Thursday, July 31, 2014

RIP Dick Smith

Dick Smith, who transformed the art of creating special makeup effects, has died aged 92.
96.4 Eagle News
The pioneer worked on dozens of films including The Godfather, The Exorcist, Taxi Driver and Amadeus.
His protege Rick Baker revealed the death on Twitter and said: "The master is gone. My friend and mentor Dick Smith is no longer with us. The world will not be the same."
Smith started his career in television and became head of makeup at NBC in 1945 where he remained until 1959.
Working with Marlon Brando on The Godfather, Smith spent an hour and half before each scene adding jowls, age spots and grey hair to create the character Vito Corleone.
Brando won a best actor Oscar for the role but refused to accept it.
In 1973's horror The Exorcist Smith created the demonic makeup for possessed child Regan, played by Linda Blair, and fitted the vomit device for one of the film's most famous scenes.
His use of latex and other techniques meant he was able to artfully age F Murray Abraham from his forties to his eighties in Amadeus in 1984.
Smith discovered his talent while studying at Yale University. He happened to pick up a textbook detailing makeup tricks used in Hollywood.
He began doing makeup for the university's theatre group and reportedly roamed the campus at night in comic monster makeup.
In 2009 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honoured Smith with a special tribute to mark his huge contribution to the makeup profession and entertainment industry.
Smith is the only makeup artist in history to receive a Governors Award, the very highest and most prestigious type of Oscar.
Speaking at the ceremony in 2011 he said: "I have loved being a makeup artist so much, but this kind of puts a crown on all of that ... I am so grateful."
Smith mentored and trained dozens of makeup artists who are now huge successes in the industry themselves.
SMITH, Dick (Richard Emerson Smith)
Born: 6/26/1922, Larchmont, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 7/30/2014, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Dick Smith’s westerns – makeup artist:
The Cowboy and the Blonde – 1941
From Hell to Texas – 1958
Little Big Man - 1970

RIP Wilton Schiller

Wilton Schiller, Who Produced the Record-Breaking Episode of 'The Fugitive,' Dies at 95.
The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes
He presided over the series finale, which attracted a then-record 78 million viewers, and wrote for such shows as "The Adventures of Superman," "Leave It to Beaver" and "Dragnet."
Wilton Schiller, who co-produced the climactic final season of the ABC drama The Fugitive, including the series finale in 1967 that attracted more than 78 million viewers and shattered television records, has died. He was 95.
Schiller, who also wrote episodes of that show as well as for other series including The Adventures of Superman, Leave It to Beaver, Lassie, Adam-12 and Dragnet, died peacefully at his home in Studio City on Sunday, said his wife of 39 years, writer-producer Patricia Payne Schiller.
In “The Judgment Part II,” which aired on Aug. 29, 1967, and was the 120th episode of The Fugitive, accused killer Richard Kimble (David Janssen) finally clears his name when he catches up with the one-armed man (Bill Raisch) who had murdered his wife.
The episode was at the time the most-watched series episode in TV history, viewed in 25.7 million households as 45.9 percent of American households with a set tuned in. The viewership record was held until the Nov. 21, 1980, episode of Dallas that revealed who shot J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman).
Schiller also produced for Ben Casey, starring Vince Edwards, and Mannix, starring Mike Connors; was executive story consultant for The Six Million Dollar Man, starring Lee Majors; and with his wife wrote a two-part Captain America movie of the week in 1979 that starred Reb Brown as the Marvel hero.
Later, Schiller and Payne wrote and produced For the Term of His Natural Life, a 1983 six-hour Australian historical miniseries that starred Anthony Perkins.
Schiller pioneered co-productions between the U.S. and Canada in the early 1970s with the series Police Surgeon, which featured Martin Sheen, John Candy, William Shatner and Leslie Nielsen, and the 1976 movie-of-the-week The Man Inside, starring James Franciscus and Stefanie Powers.
Schiller wrote the screenplay for the 1964 movie The New Interns, with George Segal, Dean Jones and Telly Savalas, and was executive producer of the Payne-produced 2007 film California Dreaming, starring Lea Thompson.
Born July 24, 1919, in Chicago, Schiller graduated from the University of Chicago and began his career in his hometown, working as a writer in radio and performing stand-up comedy. During World War II, he served as a psychiatric assistant in the Army.
After the war, Schiller went to Hollywood and worked as a literary agent at MCA.
He also wrote for the shows Have Gun — Will Travel, Broken Arrow, Rawhide and M Squad and in the 1960s taught screenwriting at UCLA.
In addition to his wife, survivors include his nephew Roger; grandnephews Neal, Paul and Scott; cousins Michael and Arthur; second cousins Joyce, Laura, Russell, David, Bruce, Elliot, Dan, Alan and Laurence; grandson Dorian; and great granddaughter Julia.
There will be no funeral service. The family asks that donations be made to Doctors Without Borders or to a favorite charity.
Born: 7/24/1919, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Died: 7/27/2014, Studio City, California, U.S.A.
Wilton Schiller’s westerns – screenwriter:
Broken Arrow (TV) – 1957, 1958
Man Without a Gun (TV) – 1958
Have Gun – Will Travel (TV) - 1958
The Deputy (TV) – 1960
Johnny Ringo (TV) – 1960
Rawhide (TV) – 1960, 1961, 1962

