Category: RIP

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.

RIP: Andre Braugher

Andre Braugher died on December 11, 2023, after a brief illness.  Mr. Braugher was 61.

Andre Braugher attended Stanford University on a scholarship where he earned a BA in theater.  He matriculated to Juilliard’s School of Drama.  He graduated in 1988.  Mr. Braugher’s first professional television credit was playing Kojak’s partner in the revival movie.  His first professional film role was in Glory.  Many know Andrew Braugher from his two long-running series.  He played Detective Frank Pembleton in Homicide: Life on the Street from 1993–1999 and Captain Raymond Holt in Brooklyn Nine-Nine from 2013–2021.

Andrew Braugher’s honors and awards include 11 Primetime Emmy Nominations with two wins.

Some of Andrew Braugher’s television projects include: Kojak: Ariana; Kojak: Fatal Flaw; Kojak: Flowers for Matty; Kojak: It’s Always Something; Murder in Mississippi; Kojak: None So Blind; The Court Martial of Jackie Robinson; The Tuskegee Airmen; Law & Order; Homicide: Life on the Street (100 episodes); Homicide: The Movie; Jackie Chan: Adventures (3 episodes); The Practice; Gideon’s Crossing (20 episodes); Hack (40 episodes); Salem’s Lot (2 episodes); The Jury (2 episodes); Thief (6 episodes); The Andromeda Strain (4 episodes); Men of a Certain Age (22 episodes); House (4 episodes); Last Resort (13 episodes); Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (6 episodes); New Girl; Bojack Horseman (4 episodes); Brooklyn Nine-Nine (153 episodes); American Experience (4 episodes) and The Good Fight (10 episodes).

Some of Andrew Braugher’s feature film projects include: Glory; Striking Distance; Primal Fear; City of Angels; Frequency; Poseidon; The Mist; Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Salt.

My three favorite Andrew Braugher appearances were in Glory, City of Angels and The Mist.  Mr. Braugher was excellent in every role he played.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Andrew Braugher’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Jack Hogan

Jack Hogan died on December 6, 2023.  Mr. Hogan was 94.

While in the Air Force during the Korean War, Jack Hogan decided to try acting once he was out of the service.  Jack Hogan’s big break came when he was cast as Kirby in the popular television series Combat!. After the series ended, Jack Hogan continued to take guest roles in television series until he retired to operate a building business.

Some of Jack Hogan’s television projects include: Dr. Christian (4 episodes); Broken Arrow; The Rough Riders (2 episodes); Have Gun – Will Travel (2 episodes); Men of Annapolis (2 episodes); Sea Hunt (2 episodes); Tombstone Territory (2 episodes); Mike Hammer; Laramie; Lock Up (2 episodes); The Rebel; Riverboat; Peter Gunn; Bonanza; Bat Masterson (3 episodes); Cheyenne; Ben Casey; The Rifleman (2 episodes); Lawman (4 episodes); Hawaiian Eye; Combat! (111 episodes); Custer; Garrison’s Gorillas; Tarzan; Ironside; The Name of the Game; Emergency!; Marcus Welby, M.D.; The Six Million Dollar Man; Adam-12 (8 episodes); Sierra (11 episodes); S.W.A.T.; Medical Center (2 episodes); Hawaii 5-0 (6 episodes); Switch (2 episodes); Kojak; Quincy; Magnum, P.I. (2 episodes); Berrenger’s (3 episodes); The A-Team; Airwolf; Jake and the Fatman (12 episodes) and Raven (2 episodes).

Some of Jack Hogan’s feature film projects include: Man from Del Rio; The Legend of Tom Dooley and The Cat Burglar.

Jack Hogan appeared in many television programs that I watched as a kid.  Combat! was must-see tv and Jack Hogan was one of the reasons why.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jack Hogan’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Ryan O’Neal

Ryan O’Neal died on December 8, 2023.  Mr. O’Neal was 82.  No cause of death was given.

