Thursday, October 28, 2010

RIP James MacArthur

James MacArthur, who for 11 seasons booked ‘em on Hawaii Five-O, passed away earlier this morning. He was 72. Born in 1937 to playwright Charles MacArthur and EGOT winner Helen Hayes, he is survived by his wife of 25 years, Helen, and their four children and seven grandchildren.

Forever remembered as the second in command on Hawaii Five-O, he also had a prosperous stage career before and after the long running program. MacArthur joined the classic tropical cop show after the pilot was created when test audiences didn’t like the original. The producer remembered MacArthur from his work on Hang ‘Em High and brought him in as a replacement. An avid golfer and traveler, he once drove all the way from London to Malawi, Africa.

Read on for the official press release:

Today the world mourns the loss of internationally-known actor, family man, and humble human being, James Gordon MacArthur. He passed on October 28th 2010 at the age of 72 with his family by his side.

James was born on December 8, 1937 in Los Angeles, California and raised in a theatre atmosphere by his parents, the First Lady of the American stage, Helen Hayes and noted playwright Charles MacArthur residing at their home, "Pretty Penny", on the bank of the Hudson River in Nyack, New York.

As an actor, James had three strong separate careers, Live Stage, Movies and Television. In 1955 prior to his senior year at the Solebury School, James appeared in the TV play, "Deal a Blow". After graduation and before going to Harvard, he went to Hollywood to make the film version of it, renamed "The Young Stranger" which earned him a nomination in the Most Promising Newcomer category at the 1958 BAFTA awards. During summer breaks from Harvard he made "The Light in the Forest" and "Third Man on the Mountain" for Walt Disney. In 1959 and 1960, he made both "Kidnapped" and "Swiss Family Robinson" for Disney and made his Broadway debut playing Aaron Jablonski opposite Jane Fonda in "Invitation to a March" which won him the 1961 Theatre World Award for Best New Actor. He then appeared in "Under the Yum Yum Tree", "The Moon Is Blue", "John Loves Mary", "Barefoot in the Park" and "Murder at the Howard Johnson's" before returning to Hollywood to star in such movies as "The Interns", "Spencer's Mountain", "The Truth About Spring" with Haley Mills, and "Cry of Battle". In 1963, he was a runner up in the Golden Laurel Awards in the "Top New Male Personality" category. He then was a member of the all-star cast which included Henry Fonda, Robert Shaw, Robert Ryan, Dana Andrews, George Montgomery, Charles Bronson and Telly Savalas in "The Battle of the Bulge".

In 1968 producer Leonard Freeman remembered the actor who did a cameo in the Clint Eastwood movie "Hang 'em High" as the traveling preacher who came on the set, requiring only one take which was excellent. He called James, and cast him as Detective Dan Williams of Hawaii 5-0, who will be forever tied to the phrase "Book 'em Dano!".

After 11 years as Detective Dan Williams, he returned to the live stage in "The Hasty Hearst" with Caroline Lagerfelt", "The Front Page", a play written by his father Charles MacArthur, "A Bed full of Foreigners" in several locals and then played Mortimer in the national tour of "Arsenic and Old Lace" with Jean Stapleton, Marion Ross, and Larry Storch.

MacArthur loved life and all that it had to offer. He was adventurous and a world traveler. In the early 1970s he spent six months driving his Land Rover from London, England to Malawi, Africa with friend, Stan Hattie. He also enjoyed sharing his love for travel with his family taking them on numerous vacations to many exotic locations. James was an avid tennis player and enjoyed skiing, fishing, and hiking. He was a skilled flamenco guitarist and a consummate reader. His passion for playing golf led him to meet and fall in love with his wife, LPGA tour player and teacher, "H.B." Duntz. Throughout his life James developed a long list of friendships and stories to tell along the way. He had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh. He was witty and charming always enjoying a good time. He was often the recipient of practical jokes; however, one could always tell when he was the instigator of a few good ones of his own by that famous little crinkle at the side of his mouth and the twinkle in his eye. He was never one to be lost for words.

MacArthur was deeply honored to speak at the Library of Congress. He also was the Master of Ceremonies at Dan Quayle's Inaugural Ball. He was most supportive of the theatre through the Helen Hayes Awards in Washington, DC serving as a Board member, participant in the Annual Charity Auction and as the presenter of the Charles MacArthur Award for Best Screenplay at the annual Washington Theatre Awards.

In 2001, James was honored with his own star along the Walk of Fame in Palm Springs, California. In 2003, the fourth annual Film in Hawaii Award was bestowed upon him and Hawaii Five-O. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored James with a Gold Circle Award for 50 years of outstanding contributions to the medium in 2008. He was a true master of his craft.

His retirement was as busy as his career spending time with his family, who meant the world to him. He leaves behind his wife of over 25 years, Helen Beth (H.B. Duntz), four children: Charles P. MacArthur (Jenny), Mary McClure (Kevin), Juliette Rappaport (Kurt), James D. MacArthur and seven grandchildren; Ruby Johnstone, Riley Kea MacArthur, Ford and Daisy McClure, Jake, Luke, and Julia Rappaport.

MacARTHUR, James
Born: 12/8/1937, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 10/28/2010, Florida, U.S.A.

James MacArthur's westerns - actor:
Light in the Forest - 1958 (Johnny Butler/True Son)
Wagon Train (TV) - 1959, 1962 (waiter, Dick Pederson)
The Virginian (TV) - 1965 (Johnny Bradford)
Ride Beyond Vengeance - 1966 (census taker)
Branded (TV) - 1966 (Lt. Laurence)
Gunsmoke (TV) - 1966 (David McGovern)
Hondo (TV) - 1967 (Judd Barton)
Bonanza (TV) - 1967 (Jason 'Jase' Fredericks)
Death Valley Days (TV) - 1967, 1968 (Kit Carson)
Hang 'Em High - 1969 (preacher)

RIP John Crawford

John Crawford, who appeared in more than 200 titles in his over 40-year career, died of a stroke on Sept. 21 in Newbury Park, Calif. He was 90.

Crawford was spotted by a Warner Bros. scout while attending the U. of Washington's School of Drama and though he failed a screen test he joined RKO as a laborer.
He followed that up by working at Circle Theater in Los Angeles building sets and persuaded the producers to cast him in some of its plays. Soon Columbia signed him to act in its westerns.

He moved to bigger roles in such films as 1958's "Orders to Kill" and "The Key" in the U.K. On his return to the U.S. he wascast in 1970s action pics including "The Enforcer," "Towering Inferno" and "The Poseidon Adventure."

Crawford had recurring arcs in iconic TV shows of the era from "The Waltons" to "Swiss Family Robinson" and "Gunsmoke." He last appeared on TV in 1986's "Hardcastle and McCormick."

In 2009, "My Rodeo Years: Memoir of a Bronc Rider's Path to Hollywood Fame" was published, with Crawford sharing writing credits with stuntman Yakima Canutt.

Survivors include his longtime companion, Ann Wakefield; four daughters; and two grandchildren.

CRAWFORD, John (Cleve Richardson)
Born: 9/13/1920, Colfax, Washington, U.S.A.
Died: 9/21/2010, Newbury Park, California, U.S.A.

