Brad Harris, Actor in Sword-and-Sandal Movies, Dies at 84
By Rebecca Rubin
November 7, 2017
Brad Harris, best known for his work in sword-and-sandal movies, died Tuesday. He was 84.
The actor and stuntman worked in Europe for majority of his career, appearing in over 50 spy films and spaghetti Westerns in the 1960s, including “The Fury of Hercules,” “Pirates of the Mississippi,” “Black Eagle of Santa Fe,” “Kiss, Kiss, Kill, Kill,” “Spy Today, Die Tomorrow,” “Death Trip,” “The Mad Butcher” and “Supermen.”
In addition to his movie work, he appeared on the small screen as Deputy Duffy in the soap opera “Falcon Crest” from 1984-1989.
Born in Idaho, Harris later moved to California and attended UCLA on an athletic scholarship where he studied economics. After sustaining injuries from football, he was advised to take up weightlifting, which then sparked an interest in bodybuilding.
Upon graduation, he secured work in the industry as a stand-in and stuntman. Harris made his big-screen debut in the 1957 biographical film “Monkey on My Back.”
His first leading roles were in Gianfranco Parolini’s 1961 films “Goliath Against the Giants” and “Samson.” Parolini and Harris went on to work together on several titles written and directed by Parolini.
Harris appeared in over 50 spy films and spaghetti Westerns in the 1960s, including “The Fury of Hercules,” “River Pirates of the Mississippi,” “Black Eagle of Santa Fe,” “Kiss, Kiss, Kill, Kill,” “Spy Today, Die Tomorrow,” “Death Trip,” “The Mad Butcher” and “Supermen.”
Later in his career, he served as an executive producer on several of his films including “King of Kong Island” and “The Mutations.”
Harris married actress Olga Schoberova in 1967. They had a daughter, Sabrina, before they divorced in 1969. In 1971, Schoberova remarried studio executive and producer John Calley, who adopted Sabrina.
HARRIS, Brad (Brad Jan Harris)
Born: 7/16/1933, St. Anthony, Idaho, U.S.A.
Died: 11/7/2017, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.
Brad Harris’ westerns – actor, stuntman, master of arms:
Love Me Tender – 1956 [stunts]
3:10 to Yuma – 1957 [stunt double Richard Jaeckel]
Cowboy – 1958 [stunt double Richard Jaeckel]
13 Fighting Men - 1960 (Private Fowler)
River Pirates of the Mississippi – 1963 (Tom Cook) [stunt coordinator]
Massacre at Marble City – 1964 (Phil Stone) [master of arms, stunt coordinator]
Black Eagle of Santa Fe – 1965 (Brad Howard/Chet ‘Blacky’ James) [stunt coordinator]
Rattler Kid – 1967 (Sheriff Bill Manners) [stunts]
Durango is Coming, Pay or Die – 1970 (Durango) [stunts]
Wanted Sabata – 1970 (Sabata) [stunts]
Django… Adios! – 1971 (Sheriff Django/Durango) [stunts]
Dallas (TV) – 1984, 1985, 1989 (Mason)
Bond girl actress dies aged 79
The celebrated Bond girl died on Monday evening.
By Olivia-anne Cleary
November 8, 2017
Karin Dor, who starred in the 1967 Bond film “You Only Live Twice” alongside Sean Connery — has passed away aged 79.
According to the German press, the celebrated actress died in a German nursing home on Monday evening.
It's understood she has been in ill health since suffering a bad fall last year.
Born in Wiesbaden, Germany on February 22, 1938, Karin is survived by her only child, a son named Andreas Renell. She was married to actor George Robotham from 1988 until his death in 2007.
The starlet played Helga Brandt, Osato's secretary and a SPECTRE assassin, in the blockbuster Bond film that made her a household name.
As well as sharing the screen with Connery, 87, Dor's impressive filmography spans over 50 years.
She also portrayed Juanita de Cordoba in Alfred Hitchcock's 1969 thriller “Topaz” and starred in six Karl May ‘Winnetou’ films.
Dor's death comes months after Bond legend Roger Moore — who portrayed Ian Fleming's legendary character in seven films — passed away aged 89.
DOR, Karin (Kätherose Derr)
Born: 2/22/1938, Wiesbaden, Hesse, Germany
Died: 11/6/2017, Germany
Karin Dor’s westerns – actress:
The Treasure of the Silver Lake - 1962 (Ellen Patterson)
Last of the Renegades - 1964 (Ribanna)
The Last Tomahawk – 1964 (Cora Munroe)
The Desperado Trail – 1965
The Last Tomahawk – 1965 (Cora Munroe)
The Valley of Death - 1968 (Mabel Kingsley)
November 9, 2017
WEINTRAUB, William OC February 19, 1926 November 6, 2017 William Weintraub, a Canadian journalist, author, filmmaker and lecturer, known for his long association with Canada's National Film Board, died in Montreal on Monday, November 6, 2017, at the age of ninety-one. William was predeceased by his beautiful and loving wife of over forty years, Magda (née Landau). He is survived by his cousins, Joseph, Ronald and Herbert Blumer and his nieces, Diana and Joanna Riesman and their children. He will be remembered with great affection by friends and colleagues. Born and educated in Montreal, Weintraub graduated from McGill University where he had worked on the McGill Daily. He began his career as a reporter at The Montreal Gazette in the 1950s, later moving to Weekend magazine. His experience in journalism provided the basis for his 1961 novel Why Rock the Boat? made into a feature length film in 1974. He celebrated the early experience of his contemporaries and friends, Mordecai Richler, Mavis Gallant and Brian Moore in his memoir Getting Started and he himself is among the last of those giants of Canadian literature. Weintraub's satirical 1979 novel The Underdogs provoked controversy by imagining a future Socialist Republic of Quebec, in which English-speakers were an oppressed minority, complete with a violent resistance movement. In a film career spanning decades, Weintraub was involved with more than 150 NFB productions, serving variously as writer, producer and director. Productions ranged from Nahanni to the television series Between Two Wars to a film on obesity A Matter of Fat. His 1993 documentary The Rise and Fall of English Montreal dealt with the second large Quebec diaspora that began in the 1960s and accelerated rapidly after the 1976 Quebec election. In his award-winning films and his writings Weintraub exhibited sometimes biting satire always moderated with humour. Weintraub went on to publish no fewer than three books after his seventieth birthday including City Unique (1996), an exploration of English Montreal in the 1940s and 50s. His last novel Crazy about Lily written in 2005 tells the story of an innocent seventeen-year-old McGill student who falls in love with the famous exotic dancer Lili St. Cyr. In 2003, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Heartfelt thanks to the caring and compassionate management and staff at Château Westmount and his caring and devoted companions throughout, Val Muscalu and Boris Ianev. Graveside service on Thursday, November 9 at 1:00 p.m. at the Maple Grove Section, Mount Royal Cemetery, 1297 ch. de la Forêt. Contributions in William's memory may be made to Combined Jewish Appeal (Federation CJA), (514) 345-2645 ext.: 2600. Arrangements entrusted to Paperman & Sons.
