Monday, May 31, 2010

RIP Larry French

Larry French, Broadway actor and concert artist, died in his sleep on May 28, 2010 of a massive heart attack. He was 58. A graduate of Howard Paine University, he first came to New York City in 1978 from Dallas, Texas, to pursue a career in acting, and shortly thereafter met his wife of 30 years, Jeanne lehman French, in the Carleton Davis tour of CAMELOT.

Larry first appeared on Broadway in the 1980 revival of BRIGADOON and later in The Public Theatre's 1982 production of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE. He also appeared in the National Tours of THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, EVITA and the 1999 revival of THE SOUND OF MUSIC, one of many appearances he made with his wife. A member of the 2001 Acting Company of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada, Larry also appeared with Jeanne there in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, and in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, THE SEAGULL and MASTER CLASS. Other appearances with his wife included "Colonel Pickering" in MY FAIR LADY, "Captain Orton" in THE KING AND I and "The Gangster" in KISS ME KATE, all at the Augusta Opera. Additional favorite acting roles included "Nicely Nicely" in GUYS AND DOLLS with the Alaska Light Opera, and "Pirelli" in SWEENEY TODD with Terrence Mann at the North Carolina Theatre.

An International vocal consultant for theatre companies in Seoul, Korea and Japan, Larry also sang in concerts with Jeanne and the Alaska Light Opera, the Baltimore Symphony and in Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.

An active supporter of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, he most recently appeared in the 2010 Easter Bonnet Competition, singing on stage at the Minskoff Theatre.

He is survived by his wife, Jeanne lehman French of New York City, and his mother, Bernice French, of Dallas Texas. There will be memorial service on Monday, June 7, 2010 at 4 p.m. at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, 7 West 55 Street in New York City. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to the Actors Fund of America.

Born: 11/4/1951, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 5/28/2010, New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Larry French's western - actor:
From Noon Till Three - 1976 (Mr. Taylor)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

RIP Peter Keefe

'Voltron' producer Peter Keefe dies
Credits included 'Widget,' 'The Mr. Bogus Show,' 'Twinkle'
By Mike Barnes

Peter Keefe, an animation executive and producer best known as the creative force behind the iconic children's TV series "Voltron," died May 27 of throat cancer in Rochester, N.Y. He was 57.

During the past two decades, Keefe created, produced and sold more than 600 half-hours of children's and family entertainment programming, shows that were watched by hundreds of millions while generating hundreds of millions of dollars in business.

Keefe distinguished himself not only for his creative and marketing savvy but also for his trademark black handlebar mustache, long blond hair and cowboy boots. That was complemented by a rich vocabulary that made him larger than life, even at a young age.

During the mid-'80s, Keefe adapted Japanese animated series "Go Lion" and "Dierugger" into a single seamless story line that became "Voltron." Debuting in U.S. syndication on Sept. 10, 1984, "Voltron: Defender of the Universe" quickly rose to become the No. 1 nationally ranked series in kids syndication during the 1984 and 1985 broadcast seasons.

Shown in more than 100 countries, the series remains widely recognized as among the world's top Japanese-originated children's franchises of all time, and it became the template for such other genre mega-hits as "Power Rangers" and "Pokemon."

"Voltron" also became one of the leading kids merchandise licensing franchises of the decade, driving retail sales for licensed products into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Keefe then created "Denver, the Last Dinosaur," a U.S.-France animated co-production that debuted in the U.S. in 1988 and went on to air in more than 90 countries.

In 1989, Keefe and longtime associate Brian Lacey formed Zodiac Entertainment, a joint venture with Central Independent Television in the U.K. Under the Zodiac banner, Keefe created and produced such animated series as "Widget," "The Mr. Bogus Show" and "Twinkle."

"Widget" has been hailed as perhaps the first animated series aimed at kids to blend entertainment with pro-social and -environmental messages.

Keefe also produced and marketed "Nine Dog Christmas," a 2005 animated holiday special that was broadcast on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and on Disney Channel in Europe and Asia.

His most recent creation, now in development, is "Z-Force (Zodiac Force)," another animated series that features 12 action heroes based on the ancient Oriental Zodiac.

Keefe, who was born in Rochester, began his showbiz career as an on-camera movie critic for a PBS outlet in St. Louis. In 1983, he became vp and executive producer for World Events Prods., also in St. Louis.

Keefe is survived by his wife, Pamela Mills Keefe; his mother, Anne Keefe, a former talk show host at KMOX-AM St. Louis; his stepson, James; and five siblings, sisters Lisa, Kittie and Mollie and brothers Tony and Chris. He died at Mollie's home in Rochester.

KEEFE, Peter
Born: 1953, Rochester, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 5/27/2010, Rochester, New York, U.S.A.

Peter Keefe's western - executive producer:
Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs (TV) - 1987

RIP Dennis Hopper

ennis Hopper, 1936 – 2010
Actor Dennis Hopper succumbs to cancer
By Norman Wilner

Dennis Hopper – actor, director, painter, counterculture icon – has lost his battle with prostate cancer. Sadly, this doesn’t come as a surprise; anyone who saw him accepting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame earlier this year knew things weren’t going well.

The last time I saw Hopper was at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008. He was playing Death in a terrible Wim Wenders movie called Palermo Shooting. Actually, I saw him again a couple of days after that, when he appeared to present an award at the festival’s closing gala, but I remember him better as Death.

Showing up at the end of Wenders’s long, incomprehensible Europudding to deliver a long, incomprehensible monologue about being a “service provider” to humanity, Hopper found a new spin on an archetypal character; his appearance is just about the only reason to see the movie, in fact. The audience of journalists and critics perked up the moment Hopper revealed himself on-screen – partly out of nostalgia for his great collaboration with Wenders in 1977’s The American Friend, but mostly as an expression of love for the guy.

Dennis Hopper proved that there were second acts in American cinema. Actually, by the time he roared back into the public eye in 1986 with back-to-back supporting turns in River’s Edge, Hoosiers and Blue Velvet, Hopper had already reinvented himself once before, when he directed and co-starred in Easy Rider and shifted from nondescript studio contract player to Voice Of A Generation (and Discoverer Of Jack Nicholson).

Before Easy Rider, Hopper was probably best known for his role as fourth banana to James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood in Rebel Without A Cause, or as third banana to Clint Eastwood, Paul Newman and John Wayne in Hang ’Em High, Cool Hand Luke and True Grit, respectively. Just a working actor.

After Easy Rider, he was a self-destructive juggernaut, the director who went from a massive success to squandering millions on the arty incoherence of The Last Movie, which was promptly buried by its studio. That disaster left Hopper scrambling for acting jobs to feed his various demons. By the time Francis Ford Coppola cast him in Apocalypse Now, his frenetic acting style was verging on self-parody. He was undeniably great in the role, though.

Hopper worked sporadically for the next few years – reuniting with Coppola on Rumble Fish, working with Sam Peckinpah and Robert Altman on The Osterman Weekend and O.C. And Stiggs, and tweaking his excitable persona in disposable genre pictures like My
Science Project and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. But then he hit that trifecta of serious indies – matching intensities with Crispin Glover and Daniel Roebuck in River’s Edge, redeeming himself as Gene Hackman’s alcoholic assistant in Hoosiers, and dominating David Lynch’s Blue Velvet with a jaw-dropping turn as the monster men call Frank Booth – and all was forgiven.

