Saturday, January 30, 2016

RIP Georgy Firtich

Georgy Firtich, Russian composer and pianist, dead at 77.

Georgy Ivanovich Firtich/Георгий Иванович Фиртич] was born on October 20, 1938, in Pskov and died on January 27, 2016. He was a Soviet and Russian composer, jazz pianist and a professor at Herzen University. Firstich received an honored Art Worker of the Russian Federation.

It was received his from the School of Music by Rimsky-Korsakov (class composition) and Saint Petersburg Conservatory (1962, class of Yuri Balkashin and Boris Arapov).

He was still studying when he started performing as a pianist, in his school years with the performance of the classics and his own compositions, and in school as a jazz singer.

When he attended the undergraduate conservatory he began writing for film (in this area he worked for almost 40 years). In 1962, Georgy Firtich joined the Union Composers of USSR. As of 1994, he lead the ACM (Association for Contemporary Music), the Union of Composers of St. Petersburg.

Georgy Firtich died January 27, 2016 in St. Petersburg at 77 years of age.

FIRTICH, G. (Georgiy Ivanovich Firtich)
Born: 10/20/1938, Pskov, Russia, U.S.S.R.
Died: 1/27/2016, St. Petersburg, Russia

Georgy Firtich’s western – composer:
Armed and Dangerous - 1977

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

RIP Abe Vigoda

Abe Vigoda, Sunken-Eyed Character Actor, Dead at 94

ABC News
By Hillel Italie
January 26, 2016

Character actor Abe Vigoda, whose leathery, sunken-eyed face made him ideal for playing the over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series "Barney Miller" and the doomed Mafia soldier in "The Godfather," died Tuesday at age 94.

Vigoda's daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, told The Associated Press that Vigoda died Tuesday morning in his sleep at Fuchs' home in Woodland Park, New Jersey. The cause of death was old age. "This man was never sick," Fuchs said.

Vigoda worked in relative obscurity as a supporting actor in the New York theater and in television until Francis Ford Coppola cast him in the 1972 Oscar-winning "The Godfather." Vigoda played Sal Tessio, an old friend of Vito Corleone's (Marlon Brando) who hopes to take over the family after Vito's death by killing his son Michael Corleone (Al Pacino). But Michael anticipates that Sal's suggestion for a "peace summit" among crime families is a setup and the escorts Sal thought were taking him to the meeting turn out to be his executioners.

"Tell Mike it was only business," Sal mutters to consigliere Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) as he's led away.

The great success of the film and "The Godfather Part II" made his face and voice, if not his name, recognizable to the general public and led to numerous roles, often as hoodlums.

But it was his comic turn in "Barney Miller," which starred Hal Linden and ran from 1975 to 1982, that brought Vigoda's greatest recognition.

He liked to tell the story of how he won the role of Detective Fish. An exercise enthusiast, Vigoda had just returned from a five-mile jog when his agent called and told him to report immediately to the office of Danny Arnold, who was producing a pilot for a police station comedy.

Arnold remarked that Vigoda looked tired, and the actor explained about his jog. "You know, you look like you might have hemorrhoids," Arnold said. "What are you — a doctor or a producer?" Vigoda asked. He was cast on the spot.

"The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows," a reference book, commented that Vigoda was the hit of "Barney Miller." ''Not only did he look incredible, he sounded and acted like every breath might be his last," it said. "Fish was always on the verge of retirement, and his worst day was when the station house toilet broke down."

Vigoda remained a regular on "Barney Miller" until 1977 when he took the character to his own series, "Fish." The storyline dealt with the detective's domestic life and his relations with five street kids that he and his wife took into their home.

The show lasted a season and a half. Vigoda continued making occasional guest appearances on "Barney Miller," quitting over billing and salary differences.

But he remained a popular character actor in films, including "Cannonball Run II," ''Look Who's Talking," ''Joe Versus the Volcano" and "North."

His resemblance to Boris Karloff led to his casting in the 1986 New York revival of "Arsenic and Old Lace," playing the role Karloff originated on the stage in the 1940s. (The murderous character in the black comedy is famously said by other characters to resemble Boris Karloff, a great joke back when the real Karloff was playing him.)

Born in New York City in 1921, Vigoda attended the Theater School of Dramatic Arts at Carnegie Hall. In the early 1950s, he appeared as straight man for the Jimmy Durante and Ed Wynn TV comedies.

