Category: TV

RIP: Kirstie Alley

Kirstie Alley, the actress best known for her award-winning role as Rebecca Howe on Cheers, died yesterday at the age of 71.  The cause of death was cancer.

Ms. Alley was born in Wichita, Kansas.  She attended Kansas State University, before dropping out in her sophomore year.  Kirstie Alley then moved to Los Angeles to further her studies in Scientology.  At that time she planned on a career as an interior designer.  After appearing as a contestant on two game shows (Match Game, Password Plus) she considered a career change.

Kirstie Alley’s first two roles were small.  She appeared uncredited as a handmaiden on the short-lived television series Quark.  This was followed by a co-starring role in One More Chance, a student film that was expanded into a feature length film.  Ms. Alley’s big break came when she was cast in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  Although Kirstie Alley declined to return for Star Trek sequels, she continued acting on television and feature films for the rest of her career.

Some of Kirstie Alley’s television appearances include: The Love Boat; Masquerade (13 episodes); A Bunny’s Tale; North and South: Book 1 (6 spisodes); North and South: Book 2 (6 episodes); The Hitchhiker (2 episodes); Cheers (148 episodes); Wings; The Last Don (3 episodes); The Last Don II (2 episodes); Veronica’s Closet (67 episodes); Fat Actress (7 episodes); The King of Queens; Dancing with the Stars (34 episodes) and Kirstie (12 episodes).

Some of Kirstie Alley’s feature film appearances include: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Runaway; Shoot to Kill; Look Who’s Talking; Look Who’s Talking Too; Look Who’s Talking Now and Village of the Damned; 

Awards won: 1991 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical; 1991 People’s Choice for Favorite Female Television Performer; 1998 People’s Choice for Favorite Female Performer in a New Television Series; 1991 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series; 1994 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special.

When I think of Kirstie Alley, I always first remember her role on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  She came out of nowhere (or so it seemed) to land a co-starring role in a huge feature film.  Of course most know her from her long award-winning run on Cheers.  Look at her resume and you’ll see she did so much more.  What an amazing career she had.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kirstie Alley’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Brad William Henke

Brad William Henke, the professional football player turned actor died on November 29, 2022 at the age of 56. No cause of death was given.

.Mr. Henke played for the Denver Broncos from 1989 – 1994 when he retired due to repeated injuries.  Brad Henke then decided to give acting a try.  His first roles were in commercials which led to roles on television and in feature films.

Some of Brad Henke’s television appearances include: Chicago Hope; Nash Bridges; ER; The Pretender; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Dexter (4 episodes); October Road (19 episodes); Law & Order; Life on Mars; CSI: Miami; Lost (6 episodes); Criminal Minds; Justified (7 episodes); The Office; Longmire; The Bridge (4 episodes); Hawaii 5-0; Orange is the New Black (26 episodes); The Stand (6 episodes) and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

Some of Brad Henke’s feature film appearances include: The Fan; Space Jam; Star Trek (2009); Pacific Rim; Fury; Split and Arkansas.

Brad Henke successfully transitioned from pro football to an acting career.  He always made an imposing presence and he appeared in many television shows and movies that I enjoyed.  It’s sad that Mr. Henke died at such a young age, but what a life he led!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Brad William Henke’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Clarence Gilyard

Clarence Gilyard died yesterday after a long illness at the age of 66.  Although best known as an actor, Clarence Gilyard was also an athlete, director and University Professor.  After high school Clarence Gilyard received a scholarship to play tennis.  He also played football in college.  He attended Sterling college before transferring to California State University where he majored in acting and received a bachelor’s degree.

In 1979, Mr. Gilyard moved to Los Angeles to find work.  In 1981, Clarence Gilyard appeared in two episodes of Diff’rent Strokes.  Mr. Gilyard’s big break came the following year with a co-starring role on the final season of CHiPs.  Clarence Gilyard’s career continued with roles on television and in feature films.

Television appearances include: Diff’rent Strokes, CHiPs (20 episodes), The Duck Factory (13 episodes), Riptide, Simon & Simon, The Facts of Life, Matlock (85 episodes), Walker, Texas Ranger (196 episodes),Walker Texas Ranger 3: Deadly Reunion and Walker Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire.

Feature film appearances include: Top Gun, The Karate Kid Part II, Die Hard and The Beast.

Clarence Gilyard was also an associate professor in the College of Fine Arts – Department of Theatre at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

When I think of Clarence Gilyard I think of his performance in Die Hard.  He was young, cocky and came off as the brightest person in the movie.  Mr. Gilyard’s long runs on CHiPs, Matlock and Walker, Texas Ranger are evidence of his professionalism and ability as an actor.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Clarence Gilyard’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Irene Cara

Irene Cara passed away yesterday at the age of 63.  No cause of death was given.

