Monday, September 30, 2019

RIP Wayne Fitzgerald

Wayne Fitzgerald, Prolific Main Title Designer, Dies at 89
The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes

He worked on films including 'Pillow Talk,' 'My Fair Lady,' 'Apocalypse Now,' 'Dick Tracy' and 'Basic Instinct.'

Wayne Fitzgerald, the main title designer who set the tone and atmosphere for hundreds of films, from Auntie Mame and Pillow Talk to The Godfather: Part II and Total Recall, has died. He was 89.

Fitzgerald died Monday on South Whidbey Island in Washington after a brief illness, his wife, MaryEllen Courtney, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Fitzgerald spent some 55 years in the business, including his first 17 at Pacific Title & Art Studio, where he rose to lead its art and design department.

Fitzgerald's lengthy résumé — he has 460 listed credits on IMDb — also included collaborations with Francis Ford Coppola on The Conversation (1974), The Godfather: Part II (1974), Apocalypse Now (1979), The Outsiders (1983), The Rainmaker (1997) and The Godfather Part III (1990); with Warren Beatty on Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Heaven Can Wait (1978), Reds (1981), Dick Tracy (1990) and Love Affair (1994); and with Roman Polanski on Rosemary's Baby (1968) and Chinatown (1974).

A three-time Emmy winner, Fitzgerald also helped introduce scores of TV shows, among them MaverickThe Beverly HillbilliesMr. EdIt Takes a ThiefNight GalleryColumboMcMillan & WifeKnots LandingThe Days and Nights of Molly DoddDallas, Matlock  and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

Wrote Mitch Tuchman in a 1982 profile for Film Comment: "Master of montage, wizard of the three-minute movie, Fitzgerald doesn't create title sequences so much as trailers; briskly edited filmettes that provide a dense, but uncluttered, précis of things to come. This is power-pop art."

The website Art of the Title describes Fitzgerald's work on the Rosalind Russell-starring Auntie Mame (1958) as "a vivid and joyful piece of title design."

"First, the Warner Bros. logo on pink glass like strawberry skin. The red velvet hands, the cigarette holder, and that little cylinder, all decked in jewels, coming together to introduce a vortex of color. The kaleidoscope envelops us in a swirl of vibrant, shifting shards of painted glass as a piece from Bronislau Kaper's elegant score plays and glittering sequins and gems gather to form several of the credits."

Said Fitzgerald in an interview on the site: "I was shown the movie, and it was decided that it really needed something colorful up in the beginning — a very colorful design but sort of abstract — because Mame was a colorful character. That’s the best we could do in this sort of abstract form — just make it very colorful."

The titles on Pillow Talk (1959) open with three panels, with Doris Day on one side, Rock Hudson on the other and the credits in the middle. The actors toss pillows back and forth that wipe the text on and off the screen.

Born in Los Angeles on March 19, 1930, Fitzgerald served in submarines during the Korean War. He graduated in 1951 from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and his first show business job was at Pacific Title & Art, which did all the main titles for Warner Bros., MGM and Fox films and for some Paramount and Columbia movies as well. He eventually set up films including Silk Stockings (1957), Touch of Evil (1958), Imitation of Life (1959), The Music Man (1962) and My Fair Lady (1964).

Studio chief Jack Warner liked his titles large on the screen, which made Fitzgerald's subtle stills sequence for Bonnie and Clyde a hard sell. Beatty convinced him that he'd never be able to do his best work until he went out on his own, so he launched Wayne Fitzgerald FilmDesign Inc. in 1968.
That led to work on 9 to 5 (1980), National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), Footloose (1984), John Hughes' Sixteen Candles (1984) and The Breakfast Club (1985), Total Recall (1990), Basic Instinct (1992), Wyatt Earp (1994) and Kingpin (1996).

Fitzgerald won a Primetime Emmy in 1987 for the NBC drama The Bronx Zoo and Daytime Emmys in '88 and '92 for the soap operas The Bold and the Beautiful and The Guiding Light, respectively.
Every Fitzgerald deal was done with a handshake and he never had a written contract. He got "stiffed" for $5,000 just once, his wife said.

Survivors also include his children Mark, Eric and Courtney and grandsons Rae, Porter and Bodhi.
A member of the DGA, Fitzgerald never directed a word of dialogue but, as his wife put it, he "directed lions and tigers, no bears. Coyotes and horses, pillows, poodles and Bob's goldfish. Plus stars, magicians, dancers, wannabe dancers and stoned folk singers. From planes, trains and automobiles, helicopters and submarines. From the roof of Atlanta stadium to locked down inside Sing Sing prison."

