The HTF Film and Necrology Report for 2007 Part I

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Dave Hahn, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. Dave Hahn

    Dave Hahn Second Unit

    Jul 22, 1999
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    Dave Hahn
    When Jackie Gleason was asked by columnist Pete Hamill how he’d like to be remembered The Great One replied, I’d just like to be remembered.

    And so, we take this time to remember those who entertained and informed us, whether in front or behind the camera, on or off the set. The actors and directors, writers and producers, studio heads and agents, costume designers, set designers, special effects gurus, newscasters, weathermen and sports announcers, progamme presenters, and everyone else who made us cheer, laugh, cry, slink down in our seats in horror, tap our feet to a snappy tune and smile on our way back to the car.

    This year we lost: the first James Bond, Miss Moneypenny, two Tarzans, and Britain’s Mastermind. Lilly Munster, Officer Carl Levitt, the Tailor from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and Mr. Humphires. The man who made Lucille Ball funny, the creator of I Dream of Jeannie, and the creator of ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Platypus Man, Annie Oakley, Secret Agent Mike Gambit, and Larry ‘Bud’ Melman. Russia’s best known actor, Mr. Hawaii, and a long time President of the MPAA. George Utley, Lorna Doone, Capt. Adam Greer, Eileen Sherwood, and Sinbad. – To name just a few out of hundreds.

    Special thanks to Andrew Markworthy for his assistance with those from Great Britain who appear below. And a very special Thank You to HTF Owners Ron Epstein and Parker Clack for making this possible.

    Home Theater Forum
    Film and Television Necrology

    Obituaries of those who worked in the film and television industry.


    Buzz Bezzerides, (Albert Isaac Bezzerides), 98
    January 1

    Buzz Bezzerides was an Greek-Armenian born American novelist and screenwriter, best known for writing Noir and Action motion pictures, especially several of Warners' social conscience films of the Forties, best known for writingthe film noir’ classic Kiss Me Deadly (1955).

    His first film credit was 1942's Juke Girl, which starred Ann Sheridan and Ronald Reagan. He wrote such action feature movies as They Drive by Night (1940) - which was based on his novel, The Long Haul and starred Humphrey Bogart and George Raft; Desert Fury (1947); Thieves' Highway (1949); On Dangerous Ground (1952) and Track of the Cat (1954). He was one of the co-creators of, and writer for the western television series The Big Valley. January 1


    Sneaky Pete Kleinow, (Peter E. Kleinow), 72,
    January 6

    Pete Kleinow was an Emmy winning American special effects artist and musician; early work included the Gumby, Outer Limits, and Davey and Goliath series, as well as classic cult movies such as The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962) and 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964).

    He left the movie industry and become an established musician, playing the pedal steel guitar as a member of the Flying Burrito Brothers, as well as doing session work for the likes of Joe Cocker, Little Feat, Frank Zappa, the Bee Gees, John Lennon, Linda Ronstadt, and Fleetwood Mac. Kleinow was known as the Hendrix of the steel guitar. His first solo album, Sneaky Pete, was released in 1978 and The Legend and the Legacy followed in 1994.

    He returned to special effects and created the dinosaurs for the comic film Caveman (1981). Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Kleinow created special effects for movies such as The Empire Strikes Back, Gremlins, The Right Stuff, The Terminator, and Terminator 2. In 1983, his work on the television miniseries The Winds of War was recognized with an Emmy Award for Special Visual Effects.


    Magnús Magnússon, 77,
    January 7

    Magnús Magnússon was an Icelandic-born British television presenter, journalist, translator and writer. He came to fame as presenter of the BBC television quiz program Mastermind, which he hosted for 25 years.

    After graduating from Jesus College, Oxford, Magnússon became a reporter with the Scottish Daily Express and The Scotsman. He went freelance in 1967, then joined the BBC, presenting programs on history and archeology as well as appearing in news programs.

    Magnússon presented the long-running quiz show Mastermind from 1972 to 1997. The popularity of the show made him one of the best-known faces of the BBC. His famous catchphrase, which the current presenter John Humphrys has continued to use, was "I've started so I'll finish".

    Magnússon was Lord Rector of Edinburgh University from 1975 to 1978, and later became Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University. He was awarded an honorary knighthood (Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1989, and was elected President of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for a five-year period, at their 94th AGM in October 1995. He also became the founder Chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage upon its inception in 1992.


    Yvonne De Carlo, (Margaret “Peggy” Yvonne Middleton), 84
    January 8

    Yvonne De Carlo was a Canadian born actress of stunning beauty and notable talent; she was one of many Hollywood starlets dubbed the most beautiful woman in the world. De Carlo rose to star opposite the likes of Clark Gable in Band of Angels (1957), Burt Lancaster in Criss Cross (1949), John Wayne in McLintock! (1963) and most notably, opposite Charleton Heston in Cecil B. DeMille’s epic, The Ten Commandments (1956), Yet, Yvonne De Carlo will forever be remembered as for her role as Lily Munster on the 1964-1966 CBS television series The Munsters.

    Throughout the 1940s and 1950s De Carlo was frequently cast as an Arab princess, a dancing girl or the jewel of the harem in what were known as sword and sandal epics. These included: Road to Morocco (1942), Song of Scheherazade (1947), Slave Girl (1947), Casbah (1948), Hotel Sahara (1950), The Captain's Paradise (1953), The Desert Hawk (1950); and Fort Algiers (1953). She also worked in Westerns such as Calamity Jane & Sam Bass and The Gal Who Took the West (both 1949), Tomahawk (1951) and Border River (1954).

