Monday, October 26, 2009

RIP Guido Zurli

Italian director and screenwriter, Guido Zurli has died at the age of 80. In his career, spanning nearly 50 years, he worked in a variety of genres, from spaghetti westerns to peplum, from horror to porn (he worked on the film debut of Moana Pozzi, in "Valentina ragazza in calore" (1981), before leaveing the set). He also directed operas, documentaries and television programs.

Born January 9, 1929, at Foiano della Chiana, Zurli had became especially popular in the Islamic world, after directing "Le verdi bandiere di Allah", which he’d originally scripted for Sergio Leone, and also because he worked regularly in Turkey, where he shot the western "Cowboy Kid" and others. Recently there was talk of him as being the possible director of a film on the life of Licio Gelli.


ZURLI, Guido
Born: 1/9/1929, Foiano della Chiana, Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy
Died: 10/23/2009, Italy

Guido Zurli's westerns - director, screenwriter:
Thompson 1880 – 1966 [director]
A Man Called Amen – 1968 [director, screenwriter]
Zorro the Fox - 1968 [director, screenwriter]
Cowboy Kid – 1972 [director, screenwriter]
Son of Zorro - 1973 [screenwriter]

Saturday, October 24, 2009

RIP Lou Jacobi

Lou Jacobi, a scene-stealing actor who made a film and stage career playing comic ethnic characters but was lauded for serious dramatic roles as well, has died in New York. He was 95.

Jacobi made his Broadway debut in 1955 in “The Diary of Anne Frank,” playing a less-than-noble occupant of the Amsterdam attic where the Franks were hiding, and reprised the role in the 1959 film version. Among his other films were “Irma La Douce,” “My Favorite Year,” “Arthur,” Woody Allen’s “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex” and Barry Levinson’s “Avalon.” He also appeared frequently on television on such shows as “Playhouse 90,” “The Man From UNCLE,” “That Girl,” “Love, American Style” and “The Dean Martin Show.”


JACOBI, Lou (Louis Harold Jacobi)
Born: 12/29/1913, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died: 10/23/2009, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.

Lou Jacobi's western - actor:
The Texan (TV) - 1959 (Joseph Varga)

Friday, October 23, 2009

RIP Soupy Sales

Beloved By 60's Era Kids, TV Host Soupy Sales Dead

Soupy Sales, a comedian and actor, was born Milton Supman in 1926.


Soupy Sales, the 60's era TV host who was adored by kids -- and their parents with a wild sense of humor -- died Thursday in New York at the age of 83.

Sales once said he took more pies in the face -- probably 25,000 -- than any man who ever lived. And he was probably right.

Sales, born Milton Supman in 1923 in North Carolina, was beloved by kids with a 60's era TV show notorious for its semi-adult humor and ribald sense of humor.

He also recorded a novelty song "Do the Mouse" which became a pop culture hit and a dance he came up with, The Soupy Shuffle, was also a major fad.

His crew loved to play pranks on him and vice versa. On one show, off camera but within his eyeline a naked woman danced and the crew convinced him the feed was going out live.

In 1964, he got in trouble with his bosses when he jokingly told kids to send him money...telling them to go into their parents wallets -- while they were sleeping -- and send him those pictures of "George Washington...Lincoln...Benjamin Franklin and Jefferson on them."

He mostly got Monopoly money but some money did come in and Sales was suspended for a week.

His show, "Lunch with Soupy Sales" which was also known as "The Soupy Sales Show" aired from 1959-1962 and from 1962-67. His show, a precursor to Pee Wee Herman and his Playhouse concept, featured cartoons, and rotating "friends" like Mask, White Fang, Black Tooth, a naughty gorilla, Pookie the tiny lion, and a mob figure named Onions Oregano, known for having bad breath.

By the 70s, Sales often showed up on game and trivia panels and appeared on shows like "The Love Boat" and "Love American, Style."


SALES, Soupy (Milton Supman)
Born: 1/8/1926, Franklinton, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Died: 10/22/2009, Bronx, New York, U.S.A.

