Friday, March 16, 2018

RIP Angelo Ragusa

Angelo Ragusa has died, goodbye to the stuntman of 'Specter' and 'Quel maledetto treno blindato'

He was 65 years old.  The memory of Daniele Vicari who worked with him in various films including 'Diaz'.  Castellari: "I will never forget you, thanks Caccolè".

March 15, 2018

Angelo Ragusa died March 14, 2018 in Rome, a stunt coordinator and stuntman himself since the seventies when he was a double for Franco Nero and Fabio Testi.  Over the years he has worked on a hundreds films from Fratello Sole and Sister Luna di Zeffirelli up to the television production of the Medici passing through Specter of the James Bond saga and the TV series of Romanzo criminale.  He was 65 years old.  The funeral will be held on Saturday at 11 am at the Church of S. Anastasio in Rome.

The memory of Daniele Vicari.

Angelo Ragusa, a profession Stunt-man was a great man of cinema.  When his brother-in-law Fabio called me last night to tell me he had not made it, I was about to answer him: impossible.  Because for Angelo there was nothing that could not be done on the set.  Even at almost sixty I saw him work for five days and five nights without ever sleeping and without losing a shred of lucidity and tranquility.  Most of Diaz's scenes, with hundreds of extras and dozens of actors at the same time, who receive "real" repetitions, without detachment, have studied them in detail, understanding something that is sometimes difficult to do on set: the extreme realism that I was looking for in the staging.  In some ways it's easier to blow up a car that "beating" an actor credibly without hurting him.  Angelo knew how to work with the actors, giving them extreme peace of mind.  His passion for staging the action bordered on poetry.  For a director, a stunt like him is a priceless fortune.  When Elio Germano, "disobeying" his prescriptions, during a scene in which he took many hits wounded his head against a radiator, Angelo bent over him and Elio told him: "I know Angelo, you told me."  And Angelo gave him a caress like a father: "Yes, you were wrong, but do not be impressed by the blood, it's nothing".

A spring afternoon a few years ago, with my daughter at the age of twelve, we went to visit him in his riding school.  Margaret was intimidated by this man with the face hard as the stone, tall and massive as a grizzly, but after five minutes he found himself with him on a horse, and when the horse crashed on the ground making "pretend" to be dead, not he was frightened, because Angelo caressed the horse and that suddenly got up nibbling.  An unforgettable day for her and especially for me that I find it hard to entrust my daughter to the doctor.  Angelo was apparently rude but very sweet.  His love for horses was matched only by his love for cinema and his family.  A simple family, very numerous and very noisy.

A true stuntman is like a dancer when he is on stage and is like a choreographer when he coordinates the scene.  Enzo Castellari knows something of it, entrusting Angelo with most of his "action", making him jump down from buildings, overwhelm racing cars, blow up bombs, crashing into cars, trucks, and running trains.  Exceptional actors such as Fabio Testi, Tomas Milian and Franco Nero owe to him much of the heroic aura that characterized them.  And from La freccia nera to Romanzo Criminale also the TV which did not make him happy.

When I met him, I knew perfectly well who he was because Angelo (Caccola for his friends), was a living myth not just for me.  Tony Smart, the stuntman of films like James Bond, The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones (and a thousand others), he considered it exactly like that.  It was discovered by Walter di Francesco, another great stunt who rightly considers himself a pupil of Angelo, when he began the preparation of Ben Hur and spoke of Angelo to the English coordinator of the film, he asked Tony Scott what he thought and Scott looked at him amazed: "Angelo Ragusa is a myth".

RAGUSA, Angelo
Born: 9/10/1952, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Died: 3/14/2018, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Angelo Rausa’s westerns – actor, stuntman:
Keoma – 1976 (Caldwell henchman) [stunt double for Franco Nero]
California – 1977 [stunts]
Buddy Goes West – 1981 (Slim henchman) [stunts]

RIP Ned Romero

Romero began his career in 1943 as an opera singer, appearing in productions with the San Francisco Opera and in Los Angeles. He also appeared in musicals, such as Kiss Me, Kate, Kismet and Oklahoma!. On Broadway, he appeared in 3 for Tonight (1954).

