Friday, August 31, 2018

RIP Susan Brown

Soap Vet Susan Brown Dead at 86
By Amy Mistretta
August 31, 2018 is saddened to report that soap opera veteran actress Susan Brown has passed away at the age of 86. General Hospital’s Kin Shriner (Scotty Baldwin) took to Twitter to express his condolences to Brown, who once played his on-screen Port Charles stepmother Dr. Gail Baldwin. The actor tweeted, “Sad to say one of my best friends and costars Susan Brown passed away today. R.I.P. Susan I will miss all our laughs.”

Brown was best known for her General Hospital role, which she played on and off from 1979 to 2004. However, she landed her first daytime part on The Edge of Night in the early 1960s as a temporary replacement in the role of Nancy Pollock Karr. From there, she went on to play Constance MacKenzie Carson on Return to Peyton Place from 1972 to 1974, Adelaide Fitzgibbon on As the World Turns in 1988 and Dorothy Lane on Santa Barbara that same year. From 1997 to 2000 her GH character crossed over to Port Charles. Outside of daytime Brown made appearances on such series as Alfred Hitchcock Presents as a secretary (1961), The Young Marrieds as Ann Reynolds (1964 to 1966), Death Valley Days as Wilhelmina Vail (1966 to 1970), Murder She Wrote as Audrey Bannister (1986), Beverly Hills 90210 as Mrs. Cooper (1991) and Frasier as Amber Edwards (1994), to name a small few. Aside from acting, she owned an interior design firm and assisted various soap stars and television friends, among the Hollywood elite, with her decorating services.
Brown, Susan
Born: 5/4/1932, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Died: 8/31/2018, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Susan Brown’s westerns – actress:
Have Gun – Will Travel (TV) – Paladin’s love interest)
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970 (Fanny Stevenson, Nancy Sooper,
     Susan Hall, Reb Stone, Wilhelmina Vail)
The Outcasts (TV) – 1969 (Ann Willard)

Thursday, August 30, 2018

RIP Gary Friedrich

Gary Friedrich, Ghost Rider Co-Creator, Dies at Age 75

By Christian Hoffer
August 30, 2018

Gary Friedrich, the co-creator of the motorcycle-riding Marvel superhero Ghost Rider, has passed away at the age of 75.

Fellow comics creator Tony Isabella posted an announcement of Friedrich's death on his Facebook page, noting that Friedrich had suffered from Parkinson's Disease for several years. Isabella noted the announcement came from Roy Thomas, who stated that "I won't go into details at this point, but I wanted to mention that one of my oldest and dearest friends Gary Friedrich, passed away last night, from the effects of Parkison's, which he had had for several years. That and his near-total hearing loss had left him feeling isolated in recent years, and his wife Jean seems content that he is finally at peace."

Friedrich's earliest comics work was with Charlton Comics writing romance comics. He eventually transitioned into Westerns and superhero work, including writing dialogue for the early issues of Steve Ditko's Blue Beetle stories (which featured the newly created Ted Kord character).

Friedrich eventually transitioned to working for Marvel on Westerns series with Roy Thomas, and he co-created characters such as the Phantom Rider (originally named Ghost Rider). His breakout work on Marvel was on Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos, which explored nuanced themes of war as America experienced the beginning of the Vietnam War. Friedrich also worked on Silver Age Marvel superhero books, where he famously co-created Ghost Rider for the company.

Friedrich eventually left comics in the late 1970s, although he made occasional returns to the medium. In 1993, Friedrich scripted the first issue of the Jack Kirby created Bombast series, teaming up with Thomas and other co-creators on his Sgt. Fury run.

In his later years, Friedrich sued Marvel and Sony over ownership of the Ghost Rider character. Marvel initially won the lawsuit and settled with Friedrich after countersuing him, which prevented Friedrich from selling self-made Ghost Rider merchandise at conventions. However, an appeals court overturned Marvel's win and sent the case back to trial, where the parties eventually reached an amicable settlement.

Friedrich's comic career was honored with an Inkpot Award back in 2007.