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

RIP Robert Halmi

Prolific TV Producer Robert Halmi Sr. Dies at 90
By Daniel Doperalski
July 30, 2014
Robert Halmi Sr., the Hungarian-born producer who battled the Nazi and Soviet occupations in his youth before becoming a top magazine photographer and telepic mogul, died Wednesday of a brain aneurysm at his home in New York City. He was 90.
With his son, Robert Halmi Jr., Halmi produced more than 200 TV productions, including hit 1990s miniseries including “Gulliver’s Travels,” “The Odyssey,” “Arabian Nights” and “Dinotopia.”
The dozens of telepics and miniseries produced by the Halmis, many in the fantasy genre, won more than 100 Emmys. Halmi Sr. shared the Emmy for outstanding miniseries for NBC’s “Gulliver’s Travels” in 1996.
The Halmis were riding high during the 1990s, a period in which virtually all the networks programmed spectacular, big-budget miniseries, which drew spectacular ratings.
Halmi Sr. picked up his first Emmy nomination, for outstanding children’s program, in 1985 for ABC’s “The Night They Saved Christmas.” He was also nominated for “Hallmark Hall of Fame” entry “Pack of Lies” in 1987; for the CBS adaptation of the musical “Gypsy” in 1994; in 1997 both for NBC’s “The Odyssey” and for the CBS adaptation of Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood”; for USA’s “Moby Dick” and for NBC’s “Merlin” in 1998; for ABC’s “Arabian Nights” in 2000; for ABC’s “Dinotopia” in 2002; for Showtime remake “The Lion in Winter” in 2004; and, finally, in 2008 for “Wizard of Oz” reimagining “Tin Man” on the Sci Fi Channel.
Francis Ford Coppola was also an exec producer on some of the Halmi TV efforts, including “The Odyssey” and “Moby Dick.”
Halmi was recognized with a Peabody Award for his body of work in 1998.
In 2008 TV Week quoted David Howe, then president of the Sci Fi Channel, about the irrepressible Halmi, then 84. “He never switches off. He is on 24/7. I don’t think he sleeps,” Howe said. “He lives for reading books and figuring out what his next project is, and he’s got the rights to books and comic books that I’ve never heard of. He really is a guru on some of this stuff, and he’s very passionate about the genre and very committed to telling great stories through this genre.”
Halmi began producing outdoor documentary television in the early ’60s with credits including “American Sportsman” and the weekly “Outdoors With Liberty Mutual” and tried his hand at filmmaking as a producer on 1974’s “Visit to a Chief’s Son” — adapted from a novel he penned — and the animated “Hugo the Hippo” (1975). Halmi continued to work in film sporadically the rest of his life but made his mark in television after founding Robert Halmi Inc. in 1979 with his son.
RHI Entertainment produced the Halmis’ longform fare throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Hallmark Cards acquired the company in 1994 and renamed it Hallmark Entertainment, where Halmi brought a string of classic stories to the smallscreen in the form of miniseries such as “Gulliver’s Travels,” “Moby Dick,” “Noah’s Ark,” “Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment” and “The Ten Commandments.” Halmi was also behind two different smallscreen takes on “Alice in Wonderland.”
Not all of Halmi’s efforts were grand-scale affairs. He also exec produced adaptations of the play “Harvey” and “The Yearling” for television, for example.
Halmi and his son reacquired the company in 2006 but filed for prepackaged chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2010. Halmi left the company in 2012 to launch another production shingle, the Halmi Co.
Recent efforts have included 2010’s “Riverworld” and 2011’s “Neverland,” a reimagining of “Peter Pan,” both for Syfy, and 2012’s “Treasure Island” remake. In 2014 Syfy ordered the Greek mythology drama “Olympus,” produced by Halmi.
Born in Budapest, Halmi was twice captured and sentenced to death — once by the Nazis while fighting with the Hungarian Resistance and again by the Russians while spying for the United States’ Office of Strategic Services against the Communists.
Halmi studied economics at Budapest U., graduating in 1946. He followed his father into photography before immigrating to the U.S. in 1952 and landing a job at Life magazine, where he worked as a writer and photographer until 1962.
HALMI, Robert
Born: 1/22/1924, Budapest, Hungary
Died: 7/30/2014, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Robert Halmi’s western – executive producer:
King of Texas (TV) - 2002
The Colt (TV) - 2005
High Plains Invaders (TV) - 2009

RIP Robert Lincoln Drew

By Staff
July 30, 2014
Robert L. Drew, a documentary filmmaker and the father of American cinéma vérité, died today at his home in Sharon, Connecticut. He was 90.
In the early 1960s, Drew and his associates pioneered a kind of filmmaking that’s now a staple of the documentary form. Over a career that spanned more than five decades, Drew made more than 100 films, many on social issues, politics and the arts.
Drew’s entire collection will be preserved by the archives of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, of which he was a member. Two of Drew’s films are in the National Film Registry, administered by the Library of Congress.
His list of honors includes the Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Prize, blue ribbons from the New York Film festival, the International Documentary Association Career Achievement Award, an Emmy Award, first prizes at the Venice Film Festival, 19 Cine Golden Eagles, the Flaherty Award, and the Dupont-Columbia Best Documentary award.
Drew was a Life magazine correspondent and editor when he formed Drew Associates in 1960 to produce his kind of films. He hired filmmakers who would later become well known, among them Ricky Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker and Albert Maysles.
Drew’s films pioneered a strict journalistic code that allowed no directing of subjects. The candid footage was edited into a dramatic narrative intended to give a sense of what it was like to be there as events occurred. His technique became known as cinéma vérité or direct cinema; he liked to call it “reality filmmaking.”
To accomplish this, Drew and his associates re-engineered a motion picture camera and sound recorder so they could move freely and in sync with a subject. This allowed them the mobility to capture real life as it unfolded before the lens, as documented in the documentary “Cinema Verite: Defining the Moment” (
For their first film with their new equipment, Drew convinced John F. Kennedy, who was running for president, to be his first subject. Drew and his team recorded the senator from Massachusetts as he campaigned for the 1960 Democratic Presidential nomination in Wisconsin. The resulting film, “Primary,” was the first film made in which the sync sound camera could move freely to capture events as they were actually happening.
“Primary,” along with “Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment”— the famous 1963 film about Kennedy’s decision to back racial equality as a moral issue and force the integration of the University of Alabama – won numerous awards and have been named to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry as works of enduring importance to American culture. “Crisis” includes candid scenes from inside the Oval Office.
Drew refined his early ideas about documentaries in a 1954-55 Nieman Fellowship at Harvard, where he studied storytelling in order to craft documentaries that used narrative and what he called “picture logic” rather than following “word logic.” When he returned to Life magazine, Drew made several experimental films.
Drew formed Drew Associates and made several films under contract for Time Inc., which owned some television stations and sometimes teamed with ABC and commercial sponsors to broadcast the independent films. In addition to “Primary” and “Crisis,” these included some of the recognized seminal works of early cinéma vérité: “Yanki No!” (1960), about Latin America’s rising anger at its northern neighbor; “On the Pole” (1960 and 1961), which follows driver Eddie Sachs at two Indianapolis 500s; “Mooney vs. Fowle” (1961), an inside-the-locker room story of a high school football state championship game; “The Chair” (1962), in which a crusading lawyer saves a man from the electric chair; and “Jane” (1962), about Jane Fonda’s debut as the lead in what turned out to be a Broadway flop. Each of the films won major awards at film festivals in the U.S. and Europe.
Starting in 1964, Drew Associates functioned as an independent producer. Drew won an Emmy in 1969 for “Man Who Dances,” which depicts the grinding physical stress on New York City Ballet’s then-premier dancer, Edward Villella. That film was edited by a filmmaker who would soon become Drew’s second wife and filmmaking partner, Anne Gilbert Drew. The two were inseparable personally and professionally until Anne’s death from lung cancer in April 2012.
Drew won the Dupont-Columbia best documentary award in 1986 for “For Auction: An American Hero,” the story of a rural auctioneer and the family whose farm is put up for sale when their debts become overwhelming.
Robert Lincoln Drew was born in Toledo, Ohio. His family soon moved to Ft. Thomas, Kentucky, where his father ran a seaplane base on the Ohio River and taught his son to fly.
Drew left high school shortly before graduation to enlist as a cadet in the U.S. Army Air Corps. After flight training school, Drew was posted to a combat squadron near Naples, Italy, and flew 31 missions before being shot down behind enemy lines on January 31, 1944, 16 days before his 20th birthday. Drew survived for three and a half months eluding German troops in the mountains near the town of Fondi, Italy, before finding his way through the approaching battle lines to return to his squadron.
Drew returned to the States and enrolled in a military engineering school so he could qualify to join the first squadron of jet fighter pilots, a posting he was finally granted. He was still in training when the war ended. When Life came to his base to do a story on jet fighters, Drew wrote a first-person essay for the magazine about what it was like to fly the plane. That essay eventually landed him a job as a Life correspondent.
Drew is survived by his three children, Thatcher Drew, Lisa W. Drew, and Derek Drew; three grandchildren; his brother Frank M. Drew; and his sister, Mary Way Drew Greer.
Jill Drew, his daughter-in-law, is General Manager of Drew Associates, which is active in distributing the company’s library of films.
DREW, Robert Lincoln
Born: 2/15/1924, Toledo Ohio, U.S.A.
Died: 7/30/2014, Sharon, Connecticut, U.S.A.
Robert Lincoln Drew’s western – assistant producer:
The Cowboy and the Tiger (TV) – 1963

