Friday, December 15, 2017

RIP Bruce Gray

Canadian ‘traders’ actor Bruce Gray dies at 81 in Los Angeles

The National Post
By Victoria Ahearn
December 15, 2017

Canadian actor Bruce Gray, who was a prolific presence on the stage and screen with roles including an investment banker on the series “Traders” and the hapless father of the groom in the film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” has died.

Mike Pashak, Gray’s good friend of nearly a decade, said the actor died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 81.

Gray had brain cancer that had metastasized throughout his body. He was in hospice care for about two weeks before his death, Pashak said Friday.

He was “generous, a mentor, witty, compassionate,” Pashak said from Gray’s home in Los Angeles.
“He volunteered as a director at the local Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills. They weren’t paying him a lot but he would donate the money back so that the artistic director and some of the stage crew would get a little more income.

“He volunteered at a local public school, Grades 3 and 4, and helped them to put on little plays throughout the year.”

Gray’s giving nature left a deep impression on many in the industry.

“He was artistically accomplished and just brimming with kindness and generosity,” actor Allan Wasserman, Gray’s friend of 40 years, said from Altadena, Calif.

“He was a great mentor to many people and a great friend and the most ultimately supportive person to fellow actors.”

Gray was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico to Canadian parents, who had relocated south to work in the insurance industry there. His parents decided to move back to Toronto when Gray was 13.
He graduated from the University of Toronto with a master’s degree in psychology before getting into modelling and acting.

Gray moved to Hollywood in 1980 and racked up credits in a wide variety of genres, including lead roles on the Canadian series “High Hopes” and “Traders,” which earned him a Gemini Award for best actor.

He also had parts on numerous American shows, including “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Chicago Hope,” “Murphy Brown,” “Melrose Place,” “ER” and “Picket Fences.” On “Murder, She Wrote,” he played Ted Hartley, Jessica’s publisher, and on “Queer As Folk,” he played gay millionaire George Schickel.
In the film world, Gray played a lead role opposite Carol Burnett in “Between Friends.” His other film credits included “For the Boys,” “The Peacemaker” and “Spy Hard.”

Earlier this year, Gray was seen at the Toronto International Film Festival in the Canadian film “Don’t Talk to Irene.” He played a reluctant nursing home resident who joins a seniors’ cheerleading troupe led by a plucky teen.

“The greatest thing about Bruce is he will do absolutely anything as an actor that you ask him to,” said Pat Mills, writer-director of “Don’t Talk to Irene.”

“We dressed him up in cheerleading outfits and got him to dance to ’80s music and he was totally game the entire time.”

Alyson Richards, producer of “Don’t Talk to Irene,” said Gray didn’t take anything for granted.
“He was just so happy to act and to be there every day on set and brought such a great sense of energy to everybody,” said Richards.

“To every member of the cast and crew he gave time and gave an incredible performance.”
Pashak said Gray’s wishes were to be cremated and have a “memorial party” at his house instead of a service at a funeral home.

Gray is survived by his sister Judy Elson, nephew Randy Elson, and niece Wendy Anderson.

GRAY, Bruce
Born: 9/7/1936, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Died: 12/13/2017, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Bruce Gray’s westerns – actor:
The Campbells (TV) – 1990 (Henry Payne)
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (TV) – 1994 (court-martial panel member)
Legen – 1995 (Rudolph Kendall)

RIP Robert Givens

News From Me
Mark Evanier
December 15, 2017

Bob Givens got out of high school in 1936. In 1937, he went to work for the Walt Disney Studio, mostly as animation checker on Donald Duck cartoons and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In 1940, he moved over to the Warner Brothers cartoon studio where one of his first jobs was doing the redesign of a rabbit character who would henceforth by known as Bugs Bunny.

In 1942, he was drafted into the army and spent most of his tour of duty working on military training films with animation director Rudolph Ising. After the war, he returned to Warner Brothers working for all their directors but mainly as a layour artist for Robert McKimson and Chuck Jones. He also began moonlighting for Western Publishing, drawing for their childrens books and comic book line.

In the decades that followed, he worked on and off for Warners but could occasionally be found at the U.P.A. studio, Jack Kinney's studio, Hanna-Barbera, DePatie-Freleng, Filmation, Film Roman and maybe a few other places. He more or less retired from working in animation around the start of the twenty-first century but taught well into his nineties. As you can see, he had what may well be the most impressive résumé in the history of the cartoon business.

Robert Givens died yesterday less than three months before he would have celebrated his hundredth birthday. We lost not only an important figure in the world of animation but a much-loved, unanimously-respected man who was always willing to talk to anyone about his work and to encourage others.

