Wednesday, March 22, 2017

RIP Piero Leri

Italian film, TV and voice actor Piero Leri (aka Peter Larry) died in Italy on March 1st. Leri’s career started during the first half of the 1960s in roles as a supporting actor. Despite his good dialect and preparation for his roles and a vague resemblance to his more well-known colleague Giuliano Gemma, he was relegated to that large group of character actors in supporting roles. Beginning in the first half of the 1980s he dedicated his career to occasional dubbing activity.

LERI, Piero (Pietro Leri)
Born: 8/4/1939, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Died: 3/2/2017, Italy

Piero Leri's westerns - actor:
Man of the Cursed Valley - 1964 (Torito) [as Peter Larry]
Rick and John, Conquerors of the West – 1967 (accomplice of Barbara)
California – 1977

Monday, March 20, 2017

RIP Robert Day

Seattle Times
March 21, 2017

DAY Robert Frederick, British film director, passed away on 17th March 2017, aged 94, on Bainbridge Island, Seattle, USA. Known in the UK for his early films The Green Man, Two Way Stretch and The Rebel, and later for TV series. He leaves to mourn his passing, his son Rob, his daughter Roberta and his grandsons, Nicholas and Philip Simons.

DAY, Robert (Robert Frederick Day)
Born: 9/11/1922, Sheen, England, U.K.
Died: 3/17/20917, Bainbridge Island, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

Robert Day’s Westerns – director:
Lancer (TV) – 1968-1970
Cade’s County (TV) – 1971-1972
Kodiak (TV) - 1974
Dallas (TV) - 1978
The Quick and the Dead (TV) - 1987

Saturday, March 18, 2017

RIP Lawrence Montaigne
March 18, 2017 is saddened to report the passing of Lawrence Montaigne, the veteran actor who played the Romulan, Decius, in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Balance of Terror" in 1966 and returned a year later to portray Stonn, a Vulcan, in "Amok Time." The actor died on Friday, March 17, at the age of 86.

According to the biography on Montaigne's official site, he was born in Brooklyn, New York, raised in Rome, Italy, and developed an early talent for languages, which opened many doors for him as an actor. Trained as a classical dancer, he appeared on Broadway in Hazel Flagg and Shinbone Alley (with Eartha Kitt). He was eventually lured to Hollywood, where he worked with the Hollywood Bowl Ballet Company. In films, he worked as a dancer with such notables as Gene Kelly, Donald O'Conner and Mitzie Gaynor. He studied fencing both in the U.S. and Europe, which afforded him the opportunity to work as a stuntman on Scaramouche, The Three Musketeers, Julius Caesar and in a series of low-budget, swashbuckling films for Sam Katzman at Columbia.

Upon discharge from the Marine Corp, Montaigne's bio continued, he studied drama at The Dramatic Workshop in New York, and was prepared to make the transition into acting when the opportunity arose. He was featured in such films as The Great Escape (with Steve McQueen and James Garner), Tubruk (with Rock Hudson and George Peppard) and The Power (with George Hamilton and Suzanne Pleshette), and later in Captain Sinbad and Damon & Pythias (both starring Guy Williams), The Mongols (starring Jack Palance and Anita Ekberg) and Escape To Witch Mountain (with Ray Milland and Donald Pleasance.) He starred in Pillar Of Fire (made in Israel), and in Moby Jackson and Rapina Al Quartiere Ovest (both made in Italy.) He worked, over the course of his career, in Italy, Germany, Yugoslavia, Israel, Spain and the U.S. In addition to his film credits, Montaigne, by his own count, appeared in more than 200 episodes of television, including The Outer Limits, The Fugitive, I Spy, The Time Tunnel, Batman, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible and Dallas. According to various sources, including Montaigne himself, the producers of TOS were ready to tap him to replace Leonard Nimoy as Spock when negotiations with with Nimoy seemed unlikely to pan out; they did, however, and Montaigne was invited to play Stonn.

