Wednesday, May 25, 2016

RIP Nancy Dow

RIP Nancy Dow

Daily Mail
By Regina F. Graham
May 25, 2016

Actress Jennifer Aniston's estranged mother, Nancy Dow, passed away sometime on Wednesday, reports say.

The Friends star visited her 79-year-old mother for the first time in nearly five years on May 12, according to In Touch Weekly.

'Jen must have had a wake-up call and wanted to see her mother one last time before she passes,' an insider told the magazine.

Dow reportedly had suffered a series of strokes and lost the ability to speak and walk prior to her death, the magazine reported.

According to Radar Online, Dow was rushed from her apartment unit in Toluca Lake, California just after midnight on Sunday by four paramedics.

A neighbor who witnessed the emergency situation said that she 'was apparently close to death.'
'Her hands were curled up to her face and her skin was grey,' another source told Radar Online.
'She was wheeled out then very late at night at 1.30am. On Monday morning, all the lights were on in the apartment and the door was wide open.'

DOW, Nancy E.
Born: 7/22/1936, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 5/25/2016, Toluca Lake, California, U.S.A.

Nanvy E. Dow’s western – actress:
The Wild Wild West (TV) – 1967 (Tersa)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

RIP Beth Howland

Beth Howland, Accident-Prone Waitress From the Sitcom ‘Alice,’ Dies at 74

The New York Times
By William Grimes
May 24, 2016

Beth Howland, who made high anxiety an art form as the ditsy, accident-prone waitress Vera Louise Gorman on the 1970s and ’80s sitcom “Alice,” died on Dec. 31, 2015, in Santa Monica, Calif., her husband said on Tuesday. He had refrained from announcing her death earlier in keeping with her wishes. She was 74.

The cause was lung cancer, her husband, the actor Charles Kimbrough, said, adding that she had not wanted a funeral or a memorial service.

“It was the Boston side of her personality coming out,” Mr. Kimbrough said. “She didn’t want to make a fuss.”

Ms. Howland was a modestly successful television actress, with a handful of Broadway credits on her résumé, when Alan Shayne, the president of Warner Bros. Television, began casting roles for “Alice.” The CBS series, based on the 1974 Martin Scorsese film “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” required three waitresses for Mel’s Diner, the locus of the action, one of them the high-strung Vera, played in the film by Valerie Curtin.

Mr. Shayne had seen Ms. Howland on Broadway in the Stephen Sondheim musical “Company,” where, as a nervous prospective bride named Amy, she sang a lightning-fast patter song, “Getting Married Today.”

“Vera was written as a taut wire, ready to go to pieces at any minute,” he wrote in “Double Life: A Love Story From Broadway to Hollywood” (2011), a memoir written with Norman Sunshine. He recalled Ms. Howland, in the musical, “going to pieces in front of the audience’s eyes.”

Ms. Howland won the role, and for nine seasons, from 1976 to 1985, she kept television audiences amused with her wide-eyed, jumpy performances. Asked to describe her character, she told Knight Newspapers in 1979: “Insecure and vulnerable. Probably works the hardest of anybody in the diner. Very gullible, very innocent.”

Elizabeth Howland was born on May 28, 1941, in Boston. She studied dance at the Hazel Boone Studio and, after graduating from high school at 16, headed to New York, where she landed a replacement role as Lady Beth in “Once Upon a Mattress” and a role as a dancer in “Bye Bye Birdie.” She also appeared, alongside Valerie Harper and Donna Douglas, the future Elly May Clampett on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” as a dancer in the 1959 film “Li’l Abner.”

At 19 she married Michael J. Pollard, one of the lead actors in “Bye Bye Birdie.” The marriage ended in divorce. In addition to her husband, who played the anchorman Jim Dial on the television series “Murphy Brown,” she is survived by a daughter from her first marriage, Holly Howland.

Small parts on Broadway and in the Off Broadway hit “Your Own Thing,” a musical version of “Twelfth Night,” led to her breakthrough role in “Company” and her tour-de-force rendition of “Getting Married Today.”

