Sunday, July 31, 2016

RIP Gloria DeHaven

Gloria DeHaven, Effervescent Star of MGM Musicals, Dies at 91

The Hollywood Reporter
By  Mike Barnes and Duane Byrge

She wandered into Charlie Chaplin’s 'Modern Times' and later appeared in 'Best Foot Forward,' 'Three Little Words,' 'Two Girls and a Sailor' and 'Out to Sea.'

Singer-actress Gloria DeHaven, the perky star of MGM musicals in the 1940s and a stalwart of show business for more than six decades, has died. She was 91.

DeHaven, who made her screen debut in Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936) as Paulette Goddard's kid sister — her father served as an assistant director on the film — died Saturday while in hospice care in Las Vegas, her daughter, Faith Fincher-Finkelstein, told The Hollywood Reporter. DeHaven suffered a stroke about three months ago, she said.

The vivacious DeHaven, a studio player at MGM, appeared in a number of top films with leading stars, including Thousands Cheer (1943) with Gene Kelly;Two Girls and a Sailor (1944) with June Allyson and Van Johnson; Step Lively (1944) with Frank Sinatra; Summer Holiday (1948) with Mickey Rooney; The Doctor and the Girl (1949) with Glenn Ford and Nancy Reagan; Two Tickets to Broadway (1951) with Janet Leigh and Tony Martin; and The Girl Rush (1955) with Rosalind Russell.

In Three Little Words (1950), a biography of Tin Pan Alley songwriters Bert Kalmar (played by Fred Astaire) and Harry Ruby (Red Skelton), DeHaven played her real-life mother, vaudeville star Flora Parker. She sang the 1920s tearjerker "Who’s Sorry Now?" in the film.

DeHaven also performed in numerous other movies, including Best Foot Forward (1943), Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby (1949), Summer Stock (1950), Down Among the Sheltering Palms (1953), So This Is Paris (1954), Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976) and the dreadful Bog (1979).

Her last movie appearance came as a lovely widow and romantic interest of Jack Lemmon's character on the cruise-ship set Out to Sea (1997).

She played Annie "Tippy-toes" Wylie, a bisexual CB radio aficionado who also had an affair with the husband of Louise Lasser's character, on the fabled Norman Lear syndicated series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and had a continuing role on the short-lived 1974 ABC series Nakia, starring Robert Forster.

DeHaven also appeared on the soaps As the World Turns, Ryan’s Hope (playing a woman who for a while lived in a trailer camp) and All My Children.

Gloria Mildred DeHaven was born July 23, 1925, in Los Angeles, the daughter of Parker and actor-director Carter DeHaven. They were billed in vaudeville as the song-and-dance team “Mr. and Mrs. Carter DeHaven.”

Her father was good friends with Chaplin. "One day I came to visit my dad on the set [of Modern Times] and they needed two little girls to be in a shot with Paulette Goddard," she once recalled. "All they had us do was eat bananas and run around. I said, 'If this is show business, I'm definitely in!' "

She appeared in Susan and God (1940), the film version of a Broadway play that starred Joan Crawford, Fredric March and Rita Hayworth, and her first film under contract at MGM was Best Foot Forward with Lucille Ball. Later, she appeared in The Thin Man Goes Home (1944), the fifth of the six private detective films that starred William Powell and Myrna Loy.

In the Big Band era, she was a featured vocalist with the Bob Crosby and Jan Savitt dance bands and later headlined gigs in Las Vegas, New York and London nightclubs.

DeHaven made her Broadway debut as the star of the 1955 musical version of Seventh Heaven with Ricardo Montalban. She also toplined summer stock productions of The Sound of Music, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Hello, Dolly and Plaza Suite.

DeHaven played many guest-starring roles on TV, beginning in the halcyon days of live TV and on such shows as Robert Montgomery Presents, The Rifleman, The Defenders, Burke’s Law, Marcus Welby, M.D., Wagon Train and Gunsmoke.

Later in her career, she appeared on Fantasy Island, Quincy M.E., The Love Boat, Highway to Heaven, Murder, She Wrote and Touched by an Angel.

In the late 1960s, she also hosted Prize Movie, a weekday morning series on WABC-TV in New York.

DeHaven was married four times, including once to actor John Payne (Miracle on 34th Street, Kansas City Confidential) and twice to businessman Richard Fincher. All her marriages ended in divorce.

