Final Curtain (the Visual Arts obituary thread)*

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by JozefK, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Dominic Frontiere, Composer for ‘The Outer Limits,’ ‘The Flying Nun,’ Dies at 86

    Dominic Frontiere, Emmy-winning composer of such classic TV themes as “The Outer Limits,” “The Flying Nun” and “The Rat Patrol,” died Thursday in Tesuque, N.M. He was 86.

    Frontiere was a fixture on the film- and TV-music scene throughout the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, composing hundreds of hours of music, mostly for TV but also for films including “Hang ‘Em High,” “Cancel My Reservation,” “Hammersmith Is Out,” “Freebie and the Bean,” and “The Aviator.” He won a Golden Globe award for his score for “The Stunt Man” in 1980.

    He also won an Emmy as musical director of “Swing Out, Sweet Land,” a patriotic TV special hosted by John Wayne in 1970. He scored three films for Wayne: “Chisum,” “The Train Robbers” and “Brannigan.”

    Frontiere’s TV work dominated, however, including themes and scores for many series including “The New Breed,” “That Girl,” “Stoney Burke,” “12 O’Clock High,” “Branded,” “The Invaders,” “The Immortal,” “Search,” “Vega$” and “Matt Houston.”

    His largest-scale work for TV was the 12-hour miniseries “Washington: Behind Closed Doors,” composed during his stint as head of music for Paramount in the mid-1970s. His other TV movies included “Probe,” “Haunts of the Very Rich” and “Palomino.”

    Frontiere was born June 17, 1931, in New Haven, Conn., and played both violin and accordion as a youngster. He performed with Horace Heidt’s big band in the late 1940s and early 1950s, moving to Hollywood where he met fellow New Haven native Alfred Newman, then music director at 20th Century-Fox.

    Newman took him under his wing (“he was like a father to me,” Frontiere once said), gave him jobs as an accordion player on many Fox films, and guided his career as a budding composer and arranger in the late 1950s and early ’60s.

    Frontiere launched his composing career at Fox in 1960-61 with the films “Seven Thieves,” “One Foot in Hell” and “The Marriage-Go-Round.” With “The Marriage-Go-Round” he began a long partnership with writer-producer Leslie Stevens that later encompassed several TV series including “Stoney Burke,” “The Outer Limits,” “The Name of the Game,” “Search” and several pilots.

    He was also active on the recording front, composing the 1959 “Pagan Festival,” a classic in the exotica field; and “Love Eyes,” a 1960 mood-music album. He later did arrangements for pop, rock and soul artists including Gladys Knight, Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, and The Tubes.

    Frontiere’s career was temporarily derailed in 1986 when he was sentenced to a year in federal prison for filing a false income tax return and lying to IRS investigators to conceal his role in scalping tickets to the 1980 Super Bowl. At the time, his wife Georgia Frontiere was owner of the Los Angeles Rams.

    He served only a few months in prison and resumed his composing career in 1987. He and Georgia were divorced in 1988; she died in 2008.

    “The Color of Night,” which earned him a 1994 Golden Globe nomination for best song, was his last film credit. He moved to New Mexico in the 1990s and continued to work in the electronic-music medium.

    Survivors include his wife Robin, and five children. Donations in his name may be made to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation or Little Kids Rock.​


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  2. zebop

    zebop Well Known Stranger


    Gorgeous woman. I recently saw her on an episode of The Bob Newhart Show and all but swooned. I also remember Heather from her 1973 Playboy pictorial, it was great. RIP.
     
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  3. Platterpus

    Platterpus Forum Resident

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  4. swandown

    swandown Forum Resident

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  5. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

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  6. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Stewart Moss - Wikipedia

    I have belatedly learned of the death of actor Stewart Moss at age 79. He did two episodes of the original Star Trek, as well as 8 of Hogan's Heroes, including the pilot (supposedly he was offered the role of Carter but turned it down).

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  7. MikaelaArsenault

    MikaelaArsenault Forum Resident

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  8. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Peggy Cummins, Legendary Femme Fatale of 'Gun Crazy,' Dies at 92

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    Peggy Cummins, the petite blond actress who played the carnival sharpshooter turned murderous bank robber in the sexually charged 1950 film noir classic Gun Crazy, has died. She was 92.