Born: 8/21/1943, Jackson, Missouri, U.S.A.
Died: 8/29/2018, Jefferson County, Missouri, U.S.A.
Gary Friedrich’s comic book westerns:
Ghost Rider – 1967, 1973-1974
Kid Colt – 1967-1975
Rawhide Kid – 1967-1972
Two-Gun Kid – 1967-1968
Western Gunfighters – 1970-1972
Butch Cassidy – 1971
Gunhawks – 1972-1973
Red Wolf – 1972-1973

RIP Carl J. Walker

The Times-Picayune
September 5, 2018

Carl James Walker, a widely respected and award-winning New Orleans director, producer, actor, writer and teacher who played a leading role in New Orleans theater for more than 35 years, died unexpectedly July 8 at the home of his friend Jon Newlin, for whom he had provided care for many years. Carl was 61. A native of Lafayette and a longtime resident of New Orleans, he was predeceased by his parents, M.H. and Geneva Anderson Walker of Lafayette, and his sister, Lucretia Walker Behman of Saratoga, Calif.

 He is survived by the extraordinary plays and musicals he created and by the legacy of a remarkable run that included the direction of some 60 plays, many of them award-winning works seen here for the first time. Because his shows were staged at theaters all over town, "If you went out to theater in the 1980s, 1990s or 2000s in New Orleans, you probably knew Carl Walker personally; if not, you definitely knew his work," said Gambit editor Kevin Allman, who called Carl's best work "as good as anything you might see on or Off-Broadway." Known for his sharp wit, high energy, formidable knowledge of the theater and exhaustive attention to the slightest detail of a production, Carl began to make his mark here in the late '70s, after attending the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana-Lafayette) and founding with Michael Baham, Bart Bernard and Suzanne Stouse the New Orleans production group BLT, whose early shows included "Bad Habits," "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" and "Loot."

 After graduating in theater from Boston University and studying directing at Harvard, Carl returned to New Orleans, staging BLT's hit "Talking with..." in 1983 at the Contemporary Arts Center, where he later served for several years as theater coordinator. Other CAC shows included his long-running hit musical "Where the Girls Were" and the regional premieres of "Cloud 9," "A . . . My Name Is Alice," "Translations" and "Greater Tuna."

 In 1988, he founded what would become his most fruitful theatrical alliance, the producing group All Kinds of Theatre, dedicated to "producing important contemporary plays and musicals and the development of new works by New Orleans writers." As artistic director, he helmed more than 25 AKT productions, and true to his company's name, the works covered a broad swath, fabulous parodies to offbeat little musicals to drama most high (think the long-running "Psycho Beach Party" to "Ruthless! The Musical" to "Doubt: A Parable"). Carl also directed the original show "Native Tongues," a series of New Orleans-centric monologues by writers well-known here and nationally and performed by some of the city's best actors. A box-office and critical hit (as were virtually all of Carl's plays), the show began at the old True Brew Theatre and spawned four new editions that played other local stages for years. But that was just a fraction of Carl's output. There were AKT's regional premieres of the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning plays "I Am My Own Wife," and "Doubt, A Parable" (a production former Times-Picayune theater writer David Cuthbert told WWL was "superior in almost every respect to the Broadway staging"), and the Pulitzer-winning "Three Tall Women." All of them and Carl's staging of the Tony-winning musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" won Big Easy Entertainment Awards, as did the majority of his other plays; an armful of Big Easys went to Carl as a writer and director, and he also received Storer Boone, Ambie and Jay Stanley awards. There were other AKT hits: "Forever Plaid," "Pageant," "Dirty Blonde," "The Mystery of Irma Vep," "Prelude to a Kiss," "Driving Miss Daisy," Carl's original musical "The Class of '70something" and "The Last Madam," a play about Quarter madam Norma Wallace based on the biography by Christine Wiltz and co-written with playwright Jim Fitzmorris.

 Carl also created the musicals "A Cocktail Party in the Ladies Lounge" and "My O My," the latter a salute to the late, great drag showbar at the lakefront, for the erstwhile Le Chat Noir, which staged AKT shows including "Fully Committed" as well as "Native Tongues" and "Love Letters"; the latter play debuted at True Brew in 1995 and has played various venues ever since. For the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, Carl directed the rollicking "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)." For the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, his plays ran a gamut from the hoot "The Glass Mendacity" to "Suddenly Last Summer," the latter performed at the Bultman House, where Tennessee Williams wrote the play. For Le Petit Theatre, Carl directed shows including a hit run of "Steel Magnolias," "The Women," "Master Class" and "Golda's Balcony."

