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Where those associated with Western films from around the world are laid to rest.

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  • 01/10/13--10:11: RIP Rex Trailer


  • Beloved Boston cowboy Rex Trailer dies at 84


    BOSTON (AP) — Rex Trailer, the native Texan beloved by a generation of New England children for the cowboy skills he demonstrated on the Boston-based television show "Boomtown," has died. He was 84.

    Trailer died Wednesday at his family's home in Florida, said his friend and manager Michael Bavaro. He had fallen ill with pneumonia in Florida over the holidays, but the exact cause of death was not immediately clear.

    "Rex Trailer left this earth peacefully last night surrounded in love and song by his family," the family announced on his website. "While everyone's prayers and support have been of great comfort to Rex, he decided it was time to go home. Rex and family thank all of you and love you."

    "Boomtown" ran on Boston television from 1956 until 1974. Trailer hosted the show, singing, playing guitar and showing off the horse-riding, roping and other cowboy skills he had learned as a boy on his grandfather's ranch in Texas.

    The show was an instant success when it first aired, the live studio audience enraptured by Trailer's Texas twang. It aired live every Saturday and Sunday morning for three hours. More than 250,000 kids appeared on "Boomtown" over the years and more than 4 million watched from home, according to the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Trailer was inducted in 2007.

    In addition to the cowboy action, the show offered educational games and films, cartoons and outdoor adventure.

    "He was a visionary in a lot of ways," Bavaro said. "He was doing educational children's television before there was educational children's television."

    The show was one of the first where mentally and physically disabled children were prominent in the audience, a conscious decision by Trailer.

    Some people associated with the show were concerned when a disabled child was on the show. "Some people thought he would cause a ruckus, but Rex said 'No, let him on,'" Bavaro said.

    In 1961, he led a wagon train across the state to raise awareness about children with disabilities.

    Trailer has been honored for his lifetime commitment to disabled children, especially muscular dystrophy.

    He also taught on-camera performance and production at Emerson College in Boston since the mid-1970s, and ran his own production company based in Waltham that produced commercials, industrial films and documentaries.

    Trailer got into show business on the advice of the ranch hands on his grandfather's farm. He got a job as a production coordinator with the Dumont Network in New York and worked his way up to producer and director. It was in New York where he first became an on-air talent as host of the "Oky Doky Ranch."

    He hosted western-themed TV shows in Philadelphia for five years before landing in Boston in 1955. His original 13-week contract with WBZ-TV lasted nearly 20 years. When "Boomtown" went off the air, Trailer doffed his cowboy hat and hosted a science-themed children's show for several years called "Earth Lab."

    His reach was so wide that in 2011 a state senator introduced legislation to make Trailer the "Official Cowboy of Massachusetts."

    His family said a memorial service is being planned.

    TRAILER, Rex (Rexford Traylor)
    Born: 9/16/1928, Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.
    Died: 1/10/2013, Florida, U.S.A.

    Rex Trailer’s westerns – actor, singer:
    Oky Doky Ranch (TV) – 1949
    Ridin’ the Trail with Rex Trailer (TV) – 1951-1955
    Boomtown (TV) – 1956-1974
    The Way West – 1967 (cowboy)


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  • 01/10/13--14:12: RIP Evan S. Connell


  • Evan S. Connell, an acclaimed and adventurous author whose literary explorations ranged from Depression-era Kansas in the twin novels "Mrs. Bridge" and "Mr. Bridge" was found dead Thursday, his niece said. He was 88.

    Connell was discovered at his Santa Fe apartment and likely died of old age, said Donna Waller of Hilton Head Island, S.C.

    Little known to the general public, but regarded fondly by critics, Connell was a National Book award finalist, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a finalist in 2009 for the International Man Booker Award for lifetime achievement.

    Connell was the author of 19 books, including two book-length poems, a biography of Spanish painter Francisco Goya and a historically detailed novel about the Crusades, "Deus Lo Volt!"

    He wrote often of seekers and doubters, world travelers through the ages, and conventional folks who secretly yearned to break out.

    The author himself was blessed with a curious and unpredictable mind, his subjects including alchemy, Antarctica, Nordic tales, Marco Polo, Mayan sculpture and the quest for gold in the New World.

    His best-known books included his first novel, "Mrs. Bridge," published in 1959 and nominated for a National Book Award. His historical account of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, "Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn," came out in 1984 and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle prize. It also was a best-seller and adapted for a network television miniseries.

    The husband and wife movie stars, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, appeared in a 1990 film, "Mr. & Mrs. Bridge," based on Connell's twin novels, each written from the perspective of the title character.

    Connell once said that the novels, published a decade apart, were "semi" autobiographical. They drew on his childhood experiences growing up in an upper-class family in the Midwest before World War II.

    Connell was born in Kansas City, Mo., on Aug. 17, 1924, the son and grandson of physicians. His mother was the daughter of a judge.

    Connell embarked on a literary career despite the wishes of his father, who wanted him to inherit the family medical practice.

    "He was concerned that I would never be able to make a living at this kind of thing — it was a justifiable concern, I think," Connell told The Associated Press in 2000. "I grew up in a home where there was no music, no interest in any of the arts."

    In "Mrs. Bridge" and "Mr. Bridge," Connell's narrative was a series of vignettes — some just a few paragraphs — that offer a portrait of the pre-war lives of Walter Bridge, a workaholic lawyer, and his wife, India, who reside in the fashionable county club district of Kansas City.

    While the Bridges each are respected members of their class — and respectability is the dearest of goals — Connell also writes of their inner doubts about their marriage, their religious faith and the meaning of their lives.

    As much as any work by a writer of Connell's generation, these two novels are likely to live on as classics in our literature, wrote Gerald Shapiro in a 1987 edition of the literary journal, Ploughshares.

    Connell "was a trailblazer, a troubadour, one of the first to put the literary scalpel to the suburban skin," Greg Bottoms wrote in Salon.com in 2000 in describing the Bridge novels.

    His most recent book was a collection of short stories published in 2008, "Lost in Uttar Pradesh."

    He began writing while attending Dartmouth College. But he left in 1943 to enlist in the Navy, becoming a pilot and flight instructor. After the war, he returned to college and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1947 with a degree in English literature.

    He studied creative writing at Stanford and Columbia universities, but unlike many authors he never taught, saying that campus life was too comfortable.

    He traveled to Europe, and lived briefly in Paris before returning to the United States in the mid-1950s. At times, he took odd-jobs to support his literary pursuits. He once worked as an interviewer in an unemployment office in the San Francisco area, where he lived for more than three decades before moving to New Mexico in 1989. He never married.

    The Santa Fe-based Lannan Foundation awarded Connell its $100,000 Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2000.

    "We believe he's one of the most important postwar (WWII) American writers," Patrick Lannan said at the time. "To be that good in fiction, nonfiction and poetry is really, really remarkable."

    Waller said no funeral services were planned.


    CONNELL, Evan S. (Evan Shelby Connell Jr.)
    Born: 1924 Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.
    Died:  1/10/2013, Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A.

    Evan S. Connell’s western – author.
    Son of the Morning Star (TV) 1991 [author]


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  • 01/12/13--08:14: RIP Luigi Kuveiller


  • Cinematographer Luigi Kuveiller died  in Rome on January 10 2013.

    Born in Rome on October 3, 1927, Luigi Kuveiller was a noted Italian cinematographer during the 1960s and 1970s who made his first big splash working with the seriously underrated Italian film director Elio Petri on several of his films including the Academy award winning “A Citizen Above Suspicion” (1970). He also lensed Dario Argento's ground breaking giallo “Deep Red” (1975) and Lucio Fulci's notorious “New York Ripper” (1982) as well as both of the Paul Morrissey/Andy Warhol produced “Dracula” (1974) and “Frankenstein” (1973). He even worked with Billy Wilder on “Avanti!” (1972). Kuveiller never earned the many accolades but his films almost always showed a polished sophistication, full of kinetic camera movements and yet tastefully restrained and always in the service of the director he worked with. Kuveiller has enjoyed steady work in mostly Italian projects up to 2004. He was the cinematographer on one Euro-western “A Man Called Sledge” directed by Vic Morrow and starring James Garner.

