Tuesday, September 30, 2014

RIP Paul Savage

The Desert Sun
October 2, 2014
 
Paul Savage passed away Sept. 17, 2014, in La Quinta, California, at the age of 89 surrounded by his family. Born Sept. 2, 1925, in Warren, Ohio, and raised in Amsterdam, New York, Paul was a Marine who earned a Purple Heart at the battle of Iwo Jima. He was an actor turned screenwriter and wrote professionally for 35 years, contributing 100-plus hours of credits, spanning series from "Laramie" to "Murder, She Wrote" and winning a WGA Award for his work on "Gunsmoke," where he spent many years and served as executive story consultant. He was most proud of his family and he deeply loved his wife of 51 years, Laurie. They raised three children together in Santa Monica, California - Tracey, Chad and Clay - before moving to La Quinta in 1991, where they found great joy in their grandchildren Katherine, Carolyn, Harper, Sawyer, Holden and Dylan. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend and is missed immeasurably.
 
 
SAVAGE, Paul
Born: 9/2/1925, Warren, Ohio, U.S.A.
Died: 9/17/2014, LaQuinta, California, U.S.A.
 
Paul Savage’s westerns – actor, screenwriter:
The Far Country – 1954 (miner)
Rails into Laramie – 1954 (actor)
Tales of the Texas Rangers (TV) – 1955 (Tex)
Timberjack – 1955 (man hit by club)
Cheyenna (TV) – 1956, 1957 (Deputy Orville Jones, George Lambert)
Casey Jones (TV) – 1957 [screenwriter]
Mackenzie’s Raiders (TV) – 1958, 1959 [screenwriter]
Maverick (TV) – 1958 (tall man)
The Rough Riders (TV) – 1958 [screenwriter]
Tombstone Territory (TV) – 1958 [screenwriter]
Wagon Train (TV) – 1958 [screenwriter]
Wichita Taown (TV) – 1959, 1960 [screenwriter]
Laramie (TV) - 1959-1963 [screenwriter]
Hotel de Paree (TV) – 1960 [screenwriter]
Klondike (TV) – 1960 [screenwriter]
Lawman (TV) 1961 [screenwriter]
Temple Houston (TV) – 1963 [screenwriter]
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1963-1975 [screenwriter]
The Big Valley (TV) – 1965-1966 [screenwriter]
A Man Called Shenandoah (TV) – 1966 [screenwriter]
The Wild Country – 1970 (actor)
Cutter’s Trail (TV) – 1972 [screenwriter]
The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (TV) – 1972 [screenwriter]
Barbary Coast (TV) – 1975 [screenwriter]
Mackintosh and T.J. – 1975 [screenwriter]
The Daughters of Joshua Cabe Return (TV) – 1975 [screenwriter]
The New Daughters of Joshua Cabe (TV) – 1976 [screenwriter]
The Quest (TV) – 1976 [screenwriter]
The Chisolms (TV) – 1980 [screenwriter]
The Yellow Rose (TV) – 1983-1984 [screenwriter]
Bonanza: The Next Generation (TV) – 1988 [screenwriter]

Saturday, September 27, 2014

RIP Elsie Downey

RIP Elsie Downey
 
Elsie Ann Downey died Monday night at the age of 80, and today her son actor Robert Downey, Jr. took to Facebook to pen a touching—and yet signaturely quirky—tribute to the woman to whom he owes so very much.
 
"As promotion for The Judge kicks off this weekend, I feel the need to run the risk of over sharing..." Downey's essay began as he delved into describing different stages of his mom's life, from her birth as Elsie Ann Ford near Pittsburgh in April 1934, through her short but turbulent marriage to Downy's father, filmmaker Robert Downey Sr., her unremarkable acting career and her struggle with addiction, and onto how she helped him battle his own demons when he was at his worst, how she bonded with her grandchildren and the health issues that weakened her in her final years.
 
"While I strived to have the kind of success that eluded her, my own addiction repeatedly forbade it," the Iron Man star wrote.
 
"In the summer of 2004, I was in bad shape. She called me out of the blue, and I admitted everything. I don't remember what she said, but I haven't drank or used since. Eventually, when finances allowed, we were able to move her out to LA. She had a special affinity for my firstborn son Indio, and really got a kick out of Exton. Got an iPad, pictures, videos, the whole 9....
 
"Her doctors basically titled her a 'Medical Incredible,' said there was little they could do, and were frankly amazed she was up and walking.... Many fond memories of her in the last few years...holidays, kid-stuff, her strutting around with a walking stick. I knew it was difficult, and understood as the visits got shorter."
 
Downey and wife Susan have a second child on the way, a girl due in November.
 
Downey wrote: "She was my role model as an actor, and as a woman who got sober and stayed that way. She was also reclusive, self-deprecating, a stoic Scotch-German rural Pennsylvanian, a ball buster, stubborn, and happy to hold a grudge. My ambition, tenacity, loyalty, 'moods,' grandiosity, occasional passive aggression, and my faith....That's all her...and I wouldn't have it any other way.
 
"If anyone out there has a mother, and she's not perfect, please call her and say you love her anyway..."
 
 
DOWNEY, Elsie (Elsie Ann Ford)
Born: 4/11/1934, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Died: 9/22/2014, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
 
Elsie Downey’s western – actress:
Greaser’s Palace – 1972 (‘The Woman’)

RIP Jesús Laguna

RIP Jesús Laguna
 
Retired Spanish actor and stuntman Jesús Laguna has died in Almeria, Spain. Word spread on Facebook that Laguna had died. He was one of the stuntmen that worked during the heyday of the European western craze in Spain. Most of his appearances were uncredited as stuntmen’s names were seldom seen in the closing credits of a film, but it was there daring and nerve that filled these films with thrills and excitement. After the film business died in Southern Spain Laguna worked as a stunt performer at Mini Hollywood and Texas Hollywood in Tabernas putting on shows for the tourist who visited the now tourist attractions and the occasional commercial that may be filmed in the towns. As the years passed he became more of a vagabond, travelling around Tabernas and Almeria in search of work, food and a place to rest.
 
LAGUNA, Jesús
Born: 1960, Spain
Died: 9/26/2014, Almeria, Andalucía, Spain
 
Jesús Laguna’s westerns – actor, stuntman:
Sons of Trinity – 1994 [stunts]
Bastards – 2011
The Ballad of Billy the Kid – 2013 (Tunstale)
6 Bullets to Hell – 2013 (town drunk)

RIP Michael McCarty

Broadway Veteran Michael McCarty Dies at 68
Hollywood Reporter
By Staff
9/27/2014
The actor was in the original cast of 'Amadeus' and appeared in 'E.R.' and 'The Legend of Bagger Vance'
 
Broadway veteran Michael McCarty has died. He was 68.
 
