Frank Chodorov Fugitive Essays Of Elia

Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2004

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Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2004 Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture by


McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers Jefferson, North Carolina, and London

Front cover, clockwise from top left: Ray Charles, Marlon Brando, Robert Pastorelli, Bob Keeshan.

ISSN ¡087-96¡7


ISBN 0-7864-2¡03-7

(softcover : 50# alkaline paper)

©2005 Harris M. Lentz, III. All rights reserved No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Manufactured in the United States of America

McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers Box 6¡¡, Jefferson, North Carolina 28640

To the memory of those friends and family lost during 2004 — Pam Gaia, Bob James, Dr. W.K. Dabbs, Patricia Welsh Mayer, Debbie Tauber and John Randolph, Frances Dee, Irene Manning, Plato Skouras, Sam Edwards, Chris Alcaide, Jerome Lawrence, Czeslaw Milosz, Skeeter Davis, Ray Traylor, Marion Shilling, Ed Kemmer, Tommy Farrell

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I greatly appreciate the assistance of my good friend, Carla Clark, and my mother, Helene Lentz. Special thanks also go to my sister, Nikki Walker, and to Bob King at Classic Images, for granting permission to use information from my columns. Also, thanks to Rosa Burnett and the staff at State Technical Institute library, Tom Weaver, Fred Davis, Forrest J Ackerman, Mike Fitzgerald, John Beifuss, Ray Neilson, John Whyborn, Boyd Magers, Larry Tauber, Andrew “Captain Comics” Smith, Jimmy Walker, Tony Pruitt, Greg Bridges, Bobby Mathews, Kent Nelson, Dale Warren, Andrew Clark, Arrin Pritchard, Dr. Mark Heffington, Anne Taylor, Andy Branham, John Nelson, Richard Allynwood, Frank de Azpillaga, Irv Jacobs, Bill Warren, Bob Cuneo, Alun Jones, Marty Baumann, Joe Caviolo,

Rusty White of Entertainment Insiders, Russ Blatt of Life in Legacy, the folks at VoyForums: Celebrity Obits, Joy Martin, Denise Tansil, Blaine Lester, Louis and Carol Baird, Michael and Maggie Hernandez, “Doc,” Dave Ramsey, Ray and Judy Herring, Don and Elaine Kerley, Mark Webb, Wally Traylor, Letsie Axmaker, Jerry Van Hausen, Ronnie McAfee, Mark Ledbetter, Dennis Traylor, Kira Christensen, Keith John Mahr, Shannon Carrico, Miki McFarland, April Gibson, Suzie Valenzuelo, Laura Crofcheck, the fine folks at J. Alexanders and Willy Moffitt’s, the Memphis Film Festival, the gang at AOL’s Classic Horror Film Board, Tommy Gattas, James Gattas, the University of Memphis Library and the Memphis and Shelby County Public Libraries.


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TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgments vii Introduction 1 Reference Bibliography 5 The 2004 Obituaries



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INTRODUCTION The entertainment world lost several legendary stars and a host of other men and women involved in film, television, stage and music in 2004. The notable passings include The Gipper (Ronald Reagan), The Godfather (Marlon Brando), and Superman (Christopher Reeve). Reagan, who went from Hollywood star to President of the United States, died after a long illness during the year. Brando, who transformed Hollywood with his masterful performances in the 1950s and won an Oscar two decades later for his comeback role of Vito Corleone also passed on. Brando, who had played Kryptonian scientist Jor-El in the 1979 film Superman, shortly preceded in death the courageous young man who had starred as the Man of Steel, Christopher Reeve. His near fatal horse riding accident a decade earlier had left him paralyzed, but he had proven himself a hero both on and off the screen with his tireless effort in favor of medical research. The baby boomers also lost a childhood television icon with the passing of Captain Kangaroo — Bob Keeshan, and those slightly older lost a late night fixture in Tonight show host Jack Paar. Legendary singer Ray Charles’ death came shortly before the release of an acclaimed film about his life, and comic Rodney Dangerfield deserves our respect for his years of making audiences laugh. King Kong’s paramour, the lovely Fay Wray, and Artie Shaw, the last of the Big Band leader, join tap-dancing queen Ann Miller, Oscar-winning British actor

