Monday, June 26, 2017

RIP Loren Janes

News from Me
June 26, 2017

One of the world's greatest stuntmen, Loren Janes, died Saturday at the age of 85. Janes founded the Stuntmen Association of Motion Pictures and Television, did stunts in hundreds of movies and thousands of television shows and justifiably bragged that he never had a major injury and never broke a bone. The list of stars for whom he doubled included Jack Nicholson, Kirk Douglas, Paul Newman, Michael Douglas, Charles Bronson, Robert Wagner, Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Yul Brunner, William Shatner, Frank Sinatra and even Debbie Reynolds, Shirley MacLaine and Esther Williams. Most notably, he did stunts for Steve McQueen is most of McQueen's films.

Actually for some of us, his most notable credit was that he did stunts all throughout It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. A lot of the stunt driving was Loren Janes and in the finale, when Eddie "Rochester" Anderson flies through the air and lands in the lap of an Abraham Lincoln statue, that's Loren in blackface makeup.

He was a superb athlete, competing in the Olympics in 1956 and again in 1964. He was also a good enough actor that he was occasionally given lines of dialogue and even hired for non-stunt roles. He was still working well into his seventies.

I got to spend time with Mr. Janes at two separate events relating to Mad World and he was a charming, fascinating guy who seemed to have been on the set of every movie made in Hollywood while he was active. Someone who was with us once made the comment that in Mad World, the biggest laugh may have been when the Three Stooges show up and do absolutely nothing. Janes told us he'd doubled for Moe in Snow White and the Three Stooges and he had plenty of stories from that filming.

He often lectured about his craft and one of the key points he made was that a stuntperson was an actor; that if he doubled the star diving through a plate glass window, he not only had to dive through the plate glass window — which in itself was difficult enough — he also had to do it with the body language of the actor he was doubling. Before he doubled Kirk Douglas, he'd spend hours studying how Douglas moved…and how he moved as that character.

He was one of the best and that's why he worked so much. And I think it's interesting that most of the stunt people in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World — though they spent their careers crashing cars and falling off roofs — lived to older ages than the stars they doubled. I hope the Academy includes Mr. Janes in the "In Memoriam" reel at next year's Oscars because he probably logged more camera time and participated in more memorable movie scenes than most of the actors they'll automatically include.

JANES, Loren
Born: 10/1/1931, Sierra Madre, California, U.S.A.
Died: 6/24/2017, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Loren Janes’ westerns – actor, stuntman:
The Cisco Kid (TV) – 1955 (Tim Siebert)
The First Texan – 1956 [stunts]
Walk the Proud Land – 1956 [stunts]
The Adventures of Jim Bowie (TV) – 1956 [stunts]
Friendly Persuasion – 1956 [stunts]
The Oklahoman – 1957 [stunts]
The Tall Stranger – 1957 [stunts]
El Coyote (TV) – 1957 (Red)
Sugarfoot (TV) – 1957 [stunts]
From Hell to Texas – 1958 [stunts]
Broken Arrow (TV) – 1958 [stunts]
Pony Express – 1959 [stunts]
Thunder in the Sun – 1959 [stunts]
Laramie (TV) – 1959 [stunts]
Flaming Star – 1960 [stunts]
The Magnificent Seven – 1960 [stunts]
North to Alaska – 1960 [stunts]
Bat Masterson (TV) - 1960 [stunts]
The Misfits – 1961 [stunts]
How the West Was Won – 1962 [stunts]
McLintock! – 1963 [stunts]
Advance to the Rear – 1964 [stunts]
Cheyenne Autumn – 1964 [stunts]
The Sons of Katie Elder – 1965 (Ned Reese) [stunts]
Tickle Me – 1965 [stunts]
The Good Guys and the Bad Guys – 1966 [stunts]
Nevada Smith – 1966 (cowboy in Abilene, convict) [stunts]
The Fastest Gun Alive – 1967 [stunts]
The Great Bank Robbery – 1969 [stunts]
Paint Your Wagon – 1969 [stunts]
Little Big Man – 1970 [stunts]
Wild Women (TV) – 1970 [stunts]
Support Your Local Gunfighter – 1971 [stunts]
Junior Bonner – 1972 [stunts]
Blazing Saddles – 1974 [stunts]
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1974 [stunts]
The Master Gunfighter – 1975 [stunts]
The Missouri Breaks – 1976 [stunts]
Goin’ South – 1978 [stunts]
Butch and Sundance: The Early Days – 1979 [stunts]
Tom Horn – 1980 [stunts]
North and South – 1985 [stunts]
 ¡Three Amigos! – 1986 [stunts]
Wild Wild West – 1999 [stunts]