Ryan O’Neal’s mother, Patricia Ruth O’Callaghan, was an actress,  His father, Charles O’Neal, a  novelist and screenwriter.  While in high school Ryan O’Neal was a Golden Gloves boxer.  Later, while still in high school, Ryan O’Neal’s family moved to Munich, Germany when his father got a job writing for a television series.  His mother got Ryan a job as a stand-in.  Soon he was working as a stand-in and stuntman.  This led to Ryan O’Neal’s career in acting.  He would continue to act on television and feature films for the rest of his career.

Ryan O’Neal’s Awards include:

  • 1971 Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor for Love Story
  • 1971 Golden Globe Nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) for Love Story
  • 1974 Golden Globe Nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) for Paper Moon
  • 2021: Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Motion Pictures)

Some of Ryan O’Neal’s television projects include: The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis; The Untouchables; Laramie; Westinghouse Playhouse (3 episodes); Leave It To Beaver; My Three Sons; Empire (31 episodes); The Virginian; Perry Mason; Wagon Train; Peyton Place (501 episodes); Small Sacrifices; Good Sports (15 episodes); 1775; The Larry Sanders Show (2 episodes); Bull (6 episodes); Miss Match (18 episodes); Desperate Housewives; 90210 (3 episodes) and Bones (24 episodes).

Some of Ryan O’Neal’s feature film projects include: The Big Bounce; Love Story; Wild Rovers; What’s Up, Doc?; Paper Moon; Barry Lyndon; Nickelodeon; A Bridge Too Far; The Driver; Oliver’s Story; The Main Event; Tough Guys Don’t Dance; An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn and Zero Effect.

I have fond memories of going to The Wild Rovers starring William Holden, Ryan O’Neal and Karl Malden.  I was 12 and went by myself to the theater.  My favorite Ryan O’Neal performance is in Paper Moon.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ryan O’Neal’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Norman Lear

Norman Lear died on December 5, 2023.  Mr. Lear was 101.

Norman Lear dropped out of college to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II.  After the war, Norman Lear worked in public relations, door to door sales, as he worked to sell comedy sketches for celebrities such as Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis and Rowan & Martin.  This led to offers to write and direct.  Mr. Lear would go on to write, direct and produce both for television and feature films for the rest of his career.

Norman Lear’s Awards include:

  • 1968 Academy Award Nomination for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen for Divorce American Style
  • 1975 Star on the Walk of Fame Winner for Television
  • 1977 Peabody Lifetime achievement Award
  • 1984: Television Academy Hall of Fame Award
  • 1985 Primetime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special for Heartsounds
  • 1991 Primetime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Informational Special for All in the Family: 20th Anniversary Special
  • 1999 National Medal of Arts Winner
  • 2017: Peabody Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2019 Primetime Emmy Win for Outstanding Variety Special (Live) for Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons’
  • 2020 Primetime Emmy Win for Outstanding Variety Special (Live) for Live in Front of a Studio Audience: ‘All in the Family’ and ‘Good Times’
  • 2022 Primetime Emmy Nominee for Outstanding Variety Special (Live) for Live in Front of a Studio Audience: ‘The Facts of Life’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes’

Some of Norman Lear’s television projects include: The Martha Raye Show (18 episodes); Bobby Darin and Friends; The Danny Kaye Special; Henry Fonda and the Family; The Andy Williams Special; The Andy Williams Show (3 episodes); Steptoe and Son; Robert Young and the Family; Hot L Baltimore (13 episodes); Grady (10 episodes); Sanford & Son (135 episodes); Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (325 episodes); The Nancy Walker Show (11 episodes); Maude (141 episodes); All in the Family (207 episodes); Good Times (133 episodes); Palmerstown, USA (17 episodes); Square Pegs (20 episodes); Archie Bunker’s Place (97 episodes); Gloria (22 episodes); aka Pablo (2 episodes); One Day at a Time (209 episodes); Mama Malone (13 episodes); Heartsounds; The Jeffersons (253 episodes); Silver Spoons (116 episodes); The Facts of Life (201 episodes); 227 (116 episodes); All in the Family: 20th Anniversary Special; Sunday Dinner (6 episodes); The Powers that Be (21 episodes); 704 Hauser (2 episodes); America Divided (4 episodes); Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons’ and One Day at a Time (2017 – 46 episodes).