    KUVEILLER, Luigi
    Born: 10/3/1927, Rome, Lazio, Italy
    Died: 1/10/2013, Fiano Romano, Lazio, Italy

    Luigi Kuveiller's western - cinematographer:
    A Man Caled Sledge - 1970


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  • 01/14/13--13:53: RIP Billie Brown
  • Veteran stage actor Bille Brown dies



    VETERAN Australian stage actor Bille Brown has died after a short battle with bowel cancer.

    Brown, 61, a lifelong friend of Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush, was one of the first actors to join the Queensland Theatre Company (QTC).



    He died on Sunday at Brisbane's Holy Spirit Northside Hospital in Chermside, two days after his birthday, and surrounded by friends. He was hospitalised a week ago.


    QTC artistic director Wesley Enoch described Brown on Sunday evening as a distinguished individual and a superb actor, forging the way for so many and most certainly putting Queensland on the map.


    His work with the QTC spanned four decades, following his first main stage production in 1971, Wrong Side of the Moon.


    He was cast in 29 productions and produced four of his own written works.


    In recognising his contribution and support for the arts in Queensland, The Bille Brown Studio was officially opened in 2002.


    It is now home to QTCs Greenhouse program, a space for emerging artists, new works, ideas and constant debate.


    "The artistic community of Queensland and Australia has lost a true gentleman. We are part of Bille's legacy," Mr Enoch said. "Every actor, playwright, director, stage manager, designer, musician and all the teams who work in theatre in Queensland owe Bille a huge debt.


    "He brought a sense of adventure, love and respect. His talent and love survives in us all."


    The Biloela-born actor worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company for a number of years between 1976 and 1996 and toured throughout Europe with them.


     

    His film work includes roles in The Chronicles of Narnia (2010), The Dish (2000) and Oscar and Lucinda (1997).


     

    Queensland Arts Minister Ros Bates said Brown's death was a tremendous loss for the arts and audiences alike. "I would like to express my deepest sympathies to Mr Brown's family, friends and fellow artists who worked beside him over more than four decades as an actor, writer and director," Ms Bates said.


    She said Brown had left an impressive legacy of major roles in dozens of productions for every leading theatre company in Australia and New York, as well as in the UK, where he worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company.


    He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2011 for his service to the performing arts as an actor and playwright.


    He was also made an honorary Queensland Doctorate of Letters from the University of Queensland.


    BROWN, Billie (William Brown)


    Born: 1/11/1952, Biloela, Queensland, Australia


    Died: 1/13/2013, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia



    Billie Brown’s western – actor:

    Wild Boys (TV) – 2011 (Booth)


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  • 01/17/13--08:58: RIP Billy Varga


  • Though Count Billy Varga, who died Friday night at age 94 from complications of Alzheimer's, was a wrestling star in his own right, especially in southern California, his most-seen bout came not against another wrestler, but against Herman Munster.

    It was the eighth episode of The Munsters, in November 1964, and the family patriarch, the Frankenstein-like Herman, becomes a pro wrestler called The Masked Marvel in an effort to make some cash for his son Eddie's college education. Varga is Strangler Murphy, who benefits from Herman being so nice and gullible, and unable to take advantage of his opponents.

    The sitcom was so relatively new that in a November 3, 1964 letter to promoter Jack Pfefer, Varga described the show and sent a publicity shot. "The name of the show is the 'Munsters.' I end up wrestling Frankenstein. Thought you would get a kick out of it," he told Pfefer, one of wrestling's greatest behind-the-scenes characters.

    The intertwining of wrestling and show business was a long affair for Varga, whose in-ring accomplishments, while notable, perhaps pale in comparison to his movie and television work. And, while wrestling helped make the second-generation wrestler a name, it didn't give him a pension as acting did.

    "Billy Varga was a nice guy and good performer. He had a good thing going with Hollywood, doing television and movies," said Dick Hutton in a 2001 interview with Wrestling Perspective.

    Born in Cleveland to Joe and Rose Varga on January 10, 1919, Billy grew up around the wrestling business thanks to his Hungarian-born father. The elder Varga was a successful amateur wrestler in Europe, which he continued upon his arrival in New York. He turned to pro wrestling in 1914 as Count Joseph Varga, and wrestled until 1936, when he started refereeing.

    By the late-'50s, he seemed to have morphed into a semi-permanent heel, perhaps aided by the "Count" title, which was claimed to be from the House of Hapsberg. The elder Varga apparently conferred the title upon his son in 1959.

    In a 1959 interview in Wrestling Revue, Billy addressed the difficulties of being a second-generation wrestler. "[A]s a kid I was always afraid of being unable to live up to Dad's reputation. It worried me until Dad took me aside, one day. It was just after he had taught me his invention, the 'salto' hold -- the one that had helped him get into Ripley's Believe It or Not column -- and I was pretty discouraged by the time he finished. 'Billy,' Dad said, 'with this hold and a few others, I won three world wrestling titles in one night, middleweight, cruiser and heavyweight. Probably nobody will ever do that again -- not even you. Are you going to let this wreck your life?' Before I could answer, he went on, 'Because if you are, tell me now and we'll forget all about wrestling.'"

    The Los Angeles-based North American Wrestling championship seemed locked on Varga's waist for more than 10 years. Promotional bumpf talked about the "$7,000 diamond studded belt."

    It was essentially a vanity belt, not booked out of any office.

    By the early 1970s, his in-ring career had wound down, though he could hardly have been called a full-timer for much of the previous two decades, given his frequent movie and TV work.

    The list of film and TV Varga worked on is an impressive body of work, starting with early wrestling-related movies Bodyhold (1949) and Alias the Champ, later wrestling-related movies such as Mad Bull (1977) and Grunt! The Wrestling Movie (1985). There were movies where he was not a wrestler too, including roles as cooks, guards, and announcers, such as in the award-winning Raging Bull (1980).

    Varga's connection between Hollywood and the grunt-and-groan crew made him a key figure in the Cauliflower Alley Club, an organization bringing together wrestlers, boxers, stunt men and actors. He was a regular at the gatherings, often monopolizing the conversations.

    His wife, Rosabelle, who died in 1992, was a dancer and nicknamed "Rosebud." They had three sons, Billy, Courtland and Royce, all of whom preceded him in death. He is survived by five grandchildren, Billy Varga the 3rd, Lisa Varga-Hamrick, Eain Varga, Tania Varga and Joseph Varga.

    The Count had been in hospice care since the fall of 2005, suffering from Alzheimer's disease. He passed on Friday, January 11, 2013.

    A memorial service celebrating Billy’s life will take place on Saturday, January 19 with a viewing at 11 am and the funeral at 1 pm at Holy Cross Cemetery 5835 West Slauson Ave. Culver City, CA 90230 For information (310) 836-5500 or go to www.holycrossmortuary.com to view his obituary.

    VARGA, Billy (William Joe Varga)
    Born: 1/10/1919, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.
    Died: 1/11/2013, Northridge, California, U.S.A.

    Billy Varga’s westerns – actor:
    Shotgun Slade (TV) – 1960 (Snag)
    Oklahoma Crude – 1973 (Cook)

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  • 01/17/13--11:23: RIP Marla English


  • MARLA ENGLISH, ‘FAIREST OF THE FAIR’ AND ACTRESS, DEAD AT 77

    By Caroline Dipping
    Jan. 12, 2013

    Not long after a 16-year-old Marla English was crowned the Del Mar Fair’s youngest
    Fairest of the Fair in 1951, Hollywood came calling. Signed to a seven-year contract
    with Paramount Studios and earning $150 a week, the raven-haired beauty appeared in
    several B-movies including “Living It Up,” “Shield for Murder” and “Hell’s Horizon.”
    Three years into her career, Ms. English was poised for stardom when she was cast
    opposite Spencer Tracy in a movie set in the French Alps. She walked away from the
    project, marrying prominent San Diego businessman A. Paul Sutherland a short time later
    and living the rest of her life as a virtual recluse.