Montaigne, during an extensive interview with in 2012, said said he and Nimoy never discussed the matter on set or later. "It was history," he explained. "It was over and that’s all there was to it. I moved on. This was the 1960s, and I was doing a whole bunch of shows and films, and having the time of my life. So, when Spock didn’t happen, it really didn’t change my life in any way." It was history. It was over and that’s all there was to it. I moved on. This was the 1960s, and I was doing a whole bunch of shows and films, and having the time of my life. So, when Spock didn’t happen, it really didn’t change my life in any way. It was history. It was over and that’s all there was to it. I moved on. This was the 1960s, and I was doing a whole bunch of shows and films, and having the time of my life. So, when Spock didn’t happen, it really didn’t change my life in any way. Forty-plus years after his TOS roles, Montaigne reprised Stonn in the fan film Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, directed by Tim Russ. In addition to his work as an actor and stuntman, he wrote an autobiography, A Vulcan Odyssey, and two novels, The Guardian List and The Barrel of Death. Further, his bio states, he was employed as a proofreader doing medical translations for Worldwide Translations, and taught drama part-time at UNLV, near where he lived in Henderson, Nevada.

As recently as last August, Montaigne was a regular presence at the annual Star Trek Las Vegas gathering. Back in 2012, in our interview, the actor explained that even so many years after "Balance of Terror" and "Amok Time," he still enjoyed meeting fans, signing autographs, posing for photos and reminiscing.

"I love it," he said. "I’m out of touch. I’m living in Vegas, not in Los Angeles. I’m not in the hub of things. So, when I’m in Vegas, not only do I enjoy seeing the fans, but I have the opportunity to see people I’ve worked with, people I’ve known for years, people I don’t otherwise have an opportunity to see on a social basis because of geography. The fans are so great. Some of the fans come back year in and year out, so we’re on a first-name basis. We’ll talk about the things they’ve done in the past year and, likewise, I’ll talk about what I’ve done. So, it’s a lot of fun. I can’t imagine an actor who’s worked on Star Trek not wanting to get involved and do these conventions." Please join in extending our condolences to Montaigne's family, friends, colleagues and fans around the world.

Born: 2/26/1931, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 3/17/2017, Henderson, Nevada, U.S.A.

Lawrence Montaigne’s westerns – actor:
Daniel Boone (TV) – 1965, 1967 (Mawson, Hayes Fuller)
Hondo (TV) – 1967 (soldado)
Iron Horse (TV) – 1967 (Jud Moore)
Laredo (TV) – 1967 (Rocco Calvelli)
Here Come the Brides (TV) – 1969 (Keenan)
Bearcats (TV) – 1971 (Koster)
Bonanza (TV) – 1972 (Sid Langley)
The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd (TV) – 1980 (prosecutor)
Dakota – 1988 (Mr. Diamond)

RIP Ingeborg Krabbe

March 18, 2017

Actress and cabaret artist Ingeborg Krabbe died on Friday at the age of 85 years in Berlin.  She succumbed to cancer.

The Leipzig, Germany born actress and cabaret artist Ingeborg Krabbe died on Friday evening in Berlin.  At 85, she succumbed to her cancer after undergoing yearlong treatment, confirmed by her family and her longtime agent, Marc Rosenberg.

Ingeborg Krabbe was "one of the most famous theater, film and television actresses in the GDR", as the obituary of the artist stated.  Important stages of her career: In 1954 she founded the cabaret "Die Pfeffermühle" in Leipzig.  In the same year, she debuted as a film actress in "Der Weg ins Leben".  From 1984 to 1991 she played one of the main roles in the TV series " Schauspielereien".  She recently appeared in various episodes of the TV series " In aller Freundschaft".

KRABBE, Ingeborg (Ingeborg Simmich-Krabbe)
Born: 6/13/1931, Leipzig, Danzig, German Empire
Died: 3/17/2017, Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Ingeborg Krabbe’s western – actress:
Tecumseh – 1972 (Mrs. O’Brien)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

RIP Kenneth Wickes

National Post
March 15, 2017

Kenneth Wickes, October 9, 1923 - March 12, 2017, Died peacefully in his sleep at Bridgepoint Health Centre, Toronto, surrounded by loving friends, after battling cancer with dignity and determination for the last year of a life well lived. Beloved son of the late Clarence and Ivy Wickes; loyal brother to the late Jack, the late Alan, and to Geoffrey; dear uncle to Claire, Linda, Ian, Paul and Neil Wickes.