If Dennis Hopper has to be remembered for just one movie, it’s likely to be Blue Velvet. Frank Booth is probably the purest expression of Lynch’s brand of cinematic psychosis – a raging id in a well-tailored suit who uses social niceties as a means to get his victims to let down their guard – and Hopper holds nothing back.

Blue Velvet allowed Hopper to go back to being a working actor, but on his own terms. He even got back into directing, though the pictures – Colors, The Hot Spot, Chasers – weren’t exactly world-beaters. And if he made a lot of forgettable movies –nobody remembers Space Truckers, and with good reason – he also made some memorable ones.

If you want to remember him this weekend, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Sony put out an excellent special edition of Easy Rider a few years back, and Hopper’s audio commentary is terrific. His two scenes in True Romance are the highlight of that film – a master class in understated character acting. Apocalypse Now? Still pretty fantastic, especially if you follow it with its companion documentary Hearts Of Darkness.

Or you could dig a little deeper and revisit his complex work as a racist in the 1991cable movie Paris Trout ... or his giddy liberation as King Koopa in the 1993 bomb Super Mario Bros. ... or his wily appearance as an empty-suit Democratic presidential candidate in 2008’s Swing Vote.

Yeah, I mentioned Super Mario Bros. Hopper’d be cool with it, I think. There’s a silly joy in that performance that makes me smile – Hopper knows the movie makes no sense, but he’s being paid well enough to keep him in painting supplies for a couple of years, and there’s no pressure. He can just goof around, and make a real movie later.

There are worse legacies, surely.

HOPPER, Dennis Lee
Born: 5/17/1936, Dodge City, Kansas, U.S.A.
Died; May 29, 2010, Venice, California, U.S.A.

Dennis Hopper's westerns – actor:
Giant – 1956 (Jordan Benedict III)
Cheyenne (TV) – 1956, 1957 (Roden's ranch hand, Utah Kid, Abe Larson)
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – 1957 (Billy Clanton)
Sugarfoot (TV) – 1957 (Billy the Kid)
From Hell to Texas - 1958 (Tom Boyd)
Zane Grey Theater (TV) – 1958, 1959 (Vernon 'Vern' Tippert, Denny Sunrise)
The Rifleman (TV) – 1958, 1959 (Vernon Tippert, Johnny Clover)
The Young Land – 1959 (Hatfield Carnes)
The Dakotas (TV) – 1963 (Ross Kendrick)
Wagon Train (TV) – 1963 (Emmett Lawton)
Bonanza (TV) – 1964 (Dev Farnum)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1965 (Billy Kimbo)
The Sons of Katie Elder – 1965 (Dave Hastings)
The Legend of Jesse James (TV) – 1966 (Jud Salt)
The Guns of Will Sonnett (TV) – 1967 (Vern Reed)
The Big Valley (TV) – 1967 (Leon Grell, Jimmy Sweetwater)
Hang 'Em High – 1968 (The Prophet)
True Grit – 1969 (Moon)
Kid Blue – 1973 (Bickford Waner)
Mad Dog Morgan – 1976 (Daniel Morgan)
Wild Times (TV) – 1980 (Doc Holliday)
Straight to Hell – 1987 (I.G. Farben)
Blood Red – 1989 (William Bradford Berrigan)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

RIP Eugenia Paul

PALM BEACH, Fla., May 27 (UPI) -- Dancer-actress Eugenia Strauss, who acted on the big and small screens, has died in a West Palm Beach, Fla., hospital at the age of 75, her family said.

The cause of her death was undisclosed, the Palm Beach Daily News reported. She died Monday.

Strauss, born in Dearborn, Mich., studied dance with Bronislava Nijinska and acting with Michael Chekov. She was discovered by Warner Brothers and signed as a dancer while touring with the predecessor to American Ballet Theater, moving to Los Angeles when she was 16 years old.

She migrated to acting, signing a contract in 1955 with 20th Century Fox. Best known for starring opposite Guy Williams in the television series, "Zorro," Strauss's other credits include TV shows "Medic," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "Death Valley Days," and movies such as "The Ten Commandments" and "Gunfighters of Abilene."

She retired from acting when she met her husband Bob, heir to the Pep Boys auto store chain. She and her husband of 52 years lived in Florida for 25 years, the newspaper said.

Strauss was a patron of the arts, supporting the Palm Beach Opera, the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, Ballet Florida and Miami City Ballet.

"Her passion and enthusiasm was infectious," Edward Villella, Miami City Ballet's founding artistic director, told the Daily News. "The deep regard she had for art and culture, and especially dance, touched us."

Survivors include her husband, three children and three grandchildren.

PAUL, Eugenia (Eugenia Popoff)
Born: 3/3/1935, Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.A.
Died: 5/24/2010, West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

Eugenia Paul's westerns – actress:
Death Valley Days (TV) - 1954 (Sabita)
The Gene Autry Show (TV) - 1955 (Marquita)
Brave Eagle (TV) – 1955 (Little Fawn)
Sky King (TV) 1956 (Carmita Fernandez)
Circus Boy (TV) – 1956 (Nitika)
The Lone Ranger (TV) – 1957 (Maria Mendoza)
Apache Warroir – 1957 (Liwana)
Zorro (TV) – 1957 (Señorita Elena Torres)
Boot and Saddles (TV) – 1957 (Yellow Sky)
Broken Arrow (TV) - 1958 (Serafina)
The Adventures of Jim Bowie (TV) - 1958 (Ursula de Veramendi)
26 Men (TV) – 1958
The Rough Riders (TV) – 1959 (Donna Marriot)
Gunfithers of Abilene – 1960 (Raquel)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

RIP Art Linkletter

LOS ANGELES—Art Linkletter, who hosted the popular TV shows "People
Are Funny" and "House Party" in the 1950s and 1960s, has died. He was

His son-in-law Art Hershey says Mr. Linkletter died Wednesday at his
home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles.

"Art Linkletter's House Party," one of television's longest-running
variety shows, debuted on radio in 1944 and was seen on CBS-TV from
1952 to 1969.

Though it had many features, the best known was the daily interviews
with schoolchildren.

"On 'House Party' I would talk to you and bring out the fact that you
had been letting your boss beat you at golf over a period of months as
part of your campaign to get a raise," Mr. Linkletter wrote.

"All the while, without your knowledge, your boss would be sitting a
few feet away listening, and at the appropriate moment, I would bring
you together," he said. "Now, that's funny, because the laugh arises
out of a real situation."

Mr. Linkletter collected sayings from the children into "Kids Say The
Darndest Things," and it sold in the millions. The book "70 Years of
Best Sellers 1895-1965" ranked "Kids Say the Darndest Things" as the
15th top seller among nonfiction books in that period.

The primetime "People Are Funny," which began on radio in 1942 and ran
on TV from 1954 to 1961, emphasized slapstick humor and audience
participation—things like throwing a pie in the face of a contestant
who couldn't tell his Social Security number in five seconds, or
asking him to go out and cash a check written on the side of a

The down-to-earth charm of Mr. Linkletter's broadcast persona seemed
to be mirrored by his private life with his wife of more than a half-
century, Lois. They had five children, whom he wrote about in his
books and called the "Links."

But in 1969, his 20-year-old daughter, Diane, jumped to her death from
her sixth-floor Hollywood apartment. He blamed her death on LSD use,
but toxicology tests found no LSD in her body after she died.

