Saturday, September 29, 2018

RIP Andy Chmura

Toronto Star
September 29, 2018

Andrzej "Andy" Chmura passed away suddenly on September 17, 2018. Born in Trani, Italy, of Polish descent, he grew up in London, U.K. Predeceased by his parents, Waclawa and Tadeusz. A loving stepfather, friend and "Grandy" to his family Stefan (Corinne), Nuan, Hugo and Anna Simonyi. Missed by good friends Stephen and Cathy Ford and their children. Remembered by his brother, Voy Chmura (Bogda) and their son Philip. A camera operator since 1972, Andy worked on 116 feature films and numerous TV productions. His true joy was racing his much-loved car "Ole Yeller" around Mosport. A talented woodworker, he was endlessly generous with his skills and expertise, often declaring, "I have just the right tool for that!" A Celebration of Andy's Life will be held Friday, October 5th, at 11:30 a.m. at The Olde Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd., Scarborough, ON. Donations to Canadian Cancer Society appreciated.

CHMURA, Andy (Andrzej Maria Chmura)
Born: 2/2/1946, Trani, Italy
Died: 9/17/2018, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Andy Chmura’ western – cameraman:
By Way of the Stars (TV) - 1992-1993
Grey Own – 1999

RIP Yvonne Suhor

Yvonne Suhor, Art's Sake founder and 'Young Riders' star, dies

Orlando Sentinel
By Matthew J. Palm
September 28, 2018

Yvonne Suhor, who helped train countless local actors at her Art’s Sake Film Acting Studio in Winter Park, died Thursday. She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 10 months ago, said her husband, actor Simon Needham.

Suhor’s passing came as a surprise to many — she had not wanted her illness to be known publicly, wrote her brother, Michael, as he paid tribute to his sister online. Suhor, who worked in television, film and theater, was 56.

“She was a vibrant, spirited soul who fiercely and compassionately guided so many performers to elevate their craft on stage, on screen, and as human beings,” actor Rob Ward wrote on Facebook. “I learned more in one semester as her teacher’s assistant and student than in all my other acting classes combined.”

Suhor was fondly remembered for her starring role for three seasons on ABC’s “The Young Riders” — a 1989-92 Western about the Pony Express. The large ensemble cast included Anthony Zerbe, Stephen Baldwin and Josh Brolin. Suhor’s character, Lou, disguised herself as a man to join the Pony Express riders and later shared a romance with The Kid, played by Ty Miller.

She also recurred on the sitcom “Brooklyn Bridge” and appeared on such popular TV shows as “Murder, She Wrote,” “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Northern Exposure.” She will guest in an upcoming episode of “Lodge 49” on AMC.

“She had a good career but set it aside to teach acting to hundreds of aspiring actors over the years,” her brother wrote. “She had the world before her and chose instead to share what she knew best so that she could improve the skills of others with her guidance.”

Suhor opened Art’s Sake in 1997 and in an interview described it as “a real hotbed of creativity with an amazing vein of love energy.”

Actors at the studio, many in the Play de Luna program for up-and-comers, were regulars at the Orlando Fringe Festival. Suhor herself was often lauded in the productions. In 2002, Sentinel theater critic Elizabeth Maupin praised her as “a gritty, compelling Denise, a brooding, antagonistic woman flying by the seat of her pants.” She also won praise for her 2003 role in the Fringe’s “How to Make Love to An Actor,” in which she starred opposite Needham.

Suhon and Needham had met at the Orlando Fringe.

Born and raised in a large family in New Orleans, Suhor had planned to become a teacher like her father, until a junior-college instructor encouraged her to act, according to her biography. She stuck with acting at Illinois State University, where she graduated with a degree in acting and directing.

She later worked with the well-known Steppenwolf Theater of Chicago, appearing in productions there such as its award-winning “The Grapes of Wrath.” She also toured Australia with Steppenwolf, in a production of “Lydie Breeze.” Suhon received a master of fine arts degree from the University of California.

In announcing her death, Art’s Sake said she died surrounded by family, friends and her cat, Jazzy. One of her last wishes was to be remembered with a party, the announcement said. Details will come at a later date.

On Facebook, friends paid tribute to her as a teacher and friend.

