Tuesday, October 22, 2019

RIP Jame Schmerer

James Schmerer, Writer on 'MacGyver,' 'CHiPs' and 'The High Chaparral,' Dies at 81

The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes

He started his career with documentary producer David Wolper.

James Schmerer, a TV writer and producer with credits including MacGyver, CHiPs, The High Chaparral and Mannix, died Oct. 4 of stroke complications at his home in Eugene, Oregon, the WGA West announced. He was 81.

Schmerer produced 43 episodes of The High Chaparral, an NBC Western that starred Leif Erickson and Cameron Mitchell and aired from 1967-71, and wrote a couple as well.

The Queens native penned nine installments of CHiPs, six of MacGyver and three of Vegas and wrote for Medical Center, Mod Squad, Star Trek: The Animated Series, The Streets of San Francisco, The Rookies, Fantasy Island, The Six Million Dollar Man and Starsky and Hutch, among other series.

In the early 1960s, Schmerer worked as an editor on the syndicated Biography and as a producer on the NBC documentary series Hollywood and the Stars, both from iconic TV producer David Wolper.

Survivors include his daughter, Pamela, and her husband, Damon. A celebration of life is set for 3 p.m. on Nov. 2 in Eugene (contact pschmerer@gmail.com for more information). Donations in his name may be made to the Oregon Humane Society.

Born: 6/14/1938, Flushing, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 10/4/2019, Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.

James Schmerer’s westerns – producer, writer, story consultant:
Daniel Boone (TV) – 1968 [producer, story consultant]
The High Chaparral (TV) – 1969 [producer, writer]

RIP Charles Francisco

Charles J. Francisco

New Times
October 23, 2019

Charles J. Francisco, 92, of Richmond, Va., formerly of Bethel, died at his home after a short illness on October 19, 2019. Mr. Francisco was born in East St. Louis, Ill. on October 23, 1926, to the late Leroy and Nellie Mae (Williams) Francisco. He is survived by his daughter, Norma (Jeffrey) Wine of Maplewood, N.J.; his son, Rory (Kristin) Francisco of Richmond, Va.; four grandsons, Dylan Wine of Hackensack, N.J., Riley Wine of Denton, Tex., Charles T. Francisco of Richmond, Va., and Gilbert Francisco of Richmond, Va; his brother, Rev. Robert (Euna) Francisco of Mattoon, Ill., his former wife of 26 years, Suzanne McDonald of Dublin, Ga; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, William Leroy Francisco of Urbana, Ill.; and sisters, Norma Campbell of New Jersey and Dorothy Francisco of Urbana, Ill. Mr. Francisco was an alumnus of the University of Illinois and a U.S. Army veteran. He received a Bronze Star for his service in the Korean War. Mr. Francisco was also an accomplished stage, film, and television actor from 1944 through 1967, performing in numerous plays with the Illini Theatre Guild in Champaign-Urbana, summer theatres throughout the U.S.A., and in over a dozen television shows including Gunsmoke and Death Valley Days. He later moved to New York City and worked as News Director and radio host for WPAT-FM, followed by a career as a published author in the 1980s and 1990s. Mr. Francisco also had a great affinity for Ireland and his Irish heritage, traveling to Ireland over 25 times from 1969 to 2018 to visit his many dear friends there. Funeral services and burial will be held on his 93rd birthday, October 23, 2019 at the Virginia Veterans' Cemetery in Amelia, Va. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Mr. Francisco's memory to the National Military Family Association, 2800 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 250, Alexandria, VA 22314.

FRANCISCO, Charles (Charles J. Francisco)
Born: 10/23/1927, East St. Louis, Illinois, U.S.A.
Died: 10/19/2019, Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A.

Charles Francisco’s westerns – actor:
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1965 (Strigger, John Druber)
The Loner (TV) – 1965 (Paine)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1966 (Kale)

RIP John Clarke

John Clarke Dies: ‘Days Of Our Lives’ Actor & Lifetime Achievement Emmy Recipient Was 88

Yahoo Entertainment
By Anita Bennett
October 21, 2019

John “Jack” Shelton Clarke, who won over fans with his portrayal of “Mickey Horton” on Days of Our Lives, has died. He was 88.

Clarke passed away from complications of pneumonia on October 16, in Laguna Beach, a representative for the actor told Deadline Monday. Clarke previously suffered a stroke in 2007 and had been in declining health in the last few years.

The veteran actor worked in film, television and theater, but was most recognized by soap opera fans after 39 years on NBC’s long-running daytime series Days of Our Lives.