Still, the tragedy prompted him to become a crusader against drugs. A
son, Robert, died in a car accident in 1980. Another son, Jack
Linkletter, was 70 when he died of lymphoma in 2007.

Art Linkletter got his first taste of broadcasting with a part-time
job while attending San Diego State College in the early 1930s. He
graduated in 1934.

"I was studying to be an English professor," Mr. Linkletter once said.
"But as they say, life is what happens to you while you're making
other plans."

He held a series of radio and promotion jobs in California and Texas,
experimenting with audience participation and remote broadcasts,
before forming his own production company in the 1940s and striking it
big with "People Are Funny" and "House Party."

Mr. Linkletter was born Arthur Gordon Kelly on July 17, 1912, in Moose
Jaw, Saskatchewan. His unwed mother put him up for adoption when he
was a baby; when he was about 7, he and his adoptive parents moved to
the United States, eventually settling in San Diego.

He recalled his preacher-father forced him to take odd jobs to help
the family. So Mr. Linkletter left and became a hobo, hopping trains
across the West, working where he could. He recalled later that he
felt the religious faith instilled by his father had been a great

After leaving daily broadcasting in 1969, Mr. Linkletter continued to
write, lecture and appear in television commercials.

Among his other books, were "Old Age is Not for Sissies," ''How To Be
a Supersalesman," ''Confessions of a Happy Man," ''Hobo on the Way to
Heaven" and his autobiography, "I Didn't Do It Alone."

A recording Mr. Linkletter made with his daughter Diane not long
before she died, "We Love You, Call Collect," was issued after her
death and won a Grammy award for best spoken word recording.

"Life is not fair ... not easy," Mr. Linkletter said in a 1990
interview by the Associated Press. "Outside, peer pressure can wreak
havoc with the nicest families. So that's the part that's a gamble.

"But I'm an optimist. Even though I've had tragedies in my life, and
I've seen a lot of difficult things, I still am an optimist."

Mr. Linkletter is survived by his wife, Lois, whom he married in 1935,
and daughters Dawn and Sharon.

LINKLETTER, Art (Arthur Gordon Kelly)
Born: 7/17/1912, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died: 5/26/2010, Bel-Air, California, U.S.A.

Art Linkletter's westerns - actor:
Zane Grey Theater (TV) - 1961 (Albert Pierce)
Wagon Train (TV) - 1962 (Sam Darland)

RIP Jean Constantin

Romanian actor Jean Constantin, 81, died Wednesday in his home in Constanta, southeastern Romania, Alexandru Arsinel, manager of the Bucharest “Constantin Tanase” Theater.

According to Arsinel, Constantin was found dead in his home, by his relatives. He had been in and out of Bucharest and Constanta hospitals throughout the past year with heart problems.

Constantin was born on August 21, 1928 in Techirghiol, Constanta County. He made his stage debut in 1957 with the Fantasio State Theatre in Constanta.

He acted in more than 50 films, such as "Le baron de l'écluse" (1960), "Razbunarea haiducilor" (1968), "Zile de vara" (1968), "Prea mic pentru un razboi atat de mare" (1969), but became famous in the '70s, for his parts in the "B.D." (Police Miscellaneous Brigade) series and the films starring Sergiu Nicolaescu's character Inspector Moldovan.

He recently played in "The Way I Spent the End of the World" (2006), "Roming" (2007), "Supravietuitorul" (2008) and "Poker" (2010).

Born: 8/21/1928, Techirghiol, Constanta, Romania
Died: 5/26/2010, Constanta, Romania

Jean Constantin's western - actor:
The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians - 1981

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

RIP Dorothy Janis

Dorothy Janis, who made a few film appearances at the dawn of the sound era and was the widow of bandleader Wayne King, died Wednesday morning in the Phoenix suburb of Paradise Valley, according to musician Lew Williams, who received the news from Janis’ granddaughter. Janis, one of the last surviving performers to have played at least one major role in silent films, has died at 100.

A pretty, petite brunette with sensuous lips — according to (possibly made-up) reports from the period, she was half-Native American — Dorothy Janis was born in Dallas on Feb. 19, 1910 or 1912. Her most notable movie role was that of the half-Pacific Islander, half-white heroine in W. S. Van Dyke’s The Pagan (1929), one of MGM star Ramon Novarro’s biggest box-office hits.

In the film, which has no dialogue but features a music score, Novarro got to sing Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown’s highly popular "Pagan Love Song," at times accompanied by Janis — who actually just mouthed the lyrics; another female voice was heard on the film’s soundtrack.

Shot on location in French Polynesia, the deceptively simple The Pagan also happens to be one of the best productions made during that difficult transition from silent to talking pictures. The paragraph below is from my Novarro biography Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro:

"Similar in theme to White Shadows in the South Seas, The Pagan presents European civilization as indisputably the villain—an uncommon approach in films of the period. On the surface, the story is about a carefree but wealthy half-caste, Henry Shoesmith, Jr., who attempts to please a ruthless white trader so he can romance the man’s ‘Christian duty,’ a pretty half-caste girl. On a deeper level, The Pagan deals with the subversion of the island’s way of life by white invaders, from their belief that the value of nature lies only in pounds and dollars to their imposition of an alien and unsuitable religion. Although both Novarro’s and Janis’s characters are part European, their behavior is all idealized Pacific Islander: playful and innocent. Renée Adorée’s Madge is the only good white character, though, significantly, she is a prostitute and an outcast in her own Euro-Christian society. Frances Marion and Novarro himself wrote the initial treatments—he expressly wanted to emphasize that the ‘pagan’ Henry Shoesmith behaved more like a Christian than the intolerant followers of Jesus—though Dorothy Farnum received the final adaptation credit. John Howard Lawson, one of the future Hollywood Ten, was responsible for the perceptive intertitles."

Before The Pagan, Janis had appeared in three minor releases: the oaters Kit Carson (1928) and The Overland Telegraph, and the drama Fleetwing (1928), playing opposite minor leading man Barry Norton. Her only talkie was Lummox (1930), starring the former wife of cowboy star William S. Hart and 1910s leading lady Winifred Westover, then attempting a motion-picture comeback. Though directed by the renowned Herbert Brenon, an Academy Award nominee in the first year of the awards, Lummox was not a success.

Janis’ only other film appearance was in Harry Garson’s The White Captive, shot on location in Southeast Asia for Universal. In the Sept. 27, 1930, issue of the Norwalk Hour, a brief note mentioned that Garson "reports some of the most remarkable jungle material ever secured and the first to be taken with sound equipment." Perhaps Garson was making that up, or perhaps his work was ruined either during the trip back to California or at some local lab, for The White Captive was deemed unreleasable. The film did, however, gain a certain degree of notoriety when the wife of technician Sidney Desmond Lund, with whom she had recently gotten married, filed a $25,000 lawsuit against Janis for stealing her husband’s affections during the months-long shoot. The lawsuit was eventually dropped.

Janis made no more films after that. At about the time of the scandal she met Wayne King, whom she married in 1932. Their marriage lasted until his death in 1985. "After I met Wayne," Janis would tell author Michael Ankerich nearly six decades later, "it was to heck with it all."

In the early ’90s, Ankerich published an account of his correspondence with the actress in Broken Silence: Conversations With 23 Silent Film Stars. With Ankerich as the middle man, about ten years ago I attempted to interview Dorothy Janis for my Novarro biography. Unfortunately, I never heard back from her.

JANIS, Dorothy (Dorothy Penelope Janis)
Born: 2/19/1910, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 3/10/2010, Paradise Valley, Arizona, U.S.A.