    In 1949 De Carlo had her biggest success as the female lead opposite Burt Lancaster in Criss Cross; her career began to ascend. Cast in The Ten Commandments in a leading role as Sephora, Moses' wife, De Carlo was part of a major hit. The film was a huge success and De Carlo was among those to be praised for her restrained work.

    She married Robert Morgan in 1955. Morgan, a stuntman, was severely injured during the production of How the West Was Won in 1962. De Carlo’s film work often involved unpredictable schedules, long days, and extended trips for filming on location. In an attempt to find more time to care for her ailing husband and their children, De Carlo sought to find employment in television; and an icon was born.

    De Carlo, along with Fred Gwynne as Herman, Al Lewis as Grandpa, Butch Patrick as Eddie and both Beverley Owen and Pat Priest as Marilyn, starred in The Munsters, a television comedy depicting the home life of a family of monsters. The show was a satire of both traditional monster movies and popular family entertainment of the era, such as Leave it to Beaver. The show aired at night once a week in black-and-white on the CBS Television network from 1964 to 1966 for 70 episodes, and gained even more popularity in syndication. In following years, several Munster films were released, two with the original cast.

    De Carlo became type-cast and never regained her status as a serious film actress. After The Munsters, she did work in various horror movies, spoofs and thrillers, such as The Power (1968), The Seven Minutes (1971), House of Shadows (1976), Satan's Cheerleaders (1977), Nocturna (1979) and American Gothic (1988). De Carlo's last-released big-screen appearance was as Aunt Rosa in the 1991 Sylvester Stallone comedy Oscar. Her last TV movie appearance was as Norma, in the 1995 Disney remake of The Barefoot Executive.

    For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Yvonne De Carlo was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6124 Hollywood Blvd. and a second star at 6715 Hollywood Blvd. for her contribution to television.


    Iwao Takamoto, 81
    January 8

    Iwao Takamoto was a Japanese American animator, TV producer and film director. While at Walt Disney Studies he worked as an animator on such titles as Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians.

    After moving to Hanna-Barbera he was responsible for the original character design of such characters as Scooby-Doo, The Jetsons' dog Astro, and Penelope Pitstop. He worked as a producer at Hanna-Barbera, supervising shows such as The Addams Family, Hong Kong Phooey, and Jabberjaw.

    He directed several feature length animated films, including Charlotte's Web (1973) and Jetsons: The Movie (1990).


    Carlo Ponti, 94
    January 10

    Carlo Ponti was an Italian film producer with over 140 production credits, as well as the husband of Italian actress Sophia Loren.

    Ponti studied law at the University of Milan; joined his father's law firm in Milan and became involved in the film business through negotiating contracts. Ponti attempted to establish a film industry in Milan in 1940 and produced Mario Soldati's Piccolo Mondo Antico there, starring Alida Valli, in her first notable role.

    Ponti accepted an offer from Lux Film company in Rome in 1941, where he produced a series of commercially successful films featuring the comedian Totò. In 1954 he had his greatest artistic success with the production of Federico Fellini's La strada. He produced Visconti's Boccaccio '70 in 1962, Marriage Italian Style in 1964, and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in 1965.

    He produced his most popular and financially successful film, David Lean's Doctor Zhivago in 1965. He subsequently produced three notable films with Michelangelo Antonioni, Blowup in 1966, Zabriskie Point in 1970 and The Passenger in 1974.

    Ron Carey (center) with cast of Barney Miller

    Ron Carey, (Ronald Joseph Cicenia), 71
    January 16

    Ron Carey was a comedian and actor best known for his role as Officer Carl Levitt on the television hit show Barney Miller. On the show, the 5’4” actor was almost always surrounded by male actors (and sometimes female guest stars) who stood at least 4" taller. The series' stars (Hal Linden, Max Gail, Ron Glass) all stand well over six feet. Carey appeared in the recurring role through almost the entire series.

    Before Barney Miller, he appeared in supporting roles in other films and on television, and was seen in scores of commercials. He did stand-up comedy in the 1960s; his comedy centered mostly around Catholicism and his childhood of being the undersized but quick-witted kid on the block. His break came in 1966 when he appeared on The Merv Griffin Show and in 1967 he released a comedy album entitled The Slightly Irreverent Comedy of Ron Carey.

    Screen credits include, Swiftus in History of the World, Part I (1981), Brophy in High Anxiety (1977), Devour in Silent Movie (1976), and Barney Polacek in The Out of Towners (1970). Carey delivered the famous line: I got it, I got it, I got it ... I ain't got it. - - in High Anxiety.

    (Madelyn Pugh & Bob Carroll)

    Bob Carroll, (Robert Gordon Carroll Jr.), 88
    January 27

    Bob Carroll was a Golden Globe winning television writer best known for his writing on the I Love Lucy series. He started in the business as the front desk clerk for CBS Radio in Hollywood, California. He eventually worked his way up into the publicity department and moved from there to assignments as a junior and eventually senior writer. While at CBS, Carroll was teamed with fellow staffer Madelyn Pugh. The two created a partnership that lasted more than 50 years, and together wrote approximately 400 television episodes and 500 radio episodes.

    While writing for Steve Allen's radio program on CBS Radio the duo became interested in writing for Lucille Ball's new radio series My Favorite Husband; the pair wrote for this popular program for its 2 1/2-year duration. Carroll and Pugh helped develop and create a vaudeville act for Lucille Ball And her husband, Desi Arnaz, which became the basis for the pilot episode of the I Love Lucy series.

