Tuesday, August 22, 2017

RIP Mario Milita






Addio to Mario Milita, voice of Fred Flinstone and  Homer Simpson

Badtv.com
By Beatrice Pagan
August 22, 2017


The legendary voice dubber Mario Milita died today (August 22, 2017) at the age of 94.
He was born in Cori on June 26, 1923 and was known by TV fans as being the Italian voice of iconic animated characters such as Fred Flinstone, Homer Simpson, and Holly and Benji's narrator.

Among his most recent roles include Herbert and Francis Griffin , while among the shows she has also worked on are The Lady in Yellow , where he was part of Tom Bosley, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in which he was Professor Moriarty .
In 2008 he was awarded the Career Award at the International Dubbing Grand Prize, and then retired in the summer of 2012.


MILITA, Mario
Born: 6/26/1923, Cori, Latina, Italy
Died: 8/22/2017, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Mario Milita’s western – voice actor:
Chato’s Land – 1972 [Italian voice of James Whitmore]

RIP Margot Hielscher



Bild
August 22, 2017

The screen diva is dead!

She participated twice in the Grand Prix, had her own talk show and was considered one of the last German divas.  Now Margot Hielscher has slept peacefully at the age of 97.

There are only a few German ladies who can be called Film Diva. Margot Hielscher was one of them.  She began as a costume designer in the pre-war period, was discovered by a director and immediately committed to "The Heart of the Queen" (1940).  In the Second World War she was one of the most popular German actresses, playing in her 60 films and about 200 TV productions.

 Two great loves: her husband and the music

Her passion for music was discovered by the Berlin woman in the post-war period, when she repeatedly presented singing inserts for American soldiers.  In 1957 and 58 Margot Hielscher represented the FRG at the Grand Prix Eurovision de la Chanson Européenne - the present Eurovision Song Contest - where she finished 4th and 7th.  Also as a presenter proved the red-haired talent.  In the 1960s, she moderated her own program "Visiting Margot Hielscher", where she had over 700 celebrities.

Her great love was the film and pop composer Friedrich Meyer († 78).  In 1959 the two married, the marriage held up to Meyers death.

 Peacefully dormant

As the "Bild" reported, the screen legend died on Sunday (August 20) in their apartment in Munich.  Her nephew Peter von Schall-Riaucour (46) told the newspaper: "Shortly before her death, she said to her nurse: 'I lie down, I am so madly tired.  A quarter of an hour later, she has fallen asleep forever. "This is followed by her husband, who also died on 20 August in 1993.

 We wish the family much strength for the time of mourning.


HIELSCHER, Margot (Margot Marie Else Hielscher)
Born: 9/29/1919, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Germany
Died: 8/20/2017 Munich, Bavaria, Germany

Margot Hielscher’s western – actress:
Johnny Saves Nebrador – 1953 (Marina)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

RIP Jerry Lewis



Jerry Lewis, Nonpareil Genius of Comedy, Dies at 91

The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes
August 20, 2017

He dominated show business with Dean Martin in the 1950s, starred in 'The Bellboy' and 'The Nutty Professor,' hosted the Labor Day telethon for decades and received the Hersholt award.

Jerry Lewis, whose irrepressible zaniness and frantic creativity vaulted him to stardom as a comic movie star who wielded unparalleled green-light power at Paramount in the 1960s, died Sunday. He was 91.

Lewis, who teamed with Dean Martin in the 1950s as one of the most successful tandems in the history of show business, died at 9:15 a.m. at his home in Las Vegas, John Katsilometes of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, citing a statement from Lewis' family.

Lewis’ health ailments over the years included open-heart surgery in 1983, surgery for prostate cancer in 1992, treatment for his dependence on prescription drugs in 2003, a heart attack in 2006 and a long bout with pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic lung disease for which he took Prednisone, causing his face and body to balloon.

At the peak of their popularity, Martin & Lewis ruled nightclubs, radio and then the box office with their breezy yet physical comedy act, reigning as the top draw at theaters from 1950-56.