John Crawford’s westerns - actor screenwriter:
Sons of Adventure - 1948 (George Norton)
Adventures of Frank and Jesse James - 1948 (Amos Ramsey)
Dangers of the Canadian Mounted - 1948 (Danton)
Ghost of Zorro - 1949 (Agent Mulvaney)
The James Brothers of Missouri - 1949 (Mr. Chason)
Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (TV) - 1951, 1953, 1958 (King Bradshaw, MacLaren, Johnny Hendricks)
Raton Pass - 1951 (Sam)
Man in the Saddle - 1951 (Isham rider)
Northwest Territrory - 1951 (LeBeau)
The Roy Rogers Show (TV) - 1952 (Frank Latimore, Jim)
Old Oklahoma Plains - 1952 (Chuck Ramsey)
Son of Geronimo: Apache Avenger - 1952 (Ace Devlin)
Star of Texas - 1953 (Texas Ranger Stockton)
Marshal of Cedar Rock - 1953 (Peters)
Rebel City - 1953 (Spencer)
The Lone Ranger (TV) - Gig Austin, Deputy Phil Watts, Otto)
Conquest of Cochise - 1953 (Capt. Bill Lawson)
Hopalong Cassidy (TV) - 1952, 1953 (Ross, Frank Dale, Sid Michael)
Battle of Rogue River - 1954 (Capt. Richard Hillman)
The Cisco Kid (TV) - 1954 (Sheriff Al White, Sheriff Todd)
The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin (TV) - 1956 (Johnny Thor)
Sheriff of Cochise (TV) - 1956 (Larry Turner)
Circus Boy (TV) - 1956 (Matt)
Gunsmoke (TV) - 1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974 (Hod Scurlock, Loy Bishop, Les Torbet, Hall Biggs, drunk, Yates, Pinto, Amos Strange, Norman Wilson, Frank Blanchard, Hugh Eaton, Muller)
Wagon Train (TV) - 1961 (stranger)
Daniel Boone (TV) - 1965, 1966 (Jeremy Cain, Tolliver, Press Boker)
Duel at Diablo - 1966 (Clay Dean)
Return of the Gunfighter - 1967 (Butch Cassidy)
Hondo (TV) - 1967 (Gar Harker)
The Big Valley (TV) - 1967, 1968 (Jim Stone, Gandy)
The Wild Wild West (TV) - 1968 Professor Philip Colecast)
The Guns of Will Sonnett (TV) - 1969 (Charlie)
Bonanza (TV) - 1970 (Burton Roberts)
The Ballad of Cable Hogue - 1970 [screenwriter]
J. W. Coop - 1971 (rancher)
Nichols (TV) - 1972 (Sgt. Kessler)
The McMahons (TV) - 1976 (Hale Crowley)
Desperate Women (TV) - 1978
How the West Was Won (TV) - 1979 (Marshal Towne)
The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again - 1979 (Capt. Sherick)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

RIP Lisa Blount

Oscar-winning Actress, Fayetteville Native Lisa Blount Dies at 53

By Gwen Moritz, Amanda Morgan and Lance Turner
10/27/2010 4:29:03 PM

Lisa Blount, the Oscar-winning Fayetteville native and actress most famous as Debra Winger's best friend in the film "An Officer and a Gentleman," has died. She was 53.

Blount's mother found her in her Little Rock home on Wednesday. The cause of death is not known.

Blount was married to actor and screenwriter Ray McKinnon, who appeared on HBO's "Deadwood" and most recently as a high school football coach in the Sandra Bullock film, "The Blind Side." She and McKinnon won a 2002 best short feature Oscar for the film "The Accountant."

McKinnon had been out of town this week.

On Sept. 9, Blount was inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame.

After living 28 years in Los Angeles, Blount and McKinnon had recently moved back to Arkansas. One reason: to make great Southern movies.

"They think the accents are right, but we all know different," she told Little Rock Soiree in a June 2009 cover story.

The immersion in Arkansas culture and community allowed them both to step away from the spotlight a bit and focus on their writing and producing.

"You can only rely on memories for so long. You need life experiences that are current if you're going to tell stories about what you know," she said. "This is where we need to be."

Born: 7/1/1957, Fayetteville, Arkansas, U.S.A.
Died: 10/27/2010, Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.A.

Lisa Blount's western - actress:
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (TV) - 1982 (Talley)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

RIP Lamont Johnson

Known for his sensitive treatment of controversial subjects in made-for-TV movies, he dealt with interracial romance in 'My Sweet Charlie,' homosexuality in 'That Certain Summer,' blacklisting in 'Fear on Trial' and the civil rights movement in 'Crisis at Central High.'

Lamont Johnson, an Emmy-winning director who was honored for his work on the TV programs "Gore Vidal's Lincoln" and "Wallenberg: A Hero's Story" during a wide-ranging career in television, film and theater, died of congestive heart failure at his Monterey home Sunday, his son, Chris, said. He was 88.

Johnson, known for his sensitive treatment of controversial subjects in made-for-TV movies, dealt with interracial romance in "My Sweet Charlie" (1970), homosexuality in "That Certain Summer" (1972), blacklisting in "Fear on Trial" (1975) and the civil rights movement in "Crisis at Central High" (1981).

"I find a great many things that never make it to the big screen because they're controversial wind up on television, and done with a considerable amount of daring," Johnson told the Miami Herald in 1992. "That seems surprising in a medium that's supposed to be timid or anxious."

He also made his mark with stories about World War II, including "The Execution of Private Slovik," a 1974 TV movie starring Martin Sheen as an American soldier executed for desertion. "Wallenberg," a 1985 miniseries starring Richard Chamberlain, told the dramatic story of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who helped save the lives of an estimated 100,000 Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust and disappeared after the Soviet Red Army took control after the fall of Nazi Germany.

In addition to the Emmys, Johnson won Directors Guild of America awards for "My Sweet Charlie" and "That Certain Summer" as well as the 1988 TV movie "Gore Vidal's Lincoln" and a 1964 episode of "Profiles in Courage," based on President Kennedy's book.

He directed a short list of feature films, including "The Last American Hero" (1973) with Jeff Bridges playing stock car driver Junior Johnson.

Lamont Johnson got his start in the business as an actor. Born Sept. 30, 1922, in Stockton, he grew up in Pasadena and attended Pasadena City College, where he performed in radio dramas. He also studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse and worked as an announcer on local radio. He attended UCLA in the early 1940s before World War II.

Health issues kept him from serving in the military, but he joined the USO and performed for Allied troops in Europe during the war. He married USO actress Toni Merrill, whom he had met at Pasadena City College, in Paris in 1945.

After the war, Johnson began directing plays in Southern California. He then moved on to the new medium of television, starting with "Matinee Theatre" in 1955. He directed episodes of such series as "Have Gun - Will Travel," "Peter Gunn" and "Twilight Zone" before finding his specialty with TV movies and miniseries.

Besides his son Chris of Pebble Beach, Johnson is survived by a daughter, Carolyn Bueno of Valencia; three grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

JOHNSON, Lamont (Ernest Lamont Johnson, Jr.)
Born: 9/30/922, Stockton, California, U.S.A.
Died: 10/24/2010, Monterey, California, U.S.A.

Lamont Johnson's westerns - director, actor:
Have Gun - Will Travel (TV) - 1958, 1959 [director]
Johnny Ringo (TV) - 1959 [director]
The Rifleman (TV) - 1959, 1961, [director]
Destry - 1964 [director]
The Big Valley (TV) - 1966 (Anson Cross)
Gunsmoke (TV) - 1967 (Stoner)
Cimarron Strip (TV) - 1967 [director]
A Gunfight - 1971 [director]
Cattle Annie and Little Britches - 1981 [director]

Monday, October 25, 2010

RIP Bob Courtney

Veteran radio broadcaster, actor, musician Bob Courtney died on October 23, 2010 two days short of his 87th birthday.

