Monday, January 21, 2019

RIP Harald Halgardt

German voice actor Harald Halgardt who took over from Alf Marholm as the voice of Count von Count on Sesamstrasse, the German co-production of Sesame Street died on January 19, 2019. He was 91. Halgardt began his dubbing career around 1999 with Elmo rettet Weihnachten (the German dub of Elmo Saves Christmas) and continued until some point after 2010 (replaced by Peter Kirchberger).

Born in Bremen on August 5, 1927, Halgardt acted in films produced by DEFA (the German film agency) beginning in the 1950s, as well as stage work. Most of his dubbing work had been done in Hamburg, often as authority figures, grandfatherly types, clergymen, and other older men. He voiced Dabbs Greer as Reverend Alden in the reruns of Little House on the Prairie, Stafford Repp as Chief O'Hara on Batman, Ken Russell on Marple, Bob Hope and other guests on The Golden Girls, and Martin Landau in The Return of the Six-Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman.

On radio, Halgardt was often heard in crime dramas, as well as children's plays (the mayor in The Magic Pudding serial) and the 2000 adaptation of Pope Joan (as Eustathius). Audio books included the Three Investigators and Famous Five series. He dubbed Chief Quigley in the Inspector Gadget cartoons and lawyer Thrawtle in the video game Escape from Monkey Island.

Born: 8/5/1927, Bremen, Bremen, Germany
Died: 1/19/2019, Bremen, Bremen, Germany

Harald Halgardt’s westerns – voice dubber:
Little House on the Prairie ? [German voice of Dabbs Greer]
Heaven’s Gate – 1980 [German voice of Joseph Cotton]
Gods and Generals – 2003 [German voice of Malachy McCourt]

Sunday, January 20, 2019

RIP Andrew G. Vajna

Hungarian-born American film producer Andy Vajna dies at 74 in Budapest


Andrew G. Vajna, the Hungarian-born American film producer known for blockbusters such as Terminator or Rambo, has died at the age of 74 in his Budapest home, the Hungarian National Film Fund (NFA) announced here in a statement on Sunday.

"At the age of 74, Andy Vajna, the dominant figure of the Hungarian and international film industry, film producer and government commissioner responsible for the development of the national film industry, died in his home in Budapest," NFA announced.

Andy Vajna was born in 1944 in Budapest. In 1956 he escaped from Hungary at the age of 12 and emigrated to Canada with the help of the Red Cross, and eventually ended up in Los Angeles. He studied at the University of California (UCLA) and began working at the University's Motion Picture Department. Later he started a photography business, then founded a company manufacturing wigs in Hong Kong where he also operated a film theatre.

Andy Vajna was one of the world's most prestigious producers. As a producer, 59 films are associated with his name, including world-renowned and acclaimed works such as the Rambo Films, Die Hard, Angel Heart, Terminator, Evita or Jacob's Ladder among others.

"Andy Vajna never forgot his Hungarian roots and always paid attention to the domestic film industry. As a powerful government commissioner, he has been working for the Hungarian film industry since 2011, and under his direction the Hungarian film has risen to the forefront of the world," the statement underlined.

After the consolidation of the film support system, he was responsible for the creation of the Hungarian National Film Fund, responsible for such great Hungarian films as The son of Saul, which earned the Oscar for best foreign film in 2016.

His mission with the film fund was to contribute to the production of Hungarian films or co-productions that provide art and entertainment for moviegoers and bring significant success both domestically and on an international level.

Under the Vajna era, Hungarian movies financed by the Hungarian National Film Fund won altogether more than 130 international awards while the number of foreign films produced in Hungary increased significantly.

Vajna had also a powerful media portfolio, of which the most important element was commercial television channel TV2.

VAJNA, Andrew G. (András György Vajna)
Born: 8/1/1944, Budapest, Hungary
Died: 1/20/2019, Budapest, Hungary

Andrew G. Vajna’s westerns – executive producer:
Extreme Prejudice – 1987
Tombstone - 1993

Saturday, January 19, 2019

RIP Daniel C. Striepeke

Dan Striepeke, Oscar-Nominated Makeup Artist on 'Forrest Gump' and 'Saving Private Ryan,' Dies at 88

The Hollywood Reporter
By: Mike Barnes
January 19, 2019

He worked on 'Spartacus,' the 'Planet of the Apes' movies, TV's 'Mission: Impossible' and with Tom Hanks on 16 films.