For 30 years, he worked in the theater, acting in dozens of plays in such diverse characters as John of Gaunt in "Richard II" (his favorite role) and Abraham Lincoln in a short-lived Broadway comedy "Tough to Get Help."

Vigoda attributed his high percentage in winning roles to his performance in auditions. Instead of delivering the tired soliloquies that most actors performed, he wrote his own, about a circus barker. At a surprise 80th birthday party in New Jersey in 2001, he gave a spirited recital of the monologue to the delight of the 100 guests.

Reflecting on his delayed success, Vigoda once remarked: "When I was a young man, I was told success had to come in my youth. I found this to be a myth. My experiences have taught me that if you deeply believe in what you are doing, success can come at any age."

"Barney Miller" became his first steady acting job.

"I'm the same Abe Vigoda," he told an interviewer. "I have the same friends, but the difference now is that I can buy the things I never could afford before. I have never had a house before, so now I would like a house with a nice garden and a pool. Hollywood has been very kind to me."

He was married twice, most recently to Beatrice Schy, who died in 1992. He had his daughter with his first wife, Sonja Gohlke, who has also died. Vigoda is survived by his daughter, grandchildren Jamie, Paul and Steven, and a great-grandson.

Reruns of "Barney Miller" and repeated screenings of the two "Godfather" epics kept Vigoda in the public eye, and unlike some celebrities, he enjoyed being recognized. In 1997 he was shopping in Bloomingdale's in Manhattan when a salesman remarked: "You look like Abe Vigoda. But you can't be Abe Vigoda because he's dead." Vigoda often appeared on lists of living celebrities believed to have passed away.

VIGODA, Abe (Abraham Charles Vigodah)
Born: 2/24/1921, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 1/26/2016, Woodland Park, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Abe Vigoda’s western – actor:
Lucky Luke (TV) - 1990-1991 (Judge Rinehart)

Monday, January 25, 2016

RIP Marc Cassot

Marc Cassot has died, the voice of Paul Newman and Dumbledore

January 23, 2016

He dubbed more than a hundred films, with some cult figures.

He was the voice of Paul Newman in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or Fat Man and Little Boy, but also that of  Michael Gambon and Richard Harris, the two actors who embodied Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter.  His rocky, warm and reassuring tone had also lulled the fans of Lord of the Rings (he doubled Ian Holm, aka Bilbo Baggins), but also those of Christopher Lee (The evil Skull), Max von Sydow (The Exorcist), Burt Reynolds ( Boogie Nights), John Cassavetes (Free as the Wind), Steve McQueen (The Cincinnati Kid) and many more ...

The French actor specialized in dubbing, Marc Cassot has died at the age of 92.  He had done his job, and he excelled in the register for over 50 years.  He’s attached to actors like Paul Newman he was the French voices in more than twenty films, Marc Cassot had also doubled many famous movie characters like Dumbledore, headmaster of the famous Hogwarts, but Ben Parker (the uncle of Spider-man), Marcus Aurelius in Gladiator, and Spock in the Star Trek of 2009.

He was a movie actor with theater training, Marc Cassot was a CAP pocket d'électromécanicien before entering as an extra in the New operetta theater and then became an actor as a replacement for one of the other actors. Thus began a successful career, first on the stage where it was headed by Albert Camus Robert Hossein for example - he also interpreted John Paul II - and in the cinema in the prison at Route Léon Mathot, before working for Christian-Jaque, Jean Dréville, Edouard Molinaro, and in TV with Abel Gance or Gilles Grangier.  But it is obviously in dubbing Cassot made a name with more than one hundred films where his voice echoes.

CASSOT, Marc (Marc Lucien Emile Cassot)
Born: 6/16/1923, Paris, Île de France, France
Died: 1/21/2016, Paris, Île de France, France

Marc Cassot’s westerns – voice actor:
God Forgives… I Don’t – 1967 [French voice of guard with red moustache]
Cannon for Cordoba – 1970 [French voice of George Peppard]

Friday, January 22, 2016

RIP Stanley Mann

Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter Stanley Mann Dies at 87

He received an Oscar nom for his work on William Wyler’s ‘The Collector’ and scripted 'Conan the Destroyer,’ 'The Mouse That Roared,’ and 'Eye of the Needle.’

Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes
January 22, 2016

Stanley Mann, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter who worked on such films as Conan the Destroyer and Damien: Omen II, has died. He was 87.

