Category: RIP

RIP: Nicolas Coster

Nicolas Coster died yesterday at the age of 89.  Mr. Coster was an Emmy-winning (2017 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting or Guest Actor in a Digital Daytime Drama Series, The Bay) actor who appeared on television and feature films throughout his career.

Some of Nicolas Coster’s television appearances include: The Secret Storm; The Green Hornet; The Blue Knight; Charlie’s Angels; Little House on the Prairie; Baretta; The Amazing Spider-Man; The Rockford Files; One Day at a Time; Wonder Woman; The Incredible Hulk; Mrs. Columbo; Buck Rogers; Dallas (3 episodes); The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo (15 episodes); Hart to Hart; Police Squad!; Quincy; Simon & Simon (3 episodes); Magnum PI; Nine to Five (3 episodes); Hardcastle & McCormick; TJ Hooker; Knight Rider; One Life to Live (5 episodes); LA Law; The Facts of Life (5 episodes); All My Children; Thirtysomething; Murder She Wrote; Who’s the Boss; Hunter; Star Trek: The Next Generation; MacGyver; Jake and the Fatman; Beverly Hills 90210; Santa Barbara (599 episodes); Law & Order (2 episodes); As the World Turns (11 episodes); Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; 3rd Rock from the Sun; The Bay (63 episodes) and American Crime Story.

Some of Nicolas Coster’s feature films include: Titanic (1953); All the President’s Men; The Big Fix; Golden Girl; Just You and Me, Kid; The Concorde… Airport ’79;  The Electric Horseman; Stir Crazy; The Pursuit of DB Cooper and Reds.

What an amazing career Nicolas Coster had.  He was an actor that I recognized and enjoyed in so many different different productions over the years.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Nicolas Coster’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Frederick Forrest

Frederick Forrest died yesterday at the age of 86 after a long illness.  Mr. Forrest appeared acted in both television and feature films.  In 1972, Frederick Forrest was nominated for a Golden Globe Actor Award for New Star of the Year.  Mr. Forrest was also nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award and Golden Globe Best Supporting Actor Award for his role in The Rose.

Some of Frederick Forrest’s television appearances include: Dark Shadows; Ruby & Oswald; Mrs. Columbo; Quo Vadis? (6 episodes); The Deliberate Stranger (2 episodes); 21 Jump Street (5 episodes); Lonesome Dove (4 episodes); I Know My First Name is Steven (2 episodes); Die Kinder (6 episodes); The Young Riders (2 episodes) and Murphy Brown.

Some of Frederick Forrest’s feature films include: When Legends Die; The Conversation; The Missouri Breaks; It Lives Again; Apocalypse Now; The Rose; Hammett; Tucker: The Man and His Dream; The Two Jakes; Falling Down and All the King’s Men.

My favorite Frederick Forrest role was as Chef Hicks in Apocalypse Now.  He always appeared to me as an actor who wasn’t interested in being a star, but who cared for his craft.  What a wonderful career he had.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Frederick Forrest’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: John Romita

John Romita Sr. died on June 12, 2023.  Mr. Romita was 93.

John Romita began his career in 1949 providing art for Timely Comics.  From 1958 through 1965, Mr. Romita created art for DC Comics.  In 1965, John Romita moved to Marvel Comics where he worked on the Daredevil comic series.  When an artist was needed to replace Steve Ditko on Spider-Man, John Romita was chosen. In 1973, John Romita was named Marvel’s Art Director.  In this role, he influenced the look of all Marvel Comics.  He designed covers as well as the look of new characters such as the Punisher, Wolverine and Luke Cage.

John Romita was inducted into he Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2002, and the Inkwell Awards Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame in 2020.

I was and remain a big fan of John Romita’s amazing art.  By all accounts Mr. Romita was just as nice a human being as he was an outstanding artist.  We’ve lost a legend.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to John Romita’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Treat Williams

Treat Williams died yesterday, the result of a motorcycle accident.  Mr. Williams was 71.