Some of Norman Lear’s feature film projects include: Come Blow Your Horn; Divorce American Style; The Night They Raided Minsky’s; Start the Revolution Without Me; Cold Turkey; The Princess Bride and Fried Green Tomatoes.

Norman Lear was the creator/producer of some of the most popular and influential television programs of my lifetime.  I was a fan and regularly watched All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Good Times and The Jeffersons. These programs were not only very funny, but often left viewers with something to think about.

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

RIP: Frances Sternhagen

Frances Sternhagen died on November 27, 2023.  Ms. Sternhagen was 93.

Frances Sternhagen was an award-winning actress who appeared on stage, television and in movies in a career that spanned nearly 70 years.  During her career she was nominated for seven Tony awards (winning two) as well as three Primetime Emmy award nominations.

Some of Frances Sternhagen’s television appearances include:  Love of Life; The Secret Storm; Omnibus; Studio One (2 episodes); Play of the Week (2 episodes); The Defenders; Profiles in Courage; The Doctors (42 episodes); NET Playhouse (2 episodes); Great Performances (2 episodes); Spencer (1985 – 7 episodes); At Mother’s Request (2 episodes); Golden Years (7 episodes); Tales from the Crypt; Cheers (7 episodes); The Road Home (6 episodes); The Outer Limits (1985); Law & Order (2 episodes); The Simpsons; Sex & the City (10 episodes); ER (21 episodes) and The Closer (16 episodes).

Some of Frances Sternhagen’s feature films include: Up the Down Staircase; The Hospital; Starting Over; Outland; Bright Lights, Big City; Misery; Doc Hollywood; Raising Cain and The Mist.

My favorite Francis Sternhagen role was when she played Dr. Marian Lazarus in Outland.  She and Sean Connery had great chemistry.  Another favorite role is when she played Irene Reppler in The Mist.  Any time Francis Sternhagen appeared the production improved.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Frances Sternhagen’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Elliot Silverstein

Elliot Silverstein died on November 24, 2023.  Mr. Silverstein was 96.

Mr. Silverstein’s career began in 1955 when he directed eleven episodes of the tv series Omnibus.  For the next forty years Elliott Silverstein directed television projects and feature films. When Mr. Silverstein retired from directing he taught film at the University of Southern California.

Mr. Silverstein was nominated for a Directors Guild Award in 1965 for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures for Cat Ballou. In 1985, he won the Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of America.  In 1990, the Directors Guild named him a DGA Honorary Life Member Award.

Some of Elliot Silverstein’s television projects include:  Omnibus (11 episodes); The United States Steel Hour (2 episodes); Suspicion (2 episodes); Alcoa Theater (2 episodes); The Westerner; Route 66 (5 episodes); Have Gun – Will Travel; Naked City (8 episodes); Dr. Kildare (14 episodes); Channing (2 episodes); Breaking Point (2 episodes); The Twilight Zone (4 episodes); The Doctors and The Nurses (4 episodes); The Defenders (4 episodes); Kraft Suspense Theater (3 episodes) and Tales from the Crypt (4 episodes).

Some of Elliot Silverstein’s feature films include: Cat Ballou; The Happening; A Man Called Horse and The Car.

I’m not sure the first time I saw something directed by Elliot Silverstein since he directed several shows I watched when I was young.  My favorite project directed by Mr. Silverstein is The Obsolete Man episode of The Twilight Zone.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Elliot Silverstein’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Jean Knight

Jean Knight, born Jean Caliste, November 22, 2023, of natural causes.  Ms. Knight was 80.

Jean Caliste began singing professionally after she graduated high school.  In 1965, Ms. Caliste was signed to Jet Star/Tribe records.  At that point she changed her professional name to Jean Knight.  With Jet Star./Tribe she released four singles.  Although she attracted local attention, the records never took off nationally.  Jean Knight began working as a baker to make ends meet.