    “She was to have been Paramount Studio’s answer to Elizabeth Taylor,” said her son
    Stephen Sutherland. “Her star was rising and as things were really going for her, she
    bailed out. Her desire was to marry and have children.”

    Ms. English died of cancer on Dec. 10 in Tucson, Ariz. She was 77.

    Her earlier films also included “Desert Sands,” “Three Bad Sisters” and “Strange
    Adventure.” Toward the end of her Hollywood days, she acted mainly in such horror films
    as “The She Creature” in 1956 and her last film, “Voodoo Woman,” in 1957.“She was the beautiful screamer,” Sutherland said of his mother’s work in the horror
    genre.

    Marleine Gaile English was born Jan. 4, 1935 in San Diego, the only child of Arthur and
    Bertha English. She graduated from Hoover High School.

    She was 20 when she was cast with Tracy in “The Mountain.” Before leaving for Europe to
    film on location, Ms. English fell ill from a smallpox vaccination and pulled out of the
    movie, prompting Paramount to suspend her and replace her with Barbara Darrow.
    In 1967, Ms. English left San Diego with her family to lead a more private life away
    from autograph seekers and interviews. After living for several years on a ranch in
    rural northern Nevada, she ultimately settled with her husband in Arizona, tending her
    beloved rose garden and raising animals.

    Ms. English is survived by her husband of 56 years, A. Paul Sutherland of Tucson;
    daughter Ann Sutherland of San Diego; sons Allen Sutherland of Prescott, Ariz., Stephen
    Sutherland of Albuquerque, N.M., Tim Sutherland of Tucson, and David Sutherland of Palm
    Desert; mother Bertha English of San Diego; eight grandchildren; and five great-
    grandchildren.

    ENGLISH, Marla (Marleine Gaile English)
    Born: 1/4/1935, San Diego, California, U.S.A.
    Died: 12/10/2012, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

    Marla English’s western – actress:
    Flesh and the Spur – 1957 (Wild Willow)


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  • 01/21/13--07:57: RIP Michael Winner


  • Michael Winner: Death Wish director dies aged 77

    Film director and newspaper columnist Michael Winner has died, aged 77, his wife Geraldine has confirmed.

    Born in Hampstead, London on October 31, 1935, he directed such films as “Scorpio” and “Death Wish”.

    He was also famous for his barbed restaurant reviews, written for The Sunday Times under the banner "Winner's Dinners".

    Winner had been ill for some time. Last summer, he said liver specialists had given him 18 months to live.

    Winner began his career as a journalist and film critic before joining Motion Pictures Limited as a writer and editor in 1956.

    His first work as a director was satirical but he became better known for his action films, especially the violent “Death Wish” series, starring Charles Bronson.

    In later years, he also directed a series of commercials for an insurance company featuring the catchphrase "calm, down dear!"

    Winner produced and directed two Euro-westerns: “Chato’s Land” (1971) with Charles Bronson and “Lawman” with Burt Lancaster (both 1971).

    WINNER, Michael (Michael Robert Winner)
    Born: 10/30/1935, Hampstead, London, England, U.K.
    Died: 1/21/2013, London, England, U.K.

    Michael Winner’s westerns – producer, director:
    Chato’s Land – 1971
    Lawman - 1971


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  • 01/23/13--07:04: RIP Merry Anders
  • RIP Merry Anders

    Merry A. Benedict died on October 28, 2012 in Encino, California. Most of us know her as television actress Merry Anders. She was 80.

    Born Mary Anderson in Chicago on May 22, 1934, she wanted to be an actress from early childhood. By the late 1940s, she and her mother Helen had made their way to California, where Mary soon began taking acting and modeling lessons. While attending John Burroughs Junior High School in Los Angeles, she caught the eye of Rita LeRoy, owner of a small junior modeling agency, who convinced Helen to sign up her photogenic daughter for modeling lessons. She quickly became a top junior model, and replaced LeRoy's current top model, Tippi Hedren, who left for New York to do television modeling. The secretary of famed 20th Century-Fox talent scout Ivan Kahn spotted her in a Ben Bard production of Little Women and was impressed enough to invite her to meet Kahn, who, in turn, signed her to a seven-year contract.

    Although Anders was under contract to 20th Century-Fox, her film career did not exactly flourish at the studio. During this time, she took several small roles in Fox films, but Fox dropped her contract in 1954. She had more luck on television, where she was featured in two television series: ‘The Stu Erwin Show’ (1954-1955) and ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’ (1957-1959). Interestingly, Anders had a small role in the film version of How to Marry a Millionaire while under contract at Fox. In 1955, Anders married casting director/producer John G. Stephens; the marriage lasted just a few months, but in the middle of the divorce, Anders learned that she was pregnant. Her daughter Tina Beth Paige Anders was born in 1956.

    Without a studio contract, Anders began freelancing at other studios. She used this newfound freedom to her advantage, chalking up an amazing eight film releases in 1957 alone. Also, she began making numerous guest appearances on popular TV programs, including Cheyenne, Bronco, Perry Mason, and The Addams Family.

    She was signed by Jack Webb to be a semi-regular on the hit show "Dragnet," where Webb insists on her changing from her usual platinum blonde to a less coiffured brunette. Webb starts showing up with her at the many civic engagements she routinely volunteers for in her Mission Hills neighborhood, much to the delight of surprised fans.

    In 1968 her phone suddenly stopped ringing with offers as the television industry goes through a cultural change in the late Sixties. Desperate for work, she takes the job of a "glorified extra" in the movie Airport, while her name does not appear in the credits. She then took a job as a receptionist at Litton Industries, who allows her to take time off if she gets an acting assignment.

    She does her last work in front of a camera with a guest shot on a two-part episode of "Gunsmoke." Co-starring with her is newcomer Ellen Burstyn and old friend Jeremy Slate. She also makes her swan song movie appearance in Legacy of Blood, a film that is filled with other fine Fifties performers who have fallen into neglect by the early Seventies.

    In 1986 after remaining single for thirty-one years following her divorce from her first husband, producer John Stephens, she marries a Litton engineer named Richard Benedict. Ironically, she is introduced to Benedict by her former husband.

    She retired from her job as a receptionist at Litton Industries in 1994. In her spare time she enjoyed doing calligraphy and making pin money on the side by doing small announcements and cards for people. Although she's become a very private person after her acting career, she's recognized from time to time, even being chastised by a total stranger once for being so mean as "Auntie Alice" on the short-lived daytime soap "Never Too Young."

    As Merry A. Benedict, she resided in Encino, California until her death.

    ANDERS, Merry (Mary Helen Anderson)Born: 5/22/1934, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
    Died: 10/28/2012, Encino, California, U.S.A.

    Merry Anders westerns – actress:Broken Arrow (TV) – 1957 (Amy Breece)
    The Dalton Girls - 1957 (Holly Dalton)
    Cheyenne (TV) – 1957, 1960 (Sherry Raven, Ruth Graham/Fay Pierce)
    Sugarfoot (TV) – 1957, 1959 (Katie Brannigan, Sally Ormand)
    Tales of Wells Fargo (TV) – 1959 (Laurie Hammer)
    Bonanza (TV) – 1960 (Virginia Keith)
    Five Bold Women – 1960 (Missouri Lady Ellen Downs)
    Young Jesse James – 1960 (Belle Starr)
    Bronco (TV) – 1960 (Fanny Owen, Lucy Fallett)
    Maverick (TV) – 1960, 1961 (Penelope Greeley, Maggie Bradford, Marybelle McCall, Cissie)
    The Gambler Wore a Gun – 1961 (Sharon Donovan)
    Death Valley Days – 1962 (Abby Jefferson, Lorna Erickson)
    The Quick Gun – 1964 (Helen Reed)
    The Virginian (TV) – 1964 (Donna Durrell
    Young Fury – 1965 (Alice)
    Gunsmoke (TV) – 1971 (Shirley)

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  • 01/23/13--07:06: RIP Katherine Kath


  • The Unmutual Website is sad to announce that Katherine Kath, who so memorably played the part of Madame Engadine in the "Prisoner" episode "A, B, and C" recently passed away at the age of 92.