 As an actor, he appeared on local stages including Le Petit and Tulane Center Stage and had a memorable, hilarious recurring role on the late HBO series "Treme." Carl was known throughout the theater community as an "actor's director" and indeed "I have never run into an actor who didn't want to work with Carl Walker," Le Chat Noir owner and friend Barbara Motley told The Times-Picayune. To actor and friend Sean Patterson, whom Carl directed in the 39-role, one-man "Fully Committed," it was simple: "You could always trust him to guide you where you needed to go, but he wouldn't feed it to you. He wanted you to find it."

 Veteran actress Carol Sutton, another longtime friend, said that although he hadn't directed her in several years, "I still talked to him about productions that I was involved in. He's a brilliant director who I totally respected and depended on." To his "Doubt" actress and friend Andrea Frankel, "Carl was hyper-empathetic -- a highly sensitive soul. As an actor, this can be tortuous at times, but as a director, what a gift." Especially well-known for his work with actresses, Carl directed a plethora of all-female shows. "Before I really knew Carl well," said Newlin, a "Native Tongues" writer, "we joked that he was the George Cukor of New Orleans because of his penchant for plays about, and often entirely cast with, women, as well as an almost supernatural skill in directing actresses." Although he was "never happier than when preparing a play," said Newlin, Carl also loved being a teacher, and he concentrated in recent years on his popular acting classes at Tulane University, where he had served as an adjunct instructor and director for many years. Because of his great ability to connect with students, according to Tulane theater and dance department chairman and friend Martin Sachs, many continued to stay in touch with him long after they had left the university. Sachs pointed to years of rave reviews from students in department surveys, several respondents calling Carl the best teacher they'd had at Tulane.

 At Carl's invitation, New Orleans' Tony-winning actress and playwright Mary Louise Wilson came to the university to teach a series of master classes, and during that time he staged an evening of her "Short Takes" (now "Theatrical Haiku"). Her review: "He knew from the first day of rehearsals what he wanted from his cast, and I saw the proof of his direction in the excellence of the performances . . . He was smart, sophisticated and funny and he could have held his own directing on and Off-Broadway."

 In addition to his work at Tulane, Carl also taught and directed at the University of New Orleans, Loyola University and the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. Valued by collaborators as highly as actors, his work prompted novelist Sheila Bosworth Lemann, a close friend who contributed pieces to "Native Tongues," to tell Gambit that "more thrilling than seeing a book bound with your name on it" was seeing her words brought to life in the first "Tongues." As an AKT producer, Jacquee Carvin said, "I realized I was fortunate enough to have been invited in 1995 by Carl, along with co-producer Carol Stone, to be a part of something special, to work with someone special."

 Speaking as a fellow director, longtime friend Vernel Bagneris, best known for creating the award-winning musical "One Mo' Time," said that like other "actor's directors," Carl "always guided actors gently towards their personal interpretations rather than forcing them into his preconceived notion of the character." Among many posts on Facebook came this from fellow producers: "The NOLA Project dims its lights today in honor of the loss of Carl Walker, one of the true giants of New Orleans theatre. So many great memories at the theatre were created by this incredibly talented and dedicated director.

 We will miss you, sir." Jon Newlin said of Carl, ". . . there was only one, and then to use an old but apt cliché, they broke the damn mold." Carl is survived by his niece Marejka Sacks of Campbell, Calif., and her daughter Carly Rogers. A celebration of his life will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 9, in Tulane's Lupin Theater. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Louisiana SPCA ( are suggested.

WALKER, Carl J. (Carl James Walker)
Born: 1957, Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.A.
Died: 7/8/2018, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.

Carl J. Walker’s western – actor:
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer – 2012 (Vampire bartender)

RIP Paixão Côrtes

Passion Paixão discovered the Gaucho Model

Paixão Côrtes died today. Known as the man who discovered the true gaucho. Full name João Carlos D'Ávila Paixão Côrtes , born on July 12, 1927, Santana do Livramento, completing 91 years is defined as a folklorist, composer, broadcaster and researcher of the traditions and culture of Rio Grande do Sul, but his background is in Agriculture, August 27, 2018.