In 1970, songwriter Ralph Williams and record producer Wardell Quezergue heard some of Jean Knight’s songs.  They brought her in to Malaco Studios for a recording session where she recorded Mr. Big Stuff.  The song was shopped to several record companies.  It was rejected by everyone.  Then in 1971, King Floyd’s hit Groove Me went to #1 on the R&B charts. It was recorded at Malaco Studios.  At that point the producer at Stax records remembered another song recorded at Malaco Studios.  That song was Mr. Big Stuff,

When Mr. Big Stuff was released it shot to the top of the charts.  It went to #2 on the pop charts and #1 on the R&B charts.  It sold over two-million copies and was awarded gold and platinum status.  The song was also nominated for a Grammy award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female.  Although Ms. Knight never had another major hit, she continued touring for years.

Mr. Big Stuff is one of those songs that everyone knows the words to.  Years after it was popular, I gave my best friend the nickname Big Stuff.  It gradually morphed into Big Time.  He’s sometimes still called that today when friends from our group get together.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jean Knight’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Marty Krofft

Marty Krofft died yesterday at the age of 86, the result of kidney failure.

Marty Krofft was born on April 9, 1937 in Montréal, Québec, Canada.  Marty’s older brother, Sid, was a famous puppeteer.  Sid worked in vaudeville, as a featured player in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and toured with a one-man puppet show.  In the mid-1950s, Marty joined Sid.  They began touring as well as making television appearances with their puppets.  

Marty and Sid became even more famous when they designed characters and sets for the Saturday morning television series H.R. Pufnstuf.  For the remainder of their careers, Marty and Sid would produce series, specials and movies for television.  

Some of the projects produced by Marty and Sid Krofft include: H.R. Pufnstuf (17 episodes); Pufnstuf (feature film); The Bugaloos (17 epsides); Lidsville (17 episodes); The Brady Bunch Meets ABC’s Saturday Superstars; The World of Sid & Marty Krofft at the Hollywood Bowl; The NBC Saturday Morning Review; Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (29 episodes); Far Out Space Nuts (15 episodes); The Lost Saucer (16 episodes); ABC’s Saturday Sneak Peak; Land of the Lost (43 episodes); Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (16 episodes); Dr. Shrinker (16 episodes); Donny & Marie (37 episodes); The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (9 episodes); Wonderbug (22 episodes); Magic Mongo (16 episodes); The Krofft Supershow (32 episodes); The Bay City Rollers Meet the Saturday Superstars; Bobby Vinton’s Rock ‘n Rollers; The Bay City Rollers Show (13 episodes); Bigfoot and Wildboy (20 episodes); Pink Lady (6 episodes); Middle Age Crazy (feature film); Oral Roberts Celebration; Harry Tracy: The Last of the Wild Bunch (feature film); Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters (35 episodes); The CBS Saturday Morning Preview Special; Saturday’s the Place; Pryor’s Place (13 episodes); All Star Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Saturday Spectacular; The Patti LaBelle Show; D.C. Follies (45 episodes); Krofft Late Night; Land of the Lost (9 episodes); Toby Terrier and His Video Pals (8 episodes); Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (2001); Family Affair (2002 – 16 episodes); Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (2016 – 8 episodes); Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (2016 – 7 episodes); Mutt & Stuff (74 episodes); The Bugaloos (2017) and Mondays with Marty (7 episodes).

Marty Krofft’s award nominations and wins include:

  • 1985: Nominee – Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Series for Pryor’s Place
  • 2003: Winner – Lifetime Achievement Award from Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA
  • 2016: Nominee – Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Series for Mutt & Stuff
  • 2017: Nominee – Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Series for Mutt & Stuff
  • 2018: Winner – Daytime Emmy for Lifetime Achievement
  • 2020 Winner – Star on the Walk of Fame (Television)

I was at the top end of the right age for H.R. Pufnstuf.  I can remember my youngest sister getting my mom to tell me to stop calling her Witcheepoo.  Looking at Marty Krofft’s resume shows an impressive body of work.  Marty and Sid Krofft were called the Kings of Saturday Morning Television, but as you can see they were much more than that. 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Marty Krofft’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Joss Ackland

Joss Ackland, the English actor of stage and screen died yesterday.  Mr. Ackland was 95.

Mr. Ackland began his professional career in a stage production of The Hasty Heart after graduating from London’s Central School of Speech and Drama.  He was just 17.  For the next 60 years Joss Ackland would act on stage, television and in feature films.

