Thursday, June 30, 2011

RIP Richard Halliday

Calgary's art community and alumni of the Albert College of Art and Design (ACAD) are mourning the loss of Richard Halliday, an acclaimed artist and former head of the college who died of pancreatic cancer on June 21. Halliday was 72.
Born in Vancouver, Halliday received his early training at the Emily Carr College of Art.
Halliday arrived in Calgary in 1978 when he was appointed to a teaching position at ACAD. He became head of the art department in 1982 and immediately made a change that would have a major and lasting impact on the institution.
"He was instrumental in the independence of ACAD," says Dr. Daniel Doz, ACAD's president and CEO.
"In the early '80s, we were still a part of SAIT. At that time they were focused on technology, so having an art program distracted them from their mission. . . .
(Breaking away from SAIT) really helped define the mission of the institution."
Given the talents that have emerged from ACAD since, Doz said Halliday was "instrumental in helping a new generation of Calgary artists emerge."
Halliday's work is represented in numerous collections, including the Canada Council Art Bank, Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Glenbow.
A memorial service is being held today at 1: 30 p.m. at St. James Anglican Church.


HALLIDAY, Richard
Born: 5/17/1939, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Died: 6/21/2011, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Richard Halliday's westerns - actor:
Lonesome Dove: The Series (TV) 1994 - bartender
Ebenezar (TV) - 1998 (Jacob Marlowe)
Into the West (TV) - 2005 (drunken moutain man)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

RIP Edith Fellows

Child star Edith Fellows dies at 88
Topped 'Pennies From Heaven'
By Carmel Dagan
Edith Fellows, an expressive child actress of the 1930s and '40s who returned to showbiz late in life to work in television, died of natural causes at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Sunday, June 26. She was 88.

Fellows was born in Boston. She showed promise in early dance and voice lessons, and a conman posing as a talent scout convinced her grandmother to fork over $50 and take the child out to Hollywood. Despite discovering the fraud upon arrival in California, the strong-willed grandmother vowed to remain, and the tyke was cast in the 1929 silent short "Movie Night" after going along for the ride with a neighbor headed to Hal Roach Studios.

She appeared in some of Roach's "Our Gang" pics in the early 1930s, including 1933's "Mush and Milk," but also appeared in popular feature films including 1931's "Huckleberry Finn," staring Junior Durkin and Jackie Coogan; the 1934 version of "Jane Eyre"; and 1935 Claudette Colbert-Melvyn Douglas farce "She Married Her Boss."

In a high-profile 1936 custody battle, Edith's mother, who had abandoned the family when the child was 2, returned and sought not only custody but the purse strings: "my money -- past, present and future," Fellows told People magazine in 1984. Her controlling, disciplinarian grandmother retained custody, but the actress's earnings were put into a trust.

Fellows' success in "Pennies From Heaven" (1936), in which she starred as a spunky orphan opposite Bing Crosby, led Columbia to sign the 14-year-old in 1937 to a seven-year contract -- perhaps the first such deal offered to a child -- after which she was cast in a series of leading roles in lower-profile Col pics. She had her own film series starting with 1939's "The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew" and continuing with three other movies in which she starred as Polly Pepper.

Fellows retired from films after marrying talent agent (later producer) Freddie Fields in 1942.

In the early 1950s the actress made some television appearances on "Musical Comedy Time," "Studio One in Hollywood," "Armstrong Circle Theatre," "Tales of Tomorrow" and "Medallion Theatre."

By late in the decade, however, the end of her marriage to Fields and the sudden onset of stage fright, among other factors, led to a nervous breakdown and a period of personal decline.

Fellows returned to acting again in the 1980s with guest appearances on the brief NBC series "The Brady Brides," "Simon and Simon," "Father Murphy" and "St. Elsewhere."

In 1983 she won praise for her portrayal of famed costume designer Edith Head in ABC biopic "Grace Kelly"; the next year, in the "Catch a Falling Star" episode of NBC series "Riptide," she played a child star who had fallen on hard times very much like herself.

In 1985 Jackie Cooper, a former child star who had become a successful TV director, unveiled plans for a telepic based on Fellows' life, but the film was never shot. Cooper died earlier this year.

Fellows continued TV work, last appearing in 1995 in an episode of "ER" and on the NBC series "The Pursuit of Happiness," and also did two films, "The Hills Have Eyes Part II" (1985) and "In the Mood" (1987).

Fellows is survived by daughter Kathy Fields Lander, who has worked in showbiz as a motion picture still photographer and in other capacities; Lander's husband, actor David L. Lander; as well as a granddaughter, actress Natalie Lander.

Donations may be made to the Motion Picture & Television Fund or SAG Foundation.


FELLOWS, Edith (Edith Marilyn Fellows)
Born: 5/20/1923, Boston Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Died: 6/26/2011, Woodland Hills, Caifornia, U.S.A.

Edith Fellows westerns - actress:
Cimarron - 1931
The Rider of Death Valley 1932 (Betty Joyce)
Law and the Lawless - 1932 (Betty Kelley)
Out West With the Peppers - 1940 (Polly Pepper)
Heart of the Rio Grande - 1942 (Connie Lane)
Stardust on the Sage - 1942 (Judy Drew)
Father Murphy (TV) - 1982 (Louise Walker)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

RIP Claudia Bryar

BARRERE, Hortense (AKA Claudia Bryar) passed away at her home June 16, 2011. Born May 18, 1918 in Guymon, OK, the daughter of United States Congressman and Federal Judge Ross Rizley. Married to Gabriel Paul Barrere AKA Paul Bryar. She acted at the Pasadena Playhouse, after which she acted in off-Vine Street theatres that began forming in the early fifties: Players Ring and Gallery Theatre in Hollywood. The Morgan Theatre in Santa Monica. This theatre work led in the mid fifties to television and film; a career that included hundreds of appearances on television and on the big screen with roles in Giant, Angel in my Pocket, Gaily Gaily, Elmer Gantry, and others, including her final role as the murderess in PSYCHO II.


Survived by her three sons, Michel, Robert, and Paul. Nine grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, sister Lemoyne Cox, and brother Jerry Rizley. In lieu of flowers, one can donate to the SAG Emergency Fund.