Monday, July 28, 2014

RIP James Shigeta

The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes
James Shigeta, Top Asian-American Actor of Early '60s and 'Die Hard' Co-Star, Dies at 85
He starred in such films as "The Crimson Kimono," “Flower Drum Song,” “Cry for Happy," "Bridge to the Sun" and, later, as a terrorized executive in the Bruce Willis movie.
James Shigeta, a top Asian-American actor of the early 1960s who starred in the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Flower Drum Song, died Monday in Los Angeles, publicist Jeffrey Leavitt announced. He was 81.
The handsome Hawaiian, who later appeared as the ill-fated chief executive of the Nakatomi corporation in the Bruce Willis action film Die Hard (1988), had a great two-year run in Hollywood starting in the late 1950s.
Shigeta made his feature debut in Sam Fuller’s Los Angeles-set noir The Crimson Kimono (1959), playing a young detective, and followed that by portraying a young Chinese man in the American Old West who battles a freight line operator (Jack Lord) over a woman in James Clavell’s Walk Like a Dragon (1960).
Shigeta then starred with Glenn Ford and Donald O’Connor as American Navy men billeted in a Tokyo geisha house in director George Marshall’s Cry for Happy (1961). And in Bridge to the Sun, he portrayed a Japanese diplomat who is married to an American (Carroll Baker) at the time of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
In Flower Drum Song (1961), set in San Francisco and directed by Henry Koster, Shigeta plays Wang Ta, who’s dazzled by a showgirl (Nancy Kwan) before he realizes an immigrant from China (Miyoshi Umeki) is really the one for him. A natural baritone, Shigeta did all his singing in the film.
The Golden Globes in 1960 named him (along with Barry Coe, Troy Donahue and George Hamilton) as “most promising male newcomer.”
Shigeta later had recurring roles on the 1969-72 CBS drama Medical Center and appeared on episodes of Ben Casey, Lord’s Hawaii Five-O, Ellery Queen, Little House on the Prairie, Fantasy Island, T.J. Hooker, The Love Boat, Magnum, P.I., Simon & Simon, Jake and the Fatman and Murder, She Wrote.
His film résumé includes Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966) with Elvis Presley, Nobody’s Perfect (1968), Lost Horizon (1973), Midway (1976), Cage (1989) and the animated Mulan (1998).
Born in Honolulu of Japanese ancestry on June 17, 1929, Shigeta moved to New York and studied at New York University, then joined the U.S. Marine Corps and fought during the Korean War.
He relocated to Japan and became a star on radio and television in that country, then returned to the U.S. to sing on The Dinah Shore Show in 1959. Also that year, he starred with Shirley MacLaine in a production of Holiday in Japan in Las Vegas.
SHIGETA, James (James S. Shigeta)
Born: 6/17/1929, Honolulu, Hawaii
Died: 7/28/2014, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
James Shigeta’s westerns – actor:
Walk Like a Drago – 1960 (Cheng Lu)
Death Walks in Laredo – 1966 (Lester Kato)
Kung Fu (TV) – 1974  (Master Kwan Li, Colonel Lin Pei)
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1977 (Sam Wing)

Friday, July 25, 2014

RIP George Riddle

Country singer George Riddle dies at 78
Toronto Sun
By Staff
July 22, 2014
Country music veteran George Riddle has lost his battle with throat cancer at the age of 78.
The singer/songwriter passed away on Saturday (19Jul14), two months after undergoing surgery to treat his condition.
Riddle began his career as a musician in the 1960s, performing with the late George Jones, and went on to land a regular gig playing the fiddle at country music mecca the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
As a songwriter, he penned tracks for his close friend Jones, Ray Charles, Tammy Wynette and Melba Montgomery, who turned his tunes The Greatest One of All and Hall of Shame into chart hits.
He was also a beloved classic country radio DJ in his native Indiana.
RIDDLE, George
Born: 5/21/1937, Auburn, Indiana, U.S.A.
Died: 7/19/2014, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.
George Riddle’s western – actor:
Whiskey ‘n Ditch – 2012 (Reno)

