Friday, March 23, 2018

RIP Don J. Arneson

News From Me
By Mark Evanier
March 21, 2018

We're just now hearing that comic book writer-editor Don J. Arneson passed last February 1 at the age of 82. Don was born in Montevideo, Minnesota on August 15, 1935. His family later relocated to Boulder, Colorado where he attended the University of Colorado before enlisting in the U.S. Army. After his discharge, he lived in Mexico before relocating to New York City to try and break into the world of publishing. In 1958 he married Beatrice Franchina, a fellow Mexico City College student. After graduation they returned to the United States living and working in New York City prior to settling in Connecticut.

Around 1962, he answered a newspaper ad for an editorial assistant for Dell Publishing and wound up working on their comic book line. Dell had recently severed a long relationship with Western Printing and Lithography, which has printed their comics and also handled all the editorial work. (A more detailed explanation can be found here.) Dell was now producing the contents of their books in-house and Arneson began working with their editor, L.B. Cole. After a month or so, Cole was let go and Arneson found himself as editor-in-chief.

He originally intended to do little or no writing himself but when scripts needed serious revision, there was no money in Dell's budget to pay anyone else to do it. Arneson found himself rewriting whole issues and eventually just began writing many of the Dell titles himself from scratch. Among the comics he wrote were Flying Saucers, The Beverly Hillbillies, F Troop, The Monkees and the superhero versions of Frankenstein, Dracula and Werewolf.

His most famous Dell effort was Lobo, a comic about a gunslinger in the Old West. The comic, created by Arneson with artist Tony Tallarico, lasted only two issues but is now cited as the first American comic book to star a black protagonist. Arneson, who was always politically active, was very proud of that, though at a loss to explain its swift termination.

Arneson was also the editor-writer of a series of comics with a political bent which he did, usually with Tallarico, for other publishers targeting an older audience. The two best-sellers were The Great Society Comic Book, which turned Lyndon Johnson into a super-hero, and Bobman and Teddy, which turned Robert and Ted Kennedy into Batman and Robin.

While working as the editor at Dell, Arneson also began moonlighting for other companies, writing scripts for Charlton (sometimes under the name, Norm DiPluhm), Tower (on Undersea Agent) and Western Publishing, for which he was the main writer for quite some time on their Dark Shadows comic book. He left Dell around 1969 and expanded his freelancing efforts, writing occasionally for DC's ghost comics and romance titles.

I knew Don only on the phone. We chatted occasionally the last few years and I was hoping, as he was, that various illnesses would abate and he could make the journey to San Diego for Comic-Con International. I'm sorry that didn't happen as he was a bright, engaging fellow who was very proud of his work…and probably writing something right up until he left us.

ARNESON, Don J. (Don Jon Arneson)
Born: 8/21/1935, Montevideo, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Died: 2/1/2018, Woodbury, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Don J. Arneson’s westerns – script, comic book writer:
F Troop – 1965 [script writer]
Lobo - 1965

Thursday, March 22, 2018

RIP Louise Latham

Louise Latham of Santa Barbara, 1922-2018

By Michael Stubbs

Louise Latham died on Feb. 12, 2018, at Casa Dorinda. She was 95.

Ms. Latham, a well-known actress, had a long and successful career in the theater, in movies, and in television. Her most famous role was as Tippi Hedrin’s mother in Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie.

She was born on Sept. 23, 1922, in Hamilton, Texas, and attended the Hockaday School.

She began her career working on stage in the famous Margo Jones Theatre in Dallas. In New York she appeared on Broadway in such plays as Major Barbara, Invitation to a March and Isle of Children.

Among her film credits were roles in The Sugarland Express, Mass Appeal, Love Field, Firecreek, The Philadelphia Experiment and Paradise.

She appeared often on television in such series as Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Rhoda, Murder She Wrote, Bonanza, Family and The Fugitive.

She appeared in many television movies including Mary and Tim, In the Matter of Karen Ann Quinlan, Dress Gray, and Eccentricities of a Nightingale.

She was married and divorced three times and had lived in Santa Barbara for many years.

LATHAM, Louise (Johnie Louise Latham)
Born: 9/23/1922, Hamilton, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 2/12/2018, Casa Dorinda, California, U.S.A.