In addition to his stint in daytime TV, and two years co-starring with Leslie Nielsen on The New Breed for ABC, Clarke co-starred or had guest roles on such early TV series as Gun Smoke; Have Gun Will Travel; The FBI; Sugarfoot; Death Valley Days; Twilight Zone; Maverick; Wanted Dead or Alive; The Law and Mrs. Jones; and many others.

His motion picture credits included Judgement at Nuremburg; It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World; The Satan Bug; Man Missing; and Burma Patrol

In the theater, Clarke performed as resident leading man in more than 75 plays at the Tenthouse Theater in Chicago. He was resident leading man at the Palm Springs Playhouse for one season, then switched to musical theater, and played various leading roles at the Sacramento Music Circus.

Born in South Bend, Indiana, Clarke attended school wherever his father, an Army officer, was stationed. Rarely remaining at one school for more than a year, a young Clarke finally settled a bit when he attended Staunton Military Academy in Staunton, Virginia. Then came some years at Claremont High School in Claremont, California, his mother’s hometown.

After graduation from the American High School in Tokyo, Japan, he returned to Claremont and attended UCLA where he received his BA in Theater and completed work for his MA in television.

During the Korean War, John served in the Air Force where he kept up his interest in show business as a member of the Air Force Varsitones — a touring troop entertaining military personnel throughout the U.S.

Among the accolades for his TV work, Clarke received an Emmy nomination for Best Daytime Actor, picked up Afternoon TV’s Best Single Performance Award, and in May of 2004 — just after retiring from acting and Days of Our Lives — was awarded an Emmy for Lifetime Achievement.

Above all, family life was most important to Clarke and his wife Patty, those close to him said. The couple raised three children, Joshua, Heidi and Melinda. Joshua works in the Bioscience industry and Melinda followed in her father’s footsteps to pursue a career in Hollywood, including a roles on The O.C., Gotham and The Vampire Diaries. Heidi passed in 1994 from a heart tumor.

Clarke is survived by Patty, Joshua and Melinda, and grandchildren Catherine Grace, Natasha and Jacob.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Heidi Clarke Scholarship Fund at California Institute of the Arts.

CLARKE, John (John Shelton Clarke)
Born: 4/14/1931, South Bend, Indiana, U.S.A.
Died: 10/16/2019, Laguna Beach, California, U.S.A.

John Clarke’s westerns – actor:
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1959, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968 (Will Skidmore, Mark
     Kellogg, Harlow, Virgil Earp, Bill Crawford, Maurice Dory, Fred Gilmer, Reverend Peter
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1959, 1963 (Tom, Mackle, young man)
Lawman (TV) – 1959, 1960 (cowboy, Chaw, Len Eaton)
Guestward Ho! (TV) – 1960 (Mr. Bennet)
Law of the Plainsman (TV) – 1960 (Deputy Billy Lordan)
Zane Grey Theater (TV) – 1960 (Frank Powers)
Gun Street – 1961 (Deputy Sheriff Sam Freed
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (TV) – 1993 (Joseph Quinn)

Friday, October 18, 2019

RIP Igo Kantor

Los Angeles Times
October 18, 2019

August 18, 1930 - October 15, 2019 Igo Kantor, born in Vienna, Austria, 1930, raised Lisbon, Portugal, through 1947, first sailed to the US to study at UCLA in 1948. Igo became a U.S. citizen in 1952. He received his bachelor's in International Relations and master's from UCLA. One of Igo's first Hollywood jobs was as an assistant film editor at Columbia Studios. He worked on the film All the King's Men with editor Al Clark, a lunchtime drinker who some days would not return to work. Igo found himself editing large parts of the film himself including the famous railroad speech. In 1954, Igo became head of the Television Music Dept. of Columbia Studios and its subsidiary Screen Gems. The well-known 1950s television series for which Igo did either music direction or music supervision include Playhouse 90, Father Know Best, The Donna Reed Show, and Ford Theatre. In the mid-'60s, Igo opened a post-production house called Synchrofilm. He wrote the musical theme for two Tarzan films and became post-production supervisor on The Monkees TV series. He also headed post-production on the Jack Nicholson films Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces. In the late '60s, Igo received Emmy nominations three years in a row for his work on The Bob Hope Christmas Special. In the '70s, Igo became an independent film producer. For the next four decades, he made low-budget thrillers and horror films. These films include Kingdom of the Spiders with William Shatner, Hardly Working with Jerry Lewis and Act of Piracy with Gary Busey. In 1992, Igo won a Western Heritage Award for his TV documentary Legends of the West with Jack Palance. Igo spoke seven languages and worked film productions throughout the world. He was a dedicated sports fan committed to his beloved Dodgers, Lakers and Rams. His proudest achievement was marrying and starting a family. He is survived by his wife Enid, his son Loren and daughter-in-law Gabrielle, his son Mark and daughter-in-law Lijian, his daughter Lisa and daughter-in-law Renee and his two grandsons Anthony and Andre.