RIP Vanna Bonta

RIP Vanna Bonta
Los Angeles Times
By Staff
July 20, 2014
Vanna Bonta was an American novelist, essayist and poet, and the author of Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel, which Publishers Weekly reviewed as the first definitive work of "quantum fiction," an emerging 21st century literary genre. A haiku by Bonta is among the top five selected onboard a NASA spacecraft (MAVEN), which launched from Cape Canaveral to the planet Mars in November 2013. Bonta began writing poetry and short fiction at age six. She has ridden camels in Egypt's Sahara Desert, elephants in Thailand, learned sharp-shooting from her father at age nine and by age eleven had traveled around the world twice and spoke four languages. As an actress, Bonta cameos as the superhero's young mother in the classic fantasy movie, The Beastmaster. She has worked as a voice actor on numerous feature movies and television. One of her stories was purchased for Star Trek:The Next Generation. The History Channel followed her into zero gravity to test a spacesuit she invented. In the The Universe TV episode, Bonta talked about humanity colonizing planets beyond Earth. The program depicted a futuristic scenario of a mother reading Bonta's novel Flight in a space station orbiting Earth. The Bonta signature voice celebrates human-centric themes that knit cultural differences with universality. Her stories juxtapose the everyday and the cosmos. She is survived by her husband, Allen Newcomb..
BONTA, Vanna (Vanna Marie Bonta)
Born: 4/3/1958, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Died: 7/20/2014, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Vanna Bonta’s western – voice actress:
An American Tale: Fievel Goes West – 1991 [additional voices]

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

RIP Thomas Berger

Thomas Berger, ‘Little Big Man’ Author, Is Dead at 89
New York Times
By Christopher Lehmann-Haupt and William McDonald
July 21, 2014
Thomas Berger, the reclusive and bitingly satirical novelist who explored the myths of the American West in “Little Big Man” and the mores of 20th-century middle-class society in a shelf of other well-received books, died on July 13 in Nyack, N.Y. He was 89.
His agent, Cristina Concepcion, said she learned of his death, at Nyack Hospital, on Monday. Mr. Berger lived in Grand View, a village in Rockland County, N.Y., where he had remained fiercely protective of his privacy.
Mr. Berger fell into that category of novelists whose work is admired by critics, devoured by devoted readers and even assigned in modern American literature classes but who owe much of their popularity to Hollywood. “Little Big Man,” published in 1964, is widely known for Arthur Penn’s film adaptation, released in 1970, starring Dustin Hoffman as the protagonist, Jack Crabb.
The novel, told in Crabb’s voice at the age of 111, recounts his life on the Great Plains as an adopted Cheyenne and makes the claim that he was the only white survivor of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. But Mr. Berger’s body of work was far broader than that, and it earned him a reputation as an American original, if an underrecognized one. The author and scholar Thomas R. Edwards, writing in The New York Times Book Review in 1980, called him “one of our most intelligent, witty and independent-minded writers.” “Our failure to read and discuss him,” Mr. Edwards added, “is a national disgrace.”
To many critics, “Little Big Man” was Mr. Berger’s best novel and a worthy addition to the American canon. (The Dial Press plans a 50th-anniversary trade paperback edition this year.) “Few creative works of post-Civil War America have had as much fiber and blood of the national experience in them,” the historian and novelist Frederick Turner wrote in The Nation in 1977.
Brooks Landon, Mr. Berger’s biographer, placed “Little Big Man” in a tradition of American frontier literature begun by James Fenimore Cooper. Henry Miller heard echoes of Mark Twain in it.
Historical fiction was just one genre that the restless Mr. Berger embraced. He took on the horror novel in “Killing Time” (1967) and the pulp detective story in “Who Is Teddy Villanova?” (1977). He ventured into science fiction (and Middle American sexual fantasy) with “Adventures of the Artificial Woman” (2004); utopian fiction with “Regiment of Women” (1973), in which men have surrendered their grip on the world; and the survival saga in “Robert Crews” (1994), an updating of “Robinson Crusoe.” He revisited the western, and his best-known character, in “The Return of Little Big Man” (1999).
The classics were also fodder. He dipped into the Camelot myth in “Arthur Rex: A Legendary Novel” (1978) and Greek tragedy in “Orrie’s Story” (1990), a replay of the Oresteian trilogy. At other times, he reworked popular fantasies: “Being Invisible” (1987), in which the protagonist has the power to disappear from sight at will, and “Changing the Past” (1989), in which a man gets to go back in time to the forks in his road and take the other path.
If Mr. Berger had a literary mission, it was to mine the anarchic paranoia that he found underlying American middle-class life. “Sneaky People,” from 1975, chronicles three hectic days in the life of a used-car salesman, a “family man” who keeps a mistress and hires a car washer to kill his phlegmatic wife. “Neighbors” (1980) records a nightmarish day in suburbia that parodies the rituals of neighborliness, among them competitiveness, bonhomie (false and otherwise) and a striving for civility in the face of a creeping conviction that the people across the street are barbarians. (“Neighbors” was made into a 1981 movie starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, one of four film adaptations of Berger books.)
In these and other novels — “The Houseguest” (1988), “Meeting Evil” (1992), “Suspects” (1996) and “Best Friends” (2003) — everyday social encounters quickly disintegrate into Kafkaesque comic horrors.