Soupy Sales western - actor:
The Rebel (TV) - 1960 (steble owner, Meyers)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

RIP Collin Wilcox

Collin Wilcox, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Accuser, Dies of Cancer

Posted Thursday 22 October 09:05 AM By: PopEater Staff

Collin Wilcox, who portrayed a young white woman who falsely accuses a black man of rape in 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and went on to appear in numerous TV shows and films like 'Jaws 2,' died at her home in North Carolina last week. She was 74. Her husband, Scott Paxton, said the actress died on Oct. 14 of brain cancer, the New York Times reports.

As the character Mayella Violet Ewell, who accused Brock Peters' character of rape, she delivers a court speech that stands out as one of the most memorable scenes in 'Mockingbird.' While being cross-examined by Gregory Peck's Atticus Finch, she tearfully responds:

"I got something to say, and then I ain't gonna say no more. He took advantage of me! And if you fine, fancy, damn ... ain't gonna do nothin' about it, then you're just a bunch a' lousy yella stinkin' cowards ... the ... the whole bunch of ya. And your fancy airs don't come to nothin'. Your manners and your "Miss Mayella," it don't come to nothin' Mr. Finch!"
'Mockingbird' was her major-film debut and she later appeared on TV show such as 'The Twilight Zone,' 'The Untouchables' and 'Gunsmoke.'

She appeared in several more films, including 'Catch-22' and the 'Jaws' sequel, before moving back to her native North Carolina where she and her husband founded a children's arts center.

In addition to her husband, Paxton is survived by her children, Kimberley and Michael.


WILCOX, Collin
Born: 2/14/1935, Highlands, North Carolina, U.S.A.
Died: 10/14/2009, Highlands, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Collin Wilcox's westerns - actress:
Temple Houston (TV) - 1963 (Doris Chevenix)
The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (TV) - 1963 (Emmy)
The Road West (TV) - 1967 (Frances)
The Virginian (TV) - 1967 (Sarah Keough)
Death Valley Days (TV) - 1968 (Sage Madison)
Gunsmoke (TV) - 1972 (Bess Frye)
Little House on the Prairie (TV) - 1977 (Beth Novak)

RIP Tom O'Rourke

Thomas O'Rourke was a war baby, born in New York City in Greenwich Village. He was raised in Indiana,until his parents divorced and he returned to New York City's Upper Westside to live with his grandparents. He was ambitious and hardworking even at this young age. To help out with expenses, he bought a bike and delivered newspapers and laundry to the large, fancy apartments on Central Park West and Park Avenue. He always dreamed of someday living on Central Park West, and he was later able to achieve that dream, when he worked on a soap opera.

He joined the Army at age eighteen and became a Paratrooper in the 101st Airborne. He served in Germany in the Military Police. While in the Army, he hitchhiked all over Europe. Running out of money in Italy, he sold his American jeans on the Spanish Steps for an outrageous sum, and went back to Germany in style.

After the Army, he had many different jobs as he tried to figure out what to do with his life. But once he attended a performance of live theater, he knew exactly where he belonged.

He got a scholarship to Goodman Theater School, then a part of the University of Chicago. And before he even graduated, he was cast in David Merrick's "Promises, Promises", got his Equity card and was on his way as an actor.

He ended his tour in New York City. Here he did many commercials, more theater, met and married Marcy Casterline, a model with Eileen Ford, got cast on "The Guiding Light", and made many wonderful friends.

After leaving the world of soap opera, Tom and his wife moved to Los Angeles, where his only son, Preston, was born on March 18, 1977. Here, also, he was lucky enough to work with many wonderful and talented people, and to call some of them friends.

Tom did many serious roles, but his wit and sense of humor were also widely appreciated.

Tom died in Manhattan, New York on September 13, 2009 after a two year battle with cancer.


O'ROURKE, Thomas "Tom"
Born: 3/28/1944, Greenwich Village, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 9/13/2009, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.


Tom O'Rourke's western - actor:
Paradise (TV) - 1991

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

RIP Edward Knight

Susan Olsen of the "Brady Bunch" posted that Edward Knight, 75, father of "Brady Bunch's" "Peter" Chris Knight, passed away at age 75. He was an actor with credits from the 1960's and 1970's.