Louise Latham’s westerns – actress:
Bonanza (TV) – 1966, 1971 (Willie Mae Rikeman, Mrs. Harriet Clinton)
A Man Called Shenandoah (TV) – 1966 (Cora Eldridge)
Firecreek – 1968 (Dulcie)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1968,. 1969, 1970, 1974 (Polly Cade, Louise, Phoebe Clifford, Emilie Sadler, Claire Gentry, Joan Sheperd
Hec Ramsey (TV) – 1973 (Willa Hollister)
Sara – 1976 (Martha Higgins)
The Awakening Land – 1978 (Jary Luckett)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

RIP Anna-Lisa

Norwegian actor Anna-Lisa Ruud is dead

"It is unbelievably sad."

By Julie Solberg
March 21, 2018

The Norwegian Hollywood actor Anna-Lisa Ruud, known from television series such as Death Valley Days, Run for Your Life and That Girl, fell asleep at the Smesthjem in Oslo on Wednesday, 85 years old.

She died today at 13:15, Ruud's cousin, and closest relatives in Norway, Grace Turil Rasmussen, can confirm to Dagbladet., Ruud lived the last two years at Smestadhjemmet.

Good friends

Throughout her young life, Anna-Lisa Ruud lived in Hollywood where she performed her childhood dream as an actor. There she was named Anna-Lisa, but was born Anne Lise Ruud in Norway.

"We did not have much contact when she lived in the United States, but when she moved home to Norway we were much together. She rented a summer house in Son, where I have visited her a lot, Rasmussen says to Dagbladet.

Rasmussen remembers Anna-Lisa Ruud as a very social, positive and gentle lady whom she enjoyed spending time with.

18 years in the United States

When Anna-Lisa Ruud was only 21 years old she moved to California. There she got her job as an au pair. During the nights she worked at McDonalds and on the day she studied drama next to the au pair job.

In 1958 she got a lead in the Western Sugarfoot series.

"I would be a Nordic mail order that was sent somewhere in the wilderness. My opponent was as unknown as me. He did not have a car so I had to pick him up every day at his shabby motel. Charles Bronson, he, told Ruud in a previous interview with Dagbladet.

After 18 years, 150 TV shows and more plays, Ruud got enough. In 1972, she moved to India and then returned to Norway where she worked at the National Theater, Oslo New Theater and Dock Theater.

"There was so much sad around me.
Great young people took their lives and everything was about getting roles. I was so tired of running for a carrot without knowing where I could, she could tell in a previous interview with Dagbladet.

Written book

Niels Petter Solberg has known Ruud for the past 20 years. He first became familiar with her when he was writing a book about Norwegian foreign stars.

"It was unbelievably sad when I got the message about Anna-Lisa's passing earlier today. We were good friends, he told Dagbladet.

"I got to know her when I wrote the book about Norwegian women in Hollywood. It is many years ago now, but we got a friendship that has meant a lot to me. Anna-Lisa had a fascinating career in the American TV's childhood, had her own TV series with "Black Saddle" and guest roles in many other famous TV shows.

It was, among other things, when TV 2 broadcast the TV series "Bonanza", where Ruud has a guest roll, that Solberg sat in Haugesund and studied Norwegian foreign stars. He called Sporenstreks to Ruud to tell her that she was on television.

"When I worked at Haugesund Theater, we invited her to town to play in" The Invisible City "and" Stepping Out ". She had many friends in Haugesund. Anna-Lisa lived out her dreams and took all challenges on her tight arm, says Solberg, thanking Ruud for all the good talks and memories.

"We could talk for hours on movies and TV shows. She was like talking to a living lexicon. She had incredible knowledge, he recalls.

Ana-Lisa (Anne Lise Ruud)
Born: 3/30/1935, Oslo, Norway
Died: 3/21/2018, Oslo, Norway

Ana-Lisa’s westerns – actress:
Bronco (TV) – 1958 (Sister Theresa)
Maverick (TV) – 1958 (Karen Gustavson)
Sugafoot (TV) – 1958 (Ellie Peterson)
Black Saddle (TV) - 1959-1960 (Nora Travers)
Bonanza (TV) – 1960 (White Buffalo Woman/Ruth Halversen)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1960 (Gretchen Mueller)
Laramie (TV) – 1960 (Louisa Clark)
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1966 (Huldag Swanson, Elaanora)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

RIP Greg Sill

Music Supervisor Greg Sill Dies at 63
by Melinda Newman, Billboard

Sill started his career at Columbia Pictures in the 1970s and went on to coordinate music for 'Friends' and 'ER.'