BRYAR, Claudia (Hortense Rizler)
Born: 5/18/1918, Guymon, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Died: 6/16/2011, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Claudia Bryar's westerns - actress:
Giant - 1956 (older beauty operator)
Sheriff of Cochise (TV) - 1957 (Anna)
Tales of Wells Fargo (TV) - 1957
Buckskin (TV) - 1958 (Sara Taliaferro)
Cimarron City (TV) - 1958
Maverick (TV) - 1958 (Mrs. Pyne)
Wagon Train (TV) - 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962 (Mrs. Mayhew, Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Moore, Ada Hale, Mary Carter)
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (TV) - 1959
Bonanza (TV) - 1960, 1963, 1967, 1972 (Mary Logan, Mrs. Weems, Mrs. Scott, Martha)
Death Valley Days (TV) - 1960 (Mary)
Wanted: Dead or Alive (TV) - 1960 (Emily Kendrick)
Lawman (TV) - 1961 (Clara Weston)
Stoney Burke (TV) - 1962 (Mrs, Miller)
The Virginian (TV) - 1963 (Miss Jensen)
Laredo (TV) - 1966 (Mrs. Cook)
A Big Hand for the Little Lady - 1966 (Mrs. Price)
Ride to Hangman’s Tree - 1967 (Mrs. Harmon)
The Guns of Will Sonnett (TV) - 1967 (Mrs. Stevens)
The Big Valley (TV) - 1967, 1968 (Lady, Florence Bacon)
The Shakiest Gun in the West - 1968 (Mrs. Remington)
Alias Smith and Jones (TV) - 1971 (Minerva Lambert)
Gunsmoke (TV) - 1971, 1973 (Mauda Weaver, Mrs. Nell Bronson)
Bad Company - 1972 (Mrs. Clum)
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid - 1973 (Mrs. Horrell)

RIP Shelby Grant

Shelby Grant (1936 - 2011) Shelby Grant Everett passed away June 25, 2011, at the age of 74 from a sudden brain aneurysm.
Shelby was born in Oklahoma on Oct. 19, 1936, the daughter of Lawrence and Mae Thompson. After graduating from Oklahoma University, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. She successfully became a contract player for 20th Century Fox and appeared in such classic films as the Fantastic Voyage (1966), Our Man Flint (1966), The Witchmaker (1969), and the Pleasure Seekers (1964). Shelby also had a long list of independent TV appearances on top rated shows like Marcus Welby, M.D., Batman, Bonanza, and multiple appearances on her husband Chad Everett's series Medical Center.

Shelby married actor Chad Everett on May 22, 1966, in Tucson, Ariz., while he was on location filming Return of The Gunfighter. Their daughters, Kate Thorp and Shannon Everett, graduated and attended San Diego State University and University Santa Barbara respectively. Shelby and Chad enjoyed a life of sport and philanthropy together.

Shelby played a mean game of tennis and equally fierce game of Bridge. She was very athletic and enjoyed Pilates, healthy food, and a nice Chardonnay. Shelby has been instrumental in the efforts to provide resources to US Soldiers and for saving the lives of children. Her relentless efforts allowed these children to receive life saving surgeries through the Gift of Life and Loma Linda Hospital. Chad and Shelby have personally sponsored more than 20 heart surgeries for needy children through The Gift of Life. Shelby and Chad recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary.

Shelby is survived by her husband, Chad Everett; her daughters, Katherine Thorp, from San Rafael, Calif., and Shannon Everett, from Carlsbad, Calif.; her brother, James L. Thompson, from Chula Vista, Calif. Shelby had six grandchildren, Lauren Thorp, Connor Thorp, and Zachary Thorp, all from San Rafael, Calif., and Tosh Everett, Faith Everett, and Dawson Everett, all residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Shelby's ashes are with her family in Westlake Village.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in her name to The Gift of Life, 475 Northern Blvd, Suite 22, Great Neck, NY 11021. A private memorial will be held in Westlake Village to celebrate Shelby's life and memory on Saturday, July 2, 2011.

GRANT, Shelby (Brenda Lee Thompson)
Born: 10/19/1940, Orlando, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Died: 6/25/2011, Westlake Village, California, U.S.A.

Shelby Grant's westerns - actress:
Bonanza (TV) - 1963 (waitress)
The High Chaparral (TV) - 1968 (Dolly)

Monday, June 27, 2011

RIP Elaine Stewart

Elaine Stewart, an alluring leading lady of the 1950s who went on to serve as a co-hostess of two hit game shows in the ’70s, died Monday at her home in Beverly Hills after a long illness. She was 81.

In a pair of 1954 films, Stewart starred opposite Gene Kelly and Van Johnson as nonstop talkative socialite Jane Ashton in Brigadoon and played a sexy harem princess in The Adventures of Hajji Baba, with John Derek as the title character.

The former model and Montclair, N.J., native also appeared with Kirk Douglas in the classic Hollywood insider soap The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and with Richard Widmark and Karl Malden in the basic-training set Take the High Ground! (1953).

In all, Stewart appeared in 18 films in the ’50s and graced the cover of Life magazine on March 22, 1953, in a cover story with the headline, “Budding Starlet Visits the Folks in Jersey.”

On Dec. 31, 1964, Stewart married prolific game show creator Merrill Heatter (she earlier was married to actor Bill Carter) and retired from show business to start a family. But in 1972, she returned to TV as the co-hostess of the Heatter-Quigley game show Gambit, and the pairing of Stewart and emcee Wink Martindale gave CBS a daytime hit. Later, Stewart joined Alex Trebek for NBC nighttime game show High Rollers.

Born Elsy Steinberg on May 31, 1929, Stewart beat out hundreds of young models in 1952 to earn a photo layout in See Magazine, winning the title of “Miss See,” and was signed by MGM to a film contract. That year, she landed her first film role in the Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis comedy Sailor Beware.

Other film credits include Young Bess (1953) and Night Passage (1957), which starred her future Beverly Hills neighbor and fellow dog walker Jimmy Stewart. In the ’60s, she appeared in such TV dramas as Bat Masterson, The Third Man, Burke’s Law and Perry Mason.

In addition to Heatter, her husband of 46 years, Stewart is survived by their children Stewart and Gabrielle.


STEWART, Elaine (Elsa H. Steinberg)
Born: 5/31/1929, Montclair, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Died: 6/27/2011, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.A.

Elaine Stewart's westerns - actress:
Sky Full of Moon - 1952 (Billie)
Night Passage - 1957 (Vena Kimball)
Escort West - 1958 (Beth Drury)
Bat Masterson (TV) - 1960 (Ann Eaton)

Friday, June 24, 2011

RIP Fred Steiner

Fred Steiner dies at 88; Hollywood composer created 'Perry Mason' theme
The composer also crafted music for 'Gunsmoke,' 'The Twilight Zone,'
'Star Trek,' 'Have Gun, Will Travel,' 'Rawhide,' 'Hogan's Heroes,' 'The
Bullwinkle Show' and other TV series.
By Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
June 25, 2011
Television and film music composer Fred Steiner, creator of the bold and
gritty theme for the "Perry Mason" TV series and one of the composers of
the Oscar-nominated score for "The Color Purple," has died. He was 88.

Steiner died of natural causes Thursday at his home in the town of
Ajijic in the Mexican state of Jalisco, according to his daughter Wendy
Waldman, a singer-songwriter.

One of the busiest composers working in Hollywood in the 1950s and '60s,
Steiner also crafted music for "Gunsmoke," "The Twilight Zone," "Star
Trek," "Have Gun, Will Travel," "Rawhide," "Hogan's Heroes" and other TV
series.

Steiner said he wanted to create music for Mason, writer Erle Stanley
Gardner's legal-eagle lawyer, that projected two key facets of his
personality: suave sophistication and the underlying toughness that
allowed him to go head-to-head with the criminals with whom he often
came into contact. The piece he came up with, titled "Park Avenue Beat,"
pulsed with the power of the big city and the swagger of a beefy hero
played to perfection by actor Raymond Burr.