After an especially acrimonious break-up with his partner, Lewis remained as the No. 1 movie draw through the mid-1960s on the strength of such classics as The Bellboy (1960) and The Nutty Professor (1963). As Paramount’s biggest star, he had the creative freedom to make the moves he wanted to make.

Lewis also was known for his efforts as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. He devoted more than a half-century to fighting the neuromuscular disease, hosting an annual Labor Day telethon — and raising nearly $2.5 billion — from 1955 until he was ousted before the 2011 telecast. Lewis was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for his efforts.

Extremely popular throughout Europe, especially in France, Lewis won “best director” awards eight times in Europe, including three in France and one each in Belgium, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. New Wave critics and filmmakers Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard spurred his popularity in France, where he became known as “Le Roi du Crazy.”

In 1984, Lewis was presented with the French Legion of Honor and in 2009 was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award; he kept the trophy from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on a platform above a TV in his Las Vegas home, where it would rotate at the push of a button.

The son of a professional entertainers, Lewis was born Joseph Levitch on March 16, 1926, in Newark, N.J. His mother played the piano, and his father was a musical arranger. Lewis made his debut at age 5 at a hotel in the Borscht Belt, the legendary upstate New York show-business breeding ground, by singing “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” He dropped out of high school, working as a soda jerk and theater usher, all the while cultivating a comedy routine, in which he mimed phonograph records.

It was not until he hooked up with young Italian-American crooner Martin that his career took off. In July 1946, while performing at the 500 Club in Atlantic City, one of the entertainers working with Lewis abruptly quit, and Lewis suggested Martin, who was nine years older, as a replacement. Their ad libs, including insults and off-the-wall jokes, were a sensation, and their salaries skyrocketed from $250 a week to $5,000. When they appeared on the balcony of the Paramount Theater in Times Square, Broadway became so crowded that traffic backed up to 59th Street.

Their shtick was categorized as “free-for-all humor.” Playing up their physical and personality contrasts — Lewis’ monkeyshines and ineptitude against straight man Martin’s sedate, sexy charm — they became overwhelmingly successful. Producer Hal Wallis caught their act and signed them to a deal at Paramount, and their first film, My Friend Irma (1949), in which they were cast in supporting roles, was a hit.

Typically, their movies followed the same formula: Lewis acted like an overgrown 8-year-old, while the suave Martin would break into song at the most unlikely provocation.

Martin & Lewis subsequently starred in such comedies as At War With the Army (1950), Sailor Beware (1952), The Caddy (1953), Living It Up (1954), You’re Never Too Young (1955) — a remake of Billy Wilder’s The Major and the Minor – and Artists and Models (1955). Hollywood or Bust (1956) was the last film of the 16 they headlined.

Martin got tired of Lewis getting most of the attention, and at New York’s Copacabana on July 25, 1956, the duo made their final nightclub appearance together — 10 years to the day of their first engagement. The feud that developed did not publicly end until the MDA telethon of 1976, when Frank Sinatra surprised the host by bringing Martin onstage. Martin died in 1995.

“Other comedy teams never generated anything like the hysteria that Dean and I did, and that was because we had that X factor — the powerful feeling between us,” said Lewis, who wrote about their relationship in the 2005 book Dean & Me (A Love Story). “And it really was an X factor, a kind of mystery.”

After the split, Lewis continued in films, basically playing the same type of manic, naive character. Pacting with Paramount in a then-whopping $10 million deal, he agreed to make 14 films during a seven-year period. At the time, it was the biggest personal deal for the services of one star in Hollywood history. Lewis and his production company were given virtual carte blanche by Paramount head Y. Frank Freeman.

Lewis found his first solo starring role in The Delicate Delinquent (1957) and quickly followed with a string of hits: The Sad Sack (1957), Rock-a-Bye Baby (1958), The Geisha Boy (1958) and Don’t Give Up the Ship (1959).