    Katherine Kath nee Lily Faess was born in Berck Plage, Picardy and was the fifth child of parents Adrien Faess and Alix Caserbo. Lily worked very hard as a child and was very ambitious and with the support from her family became the top ballet dancer in her class and achieved stage recognition very quickly.

    Lily went on to train seven hours a day for ten years to become a Prima Ballerina at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, but due to an ankle injury and with medical advice was forced to give up the ballet to avoid permanent damage.

    Katherine Kath moved onto acting in the theatre and created a short sketch role of ‘Irma La Douce’ at the Caberet ‘’Chez Gilles’’ in Paris a production by Grenier and Husneau, (later was brought to the screen starring Shirley MacLaine).
    Katherine Kath had great success in the late 1940/50’s with a string of plays written by the highly acclaimed French writer Jean Anouilh (1910-1987), titles included ‘Antigone’, ‘Invitasion au Chateau’ (Ring Round The Moon), ‘Le Diner De Famille’,. These theatre productions were a roaring success in Paris at the time, at the Theatre Marigny and established Katherine Kath as an actress and played to sold-out houses every night.Other plays were ‘La Soif’ (1949) by Henry Bernstein (1876-1953) starring Jean Gabin (1904-1976), Claude Dauphin (1904-1976) -Katherine took over the role that was created by Madeleine Robinson (1916-2004), ‘La Petite Lily’ (1951) starring Edith Piaf (1915-1963).   

    Amongst the French films that Katherine appeared in around this time, were ‘Captain Blomet’ 1947 starring Fernand Gravey, Gaby Sylvis. ‘Le Cavalier de Croix-Mort’ 1948 starring Henri Nassiet, Madeleine Robinson. ‘L’armoire Volante’ 1948 starring Fernandel, ‘Toute la Famille était Là’ 1948 starring Jean Parédès, Jean Tissier, André Alerme. ‘Ainsi Finit la nuit’ 1949 starring Anne Vernon, Claude Dauphin, Henri Guisol. ‘Le Rideau Rouge’ 1952 starring Paul Barge, Michel Barsacq.

    In 1952 Katherine Kath was to land the unforgettable role as La Goulue in John Huston’s ‘Moulin Rouge’, starring alongside José Ferrer (1912-1922),  Zsa Zsa Gabor(1917-), Suzanne Flon (1918-2005), Colette Marchand (1925-) and Muriel Smith (1923-1985). John Huston’s Associate Producer on Moulin Rouge was Jack Clayton (1921-1995) whom Katherine would later marry.

    After ‘Moulin Rouge’ Katherine returned to Paris to star in ‘Le Dortoir Des Grandes’ 1953 starring Jean Marais (1913-1998) , ‘Oh No, Mam’zelle’ 1954 starring Fernandel (1903-1998), Pier Angeli (1932-1971). ‘La Madone des Sleepings’ 1955 starring Giselle Pascal (1921-2007), Erich von Stroheim (1885-1957).

    Other films include ‘A Touch of the Sun’ 1956 starring Frankie Howerd, Dennis Price. ‘Anastasia’ ‘1956 starring Ingrid Bergman, Yul Brynner, Helen Hayes. ‘These Dangerous Years’ 1957 starring George Baker, Frankie Vaughan, Carole Lesley. ‘The Man Who Wouldn’t Talk’ 1958 starring Anna Neagle, Anthony Quayle, Zsa Zsa Gabor. ‘Subway in the Sky’ 1959 starring Van Johnson, Hildegard Neff. ‘Fury at Smugglers Bay’ 1961 starring Peter Cushing, John Fraser. ‘Gigot’ 1962 starring Jackie Gleason, directed by Gene Kelly. ‘Aliki My Love’ 1962 starring Aliki Vougiouklaki, Wilfred Hyde-White, Jess Conrad. ‘The Magnificent Showman’ (Circus World) 1964 starring John Wayne, Rita Hayworth, Claudia Cardinale. ‘Mary Queen of Scots’ 1971 starring Vanessa Redgrave, Glenda Jackson.

    Katherine Kath has also appeared in many television series throughout her career, (these can be viewed on the 'Films & T.V. of Katherine Kath' page). One of her most memorable T.V. appearances was playing the party host Madame Engadine in the cult 1967 T.V. series 'The Prisoner' (A,B and C) starring Patrick McGoohan and Colin Gordon.

    In 1983 Katherine Kath appeared in a stage production called ‘Little Lies’ written by Joseph George Caruso at the Wyndham’s Theatre, London starring John Mills. This play ran from July 1983 until February 1984 and then the play moved to Canada for a period of time.

    Katherine Kath retired in 1987, a great dancer and actress, her body of work speaks for itself .-A true great, a true talent.

    KATH, Katherine (Lily Faess)
    Born: 8/11/1920, Berck Plage, Pas-de-Calais, France
    Died: 11/17/2012, Berck Plage, Pas-de-Calais, France

    Katherine Kath’s western – actress:
    Circus World – 1964 (Hilde)

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  • 01/24/13--09:08: RIPJeff Cahill


  • Actor Jeff Cahill dies at 44

    Published in the Los Angeles Times on January 25, 2013

    Cahill, Jeff December 19, 1968 - January 18, 2013 Jeff Cahill, Professional Actor and Artist, dies at age 44. Jeff Cahill began acting at the tender age of 12. Jeff was a child actor, well known for his role in the 1980s hit the Blue Brothers and transitioned into a television career throughout his adulthood, with numerous parts including reoccurring roles in prime time television shows Dangerous Minds, NYPD Blue, and ER. He was known as having given a start to many musicians, bringing together bands from around the world. Jeff was also well known for his artwork, in particular for his untamed expressionistic mixed media paintings. His artwork sold to the likes of celebrities around the world. In addition, Jeff was a manager at On the Rox (located above the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles, California), where he was loved by all those who were fortunate to meet him. Jeff passed away on Friday, January 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Jeff was loved by everyone who met and knew him. He was a jovial, caring, and compassionate individual who touched the hearts of those who knew him. Jeff had a way about him that was truly endearing and that brought out the best of the human spirit. Jeff was the loving son of the late Eddie Cahill. He is survived by his mother, Josephine Cahill, sister and brother-in law, Gina and John Monaco, niece Courtney Ebert, and nephew Joseph Radice. Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at St. Norbert's Church in Northbrook Illinois, located at 1809 Walters Avenue, Northbrook, IL 60062. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Cancer Society , NFP.