“She literally altered my life,” wrote actor Ame Livingson. “One of the first and, truly, best teachers of my life. You have marked my heart and opened my eyes. Forever a Goddess of art and love.”

“She taught me a lot, not only about what it means to be an actor, but what it means to be human,” wrote Cole NeSmith, an actor and founder of the Creative City Project’s Immerse arts festival.

In interview with fans of “The Young Riders,” she talked about her likes — crossword puzzles, modern dance, “Will & Grace” — and shared a glimpse of her philosophy of life.

“I’ve learned not to take things so seriously,” she said. “My spiritual views break down to how I deal with relationships: Give to self; share with others. Play a part in humanity. Heal your inner child and help to heal others. You can’t fix anyone, but you can be a role model. All the adversity that one goes through was God’s gift, and there for a reason, so embrace it.”

SUHOR, Yvonne
Born: 11/29/1965, New Orleans, Florida, U.S.A.
Died: 9/27/2018, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.

Yvonne Suhor’s western – actress:
The Young Riders (TV) – 1989-1992 (Louis McCloud)

Friday, September 28, 2018

RIP Roger Robinson

Tony-Winning Actor Roger Robinson, Celebrated August Wilson Interpreter, Dies at 78
By Andy Lefkowitz
Septenber 28, 2018

Roger Robinson, a talented star of the New York theater scene whose four-decade Broadway career was capped by a Tony Award win for his performance in an August Wilson classic, died on September 26 in Escondido, CA. Robinson's death was confirmed by publicist Patty Onagan, who said the cause of death was a complicated heart condition. Robinson was 78.

Born on May 2, 1940 in Seattle, Washington, Robinson made his first off-Broadway appearance in Walk in Darkness (1963), later making his Broadway debut beside Al Pacino in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? (1969). He was seen again on Broadway shortly after in The Miser (1969), followed by later turns in Amen Corner (1983) and The Iceman Cometh (1985).

Robinson earned his first Tony nomination for his performance as Hedley in the Broadway-premiere production of Seven Guitars (1996) by August Wilson, a playwright who would remain a constant in Robinson's career.

In 2009, Lincoln Center Theater produced a new staging of Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone, directed by Bartlett Sher and featuring Robinson in the supporting role of Bynum Walker. The performance earned Robinson a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play; he also became the first African-American actor to win the Richard Seff Award, an honor presented by Actors' Equity to a veteran character actor 50 years of age or older for an exceptional performance. Over the course of his career, Robinson appeared in six productions of the 10 plays in Wilson's century cycle, which charts the African-American experience over each decade of the 20th century.

Robinson's additional stage credits include a Broadway performance in Drowning Crow (2004) and off-Broadway turns in Who's Got His Own (1966), The Trials of Brother Jero/The Strong Breed (1967), Do Lord Remember Me (1984), Of Mice and Men (1987) and The Middle of Nowhere (1988). In 2013, Robinson directed an off-Broadway production of Strawberry & Chocolate.

On-screen, Robinson earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his acclaimed performance in Brother to Brother (2004). He was also seen in a recurring turn as Mac Harkness in How to Get Away with Murder (2016-2018).

In a backstage interview following his Tony win, Robinson spoke with Editor-in-Chief Paul Wontorek about performing the work of August Wilson: "It's like a symphony—every note, every word has to be where August wrote it. It's precise. It calls for tremendous concentration, but it's also fun. It's like a challenge; every night you step out there to do it and hit those notes with everybody. It's a wonderful experience. I really am happy that I am an actor."

Born: 5/2/1940, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
Died: 9/26/2018, Escondido, California, U.S.A.

Roger Robinson’s western – actor:
This Is the West That Was (TV) - 1974

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

RIP Katyna Ranieri

She’s died Katyna Ranieri, widow of Riz Ortolani, the only Italian who sang at the Oscars

The artist died at the age of 93, shortly after celebrating her birthday with her family. She was the only Italian singer in history to perform in an Oscar ceremony, interpreting the song 'More' from the film 'Mondo cane', for which Ortolani received the statuette

September 3, 2018

The singer Katyna Ranieri, widow of the composer Riz Ortolani, died in Rome on the night of 2 September. He had just turned 93 on August 31, celebrating with her family on the day when she also celebrated her wedding anniversary with Ortolani, who was born in Pesaro and died in 2014. She leaves her daughter Rizia and her son Enrico. The funeral will be held Wednesday, September 5 at 15.30 in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Montesano (Church of the Artists) in Piazza del Popolo. The family invites the participants to avoid wearing mourning clothes.

