1971
La Martina 1972
Guns and Guts – 1974
Charrito – 1984

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

RIP Eric W. Freiwald

Eric W. Freiwald, 82, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Jan. 29, 2010, in Prescott, Ariz.

Eric was most famous for his 30 years as an Emmy award-winning writer on the daytime soap "The Young and the Restless."

He began his career in 1950 writing for many of the most well-loved television westerns. He has written more than 1,500 episodes for TV and one movie. His work also appeared in dozens of classic comic books for Gold Key and Disney in the 1960s.

Among his TV writing credits were episodes of "The Gene Autry Show," "Hopalong Cassidy," "Annie Oakley," "The Lone Ranger," "Maverick" and "The Beverly Hillbillies." He was also a head writer on the TV show "Lassie" for 13 seasons and wrote the feature film "The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold" in 1958.

Born in Detroit in 1927, he served in the Navy during WWII. Soon after the war ended, he began his lifelong career as a writer. Eric moved to Prescott in 1986 with his entire family to escape the pressures of Hollywood. He attended the movies almost every day and loved to spend time with his family. He remained young at heart throughout his life and made friends everywhere he went. Eric was the kind of father everyone hopes for, but few are lucky enough to have. He will live forever in our hearts.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, June; two daughters; one son; four grandsons; and one great-grandson.

Born: 9/24/1927, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Died: 1/29/2010, Prescott, Arizona, U.S.A.

Eric W. Freiwald's westerns - screenwriter:
Raiders of Tomahawk Creek - 1950
The Range Rider (TV) - 1951
The Gene Autry Show (TV) - 1952, 1953, 1954
The Adventures of Kit Carson (TV) - 1953, 1954
Hopalong Cassidy (TV) - 1953, 1954
Annie Oakley (TV) - 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957
The Lone Ranger (TV) - 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957
Buffalo Bill Jr. (TV) - 1955
The Adventures of Champion (TV) - 1955
Tales of the Texas Rangers (TV) - 1955
The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (TV) - 1955, 1958
Colt .45 (TV) - 1957
The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold - 1958
Maverick (TV) - 1958
The Man from Blackhawk (TV) - 1959
Wichita Town (TV) - 1960

RIP Emilio Vieyra

Emilio Vieyra died in Buenos Aires on January 26. He was sometimes credited as Raúl Zorrilla and was an Argentinian producer, director, screenwriter and actor from the 1950s until his retirement in 2005. He began as an actor in the 1950 film “Hombres a precio” and also appeared in “Ayer fue primavera” in 1955. As an actor he appeared in such acclaimed Gothic horror films as “Sangre de vírgenes” (1967), “La Bestia desnuda” (1971), “La Gran aventura” (1974) and his last acting role “Angel, la diva y yo” (1999).

He started directing films in 1962 with “Dr. Cándido Pérez, señoras” followed by “Extraña invasión” in 1965. He also directed and apppeared in “Sangre de vírgenes”. He retired in 2005.

VIEYRA, Emilio
Born: 10/12/1920, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died: 1/26/2010, Buenoa Aires, Argentina