    Cummins suffered a stroke and died Friday in a London hospital surrounded by her family, her longtime friend Dee Kirkwood, a fellow trustee of Stars Foundation for Cerebral Palsy, told The Hollywood Reporter.

    The Irish actress also starred in the western Green Grass of Wyoming (1948) with Charles Coburn and in Jacques Tourneur's British horror classic Curse of the Demon (1957) opposite Dana Andrews.

    Cummins came to America in 1945 when, as a virtual unknown, she was cast for the lead in the highly anticipated 20th Century Fox period drama Forever Amber. She was eventually replaced by Linda Darnell in what could have been a tremendous career setback.

    In something of a twist, it was Cummins who late in the game stepped in for Veronica Lake to play "Annie" Laurie Starr in the low-budget noir Gun Crazy. She practiced on a shooting range to brush up for her career-defining role as a traveling performer who picks Barton Tare (John Dall) out of a crowd and engages him in a shooting competition.

    Before long, the manipulative Laurie marries Barton — an ex-Army marksman who has been obsessed with guns since he was a child — and they go on a crime spree.

    "Peggy's performance, her Hollywood swan song, would galvanize the Gun Crazy production and earn her lasting fame as the tiniest, but most ferocious, femme fatale in the history of film noir," author Eddie Muller said in July as he introduced the film on Turner Classic Movies. (He wrote Gun Crazy: The Origin of American Outlaw Cinema, published in 2014.)

    In its original review, The Hollywood Reporter raved about Cummins and her "commanding performance of the twisted girl."

    Gun Crazy was directed by B-movie kingpin Joseph H. Lewis off a crackling script rewritten by the recently blacklisted Dalton Trumbo, who used Millard Kaufman as a front. MacKinlay Kantor made the first attempt at the screenplay, adapting it from a story he did for The Saturday Evening Post. Russell Harlan (To Kill a Mockingbird) provided the brilliant cinematography.

    A clear precursor to Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde (Cummins even sported a beret long before Faye Dunaway did), Gun Crazy is also known for its three-minute-plus tracking shot from the backseat of the car that Laurie and Barton use to rob a small-town bank and make their getaway.

    "We made up the dialogue as we went along [during that scene]. Joe Lewis let us do that," Cummins revealed during a 2013 Film Noir Foundation appearance in San Francisco.

    Muller noted that Gun Crazy, released through United Artists under its original title Deadly Is the Female, was the only film from prolific producers Frank and Maurice King to lose money. "Today, it's seen as their crowning achievement," he said. Experts say it also inspired a host of French New Wave filmmakers.

    Cummins was born on Dec. 18, 1925, the youngest of three. Her mother, Margaret Tracy, was an actress; her father was a journalist and music teacher. She appeared on stage and in radio plays as a teenager and worked in such films as Dr. O'Dowd (1940) and Welcome, Mr. Washington (1944).

    After appearing for many months on a London stage in Junior Miss, she was spotted by a Fox talent scout. Producer Darryl F. Zanuck then cast her as the immoral Amber St. Clair in an adaptation of Forever Amber, Kathleen Winsor's romance novel that's set in 17th century England. Execs had looked at more than 200 actresses for the part.

    "Fox made a big splash for me when I came over. I weighed 98 pounds and had an 18-inch waist," Cummins said at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival. "I went to Zanuck's party [at his home]. All these people were there, [Ernst] Lubitsch, Tyrone Power, Joan Crawford. I said hello as though I knew them. It was awesome. They were stars; I was an actress."

    "The tendency, if you were a bit short, blonde and rather pretty, was for a conventional role, but this was quite a meaty part. An actor wants to play against type."

    However, after filming began in 1946 on the Monterey Peninsula in California, Zanuck found that his discovery was "not sexy enough," in Cummins' words, and production was suspended after a few weeks. Cummins got the boot, with the full-figured Darnell taking her place, and Otto Preminger's Forever Amber bowed in November 1947.

    "I can't deny it was like having a lovely jewel or some other wonderful gift and then having to give it back," Cummins told Photoplay of the experience. "It's hard, but you have a choice. You can let yourself ache over your loss — or you can think instead of how wonderful and exciting it was while you had it."