Some of the television shows Joss Ackland appeared in include: Destination Downing Street; ITV Play of the Week (2 episodes); First Night (2 episodes); The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling (25 episodes); David Copperfield (6 episodes); Lord Raingo (3 episodes); Theater 625 (3 episodes); Armchair Theater (2 episodes); The Further Adventures of the Musketeers (16 episodes); The Wednesday Play (2 episodes); Mogul (5 episodes); Mystery and Imagination (2 episodes); Z Cars (42 episodes); The Avengers; Canterbury Tales (7 episodes); BBC Play of the Month (2 episodes); Thirty Minute Theater (2 episodes); Six Faces (2 episodes); Play for Today (3 episodes); Aquarius (2 episodes); The Crezz (12 episodes); Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; A Question of Guilt (8 episodes); BBC2 Playhouse (2 episodes); Shroud for a Nightingale (5 episodes); A Killing on the Exchange (4 episodes); Queenie (2 episodes); Tales of the Unexpected (2 episodes); Codename Kyril (4 episodes); A Quiet Conspiracy (4 episodes); The Justice Game (2 episodes); A Woman Named Jackie (2 episodes); Ashenden (4 episodes); Jackanory (10 episodes); The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles; Screen Two (2 episodes); Testiment: The Bible in Animation (2 episodes); Above and Beyond (2 episodes); Pinocchio (2 episodes) and Crusoe (3 episodes).

Some of the feature films Joss Ackland appeared in include: Landfall; Ghost Ship; Rasputin The Mad Monk; The House That Dripped Blood; The Three Musketeers; S*P*Y*S; Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe; Watership Down; Saint Jack; Rough Cut; The Sicilian; Lethal Weapon 2; The Hunt for Red October; Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey; The Mighty Ducks; D3: The Mighty Ducks and K19: The WIdowmaker.

My favorite Joss Ackland role is Arjen Rudd in Lethal Weapon 2.  He was perfect.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joss Ackland’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Robert Butler

Robert Butler, the award winning director and writer, died on November 3, 2023.  Mr. Butler was 95.

Mr. Butler began his career in entertainment as a CBS usher after graduating from UCLA with a degree in English.  Robert Butler also worked as a production clerk, stage manager, before getting the job as an associate director where he worked with mentor directors such as John Frankenheimer and Arthur Penn.

Mr. Butler’s first directing job was for the television series Hennesey.  Robert Butler would direct television and feature films for the rest of his career.  Mr. Butler became known as the go-to guy for directing television pilots which set the tone for the series.  Some of the pilots that Robert Butler directed include: Hogan’s Heroes (1965), Star Trek (1966), Batman (1966), The Blue Knight (1973, TV’s first mini-series), Hill Street Blues (1978), Moonlighting (1985), Sisters (1991) and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993).

Mr. Clark was an award-winning director…

  • 1974 Winner Primetime Emmy Director of the Year – The Blue Knight
  • 1974 Winner Primetime Emmy Best Directing in Drama – A Single Program of a Series with Continuing Characters and/or Theme – The Blue Knight
  • 1981 Winner Primetime Emmy Outstanding Directing in a Drama SeriesHill Street Blues premiere episode
  • 1982 Winner DGA Award Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series – Hill Street Blues premiere
  • 2001 Winner Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award
  • 2015 Winner Lifetime Achievement Award – Television Direction

Mr. Butler was also the co-creator of the television series Remington Steele.

Some of the television shows Robert Butler directed include: Hennesey (3 episodes); The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis; The DuPont Show with June Allyson (5 episodes); Peter Loves Mary (2 episodes); Have Gun – Will Travel; Bonanza; The Dick Van Dyke Show (2 episodes); The Gertrude Berg Show (2 episodes); The Rifleman; Follow the Sun (3 episodes); The Detectives (5 episodes); Stoney Burke (2 episodes); The Untouchables (7 episodes); Dr. Kildare (2 episodes); The Greatest Show on Earth (2 episodes); Ben Casey (3 episodes); The Lieutenant (2 episodes); The Twilight Zone (2 episodes); The Defenders (2 episodes); The Virginian; Mister Roberts (4 episodes); Hogan’s Heroes (5 episodes); The Fugitive (6 episodes); Batman (6 episodes); Shane; Star Trek (3 episodes); I Spy (4 episodes); The Invaders (3 episodes); N.Y.P.D. (2 episodes); Judd for the Defense (2 episodes); Ironside; Cimarron Strip (2 episodes); The Felony Squad (3 episodes); Mission Impossible; Then Came Bronson; Lancer (4 episodes); Death Takes a Holiday; Nichols; Gunsmoke (3 episodes); Hawaii 5-0; Kung Fu (4 episodes); The Blue Knight; The Waltons (3 episodes); Columbo (2 episodes); The Magical World of Disney (12 episodes); Insight (4 episodes); Hill Street Blues (6 episodes); Remington Steele (5 episodes); Moonlighting; Out on a Limb (2 episodes); Sisters (2 episodes); Sirens (2 episodes) and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (2 episodes).