Emilio Vieyra's western - director, screenwriter
Los irrompibles - 1975

Monday, February 8, 2010

RIP Bob Hoy

Western movie and television legend Robert F. "Bobby" Hoy, who appeared in many western productions died Monday January 8, 2010 after a six-month battle with cancer. He was 82. Days before, Hoy was honored with the prestigious Golden Boot award by the Motion Picture & Television Fund, commemorating his contribution to the genre of Western television and movies in all three award categories -- acting, stunt work and directing. Bob Fuller, representing the Golden Boot committee, presented the 2010 award to Hoy January 28th in the penthouse suite at Northridge Hospital. It marked the first time the Golden Boot was given to an honoree in the hospital.
In his 55-year career as an actor, Hoy played a wide variety of movie and television roles ranging from cowboys to spies. He was best-known for his role as ranch hand Joe Butler on "The High Chaparral," a TV western that aired four seasons from 1967 to 1971. His acting roles in more than 67 films included "Bite the Bullet," "The Outlaw Josey Wales," The "Legend of the Lone Ranger," "The Gambler II," "Nevada Smith," "Bronco Billy," "The Enforcer" and "The Great Race." On the small screen, Hoy appeared in more than 75 TV programs in addition to "The High Chapparal," including "Wanted: Dead or Alive," "Walker: Texas Ranger," "JAG," "Dallas" (recurring role), "The Wild, Wild West," "Magnum P.I." (five episodes), "The Young Riders" and "Zorro."
Behind the camera, Hoy was second unit director and stunt coordinator in Spain for the TV series "The New Zorro" and on the pilot of "The Three Musketeers."
In more than 100 appearances as stuntman, Hoy doubled for stars such as Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Audie Murphy, Tyrone Power, David Janssen, Telly Savalas and Jay Silverheels, among many others.
Hoy performed stunts for "The Lone Ranger," "The Defiant Ones," "Spartacus," "River of No Return," "Revenge of the Creature" and many more films and TV shows.
"Bobby was one of the rare stuntmen who also became an actor," Kiva Hoy said Monday. "He was more and more in demand as an actor as his (stunt) career progressed. People started calling him for roles, not just stunts. He was very much the reluctant actor, along the lines of (Academy Award-winner) Richard Farnsworth."
Hoy and Williams were founding members of The Stuntman's Association of Motion Pictures in 1961. The organization awarded Hoy its Lifetime Achievement award in August 2009, in recognition for his "extraordinary achievements and dedication to excellence."
Hoy was also a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences, the Directors Guild of America, AFTRA and the Screen Actors Guild.

HOY, Robert Francis
Born: 4/3/1927, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 2/8/2010, Northridge, California, U.S.A.

Robert Hoy's westerns – stunts, stunt coordinator, actor:

Ambush – 1950 (trooper)
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1952
The Lawless Breed – 1953 (Gyp)
The Man from the Alamo – 1953 (soldier)
Wings of the Hawk – 1953 [stunts]
War Arrow – 1953 [stunts]
Border River – 1954 (Sgt. Johnson) [stunts]
Taza, Son of Cochise – 1954 (Lobo)
Saskatchewan (1954) [stunts]
River of No Return – 1954 [stunts]
Four Guns to the Border – 1954 (Smitty) [stunts]
Drum Beat – 1954 [stunts]
Destry – 1954 [stunts]
Raw Edge – 1956 (Five Crows)
Walk the Proud Land – 1956 [stunts]
Gun for a Coward – 1957 (Danny)
Have Gun – Will Travel (TV) – 1958 (carpenter)
Texas John Slaughter (TV) – 1958, 1959 (Ranger)
Zane Grey Theater (TV) – 1958, 1959, 1960 (Red Murdock, Jud Moore, Sam, Deputy)
Elfego Baca (TV) – 1959 (Sam Carter)
U.S. Marshal (TV) – 1959 (man)
Law of the Plainsman (TV) – 1960 (September Smith)
Johnny Ringo (TV) – 1960 (Joe Bowser) [stunts]
Wanted: Dead or Alive (TV) – 1960 (James)
Bat Masterson (TV) – 1960, 1961 (barkeep, Hyde Pierce)
The Rifleman (TV) – 1960, 1963 (Lester Boyle, Leroy Dabbs, Wade's man)
The Tall Man (TV) – 1961 (Fidel)
Bonanza (TV) – 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 1967, 1971 (townsman, Jeb, Chuck Miller,
Klawson, Jake Denton, Little Cowboy, Phil, Yancy)
Laramie (TV) – 1963 (Fels) [stunts]
Shenandoah – 1965 [stunts]
Branded (TV) – 1965 (Cody Vance, Grimes)
Laredo (TV) – 1965, 1967 (Donovan, Willie McCord)
Nevada Smith – 1966 [stunts]
The Iron Horse (TV) – 1966 [stunts]
The Virginian (TV) – 1966 (Pete)
Shane (TV) – 1966 (Billy Cain)
The Guns of Will Sonnett (TV) – 1967, 1969 (Macey, Jo Jo) [stunts]
5 Card Stud – 1968 (Deputy Marshal Otis)
The Outcasts (TV) – 1968 (Diaz)
The Over-the-Hill Gang (TV) – 1969 (Frank Mace)
The High Chaparral (TV) – 1970-1971 (Joe Butler)
Hec Ramsey (TV) – 1972 (poker cheat)
Kung Fu (TV) – 1972, 1973 (Curry McCoy, Norris)
A Man for Hanging (TV) – 1973
The Cowboys (TV) – 1974 (Idaho Sims)
Barbary Coast (TV) – 1975 Sgt. Hatch)
Bite the Bullet – 1975 (Lee Christie)
The Master Gunfighter – 1975 [stunts]
The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox – 1976 (Ingersall)
The Outlaw Josey Wales – 1976 (Texas Ranger) [stunts]
The Quest (TV) – 1976 (Dundee)
Little House on the Prairie (TV) 1975, 1976, 1982 (Ben Slick, fireman, Morgan)
Desperate Women (TV) – 1978
Bronco Billy – 1980 (cowboy at bar) [stunts]
The Legend of the Lone Ranger – 1981 (Perlmutter)
Father Murphy (TV) – 1982 (Turner)
Kenny Rogers as The Gambler: The Adventure Continues (TV) - 1983 (Juno)
North and South (TV) – 1985 [stunts] (fighting man at station)
Houston: The Legend of Texas (TV) – 1986 (Col. Burleson)
Desperado (TV) – 1987 (half breed)
Bonanza: The Next Generation (TV) – 1988 (Feathers)
The Young Riders (TV) – 1989, 1991 (Flynt)
Zorro (TV) – 1991[stunt coordinator]
Wa;lker, Texas Ranger (TV) – 1995 (Judge Radford)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