Born in Dorset, England, he started studying accounting when he left school but with his musical background he was quickly drafted into service with the RAF Entertainment section when he volunteered for national service., He toured many of the World War II battlegrounds in Italy, Greece, Austria and North Africa, entertaining the troops. He arrived in South Africa in 1946, joining the SABC radio the following year as a presenter, producer and quiz master. He originated and presented programmes such as Greet the Bride, Welcome Little Stranger, Stop the Music and Eyegene Jackpot. His program on Radio Today, The Voice of Entertainment, started in 1996 and is still on air. Courtney was a foundation member of the SA National Theatre and performed in a number of stage plays, as well as writing the music and lyrics for shows such as "Dial M for Murder". He also appeared in several SA movies, as well as those made by foreign companies in this country and starred alongside movie greats such as Jacqueline Bissett and Vincent Price. Besides broadcasting, he wass still singing, playing the piano and entertaining guests at corporate functions.

COURTNEY, Bob (Robert Courtney)
Born: 10/25/1923, Dorset, England, U.K.
Died: 10/23/2010, South Africa

Bob Courtney’s western - actor:
The Jackals - 1967 (Dandy)

RIP Geoffrey Foot

Geoffrey Foot: Film editor noted for his work with David Lean, Walt Disney and Peter Sellers

By Tony Sloman
Monday, 25 October 2010

Geoff Foot was among the last of a disappearing breed: the gentleman editor, a man whose passion for cinema and whose knowledge of film technique immeasurably aided every picture he worked on, so informed and so subtle was his contribution to both film art and film artifice, that, like many editors, although highly regarded within the film industry, his name and achievements were little known to the picture-going public.

Film historians always had difficulty (and still do) attributing the creative contribution of a film's editor. It is a skill honed by regularity of employment, allied to an instinctive intelligence and an awareness of the infinite possibilities of the medium.

Geoffrey Foot was born in Putney, south-west London, in 1915; his mother, Edith, was a teacher and his father was Evelyn Foot, night editor of the Daily Herald. The young Foot was always interested in film, and on his leaving Latimer School, his father put him in contact with Bill Lott at Ealing Studios, who offered him a job in the camera department. After just a few months, Foot "went upstairs" as second assistant to editor Thorold Dickinson, working on the Gracie Fields vehicle Sing as We Go (1934).

As assistant in the cutting rooms at Ealing, Foot worked on a variety of productions, including both French and English versions of Marcel Pagnol's Topaze (1935) and on The Beloved Vagabond (1936) starring Maurice Chevalier and Margaret Lockwood. Working with editor Dickinson on the turgid Mozart biopic Whom the Gods Love (1936), Foot realised that it was possible to speed up the pace of the film by eliminating tedious transitional shots, utilising direct cutting to actors, and he also suggested eliminating the then-customary time-passing dissolves. It was a technique that Foot would perfect as an editor, most notably in his work for David Lean in Madeleine (1950), and on Johnny Nobody (1961), with director Nigel Patrick.

After Ealing, Foot assisted on Alexander Korda's The Divorce of Lady X (1938), and then followed a series of films for Mayflower, the company formed by actor Charles Laughton and producer Erich Pommer: Vessel of Wrath (1938), St Martin's Lane (1938), and Jamaica Inn (1939), the last directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

When war broke out, Foot joined the Crown Film Unit, and made his solo debut as editor in 1940 on the short film Spring Offensive. Then he was contacted by his old boss Thorold Dickinson, now at the Army Kinematograph Service, for whom Foot directed documentaries about a new recoil-less gun and radar training.

Demobbed in 1947, Foot was offered what was to be his feature-editing debut, Take My Life (1947), directed by Ronald Neame, which was a critical success. Foot next took associate editor credit on the melodrama Blanche Fury (1948).

Ronnie Neame had started directing The Passionate Friends (1949) and had invited Foot to edit the film, but Neame fell out with its star Ann Todd, and resigned after two weeks of shooting. Neame's replacement was David Lean, who Foot had known and admired as an editor. Lean then offered Foot his next film Madeleine (1950), which also starred Todd, who by then Lean had married. But despite constant re-shoots and retakes, both Foot and Lean knew the film didn't quite gel. Nevertheless, Lean's next film was to remain one of Foot and Lean's finest achievements, 1952's The Sound Barrier, an Oscar-winning example of British cinema at its finest.

A couple of well-received British comedies, The Galloping Major (1951) and Innocents in Paris (1953), plus the Lean films, led to Foot being offered the prestigious Walt Disney epic Rob Roy, The Highland Rogue (1953) and Foot took his new bride Bettie along to the Highland location, the first of many such location holidays.

Rank was having production difficulties on a new film featuring a comedian they hoped to turn into a star, and Foot was brought on to Norman Wisdom's Trouble in Store (1953), as second editor, and helped to turn the film into one of Rank's top earners. Offered Wisdom's second feature, One Good Turn (1954), Foot ended up directing much second unit material. The Wisdom films were immensely successful, and led to Foot editing two St Trinian's features.

Walt Disney was so impressed by Foot's work on Rob Roy that he invited Foot to direct two of his theatrical short series People and Places, and Foot enjoyed directorial credit on Wales and Scotland (both 1958).

In 1959 Foot commenced a singular relationship with Irving Allen and Albert R Broccoli's Warwick productions, which was to lead to Foot editing what was to become a career highlight, The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960), which was made necessarily quickly in advance of a rival Oscar Wilde film.

Foot was told by producer Allen that "I've got to have it out in nine weeks," and it was Foot who ensured that that was indeed the case, simultaneously editing, scoring, and sound mixing as soon as director Ken Hughes had completed filming sequences. Composer Ron Goodwin was recording music even before scenes were filmed, and Foot edited the score accordingly. Director Hughes finally saw his own film first completed at the London press screening: the production was an all-round triumph, and paved the way for a distinguished editing career for Foot on international features.

Foot's films included star vehicles for such as Lana Turner in Another Time, Another Place (co-starring the young Sean Connery, 1958), and Susan Hayward in Stolen Hours (1963), plus the epics The Long Ships (1964) and Genghis Khan (1965), on both of which Foot re-arranged the music scores. He also guided Peter Sellers in Sellers' sole directorial outing, a re-make of Mr Topaze, in 1961.

In 1967 Foot was hired as supervising editor on producer-star Patrick McGoohan's ground-breaking television series The Prisoner. Althoughcredited on only four episodes, Foot was responsible for the overall cutting style and editing pace of the whole short-lived series, in particular editing down the first episode ("Arrival") from a 90-minute version to a television hour, and most notably editing and supervising the shoot and scoring of the cult series' remarkable main title sequence and prologue.

Throughout the 1970s Foot continued editing, working on features by directors such as John Hough and Richard Sarafian, and the very successful "Confessions" series (1975, 1976, 1977). In 1980 he was temporarily felled by a heart attack, but he returned to Disney with Hough directing Bette Davis in The Watcher in the Woods (1980) and concluded his career with the Disney TV special The Black Arrow in 1985, also directed by Hough.

"I got out of the swim," avowed the co-founder of the Guild of British Film Editors, whose GBFE membership card bore the newly assigned No 3. "The youngsters came in, and quite rightly so – the business has got to progress."

