Category: RIP

RIP: Dabney Coleman

Dabney Coleman, the award-winning actor of stage and screen, died yesterday. Mr. Coleman was 92.

Dabney Coleman attended both the Virginia Military Institute and the University of Texas at Austin.  Mr. Coleman was drafted and served in the U.S. Army.  After his service, Dabney Coleman attended the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.

In 1961, Dabney Coleman made his Broadway debut in A Call on Kupri.  That same year, Mr. Coleman appeared in an episode of Naked City.  For the rest of his career Dabney Coleman would appear on television and in feature films.

In 1987, Dabney Coleman won a Primetime Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Special for his role in Sworn to Silence.  Mr. Coleman was nominated for five other Primetime Emmys: 1983 and 1984 – Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Buffalo Bill; 1988 – Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Special for Baby M; 1988 – Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for The Slap Maxwell Story and 1991 – Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for Columbo.

Television appearances of Dabney Coleman include: Naked City; Armstrong Circle Theater (3 episodes); Alcoa Theater; Ben Casey; Breaking Point; Arrest and Trial; The Movie Maker; Kraft Suspense Theater (2 episodes); Dr. Kildare; The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (2 episodes); The Outer Limits (3 episodes); Bob Hope Presents Chrysler Theater (2 episodes); Hazel; The Donna Reed Show; 12 O’Clock High (2 episodes); The Fugitive (4 episodes); Please Don’t Eat the Daisies; Run for Your Life; That Girl (8 episodes); I Dream of Jeannie (2 episodes); The Flying Nun; The Invaders (2 episodes); Iron Horse; Judd for the Defense; Death Valley Days; Mod Squad; Then Came Bronson; Bonanza (2 episodes); Dan August; Nanny and the Professor; The Bold Ones: The New Doctors; Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law; Banyon; Room 222 (2 episodes); Ironside; Search; Savage; Kojak; The FBI (7 episodes); Mannix (3 episodes); Medical Center; McMillian & Wife (2 episodes); The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Cannon (2 episodes); Switch; The Streets of San Francisco (2 episodes); Police Story (2 episodes); Petrocelli; Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (148 episodes); Fernwood Tonight (2 episodes); Quincy (2 episodes); Forever Fernwood (130 episodes); The Love Boat; Apple Pie (8 episodes); Diff’rent Strokes (2 episodes); Barnaby Jones (5 episodes); Buffalo Bill (26 episodes); Fresno (6 episodes); Dolly; The Slap Maxwell Story (22 episodes); It’s Gary Shandling’s Show (2 episodes); Columbo (2 episodes); Drexell’s Class (18 episodes); Lincoln; Madman of the People (16 episodes); The Wonderful World of Disney; Recess (14 episodes); The Guardian (67 episodes); Courting Alex (13 episodes); Heartland (6 episodes); Boardwalk Empire (24 episodes); Pound Puppies (4 episodes); Ray Donovan; NCIS and Yellowstone.

Feature film appearances of Dabney Coleman include: The Slender Thread; The Scalphunters; The Trouble with Girls; Downhill Racer; Cinderella Liberty; The Towering Inferno; Black Fist; Bite the Bullet; Midway; Viva Knievel!; Rolling Thunder; Go Tell the Spartans; North Dallas Forty; How to Beat the High Cost of Living; Melvin and Howard; 9 to 5; On Golden Pond; Modern Problems; Tootsie; War Games; Cloak and Dagger; The Muppets Take Manhattan; The Man with One Red Shoe; Dragnet; Amos & Andrew; The Beverly Hillbillies; Clifford; You’ve Got Mail; Inspector Gadget; Where the Red Fern Grows and Domino.

The first time I saw Dabney Coleman on screen was probably in The Fugitive or Invaders.  But man, he sure did appear in many other shows I regularly watched.  My most memorable performance by Dabney Coleman is from 9 to 5.  He was perfect.  Of course that’s not surprising because any time you saw Dabney Coleman, you knew the program/movie would be better because of him.  It’s evidence of his talent that he could move from television to feature films or drama to comedy with ease.

Out thoughts and prayers go out to Dabney Coleman’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Roger Corman

Roger Corman,  the award-winning writer, actor, director and producer died on May 9, 2024.  Mr. Corman was 98.

After graduating high school Roger Corman went to Stanford University.  While in the program, Mr. Corman decided he didn’t want to be an engineer.  He enlisted in the Navy and served two years.  He then went back to Stanford to complete his degree.  Mr. Corman’s career as an engineer lasted less than a week.  He quit and got a job in the 20th Century Fox mailroom.