Born: 3/19/1930, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 9/?/2019, South Whidbey Island, Washington, U.S.A.

Wayne Fitzgerald’s westerns –
The First Traveling Saleslady – 1956 [title designer]
Raintree County 1957 [title designer]
4 for Texas – 1963 [title designer]
Cat Ballou – 1965 [title designer]
A Big Hand for a Little Lady – 1966 [title designer]
Blue – 1968 [title designer]
Little Big Man – 1970 [titles]
There Was a Crooked Man.. – 1970 [title designer]
Big Jake – 1971 [main title designer]
When the Legends Die – 1972 [title designer]
Hec Ramsey (TV) – 1972-1973 [title designer]
Cahill U.S. Marshal – 1973 [main title]
Oklahoma Crude – 1973 [main title designer]
The Train Robbers - 1973
Posse – 1975 [title designer]
Missouri Breaks – 1976 [title designer]
Comes a Horseman – 1978 [titles]
The Electric Horseman – 1979 [titles]
Heaven’s Gate – 1980 [title designer]
The Mountain Men – 1980 [titles]
Silverado – 1985 [title designer]
Young Guns – 1988 [title designer]
City Slickers – 1991 [title designer]
Wyatt Earp – 1994 [title designer]
Tall Tale – 1995 [title designer]
Bullfighter – 2000 [title designer]

RIP Marta Padovan

Marta Padovan has died, the Assumption of 'Nissaga de poder'
The 81-year-old actress had participated in many TV3 series and was the voice of Roseanne

The actress Marta Padovan, known for her participation in several series of TV3, died on Sunday at age 81. One of his most memorable roles is that of Assumpció de 'Nissaga de poder', which she played between 1996 and 1998, but she has also worked on fictions such as 'De professió: API' (1988-1990) and 'Mar de fons' (2006-2007).

Padovan (whose real name was Conxita Alà and Miquel) was born in Barcelona in 1938, and at 20 years of age she made her debut in the movie, 'La muralla', by Luis Lucia. During the following years she participated in more than twenty films, such as 'Tu marido nos engaña' (1960), 'Escuela de seductoras' (1962) or 'Trampa mortal' (1963). Later she focused her career in the world of theater: on the stage he starred, in among other assemblies, 'Una niña de bosque' (1969), 'Las gatas sicilianas' (1973) and 'Pel davant i pel darrere' (1985). In the 1980's she jumped to television.

Apart from her career as an actress, Padovan also worked as a voice dubber. In this field, she has participated in dozens of films and series, but especially stands out for dubbinh Roseanne Barr in the 'Roseanne' series. She also voiced television fiction characters such as 'The Black Viper', 'Embruixada' and 'Veïns'.

PADOVAN, Marta (Conxita Alà i Miquel)
Born: 1/9/1938, Poblenou, Barcelona, Cataluna, Spain
Died: 9/29/2019, Spain

Marta Padovan’s westerns - actress
Ruthless Colt of the Gringo – 1965 (Lois Duvall)
Secret of Captain O'Hara – 1966 (Mary McQueen/Mary MacQuint)
Ned Kelly – 2004 [Spanish voice of Kris McQuade]

Sunday, September 29, 2019

RIP Beatriz Aguirre

Mexican Actress Beatriz Aguirre dies

The Chicago Tribune
September 29, 2019

Mexican actress Beatriz Aguirre passed away today September 29. She was 94 years old.
It was through the account of the National Association of Interpreters ANDI (Mexico) that notified the press of her death.
Beatriz Ofelia Aguirre Valdez was born on March 21, 1925 in Arteaga, Coahuila (Mexico). He studied dentistry, but opted for acting. His debut, according to his biography, was the film "The Nun Ensign" (1944) starring María Felix.

Aguirre made a career in film, theater, television and dubbing.

During the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, he alternated with Pedro Infante (in "On the waves :), Jorge Negrete and Pedro Armendáriz. In his filmography there are more than 50 titles, and on television, he participated in more than 40 soap operas. It was "Neither with you nor without you" in 2011.