    CAHILL, Jeff (Jeffrey Garold Cahill)
    Born: 12/19/1968, Northbrook, Illinois, U.S.A.
    Died: 1/18/2013, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

    Jeff Cahill’s western – actor:
    Deadwood (TV) – 2005 (Eamon/Crop Ear)


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  • 01/24/13--17:25: RIP Eugene R. Marks


  • RIP Eugene R. Marks

    Eugene R. Marks, a pioneering filmmaker and one of the pillars of the local Jewish community, died at home with his wife Myra at his side in Thousand Oaks at the age of 89 on January 20, 2013 of leukemia. Known for his intellect, wit, loyalty, and passionate sense of moral justice, Marks was one of the last surviving veterans of the U.S. Army Air Forces First Motion Picture Unit, in which he served during World War II alongside director John Sturges, writer Irving Wallace, actors Clark Gable, Ronald Reagan, William Holden, Lee J. Cobb, Alan Ladd, and others. The unit comprised leading filmmakers enlisted from Hollywood to make recruiting and training films, including the classified films that prepared U.S. bombing crews to find targets in Germany and Japan to end the war. Born in 1923 in Los Angeles, Marks grew up living on the Universal Studios back lot during the Great Depression, and then attended Los Angeles High School and UCLA. Marks worked for over 40 years in the film industry, first as a Sound Editor and then as a Music Editor. After stints at Desilu and Universal, he was for over 35 years a Music Editor at Warner Bros., where he worked on a wide range of classic films and TV programs like My Fair Lady, Camelot, Giant, Cool Hand Luke, Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, Blazing Saddles, The Exorcist, Enter the Dragon, Mame, Roots and Bugs Bunny/Road Runner cartoons. He was sent to Moscow in the winter of 1969-70 by Warner Bros. and the U.S. Government to work on a unique international film co-production on Tchaikovsky as part of the "détente" thawing in U.S.-Soviet relations. Marks was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) and the Motion Picture Editors Guild. A past-president of Temple Adat Elohim in Thousand Oaks, Marks served as a leader and active volunteer for a number of local arts and industry organizations, including the Warner Bros. Studio Museum, the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Camerata Pacifica, the New West Symphony, the Conejo Players, and the Paley Center for Media. He is survived by his wife Myra (Goldman) Lee, his son Allan Marks (Mara Cohen Marks), his daughter Susan (Marks) Jacoby, his grandchildren Danielle Jacoby, Brandon Jacoby and Jacqueline Marks, and his first wife Maryann (Sloan) Kleinman.

    Memorial service and burial will be on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, CA.

    MARKS, Eugene R.
    Born: 1923, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
    Died: 1/20/2013, Thousand Oaks, California, U.S.A.

    Eugene R. Marks westerns – music editor:
    The Dakotas (TV) – 1963
    F Troop (TV) – 1966
    Blazing Saddles – 1974
    The Frisco Kid - 1979


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  • 01/27/13--12:35: RIP Lloyd Phillips


  • New Zealand's first Oscar winner dies

    7:35 AM Monday Jan 28, 2013

    Lloyd Phillips with Temuera Morrison at the 2000 premiere for Vertical Limit in Newmarket, Auckland. Photo / Richard Robinson

    New Zealand's first Oscar winner has died suddenly of a heart attack in America.

    Lloyd Phillips, who was 63, worked on some of Hollywood's biggest films, including as executive producer of blockbusters Inglourious Basterds and The Tourist, Nikau Film Productions said.

    Phillips was born in South Africa but grew up in Auckland, where he attended Auckland Grammar School.

    He worked as a photo journalist before being selected to attend the National Film School in Britain in 1973.

    In 1981 he won the best short film, live action Oscar for his action film The Dollar Bottom.

    Later in his career he was executive producer of the Quentin Tarantino movie Inglourious Basterds starring Brad Pitt, and executive producer of The Tourist, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.

    He died suddenly of a heart attack on Saturday evening in Malibu, Los Angeles, Nikau Film Productions said.

    PHILLIPS, Lloyd
    Born: 12/14/1949, South Africa
    Died: 1/26/2013, Malibu, California, U.S.A

    Lloyd Phillips western – producer:
    The Legend of Zorro – 2005


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  • 01/28/13--09:52: RIP Sally Starr


  • Sally Starr, iconic Philly TV personality, dies at 90

    By: CHUCK DARROW, Daily News Staff Writer

    Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013, 6:01 AM

    SALLY STARR, the vivacious and maternal blonde TV cowgirl who served as a surrogate parent for the Philadelphia region's baby boomers, died Sunday morning, two days after her 90th birthday.

    Starr died peacefully in a South Jersey nursing home shortly after 6 a.m., according to Michael Yip, a close friend of Starr's. She had been in poor health for years, both from various natural causes as well as from the effects of a 2005 car crash. The precise cause of death was not immediately known.

    Word of Starr's passing spread quickly. People who grew up watching her took to social media to express their sadness and offer reminiscences. Local broadcasters and contemporaries weighed in on what made the woman who usually referred to herself as "Your Gal Sal" so special to so many.

    "Sally Starr is an icon, and she will always be remembered as an icon," said DJ Jerry Blavat, adding:

    "She was someone who was pure. Her persona was always Sally Starr. She understood the importance of being a personality on and off the air. She was always in costume. She represented the true style of what it was to be a personality."

    Gerry Wilkinson, chairman of the board of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia, a local organization that celebrates this market's rich broadcasting history, cited the irony of Starr's having no children and her relationship to so many others' kids.


    "Sally Starr was like a substitute mother to many baby boomers here in the Delaware Valley," he said. "She was real. What you saw was what you got. Even though she never had any children of her own, she loved children. They were her kids and she cared about every one of them.

    "When God made Sally, he broke the mold."

    Music-industry publisher Kal Rudman also spoke of the bond between Starr and her youthful viewers. Rudman recalled the times when Starr would give him a lift to the Broadcast Pioneers' monthly luncheons in Wynnefield. "Sally often told me that . . . meeting the children in person [was] the greatest thrill of her lifetime."

    Sally Starr was born Alleen Mae Beller, in Kansas City, Mo., on Jan. 25, 1923, the second-oldest of five sisters raised in a hardscrabble environment. In a 2011 Daily News interview, she recalled her excitement as a little girl when her father installed her family home's first lightbulb.

    It was evident from an early age that Alleen had performing talent. As a child, she and her sister, Mildred, were featured on a network radio show.

    In 1941, Alleen Beller legally changed her name to Sally Starr. She also married older-by-15-years country entertainer Jesse Rogers, and later that decade moved to Philadelphia.

    Her first on-air job was as host of a country-western music program on radio station WJMJ-AM. In 1950, she was offered a weekday-afternoon cartoon show on what was then WFIL-TV, Channel 6 (now WPVI, 6ABC). For two hours a day, five days a week until 1971, Starr hosted "Popeye Theater." Dressed in her famed spangled cowgirl outfit, she introduced "Popeye" cartoons and Three Stooges shorts, and welcomed celebrity guests to her live telecasts.

    She was so instrumental in introducing the Three Stooges to a new generation of fans that, in 1965, the comedy troupe invited her to appear as gunslinger Belle Starr in their final film, "The Outlaws Is Coming."

    She also dispensed life lessons - about everything from fire prevention to getting along with others - to her young fans, and brightened their days by sending great big "smoocheroonies" their way, along with such signature lines as "I hope you feel as good as you look, because you sure look good to Your Gal Sal," and "Love ya lots! Love, luck and lollipops."

    Although Starr logged thousands of on-air hours, only a handful of clips of her on "Popeye Theater" have survived. Early on, the show was telecast live. Later, her programs were videotaped, but were recorded over in subsequent years.

    By the early 1960s, she had achieved unparalleled local fame and, arguably, the status of most beloved figure in Philadelphia broadcasting history. On any given afternoon a sizable percentage of local kids (and, often, their stay-at-home moms) were tuned in to "Popeye Theater."

    Even in a market that boasted such kiddie-show heavy hitters as Happy the Clown, Gene London, Chief Halftown, Pixanne and Lee Dexter's puppet Bertie the Bunyip, no one came close to "Our Gal Sal" in terms of ratings. And her popularity extended well beyond her daily telecast.

    Supermarkets, fast-food outlets, toy stores and car dealerships within a 60-mile radius of Philadelphia lured vast crowds by sponsoring her personal appearances. Such was her fame and the esteem in which she was held by her fans that Sally Starr yearbooks and dolls were highly coveted souvenirs.

    In 1961, long divorced from Rogers - who, in later years, she accused of physically abusing her - Starr married Channel 6 camera operator Mark Gray, who she considered the great love of her life.