Some of the feature films Robert Butler include: Guns in Leather; The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes; The Barefoot Executive; Now You See Him, Now You Don’t; Hot Lead and Cold Feet; Night of the Juggler and Turbulence.

It’s difficult for me to pick my favorite show that Robert Butler directed because he helmed so many that I watched and enjoyed.  My sentimental favorite is probably the premiere of Batman.  That show brings back so many good memories.  We all anticipated the premiere and it was the talk of our elementary school the next day.  Mr. Butler also directed a Twilight Zone episode, The Encounter, that was kept out of syndication in the United States until 2016 for “overt racism and revisionist history”.  It’s a testimony to Robert Butler’s talent and professionalism that he directed so many (and often multiple episodes) of the best television shows in the years he worked.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Robert Butler’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry died yesterday, the result of an accidental drowning in his hot tub.  Mr. Perry was 54.

Matthew Perry’s parents divorced before his first birthday.  When Matthew was 15, he moved to L.A. to live with his father, John Perry.  Matthew’s father was an actor and Matthew decided to pursue and acting career.

Matthew Perry began getting guest spots on television. He landed a starring role in the tv series Boys Will Be Boys which ran for one season.  His first feature film appearance was in A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon starring River Phoenix.  In 1994, Matthew Perry appeared in the role that would change his life.  He was cast as Chandler Bing, on the hit series Friends.  This would be Mr. Perry’s signature role and earn him a 2002 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.  Matthew Perry would go on to work in both television and feature films for the remainder of his career.  Mr. Perry would earn two more Emmy nominations for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (2003 and 2004) for his work on West Wing.

Some of Matthew Perry’s television appearances include: Charles in Charge; Silver Spoons; The Tracey Ullman Show; Boys Will Be Boys (21 episodes); Highway to Heaven; Empty Nest; Growing Pains (3 episodes); Sydney (13 episodes); Who’s the Boss?; Beverly Hills 90210; Dream On; Home Free (13 episodes); Friends (234 episodes); The Simpsons; Ally McBeal (2 episodes); The West Wing (3 episodes); Scrubs; Studio City on Sunset Strip (22 episodes); Mr. Sunshine (13 episodes); The Good Wife (4 episodes); Go On (22 episodes); Web Therapy (2 episodes); The Odd Couple (38 episodes); The Good Fight (3 episodes) and The Kennedys After Camelot (4 episodes).

Some of Matthew Perry’s film appearances include: A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon; She’s Out of Control; Fools Rush In; The Whole Nine Yards; The Whole Ten Yards and 17 Again.

Of course when I think of Matthew Perry, his role of Chandler Bing first comes to mind.  Friends made him a super star.  My favorite Matthew Perry appearances came on West Wing.  He appeared in just three episodes, but earned two Emmy nominations for them.

Matthew Perry didn’t hide the struggles that he faced with substance abuse throughout his life.  In 2011, Mr. Perry served as a celebrity spokesperson for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals in support of funding for drug courts.  Matthew Perry opened The Perry House, a rehab center in his former mansion in Malibu, California.  I was a fan of Matthew Perry’s acting, but an even bigger fan of his efforts to combat drugs both for himself and others.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Matthew Perry’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Richard Moll

Richard Moll, born Charles Richard Moll died yesterday. No cause of death was given.  Mr. Moll was 81.