The manic comedies anchored Paramount: In 1960, when the studio was faced with no Christmas movie, Lewis whipped one up in a month. The Bellboy, the first film he directed, was a slew of blackout gags he concocted around the Miami’s Fontainebleau Hotel, where he had just finished a stint performing. In French terms, Lewis had become an “auteur,” co-writing, directing and acting in his films.

He was on a professional roll, playing a series of kind-hearted hyperactive dupes: In 1960’s CinderFella, directed by Frank Tashlin, he offered up a comic gender reversal on the Cinderella tale and danced down an impossibly long staircase to sounds of the Count Basie Orchestra. In 1961’s The Errand Boy, which he directed, he played an inept employee in a studio mailroom.

But it was 1963’s The Nutty Professor that cemented his reputation. Directing himself, Lewis starred as a near-sighted professor and chemistry egghead who dazzles his coeds by becoming the ultra-cool pop singer Buddy Love. The movie also served as the basis for Eddie Murphy’s retooled remake in 1996, with Murphy taking over the nerdy professor role, this time turning into a sharp-tongued comedian. (Murphy presented Lewis with the Hersholt trophy at the 2009 Oscars.)

Throughout the late 1950s and early ’60s, Lewis was constantly in motion, recording several records. His song Rock-a-Bye Your Baby sold nearly 4 million copies, and he hosted the Oscars in 1957 and 1959.

Lewis’ career faltered in the late ’60s, however, but not because of a lack of effort on his part. Indefatigable, he claimed to work every day for a period of seven years and regularly had a 3:30 a.m. wake-up call. Yet critics, as well as moviegoers, decided that Lewis, as director/writer/actor, was too much of a good thing; some felt his ego was out of control.

His films dipped drastically at the box office, and he experienced his greatest disappointment on TV in 1963 when his two-hour Saturday night talk and variety show turned off audiences. His manic mania did not play in this socially minded, ultra-serious era. The fact that the French continued to celebrate his talent became something of a running gag.

For 13 years, Lewis later admitted, he also was addicted to the painkilling drug Percodan, which was prescribed for treatment of a chipped spinal column he received while doing a pratfall in 1965 on The Andy Williams Show.

His 1972 film The Day the Clown Cried — a drama set inside a Nazi concentration camp — was never released. He donated a copy to the Library of Congress in August 2015, with the agreement the film not be shown for a decade.

In 1980, after an absence of nearly 10 years from the screen, Lewis attempted a comeback with the film Hardly Working. More successfully, he followed with a straight role as a talk-show host stalked by an obsessive fan in Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy (1982), starring Robert De Niro. Lewis’ dramatic performance as a beleaguered TV star was critically lauded.

He most recently appeared in such films as Cookie (1989), Arizona Dream (1993), Funny Bones (1995) and Max Rose (2016), and he played opposite Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood in The Trust (2016). He performed a cameo as himself in Billy Crystal’s Mr. Saturday Night (1992) and guest-starred on a 2006 episode of Law & Order: SVU.

Lewis also occasionally directed TV shows, including episodes of Ben Casey. TV producers tapped into his unexpected dramatic flair, casting him to appear in such series as Wiseguy in the late 1980s.

He ventured onto the stage in 1995, making his Broadway debut in a revival of the musical Damn Yankees. Playing the devil, he was reportedly paid the highest sum in Broadway history at the time.

As a new generation came to appreciate his work — “Hey, l-a-a-a-d-y,” one of his signature catchphrases, became a favorite of his fellow comedians — Lewis was regularly honored for his achievements.

In 1991, he was presented with the Comic Life Achievement Award at the National Academy of Cable Programming’s ACE Awards. The American Comedy Awards gifted him with a lifetime achievement award in 1998. And the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. presented him with its career achievement honor in 2004.

During the late 1960s and early ’70s, he taught in the Division of Cinema at USC, drawing students from across the country, including future director Robert Zemeckis. He authored The Total Film Maker (1971), based on recordings of 480 hours of classroom lectures. Indeed, Lewis was an innovator, the first filmmaker to use a video-assist device on location.

When Lewis was 18, he met singer Patti Palmer, and they wed 10 days later. During their marriage, which lasted from 1944-82, they had five sons and adopted another child. His youngest, Joseph, became a drug addict and committed suicide in 2009 at age 45.