    As such a beloved personality - who spent countless hours visiting sick children in hospitals and working on behalf of various charities - Starr should have been comfortable. But hard luck dogged her for most of her life.

    In 1968, Gray died of a heart attack, a situation that launched her on a long run of misfortune. In 1971, she was fired without warning by Channel 6, and she was not given the chance to say goodbye on the air.

    After briefly hosting a program on WIBF-TV, Channel 29 (now WTXF, Fox 29), she moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she held a series of nonbroadcast jobs, including that of an airport security officer.

    In September 1984, after an absence of a dozen years she reappeared locally as honorary hostess of the RV Roundup, a recreational-vehicle exhibition, at the old Civic Center, in West Philadelphia. Throughout the show's three-day run, hundreds waited in line to meet Starr and to offer precious childhood memories of their experiences on TV or in person with her.

    That gig led to offers of other personal appearances in the area, but she went back to south Florida, where, in 1987, a fire destroyed her home. She returned to the Philadelphia region for good, living in various places in South Jersey - where, decades before, she had owned a ranch.

    Despite a full schedule of personal appearances and a return to radio on several stations, including Vineland's WVLT-FM (92.1), Starr's life continued to be difficult.

    In 1993, while hosting a New Year's Eve party at a Northeast Philly restaurant, she suffered a major heart attack. In the late 1990s, she declared bankruptcy when her personal-appearance income was severely limited after New Jersey 101.5 radio talk-show host Jeff Diminski identified her on-air as a "lesbian cowgirl."

    Her defamation lawsuit initially was rejected by a lower court, but the Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court subsequently ruled in her favor. Her attorney in the case, Alexander Wazeter of Millville, N.J., told the Daily News in 2011 that she received an undisclosed amount in damages.

    On Feb. 6, 2005, Starr hit another car while driving to WVLT's studios. A civil suit later was filed by the other driver, and was, according to the woman's attorney, Joseph J. Hoffman Jr., of Woodbury, N.J., settled for an undisclosed sum.

    The accident inflicted serious injuries. During a winter 2011 interview with the Daily News, Starr proudly showed off the location where a metal plate was surgically implanted in her right forearm. And she needed a cane to walk.

    During that interview, Sally Starr was asked how she hoped to be remembered. Without hesitation, she smiled and said, "Your Gal Sal. Period."

    She is survived by a sister. Services will be private.

    STARR, Sally (Alleen Mae Beller)
    Born: 1/25/1923, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.
    Died: 1/27/2013, Berlin, New Jersey, U.S.A.

    Sally Starr’s western – actress:
    The Outlaws is Coming – 1965 (Belle Starr)


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  • 01/30/13--15:09: RIP Patty Adrews


  • Patty Andrews dies at 94; Andrews Sisters' last surviving member

    The lead singer of the group that entertained U.S. service personnel overseas during World War II dies at her home in Northridge. She announced the war's end in 1945 to troops at a concert in Italy.

    By Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times
    4:34 p.m. CST, January 30, 2013

    They were the swinging, sassy voice of the homefront for U.S. service personnel overseas during World War II, singing catchy hit tunes such as "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Rum and Coca Cola" that delighted Americans and catapulted the Andrews Sisters to the very top of the pop charts.

    One of the most successful female recording groups in pop history, the sisters — LaVerne, Maxene and Patty Andrews — became a beloved American institution, lifting the nation's spirits during a conflict whose outcome seemed often in doubt.

    When the war ended in 1945, it was even the Andrews Sisters who announced it, to 5,000 GI's during a USO concert in Italy as the men were heading for duty in the Pacific. The troops' commanding officer had interrupted the show, handing the women a note that was read aloud by the youngest, Patty Andrews.

    "At first there was dead silence," her sister Maxene told The Times years later. "Then Patty repeated the message. 'This is really true,' she told them, and then she started to cry. Suddenly there was a roar. They knew they would be going home, and they did."

    Patty Andrews, the group's lead singer and its last surviving member, died Wednesday of natural causes at her longtime home in Northridge, according to her attorney, Richard Rosenthal. She was 94. Maxene, the middle Andrews sister, died in 1995 and LaVerne, the eldest, in 1967.

    The Andrews Sisters began singing professionally in 1932, when Patty was just 14, and scored their first major success in 1938 with an English version of the Yiddish song "Bei Mir Bist du Schon" (or "To me, you're grand," as the sisters put it.) The song zoomed to No. 1 and made them overnight stars.

    Known for their close, three-part harmonies, full-throated delivery and humor on stage, they churned out hit after hit, including "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree," "Beer Barrel Polka," "Hold Tight, Hold Tight," "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar," "Rhumboogie," "Shoo-Shoo Baby," "Strip Polka," and "I Can Dream, Can't I?"

    Two of their biggest wartime singles were the Caribbean-influenced "Rum and Coca Cola" and "I'll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time," one of their rare ballads.

    From 1938 to 1951, they had 19 gold records, dozens of top 10 singles and record sales of nearly 100 million. They performed and recorded with the biggest stars of their day, among them Bing Crosby, Al Jolson, Danny Kaye, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Carmen Miranda.

    They appeared as themselves in more than a dozen movies, including the Abbott and Costello comedies "Buck Privates" and "In the Navy," both released in 1941, and the Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour film "Road to Rio" in 1947.

    They appeared at war bond rallies at home and entertained the troops overseas, becoming synonymous with the war effort.

    "Looking back nostalgically at the war years, three memories come immediately to mind: Eagles, flags and the Andrews Sisters," journalist Rex Reed told the Toronto Star in 1992. "LaVerne sang low, Maxene sang high, and Patty was the bouncy blond in the middle, singing and swaying to the melody."

    In 1973, long after their music had faded from the scene, the Andrews Sisters enjoyed a remarkable resurgence with the release of Bette Midler's version of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," which brought them to the attention of a new generation of fans.

    The following year, the two surviving Andrews sisters were a hit all over again, starring on Broadway in the nostalgic World War II musical "Over Here." It ran for a year.

    Patricia Marie Andrews was born in Mound, Minn., near Minneapolis, on Feb. 16, 1918, to Olga, a Norwegian American, and Peter Andrews, a Greek immigrant. She and her sisters were junior high dropouts who went on the road in the early 1930s when their father's business foundered, playing in the roadhouses and on the vaudeville stages of the Midwest to help support their family.

    They eventually made their way to New York, where an executive at Decca Records offered them a contract to make four singles at $50 apiece. One of the four was "Nice Work If You Can Get It," which went nowhere. But on the flip side was "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen," which launched them to stardom.

    But the sisters' close musical harmonies belied a private relationship that was often troubled, culminating in a falling out between Patty and Maxene that lasted more than 20 years. Music industry insiders blamed it on a dispute between Maxene and Patty's husband, Walter Weschler, the group's conductor and arranger, who died in 2010.

    Although the sisters lived near each other in the San Fernando Valley, according to published reports, they spoke rarely and saw each other just twice from 1974 to Maxene's death in 1995: when Patty paid a bedside visit to her sister in 1982 after Maxene suffered a heart attack, and in 1987, when they were together at the public dedication of their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    That year, the two spoke of the feud in separate interviews with The Times.

    Maxene Andrews said it may simply have been the result of too many years of working so closely together. "There was really no breathing room ... ," she said. "We ate together, slept together, went out socially together. If we were going someplace, we got in the car together.... You can see how glued we were. There had to be a breaking point."

    Patty Andrews was less willing to speak about the issue, but said her sister was just jealous. "Ever since I was born, Maxene has been a problem, and that problem hasn't stopped," she said, but declined to discuss the matter further.

    "I'm not going to do anything or say anything to destroy that image that the people love," she said. "I hear that from the people that they love the Andrews Sisters and it's a joy to them. Who am I to take that away?"

    Patty Andrews' first marriage, to agent Martin Melcher, ended in divorce in 1950 after he left her for Doris Day. She married Weschler in 1951 and they remained married until his death. She had no immediate survivors.