From the mailroom, Roger Corman took various jobs to learn as much as he could about filmmaking.  He sold his first script and worked on the film as an associate producer.  Mr. Corman formed his own production company and raised money to produce his first film.  He never looked back.

Over the course of his career Roger Corman worked as an actor (46 credits), director (56 credits) and producer (493 credits).  He is noted for hiring young, untested talents such as Jack Nicholson, Sly Stallone, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd, Jonathan Demme, Ron Howard, Peter Bogdanovich and others.  Roger Corman won an Honorary Academy Award in 2010.

Roger Corman’s writing resume includes: The Gunfighter (uncredited script consultant); Highway Dragnet (story); The Fast and the Furious (1954) (story); The Little Shop of Horrors (co-writer uncredited); The Terror (uncredited); Frankenstein Unbound (screenplay); Black Scorpion (creator – 22 episodes).

Some of Roger Corman’s acting appearances include: Monster from the Ocean Floor; Highway Dragnet; Day the World Ended; The Crybaby Killer; The Wasp Woman; Battle of Blood Island; Blood Bath; The Godfather Part II; Cannonball; The Howling; Swing Shift; Lords of the Deep; The Silence of the Lambs; Philadelphia; Apollo 13; Beverly Hills 90210; Scream 3; The Manchurian Candidate (2004); Dinoshark; Sharktopus and Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader.

Roger Corman’s directing resume includes: Five Guns West; The Beast with a Million Eyes; Day the World Ended; It Conquered the World; Attack of the Crab Monsters; Not of This Earth; The Undead; Rock All Night; Carnival Night; Machine-Gun Kelly; I, Mobster; A Bucket of Blood; House of Usher; The Little Shop of Horrors; The Pit and the Pendulum; The Premature Burial; The Intruder; Tales of Terror; Tower of London; The Raven; The Terror; X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes; The Haunted Palace; The Masque of the Red Death; The Tomb of Legeia; The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre; The Trip; Bloody Mama; Deathsport; Battle Beyond the Stars and Frankenstein Unbound.

Roger Corman’s producing credits include: Highway Dragnet; Monster from the Ocean Floor; The Fast and the Furious; The Beast with a Million Eyes; Day the World Ended; It Conquered the World; Attack of the Crab Monsters; Machine-Gun Kelly; I, Mobster; The Wasp Woman; Bucket of Blood; House of Usher; The Little Shop of Horrors; The Pit and the Pendulum; The Premature Burial; The Intruder; Tales of Terror; The Raven; X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes; Dementia 13; The Haunted Palace; The Masque of the Red Death; The Tomb of Ligeia; Ride in the Whirlwind; The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre; The Trip; Targets; Pit Stop; Bloody Mama; Boxcar Bertha; Amarcord; Cockfighter; Big Bad Mama; Capone; Death Race 2000; The Romantic Englishwoman; The Story of Adele H; Nashville Girl; Eat My Dust; Jackson County Jail; Cannonball; Grand Theft Auto; I Never Promised You a Rose Garden; A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich; Deathsport; Piranha; Saint Jack; The Lady in Red; Breaker Morant; Battle Beyond the Stars; Shogun Assassin; Space Raiders; Deathstalker; Stripped to Kill; Big Bad Mama II; Bloodfist II; Frankenstein Unbound; Dead Space; Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight; Kyko; Black Scorpion (22 episodes); Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song; Rage and Discipline; Saurian and Death Race (2008).

I admire Roger Corman’s talent and tenacity.  He was able to be successful as a writer, director, actor and producer.  The length of his career is amazing.  He worked with legends such as Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Vincent Price.  He gave starts to the careers of Sly Stallone, Jack Nicholson and James Cameron to name three.  There were many more.  I always thought it was cool that Mr. Corman was known best for his low budget films, yet we would see him turn up acting in movies like The Godfather Part II, The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia and Apollo 13.  

I don’t know that we’ll ever see another career to match Roger Corman’s.

Out thoughts and prayers go out to Roger Corman’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Louis Gossett Jr.

Louis Gossett Jr.,  the award-winning actor of stage and screen, died today.  No cause of death was given. Mr. Gossett was 87.

Louis Gossett Jr. made his stage debut on Broadway in Take a Giant Step.  He was just 17 (and had no formal acting training). Mr. Gossett would go on to appear on Broadway in The Desk Set and A Raisin in the Sun.  He also appeared in several other theater productions both on Broadway and other locations.  Mr. Gossett made his television debut in 1957, in The Big Story.   His feature film debut came in 1961, in A Raisin in the Sun (adapted from the Broadway play).