Born: 2/19/1926, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died: 11/6/2017, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
William Weintraub’s western – narrator:
Drylanders - 1963
"Schindler's List", "The Manns" Hans-Michael Rehberg is dead
Television and cinema made him popular, on the theater stage he was a legend: Hans-Michael Rehberg was one of the most famous actors in Germany. Now he’s died at 79 years old.
Everyone knows his face, even if his name was not so well known. Hans-Michael-Rehberg appeared in innumerable TV thrillers, from "Der Kommissar" in the early seventies to "Derrick", "Der Alte", "Tatort" to "SOKO Kitzbühel".
But his appearances in series ran more side by side. Rehberg was above all a celebrated theater actor. At the age of 25 he was appointed to the ensemble of the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel, with 30 being named Bavarian State Actor.
Rehberg played at almost every well-known German-speaking stage: Burgtheater Wien, Thalia Theater Hamburg, Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Freie Volksbühne Berlin, Kammerspiele Munich, Salzburg Festival. One of his greatest roles is that of the "builder Solness" in the eponymous play by Ibsen. He also worked as a director in the theater.
The haggard Hans-Michael Rehberg became known to a broader public with his series and films. On the basis of his appearances in TV films, a good part of German TV history could be told: "Berlin Alexanderplatz" is among them and "Rosa Luxemburg", "Stammheim", "Die Manns" and "Deutschlandspiel".
In the cinema Rehberg was next to Götz George in "The Totemaker", in Sönke Wortmann's comedy "The Campus" and in Steven Spielberg's Holocaust drama "Schindler's List". In 2004, he also participated in one of the greatest German cinema successes, in Michael "Bully" Herbig's "(T) Spaceship Surprise - Period 1".
Hans-Michael Rehberg was active until the end. His last film role he played in 2016 in the literary adaptation "Glistening luck". In October 2017, he appeared in Munich as a blind seer Teiresias in an "Oedipal" production on stage.
Hans-Michael Rehberg already died on Tuesday in Berlin, as the Munich Residenztheater announced on Thursday.
Born: 4/2/1938, Fuistenwalde, Brandenburg, Germany
Died: 11/7/2017, Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Michael-Hans Rehberg’s western – actor:
The Dark Valley – 2014 (Brenner)
RIP William Frye
Los Angeles Times
November 9, 2017
William Frye, a wellknown Hollywood producer whose career spanned radio, movies and television has died at age 96. Frye died Friday morning November 3rd in his Palm Desert home of natural causes. Frye was born in Salinas California on October 5, 1921 to parents- Harry R. and Bernice Frye. Frye spent most of his youth being doted on by his maternal grandparents, the Thompson's who were successful lettuce and artichoke farmers. In World War II Frye served in the Merchant Marines. Upon returning to the states after his service, Frye knew he had a decision to make. He could either stay in Salinas and have a career in the family farming business or go to Hollywood and see if he could make it there on his own. With his grandmother's blessing, Frye headed to Hollywood. Frye's success in Hollywood started when he had the opportunity to become Cary Grant's agent at the age of 27. Mr. Grant suggested Frye change his age to 30 to be more credible in this highly image conscious business. Along with Mr. Grant, Frye forged a lifelong relationship with Ronald Coleman and he credits both of these gentlemen for helping him become a Producer. Frye's interest in producing lead him to sign with Lew Wasserman and his studio Music Corporation of America (MCA). Under his long-term contract with Wasserman's studio and then later at Universal Studios, Frye enjoyed an illustrious career producing TV series - the Thriller series with Boris Karloff being the most well known, and GE Theater with Ronald Reagan and such well known movies as the 1966 comedy The Trouble with Angels starring Rosiland Russell, and even a special T.V. documentary on Princess Grace called A Look At Monaco in 1963. In the 1950's and 60's when television was eclipsing movies, Frye hired many famous movie stars to work in his movies and on T.V. Series. These productions lead him to become close friends with many that he worked with including his closest friends the Ronald Coleman's, the Boris Karloff's, Greta Garbo, the Reagans, Irene Dunn, Olivia DeHaviland, Cary Grant, Loretta Young, Rosalind Russell,the Bob Hopes and the Jimmy Stewart's. Frye credited much of his success to his longtime partner James Wharton. Frye who was known as much for his big personality as for his meticulous producing success in Hollywood¿use to say he missed the 'Golden Age of Hollywood', but he knew all of the actors. He retired to Palm Desert, California in 1990 and lived at Ironwood Country Club writing many articles about Hollywood for Vanity Fair Magazine.
Born:10/5/1921, Salinas, California, U.S.A.
Died: 11/3/2017, Palm Desert, California, U.S.A.
William Frye’s westerns – executive producer:
The Deputy (TV) – 1959-1961
The Slowest Gun in the West (TV) - 1960
‘Magnum, P.I.’ Actor John Hillerman dies at 84
The New York Times
November 9, 2017
A spokeswoman for the family of actor John Hillerman says the co-star of TV's "Magnum, P.I." has died. Hillerman was 84.