“It was Kafka who taught me that at any moment banality might turn sinister, for existence was not meant to be unfailingly genial,” Mr. Berger told the critic Richard Schickel in a rare interview in 1980, published in The New York Times. He gave expression to that view in “The Feud” (1983), which he set in the American Midwest in the 1930s. In this tale, a misunderstanding over the fire hazard posed by an unlit cigar devolves into a slapstick battle between two communities that somehow manages to convey a convincing portrait of the mean Depression years.
“The Feud” was the top recommendation of the fiction jury for the 1984 Pulitzer Prize, but it was passed over by the Pulitzer board in favor of William Kennedy’s Depression-era novel “Ironweed,” which had also been cited by the jury.
Before then, Mr. Berger’s focus had mainly been on contemporary American life, in all its sprawling disorder, in a series of books that trace the growth of a woebegone character (and perhaps alter ego) named Carl, né Carlo, Reinhart. The books — “Crazy in Berlin” (1958), “Reinhart in Love” (1962), “Vital Parts” (1970) and “Reinhart’s Women” (1981) — follow Reinhart from his bewildered youth as a soldier in Berlin to his mellower middle age as a serious cook.
Reinhart is “representative of the unrepresented,” the cultural critic Benjamin DeMott wrote in The Times in 1981. “We’re talking screw-ups, frankly,” he continued. “Chaps who, while seldom dropped from the lineup, continually whiff, in all senses, in the game of life.”
But Reinhart’s existence is not without meaning. “Possibly the simple secret of Reinhart’s value is just this: The fellow has hunkered down here in the U.S. of A.,” Mr. DeMott went on. “He’s stuck it. He is a man of no standing growing up stunted, naturally, blowing it in a thousand helpless ways, dreaming on into late middle age of the coup that will turn him overnight into Somebody, knowing it’s not in the cards, knowing (in totally unsystematic fashion) that They, the Managers, have more or less stolen his humanity, yet working hard to avoid being needlessly cruel to anyone.”
Of all Mr. Berger’s characters, none is as indelible as the Indian scout and adopted Cheyenne Jack Crabb. His homespun but shrewd colloquial voice drives the narrative of “Little Big Man.”
In his early years, Crabb is indoctrinated into the ways of Indians, including their diet.
“The antelope chunks weren’t too well done,” he says. “Indians don’t have a prejudice against grease, on the one hand; and on the other, they weren’t given in those days to using salt. Along with the meat was some chokecherries all cooked to a mush, and a root or two that didn’t have a taste until you swallowed it and it fell all the way to your belly and gave off the aftereffect of choking on sand.”
But he befriends his captors. “In later years I grew greatly fond of Old Lodge Skins,” he says of one. “He had more bad luck than any human being I have ever known, red or white, and you can’t beat that for making a man likable.”
Thomas Louis Berger was born in Cincinnati on July 20, 1924, the son of Thomas Charles Berger, the business manager of a public school system near Cincinnati, and the former Mildred Bubbe. Both parents loved to read, and Thomas’s mother encouraged him to adopt the habit.
After graduating from Lockland High School in Cincinnati in 1942, he enrolled at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and found he did not like it. So he enlisted in the Army, which put him in the Medical Corps and sent him to England and Germany as World War II raged.
After the war, he enrolled at the University of Cincinnati, earned his baccalaureate degree there with honors in 1948 and pursued graduate work in English at Columbia University until 1951, when he abandoned work on his thesis, on George Orwell. In the meantime he married. His wife, Jeanne Redpath Berger, a painter, is his only immediate survivor.
After Columbia, he held jobs as a librarian at the Tamiment Institute and Library (formerly the Rand School for Social Science) in New York and as a summary writer for The New York Times Index.
In the early 1950s, Mr. Berger moved from New York City to Rockland County, where he scraped by as a freelance copy editor and worked on his first novel, “Crazy in Berlin.” Writing the book took four years, in part because he had discarded the original manuscript after two and a half years and begun again.
For a time, Mr. Berger thrived on literary sociability. Writers, editors and publishers frequently gathered around the dinner table at his home. But he became reclusive, Mr. Schickel wrote in his 1980 article in The Times, to an extent that not even his publisher or his literary agent knew how to get in touch with him.
Mr. Schickel sustained his friendship with Mr. Berger by mail and was sworn to secrecy about his whereabouts. In his interview with Mr. Schickel, Mr. Berger unburdened himself of his disdain for the New York literary scene and his weariness of everyday living, saying, “Real life is unbearable to me unless I can escape from it into fiction.”
He was more sanguine about his craft:
“Why does one write? Because it isn’t there! Unlike Everest and other celebrated eminences. Beginners sometime ask me how a novel is written, the answer to which is: Any way at all. One knows only when it is finished, and then if one is at all serious, he will never do it the same way again.”
He concluded: “I should like the reader to be aware that a book of mine is written in the English language, which I love with all my heart and write to the best of my ability and with the most honorable of intentions — which is to say, I am peddling no quackery, masking no intent to tyrannize, and asking nobody’s pity. (I suspect that I am trying to save my own soul, but that’s nobody else’s business.)”
BERGER, Thomas (Thomas Luis Berger)
Born: 7/20/1924, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Died: 7/13/2014, Nyack, New York, U.S.A.
Thomas Berger’s western – author:
Little Big Man - 1970