McCarty died of heart failure Friday, after collapsing several days earlier and falling unconscious. He was in Santa Barbara to appear in a production of Amadeus. He previously performed the show on Broadway with its original cast.
 
McCarty's extensive film credits included small roles in The Legend of Bagger Vance, Casper, and Dudley Do-Right. On television he appeared on ER, 3rd Rock From The Sun, Murder One and Any Day Now. He also appeared in more than 200 TV commercials.
 
On Broadway, McCarty was part of productions of To Be Or Not To Be, Mary Poppins, Oklahoma!, Sweeney Todd , the Tony-winning revival of 42nd Street, and many other titles.
 
He is survived by an ex-wife, who flew to Santa Barbara to be with him.
 
 
McCARTY, Michael
Born: 9/7/1946, Evansville, Indiana, U.S.A.
Died: 9/26/2014, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.
 
Michael McCarty’s western – actor:
Dead Man - 1994 (Makah villager)

Friday, September 26, 2014

RIP Assheton Gorton

Assheton Gorton, Oscar Nominee for 'The French Lieutenant's Woman,' Dies at 84
 
The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes
September 24, 2014
 
The respected English production designer and art director also worked on 'Blow-Up', 'Get Carterand two 'Dalmatians' films
 
Assheton Gorton, the Oscar-nominated and avant-garde English production designer and art director who worked on Blow-Up, Get Carter and The French Lieutenant’s Woman, has died. He was 84.
  
Gorton died peacefully in his sleep Sept. 14 in the Church Stoke Valley on the Wales-England border after battling a heart condition in recent years, his daughter Sophie told the Shropshire Star.
 
Gorton received Oscar and BAFTA nominations for French Lieutenant’s Woman (1981), which was directed by Karel Reisz and adapted by Harold Pinter. In the lush drama, Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons play two sets of couples — one romantically involved in the 19th century, the other having a affair while portraying the first couple in a modern-day movie.
 
Gorton’s film career got off to an impressive start when he served as art director on two films set in the “Swinging London” of the 1960s: the Richard Lester comedy The Knack … and How to Get It (1965) and the Michelangelo Antonioni mystery thriller Blow-Up (1966), for which he collected his first BAFTA nom.
 
Gorton served as production designer on 101 Dalmatians (1996) and its 2000 sequel, where his challenges included working with puppies and fake snow, which needed to be disinfected to protect the animals.
 
His résumé also includes Lester’s The Bed Sitting Room (1969), starring Peter Cook; The Magic Christian (1969), with Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr; Ridley Scott’s Legend (1985), starring Tom Cruise; Revolution (1985), with Al Pacino; For the Boys (1991), starring Bette Midler; Rob Roy (1995), with Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange; and Shadow of the Vampire (2000), starring John Malkovich.
 
Gorton studied architecture and art at the University of Cambridge and Slade School of Fine Art, then designed productions for the ITV anthology series Armchair Theatre before making his movie entrance.
 
In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife Gayatri, sons Steve and Barnaby and seven grandchildren.
 
 
GORTON, Assheton
Born: 1930, Sedbergh, England, UK
Died: 9/14/2014, Church Stoke Valley, Wales, U.K.
 
Assheton Gorton’s western – production designer:
Zachariah - 1971

RIP Peggy Drake

RIP Peggy Drake 1922 – 2014
 
 
The Santa Clarita Valley Signal
By: Staff
September 28, 2014
 
Peggy Akers (Lieselotta Mayer, Peggy Drake), 91, of Santa Clarita, CA passed away on Friday, September 19, 2014. She was born in Germany on October 6, 1922 and immigrated to the US in 1925.
 
At the age of 3, Peggy came to America to pursue a theatre career. She became an accomplished dancer and actress and appeared in many films. She married Frederick Ramsey in 1946 and had three children, Frederick Jr., Cathy, and Carla. Frederick Sr. passed in 1972.
 
Peggy found love again with Ken Akers and they married on May 18, 1976. Ken believed that in Peggy he had found his "gracious partner" and that they "were meant to be". They enjoyed camping at Rincon, CA, annual trips to Laughlin, NV, and visiting family and friends in Carpinteria, CA. Peggy's life was filled with love from her children and grandchildren who lovingly called her "Mutti". Mutti could be counted on to liven up any party with a song and a dance.
 
Peggy is survived by her husband of 38 years, Kenneth Akers; Carla Nash, Sherri Akers, and Cindy Rabson; grandchildren: Denise Plummer, Jamey MacLellan, Jesse Johnson, Erica Gross, Tessa Nash, Anisha Koepnick, Adler Rabson, and Hayden Rabson; 17 great-grandchildren; her faithful dog ,Heidi; her friend and loving caregiver, Bien Cox. She is preceded in death by Frederick Ramsey Sr., Cathy Ramsey, Frederick Ramsey Jr., and Amber Eaton.
 
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be given to St. Clare Catholic Church, Santa Clarita, CA (www.st-clare.org/).
 
 
DRAKE, Peggy (Liesl Lotte Mayer)
Born: 10/6/1922, Vienna, Austria
Died: 9/19/2014, Santa Clarita, California, U.S.A.
 
Peggy Drake’s western – actress:
King of the Mounties – 1942 (Carol Brent)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

RIP Don Keefer

RIP Don Keefer 
 
The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes
September 25, 2014
 
 
Don Keefer, a versatile character actor for six decades who starred in the original 1949 Broadway production of Death of a Salesman and made an indelible impression as “a bad man, a very bad man” on The Twilight Zone, has died. He was 98.
 
Keefer, a founding member of the legendary Actors Studio in New York, died Sept. 7 of natural causes in his Sherman Oaks home, his son, Don M. Keefer, told The Hollywood Reporter.
 
Keefer is perhaps best known to audiences as the terrorized, Perry Como-starved man who can't help but think “bad thoughts” during his birthday party and thus is transformed by a petulant 6-year-old (Billy Mumy) into a macabre jack-in-the-box with a dunce cap in the disturbing 1961 Twilight Zone episode “It’s a Good Life.” (Cloris Leachman plays the boy's mom.)
 
As Bernard, the Loman family’s young next-door neighbor, Keefer was the last surviving cast member of the original Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Lee J. Cobb. He then reprised the role for his movie debut in the 1951 film version, which Miller detested.
 
Keefer played the scientist who woke up Woody Allen in Sleeper (1973), was Carrie Snodgress’ father in the screen adaptation of John Updike’s Rabbit, Run (1970) and appeared as the school janitor confronted with a monster in a box in a segment of Stephen King’s Creepshow (1982).
 