Born: 8/18/1930, Vienna, Austria
Died: 10/15/2019, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Igo Kantor’s westerns – music editor, coordinator, supervisor, execurive producer:
Gunsmoke in Tucson – 1958 [music coordinator]
Tate (TV) – 1960 [music editor]
Empire (TV) – 1962-1964 [music editor]
Ride in the Whirlwind – 1966 [music editor]
The Shooting – 1966 [music editor]
Hang ‘Em High – 1968[music coordinator]
Viva Max! – 1969 [music supervisor]
The McMasters - 1970 [music upervisor]
Legends of the West – 1992 [executive producer]

Thursday, October 17, 2019

RIP Maurício Sherman

Television director Actor, producer and director Maurício Sherman dies at 88

By Estadão Conteúdo
October 17, 2019

Actor, producer and director Maurício Sherman died on the morning of Thursday, October 17, at the age of 88. Globo network confirmed the news on the official profile of the network on Facebook.

He also had important works in theater, with plays such as A Pequena Notável (1972) e Evita (1983).

Born: 1/31/1931, Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Died: 10/17/2019 Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Maurício Sherman’s western – director:
Jerônimo, o Herói do Sertão (TV) - 1972

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

RIP Julie Gibson

Julie Gibson, Singer in 'The Feminine Touch' and 'Hail the Conquering Hero,' Dies at 106

The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes

She worked with Preston Sturges, Orson Welles, John Huston, Ida Lupino and The Three Stooges. Julie Gibson, a singer, actress, studio rep and dialogue coach who collaborated with Preston Sturges, Orson Welles, Ida Lupino, John Huston, Edgar Bergen and The Bowery Boys during a fascinating career, has died. She was 106.

Gibson died in her sleep Oct. 2 in North Hollywood, her cousin, James Rogers, told The Hollywood Reporter.

A onetime contract player and "Sweater Girl" at Paramount, the petite Gibson had small roles in such notable films as Bing Crosby's Going My Way (1944) and Judy Garland's The Clock (1945). She sang in a nightclub scene at the start of The Feminine Touch (1941), and Sturges picked her to perform the opening number in Hail the Conquering Hero (1944), where she wore a gown designed for her by Edith Head.

Later, she ran an acting studio with Agnes Moorehead, and two of their students were Sidney Poitier and Maya Angelou, her cousin said.

Born Gladys Camille Sorey on Sept. 9, 1913, in Lewiston, Idaho, she began her career as a singer and dancer in vaudeville.

In Salt Lake City, she won a nationwide radio contest hosted by bandleader Eddy Duchin that landed her a two-week engagement at the famed Coconut Grove nightclub in Los Angeles. (It was Duchin that suggested she change her name to something more "all American.") She was then hired by Jimmie Grier, leader of the house band at the Biltmore in downtown L.A.

She married Grier and sang with his orchestra for the next four years, performing six nights a week, four shows a night, two of which were broadcast live nationwide on Friday and Saturday evenings. The band also released multiple records on Decca featuring her as lead singer.

Later, she sang on The Joe Penner Show on nationwide radio broadcasts on Sunday afternoons, performed at the 10th Academy Awards held in 1938 inside the Biltmore ballroom and led her own live weekly CBS radio program on Saturday nights.

She signed a seven-year contract with Paramount, which loaned her out for MGM's The Feminine Touch, starring Rosalind Russell, and for RKO's Here We Go Again (1942), starring Bergen. She then toured with the ventriloquist, singing and appearing in sketches with the puppets Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd.

In 1942, she appeared in a couple of Three Stooges shorts and in 1947 sang in The Bowery Boys movie Bowery Buckaroos.

Dissatisfied with the roles she was getting, Gibson broke her contract with Paramount and departed for Paris, where she replaced Faye Emerson in a filmed weekly series, Paris Cavalcade of Fashions, for U.S. movie chains.