    Carroll and Pugh went on to write 39 episodes per season for the entire run of I Love Lucy. They also wrote for episodes of Ball's subsequent series, The Lucy Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, and, in 1986, her final sitcom, Life With Lucy.

    Carroll’s non-Lucy credits include work on the television series The Paul Lynde Show, Dorothy, Those Whiting Girls and Kocham Klane. Together with Pugh they created and wrote the successful Desilu series The Mothers-in-Law, which starred Lucille Ball's longtime MGM pals Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard. Carroll and Pugh served as executive producers and did some writing for the hit television series Alice, for which the duo won a Golden Globe Award. They also wrote the story basis for the film Yours, Mine and Ours (1968).

    In addition to his Golden Globe, Carroll was a three-time Emmy Nominee and won the Laurel Award for TV Writing Achievement from the Writers Guild of America.


    Sidney Sheldon, 89
    January 30

    Sidney Sheldon was a writer who won awards in three careers; a Hollywood TV and movie screenwriter, a Broadway playwright, and a best-selling novelist. His TV works spanned a 20-year period during which he created The Patty Duke Show (1963-66), I Dream of Jeannie (1965-70) and Hart to Hart (1979-84).

    In his early career he reviewed scripts and collaborated on a number of B movies. After serving in the military during World War II Sheldon began writing musicals for the Broadway stage while continuing to write screenplays for both MGM Studios and Paramount Pictures. His success on Broadway brought him back to Hollywood where his first assignment was The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, which earned him the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay of 1947.

    When television became the new hot medium, he decided to try his hand in it. "I suppose I needed money," he remembered. I met Patty Duke one day at lunch. So I produced The Patty Duke Show, and I did something nobody else in TV ever did. For seven years, I wrote almost every single episode of the series. He also wrote for the series Hart to Hart and Nancy. Most famously he wrote the series I Dream of Jeannie, which he also created and produced, which lasted for five seasons from 1965-1970.

    In addition to his Academy Award, Sheldon was nominated for an Emmy for his work on I Dream of Jeannie and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


    Phil Lucas, 65
    February 4

    Phil Lucas was a Native-American actor, writer, director and producer in more than 100 films/documentaries or television programs. In 1979 he wrote/co-produced and co-directed Images of Indians for PBS.

    Lucas played characters and served as a technical advisor on cultural content in popular TV series including Northern Exposure (1990-1991) and MacGyver. Acclaimed as the foremost (Native American) film documentarian by Hanay Geiogamah, a professor of theater and American Indian studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Lucas won some 18 awards or nominations from 1980 to 2003. As recently as 2003 Lucas won the CINE Eagle Award for Vis à Vis: Native Tongues.


    Barbara McNair, 72
    February 4

    Barbara McNair was an African-American singer and actress; among her hits were You're Gonna Love My Baby and Bobby. Her big break came with a win on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, which led to bookings at The Purple Onion and the Cocoanut Grove.

    She soon became one of the country's most popular headliners and a guest on such television variety shows The Steve Allen Show, Hullabaloo, The Bell Telephone Hour, and The Hollywood Palace while recording for the Coral, Signature, and Motown labels. Her recordings include Livin' End, I Enjoy Being a Girl, and The Ultimate Motown Collection, a 2-CD set with 48 tracks that include her two albums for the label plus a non-album single and B-side and an entire LP that never was released.

    McNair's acting career began on television, guest-starring on series such as Dr. Kildare, I Spy, Mission: Impossible, Hogan's Heroes and McMillan and Wife. McNair starred in her own 1969 television variety series. Movie roles included: Lily in If He Hollers Let Him Go (1968), Sister Irene Hawkins in Change of Habit (1969). Valerie Tibbs, in They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (1970), and its sequel, The Organization (1971). McNair's Broadway credits include The Body Beautiful (1958), No Strings (1962), and a revival of The Pajama Game (1973).


    Anna Nicole Smith, (Vickie Lynn Marshall), 39
    February 8

    Anna Nicole Smith was a model and actress; Her film roles include: Za-Za in The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Tanya Peters in Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994), Colette Dubois/Vickie Linn in To the Limit (1995), Carrie Wisk in Skyscraper (1997), and she played herself in Wasabi Tuna (2003) and Be Cool (2005). Besides numerous television appearances, She starred in her own reality TV show, The Anna Nicole Show (2002).

    Anna Nicole Smith was most notably Playboy Magazine’s 1993 Playmate of the Year.


    Ian Richardson, (Ian William Richardson), 72
    February 9

    Ian Richardson was a Scottish actor renowned for his work on stage, television and the screen. During his career Richardson gave many memorable TV performances. His first major role was his appearance as Bill Haydon (Tailor) in the BBC adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979). In the 1980s he became well-known as Major Neuheim in the award-winning Private Schulz, and more notably Sir Godber Evans in Channel 4's adaptation of Porterhouse Blue.

    Richardson's most famous and most acclaimed role was as machievellian politician Francis Urquhart in the BBC's adaptation of Michael Dobb's House of Cards Trilogy. He won the BAFTA Best Television Actor Award for his portrayal in the first series, House of Cards (1990), and was nominated for both of the sequels To Play the King (1993) and The Final Cut (1995). He also received another BAFTA film nomination for his role as Gov. Rex Hunt in the 1992 film An Ungentlemanly Act, and played another corrupt politician, Michael Spearpoint, British Director of the European Economic Community in the ambitious satirical series The Gravy Train (1990) and The Gravy Train Goes East (1991).