RIP Manuel Esteba

Director Manuel Esteba died in Barcelona, Spain on Febraury 4. He was 68 years-old. He was born Manuel Esteba Gallego on Aptil 17, 1941 in Barcelona. He was a director, assistant director, screenwriter and over his 33 year career. Among these were two Eurowesterns: “Saranda” (aka “Twenty Paces to Death” 1970) starring Dean Reed and “A Cry of Death” (1971) starring Pierre Brice and Steven Tedd. Later in his career he directed several comedies for the Calatrava Brothers.

ESTEBA, Manuel (Manuel Esteba Gallego)
Born: 4/17/1941, Barcelona, Cataluna, Spain
Died: 2/4/2010, Barcelona, Cataluna, Spain

Manuel Esteba's westerns – director, screenwriter:
Twenty Steps to Death – 1970 [co-director]
A Cry of Death – 1971 [director, screenwriter]

Thursday, February 4, 2010

RIP Peter Martell

Italian actor Peter Martell, has died in Bolzano on February 4, 2010. He was 72. The star of many Italian westerns, broke his leg just before the beginning of "God Forgives... I Don't" with Bud Spencer. He was replaced by Terence Hill and the beginning of the historical comedy team was born.

Been born to Bolzano on September 30, 1938, Peter Martellanzo, this its true name, all' age of 17 years left the school and it was embarked to Amburgo on a Swedish cargo like dishwashers. It was " buttadentro" in a premises nocturnal to Catholic, elect Mister Italy and invited to Milan from un' admirer who employed it like vendor of mockups and cosmetics. After approximately a year determined going to Rome and trying the fortune to Cinecittà. Beginning like stuntman. Scritturato from the producer Manolo Bolognini, than changed the name to it in Peter Martell, between 1962 and 1973 participated more to approximately 70 films with roles or less important. Its year d' gold was the ' 67, when it interpreted quite 11 films. Between more you notice the Cobra, the errante planet, Lola ColT, Clakmool, the gunman dell' Hail Maria and its name was Pot. In 1994 she returned to Bolzano. During the last few years she participated to horror German the Killer Barbys vs. Dracula (2002) and Tears of Kali (2004).