FOOT, Geoffrey Macadam
Born: 5/19/1915, Putney, Lndon, England, U.K.
Died: 9/9/2010, London, England, U.K.

Geoffrey Foot's westerns - film editor:
The Desperados - 1969
Man in the Wilderness - 1971

Sunday, October 24, 2010

RIP Chao-Li Chi

Chi, Chao-Li

April 5, 1927 - October 16, 2010

Philosopher, Teacher, Actor, and Father.

Chao-Li Chi, born in Shansi Province, China, passed away peacefully at home in Granada Hills, CA. His family arrived in New York City in 1939 as a result of the Japanese invasion of China.

Chao-Li received his B.A. from St. John's College, his first Masters degree from New York University, and his second Masters from The New School for Social Research. He passed on his learning throughout his life, both informally at his home and formally, teaching university extension courses in philosophy, the Tao te Ching, and the I Ching. He moved to Los Angeles in 1975 and established the Taoist Sanctuary. He is credited with being one of the first people to introduce Taoism to America. He practiced what he taught, and lived by the Daoist philosophy of modest behavior, humbleness in your heart, and an honorable career for the purpose of service, guidance and encouragement to others.

Chao-Li's performance career began with the East and West Association, under the direction of Pearl S. Buck. He was a featured performer in Maya Deren's 1948 avant-garde short film, Meditation on Violence. He was a regular member of Mara and her dance troupe, and it was while on an engagement in 1967 with Mara that he went to Dayton, OH, and subsequently became the Dance Director of the Living Arts Program and developed its' Dance Department. He was a practitioner of modern dance, Judo, Ai Ki Do, Tai Chi, Ballet, and fencing. His Broadway credits include the original Rogers and Hammerstein's "Flower Drum Song", travelling through 48 states with their National Tour.

As an actor, Chao-Li is perhaps best known for his role as "Chao Li" in the television show Falcon Crest (1981-1990), becoming one of the first native Chinese actors to break into Hollywood. He has appeared in over 51 movies or television programs, including Big Trouble in Little China, M*A*S*H*, The Joy Luck Club, The Nutty Professor, and, most recently, The Prestige, Wedding Crashers, and Pushing Daisies.

Every Saturday morning for almost 30 years he taught Tai Chi in the beautiful courtyard of the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, continuing his tradition of teaching Tai Chi that began back in New York in 1948. His students, many of whom studied with him for years, also learned Qi Gung and the Tao te Ching under his tutelage. He also taught Tai Chi at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute (LA) and Cal State LA.

He is survived by his widow, daughter, and step-son. He was returned to the Heavens on October 21, 2010. There will be a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to the Pacific Asia Museum (46 N. Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101).

CHI, Chao-Li
Born: 4/5/1927, Shansi Proviince, China
Died: 10/16/2010, Granada Hills, California, U.S.A.

Chao-Li Chi's western - actor:
How the West Was Won (TV) - 1979 (storekeeper)

Friday, October 22, 2010

RIP Robert Paynter

Robert Paynter, who died on October 20 aged 82, was a much-acclaimed cinematographer, best known for his work with the directors John Landis and Michael Winner, and for shooting the Michael Jackson video Thriller (1983), the most popular music video in history.

Directed by Landis and shot by Paynter on 35mm stock, the video is a 14-minute dance extravaganza that features a scarlet-clad Jackson eventually metamorphosing into a ghoul.

By 2006, nine million copies of the video had been sold, and in 2009 it was the first music video to be inducted into America's National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant.

Robert William Paynter was born on March 12 1928 in south London and educated at Mercer's School, Holborn, and, during wartime evacuation, Collier's School, Horsham, the town where he later settled.

In the early 1950s he began working for the Central Office of Information's Colonial Film Unit (CFU), making several visits to east Africa. On one trip he was appointed personal cameraman to the Emperor Haile Selassie, the last monarch to rule Ethiopia. Another assignment was to help film the Queen's Coronation, his vantage point being high in the roof space of Westminster Abbey.

Moving to become a trainee cameraman with British Transport Films (BTF), Paynter worked alongside contemporaries including David Watkin, who went on to win an Oscar for his cinematography on Out Of Africa (1985), and Billy Williams, who would win an Oscar for On Golden Pond (1981).

Paynter made several shorts for BTF, including Snow Drift at Bleath Gill (1955), depicting the rescue of a goods train trapped by blizzards on the Yorkshire moors. Critics admired Paynter's enduring head-on image of a snowplough charging at full speed into a huge drift, the locomotive spouting smoke and debris in all directions as the lineside workers cheered on the crew.

From the late 1950s and throughout the ensuing decade, Paynter was the cameraman for dozens of television commercials for ITV, promoting brands such as Kellogg's, Mars, Guinness and Oxo, for which he shot several campaigns in his own home.

His career in feature films began with Michael Winner's Hannibal Brooks (1969). Winner's regular cameraman had declared himself too old to be climbing mountains in Austria with heavy equipment, and Paynter was recommended to succeed him.

He remained with Winner throughout the 1970s, on pictures including Lawman (1971); Scorpio (1973) and The Big Sleep (1978). When Marlon Brando starred in Winner's The Nightcomers (1971) he was particularly impressed by Paynter's ability to set and light a shot professionally and at speed. "I never knew you could make films so quickly," the actor remarked.

In the 1980s Paynter worked with John Landis on the comedy-horror An American Werewolf In London (1981); the Eddie Murphy comedy Trading Places (1983); and Spies Like Us (1985). For the director Richard Lester, Paynter also shot Superman II and Superman III (1980 and 1983).

In 1989 he showed off the art of the cinematographer (who oversees the technical side of cameras, film and lenses to achieve the general visual effect required by the director) in When The Whales Came. The film stars Paul Scofield and Helen Mirren, with Paynter employing much soft-focus camerawork to evoke the idyllic island of Bryher in 1914.

His other credits included Strike It Rich (1990), written and directed by James Scott and based on a Graham Greene novella, Loser Takes All (1957). Starring Robert Lindsay as a London accountant who falls for a pretty American (Molly Ringwald), the film gave Paynter an opportunity to vary his palette from the drabness of 1950s London to the garish picture postcard colours of Monte Carlo.

Robert Paynter was admired by his colleagues on both sides of the camera. After a career crafting film shoots, he appeared this year in front of the camera in John Landis's latest film, Burke & Hare, playing a doctor at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh in 1828.

He married, in 1950, Marjorie Dawson, who died in 2001. Their son and a daughter survive him; another daughter predeceased him earlier this year.

PAYNTER, Robert William
Born: 3/12/1928, London, England, U.K.
Died: 10/20/2010, Isel of Wight, England, U.K.

Robert Paynter's westerns - cinematographer:
Lawman - 1971
Chato's Land - 1972

Thursday, October 21, 2010

RIP Peter M. Jamison

Production designer Jamison dies

He worked on 'Point Break,' 'Beverly Hillbillies'


Production designer Peter M. Jamison, whose credits included "Point Break" and "The Beverly Hillbillies," died Oct. 15 of complications from heart disease in Venice, Calif. He was 66.

Jamison, who worked on more than three dozen films, got his start with a grant from AFI, eventually apprenticing with production designer Jack Fisk on "Trouble in Paradise." He moved up to becoming the sole art director on Roger Corman's "Big Bad Mama" before getting steady work as an art director and production designer over the next three decades. His production designer credits included the laffers "Continental Divide," "Weekend at Bernie's" and "Swing Shift."