AGUIRRE, Beatriz (Beatriz Ofelia Aguirre Valdéz)
Born: 3/21/1925. Arteaga, Coahuila, Mexico
Died: 9/29/2019, Mexico

Beatriz Aguirre’s western – actress:
El tigre de Jalisco – 1947 (Rosita)

Friday, September 27, 2019

RIP Rodrigo Obregón

Actor Rodrigo Obregón dies

CNN Espanol

By Ana Melgar

September 26, 2019

Actor Rodrigo Obregón died Wednesday in Barranquilla due to complications of prostate cancer he suffered, the Portoazul clinic said in a statement.
Although Obregón was born in France, his roots were in Colombia, where he began his career in the 80s and later arrived in Hollywood where he acted alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie "Collateral Damage."
The actor was the son of Colombian painter Alejandro Obregón and choreographer Sonia Osorio. In addition, he was an officer of the Colombian Army and then created the “Colombia Wounded” foundation, which supports the Military and Police Forces, the injured, their families and the families of fallen soldiers and police in compliance with their duty.
The secretary of Culture, Heritage and Tourism of the Mayor's Office of Barranquilla, Juan José Jaramillo, lamented the death of the actor on his Twitter account. “We have left Rodrigo Obregón, renowned actor and cultural manager, who inherited the passion for the arts of his parents, Alejandro Obregón and Sonia Osorio. My sincere condolences with his family and close friends ”and added that the news “ enluta all Colombians ”.

OBREGÓN, Rodrigo (Rodrigo Obregón Osorio)
Born:  10/28/1951, Montélimar, Rhone-Alpes, France
Died: 9/25/2019, Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia

Rodrigo Obregón’s westerns:
Django Strikes Again – 1987 (Diablo henchman)
Jonathan of the Bears – 1994 (Kaspar)
Savate – 1995 (Pancho)

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

RIP Jack Donner

R.I.P. Jack Donner of Star Trk and Mission: Impossible

He taught Craig T. Nelson and Don Johnson in his acting school, too.

September 23, 2019

On June 21, 1968, Jack Donner arrived at Desilu Stage 9 to film his scenes for a third-season episode of Star Trek. While it was his first appearance on the show, he was certainly familiar with the studio lot and some of the stars. He had done a couple of Mission: Impossible episodes on the lot. More importantly, he knew Leonard Nimoy and Walter Koenig personally.

"We knew each other prior to the beginning of Star Trek. So it was like a reunion going to the set," he told Trek Today in a 2004 interview. Donner had done some plays with Nimoy. Koenig he knew from his own theater, the Oxford, which he co-founded and co-directed with Lee Delano. Koenig and Delano were friends.  

So, when Donner slipped into costume to play the Romulan Subcommander Tal in "The Enterprise Incident," he was in familiar company. Donner appeared in just that one episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, but he does hold a rare distinction amongst Trek actors. He is one of only five actors to appear on both The Original Series and Star Trek: Enterprise. On the latter, he turned up twice as a Vulcan in "Home" and "Kir'Shana."

Donner's path between those two Trek series is quite interesting. After "The Enterprise Incident," he returned to Desilu several more times to film Mission: Impossible episodes. In fact, he holds the record for most guest appearances on that classic spy series with 11 episodes.

We mentioned his theater, the Oxford. As an acting instructor, he taught Barry Levinson, Craig T. Nelson, Barbara Perkins and Don Johnson.

In 1976, Donner became ill and was forced to sell the theater. After recuperating, he returned to school and became a licensed psychotherapist. That would explain the large gap in his IMDb credits. In the 1990s, the acting bug once again bit Donner, and he continued to take small roles on everything from Frasier to The District.

On September 21, Donner passed away, according to the Star Trek fan database Memory Alpha. He was 90 years old.

DONNER, Jack (Jake Donner)
Born: 10/29/1928, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 9/21/2019, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Jack Donner’s westerns – actor:
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1960 (Billy Crane)
Have Gun – Will Travel (TV) – 1960 (teasing man)

Monday, September 23, 2019

Jan Merlin

Jan Merlin, Actor and Emmy Winning Writer, Dies at 94

The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes
September 23, 2019

His toughest gig many have come on “The List of Adrian Messenger,” for which he received no screen credit

Jan Merlin, who played villains in dozens of films and TV shows and good guys on Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and The Rough Riders, died Friday in Los Angeles, his family announced. He was 94.