MARTELL, Peter (Pietro Matellanza)
Born: 9/30/1938 Bolzano, South Tyro, Italy
Died: 2/1/2010, Bolzano, South Tyrol, Italy

Peter Martell's westerns - actor:
Dollars for a Fast Gun – 1965 (Helen’s brother)
The Fury of Johnny Kid – 1966 (Rodrigo Campos/Wolff)
The Man from Nowhere – 1966 (muredered herdsman)
My Name is Pecos – 1966 (Clane henchman)
Black Tigress – 1967 (Rod Strater)
Death Rides Alone - 1967
This Man Can’t Die – 1967 (Tony Guy)
Two Crosses at Danger Pass – 1967 (Alex Mitchell)
God Made Them, I Kill Them – 1968 (Don Louis de la Vega/Rod Douglas)
God May Forgive You… No Me – 1968 (Jack Smart)
The Long Day of the Massacre – 1968 (Joe Williams)
Ringo the Lone Rider – 1968 (Daniel/Allan Blake/Captain Bly/Ringo)
The Forgotten Pistolero – 1969 (Rafael Garcia)
The Unholy Four – 1969 (Silver)
Savage Guns – 1971 (Peter Martell)
His Name was Pot… But They Called Him Allegria – 1971 (Kid ‘Pot’ Potter/Allegria)
Patience has a Limit, We Don’t – 1974 (Pupo/Bill McDonald)

RIP Frances Reid

Longtime member of the Days of our Lives family Frances Reid, who played the role of Alice Horton since 1965, passed away on February 3, 2010. She was 95.

Frances was born on December 9, 1914 in Wichita Falls, Kansas. She grew up in Berkley, California. Her first acting job was a small role in the movie Man-Proof in 1938. She performed in several Broadway plays before landing the title role in the CBS version of the radio soap opera Portia Faces Life in 1944. She portrayed Alice Horton since the debut of Days of our Lives on November 8, 1965. Though her last airdate was in December of 2007, the role of Alice was never recast.

Frances was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Supporting Actress in 1979 and for Lead Actress in 1987. She was awarded a Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. The year before that, she was inducted into the Television Academy’s archives. She also won the Soap Opera Digest Award for Outstanding Actress in a Mature Role four times.

“Greg Meng called me this morning to tell me of the loss of our darling Frances Reid,” said longtime co-star Deidre Hall on Twitter. “She was loved, revered, and will be remembered.”

“(Frances) was a great lady whom I feel honored to have known… the heart and soul of Days of our Lives,” said Nadia Bjorlin, who plays Chloe, on Twitter.

Indeed, Frances Reid will always be known as the matriarch of Days. Her kind, powerful performance as Alice Horton will never be forgotten and she will live on in the heart of Days fans everywhere.

REID, Frances
Born: 12/9/1914, Wichita Falls, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 2/3/2010, Brubank, California, U.S.A.

Frances Reid's western - actress:
Wagon Train (TV) - 1962, 1963, 1965 (Margaret Clay, Mary Carter, Florence Hastings, Mrs. Lawton, Dr. Katy Piper

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

RIP Monte Mansfield

Monte Mansfield, actor, singer, dancer, artist, sculptor aka Edward J. Monaghan; a Rancho Mirage, Calif. resident since 1974. He was born December 8, 1929, an orphan, later adopted by James and Cleo Monaghan in 1933. At age five, he appeared on the Horn and Hardart's Children's Theatre, and went from there to "The Catholic Hour" and "Let's Pretend" in New York. From eight to thirteen he appeared in various roles on Broadway. At age 14 he played night clubs, lounges and stage shows. He returned to Broadway at 19 for another six years. In 1954, he came west and worked at MGM, Warners and Paramount. He made supper club appearances all over the world until 1980 when he retired. He was preceded in death by his foster parents; and his life partner of 46 years, Dr. Robert D. Murphy. Services will be held at 1:00 PM, Thursday, February 4, 2010 at the St. Louis Catholic Church in Cathedral City. Forest Lawn Cathedral City is in charge of arrangements. Published in The Desert Sun from February 3 to February 8, 2010

MANSFIELD, Monte (Edward J. Monaghan)
Born: 12/8/1929
Died: 2/1/2010, Rancho Mirage, California, U.S.A.

Monte Mansfield's western – actor:
The Big Valley (TV) – 1966 (soldier)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

RIP Rodolfo de Anda

Rodolfo de Anda, an actor, director, screenwriter and producer and a member of the prolific de Anda film family, died of complications from diabetes on 1 February 2010. He had been hospitalised since the previous week, suffering from high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.