Spokeswoman Lori De Waal said Hillerman died Thursday at his home in Houston. She said the cause of death has yet to be determined.
Hillerman played stuffy Jonathan Higgins to Tom Selleck's free-wheeling private detective Thomas Magnum in the hit 1980s series set in Hawaii.
Hillerman also was known for his 1970s roles as arrogant radio show detective Simon Brimmer on the "Ellery Queen" series, and as a difficult boss on "One Day at a Time."
Hillerman appeared in a number of other series, including "Valerie,"''The Love Boat" and "The Betty White Show." His film credits include "The Last Picture Show" and "High Plains Drifter.
Born: 12/20/1932, Denison, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 11/9/2017, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
John Hillerman’s westers – actor:
Lawman – 1971 (Totts)
High Plains Drifter – 1973 (bootmaker)
Blazing Saddles – 1974 (Howard Johnson)
The Invasion of Johnson County – 1976 (Major Walcott)
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1978 (Sterling Murdock)
Young Maverick (TV) – 1980 (Mr. Burney)
Dead Ray Lovelock, from movies to TV
He also appeared in La Piovra 5 and Caterina and his daughters
November 10, 2017
The actor and singer Ray Lovelock died this morning at Trevi. Andrea his brother announced his death to ANSA. "He had a tumor that he bravely fought, but in the last two months his condition had worsened," he explained.
From his early debut in Banditi in Milan by Carlo Lizzani in which he played Tuccio, the juvenile band who terrorized the city, Lovelock shot a lot of films and fiction on the big and small screen.
Among his most famous was Cassandra Crossing, Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man and for TV Viso Coperto (who was absolutely the one he loved most), La Piovra 5, Caterina e le sue figlie, Commesse, Incantesimo e Don Matteo.
The funeral will be held tomorrow at 14.30 at the Trevi Duomo.
Lovelock, 67, was born to an Italian mother and an English father, leaves his wife Gioia, his daughter Francesca Romana, granddaughter Thomas and his brothers Michael and Andrea.
For a few years he was also a singer in the band of Thomas Milian.
Born: 6/19/1950, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Died: 11/10/2017, Trevi, Umbria, Italy
Raymond Lovelock’s westerns – actor:
Django Kill! – 1966 (Evan Templer)
The Return of El Coyote – 1998 (Edmond Greene)
The humorist Chiquito de la Calzada dies in Málaga at 85
Cantaor for half a century, Gregorio Sánchez achieved enormous popularity thanks to a program of jokes on television
By Manuel Morales
November 11, 2017
The humorist Gregorio Esteban Sánchez Fernández, better known as Chiquito de la Calzada, died early this Saturday at age 85 in Malaga, Efe health sources have been informed by the Regional Hospital of Malaga, after being subjected to a cardiac catheterization on Friday. Chiquito de la Calzada had suffered an angina that motivated his admission two weeks ago.
Decades before Chiquito de la Calzada popularized, in the summer of 1994, with 62 years, discarding expressions like "¡Fistro!", "Pecador de la pradera", "¿Da da da Cuen?" Or "Jaarl" ... in their interventions in the television program Genius and figure, Antena 3, Gregorio Sanchez (Malaga, 1932) was a day laborer of cante jondo that had started in the tablaos with eight years (hence the Chiquito). Fernández was born "after the pain", as he used to say, in an area of the city of Málaga called La Calzada de la Trinidad. Son of an electrician, he was the second of three brothers. Chiquito went on, "with many fatiguitas", at the time when the flamenco paintings gave taste to the Andalusian gentlemen in endless nights of revelry. He came to accompany Camarón de palmero and as a cantaor he performed in some of the main theaters in Madrid. He played bolos abroad, even in Japan, where he lived for two years accompanying flamenco figures. "I had a very bad time," he had declared. "I slept with a knife because once my wallet was stolen, and it was very expensive, a loaf of bread cost like a filling", had the same grace that showed on the sets.
However, it had to be television that catapulted him to fame in Genio and figure. It was the producer and director Tomás Summers who discovered it during a meal in which he heard someone else telling jokes at another table without stopping. Chiquito de la Calzada starred in funny performances in which joking joke after joke as he walked taking long steps and jumping from one side of the stage to the other. His movements, guttural sounds and difficult-to-understand word games caught the spectators. A comic that was more in how he told the jokes, stretched to the extreme. The viewers loved that phenomenon with a nice face, bald and with long sideburns, that shed a style between the surreal and the casposo. Immediately many imitators came to him, in public and in private, including King Juan Carlos, as he assured in an interview. He admired Cantinflas, who liked "how he moved the culillo," he said. In his staging, Chiquito pulled a lot of improvisation. His sayings and jokes came to mind while walking and spoke only in the mornings in his house on the seafront of Malaga. Then he wrote down in a small notebook those phrases that served him as the start of his gags.
Months after the ball of Genius and figure, which in a broadcast came to gather five million viewers, a video was released with his best jokes that generated three million euros in sales. The showman Andreu Buenafuente stressed that, "after the freak moment, came the love and respect for Chiquito." It was what is often called a sociological phenomenon, which he experienced as "a wonderful experience," he said. "It has given me in a very short time the fame that the scenarios denied me in 50 years".
At the gallop of that popularity, Chiquito participated in radio programs, was town crier and multiplied in galas and performances in town and private parties. Beyond the stage, Chiquito would sneak into any friends meeting with a desire for fun, in which they would tell their jokes: "I have eaten a sirloin harder than the wonder bra of the Lady of Elche". So, he got the offer to make movies. In 1996, he starred in the infumable but successful Aquí llega Condemor, by Álvaro Sáenz de Heredia, set in the West. With the same director he repeated the following year in Brácula: Condemor II and Papá Piquillo (1998). Later he made cameos in Franky Banderas (2004), by José Luis García Sánchez, and El oro de Moscú (2003), by Jesús Bonilla; He also participated in Torrente 5 (2014), by Santiago Segura, another of his followers.