    In 1999 became known to a young audience as the titular character Stephen Tyler in both series of the family drama The Magician's House (1999-2000). He starred in the BBC production Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes (2000-2001) (also screened on PBS's Mystery! series in the US), playing Dr. Joseph Bell, the mentor of Arthur Conan Doyle. He had earlier played Sherlock Holmes in two television versions of The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983) and The Sign of Four (1983). In 2003 he once more returned to fantasy in the recurring role of the villainous Canon Black in the short-lived BBC cult series Strange.

    He made many film appearances, including Mr. Warrenn in Brazil (1985), Mr. Book in Dark City (1998), Polonius in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990), Martin Landau's butler, Manley, in the Halle Berry film B*A*P*S (1997), Cruella de Vil's solicitor, Mr. Torte, in the live action movie 101 Dalmatians (2000) and Sir Charles Warren in From Hell (2001). He also played the Judge in the family-based 2005 film, The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby. His final film appearance was as Judge Langlois in Becoming Jane, released shortly after his death in 2007.

    He was familiar to American television viewers as the man in the Rolls-Royce who asks "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?" in the commercials for Grey Poupon Dijon mustard.

    Dame Helen Mirren dedicated her 2007 'Best Actress' BAFTA award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the film The Queen to Ian Richardson. In her acceptance speech, she said Richardson was very supportive towards her when she started out acting, and without him she might not have been so successful.

    He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1989.


    Jung Da Bin (Jeong Hye-Seon), 26
    February 10

    Jung Da Bin was a South Korean actress; Her first breakout role was in the Korean fantasy movie Danjeogbiyeonsu (2000). She also garnered several Korean television awards for her roles in such sitcoms like The Summer Typhoon (SBS, 2005); She is Nineteen (SBS,2004); Attic Cat (MBC, 2003); New Nonstop 2 & 3 (MBC 2002-3); Trio (MBC 2002); The Full Sun (KBS, 2001); and Taeyangun Gadukhe (KBS, 2001).

    Among her awards was the 2004 SBS Year-end Award for her role in She is 19, as well as the 2004 New Star Award. In 2003, she was awarded the MBC Best Actress Award in a Miniseries for Attic Cat. Jeong Da-bin also did numerous television commercials for Korean companies like DNS, BYC, LG Monitor, GS-25 Mart, CJ Jelly, Korea Telecom (KT), and GameTube, among others.


    Peter Ellenshaw
    , 93
    February 12

    Peter Ellenshaw was an Anglo-American Academy Award-winning special effects designer. His first major project was the 1936 film Things to Come.

    After World War II, he was recruited by Walt Disney Studios to work on their first live action film, Treasure Island (1950). He would go on to work on films like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), The Island at the Top of the World (1974).

    He was nominated for an Academy Award three times and won an Oscar for his work on Mary Poppins (1964). He retired after doing The Black Hole in 1979, but came back to do matte paintings for Dick Tracy in 1990.


    Randy Stone, 48
    February 12

    Randy Stone was a casting director and Oscar-winning film producer; Stone began his acting career in 1976 as a child actor on Charlie's Angels. He appeared in two episodes of Space: Above and Beyond. His most notable performance, however, was as the hapless gay Los Angeles millionaire Michael Beebe in the second-season episode Beware of the Dog on the television series Millennium.

    He was head of casting at 20th Century Fox Television, and was responsible for casting David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson on The X-Files and Lance Henriksen on Millennium.

    Among his more notable film and television casting jobs were the film Jaws 3-D (1983), the made-for-TV movie The Ryan White Story (1989), Cameron Crowe's directorial film debut Say Anything (1989), the made-for-TV movie The Incident (1990) and the television series Space: Above and Beyond.

    He was executive producer for the film Little Man Tate (1991), Jodie Foster's directorial debut motion picture. During the 2007 Academy Awards, Foster referred to his passing, and called him her best friend. He and co-producer Peggy Rajski won an Oscar for the 1994 short film Trevor. In 2006, Stone wrote and executive produced the made-for-TV movie A Little Thing Called Murder. It won him the International Press Academy's Satellite Award for Motion Picture Made for Television. He won an Emmy Award in 1990 for Outstanding Achievement in Casting for a Miniseries or Special for The Incident.


    Johanna Sällström, 32
    February 13

    Johanna Sällström was a Swedish actress who became famous in Sweden in the 1990s after portraying the teenage girl Victoria Bärnsten in the soap opera Tre kronor. She soon appeared in many films and received a Guldbagge Award for best female actress in 1997. Sällström became internationally known for her role as police agent Linda Wallander, (13 episodes, 2005-2006), Wallander, the Swedish television dramatization of Henning Mankell’s books about police inspector Kurt Wallander. February 13

    Jay Livingston and Ray Evans

    Ray Evans, (Raymond Bernard Evans ), 92
    February 15

    Ray Evans was an Academy Award winning songwriter; along with his songwriting partner, Jay Livingston, he won three Academy Awards; in 1948 for the song Buttons and Bows, written for the movie The Paleface; in 1950 for the song Mona Lisa, written for the movie Captain Carey, U.S.A.; and in 1956 for the song Que Sera Sera, featured in the Alfred Hitchcock movie The Man Who Knew Too Much and sung by Doris Day.