Dorothy Janis's westerns - actress:
Kit Carson - 1928 (Sing-in-the-Clouds)
The Overland Telegraph - 1929 (Dorothy)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

RIP Michel Levesque

Levesque, Michel
August 22, 1943 - May 14, 2010
Michel Levesque, film director and production designer, died at his
home after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 66.

Raised in Pennsville, New Jersey, Levesque moved to Los Angeles in
1962. After attending Cal State Northridge, he got his first film job
on "The Trip," directed by Roger Corman. His first two art direction
jobs were also with Corman, including "Bloody Mama" in 1970.

In 1971, with writing partner David M. Kaufman, Levesque co-wrote and
directed "Werewolves on Wheels." In 1972, he directed his second
feature film, "Sweet Sugar." He then went to Europe and co-wrote two
screenplays for the Dutch Cultural Commission.

Levesque resumed his art direction career in 1975, starting with three
films for Russ Meyer. Other films he art directed include "Foxes" and
"Borderline" in 1980; and "Barbarosa" in 1982. He earned production
designer credits on "The Night Before" in 1988; and "Homer and Eddie"
and "The Package" in 1989. His television credits include the first 25
episodes of "Hunter."

Upon retiring from the film industry in 1989, Levesque re-teamed with
Kaufman to form Digital Video Theatre, producing and directing a
series of digital video shorts. In recent years, he pursued his long
time love of music. He was studying jazz piano and composing a cabaret
musical when his battle with cancer began in 2006.

In September 2009, Levesque married Colleen Kennedy, his companion of
30 years. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Art Tillinghast, a
recently-united son, Justin Wilson, and brothers Conrad and George.

Born: 8/22/1943, Pennsville, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Died: 5/14/2010, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Michel Levesque's westerns - acrt director:
Barbarosa - 1982
Savage Journey - 1983

Friday, May 21, 2010

RIP Martin Cohan

Sitcom scribe Martin Cohan dies
Creator of 'Silver Spoons,' 'Who's the Boss?" was 77

By SHALINI DOREMore Articles:

Martin Cohan, who co-created ABC sitcom "Who's the Boss?," died May 19 in Pacific Palisades, Calif., of complications from large cell lymphoma. He was 77.

Cohan, created Tony Danza-Judith Light starrer "Who's the Boss" with his partner Blake Hunter in 1984. The show would run for eight seasons. He also created "Silver Spoons," which introduced a young Rick Schroder.

Cohan started his career as a stage manager/assistant director at ABC TV after graduating from Stanford U. He worked under Mike Nicholls on "Catch-22" and after making a doc in France called "The Children of Paris," he went to work for David L. Wolper's doc company. He researched and wrote "Let My People Go" and "Hollywood and the Stars." Universal Television then hired him for its doc division.

During the 1970s Cohan moved over to sitcoms and wrote for shows such as "All in the Family," "The Odd Couple" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," for which he won a Writers Guild kudo. He shared Cohan also won an NAACP award for furthering interracial relations.

He also wrote, produced and directed episodes of "The Bob Newhart Show."

"Marty was such a rare treasure in our business: not only brilliant and funny but with a huge heart and unfailingly kind," Light said in a statement.

His partner, Hunter said, "Marty is the brother I wish I had, the talent I stood in awe of, and the friend I can never replace."

Cohan was a member of the DGA and WGA.

Survivors include his wife, Dawn; a son and a daughter; two stepchildren; a step-grandson; and a sister.

Services will be at 2 p.m. May 27 at Mt. Sinai's Chapel Tenach in Forest Lawn, go to for more information.

COHAN, Martin
Born: 6/2/1933, U.S.A.
Died: 5/19/2010, Pacific Palisades, California, U.S.A.

Martin Cohan's westerns - assistant director:
The Big Valley (TV) - 1968, 1969
Gunsmoke (TV) - 1970

Thursday, May 20, 2010

RIP Earl Robie

Earl Robie, child actor of 1950s, dies in Bellingham

Earl H. Settlemyer, a child actor in movies and television during the 1950s who later went into banking, died Friday, May 14, at his home in Sudden Valley. He was 63.

Settlemyer, who went by "Earl Robie" as an actor, retired to Whatcom County in 2005 with his sister, Louise Settlemyer Lott.

Born in Michigan and raised in Southern California, he began appearing on stage, the screen and in ads at age 4. His credits include "My Cousin Rachel," a 1952 film starring Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton, and appearances in several TV series, including "Letter to Loretta," hosted by Loretta Young, "Death Valley Days" and "Lassie."

He stopped performing at age 15, earned a college degree in economics and went into banking. In Whatcom County, he was active in Rotary and served on boards and committees for local colleges and universities.

Visitation will be 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 23, at Moles' Bayview Chapel, 2465 Lakeway Drive. A celebration of life will be 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, May 24, at Lairmont Manor, 405 Fieldston Road.

Memorials may be made to the Earl Settlemyer Trust at Western Washington University Foundation.

ROBIE, Earl (Earl Harry Settlemyer)
Born: 8/29/1946, Wyandotte, Michigan, U.S.A.
Died: 5/14/2010, Sudden Valley, Washington, U.S.A.

Earl Robie's westerns - actor:
Santa Fe Passage - 1955 (kid on train)
Death Valley Days (TV) - 1958 (Charlie)
Tales of Wells Fargo (TV) - 1959 (Little Jim)

Friday, May 14, 2010

RIP Kenji Shibuya

California wrestling legend Shibuya passes away

Robert "Kinji" Shibuya, who was one of pro wrestling's biggest stars of the 60s and early 70s in California, passed away this past Monday at his home in Hayward, CA, at the age of 88.

Shibuya was a San Francisco wrestling institution, headlining the Cow Palace on numerous occasions, both as a single as well as with tag team partners Mitsu Arakawa and Masa Saito. Shibuya & Arakawa were best known for matches against Nick Bockwinkel & Wilbur Snyder and Ray Stevens & Don Manoukian during the heyday of San Francisco wrestling when the Cow Palace was the hottest wrestling arena in the United States.

He also dabbled in acting, and was well known after his retirement in the late 70s for raising koi fish.

Robert Shibuya played the stereotypical Japanese heel role, but he was actually from Utah, and was a college football star in the 40s at the University of Hawaii.

During the mid-60s, when he held the United States heavyweight championship, he was generally considered one of the top ten stars in the industry.

SHIBUYA, Kenji/Kinji (Robert Shibuya)
Born: 5/16/1921, Utah, U.S.A.
Died: 5/3/2010, Hayward, California, U.S.A.