Peter Ustinov, comic legend Alan King, French chef Julia Child, and Psycho shower victim Janet Leigh in this year’s volume. Whether he was Felix Unger or Dr. Lao, Tony Randall never failed to entertain, and Alistair Cooke added dignity to the small screen with his many years of hosting Masterpiece Theatre. They join Law and Order’s Lennie Briscoe ( Jerry Orbach), The Jeffersons’ Isabel Sanford, Dead End Kid Bernard Punsley, Mercury Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper, Murphy Brown’s Eldin (Robert Pastorelli), Buffalo Springfield guitarist Bruce Palmer, Superfly Ron O’Neal, Oscar-winner Mercedes McCambridge, The Blob director Irwin Yeaworth, Jan and Dean’s Jan Berry, Captive Wild Woman Acquanetta, Doobie Brother Cornelius Bumpus, Munchkin Tiny Doll, bodybuilding legend Joe Gold, funkmeister Rick James, Broadway star Howard Keel, country singing sensation Skeeter Davis, and Rockin’ Granny Cordell Jackson in the list of ones we’ve lost. John F. Kennedy’s biographer — William Manchester, press secretary — Pierre Salinger, and comic imitator — Vaughn Meader, all passed away during the year. Dorothy Hart, who was Jane to Lex Barker’s Tarzan, and Eleanor Holm who leading lady to Glenn Morris’ Tarzan are also found within these pages. They join James Bond villain Tee Hee — Julius Harris and Hercules’ television mom — Liddy Holloway, along with other notables including Cabaret lyricist Fred Ebb and Cabaret’s Max, Helmut Griem, Space


Introduction Patrol star Ed Kemmer, game show host Art James, UFO abductee Betty Hill, Hawaii Five O’s Kono — Zulu, Disney animator Frank Thomas, Blair Witch Project’s ground-breaking cinematographer Neil Fredericks, and Noriaki Yuasa, director of the Japanese film series starring Gammera, the giant flying turtle. The world of opera lost legends Robert Merrill and Renata Tebaldi, and ballet’s loses include Dame Alicia Markova and Ludmilla Tcherina. Sexploitation director Rene Meyer and schlockmeister Larry Buchanan, are joined in death with cult film leading lady Katherine Victor and Playboy Playmates Donna Michelle and June Cochran. Famous families are also represented with the passing of John Barrymore’s son John Drew, Kirk Douglas’ son Eric, Bing Crosby’s son Philip, Bob Hope’s son Tony, and Doris Day’s son Terry Melcher. Other passings include Frances Dee, who, in the 1940s, Walked with a Zombie, and Paul Atkinson, who rocked with The Zombies in the 1960s. Some met violent ends during the year. Pantera’s rock guitarist Dimebag Darrell was shot to death during a performance, actor and essayist Spaulding Gray drowned in a suicide plunge from a New York Ferry, Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was gunned down in the streets of Denmark, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein scripter Robert Lees was decapitated by a deranged intruder who then carried his head to a neighbor’s home. The ranks of film composers were hard hit during the year with the loss of Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, Carlo Rustichelli, David Raksin, Piero Piccioni, Gil Melle, and Fred Karlin. The list of celebrity photographers was also thinned with the passings of Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Francesco Scavullo, Carl Mydens, and Henri-Cartier Bresson. The world of Superman also lost radio actor Jackson Beck, who intoned the familiar phrase “It’s a bird… It’s a plane… It’s Superman!,” and Danny Dark, who lent his voice to the Man of Steel in the animated Super Friends cartoons. Longtime DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz also died, as did Harry Lampert, artist and cocreator of the Golden Age Flash and Bob

2 Hamm, creator of the Silver Age Teen Titans and Doom Patrol. December Bride’s Matt and Ruth Henshaw (Dean Miller and Frances Rafferty) both died during the year, as did Babylon 5’s Dr. Franklin (Richard Biggs) and Zathras (Tim Choate). Among the athletes found in this volume are football star Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch and Reggie White, and pro wrestlers The Big Bossman, Pepper Gomez and Hercules Hernandez. Palmolive’s Madge the Manicurist ( Jan Miner), Broadway’s Lion King ( Jason Raize), the voice of Cousin Itt (Tony Magro) and the voice of Deputy Dawg (Dayton Allen), General Hospital’s Lila Quartermaine (Anna Lee), Doctor Who villain The Master (Anthony Ainley), Dark Shadows’ Don Briscoe, and reality television producer MaryEllen Bunim also died in 2004. The literary world lost author and essayist Susan Sontag, along with the writers of Bonjour Trieste (Francoise Sagan), The Far Pavilions (M.M. Kaye), Day of the Dolphin (Robert Merle), Fail-Safe (Harvey Wheeler), The Ruling Class (Peter Barnes), Airport (Arthur Hailey), Inherit the Wind ( Jerome Lawrence), and horror novelist Hugh B. Cave. The music scene also lost rock singer Laura Branigan, jazz drummer Elvin Jones, the New York Doll’s Arthur “Killer” Kane, The Ramones’ Johnny Ramone, and Wu Tang Clan rapper Old Dirty Bastard. Other notable passings include Jerry Scoggins, who sang the unforgettable theme to The Beverly Hillbillies, June Taylor, who led the June Taylor Dancers on The Jackie Gleason Show, On Death and Dying psychologist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, The Haunting scriptwriter Nelson Gidding, Guinness Book of Records co-creator Norris McWhirter, Amicus horror film producer Max Rosenberg, Indiana Jones stuntman Pat Roach, and Alexandra Ripley, author of the Gone with the Wind sequel, Scarlett. Also joining the death roll of 2004 were numerous other familiar faces from films and television including leading actors Richard Ney and Paul Winfield, child star Sammy McKim, leading ladies Irene Manning, Peggy Ryan, Barbara Whiting, Maria Perschy, Laura Betti, Caitlin Clarke, Marion Shilling, Carrie Snodgress, Jan