    Another popular song that he and Livingston wrote for a film was the song Tammy, written for the 1957 movie Tammy And The Bachelor. The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. Livingston and Evans also wrote popular TV themes for shows including Bonanza and Mr. Ed.

    Their Christmas song Silver Bells intended for the 1951 Bob Hope film The Lemon Drop Kid, has become a Christmas standard.


    Sheridan Morley, 65
    February 16

    Sheridan Morley was an English author, biographer, critic, director, actor and broadcaster. He was the eldest son of the famous British actor Robert Morley and grandson of actress Dame Gladys Cooper, and wrote biographies of both. Nicholas Kenyon called him a cultural omnivore who was genuinely popular with people.

    He worked as a late-night newscaster for ITN from 1965, before moving to the BBC to present Late Night Line-Up for BBC Two from 1967 to 1971. He also presented Film Night for BBC Two in 1971 and 1972. He also made frequent appearances as the guest in Dictionary Corner on the Channel 4 game show Countdown.

    He published a biography of Noël Coward, A Talent to Amuse, in 1969, and went on to write biographies of Oscar Wilde, Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Gene Kelly, Dirk Bogarde, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and John Gielgud among others.

    Morley joined The Times as deputy features editor in 1973, and then joined Punch in 1975 as its drama critic and arts editor, remaining with the magazine until 1989. In the late 1980s, he became a regular arts diarist for The Times and was its TV critic from 1989 to 1990. He then worked as drama critic for The Spectator from 1990; then, after a short period at the New Statesman, he joined the Daily Express in 2004, where he remained until 2007. Meanwhile, he was also a drama critic for the International Herald Tribune from 1979 to 2005, and film critic for the Sunday Express from 1992 to 1995. In 1990, he was Arts Journalist of the Year, and was also nominated for a Grammy. Morley was also well known as a presenter for BBC radio arts programs for more than 30 years.

    His play, Noël and Gertie, about Noël Coward and Gertrude Lawrence, opened in London in 1983, starring Simon Cadell and Joanna Lumley, and ran for nine years. It was performed in the US with Twiggy in the lead role.


    Bruce Bennett, (Herman Brix), 100
    February 24

    Bruce Bennett was an Olympic athlete and actor; He starred as Tarzan in New Adventures of Tarzan (1935), produced by Tarzan auther Edgar Rice Burroughs himself and released as both a 12-chapter serial (265 minutes total) and a full-length 75-minute feature. Brix reprised the role in Tarzan and the Green Goddess (1938).

    Brix decided to discard his image as a former athlete and Tarzan, changing his name to Bruce Bennett. He signed with Columbia Studios in the late 1930s and at first appeared in small parts in comedy films like Blondie Brings Up Baby (1939), The Spook Speaks (1940), and the Three Stooges short No Census, No Feeling (1940). His later film roles included: Waco Hoyt in Sahara (1943, Bob in Dark Passage (1947), and James Cody in Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948).


    Harold Michelson, 87
    March 2

    Harold Michelson was an Academy Award-nominated production designer and art director. In addition, he worked as an illustrator and/or storyboard artist on numerous films from the 1940s through the 1990s. He became an illustrator for Columbia Pictures before being traded to Paramount Pictures, where he worked as illustrator and storyboard artist on The Ten Commandments (1956), among other films. He then worked as a storyboard artist on Ben-Hur (1959) for MGM and Spartacus (1960) for Universal Pictures.

    Throughout the remainder of the 1960s, he worked as either illustrator or storyboard artist on such classic films as West Side Story (1961), The Birds (1963), Cleopatra (1963), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and The Graduate (1967). During the 1970s, he was an illustrator for films like Fiddler on the Roof (1971) and Cross of Iron (1977); in the 1980s, he worked on Firestarter (1984) and The Cotton Club (1984) and was a visual consultant on the 1986 remake of The Fly.

    His career as an art director started in television, beginning with NBC's Matinee Theatre and moving on to such programs as Gomer Pyle, USMC and The Andy Griffith Show. He would go on to serve as art director on several films, and also began working as production designer with the 1971 Cannes Film Festival Jury Grand Prize-winning film Johnny Got His Gun.

    Michelson shared his first Academy Award nomination for his production designs on Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), contributing to the interior and exterior design on the newly refit USS Enterprise. He shared a second nomination for his art direction on the 1983 film Terms of Endearment. He also worked on two films for Mel Brooks, first as production designer on History of the World: Part I (1981) and later as art director for Spaceballs (1987). Michelson's other art direction credits include the films Mommie Dearest (1981), Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) and Dick Tracy (1990).

    In more recent years, Michelson served as a consultant for producer Danny DeVito on films such as Hoffa (1992) and Death to Smoochy (2002). In 1999 Michelson was honored with the Art Director Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2002, he received the Outstanding Achievement in Production Design award from the Hollywood Film Festival.


    Andy Sidaris, (Andrew W. Sidaris), 76
    March 7

    Andy Sidaris was a television & film director, producer, and screen writer. Sidaris was a pioneer in sports television. He directed coverage of hundreds of football and basketball games, Olympic events, and special programs and won seven Emmy awards for his work in the field. His best known work was with ABC's Wide World of Sports; he was the show's first director, and continued in that post for 25 years.

    Sidaris branched out to dramatic television in the 1970s, having directed episodes of programs like Gemini Man (1976), CBS's Kojak (mid-1970s), ABC's The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (late-1970s) and ABC's Monday Night Football.