Keefer’s final onscreen appearance came when he portrayed a homeless panhandler on the courthouse steps in the 1997 box-office hit Liar, Liar. He improvised his two scenes with star Jim Carrey, and at the end of his weekend of work, Keefer was escorted off the set by director Tom Shadyac amid applause by the cast and crew, his son recalled.
 
Keefer also appeared with Humphrey Bogart in 1954’s The Caine Mutiny (co-starring Fred MacMurray as the character Lieutenant Keefer); opposite Ronald Reagan and future wife Nancy Davis in Hellcats of The Navy (1957); with Carl Reiner and Alan Arkin in The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (1966); with Paul Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (1969); and with Redford and Barbra Streisand in The Way We Were (1973).
 
Keefer also held his own with some big names in the 1940s and ’50s on Broadway: Helen Hayes in Harriet, Paul Robeson, Uta Hagen and Jose Ferrer in Othello (he played Iago's henchman Roderigo) and Zero Mostel in Kazan’s Flight Into Egypt.
 
Moving to Hollywood from New York in the mid-1950s with his wife, the late actress Catherine McLeod, Keefer also starred in an acclaimed stage version of John Hersey’s The Child Buyer and in the John Houseman productions of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull and Antigone at UCLA in the ’60s.
 
In the 1970s and ’80s, Keefer created and performed the titular role in An Evening With Anton Chekhov, a one-man show based on the writer's early comedic works, at such venues as the Fringe Theater Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. That led to an invitation to visit Stanislavski’s Moscow Arts Theater as part of a State Department-sponsored cultural exchange program during the Cold War.
 
A native of Highspire, Pa., Keefer was a regular on the short-lived 1960-61 Desilu CBS series Angel, featuring French starlet Annie Fargue; had fun as a beatnik musician on The Jack Benny Show; was Mission Control Director Cromwell on an episode of Star Trek; and appeared in multiple installments of Gunsmoke (twice with his wife), Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Andy Griffith Show.
 
He guest-starred on dozens of other series, including Have Gun, Will — Travel, Bonanza, The Real McCoys, Bewitched, The Munsters, Mission: Impossible, Starsky and Hutch, Ben Casey, The F.B.I., Columbo, ER and Highway to Heaven.
 
Actor Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and his sister, Mary McCarthy — author of the 1963 best-selling novel The Group — served as best man and matron of honor at the Keefers’ 1950 wedding, and actor Montgomery Clift was there too, as a guest.
 
Keefer’s survivors include two other sons, John and Thomas, and grandchildren Bryson and Samantha.
 
 
KEEFER, Don (Donald Keefer)
Born: 8/18/1916, Highspire, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Died: 9/7/2014, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
 
Don Keefer’s westerns – actor:
Have Gun – Will Travel (TV) – 1958, 1960 (Kelso, Colonel Barlowe, Corcoran)
Wichita Town (TV) – 1959 (clerk)
Hotel de Paree (TV) – 1960 (Red Porterfield)
Rawhide (TV) – 1960 (Hames)
Wagon Train (TV) – 1960 (Major Anderson)
Whispering Smith (TV) – 1961 (Doctor Albert Johnson)
The Dakotas (TV) – 1963 (minister)
The Loner (TV) – 1965 (minister)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1965, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1973 (Milty Sims, Wally, Floyd Babcock, drunk, Turner)
The Virginian (TV) – 1966, 1967, 1969 (Russ Tedler, station master, undertaker)
Dundee and the Culhane (TV) – 1967 (Johnson)
Iron Horse (TV) – 1967 (Blake)
Cimarron Strip (TV) – 1968 (Bolt)
The Outcasts (TV) - 1968
The Guns of Will Sonnett (TV) – 1968, 1969 (prosecutor, Sawyer)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – 1969 (fireman)
Bonanza (TV) – 1969, 1971 (Billy Harris, Tobias Temple
The High Chaparral (TV) – 1970 (telegrapher)
Alias Smith & Jones (TV) – 1971 (Doctor Hiram Wilson)
Nichols (TV) – 1971 (Burt Lincoln)
Kung Fu (TV) – 1974, 1975 (Stripper, station keeper)

Monday, September 22, 2014

RIP Audrey Long

The following was posted by Ian Dickerson on the front page of lesliecharteris.com:
  
Audrey Charteris
April 14th, 1922 - September 19th, 2014
 
My dear friend the actress Audrey Long, also known as Audrey Charteris, has passed away. It won't come as any surprise to those of us who were lucky enough to know her, for she had been ailing for quite a while and at age 92 she'd had a long and good life, but I already miss her.
 
She was born on April 14th, 1922 in Orlando, Florida. Her father, Reverend Doctor Christopher S. Long was an Episcopal minister who had emigrated from England and become a naturalized American. He was appointed a US Navy Chaplain and consequently the family--including Audrey's younger brother John--moved around a lot including spells in Canada, Honolulu and San Francisco. Her education started in Virginia and ended in Los Gatos, California, where she graduated from the local High School.
 
Roles in school plays generated an interest in acting and she began studying the craft with Dorothea Johnson, an acting coach whose previous students had included Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland. Well received performances as Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream and other roles with the Saratoga Players led to a scholarship with the Max Reinhardt Drama School in Hollywood. She was still a teenager and on graduation was signed by Warner Brothers.
 
She made her screen debut in 1942, playing a student in The Male Animal and that same year appeared as a receptionist in Yankee Doodle Dandy. When that contract wasn't renewed she went to work as a Power's model. As a model she was sent on a drive to sell War Bonds and thus got plenty of coverage when she did such a drastic things as change her hairstyle. Witness this, from the front page of the Edwardsville Intelligencer, May 4th, 1943 edition:
 
"Power's model Audrey Long, whose shoulder length blond hair attracted many purchaser's whilst she was on a recent War Bond selling tour was one of the first to switch to the short wave style..."'It's not only easy to manage', Audrey says 'but it looks so right with the kind of clothes we wear and life we lead today.'"
 
Later that month she appeared on Broadway opposite Gregory Peck in the play Sons and Soldiers and in further stage plays before being signed to a contract with RKO in December 1943.
 
Her first film for them was the 1944 suspense film A Night of Adventure, in which she co-starred alongside future radio Saint Tom Conway. That same year she made what is perhaps her best remembered film, Tall in the Saddle,  starring alongside John Wayne. Radio work was also plentiful, including an episode of Lux Radio Theater alongside Bette Davis.
 
She married Edward Rubin, then a production assistant at RKO, in January 1945 in Beverley Hills, postponing their honeymoon as she was hard at work on another film (Pan-Americana). The sole attendant at the wedding was Ginger Rogers, a friend of the couple.
 
Almost two dozen films followed over the next five years, perhaps shedding some light on the reasons for her divorce in April 1951. She was so busy making movies that she turned down three offers to return to the stage.
 