Music supervisor Greg Sill — who, over a decades-long career, coordinated music for such television shows as Friends, Justified, Family Matters and ER — died Saturday. The Los Angeles-based Sill was 63.

Sill ran his own outfit, Music Makes Pictures, for the last two decades. He started his career at Columbia Pictures in the 1970s, according to the Guild of Music Supervisors, with stints at America International Pictures, CBS Songs, Warner Bros. Television and Lorimar Television to follow.

Among the other shows Sill worked on were Falcon Crest, Boomtown, Full House and Knots Landing.

Sill, who worked on more than 80 movies and series, was the son of Lester Sill, who was Phil Spector’s partner in Philles Records, as well as head of Colgems Records.

“We all remember Greg for his larger-than life personality, his generosity of spirit and his deep love of music and the people who made it,” said Seth Kaplan, a partner in Evolution Music Partners, which represents composers and music supervisors, including Sill. “He was a pioneer in the field of modern music supervision, and his ideas and innovations will be a continuing legacy. We are all very sad today. We lost an original. He will be missed by our community, but remembered well.”

“He had a gift for selecting songs, singers and musical sounds that really brought scenes to life. He was a kind, gentle person who was always a pleasure to work with,” said S-Curve Records founder Steve Greenberg, whose artists, Joss Stone and Fountains of Wayne, appeared on the TV series American Dreams, which ran from 2002-2005. “On American Dreams, where contemporary artists were portraying iconic '60s performers, he always encouraged the artist to bring their own sensibility to their performance and not simply try to mimic the artist they were portraying.”

Sill’s brother Lonnie, also a music supervisor, announced his death on Facebook. The family asked that donations be made to MAP, MusiCares' addiction recovery program, in Sill’s name.

SILL, Greg (Gregory Sill)
Born: 5/25/1954, U.S.A.
Died: 3/17/2018, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Greg Sill’s western – music supervisor:
Guns of Paradise (TV) – 1990-1991

Monday, March 19, 2018

RIP Geneviève Fontanel

Actress Geneviève Fontanel is dead

Throughout her career, the actress has multiplied roles, both in classic plays as in boulevard comedies.

Le Monde

The actress Geneviève Fontanel, actress of theater who was the interpreter of great authors like Cocteay, Pirandello or Ionesco, died Saturday March 17 at the age of 81 years, learned AFP with her famly.

The actress, also a filmmaker  won the César for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in François Truffaut's Man Who Loves Women (1977). She is also known for her roles in Henri Verneuil's A Monkey in Winter, Moshe Mizrahi's La vie devant soi and Bertrand Blier's Our Story.

In 1999, she was rewarded by Molière for best actress in a supporting role for Edward Albee's play Délicate Balance.

Throughout her career, the actress has multiplied the roles, both in classic plays ( Les Précieuses ridicules, Le Bourgeois gentilhomme), and in boulevard comedies, where she played alongside Jean Le Poulain, Roger Pierre and Jean -Marc Thibault.

A last role in 2015

She has also played Ionesco - Macbett, This wonderful mess! - as Pirandello - Tonight we improvise - or Cocteau - Parents terrible in a staging of Jean-Claude Brialy. "When I'm not playing, I'm hell," the actress admitted. In parallel, she has not stopped shooting for television.

The actress was born in Bordeaux but grew up in Casablanca. At 17, she returned to Bordeaux where she studied at the municipal conservatory, before joining the Drama Center on rue Blanche in Paris and the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts. In 1958, she joined the Comédie-Française, which she will be a resident for four years, and she will keep a critical memory:

"I do not keep a bad memory, since it allowed me to play a number of pieces of the repertoire, to start in the cinema, to tour (...) But after a while, we have a impression of captivity at the Comédie-Française »

In 1965, she married the comedian and painter Jacques Destoop, with whom she had a daughter, Isabelle.

Her last role was in The Big Girls in 2015, where she played, with Judith Magre, Claire Nadeau and Edith Scob, a quartet of old unworthy ladies.

FONTANEL, Geneviève (Geneviève Paule Clairette Fontanel)
Born: 6/27/1936, Bordeaux, France
Died: 3/17/2018, France

Geneviève, Fontanel’s western – actress:
Fortune (TV) – 1969 (Jenny Carruthers)

RIP Jochen Senf

Former "Tatort" commissioner Jochen Senf is dead

He was Max Palu and long "crime scene" commissioner in Saarland. But Jochen Senf had many other sides. Now he died at the age of 76.