After twenty years on the stage, he moved into television and film. His first television appearance was an opera skit on CBS's The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis with Dwayne Hickman, in which he performed a medley of famous opera arias. His roles as a regular cast member on TV shows included portraying investigator Bob Ramirez on The D.A.,[5] Broken Foot on Born to the Wind and Sgt. John Rivera on Dan August.

He appeared in dozens of films and television programs. His credits include appearances in Walker: Texas Ranger, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Custer, Police Woman, Land of the Lost, Kung Fu, The Six Million Dollar Man, Ironside, Death Valley Days, The Incredible Hulk, Adam-12, and Emergency!, and in an unaired episode of the short-lived series The New Land.

In 1990 he starred in the soap opera Santa Barbara as Shamar, an Indian who gave Cruz the talisman.

He also starred in a television drama of the life of Chief Joseph entitled: I Will Fight No More Forever. In 2006, he appeared in the feature film Expiration Date.

ROMERO, Ned (Ned Joseph Romero)
Born: 12/4/1926, Franklin, Louisiana, U.S.A.
Died: 11/4/2017, Palm Desert, California, U.S.A.

Ned Romero’s westerns – actor:
The Virginian (TV) – 1963, 1968 (Angelo, Tza'Wuda)
The Talisman – 1966 (The Indian)
Shane (TV) – 1966 (Chips)
Custer (TV) – 1967 (Running Feet)
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1967, 1968, 1970 (Running-in-a-Circle, Geronimo Kid, Naranjo, Father de la Cuesta
The High Chaparral (TV) – 1967, 1968 (Rinaldo, Carlos Mendoza)
Laredo (TV) – 1967 (Captain Montoya)
Rango (TV) - 1967
Winchester 73 (TV) – 1967 (Wild Bear)
Hang ‘Em High – 1968 (Charlie Blackfoot)
Bonanza (TV) – 1968 (White Wolf)
Mark of the Gun – 1969
Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here - 1969 (Tom)
Lancer (TV) – 1969 (Wichita Jim)
Gentle Savage – 1973 (Richard Allen)
Kung Fu (TV) – 1974, 1975 (Lame Dog, Indian leader)
I Will Fight No More Forever – (TV) – 1975 (Chief Joseph)
The Quest (TV) – 1976 (Salcedo)
Last of the Mohicans (TV) – 1977 (Chingachgook)
Peter Lundy and the Medicine Hat Stallion (TV) – 1977 (
The Deerslayer (TV) – 1978 (Chingachgook)
The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams (TV) – 1978 (Silver Fox)
Born to the Wind (TV) – 1982 (Broken Foot)
The Mystic Warrior (TV) – 1982 (Wisa)
Houston: The Legend of Texas (TV) - 1986 (Chief John Jolley)
Stranger on My Land (TV) - 1988 (Doc)
The Magnificent Seven (TV) – 1998 (Seminole Chief)
Walker, Texas Ranger (TV) – 1998, 1999, 2000 (Judge Henry Fivekills, Shaman, Ned Grey Fox

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

RIP Sean Garrison

Sean Garrison died at his Morongo Valley, California home on March 2, 2018. The New York City native launched his acting career in the 1957 episode "A Time to Die" of the ABC/Warner Brothers western television series, Colt .45, starring Wayde Preston. He appeared again on Colt .45 in 1958 as Charles "Chuck" Dudley in the episode "Circle of Fear". In 1958, he had an uncredited role in the film Darby's Rangers with James Garner. That same year he was cast as Mike Fullerton in the episode "The Empty Gun" of the ABC/WB western series Cheyenne, starring Clint Walker in the title role.

Garrison played Andy Gibson in the 1958 episode "The Canary Kid" of Sugarfoot, another ABC/WB western series with Will Hutchins in the title role. He also had a comedy role with Ricky Nelson in 1958 as George in "Stealing Rick's Girl" on ABC's The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.

In 1958, Garrison played the role of Yeoman Kaffhamp in Onionhead, a military film with Andy Griffith. In 1959, he was cast as Seaman Floyd in the film Up Periscope. He had two film roles in 1961, as Glenn in Splendor in the Grass and as Fred Tyson in Bridge to the Sun. In 1965, he was cast as Lloyd Garner in "The Young Marauders", the fourth episode of the ABC western series The Big Valley.