Known to countless friends and colleagues as ‘Kenny’,he was born in Buckinghamshire, England, and raised in London. He served in the British Army in Italy and Iraq during the Second World War and was the proud recipient of three military service medals. After graduating from theatre school and performing in London-area theatres, he moved to Canada in 1957. Within one year he received the Best Actor Award at the Dominion Drama Festival for his performance as Vladimir in Waiting for Godot. The curtain had been raised on a distinguished career in theatre, film, radio drama and television that would span half a century.

Kenneth Wickes had a second calling in life: that of a volunteer and Good Samaritan. He devoted decades to fundraising as Treasurer for The Actors Fund of Canada, and was a founding member of The Performing Arts Lodge of Toronto. A resident of PAL Lodge since it opened in 1993, Mr. Wickes served for many years on the Board of Directors and was an eloquent spokesman for the rights of cultural industry workers to affordable, quality housing. Kenneth Wickes may have taken his final curtain call, but will be forever remembered by all whose lives he touched with generosity, kindness and lasting friendship.

Sincere thanks are in order for his close friends at PAL, whose caring support and love for Ken during the past year brought him much comfort.

A celebration of his wonderful life will be held at PAL at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, Ken asked for an in memoriam charitable donation to Performing Arts Lodge Toronto, to help provide nursing services for his fellow residents at PAL Toronto.

WICKES, Kenneth (Kenneth Edward Wilkes)
Born: 10/9/1923, Buckinghamshire, England, U.K.
Died: 3/12/2017, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Kenneth Wilkes’ western – actor:
The Campbells (TV) – 1986 (Curry)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

RIP Fred Weintraub

Fred Weintraub, who financed 'Woodstock' and helped discover Bruce Lee, dies at 88

Los Angeles Times 

By Randall Roberts

March 7, 2017

Were it not for the renegade work of club owner, Hollywood producer and self-described showman Fred Weintraub, the lives of Bruce Lee, Frankie Valli, Neil Diamond, Richard Pryor and Woody Allen, to say nothing of the mud-encrusted hippies Weintraub captured in the film “Woodstock,” might have taken other turns.

Weintraub died Sunday, leaving a legacy that included founding the storied New York folk and comedy club the Bitter End, green-lighting a music festival shoot that became the documentary “Woodstock” and signing the young martial arts expert Lee to star in the Weintraub-produced movie “Enter the Dragon.”

He died of natural causes after living with Parkinson’s disease, wife Jackie Dubey-Weintraub said.
Across his 88 years, Weintraub experienced a lot of adventure, and although much of it was behind the scenes, his mark on culture runs deep.

“From the mean streets of Fort Apache, the East Bronx,” he wrote in “Bruce Lee, Woodstock and Me,” his rollicking 2012 autobiography, “to an island fortress in Hong Kong; from a Cuban jail cell shared with cockroaches, to a stroll down the red carpet at Cannes shared with the Beatles, I’ve pretty much seen it all. Or at least as much as any nice, Jewish, Ritalin-deprived Depression baby could ever hope to see and do.”

Fred Robert Weintraub was born in the Bronx in 1928, the only son of parents who owned and operated two baby furniture stores. Weintraub, who had two sisters, inherited that appetite for retail.
After attending the Wharton School of Business, he took over the family’s Darling Furniture and Toy company, where the driven entrepreneur expanded the business to 50 stores and sold it in the late 1950s. Cuba was calling, so he made a foray to Havana. He landed a gig playing piano in a house of ill repute.

While there, Weintraub recounted being arrested and falsely accused of gun-running. He spent a few days in jail and upon release, eventually returned to New York City. Greenwich Village was a center of youth culture at the time, and Weintraub needed “a way to burn up the restless energy that had plagued me since childhood,” he wrote in his autobiography, which was co-authored with David Fields. He took over the lease on a little Village coffeehouse that he renamed the Bitter End.

Among those who performed at the Bitter End when Weintraub owned it were Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, George Carlin, Bill Cosby and Joan Rivers. On their debut album, the folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary posed in front of the Bitter End’s famous brick wall, an iconic backdrop that has since become the de facto standard for comedy clubs.

“My earliest memory of the Bitter End,” Allen said in “Bruce Lee, Woodstock and Me,” “is that people told me it was a place for young people starting out, particularly at the Tuesday night Hootenanny. I went over, and Fred, who looked like a character who stepped out of a Russian novel, was instantly very warm, friendly and encouraging.”