She moved in to an apartment building on West Norton Avenue in Hollywood, where she discovered her neighbor was the author Leslie Charteris, also recovering from a failed marriage. They fell in love and married in April 1952, spending the next couple of months honeymooning around Europe.
 
When they met Charteris was giving serious thought to retiring; with three failed marriages and stagnating book sales the work involved in writing a new Saint adventure held diminishing appeal. That there are more than just 28 Saint books is in large part down to Audrey; she inspired in Leslie a fresh joie de vivre and encouraged him to continue writing. As they travelled, the Saint followed, taking in literal and fictional adventures around the world.
 
I first met her when I was still a teenager. Invited to lunch with Leslie and Audrey at the Four Seasons in Mayfair, London I was way out of my depth but she was kind and considerate, especially when the dessert trolley put in an appearance. Naturally most of the conversation, initially at least, was based around Leslie but she wasn't averse to a little gentle teasing of us both at times.
 
Around the same time I met one of the first Saint hagiographers, an elderly American by the name of Paul James who had also come to know Leslie and Audrey. Almost the first thing he told me was how, on a visit to London, he'd become frustrated by the lack of iced tea available to buy in the shops and he'd shared his frustrations with the couple, feeling that a couple of ex-pat Americans might understand. A few months later, when they next met, Audrey brought him a flask of iced tea. Like I said, considerate.
 
Perhaps unsurprisingly I got to know her better once Leslie had died. They both enjoyed their privacy and without Leslie, Audrey's social circle shrank noticeably. Throughout the years I knew her, and I'll get very depressed if I go back and actually figure out how many that was, I came to value her counsel and wisdom. She was both encouraging and critical, indeed even just a few weeks ago when I sent her the first chapter of a Saint novel I've been writing (just to see if I could do it), she made some very valid points but was also very encouraging.
 
She was, I think, equally horrified and fascinated by what I could unearth about her film career, feeling, understandably, that it was a life time ago. But she wasn't shy about mentioning the time--in the 1970s or 80s--she'd been out somewhere with Leslie when they were approached by autograph hunters who ignored Leslie and headed straight for her.
 
I last saw her a few weeks ago and although neither of us would admit it at the time, I think we both knew it was goodbye. We had a good chat, not just about how things were progressing with various Saint projects, but about her life, health and how we were both doing. I took the opportunity to tell her how much I valued her friendship over the years, and if I can have those conversations with everyone who means something to me, then I'll be a very lucky man.
 
I have no doubt that she would hate me writing this, but sometimes the world needs to know what it's lost, and with her passing goes a degree of class, grace, elegance and wisdom that seems sadly lacking nowadays.
 
 
LONG, Audrey
Born: 4/14/1922, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A
Died: 9/19/2014, London, England, U.K.
 
Audrey Long’s westerns – actress:
Tall in the Saddle – 1944 (Clara Cardell)
Wanderer of the Wasteland – 1945 (Heanie Collinshaw)
Adventures of Gallant Bess – 1948 (Penny Gray)
Cavalry Scout – 1951 (Claire Conville)
Indian Uprisin – 1952 (Norma Clemson)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

RIP Polly Bergen

She was a household name from her 20s onward, making albums and playing leading roles in films, stage musicals and TV dramas
 
Hollywood Reporter
By A.P.
September 20, 2014
 
NEW YORK (AP) — Emmy-winning actress and singer Polly Bergen, who in a long career played the terrorized wife in the original Cape Fear and the first woman president in Kisses for My President, died Saturday, according to her publicist. She was 84.
 
Bergen died at her home in Southbury, Connecticut, surrounded by family and close friends, publicist Judy Katz said. She had battled emphysema and other ailments in the late 1990s, a result of 50 years of smoking.
 
A brunette beauty with a warm, sultry singing voice, Bergen was a household name from her 20s onward. She made albums and played leading roles in films, stage musicals and TV dramas. She also hosted her own variety series, was a popular game show panelist, and founded a thriving beauty products company that bore her name.
 
In recent years, she played Felicity Huffman's mother on Desperate Housewives and the past mistress of Tony Soprano's late father on The Sopranos.
 
Bergen won an Emmy in 1958 portraying the tragic singer Helen Morgan on the famed anthology series Playhouse 90. She was nominated for another Emmy in 1989 for best supporting actress in a miniseries or special for War and Remembrance.
 
Talking to a women in a business group in 1968, she said her definition of success was "when you feel what you've done fulfills yourself, makes you happy and makes people around you happy."
 
Bergen was 20 and already an established singer when she starred with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in her first movie, At War With the Army. She joined them in two more comedies, That's My Boy and The Stooge.
 
In 1953, she made her Broadway debut with Harry Belafonte in the revue John Murray Anderson's Almanac. In 1957-58 she starred on the musical-variety The Polly Bergen Show on NBC, closing every broadcast with her theme song, The Party's Over.
 
Also during the 1950s, she became a regular on the popular game show To Tell the Truth.
 
Bergen published the first of her three advice books, The Polly Bergen Book of Beauty, Fashion and Charm in 1962. That led to her own cosmetics company, which earned her millions.
 
Bergen became a regular in TV movies and miniseries, most importantly in the 1983 epic The Winds of War and the 1988 sequel, War and Remembrance. She appeared as the troubled wife of high-ranking Navy officer Pug Henry, played by Robert Mitchum.
 
Mitchum also had the key role in the landmark 1962 suspense film, Cape Fear, as the sadistic ex-convict who terrorizes a lawyer (Gregory Peck) and his wife (Bergen) and daughter because he blames Peck for sending him to prison. The film was remade in 1991 by Martin Scorsese.
 
In 1964's Kisses for My President, Bergen was cast as the first female U.S. president, with Fred MacMurray as First Gentleman. (In the end, the president quits when she gets pregnant.) When Geena Davis portrayed a first woman president in the 2005 TV drama Commander in Chief, Bergen was cast as her mother.
 
Among her other films was Move Over, Darling (1963) with Doris Day and James Garner, Susan Seidelman's 1987 Making Mr. Right, and John Waters' 1990 Cry-Baby, with Johnny Depp.
 
A fierce ambition prevailed throughout Bergen's entertainment career and in her business life. She walked out of early contracts with Paramount and MGM because she thought her film roles were inadequate.
 
As the president of the Polly Bergen Co., founded in 1966, she arrived at her office at 9 a.m. and worked a full day. "It was very difficult at the beginning," she said in 2001, "because everybody considered me just another bubble-headed actress."
 
She sold the company in 1973 to Faberge, staying on for a couple of years afterward to run it as a Faberge subsidiary.
 
Bergen employed the same zeal in reviving her performing career after a series of personal setbacks of the 1990s. She played successful dates at cabarets in New York and Beverly Hills.
 