Neue Burcher Beitung

He liked to cook, he liked to drink red wine and took his racing bike to the office: Jochen Senf spent 17 years as crime scene commissar Max Palu in the Saarland on a criminal hunt. He shot 18 episodes in the small state on the border with France. With that, mustard got a place in television history. Now the actor has died at the age of 76 years in Berlin. This has been confirmed his brother Gerhard on Sunday.

"Salü Palu" was the first episode on January 24, 1988. It was about trafficking young girls and prostitution in the border area. The bald-headed Max Palu (spoken: Palü) was a real type among the ARD commissars.
Privately, he was a gourmet and liked to cook. "I play the commissioned the way I am," he said when he started the "crime scene" at the age of 45. Palu was his first big television role. Before filming, he confessed: "I do not even know how to hold a pistol."

Jochen Senf was not only the commissioner, but had many other sides and roles. He was a radio drama teacher, crime writer, founded a children's and youth theater, played theater, directed and was screened in theatrical productions, about 2015 in “I do not even know how to hold a pistol

The Saarland was his home for a long time. As a child, the native of Frankfurt came to Saarbrücken. His father Paul was a non-party minister in the state cabinet of Johannes Hoffmann in the 1950s. In Saarbrücken, Senf studied German and Romance studies and attended drama school.

The role as "Tatort" commissioner came in 2005 - long before the great hype and the murder mystery began on television. After that, it was quieter, he leaves two children. "Marriage is not important to me, marriage is enough. The only reason for marrying is children," he once told the Berliner Morgenpost. The "Süddeutsche Zeitung" found that in dealing with people, Senf was like his Palu: "honest, reliable, committed and chummy in a sometimes not necessarily diplomatic way".

Last appearance on the Kurfürstendamm

For several years, the actor was with Margret Lafontaine, the former wife of the former Saarland Prime Minister, together. Most recently, Senf lived in Berlin. There he was seen a few years ago in the comedy on the Kurfürstendamm. Two years ago, the "Bild" newspaper visited him in a nursing home and quoted "I'm shit." At that time he did not want to reveal anything more about his illness, but walking was difficult for him.

Among other things, the Saarländischer Rundfunk, its longtime home station, paid tribute to Senf on Sunday in a tweet: “Red wine, baguettes and bicycles: for 17 years, Jochen Senf personified the crime scene commissar Max Palu. AU Revoir!"

SENF, Jochen
Born: 1/6/1942, Frankfurt, Main, Germany
Died: 3/18/2018, Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Jochen Senf’s western – actor:
Bluebird (TV) – 1994 (Silas Ruster)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

RIP Michael Gersman

Michael Gershman Dies: The ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’, ‘Crossing Jordan’ Cinematographer Was 73

By Dino-Day Ramos
March 18, 2018

Emmy-nominated cinematographer Michael Gershman died on March 10 at his home in Malibu. The cause of his death has yet to be reported. He was 73.

Known for his work on the Sarah Michelle Gellar-fronted cult TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Crossing Jordan, Gershman worked under the Academy Award-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond as a camera assistant on numerous iconic films from the ’70s and ’80s, including The Deer Hunter, The Rose, Heaven’s Gate and Blow Out.

Gershman was born in St. Louis on June 17, 1944 and came from a family that worked in the entertainment industry. His father, Edward Gershman was a producer on Mr. Magoo short films. He made his move to Los Angeles at 19 and worked for his uncle Wally Bulloch, who worked in camera manufacturing and animation.

As a protege of one of the most lauded cinematographers, he went on to work on Joss Whedon’s Buffy, which aired from 1997 to 2001 on the WB Network, which morphed into UPN and is now the CW. He not only worked as a director of photography but also directed 10 episodes. He earned an Emmy nod for cinematography for the memorable episode “Hush,” which was almost completely devoid of dialogue. In 2001, he went on to serve as a director and cinematographer of the NBC crime drama Crossing Jordan, which starred Jill Hennessy.

His other credits include The Golden Child, Midnight Run, Die Hard 2, Say Anything… and Losing Isaiah.

Gershman is survived by his wife, Cecilia, as well as his daughters, Lauren and Abigail, and mother, Doreen.

GERSHMAN, Michael (Michael Edward Gershman)
Born: 6/17/1944, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
Died: 3/10/2018, Malibu, California, U.S.A.

Michael Gershman’s western – cameraman:
Heaven’s Gate - 1980