As an art director, the Oregon-born filmmaker worked on pics including "Mulholland Dr.," and "The Big Red One."

He recently produced the feature "Bob's New Suit" for Rowan Pictures.

There were no immediate survivors.

Born: 1944, U.S.A.'
Died: 10/15/2010, Venice, California, U.S.A.

Peter M. Jamison's western - production deisgner:
Cowboy Up - 2001

RIP Corrine Comacho/Michaels

Actress Corinne Camacho, who was featured in dozens of Tv shows from "The Bionic Woman" to "The Rockford Files" and "Medical Center," died Sept. 15 in Beaverton, Ore., of cancer. She was 68.

Credited as Corinne Michaels, she had a recurring role on "Rockford Files" from 1974-79. On "Bionic Woman" she had a brief but telling part as a Fembot in the two-part episode "Kill Oscar."

The New Jersey native, born Gloria Angelina Katharina Alletto, moved with her parents to Los Angeles at age 5. She started out modeling and then switched to acting with a part in 1967's "The Wild Wild West" as Artie's date.

She studied piano as a child at the Conservatory of Music and Arts and in high school, she began writing music and modeling.

She followed that up with small parts on "Bewitched," "I Dream of Jeannie," and "The Flying Nun." Later she landed longer parts in such series as "Mannix" and "Medical Center," as Dr. Jeanne Bartlett for 15 episodes.

Feature credits include 1969's "Marlowe," starring James Garner and Bruce Lee.

For the next three decades she would appear in iconic TV shows from "MASH" to "Little House on the Prairie" "Magnum" and "The Waltons." She also had year long part in the soap "Days of Our Lives."

But in 1996, Camacho's focus shifted from acting and she moved to New Mexico to build and run a hospice center, before moving to Oregon in 2001, reinventing herself as a life coach and teaching children's music. In 2006, she released an album titled "Love Notes & Lullabies" that she self-distributed. Survivors include a son, Chris Camacho; daughter, Gabrielle Yasenchak; and two grandchildren.

COMACHO, Corrine (aka Corrine Michaels) (Gloria Angelina Katharina Alletto)
Born: 3/2/1942, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Died: 9/15/1910, Beaverton, Oregon, U.S.A.

Corrine Comancho's westerns - actress:
The Wild Wild West (TV) - 1967 (Artie's date)
Little House on the Prairie (TV) - 1977, 1982 (Eloise Taylor, Grace Snider Edwards)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

RIP Tom Bosley

Tom Bosley, the actor who played mild-mannered hardware store owner Howard Cunningham on the classic sitcom 'Happy Days,' died on Tuesday, his agent confirmed.Bosley was 83.

He had been battling a staph infection when he passed away from lung cancer at his Palm Springs home, according to reports.

Bosley's death comes just days after that of another beloved TV parent. Barbara Billingsley, who played mom June Cleaver on 'Leave It to Beaver," died this past weekend.

Bosley also starred in the "Father Dowling Mysteries" series in the late '90s, but he was best knows as Richie and Joanie Cunningham's dad, and Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli's landlord, on "Happy Days," which aired from 1974-84.

The show depicted middle-class life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 1950s just as rock and roll was taking hold of the American consciousness.

Bosley's character was typically the calm at the center of the storm, often dispensing his reasonable advice rom the comfort of his easy chair in the Cunninghams' living room.

BOSLEY, Tom (Thomas Edward Bosley)
Born: 10/1/1927, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Died: 10/19/2010, Palm Springs, California, U.S.A.

Tom Bosley's westerns - actor:
The Bang Bang Kid - 1967 (Merriweather P. Newberry)
Bonanza (TV) - 1968, 1969 (Titus Simpson, Hiram Peabody)
The Virginian (TV) - 1969 (Nat Trumbull)
Walker, Texas Ranger (TV) - 2000 (minister)

RIP Francesco Scardamaglia

Italian author and screenwriter Francesco Scardamaglia died in Rome on October 17, 2010. He was one of Italy’s most successful writers of historical fiction. Francesco was the son of producer, Elio Scardamaglia [1920- ] and was born in Varese, Italy on February 23, 1945. Francesco started in films writing the screenplay for peplums such as “Goliath and the Sins of Babylon” starring Mark Forest and “Seven Rebel Gladiators” starring Roger Browne. Then in 1968 he wrote three Euro-western screenplays. He’s also remembered for a series of stories written for Bud Spencer and Terence Hill such as “Watch Out We’re Mad” (1974), “Charleston” (1977), “They Called Him Bulldozer” (1978), “The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid” (1979), “Bomber” (1982). In the later years he turned to television writing such teleplays as “Pope John XXIII”, (2002) “Madre Teresa” (2003), “Renzo & Lucia” (2004) and “Puccini” (2009).

Born: 2/23/1945, Varese, Lombardy, Italy
Died: 10/17/2010, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Francesco Scardamaglia's westerns - screenwriter:
The Moment to Kill - 1968
The Wild and the Dirty - 1968
Kill Them All and Come Back Alive - 1968

Monday, October 18, 2010

RIP Johnny Sheffield

Johnny Sheffield, who played Boy in Tarzan' movies, dies at 79


Los Angeles Times

Johnny Sheffield, the former child actor who played Boy in the "Tarzan" movie series starring Johnny Weissmuller in the late 1930s and '40s and later starred in the "Bomba, the Jungle Boy" film series, has died. He was 79.

Sheffield died Friday of a heart attack at his home in Chula Vista, near San Diego, about four hours after he fell off a ladder while pruning a palm tree, said his wife, Patty.

"He was a jungle boy to the end," she said, noting that her husband of 51 years wasn't too high in the tree when he fell, but "sometimes he was way up there."

The son of British actor Reginald Sheffield, Johnny Sheffield was 7 when his father saw an advertisement in the Hollywood Reporter that asked, "Do you have a Tarzan Jr. in your backyard?"

The curly-haired Sheffield beat out more than 300 other youngsters for the role of Boy in the 1939 movie "Tarzan Finds a Son!," in which Tarzan and Jane (Maureen O'Sullivan) wind up adopting the young child whose parents were killed in a plane crash in the jungle.

1. Sheffield, who had appeared in "On Borrowed Time" on Broadway in 1938, recalled in a 1997 Los Angeles Times interview that there were two parts in testing for the role of Boy.

"The first was just talking to Weissmuller, and that was no problem," he said. The second part was a swimming test, which for young Sheffield presented something of a problem: He couldn't swim.

The swimming test with Weissmuller, the winner of five Olympic gold medals in swimming, was held at the Hollywood Athletic Club.

"He jumped into the deep end of the swimming pool," Sheffield told the Times in 1997. "He knew I couldn't swim. He said, 'Jump in.' I jumped in the deep end and he took my arm and set me on his knee. He said, 'You're doing fine. Hold your breath, we're going under.'

"We (later) did a lot of those scenes like that in the movies, where I was holding on to him underwater and swimming. We got out of the pool, toweled off and he said, 'This kid can swim fine.'"

From 1939 to 1947, Johnny Sheffield played the leather loincloth-clad Boy in eight Tarzan films, including "Tarzan's Secret Treasure" and "Tarzan and the Amazons."

Weissmuller was always "kind and tender toward me," Sheffield told The Associated Press in 1984, shortly after the actor he called Big John died at age 79.

"He was like a father to me," Sheffield said. "He was always looking out for me. We worked with a lot of live animals and a lot of times, when they got tired, the animals would get feisty.