    Sidaris was best known for his Bullets, Bombs, and Babes series of B-movies produced between 1985 and 1998. These films featured a rotating "stock company" of actors mostly made up of Playboy Playmates and Penthouse Pets, which included: Malibu Express (1985), Savage Beach (1989), Hard Hunted (1992) and L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach (1998).


    John Inman, (Frederick John Inman), 71
    March 8

    John Inman was an English actor who was best known for his role as Mr. Humphries in the British sitcom Are You Being Served?

    Inman made his television debut in the sitcom Two In Clover in 1970. In 1972, he was asked by David Croft to play a part in a Comedy Playhouse pilot called Are You Being Served?. This was a sitcom set in a department store. Inman played the camp Mr. Wilberforce Claybourne Humphries. For the role, Inman developed a characteristic limp-wristed mincing walk, and a high-pitched catch phrase, I'm free!, which soon entered popular culture.

    Inman continued to play in live shows after his success as Mr. Humphries, and began to incorporate camp mannerisms to those performances too, once saying "Even when I'm not playing Mr. Humphries, say at a summer season, I camp it up a bit. If I don't the audience are disappointed."

    Are You Being Served? ran for ten series until it finished in 1985. At its height, in the late 1970s, it regularly attracted British audiences of up to 20 million viewers. Inman's portrayal of Mr. Humphries won him the BBC TV Personality of the Year in 1976 and he was voted the funniest man on television by TV Times readers.

    The series also became popular in the United States, where Inman became a gay cultural icon. From 1980 to 1981, Inman also played Mr. Humphries in the Australian version of Are You Being Served?.

    During the 69-episode, 13-year run of Are You Being Served?, Inman also appeared in the 1977 film of the series, in which the characters visited the fictional Spanish holiday resort of Costa Plonka; Odd Man Out, his own sitcom in 1977, playing the owner of a fish-and-chip shop who inherits half of a rock factory; and Take a Letter, Mr. Jones, a 1981 sitcom where Inman played Graham Jones, who is secretary to Rula Lenska's character Joan Warner. Inman also toured with his own shows, and he released several records, including Are You Being Served, Sir?, which reached number 39 in the UK singles charts, and was followed by two further albums: I'm Free in 1977 and With a Bit of Brass in 1978.

    He made a cameo appearance in the film The Tall Guy in 1989, and was one of five of the Are You Being Served? cast to be reunited in character for the sitcom Grace & Favour, which ran for twelve episodes from 1992 and 1993. In 1999, he appeared in a French & Saunders Christmas Special. He appeared as Father Chinwag in the 2000 film The Mumbo Jumbo.

    After the end of Are You Being Served?, Inman became one of the nation's best known pantomime dames and appeared in over 40 pantomime productions across the United Kingdom. In 2004, Inman made additional television appearances in Doctors and Revolver.


    Rosy Afsari, 60
    March 9

    Rosy Afsari was Bangladeshi film actress. A prolific actress of a period that is often referred to as the 'golden era' of Bangladeshi cinema. In her career spanning over four decades, Rosy has acted in over 200 films. Some of her hit films are Joarbhata, Etotuku Asha, Neel Akasher Nichey, Lathial, Oshikkhito, Bela Shesher Gaan and Protikar.

    She appeared in a major role in Zahir Raihan's Sangam (1964), the first color feature film in Pakistan. She also produced and directed several films and earned numerous national film awards throughout her career.


    Richard Jeni, (Richard John Colangelo), 49
    March 10

    Richard Jeni was a stand-up comedian, writer and actor. Jeni first received recognition through a series of Showtime stand-up specials and frequent appearances on The Tonight Show. Jeni appeared on The Tonight Show more than any other stand-up comedian, dating back to when the program was hosted by Johnny Carson. He had his own show, in 1992, titled Richard Jeni: Platypus Man on The HBO Comedy Hour.

    The show was well-received and Jeni would return for two more shows, going on to receive a CableACE Award for one of his HBO specials. Jeni would also star on the short-lived UPN sitcom Platypus Man (1995). His film roles included: Morello in Bird (1988), Charlie Schumaker in the Jim Carrey film The Mask (1994) and Jerry Glover in An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1998). His last credited appearance was on an episode of Chris Rock’s television series, Everybody Hates Chris in 2006.

    In 2004, Jeni was ranked #57 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.


    Betty Hutton, (Elizabeth June Thornburg), 86
    March 11

    Betty Hutton was a film actress, Broadway star and singer best known for the title role in the MGM musical, Annie Get Your Gun. She began her career when she was scouted by orchestra leader Vincent Lopez, who gave Hutton her entry into entertainment. In 1939, she appeared in several musical shorts for Warner Bros., and appeared on Broadway in Panama Hattie and Two for the Show.

    Hutton was signed to a featured role in The Fleet's In (1942) where she made an instant impact with the moviegoing public. Hutton was cast as Bob Hope's leading lady in Let's Face it (1943). With her role as Trudy Kockenlocker, (a girl named who wakes up one morning after a wild night of partying with a group of soldiers to find herself mysteriously married and pregnant), in the hit The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944), Hutton became a major star and after the release of Incendiary Blonde (1945), she supplanted Lamour as Paramount's number one female box office attraction. Hutton made 19 films in 11 years, from 1942 to 1952 including the hugely popular The Perils of Pauline in 1947. She was billed over Fred Astaire in the 1950 musical Let's Dance.