For the rest of his career Louis Gossett Jr. would appear on stage, television and in feature films.

In 1977, Mr. Gossett won a Primetime Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actor for a Single Appearance in a Drama or Comedy Series for his role in Roots.

Mr. Gossett won an Best Supporting Actor Academy Award in 1983 for his role in An Officer and a Gentleman.  He was the first African-American to win the award.  That same year Mr. Gossett won the Golden Globe as Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Motion Picture for his part in An Officer and a Gentleman.

Television appearances of Louis Gossett Jr. include: The Big Story (2 episodes); Cowboy in Africa (2 episodes); The Invaders; Daktari; The Bill Cosby Show; The Young Rebels (15 episodes); The Partridge Family; Bonanza; Longstreet; The Bold Ones: The New Doctors; Alias Smith and Jones; The Rookies; The Mod Squad (3 episodes); Love American Style; Owen Marshall – Counselor at Law; McCloud; Lucas Tanner; Petrocelli (2 episodes); Harry O; Good Times (2 episodes); The Jeffersons; The Six Million Dollar Man; Police Story (2 episodes); Little House on the Prairie; Roots (3 episodes); The Rockford Files (2 episodes); Backstairs at the White House (4 episodes); The Lazarus Syndrome (5 episodes); The Powers of Matthew Star (22 episodes); Sadat (2 episodes); Roots: The Gift; Straight Up (2 episodes); The Josephine Baker Story; Captain Planet (3 episodes); Return to Lonesome Dove (3 episodes); Picket Fences; Ray Alexander: A Taste for Justice; Ray Alexander: A Menu for Murder; Touched by an Angel; Early Edition; Ellen; Resurrection Blvd. (2 episodes); The Dead Zone; Half & Half (2 episodes); Stargate SG-1 (5 episodes); Family Guy; The Batman (3 episodes); ER; Psych; Boardwalk Empire; The Book of Negroes (2 episodes); Extant (4 episodes); Hap & Leonard (5 episodes); Hawaii 5-0; Watchmen (7 episodes) and Kingdom Business (2 episodes).

Feature film appearances of Louis Gossett Jr. include: A Raisin in the Sun; Skin Game; Travels with My Aunt; The Laughing Policeman; The Deep; The Choirboys; An Officer and a Gentleman; Jaws 3-D; Enemy Mine; Iron Eagle; Firewalker; The Principal; Iron Eagle II; The Punisher; Toy Soldiers; Aces: Iron Eagle III; Diggstown; Iron Eagle on the Attack and The Color Purple.

The first time I saw Louis Gossett Jr. on screen was probably in The Invaders or The Young Rebels.  I regularly watched those shows so it is likely I saw him there first.  But boy, he sure did appear in many other shows I watched as often as possible.  My favorite performance by Louis Gossett Jr. is easily in An Officer and a Gentleman.  He was perfect.  Of course any time you saw Louis Gossett Jr.’s name in the credits, you knew the role would be better because of him.  It’s evidence of his talent that he could move from stage to television to feature films or drama to comedy with ease.  Also the length of his career points to a very talented individual.

Out thoughts and prayers go out to Louis Gossett Jr.’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: M. Emmet Walsh

M. Emmet Walsh, born Michael Emmet Walsh,  the great character actor, died yesterday from cardiac arrest.  He was 88.

Although Mr. Walsh graduated from Clarkson University with a B.A. in Business Administration, his career path led him to acting.  With well over 200 roles on his resume, E. Emmet Walsh alternated between television and feature films throughout his over 55 year career.

Television appearances of M. Emmet Walsh include: The Doctors; Arnie; Julia (2 episodes); All in the Family; The Jimmy Stewart Show; Ironside; Bonanza; The Don Rickles Show; Nichols (5 episodes); The Bob Newhart Show; The Sandy Duncan Show (11 episodes); McMillian & Wife; The Rockford Files; Sarah T. – Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic; The Waltons; Baretta (2 episodes); Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (2 episodes); Starsky and Hutch (2 episodes); James at 16; East of Eden; Little House on the Prairie; AfterMASH; The Twilight Zone; The Deliberate Stranger; The Magical World of Disney; Amazing Stories; The Abduction of Kari Swanson; Brotherhood of the Rose; Unsub (8 episodes); Tales from the Crypt; The Civil War (9 episodes); The Flash (2 episodes); Home Improvement (2 episodes); The Outer Limits; The X-Files; NYPD Blue; Ed; Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot (26 episodes); Frasier; What’s New Scooby Doo?; Til Death; Damages (3 episodes); Pound Puppies (46 episodes); Empire; Adventure Time (4 episodes); Sneaky Pete (7 episodes) and The Righteous Gemstones (2 episodes).