In a painful year in England and Ireland in which he served as a "movable prop" and received no screen credit, Merlin donned masks and heavy makeup to portray several characters and substitute for Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Frank Sinatra and others in John Huston's The List of Adrian Messenger (1963). He then wrote a 2001 novel, Shooting Montezuma, based on that experience.
Merlin wrote several other books, many in collaboration with William Russo, who wrote Saturday in a blog post: "Most of our Hollywood history tales were based on his insider knowledge of how a set works, from knowing nearly every star of the 1950s and 1960s. [Merlin] laughed they were all 'six feet tall,' no matter what the truth might be."

Merlin also spent about five years as a writer on the NBC soap Another World, winning a Daytime Emmy in 1975 and receiving another nomination two years later.

Born on April 3, 1925, Merlin was a torpedo man aboard U.S. Navy destroyers during World War II. He studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York and appeared in the ensemble in the original 1948 Broadway production of Mister Roberts, starring Henry Fonda.

From 1950-54, Merlin starred as Roger Manning on the kids TV program Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, based on a comic strip.

He moved to Hollywood for a role in Six Bridges to Cross (1955), starring Curtis, then appeared with Mamie Van Doren in Running Wild (1955), with Dale Robertson in A Day of Fury (1956), with Tom Tryon in Screaming Eagles (1956) and with Ann Sheridan in Woman and the Hunter (1957).
In 1958-59, Merlin portrayed Lt. Colin Kirby on The Rough Riders, an ABC series set in the aftermath of the Civil War.

His credits also included the films Guns of Diablo (1964), The Oscar (1966), The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967), Take the Money and Run (1969) and The Hindenburg (1975) and such TV shows as LaramieThe VirginianVoyage to the Bottom of the SeaMannixMission: Impossible and Little House on the Prairie.

Merlin had no problem playing the heavy, he told Boyd Magers in an interview for the Western Clippings website.

"The 'heavy' is the engine who actually runs the film … he's the reason for stirring up all the action and leads the rest of the cast on a merry chase until the end, when he generally gets his just desserts," he said.

"It's always the most interesting role in the film, and it's a challenge to find different ways to die. The 'good guy' gets top billing and the girl, but he's only reacting to whatever the 'bad guy' has done."

MERLIN, Jan (Jan Wasylewski)
Born: 4/3/1925, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 9/20/2019, Burbank, California, U.S.A.

Jan Merlin’s westerns – actor:
A Day of Fury – 1956 (Billy Brand)
Frontier (TV) – 1956 (Clay Chandler)
The Peacemaker – 1956 (Viggo Tomlin)
Broken Arrow (TV) – 1957 (Pete Hartley)
Casey Jones (TV) – 1957 (Kenny)
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (TV) 1957 (Fred Colby)
Trackdown (TV) 1957 (Cece Marple)
Zane Grey Theater (TV) – 1957 (Jeff Baatterson, Davey Harper)
Cole Younger, Gunfighter – 1958 (Frank Wittrock)
The Rough Riders (TV) – 1958-1959 (Lieutenant Colin Kirby)
Tombstone Territory (TV) 1958 (Billy Clyde)
Branded (TV) – 1959 (Jim Darcy)
Texas John Slaughter (TV) – 1959 (Robbie)
Hell Bent for Leather – 1960 (Travers)
Bat Materson (TV) – 1960 (Kid Jimmy Fresh)
The Tales of Wells Fargo (TV) – 1960, 1962 (Johnny Hogan)
Laramie (TV) – 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963 (Chris, Clint Wade, Jo Jo, Garth, Milo Gordon, Joel Greevy)
Outlaws (TV) – 1961 (Jed Evans)
The Tall Man (TV) – 1961 (Hendry Grant)
Whispering Smith (TV) – 1961 (Thad Janeck)
Bonanza (TV) – 1962 (Rance Macklin)
Gunfight at Comanche Creek – 1963 (Nielsen)
Rawhide (TV) – 1963 (Little Sam Talbot)
Guns of Diablo – 1964 (Jed Evans)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1964 (Ed Sykes)
The Travels of Jamie McPheeters (TV) – 1964 (Rance Macklin)
The Virginian (TV) – 1964 (Sam Lake, Reese)
The Legend of Jesse James (TV) – 1965 (Jesse imposter)
Cade’s County (TV) – 1972 (Rennie Lassiter)
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1974 (Jan Nordstrom)
Paradise (TV) – 1991 (Joe Miller)

RIP Sid Haig

Sid Haig, Actor in ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ and ‘Jackie Brown,’ Dies at 80

The Wrap
By Thom Geier
September 23, 2019

Sid Haig, a character actor whose credits extend from 1970s blaxploitation films to cult horror classics such as “House of 1000 Corpses,” died Saturday. He was 80.