Treat Williams was an actor who performed on stage, television and in feature films.  Mr. Williams appeared in several off-Broadway and Broadway productions including Grease; Stephen Sondheim’s Follies (which won him a Drama League Award); The Pirates of Penzance and David Mamet’s Oleanna.

Treat Williams began his feature film career in 1975’s Deadly Hero.  Four years later Mr. Williams’ earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role in Hair.  Then two years later, Treat Williams was nominated for his second Golden Globe award for his starring role in Prince of the City.  In 1984, he earned his third Golden Globe nomination for the television production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Some of Treat Williams’ television appearances include: Dempsey; A Streetcar Named Desire; J. Edgar Hoover; Drug Wars: The Camarena Story; Eddie Dodd (6 episodes); Tales from the Crypt; Batman: The Animated Series (2 episodes); Good Advice (19 episodes); Journey to the Center of the Earth; UC Undercover; Everwood (89 episodes); Brothers & Sisters (4 episodes); Heartland (9 episodes); Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; The Simpsons; Eve of Destruction (2 episodes); Hawaii 5-0 (2 episodes); CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; American Odyssey (10 episodes); Confirmation; Chicago Fire (16 episodes); The Christmas House; The Christmas House 2; We Own This City (2 episodes); Chesapeake Shores (53 episodes) and Blue Bloods (6 episodes).

Some of Treat Williams’ feature film appearances include: Deadly Hero; Marathon Man; The Eagle Has Landed; Hair; 1941; The Empire Strikes Back; Prince of the City; The Pursuit of DB Cooper; Once Upon a Time in America; Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead; Mulholland Falls; The Phantom; Deep Rising; The Substitute 2; The Deep End of the Ocean; The Substitute 3 and Deadfall.

My favorite Treat Williams performance is in Prince of the City.  I recently watched him again in Mulholland Falls.  It is always a, uh treat, to see Treat Williams’ name in the credits.  I thought it was pretty daring when he played Stanley Kowalski in a television movie of A Streetcar Named Desire.  Not only was he following Marlon Brando, but to do it on television seemed risky at the time.  What a great actor and what a great career!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Treat Williams’ family, friends and fans.

RIP: Pat Cooper

Pat Cooper, the stand-up comedian and actor, died on June 6, 2023.  He was 93.

Pat Cooper, born Pasquale Caputo, began his career as stand-up comedian in the 1950s.  His big break came after an appearance on The Jackie Gleason Show in 1963.  Pat Cooper would go on to create comedy albums, provide the opening act for top stars such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr. and many others.  Pat Cooper would also headline shows in Vegas, Atlantic City and other entertainment locales.

Pat Cooper also appeared on television and in movies.

Some of Pat Cooper’s television appearances include: Jackie Gleason: American Scene Magazine (3 episodes); Vega$; Charlie’s Angles; LA Law and Seinfeld.

Some of Pat Cooper’s feature film appearances include: Silent Predator; Analyze This and Analyze That. 

In 1981, Pat Cooper went on Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow where Mr. Cooper insulted many top celebrities while at the same time telling how great he was.  This would become his trademark act in later years when he would go on The Howard Stern Show (and other programs) and his short temper would ignite and he’d insult others while explaining that he was “A-List!”  Some times his grown children would phone in and he’d get into arguments with them.

I was driving on the highway to a friend’s house one day while listening to Howard Stern.  Pat Cooper wanted to come in, unannounced and have a segment on the show.  Howard eventually let Mr. Cooper in and Pat Cooper went ballistic.  He was ranting that he was a big star, that Howard said he could come any time he wanted, that he was A-List, etc.  I was laughing so hard, I truly had to pull off to the side of the road.  Pat Cooper was one of a kind.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Pat Cooper’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: The Iron Sheik

Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, better known as The Iron Sheik, died today at the age of 81.

Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri was born in Damghan, Iran.  He was a talented amateur wrestler and represented Iran on the Greco-Roman wrestling team in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.  Following the Olympics, Mr. Vaziri moved to the United States.  In 1971, he was the gold medalist in the Amateur Athletic Union Greco-Roman wrestling championships.  He then served as an assistant wrestling coach for the 1972 US Olympic team.

Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri began his wrestling career in 1972.  Capitalizing on his heritage, Mr. Vaziri shaved his head, grew a thick mustache and wore wrestling boots with toes that curved up.  He wrestled under the names The Great Hossein Arab and “Hussein Arab” before taking on the moniker of The Iron Sheik.  His character, ability in the ring and to work an audience made him a headliner.  Over the course of his career The Iron Sheik wrestled for all of the major wrestling organizations winning multiple championships in each.  The Iron Sheik was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to The Iron Sheik’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Barry Newman

It was announced that Barry Newman died on May 11, 2023.  He was 93.

Barry Newman didn’t discover his love of acting until after he had served in the Army and earned a degree in anthropology from Brandeis University.  Mr. Newman was working on a Masters Degree when he sat in on an acting class with a friend.  He soon left college to pursue a career as an actor.  After getting parts in off-Broadway and Broadway productions, Mr. Newman decided to try for roles in television and movies.  Barry Newman is probably best known for his starring roles in the feature film Vanishing Point and the television series  Petrocelli.  

Some of Barry Newman’s television appearances include: The Defenders; Naked City; The Edge of Night (3 episodes); Get Smart; The Lawyer; Night Games; Petrocelli (44 episodes); Quincy; The Fall Guy; Fatal Vision (2 episodes); Nightingales (13 episodes); LA Law (3 episodes); Murder She Wrote (3 episodes); JAG, NYPD Blue (2 episodes) and The OC (3 episodes)

Some of Barry Newman’s feature films include: Pretty Boy Floyd; Vanishing Point; City on Fire; Daylight; The Limey; Bowfinger and 40 Days and 40 Nights.

My favorite Barry Newman role was as the defense lawyer Anthony Petrocelli in the television series Petrocelli.  I also enjoyed seeing him in Daylight with Sly Stallone.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Barry Newman’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Joe Gayton

It has been announced that Joe Gayton, the writer, director and producer, died on May 14, 2023, from prostrate cancer.  Mr. Gayton was 66.

Joe Gayton’s first screenwriting credit was on Uncommon Valor starring Gene Hackman and Patrick Swayze. Mr. Gayton co-wrote the feature with Wings Hauser.  Joe Gayton is probably best known for Hell on Wheels the AMC series he created with his brother, Tony Gayton.

I am a huge fan of the under-rated film, Faster, written by Joe and Tony Gayton.  Faster starred Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thorton, Maggie Grace, Tom Berenger and Michael Epps.  Hell on Wheels is a series that is on my to-be-watched list.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joe Gayton’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: George Maharis

George Maharis, the actor, singer and artist, died on May 24, 2023 from natural causes.  Mr. Maharis was 94.

George Maharis studied at the Actors Studio after a stint in the US Marines.  He began to get roles in off-Broadway productions and television appearances.  His big break came in 1960 when he was cast as Buz Murdock in Route 66.  The show catapulted him to stardom.  Due to his popularity and singing ability, Mr. Maharis even began a recording career!

During the third season of Route 66, George Maharis left the series for health reasons.  The show’s producers felt that Mr. Maharis wanted to break his contract to pursue roles in feature films.  Reports later surfaced that tensions rose when the producers learned that George Maharis was gay.  Once Mr. Maharis was off the show, Route 66 declined in popularity and was cancelled the following year.

George Maharis went on to star in television roles and feature films.  Later in his career, he sang in nightclubs and became an impressionist painter.

Some of George Maharis’ television appearances include: Mister Peepers; The Investigator (2 episodes); The Phil Silvers Show; Naked City (4 episodes); Search for Tomorrow (5 episodes); Route 66 (82 episodes); Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (2 episodes); The Danny Thomas Hour; Journey to the Unknown; The Most Deadly Game (13 episodes); Night Gallery; Cade’s County; Medical Center; Canon; Mission: Impossible; Barnaby Jones; Marcus Welby; McMillan & Wife; Rich Man, Poor Man; The Bionic Woman (2 episodes); Kojak; Police Story (3 episodes); Switch (2 episodes); Fantasy Island (6 episodes); Matt Houston and Murder She Wrote (2 episodes).