    ANDREWS, Patty (Patricia Maire Andrews)
    Born: 2/16/1918, Mound, Minnesota, U.S.A.
    Died: 1/30/2013, Northridge, California, U.S.A.

    Patty Andrews western – actress, singer:
    Moonlight and Cactus – 1944 (Patty Andrews)

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  • 02/05/13--14:24: RIP Garrett Lewis


  • Stage Veteran Garrett Lewis Passes Away at 77

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013; 02:02 PM - by BWW News Desk

    Garrett Lewis, four time Academy Award nominated set decorator, dancer and actor, died Tuesday, January 29 at the age of 77. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1935 and died at his home in Woodland Hills, California of natural causes.

    A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Garrett Lewis had a long and storied career as a dancer, actor and set decorator. His career began while still in college when he was offered the dance lead for a season at the Kansas City Starlight Theatre. After that one season of summer stock, he went to New York and immediately landed his first Broadway show My Fair Lady. This was followed by numerous roles in Broadway productions including Hello Dolly, Vintage '60 and First Impressions.

    Lewis played the role of Cornelius in Hello Dolly starring opposite five different leading ladies. First, he went on national tour with Carol Channing. Hello Dolly was the first stage show at the newly opened Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles in 1965. He reprised the role with Mary Martin in London. Hello Dolly made its premiere in the West End at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on December 2, 1965, with the Queen Mother in attendancE. Lewis also performed this role opposite Carole Cook, Dora Bryan and Patrice Munsel in various productions of the show.

    Lewis was a featured performer on The Red Skelton Show and The Julie Andrews Hour. Aside from his television work, which included many major network shows at the time on both coasts, he appeared extensively in clubs across the country, supporting such leading ladies as Anna Maria Alberghetti, Arlene Dahl, Dorothy Provine and others. He was a soloist in The Lido Show in Paris, and appeared as the male lead in Little Mary Sunshine in Paris. Garrett transitioned into film and appeared in both Star! with Julie Andrews and Funny Lady.

    By the time Lewis finished Funny Lady in 1975, musicals were becoming rare. Lewis' friends, agent Sue Mengers and her husband Jean-Claude Tramont, purchased a home in Bel Air in 1975. They admired the way Lewis had decorated his own home, and asked him to redesign their new one. This lead Lewis to designing private homes for celebrities including Barbra Streisand, Herbert Ross, Barry Diller and many others. He effortlessly segued into a second career.

    In the late seventies when Herbert Ross was directing The Turning Point he asked Lewis to decorate several sets. Later while filming California Suite, Ross called him in again to assist with the art direction. While his title was "Pictorial Consultant", his third career as a set decorator for films was launched.

    Lewis worked on 39 films as a set decorator. He was nominated for four Academy Awards for Art Direction - Beaches, Glory, Hook and Bram Stoker's Dracula. He was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy for his work on Gepetto. He created everything from civil war tents for Glory to lavish Bugatti inspired furniture for Bram Stoker's Dracula, a particularly special film for him. His film credits include Mrs. Doubtfire, Pretty Woman, Steel Magnolias, Backdraft, Hidalgo, Against All Odds, as well as countless others. His work as a set decorator took him to Morocco, Canada and all parts of the United States. He loved his work. A longtime member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, he proudly served on the Executive Committee for the Art Director's branch.

    A memorial is currently being planned. Please contact gl_me...@earthlink.net for further information.

    LEWIS, Garrett
    Born: 1935, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
    Died: 1/29/2013, Woodland Hills, California, U.S.A.

    Garrett Lewis’ westerns – actor, set decorator:
    The Good Guys and the Bad Guys – 1969 (Hawkins)
    Hidalgo – 1964 [set decorator]

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  • 02/06/13--13:35: RIP Peter Gilmore


  • Actor best known for his role as the rugged and handsome captain in The Onedin Line

    James Onedin, the protagonist of the long-running BBC television series The Onedin Line, gained his splendid name from a sea nymph. After the programme's creator, Cyril Abraham, had read about mythological figure Ondine, he transposed the "e", thus making her a man. And what a man: Peter Gilmore, who played Onedin in 91 episodes from 1971 to 1980, had tousled hair, flinty eyes, hollow cheeks, mutton-chop sideburns racing across his cheek, lips pulled severely down, chin thrust indomitably forward to face down the brewing gale. He has died aged 81.

    The sea captain did not so much talk as emit salty barks that brooked no demur. In 1972, while filming, Gilmore was buzzed by speedboats from the Royal Naval College. Still in character as Onedin, he yelled irascibly at the tyro sailors: "Taxpayers' money! Where are your guns? What use would you be if the Russians came?"

    Like Horatio Nelson, Francis Drake and to a lesser extent the early 70s prime minister Edward Heath, the very cut of Gilmore's jib suggested that the British – if only in prime-time costume dramas – still ruled the waves. For many, Gilmore's name conjures up the stirring Adagio from Khachaturian's ballet Spartacus that was used on the opening credits. Madly and marvellously, Onedin set up a shipping line with sailing vessels in late-19th century Liverpool at a time when steamships were taking over the seaways.

    By series two, his business model had seen off the sceptics but his wife, Anne, had died in childbirth. That plot twist was partly explained by the fact that the actor who played her, Anne Stallybrass, had decided to return to the theatre.

    To honour his dead wife's memory, Onedin added a steamship to his fleet called the Anne Onedin and then allowed Kate Nelligan (as a coal-merchant's eligible daughter) and Caroline Harris (as a 20-something worldly wise widow) to vie for his affections. He spurned both, marrying his daughter's governess, Letty Gaunt, who died of diphtheria. By the eighth and last series, Onedin was married to a third wife, Margarita Juarez, and had become a grandfather.

    Before Howards' Way, The Onedin Line was the BBC's nautical franchise: Abraham wrote five novels loosely based on his television scripts, while Gilmore was frequently asked to launch ships and was also bombarded with fan mail and advice from veteran sailors. He parlayed fame into reviving a former career as a singer, releasing in 1974 an album of sailor shanties called Songs of the Sea and in 1977 another called Peter Gilmore Sings Gently.

    He regretted that he became too typecast as Onedin to get other lead roles. In 1978 he starred opposite Doug McLure in the film Warlords of Atlantis as an archaeologist searching for the fabled underwater city who ends up battling a giant octopus and other sea monsters.

    Gilmore was born in the German city of Leipzig. At the age of six, he moved to Nunthorpe, near Middlesbrough, where he was raised by relatives, later attending the Friends' school in Great Ayton, north Yorkshire. From the age of 14 he worked in a factory, but later studied at Rada. While undertaking national service in 1950 he discovered a talent for singing and after his discharge joined singing groups who performed all over the country.

    During the 1950s and 60s he became a stalwart of British stage musicals, appearing in several largely unsuccessful shows, including one called Hooray for Daisy! in which he was the chief human in a drama about a pantomime cow. He even released a single in 1960 as a spin-off from his performance in Follow That Girl, Susan Hampshire's only foray into musicals. In 1958 he appeared on the pop programme Cool for Cats, where he met the actor Una Stubbs, then one of the Dougie Squires Dancers, who were weekly tasked with interpreting hit songs in movement. The couple were married from 1958 until 1969.

    His success at this time in British and US TV commercials led him to be cast in comedies, with 11 appearances in Carry On films, two of which – Carry On Jack (1963) and Carry On Cleo (1964) – gave him early nautical roles. In 1970 he married Jan Waters, with whom he starred in both stage and television productions of The Beggar's Opera, he playing the highwayman Captain Macheath.

    The Onedin Line brought Gilmore the fame that had eluded him. In 1976, he and Jan divorced and he started living with Stallybrass, whom he married in 1987. In 1984 a new generation of viewers saw Gilmore as Brazen, the security chief of a distant human colony called Frontios in Doctor Who's 21st series. Brazen died heroically while helping the Doctor escape. Gilmore made his last stage appearance in 1987 in Michael Frayn's Noises Off and his last screen one in the 1996 television movie On Dangerous Ground.