Lewis married his second wife, SanDee Pitnick, in 1983. They adopted a daughter, Danielle.


LEWIS, Jerry (Joseph Levitch)
Born: 3/16/1926, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Died: 8/20/2017, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

Jerry Lewis’ westerns – actor:
Pardners – 1956 (Wade Kingsley Sr./Jr.)
Sheriff Who? (TV) - 1967

Saturday, August 19, 2017

RIP Richard Rule



Loveland Reporter-Herald
August 20, 2017

Richard passed away at the age of 56 peacefully in his Loveland home on August 16, 2017 after a 10 month long heroic battle against esophageal cancer. He was the youngest of five children belonging to George and Celeste Rule. Richard was born and raised in Oklahoma City with rodeo in his blood. Growing up only 5 minutes from the National Finals Rodeo, he knew he wanted to be a Professional Bull Rider at the ripe age of six years old. Richard remembers watching legendary Freckles Brown ride the unrideable bull named Tornado. As a young boy, he loved helping his father work at the Oklahoma City Stockyards and working at the National Saddlery with his brother John Rule. Richard was also a member of 4-H for 9 years showing lambs, steers, and giving charismatic speeches. He graduated from Western Heights High School in 1980 with Oklahoma State Citizenship and Oklahoma County Hall of Fame awards. Richard attended college at Southwestern University in Weatherford, OK. As the 1982 Collegiate Bull Riding Champion, he answered his calling to ride bulls professionally after 2 years of college. Richard lived his dream traveling all over the country riding rank bulls for 15 years in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association(PRCA) and Bull Riders Only(BRO). He was revered highly by his travel companions and fellow contestants as one of the best, consistently ranking in the top 25 bull riders in the world. Richard claimed the Mountain States Circuit Bull Riding Championship in 1985 and 1990. In 1988 Richard was hired to be a stunt double in the movie My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys. After his bull riding career Richard settled down in Loveland and worked as a fencing contractor for the first 10 years and as the Operations Supervisor of the Larimer County fairgrounds in Loveland for the past 10 years to present. His first marriage of 17 years with Shannon Tapley Rule gave Richard his two prized possessions: sons Harrison Rayne and Elliott Drake Rule. He later married the love of his life, Shannon Lee Fancher on May 10, 2010 and gained a beautiful daughter who captured his heart named Lindsey Jeanne. They lived together at Richard's forever dream home, The Fancy R Ranch. His second home and family was where he worked at The Ranch in Loveland. Richard's love for life and people radiated through his smile and the genuine way he treated people. His magnetic personality touched everyone who knew him, and Richard's secret to life was having fun. He worked hard and played hard. He loved his job, raising bucking bulls, team roping, trail riding, directing the rodeo, vacationing with family and friends, dancing, discussing politics, and quoting Blazing Saddles. In a toast to Richard, Bob Tointon said he was the epitome of a cowboy. He never met a stranger, and never met anyone he did not like. When he came into a gathering of friends or family, the party started. His smile, his laugh, his stories were infectious, and everyone was his friend. Richard defined the term "carpe' diem", as he seemingly never had a bad day or even a down moment. He was everyone's favorite Okie and we will all miss him greatly. Please drink a toast to our Cowboy - Jack and Coke naturally! Richard is survived by his wife Shannon Fancher of Loveland, sons Harrison Rayne Rule and Elliott Drake Rule of Loveland, stepdaughter Lindsey Jeanne Fancher-Owen of Loveland, mother Celeste Nelson of Oklahoma City, brother John Rule and wife Dona Kay Rule, sister Suzanne Smith, sister Cindy Rule, and brother Kevin Rule all from Oklahoma, as well as a beloved extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. He is preceded in death by his father George Rule, stepfather Don Nelson, grandparents John and Alfreda Leonard and Harrison and Martha Rule, Uncle David Rule, Aunt Marcella Hendrix, best friends Terry Groce and Johnny Shea. A Memorial Service for Richard will be held on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 10:00am in The Ranchway Indoor Arena at the fairgrounds in Loveland Colorado with a reception following. Carl Sutter will be officiating. There will be a viewing prior to the service on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 from 4:00pm - 7:00pm at Viegut Funeral Home in Loveland. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund at justincowboycrisisfund.org. The family requests any tales from the trails please be sent to our email address at Trailtalesrichardrule@gmail.com Please go to www.viegutfuneralhome.com for on-line obituary and condolences.