3 Sterling, Uta Hagen, Suzanne Kaaren, and Virginia Grey, and character performers Buck Flower, Lu Leonard, J. Edward McKinley, Eugene Roche, John Randolph, Peter Blythe, Lynn Cartwright, Doris Dowling, Joe Viterelli, Noble Willingham, Peter Woodthorpe, Sam Edwards, Carl Esmond, Tommy Farrell, Paul “Mousie” Garner, H.B. Haggerty, Lincoln Kilpatrick and Robert Lang. This book provides a single source that notes the deaths of all major, and many minor, figures in the fields of film, television, cartoons, theatre, music and popular literature. The obituaries within this volume contain pertinent details of deaths including date, place and cause, of 842 celebrities. Biographical information and career highlights and achievements are also provided. I have also included a complete-as-possible filmography for film and television performers. Most obituaries are followed by citations to major newspapers and periodical stories reporting the death. A photograph has been included for many of the individuals. I have been writing obituaries of film personalities for over twenty years, beginning with a column in Forry Ackerman’s Famous Monsters

Introduction of Filmland in the late 1970s. Many of the film obituaries in the work are taken from my monthly column in Classic Images (P.O. Box 809, Muscatine, IA 52761), a newspaper devoted to classic films and their performers. Information on the passing of the individuals found in this volume has been gathered from a myriad of sources. Primary sources, as previously noted are listed in the individual bibliographies, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Times (of London), The Washington Post, Variety, Time, People, TV Guide and Newsweek. Other sources include Boyd Mager’s Western Clippings, The Memphis Commercial Appeal, The Hollywood Reporter, The (Manchester) Guardian, The Comics Buyer’s Guide, Locus, Pro Wrestling Torch, Psychotronic Video, The Comics Journal and Facts on File. Several sources on the internet have also been helpful, including Celebrity Obits (http://www/, Life in Legacy (formerlly Famous Deaths — Week in Review) (, Entertainment Insiders ( columns/2003obituaries), and the Internet Movie Database, Ltd. (

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DeLong, Thomas A. Radio Stars. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1996. Dimmitt, Richard Bertrand. An Actors Guide to the Talkies. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1967. Two Volumes. Erickson, Hal. Television Cartoon Shows. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1995. Fetrow, Alan G. Feature Films, 1940–1949. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1994. _____. Feature Films, 1950–1959. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1999. _____. Sound Films, 1927–1939. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1992. Finch, Yolande. Finchy. New York: Wyndham Books, 1981. Fisher, Dennis. Horror Films Directors, 1931– 1990. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1991. Hunter, Allan, ed. Chambers Concise Encyclopedia of Film and Television. New York: W & R. Chambers Ltd., 1991. Katz, Ephraim. The Film Encyclopedia, 2d ed. New York: HarperPerennial, 1994. Malloy, Alex G., ed. Comic Book Artists. Radnor, Penn.: Wallace-Homestead, 1993. Maltin, Leonard, ed. Movie and Video Guide 1995. New York: Signet Books, 1994. Marill, Alvin H. Movies Made for Television. Westport, CT: Arlington House, 1980. Mathis, Jack. Republican Confidential, Vol. 2:

The Academy Players Directory. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, 1978–2003. The American Film Institute Catalog: Feature Films, 1911–20. Patricia King Hansen, ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988. American Film Institute Catalog: Feature Films, 1921–30. Kenneth W. Munden, ed. New York: R.R. Bowker, 1971. The American Film Institute Catalog: Feature Films, 1931–40. Patricia King Hansen, ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. American Film Institute Catalog: Feature Films, 1961–70. Richard P. Krafsur, ed. New York: R.R. Bowker, 1976. Brooks, Tim. The Complete Directory of Prime Time TV Stars. New York : Ballantine Books, 1987. Brown, Les. The New York Times Encyclopedia of Television. New York: Times Books, 1977. Bushnell, Brooks. Directors and Their Films. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1993. Chilton, John. Who’s Who of Jazz. Philadelphia, PA: Chilton Book, 1972. Contemporary Authors. Detroit: Gale Research, various editions.