Monday, July 21, 2014

RIP Vera Mihic-Jolić

Longtime filmmaker Vera Mihic-Jolić has died.
Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Hercegovini
With sadness we inform our colleagues and co-workers that the long-time member of the Association of Film Workers VERA MIHIĆ JOLIĆ died last night, July 15, 2014th year, at 81 years of age.
Vera has been involved in film production for over thirty years. On dozens of films, she worked in production as the principal organizer and leader of production. She was also involved in the production of some of the most famous Bosnian films (OTAC NA SLUŽBENOM PUTU, DOKTOR MLADEN, DIVERZANTI, MAČAK POD ŠLJEMOM, ULOGA MOJE PORODICE U SVJETSKOJ REVOLUCIJI ).
In the last twenty years she has worked as a consultant on several productions.
She was awarded by the vocational Association of Filmmakers a lifetime achievement for  contribution to the BH film in 2012.
Born: 1933, Sarajeva, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Yugoslavia
Died: 7/13/2014, Sarajeva, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Vera Mihic-Jolic’s western – production manager:
The Golden Sling - 1967

RIP John Fasano

R.I.P., Writer/Producer/Director John Fasano, 52
By: Staff
July 20, 2014
Writer/producer/director John Fasano, best known for his work in the horror genre, died in his sleep Saturday night at the age of 52, his attorney Craig Baumgarten confirmed. No cause of death was available.
Fasano was nominated for a Writers Guild Award in 1996 for writing the teleplay for The Hunchback for TNT. He also had a hand in more than 40 other film and TV projects, including writing the hit Tom Selleck TV movie Stone Cold, Iraq war TV docudramas Saving Jessica Lynch and The Hunt for Saddam, and films including Alien 3, Meggido: The Omega Code 2, Darkness Falls and Another 48 Hours. Fasano also worked as a script doctor and screenwriting guest lecturer at AFI and the Writer’s Boot Camp. He was president of the screenwriting seminar at the Sony/Canal+ Equinoxe screenwriting seminar in France. He produced and directed several independent films, typically in the horror genre, including Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare, Black Roses and The Jitters, all released in the 1980s.
Fasano, who was born Aug.24, 1961, had his first taste of filmmaking when his father, a friend of director John Cassavetes, brought him along on a visit to the set of Husbands, according to a frequently quoted story in articles about him. In high school, he worked on industrial films for IBM and other companies, and graduated from SUNY-Purchase with a degree in film. He initially worked as an editor or freelance editor for a variety of specialty magazines, but his work creating posters for exploitation films led to a break from producer Jack Bravman, who hired him to direct a low-budget horror film called Zombie Nightmare. After selling the script to Tailgunners to Morgan Creek, he moved to Los Angeles. In 1990, he founded a production company called Thoughts in the Margin.
His projects also ranged well beyond film and TV, including creating and writing Woke Up Dead, a digital series for Sony’s Crackle site featuring Jon Heder. He co-wrote with Roni Keller the book Evie and the Golem, published in 20122. He also wrote frequently about firearms for magazines such as Combat Tactics and American Handgunner, and was known as a prolific designer of Halloween masks. Fasano is survived by his wife, Edie, his children, Lucia and Jon Carlos, and his sister, Felicia, who is a casting director.
FASANO, John (John M. Fasano)
Born: 8/24/1961, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 7/19/2014, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
John Fasano’s westerns – producer, screenwriter, actor:
Tombstone – 1993 [producer]
The Legend of Butch & Sundance – 2006 (blacksmith) [screenwriter]
Hannah’s Law (TV) – 2012 (Marshal Deger) [screenwriter]

Sunday, July 20, 2014

RIP Steve London

TV and film actor Steve London died in Burbank, Calfiornia on June 6, 2014. He was 85.
Born Walter Lee Gragg in St Louis, Missouri, on March 9, 1929 London was a veteran of numerous Hollywood film and television roles, including parts on Daniel Boone, M Squad, Sky King, Lock Up, The Loretta Young Show, Sugarfoot, Mission Impossible, Kraft Suspense Theatre, Branded, and Mackenzie's Raiders. Film roles included Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966), I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958), Zero Hour! (1957), The Gun of Zangara (1960), and Alcatraz Express (1960), the latter two being 2-part episodes of The Untouchables that were re-edited into feature films for international distribution.
Several years after the cancellation of The Untouchables, London appeared in a special episode of The Lucy Show entitled "Lucy The Gun Moll", an Untouchables reunion of sorts, where he reprised his role as sidekick to Robert Stack. Actor Bruce Gordon who played Frank Nitti in the series, also appeared in this episode, and The Untouchables narrator Walter Winchell served as narrator for this episode.
After 1966, his acting career waned, he left Hollywood, finished law school, and began practicing law under his birth name. Many years later, London returned to acting, where he played roles in the Cartoon Network T.V. series Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, (2007), and the film Brothers War (2009).
LONDON, Steve (Walter Lee Gragg)
Born: 3/9/1929, Detroit Michigan, U.S.A.
Died: 6/6/2014, Burbank, California, U.S.A.
Steve London’s westerns – actor:
Sky King (TV) – 1958 (Dr. Van Vicker)
Mackenzie’s Raiders (TV) – 1959 (Hogue)
Sugarfoot (TV) – 1959 (Sgt. Reddick, Dallas Pike)
Branded (TV) – 1966 (Captain)
Daniel Boone (TV) – 1966 (Barnabas Platt)

RIP Álex Angulo

RIP Alex Angulo
El Commercio
By Staff
July 20, 2014
Actor Álex Angulo has died in a traffic accident
The actor, known for his roles on television, had his car leave the road at the Rioja town of Fuenmayor.
The actor Álex Angulo died this afternoon in a road accident on AP-68 in the town of Fuenmayor. As reported by the Government Delegation in La Rioja, the accident occurred at five-thirty in the afternoon, at mile 114.3 of the highway, which corresponds to Fuenmayor, in regard to Logroño. In the State of La Rioja
The native of the town of Bilbao Erandio, the actor was 61. He was a very familiar face to both Spanish viewers for his roles on the small screen, and the mainstream for his role in 'Journalists'.
ANGULO, Álex (Alejandro Angulo León)
Born: 4/12/1953, Bilbao Erandio, Vizcaya, Spain
Died: 7/20/2014, Fuenmayor, La Rioja, Spain
Alex Angulo’s western – actor:
Limoncello – 2007 (Jackson)