"There was this one big chimp who got pretty mad one day and was about to bite me while we were on the set. But Big John stuck his leg between me and the chimp, and he was the one who was bitten."

Sheffield attended school on the MGM lot while making the "Tarzan" films and went to public school when he was not.

"You can imagine what it was like at school: Here comes the son of Tarzan!," he said in a 1997 interview with the San Jose Mercury News. "I had to learn how to take care of myself. This is a lot of pressure on a kid when he's trying to figure out who he is and where he's going in life."

After appearing in his final "Tarzan" film, "Tarzan and the Huntress," in 1947, Sheffield landed the starring role in the 1949 film "Bomba, the Jungle Boy," the first in a dozen low-budget "Bomba" movies made at Monogram Pictures.

"I loved it because I was now the star," he told the San Jose Mercury News in 1997. "We filmed them all on a sound stage, but I was amazed at the production quality we got in them."

But as Sheffield said in the 1984 AP interview, "I wasn't into the crowds and adulation. You got to love it to be in that business."

After "Lord of the Jungle," the final "Bomba" movie in the series, was released in 1955, he left the film business.

Sheffield, who was born in Pasadena, Calif., on April 11, 1931, earned a degree in business from the University of California, Los Angeles, and moved to Yuma, Ariz., where he worked for a large company that farmed various crops.

He later went into the real estate business in Malibu and Carmel, then spent many years working for a corporation that imported lobsters from Baja California and became a contractor whose projects included restoring a couple of buildings in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter.

Despite being out of the limelight for decades, Sheffield continued to receive fan mail.

"The mail always says, 'Hey, we want to thank you a lot for some good times at the movie show,'" he said in the 1997 Times interview. "They watched the movies, went home and put up a rope and started swinging."

Besides his wife, Sheffield is survived by his sons, Patrick and Stewart; his daughter, Regina; his brother, William, and a grandson.

SHEFFIELD, Johhny (John Matthew Sheffield Cassan)
Born 4/11/1931, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Died: 10/15/2010, Chula Vista, California, U.S.A.

John Sheffield’s western - actor:
Lucky Cisco Kid - 1940 (Tommy Lawrence)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

RIP Barbara Billingsley

Leave It to Beaver: Barbara Billinglsey Dies at 94, Good Night June Cleaver

Published: October 16, 2010

The actress who some believe to have personified the quintessential TV mom has died. Barbara Billingsley, star of Leave It to Beaver, passed away early this morning at the age of 94. The exact cause of death is not known but she had been in poor health for some time.

Born in Los Angeles to Robert Collyer Combes, a police chief, and Lillian A. Combes, she was the youngest of three children. Billingsleyfs parents divorced while she was still a child and she fell in love with drama in school.

After spending a year at a Los Angeles junior college, Billingsley went to Broadway as part of the Straw Hat revue. It quickly closed but she stayed in New York and worked as a fashion model. In 1945, she landed a contract with MGM and appeared in a number of small roles in movies until the mid-1950s. Those led her to be cast in several TV programs of the day.

In 1957, Billingsley was signed to play June Cleaver, the mother on the Leave It to Beaver sitcom, and received top billing over Tony Dow, Hugh Beaumont, and Jerry Mathers. The show initially aired on CBS but, after one season, moved to ABC and ran for five more years. The series ended on its own terms and was one of the few of that era to have a series finale. In the last episode, June is cleaning and comes across a photo album. The Cleaver clan ends up recounting experiences theyfve had together via clips from earlier episodes.

After that, Billingsley was typecast as the perfect mother and found it difficult to land other roles for several years. She guest-starred on a number of shows over the years, sometimes in her Leave It to Beaver persona. Billingsley also voiced the gNannyh caretaker of the Muppet Babies characters on that animated series for 107 episodes. Billingsley found new notariety by playing the gjive ladyh in the first Airplane! movie.

In 1983, she joined most of the original Beaver cast for the Still the Beaver reunion movie on CBS. That led to a whole new Beaver sitcom called The New Leave It to Beaver. That lasted for 104 episodes and Billingsleyfs character was now an active widowed grandmother who became a member of the Mayfield City Council.

One of Billingselyfs last on-screen roles was in a cameo as Aunt Martha in 1997Œs Leave It to Beaver feature film. Other original TV castmembers, Ken Osmond and Frank Bank, had small roles as well.

Billingsley was married three times and her last husband died in 1981. She is survived by two sons, several grandchildren, and generations of grateful TV viewers.

BILLINGSLEY, Barbara (Barbara Lillian Combes)
Born: 12/22/1915, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 10/16/2010, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.

Barbara Billingsley's westerns - actress:
The Sea of Grass - 1947 (bridesmaid)
The Valiant Hombre - 1948 (Linda Mason)
Inside Straight - 1951 (Miss Meadson)
Oh! Susanna - 1951 (Mrs. Lark)

RIP Shannon Christie

Christie, Shannon

October 12, 2010

Our loving mother, actress and friend passed away on Oct. 12, 2010. She will be remembered for her zeal for life and beautiful smile. Survived by daughter Michelle, son in law Brian and grandson Jack. She will be laid to rest next to her daughter Kim. Pierce Brothers Valley Oak.

Born: 9/21/1934, U.S.A.
Died: 10/12/2010 Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Shannon Christie's westerns - actress:
Alias Smith and Jones (TV) - 1971 (Florence)
Bonanza (TV) - 1972 (Mary Elizabeth)

Friday, October 15, 2010

RIP Simon McCorkindale

Actor Simon MacCorkindale dies

'Falcon Crest' player suffered from liver, bowel cancer

By Mimi Turner
Oct 15, 2010, 02:51 PM ET

LONDON – "Falcon Crest" actor and longtime British star Simon MacCorkindale has died at the age of 58 after a long struggle with cancer, his agent Max Clifford said Friday.

MacCorkindale, who played British lawyer Greg Reardon in the eighties soap -- which also starred Jane Wyman, Lorenzo Lamas and Mel Ferrer -- also appeared in "Death On The Nile" and spent six years on the British medical drama "Casualty."

The actor died Thursday night surrounded by his family in a private Harley Street clinic.

He had been diagnosed with bowel cancer four years ago, which had later spread to his liver.

His wife, the actress Susan George, said he had fought valiantly against the ravages of the disease.

"He fought it with such strength, courage and belief. Last night, he lost this battle, and he died peacefully in my me, he was simply the best of everything, and I loved him with all my heart."

Born: 2/12/1952, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, U.K.
Died: 10/14/2010, London, England. U.K.

Simon MacCorkindale's western - actor, producer:
Queen of Swords (TV) - 2001 (Cpt. Charles Wentworth)

RIP Nils Hallberg

Actor Nils Hallberg has died after a brief illness.

Hallberg appeared, during his nearly 60-year career, in 105 films and about forty plays. Hallberg was 89 years.

His breakthrough came when he was a 13-year-old and starred in the film "Donald Anderson Skans" in 1934. Through the years he appeared as Tim in "Hemsöborna" in 1955 and Tom in Arne Mattsson's "Love's bread" in 1953. Hallberg left films during the ‘70s and then worked in the theater.

He passed away peacefully with family around him. It was quiet and nice, "said his son, the comedian Messiah Hallberg. He is survived by wife, three children and four grandchildren.