KNIGHT, Edward
Born: 7/12/1927, U.S.A.
Died: 10/?/2009

Edward Knight's westerns - actor:
Cheyenne (TV) - 1961 (Pat Kinsey)
The Wild Wild West (TV) - 1967 (General Lassiter)

RIP Joseph Wiseman

Joseph Wiseman, James Bond’s Dr. No, Dies at 91

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
Published: October 20, 2009

Joseph Wiseman, a longtime stage and screen actor most widely known for playing the villainous title character in “Dr. No,” the first feature film about James Bond, died on Monday October 19 at his home in Manhattan. He was 91.

His daughter, Martha Graham Wiseman, confirmed the death, saying her father had recently been in declining health.

Released in 1962, “Dr. No” was the first in what proved to be a decades-long string of Bond movies. Starring Sean Connery and Ursula Andress, the film featured Mr. Wiseman as Dr. Julius No, the sinister scientist who was Bond’s first big-screen adversary.

Mr. Wiseman’s other film credits include “Detective Story” (1951); “Viva Zapata!” (1952); “The Garment Jungle” (1957); “The Unforgiven” (1960); “The Night They Raided Minsky’s” (1968) and “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” (1974).

He had guest roles on many television shows, among them “Law & Order,” “The Streets of San Francisco,” “The Untouchables” and “The Twilight Zone.” In the late 1980s, he had a recurring role as the crime boss Manny Weisbord on the NBC drama “Crime Story.”

On Broadway, Mr. Wiseman was seen most recently, in 2001, as a witness for the prosecution in Abby Mann’s stage adaptation of his film drama “Judgment at Nuremberg.” In 1994, he appeared Off Broadway in the Tony Kushner play “Slavs!” in the role of Prelapsarianov, “the world’s oldest living Bolshevik.”

Writing in The New York Times, Vincent Canby said Mr. Wiseman played Prelapsarianov “to frail perfection.”

Joseph Wiseman was born in Montreal on May 15, 1918, and moved to the United States with his family when he was a boy. His first Broadway role was in the company of “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” (1938). Among his many other Broadway credits are “Joan of Lorraine” (1946), “Antony and Cleopatra” (1947), “Detective Story” (1949); “The Lark” (1955) and the title role in “In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer” (1969).

Mr. Wiseman’s first marriage, to Nell Kinard, ended in divorce; his second wife, the choreographer Pearl Lang, died in February. In addition to his daughter, Martha, from his marriage to Ms. Kinard, Mr. Wiseman is survived by a sister, Ruth Wiseman.


WISEMAN, Joseph
Born: 5/15/1918, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Died: 10/19/2009, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.

Joseph Wiseman's westerns - actor:
Viva Zapata! - 1952 (Fernando Aguirre)
The Unforgiven - 1960 (Abe Kelsey)
The Westerner (TV) - 1960 (Serafin)
Wagon Train (TV) - 1964 (Jim Case/Santiago Quesada)
The Legend of Jesse James (TV) - 1966 (Captain Hammel)
Lawman - 1971 (Lucas)

Monday, October 19, 2009

RIP Vic Mizzy

Vic Mizzy, a film and television composer best known for writing the
memorable theme songs for the 1960s sit-coms Green Acres and The
Addams Family, has died. He was 93.

Mizzy died of heart failure Saturday at his home in Los Angeles' Bel-
Air neighborhood, said Scott Harper, a friend and fellow composer.

A veteran writer of popular songs such as There's a Faraway Look in
Your Eye and Pretty Kitty Blue Eyes, Mizzy launched his TV career in
1960 when he was asked to compose music for the dramatic anthology
series ``Moment of Fear.''

Then came an offbeat assignment: The Addams Family, the 1964-66 TV
series based on Charles Addams' macabre magazine cartoons and starring
John Astin as Gomez Addams and Carolyn Jones as his wife, Morticia.

For his theme song, Mizzy played a harpsichord, which gives the theme
its unique flavor. And because Filmways refused to pay for singers,
Mizzy sang it himself and overdubbed it three times.

The song, memorably punctuated by finger-snapping, begins with:
``They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're
altogether ooky: the Addams family.''

In the 1996 book TV's Biggest Hits: The Story of Television Themes
From `Dragnet' to `Friends,' '' author Jon Burlingame writes that
Mizzy's ``musical conception was so specific that he became deeply
involved with the filming of the main-title sequence, which involved
all seven actors snapping their fingers in carefully timed rhythm to
Mizzy's music.''

For Mizzy, who owned the publishing rights to The Addams Family theme,
it was an easy payday.