Feature film appearances of M. Emmet Walsh include: Midnight Cowboy; Alice’s Restaurant; Little Big Man; Cold Turkey; Escape from the Planet of the Apes; What’s Up Doc?; Kid Blue; Serpico; The Gambler; At Long Last Love; The Prisoner of Second Avenue; Bound for Glory; Nickelodeon; Slap Shot; Airport ’77; Straight Time; The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh; The Jerk; Brubaker; Raise the Titanic; Ordinary People;  Back Roads; Reds; Canary Row; Blade Runner; Silkwood; Blood Simple; The Pope of Greenwich Village; Missing in Action; Fletch; The Best of Times; Wildcats; Critters; Back to School; Raising Arizona; Harry and the Hendersons; The Milagro Beanfield War; Sunset; Clean and Sober; Red Scorpion; The Mighty Quinn; Narrow Margin; White Sands; Free Willy 2; Albino Alligator; Romeo + Juliet; My Best Friend’s Wedding; Twilight; Wild, Wild West; The Iron Giant; Random Hearts; Snow Dogs; Christmas with the Kranks and Knives Out.

Just look at the career M. Emmet Walsh had.  And I didn’t list everything he did. It would be hard to find any actor who worked on more great television shows and feature films.  Or one who worked with so many of the best actors/actresses and directors.

I don’t know when I first saw M. Emmet Walsh act.  It may have been in All in the Family or Nichols or.. well, you get the idea.  My favorite M. Emmet Walsh role is also hard to nail down… because he had so many.  If I had to pick just one, it would be the sleazy Private Eye, Loren Visser in Blood Simple. But truth be told, any role that Mr. Walsh took on became something special.

Out thoughts and prayers go out to M. Emmet Walsh’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Eric Carmen

Eric Carmen’s wife announced that he had died over the weekend.  No specific date or cause of death was given.  Eric Carmen was 74.

Eric Carmen taught himself guitar, but was a classically trained pianist.  Mr. Carmen first fame came as lead singer of The Raspberries.  Eric Carmen was also the writer or co-writer of the groups hit songs such as Go All the Way and I Want to Be With You.

Eric Carmen left The Raspberries to pursue a solo career.  His biggest hits were All By Myself and Never Gonna Fall in Love Again from his first solo album.  Mr. Carmen would go on to write, sing, perform and produce for himself and others for the remainder of his career.  Eric Carmen produced the mega hit Hungry Eyes from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

Eric Carmen’s hits, both with The Raspberries and solo, were a big part of my childhood.  I still find myself smiling (and singing along) when I hear them.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Eric Carmen’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Richard Lewis

Richard Lewis, the stand-up comedian, actor, writer and producer, died of a heart attack on February 27th.

Mr. Lewis began his stand-up career in 1971 while working at an advertising agency during the day.  David Brenner saw Richard Lewis’ act and helped to promote him.  By the mid-70s, Lewis was becoming well-known thanks to his appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and publications such as the New York Daily News.  Richard Lewis made his acting debut in Diary of a Young Comic.  He would go on to act on television, in feature films and stand-up for the remainder of his career.

Some of Richard Lewis’ television work includes: Diary of a Young Comic; The 416th; House Calls; Riptide; Harry (7 episodes); Anything But Love (56 episodes); The Larry Sanders Show; Daddy Dearest (13 episodes); Tales from the Crypt; Hiller & Diller (13 episodes); Rude Awakening (6 episodes); Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm; Alias; Two and a Half Men; 7th Heaven (9 episodes); The Dead Zone; Las Vegas; George Lopez; The Simpsons; Everybody Hates Chris; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; The Cleaner; ‘Til Death (3 episodes); Blunt Talk (6 episodes) and Curb Your Enthusiasm (41 episodes).

Some of Richard Lewis’ feature film work includes: The Wrong Guys; That’s Adequate; Once Upon a Crime; Robin Hood: Men in Tights; Wagons East; Leaving Las Vegas; The Maze and Vamps.

I was a fan of Richard Lewis.  It was always cool to see him show up in a television show or movie. ‘

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Richard Lewis’ family, friends and fans.