Kinji Shibuya's western - actor:
Kung Fu (TV) - 1973, 1974 (Ah Quong, Pan Chao)

RIP Phyllis Douglas

Phyllis Hodges Boyce, born on July 24, 1936, one of the last surviving
cast members of Gone with the Wind, passed away on May 12, 2010. She
was born in Hollywood, Calif. to Ridgeway Callow, a Manxman of England
and graduate of Cambridge who served in the RAF. He was hired by
Howard Hughes as an accountant in New York and with his wife, Margaret
Watts a Ziegfeld girl and socialite. They moved to Hollywood and
worked in the motion picture industry as an award winning second unit
director. Phyllis was the baby, Bonnie Blue Butler in Gone with the
Wind as a two year old on the horse with Clark Gable. Phyllis grew up
in Malibu and West Los Angeles, Calif. She was an actress and played
many roles in movies and television, notably Star Trek and Batman.
Phyllis later became a Real Estate Broker, for 33 years, in Grass
Valley, Calif. and the Palm Springs area for the past 20 years.
Phyllis is survived by her husband, Robert B. Boyce; son, John Ryan
Boyce; daughters, Nancy Lee Douglas of Castaic, Calif. and Sharon
Leeds; and granddaughter, Samantha Leeds of Eugene, Ore. Phyllis was
so loved by friends and family, and considered our lifestyle at
Outdoor Resort Palm Springs, a Recreational Vehicle Country Club the
best place on earth. Phyllis and Bob had what she considered the best
fourth quarter of life together, what a gift we have and what a gift
to friends. As Phyllis says "I am going to see Jesus." Phyllis will be
placed at the Forest Lawn Mausoleum in Cathedral City, Calif. A small
family service will be held at the Mausoleum site. Forest Lawn
Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries Published in The Desert Sun from May 14 to
May 19, 2010

DOUGLAS, Phyllis (Phyllis Hodges)
Born: 7/24/1936, Hollywood, California, U.S.A.
Died: 5/12/2010, Palm Springs, California, U.S.A.

Phyllis Douglas' westerns - actress:
Cimarron - 1960 (Sadie)
Wild Rovers - 1971

Thursday, May 13, 2010

RIP Frank Scott

Broadcaster Scott traveled globe

By Steve Jordon

Frank Scott, whose broadcasting career took him from Omaha to Germany and who once was punched through a window during a barroom brawl in a John Wayne western, has died at age 77.

His daughter Wendy DeLapp said her father died Tuesday at a retirement home in Silver Spring, Md., after suffering from dementia. He and his wife, Jean, had moved there from Omaha in 2004 when he retired.

“He loved to golf, and he loved to go sightseeing and was a history buff,” DeLapp said. “Wherever we lived, we went places all over Europe. We’d pack into the car, and we’d all go.”

If the family was playing Trivial Pursuit, she said, you wanted to be on his team. “He knew all the answers.”

Scott was born in Omaha and graduated from Benson High School, attended the University of Nebraska and graduated from Omaha University, working as a student for KMTV, then served in the U.S. Air Force.

He pursued an acting career in New York and Hollywood, leading to his John Wayne movie experience, and then worked at KVOA-TV in Houston and KBON radio in Omaha. He was a vice president of Welcome Radio Inc. and general manager of KTLK radio in Denver.

He moved to Washington, D.C., and was a vice president of NBC Radio and general manager of WRC-AM and WKYS-FM.

During his career he hired many people who later became well-known, including Willard Scott, Pat Buchanan and Chuck Hagel, later a U.S. senator from Nebraska, his daughter said.

Scott was an early president of the Omaha Press Club and later its manager, after being appointed by President Ronald Reagan to head Voice of America’s European operation. He also worked for Mitchell Broadcasting in Omaha and was named to the Nebraska Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1984.

He and the former Jean Wilhelmj were married for 47 years and had six children: DeLapp of Gaithersburg, Md.; Tom Scott of Omaha; Cathy Cahill of Frederick, Md.; Cortney Pauley of Clarksville, Md.; Frank Scott, who is deceased; and his twin brother, John Scott, of Beltsville, Md. They also have eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Services were pending.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

RIP Antonio Ozores

Spanish comedian and actor Antonio Ozores died Wednesday May 12th in Madrid at 81 years of age. Ozores had been fighting cancer for a long while. Ozores, who was born in the town of Burjassot Valencia, Spain on August 24, 1928. He participated in over 160 films, 200 plays, and several series on television and radio. Antonio was the son of actor Mariano Ozores and the brother of director Mariano Ozores, Jr. [1926- ], actor José Luis Ozores [1923-1968], uncle of actress Adriana Ozores [1959- ]. He was marreid to actress Elisa Montes [1936- ] from 1958 until 1969 when they divorced. Antonio is the father of actress Emma Ozores [1966- ].
Ozores made his screen debut in 1950's “El ultimo caballo” and remained active until shortly before his death because according to him, “They always need an older man in the movie.” His last film appearance was in “Pelotazo nacional” (1993) and his last stage work was with his daughter Emma in “El último que apague la luz”.

OZORES, Antonio (Antonio Ozores Puchol)
Born: 8/24/1928, Burjasot, Valencia, Spain
Died: 5/12/2010, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Antonio Ozores' western - actor:
Al este del Oeste - 1984 (Polonio)

RIP Massimo Sarchielli

Italian actor, director and screenwriter Massimo Sarchielli passed away on the evening of May 11, 2010 in Rome, Italy. Sarchielli was born in Florence on April 9, 1931 into a poor family. His father did odd jobs never having full-time employment. His mother was a seamstress and it was she who supported the family. Massimo learned metal working and sewing from his grandfather in order to obtain small jobs and earn money for the family. He earned a degree at the a technical institute in Florence. He obtained a short term job as an illustrator for the Military Geographical Institute in Basilicata before returning to Florence and entering the Academy of Fine Arts but soon left. He then began trading in leather works and handicrafts to local merchants to sell to tourists. This resulted in a full-time job and he opened a leather shop with a friend. He left this and ventured to New York City where he attended the Etienne de Croux and became a mime and later moving to Paris. Returning to Italy he toured doing shows all over the peninsula. He then attended the Milan Strehlet School of Theatre. This led to a series of collaboration with some of the biggest names in Italian cinema.

His film debut was in “Juliet of the Spirits” (1965) directed by Federico Fellini. In 1970 he appeared with Marcello Mastroianni in “Correva l'anno di grazia” (1970). He worked with Terence Stamp in “Death in the Vatican” (1975). In the 1980's he worked in the United States with Michelle Pfeiffer in “Ladyhawke” and Richard Gere in “King David”. In 1987 he appeared in “The Sicilian” directed by Michael Cimino. He then made a series of films with Pupi Avati from 1987-1999. In 2007 he worked with Spike Lee in “Miracle at St. Anna” and in 2009 he was chosen to play Peter Pacciani in Antonello Grimaldi's “Mostro di Firenze”.

Massimo was married to an American woman named Giudy in 1962 and they had a son. They divorced in 2000 after being separated do to the illnes of Giudy's maother and their long distance relationship.

Born: 4/9/1931, Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Died: 5/11/2010, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Massimo Sarchielli's westerns - actor:
$10,000 for a Massacre - 1967 (Cisco)
Kill and Pray - 1967 (Leonardo)
Bandidos - 1967 (Munoz)
A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die - 1967 (Zack)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

RIP Adele Mara

Actress Adele Mara dies at 87

May 10, 2010

Adele Mara, a film and television actress whose many credits included the 1949 John Wayne film "Sands of Iwo Jima," died Friday of natural causes at her home in Pacific Palisades, said her son, John Huggins. She was 87.

Born April 28, 1923, in Highland Park, Mich., Mara started dancing as a youth and was discovered by bandleader Xavier Cugat, her son said. She moved with her parents to Philadelphia to dance with Cugat's band, then moved to Hollywood and began working in movies regularly in the 1940s.

Her other credits included "Angel in Exile" in 1948 and films starring Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.

In 1953, she married Roy Huggins, a writer and producer who created such hit television shows as "77 Sunset Strip," "Maverick" and "The Fugitive." He died in 2002.