"In those days, jazz - or in those days, rhythm and blues was the big
thing - represented the seamier side of life," Steiner told National
Public Radio interviewer Nina Totenberg in 2002. "Don't ask me why -
that's a sociological question."

Frederick Steiner was born Feb. 24, 1923, in New York City, the son of
violinist, composer and arranger George Steiner. He began playing the
piano at 6 and took up the cello at 13. He received a scholarship to the
Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, where he studied with composer
Normand Lockwood.

His early jobs included composing, arranging and conducting music for
New York City-based radio shows in the 1940s, and he was appointed
musical director for the ABC radio series "This Is Your FBI."

After moving west in 1947, he soon found film and TV work in Hollywood.
Among his early assignments for CBS-TV were "Man Against Crime," "The
Danny Thomas Show" and "Gunsmoke."

Steiner and the other members of Hollywood's thriving musical community
got together often, Waldman recalled.

"I remember them all very well, remember them playing chamber music at
our house, remember Bernard Herrmann pounding on the piano, Elmer
[Bernstein], Jerry Goldsmith, Earle Hagen, Henry Mancini, Leonard
Rosenman, Nathan Van Cleave, it goes on and on," she said.

In 1958 Steiner moved the family to Mexico City for 2 1/2 years after
landing a job as director of an independent record company and was
commissioned to create a library of music for Mexican television and
government-produced documentaries.

"It was fantastic, really fantastic," his daughter Jillian Steiner
Sandrock told the Albuquerque Journal in 1996. "It contributed to my
interest in traditional culture. There was poverty, but especially in
the rural areas there was the traditional culture, and that was a way
those communities stayed knit together."

Steiner returned to Southern California in 1960 and resumed his career
in Hollywood. He also continued his studies at UCLA and at USC, where he
received a degree in musicology and where he later taught composition.

"Fred was one of those people who always made my work better," longtime
KUSC-FM host and film music aficionado Jim Svejda said Friday. "I
remember one night when I introduced the Schoenberg Cello Concerto as
being a work based on music 'by that Baroque non-entity Georg Matthias
Monn.' The next day, Fred called and proceeded to gently rip me,
explaining who Monn was, describing in detail all the wonderful things
he'd written, patiently illustrating his importance in the subsequent
development of Baroque music, etc.

"Keep in mind, Monn is a name that 99.9% of all music lovers have never
even heard," Svejda said. "From then on, I knew I had to watch myself
because Fred might be listening."

The serious, classical music aspect of Steiner's life was a
counterweight to the lighthearted character of one of his more widely
recognized compositions, the jaunty Broadway-style theme he wrote for
"The Bullwinkle Show" - a later incarnation of "The Adventures of Rocky
& Bullwinkle" - and the charged-up, forthright Dudley Do-Right theme
used in the series.

Steiner contributed music to more than two dozen episodes of the
original "Star Trek" TV series, music that resurfaced in 1979's "Star
Trek: The Motion Picture" and, most recently, for "Star Trek New
Voyages: Phase II." He also provided music, although uncredited, for
"Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi" in 1983.

Contrary to the stereotype in Hollywood, Steiner was known for his
down-to-earth personality. "In a profession often marked with
personality conflicts and frayed nerves," film historian Tony Thomas
wrote in 1991, "Steiner is notable for his even temper and affable
nature. It is no exaggeration to claim him as one of the best-liked men
in the film music community."

In addition to his daughters, Steiner is survived by his wife of 64
years, Shirley; a sister, Kay Gellert; two grandchildren; and two
great-grandchildren.

STEINER, Frederick
Born: 2/24/1923, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 6/23/2011, Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico

Fred Steiner's westerns - composer,orchestrator
Son of Paleface - 1952 [orchestrator]
White Feather - 1955 [orchestrator]
Man from Del Rio - 1956 [composer]
Union Pacific (TV) - 1958 [composer]
Saddle the Wind - 1958 [orhcestrator]
Boots and Saddles (TV) - 1957-1958 [composer]
The Man from Blackhawk (TV) - 1959-1960 [composer]
Riverboat (TV) - 1959 [composer]
Hotel de Paree (TV) - 1960 [composer]
Have Gun - Will Travel (TV) - 1960-1962 [composer]
Rawhide (TV) - 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 [composer]
The Hallelujah Trail - 1965 [orchestrator]
Gunsmoke (TV) - 1965, 1966 [composer]
The Loner (TV) - 1965, 1966 [composer]
The Wild Wild West (TV) - 1968 [composer]
The Guns of Will Sonnett (TV) - 1967, 1969 [composer]
Lancer (TV) - 1969, 1970 [composer]
Daniel Boone (TV) - 1964, 1965, 1967, 1970 [composer]
Wild Women (TV) - 1970 [composer]
Bonanza (TV) - 1971 [composer]
Hec Ramsey (TV) - 1972 [composer]
The Deadly Trackers - 1973 [composer]

RIP Peter Falk

Peter Falk, TV's rumpled Columbo, has died


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Peter Falk, the stage and movie actor who became identified as the squinty, rumpled detective in "Columbo," which spanned 30 years in prime-time television and established one of the most iconic characters in movie police work, has died. He was 83.

Falk died Thursday in his Beverly Hills home, according to a statement released Friday by family friend Larry Larson.

In a court document filed in December 2008, Falk's daughter Catherine Falk said her father was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

"Columbo" began its history in 1971 as part of the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie series, appearing every third week. The show became by far the most popular of the three mysteries, the others being "McCloud" and "McMillan and Wife."

Falk was reportedly paid $250,000 a movie and could have made much more if he had accepted an offer to convert "Columbo" into a weekly series. He declined, reasoning that carrying a weekly detective series would be too great a burden.

Columbo — he never had a first name — presented a contrast to other TV detectives. "He looks like a flood victim," Falk once said. "You feel sorry for him. He appears to be seeing nothing, but he's seeing everything. Underneath his dishevelment, a good mind is at work."

NBC canceled the three series in 1977. In 1989 ABC offered "Columbo" in a two-hour format usually appearing once or twice a season. The movies continued into the 21st century. "Columbo" appeared in 26 foreign countries and was a particular favorite in France and Iran.

Columbo's trademark was an ancient raincoat Falk had once bought for himself. After 25 years on television, the coat became so tattered it had to be replaced.

Peter Michael Falk was born Sept. 16, 1927, in New York City and grew up in Ossining, N.Y., where his parents ran a clothing store. At 3 he had one eye removed because of cancer. "When something like that happens early," he said in a 1963 Associated Press interview, "you learn to live with it. It became the joke of the neighborhood. If the umpire ruled me out on a bad call, I'd take the fake eye out and hand it to him."

When Falk was starting as an actor in New York, an agent told him, "Of course, you won't be able to work in movies or TV because of your eye." Falk would later win two Oscar nominations ("Murder, Inc.," 1960; "Pocketful of Miracles," 1961) and collect five Emmys.

After serving as a cook in the merchant marine and receiving a master's degree in public administration from Syracuse University, he worked as an efficiency expert for the budget bureau of the state of Connecticut. He also acted in amateur theater and was encouraged to become a professional by actress-teacher Eva La Gallienne.