When she was refused an audition for the 2001 Broadway revival of Follies, she contacted composer Stephen Sondheim. He auditioned her and gave her the role of a faded star who sings of her ups and downs in show business. The show-stopping song, "I'm Still Here," was reminiscent of Bergen's own saga. She was nominated for a Tony award for her role.
 
In 2002 she played a secondary role in the revival of Cabaret and the following year she was back on Broadway with the comedy Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks.
 
Nellie Paulina Burgin was born in 1930 in Knoxville, Tennessee, into a family that at times relied on welfare to survive. They family eventually moved to California, and Polly, as she was called, began her career singing on radio in her teens.
 
"I was fanatically ambitious," she recalled in 2001. "All I ever wanted to be was a star. I didn't want to be a singer. I didn't want to be an actress. I wanted to be a star."
 
But over the years, Bergen's personal life was not as smooth as her career. Her four-year marriage to actor Jerome Courtland ended in an acrimonious divorce in 1955. Her second marriage to super-agent and producer Freddie Fields. The couple divorced in 1975 after 18 years. In 1982 she married entrepreneur Jeff Endervelt. She co-signed his loans and gave him millions to invest from her beauty company profits. She said in a 2001 New York Times interview: "He would come home and say, 'Honey, sign this.' I wouldn't even look at it. Because you trust your husband."
 
The stock market crash of the 1980s wiped out the investments. She divorced him in 1991, and she said he left her with so many debts she had to sell her New York apartment and other belongings to avoid bankruptcy.
 
 
BERGEN, Polly (Nellie Paulina Burgin)
Born: 7/14/1930, Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Died: 9/20/2014, Southbury, Connecticut, U.S.A.
 
Polly Bergen’s westerns – actress:
Across the Rio Grande – 1949 (cantina singer)
Warpath – 1951 (Molly McQuade)
Arena – 1953 (Ruth Danvers)
Escape from Fort Bravo – 1953 (Alice Owens)
Wagon Train (TV) – 1961 (Kitty Albright)

RIP Avraham Heffner

Veteran Israeli filmmaker Avraham Heffner dies at 79
 
Haaretz
By: Nirit Anderman
September 20, 2014
 
Heffner's 1972 film 'But Where Is Daniel Wax?' is widely considered one of the best Israeli films ever made.
 
Avraham Heffner, veteran Israeli director, screenwriter, actor and author, died on Friday at age 79.
 
Heffner was born in Haifa in 1935, the only child of Polish immigrants. After his military service at the Nahal brigade's performance troupe, he studied literature and philosophy in Jerusalem and Paris. Heffner began his film studies in the 1960s in New York, where he made his first short films.
 
Heffner's first foray into the Israeli film scene was as an actor and screenwriter. His directorial debut in Israel, the 1967 short film "Slow Down," was based on a short story by Simone de Beauvoir. It won the award for best short film at the Venice Film Festival and is considered one of the most influential Israeli short films.
 
"Slow Down" also heralded a new cinematic wave in Israel - later dubbed "New Sensitivity" - which resisted the "Zionist realism" on one hand and the popular "burekas movies" on the other. The "New Sensitivity" genre was influenced by the French New Wave and emphasized aesthetic, novel and personal values.
 
Heffner's first feature-length film, "But Where Is Daniel Wax?" (1972), is considered one of the greatest Israeli films ever made. It tells the story of an Israeli singer living in the U.S., who returns home for a class reunion and embarks on a search for a missing classmate.  
 
Heffner's other films included "Aunt Clara" (1977), "Parashat Winchell" (1979) and "Laura Adler's Last Love Affair"(1990). Throughout his career Heffner also wrote two books on cinema and several works of fiction.
 
In 2004, Heffner was awarded the Ophir Award for lifetime achievements.
 
 
HEFFNER, Avraham
Born: 5/7/1935, Haifa, Palestine
Died:  9/19/2014, Tel Aviv, Israel
 
Avraham Heffner’s western – actor:
Carlos (TV) - 1971

Thursday, September 18, 2014

RIP Johnny Rotella

RIP Johnny Rotella
Los Angeles Daily News
By Doug McIntyre
September 18, 2014
 
Johnny Rotella never missed this column, but this column will miss Johnny Rotella. Johnny died Thursday just days shy of his 94th birthday.
 
Ninety-four years is a lot of living, yet in Johnny’s case, it wasn’t quite enough. Until the last week of his life, Rotella enjoyed remarkable health. He was a fixture at jazz clubs and civic events. How can he be gone when there’s still so much music to play, music to write, music to hear?
 
How can Johnny Rotella be gone when his friend Phil Poulos was saving a chair for him Friday at the monthly Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters’ luncheon?
 
How can Johnny Rotella be dead when he still found so much joy in life?
 
Born into a musical family in Jersey City, Johnny Rotella had one passion: music.
 
That is, until he met and married his second passion, Ann Graziano, who remains Mrs. Johnny Rotella 67 years later.
 
After serving with the 389th Army Service Forces Band during World War II, Rotella hooked on with the Raymond Scott Orchestra, launching a prolific musical career that continued to his last breath. He quickly moved on to the superstar bands, Tommy Dorsey’s and Benny Goodman’s as well. Goodman brought Johnny west and he decided to make L.A. his home. That was one lucky day for Los Angeles.
 
A triple-threat instrumentalist, Rotella, a longtime Van Nuys resident, was a master of the saxophone, clarinet and flute, playing with and recording for music icons from Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa.
 
“My father loved good music, period,” says Bill Rotella, Johnny’s son and a professional musician himself.
 
In addition to his work as a studio musician, playing on the soundtracks to countless movies and hit TV shows such as “The Sonny and Cher Show” and “The Andy Williams Show,” Rotella wrote more than 200 songs including compositions with giants like Abbey Lincoln, Johnny Mercer and Sammy Cahn, with whom Rotella wrote his signature song, “Nothing But the Best,” recorded by Sinatra in the 1960s.
 
But “Nothing But the Best” was more than a song title and the title track to a Sinatra compilation CD issued in 2008; it was Rotella’s personal mantra, his salutation to everyone he met, friend and stranger alike.
 
He meant it.
 
As his beloved Ann vanished into the fog of Alz- heimer’s disease, Johnny’s devotion deepened into something far greater than that of kindly caregiver. His love became an inspiration for everyone who was lucky enough to witness it.
 
Of the hundreds of songs he wrote, none is more personal than the simple ballad for piano and voice he wrote just two weeks ago.
 
“Every Time I See You” was performed by Johnny for an audience of one at Ann’s bedside.
 
Music is often the last thread connecting an Alz-heimer’s sufferer with this world. In Johnny and Ann’s story, music was also the first connection.
 