Katyna Ranieri and Riz Ortolani were companions in life and art, in a loving and musical partnership. She, born in Follonica, finished second in San Remo, had achieved success as a singer in the 1950s and 1960s performing in the most exclusive stages of Italy, Latin America and the US, then in the 1970s concerts with big orchestras directed by her husband and tours in Italy, Japan, Austria, Germany, England, Korea.

She was the only Italian singer in the history of the Academy Awards to perform at an Oscar ceremony, singing the song “More” (theme of the film Mondo Cane ) for which Riz Ortolani received the Grammy award. Among her most famous interpretations: “Oh my Love” (recently revived in the movie Drive ); “Forget Tomorrow” from the movie The Yellow Rolls Royce; songs from the Fratello Sole Sorella Luna soundtrack. Katyna Ranieri was also the author of many lyrics of the songs composed by Riz Ortolani, hiding behind pseudonyms like Benjamin, Mae Kroville and others.

RANIERI, Katyna (Caterina Ranieri)
Born: 8/15/1927, Follonica, Grosseto, Italy
Died: 9/2/2018, Rome, Lazio, Italy

KATYNA, Ranieri’s western – singer:
Johnny West – 1965 [sings “Johnny West”]

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

RIP Frank Parker

The Reporter
September 25, 2018

Frank Russell Parker passed away on Sunday, Sept. 16, at the age of 79 in Vacaville, from complications of Parkinson's and dementia. He was born July 1, 1939 in Darby, PA to Dorothy Ada Platner and Edward Wallace Parker. He was raised in Lansdowne, PA by his mother and step father Maurice Gordon. He spent many happy summers with his grandmother Mabel Green in upstate New York. He earned his BA in Acting from Carnegie Tech in 1962 and moved to Culver City. He married Nola Donelle Rajcok in 1981 and had three daughters, Candace Donelle and fraternal twins Danielle Dallas and Lindsay Kyle. In 2005, he married Mary Jean Dunning Garofalo and resided in Vacaville, until his death. His acting career spanned many years. He was in numerous films and television series throughout the 60's and 70's. He played roles on several soap operas during the 80's, most notably as Grandpa Shawn Brady on Days of Our Lives from 1983 until he retired in 2008. Frank was a people person; he touched many lives and was loved by everyone. He could light up a room with his singing voice and was known to burst into song at any moment. He was a ham and loved the spotlight. Above all, he was the most supportive, generous, kind man and father. Frank loved his family. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Candi; mother-in-law, Dorothy Jean Wachsman Dunning, and former father-in-law, Robert Rajcok. He is survived by his wife, Mary; daughters, Danielle (Matthew) Buckles, Lindsay Parker (Travis Burbank) and their mother, Nola; his grandson, Jaxson Dale; sisters-in-law, Jo Dunning, Patricia Dunning; brother-in-law, Bob Dunning; former mother-in-law, Sharon Rajcok; sisters-in-law, Mary Rajcok, Andi Jurich; brothers-in-law, Robert Rajcok, Dale Espina, Kevin Fox; also, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. In loving memory of Frank, a rosary will be held on Wednesday Sept. 26, at 7 p.m., at Saint Mary's Catholic Church, 350 Stinson Ave., Vacaville, CA 95688. Funeral service will be held in Los Angeles, CA at a later date. In Frank's honor, donations may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Mary's Catholic Church at the above address. "It's never's always, 'I'll see ya later.'" Frank Parker.

PARKER, Frank (Frank Russell Parker)
Born: 7/1/1939, Danby, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Died: 9/16/2018, Vacaville, California, U.S.A.

Frank Parker’s westerns – actor:
Stay Away Joe – 1968 (Deputy Sheriff Hank Matson)
The Cowboys (TV) – 1974 (Herbert Mackey)
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1974 (Sean Hern)