Dan Striepeke, who served as Tom Hanks' "cosmetic consigliere" on 16 films, including Forrest Gump and Saving Private Ryan, for which the makeup artist earned his two Oscar nominations, has died. He was 88.

Striepeke's death was reported on Facebook by Michael Key, an Emmy-winning makeup artist and founder of Make-Up Artist magazine. No details of his death were immediately available.

The former head of the makeup department at 20th Century Fox, Striepeke at the studio worked on the original Planet of the Apes movies; on other films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and the Oscar best picture winner Patton (1970); and on the CBS series Mission: Impossible, where he helped design the spy series' famous latex "peel off" masks.

In addition to the best picture winner Forrest Gump (1994) and Saving Private Ryan (1998), Striepeke fixed up Hanks in Dragnet (1987), The 'Burbs (1989), Turner & Hooch (1989), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Joe Versus the Volcano (1990), Apollo 13 (1995), That Thing You Do! (1996), The Green Mile (1999), Cast Away (2000), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Road to Perdition (2002), The Terminal (2004), The Ladykillers (2004) and The Da Vinci Code (2006).

Hanks called Striepeke "his cosmetic consigliere" in a love letter that he wrote in 2006 for The New York Times upon the makeup artist's retirement following his work on The Da Vinci Code.

"Most civilians — people who don't make movies for a living — think makeup men are little more than hovering sprites who powder noses," wrote Hanks. "But they are true artists, often unsung, who imprint films with the soft touch of their brushes and the hard work of their craft. Their creation, which will be examined on the big screen for as many years as the film holds its audience, is the most physical manifestation of an actor's interpretation of his role.

"Trust is required of both parties, in the instincts of the actor and in the skills of the makeup man. In a partnership any actor would envy, Danny protected the exterior finish of my characters so I could ponder my roles without having to explain things that can't be explained anyway."

Hanks' son, actor Colin Hanks, said on Twitter of Striepeke: "Never met a kinder man in my life."

Born on Oct. 8, 1930, and raised in Santa Rosa, California, Striepeke came to Los Angeles when he was 19 and landed a job at the fledgling TV station KTTV. After enlisting in the U.S. Air Force and serving for four years, he assisted on the famed 1956 films Around the World in 80 Days, Giant and Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments.

Striepeke in 1959 was given the reins of the makeup lab at Universal Pictures before contributing to Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus and to John Sturges' The Magnificent Seven, both released in 1960.

After being chosen by the retiring Ben Nye in late 1967 to be his successor as head of the makeup department at 20th Century Fox, Striepeke took on the daunting challenge of making the characters believable in Planet of the Apes (1968).

He "sculpted individual chin pieces that married perfectly to the face components, resulting in a fit that allowed articulated speech," James C. Udel wrote in his 2013 book The Film Crew of Hollywood. The movie's makeup designer, John Chambers, won an Academy Award, only the second given for makeup.

Striepeke left the studio to write and produce the snake movie Sssssss (1973) before returning a couple years later and then becoming a free-lancer. He entered into an exclusive relationship with Hanks in the late 1980s.

His résumé also included the TV shows Maverick and 77 Sunset Strip and other films including Follow That Dream (1962), The Sound of Music (1965), Hello, Dolly! (1969), MASH (1970), The Poseidon Adventure (1972), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977), best picture winner The Deer Hunter (1978), Grease (1978), My Favorite Year (1982), Harry and the Hendersons (1987) and Lost in Yonkers (1993).

STRIEPEKE, Daniel C. (Daniel Charles Striepeke)
Born: 10/8/1930, Sonoma, California, U.S.A.
Died: 2019

Daniel C. Striepeke’s westerns – make-up artist:
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – 1960
Invitation to a Gunfighter – 1964
Bandolero - 1968
The Undefeated – 1969
When Legends Die - 1972
Silverado - 1985

RIP Windsor Davies

Windsor Davies: It Ain't Half Hot Mum actor dies aged 88

BBC News
January 19, 2019

Actor and star of It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Windsor Davies, has died.