``I sat down; I went `buh-buh-buh-bump (snap snap), buh-buh-buh-
bump,'' he recalled in a 2008 interview on CBS' ``Sunday Morning''
show. ``That's why I'm living in Bel-Air: Two finger snaps, and you
live in Bel-Air.''

The season after The Addams Family debuted, Mizzy composed the title
song for Green Acres, the 1965-71 rural comedy starring Eddie Albert
and Eva Gabor.

For Green Acres, Burlingame observed in his book, Mizzy ``again
conceived the title song as intertwined with the visuals'' of the
show's opening title sequence and telling the story of wealthy Oliver
and Lisa Douglas moving from New York City to a farm in the country.

Burlingame on Monday described the themes for The Addams Family and
Green Acres as ``two of the best-remembered sit-com themes of all
time.''


MIZZY, Vic
Born: 1/9/1922, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 10/17/2009, Bel Air, California, U.S.A.

Vic Mizzy's westerns - composer:
The Yellow Rose of Texas - 1944
Rockin' in the Rockies - 1945
The Shakiest Gun in the West - 1968

Saturday, October 17, 2009

RIP Bob Westmoreland

Make-up artist Bob Westmoreland dies
Worked on 'Close Encounters,' '1941'

By VARIETY STAFF

Make-up artist Bob Westmoreland, best known for his work on "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "1941" and the TV show "Hill Street Blues", died in Kauai, Hawaii Oct. 6from cardiac arrest. He was 74.

Westmoreland worked on more than 19 films and seven TV shows. His feature makeup artist credits include "The Long Goodbye," "The Island," "Twilight Zone: The Movie," "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," "Straight Time" and "Stay Hungry."

He also worked on the TV shows "Attica," "Satan's Triangle" and the TV miniseries "How the West Was Won."

Westmoreland also cameoed in small roles in the films he did make-up for, including "Close Encounters," "The Island" and "Inside Moves."

Westmoreland is survived by his wife Susy; daughter, Cori Glazer, a script supervisor and a son.


WESTMORELAND, ROBERT A. "Bob"
Born: 1935, U.S.A.
Died: 10/6/2009, Kauai, Hawaii, U.S.A.

Bob Westmoreland's westerns - make-up artist, actor.
Flap - 1970 [make-up artist]
Molly and Lawless John - 1972 (telegraph operator)
Dead Aim - 1975 [make-up artist]
Goin' South - 1978 [make-up artist]

RIP Rosanna Schiaffino

Actress Rosanna Schiaffino, one of the most beautiful faces of Italian cinema of the sixties, and who appeared in director Vincent Minnelli's "Two Weeks in Another Town" (1962), and Roberto Rossellini's “Ro.Go.Pa.G” (1962), died today at the 69 years in Milan. She had battled breast cancer for 15 years according to a media release.

Schiaffino was born Rosa Anna Schiaffino in Genoa on November 25, 1939 and died in Milan today Ocotber 17th. She will be buried in the Ligurian town of Portofino next to her mother, said her son Guy, who was her son from her second marriage to industrialist Giorgio Flack. Rosanna also has a daughter Annabella (39) from her first marriage to producer Alfredo Bini whom she married in 1963.

Schiaffino began her modeling career, but soon opted for an acting career and her first film, in which he appeared alongside one of the legends of Italian cinema, the Neapolitan poet and actor Antonio De Curtis, known as Toto (1898-1967) . This film was "Toto lascia or radoppia" (1956) by Camillo Mastrocinque. She would later appear in "La sfida" (1958), Francesco Rossi, with whom he became one of the most promising Italian actresses of the time .
It was in the early sixties when his name achieved a higher profile, when placed under the orders of directors as Minnelli and Rossellini.
She repeatedly visited Spain, where he recorded such films as "El Greco", with Mel Ferrer and Italian-Spanish co-production "Crossroads for a Nun" (1967).

During the second half of the '60s her career begans to stagger and she left the business.



SCHIAFFINO, Rosanna
Born: 11/25/1939, Genoa, Liguria, Italy
Died: 10/17/2009, Milan, Lombardy, Italy

Rosanna, Schiaffino's western - actress:
A Man Called Noon - 1973 (Fay Davidge)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

RIP Martyn Sanderson

Actor, director, writer and poet Martyn Sanderson, one of the founding fathers of modern New Zealand theatre, has died aged 71.