RIP: Carl Weathers

Carl Weathers died peacefully in his sleep on February 1, 2024.  He was 76.

Carl Weathers attended St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana on an athletic scholarship.  Mr. Weathers was an athlete who excelled in football, boxing, gymnastics, soccer, wrestling and judo.  At San Diego St. University, Carl Weathers played defensive end for the Aztecs football team.  As an undrafted free agent, Mr. Weathers was picked up by the Oakland Raiders in 1970 to play linebacker.  When he was released the following year, he headed to Canada where he played for the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League.  In the off seasons, Carl Weathers returned to the states to earn a earned a bachelor’s degree in drama.  In 1974, Mr. Weathers retired from football to pursue a career in acting.

Carl Weathers’ first feature film role was uncredited.  He played a demonstrator in Magnum Force.  Mr. Weathers’ first television role was as a jealous husband in an episode of Good Times.  Carl Weathers breakout role was as Apollo Creed in Rocky.  He would return to that role three more times.  Other of Carl Weathers’ signature roles include: Fortune Dane in Fortune Dane (1986); Colonel Al Dillon in Predator (1987); Jericho Jackson in Action Jackson (1988); Adam Beaudreaux in Street Justice (1991); Hampton Forbes in In the Heat of the Night (1993); Chubbs in Happy Gilmore (1996); Joe Clark in The Shield (2003); Combat Carl in Toy Story 4 (2019) and Greef Karga in The Mandalorian.  Although he would alternate throughout his career acting in feature films and television roles, Carl Weathers also branched out as a director and producer.

Television appearances of Carl Weathers include: Good Times; Kung Fu; S.W.A.T.; The Six Million Dollar Man; Cannon; Switch; McCloud; Starsky and Hutch; Barnaby Jones; The Streets of San Francisco; The Defiant Ones; Fortune Dane (6 episodes); Tour of Duty (9 episodes); Street Justice (44 episodes); In the Heat of the Night (28 episodes); The Shield (2 episodes); ER; Brothers (13 episodes); Chadam (3 episodes); Psych; Arrested Development (4 episodes); Toy Story of Terror; Regular Show (2 episodes); Colony (7 episodes); Chicago Fire (2 episodes); Chicago PD (4 episodes); Chicago Justice (13 episodes); Magnum PI (2018); Law and Order: Special Victims Unit; Star vs the Forces of Evil (10 episodes) and The Mandalorian (9 episodes).

Feature film appearances of Carl Weathers include: Magnum Force; Friday Foster; Rocky; Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Semi-Tough; Force Ten from Navarone; Rocky II; Death Hunt; Rocky III; Rocky IV; Predator; Action Jackson; Happy Gilmore and Toy Story 4.

Projects that Carl Weathers directed include: Renegade; Silk Stockings (8 episodes); Pensacola: Wings of Gold (2 episodes); 18 Wheels of Justice (3 episodes); Sheena (5 episodes); Hawaii 5-0: The Last O.G. (2 episodes); Law & Order; Chicago Med (2 episodes) and The Mandalorian (2 episodes).

When I think of his career, of course his role as Apollo Creed first comes to mind. Sly Stallone posted a touching tribute to Carl Weathers tonight that spoke to his importance in making Rocky a success.  Part of what Sly Stallone said:  “We lost a legend yesterday. My life was forever changed for the better the day I met Carl Weathers. Rest in power and keeping punching.”  My favorite Carl Weathers story occurred when he auditioned for the role of Apollo Creed.  Mr. Weathers was told that the writer of Rocky would be reading with him.  As the audition continued, Carl Weathers felt he wasn’t doing well.  He told the producers, “I’d do better if I was reading with a real actor.”  Sly said he knew right then Carl Weathers was the choice to play Apollo.

Although it only ran for six episodes, I was a fan of Carl Weathers’ Fortune Dane series.  I’ve been planning to seek it out for a re-watch.  The same could be said for his feature film Action Jackson.  Of course everyone loves his role in Predator and I’m no exception.  Anything that Carl Weathers was in was better because of him.

I was truly surprised by Carl Weathers’ death.  He was always in shape and appeared to be the picture of health. Some celebrity deaths hit harder than others.  Carl Weathers death was like a head-on car crash.  In addition to his acting, directing and producing, Carl Weathers will be remembered for his positive attitude.  He focused on the good in people.  He was humble and appreciative of his fans.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Carl Weather’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: William O’Connell

William O’Connell died on January 15, 2024.  He was 94.