An appearance in "The Iceman Cometh" off-Broadway led to other classical parts, notably as Joseph Stalin in "The Passion of Joseph D." In 1971 Falk scored a hit in Neil Simon's "The Prisoner of Second Avenue."

Falk made his film debut in 1958 with "Wind Across the Everglades" and established himself as a talented character actor with his performance as the vicious killer Abe Reles in "Murder, Inc." Among his other movies: "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," ''Robin and the Seven Hoods," ''The Great Race," ''Luv," ''Castle Keep," ''The Cheap Detective," ''The Brinks Job," ''The In-Laws," ''The Princess Bride."

Falk also appeared in a number of art house favorites, including the semi-improvisational films "Husbands" and "A Woman Under the Influence," directed by his friend John Cassavetes, and Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire," in which he played himself. Falk became prominent in television movies, beginning with his first Emmy for "The Price of Tomatoes" in 1961. His four other Emmys were for "Columbo."

He was married to pianist Alyce Mayo in 1960; they had two daughters, Jackie and Catherine, and divorced in 1976. The following year he married actress Shera Danese. They filed for divorce twice and reconciled each time.

When not working, Falk spent time in the garage of his Beverly Hills home. He had converted it into a studio where he created charcoal drawings. He took up art in New York when he was in the Simon play and one day happened into the Art Students League.

He recalled: "I opened a door and there she was, a nude model, shoulders back, a light from above, buck-ass naked. The female body is awesome. Believe me, I signed up right away."

Falk is survived by his wife Shera and his two daughters.

FALK, Peter Michael
Born: 9/16/1927, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 6/23/2011, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.A.

Peter Falk's westerns - actor:
Have Gun - Will Travel (TV) - 1960 (Waller)
Wagon Train (TV) - 1963 (Gus Morgan)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

RIP David Rayfiel

David Rayfiel, Screenwriter With Sydney Pollack, Dies at 87
By WILLIAM GRIMES
Published: June 23, 2011

David Rayfiel, a screenwriter who in a long creative relationship with the director Sydney Pollack and Robert Redford collaborated on many of their most successful films, including “Three Days of the Condor,” “Out of Africa” and “The Way We Were, ” but usually chose to keep his work anonymous, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. He was 87.

The cause was congestive heart failure, his wife, Lynne Schwarzenbek-Rayfiel, said.

Mr. Rayfiel’s name was unknown to the general public but led the list for many top directors, who came calling when their scripts demanded subtle touch-ups or a complete overhaul. Mr. Rayfiel excelled at bringing an amorphous role into focus with a sharp bit of dialogue or a restructured scene that illuminated a character’s inner life.

Most scriptwriters “write on the surface,” Mr. Pollack told The New York Times in 1985. “If they want you to know something about a character, they’ll simply have the character say it or have another character say it about him. David doesn’t do that. He writes elliptically, so that it comes out organically, the way you would know something about someone in real life.”

Mr. Pollack was so enchanted by one line of Mr. Rayfiel’s — “You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth” — that he used it in four films: “The Slender Thread,” “This Property Is Condemned,” “Three Days of the Condor” and “The Interpreter.”

Mr. Rayfiel’s long Hollywood résumé was dominated by his work with Mr. Pollack and Mr. Redford, who called him “the unsung hero of almost every picture Sydney Pollack and I have made together.” Over the years, however, he also worked with directors like Bertrand Tavernier, with whom he collaborated on “ ’Round Midnight” and “Death Watch”; Sidney Lumet (“The Morning After”); and Ingmar Bergman (“The Serpent’s Egg”).

David Rayfiel, who lived in Corinth, N.Y., was born on Sept. 9, 1923, in Brooklyn. His father, Leo F. Rayfiel, was a Democratic congressman and district court judge.

After attending P.S. 193 and James Madison High School, he enrolled in Brooklyn College, but his studies were interrupted by Army service in Europe during World War II. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College in 1947 and studied playwriting at the Yale School of Drama, where he earned a master’s degree in 1950.

He started out in television in the mid-1950s, writing mostly for the dramatic series “Norby,” “Assignment Foreign Legion,” “Sam Benedict” and “Channing,” as well as for the late-night show “America After Dark” and the game show “Who Do You Trust?”

In 1962 the Writers’ Stage Company presented Mr. Rayfiel’s play “P.S. 193” as its inaugural production, with James Earl Jones in the role of an embittered war veteran who clashes with a liberal philosophy professor played by Severn Darden.

The play won no prizes, but it led to assignments to write for “Kraft Suspense Theater” and “Chrysler Theater,” where the first of his three television plays, “Something About Lee Wiley,” was directed by Mr. Pollack, who also directed the West Coast premiere of “P.S. 193.”

Their first film collaboration was the 1965 drama “The Slender Thread,” with Sidney Poitier and Anne Bancroft. That movie’s principal screenwriter, Stirling Silliphant, adapted a Life magazine article by Shana Alexander about a young volunteer at a crisis center and the suicidal woman who calls him, and Mr. Rayfiel lent a hand. Because there was no money in the budget for extra writers, Mr. Pollack gave him an I.B.M. Selectric typewriter as payment.

The two worked together on two smaller films: “This Property Is Condemned,” a Tennessee Williams play adapted by Francis Ford Coppola, which starred Mr. Redford and Natalie Wood, and “Castle Keep.” They then settled into a creative groove with big pictures like “Three Days of the Condor,” “Jeremiah Johnson,” “The Way We Were,” “The Electric Horseman,” “Havana,” “Absence of Malice,” “The Firm,” “Sabrina” and “The Interpreter.”

“In those days, I thought I would write everything, Sydney would direct everything and Robert would act in everything,” Mr. Rayfiel told The Los Angeles Times in 2005.

When not working with Mr. Pollack, Mr. Rayfiel collaborated on the screenplays for “Valdez Is Coming” and “Intersection.” He also wrote episodes of “Rod Serling’s Night Gallery” and “Columbo.”

Mr. Rayfiel’s first two marriages, the second to the actress Maureen Stapleton, ended in divorce. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Eliza Roberts of Sherman Oaks, Calif.; two stepchildren, Danny Allentuck of Manhattan and Katherine Allentuck of Lenox, Mass; a brother, Howard, of Sarasota, Fla.; and two grandchildren.

Mr. Rayfiel did his best work in a supporting role. “I don’t think I have a strong sense of story,” he told The New York Times. The Margaux Hemingway thriller “Lipstick,” one of the few scripts he wrote in its entirety, ranked low on his list of favorites.

What he did have a feel for, he said, was dramatic situations: “A moment when people speak, I know when it’s strong and when it’s not.”

RAYFIEL, David
Born: 9/9/1923, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 6/22/2011, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.

David Rayfiel's westerns - screenwriter:
Valdez is Coming! - 1971
Jeremiah Johnson - 1972
The Electric Horseman - 1979

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

RIP Robert White

TV writer Robert White dies
Penned dramas, sitcoms, soaps

By Carmel Dagan
Variety

Television writer Robert A. White died of a heart attack on June 17 in
Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 87.