Some of George Maharis’ feature films include: Quick Before It Melts; The Satan Bug; The Happening and The Sword and the Sorcerer;

I can remember watching Route 66 because it was what the adults watched in the house.  I also remember my mom and her friend talking about the rumors that Mr. Maharis left the show because the producers found out he was gay. They had a hard time believing it, and thought George Maharis was so handsome.  I liked him in Route 66 and always enjoyed seeing George Maharis appear in shows that I watched.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to George Maharis’ family, friends and fans.

RIP: Ed Ames

Ed Ames who was born Edmund Dantes Urick died May 21, 2023, at the age of 95 from natural causes.

While still in high school Ed and his brothers formed a singing group which won many competitions in the Boston area.  They changed their group’s name to the Ames Brothers and landed their first record contract in 1947.  The group continued recording and scored several hits throughout the 1950s and early 1960s.

When the group broke up, Ed Ames decided to pursue a full-time acting career.  Mr. Ames landed roles in off-Broadway and Broadway plays.  While playing Chief Bromden in the Broadway play One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest opposite Kirk Douglas, Mr. Ames was offered the role of Mingo on the television series Daniel Boone.  This role made him a star.  For the rest of his career Ed Ames would alternate between acting on television and stage as well as singing as a solo performer.

Some of Ed Ames television appearances include: The Rifleman; The Travels of Jamie McPheeters; The Danny Thomas Hour; Daniel Boone (72 episodes); The Ed Sullivan Show (4 episodes); The Tonight Show; McCloud; Murder She Wrote; In the Heat of the Night and Jake and the Fatman.

I was a huge fan of Ed Ames as Mingo.  It was the first time that I can remember liking a supporting character more than the star.  There’s a classic clip of Ed Ames promoting Daniel Boone on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Mr. Ames was demonstrating his prowess at tomahawk throwing.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth looking up.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ed Ames’ family, friends and fans.

RIP: Tina Turner

Tina Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock died yesterday at the age of 83.  The cause of death was natural causes.

Tina Turner rose to fame singing with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm.  Later Tina and Ike married and formed a popular singing/recording duo that released hits such as River Deep, Mountain High, Proud Marry and Nutbush City Limits. They broke up in 1976 and they divorced in 1978.

In 1984, Tina Turner released Private Dancer which went on to become a platinum seller.  The single, What’s Love Got to Do With It won Record of the Year and went to #1 on the charts.  This made Ms. Turner, at age 44, the oldest female singer to hit the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart.  Tina Turner would continued to pile up hit after hit, and award after award.  By the end of her career she had won 12 Grammy Awards (including 3 Hall of Fame Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award).  2021: Turner became a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

Tina Turner appeared in several feature films including: Tommy; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and The Last Action Hero.  Angela Bassett played Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It?

I am a Tina Turner fan.  I loved her in Thunderdome and thought we’d see more of her in movies.  I think she probably loved singing, making music videos and touring too much to pursue a movie career.  She had so many hits that it’s hard to pick just one favorite.  It was even better seeing her perform songs in guest spots on tv and in her videos.  There will never be another Tina Turner.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tina Turner’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Ray Stevenson

Ray Stevenson died today.  He was 58.  No cause of death has been released.

Ray Stevenson was an Irish actor known for his roles in theater, television and feature films.  He is best known for his starring roles as The Punisher in Punisher: War Zone and Volstagg in Thor franchise films,

Some of Ray Stevenson’s television appearances include: The Dwelling Place (3 episodes); The Tide of Life (3 episodes); Band of Gold (9 episodes); City Central (21 episodes); Walking the Dead (2 episodes); Rome (22 episodes); Dexter (9 episodes); Black Sails (11 episodes); Rellik (6 episodes); Reef Break (13 episodes); Vikings (11 episodes) and Das Boot (9 episodes).