He was involved with a new production, the African play Muntu, right up to his death.

Born in Westport, Mr Sanderson was educated at Christ's College and Canterbury University. In 1956, he took up a scholarship at Britain's Oxford University, where he was taught Middle English by J R R Tolkein.

In 1964 he set up New Zealand's first full-time professional theatre, Downstage Theatre in Wellington, with Tim Elliot, Peter Bland and Harry Seresin.

Sunny Amey, herself a former artistic director of Downstage, says he was like the "father of modern theatre in New Zealand" to her, and current Downstage artistic director Hilary Beaton calls him the "grand old man" of New Zealand theatre.

Over the years Mr Sanderson has appeared in many plays, TV dramas and films: he played a policeman chasing Mick Jagger in the film Ned Kelly and Arthur Allan Thomas's father-in-law in the film of the Crewe murders case, Beyond Reasonable Doubt.

He joined Bruno Lawrence and others in touring the country with the Blerta troupe during the 1970s.

In 1989, he was named best supporting actor in the New Zealand Film Awards for his portrayal of Frank Sargeson in An Angel At My Table.

In later years he published poetry and was active in the Africa Connection Aotearoa Trust with his Kenyan-born wife Wanjiku Kiarie.

Performances of Muntu, produced by the trust, will go ahead as planned in Otaki, Lower Hutt and Wellington this weekend.

Mr Sanderson, who died of emphysema, was a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to literature and theatre.


SANDERSON, Martyn
Born: 2/24/1938, Hokitika, Westmoreland, New Zealand
Died: 10/14/2009 Otaki, New Zealand

Martyn Sanderson's western - actor:
Ned Kelly - 1969 (Fitzpatrick)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

RIP Daniel Melnick

MGM, Columbia chief Daniel Melnick dies
Industry veteran led TV and film productions

By VARIETY STAFF

Daniel Melnick, a producer and studio chief who was widely respected
as a bold risk taker, died Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 77 and had
recently undergone surgery for lung cancer.

Known for his biting wit and keen intelligence, Melnick came out of
the television business and built a strong reputation as a film
innovator. While studio chief at MGM, he presided over such hits as
"Network," "The Goodbye Girl" and "The Sunshine Boys," and he served
as exec producer of "That's Entertainment," one of the major hits of
the Lion's later era.

A compendium of MGM hits of the past, "That's Entertainment" was
crafted by Jack Haley Jr. and Melnick in an atmosphere of secrecy. Jim
Aubrey, president of MGM, was oblivious of the project as was Leo's
owner, Kirk Kerkorian.

Moving on to Columbia, Melnick fostered such notable pics as "Kramer
vs. Kramer," "California Suite" and "Midnight Express," among others.

"He was an extraordinary producer who was never afraid to take risks,"
said former Paramount Pictures chief Sherry Lansing. "Not only was he
a good friend, but he always brought a perspective and rich sense of
humor to everything he was involved in."

Melnick graduated from NYU and began his career in entertainment when
he was 20, becoming the youngest staff producer at CBS in 1954. During
his time there, Melnick and partner David Susskind co-exec produced
the TV series "East Side/West Side" and "N.Y.P.D." He and Susskind won
Emmys for their production of "Death of a Salesman" and "Ages of Man."

After leaving CBS, Melnick became VP of programming at ABC. He then
became a partner for eight years at Talent Associates, where he
developed numerous film, TV and stage productions, including the
long-running Don Adams laffer "Get Smart" and "Straw Dogs."

In 1972, Melnick joined MGM. He became head of production in 1974.
Over the next three years, Melnick was responsible for a run of hits
at the studio.

Melnick later formed and headed IndieProd, which produced pics such as
"Blue Streak," and "L.A. Story." He also served as exec producer on
"All That Jazz," "Altered States" and "Footloose."

Melnick is survived by a son, Peter, a theatrical composer.


MELNICK, Daniel
Born: 4/21/1932, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 10/13/2009, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Daniel Melnick's westerns - himself:
Sam Peckinpah: Man of Iron (TV) – 1992 (himself)
Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade - 2004 (himself)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

RIP Pamela Blake

Pamela Blake

Actress in action serials

Pamela Blake, 94, a B-movie actress known for her roles in such late 1940s action serials as "Chick Carter, Detective" and "Ghost of Zorro," died of natural causes Tuesday at a Las Vegas care facility, her family said.