Irene Cara was an actress, singer and song writer.  Although her performance in Fame made her a household name, Ms. Cara had been a performer since she was a little girl.  When she was three years old she was one of five finalists for the “Little Miss America” pageant.  She studied music and dance.  While still a child she performed on The Original Amateur Hour, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and became a regular on PBS’ The Electric Company.

Irene Cara would go on to appear on stage in Broadway productions (and some off-Broadway plays as well).  She became a regular cast member of Love of Life.  This was followed by starring roles in the feature films  Aaron Loves Angela and Sparkle.  Television called and Irene Cara made guest appearances on Kojak and What’s Happening!!.  Next came roles in Roots: The Next Generation and Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones.

Irene Cara became an international superstar with her role in Fame.  Ms. Cara was originally cast as a dancer, but her role was re-written once producers heard her voice.  Irene Cara sang the title song, Fame as well as the movie’s other single, Out Here on My Own.  In addition to the singles and soundtrack selling in the millions, both songs were nominated for an Academy Award.  Irene Cara became one of the few singers to perform more than one song at an Oscar ceremony.

Based on her performance in Fame, Iren Cara received Grammy Award nominations for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.  She also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical. She was crowned Billboard’s Top New Single Artist, Cashbox Magazine’s Most Promising Female Vocalist and Top Female Vocalist.  When a Fame television show was announced, Irene Cara was offered the opportunity to reprise her role, but declined.

In 1983, she co-wrote (with Giorgio Moroder and Keith Forsey) and sang the title song for the movie Flashdance“Flashdance… What a Feeling” would go on to become another multi-million seller as well as winner of  the Academy Award for Best Song.  For her performance Irene Cara won the 1984 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, the 1984 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and American Music Awards for Best R&B Female Artist and Best Pop Single of the Year.

Irene Cara would continue singing and acting for the rest of her career.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Iren Cara’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Robert Clary

Robert Clary, the actor best known as Corporal LeBeau on the popular television series, Hogan’s Heroes, has died.  Mr. Clary was 96.

Born in Paris, France, Robert Clary began singing professionally at the age of twelve!  When the Nazis invaded France, Robert Clary along with twelve other family members were sent to a concentration camp.  Mr. Clary was the only one to survive.

After the war, Robert Clary continued his singing career.  Some of his recordings were popular both in France and the U.S.  In 1949, Mr. Clary came to the United States.  He started getting roles on television and Broadway.

In 1965, Robert Clary began appearing on Hogan’s Heroes in the role that made him famous.  The series ran from 1965 – 1971.  In 1972, Mr. Clary was cast in a role on Days of Our Lives that lasted until 1987.  In 1990, he joined The Bold and the Beautiful in a part that lasted 43 episodes.

Other notable Robert  Clary appearances were in the feature film, The Hindenburg, as well as television guest spots on The High Chaparral, Love American Style. Fantasy Island and The Munsters Today,

Robert Clary always seemed to have a joy about him that made you smile.

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

“The Recruit” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Ignore the poster (ugh) but check out the trailer for The Recruit!  I like the looks of this one.  Deal me in!

Watch the official trailer for The Recruit, an upcoming Netflix series starring Noah Centineo. A fledgling lawyer at the CIA becomes enmeshed in dangerous international power politics when a former asset threatens to expose the nature of her long-term relationship with the agency unless they exonerate her of a serious crime. All episodes streaming December 16, only on Netflix.

“The Tetris Murders” – The Trailer is Here!

The Tetris Murders looks good.  I may have to check this one out.

The Tetris Murders, is a three-part documentary series, premiering on Monday, December 5 at 9/8c on ID and also available to stream the same day on discovery+.

In the late ‘80s and ‘90s, the puzzle-based video game TETRIS exploded across America and eventually took the rest of the world by storm. To this day, the iconic game’s popularity endures, with people of all ages and backgrounds playing it on their phones or devices. However, unknown to many, one of the minds behind the widely popular global sensation met a very tragic, complex, and deadly end. On September 22, 1998, Vladimir Pokhilko, who was involved with the development of TETRIS, was found dead alongside his wife and their young son in their Palo Alto, California, home. Now, more than two decades later, the Palo Alto Police Department homicide investigators who were first on the scene revisit the haunting crime. Over the course of this gripping three-part docuseries, the investigators unearth new theories and evidence, further unraveling the mystery of this crime. What was once thought to be a murder-suicide in 1998 is now revealed to be something much more sinister. As the investigators revisit the evidence, dark connections to Russia surface.

Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, Season 1 / Z-View

Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (2022)

Episode 1: “Lot 36”
Director:  Guillermo Navarr
Teleplay:  Regina Corrado and Guillermo del Toro based on the short story by  Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Tim Blake Nelson, Sebastian Roché, Elpidia Carrillo and Lize Johnston

Episode 2: “Graveyard Rats”
Director:  Vincenzo Natali
Teleplay:  Vincenzo Natali based on the short story by  Henry Kuttner
Stars: David Hewlett and Nabeel El Khafif

Episode 3: “The Autopsy”
Director:  David Prior
Teleplay: David S. Goyer based on the short story by  Michael Shea
Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Glynn Turman and Luke Roberts

Episode 4: “The Outside”
Director:  Ana Lily Amirpour
Teleplay:  Haley Z. Boston based on a webcomic by Emily Carroll
Stars: Kate Micucci and Martin Starr

Episode 5: “Pickman’s Model”
Director:  Keith Thomas
Teleplay: Lee Patterson based on the short story by  H. P. Lovecraft
Stars: Ben Barnes and Crispin Glover 

Episode 6: “Dreams in the Witch House”
Director:  Catherine Hardwick
Teleplay:  Mika Watkins based on the short story by H. P. Lovecraft
Stars: Rupert Grint 

Episode 7: “The Vewing”
Director:  Panos Cosmatos
Teleplay: Panos Cosmatos & Aaron Stewart-Ahn
Stars: Peter Weller, Steve Agee, Eric André and Sofia Boutella  

Episode 8: “The Murmuring”
Director:  Jennifer Kent
Teleplay:  Jennifer Ken based on the short story by Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Essie Davis and Andrew Lincoln 

Tagline:  None.

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers…

Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities is a horror anthology series.  Each episode is a self-contained story introduced by Guillermo del Toro.  I enjoyed all the episodes and each earned 4 of 5 stars.

My favorites were:

1. “The Autopsy”

4 “Lot 36”

5 “The Vewing”

I hope we get a season 2.

Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities, Season 1 earns 4 of 5 stars.

In Conversation… Sylvester Stallone on CBS Sunday Morning! (Full Video)

This past Sunday, Sly was interviewed on the set of Tulsa King.  Bravo to all involved.

In the new Paramount+ series “Tulsa King,” Sylvester Stallone stars as an aging New York mafioso fresh out of prison who finds himself setting up a new criminal organization on the plains of Oklahoma. Stallone talked with correspondent Lee Cowan about his first foray into television; the enduring power of “Rocky”; and how he’s matured into a new style of acting.

“The Patient” starring Steve Carell and Domhnall Gleeson / Z-View

The Patient (2o22)

Directors:  Chris Long (episodes 1,2, 8-10); Kevin Bray (episodes 3-5); Gwyneth Horder-Payton (episodes 6,7)

Teleplay:  Joel Fields & Joe Weisberg

Stars:  Steve Carell, Domhnall Gleeson, Laura Niemi and David Alan Grier.

Tagline:  None.

The Plot…

Dr. Alan Strauss (Carroll) is a psychotherapist who one morning wakes up in the basement of a strange house.  A chain is padlocked to his leg and a bolt in the cement floor.  Dr. Strauss soon learns that his captor is Sam Fortner (Gleeson).  Fortner is a serial killer who believes that Dr. Strauss can cure him of the compulsion to kill.

Thoughts (Beware of spoilers)…

What a great setup for a limited series.  If Strauss cures Fortner, Strauss is a liability because of his knowledge of the murders.  If Strauss can’t cure Fortner, there’s no reason to keep him alive.  It’s a game of cat and mouse and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

I was a little hesitant that Steve Carroll was the dramatic lead because of his role as Michael Scott from The Office.  I shouldn’t have worried.  Carroll was excellent, as is Laura Niemi who plays Sam’s mother.  She’s aware that her son is a serial killer, but cannot bring herself to turn him in.  David Alan Grier (another comedian) shows his dramatic chops.

The real surprise to me was Domhnall Gleeson.  What a performance!  Definitely worthy of an Emmy.  While I had seen Gleeson in a few films (True Grit, Dredd and The Revenant), I had no idea of how good an actor he is.

I liked that The Patient was written as series of ten episodes.  Because it was a limited series all bets were off as to who would live or die.  Expect some surprises along the way.

The Patient earns 5 of 5 stars.