Ernesto Rodolfo deAnda Serrano was born on 3 July 1943, the son of Raúl de Anda Gutiérrez. The elder de Anda was a popular actor, specialising in roles such as "El Charro Negro," as well as a film director and producer. Rodolfo made his screen debut
at two years of age in Campeón sin corona, and continued to appear on screen in small parts as an adolescent. His brothers--Raúl Jr., Agustín, Gilberto, and Antonio--all followed similar paths into the Mexican film industry. After the tragic death of his older brother Agustín in 1960, Rodolfo became the family's "on-screen" presence (his father had retired from acting and his brothers mostly worked behind the camera), even reprising his father's most famous role as "El Charro Negro." Many of Rodolfo's films in the 1960s and 1970s were Westerns, rural dramas or rancheras, but he did occasionally appear in contemporary dramas and comedies. De Anda continued to act regularly in films and videohomes until the mid-2000s. His final acting appearances were on the TV series "El Pantera," produced by his son Rodolfo Jr. Rodolfo de Anda added scripting, producing and directing to his resumé, founding the production company Rodas, writing under the pseudonym "X. Randa," and directing a number of films, beginning with Indio (1971). De Anda was married twice, to actresses Patricia Conde and Mariagna Prats. He had three children: Patricia, Christiane, and Rodolfo Jr. The latter entered the family business, beginning an acting career at a young age, and later becoming a producer.

de ANDA, Rodolfo
Born: 7/6/1943, Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico
Died: 2/1/2010, Aguascalientes, Mexico

Rodolfo de Anda's westerns – actor, director:
La venganza del Diablo – 1955
El hijo del charro negro - 1961
Amor a belazo limpio - 1961
Muerte en la feria - 1962
El muchacho de Durango - 1962
Alias El Alacrán – 1963
El charro Negro contra la banda de los cuervos – 1963
La máscara de jade – 1963
El solitario – 1964
Duelo en el desierto – 1964
Shadow of the Black Hand – 1964
El texano – 1965
Ghost Town – 1965
El zurdo - 1965
Un hombre peligroso - 1965
Tierra de violencia – 1966
Outside the Law – 1966
Hombres de roca – 1966
Rancho solo – 1967
La leyenda del bandido – 1967
Una horca para el Texano – 1969
Dos valientes – 1969
El hombre de negro – 1969 (Charles Farrell)
Arriba las manos Texano – 1969
Su precio... unos dólares – 1970 (William Bonney)
Siete muertes para el texano – 1971
La mula de Cullen Baker – 1971
Manuel Saldivar, el texano – 1972
Indio – 1972 [director]
Los indomables – 1972
Duelo al atardecer – 1973
Los hombres no lloran – 1973
Traiganlos vivos o muertos – 1974
El busccabullas – 1976
El hombre – 1976
Los hermanos del viento – 1977
Carroña – 1978
Cuchillo – 1978 [director]
One Man's Hero – 1999 (General Ampudia)

Monday, February 1, 2010

RIP Aaron Ruben

Aaron Ruben dies at 95; 'Andy Griffith' producer was an advocate for
needy children
The veteran comedy writer and director launched hit TV shows 'Gomer
Pyle' and 'Sanford and Son.' He credited his longevity to working with
By Dennis McLellan

6:45 PM PST, February 1, 2010

Aaron Ruben, a comedy writer, producer and director whose five-decade
career included producing "The Andy Griffith Show" for the first five
seasons and creating the spinoff series "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," has
died. He was 95.

Ruben, who devoted much of his later life to being a court-appointed
advocate for abused and abandoned children, died Saturday of
complications from pneumonia at his home in Beverly Hills, said his son

A Chicago native who began his comedy writing career in radio after
serving in the Army during World War II, Ruben helped write radio shows
for Dinah Shore, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Fred Allen, Henry Morgan
and Milton Berle.

Moving into television in the early 1950s, he was a writer on specials
starring Danny Thomas, Ed Wynn and Eddie Cantor. He wrote for "The
Milton Berle Show," "Caesar's Hour" and "The Phil Silvers Show," where
he also began directing.