By his 91st year, Johnny had begun to slow down a bit. But with Johnny, “slow” was a relative term. Bill Rotella had moved back home to keep an eye on his dad but came home one night to discover Johnny’s car gone from the driveway.
 
Around midnight Johnny walked through the door in a suit sharp enough to slice tomatoes.
 
“Where have you been?” Bill asked his dad, their roles reversed.
 
“Freda Payne was at Catalina’s. I know some of the boys in the band. I thought I’d say hello.”
 
At 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 24, the boys in the band will say goodbye to Johnny Rotella at St. Charles Borromeo in Toluca Lake.
 
Nothing but the best, Johnny.
 
 
ROTELLA, Johnny
Born: 9/?/1920, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Died: 9/11/2014, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
 
Johnny Rotella’s western – songwriter:
Sergeants 3 – 1962 [song "And the Night Wind Sang"]

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

RIP Lee Maddux

Lee Madddux, Writer on ‘Night Court,’ Dies at 68
 
Variety
By: Carmel Dagan
September 17, 2014
 
Lee Maddux, a television writer who did stints as executive story consultant for the NBC sitcom “Night Court” and the CBS spy dramedy “Scarecrow and Mrs. King,” died on September 9. He was 68.
 
Maddux served as executive story consultant on “Scarecrow” for 31 episodes from 1985-87 (also writing seven episodes) and for “Night Court” for 22 episodes in 1991-92.
 
He was credited as co-producer on 13 episodes of “In the Heat of the Night” and penned three episodes.
 
Maddux also wrote episodes of “Benson,” “Simon & Simon,” “Crime Story,” “Hunter” and “MacGyver.”
 
In 1999 he penned “The Coronation,” a German-language short that spoofed film noir. In 2002, still working in German, he penned a series, the animated Western spoof “WinneToons”; it was followed by (still German) the short “**** Me? **** You!,” and then a feature version of “WinneToons,” “WinneToons – Die Legende vom Schatz im Silbersee,” which he co-wrote.
 
MADDUX, Lee (Lee L. Maddux)
Born: 1946, Lyons, Rhône-Alpes, France
Died: 9/9/2014, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
 
Lee Maddux’s westerns – screenwriter:
WinneToons (TV) – 2002
WinneToons - Die Legende vom Schatz im Silbersee - 2009

RIP Buster Jones

Buster Jones, an actor on Hanna-Barbera’s “Super Friends” cartoon, which ran on ABC on Saturday mornings from 1973-76, died on Sept. 16 in North Hollywood, Calif. He was 71.
 
He is probably best known from his role as Black Vulcan in “Super Friends” (the 1980-2 version, which was the fifth incarnation of the series).
 
The actor also played Blaster in “The Transformers,” Doc in “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero” and Winston Zeddemore in “The Real Ghostbusters” (subbing in for Arsenio Hall) and later in “Extreme Ghostbusters.”
 
While “Super Friends” featured the superheroes of the DC comicbook world, Jones’ character Black Vulcan was a creation of Hanna-Barbera.
 
Edward L. “Buster” Jones was born in Paris, Tennessee. “I got out of Paris by playing music,” he told Marc Tyler Nobleman in a 2011 interview.
 
Jones went to Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, then played in a series of bands, including in London.
 
He was a disk jockey in Washington, D.C., before he got into acting.
 
Jones did live-action work when he could, appearing in 1972 film “The Marshal of Windy Hollow,” a 1974 episode of “The Six Million Dollar Man,” the 1979 TV Movie “Captain America” and a 1987 episode of “Hill Street Blues.” He also did voice work for the video film “G.I. Joe: The Movie.”
 
 
JONES, Buster (Edward L. Jones)
Born: 1943, Paris, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Died: 9/16/2014, North Hollywood, California, U.S.A.
 
Buster Jones’ western actor:
The Marshal of Windy Hollow – 1972 (outlaw)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

RIP Del Roy

Del Roy 1921 – 2014
 
Eugene Register-Guard
By Staff
Sept. 13, 2014
 
A wonderful and truly special man has left us. Del Roy, born Roy Weinedel Jr. on September 24, 1921 in Louisville, Kentucky, died Friday, September 5, 2014, just shy of his 93rd birthday.
 
He served in the Merchant Marine as a tugboat captain in Marseilles during World War II. After the war, he attended The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, returning to Kentucky to begin a career in broadcasting. After a move to California and years working in the record business and real estate, he returned to his first loves, acting, television and movie voice-overs and reading books on tape. His distinctive voice can be heard on a "Hire a Vet" commercial still airing on KVAL and on several audio books available at the Eugene Public Library. He and his wife moved to Eugene in 2010 to be near his daughter and grandchildren.
 
A man of great intellect and integrity, charm and wit, he loved reading, music, film, the arts, and anything French. He was an avid supporter of public libraries and vocal advocate for women's rights. Maintaining his great sense of humor, he recalled, on one of his last days, a favorite New Yorker cartoon depicting these words on a tombstone, "I told you I was sick." In the words of the great Frank Sinatra, he "did it his way."
 
He leaves behind his best friend and wife of 46 years, Fran Roy; his daughter, Beverly Roy and son-in-law, Ned Forman of Eugene; a son, Roy Weinedel and grandson, Tony Weinedel of Mississippi; brother, Jim Weinedel of North Carolina; sister, Pat Denny (pre-deceased); granddaughter, Kim Fulton Menjou and husband, Richie; and grandson, Zane Fulton and his fiancée, Stephanie Dizikes. Great-granddaughter, Bryce Menjou, will also miss her Grandpa Del, but will have the pleasure of hearing his voice on taped bedtime stories as she gets older.
 
Del was loved by his family and many friends. He will be missed and remembered by all. He requested that his ashes be sprinkled over wine country. A private gathering for family and friends will be held at a later date.
 
 
ROY, Del (Roy Weindel, Jr.)
Born: 9/24/1921, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.
Died: 9/15/2014, Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.
 
Del Roy’s western – actor:
Wild Bill – 1995 (gambler)

RIP Theodore J. Flicker

R.I.P. Theodore J. Flicker, Creator of ‘Barney Miller’
 
Deadline Hollywod
By: The Deadline Team
September 13, 2014
 
Known for its deadpan comedy banter and one act play-like structure, Barney Miller, which Flicker co-owned, took place in a fictional 12th precinct Greenwich Village police station, with the action largely occurring between two sets: the detective’s squad room and Captain Barney’s Miller’s office. The series grew out of an unsold TV pilot that Flicker wrote titled The Life and Times of Captain Barney Miller, that aired on August 22, 1974 as part of an ABC summer anthology series Just for Laughs. Barney Miller ran from 1975 to 1982 on ABC and finally won an outstanding comedy series Emmy during its final season on the air.  Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creators Michael Schur and Dan Goor have cited Barney Miller in several interviews as a big inspiration for their Fox comedy series, which is going into its second season. Flicker’s creative part.
 