In the French capital, Gibson became a press representative for Fox and was assigned to the Huston films Moulin Rouge (1952) and Beat the Devil (1953). For the latter, she and Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley, Peter Lorre and Truman Capote were on location for the tumultuous shoot in Ravello, Italy.

Along the way, Welles cast her as Helen of Troy in a filmed scene for his theatrical stage production The Unthinking Lobster.

Gibson returned to L.A., and Paramount, after accepting her back, named her "Sweater Girl of 1954" and loaned her out for a Columbia mystery/detective serial featuring kid crime-fighter Chick Carter.
In the '60s, Gibson served as dialect adviser on Martin Ritt's The Outrage (1964), starring Paul Newman, and she met up with Russell again when she worked as the dialogue coach on Lupino's The Trouble With Angels (1966).

In 1969, she joined the Brian Keith CBS series Family Affair as dialogue coach and stayed with that series until its 1971 conclusion.

After divorcing Grier years earlier, she married Charles Barton, who directed more than 100 episodes of Family Affair. He died in 1981.

Though bedridden the last three years of her life, Gibson "kept on singing until a month before she passed," her cousin said. Survivors also include her niece, Juno.

GIBSON, Julie (Gladys Camille Sorey)
Born: 9/9/1913, Lewiston, Idaho U.S.A.
Died: 10/2/2019, North Hollywood, California, U.S.A.

Julie Gibson’s westerns – dialogue advisor, actress:
Lucky Cowboy – 1944 (Kate)
Bowery Buckaroos – 1947 (Katherine Briggs)
Badmen of Tombstone – 1949 (Dolly Lane)
The Outrage – 1964 [dialect advisor]

Monday, October 14, 2019

RIP John W. Corso

John W. Corso

The Huntington County TAB
October 14, 2019

John William Corso, 89, of Wabash, IN, died Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, at 5:15 pm, at Parkview Huntington Hospital.

Mr. Corso was a 1948 graduate of Wabash High School. He attended Indiana University in Bloomington, and then went on to receive a bachelor's in theater arts from UCLA in Los Angeles, California. He was a United States Army veteran, serving during the Korean Conflict, and was part of military Intelligence at Fort Bragg, NC.

He was a production designer in Hollywood for many years, working on several Alfred Hitchcock movies among others. He also worked as art director on television shows Ironside and Columbo. He was nominated for an Academy Award as production designer on “The Coal Miner's Daughter,” and won an Emmy for his work in the television series, “Tales of the Gold Monkey.”

Mr. Corso was a member of St. Bernard Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus in Wabash, Motion Picture Art Directors Union and the Model A Club. He was a volunteer at the Wabash County Museum, where he helped design the train set layout. He also constructed sets for Wabash Area Community Theater and received the key to the City of Wabash.

He was born Dec. 4, 1929, in Wabash, to William and Angeline D. Catanzaro Corso.

Survivors include a brother, Anthony "AJ" Joseph Corso, of Wabash, and a sister, Darlene Schnabel, of Furlong, PA.

Calling is Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, from 4 p.m to 8 p.m. at Grandstaff-Hentgen Funeral Service, 1241 Manchester Ave., Wabash. A funeral service will be held Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, at 10 a.m. at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 188 W. Sinclair, Wabash. Burial will be in Falls Cemetery, Wabash.

Memorials are to F.I.S.H.

The memorial guest book may be signed at www.grandstaff-hentgen.com.

CORSO, John W. (John William Corso)
Born: 12/4/1929, Wabash, Indiana, U.S.A.
Died: 10/9/2019, Huntington, Indiana, U.S.A

John W. Corso’s westerns – assistant art director, art director, cinematographer:
The Beguiled – 1971 [assistant art director]
Sequoyah: The Great Teacher of the Cherokee Nation – 1974 [cinematographer]
Centennial (TV) - 1978, 1979 [art director]

Sunday, October 13, 2019

RIP Ivy Bethune

A Celebration of Life for beloved character actress and former Equity Councillor Ivy Bethune will be held in Los Angeles on October 6, 2019. From 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Theatre West 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. West Los Angeles, 90068.

Bethune died of natural causes on July 19, 2019, at age 101 in Woodland Hills, California. Throughout her life, Bethune was a devoted mother, wife, activist, and actress.

BETHUNE, Ivy (Ivy Vigder)

Born: 6/1/1918, Sevastopol. Russia

Died: 7/19/2019, Woodland Hills, California, U.S.A.