“It was a perfect song for me,” she told The Los Angeles Times in 2004. “I’m not a singer, and it has maybe four notes.”

She performed it again when most of the original cast reassembled in 1993 for concert performances at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, Calif., and the Vivian Beaumont Theater in Lincoln Center.

After being cast as the wife of a character played by Bert Convy on an episode of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” she moved to Los Angeles to work in television. She appeared on “Love, American Style,” “Cannon,” “The Rookies” and other shows before taking the role of Vera on “Alice.”

Unlike many actors, Ms. Howland had never worked as a waitress. “But I just kept sitting around coffee shops and watching how it’s done, and now I can carry four dinners,” she told Knight Newspapers.

One of Vera’s most memorable moments on the show occurred a scant few seconds after the beginning of the first episode. A customer’s cheery “Hi, Vera,” caused her to throw a boxful of drinking straws into the air. The freak-out became part of the show’s opening credit sequence.

For nine years, Vera remained overwrought, but changes did occur. Toward the end of the series, she married a police officer, Elliot Novak, played by Charles Levin. In the final episode, she announced that she was pregnant.

Ms. Howland acted sporadically after “Alice” went off the air. She had small guest roles on “Eight Is Enough,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and “The Tick.”

She and the actress Jennifer Warren were the executive producers of the documentary “You Don’t Have to Die,” about a 6-year-old boy’s successful battle against cancer. It won an Academy Award in 1989 for best short-subject documentary.

HOWLAND, Beth (Elizabeth Howland)
Born: 5/28/1941, Boston Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Died: 12/31/2015, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.

Beth Howland’s western – actress:
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1976 (clerk)

RIP Buck Kartalian

Buck Kartalian, the Keeper of the Cages in Original 'Planet of the Apes,' Dies at 93

The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes
May 24, 2016

The veteran character actor, a former body builder, also portrayed the inmate Dynamite in Paul Newman's 'Cool Hand Luke.'

Buck Kartalian, the burly character actor who played the cigar-smoking gorilla Julius, the Keeper of the Cages, in the original Planet of the Apes, died Tuesday. He was 93.

Kartalian died of natural causes at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Calif., his son, Jason Kartalian, said.

Kartalian also was known for his role as Dynamite, the "champion eater" and one of Paul Newman's fellow inmates, in Cool Hand Luke (1967), and he played a shopkeeper in Clint Eastwood's The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). His career lasted more than six decades.

In Planet of the Apes (1968), Kartalian is in charge of security at the Research Complex for studying humans. He enjoys tormenting George Taylor (Charlton Heston) with a water hose before the captured astronaut escapes his jail cell. His character's cigar was his idea, and he has a memorable line in the movie: "You know what they say: 'Human see, human do.'"

Kartalian later played another gorilla named Frank in the 1972 sequel Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.

The 5-foot-3 Kartalian, a professional wrestler and body builder who was born in Detroit, portrayed Sampson in a 1951 production of Romeo and Juliet on Broadway (Olivia de Havilland starred as Juliet). He toured in a national production of Mister Roberts and then had a small role as a sailor in the 1955 Henry Fonda film version.

He came to Los Angeles in the 1960s.

Kartalian also appeared in such films as Sail a Crooked Ship (1961), Myra Breckinridge (1970), The Man With Bogart's Face (1980), The Rock (1996), My Favorite Martian (1999) and Tomcats (2001).

His TV résumé included the series Naked City, The Untouchables, Get Smart, McHale's Navy, Batman (as one of Catwoman's henchmen in the 1966 "Hot Off the Griddle" episode), Curb Your Enthusiasm, Just Shoot Me! and How I Met Your Mother.

He had a role in the 1959 Broadway play Golden Fleecing, directed by Abe Burrows.

Kartalian also is survived by children Julie and Aram.

Born: 8/13/1922, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Died: 5/24/2016, Mission Hills, California, U.S.A.