In 1966, he played the role of Mark Dominic, the lover of Jean Seberg's character, in the mystery film Moment to Moment.Another 1966 role was that of the Reverend John Porter in the episode "Sanctuary" of Gunsmoke, a story of outlaws taking refuge in a church. He was cast in 1966 as Doug Pomeroy in "Runaway Boy" on Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre. In 1967, he played the role of Richard Tyson in the film Banning.

In Dundee and the Culhane, Garrison joined John Mills as the junior partner of frontier lawyers taking clients in the American West. Garrison had relatively few acting roles thereafter, none long-lasting. In 1968, he was cast as Buck Hambleton in the episode "Ordeal" of The Name of the Game. In 1969, he played Samuel J. Coles in "A Reign of Guns" in The Mod Squad. In 1970, he was cast as George in "The Pied Piper of Rome" on the comedy To Rome with Love. In another 1970 appearance, he was cast in Love American Style. In 1971, he portrayed Harvey Bishop in "The 5th Victim", the twelfth episode of Alias Smith and Jones. His subsequent roles included Clint Carpenter in "Harvest of Death" (1972) on Mannix, Detective Robert Scott in "The Violent Homecoming" (1973) of Police Story, Lanark in "The Second Chance" (1977) of The Rockford Files, and Captain Buck Tanner in "PlayGirl/Smith's Valhalla (1980) of Fantasy Island.

Garrison's last two acting roles were as Carl Belford in "The 18-Wheel Rip-Off" (1980) of B.J. and the Bear and as a physician in the episode "The Hawk and the Hunter" (1981) of CHiPs. 

Born: 10/19/1937, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 3/2/2018, Morongo Valley, California, U.S.A.

Sean Garrison’s westerns – actor:
Colt .45 (TV) – 1957, 1958 (youth, Charlie ‘Chuck’ Dudley)
Cheyenne (TV) – 1958 (Mike Fullerton)
Sugarfoot (TV) – 1958 (Andy Gibson)
The Big Valley (TV) – 1965 (Lloyd Garner)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1966 (Reverend John Porter)
Dundee and the Culhane (TV) – 1967 (The Culhane)
Alias Smith and Jones (TV) – 1971 (Harvey Bishop)
The Secret Empire – 1979 (Yannuck)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

RIP Enrico Ciacci

Enrico Ciacci, a great guitarist, has died: he had a long career with his brother Little Tony

By Alessandra Vitali
March 13, 2018

Enrico Ciacci, guitarist, composer and brother of singer Little Tony died in Rome. This was announced by Pasquale Mammaro, manager of both brothers. Born in Tivoli 75 years ago, an excellent guitarist, composer of soundtracks, rock and roll enthusiast, it was he who transmitted his passion for American music to his brother Antonio.

Antonio and Enrico, and the other brother, Alberto, had started while very young to take their first steps in show business, and to study music, thanks also to his father Novino, singer and accordionist, and his uncle Settembrino, guitarist. A long collaboration, that between Enrico and Little Tony, who passed away in May 2013, had brought them to perform together on the stages of half the world and to share together a long career. Also similar in appearance: even for Enrico pompadour hair, dark glasses, leather clothes and strictly fringed jackets in the name of Elvis.

With Little Tony, Enrico had collaborated in the writing of songs like Quando vedrai la mia ragazza e Il ragazzo and il ciuffo. Among the films for which he had composed the music, “I’ll Sell My Skin Dearly”, “Marinai in coperta”, Peggio per te, meglio per me”, all in the late sixties. Among his most prestigious collaborations, the one with Ennio Morricone for the soundtrack of “A Fistful of Dollars”, is his guitar that made an icon the music that the maestro created for the film by Sergio Leone.

"I'm very sorry for the news of Enrico Ciacci's disappearance: he was a superfine guitarist": this is how Fiorello remembers him, announcing a salute, tomorrow, to Radio Deejay. "He has always lived alongside his brother Little Tony - remembers Fiorello - following him with love and accompanying him in his successes". And remember when "at VivaRadio2 he delighted us by playing his magic guitar live".