RIP William Woodson

Actor, announcer & voiceovers performer William T. Woodson has died at age 99.  His friends have shared the sad news on Facebook; there have been no obituary notices.

WOODSON, William (William T. Woodson)
Born: 7/16/1917, San Bernardino, California, U.S.A.
Died: 2/22/2017, U.S.A.

William Woodson’s westerns – actor:
Klondike (TV) – 1960 (professor)
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1961 (witness)
Have Gun – Will travel (TV) – 1962, 1963 Barker Craft
The Rifeleman (TV) – 1962 (Sheriff)
Empire (TV) – 1963 (Al Pope)
Redigo (TV) – 1963 (Grady Tipton)
F Troop (TV) – 1966 (Secretary of War)
The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family – 1968 (Henry White)
More Dead Than Alive – 1969 (Warden)
The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams – 1974 [narrator]

RIP Hal Fryar

The Republic

June 8, 1927 – June, 25, 2017

Hal Fryar, age 90, of Bradenton, Florida passed away on June 25, 2017 after a life well lived and well loved by many.

Born in 1927, Hal became an actor and television personality and rose to prominence as “Harlow Hickenlooper”, the host of The Three Stooges Show on Channel 6 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Hal began his broadcasting career as an announcer, emcee, and writer as a teenager in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the mid-1940s. He graduated from Indiana University in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in speech, and by the 1960s, he had developed his entertainment talents as host of programs geared to young audiences in radio
and TV in Ohio.

Hal served as the host for a local Indianapolis children’s show on WFBM-TV that ran from 1960 to 1972, that highlighted the old Three Stooges movie shorts. He appeared under the name “Harlow Hickenlooper” and was one of a trio of hosts with Curley Myers and Captain Star (Jerry Vance aka Larry Vincent). Together, they sang songs and did skits for a live studio audience of children. His idea of Harlow Hickenlooper’s
personality was for him to be a character for whom nothing ever went right, no matter how hard he tried and Hickenlooper regularly ended up with a (shaving) cream pie in his face.

Hal was also the host for several other children’s shows over his 43 years in local television. In 1965, Fryar was cast in the Original Three Stooges movie, The Outlaws Is Coming, playing the part of Johnny Ringo and in 2008, he was inducted into the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame.

Hal is survived by his wife of 37 years Henrietta Fryar, his daughter Pam Allen, his son Gary Fryar, stepdaughters Connie Linton and Marsha McMullin and grandchildren, Joseph Galimi, Amber Clark, Michael Craney, Jami Kong, Jessica Truax, Jonathan Linton, Matthew Linton, Great-grandchildren Hailey McMullin, Arden Kong, Talan Kong, Odelle Linton, Hayden Truax, Alaina Kong, Catalina Galimi, Ethan Clark, Vivian Clark nieces and nephews.

The funeral service will be a private ceremony held at his home in Bradenton, Florida.

Hal was always generous, witty, and dedicated to entertaining, often volunteering his talent to community events. He always expressed personal interest in others and was forever introducing people to create new connections and friendships. Hal was a dedicated member of the Emanuel Methodist Church of Bradenton.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice House of Bradenton, 3355 26th St W., Bradenton, Florida 34205. Condolences can be sent through Hal’s contact page. The family would like to thank friends, WFYI, Hospice House of Bradenton.

Born: 6/8/1927, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.
Died: 6/25/2017, Bradenton, Florida, U.S.A.