Davies, 88, who was best known as the sergeant major in the TV series, died on Thursday, his family said.

Born in Canning Town, London, he returned to his father's home village, Nant-y-Moel in Bridgend County, when World War Two broke out.

His daughter Jane Davies said he and her mother, who died in September, left a family "who will all remember them with love, laughter and gratitude".

The couple, who were married for 62 years, had retired to France. They had five children.

It Ain't Half Hot Mum co-star Melvyn Hayes, who played Gunner/Bombardier Gloria Beaumont, called him "one of the good guys".

Paying tribute to Davies, he said: "I considered him my best friend, even though we hadn't been in contact for many years.

"To work with him was a pleasure, a sheer delight because he was so generous in his work.

"You couldn't buy him a drink because you'd go into a public house and they'd say 'Windsor has put some money behind the counter for you'.

"He was nothing like the character he played - he was a charming, quietly-spoken, gentle human being."

Davies and It Ain't Half Hot Mum co-star Don Estelle also enjoyed a number one hit in 1975 when they recorded a version of Whispering Grass in character, a novelty hit which sold more than one million copies.

Blackadder star Sir Tony Robinson paid tribute to Davies by quoting lyrics from Whispering Grass, while Downton Abbey actor Paul Putner said he was a "gifted actor" and "one of most generous, lovely blokes you could ever wish to meet".

'Allo 'Allo and Emmerdale star Vicki Michelle shared a picture of herself with Davies and tweeted he was one of her "favourite people", and a "genuinely lovely generous man" with a "huge presence and a huge heart".

The Veterans Charity tweeted: "RIP Windsor Davies, a National Serviceman who served in Egypt and Libya with the East Surrey Regiment."

Davies also starred alongside Donald Sinden as two rival antique dealers in the long-running ITV sitcom Never The Twain.

Although overshadowed by It Ain't Half Hot Mum, it ran for more than 60 episodes.

In 1978, Davies also featured in one-off BBC drama Grand Slam, which gained cult status and was still fondly remembered years later - gaining a new lease of life with a DVD release.

Davies, who retired from acting in his 70s, was also the voice of Sergeant Major Zero in the 1980s sci-fi series Terrahawks. As well as stage appearances, he had roles in more than 20 films, including two Carry Ons.

But he will be remembered most fondly for playing Battery Sergeant Major "Shut Up" Williams in It Ain't Half Hot Mum, which ran for 56 episodes between 1974 and 1981.

DAVIES, Windsor
Born: 8/28/1930, Canning Town, London, England, U.K.
Died: 1/17/2019, France

Windsor Davies’ western – actor:
Hawkeye the Pathfinder (TV) – 1973 (Sergeant Dunham)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

RIP Robert W. Christiansen

Bob Christiansen, Emmy-Winning 'Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman' Producer, Dies at 85

The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes

He also worked on 'Queen of the Stardust Ballroom' and telefilms directed by Nicolas Roeg and Maya Angelou.

Bob Christiansen, an Emmy-winning producer on Cicely Tyson's The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman who guided other high-profile telefilms starring Bette Davis, Alan Alda, James Caan and Alfre Woodard, has died. He was 85.

Christiansen died Dec. 4 of complications from cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, family friend Joie Gould Gati told The Hollywood Reporter.

He worked in the THR sales department in the 1960s before becoming a producer.

With Rick Rosenberg at Chris/Rose Productions, Christiansen also produced telefilms that included 1972's The Glass House, based on a Truman Capote story and starring Alan Alda; 1975's Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, toplined by Maureen Stapleton and Charles Durning; 1979's Stranger: The Story of a Mother and Daughter, featuring Davis and Gena Rowlands; and 1993's Heart of Darkness, starring John Malkovich and Tim Roth and directed by Nicolas Roeg.

For 1974's The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Tyson became the first African-American to win a lead actress Emmy when she was honored for her astonishing performance as a woman who ages from 23 to 110 — from the 1850s to the civil rights era. The CBS telefilm raked in nine Emmys in all.

Christiansen and Rosenberg also received producing noms in 1978 for A Death in Canaan, starring Stefanie Powers and directed by Tony Richardson; in 1985 for Robert Kennedy and His Times, starring Brad Davis; and in 1988 for the Gore Vidal miniseries Lincoln, featuring Sam Waterston and Mary Tyler Moore.

