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.
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
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
"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..."
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.
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.
Born: 9/7/1946, Evansville, Indiana, U.S.A.
Died: 9/26/2014, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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 following was posted by Ian Dickerson on the front
page of lesliecharteris.com:
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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)
She was a household name from her 20s onward, making
albums and playing leading roles in films, stage musicals and TV dramas
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
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
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
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
Veteran Israeli filmmaker Avraham Heffner dies at 79
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
Johnny Rotella never missed this column, but this column
will miss Johnny Rotella. Johnny died Thursday just days shy of his 94th
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
How can Johnny Rotella be gone when his friend Phil
Poulos was saving a chair for him Friday at the monthly Pacific Pioneer
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
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
“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.
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
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
MADDUX, Lee (Lee L. Maddux)
Born: 1946, Lyons,
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
R.I.P. Theodore J. Flicker, Creator of ‘Barney Miller’
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
FLICKER, Theodore J.
Born: 6/30/1930 Freehold Borough, New Jersey, U.S.A.
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.
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
Former MGM Star, ‘Wagon Train’s’ Denny Miller Has Died At
The Age Of 80, Highlight Hollywood News
September 12, 2014
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
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.
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
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)
The presenter and actor died at 87 years old in his home
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
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
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
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
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
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)
Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1946 I have a BA degree in American History from Cal St. Northridge. I've been researching the American West and western films since the early 1980s and visiting filming sites in Spain and the U.S.A. Elected a member of the Spaghetti Western Hall of Fame 2010.