    Cummins went on to make her Fox debut in the Joseph L. Mankiewicz comedy The Late George Apley (1947), starring as the daughter of Ronald Colman's wealthy Bostonian, and then had lead roles in Moss Rose (1947), playing a Cockney singer-dancer opposite Victor Mature; Green Grass of Wyoming; and Escape (1948) with Rex Harrison before the end of her Fox contract.

    She left the U.S. in 1950 — she would not return for decades — and starred in such films as Operation X (1950) with Edward G. Robinson; Hell Drivers (1957), directed by the blacklisted Cy Endfield; and Curse of the Demon, in which she and Andrews' psychologist character investigate a mysterious death.

    Cummins retired from acting in the mid-1960s.

    She married the late London businessman Derek Dunnett in 1950. Survivors include her son David and daughter Diana.​
     
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  9. Planbee

    Planbee Negative Nellie

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    Just saw the news about Peggy Cummins on another site. She was one of my favorite actresses. Although not all her credits were of the quality of Gun Crazy (I've managed to track down most of her films one way or another), her performances were always top-notch and she elevated everything in which she appeared.

    Rest in peace, Ms. Cummins...

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  10. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Harry Landers Dies: ‘Ben Casey’ Co-Star Appeared On Many TV Classics, Was 96

    Harry Landers, who co-starred in the popular 1960’s series Ben Casey as neurologist Dr. Ted Hoffman, has died. The actor passed in October at 96 years old.

    Landers was born in New York City in 1921 as Harry Sorokin, the son of Russian immigrants and one of seven children. His Hollywood career began at Warner Brother Studios in the mid-1940s as a laborer. While there, an article ran in the company’s newsletter that mentioned his heroism during his time as a Merchant Marine. Bette Davis heard about it and asked to meet him. Ultimately, Davis arranged for Landers to get his SAG card and personally paid his initiation fee into the union, thus allowing him to work as a film extra.

    That big break was followed by an invitation to join the Actor’s Lab, one of Hollywood’s most storied acting groups.

    In the late 1940s into the ‘50s, Landers returned to New York City and started doing theater and live television. He was a contemporary of and friends with Marlon Brando, Wally Cox, Murray Hamilton, Ralph Meeker, Tige Andrews and Red Kullers, among others. It was a period he would later speak of with reverence, calling it the best time of his life.

    Landers moved back to Los Angeles in the mid-1950s and started to hit his acting stride, booking roles regularly. While working on Medic with Richard Boone, he got to know Jim Mosher, the series’ head writer, who went on to pen the pilot for Ben Casey. He was cast as Ted Hoffman and also directed three episodes. Following the series’ successful five-year run (1961-1966), Landers continued to work in film and television.

    His extensive resume includes episodes of such classic television series as Quincy M.E., Star Trek, Mannix, The Virginian, The Rat Patrol, Combat! Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Dennis the Menace, The Untouchables, Have Gun-Will Travel and The Roy Rogers Show, among many others.

    Landers is survived by his sons, Scott and Logan; his daughter-in-law Katherine; grandson Christopher; numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members; and his ex-wife, Jeanne Vaughn Thompson, an actress and runner-up Miss America.​

    A classic, no-holds-barred, tell-all interview with the irascible Mr. Landers:
    An Interview With Harry Landers

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  11. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Darlanne Fluegel, Actress in 'Once Upon a Time in America,' Dies at 64

    Darlanne Fluegel, the actress who starred in films like “Once Upon a Time in America,” “To Live and Die in L.A.” and “Running Scared,” has died. She was 64.

    Fluegel’s daughter Jenna Carey told The Hollywood Reporter that Fluegel died Dec. 15 at her home in Orlando following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

    The actress played Robert De Niro’s girlfriend in “Once Upon a Time in America” (1984) as well as Kirk Douglas’ love interest in 1986’s “Tough Guys.”

    Fluegel also starred on the NBC drama “Crime Story” that aired from 1986 to 1988, as well as the last season of Fred Dryer’s “Hunter.”