Ivy Bethune’s western – actress:

Diamond Jim: Skullduggery in Samantha (TV) – 1965 (Mrs. Fletcher)
The Outcasts (TV) – 1969 (Sheriff’s wife)
Kung Fu (TV) – 1972 (Jennie McCoy)
The Legend of Earl Durand – 1974 (Mrs. Durand)
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1975 (Alice Harper)
Father Murphy (TV) – 1981, 1982 (Miss Tuttle)
Eyes of Fire - 1983 (Rachel)

RIP Carlo Croccolo

Carlo Croccolohas died, the alter ego of Totò

The Neapolitan actor and voice actor was 92 years old. In his long career he had worked alongside the greatest comedians in over a hundred films, in the theater, and on TV

la Republica
By: Rita Celi
October 12, 2019

"This morning, at dawn, Maestro Carlo Croccolo died ": a short post on Facebook announces the disappearance of the Neapolitan actor. He was 92 years old. "He lived an extraordinary life as his talent was extraordinary" continues the brief message. Croccolo has worked in the cinema since the fifties alongside the greatest Italian comedians, from Totò to Eduardo De Filippo, in over a hundred films. He won a David di Donatello in 1989 for his interpretation of “'O re”, the historical film by Luigi Magni. He was also the father of the bride in “Tre uomini e una gamba” (1997) with Aldo, Giovanni e Giacomo. The funeral will be held in Naples on Sunday October 13 at 4 pm at the Chiesa San Ferdinando.

In his long career Croccolo worked mainly in the cinema since 1950 in over one hundred films. In particular he was a waiter, cook, coachman and butler of Totò in the role of a penniless nobleman. Among the many was the waiter Gondrano in “47 morto che parla” (1951), the butler Camillo in “Totò lascia o raddoppia?” (1956), Battista in “Signori si nasce” (1960). He was also a voice actor lending his voice to Oliver Hardy (taking the place of Alberto Sordi) in the 1950s and 1960s, even coming to dub both the characters of Laurel and Hardy. Starting from 1957 he also gave the voice to Totò, the only voice actor authorized by the actor: his is the voice of the character of the baroness Laudomia of Torrealta in “Totò diabolicus” (1962). He then dubbed it in some scenes of the two marshals and, in the final at the station, his voice is also the voice of Vittorio De Sica.

In the theater he was directed by Giorgio Strehler in “La grande magia” by Eduardo De Filippo and he acted in the comedies of Garinei and Giovannini Rinaldo “Rinaldo in campo” in the 1987 edition with Massimo Ranieri and “Aggiungi un posto a tavola” with Johnny Dorelli in the role of the mayor in edition of 1990. He also participated in television dramas and dramas, including ‘Capri’ in the role of the fisherman Totonno.

Among the legendary Croccolo tales, we recall the burning revelations made ten years ago when, at 81, he revealed he had a brief relationship with Marilyn Monroe. "Yes, unfortunately it is true. Marilyn Monroe and I have had a love story. It lasted only three months but I was madly in love with her. Only being with her was hell and I finally escaped" he said in an interview with TV Sorrisi e canzoni. "I met Norma (Marilyn's real name was Norma Jean Baker) in the worst period of her life: she would have died about a year later, in 1962" the actor said again. "I met her at a party in Los Angeles, through Sammy Davis and President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's entourage. I stood apart until I saw her. We started talking and then ... It started like this, as many stories begin ".

Croccolo lived with his wife Daniela Cenciotti for over 25 years in Castel Volturno and two years ago, for his 90 years, the mayor of the coastal town of Caserta handed him the keys to the city with the dedication "To Carlo Croccolo, for his 90 years of passion between theater and cinema". An occasion in which the actor recalled his long career: "I paid dearly for my 90 years as an actor. My years in cinema and theater were of passion, yes, but like Jesus Christ, because I did not have many awards and those I had, they made me pay a lot". Today his wife remembers him as "a tender and loving life companion. He has gone away, determined and aware as he lived. All of us have the duty and responsibility to perpetuate his memory and preserve his smile".

Born: 4/9/1927, Naples, Campania, Italy
Died: 10/12/2019, Naples, Campania, Italy

Carlo Croccolo’s westerns – director, writer, actor:
The Sheriff was a Lady – 1964 (Sheriff Mickey Stanton
Black Killer – 1971 (Deputy Fred) [director as Lucky Moore]
Gunman of 100 Crosses – 1971 (Slim) [director as Lucky Moore, writer as Carlo Croccolo]