Thursday, April 30, 2015

RIP Patachou

The singer Patachou has died

Le Monde

Patachou, one of the most cheeky voices of French music after the war, which had owned a famous Parisian cabaret in Montmartre before launching herself on stage, died Thursday at 96 years, surrounded his family.

Her real name was Henriette Ragon, Patachou, born June 10, 1918 in Paris, and died at her home in Neuilly (Hauts-de-Seine), announced her son Pierre Billon who told AFP, confirming a report by France 2.

Brassens and Brel started her cabaret

This artisan girl, was first a typist and factory worker, in 1948 she opened and managed a cabaret-restaurant in Montmartre, with her husband Jean Billon, she quickly made a famous place of the Parisian night life.

"At Patachou" it saw the start of many artists like Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens with which she performed "Maman, Papa," a duet.  Hugues Aufray and Michel Sardou also performed in this nightclub of the popular song, which was closed in the ‘70s.

Originally, Patachou, blonde with short hair, began by making pastry, then bought a nearby local location for her cabaret-restaurant.

In a Renoir film

Supported by Maurice Chevalier, Patachou then took to the microphone herself, with a repertoire of realistic songs (“La complainte de la Butte”, “Gamin de Paris”) and light ditties (“le Tapin tranquille”, “Douce Marijane”).  Interpreter with a slight warm hoarse voice, her “Bal chez Temporel” is remembered as “La Bague à Jules” is remembered as well as “Toutes les femmes de mon mari”.

She has also performed abroad (U.S.A., Canada, Great Britain, Brazil), as well as getting small roles in film (1954) in "French Cancan" and Renoir's "Napoleon" by Guitry.  In 1966 Patachou is back in Paris at the tavern " La Tête de l'art" and in 1969 the restaurant of the Eiffel Tower, before ending her singing career.  From the 1980s, Patachou is seen in film and television.

The singer and actress was promoted to Officer of the Legion of Honour and Commander of Arts and Letters.

PATACHOU (Henriette Eugénie Jeanne Ragon)
Born: 6/10/1918, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Died: 4/30/2015 Neuilly, Hauts-de-Seine, France

Patachou’s western – actress:
Bordertown (TV) – 1991 (Suzanne Dumont) [episode 3.25 Frontier Passage guest appearance)]

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

RIP Betsy von Furstenberg

Betsy von Furstenberg, Baroness and Versatile Actress, Dies at 83


The New York Times
By Sam Roberts
April 29, 2015

Betsy von Furstenberg, a glamorous German-born baroness who made her debut in the movies and on the Broadway stage in the early 1950s as a teenager and later reinvented herself as a television actress, writer and philanthropist, died on April 21 at her home in Manhattan. She was 83.

The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease, said her son, Glyn Vincent.

Born in a castle in Westphalia, Ms. von Furstenberg left Germany with her parents for New York before World War II. She was tutored by the choreographer Anton Dolin when she was 4 and performed with American Ballet Theater when she was 7.

While attending the Hewitt School in Manhattan, she began modeling at 14 and embarked with her mother on a globe-girdling career that led to a role in an Italian film called “Women Without Names,” about post-World War II internees. That projected her onto the cover of Look magazine, photographed by Stanley Kubrick, for an article titled “Working Debutante.”

In 1951, she made her Broadway debut in Philip Barry’s “Second Threshold,” which earned her a spot on the cover of Life magazine (accompanied by a photograph inside of her stage-door mother) as “the most promising young actress of the year.” Brooks Atkinson wrote in The New York Times, more guardedly, that her part, like those of the rest of the supporting cast, was “agreeably played.”

She went on to star or co-star in “Oh, Men! Oh, Women!,” “The Chalk Garden,” “Nature’s Way,” “Mary, Mary” and, in 1970, Neil Simon’s “The Gingerbread Lady,” for which Walter Kerr of The Times lauded her “brusque, dry, exquisitely enameled performance as a fading beauty.”

Ms. von Furstenberg also appeared on television, on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Have Gun — Will Travel” and “Playhouse 90,” among other series; on variety shows like Ed Sullivan’s “Toast of the Town” and “The Johnny Carson Show”; and on the soap opera “As the World Turns.”

“She often played mischievous, flirty or rebellious young women,” her son said, “and was noted in the society columns for her naughty behavior offstage as well.”

Elizabeth Caroline Maria Agatha Felicitas Therese Freiin von Furstenberg-Hedringen was born in Arnsberg, Germany, near Cologne, on Aug. 16, 1931. Her father, Franz-Egon, was a count. Her mother, the former Elizabeth Foster-Johnson, an American from Memphis whom the count met on a vacation, was devoted to her daughter’s career.

Besides her son, Ms. von Furstenberg is survived by a daughter, Gay Caroline Gerry; two grandchildren; and a half-brother, Count Egon von Furstenberg.

She continued to perform onstage into the 1980s and was active in supporting the Theater for the New City and Young Concert Artists.

She also began writing, contributing articles and columns to various publications and, in 1988, publishing a novel, “Mirror, Mirror,” about an heiress who befriends her servant’s daughter and pursues love and ambition among Europe’s glitterati.