    Hutton's greatest screen triumph was Annie Get Your Gun for MGM, which hired Hutton to replace an exhausted Judy Garland in the role of Annie Oakley. The film and the leading role, retooled for Hutton, was a smash hit, with the biggest critical praise going to Hutton.

    Among her many films was a unbilled cameo in Sailor Beware (1952) with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, in which she portrayed Dean's girlfriend, Hetty Button. Her time as a Hollywood star came to an end due to contract disagreements with Paramount following The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) and Somebody Loves Me (1952), a biopic of singer Blossom Seeley. Her last completed film was a small one, 1957's Spring Reunion.

    Hutton worked in radio, appeared in Las Vegas and in nightclubs, and then tried her luck on the new medium of television. An original musical TV spectacular written especially for Hutton, Satin 'n Spurs (1954), didn’t go over well with the public and critics, despite being one of the first television programs televised nationally by NBC in compatible color. Desilu Productions took a chance on Hutton and in 1959 gave her a sitcom The Betty Hutton Show, which quickly faded. Her last TV outings were an interview with Mike Douglas and a brief guest appearance in 1975 on Baretta.

    On Broadway, she temporarily replaced a hospitalized Carol Burnett in Fade Out - Fade In, in 1964, and followed Dorothy Loudon as the evil Miss Hannigan in Annie in 1980. Her last known performance in any medium was on Jukebox Saturday Night, which aired on PBS in 1983. Robert Osborne interviewed her for TCM's Private Screenings in April 2000.

    For her work in Annie Get Your Gun, Hutton was nominated for a Golden Globe and won a Photoplay Award as Most Popular Female Star in 1950. She has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6253 Hollywood Blvd.


    Gareth Hunt, (Alan Leonard Hunt), 65
    March 14

    Gareth Hunt was a British actor best remembered for playing the footman Frederick Norton in Upstairs, Downstairs (1974-1975) and Mike Gambit in The New Avengers (1976-1977).

    In 1974 Hunt appeared in the Upstairs, Downstairs episode Missing Believed Killed as Trooper Norton, batman to James Bellamy. The character was a minor one; however, his performance led the producers to ask him to come back as a regular for the fifth series in 1975. Hunt continued playing Frederick Norton, who had by now become the footman, until the eleventh episode of the fifth series.

    In 1976 Hunt starred in The New Avengers. Hunt played secret agent Mike Gambit and starred in the show until its end after two series in 1977. After that in the late 1970s and 1980s, Hunt made appearances in Sunday Night Thriller, Minder and Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense.

    Hunt continued to have minor roles in many television programs in the 1990s and 2000s, with appearances in The New Adventures of Robin Hood, Harry and the Wrinklies, Absolute Power (as himself), New Tricks and Doctors. From 1992 to 1993 Hunt had a leading role in the sitcom Side by Side, and had a main role in the short-lived soap opera Night and Day in 2001. In 2001 played Ritchie Stringer, a crime boss who was an unlikely suspect in the shooting of Phil Mitchell, in EastEnders. Hunt starred in a series of television adverts for the coffee brand Nescafé in the 1980s.

    Movie roles included Inspector Masefield in Fierce Creatures (1997) and multiple roles in The Pet Shop Boys' film It Couldn't Happen Here (1988).


    Blanquita Amaro, 83
    March 15

    a Cuban-born Argentine film actress of the 1940s and early 1950s who starred in the golden age of Argentina cinema.

    She appeared in some 17 films between 1939 and 1954 appearing often in films involving her native Cuba in co-production with Argentina such as A La Habana me voy (I'm Coming to Havana) (1951), working under director Luis Bayón Herrera. She also appeared in films such as Buenos Aires a la vista in 1950. She retired from films in 1954.


    Stuart Rosenberg, 79
    March 15

    Stuart Rosenberg was an Emmy Award Winning TV and film director best known for his direction of the film Cool Hand Luke (1967).

    His first major film was the U.S.-German co-production Question 7 (1961) which was nominated for a Golden Bear and won an OCIC Award at the 1961 Berlin International Film Festival. His then directed the 1965 TV-movie, Memorandum for a Spy and the 1966 telefilm Fame Is the Name of the Game before making his major-studio debut with the Paul Newman hit Cool Hand Luke.

    Rosenberg had come across Donn Pearce's chain gang novel and developed the film with actor Jack Lemmon's production company, Jalem. Years later, Rosenberg would direct on another prison movie, Brubaker (1980) starring Robert Redford.

    Other Rosenberg films include The April Fools (1969), the American debut of French actress Catherine Deneuve; the Newman movies WUSA (1970), Pocket Money (1972) and The Drowning Pool (1975); the Walter Matthau police-detective thriller The Laughing Policeman (1973); the Charles Bronson action picture Love and Bullets (1979); and another action movie Let's Get Harry (1986), in which Rosenberg used the DGA pseudonym Alan Smithee. He made his last film, the independent drama My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, in 1991.

    Rosenberg worked extensively in television, directing many notable television series including: 4 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1959-1960), 15 episodes of The Untouchables (1960-1962), 16 episodes of Naked City (1958-1963), 3 episodes of The Twilight Zone (1960-1963), 19 episodes of The Defenders (1962-1964) and 8 episodes of Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (1963-1966).


    Herman Stein, 91
    March 15

    Herman Stein was a composer who wrote music for many of the 1950s science-fiction and horror films from Universal Studios. Stein was one of the architects of the sound of 1950s science-fiction movies. He was a child prodigy, playing the piano by the age of three and making his professional concert debut at the age of six. He worked as a jazz composer and arranger for radio programs and big bands in the 1930s and early 1940s.