CIACCI, Enrico
Born: 11/21/1942, Tivoli, Lazio Italy
Died: 3/13/2018, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Enrico Ciacci’ westerns – composer, musician:
Fistful of Dollars - 1964 [guitar]
I'll Sell My Skin Dearly – 1968 [composer]
Blindman – 1971 [sitar]

RIP Andy Lewis

The Concord Journal
March 13, 2018

Andrew Kittredge Lewis died at his Walpole NH home on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 at the age of 92. He had a long career writing for television and the movies, and is perhaps best known for the screenplay Klute, a 1971 classic thriller directed by Alan J. Pakula. Andy Lewis was born in Cambridge, MA, the son of Mabel Maxwell (Graves) and Harvard philosopher Clarence Irving Lewis. He was educated in the public schools in Lexington and later attended the Phillips Exeter Academy. He was called to action in the Fall of 1943, the year he turned eighteen. He served in the Army with the 86th Blackhawk Division as a machine gunner. After the war he graduated Harvard in 1949, and moved into the new Conantum development in Concord MA with his first wife, Sally (Cushman). Lewis writing career was closely tied to the origins and rise of television entertainment. For a few years after graduating from Harvard, Lewis cobbled together jobs that gave him spare time to pursue writing projects. He delivered milk for local farms such as Verrills, took a part-time stint at WGBH and worked in the Harvard Financial Aid Office while composing short stories for periodicals like The Atlantic Monthly and The Saturday Evening Post. Things took a different turn when in 1953 he was offered a job writing for a television program called Omnibus, and thereby joined the first cohort of writers creating content for the brand new TV industry. Omnibus was a pioneering exploration of televisions educational potential. Its varied format suited Lewis temperament because he could shift between pieces, for example, on dance, Greek theater or education. While working on a segment about Harvard University, Lewis met then- Senator John F. Kennedy. This led to occasional work speech writing and editing for JFK, Leverett Saltonstall and Henry Cabot Lodge. After Omnibus, Lewis wrote for anthology drama series such as Encounter, The DuPont show with June Allyson, The Kraft Suspense Theater and Profiles in Courage. As the commercial appeal of westerns, crime dramas and medical shows grew, his contributions shifted to serials like The Virginian, The FBI and Dr. Kildare. Andy Lewis half-seriously referred to his job in television as that of a "worditute", and was only lightly invested in the final product. His professional choices were always steered by what he considered best for his children. Play writing was an outlet that allowed him control over a fully realized creation, but one that he couldnt often indulge. He valued his ties with The Theatre Company of Boston, which, during the '60s, was a crucible for young talent. At a 1964 reading of Lewis play The Triumph of Lincoln Clum, the lead character was read by an actor just on the cusp of his big breakout, Dustin Hoffman. Another play, The Infantry, was staged at the Theatre Company of Boston, and included a young Blythe Danner and Paul Benedict in the cast. The Infantry also had an off-Broadway run in which the creator of Hair, James Rado, performed. By the 1970s Andy Lewis moved from TV work to feature-length film writing. He and his brother Dave wrote the script for Klute on speculation and it was quickly purchased by Warner Brothers. For the next fifteen years, Lewis continued to live in Concord writing screenplays. He was perhaps exceptional in that he enjoyed success in the film industry without having to reside in either L.A. or New York City. In 1985 Andy Lewis stopped writing and revisited a longtime interest in architecture. Back in 1959, he had co-authored a book At Home With Tomorrow with the architect Carl Koch, about Kochs approach to the challenges of adaptable design and inexpensive fabrication. Kochs distinctive Mid-century Modernist homes, called Techbuits are now found throughout the country, but the Conantum community in Concord was among the earlier established developments. Andy Lewis admired the style and owned three different Conantum houses at various times. In pursuit of his own ideas Lewis temporarily moved to Sacramento CA and began to learn how to make and manipulate molded concrete forms. He devised a building system that used curved concrete modules or Quadrans that could be combined into a variety of open, cathedral-like structures. The main component was a self-supporting canopy, so his invention greatly reduced framing costs and the requirement interior weight-bearing walls. Lewis patent application was itself notable for including a novel type of stress test, in which a prototypes concrete roof was demonstrated not to collapse under the weight of Lewis Dodge Dart. Eventually satisfied with the trial run, at the vigorous age of 65-plus, Andy Lewis moved to New Hampshire, bought a plot of land and a crane and built a beautiful, fully-appointed house in Walpole. It took seven years and a fair bit of experimentation to complete, but the result was a graceful home that sheltered Lewis until his death. Andrew K. Lewis is remembered with love by his six children, their spouses, their children and their grandchildren, by his partner France Menk, and by their cat, Anteros.