His first writing job was in radio, graduating to television with "The
George Burns and Grace Allen Show" and "The Real McCoys." At first he was
partnered with Ben Gershman; later he and wife Phyllis collaborated on
shows such as "My Favorite Martian," "Death Valley Days," "Mission:
Impossible," "Medical Center" and "Ironside."

They then turned to soaps, drawing a Daytime Emmy nomination in 1978 for
"The Guiding Light" and winning WGA Awards in 1980 and 1985 for "The
Guiding Light" and "Search for Tomorrow," respectively.

Changing direction yet again, the couple moved into travel writing in the
1980s, including co-authoring books on San Francisco and Hollywood.
(White still kept his hand in the TV biz, penning scripts for the
animated series "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" and "She-Ra:
Princess of Power" in the mid-'80s.)

From the '90s until his death, White centered his efforts on writing
plays. The musical "WR and Daisy," for which the Whites penned the book
and lyrics, premiered at Theater West in Hollywood in 2004.

White was born in Bakersfield, Calif. His parents, a band leader and a
singer, toured constantly, and White attended a long succession of
schools growing up. He joined the Merchant Marines during WWII and
attended Los Angeles Community College on the G.I. bill.

Phyllis died in 2002.

He is survived by his third wife, Peggy O'Shea; a daughter; and a son.
WHITE, ROBERT
Born: 4/7/1924, Bakersfield, California, U.S.A.
Died: 6/17/2011, Rancho Mirage, California, U.S.A.

Robert White's westerns - screenwriter:
The Cisco Kid (TV) - 1952
Death Valley Days (TV) - 1964, 1965
The Virginiain (TV) - 1967, 1969

RIP Joel Simon

WWE News Former WWE Films president Joel Simon dead
Jun 19, 2011 - 10:01 PM



Former WWE Films president Joel Simon died in his sleep on Sunday morning, according to Deadline.com. Simon battled pancreatic cancer for four years. For more on the story, visit Deadline.com.

Powell's POV: Simon started work at WWE Films in 2002. WWE had yet to acknowledge his death on the corporate website.

SIMON, Joel
Born:
Died: 6/19/2011

Joel Simon's westerns - executive producer:
Wild Wild West - 1999

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

RIP Don Diamond

Actor Don Diamond died June 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. He was 90. Diamond was born on June 4th, 1921 in Brooklyn, New York. His father was Russian-born, a veteran of the United States Army in World War One, and his mother was born in New Jersey. From the years of 1938 to 1942 he studied drama at the University of Michigan, where he took on many jobs in order to pay for his studies. He finally graduated with a Bachelor's Degree. After joining the Air Corps, he learned Spanish while serving in the southwest, and also learned about the Mexican culture. After honorably leaving the army in 1946 as a first lieutenant, he broke into the radio game and became known for his portrayal of Mexicans. This led to his role in "The Adventures of Kit Carson" as Carson's sidekick, El Toro. He later became well known as Corporal Reyes on the television show Zorro. He went on to appear in over 100 television shows, as well as many full length feature films, most notably as Crazy Cat on F Troop. Don is married to a Spanish Teacher, Louisa, who is from Mexico. He leaves his wife Luisa and three daughters.

DIAMOND, Don (Donald Alan Diamond)
Born: 6/4/1921, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 6/19/2011, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Don Diamond's westerns - actor:
The Lone Ranger (TV) - 1949 (Pedro Martinez)
The Adventures of Kit Carson (TV) - 1951-1955 (El Toro)
Frontier (TV) - 1955
The Adventures of Jim Bowie (TV) - 1957 (Espinosa)
Circus Boy (TV) - 1956, 1957 (Ben Ali, Zarno)
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (TV) - 1956, 1957, 1959 (Stevens, John Shanessy)
Death Valley Days (TV) - 1957 (Mexican)
Raiders of Old California 1957 (Pepe)
Trackdown (TV) - 1957 (Hodges, sheriff)
Zorro (TV) - 1957-1959 (Corporal Reyes)
26 Men (TV) - 1958 (Chili)
Zane Grey Theater (TV) - 1959 (Jones, Ed Murphy, Cota)
Rawhide (TV) - 1961, 1964, 1965 (Mexican cowhand, Tony, Paco)
Empire (TV) - 1963 (Arturo)
Redigo (TV) - 1963 (Arturo)
The Wild Wild West (TV) - 1965 (bartender)
F Troop (TV) - 1965-1967 (Crazy Cat)
The Guns of Will Sonnett (TV) - 1967 (Diego)
The Big Valley (TV) - 1969 (Border, Diego, Federale)
The High Chaparral (TV) - 1969 (Miguel)
The Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro Adventure Hour (TV) - 1980 (voice of Sgt. Gonzalez)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

RIP Bob Banner

Banner, Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director, dies at 89
- Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — Bob Banner, an Emmy Award-winning television producer and director whose credits included "The Garry Moore Show," "Candid Camera" and "Solid Gold" and who gave a career boost to a young Carol Burnett years before becoming executive producer of her popular comedy variety show, has died. He was 89.

Banner died Wednesday of end-stage Parkinson's disease at his home at the Motion Picture & Television Fund retirement community in Los Angeles, said family spokeswoman Lauren Cottrell.

A television pioneer, Banner launched his career in Chicago in 1948 as a production assistant on the children's puppet show "Kukla, Fran & Ollie." But he quickly rose through the ranks and became the director of "Garroway at Large."

After moving to New York, he produced and directed "The Fred Waring Show" and went on to be a director on "Omnibus," the acclaimed cultural series hosted by Alistair Cooke. He also directed "The Dave Garroway Show" and produced and directed special shows for "Wide, Wide World" and "Producers' Showcase."

As the producer-director of "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show," Banner won an Emmy for directing in 1958.

The same year, he formed Bob Banner Associates and took over production of "The Garry Moore Show," a variety program whose cast of regulars came to include Burnett. Burnett has Banner to thank for that. Her first appearance on the Moore show was in early 1959 as a replacement for an ailing guest, comedian Martha Raye.

"I had worked for Bob in California in 1958 when he was doing 'The Dinah Shore Show.' I was a guest, so he knew my work," Burnett told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. "So Bob, whom I always call Bubba, called me to come over and replace (Raye) on Garry's show."

Burnett was starring in the off-Broadway production of "Once Upon a Mattress" at the time. And that fall, after "Once Upon a Mattress" had moved to Broadway, "Bubba called and said, 'We'd like you to be a regular on our show and that was a huge break for me.' "

Banner went on to produce Burnett TV specials, including "Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall" and "Carol Plus Two," before he became executive producer of "The Carol Burnett Show."

"It was he who talked me into opening the show myself with questions and answers," Burnett recalled. "He said, 'Carol, you can't just go out and do sketches. The audience has to get to know you first as a person.' I said, 'I can't do that. I'd be terrified that, A, the audience wouldn't ask anything and, B, that they would.'

"But he talked me into it, and it became one of my favorite things to do. And it was a good opening for the show."