Born in Freehold Borough, New Jersey on June 6, 1930, Flicker attended the Admiral Farragut Academy in Tom’s River, New Jersey from 1947-49, before studying at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts alongside such notables as Joan Collins and Larry Hagman.  During the early ’50s, Flicker was one of the early members of the improv comedy troupe, Chicago’s Compass Players, where he performed alongside Elaine May. By the end of the decade, Flicker wrote the book and directed the Broadway “beat”musical The ner on Barney Miller, Danny Arnold, died at the age of 70 on Aug. 19, 1995.
 
Prior to a big career in TV as both a director and a writer, Flicker helmed and co-wrote the film The Troublemaker in 1964, followed by his 1967 political satire The President’s Analyst starring James Coburn which earned him a WGA nomination for best original screenplay. As a TV writer and director he was involved with episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Andy Griffith Show, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and The Streets of San Francisco. Flicker also had the occasional acting gig in 1971’s Night Gallery, 1972’s Beware! The Blob, and as Buffalo Bill Cody in The Legend of the Lone Ranger.
 
Flicker retired from film and TV and for the last 20 years has worked as a sculptor in Santa Fe.  He wrote extensively on expressionism and penned the epic novel The Good American, about a Jewish boy during the 19th century, who conceals his identity while working for a German general, ultimately making his way onto the Civil War battlefield.
 
 
FLICKER, Theodore J.
Born: 6/30/1930 Freehold Borough, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Died: 9/12/2014, Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A.
 
Theodore J. Flicker’s western – screenwriter:
Nichols (TV) - 1971

RIP Vivienne Chandler

British actress Vivienne Chandler died in London, England on June 6, 2013 after a long battle with cancer. Chandler made her first appearance on TV in ITV Playhouse in 1970 but she immediately began acting in minor parts in a number of major early 1970s films including “Lust for a Vampire”, “Duck You Sucker” and Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (all 1971). She made several small appearances in the 1980s, including the music video for "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" by the British super group ASIA in 1983, and appeared in Babies in 1997 but since then she had become a professional photographer working in the U.S. and many countries across Europe including France, Italy and the U.K.. She went to University Paris Diderot between her film and television roles but during that time was always interested in the process of image-making.
 
As a photographer she reinvented her name and went by Holly Bush and later Holly Bund as her career changed direction. Photographing mainly children, she had exhibited in London, Oxford and Kent and sold to private collectors in France, England and Japan. Battling cancer, she lived in the new millennium in Paris, where she continued to work until her return to London where she died last June.
 
Vivienne was married and had two sons and a daughter Oonagh Bush, who is a photographer and designer in London.
 
 
CHANDLER, Vivienne
Born: 11/6/1947, Abington, Oxfordshire, England, U.K.
Died: 6/6/2013, London, England, U.K.
 
Vivienne Chandler’s western – actress:
Duck You Sucker - 1971 (Coleen)

Friday, September 12, 2014

RIP Darrell Zwerling

RIP Darrell Zwerling
 
American character actor Darrell Zwerling died in Hollywood, California in May 2014. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1929 Darrell appeared in over 50 films and TV appearances. His first film appearance was an uncredited role as a fan in The Secret Life of an American Wife (1968). His last as a doctor in TV’s Murder She Wrote in 1991. His most famous role was Hollis Mulwray, the unfortunate water authority commissioner in Roman Polanski's "Chinatown".
 
ZWERLING, Darrell
Born: 1929 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Died: 5/?/2014, Hollywood, California, U.S.A.
 
Darrell Zwerling’s westerns – actor:
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1977 (Horace)
Father Murphy (TV) – 1982 (Prosecuting Attorney)
Best of the West (TV) – 1982 (Fredericks)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

RIP Denny Miller

 
Former MGM Star, ‘Wagon Train’s’ Denny Miller Has Died At The Age Of 80, Highlight Hollywood News
 
 
September 12, 2014  
Celebrity News
 
Six-feet four inch tall leading man Denny Miller, best known as Duke Shannon in the 1950s Western series “Wagon Train” has died at the age of 80, at his home in Las Vegas.  He was born in Bloomington, Indiana, where his father, Ben Miller, was a physical education instructor at Indiana University.
 
Being very tall and athletic, he played basketball almost from the day they were born, friends say.  The Miller family left Bloomington when Denny was in the fourth grade. He and his brother played basketball in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Baldwin, New York, before the family moved to Los Angeles.
 
It was at University High School in Los Angeles where Denny and Kent came to the attention of coach John Wooden. They were given full-ride scholarships to UCLA.  Which eventually led to Denny being discovered on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood by a talent agent, who quickly signed him with MGM.
 
His first role was a bit part in “Some Came Running” in 1958.   Denny once said in an interview,  “I was the only one who came running. I came running to tell Dean Martin that somebody was in town to shoot him!”
 
He soon became the first blond Tarzan in “Tarzan, the Ape Man” in 1959.  He found his studio contract very short-lived, as Hollywood studios were changing in that era, and it has been previously recorded that his contract lasted for 20-months, and he spent only two of those months as Tarzan.
 
But he became a prolific actor on TV, which included stints on “Dallas,” “Fantasy Island,” “Hart to Hart,” “The Fall Guy,” “Vega$,” “M*A*S*H,” “Knight Rider,” “Voyagers,” “Murder She Wrote,” “Magnum PI,” “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman,” “Simon and Simon,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “The Rockford Files, “Battle Star Galactica,” “Barnaby Jones, “Wonder Woman,” “Quincy, M.E.,” “Alice,” “Canon,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “McCloud,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Gunsmoke,” “Ironside,” “Hawaii Five O,” “The Fugitive,” amongst dozens of other spots.
 
Though it was the Westerns that gave him the most fame.  In particular, “Wagon Train.”   These past decades Denny and his beautiful wife Nancy have traveled the country meeting fans, and in 2007, he received a plaque at the “LITTLE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME,” in Kanab, Utah, which is sponsored by Utah’s Western Legends Committee.
 
He later found a career as a teacher of relaxation.
 
No details about his memorial were given at press time.
  