LEWIS, Andy (Andrew Kittredge Lewis)
Born: 1925, Lexington, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Died: 2/28/2018, Walpole, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Andy Lewis’ westerns – writer:
Hudson’s Bay (TV) - 1959
Outlaws (TV) – 1960-1962
Wide Country (TV) – 1962, 1963
Destry (TV) – 1964
The Road West (TV) - 1966
The Virginian (TV) – 1966, 1967, 1968
Dundee and the Culhane (TV) - 1967
Lancer (TV) - 1969

Monday, March 12, 2018

RIP Oleg Tabakov

Oleg Tabakov, Russian Actor and Theater Director, Dies at 82

Associated Press

The Moscow Art Theater said Tabakov died Monday of an unspecified illness.

Oleg Tabakov, a Russian actor and theater director who for decades was one of the most revered figures in Russia's theater and film communities, has died. He was 82.

The Moscow Art Theater said Tabakov died Monday of an unspecified illness at a Moscow hospital. Tabakov led the theater for the last 18 years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has extended condolences to Tabakov's family.

Born in the Volga River city of Saratov, Tabakov joined the Sovremennik theater after graduating from a Moscow theater school in 1957. He performed in both classic and modern productions and also became widely popular as a film actor, starring in many Soviet films and lending his voice to cartoon characters.

TABAKOV, Oleg (Oleg Pavlovich Tabakov)
Born: 8/17/1935, Saratov, Saratovskiy, Russia, U.S.S.R.
Died: 3/12/2018, Moscow, Russia

Oleg Tabakov’s western – actor:
A Man from Boulevard Capucines – 1987 (Harry)

RIP Siegfried Rauch

"Traumschiff" and "Bergdoktor" actor Siegfried Rauch is dead


 The actor Siegfried Rauch has died.  He died at 85 years of age as a result of a tragic accident.  He became famous for his roles as captain of the "Traumschiff" and in the series "Der Bergdoktor".

The actor Siegfried Rauch died in a fall in his hometown Untersöchering south of Munich.  This was confirmed by the police in Penzberg.  Previously, the ZDF and the "Bild" newspaper, citing Radio Oberland had reported that his death was the result of smoke.

 According to media reports, Rauch had fallen down a flight of stairs during a celebration of the volunteer fire brigade in his place of residence and succumbed to his injuries at the place of the accident.

Rauch had become known in the role of the "Traumschiff" captain Jakob Paulsen.  The theatrical breakthrough, however, he had already succeeded in the early 1970s - with the classic "Le Mans".  He played a race car driver, as did his friend and colleague Steve McQueen.  The leap to Hollywood would have been possible, but the Bavarian homeland was more important than the big money in America.

 In the rural idyll with a view of the Alps, he felt at ease, since 1973 he lived in a farmhouse near Murnau. "When I work, I have to be happy, and I can only do that in my farmhouse in Bavaria and with my family," he once said in an interview.  Rauch had been married to his wife Karin since 1964 and had two sons with her.

 From 1999, Rauch was the face of the "Traumschiff" for 14 years. Until his old age, he still played the role of a doctor.  Roman Melchinger in the ZDF series "Der Bergdoktor ".

 Only in 2015 Rauch fulfilled "a lifelong dream" and released the CD "Moonlight & Lovesongs".  "In the old days, men used to play on the guitar in front of their bedroom window in the evenings, and today only Italians are true romantics," he said in an interview.  He had released a record more than 30 years earlier.

 The Smoke from the Ammersee remained true to the water even after his departure from the "dream ship": Sailing became his favorite pastime, as he told in an interview.  "I am now captain on my own sailboat."  He also benefited from his seaworthiness during the filming.  "The more it wobbles and rocks on the water, the better I feel," he said in 2015.

RAUCH, Siegfried
Born: 4/2/1923, Landsberg am Lech, Bavaria, Germany
Died: 3/11/2018, Untersöchering, Bavaria, Germany

Siegfried Rauch’s westerns – actor:
Geronimo und die Räuber (TV) – 1966 (Geronimo)
My Friend Winnetou (TV) – 1980 (Old Shatterhand)
The Sons of Trinity – 1996 (Parker)