Recalling the soft-spoken Banner as "a very gentle man" with a good sense of humor, Burnett said that "he could always talk to me about certain things that I wasn't cottoning to so much, but whatever road he wanted us to take was terrific. He had great taste and great instincts."

Among Banner's numerous credits as an executive producer are "The Jimmy Dean Show," "Solid Gold," "Star Search," "It's Showtime at the Apollo," numerous specials with Perry Como, the TV special "Peggy Fleming Visits the Soviet Union" - as well as the TV movies "My Sweet Charlie" and "Bud and Lou."

He also executive-produced "That's What Friends Are For," a 1988 AIDS benefit concert at the Kennedy Center hosted by Dionne Warwick.

Born Aug. 15, 1921, in Ennis, Texas, Banner graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1943 before serving three years in the Navy during World War II.

At Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., after the war, he received a master's degree from the school's theater arts department in 1948 and was an instructor in speech and drama there when he got his first taste of television.

He didn't initially have a high opinion of the new medium.

"Oh, horrors," he recalled thinking of working on "Kukla, Fran & Ollie" in a 2000 interview with the Dallas Morning News.

"I didn't want to tell the people at Northwestern that I had been assigned to do a puppet show. ... A puppet show didn't seem quite like theater at Northwestern," he said. But Banner changed his tune after the show became a hit.

"I went around Northwestern saying I was on 'The Kukla, Fran & Ollie' show," he recalled. "This show I didn't want to admit I was involved with changed my life."

Banner is survived by his wife, Alice; his sons Baird, Robert and Chuck; and two grandchildren.


BANNER, Bob (Robert Bruce Banner)
Born: 8/15/1921, Ennis, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 7/15/2011, Woodland Hills, California, U.S.A.

Bob Banner's western - executive producer:
The American West of John Ford (TV) - 1971

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

RIP Lightning Bear

Stunt coordinator, stuntman, special effects expert Lightning Bear died in Hanau, Germany today June 14, 2011. He was born in Houston, Texas on October 7, 1947 and from there moved to California. He has always had an interest in the entertainment Industry. In Junior High School there was a talent show in which he did a comedy song and then went into theater in high school in acting, set making, and lighting. His first work in films was with a production company doing commercials and travel logs for the Mexican government. They spent 6 months traveling through Mexico. In 1965 after leaving the company, a Scottish friend and him, decided to go to Hollywood to visit a friend they had met in Mexico. They decided to stay and he got his first job there, working at the Playboy Club parking cars. While he was working one night, a man came in whose car had broken down. They had to take the car back to the station. His friend that was with him asked if he could give him a ride home. The man was Spanky McFarland on the "Little Rascals". He was producing and directing at Universal Studios at the time. Lightning Bear told him of his work in Mexico and that he loved the industry and Spanky offered to help him. His friend that owned the car was Carl Ambrosia who was a Casting Director. They got Lightning Bear into central casting and then used his credits in Mexico to get him into SAG. Spanky got him his first job, which was on "The Virginian" TV series. Here Lightning Bear met Dick Shane who was the Stunt Coordinator for the show who started to train him as a stunt man. Also during the filming he met Hal Needham who started the first Stunt Association in Hollywood called Stunts Unlimited. After returning from Vietnam in the 70s he had the chance to work with Richard Harris on the film "A Man Called Horse" which later helped get him on Star Wars. It was during pre-production and production of the "Return of a Man Called Horse" that he traveled to England and heard about Star Wars. His blood brother who is from England was working as a model maker on Star Wars at Elstree Studios. He took Lightning Bear with him and helped get him work as a Stormtrooper. Later Lightning Bear was fortunate to work on the other films as both a Stormtrooper and Biker Scout. One of the highlights of his life was being able to meet and work with the late great Peter Diamond. Lightning Bear took a break from the industry as he was also teaching stunts. He decided after doing "Black Rain", to only teach for a while. After moving to Germany in 1997, he started to meet people in the industry there and decided then to go back into it. In 2005, Lightning Bear got his first chance at Directing an Independent Film called "Bad Blood".

LIGHTNING BEAR
Born: 10/7/1947, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 6/11/2011, Hanau, Hesse, Germany

Ligthning Bear's westerns - stuntman:
The Virginian - 1965 (stunts)
Bonanza - 1965 (stunts)
Cat Ballou - 1965 (stunts)
A Man Called Horse - 1970 (stunts)
The Return of a Man Called Horse - 1976 (stunts)
The Villain - 1979 (stunts)
Triumphs of a Man Called Horse - 1983 (stunts)

RIP Peter Schamoni

Director Peter Schamoni has died.
Producer, director Peter Schamoni is inextricably linked with the comedy "Zur Sache, Schätzchen!" The film made in 1968 not only made him famous overnight, but also young actress Uschi Glas. Schamoni died today June 14, at the age of 77, in Munich, Germany. Schamoni was born on March 27, 1934, in Berlin, Germany. He had been in a Munich hospital for the past two weeks suffering from pancreatic cancer which was only diagnosed this past Easter. He continued with projects while undergoing treatment. Peter produced and directed more than 30 films and documentaries. He won six Federal Awards and five Bavarian Film Awards, a Silver Bear and an Oscar nomination. On January 16, 2009 he was awarded the Bavarian Film Award of merit for lifetime achievement. Peter is the brother of cinematographer, actor Thomas Schamoni [1932-1975], producer, director,screenwriter Thomas Schamoni [1936- ], director screenwriter, actor Ulrich Schamoni [1939-1998].

SCHAMONI, Peter
Born: 3/27/1934, Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Died: 6/14/2011, Munich, Bavaria, Germany

Peter Schamoni's western - director, film editor, actor.
Potato Fritz - 1976 (Reverend Cavenham) [director, film editor]

Sunday, June 12, 2011

RIP Paul Massie

Actor Paul Massie left fame, burgeoning career to teach at USF By Marty Clear, Times Correspondent
In Print: Sunday, June 12, 2011

In the 1960s, a young, strikingly handsome and phenomenally talented actor named Paul Massie was building a promising career in England.

He had starred in an acclaimed production of Cat on a Hot Tim Roof opposite Kim Stanley. There were leading roles in respected films, with billings above such stars as Christopher Lee and Lillian Gish. He had won a British Academy Award. Peter O'Toole and Richard Harris were his drinking buddies.

But in 1966, he visited the fledgling University of South Florida to appear on stage as a guest artist. He stayed for 30 years as a professor in the USF theater department.

"He was a world-class artist who came to USF and embraced us," said Nancy Cole, who worked with Mr. Massie for 20 years.

Mr. Massie died Wednesday at his home in Nova Scotia. He was 79 and had suffered from lymphoma.

During his three decades in Tampa, Mr. Massie became a fixture on local stages. Many of his memorable roles came from productions at USF, including A Little Night Music, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Orphans, Waiting for Godot, Equus and The Tempest.

He also acted in most other local theater companies, including guest roles with the School of Night comedy group, in which he narrated Horton Hears a Who and pulled off a spot-on impersonation of Mick Jagger.

But it was as an educator and a director of student productions, from Hair to The Magic Flute that Mr. Massie left his most essential legacy.