RULE, Richard (Richard Joseph Rule)
Born: 11/30/ 1961, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
Died: 8/16/2017, Loveland, Colorado, U.S.A.

Richard Rule’s western – stuntman:
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys - 1991

RIP Jon Shepodd



Lassie’ Star Jon Shepodd Dies at 92
Actor Appeared in Season Four of the Family Drama

PI
August 17, 2017
By Marc Berman

Jon Shepodd, the first actor to play the role of Paul Martin on CBS family drama “Lassie,” has died, according to a posting on Facebook by “Lassie” star Jon Provost. He was 92.

Born as Hugh Goodwin on Dec. 19, 1925, Jon Shepodd made his debut on “Lassie” in season four opposite Cloris Leachman as his wife Ruth. When the ratings decreased, a result of Leachman’s performance according to many, both Leachman and Shepodd exited the series in March 1958 and were replaced by June Lockhart and Hugh Reilly. The two stayed with “Lassie” opposite young Jon Provost until 1964.

Shepodd, additionally, appeared in films “Attack” (1956), “The Garment Jungle” (1957), “The Power of Resurrection” (1958) and “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”


SHEPODD, Jon (Hugh Goodwin)
Born: 12/19/1925, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.
Died: 8/16/2017, London, England, U.S.A.

Jon Shepodd’s westerns – actor:
Mississippi Gambler - 1953
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1955 (Mitch)
Dragoon Wells Massacre – 1957 (Tom)
Indian American (TV) – 1955 (Jim Cavendish)
Oregon Passage – 1957 (Lt. Baird Dobly)
The Return of Jack Slade – 1957 (Johnny Turner)

Friday, August 11, 2017

RIP Terele Pávez




Terele Pávez dies at age 78

The actress has died in a hospital in Madrid the victim of a stroke.

The actress Terele Pávez has died in Madrid at the age of 78, said Aisge, the entity that manages the intellectual property of the actors in Spain. Pávez (Bilbao, 1939), of an extensive career in theater, film and television, has died in the hospital of La Paz, Madrid, as a result of a stroke. Teresa Marta Ruiz Penella, habitual in papers of temperamental woman, a fact favored by his torn voice, belonged to a family of artists. Granddaughter and great-granddaughter of the composers Manuel Penella Moreno and Manuel Penella Raga, was sister of the also actresses Enma Penella and Elisa Montés, and aunt of Emma Ozores.

Pávez won a Goya Award in 2014 as a supporting actress in the film The Witches of Zugarramurdi, by Álex de la Iglesia. Just his last film role was in another De la Iglesia movie, El bar , premiered this year. His artistic surname came from the second of his maternal grandmother, Emma Silva Pavez, of Chilean origin, and used to differentiate himself from his sisters.


PAVEZ, Terele (Teresa Marta Ruiz Penella)
Born: 7/29/1939, Bilbao, Vizcaya, Pais Vasco, Spain
Died: 8/11/2017, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Terele Pavez’s western actress:
800 Bullets – 2002 (Rocio)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