Buck Kartlian’s westerns – actor:
Stay Away Joe – 1968 (Bull Shortgun)
The Wild Wild West – 1968 (Lieutenant Bengston)
Here Come the Brides (TV) – 1968-1969 (Sam)
Mark of the Gun – 1969 (Bert)
Nichols (TV) – 1971-1972 (Samuel)
The Outlaw Josey Wales – 1976 (shopkeeper)

RIP Federico de Zigno

Italian film critic and author Federico Alberto de Zigno died May 19, 2016 in Firenze, Italy. He was 63. Born August 12, 1952 in Firenze, Italy.  He was a specialist of genre films, and hds been a member of the editorial board of the journal Amarcord. He was the author of the book Cittadini X: serial killer dalla realtà allo schermo (1998) and collaborated on numerous publications of the publishing company Glittering Images, including the magazine Diva and volumes The Cosmical horror of HP Lovecraft (1991), Marquis De Sade antologie illustree (1993). As a passionate student of almeriense film phenomenon during the years 1960-70, he had written, with Antonio Bruschini, Western All'Italiana: the Wild, the Sadist and the Outsiders (2001) and Western All'Italiana 100 More Must-See Movies ( 2006). Similarly he had authored texts for vampire books like Il redivivo (1993), Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo di Sergio Leone (2000), Il cinema di Mel Gibson (2004), etc. He had collaborated on magazines like Night Cinema and Spanish Nosferatu and Quatermass.

RIP Burt Kwouk

Burt Kwouk, Pink Panther star, dies aged 85

May 24, 2016

Burt Kwouk, who was best known for playing Inspector Clouseau's manservant Cato in the Pink Panther films, has died aged 85.

He appeared in seven Pink Panther films opposite Peter Sellers as Clouseau's servant who regularly attacked his employer to keep him alert.

He also starred in BBC sitcom Last of the Summer Wine from 2002 to 2010.

Born in Manchester but raised in Shanghai, the actor was awarded an OBE in the 2011 New Year Honour List.

A statement issued by his agent said: "Beloved actor Burt Kwouk has sadly passed peacefully away. The family will be having a private funeral but there will be a memorial at a later date."

On the big screen Kwouk also appeared in three James Bond films including Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice.

Kwouk had a long TV career, appearing in numerous TV shows including The Avengers and Doctor Who. He also played Major Yamauchi in the 1980s wartime television drama Tenko.

He joined long-running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine as electrician Entwistle - a part that was written with him in mind.

The actor appeared in Harry Hill's comedy series in the 1990s and also gained a cult following when he presented Channel 4's interactive gambling show Banzai from 2001-2004.

Kwouk started acting when he returned to England in 1954 and his big break came 10 years later when director Blake Edwards offered him the part of Cato Fong, opposite Peter Sellers's Inspector Clouseau.

His double act with Sellers was hugely popular with fans and he continued in the role of Cato after Sellers died in 1980, appearing opposite Roger Moore and Roberto Benigni when they took on the role of the bumbling French detective.

Kwouk said he never expected the part to continue for such a long time, starring in his first Pink Panther film in 1974 and the last in 1992.

"They were always a lot of fun because after a while I got to know Cato quite well and I liked Cato because he never argued with me and he never borrowed money from me. I liked playing Cato quite a lot," he told the BBC in 2011.

Talking about his career after being awarded an OBE for services to drama, the actor said working on the James Bond movies was a special experience.

"Bond movies are always great fun because everything about them is big, expansive, huge - the sets are big, the amounts of money that is spent is huge as well, and the whole thing has a big atmosphere about it. And actors like doing that kind of thing."

But if he had to pick a favourite role, the star said it would be the first time he "had a featured role in a good movie".

"You always remember your first of anything - your first house, your first car, your first child, your first woman - you always remember those things and this was a picture made in 1958.

"It was The Inn of the Sixth Happiness which starred a great lady called Ingrid Bergman, I remember that very fondly."

KWOUK, Burt (Herbert W. Kwouk)
Born: 7/18/1930, Manchester, England, U.K.
Died: 5/24/2016

Burt Kwouk’s western – actor:
Queen of Swords (TV) – 2001 (Master Kiyomosa)