CORTES, Paixão (João Carlos D'Ávila Paixão Côrtes)
Born: 7/12/1927, Santana do Livramento, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Died: 8/27/2018, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Paixão Côrtes’ western – actor:
Paixão de Gaucho – 1957
Um Certo Capitão Rodrigo - 1971 (Pedro Terra)

RIP Michael Pickwoad

Michael Pickwoad 1945 - 2018

Doctor Who Companion
By Andrew Reynolds
August 29, 2018

The DWC are sad to report that Production Designer Michael Pickwoad, the visionary behind the look of Doctor Who for the last seven years, has passed away aged 73.

BAFTA nominee Pickwoad oversaw the look of the series from Matt Smith’s festive special A Christmas Carol until the end of the Peter Capaldi era in Twice Upon a Time. Perhaps his finest contribution was the recent TARDIS redesign originally debuted in 2012 episode The Snowmen and then later tweaked for Capaldi’s episodes.

Tributes from across the whole of the Doctor Who universe have been pouring in. Former showrunner Steven Moffat released this heartfelt statement:

“The only downside of great men, is that they make terrible losses, and we’ve lost Michael far too soon. He was a genius and a gentleman and we will all miss him.

“Looking back on all those mad, happy years, I think he was right to wear that tweed jacket and bow tie. More than that, he was entitled. If Doctor Who had been a designer, instead of a rebel Time Lord, she’d have been Michael Pickwoad.”

New showrunner Chris Chibnall said:
“Everyone at Doctor Who is incredibly saddened to learn that Michael Pickwoad has died. His contribution to the show during Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi’s era was immense and varied, conjuring up distant galaxies and historical eras – as well as an iconic TARDIS interior – with equal brilliance. He was a beloved member of the Doctor Who team and we send our sympathy and love to his family.”

Others took to Twitter to share their memories of working with or sharing some time with Pickwoad.
Born in 1945, Pickwoad was the son of actor William Mervyn – who appeared in the 1966 Doctor Who story The War Machines and the theatre designer Anne Margaret Payne Cooke.

He began his career in the 1970’s as an Art Director before going on to be a Production Designer in the ‘80s – one of his earliest film projects was 1987’s cult classic Withnail & I, starring Paul McGann.

Further projects included The Krays, Let Him Have It starring Christopher Eccleston, episodes of Kavanagh QC, Poirot and Marple, the 2009 remake of The Prisoner and Russell T Davies’ 2016 screen version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

In 2010 Pickwoad became only the second person to become the second person to helm Doctor Who‘s art department since the series returned in 2005, replacing Edward Thomas.
In 2016, he also worked on the Doctor Who spin-off Class.

Michael Pickwoad passed away on Monday 27th August. The DWC sends it’s deepest condolences to his family and friends.  

Born: 7/11/1945,Windsor, Berkshire, England, U.K.
Died: 8/27/2018, London, England, U.K.

Michael Pickwoad’s western – production designer:
Doctor Who: A Town Called Mercy (TV) – 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