"My father kept bringing her out of retirement to be in his TV shows," John Huggins said. Her television credits included roles in "Maverick" and "77 Sunset Strip."

MARA, Adele (Adelaida Delgado)
Born: 4/28/1923, Highland Park, Michigan, U.S.A.
Died: 5/7/2010, Pacific Palisades, California, U.S.A.

Adel Mara's westerns – actress:
Shut My Big Mouth – 1942 (Conchita Montoya)
Vengeance of the West – 1942 (Anita Morell)
Riders of the Northwest Mounted – 1943 (Gabrielle Renaud)
Flame of the Barbary Coast – 1945 (Marie)
Bells of Rosarita – 1945 (Patty Phillips)
Twilight on the Rio Grande – 1947 (Elena Del Rio)
Robin Hood of Texas – 1947 (Julie)
The Gallant Legion – 1948 (Catalina)
Angel in Exile – 1948 (Raquel Chavez)
Night Time in Nevada – 1948 (Joan Andrews)
Rock Island Trail – 1950 (Constance Strong)
California Passage – 1950 (Beth Martin)
The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin (TV) – 1956 (Rose Marlow, Crystal Ramsey)
The Black Whip – 1956 (Ruthie Dawson)
Cheyenne (TV) – 1956, 1958 (Sarita, Claire Du Pas, Rose Wood)
Casey Jones (TV) – 1957 (Maria)
Bat Masterson (TV) – 1958 (Maria Costa)
Maverick (TV) – 1958, 1960 (June Mundy, Elena Grande, Luisa)
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (TV) – 1958, 1961 (Thelma Callum)
Tales of Wells Fargo (TV) – 1959 (Theo)
Laramie (TV) – 1960
Stagecoach West (TV) – 1961 (Sally Burke)
The Tall Man (TV) – 1962 (Rosa)

Monday, May 10, 2010

RIP Lena Horne

Lena Horne dies at 92
Grammy winner broke ground for black actresses

Lena Horne, a show-stopping beauty who battled racism in a frustrating effort to become Hollywood's first black leading lady, has died, according to media reports Monday. She was 92.

The New York Times, quoting her son-in-law, Kevin Buckley, said Horne died on Sunday night at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York.

Hospital officials were not available for comment.

Horne went to Hollywood in the late 1930s and while she never became a major movie star, she is credited with breaking the ground for black actresses to get bigger roles in Hollywood.

Horne had a stage persona that was mysterious, elegant, haughty and sexy, and it helped her become an enchanting nightclub performer who made "Stormy Weather" her signature song.

Known as the "Negro Cinderella" early in her career, she was as complex as she was beautiful. She had a reputation for coldness and insecurity, and her career frustrations led to bitterness.

With her big, bright eyes, brilliant smile and light complexion, biographer James Gavin said Hollywood considered Horne "as the Negro beautiful enough -- in a Caucasian fashion -- for white Americans to accept." Until then, black women had usually been cast as servants or prostitutes -- roles that Horne did not want.

Many of her movie appearances in the 1940s and '50s were relegated to songs that had no bearing on the plot and could easily be edited out for showings in the South, where white audiences might protest the appearance of a black actress.

Her first substantial movie role did not come until 1969 when she was a brothel madam and Richard Widmark's lover in "Death of a Gunfighter." Her only other movie role after that was as Glinda the Good Witch in "The Wiz," an all-black adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz."

"I really hated Hollywood, and I was very lonely," Horne said in a Time magazine interview. "The black stars felt uncomfortable out there."

She moved back to her native New York and became a singing star in nightclubs and theaters and on television. She won two Grammys.

Gavin, author of the 2009 book "Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne," said Horne was especially sensitive to rejection.

"Every perceived or real slight, she recoiled from it in a violent way," Gavin told the Los Angeles Times. "This does not make for a happy lady. She was angry."

Horne's life was filled with contradictions. Despite being considered too dark for Hollywood stardom, as a girl she was taunted by peers because of her light complexion. She campaigned for civil rights in the 1950s and '60s but admitted she had ulterior motives for marrying second husband Lennie Hayton, a white bandleader, in 1947.

"It was cold-blooded and deliberate," she told Time. "I married him because he could get me into places a black man couldn't. But I really learned to love him. He was beautiful, just so damned good."

Horne and Hayton were married until his 1971 death. Horne and her first husband, Louis Jones, married in 1937 and divorced in 1944. They had a son, Teddy, who died of kidney problems, and a daughter, writer Gail Lumet Buckley.

Horne was born in New York on June 30, 1917. Her father was a gambler who left the family when she was a toddler and her mother was an actress who often left Lena to live with her grandparents while she toured with a black acting troupe.

Horne began her career as a 16-year-old dancer at the Cotton Club, the storied Harlem nightclub where the leading black entertainers of the time performed for white audiences, before going to Hollywood.

In the 1950s, her support of civil rights group landed Horne on a list of celebrities with alleged communist leanings, which further hurt her movie career.

In 1981, she received a special Tony Award for "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music," the Broadway show in which she sang and discussed the ups and downs of her life.

HORNE, Lena Mary Calhoun
Born: 6/30/1917, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 5/9/2010, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.

Lena Horne's western - actress, singer:
Death of a Gunfighter - 1969 (Claire Quintana)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

RIP Peer Schmidt

Actor Peer Schmidt died on Saturday May 8th, 2010 in Berlin, Germany at the age of 86. His death was confirmed by his wife actress Helga Schlack. Schmidt died after a long illness in a Berlin hospital. The actor played in numerous films like “Der Stern von Afrika” (1957), as well as in television productions like the Channel 2 German Television series “Der kleine Doctor” (1973) and the ARD TV series “Café Wernicke”(1978). His love however was acting on the stage. In Berlin Peer Schmidt is well-known as one of the most popular theatre stars. In addition he was a very busy dubbing actor who was the voice of such film stars as, Marlon Brando, and Jean Paul Belmondo.

SCHMIDT, Peer (Peer Eugen George Schmidt)
Born: 3/11/1926, Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany
Died: 5/8/2010, Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Peer Schmidt's western - voice dubber:
Boot Hill - 1969 [German voice of Terence Hill]

Thursday, May 6, 2010

RIP Jimmy Gardner

Edward Charles James 'Jimmy' Gardner died in England on May 3, 2010. He was 85. Gardner was born on August 24, Newmarket, Suffolk, Enngland. His father was a jockey Teddy Gardner but he did not pursue his fathers profession. He ran away from home, survived two ship wrecks, was a sergeant in the RAF during WWII where he was a tailgunner in the #10 Squadron. He flew 30 missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. What he really wanted was to become a film star and was know for such portrayals in “The Mummy's Tomb” (1964) and as Ernie Pang in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004). He appeared in over 30 films and made extensive TV and theater appearances such as Adam in Shakespeare's “As You Like It” and as the gravedigger in “Hamlet” both directed by Terry Hands.

GARDNER, Jimmy (Edward Charles James Gardner)
Born: 8/24/1924, Newmarket, Suffolk, England, U.K.
Died: 5/3/2010, England, U.K.