Mr. O’Connell served in served in the Korean War as a 1st Lieutenant in the 45th Infantry.

William O’Connell acted in television and feature films.  His best known role was on Star Trek where he played Thelev, an alien whose mission was to kill Captain Kirk and destroy the Enterprise.  Mr. O’Connell was also a favorite of Clint Eastwood with appearances in five of his movies (Paint Your Wagon, High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Every Which Way But Loose and Any Which Way You Can).

Television appearances of William O’Connell include: Highway Patrol; Peter Gunn; Dr. Kildare; Thriller; The Twilight Zone; Dennis the Menace; The Travels of Jamie McPheeters; My Three Sons; The Outer Limits; Rawhide (2 episodes); Bonanza; The Alfred Hitchcock Hour; The Munsters; Batman; Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats; The Lucy Show; Ironside; Star Trek; Petticoat Junction (4 episodes); Mannix; Mission Impossible; Julia; The Wild, Wild West; Green Acres; Gunsmoke; Daniel Boone (3 episodes); Love American Style (2 episodes); The Odd Couple (2 episodes); Kolchak: The Night Stalker; Charlie’s Angels; Quncey, M.E. (2 episodes) and The Dukes of Hazzard.

Feature film appearances of William O’Connell include: Swingin’ Along; The Warlord; ice Station Zebra; Paint Your Wagon; Which Way to the Front; The Culpepper Cattle Co.; High Plains Drifter; Big Bad Mama; The Outlaw Josey Wales; Every Way But Loose and Any Which Way You Can.

William O’Connell was the quintessential character actor.  It’s hard to say when I first saw him because he appeared in so many of the television shows I watched as a kid.  If I had to pick a favorite William O’Connell role it would be either in Star Trek or The Outlaw Josey Wales.  On Star Trek he had the bigger part, but Mr. O’Connell was so memorable as the ferryman in Josey Wales that I had to also include it.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to William O’Connell’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Norman Jewison

Norman Jewison died on January 20, 2024.  He was 97.

Norman Jewison served in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II,  After the war, Mr. Jewison attended Victoria College in the University of Toronto.  He graduated with a B.A. in 1949.

He then moved to London where he worked as a bit actor and script writer for children’s programing.  He moved back to Canada in 1951.  He got work as a writer, director and producer of musicals, comedy-variety shows, dramas, and specials for the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).

In 1958, Norman Jewison began working for NBC, directing Your Hit Parade and The Andy WIlliams Show.  Specials for Harry Belafonte, Jackie Gleason, Danny Kaye and Judy Garland followed.  The first feature film that Mr. Jewison directed was 40 Pounds of Trouble starring Tony Curtis, Phil Silvers and Suzanne Pleshette.  For the remainder of his career, Norman Jewison alternated between television projects and feature films.

Norman Jewison was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director three times.  Films he directed were nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award four times.

Television projects directed by Norman Jewison include: The Big Review; Your Hit Parade (2 episodes); The Chevy Showroom Starring Andy Williams (3 episodes); The Big Party (2 episodes); An Hour with Danny Kaye; Belafonte, New York 19; The Judy Garland Show and Dinner with Friends.

Feature films directed by Norman Jewison include: 40 Pounds of Trouble; The Cincinnati Kid; The Russians Are Coming the Russians are Coming; In the Heat of the Night; The Thomas Crown Affair; Fiddler on the Roof; Jesus Christ Superstar; Rollerball; F.I.S.T.; And Justice For All; Best Friends; A Soldier’s Story; Agnes of God; Moonstruck and The Hurricane.

Norman Jewison could direct any genre of movie.  My favorite Norman Jewison films are In the Heat of the Night, F.I.S.T., And Justice for All and A Soldier’s Story.  They are so good, it’s tough to pick just one and don’t sleep on any of his films!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Norman Jewison’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Lynne Marta

It has been announced that Lynn Marta died January 11, 2024, from cancer.  Ms. Marta was 78.

Lynn Marta began her professional acting career with a guest spot on the television show, Gidget starring Sally Field.  Throughout the rest of her nearly 40 year career, Ms. Marta appeared on television and in feature films.