RIP James Garner

Western: Movie, TV Legend James Garner Dies
Associated Press
By Lynn Elber
July 20, 2014
Actor James Garner, whose whimsical style in the 1950s TV Western "Maverick" led to a stellar career in TV and films such as "The Rockford Files" and his Oscar-nominated "Murphy's Romance," has died, police said. He was 86.
He was found dead of natural causes at his home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles Saturday evening, Los Angeles police officer Alonzo Iniquez said early Sunday.
Police responded to a call around 8 p.m. PDT and confirmed Garner's identity from family members, Iniquez told The Associated Press.
There was no immediate word on a more specific cause of death. Garner had suffered a stroke in May 2008, just weeks after his 80th birthday.
Although he was adept at drama and action, Garner was best known for his low-key, wisecracking style, especially with his hit TV series, "Maverick" and "The Rockford Files."
His quick-witted avoidance of conflict provided a refreshingly new take on the American hero, contrasting with the steely heroics of John Wayne and the fast trigger of Clint Eastwood.
Well into his 70s, the handsome Oklahoman remained active in both TV and film. In 2002, he was Sandra Bullock's father in the film "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." The following year, he joined the cast of "8 Simple Rules ... For Dating My Teenage Daughter," playing the grandfather on the sitcom after star John Ritter, who played the father, died during the show's second season.
When he received the Screen Actors Guild's lifetime achievement award in 2005, he quipped, "I'm not at all sure how I got here."
But in his 2011 memoir, "The Garner Files," he provided some amusing and enlightening clues, including his penchant for bluntly expressed opinions and a practice for decking people who said something nasty to his face — including an obnoxious fan and an abusive stepmother. They all deserved it, Garner declared in his book.
It was in 1957 when the ABC network, desperate to compete on ratings-rich Sunday night, scheduled "Maverick" against CBS's powerhouse "The Ed Sullivan Show" and NBC's "The Steve Allen Show." ''Maverick" soon outpolled them both.
At a time when the networks were crowded with hard-eyed, traditional Western heroes, Bret Maverick provided a fresh breath of air. With his sardonic tone and his eagerness to talk his way out of a squabble rather than pull out his six-shooter, the con-artist Westerner seemed to scoff at the genre's values.
After a couple of years, Garner felt the series was losing its creative edge, and he found a legal loophole to escape his contract in 1960.
His first film after "Maverick" established him as a movie actor. It was "The Children's Hour," William Wyler's remake of Lillian Hellman's lesbian drama that co-starred Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine.
He followed in a successful comedy with Kim Novak, "Boys Night Out," and then fully established his box-office appeal with the 1963 blockbuster war drama "The Great Escape" and two smash
comedies with Doris Day — "The Thrill of It All" and "Move Over Darling."
GARNER, James (James Scott Baumgarner)
Born: 4/7/1928, Norman, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Died: 7/19/2014, Brentwood, California, U.S.A.
James Garner’s westerns – actor:
Cheyenne (TV) – 1955, 1956 (Lieutenant Brad Forsythe, Lieutenant Lee Rogers, Bret, Willi Peake)
Zane Grey Theater (TV) – 1956 (Lieutenant Jim Collins)
Sugarfoot (TV) – 1957 (Bret Maverick)
Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend – 1957 (Sergeant John Maitland)
Maverick (TV) – 1957-1962 (Bret Maverick)
Alias Jesse James – 1959 [scenes deleted]
Duel at Diablo – 1966 (Jess Remsburg)
Hour of the Gun – 1967 (Wyatt Earp)
Support Your Local Sheriff! – 1969 (Jason McCullough)
A Man Called Sledge – 1970 (Luther Sledge)
Skin Game – 1971 (Quincy)
Support Your Local Gunfighter – 1971 (Latigo)
Nichols (TV) – 1971-1972 (Nichols)
One Little Indian – 1973 (Keyes)
The Castaway Cowboy – 1974 (Lincoln Costain)
The New Maverick (TV - 1978 (Bret Maverick)
Young Maverick (TV) – 1979-1980 (Bret Maverick)
Bret Maverick (TV) – 1981-1982 (Bret Maverick)
Sunset – 1988 (Wyatt Earp)
Maverick – 1994 (Marshal Zane Cooper)
Streets of Laredo (TV) – 1995 (Captain Woodrow Call)
Roughing It (TV) – 2002 (Samuel Clemens)

RIP Sky McCole Bartusiak

RIP Skye McCole Bartusiak
Skye McCole Bartusiak, who was best known for her role portraying Mel Gibson’s youngest daughter in The Patriot, died today at the age of 21. No cause of death was given. Bartusiak was a stage, screen and TV actress. She had a recurring role as Megan Matheson in the show 24 and did guest star appearances in CSI, Lost, Touched by An Angel and George Lopez television shows. She started acting in 1999 with the ABC mini-series Storm of the Century. When she was 8 years-old, she was in the movie Riding in Cars with Boys. She died in her Houston home this morning at 9AM. A family spokesperson called her “a brave and caring young woman” who “is deeply missed by her family and friends.” In addition, the young actress was in the movies Don’t Say A Word in 2001, and the Oscar nominated The Cider House Rules in 1999. She also was the only child on the frontier role in the Hallmark movie Love Comes Softly. In 2012, she starred in the feature Sick Boy; since then she had done a series of short films. On stage, she appeared in the play The Miracle Worker in 2003 with Hillary Swank. So young. Condolences to her family and friends.
Born: 9/28/1992, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 7/19/2014, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Sky McCole Bartusiak's westerns - actress:
Beyond the Prairie, Part 2: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder (TV) - 2002 (Rose Wilder)
Love Comes Softly (TV) - 2003 (Missie Davis)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

RIP Tap Canutt

Actor and stuntman Tap Canutt has died. Tap born Edward Clay Canutt was the son of legendary stuntman Yakima Canutt and brother of stuntman Joe Canutt. The exact date of Tap’s passing is unknown but occurred either the end of May or early June 2014. Tap was last living in Santa Clarita, California.
Tap worked for different Western Productions from 'Only the Valiant' (1951) to the 'Wild Bunch' (1969) and he was there when epic movie Stars got into trouble. 'Ben Hur' (1959), 'Spartacus' (1960) or 'El Cid' (1961) were just a few.
Tap became part of Kit West’s stunt crew. He was, the stunt double for Stephen Boyd in 'Fall of the Roman Empire' (1963) and for the 'El Condor' (1969) production he was the Stunt Coordinator and directed different stunt scenes as Second Unit Director.
CANUTT, Tap (Edward Clay Canutt)
Born: 8/7/1932, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 6/6/2014, Santa Clarita, California, U.S.A.
Tap Canutt’s westerns – second unit director, stuntman, actor:
Only the Valiant – 1951 [stunts]
Hangman’s Knot – 1952 [stunts]
The Stranger Wore a Gun – 1953 (henchman) [stunts]
The Lawless Rider – 1954 (young marshal) [stunts]
The Last Command – 1955 [stunts]
Friendly Persuasion – 1956 [stunts]
Westward Ho the Wagons! – 1956 [stunts]
From Hell to Texas – 1958 [stunts]
Tumbleweed Ranger – 1959 [film never completed]
The Comancheros – 1961 [stunts]
McLintock! – 1963 [stunts]
Cat Ballou – 1965 [stunts]
Daniel Boone (TV) – 1967 (settler)
26 Men (TV) – 1959
The Outlaws Is Coming – 1965 [stunts]
Bandolero – 1968 [stunts]
El Condo – 1969 [second unit director, stunts]
The Good Guys and the Bad Guys – 1969 [stunts]
The Undefeated – 1969 [stunts]
The Wild Bunch – 1969 [stunts]
Chisum – 1970 [stunts]
A Man Called Horse – 1970 [stunts]
Rio Lobo – 1970 [stunts]
The Cowboys – 1972 (rustler) [stunts]
Joe Kidd – 1972 [stunts]
The Master Gunfighter – 1975 [stunts]
The Last Hard Men – 1976 [stunts]
The Mountain Men – 1980 [stunts]