Haig’s wife, Susan L. Oberg, announced his passing via Instagram: “He was my angel, my husband, my best friend and always will be. He adored his family, his friends and his fans.”

Haig appeared in more than 50 films, from George Lucas’ “THX 1138” to the 1971 James Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever” to Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 crime film “Jackie Brown,” playing a judge in a role written specifically for him.

But he’s best remembered for his work in low-budget films, particularly horror films like director Rob Zombie’s trilogy “House of 1000 Corpses,” “The Devil’s Rejects” and “3 From Hell.” In the series, he played Captain Spaulding, the clown-makeup-wearing patriarch of the murderous Firefly family and the proprietor of a Museum of Monsters and Mayhem.

Born Sidney Eddy Mosesian, the son of an electrician, the Fresno, California, native first broke out in entertainment as a drummer, recording the No. 4 hit single “Full House” with the T-Birds in 1958.

After appearing in Jack Hill’s UCLA student film “The Host,” he acted in many of Hill’s blaxploitation films in the late 1960s and early ’70s, including 1968’s “Spider Baby,” 1973’s “Coffy” and 1974’s “Foxy Brown.”

Other big screen credits include John Boorman’s 1967 “Point Blank,” Eddie Romero’s 1973 film “Beyond Atlantis,” 1992’s “Boris and Natasha: The Movie” and 2015’s “Bone Tomahawk.”

Over the years, he also made multiple appearances on TV in series such as “Gunsmoke,” “Get Smart,” “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “The A-Team.”

HAIG, Sid (Sidney Eddie Mosesian)
Born: 7/14/1939, Fresno, California, U.S.A.
Died: 9/21/2019, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Sid Haig’s westerns – actor:
The Host – 1960 (the fugitive)
The Firebrand – 1962 (Diego)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1966, 1969 (Eli Crawford, buffalo hunter, Cawkins, Wade Hansen)
Iron Horse (TV) – 1966, 1967 (Rias, Vega)
Laredo (TV) – 1966 (Brunning)
Daniel Boone (TV) – 1968 (Typhoon)
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1968 (thief, Farber)
Here Come the Brides (TV) – 1970 (Peter Savage)
Alias Smith and Jones (TV) – 1971 (Griffin, Merkle, outlaw)
Hitched (TV) – 1971 (Comstock)
Emperor of the North – 1973 (Grease Tail)
Bret Maverick (TV) – 1982 (The Mighty Sampson)
Wildside (TV) – 1985 (Burnett)
Bone Tomahawk – 2015 (Buddy)

Friday, September 20, 2019

RIP Thomas Warren

The New York Times
September 21, 2019

WARREN--Thomas C., died at age 70 on September 14, 2019. Born in Los Angeles, CA on February 16, 1949, Tom spent his early childhood on a family farm in Bellingham, WA. Tom's family relocated to southern California in the late 1950's. After graduating from UCLA in 1971, Tom found his way to New York City where he became a theater set designer. That work segued into a career as an art director and a draftsman for numerous feature films and television, but he always considered theater to be his true calling. Tom first met his wife Linda in the fifth grade. An encounter at their 20th year high school reunion in California led Tom and Linda to over thirty years of a joy filled marriage. After a few years in New York City, they settled in Scarsdale, New York where they raised their two daughters, Emma and Annalise. Tom was a skilled artist and draftsman, and loved his profession. He was also an avid gardener, voracious reader, dedicated ballroom dancer, physical fitness devotee, music lover, and inspired chef. Relentlessly inquisitive, he studied how things were invented, engineered, and constructed, and spent hours on his own home workshop projects. Enthusiasm for life, curiosity, a wry sense of humor, integrity, fundamental decency, and devotion to his family defined Tom. Tom is survived by his loving wife, Linda, his beloved daughters, Emma and Annalise, and his cherished siblings and their spouses - sister Katie Buchanan and her husband, Larry, sister Paula Doocy and her husband, John, sister Thelma Warren, and brother Don Warren and his wife Irene - as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that donations in Tom's name be made to the Lustgarten Foundation: fundraiser/2337113

WARREN, Thomas (Thomas C. Warren)
Born: 2/16/1949, Los Angles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 9/14/2019, Scarsdale, New York, U.S.A.

Thomas Warren’s western – set designer:
Old Gringo - 1989