    In 1951, Stein was hired by Universal Studios, where he scored the music for about 200 films. His name was seldom in the movie credits because of the studio's tendency to give solo credit to the music supervisor. Nonetheless, he either wrote the main themes, from which he and his colleagues worked, or, equally important, wrote the opening music, which often sets the tone for the film itself.

    Stein composed the eerie music for, among others, the sci-fi and horror movies It Came From Outer Space (1953), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), This Island Earth (1955), Tarantula (1955) and The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957). In addition to horror films, Stein wrote for westerns, dramas and comedies, including Douglas Sirk's comedy Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (1952) and the Audie Murphy western Drums Across the River (1954) and Roger Corman's civil rights drama The Intruder (1962). His television work included such shows as The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Gunsmoke, Lost in Space and Daniel Boone.


    Freddie Francis, (Frederick William Francis), 89
    March 17

    Freddie Francis was an English cinematographer and film director who achieved his greatest successes as a cinematographer, including winning two Academy Awards; for Sons and Lovers in 1960 and for Glory in 1989. As a director, he has cult status on account of his association with the British horror studios Amicus and Hammer in the 1960s.

    Francis began his career as a camera operator. Some of the films he worked on during this period include The Elusive Pimpernel (1950), The Tales of Hoffmann (1951), Beat the Devil (1953), and Moby Dick (1956); he was a frequent collaborator with cinematographers Christopher Challis (nine films) and Oswald Morris (five films).

    After Moby Dick, Francis became a full-time cinematographer, handling such prestige pictures as Room at the Top (1959), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), Sons and Lovers (1960), and The Innocents (1961).

    Following his Academy Award win for Sons and Lovers, Francis began his career as director of feature films. His first feature as director was 'Two and Two make Six' (1962). For the next 20-plus years, Francis worked continuously as a director of low-budget films, most of them in the genres of horror or psycho-thriller.

    Beginning in 1963 with Paranoiac, Francis made numerous films for Hammer throughout the 1960s and 1970s. These films included thrillers like Nightmare (1964) and Hysteria (1965), as well as more traditional monster movies such as The Evil of Frankenstein (1964) and Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968). On his apparent typecasting as a director of these types of movies, Francis said, "Horror films have liked me more than I have liked horror films."

    Also in the '60s, Francis began an association with Amicus Productions, another studio which, like Hammer, specialized in horror pictures. Most of the films Francis made for Amicus were anthologies such as Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965), Torture Garden (1968) and Tales from the Crypt (1972).

    Of the films Francis directed, one of his favorites was Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny, and Girly (1970), a black comedy about an isolated upper class family whose relationships and behaviors came equipped with deadly consequences. The film was not very well received by mainstream critics, but has gone on to become a minor cult favorite amongst fans. Francis's last film as director was The Dark Tower (1986).

    With The Elephant Man (1980), Francis found himself gaining new-found industry and critical respect as a cinematographer. During the 1980s he worked on films like The Executioner's Song (1982), Dune (1984) and Glory (1989), which earned him his second Academy Award. In 1991, Francis provided the cinematography for the critical favorite The Man in the Moon (1991), as well as Martin Scorsese's remake of Cape Fear (1991). His final film as cinematographer was David Lynch's The Straight Story (1999).

    Francis received many industry awards, including, in 1997, an international achievement award from the American Society of Cinematographers, and, in 2004, Bafta's special achievement award.


    Calvert DeForest, 85
    March 19

    Calvert DeForest, better known as Larry "Bud" Melman was an actor and comedian; although best known as David Letterman’s sidekick, prior to Letterman he appeared in four films and, after his first appearance appeared in fifteen other films or television shows.

    Letterman noted: "Everyone always wondered if Calvert was an actor playing a character, but in reality he was just himself: a genuine, modest and nice man. To our staff and to our viewers, he was a beloved and valued part of our show, and we will miss him."

    When asked how he'd like to be remembered, DeForest responded "Just being able to make people laugh and knowing people enjoyed my humor. I also hope I haven't offended anyone through the years."


    Francis Agu, 42
    March 20

    Francis Agu was Nigerian actor; a Nollywood actor best known for his role on the long running Nigerian television series Checkmate. He also starred as Ichie Million in the first Nigerian Home Video – Living in Bondage, which brought him to national fame.

    Francis produced his first film Jezebel in 1994 and went on to produce and direct many others, which include: In the Name of the Father, A Divine Call, The Boy is Mine, Body and Soul, Love and Pride, A Dance in the Forest, and Take Me to Jesus.


    Mikhail Ulyanov, 79
    March 26

    Mikhail Ulyanov was a Russian actor and one of the most recognizable persons of the official post-World War II Soviet theatre and cinema. He was named People's Artist of the USSR in 1969 and received a special prize from the Venice Film Festival in 1982.

    He was frequently cast in the parts of staunch Communist leaders like Vladimir Lenin and Marshal Zhukov. The Brothers Karamazov, a 1969 film he co-directed, was nominated to the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. He also starred in Tema (1979) and Private Life (1982), the films that won top awards at the Berlin Film Festival and Venice Film Festival, respectively.

    More recently, he was acclaimed for his role of Pontius Pilate in the film adaptation of The Master and Margarita (1994), and an avenging veteran marksman in The Voroshilov Sharpshooter (1999).

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