RIP Kathleen M. Shea



The Colunmbus Dispatch
August 6, 2017

Shea, Kathleen Marie

Kathleen Marie Shea – age 71. Born Sept 7, 1945 in Columbus, Ohio. Died August 4 after a hard-fought battle with a glioblastoma brain tumor. Kathleen is survived by her Brother Frank (Cathy) Shea, Brother Steve (Kelley) Shea, Nieces Audrey and Avery Shea and many close friends and cousins. Kathy attended Bishop Watterson High School and The Ohio State University where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. After college, Kathy spent 30+ years in Hollywood where she worked on many remarkably well-known and successful movies and television shows. After each movie, her list of life-long, cherished friends grew and grew. Kathleen is preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Miriam Shea, and her niece, Ainsley Marie Shea. The family would like to thank her best friends Janet Ferro and Joe/Joan Foglia, her Theta and Watterson friends, and the wonderful caregivers at Sunrise on the Scioto who supported her during her illness. There will be a Requiem High Mass, presided by her dear cousin, Fr. Kevin Lutz at St. Leo's Church, 221 Hanford St. in German Village at 10:00AM on Tuesday, August 8th. Arrangements by EGAN-RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 403 E. BROAD ST.


SHEA, Kathleen M. (Kathleen Marie Shea)
Born: 9/7/1945, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.
Died: 8/4/2017, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.

Kathleen M. Shea’s westerns – assistant director:
The Villain – 1979 (assistant director)

The Last of the Mohicans – 1992 (assistant)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

RIP Glen Campbell



Glen Campbell, 'Rhinestone Cowboy' Singer Who Fused Country and Pop, Dead at 81

Singer-guitarist and TV host who achieved crossover success succumbs to Alzheimer's Disease

Rolling Stone
By Patrick Doyle
8/8/2017

Glen Campbell, the indelible voice behind 21 Top 40 hits including "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Wichita Lineman" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," died Tuesday. He was 81. A rep for Universal Music Group, Campbell's record label, confirmed the singer's death to Rolling Stone. During a career that spanned six decades, Campbell sold over 45 million records. In 1968, one of his biggest years, he outsold the Beatles.
Related
Glen Campbell: 20 Essential Songs

From his signature "Rhinestone Cowboy" to an unconventional Foo Fighters cover

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's disease," the singer's family said in a statement.

"Some people have said that I can 'hear' a hit song, meaning that I can tell the first time a song is played for me if it has potential," he once said. "I have been able to hear some of the hits that way, but I can also 'feel' one."

Campbell was born in 1936 in Billstown, Arkansas, the seventh son in a sharecropping family of 12 kids. "We used to watch TV by candlelight," Campbell told Rolling Stone in 2011.

In his youth, Campbell started playing guitar and became obsessed with jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. He dropped out of school when he was 14 and moved to Wyoming with an uncle who was a musician, playing gigs together at rural bars. He soon moved to Los Angeles and by 1962 had solidified a spot in the Wrecking Crew, a group of session pros. In 1963 alone he appeared on 586 cuts, and countless more throughout the decade, including the Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man," Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas,” Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" and the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling."

"I’d have to pick cotton for a year to make what I'd make in a week in L.A.," he said. "I learned it was crucial to play right on the edge of the beat ... It makes you drive the song more. You're ahead of the beat, but you're not." Fellow Wrecking Crew member Leon Russell called Campbell "the best guitar player I'd heard before or since. Occasionally we'd play with 50 or 60-piece orchestras. His deal was he didn't read [music], so they would play it one time for him, and he had it."

In late 1964, Brian Wilson had a nervous breakdown on tour with the Beach Boys, and the band called on Campbell to replace him on bass and high harmonies. "I took Brian’s place and that was just ... I was in heaven then – hog heaven!" Campbell remarked.

"He fit right in," said Wilson. "His main forte is he's a great guitar player, but he's even a better singer than all the rest. He could sing higher than I could!" Wilson even wrote an early song, "I Guess I'm Dumb," for Campbell. His first hit was a cover of Buffy Sainte-Marie's antiwar song "Universal Soldier." But Campbell's own political views tended to be conservative. "The people who are advocating burning draft cards should be hung," he said in 1965.

Campbell had his first major hit in 1967, with "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," written by Jimmy Webb, an L.A. kid with a knack for intricate ballads. "Glen's vocal power and technique was the perfect vehicle for these, in a way, very sentimental and romantic songs. And I think that you know we made some records that were very nearly perfect. 'Wichita Lineman' is a very near perfect pop record," Webb said. "I think in the process that Glen was a prime mover in the whole creation of the country crossover phenomenon that made the careers of Kenny Rogers and some other... many other artists possible."