DeHAVEN, Gloria (Gloria Mildred DeHaven)
Born: 7/23/1925, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 7/30/2016, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

Gloria DeHaven’s westerns – actress:
Johnny Ringo (TV) – 1959 (Ronna Desmond)
The Rifleman (TV) – 1959 (Lillian Halsread)
Wagon Train (TV) – 1960 (Allison Justis)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1974 (Carrie)
Banjo Hackett: Roamin’ Free (TV) – 1976 (Lady Jane Gray)
Outlaws: The Legend of O.B. Taggart - 1994

Thursday, July 28, 2016

RIP Jerry Doyle

'Babylon 5' star Jerry Doyle Dead at 60


Jerry Doyle -- best known for his role on "Babylon 5" -- died Wednesday ... TMZ has learned.

Sources tell us ... a call was made to his Las Vegas home yesterday afternoon after he was found unresponsive. It's unclear how the political radio talk show host and actor died ... but we're told no foul play is suspected. An autopsy is pending.

Jerry starred as security officer Michael Garibaldi from 1994 to 1998 and was married to co-star Andrea Thompson from 1995 to 1997. He worked on Wall Street before going into acting.

As of late ... Jerry hosted a nationally syndicated radio talk show, "The Jerry Doyle Show."

He was 60.

DOYLE, Jerry
Born: 7/16/1956, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 7/27/2016, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

Jerry Doyle’s western – actor:
The Long Ride Home – 2003 (Sheriff)

RIP Joe Powell

Joe Powell, stuntman – obituary

The Telegraph
July 27, 2016

Joe Powell, who has died aged 94, was known as the “daddy of British stuntmen” for the gut-wrenchingly high-risk feats he performed in classic adventure films such as Where Eagles Dare and The Guns of Navarone.

For The Man Who Would Be King, John Huston’s adaptation of a Rudyard Kipling story filmed in the Atlas mountains, Powell, “doubling” for Sean Connery, had to plunge 100 ft from a collapsed rope bridge into a perilous ravine: if he had missed the target area covered with boxes to cushion his fall, he would have plummeted a further 2,000 ft. The co-star Michael Caine walked away saying: “I’m not going to watch this one.” Huston was delighted, saying it was “the darnedest stunt I ever saw”.

During the course of his career Powell suffered a few broken ribs, and a broken hip after a horse fell on him, but he did not allow himself to be unduly troubled by nerves. “The thing is,” he explained, “you don’t have time to be scared – if you stop to think about what you are doing you wouldn’t do it…  I didn’t have any training so when I performed a stunt the audience were literally seeing someone fall off a cliff – it made it more realistic.”

Joseph Augustus Powell was born on March 21 1922 at the Shepherd and Flock public house, Shepherd’s Bush, where his father, Joseph, a former quartermaster sergeant in the Life Guards, was the landlord. Joe was brought up in Camden where his father had the tenancy of a pub called the Camden Head, then in Chelsea where, after the death of his father, his mother Ada (neé Blunt) ran the Prince of Wales in Dover Street.

Joe was one of five siblings; his only brother, Eddie, also became a stuntman. Whiling away his spare time while his parents were running the pub, he joined first the Cubs and then the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers Cadet Corps. He enjoyed soldiering, and soon after the outbreak of war, when he was still only 17, he joined the Grenadier Guards. To break the monotony of drill and PT he took up boxing with the regimental team, but as the war progressed he was selected for No 4 Special Service (Commando) unit, taking part in the 1942 raid on Dieppe, during which he was briefly knocked out, and in the D-Day invasion.

With the war in Europe over, Powell was sent to Germany, where he learnt to ride. He had little idea of what he was going to do apart from vague thoughts of becoming a professional boxer. But in 1946 a chance meeting at a bus stop with the actor Dennis Price led to Powell visiting the studios where Price was filming a Napoleonic-era musical with Stewart Granger called The Magic Bow.

Powell was struck by how comically unrealistic Napoleon’s “crack soldiers” were and determined that here might be an opening. “I’m going into the film industry,” he told his friends, “to bring realism into action films.”

Demobbed in the rank of sergeant, he managed to get a job as an extra at Pinewood. He was sparring at the Polytechnic Boxing Club in Regent Street and through a friendship there he ended up as a founding partner in a stunt team set up by Captain Jock Easton MC, who was just out of the SAS.