Friday, July 18, 2014

RIP Fred Brookfield

RIP Fred Brookfield
Los Angeles Daily News
By Staff
March 9, 2014
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Fred moved to the United States in 1952, where he worked for 27 years as a Stuntman until an injury in 1979 forced him to change careers.
He is preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, James and George; and is survived by his wife of 53 years, Sarah; daughters, Stephanie (Robert) Schwinn, and Margaret Brookfield; grandchildren, Nicholas, Dylan, Shelby, Amber (Steve), and Brittnie; great grandchildren, Austen, Samantha and Colton; and several nieces and nephews.
Born: 6/11/1942, Winnipag, Manitoba, Canada
Died: January 25, 2014, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Fred Brookfield’s westerns – stuntman, actor:
The Adventures of Spin and Marty (TV) – 1955 [stunts]
The Cowboys – 1972 (rustler) [stunts]
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean – 1975 (outlaw) [stunts]
Ulzana’s Raid – 1972 (trooper) [stunts]
Hec Ramsey (TV) – 1973 (Jamie Redsmith)
Gone With the West – 1975 (Mimmo’s man)

RIP Dietmar Schönherr

Actor, presenter and author Dietmar Schönherr has died during the night Friday July 18th at the age of 88 on the Spanish island of Ibiza, where he had lived during the last few years.
Known to a wide audience of Austrians from 1966 for his starring role in the first and to date the most popular German science fiction television series "Space Patrol - the Fantastic Adventures of the Spaceship Orion". Later Schönherr hosted, among others, with his wife Vivi Bach the TV show "Make a Wish" since 1973, the first talk show on German television "The later the evening." He appeared in over 100 movies and hundreds of television productions, countless theaters, and worked as a voice actor, writer and director.
Even more important than his artistic work Schönherr was his social commitment. After the early 1980s, he supported the German peace movement, he was active mainly in Nicaragua. In the Central American country, which is among the poorest in the world, he built together with the poet Ernesto Cardenal in the city of Granada, the "Casa de los Tres Mundos", a cultural center for children and adolescents.
The house is one of the best-known institutions of its kind in Central America and is considered a model project for cultural development cooperation. To finance the project, Schoenherr created a Foundation in1994 called the club Pan y Arte. Its name ("Bread and Art") goes back to a quote of Schönherrs: "Bread and art are the main food of man. We take care of both."
When the club took over and initiated Pan y Arte it helped many other projects in Nicaragua. After the devastating Hurricane Mitch in autumn 1998 Schönherr formulated a flash appeal in the weekly newspaper "Die Zeit". Using the then incoming donations, the club was able to build the new village of Los Ángeles in Malacatoya and thus gave more than 1,300 people a roof over their head.
SCHONHERR, Dietmar (Dietmar Otto von Schönleiten)
Born: 5/17/1926, Innsbruck, Austria
Died: 7/18/2014, Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain
Dietmar Schönleiten’s westerns – voice actor:
Shatterhand – 1963 [German voice of Gustavo Rojo]
Black Eagle of Santa Fe - 1965 [German voice of Joachim Hansen]
By Way of the Stars (TV) - 1992 (Friedrich Brunneck)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

RIP Treadwell Covington

RIP Treadwell Covington
New York Times
By Staff
Treadwell Downing Covington, of Southampton, LI died at home on July 9, 2014 on his 89th birthday. A partner in Total Television Productions, Inc., a member of ASCAP and the University Club in New York. Survived by two daughters, Caroline Armistead Gordon Covington and Coline Elizabeth Covington; as well as grandsons Justin and Charles Kesser. Interment at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, SC. A Memorial Service will be held in September at the Dune Church in Southampton. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to East End Hospice, PO Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978.
COVINGTON, Treadwell (Treadwell Downing Covington)
Born: 7/9/1926, Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A.
Died: 7/9/2014, Southhampton, Long Island, New York, U.S.A.
Treadwell Covington’s western – executive producer:
Go Go Gophers (TV) - 1968

RIP Jerry McNeeley

Jerry McNeely, Creator of ‘Owen Marshall,’ Dies at 86
By Jon Burlingame
July 17, 2014
Jerry McNeely, Emmy-nominated television writer and creator of series including “Owen Marshall, Counelor at Law,” died Monday in Tarzana. He was 86 and had suffered from Parkinson’s Disease for several years.
McNeely was one of TV’s busiest writers in the 1960s and ’70s, penning multiple episodes of “Dr. Kildare,” “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “Ironside,” “The Name of the Game” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.” He also created and wrote multiple episodes of the lawyer series “Owen Marshall,” the high-school-teacher series “Lucas Tanner” and the family drama “Three for the Road.”
In the 1980s, he developed and produced the medical series “Trauma Center” and produced the family drama “Our House.” He also wrote individual scripts for such popular series as “The Twilight Zone,” “Mr. Novak,” “The Virginian,” “The Streets of San Francisco” and “McMillan and Wife.”
McNeely received Emmy and Humanitas nominations for writing the 1977 TV movie “Something for Joey,” based on the true story of a Penn State football player and his younger brother, who had leukemia.
He also directed episodes of “Owen Marshall,” “Lucas Tanner” and “Paris.”
McNeely was born in Cape Girardeau, Mo. He received his B.A. from Southeast Missouri State College, then attended the University of Wisconsin, where he received an M.S. degree and – after Army service during the Korean War – a Ph.D. in speech.
He joined the University of Wisconsin speech faculty in 1956 and eventually received a full professorship. An avid musician, he produced and directed numerous plays and musicals with the Wisconsin players (and eventually wrote lyrics for songs in several of the TV shows he wrote).
McNeely wrote his first teleplay, “The Staring Match,” for “Studio One” in 1957, and won a contest with his script “The Joke and the Valley,” which “Hallmark Hall of Fame” produced in 1961. His later longform scripts included “The Critical List,” “Fighting Back,” “Tomorrow’s Child,” “Sin of Innocence” and “When You Remember Me.”
In an unusual situation, McNeely remained on the University of Wisconsin faculty throughout his prolific period of the 1960s, writing long distance and occasionally commuting. He finally resigned from the university and moved to California to pursue TV writing and producing in 1975.
Survivors include his wife Ellen Shenker McNeely; four children, Melissa, Betsy, Joel and Ian McNeely; and two grandchildren.
Born: 6/20/1928, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, U.S.A.
Date: 7/14/2014, Tarzana, California, U.S.A.
Jerry McNeeley’s western - screenwriter:
The Virginian (TV) – 1968