Born: 9/18/1921, Stockholm, Sweden
Died: 10/8/2010, Stockholm, Sweden

Nils Hallberg's western - actor:
Wild West Story - 1964 (barber)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

RIP Jiri Krizan

Czech screenwriter Jiri Krizan dies at age 68The Associated Press, October 14, 2010

PRAGUE (AP) -- Jiri Krizan, a Czech screenwriter who served as an adviser to President Vaclav Havel, has died. He was 68.

Jan Krystof, a regional manager of the TOP 09 party, says Krizan died of a heart attack on Wednesday in the eastern village of Branky.

Born Oct. 26, 1941, Krizan was not allowed by the communist regime to study until 1960s. His father was executed following a political trial in 1951.

Krizan wrote screenplays to more than a dozen movies, including "Shadows of a Hot Summer," which was directed by Frantisek Vlacil and won the top award at the 1978 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

After the 1989 collapse of communism, Krizan became Havel's adviser and served as deputy interior minister from 1992 until 1995, when he returned to screenwriting.

Born: 10/26/1941, Valašské Meziříčí, Protectorate of Bohemia and MoraviaDied: 10/13/2010, Branky, Czechoslovakia

Jiri Krizan's westerns - screenwriter:
The Claim at Deaf Creek - 1972
A Canyon Full of Gold - 1972
David Sandel's Last Shot - 1972

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

RIP Alberto Lardani

You’ve probably never heard of Albert Lardani before but you’ve seen his and his father Iginio ‘Gigi’ Lardini’s work. Iginio created the opening credits for “Fistful of Dollars”, “The Good the Bad and the Ugly”, “Face to Face”, “Viva Django” etc.. Alberto joined his father in 1974. When Iginio died in 1986 Alberto continued in his fathers footsteps and also made trailers and worked as a film editor. Alberto was the film editor and worked with his father on the opening credit sequence on Tomas Milian’s “Run, Man, Run” 1968. Alberto Lardani died in Italy on October 11, 2010. No age was given. More details will be added to this post as information becomes available.

LARDANI, Alberto
Born: 19??, Italy
Died: 10/11/2010, Italy

Alberto Lardani's western - film editor:
Run, Man, Run - 1968

Opening Credit for “Run, Man, Run” link:

RIP Michael Hugo

Cinematographer Michel Hugo, best known as d.p. for skeins "Mission: Impossible," "Dynasty," and "Melrose Place," died Oct. 12 in Las Vegas of lung cancer. He was 79.

Born in France in 1930, Hugo fought with the French Resistance during World War II and served in the French Army in the 1950s. He started his film career in the camera department soon after and during the early 1960s in Gaul. By the late 1960s, Hugo transplanted to Hollywood and in 1967 began work on the skein "Mission: Impossible."

He served as director of photography on 19 episodes of "The Streets of San Francisco," and in the 1980s he worked for eight years on "Dynasty" as d.p. and helmed two episodes, which aired in 1986. He returned to shoot "Dynasty: The Reunion" in 1991 and lensed "Melrose Place" in 1992-96.

In 1978, he was nominated for a primetime Emmy award for cinematography in the miniseries "The Awakening Land," starring William H. Macy, Jane Seymour and Elizabeth Montgomery.

Hugo, also lensed several feature films including 1969's "The April Fools," starring Jack Lemmon; and "Number One," with Charlton Heston; plus 1971's "Bless the Beasts and the Children."

Later in his career, in 2001, Hugo joined the U. of Nevada Las Vegas' department of film as a professor, where he often led field trips to Los Angeles and spent weekends at student film shoots.

He was a member of the American Society of Cinematographers.

Survivors include his wife, Gloria; a daughter and two sons; plus two grandchildren.

HUGO, Michael
Born: 1930, France
Died: 10/12/2010, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
Michael Hugo's westerns - cinematographer:
Mrs. Sundance (TV) - 1974
The Mountain Men - 1980

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

RIP Angelo Infanti

Italian actor Angelo Infanti, 71, died today in the hospital in Tivoli, of a heart attack. Infanti became sick at his home in Zagarolo, a small town near Rome, where he was born February 16, 1939.

Infanti was known for his roles in the first films of Carlo Verdone: “Borotalco” in 1981 and “White, Red and Verdone”, 1982. He also starred for Francis Ford Coppola's “The Godfather” as the killer Fabrizio, for Luchino Visconti “The Leopard” and Marco Ferreri “Story of Piera” he was also linked to the series “Black Emanuelle” by Joe D'Amato. With Bud Spencer he three films: “Big Foot”, “Big Foot in Egypt”, and “Soldier of Fortune”. Since the 90s he was primarily devoted to television drama, among others participating in Terence Hill’s “Don Matteo” and “Seafarers”. Among the recent film “Il seme della discordia” directed by Pappi Corsicato, ”Ex” by Fausto Britt and “Letters to Juliet” by Gary Winick.

Born: 2/16/1939, Zagarolo, Lazio, Italy
Died: 10/12/2010, Tivoli, Lazio, Italy
Angelo Infanti's westerns - actor:
$4.00 for Vengeance - 1966 (Haller)
Ballad of a Pistolero - 1967 (Blackie)
A Man Called Sledge - 1970 (prisoner)
Judge Roy Bean - 1971 (Buck Carson)

RIP Manuel Alexandre

Spanish actor Manuel Alexandre dead at 92

Spanish actor Manuel Alexandre, who appeared in over 300 movies in secondary roles in a career spanning over seven decades, died of cancer Tuesday at a Madrid hospital, his family said. He was 92.

Regarded as one of the last representatives of a golden age in Spanish cinema, he appeared in many famous comedies including "Bienvenido, Mr. Marshall" ("Welcome Mr. Marshall") in 1953 and "Amanece, Que no es poco" ("Dawn Breaks, Which Is A Lot") in 1988.

He also made a name for himself in theatre and television. His last major role was in the 2008 television mini-series "20-N" where he played Francisco Franco during the right-wing dictator's last days.

"I think that in this profession luck is decisive. It also plays a role in other areas of life," Alexandre said in an interview he granted in 2007.

The actor never married or had children. A wake will be held for him on Wednesday at Madrid's Teatro Espanol before he is cremated at the Spanish capital's Almudena cemetery.

ALEXANDRE, Manuel (Manuel Alexandre Abarca)
Born: 11/11/1917, Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Died: 10/12/2010, Slamanca, Castile and Leon, Spain

Manuel Alexandre's westerns - actor:
Zorro the Avenger - 1962 (Abarca)
A Few Bullets More - 1967 (Viejo)
Trinity Sees Red - 1970 (Agustin)
Reurn of El Coyote - 1998 (Julian)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

RIP Basil Keys

Although no date is given, the BAFTA in memoriam section lists Basil Keys, brother of John Paddy Carstairs and Anthony Nelson-Keys, as having died in 2009.

He was the 1st assistant director on The Upturned Glass (1947), Dancing with Crime (1947), Morning Departure (1950), Albert RN (1953), The Sea Shall Not Have Them (1954), Reach for the Sky (1955), Seven Waves Away (1957) and Night of the Demon (1957). As a production manager he worked on Third Man on the Mountain (19590), Naked Prey (1966) and Here We Go Around the Mulberry Bush (1967) and as an associate producer he worked on Carry on Regardless (1962), Paranoiac (1963), Zulu (1964), Catch Us If You Can (1965) and O' Lucky Man (1972).

KEYS, Basil
Born: 19??, U.K.
Died: 2010, U.K.