"Paul was magical," said Brian Shea, a professional actor who was a friend and student of Mr. Massie's. "He had a profound effect on me and others, not only as actors, but as human beings."

Mr. Massie was born in Canada but established his presence on the stage and screen in England. His first major film role came in 1958, in Orders to Kill with Eddie Albert. Mr. Massie received the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' award for Most Promising Newcomer to Film. He worked steadily in films and television after that, with the lead role in 1960's The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll and a guest appearance on the classic TV show The Avengers.

His association with USF began in a 1966 production of Tartuffe, and not long after he performed in USF's production of School for Scandal.

He was a fixture at USF from that point on, although he didn't officially become a faculty member until about 1974. He became a full professor, and was named professor emeritus after his retirement in 1996.

He didn't often speak to students about his early career and nascent celebrity. Even those who knew him for decades weren't sure why he turned his back on a high-profile acting career to teach at a university in Florida.

"I think maybe he was just fed up with the machine," Cole said. "I think he had had enough of the effort, the grind, that goes into fame."

Whatever the reason, he soon found that he loved teaching as much as he loved acting, and working in Tampa gave him the opportunity to do both.

As a teacher and director, he was known for finding a way to get the best performances from actors. It may have been tender encouragement for a young actor trying to find his way through his art and his life, or it may have been a boisterous laugh of delight when a cast finally perfected a scene. Sometimes, it was harsh criticism.

In one moment that has become legendary in local theater circles, Mr. Massie was watching a rehearsal in which he thought actors weren't giving their best. "There's a problem with the acting," he said. "You can't. So don't."

As an actor, he had a natural energy and charisma — sex appeal, some would say — and a booming but mellifluous voice.

And, Cole said, he devoted himself completely to his roles and in the process elevated the performers around him.

"For students to be able to share the stage with a actor of his talent and experience and to see how he prepares, that's a profound gift to the cast and to the audience," she said. "He was a hero."

MASSIE, Paul
Born: 7/7/1932, St. Catherine's, Ontario, Canada
Died: 8/8/2011, Nova Scotia, Canada

Paul Massie's western - actor:
Hawkeywe, the Pathfinder (TV) - 1973 (Hawkeye)

Friday, June 10, 2011

RIP Grant Sullivan

SULLIVAN, Grant June 30, 1924- May 31, 2011 Died peacefully at home of cancer. By his side was his beloved wife of 42 years, Valedia, who loved and adored him. Grant faced his illness with infinite grace and courage. Born in Nebraska, he grew up in Southern California, attending schools in Long Beach and Anaheim. In World War II he served in the U. S. Navy. After the war, he entered Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon) to study drama and then to N.Y. City into the golden age of live television. He appeared in many of the great TV productions of the time as well as in Broadway plays. In the early sixties he starred in the TV series Pony Express. Taught to ride by the great stunt rider, Boyd Morgan, he had the greatest respect for his crew, especially the old character actors who appeared with him. In the early 70's he began a second career in real estate, specializing in new homes. He was an executive with the Mission Viejo Co. as well as Great Western Real Estate. After retirement he enjoyed working for the Warmington Company. Also survived by a brother, Don Schulz, nieces and nephews, and grandnieces and nephews. Grant was a wonderful companion, eager to hear the news of the day from Peanuts to Paul Krugman, loved music from Count Basie to Chopin, all subjects from space to sports, Laguna sunsets, fields of wildflowers, and a glass of lovely wine. "...and, when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars and he will make the face of heaven so fine..." - Romeo and Juliet

SULLIVAN, Grant
Born: 6/3/1924, Nebraska, U.S.A.
Died: 5/31/2011, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Grant Sullivan's westerns - actor:
Pony Express (TV) - 1959-1960 (Brett Clark)
Tales of Wells Fargo (TV) - 1961 (Beam, Dutch)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

RIP Robert Foster

TV producer Robert Foster dies at 73
Wrote 'Knight Rider,' 'Dead Bang'
By Variety Staff

TV and film writer-producer Robert Foster died May 30 from brain cancer in Sherman Oaks, Calif. He was 73.
Foster started in show business in the Universal mailroom in the early 1960s. By late in the decade he had begun writing for television, penning episodes of "Run for Your Life," "The Bold Ones: The Lawyers" and later "Kojak" and working as story editor on "Hawaii Five-O" in 1969-70 and "Mod Squad" in 1970-71.

He went on to become a television writing producer on "Kate McShane," "The New Maverick," "Chicago Story" and "Knight Rider."

In 1988, he wrote his first telepic, HBO's "Clinton and Nadine," starring Andy Garcia and Ellen Barkin; the next year saw the Foster-scripted feature film "Dead Bang," directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Don Johnson. He was also co-exec producer.

Foster wrote the 1992 CBS telepic "The Price She Paid," with Loni Anderson, and the 2007 action film "The Contractor," starring Wesley Snipes.

Foster was born in Los Angeles; his father was an accountant at Universal Studios.

He married and divorced twice. Foster is survived by two daughters and two granchildren.

Donations may be made to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in Moss Landing, Calif.


FOSTER, Robert
Born: 1938, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 5/30/2011, Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.A.

Robert Foster's westerns - screenwriter, producer:
Nichols (TV) - 1971-1972 [screenwriter]
The New Maverick (TV) - 1978 [producer]

Friday, June 3, 2011

RIP James Arness


The towering actor, who passed away Friday, was best known for playing Marshal Matt Dillon on the small screen for 20 years.
James Arness, the 6' 7" actor best known for playing Marshal Matt Dillon on ‘Gunsmoke’ for 20 years has died. He was 88
Arness passed away of natural causes Friday June 3rd. His death comes a year after his brother, ‘Mission Impossible’ actor Peter Graves, died of a heart attack at age 83.
Arness was born on May 26, 1923 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, starting out as a radio announcer in Minnesota in 1945.1
He eventually moved to Los Angeles, where he landed his big break in 1947, starring opposite Loretta Young in the film "The Farmer’s Daughter".
During his career, Arness befriended John Wayne who was instrumental in helping him score the role of Marshal Matt Dillon in ‘Gunsmoke’. (CBS originally wanted Wayne for the part: he declined and suggested Arness.) During his 20 years on the show, he was nominated for three Emmys.
The show, one of the longest running dramatic series ever producer, was cancelled in 1975. Arness made four ‘Gunsmoke’ movies for TV.
From 1976 through 1979 he starred in the television miniseries ‘How the West Was Won". His last TV series, the police drama ‘Big Jim McLain’, aired in the early 1980s.
He is survived by his wife Janet, three sons and three grandchildren.