The tune kicked off a working relationship that included the haunting Vietnam War ballad "Galveston," the tender "Gentle on My Mind" and "Wichita Lineman," Campbell's first Top 10 hit. With swelling orchestral arrangements and slick production, the songs weren't exactly considered hip in the Sixties. "They felt packaged for a middle-of-the-road, older crowd," said Tom Petty. "At first, you go, 'Oh, I don't know about that.' But it was such pure, good stuff that you had to put off your prejudices and learn to love it. It taught me not to have those prejudices." In 1967, Campbell won Grammys in both the country and pop categories.

In the summer of 1968, Campbell guest hosted the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. The successful appearance led to his own variety show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, which he hosted from 1969 until 1972. Artists like Ray Charles, Johnny Cash and Linda Ronstadt performed on the show, which also gave a national platform to rising country stars like Willie Nelson. "He exposed us to a big part of the world that would have never had the chance to see us," said Nelson. "He's always been a big help to me."

Campbell's boyish charisma led John Wayne to cast him in a co-starring role in 1969's True Grit. He later said that his acting was so amateurish that he "gave John Wayne that push to win the Academy Award." But the good times didn't last: His show was canceled; his first feature film, 1970's Norwood, flopped; and the hits dried up for a few years. Then, Campbell scored a smash with 1975's "Rhinestone Cowboy." It began a comeback that included hits "Country Boy (You Got Your Feet in L.A.") and "Southern Nights." The hits slowed down again in the Eighties; in the Nineties he opened up the Glen Campbell Goodtime Theatre in Branson, Missouri.

Campbell was married four times, and has five sons and three daughters. Despite his career successes, he struggled with alcoholism and cocaine addiction. In the early Eighties, he had a tempestuous, high-profile relationship with country singer Tanya Tucker, who was 22 years his junior. In 1981 he became a born-again Christian and in 1982 he married Kimberly Woollen, a Radio City Music Hall Rockette, who helped Campbell clean up his life.

In 2003, he was arrested for hit-and-run, an incident that ended with him allegedly kneeing a police officer in the thigh right before he was released. Campbell pleaded guilty to extreme drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident, and spent 10 days in jail.

In 2011, Campbell, who was 75, revealed that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. In June of that year, he announced he was retiring from music due to the disease. He released his final album of original music Ghost on the Canvas (with guests Billy Corgan, Paul Westerberg and Jakob Dylan) and embarked on a farewell tour with three of his children backing him.

"I think this has been really good for him," said his daughter Ashley. "Before the announcement, people were thinking, 'He's drunk. He's using again.' Now it's more of a supportive thing as opposed to an angry, critical thing."

In 2014, I’ll Be Me, a film about Campbell’s farewell tour and struggles with Alzheimer’s was released. He spent his final years in an assisted living facility. His friends and children would often spend days with him playing him his old songs. "Music utilizes all of the brain, not just one little section of it," Kim noted. "Everything's firing all at once. It's really stimulating and probably helped him plateau and not progress as quickly as he might have. I could tell from his spirits that it was good for him. It made him really happy. It was good for the whole family to continue touring and to just keep living our lives. And we hope it encourages other people to do the same."

Earlier this year, Campbell released Adiós, his final studio album, a collection of mainly cover songs by Bob Dylan, Harry Nilsson and others, recorded after his Goodbye Tour. "Almost every time he sat down with a guitar, these were his go-to songs," daughter Ashley Campbell told Rolling Stone Country. "They were very much engrained in his memory – like, so far back that they were one of the last things he started losing."

Campbell was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.


CAMPBELL, Glen (Glen Travis Campbell)
Born: 4/22/1936, Billstown, Arkansas, U.S.A.
Died: 8/8/2017, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Glen Campbell’s westerns – actor:
True Grit – 1969 (La Boeuf)
Uphill All the Way – 1986 (Captain Hazeltojn)