Mann, who received his Academy Award nom for co-writing the adapted screenplay for The Collector (1965), died January 11 at his home in Los Angeles after a long illness, his wife, Joan, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The Collector, directed by William Wyler — who abandoned The Sound of Music for the project — was a psychological thriller about a creepy bank clerk (Terence Stamp) who imprisons a young art student (Samantha Eggar) in a house in the country. Wyler and Eggar also received Oscar noms for their work.

Mann also co-wrote with Roger MacDougall the Peter Sellers film The Mouse That Roared (1959). Earlier, the writers had teamed for the 1957 Broadway play Hide and Seek, and Mann’s plays were performed at the National Theatre in London and in Los Angeles.

Mann wrote three films that starred Sean Connery — Another Time, Another Place (1958), Woman of Straw (1964) and Meteor (1979) — and adapted novels by Stephen King and James Clavell, respectively, for the movies Firestarter (1984) and Tai-Pan (1986).

An association with producer Dino de Laurentiis led to his work on Firestarter and the sequel Conan the Destroyer (1984).

Mann’s feature résumé also includes The Mark (1961), Rapture (1965), Up From the Beach (1965), Frank Sinatra's The Naked Runner (1967), Russian Roulette (1975), the Donald Sutherland starrer Eye of the Needle (1981) and Hanna’s War (1988).

He also produced Theatre of Blood (1973), starring Vincent Price and Diana Rigg, and Draw, his original 1984 Western for HBO, starred Kirk Douglas and James Coburn.

A native of Toronto, Mann attended McGill University and began his career in his late teens as a writer and actor for CBC Radio. In 1954, he moved to London and then came to Los Angeles in the 1970s. In 1978, he published a novel, Third Time Lucky.

In addition to his wife, survivors include his children Rachel, Adam and Daniel, sisters-in-law Denise and Gilda and four grandchildren.

After Mann and his first wife divorced, his son Daniel was adopted by novelist-screenwriter Mordecai Richler (The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz).

A memorial service is pending. Donations can be made to the ASPCA.

MANN, Stanley
Born: 8/8/1928, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died: 1/11/2016, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Stanley Mann’s westerns – producer, screenwriter:
The Wrath of God – 1972 [producer]
Draw (TV) – 1984 [screenwriter]

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

RIP Ettore Scola

Ettore Scola, bachelor master of Italian cinema has died

La Republica
January 19, 2016
Ettore Scola has died in Rome. He was 84 years old. He was born in Trevico, in the province of Avellino, May 10, 1931. He was one of the greatest directors and screenwriters of Italian cinema. He made his directorial debut in 1964, the first great success came four years later with Will our heroes finds his friend who had mysteriously disappeared in Africa. His masterpieces as “Una giornata particolare” and “C'eravamo tanto amati”. His last work was in 2013, the documentary “Che strano chiamarsi Federico”, dedicated to Fellini.

Scola had moved to Rome shortly after birth with his family, in the Esquilino area, where he attended high school Pilo Albertelli. At fifteen he began to bring his satirical magazine Marcus Aurelius, which becomes collaborator while still a law student. Since the end of the Forties he worked on some radio programs, is co-author of the texts of the sketch of Alberto Sordi as Mario Pio and Count Claro. Began writing screenplays in the early 1950s, he wrote comedies, often paired with Ruggero Maccari.

Rich was his filmography, from the onset, in 1964, with Alberto Sordi, with whom he worked three more times, in the “La più bella serata della mia vita” (1972), in some episodes of the collective film “I nuovi mostri” (1977) and “Romanzo di un giovane povero” (1995). “Ma è con Il commissario Pepe” (1969) and “Dramma della gelosia - Tutti i particolari in cronaca” (1970) Scola enters the most important phase of his career. In 1974 directs “C'eravamo tanto amati” by which retraces thirty years of Italian history through the story of three friends, former partisans, the lawyer Gianni Perego (Vittorio Gassman), the porter Antonio (Nino Manfredi) and intellectual Nicola (Stefano Satta Flores), two of them in love for a lifetime with Luciana (Stefania Sandrelli).

SCOLA, Ettore
Born: 5/10/1931, Trevico, Campania, Italy
Died: 1/19/2016, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Ettore Scola’s western – screenwriter:
The Terrible Sheriff - 1962