In an essay on the front of the Arts & Leisure section of The Times in September 1972, Ms. von Furstenberg wrote that all the world was theater, even for actors offstage.

“For myself, even when I’m working and have an audience to look forward to every night, I still find I perform better at home when there’s an eye — preferably approving — to mark my progress as a cook, mother, flower arranger, etc.,” she explained.

“One of the most frustrating drawbacks of being an actor-parent,” she wrote, “is to have your children accuse you of acting when you’re being perfectly sincere.”

von FURSTENBERG, Betsy (Elizabeth Caroline Maria Agatha Felicitas Therese Freiin von Furstenberg-Hedringen)
Born: 8/16/1931, Neheim-Hüsten, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany   
Died: 4/21/2015, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.

Betsy von Furstenberg’s western – actress:
Have Gun – Will Travel (TV) – 1958 (Isabel Werstrope)

RIP Richard LaSalle

RIP Richard LaSalle

Monterey Herald
April 26, 2015

Richard W. LaSalle
January 18, 1918 ~ April 5, 2015Carmel, CA

Richard W. LaSalle passed away on April 5, 2015 at his home in Carmel, CA. Richard was born in Louisville, Colorado. He began as a performer for local hotels as a pianist and orchestra leader between the 1940s and 50s. He had his own orchestra for over 18 years and played all over the country. In 1958 he joined the American Society of Composers and Publishers in which he started his main career in film composing. His first work was done for a 1958 movie called Tank Battalion starring Frank Gorshin. Other works of composing include Diary of a Madman, Twice Told Tales, Conflict Stage, Fort Courageous, A Yank in Vietnam, Ambush Bay, 40 Guns to Apache Pass and many more. His total work included over 400 films. Richard and his wife of 73 years, Patricia, moved to Carmel over 30 years ago. Richard was a member of the Carmel-by-the-Sea Rotary Club and a Past Vice-President of the Monterey County Symphony. Richard and Patricia, who preceded him in death, traveled all over the world, spending over three years cumulatively on ships of Seaborne Cruise Line.

A special thank-you to Central Coast Senior Services and Hospice for their loving care at the end of Richard's life. In lieu of flowers, donations to the music program of the Carmel Youth Center would have been Richard's wish.

LaSALLE, Richard (Richard W. LaSalle)
Born: 1/18/1918, Louisville, Colorado, U.S.A.
Died: 4/5/2015, Carmel, California, U.S.A.

Richard LaSalle’s western – composer:
Gun Street – 1961
The Purple Hills - 1961
The Broken Land – 1962
The Firebrand - 1962
California - 1963
Apache Rifles – 1964
Blood on the Arrow - 1964
The Quick Gun – 1964
Arizona Raiders – 1965
Convict Stage – 1965
Fort Courageous - 1965
War Party - 1965
F Troop (TV) – 1965-1967
40 Guns to Apache Pass – 1967

Monday, April 27, 2015

RIP Jayne Meadows

RIP Jayne Meadows

Fox News
April 27, 2015

Actress Jayne Meadows Allen dies at 95

Jayne Meadows Allen, award winning stage and screen actress, died peacefully of natural causes in her Encino, Calif. home Sunday night at age 95.

Jayne -- who was born in Wuchang, China to missionary parents -- enjoyed more than six decades in the entertainment industry, from Broadway roles like "The Gazebo" in 1958 to her Emmy-nominated role on CBS' "High Society" in 1995. Jayne was also a regular panelist on the CBS hit program, "I've Got a Secret." During her run on the show, Jayne was the highest rated actress on CBS, second only to Lucille Ball.

In film, Jayne appeared in many roles, including 1946's Undercurrent alongside Katharine Hepburn. Her one woman show, "Powerful Women in History" -- which toured the United States for seven years -- earned her the International Platform Association Award. Jayne received the Susan B. Anthony Award for her continued positive portrayals of women in her acting.

Jayne's husband of 46 years, Steve Allen -- the first host of "The Tonight Show" -- passed away in 2000.

Jayne's son, Bill Allen tells ET that Jayne was immediately charmed by Allen when she met him, even telling her sister Audrey Meadows -- who passed away in 1996 and notably starred as Jackie Gleason's wife on "The Honeymooners" -- "If that man isn't married he soon will be...and to me."

In an exclusive letter to ET, Bill fondly remembered his mom.

"She was the most loving mother and grandmother I could ever imagine," said Bill. "Seeing only the best in all her family members and giving us all confidence that we had value to offer the world and should take risks because we could do no wrong in her eyes."

"She was not only an extraordinarily gifted actress who could move audiences from laughter to tears and back again all in one scene, but she was the greatest story teller I have ever known and I will miss her endlessly fascinating and frequently hilarious anecdotes about her life and the many brilliantly talented people she worked with and befriended along the way. She will be sorely missed and never forgotten."

MEADOWS, Jayne (Jayne Meadows Cotter)
Born: 9/27/1919, Wuchang, Wuhan Hubei, China
Died: 4/26/2015, Encino, California, U.S.A.

Jayne Meadows’ westerns – actress:
Here Come the Brides (TV) – 1969 (Eleanor Tangiers)
City Slickers – 1991 (Mitch’s mom)
City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold – 1994 (Mitch’s mom)