Ruben produced "The Andy Griffith Show" from 1960 to 1965 and also wrote
and directed some of the episodes of the popular CBS series.

"I'm frankly surprised at this show having become an icon, really,"
Ruben said in a 1999 interview with the .

He recalled receiving letters from older fans at the time saying that
the series spurred nostalgic memories of their own experiences growing
up in small towns like the show's Mayberry, N.C. "And my theory," Ruben
said, "is that the Griffith show is like the grown-ups' Oz. It's the
land of, 'Oh, wouldn't it be wonderful to live in a town with no drugs,
no crime, no gangs, no violence, [a place where] people greet each
other, people are kind to each other.' . . . That's why grown-ups love
that show."

Movie director Ron Howard, who played young Opie on the show, recalled
that Ruben gave him his first 8-millimeter movie camera on his eighth
birthday, "which turned out to be really significant because I actually
did get into it and started making little movies almost right away."

"My recollection of Aaron was he took a tremendous amount of pleasure in
collaborating with the cast and encouraging creative input in the
scripts from all of us, even me as a kid," Howard told The Times on

As the show's producer and head writer, Howard said, Ruben "was
relentless in trying to fulfill the potential of a story or a scene or a

Jim Nabors' lovably naive filling station attendant Gomer Pyle proved
such a popular character on the show that Griffith pressed Ruben for a
spinoff series for Nabors.

In the 1999 interview, Ruben recalled: "I had been thinking about a
notion of where do you put Jim, where do you put this guy -- this, as
somebody said, this Christlike character, who was so good as almost not
to be believed, decent, kindly -- where do you put this guy except in
the greatest war machine ever invented, the Marines."

"Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," with Ruben as executive producer, aired on CBS
from 1964 to 1970 and was the No. 2 top-rated program in the Nielsen
ratings for the 1965-66 season.

Teaming up with Carl Reiner, Ruben co-wrote and co-produced "The Comic,"
a 1969 movie directed by Reiner about the rise and fall of a silent film
comedianstarring Dick Van Dyke.

In the 1970s, Ruben was the initial producer of "Sanford and Son," the
hit 1972-77 series starring Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson for which Ruben
wrote many early episodes.

Among his other credits as a producer or executive producer are "The
Headmaster," "C.P.O. Sharkey," "Teachers Only," "Too Close for Comfort"
and "The Stockard Channing Show."

"Aaron Ruben was one of the wittiest and most gifted comedy writers,"
Reiner told The Times on Monday. "Besides that, he had a very warm

"If he came to somebody's house for dinner, after the perfunctory
hellos, you always found him on the floor with the kids. He had a gift
for entertaining little kids. That's an indication of what kind of man
he was."

Indeed, for several decades, Ruben devoted himself to being an advocate
for troubled children and doing hospice work.

His involvement with children's causes reportedly began in the late
1970s when he and his wife, actress Maureen Arthur, dropped off
Christmas presents for children at Los Angeles County-USC Medical

Passing out the gifts inspired the Rubens to put on skits for the
children on weekends. After eight years of weekly visits to hospitals
and children's shelters, Ruben became a court-appointed special advocate
representing abused and abandoned children in Juvenile Court. He also
volunteered for the Hospice Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

In 1999, Ruben was named volunteer of the year by the Los Angeles Child
Advocate's Office and established the Aaron Ruben Scholarship Fund.

Ruben, who was born March 1, 1914, attributed his longevity to his work
with children.

"I have this fantasy," he told Daily Variety in 2003, "that once a year
St. Peter appears before God and they go over the list of people that
they're ready to take and my name comes up. God says, 'Is he still doing
that work with the kids? Ah, let him stick around a little longer.' "

Ruben was divorced from his first wife, Sandy, with whom he had two
sons, Andy and Tom.

He is survived by his wife, Maureen; his sons; two grandchildren and
three great-grandchildren.

RUBEN, Aaron
Born: 3/1/1914, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Died: 1/30/2010, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.A.

Aaron Ruben's western - producer, screenwriter:
Cat Ballou (TV) - 1971