I was honored to talk with him now and then when he worked on Garfield and Friends, and to be invited to participate in a gang interview of him on the Disney lot last April. He was an amazing man.

GIVENS, Robert
Born: 3/2/1918, Alhambra, California, U.S.A.
Died: 12/14/2017, Burbank, California, U.S.A.

Robert Givens westerns – layout, background artist:
Quick Draw McGraw (TV) 1959-1962 (layout, background artist)
Fistic Mystic – 1969 (layout artist)
Injun Trouble – 1969 (layout artist)
Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa (TV) 1992–1994 (layout artist)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

RIP Carol Vogel

Joshua Tree woman found dead was prolific TV actress

Hi-Desert Star
By Stacy Moore, Hi-Desert Star
Thursday, November 30, 2017

FLAMINGO HEIGHTS — Carol Vogel, 75, who once acted in TV series such as “Wonder Woman” and “CHiPs” was found dead in a dirt field behind a house on Luna Vista Lane Saturday.

Vogel’s family reported her missing at 12:08 p.m. Nov. 22, Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman said. Family members told a deputy that Vogel left her Joshua Tree home in her black truck and needed to take medication. An off-road rider spotted Vogel’s truck disabled in a field about 100 yards north of the 57000 block of Luna Vista Lane Saturday. The resident of a nearby home called the Sheriff’s Department at 12:23 p.m. Saturday and said the truck, which she could barely see from her house, was still there, and a deputy responded.

Vogel’s body was found around 50-100 yards away from the truck, according to the Sheriff’s Department. “There were no obvious signs of trauma or foul play,” Bachman said. “The coroner responded and took possession of the body and they’ll have to conduct an autopsy.” Homicide investigators were not called to the scene. Bachman said the investigation is being handled by the Morongo Basin sheriff’s station. An autopsy will probably be conducted next week, according to the coroner’s office.

Vogel’s first credited film appearances were in two unrated films: “Depraved!” in 1967 and “The Ghastly Ones” in 1968. She went on to appear in episodes of some of the most famous TV series of the 1970s and ’80s, including “Gunsmoke,” “The Rockford Files,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Serpico,” “Barnaby Jones,” “CHiPs,” “Wonder Woman,” “How the West was Won,” “Hotel,” “Highway to Heaven,” “Newhart” and “Starman,” according to the Internet Movie Database. She also acted in TV movies, including “Homeward Bound” in 1980.

On June 19, 2012, Vogel found her good friend and fellow actor Richard Lynch dead in his Yucca Valley home.

VOGEL, Carol (Carol Ann Vogel)
Born: 3/8/1942, U.S.A.
Died: 11/22/2107, Joshua Tree, California, U.S.A.

Carol Vogel’s westerns – actress:
Bonanza (TV) – 1972 (Amy)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1975 (Rachel)
How The West Was Won (TV) – 1979 (Chastity)

RIP Titus Napoleon

Forest Lawn

Known for his beautiful voice and immense talent, Titus Napoleon was a pioneer in the Hawaiian music industry. Starting as a teenager in the late 1950's with his family's group The Royal Napoleon's, Titus became a go-to expert for Hawaiian music, performing across the US, entertaining hundreds of thousands. Titus' gifts were not limited to music. He was also an actor with a long list of appearances in both TV and film. He was a mentor to many and is credited with helping start the careers of several well-known Polynesian talents of today.

Titus was a gentle giant of a man with a heart to match. Always smiling, he greeted you warmly and all who met him felt his Aloha Spirit. His charisma and stage presence were magnetic. Though extremely well known and revered, he always remained humble and willing to share his talents no matter where the stage.

Titus was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He loved his Father in Heaven and instilled a love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to his family.

Ohana was everything to Titus and his greatest joys were his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his eldest daughter Kim (Herbert) and is survived by his children: Keri, Analei (Blair), Maile (Toa) Nihi (Rachael) and Noa (Jeannie) as well as 20 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

He will be forever missed.

Napoleon, Titus (Titus Keali'iho'olula'auopuowaina Nihi Napoleon II)
Born: 6/20/1941, San Bernardino, California, U.S.A.
Died: 10/25/2017, Westminster, California, U.S.A.

Titus Napoleon’s western actor:
Hearts of the West – 1975 (native drummer)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

RIP Leonid Bronevoi

Respected Soviet and Russian actor Leonid Bronevoi has died in Moscow at the age of 88.

Radio Free Europe
December 9, 2017

The director of Moscow's Lenkom Theater, Mark Varshaver, made the announcement, saying Bronevoi died early on December 9 after a long illness.