Some of Lynn Marta’s television appearances include: Gidget; The Monkees; Then Came Bronson; Love American Style (18 episodes); Dan August; Cannon (tv movie); Mod Squad; The Roookies; Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law; The F.B.I. (4 episodes); Gunsmoke; Assignment: Vienna; Cannon (2 episodes); Genesis II; Marcus Welby, M.D.; Insight (2 episodes); Kojak; Adams of Eagle Lake (2 episodes); Medical Center (4 episodes); The Streets of San Francisco (2 episodes); Barnaby Jones (4 episodes); Starsky and Hutch (4 episodes); The Rockford Files; CHiPs; The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo; Charlie’s Angels (3 episodes); Vega$ (2 episodes); Trapper John, M.D. (2 episodes); Matt Houston; Knight Rider; Designing Women (2 episodes); Law & Order; The Young and the Restless; ER; Days of Our Lives (24 episodes) and American Dreams.

Some of Lynn Marta’s feature film appearances include: Red Sky at Morning; Joe Kidd; 43: The Richard Petty Story; Footloose and The First Power.

I’m not sure when I first saw Lynn Marta.  It was probably in her appearance on The Monkees.  She sure did act in many of the shows I regularly watched.  What a career she had!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joyce Randolph’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Joyce Randolph

Joyce Randolph died yesterday in her sleep.  Ms. Randolph was 99.

After high school in Detroit, Joyce Randolph auditioned for a part in a touring company of Stage Door. She earned the role and finished the tour.  She then moved to New York City to pursue an acting career.  Joyce Randolph began getting roles on Broadway and television.  When Jackie Gleason offered her the role of Trixie on The Honeymooners, she became a household name.

Some of Joyce Randolph’s television appearances include: Gander Sauce; Rocky King, Detective; Buck Rogers; The Ed Sullivan Show; The Plainclothesman (5 episodes); The Jack Benny Program; The Honeymooners (39 episodes); The Jackie Gleason Show (79 episodes); Hi Honey, I’m Home and Everything’s Jake.

Because Joyce Randolph became so typecast from her role on The Honeymooners, it became hard for her to get roles.  She turned to acting in summer stock, commercials and the occasional television guest spot.  Joyce Randolph was the last surviving cast member of what many consider the best television comedy ever made.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joyce Randolph’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Cindy Morgan

It has been reported that Cindy Morgan, born born Cynthia Ann Cichorski, was found dead of natural causes at her home in Lake Worth Beach, Florida, on December 30, 2023.  Ms. Morgan was 69.

While in college Cindy Cichorski was invited by a local station to report news for them.  At that point she took adopted the professional name Cindy Morgan.  After graduation she worked as a weather reporter before deciding to move to LA.  She became the Irish Spring girl in advertisements and soon landed her first feature film role as Lacey Underall in Caddyshack.  Ms. Morgan would continue to work in feature films and television roles for the remainder of her career.  When she retired from acting, Ms. Morgan could be found making personal appearances at conventions across the country.

Some of Cindy Morgan’s television appearances include: The Love Boat; Vega$; CHiPs (3 episodes); Bring ‘Em Back Alive (13 episodes); The Fall Guy; Amazing Stories; The Magical World of Disney; Falcon Crest (16 episodes); Matlock (3 episodes); Hunter (2 episodes); Harry and the Hendersons and The Larry Sanders Show.

Some of Cindy Morgan’s feature film appearances include: Caddyshack and Tron.

My favorite Cindy Morgan role was as Lacey Underall in CaddyshackI met Cindy Morgan at a Tampa Comic Convention back in 2005.  As I said then, Ms. Morgan was humble and polite.  Fans loved her.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cindy Morgan’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: David Soul

David Soul died yesterday.  Mr. Soul was 80.]

David Soul began performing as a founding member of the Firehouse Theater in Minneapolis.  In 1967, Mr, Soul had guest appearances on Flipper, I Dream of Jeannie and Star Trek.  In 1968, he landed a co-starring role on the series Here Come the Brides.  When the series ended, David Soul continued to act in movies and television roles.  In 1975, David Soul became a household name with his co-starring role in the hit series Starsky and Hutch.  His popularity allowed him to return to his love of singing (in addition to acting).  David Soul’s release of “Don’t Give Up on Us” hit number 1 in the US.  He also had 5 singles in the top twenty in the UK.  During his hiatus from filming Starsky and Hutch and after the series ended, David Soul would perform concerts in the US and around the world.

For the rest of his career, David Soul would perform as a singer, actor and director.