In addition to entertainment programs, on television he was seen in the series Señor alcalde (1998), by Telecinco, and ¡Ala ... Dina !, by TVE, broadcast in 2000. Although, as a curiosity, his first and very brief presence television was a palmero in an episode of the popular American series Vacations in the Sea (The Love Boat), in 1985.
Chiquito, who had been retired for years, lived alone and saddened since, in March 2012, his wife, Josefa García Gómez, had died with whom he had been for more than 50 years. "Pepita was my feet and my hands, it was everything, I lost everything," he confessed excitedly. The marriage did not have children.
On October 14, he was admitted to the Regional Hospital of Malaga, after being rescued by firefighters, who had entered his home, alerted by the family, who coul not locate him. The humorist was on the floor unable to move because of a fall. In a Twitter account attributed to the comedian, he published that he had "a little bump on his head, but things look good". After receiving discharge, he relapsed two weeks later for an angina pectoris, until his death, which occurred this Saturday. With Chiquito de la Calzada and his white and popular humor a man leaves for whom the important thing was "Make you happy!".
de la CALZADA, Chiquito (Gregorio Esteban Sánchez Fernández)
Born: 5/28//1932, Málaga, Málaga, Andalucía, Spain
Died: 11/11/2017, Málaga, Málaga Spain
Chiquito de la Calzada’s western – actor:
Here Comes Condemor (The Sinner of the Plains) – 1996 (Condemor)
Director/Actor Frank Corsaro Passes Away Age 92
November, 11, 2017
Director and actor Frank Corsaro has just been reported dead. He was 92. Corsaro was best known as the director of the 1961 production of The Night of the Iguana starring Bette Davis.
Corsaro was director of both Broadway and opera productions in New York City. His opera credits include La Traviata (with Patricia Brooks and Plácido Domingo), Madama Butterfly, The Crucible, Faust, and Carmen. He made is Metropolitan Opera debut directing Rinaldo in 1984.
Corsaro was an active Broadway director with a career spannign from 1955 to 1980. His credits include It's So Nice to be Civilized, Knockout, Whoopee!, Cold Storage, Treemonisha, Baby Want a Kiss, The Night of the Iguana, The Night Circus, A Hatful of Rain and The Honeys.
As an actor, he appeared on stage in The Merchant of Venice, Mrs. McThing, and The Taming of the Shrew. His film work includes "Rachel, Rachel" starring Joanna Woodward and directed by Paul Newman.
Corsaro served as the artistic director of the Actor's Studio from 1988 to 1995.
: 12/22/1924, New York City, New York, U.S.A.Died
: 11/11/2017, U.S.A.
Frank Corsaro’s western – actor:
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1960 (De La Guerro)
This was posted by Erika Remberg’s son-in-law. I’ve seen no printed obituary.
REMBERG, Erika (Erika Crobath)
Born: 2/15/1932, Medan, Oostkust van Sumatra, Dutch East Indies
Died: 11/10/2017, Benidorm, Valencia, Spain
Erika Remberg’s western – actress:
Rosmarie kommt aus Wildwest – 1956 (Rosmarie)
Bulma's Voice Actress Hiromi Tsuru Has Died
By Brian Ashcraft
Yesterday evening, Hiromi Tsuru was discovered unconscious in a car on along the Shuto Expressway in Tokyo. The vehicle was stopped, the hazard lights were on, and Tsuru was still wearing her seatbelt.
According to Asahi News, the famed voice actress was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Tsuru was only 57 years old. Tsuru died from aortic dissection.
There were no external wounds and no sign of an accident. Police believe it’s highly likely she died of from an illness. According to Sankei News, authorities are investigating the exact cause.
Tsuru voiced some of anime’s most beloved characters, including Bulma in the Dragon Ball series, Dokin-chan in Anpanman, Ukyo Kuonji in Ranma ½, Reiko Mikami in Ghost Sweeper Mikami and Meryl Strife in Trigun, among many others. She also voiced video game characters, including Naomi Hunter in the Metal Gear Solid series.
Born: 3/29/1960, Kangawa, Japan
Died: 11/16/2017, Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan
Hiromi Tsuru’s westerns – voice actress:
Trigun (TV) – 1998 (Meryle Stryfe)
Trigun: Badlands Rumble – 2010 (Meryle Stryfe)
Country Music Hall of Famer Mel Tillis dead at 85
By Juli Thanki
November 19, 2017
Country Music Hall of Famer, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee and Grand Ole Opry member Mel Tillis died early Sunday morning at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida, according to his publicist Don Murry Grubbs.
The singer, songwriter, comedian and businessman, whose genuine warmth and down-home humor drew countless fans, was 85 years old. In his six-decade career, he recorded over 60 albums, notched three dozen Top 10 singles and wrote several hit songs that are now regarded as classics.
Lonnie Melvin Tillis was born to Lonnie Lee and Burma Tillis on Aug. 8, 1932, near Tampa, Fla. His speech impediment developed after a childhood bout of malaria; Tillis was mocked for his stammer when he was young, but would later use it to comedic effect on stage and screen. "After a lot of years and more hurting than I like to remember, I can talk about it lightly — which eases things a bit," he wrote in "Stutterin' Boy," the autobiography he released in 1984. "It's a way of showing people that it hasn't licked me, so it doesn't have to lick others."
A child of the Great Depression, Tillis knew hard work from an early age. By the age of 10 he was shelling peas in a cannery with his mother and siblings, "but there was something more than peas in that warehouse," he wrote in "Stutterin' Boy."
"It was music — hillbilly music. ... I'd hardly heard any music like that before ... Bill Monroe, Eddy Arnold, and the Carter Family. What a wonderful discovery!"
In high school, Tillis taught himself to play a guitar his older brother Richard bought, and soon he was getting invited to play at parties and events around his town. After a stint at the University of Florida, Tillis enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed in Okinawa and served as a baker; he also sang on Armed Forces Radio with a band called The Westerners.