Bronevoi appeared in many Soviet films, most famously in the World War II spy thriller Seventeen Moments Of Spring. He never played in a leading role, but was renowned as a talented supporting actor.

He also was a prominent figure in Soviet and Russian theater.

Bronevoi was the recipient of numerous professional and state honors, including the honorary title of People's Artist of the Soviet Union.

Varshaver said a memorial service for the actor would be held at the theater on December 11.

BRONEVOY, Leonid (Leonid Solomonvitch Bronevoy)
Born: 12/17/1928, Kiev, Ukraine, U.S.S.R.
Died: 12/9/2017, Moscow, Russia

Leonid Bronevoy’s western – actor.

Armed and Dangerous: Times and Heroes of Bret Harte – 1977 (Piter Damfi)

Friday, December 8, 2017

RIP Juan Luis Buñuel

Juan Luis Buñuel dies at 87.

December 8, 2017

The eldest son of Juan Luis Bunuel has died in Paris, the city where he was born in 1934.

Juan Luis Buñuel visited Aragón frequently and also Calanda, town in which he got to shoot some works. They were two. The first, in 1966 and was called 'Calanda' and the second, in 2007 with the name of ' Calanda. 40 years later . ' Juan Luis, who in addition to film worked photography and sculpture, among other arts, took that year in his visit to the town a very special and very personal exhibition of photographs.
The CBC showed 98 images of the shootings in which he collaborated as a director, or as an assistant director, but also images of his own life, with his family and with his father Luis Buñuel. Also social and family prints.
In those days, the second part of that first documentary of 1966 was filmed. For the filmmaker, the life of this town, after 40 years, had changed considerably from "being a village in an agricultural Spain to a locality in Europe. 21st century, "he said then.
In his career he was the assistant director of Orson Welles and his own father. His are the productions' Quote with the happy death ', the woman with the red boots',' Leonor 'or' The chess player '.
He also starred with Jean-Claude Carriere in 'The Last Screenplay. Buñuel en la memoria', directed by Gaizka Urresti and Javier Espada.

BUNUEL, Juan Luis
Born: 11/9/1934, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Died: 12/7/2017, Paris, Île-de-France, France

Juan Luis Buñuel’s westerns – assistant director, director:
Viva Maria! – 1965 [assistant director]
Guns for San Sebastian – 1968 [assistant director]
The Rebellion of the Hanged - 1986 [director]

Thursday, December 7, 2017

RIP Steve Reevis

Actor Steve Reevis dies

ABC Fox Montana
By Rachel Crowspreadingwings
December 7, 2017

According to Lockley Joe Bremner, News Contributor to the Pikanni Press & Newsfeed in Browning, Reevis passed away December 7, 2017, at a hospital in Missoula. Steve Reevis was an actor and a member of the Blackfeet Nation in Browning Montana. lists his first film as Twins in 1988. After that, he made over 35 film and television appearances. Most notably, "The Last of the Dogmen," "Dances With Wolves," "Fargo," "Into The West,"  " Bones," and "Walker, Texas Ranger."

First Americans in the Arts (FAITA) awarded Reevis for his supporting roles in both "Fargo" and in the made-for-television movie "Crazy Horse" in 1996.

At the time of his death, he lived in Morongo Valley, California with his wife and children. He was 55.  The cause of his death hasn't been released yet.

Born: 8/4/1962, Browning, Montana, U.S.A.
Died: 12/7/2017, Missoula, Montana, U.S.A.

Steve Reevis’ westerns – actor:
Dances With Wolves – 1990 (Sioux Warrior)
Grim Prairie Tales – 1990 (Indian Child)
Miracle in the Wilderness (TV) – 1991 (Grey Eyes)
Lakota Moon (TV) – 1992 (Two Hearts)
Geronimo: An American Legend – 1993 (Chato)
Last of the Dogmen – 1993 (Yellow Wolf)
Posse – 1993 (Two Bears)
Wild Bill – 1995 (Sioux Chief)
Crazy Horse (TV) – 1996
Walker, Texas Ranger – 1997, 1999 (John Wolf, Lone Wolf, Jake Stonecrow)
Horse Sense – 1999 (Mule)
The Outfitters – 199 (Sam Keno)
The Missing – 2003 (Two Stone)
Into the West (TV) - 2005 (Older Loved By The Buffalo)
Comanche Moon – 2008 (Worm)
The Cherokee Word for Water – 2013 (Johnson Soap)
The Road to Paloma – 2014 (Totonka)