Weintraub sold the Bitter End and started producing for TV, where his early successes include creating the seminal music series “Hootenanny.”

When his friend Ted Ashley became the head of Warner Bros. film studio, Weintraub was hired as an executive in charge of production. “After ‘Easy Rider’ did so well, they wanted to hire someone with a ponytail down to his behind,” he told Variety in 1994.

Weintraub fit the bill, and the hire paid off. One of Weintraub’s first projects for the company was helping to finance “Woodstock” after being contacted by desperate festival organizers who needed film gear but were running out of money. According to Weintraub’s account in the New York Post, Warner Bros.’ $500,000 investment helped “Woodstock” earn $32 million during its theatrical run.
He had found his calling. After producing the George C. Scott vehicle “Rage,” Weintraub set his sights on the kind of martial arts movies earning profits in Hong Kong. With a script in hand and looking to adapt that action for American audiences, Weintraub cast the young martial arts instructor Lee.

The film, “Enter the Dragon,” went on to gross more than $100 million worldwide, according to Variety. Tragically, Lee died a few days after the film’s release.

But Lee and Weintraub had tapped an emerging market. During the American premiere of “Enter the Dragon,” director Rob Cohen told the Sunday Mail that the turnout at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was notable. “The audience looked like they had emptied all the jails. It was the most street audience I'd ever seen.”

Weintraub left Warner Bros. to become an independent producer for both TV and film, and saw success with projects including the David Carradine vehicle “Kung Fu” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Long a believer in shoestring budgets, Weintraub decried the excesses of the Hollywood system while making films including “Black Belt Jones,” “Force: Five,” “Under the Gun” and “High Road to China.”

In the early 1990s, Weintraub and his wife, Jackie, helped build Lithuania’s film industry after the fall of the Soviet Union. Seeking a budget-conscious location to shoot the series “The New Adventures of Robin Hood,” the pair opened a door that producers continue to use decades later.

Weintraub’s experiences, especially after turning independent, led him to make a prescient prediction to the Creator’s Project in 2012. “In five years, there'll be 10 million people paying $2 to see a new movie on its first night on the Internet,” he said.

“I found the business fun,” he added. “It's still fun."

In addition to his wife, Weintraub is survived by two daughters, Sandra and Barbara, and two sons, Max and Zachary.

WEINTRAUB, Fred (Fred Robert Weintraub)
Born: 4/27/1928, Bronx, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 3/5/2017, Pacific Palisades, California, U.S.A.

Fred Weintraub’s western – producer:
Tom Horn - 1980

Monday, March 6, 2017

RIP Ric Marlow

Ric Marlow, 'A Taste of Honey' Songwriter, Dies at 91

The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes

His tune won him a Grammy in 1962 and was made even more famous by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass.

Ric Marlow, who co-wrote the 1960s pop song "A Taste of Honey" that earned him a Grammy Award and became a huge instrumental hit for Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, has died. He was 91.

Marlow died Feb. 28 in Palm Springs, his stepson, Dalton Teczon, announced.

Marlow also worked as an actor, appearing on such shows as Bonanza, Death Valley Days, Sea Hunt, Hawaii 5-0 and Magnum, P.I.

Marlow and Bobby Scott co-wrote "A Taste of Honey" as the title song for a 1960 Broadway adaptation of Shelagh Delaney's British play that also was made into a 1961 film directed by Tony Richardson.

Their song won the 1962 Grammy for best instrumental theme. Three years later, Alpert's version collected four Grammys, including song of the year, and went as high as No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"A Taste of Honey" with Marlow's lyrics also was recorded by The Beatles, Lenny Welch, Barbra Streisand, Billy Dee Williams, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett and scores of others.

A native of New York, Marlow was married in the 1950s to actress Leslie Parrish (L'il Abner, The Manchurian Candidate).

MARLOW, Ric (Eric Schafler)
Born: 12/21/1925, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 2/28/2017, Palm Springs, California, U.S.A.

Ric Marlow’s westerns – actor:
Bonanza (TV) – 1960 (scoffing townsman, Morgan)
Pony Express (TV) – 1960 (Ward)
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1961
Lawman (TV) – 1961 (Willis)
Two Faces West (TV) - 1961