Upon leaving the Air Force in 1955, he returned to Florida and found work as a fireman on the Atlantic Coast Line railroad. When he wasn't working, he used his railroad pass to come to Nashville and visit publishers in town to pitch his songs (they'd tell him to go back home and work on his music).
He moved to Nashville in 1957 to pursue a music career full time. That year, “I’m Tired,” a song he wrote and country star Webb Pierce recorded, went to No. 3 on the charts. Pierce found success with several other Tillis-penned songs, including “Holiday for Love,” “Honky Tonk Song,” “Tupelo County Jail,” “I Ain’t Never” and “No Love Have I.”
During the 1960s, Tillis became one of Nashville's go-to writers. Songs like "Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town),""Mental Revenge" and "Detroit City," among others, became country classics, and have been recorded by dozens of artists in the past half-century. Brenda Lee took "Emotions," written by Tillis and Ramsey Kearney, to No. 7 on the pop charts in 1961.
Tillis earned his first charting country single in 1958 when he recorded “The Violet and a Rose” for Columbia. Fourteen years later, "I Ain't Never" became his first No. 1.
As a recording artist, Tillis was most successful in the 1970s, with two dozen Top 10 hits. Five of those were chart-toppers, including "Coca Cola Cowboy," which was featured in the Clint Eastwood film "Every Which Way But Loose." The Country Music Association named Tillis Entertainer of the Year in 1976. That year he also was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In addition to his music career, Tillis appeared regularly on television shows such as “Hee Haw” and “Hollywood Squares,” was in multiple films, including “Smokey and the Bandit 2” and “Cannonball Run,” and appeared in commercials for the fast-food chain Whataburger, which further enhanced his visibility.
When Tillis' chart success began to wane, he began focusing more attention on his business ventures. He owned radio stations and acquired several publishing companies with thousands of songs in their catalogs. He also opened his own theater in Branson, Mo., performing several thousand shows there before selling the property.
In 1984, Ricky Skaggs took one of his songs, “Honey (Open That Door),” to the top of the charts.
In the 1990s, Tillis, Waylon Jennings, Bobby Bare and Jerry Reed formed the supergroup Old Dogs; the band released a self-titled album of songs penned by Shel Silverstein.
It's hard to say who was prouder in 2007 when his daughter, singer Pam Tillis, inducted her father into the Grand Ole Opry. Later that year, Mel Tillis was working in his Ashland City garden when he got a phone call telling him he was going to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was so stunned he dropped the eggplant he was holding.
"I'm just so thankful, for everything," he kept repeating the day of the Hall of Fame medallion ceremony. Four years later, Tillis was named a National Medal of Arts recipient for his contributions to country music; he received his award in February 2012 during a ceremony at the White House.
If Tillis wasn't onstage, chances are he could be found fishing, gardening or painting — he'd often donate the proceeds from the sales of his art to charity. He toured with his band The Statesiders (named after his 1966 single "Stateside"), and regularly appeared on the Opry into his 80s. "It so happened that I found what I was good for," Tillis, discussing his music career, told The Tennessean in 1965. "I'm lucky. A lot of people go through life and never find out."
TILLIS, Mel (Lonnie Melvin Tillis)
Born: 8/8/1932, Tampa, Florida, U.S.A.
Died: 11/19/2017, Ocala, Florida, U.S.A.
Mel Tillis’s westerns – producer, actor:
The Villain – 1979 (telegraph agent)
Uphill All the Way – 1986 (Booger Skaggs) [producer]
Palo Pinto Gold – 2009 (storyteller)
Claudio Báez dies at 69: one of the great villains of telenovelas
The actor left a great legacy in television due to his participation in dozens of soap operas, especially in the decade of the 90's. His last works were in the melodramas ‘Muchacha italiana viene a casarse’ and ‘Despertar contigo’.
November 19, 2017
Mexican actor Claudio Báez died the afternoon of November 19 at the age of 69. Although the causes of his death is still unknown, he had been suffering from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) for several years, which prevented him from breathing well.
The actor, born in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco on March 23, 1948, we remember him as one of the great villains in nineties melodramas as 'Dos Mujeres y un camino' alongside Laura León and Biby Gaytán , as well as in ''El Premio Mayor', along with Carlos Bonavides.
From a very young age, Claudio Báez began to play parts in the world of telenovelas. His first incursion was in the melodrama 'Cuando los hijos van' , in 1983. There were appearances in soap operas such as 'Guadalupe', 'Los años felices' and 'Vivir un poco', where he achieved much popularity and success.
From the beginning of the decade of 1990 he was seen in productions like 'La pícara soñadora', 'Triángulo', 'El privilegio de amar' and 'Nunca te olvidaré', with Edith González.
For 2000 he started working on 'Mujer de madera', 'Mundo de fieras' and 'Mi pecado', and in recent years he was seen in 'La gata', ''Muchacha italiana viene a casarse' and 'Despertar contigo' as the Colonel Basilio Santamaría.
On the personal side, he was married to the actress Isaura Espinoza, but years later they separated on good terms and continued to work together on various projects. In addition to being a great actor in soap operas, another of his great passions were musical comedies, as in the musical 'Mamá ama el rock', with Angélica María.
Born: 2/23/1948, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Died: 11/19/2017 Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
Claudio Báez’s westerns – actor:
Contrato con la muerte - 1985
Camera Operator Mark Milsome Dies Filming Stunt on BBC/Netflix Drama
By Nancy Tartaglione
November 20, 2017
Veteran film and TV camera operator Mark Milsome has died while filming a stunt sequence in Ghana. His agent Sarah Prince confirmed the news to Deadline, saying a incident occurred while he was shooting for BBC/Netflix drama The Forgiving Earth
Details of the weekend incident are not fully known. “We have very little information at present,” Prince said. “The production company have confirmed that an investigation is underway. It occurred on a night shoot during a stunt sequence.”