Some of Ray Stevenson’s feature films include:  The Theory of Flight; King Arthur; Punisher: War Zone; Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant; The Book of Eli; The Other Guys; Kill the Irishman; Thor; G.I. Joe: Retaliation; Thor: The Dark World; Cold Skin; Thor: Ragnarak; Accident Man; RRR and Accident Man: Hitman’s Holiday.

My favorite Ray Stevenson role was in Punisher: War Zone. He was excellent in the role and I’m surprised that they didn’t do sequels with him.  It was also a pleasant surprise to see him in RRR.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ray Stevenson’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Jim Brown

Jim Brown died on Thursday, May 18, 2023.  He was 87 years old.  Jim Brown was an athlete, civil rights activist and actor.

Jim Brown attended Syracuse University where he excelled at basketball, track and field, lacrosse, and football. Many consider Jim Brown to be one of the best lacrosse players of all time.  While at Syracuse, Jim Brown was a unanimous selection for the All-America team and they retired his number 44.  In 1995, he was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Jim Brown was a running back for the Cleveland Browns from 1957 – 1965.  He led the league in rushing 8 of the 9 seasons he played.  When he retired (while at the height of his career) he was the all-time leading rusher.  Jim Brown was a named a Pro Bowl player each season that he played.  Three times in the 9 seasons he was named the NFL Most Valuable Player.  He led the Browns to a Championship in 1964.  Jim Brown is the only professional football player to average over 100 yards per game.  He is considered by many to be the greatest player to every take the field.  Mr. Brown retired from football to pursue a career as an actor.

Some of Jim Brown’s television appearances include: I, Spy; Police Story; CHiPs (3 episodes); Knight Rider; TJ Hooker (2 episodes); The A-Team and Soul Food (4 episodes).

Some of Jim Brown’s feature films include: Rio Concho; The Dirty Dozen; Dark of the Sun; Ice Station Zebra; The Split; 100 Rifles; Slaughter; Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off; Three The Hard Way; The Running Man; I’m Gonna Git You Sucka; Mars Attacks and Any Given Sunday.

Jimi Brown was one of the few athletes to speak out about civil rights in the 1950s and he continued to do so throughout his life.  Mr. Brown was the founder of the Negro Industrial Economic Union, later renamed as the Black Economic Union which helped find opportunities and promote minority owned business.

I was a fan of Jim Brown’s football prowess.  My favorite Jim Brown films are The Dirty Dozen and Dark of the Sun.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim Brown’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Superstar Billy Graham

Superstar Billy Graham, the Hall of Fame Professional wrestler died yesterday at the age of 79.  He had been on life-support and ill for some time.

Superstar Billy Graham was born Eldridge Wayne Coleman.  He became interested in weightlifting while in fifth grade.  In high school he threw the shot put and participated in the Golden Gloves.  In 1961, Mr. Coleman won the Teenage Body Building Contest West Coast Division. (Frank Zane was the winner of the East Coast Division!).  By 1968, Eldridge Coleman was working out at Gold’s Gym where he became friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu and other famous body builders of the era.

In 1970, Mr. Coleman began his career in professional wrestling working for various territories around the country.  In 1972, he took on the moniker Superstar Billy Graham and he became world famous.  Over the course of his career he was a three-time World Champion and inducted in the the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.  He retired in 1988 and became an author and ringside announcer.

Superstar Billy Graham was the inspiration for the next wave of pro wrestlers that included Ric Flair, Austin Idol, Hulk Hogan and Jesse The Body Ventura.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Superstar Billy Graham’s family, friends and fans.

RIP: Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson, known as the Godfather of Poker died yesterday at the age of 89.

Mr. Brunson played professional poker for over 50 years.  He is in the Poker Hall of Fame after a career that included him being the first person to win $1 million in poker tournaments, back-to-back World Series of Poker tournament championships (1976 & 1977) and ten World Series of Poker tournament lifetime wins.  Doyle Brunson wrote two books on how to win at poker, Super/System and SuperSystem2.  These books are considered required reading for anyone who plays poker for money.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Doyle Brunson’s family, friends and fans.