Richard Moll was best known for playing the hulking bailiff Aristotle Nostradamus “Bull” Shannon on the NBC sitcom Night Court.  Mr. Moll had been working professionally for seven years in both television and film roles before getting his breakout role. Once Night Court ended, Richard Moll continued to act on television, in feature films and provide voice work for the rest of his career.

Some of Richard Moll’s television appearances include: Welcome Back Kotter; The Rockford Files; How the West Was Won; Happy Days (2 episodes); The Jericho Mile; B.J. and the Bear; The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo (3 episodes); Buck Rogers in the 25th Century; The Bad News Bears; Laverne & Shirley (2 episodes); Code Red (2 episodes); Bret Maverick (2 episodes); Mork & Mindy; The Fall Guy; T.J. Hooker; Remington Steele; Fantasy Island; Alice; The Dukes of Hazard (2 episodes); The A-Team (2 episodes); Santa Barbara (2 episodes); The Facts of Life (2 episodes); Sledge Hammer; My Two Dads; 227; The Munsters Today; Night Court (193 episodes); Highlander; Martin; Batman: The Animated Series (14 episodes); Mighty Max (40 episodes); Babylon 5; Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman (3 episodes); Baywatch; Weird Science; Married…with Children (2 episodes); Superman: The Animated Series; The Legend of Calamity Jane (13 episodes); The Incredible Hulk (2 episodes); Spider-Man: The Animated Series (6 episodes); The New Batman Adventures (2 episodes); 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd (25 episodes); Justice League (2 episodes); Smallville; Cold Case; Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Scooby Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster.

Some of Richard Moll’s film appearances include: Brigham; American Pop; Caveman; Hard Country; House; Loaded Weapon 1; The Flintstones; Jingle All the Way and Scary Movie 2.

When I think of Richard Moll, I first think of Bull Shannon.  What I love about Richard Moll is that he was able to do comedy, or drama with equal ease.  You might think that because of his size he would always play the heavy but looking at his resume, it is clear that isn’t the case.  I also love that Mr. Moll was able to transition to voice work as he got older.

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

RIP: Richard Roundtree

Richard Rountree died yesterday from pancreatic cancer.  Mr. Roundtree was 81.

Richard Roundtree began his professional career as a fashion and ad model.  He appeared in off-Broadway plays.  His big break came in 1971, when he starred in Shaft.  The film made Mr. Roundtree famous.  He would go to appear in feature films and television roles for the rest of his career.

Some of Richard Roundtree’s television appearances include: Shaft (7 episodes); Roots; The Love Boat (2 episodes); CHiPs; Magnum P.I.: A.D. (5 episodes); Outlaws (12 episodes); Murder, She Wrote; A Different World (2 episodes); Amen (2 episodes); Beauty and the Beast (3 episodes); 21 Jump Street; MacGyver; Generations (61 episodes); Beverly Hills, 90210; L.A. Law; Roc (4 episodes); Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper (2 episodes); Buddies (6 episodes); The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (2 episodes); Profiler; 413 Hope Street (10 episodes); Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; Soul Food (6 episodes); Alias (2 episodes); Desperate Housewives (5 episodes); Blade: The Series; Grey’s Anatomy; Heroes (6 episodes); Knight Rider; Lincoln Heights (3 episodes); The Mentalist; Diary of a Single Mom (18 episodes); Chicago Fire (4 episodes); Star (5 episodes); Lethal Weapon; Being Mary Jane (33 episodes); Family Reunion (22 episodes) and Cherish the Day (8 episodes).

Some of Richard Roundtree’s film appearances include: Shaft; Embassy; Shaft’s Big Score; Shaft in Africa; Earthquake; Escape to Athena; Inchon; An Eye for an Eye; Q: The Winged Serpent; City Heat; Maniac Cop; Se7en; George of the Jungle; Steel; Shaft (2000) and Shaft (2019).

Like most everyone, when I think of Richard Rountree, I think of Shaft.  Looking over Mr. Rountree’s extensive resume, it is clear that he was much more than the man who’d risk his neck for his brother man.  I’m not just talkin’ ’bout Shaft.  I appreciated any time Richard Rountree’s name appeared in a production.

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