The UK-born Milsome’s TV credits include Sherlock, Call the Midwife, 24: Live Another Day, Game of Thrones
and The Durrells
. He had also worked in various capacities on such films as Saving Private Ryan, Finding Neverland, The Constant Gardener, The History Boys, Quantum of Solace, My Week With Marilyn
and The Theory of Everything
.The Forgiving Earth
, formerly Black Earth Rising
, is described as a labyrinthine thriller about the prosecution of international war crimes and the personal, legal and political turmoil it ignites. Hugo Blick is writer-director, with Drama Republic producing. BBC Two is the UK broadcaster with Netflix holding global rights outside the UK.
The BBC issued a statement today: “We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear this terrible news. Mark Milsome was hugely talented and a much respected colleague. Our thoughts are with Mark’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.”
The Guild of British Camera Technicians also released a statement: “The GBCT Board and its membership are absolutely devastated by this tragic news. Mark Milsome was not only an incredibly talented camera operator, he was also one of the kindest and sweetest of human beings. He will be greatly missed. Thoughts and prayers are with Mark’s family at this awful time.”
Said Netflix in a statement today: “Our deepest condolences go out to Mark’s family and friends. We were shocked to hear of this tragic loss, and our hearts go out to all those that knew him and worked alongside him.”
Milsome’s agent Prince added, “We — his family, friends and colleagues — are devastated by this loss. He was the most gentle and generous man. Giving of his time, talent and loyalty. A rare, universally admired and genuinely loved member of the film industry family. He will be so sorely missed.”
Born: 1963, London, England, U.K.
Died: 11/18/2017, Ghana
Mark Milsome’s western – cameraman:
Oklahoma! (TV) - 1999
Della Reese, singer and Touched by an Angel star, dies at 86.
By Lynette Rice
November 20, 2017
Della Reese, the singer and actress who became a household name while starring as a divine supervisor named Tess on CBS’ Touched by An Angel, has died at 86, her family and Roma Downey confirmed to EW.
“On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home last evening surrounded by love,” Downey said in a statement. “She was an incredible Wife, Mother, Grandmother, friend, and Pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer. Through her life and work, she touched and inspired the lives of millions of people. She was a mother to me and I had the privilege of working with her side by side for so many years on Touched by an Angel. I know heaven has a brand new angel this day. Della Reese will be forever in our hearts. Rest In Peace, sweet angel. We love you.”
Reese found her biggest fame when she signed on to play Roma Downey’s angel boss in the spiritual drama from Martha Williamson that aired from 1994 to 2003. Each episode involved Tess assigning the young angel Monica (Downey) with cases involving someone who was at a crossroads in their life. Though it was initially canceled, Angel was helped back on the small screen by devoted fans and went on to become a massive hit for CBS. It also earned Reese two Emmy nominations.
Born in Detroit as Delloreese Patricia Early, Reese began singing at an early age before forming her own gospel group. She signed her first record contract in the ’50s and went on to top the charts with “Don’t You Know,” an adaptation of the aria “Quando m’en vo” from La Boheme.
Starting in the late ’60s, she transitioned to TV and began guest-starring in dramas like Police Woman and McCloud before launching her own eponymous talk show in 1969 that lasted eight months. She became the first African-American woman to guest-host The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1970 and went on to secure steadier gigs in series like Chico and the Man, It Takes Two, and Room 222.
In 1979, Reese suffered a near-fatal aneurysm that required two surgeries. She would end up becoming ordained — in her ministerial work, she was known as Rev. Dr. Della Reese Lett — and told The Seattle Times in 1996 that “my brain exploding was one of the best things that happened to me. You get such an understanding because you experience it for yourself. It gives you courage and courage gives you strength and strength gives you greater belief in your belief in God.”
From 1996 to 1998, she recurred in Promised Land, an Angel spin-off that starred Gerald McRaney. Her last TV appearance was on Hallmark’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered, another drama from Williamson.
Reese suffered from diabetes later in life, which she blamed on poor diet and lack of exercise.
She is survived by three children, Dominique Reese, James Reese, and Franklin Reese. Her daughter Deloreese Daniels, passed away. Her three previous marriages ended in divorce and one was annulled.
REESE, Della (Delloreese Patricia Early)
Born: 7/6/1931, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Died: 11/19/2017, California, U.S.A.
Della Reese’s western – actress:
The Young Riders (TV) – 1990 (Stagecoach Sally)
The Partridge Family’s David Cassidy Dies at 67
By Christina Dugan
November 21, 2017
David Cassidy has died, his family tells PEOPLE in an exclusive statement.
“On behalf of the entire Cassidy family, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, our uncle, and our dear brother, David Cassidy,” his family said in a statement Tuesday. “David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long. Thank you for the abundance and support you have shown him these many years.”
The actor, widely known for his starring role as Keith Partridge on the 1970s series The Partridge Family
, died from organ failure Tuesday
in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 67.
The actor had been in intensive care since he was hospitalized for liver and kidney failure last week.
admitted his struggle with alcohol abuse in 2008. He also battled substance abuse issues, which involved a stint in rehab in 2014 — but in his final days, his family dropped everything to be by his side.
His rep previously confirmed to PEOPLE that the actor was initially in a medically induced coma, but on Saturday was conscious and surrounded by loved ones.
Cassidy is survived by son Beau with ex-wife Sue Shifrin-Cassidy; his daughter Katie; his brothers Shaun, Patrick and Ryan; step-mother Shirley Jones; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Plans for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.
“There had been many family issues because of his alcoholism, but they are all reuniting in support of him,” a source close to Cassidy told PEOPLE on Sunday. “He was delighted to see them.”
“When his brother Patrick walked into the room, David lit up like a Christmas tree,” added the source. “There’s been total resolution within the family. They will always be there for him.”
Cassidy, the son of singer and actor Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward, kickstarted his acting career in Broadway’s The Fig Leaves Are Falling
at the age of 19 and found stardom on The Partridge Family
alongside his stepmother, Shirley Jones, when he was 20 years old.