Jimmy Gardner's western - actor:
Gunslinger's Revenge - 1998 (Sam Comet)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

RIP John Davis Chandler

Character actor John Davis Chandler passed away on February,16, 2010. John was born in West Virginia and moved to Southern California at an early age. He made his home in Toluca Lake. He was an avid practitioner of yoga. Short and stocky, with fair hair, piercing blue eyes, he specialized in portraying mean, neurotic and dangerous villains. He made an impressive film debut in his sole starring part as the titular sniveling, psychotic, homicidal weasel gangster in Mad Dog Coll. He acted in a trio of Westerns for director Sam Peckinpah and is especially memorable as the creepy Jimmy Hammond in the magnificent Ride in the High County. He was excellent as vicious punk Arthur Reardon in The Young Savages. He made an effectively loathsome appearance as a vile bushwhacker in the supremely spooky horror-western The Shadow of Chikara. He had a nice bit as a bounty hunter in Clint Eastwood’s terrific The Outlaw Josey Wales. He played a foul shark poacher in Jaws. Over the years, John did many television guest spots on such shows as: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Walker, Texas Ranger, Chicago Hope, ER, Simon & Simon, Hunter, Murder, She Wrote, Hill Street Blues, T.J. Hooker, Fantasy Island, The Incredible Hulk, Police Woman, Gunsmoke, Adam-12, The Fugitive, Combat, The Rifleman, Triumphs of a Man Called Horse, The Little Dragons, Whiskey Mountain, Colombo, High Chaparral, The Treasure Seekers, Route 66 and The Men from Shiloh. He is survived by a brother, Arthur Chandler, and the many friends that he made along his journey here on earth. He will be greatly missed.

CHANDLER, John Davis
Born: 1/28/1935, Hinton, West Virginia, U.S.A.
Died: 2/16/2010, Toluca Lake, California, U.S.A.

John Davis Chandler's westerns – actor:
The Rifleman (TV) – 1962 (Brooks)
Ride the High Country – 1962 (Jimmy Hammond)
The Virginian (TV) – 1962 (Dog
Empire (TV) – 1963 (Aflen)
The Trials of Jimmie McPheeters (TV) – 1963, 1964 (Dick McBride)
Major Dundee – 1965 (Jimmie Lee Benteen)
A Man Called Shenandoah (TV) – 1965 (Cassidy)
Return of the Gunfighter – 1967 (Sundance)
The High Chaparral (TV) – 1967 (Kid Curry)
The Good Guys and the Bad Guys – 1969 (Deuce)
Barquero – 1970 (Fair)
Hitched (TV) – 1971 (railroad worker)
Shootout – 1971 (Skeeter)
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid – 1973 (Norris)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1973, 1974 (Rogers, Willie Towsen)
Doc Hooker's Bunch – 1976 (Roy)
The Outlaw Josie Wales – 1976 (bounty hunter)
The Shadow of Chikara – 1977 (Rolfe)
Triumphs of a Man Called Horse – 1982 (Mason)
Walker, Texas Ranger (TV) – 1996 (homeless man)

RIP Robert Brubaker

Robert Brubaker, the only actor to have two running parts on the 'Gunsmoke' TV series (stagecoach driver Jim Buck and Floyd the bartender) passed away on April 15, 2010. He appeared in many TV westerns and also some features such as Lee Van Cleef's “Barquero” and a few Audie Murphy westerns.

BRUBAKER, Robert (George Robert Brubaker)
Born: 10/9/1916, Robinson, Illinois. U.S.A.
Died: 4/15/2010, Lake Elsinor, California, U.S.A.

Robert Brubaker's westerns – actor:
Pardners – 1956 (businessman)
Sheriff of Cochise (TV) – 1956 (Deputy Blake)
Broken Arrown (TV) – 1957 (Cpt. Farrell)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1957-1975 (Jim Buck, Floyd)
Tombstone Territory (TV) – 1958 (Ben Burnett)
Tales of Wells Fargo (TV) – 1958 (Al Jones)
The Rough Riders (TV) – 1958 (Sgt. Baker)
Frontier Doctor (TV) – 1959 (Maj. Ely Carter)
U.S. Marshal (TV) – 1958, 1959 (Deputy Ed Blake)
Wanted: Dead or Alive (TV) – 1959 (Warner)
The Texan (TV) – 1960 (Sheriff Jim Calvin)
Pony Express (TV) – 1960 (Jake Murdock)
The Man from Blackhawk (TV) – 1960 (Claflin Pryor)
Tate (TV) – 1960 (Abel Towey)
Bronco (TV) – 1960 (Clay)
The Rebel (TV) – 1960 (Dr. Sam Bates)
The Deputy (TV) – 1961 (Pecos Smith)
Two Faces West (TV) – 1961 (Cartwright)
Cheyenne (TV) – 1962 (Matt Silvers)
The Wide Country (TV) – 1963 (Sam Wagoner)
The Dakotas (TV) – 1963 (Yankton Sheriff)
The Virginian (TV) – 1963, 1970 (Trent, Maj. Herbert, Reardon)
Apache Rifles – 1964 (Sgt. Cobb)
Bonanza (TV) – 1966, 1967, 1968 (Sheriff Hening, Lassiter, Meeker, DeVere, judge, Barney Arnet
Daniel Boone (TV) – 1966 (Talbot)
40 Guns to Apache Pass – 1967 (Sgt. Walker)
Barquero - 1970

Monday, May 3, 2010

RIP Don Guest

Producer Don Guest, whose career includes "Paris, Texas," died April 23 in Tours, France. He was 75.

The 1984 Cannes Palme d'Or winner was Guest's second film with director Wim Wenders, after "Hammett" (1982), produced with Francis Coppola and Fred Roos.

A much-in-demand production manager early in his career, Guest oversaw the complexities of Michelangelo Antonioni's "Zabriskie Point." Coming on the heels of "Blow Up," MGM gave the director license to shoot for almost a year, over much of the American West. It was Guest's first feature outing and established his reputation for smooth and efficient oversight of difficult productions. Peter Bogdonovitch's Oscar-winning "The Last Picture Show" and Sam Peckinpah's "The Getaway" starring Steve McQueen followed, along with Martin Ritt's now-classic "Sounder" and Philip Kaufman's "The White Dawn." Guest also served as associate producer on the latter two.

Born in Oklahoma, Guest moved to Los Angeles with his family in the 1940s as part of the westward Dust Bowl migration. He wrote about the childhood experience in "Okie Blues." Other screenplays include "Way of the Peaceful Warrior," from the novel by Dan Millman, and "Star Child." His personal writing dealt with the dilemmas of the human condition and, when given a choice, he preferred to work on "movies which make a difference."

Guest started his career at ZIV-TV, the predecessor of UA-TV, where he was in charge of TV production. His other feature credits include the international co-production, "Shadow of China" (1990), directed by Mitsuo Yanagimachi and starring John Lone (produced with Elliott Lewitt); "At Close Range" (1986), directed by James Foley with Sean Penn and Christopher Walken, and the Charles Bronson vehicle, "Breakheart Pass" (1975).

He became a producer on Paul Schrader's "Blue Collar" (1978), starring Richard Pryor.

He is survived by his wife, Laurie Blum Guest, three children and three grandchildren.

GUEST, Don (Donald R. Guest)
Born: 1935, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Died: 4/23/2010, Tourse, Centre, France

Don Guest's western - production manager:
Breakheart Pass - 1975

RIP Lynn Redgrave

Film and stage star Lynn Redgrave has died of breast cancer at the age of 67.

A member of the Redgrave acting dynasty, she is the third member of her family to die in the past year. Her older brother Corin died last month and her niece Natasha Richardson died from head injuries following a skiing accident just over a year ago.
She was nominated for two Oscars - once in 1967 for best actress in “Georgy Girl” and again in 1999 for best supporting actress in “Gods and Monsters”.