Some of David Soul’s television appearances include: Flipper; I Dream of Jeannie; Star Trek; Here Come the Brides (52 episodes); The Young Rebels; Dan August; Ironside; All in the Family; The FBI; The Streets of San Francisco; Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (7 episodes); Cannon (2 episodes); The Rookies; McMillan & Wife; Medical Center; Gunsmoke; Starsky and Hutch (92 episodes); Salem’s Lot; The Manions of America (3 episodes); World War III (2 episodes); Casablanca (5 episodes); The Yellow Rose (22 episodes); The Key to Rebecca; Crime Story; Secret of Sahara (4 episodes); Unsub (8 episodes); The Young Riders (2 episodes); Jake and the Fatman (2 episodes); Murder She Wrote (2 episodes) and Sandra the Rebel Princess (7 episodes);

Some of David Soul’s feature film appearances include: Johnny Got His Gun; Magnum Force and Appointment with Death.

I first remember seeing David Soul in Here Come the Brides.  However, I may have seen him first in Flipper,  I Dream of Jeannie or Star Trek since I regularly watched these shows as a kid.  When I was in high school Starsky & Hutch premiered and it was must-see tv.  I’m also a fan of David Soul in Salem’s Lot.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to David Soul’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Tom Smothers

Tom Smothers, born Thomas Bolyn Smothers III, died yesterday from cancer.  Mr. Smothers was 86.

In high school Tom Smothers was a state champion gymnast in the parallel bars.  While attending San José State University, Mr. Smothers competed in gymnastics and the pole vault with the track and field team.

Tom and his younger brother, Dick, wanted to be folk musicians.  Tom thought that while he wasn’t good enough to be a professional musician, he was funny enough to be a comedian.  So the two began adding comedy bits to their performances.  Their act caught on.  CBS gave them their first television show, The Smothers Brothers Show.  It lasted one season.

Tom Smothers negotiated creative control for their next CBS series, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  By this point Tom had become politically active.  He and Dick began to push the limits with references to recreational drugs, sex, religion and the Viet Nam war.  The show’s war with the CBS censors generated a lot of publicity and the show ended up being cancelled.

Tom Smothers continued to appear with his brother for live performances.  Tom Smothers also continued to be a political activist.  He attended the famous Monterey Pop Festival where he introduced several of the acts.  He became friends with John Lennon and actually played acoustic guitar on Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” record.

For the rest of his career Tom Smothers performed live, on television, feature films and commercials.

Some of Tom Smothers’ television appearances include: The Danny Thomas Show; Burke’s Law; My Brother the Angel (32 episodes); The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (73 episodes); Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (3 episodes); Love American Style; Fitz & Bones (4 episodes); Fantasy Island; The Love Boat (2 episodes); The Smothers Brothers Show (13 episodes); Hotel; Tales of the Unexpected (2 episodes); Dream On; Suddenly Susan (3 episodes); Norm (2 episodes) and The Simpsons.

Some of Tom Smothers’ feature film appearances include: Get to Know Your Rabbit; Silver Bears and Serial.

I was a kid when The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was getting all of the heat over trouble with the censors.  It just made me want to watch it more.  I always enjoyed seeing Tom and Dick Smothers perform.  They never failed to give me  smile.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tom Smothers’ family, friends and fans.

RIP: Mike Nussbaum

Mike Nussbaum died yesterday just six days short of his 100th birthday.  Mr. Nussbaum was a stage, television and feature film actor.

After serving in World War II, Mike Nussbaum went into the extermination business with his brother-in-law.  Mr. Nussbaum became involved in community theater in the 1950s.  He met and became friends with David Mamet in the 1960s and appeared in many of Mamet’s plays both on and off Broadway.  Mike Nussbaum also begin to act in television commercials.  In 1969, Mr. Nussbaum got his first feature film role in The Monitors.  For the rest of his career, Mike Nussbaum acted on stage, television and in feature films, as well as sometimes directing theater productions.

Some of Mike Nussbaum’s television appearances include: Vital Signs; Spenser for Hire; The Equalizer; 227; L.A. Law; Separate But Equal (2 episodes); Brooklyn Bridge (2 episodes); Frasier; The Commish (3 episodes); and The X-Files.

Some of Mike Nussbaum’s feature film appearances include: The Monitors; T.R. Baskin; Harry and Tonto; House of Games; Fatal Attraction; Things Change; Field of Dreams; Desperate Hours; Gladiator (92) and Men in Black.

It’s interesting that Mike Nussbaum wasn’t hit with the acting bug until he was in his thirties.  Once bitten, he never looked back, acting well into his 90s.  I wish everyone could discover their passion and pursue it like Mr. Nussbaum.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike Nussbaum’s family, friends and fans.