    He is survived by Anne and a son, Jason, from his first marriage.

    GILMORE, Peter
    Born: 8/25/19031, Leipzig, Germany
    Died: 2/3/2013, London, England, U.K.

    Peter Gilmore’s western – actor:
    Carry on Cowboy – 1965 (Curly)


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  • 02/07/13--09:53: RIP John Kerr


  • John Kerr, star of 'Tea and Sympathy,' 'South Pacific,' dies at 81

    Tony winner eventually became Beverly Hills attorney

    By Variety Staff

    John Kerr, a Tony winner and the star of the films "Tea and Sympathy" and "South Pacific," died suddenly after a short illness on Feb. 1. He was 81.

     Kerr began his acting career on the stage, making his Broadway debut in "Bernardine" in 1953. He won a Tony for his role as a sensitive, effeminate schoolboy in the Robert Anderson play "Tea and Sympathy" and starred with Deborah Kerr (no relation) in the 1956 film version. He played Lt. Joe Cable, who grows beyond the racism he learned as a child, in the 1958 film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "South Pacific."

    The actor was also noted for his performance in Vincent Price horror film "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1961) and had a substantial career acting in television. Kerr first appeared on TV in a 1953 episode of "Lux Video Theatre," appeared on "Studio One in Hollywood" and "Playhouse 90" and made guest appearances on shows ranging from "Gunsmoke" to "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour." He recurred as an assistant district attorney on "Arrest and Trial" and as the DA on "Peyton Place."

    John Grinham Kerr was born in New York City into a family of actors; his parents were Geoffrey Kerr and June Walker.

    He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard College.

    In the late 1960s he sought to become a television director, and though he was mentored by Leo Penn, he soon decided that such work was not for him, and Kerr went to UCLA law school and became a practicing attorney in Beverly Hills. He continued to make occasional appearances on television, however, recurring as a prosecutor on "The Streets of San Francisco."

    Kerr was married to Priscilla Smith from 1952-72.

    Survivors include second wife Barbara Chu, whom he married in 1979; a son and two daughters by his first marriage; and two stepchildren by his second.

    KERR, John (John Grinham Kerr)
    Born: 11/5/1931, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
    Died: 2/1/2013

    John Kerr’s westerns – actor:
    Riverboat (TV) – 1959 (Jefferson Carruthers)
    Rawhide (TV) – 1960 (Bert Eaton)
    Gunsmoke (TV) – 1962 (Lute Willis)
    The Virginian (TV) – 1963 (Oliver Smith)
    Wagon Train (TV) – 1963 (Jim Whitlow)
    The High Chaparral (TV) – 1967 (Creed Hallock)
    Yuma (TV) – 1971 (Captain White)
    Alias Smith and Jones (TV) – 1973 (George Sterling)


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  • 02/10/13--11:38: RIP Miguel Ángel Ferriz


  • Mexican actor Miguel Ángel Ferriz dies

    February 6, 2013 2:26 PM, PST | PeopleEnEspanol.com

    The actor Miguel Ángel Ferriz died on the morning of Wednesday February 6, 2013 the victim of pneumonia after being hospitalized since last weekend at the Institute of Pneumonia in Mexico City.

    Ferriz, was the son of actor Ángel Ferriz, and the grandson of actor Miguel Ángel Ferriz. Ferriz acted in film, theater and television. Among his more than 20 films were “Los indolentes” (1978), “Lo mejor de Teresa” (1976), “La Casta Divina” (1977), “Morirse está en Hebreo” (2007), and his only Euro-western “Garden of Venus” (1979) with Chuck Connors, John Ireland and Jorge Rivero where he was credited as Miguel Fieman.
    Miguel appeared in more than two dozen stage plays including “A Long Day’s Journey into Night” (1977) “Crazy Love” (1987) by Sam Shepard and “Orphans” (2003) by Anton Chekhov.

    He was the director of the Center for Arts Education Televisa Monterrey and founder of the Center for Television Azteca acting school.

    The actor had a project underway with TV Azteca, a soap opera, in which he would share credits with Paola Núñez and Mauricio Islas.

    FERRIZ, Miguel Ángel
    Born: 6/19/1950, Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico
    Died: 2/6/2013. Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico

    Miguel Ángel Ferriz’s western – actor:
    Garden of Venus – 1979 (Miguel) [credited as Miguel Fieman]



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  • 02/11/13--09:51: RIP Fred Alexander


  • German film actor Fred Alexander died in his native city of Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany on December 15, 2012. Alexander, whose real name was Alfred Beeh was born in Augsburg on June 16, 1927. During World War II military service he became a prisoner of war. After the war he attended Falckenberg Drama School in Munich from 1948-51 and also took singing lessons. He made his stage debut in 1951-1952 at the State Theatre in Munich. He then worked in Bochum and then in 1956 he came to East Germany and was active in theaters in Quedlinburg, Stassfurt, Frankfurt, Güstrow, Senftenberg, Halle and Leipzig. From 1967 to 1976, he was engaged in Berlin at the Volksbühne and later in Leipzig. Since then, his theater work was at the forefront of his career. Since the 1960s, he worked most often at the DEFA studios and television network, and then turned to the Soviet Union, Poland, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia and eventually ended up working in Hong Kong. Additionally, he was the popular cartoon character voice for "Arthur the Angel" a successful Hungarian TV series. Alexander rose to fame in children's television as a "Master Friedemann", he was seen in several different roles in 70 episodes of the popular science television series, "Aha." It should also be mentioned that he was the moderator of the television show “Liebe, Rosen und Champagnerlove”. Fred appeared in two Euro-westerns: “Tecumseh” 1972 as Leather Lip, “Death for Zapata” as Juan and was the German voice of Guido Lollobrigida for “A Man, His Pride a Vengeance” (1967). 


    ALEXANDER, Fred (Alfred Beeh)
    Born: 6/16/1927, Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany
    Died: 12/15/2012, Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany

    Fred Alexander’s westerns – actor, voice dubber:
    A Man, His Pride, a Vengeance - 1967 [German voice of Guido Lollobrigida]
    Tecumseh - 1972 (Leather Lip)
    Death for Zapata - 1979 (Juan)



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  • 02/11/13--15:53: RIP Alan Sharp


  • Alan Sharp, novelist and screenwriter of feature films including "Rob Roy," "Night Moves," "The Osterman Weekend," "Little Treasure" and "Dean Spanley," died at his daughter's home in Los Angeles on Feb. 8 after a long illness. He was 79.
    Sharp also wrote for television, penning the screenplay for the miniseries "Ben-Hur," which aired on ABC in 2010, among other projects.

    Sharp launched his writing career in 1965 with the publication of the acclaimed novel "A Green Tree in Gedde," which was initially banned in Scotland for its sexual content and was the first of a planned trilogy. The second novel "The Wind Shifts" was published in 1968, but Sharp left the third, "Don't Cry, It's Only a Picture Show," incomplete when he moved to Hollywood to focus on screenwriting.

    Sharp was born in Alyth, Scotland.

    He is survived by his fourth wife, Harriet; four daughters; two sons; two stepsons; and 14 grandchildren.

    A public memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 2. Email alansharpmemorial@sbcglobal.net for information.

    Donations may be made to Cedars-Sinai Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Brain Tumor Center.

    SHARP, Alan
    Born: 1934, Alyth, Scotland, U.K.
    Died: 2/8/1913, Los Angeles, Califronia, U.S.A.

    Alan Sharp’s westerns – screenwriter, producer:
    The Hired Hand – 1971 [screenwriter]
    Ulzana’s Raid – 1972 [screenwriter, producer]
    Billy Two Hats – 1974 [screenwriter]


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