MILLER, Denny (Dennis Linn Miller)
Born: 4/25/1934, Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A.
Died: 9/9/2014, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
 
Denny Miller’s westerns – actor:
Northwest Passage (TV) – 1958 (Ranger Cooper)
Overland Trail (TV) – 1960 (Jimmy/Nicky Michaels)
Have Gun – Will Travel (TV) – 1960 (Svenska)
Riverboat (TV) – 1960 (The Dublin Boy)
Laramie (TV) – 1960 (Toby, Wilkie)
The Rifleman (TV) – 1960 (Reuben Miles)
Stagecoach West (TV) – 1961 (Dunn)
The Deputy (TV) – 1961 (Bill Jason)
Wagon Train (TV) 1961-1964 (Scott Miller)
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1968 (Tommy)
The High Chaparral (TV) – 1968 (Kolos)
The Virginian (TV) – 1971 (Joe Terry)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1971 (Lijah)
Buck and the Preacher – 1972 (Floyd)
Dusty’s Trail (TV) – 1974 (Butch)
Young Maverick (TV) – 1979 (Clancy Flannery)
Outlaws (TV) – 1987
Bordertown (TV) – 1989, 1990 (Obediah Winslow, Vince Stockard)
Lonesome Dove: The Series (TV) – 1994-1995 (Sherriff Owen Kearney)
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (TV) – 1996 (Noah McBride)
Hell to Pay – 2005 (Horace)

RIP Stefan Gierasch

RIP Stefan Gierasch
 
New York Times
Staff
September 11, 2014
Stefan Gierasch passed away Saturday, September 6, 2014, surrounded by loved ones, in Santa Monica, California; and yet, Stefan lives on through the profound affect he had on his family, friends, and the theatrical world. Born in NYC on February 5, 1926, Stefan began his Broadway career in To Kiss and Tell, and joined the Actors Studio in 1952. He brought to life many characters for the stage and screen, including for productions of the Iceman Cometh, Of Mice and Men, the Hustler, High Plains Drifter, Jeremiah Johnson, Carrie, and countless television appearances. Acting chose him, and Stefan embraced it with a lifelong passion; a brilliant artist to the end. Stefan defined life for those that loved him, including his wife Hedy Sontag-Gierasch, son Matthew Hogan, and daughters Elisa and Amanda Gierasch. A memorial will be announced shortly.
 
 
GIERASCH, Stefan
Born: 2/5/1926, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 9/6/2014, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.
 
Stefan Gierasch’s westerns – actor:
Stoney Burke (TV) – 1963 (Graf Erlich)
Empire (TV) – 1965 (Jack Morgan)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1966 (Mark Douglas)
The Traveling Executioner – 1970 (Willy Herzallerliebst)
Bonanza (TV) – 1969, 1971 (Orville Winters, Grady)
Nichols (TV) – 1971 (Doc Bernstein)
Jeremiah Johnson – 1972 (Del Gue)
High Plains Drifter – 1973 (Mayor Jason Hobart)
Kung Fu (TV) – 1974 (Logan McBurney)
This Is the West That Was (TV) – 1974 (Carmedly)
Big Bend Country (TV) – 1981 (Sam Purdy)
Dream West (TV) – 1986 (Trenor Park)
The Legend of the Phantom Rider – 2002 (Nathan)
The Hunter’s Moon – 2009 (The Sage)

RIP Joachim Fuchsberger

TV legend Joachim Fuchsberger has died
 
Der Standard
By Staff
September 11, 2014
 
The presenter and actor died at 87 years old in his home near Munich
 
Munich - Joachim Fuchsberger was one of the greats of television: For decades, he entertained people - as an entertainer, emcee and actor. "I am a television dinosaur", "Blacky" had joked on his 80th birthday. In this case, the occurrence of Stuttgarters so do not meet the massive prehistoric creatures. He was a gentleman of the old school - and gallant.
 
Just like the big show he loved the challenge, often involving the Television company to despair. However, no matter whether on television, in the theater or cinema - "Blacky" remained popular. Now Fuchsberger has died on Thursday at the age of 87 years at his home in Gruenwald near Munich, his wife told the news agency dpa.
 
A untroubled old age was the fun-loving actor and his wife Gundula was not granted. In October 2010, their son Thomas was killed. An infinite pain. "It is in our old age, a brutal termination of our zest for life that we still had" Fuchsberger had declared in an interview shortly thereafter. "We have lost our most precious gift - our only son." What remained was a couple who dearly loved and was concerned with touching devotion for each other.
 
Their time together lasted since 1954, well over 60 years - without infidelities and scandals. During which an actor who stood as a youthful lover with movie beauties such as Romy Schneider, Senta Berger or Marianne Hold on set Fuchsberger knowledge: "Opportunity makes not only thieves, but also love." Therefore, his wife would accompany him during most filming assignments. And then there were the four vows: ".. Understanding, trust, forgiveness, renunciation That sounds terribly easy, but produced during the times when it comes down to it, then it becomes quite difficult"
 
From the glamor of the film world Fuchsberger was initially far away. In 1927, he was born in Stuttgart, his father was a representative for typesetting machines. After school, he tried out a lot. He mounted typesetting and printing machines, was a miner and texted hit. In 1950, he landed at the Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich Radio at that time, three years later, he was in television and soon in film. There he played the handsome beau, "this very thread, dussligen young lovers," as he described it himself. Therefore, the role as a police detective in horror films of Edgar Wallace seemed just right. Movies like "The Witcher" or "The Dark Eyes of London" were cult in the 1960s. In 2007, he continued the shower movies with a movie role in the Edgar Wallace parody "Neues vom Wixxer".
 
The peak of his popularity reached Fuchsberger as an emcee. His first-rate program "Nur nicht nervös werden," 1960 was followed by many more. But it also rained criticism. In addition to lack of depth, many lamented its loose sayings. For a storm of protest he attended, when he appeared at the ARD in his live-show rate "Auf los geht's loson" in her nightgown, to a bet of "Wetten, dass? .." Redeem. As the criticism subsided and also decreased the audience, he threw 1986 Moderation back.
 
Fuchsberger retired to Australia and directed documentaries. In 1990, he returned with "Ja oder Nein" as emcee. For many years the couple lived alternately in Grünwald near Munich and in The Land Down Under.
 
In his last years Fuchsberger seemed fragile, tired. Nevertheless, always the joker was flashed in his eyes and let the great man seem surprising teen with snow-white hair. On his 85th birthday in 2012 he had a wink muses in a poem before death. "From hollow eyes he grins now and says: Will you come voluntarily, old man weirs is pointless, get ready for the final step in the eternity you look and put the end in his hands your trembling hands In?.. breaking eye a glimmer of hope, and then gibste the spoon - forever. "(APA, dpa, Cordula Dieckmann, 09/11/2014)
 
 
FUCHSBERGER, Joachim (Joachim Karl Fuchsberger)
Born: 3/11/1927, Zuffenhausen, Stuttgart, Germany
Died: 9/11/2014, Grünwald, Bavaria, Germany
 
Joachim Fuchsberger’s westerns – actor:
The Last Tomahawk - 1964 (Captain Bill Hayward)
Who Killed Johnny R.? - 1966 (Clyde Smith)