Basil Keys' western - production manager.
The Trap - 1966

Saturday, October 9, 2010

RIP William W. Norton

William W. 'Bill' Norton dies at 85; screenwriter became gunrunner

The action-movie specialist's best-known script was for 1968's 'The Scalphunters,' starring Burt Lancaster. But the former Communist later rededicated himself to leftist ideals and smuggled arms for rebels in Northern Ireland.
William W. ("Bill") Norton, a successful screenwriter whose post- Hollywood life took a turn as dramatic as the fast-paced action movies he once wrote when he became a gunrunner for rebels in Northern Ireland, died Oct. 1 in Santa Barbara. He was 85.
The cause of death was a heart aneurysm, said his son, television director Bill L. Norton.

Norton was best known for writing "The Scalphunters" (1968), a comedy-western directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Burt Lancaster and Ossie Davis. He went on write several movies for actor Burt Reynolds, including "Sam Whiskey" (1969), "White Lightning" (1973) and "Gator" (1976).

NORTON, William W. (William Wallace Norton Jr.)
Born: 9/24/1925, Ogden Utah, U.S.A.
Died: 10/1/2010, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.

William W. Norton's westerns - screenwriter:
The Big Valley (TV) - 1965, 1966, 1967, 1969
The Scalphunters - 1968
Sam Whiskey - 1969
The Hunting Party - 1971
September Gun (TV) - 1983

Thursday, October 7, 2010

RIP Roy Ward Baker

British director Roy Ward Baker died on Tuesday, October 5th. Born in London on December 19, 1916. His best known film is “A Night to Remember” which won a Golden Globe for best foreign English language film in 1959. His later career was varied, and included many horror films and television shows.

Baker's early career, from 1934 to 1939, was spent working for Gainsborough Pictures, a British film production company based in Islington, North London, famous for its prestige productions. His first jobs were menial - making tea for crew members, for example - but by 1938 he had risen through the ranks to work as assistant director on Alfred Hitchcock's “The Lady Vanishes”.

He served in the army during World War II, until transferring to the Army Kinematograph Unit in 1943 in order to make better use of skills developed in his pre-war career producing documentaries and teaching materials for troops. One of his superiors at the time was novelist Eric Ambler. It was he who gave Baker his first big break directing “The October Man”, from an Ambler screenplay, in 1947. Ambler also adapted Walter Lord's “A Night to Remember” for Baker's 1958 screen version.

During the early 1950s, Baker worked for three years in Hollywood where he directed Marilyn Monroe in “Don't Bother to Knock” (1952) and Robert Ryan in 3D film noir “Inferno” (1953). He returned to the UK for the latter part of the decade, but defected to television in the early 1960s.

He directed episodes of “The Avengers”, “The Saint” and “The Champions” - all adventure series created with an eye on the American market. The low-budget ethic of television production made him well-suited to his next career move into cheaply produced but lavish-looking British horror films. He directed, amongst others, “Quatermass and the Pit” (1967) “The Vampire Lovers” (1970) and “Scars of Dracula” (1970) for “Hammer, and Asylum” (1972) for Amicus.

In the latter part of the 1970s he returned to television, and throughout the 1980s continued to work on shows such as “Minder”. He retired in 1992.

BAKER, Roy Ward (Roy Horace Baker)
Born: 12/19/1916, London, England, U.K.
Died: 10/5/2010, London, England, U.K.

Roy Baker's western - director:
The Singer Not the Song - 1961

Monday, October 4, 2010

RIP Anabel Shaw

Marjorie Henshaw Aka Anabel Shaw 24 June 1921 - 16 April 2010 Marjorie Henshaw, actress & writer, died 16 April 2010 after a valiant effort to keep Triple Negative Breast cancer at bay. A long time Los Angeleno and 4th generation Californian, graduated from Cal in 1943 a Kappa Alpha Theta, had a career in Hollywood before marrying Sociologist Joseph Ford to build an academic life and family. She divorced in 1987, married George Skopecek, and lived in Oakland until his death in 1992 when she moved to Santa Barbara for a singular life with friends and family. Her three children Anabel, Cecilia, and Stephen and his two children Elinore and Tyler survive her. Margie, remembered for her laugh, always stayed in the moment. Arrangements: UCLA Donated Body Program. Information:
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on October 3, 2010

SHAW, Anabel (Marjorie Henshaw)
Born: 6/24/1921, Oakland, California, U.S.A.
Died: 7/16/2010, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.
Anabel Shaws' westerns - actress:
At Gunpoint - 1955 (Mrs. Ann Clark)
26 Men (TV) - 1958

Saturday, October 2, 2010

RIP Oscar Avogadro

Oscar Avogadro died at his home in Milan, Italy September 30, 2010. A lyricist, screenwriter and actor, Oscar was born on August 9, 1951 in Turin, Italy and produced and co-wrote some big Italian hit records such as “E la luna bussò" sung by Loredana Berté (co written with Mario Lavezzi and Daniel Pace), “Lo no” by Anna Nalick (co written with Mario Lavezzi) and "Il cuore delle donne" and "Margherita non lo sa" by Dori Ghezzi. In the late '70s he found success with “The Ghetto”, a song he wrote with Alberto Radius. He also wrote the children's song "Il coccodrillo come fa". Oscar leaves his wife Laura and two children Gabriel and Francis.

Born: 8/9/1951, Turin, Piedmont, Italy
Died: 9/30/2010, Milan, Lombardy, Italy

Oscar Avogadro's western - screenwriter:
Coco Bill (TV) - 1997 [screenwriter]

Friday, October 1, 2010

RIP Stephen J. Cannell

Funeral services were pending today for writer/producer Stephen J. Cannell, the man behind iconic television series such as "The Rockford Files' and "The A-Team.'

Cannell died Thursday night at his home in Pasadena from complications of melanoma, according to his family. He was 69.

"Aside from being a legendary television producer and prolific writer, Stephen was also a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather, and a loyal friend,' according to a family statement."

Mr. Cannell is survived by his high school sweetheart and wife of 46 years, Marcia, their three children, Tawnia, Chelsea and Cody, and three grandchildren.

Stephen was the pillar of strength within his family and he touched everyone he met. He will be most deeply missed.'

The family requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his memory to the American Cancer Society or International Dyslexia Association.

Cannell, who suffered from dyslexia most of his life, wrote hundreds of episodes of dozens of television shows, beginning with "Ironside,' "Columbo' and "Adam-12' in the early 1970s.

But he became a force in Hollywood after creating the character of Jim Rockford while writing for a series called "Toma.'

"The Rockford Files,' starring James Garner, ran for 122 episodes.

He also created and wrote memorable series including "Baretta,' "The Greatest American Hero,' "Hardcastle and McCormick,' "21 Jump Street,' "The A-Team' and "Wiseguy.'

CANNELL, Stephen Joseph
Born: 2/5/1941, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 9/30/2010, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Stephe J. Cannell's western - actor:
Posse - 1993 (Jimmy Love)

RIP Mickey Freeman

FREEMAN--Irving. The Officers, Governors and Members of the Friars Club deeply mourn the loss of their esteemed Friar "Mickey" Irving Freeman, a member of the Friars Club since January, 1987. His quick wit and enormous talent for making people laugh will be missed. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family. The Friars Club

FREEMAN, Mickey (Irving Freeman)
Born: 2/12/1917
Died: 9/21/2010, New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Mickey Freeman's western - actor:
Lancer (TV) - 1968 (Toogie)