Born in 1915 in Oakland, Blake came to Hollywood after winning a beauty contest at age 17. Originally known by her given name, Adele Pearce, she adopted the stage name Pamela Blake in 1942, the same year she signed with MGM, according to the All Movie Internet database.

From 1934 to 1954, Blake appeared in about 50 films, and had a minor breakthrough in the classic 1942 film noir "This Gun for Hire" with Alan Ladd. That same year, she also appeared in the popular "Maisie Gets Her Man" with Ann Sothern and Red Skelton, and the western "The Omaha Trail" with James Craig.

By the early 1950s, she was regularly appearing in TV westerns such as "The Cisco Kid" and "The Range Rider."

In 1953, she moved to Las Vegas and permanently retired to raise her two children with Mike Stokey, who created the TV game show "Pantomime Quiz." That marriage, and an earlier one to actor and stuntman Malcolm "Bud" McTaggart, ended in divorce.

She was the widow of John Canavan, an Air Force master sergeant she married in 1983. Her son, Michael Stokey II, has been a military advisor on such films as "The Thin Red Line" (1998) and "Tropic Thunder" (2008).


BLAKE, Pamela (Adele Pearce)
Born: 8/6/1918, Oakland, California, U.S.A.
Died: 9/6/2009, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

Pamela Blake's westerns - actress:
The Utah Trail - 1938 (Sally Jeffers)
Wyoming Outlaw - 1939 (Irene Parker)
The Omaha Trail - 1942 (Julie Santley)
Son of God's Country - 1948 (Cathy Thornton)
Ghost of Zorro - 1949 (Rita White)
The Dalton's Women - 1950 (Joan Talbot)
Gunfire - 1950 (Cynthy)
Border Rangers - 1950 (Ellen Reed)
The Cisco Kid (TV) - 1950 (Margie Murdock, Margie Holbrook, Joyce Henry)
Waco - 1952 (Kathy Clark)
The Range Rider (TV) - 1953 (Jean Snyder, Jill Carruthers, Lisa Carlton)
Adventures of the Texas Kid: Border Ambush - 1954 (Betty Johnson)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

RIP Claude d'YD

French actor Claude d'Yd died in Saint Maurice, France on September 25th of natural causes. Born Raymond Jean Claude Perret on September 16, 1922 in Paris, he was the son of actor Jean d'Yd. Claude was a stage, film and TV actor but was best known in France as a voice dubber and is best associated for dubbing the voice of William Devane. Claude appeared in one European Western as McGregor in "Dynamite Jack" (1961) with French actor Fernandel.


d'Yd, Claude (Raymond Jean Claude Perret)
Born: 9/16/1922, Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Died: 9/25/2009, Saint Maurice, France

Claude d'Yd's western - actress:
Dynamite Jack - 1961 (McGregor)

RIP Byron Palmer

Byron Palmer, Dr. John Miller Hyson Jr.
Byron Palmer, Broadway and TV performer, dies at 89; Dr. John Miller Hyson Jr., dental historian and collector, dies at 81

Broadway, TV actor

Byron Palmer, 89, an actor and singer who broke through in the late 1940s in the hit Broadway musical "Where's Charley?" and later co-starred on the TV show "This Is Your Music," died of natural causes Wednesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his family announced.

Born June 21, 1920, in Los Angeles, he was the second of four children of Harlan G. Palmer, publisher of the old Hollywood Citizen News, and his wife, Ethelyn. While attending Occidental College, Palmer wrote obituaries for his father's paper, then joined CBS as a page and eventually became a radio announcer.

During World War II, Palmer joined the Army Air Forces and ran a radio station on an island in the Pacific. Between news broadcasts, he sang tenor on the air with a quartet called the Music Mates. Soldiers sent him fan mail that persuaded him to take voice lessons after the war, his family said.

After acting as master of ceremonies for a touring "Hollywood on Ice" show, he starred with Ray Bolger in "Where's Charley?" in 1948. He also was featured in the early 1950s Broadway revue "Bless You All" with Pearl Bailey.