Hal Fryar’s western – actor:
The Outlaws’ is Coming – 1965 (Johnny Ringo)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

RIP Armando Sciascia

ARMANDO SCIASCIA, 97, Composer and Violinist

Connecticut Post
June 25, 2017

Armando Sciascia, Italian-born 34-year Trumbull, CT resident, died peacefully at his home on June 23, leaving a precious legacy of artistic accomplishments and memories for his numerous family, colleagues and fans. The maestro's fame in his native country includes his work as composer and conductor of film scores and recordings, musical innovator and prominent entrepreneur. As head of the recording company he founded, the young artists he discovered and made famous during his many crossovers to contemporary popular repertory, just as jazz and rock n' roll, were blossoming during the early '60s. As a graduate of the Rossini Conservatory in Pesaro, Italy, his classical background also permitted some interesting arrangements of classical music in modern dress, for which he apologized to his otherwise 'classical music lovers' but quickly found a new audience to his young followers. Sciascia also introduced many American artists through representing the U.S. companies and artists, like "The Doors", Woodie Guthrie, and the UNESCO recordings of that world's folk music. Armando leaves his wife, Aliki Michalaros-Sciascia, his daughter Dr. Albertina Molinari, his son Sergio (from a first marriage), and nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be held on Sunday (TODAY) 4-7pm at Spadaccino and Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, 315 Monroe Turnpike, Monroe, CT. Mass of Christian burial will be held Monday, June 26, 2017,12pm at St. Stephen Church 6948 Main Street, Trumbull, CT. Further information can be found at

Donations in his memory can be offered to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama. More information can be found at

SCIASCIA, Armando (Armando Alberto Sciascia)
Born: 6/16/1920, Lanciano, Abruzzo, Italy
Died: 6/23/2017, Trumbull, Connecticut, U.S.A

Armando Sciascia’s westerns – composer:
Die for a Dollar in Tucson – 1964 [as H. Tical]
Three Graves for a Winchester – 1966

Friday, June 23, 2017

RIP Joesph Billingiere

Memory Alpha

Joseph "Joe" Billingiere was the actor who appeared as a background performer in several episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, mostly under heavy prosthetics. In the episode "Canamar", he played one of the Enolian prisoners. He also appeared as a Klingon.

Billingiere was a trained martial artists and stuntman, skilled in stage combat, aikido, and Japanese sword techniques. Beside stage plays, such as Sherlock Holmes, The Final Adventure, The Best Man" and Big River, he served as stand-in and photo double for Steven Seagal in the action films Exit Wounds (2001, with Bruce McGill), Ticker (2001, with Vanessa Branch and Jerry Rector), and Half Past Dead (2002, with Tony Plana, Linda Thorson, and fellow Enterprise co-star Michael McGrady).
He also worked as photo double for Steve Valentine in the television series Crossing Jordan (2001-2007, with regular Miguel Ferrer), played recurring roles in Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and guest and supporting roles in Air America, Miracles, and Captain My Captain (as Gene Simmons), as well as in the television action film Crash and Burn (2008, with Jamie McShane and stunts by Gary J. Wayton and Terry James).

He appeared as Two Wolves in the Reno 911! episode "Wiegel's Dad Returns" (2008, with Boni Yanagisawa) as well as in episodes of Chocolate News (2008), Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (2008, with Buddy Daniels Friedman), and Everybody Hates Chris (2009).

Further acting work included the comic adaptation Jonah Hex (2010, with Antal Kalik and Michael Papajohn), the short comedy Rollercaster Safety with Patrick Warburton (2011), the Western Yellow Rock (2011, with Clay Wilcox and Bruce Mercury), the thriller Rites of Passage (2012, with Christian Slater and John Saint John), the science fiction film John Carter (2012, with Don Stark), and the short film Through the Night (2012).

Most recent projects included the television series Drunk History (2013 and 2015), the Western comedy Damsel (2017), and the horror film Moon Creek Cemetery (2017).
Billingiere died in his sleep of natural causes on 15 June 2017 at his home.