For Powell’s first big stunt, in The Small Voice, filmed at Ealing Studios, he played a motorcycle policeman pursuing a criminal gang in a car. He had to simulate being shot at, swerving off the road at 40 mph and crashing into a tree. The stunt was so lifelike that the prop man assumed Powell really had been injured.

Powell appeared in nearly 100 films, including Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951), Moby Dick (1956), Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965). It was not unusual for him to be blown up, machine-gunned or otherwise “killed” multiple times in one picture, as when he played German soldiers in Where Eagles Dare (1968). He always insisted that he had not trained to be a stuntman, though one special skill he had was falling from heights.

As well as the rope bridge fall in The Man Who Would Be King, there was a dramatic plunge 90 ft down from the side of a sinking ship (Titanic) in A Night to Remember in 1958, filmed in Glasgow docks. Then in 1961 for The Guns of Navarone he took the role of a German shot by Gregory Peck and dropping 90 ft from a cave into the sea by the island of Rhodes. It went without a hitch, though he was heavily bruised.

Living through a golden age of films with military themes, Powell applied his own Army experience to his projects. In 1964 he took on a rare acting role in one such film, as Sgt Windridge, in Cy Endfield’s Zulu. The film contained some unusual stunts; Powell also trained the Zulus and helped choreograph the battle scenes.

In 1962 he worked on The Longest Day, the film based on Cornelius Ryan’s book about D-Day, which depicted events in which he had been involved. Visiting the set one day with the producer Darryl Zanuck, Lord Lovat was heard to say: “There’s Powell, one of my sergeants.”

Powell appeared in three Bond films and the spoof Casino Royale. In 1969, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, he stood in for Telly Savalas as the criminal mastermind Blofeld in a terrifying bobsleigh chase.

In retirement Powell kept up his keep-fit enthusiasm. Looking back on his career he was particularly proud of the fact that he had helped stunt performers to gain acceptance into Equity, the actors’ union. He had a lifelong love of the sea and was in the crew of the replica ship Mayflower II when it sailed to America in 1957.

He was twice married, first to Marguerite, known as “Clem”; she died of cancer. His second wife, Juliet, also died, and he is survived by four sons and a daughter; another daughter predeceased him.

POWELL, Joe (Joseph Augusta Powell)
Born: 3/21/1922, Shepherd’s Bush, London, England, U.K.
Died: 6/30/2016, London, England, U.K.

Joe Powell’s western – stuntman:
Africa: Texas Style - 1967

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

RIP Joe Napolitano

Joe Napolitano, ‘Quantum Leap,’ ‘X-Files’ Director Dies at 67

By Lamarco McClendon
July 26, 2016

Joe Napolitano, the TV director known for his work on “Quantum Leap” and “The X-Files,” passed away on July 23 in Los Angeles after losing his battle with cancer. He was 67.

Napolitano’s career in directing and producing spanned over thirty-four years and his television credits numbered over forty episodes of prime time dramas, including “Picket Fences,” “Northern Exposure,” “E.R.” and “Boston Public.”

He directed 12 episodes of “Quantum Leap” between 1990 and 1992, four episodes of “JAG” between 1995 and 1997 and two episodes of “The X-Files” series in 1993 and 1994.

In addition to television, Joe served as first assistant director on such classic Hollywood films as “Scarface,” “Parenthood,” “Throw Momma From the Train,” “The Fisher King,” “The Untouchables,” “Body Double,” “Blow Out,” and “The Pope of Greenwich Village.”

During this time, he worked with such directors as Brian Hutton, Danny DeVito, Stuart Rosenberg, Donald P. Bellisario, Ron Howard, Howard Zieff, Terry Gilliam, Antoine Fuqua, and on multiple projects directed by Brian De Palma.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and two children, Michael and Grace.

NAPOLITANO, Joe (Joseph Ralph Napolitano)
Born: 11/22/1948, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 7/23/2016, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Joe Napolitano’s western – director:
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (TV) - 1993

RIP Lee Grant

The New Zealand Herald
July 25, 2016

GRANT, Lee. Died Friday 22nd July, 2016, Perth, Australia. Actress and dear friend. Remembered with love by her colleagues at Mercury Theatre and Theatre Corporate.

GRANT, Lee (Leonara Elizabeth Grant)
Born: 8/3/1931  Carshalton, Surrey, England U.K.
Died: – 7/22/2016, Perth, Australia

Lee Grant’s western – actress:
White Fang (TV) – 1994 (Mrs. Dillon)