    Fluegel was born in Pennsylvania in 1953 and began her career as a model in 1974. Her debut role as a model was in the Irvin Kershner thriller “Eyes of Laura Mars” (1978), which starred Faye Dunaway. She was also seen in Roger Corman’s “Battle Beyond the Stars,” “Lock Up,” “Pet Sematary II” and “Breaking Point.”

    She later ran her own acting school and served as a professor at the University of Central Florida. She also produced “Land of the Rising Fastball,” a 2010 documentary about Japanese baseball.

    According to THR, she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s when she was 56. She is also survived by her son, Coulter.​

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  12. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    SF cop who hunted Zodiac killer dies. Dave Toschi was 86

    Dave Toschi, a dapper cop who became the lead San Francisco police investigator for the Zodiac serial-killer case in the late 1960s and ’70s, has died at the age of 86.​

    His penchant for bow ties, snappy trench coats and the quick-draw holster for his .38-caliber pistol drew the attention of Steve McQueen, who patterned his character in the 1968 movie “Bullitt” after Toschi. Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” character was also partially inspired by him.​

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  13. cathandler

    cathandler Forum Resident

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  14. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Doreen Tracey, one of the original Disney Mouseketeers, dead at 74

    Doreen Tracey, a former child star who played one of the original cute-as-a-button Mouseketeers on "The Mickey Mouse Club" in the 1950s, has died, according to Disney publicist Howard Green. She was 74.

    Tracey died from pneumonia Wednesday at a hospital in Thousand Oaks, California, following a two-year battle with cancer.

    Tracey maintained ties to Disney and show business throughout her life, appearing in the film "Westward Ho the Wagons!" and touring with the Mouseketeers. She later served as a publicist to musician Frank Zappa and worked at Warner Bros.

    It was the pig-tailed Tracey and her talented co-stars -- including Annette Funicello -- who appeared on television in black hats with ears following the anthem "M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E ..." on ABC's "The Mickey Mouse Club." Millions of kids raced home from school to watch in wonder as the bouncy Mouseketeers announced themselves at the top of the show.

    "The Mickey Mouse Club" was the brainchild of Walt Disney during the flowering of his company's fortunes in the mid-1950s. To help finance the Disneyland park, he agreed to supply ABC with TV shows. One was designed for children in the pre-dinner hour.

    The hour-long show proved a sensation with its Oct. 3, 1955, debut. It flourished for two seasons, then was reduced to a half-hour for two more. Tracey stayed for its four-year run.​

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    Born in London on April 3, 1943, to parents who worked in vaudeville, Tracey arrived in the United States when she was 4 and learned to sing and dance. She nabbed a spot on "The Mickey Mouse Club" when she was 12.

    Lorraine Santoli, a former executive at Disney who wrote "The Official Mickey Mouse Club Book," said Tracey remained close to her Disney roots, maintaining long-time friendships with her fellow Mouseketeers.

    Tracey strained her relationship with Disney by posing for a men's magazine in 1976 with nothing on except her mouse ears and later wearing nothing but an open trench coat in front of Disney Studios. Still, she often appeared at Mickey Mouse Club reunion shows at Disneyland and at Disney conventions, last celebrating the show's 60th anniversary in 2015.

    Tracey is survived by her son, Bradley, and two grandchildren, Gavin, 9, and Autumn, 12.​
     
  15. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Jean Porter, Petite Starlet of MGM Films in the 1940s, Dies at 95

    Jean Porter, a petite and vivacious supporting player in such 1940s MGM movies as Bathing Beauty, The Youngest Profession and Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble, has died. She was 95.

    Porter died Saturday of natural causes in Canoga Park, California, her daughter Rebecca Dmytryk told The Hollywood Reporter.

    Porter was married to writer-director Edward Dmytryk, one of the Hollywood Ten, from May 1948 — shortly after he had landed in trouble with the blacklist — until his death in 1999 at age 90.​

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  16. JozefK

    JozefK Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Some Harry Landers fan made this tribute video in memorium:



    Here he in a coffee commercial (announcing his name, so someone must've considered him a star):

    Retro 1968 Harry Landers Tasters Choice Coffee Commercial
     
  17. Planbee

    Planbee Negative Nellie

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