BILLINGIERE, Joseph (Joseph Francis Billingiere)
Born: 6/30/1948, Ventura, California, U.S.A.
Died: 6/15/2017, Ventura, California, U.S.A

Joseph Billingiere’s westerns – actor:
Jonah Hex – 2010 (Old Cherokee)
Yellow Rock – 2011 (Chief White Eagle Feather)
Damsel – 2011 (Zacharia)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

RIP Keith Loneker

The Kansas City Star
By Jesse Newell
June 22, 2017

Keith Loneker Sr., who played offensive tackle for the Kansas football team from 1989-92 before establishing careers in the NFL and with film, has died, KU Athletics officials confirmed. He was 46.

Loneker, who was a starter for the 1992 KU team that finished 8-4 and won the Aloha Bowl, spent three seasons in the NFL after going undrafted, playing 19 games with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams from 1993-95 with five starts.

The 6-foot-4 Loneker later received notoriety for his acting career, which included roles in “Out of Sight,” “Superbad” and “Leatherheads.”

Loneker’s son, Keith Jr., is a junior linebacker on the KU football team. Keith Jr. posted on his Instagram page in December that his father had been diagnosed with cancer the previous month.

Keith Sr., who was coached by Glen Mason, earned all-Big Eight honors in his final season with the Jayhawks.

Born: 6/21/1971, Roselle Park, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Died: 6/22/2017,  U.S.A.

Keith Loneker’s western – actor:
Outlaws and Angels – 2016 (Little Joe)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

RIP Jim Brewer

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home
June 18, 2012

Gentleman Jim Brewer, a retired boxer and actor, died Thursday, June 15th, after a rough spell of bad health. Jim was sure-enough Old Austin. He grew up in the Rosedale neighborhood and was a member of McCallum High School's first graduating class. After a successful local boxing career under the tutelage of Pat O'Grady (who later relocated to Oklahoma City and guided his son, Sean, to a world championship), Jim was cast in John Wayne's production of THE ALAMO. This turn of good fortune allowed Jim to develop an acting career that lasted until his health began to decline. He starred in MISSION TO DEATH, which some would claim to be the first independent feature film shot in Austin. But mostly he worked as a supporting actor and had scenes with the likes of Marlon Brando, Robert Mitchum, and George C. Scott, among many others. Jim is known for None but the Brave (1966), The Formula (1980) and AB-Negative (2006). He worked in TV as well, including a memorable guest slot on an episode of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW. Jim lived mostly in L.A. and was President/Owner of the manufacturing company, Techmar Enclosures, Inc. along with his successful acting career. Jim would always spend a couple of months a year back in Austin, where he'd tool around in his 1965 sky-blue Mustang, which he'd purchased years ago from his actress friend, Karen Valentine (ROOM 222 etc). He was a regular at Dirty Martin's (where there's sort of a shrine to him in one corner of the dining room), Dry Creek Saloon, El Patio, and Avenue B Grocery, as well as at Upper Crust Bakery. He didn't stop training until the last year, and he'd work the heavy bags at R Lord's Boxing Gym like an up-and-coming welterweight whenever he was in town. Every year he hosted an "anniversary of his 70th birthday" dinner at Matt's El Rancho to which he would invite a host of friends including lifelong school friends, surviving Austin boxers from the 1950s and '60s, and his Austin theater group.

Jim was born in Midland, Texas on January 8th, 1937 as James Cleveland Brewer III. Jim is survived by his younger brother Robert Brewer of Lockhart, TX, his niece Breanna and her son Zayden. He was preceded in death by his beloved Mother and biggest fan, Pat Anderson, and will be laid to rest alongside her at Austin Memorial Park. Jim was loved by many and will be greatly missed.

Visitation hours from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesday June 20th at Weed-Corley-Fish on North Lamar.
A celebration of Jim's life will be held Wednesday June 21st from 7pm to 9pm at Dirty Martin's on Guadalupe.

BREWER, Jim (James Cleveland Brewer III)
Born: 1/8/1937, Midland, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 6/15/2017, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.

Jim Brewer’s westerns – actor:
The Alamo – 1960 (Travis’ man)
Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid (TV) – 1978 (Ben)
Fort Yeguas – 2012 (Jim Schulte)