ARNESS, James (James King Aurness)
Born: May 26, 1923, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Died: June 3, 2011 Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

James Arness' westerns - actor:
Wagon Master - 1950 (Floyd Craig)
The Lone Ranger (TV) - 1950 (Deputy Bud Titus)
Stars in My Crown - 1950 (Rolfe Isbell)
Sierra - 1950 (Little Sam)
Wyoming Mail - 1950 (Russell)
Belle Le Grand - 1951 (mine guard)
Cavalry Scout - 1951 (Barth)
Hellgate - 1952 (George Redfield)
Horizons West - 1952 (Tiny McGilligan)
The Lone Hand - 1953 (Gus Varden)
Hondo - 1953 (Lennie)
Many Rivers to Cross - 1955 (Esau Hamilton)
Gunsmoke (TV) - 1955-1975 (Marshal Mat Dillon)
The First Traveling Saleslady - 1956 (Joel Kingdom)
Gun the Man Down - 1956 (Rem Anderson)
Alias Jess James - 1959 (Marshal Matt Dillon)
The Macahans (TV) - 1976 (Zeb Macahan)
How the West Was Won (TV) - 1977-1979 (Zebulan Macahan)
The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory (TV) - 1987 (Jim Bowie)
Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge (TV) - 1987 (Matt Dillon)
Red River - (TV) - 1988 (Thomas Dunson)
Gunsmoke: The Last Apache (TV) 1990 (Matt Dillon)
Gunsmoke: To Last Man (TV) 1992 (Matt Dillon)
Gunsmoke: The Long Ride (TV) - 1993 (Matt Dillon)
Gunsmoke: One Man’s Justice (TV) - 1994 (Matt Dillon)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

RIP Armando Bandini

Last Friday, May 27, 2011 in Rome, the actor and voice actor Armando Bandini passed away. An excellent character actor, Bandini was born in Genoa on June 5, 1926 and as a young man joined the Theater Company of Gilberto Govi. He divided his acting career between the theater, television and the cinema, and is one of the original actors who appeared in the drama "Saturnino Farandola", broadcast in 1977 on RaiDue, and as Don Carlino in the film "Don Camillo Monsignore ... ma non troppo" (1961), Bandini also worked in the cinema with directors such as Ugo Tognazzi, Alberto Lattuada, Dino Risi, Pasquale Festa Campanile and Carlo Lizzani until his last appearance on the small screen in 2005 with "Piccolo mondo antico" directed by Cinzia Th Torrini,

Armando Bandini, was married to actress Danielle Igliozzi, also voiced several cartoon characters, loaning his voice among many such as Barney Rubble in "The Flintstones," Grandpa Cortes in "Belle e Sebastien," Rigel in "Atlas UFO Robot", Chingensai in "Ranma ½", Chin-Fu in Disney's "Mulan" and the doctor in the animated film "The Rescuers in the Land of Kangaroos" between films he dubbed the actor Garry Bamman (Uncle Frank McCallister) in "Mamma, ho perso l’aereo" e "Mamma, ho riperso l’aereo - Mi sono smarrito a New York." Many will remember him as the Italian voice of little Tattoo (Herve Villechaize) on the TV show "Fantasy Island".

BANDINI, Armando
Born: 6/5/1926, Genoa, Liguria, Italy
Died: 5/27/2011, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Armando Bandini's western - actor:
Ace High - 1967 (bank casher)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

RIP Harry Redmond, Jr.

Harry Redmond Jr., a special effects artist and producer whose career reached back more than 80 years to the dawn of talking pictures, died May 23 in the Hollywood Hills home that he and his wife had designed and built more than six decades ago. He was 101.

Redmond’s father, film and special effects pioneer Harry Redmond Sr., ran Metropolitan Studios on Long Island. In 1926, the family — as well as the movie industry — moved to California, and the younger Redmond soon followed his dad into the “picture business.”

Starting in the prop department at First National Pictures, Redmond moved to RKO Radio Pictures, where he transitioned into the special effects field and worked on many of RKO’s fabled films of the late 1920s and ’30s, including King Kong (1933), The Last Days of Pompeii (1935), She (1935) and Top Hat (1935).

After a four-year stint at RKO, Redmond went independent and created effects for a such classics as Frank Capra’s Lost Horizon (1937), Howard Hawks’ Only Angels Have Wings (1939), Howard Hughes’ The Outlaw (1943), Fritz Lang’s The Woman in the Window (1944) and Orson Welles’ The Stranger (1946).

Redmond would often work one-on-one with the director to provide a specific effect. In The Woman in the Window, he and Lang collaborated on the striking transition shot of Edward G. Robinson at the film’s end, doing it all in real time, in camera, with no cuts and no postproduction work.

While working on The Prisoner of Zenda (1937) for David O. Selznick, Redmond met Dorothea Holt, a pioneering production illustrator who was designing the interiors for Gone With the Wind (1939) and Rebecca (1940). They were married in 1940.

When World War II began, Redmond left Hollywood for Fort Monmouth, N.J., where he designed and built a studio for the Army Film Training Lab.

After the war, he resumed his effects career in Hollywood with such films as the Marx Brothers’ A Night in Casablanca (1946), Angel on My Shoulder (1946), The Bishop’s Wife (1947), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) and A Song Is Born (1948).

In the early 1950s, Redmond’s work on Storm Over Tibet (1952) began what would become a long association with writer-producer Ivan Tors, spanning not only Tors’ early science-fiction features such as The Magnetic Monster (1953) and Gog (1954) but also his succession of popular TV shows like Science Fiction Theater, Sea Hunt and Daktari.

Having assumed the role of Tors’ associate producer for the films Flipper (1963), Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion (1965) and Zebra in the Kitchen (1965), Redmond increasingly began to chafe at the industry’s skyrocketing “above the line” costs and retired from films in the late 1960s, said his daughter, Lynne Jackson. His last credits came in 1964 with the series The Outer Limits and the TV movie The Unknown.

Redmond was never nominated for an Oscar or an Emmy, not did he receive any industry awards.

Holt, who helped design the Seattle Space Needle, the restaurant at Los Angeles International Airport and much of Main Street at Disneyland following her career in films, died in 2009 at age 98.

In addition to his daughter, Redmond’s survivors include his son Lee Redmond, three granddaughters and three great-grandsons. A memorial service will be held June 21 at 1:30 p.m. at Forest Lawn in Glendale.


REDMOND, Jr., Harry
Born: 10/15/1909, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 5/23/2011, Hollywood Hills, California, U.S.A.

Harry Redmond, Jr.'s - western - special effects:
Hop-a-long Cassidy - 1935
Hopalong Rides Again - 1937
Partners of the Plains - 1938
The Girl of the Golden West - 1938
Bar 20 Justice - 1938
The Outlaw - 1943
Ramrod - 1947
New Mexico - 1951
Sitting Bull - 1954

RIP Ralph Schoenfeld

Ralph Schoenfeld, television editor dies at 86.

For more than 30 years, Ralph worked in the entertainment industry as an editor for such shows as "The Beverly Hillbillies", "Lassie", "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "Hart to Hart" to name a few. He also served in the U.S. Navy during WWII. His wife of 55 years Valerie, his son Gregg, daughter Stacy, son-in-law Bruce and granddaughter Sean survive him. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday June 4, 2011 at 2:30 PM Old North Chapel Forest Lawn.


SCHOENFELD, Ralph
Born: 3/6/1925, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 5/27/2011 Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Ralph Schoenfeld's western - filmeditor:
Centennial (TV) - 1978