RIP Silvano ‘Nano’ Campeggi

Iconic Hollywood poster designer Campeggi dies

Did Gone With The Wind, Casablanca, Singing In The Rain

Gazzetta del Sud

Florence, August 29 - Hollywood poster designer and painter Silvano Campeggi, one of the most important graphic artists in the history of American cinema, has died at the age of 95, his family said Wednesday. Campeggi designed the posters for Gone With The Wind, Casablanca, Singing In The Rain, An American In Paris, West Side Story, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and Breakfast At Tiffany's among others. Nicknamed "Nano", Campeggi's iconic images are associated with the golden era of Hollywood. His first career breakthrough came with a World War II commission from the American Red Cross to paint the portraits of American soldiers before they returned home, according to his Wikipedia entry. This deepened his understanding of American music, film and culture. After the war he moved to Rome, where he was approached by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for whom he produced the poster for Gone with the Wind, with Clark Gable holding Vivien Leigh in passionate embrace while Atlanta burned in the background. In the following decades, Campeggi designed and produced the poster and advertising graphics for over 3000 films, working not only under contract with the MGM studios, but also with Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal, Columbia Pictures, United Artists, RKO, Twentieth-Century Fox and several others. Sixty-four of the films he illustrated won Oscars, including Casablanca, Ben-Hur, Singin' in the Rain, An American in Paris, West Side Story, Exodus, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Gigi. Many of his images of Hollywood actresses are instantly recognizable: Liza Minnelli in derby hat and black stockings, Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall in beret and cape, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Sophia Loren. Equally, he portrayed the male stars: Marlon Brando astride his motorcycle as "The Wild One", a bare-chested James Dean, John Wayne in neckerchief and cowboy hat, Humphrey Bogart in his white dinner jacket. Many of Campeggi's subjects became close personal friends. Ava Gardner asked him to accompany her down the red carpet at one of her movie premieres. His wife recounted a story of Elizabeth Taylor lending her maternity clothes after having just given birth herself. He described Marilyn Monroe, whom he first painted in the early 1950s, as "my icon and surely the most enchanting woman I have ever met." In the 1970s when film poster illustration lost impact in the face of television and newspaper advertising, Campeggi returned to Florence. There he painted a series of 50 images depicting Siena's Palio horse race (2001). Another series of 50 images "I Have Seen the Rush of Jousts" (2003) was commissioned by the city of Arezzo to celebrate the Jousting Tournaments of Saracen, the title taken from Dante's Inferno. Other important commissions have included the painting of five large battle scenes from the Italian Risorgimento on behalf of the Carabinieri police force (early 1970s); a portrait of the Italian Resistance hero Salvo D'Acquisto which appeared as an Italian postage stamp (1975); a series of 35 images for the City of Florence depicting their traditional "Calcio Storico" soccer match (1997); and the creation of one of the Stations of the Cross for the rededication of the city of Assisi (2004). His best known work in Italy may be the Portrait of Garibaldi. In 2008, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Giacomo Puccini, Campeggi was commissioned to produce a special tribute: "The Girls of Puccini". Also in 2008 he began work on a Napoleon series to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Emperor's association with the island of Elba. The "Napoleon at Elba" exhibition opened in September 2008 at Portoferraio. The most recent Campeggi exhibition commemorates one of the largest armed conflicts ever to take place in Italy - The Battle of Campaldino fought between the cities of Florence and Arezzo on June 11, 1289. It is a spectacular assembly of large and dramatic battle scenes combined with more intimate portraits of the knights and noblemen who led the cavalry and infantry - all liberally splashed with "I Colori Della Battaglia".

Born: 1/23/1923, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Died: 8/28/2018, Florence, Tuscany, Italy

Silvano Campegni’s westerns – poster artist:
Viva Villa! - 1934
Ride Vaquero! – 1953
The Left Handed Gun – 1958

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

RIP Murray Westgate

Murray Westgate, HNIC's iconic Esso pitchman, dies at 100

Toronto Sun
By Lance Hornby
August 27, 2018

Murray Westgate, familiar to an early generation of TV viewers as Esso’s ‘Happy Motoring’ pitchman on Hockey Night In Canada, has died.

Westgate celebrated his 100th birthday in April at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. Well into his 90s, he was receiving visits from friends in the broadcast world and NHL alumni.

Regina-born, Westgate was a radio operator in the Canadian Navy during dangerous convoy duty in the Second World War. After the war, he moved to Vancouver to work in local theatre.

For his role in Blue City Slammers, he earned a Genie nomination as Best Supporting Actor in 1988. He earlier won an ACTRA Award in 1979 for the CBC-TV film Tyler and once portrayed the prime minister in Two Solitudes. He was also in the more recent series Seeing Things.

He began appearing in Esso commercials in 1952, when the oil and gas company was the main commercial sponsor of HNIC, and kept his signature service station hat, bow tie and warm smile on air until 1968.

In the 1991 NHL playoffs, he was invited back to appear in Esso spots, in both a black-and-white clip from an original ad and an updated version. Westgate was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2002.

Born: 4/16/2018, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died: 8/27/2018, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Murray Westgate’s westerns – actor:
Adventures in Rainbow Country (TV) – 1969 (Joe Bourke)
Tom Sawyer (TV) – 1973 (coroner)
Silence of the North – 1981 (doctor)