The actor quickly made a name for himself as the lead singer on the show, eventually taking his skills on tour around the world — singing both Partridge
tunes and originals, which instantaneously made him a 1970s teen heartthrob.
Easily selling out arenas around the world, the media was quick to name the Cassidy phenomenon “Cassidymania” — a term the star himself was hesitant to embrace.
In 1974, what started out as excitement to see Cassidy sing live in London’s White City Stadium quickly turned into tragedy. An 800-person stampede occurred at his show, killing one teenage girl.
“I feel burnt up inside,” he told the Daily Mail
at the time. “I’m 24, a big star … in a position that millions dream of, but the truth is I just can’t enjoy it.”
Soon after, Cassidy decided to stop touring and acting and focused his energy toward songwriting and recording. In the years that followed, Cassidy managed to find great success in both TV and music, working with artists such as Barry Manilow and George Michael. But throughout his career, the New York native experienced his share of ups and downs.
In November 2010, he was charged with a DUI. He was subsequently charged with the same offense in August 2013 and January 2014. A month after his third arrest, his then-wife, Sue Shifrin-Cassidy, filed for divorce. In February 2015, the actor filed for bankruptcy and was charged in a hit-and-run in October 2015.
In February 2017, Cassidy exclusively revealed to PEOPLE that he was battling dementia.
“I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,” said Cassidy, who watched his grandfather battle the disease and witnessed his mother “disappear” into dementia until she died at age 89.
Of his mother’s struggles, Cassidy recalled: “In the end, the only way I knew she recognized me is with one single tear that would drop from her eye every time I walked into the room. … I feared I would end up that way.”
Cassidy was married three times (Kay Lenz from 1977-83, Meryl Tanz from 1984-85, and Sue Shifrin from 1991-2014). In February, he opened up about his complicated relationships with both of his kids.
“I’ve never had a relationship with her,” he said of his only daughter, Katie, who has starred on Gossip Girl
“I wasn’t her father — I was her biological father but I didn’t raise her,” he said. “She has a completely different life.”
Though Cassidy revealed that he and Katie — whose mom is former model Sherry Williams — weren’t in contact at the time, he was proud of the woman she has become.
“She’s very talented,” he said. “It’s hard for me to even accept how old she is now, like 30.”
The former the teen idol admitted to having kept his dementia diagnosis a secret, but he said Beau, whose mother is Cassidy’s ex-wife Shifrin, had been fully aware and supportive.
“He knows that I’m just a little off,” he said. “Sometimes he cocks his head at me a little bit and goes, ‘Dad do you remember?’ and I say, ‘No, I know I do, I remember.’ He’ll give me reminders once in a while.”
“He’s such a beautiful person,” he added.CASSIDY, David (David Bruce Cassidy)Born:
4/12/1950, New York City, New York, U.S.A.Died:
11/21/2017, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A.David Cassidy’s westerns – actor:
Bonanza (TV) – 1970 (Billy Burgess)
Forgiven This Gun4hire – 2018 (Blackie Wade)
Peter Berling, German Character Actor and Werner Herzog Favorite, Dies at 83
The Hollywood Reporter
By Scott Roxborough
The actor, producer and novelist appeared in 'Fritzcarraldo' and 'Aguirre: The Wrath of God' and had cameos in 'Gangs of New York' and 'The Name of the Rose.'
Peter Berling, a husky German character actor best known for his many collaborations with Werner Herzog, who also appeared in Hollywood films such as Gangs of New York and The Name of the Rose, has died. He was 83.
Berling died on Monday in Rome, his agency confirmed. The actor, who was also a successful film producer and accomplished novelist, had lived in the Italian capital since the late 1960s.
Berling acted in more than 130 films in his decades-long career but his best-known work was for Werner Herzog, who cast him in several of his early films, including Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972), Fritzcarraldo (1982) and Cobra Verde (1987). Berling also worked for Herzog's contemporary, legendary German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In addition to walk on roles in numerous Fassbinder films, Berling produced the director's 1971 drama Beware of a Holy Whore.
Born in 1934 in an area of West Prussia that is now part of Poland, Berling grew up in Berlin. He dropped out of high school and came to film only after first training to be a bricklayer and briefly studying architecture and graphic design. In addition to his many German films, he has had bit parts in a handful of international productions, including playing a knife act caller in Martin Scorcese's Gangs of New York and the monk Jean d'Anneaux in Jean-Jacques Annaud's medieval thriller The Name of the Rose.
The Middle Ages were an inspiration for Berling, who started a second career in Germany as a fiction writer, penning several best-sellers inspired by the medieval secret society the Priory of Sion.
Born: 3/20/1934, Obrawalde, Meseritz, West Prussia
Died: 11/20/2017, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Peter Berling’s westerns – actor:
Whity – 1971 (hefty bartender)
Return of Halleluja - 1972 (Lt. Schultz)
The Three Musketeers of the West - 1973 (Hans)
Tex and the Lord of the Deep - 1985 (El Morisco)
Texas - Doc Snyder hält die Welt in Atem - 1993 (Hank Snyder)
By Keisha Hachett
November 24, 2017
Emmy Award-winning director Peter Baldwin has died. He was 86.
His children Eleonora and Drew revealed the news on Facebook, accompanied by a photo taken with their dad before his death. "So glad we all got to share this last moment together. Dad, I love you. May you rest In peace," Drew wrote.
Peter made a name for himself as the director of beloved TV shows including The Dick Van Dyke Show, which launched his career; The Mary Tyler Moore Show; The Andy Griffith Show; The Brady Bunch; Sanford and Son; The Doris Day Show and The Partridge Family. In his later years, he also directed episodes of Blossom, Sister, Sister; Even Stevens; and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.
Nominated three times, Baldwin won his first and only Emmy in 1989 for The Wonder Years.
He is survived by his wife Terry; children Drew, Eleonora and Amy; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
BALDWIN, Peter D.
Born: 1/11/1931, Winnetka, Illinois, U.S.A.