In the movies, Palmer debuted in 1953 in "Tonight We Sing." He also appeared with Jack Palance in "Man in the Attic" (1953), with Gordon MacRae in "The Best Things in Life Are Free" (1956) and in several other films.

On television, he had guest roles on several series, including dramas, but may be best known for co-starring with Joan Weldon on "This Is Your Music." The show, which aired on KTTV-TV Channel 11, featured the pair singing "songs America loves best," according to a 1955 ad in Billboard magazine.


PALMER, Byron
Born: 6/21/1920, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 9/30/2009, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Byron Palmer's western - actor:
Lawman (TV) - 1959 (Link)

RIP Grace Kreagy

Grace Keagy, Stage Actress of Woman of the Year and Carmelina, Dies at 87
By Robert Simonson 06 Oct 2009


Grace Keagy, a former housewife who made her Broadway debut in 1950s, appearing in a series of 1970s musicals, died of ovarian cancer in Rochester, New York on Oct. 4, at the age of 87.

Born Grace Stambaugh in Youngstown, OH, Ms. Keagy was trained as both a pianist and singer at the New England Conservatory. While still a student she sang in Leonard Bernstein's production of Copland's Second Hurricane. Her performing career was put on hold for two decades after marrying a career army officer and raising five children. After eventually settling in Minneapolis, she returned to the stage, graduating from dinner theatre to the Guthrie.

In 1973, at the age of 51, she moved to New York and immediately landed the Ethel Merman role in the Equity Library Showcase production of Call Me Madam. Ms. Keagy made her Broadway debut in 1975 in Goodtime Charley with Joel Grey. 1979 was her busiest year; she created roles in Jerry Herman's The Grand Tour and the short-lived Carmelina, for which she received a Drama Desk Award nomination, and replaced Delores Wilson in I Remember Mama.

She played Lauren Bacall's German maid Helga in Woman of the Year for its entire Broadway run, also working with Raquel Welch and Debbie Reynolds. It was her final Broadway role.

She also performed in musicals and plays with many major regional theaters, including Yale Repertory Theater, Arena Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Paper Mill Playhouse, Hartford Stage Company, Arizona Theater Company, and the Denver Center Theatre Company.

Ms. Keagy made her television debut in 1985 and appeared numerous times on "As the World Turns," "One Life to Live, "The Doctors," "Ryan’s Hope," and "Search for Tomorrow." She came out of retirement in Tucson, Arizona in 1996 at Jerry Herman's request to play a featured part in the Christmas television special "Mrs. Santa Claus" starring Angela Lansbury.

She was predeceased by her second husband Robert, and leaves behind two sons, a step-son, three daughters, 12 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren.


KEAGY, Grace (Grace Stambaugh)
Born: 1922 Youngstown, Ohio, U.S.A.
Died: 10/4/2009, Rochaester, New York, U.S.A.

Grace Keagy's westerns - actress:
Four Eyes and Six-Guns (TV) - 1992 (crowd member)
Lightning Jack - 1994 (Mrs. Franks)

RIP Jewell Jordan

'Good Earth' stuntwoman Mason dies
Posted on: Saturday, 3 October 2009

Jewell Jordan Mason, who was the stunt double for Luise Rainer in The Good Earth, died in Camarillo, Calif., at the age of 92.

The Hollywood Reporter said Friday Mason also worked as the stunt double for Merle Oberon in the 1939 production of Wuthering Heights. Mason's Hollywood stunt career lasted from the 1930s into the '40s.

While appearing in movies such as Ever Since Eve, New Moon and Tarzan Rides Again, Mason shared screen time with film greats like Bing Crosby, Clark Gable and Greta Garbo.

Mason's strenuous career came at a cost as she endured back and wrist problems, broken ribs, and a dislocated shoulder and hip.

Author Mollie Gregory will detail Mason's cinematic exploits in a University of California Press book due out for release in 2010, the Reporter said.

Mason, who died Sept. 24 of unspecified causes, is survived by her husband Dan, a daughter, two sisters, a granddaughter, a great-granddaughter and a niece, producer Gale Anne Hurd.


JORDAN, Jewell
Born: 1917, U.S.A.
Died: 9/24/2009, Camarillo, California, U.S.A.

Jewell Jordan's western - stuntwoman:
Destry Rides Again - 1939