The pair also produced 1980's Hide in Plain Sight, starring James Caan; 1986's As Summers Die, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Bette Davis and Scott Glenn; 1989's The Heist, featuring Pierce Brosnan and Tom Skerritt; 1998's Down in the Delta, starring Woodard and Wesley Snipes and directed by Maya Angelou; and 2008's Accidental Friendship, starring Chandra Wilson.

Chris/Rose projects received more than 40 Emmy noms, and their 2000 telefilm The Crossing, starring Jeff Daniels, won a Peabody Award.

Born on Oct. 24, 1933, in Porterville, California, Christiansen served with the U.S. Marines before coming to Los Angeles in the '60s. Chris/Rose's first effort was the 1970 feature Adam at 6 A.M., which starred Michael Douglas and was executive produced by Steve McQueen.

Survivors include his wife, Sandy; children Mark, Julie and Tim; daughter-in-law Barbara; and grandchildren Mason and Sadie.

CHRISTIANSEN, Robert W. (Robert W. Christiansen)
Born: 10/24/1933, Porterville, California, U.S.A.
Died: 12/4/2018, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Robert W. Christiansen’s western – producer:
Lincoln – 1988 (TV)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

RIP Bill Anagnos

William G. Anagnos

The Daily Freeman
January 17, 2019.

RED HOOK- William G. Anagnos, 60, a lifelong Red Hook resident, has performed his last stunt by rolling one into the Gates of Heaven. Bill passed on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019 after a long fought battle with cancer. Born on August 19, 1958, in Rhinebeck, N.Y., he was the son of Jeanette (Lampariello) Anagnos of Red Hook and the late William H. Anagnos. Bill is a graduate of the Red Hook Central Schools. At the age of 16, Bill toured with the “Joey Chitwood Thrill Show”, as a motorcycle stunt rider. Bill broke into the motion picture industry in 1976- doubling for John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever”. He appeared in hundreds of movies, commercials, and TV shows; doubling for and working with prominent actors and actresses, such as; Paul Newman, Patrick Swayze, Robin Williams, Robert Downey, Jr., Farah Fawcett, Angelina Jolie, and many more. Bill made his mark in the stunt world, and was known to all as the “Wheelman of the East Coast”. There was not a vehicle he could not drive, wreck or rollover. He was a card-carrying member of the Screen Actors Guild. Locally, Bill developed, owned, and operated a bulk water facility in Red Hook called Cokertown Springs. Bill was a talented mechanic and fabricator. He could build or fix just about anything. Along with his mechanical talents, all will miss his kindness, compassion, and humble demeanor. He was an amazing man, father, son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, and friend. In addition to his loving Mmother, Jeanette; his is survived by his two loving children, Nicole Kristine Anagnos, and William John Anagnos, both of Albany, N.Y.; his brother and sister-in-law, Jeffrey and Maryellen “Gidget” Anagnos and their two sons, Samuel and William D. Anagnos, all of Red Hook; along with extended family, and countless friends, and colleagues. The Anagnos family cannot thank all of Bill’s friends- and you know who you are- that stood by his side. Our gratitude is with you all! This world has lost an amazing man and he will truly be missed, but never forgotten. A longer life was the one and only stunt Bill could not accomplish…but he sure gave it his all. Friends may call at the Burnett & White Funeral Homes on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, from 3 to 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, at St. Christopher’s Church, Red Hook, N.Y. Father Patrick Buckley will officiate. Burial will be in the Anagnos family plot at St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, Red Hook. Memorial donations may be made in William’s memory to the St. Christopher’s Church, 7411 S. Broadway, Red Hook, N.Y., 12571. Arrangements are under the direction of Burnett & White Funeral Homes 7461 S. Broadway, Red Hook, N.Y. For directions, or to sign the online guest book, please visit

ANAGNOS, Bill (William G. Anagnos)
Born: 8/19/1958, Rhinebeck, New York., U.S.A.
Died: 1/15/2019, Red Hook, New York, U.S.A.

Bill Anagnos’s westerns – stunts:
The Cowboy Way – 1994