Died: 11/22/2017, Pebble Beach, California, U.S.A.
Peter Baldwin’s western - actor:
The Tin Star – 1957 (Zeke McGaffey)
Los Angeles Times
November 25, 2017
Bunny Stivers, writer and co-producer of the Peoples Choice Awards, Circus of the Stars and other successful television shows, has died peacefully at her home at the age of 93. Bunny was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1945. After the death of her first husband, World War II pilot Bernard Hendel, she moved with her two young sons to New York City in 1957. She landed a job writing fashion copy for the game show The Big Payoff, and later worked for Dick Clark on his Saturday night rock and roll show. During that time she met her soon-to-be husband, Bob Stivers, and they collaborated on several shows including 100 Grand, the Baby Game and Showcase '68. In 1969, they moved to Los Angeles and produced The Movie Game, a game show featuring Daily Variety gossip columnist Army Archerd. With Bob as Executive Producer and Bunny as writer and partner, they hit the big time in 1975 with the annual People's Choice Awards. They sold the show in 1982 but it remains on the air to this day. People's Choice was followed by The Circus of the Stars, an annual special that featured movie and television stars performing circus and acrobatic acts that ran for nineteen seasons. Bob passed away in 1988, and Bunny continued working on Circus of the Stars for several more years. After retiring, she became active in the American Film Institute Association serving as its president from 1997-1999 and was a member of the Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts and a lifelong member of the Writers Guild. Bunny and Bob enjoyed a cosmopolitan life style, becoming personal friends with Hollywood personalities such as Wolfgang Puck and Vincent Price, and travelling frequently to international destinations. But Bunny never lost her small-town charm and straightforwardness. She was consistently generous and inspirational to co-workers, family and friends, and in spite of a decades long career in the rough and tumble world of show business, didn't have an enemy in the world. She loved Broadway musicals and opera and in her later years built much of her life around music including over a dozen trips to Europe, New York and elsewhere for performances of the Ring and other operas. Although she kept it under wraps, she had a beautiful and sultry alto voice and hearing her sing along with the radio was a rare treat for her friends and family. All will remember her caring personality, her glamorous beauty, her exquisite taste and the graceful good humor she exuded throughout her life. Bunny is survived by her sister, Rita Lowenthal, her sons, Larry Hendel and Tom Stock-Hendel, their wives, Lucy and Vivian, grandchildren Rachael, Matthew, Jennifer and Kristin, and great-grandchildren, Brian, Bobby, Michael, Catherine, Jason, Brooke and Benjamin. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent Guide Dogs of America, Sylmar, CA. A memorial service will be held at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Mortuary, 1218 Glendon Avenue, Los Angeles, on December 16 at 2:30 PM.
STIVERS, Bunny (Barbara J. Stivers)
Born: 1924, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Died: 11/?/2017, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Bunny Stivers’ western – writer:
The Wildest West Show of the Stars (TV) - 1986
Rance Howard, Ron Howard’s Father, Dies at 89
Actor Rance Howard, father of director Ron Howard and Clint Howard, died on Saturday. He was 89.
Ron Howard announced his father’s passing on Twitter.
“Clint & I have been blessed to be Rance Howard’s sons,” he wrote. “Today he passed at 89. He stood especially tall [for] his ability to balance ambition [with] great personal integrity. A depression-era farm boy, his passion for acting changed the course of our family history. We love & miss U Dad.”
Howard appeared in several of Ron Howard’s movies, including “Apollo 13,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Splash,” “Cocoon,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Parenthood” and Howard’s directorial debut, “Grand Theft Auto.”
He is also grandfather to actresses Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard.
Born in Oklahoma, Howard’s acting career spanned several decades. His film credits include “Chinatown” and Alexander Payne’s 2013 drama “Nebraska.” On the small screen, he appeared in several TV shows like “Seinfeld,” “Murder, She Wrote” and Ron Howard’s “Happy Days.”
HOWARD, Rance(Harold Rance Beckenholdt)
Born: 11/17/1928, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Died: 11/25/2017, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Rance Howard’s westerns – actor:
Frontier Woman – 1956 (Prewitt)
Bat Masterson (TV) – 1959 (Fletcher)
Zane Grey Theater (TV) – 1959 (Deputy Shaker)
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1960, 1961 (Gideon, Mace)
An Eye for an Eye – 1966 (Harry)
The Virginian (TV) – 1966 (Luka)
The Monroes (TV) – 1967 (Al)
Old Paint - 1969 (cowboy)
The Wild Country - 1970 (Cleve)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1970, 1974 (Judge Alan Franklin, Frank Benton)
Here Come the Brides (TV) – 1970 (Goff)
Bonanza (TV) – 1971, 1972 (Sam, Bogardus)
Bloody Trail – 1972 (Jake)
Nichols (TV) – 1972 (Deputy)
The Red Pony – 1973 (Sheriff Bill Smith)
Kung Fu (TV) – 1973 (Sheriff Byrd)
Huckleberry Finn (TV) - 1975 (Pap Finn)
The New Daughters of Joshua Cabe (TV) - 1976
Another Man, Another Chance – 1977 (wagon master)
The Legend of Frank Woods – 1977 (Howard Blacker)
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1977 (Simpson)
Far and Away – 1992 (Tomlin)
The Cowboy Way - 1994 (old gentleman)
Savate – 1995 (farmer)
Legend of the Phantom Rider – 2002 (Doc Fisher)
Ghost Rock - 2003 (Cash)
The Long Ride Home – 2003 (old man)
The Missing – 2003 (telegraph operator)
The Alamo – 2004 (Governor Smith)
Miracle at Sage Creek – 2005 (Docotr Babcock)
Ghost Town: The Movie – 2007 (Sheriff Tom Parker)
Shadowheart – 2009 (wedding preacher)
Jonah Hex – 2010 (telegrapher)
Redemption: For Robbing the Dead – 2011 (doctor)
The Lone Ranger – 2013 (engineer)
Rifle - 2018
Timberwolf - 2018 (Byron Meddles)