Redgrave spoke at the funeral of her brother, recalling that he had taught her how to climb trees without telling her how to get back down again.

She was the third child of actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson - her sister is Vanessa Redgrave.

"Vanessa was the one expected to be the great actress," Lynn Redgrave told the Associated Press in 1999. "It was always, 'Corin's the brain, Vanessa the shining star, oh, and then there's Lynn."'

Redgrave was awarded an OBE for her services to drama in 2002.

REDGRAVE, Lynn Rachel
Born: 3/8/1943, London, England, U.K.
Died: 5/2/2010, Kent, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Lynn Redgrave's westerns - actress:
Long Live Your Death - 1971 (Mary O'Donnell)
Centenial (TV) - 1979 (Charlotte Buckland Seccombe)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

RIP Lucky Hayes

Screen Actors Guild Loses Much Loved Lucky Hayes

Lucky Hayes, a long time Arizona Branch President and current Vice President Northern Arizona, passed away on April 9, 2010. Known and loved by hundreds all over the country, Lucky served in leadership roles in the Guild since 1992, first as Arizona Secretary/Treasurer and then as Vice President Northern Arizona, before being elected Arizona Branch President in 1995, a position she occupied until September 2009. She carried her SAG card proudly since joining in 1974.

As editor of the Arizona Branch newsletter, Lucky was steadfastly committed to quality, building it to become one of the most respected branch publications in the Guild. In 1978 she co-authored a book with Elayne Stein called That’s No Way To Act!, filled with dozens of street-savvy tips targeted toward budding actors. During her tenure in leadership, Lucky was active on several national committees, including the National Communications Committee, National Women’s Committee, National Right To Work Task Force, and the Executive Committee for the Regional Branch Division.

Arizona National Board Director Steve Fried stated, “Lucky constantly strove to improve the working environment of Arizona actors while always being devoted to Guild national matters, women’s issues in particular. She dutifully got the word out through the media, especially our newsletter, and in the end she made our branch a better organization. She was always there for us.”

Arizona Branch Executive Don Livesay said, “Perhaps what drove Lucky most of all was her compassion. She kept the heart beat of SAG going strong, in good and tough times, constantly reminding members to do their best, deserving of the highest respect they all shared by the membership card they carried.”

Lucky will be remembered for her enduring, positive spirit, her unwavering dedication to excellence in everything she did, and her all encompassing love for her fellow members.

Services honoring Lucky will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 17, 2010 at the Desert Hills Chapel, 6500 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85254. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests gifts to be made in the name of Lucky Hayes, either by mail to Screen Actors Guild Foundation, 5757 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 124, Los Angeles, CA 90036, or on line at

HAYES, Lucky (Anne Lucky Hayes)
Born: 10/27/1937, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 4/9/2010, Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.A.

Lucky Hayes' westerns - actress:
The Oregon Trail (TV) - 1976 (Mrs. Smith)
Young Pioneers (TV) - 1976 (woman)
The Life and Legend of Grizzly Adams (TV) - 1977 (Mary Bowker)

RIP Carmelita González

Mexican actress, Carmelita González, who worked with such actors as Pedro Infante and Jorge Negrete in the film “Dos tipos de ciudad” died today at 81 years of age, a victim of a pulmonary disease. González, was born on July 11, 1928 in the Federal District of Mexico died in the Santelena hospital, where she was being taken care of for pneumonia, she had been in bed several days. The actress of Golden age of Cinema in the Mexican cinema was recovering from of an intestinal problem, which was complicated and was due to an endoscopic esfinterotomía. Her last participation in television were the soap operas “Amar otra vez” and “Asi son ellas”. The rest of Carmelite González's career she had participated in a hundred films with such actors as the stature of Pedro Infant, Jorge Negrete and Cantinflas.

GONZALEZ, Carmelita
Born: 7/11/1928, Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico
Died: 4/30/2010, Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico

Carmelita González's westerns – actress:
Twilight on the Rio Grande – 1947 (girl on balcony)
El muchacho alegre – 1948
Se la llevó el Remington – 1948 (Gloria)
Yo maté a Juan Charrasqueado – 1949
El hijo del bandido – 1949
El charro Negro en el norte – 1949 (Anita)
The Children of Maria Morales – 1952 (Gloria Magaña)
Los inocentes – 1961

RIP Alberto Mariscal

Mexico City .- Alberto Mariscal, a prominent filmmaker, and honorary member of the Mexican Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, died on Saturday April 24 in Los Angeles, California, as released to the media Communication on Tuesday. He is considered the creator of the "chili western."

Adalberto Alvarez Ramírez Mariscal, real name of the filmmaker, was born in Zacatecas on March 10, 1926, was dedicated to acting in theater, film and television, but ventured into the address at the beginning of the seventies. Some biographies give his birthplace as Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Alberto Mariscal led to the popular hero to the big screen. He was recognized as a precursor of what was called the “chili western.”

His films began with few resources, but later struck several genres like the western, in movies like “El silencioso” (1966), “Todo por nada” (1969), “El Tunco Maclovio” (1969), “El sabor de la venganza” (1970) his masterpiece for many: Los marcados” (1970).

With great skill, years later he directed: The Beast at bay (1974), The earrings (1977), The killer combi (1982) and The Tomb Matias (1987).

Alberto Mariscal defined as "A passion for what I do ... This I do because I love film and I always do my best even for a story that may seem inconsequential, there is always something to say to people, which are sitting in a theater chair. If one can do, think and reflect on the subject being treated, it was a good one, I think."

MARISCAL, Alberto (Adalberto Ramírez Álvarez Mariscal)
Born: 3/10/1926, Chicago, Illinois. U.S.A.
Died: 4/24/2010, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Alberto Mariscal's westerns – actor, screenwriter, director
El aguila negra en “El vengador solitario” - 1954 [actor]
La venganza del Diablo – 1955 [actor]
Sierra Baron – 1958 (Lopez)
Pistolas de oro – 1959 [actor]
The Wonderful Country – 1959 [actor]
Que me maten en tus brazos – 1961 [actor]
El enmasccarado justiciero – 1961 [director]
The Hooded Men from Hell – 1962 [assistant director]
El justiciero vengador – 1962 [co-director]
La barranca sangrienta – 1962 [actor] [assistant director]
La emboscada mortal – 1962 [co-director]
Aventuras de las hermanas X – 1963 ( [assistant director]
Qué bonito es querer – 1963 [assistant director]
Dos alegres gavilanes – 1963 [co-director]
Los hijos del condenado – 1964 [director]
Dos inocentes mujeriegos – 1964 [co-director]
Shadow of the Black Hand – 1964 [director]
Gabino Barrera – 1965 – [co-director]
Los dos cuatreros – 1965 [director]
El hijo de Gabino Barrera – 1965 [director]
Jinetes de la llanura – 1966 [director]
Eye for an Eye – 1971 [director, screenwriter]
Los marcados – 1971 [director]
Los indominables – 1972 [director]
El juez de la soga – 1973 [director]
Uno para la horca – 1974 [director]
The Return of a Man Called Horse – 1976 (Red Cloud)
El arracadas – 1978 [director]
Lo blanco, lo rojo y lo negro – 1979 [director]
Bloody Marlene – 1979 [director]
Con la muerte en ancas – 1980 [director]
Forajidos en la mira – 1985 [director, screenwriter]
El loco Bronco – 1989 [director, screenwriter]