Reference Bibliography The Players. Barrington, IL: Jack Mathis Advertising, 1992. McNeil, Alex. Total Television. New York: Penguin Books, 1996. Monaco, James. Who’s Who in American Film Now. New York: Zoetrobe, 1988. Nash, Jay Robert, and Stanley Ralph Ross. The Motion Picture Guide. 10 vols. Chicago; Cinebooks, 1985. Nowlan, Robert A. & Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan. The Films of the Eighties. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1991. Oliviero, Jeffrey. Motion Picture Players’ Credits. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1991. Parrish, James Robert. Actors’ Television Credits 1950–1972. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1973. _____. Film Actors Guide: Western Europe. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1977. Ragan, David. Who’s Who in Hollywood, 1900–1976. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1976. Rovin, Jeff. The Fabulous Fantasy Films. South Bunswick, NJ: A.S. Barnes, 1977. Terrace, Vincent. Encyclopedia of Television Series, Pilots and Specials, 1937–1973. New York: Zoetrobe, 1986. _____. Encyclopedia of Television Series, Pilots and Specials, 1974–1984. New York : Zoetrobe, 1986. Walker, John, ed. Halliwell’s Filmgoer’s and Video Viewer’s Companion, 10th Edition. New York: HarperPerennial, 1993.

6 Watson, Elena M. Television Horror Movie Hosts. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1991. Weaver, Tom. Attack of the Monster Movie Makers: Interviews with 20 Genre Giants. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1994. Weaver, Tom. Eye on Science Fiction. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2003. Weaver, Tom. I Was a Monster Movie Maker. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2001. _____. Interviews with B Science Fiction and Horror Movie Makers. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1988. _____. It Came from Weaver Five: Interviews with 20 Zany, Glib and Earnest Moviemakers in the SF and Horror Traditions of the Thirties, Forties, Fifties and Sixties. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1994. _____. Monsters, Mutants and Heavenly Creatures. Baltimore, MD: Midnight Marquee Press, 1996. _____. Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Flashbacks. Jefferson, NC.: McFarland, 1998. _____. Science Fiction Stars and Horror Heroes. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1991. _____. They Fought in the Creature Features: Interviews with 23 Classic Horror, Science Fiction and Serial Stars. Jefferson, NC : McFarland, 1994. Who’s Who in the World. Chicago: Marquis Who’s Who, various editions. Willis, John, ed. Screen World. New York : Crown Publishers, 1958–2001.


Obituaries • 2004


Abel, Elie

Acey, Wendy Charles

Elie Abel, a former print and television reporter, died in a Rockville, Maryland, hospice after a long illness on July 22, 2004. He was 83. Abel was born in Montreal, Canada, on October 17, 1920. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. After the war he joined the staff of The Montreal Gazette and spent several years covering the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. He became a foreign correspondent with the New York Times in 1949. After a ten year stint with the Times he spent two years with the Detroit News. He then joined NBC News, covering London and the diplomatic circuit, until 1969 when he was made dean of Columbia University’s School of Journalism. He wrote several books including 1966’s The Missile Crisis and Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin, 1941–1946 with W. Averell Harriman. Abel had a stroke in 1998 and was also inflicted with Alzheimer’s disease at the time of his death. New York Times, July 24, 2004, A14.

Television director Wendy Charles Acey died in Los Angeles on October 20, 2004. Acey worked as an associate director on the television series Blossom and Greg the Bunny. She was also an associate director for the tele-films Kathy & Mo: Parallel Lives (1991) and Fail Safe (2000), the 2001 special America: A Tribute to Heroes, and several Academy Award programs.

Elie Abel

Acquanetta Film actress Acquanetta died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease in an Ahwatukee, Arizona, care center on August 16, 2004. She was 83. She was born Burnu Acquanetta in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on July 17, 1921. Her exotic beauty led to featured roles in a handful of films in the 1940s and 1950s. She appeared in the Films Arabian Nights (1942) and Rhythm of the Islands (1943), before making her most memorable screen appearance as ape woman Paula Dupree in the 1943 horror film Captive Wild Woman (1943). She reprised her role the following year in the sequel Jungle Woman. Acquanetta co-starred with Lon Chaney, Jr., in the 1944 Inner Sanctum mystery Dead Man’s Eyes and was the High Priestess in 1946’s Tarzan and the Leopard Woman with Johnny Weismuller. She continued to appear in films in the early 1950s including The Sword of Monte Cristo (1951), Lost Continent (1951), Callaway Went Thataway (1951), and Take the High Ground! (1953). She largely abandoned her film



2004 • Obituaries

Acquanetta (as the Ape Woman)

career after her marriage to auto dealer Jack Ross in the late 1950s and settled in Mesa, Arizona. She appeared often in television commercials for her husband’s car dealership and appeared in a small role in the 1990 film The Legend of Grizzly Adams. She and Ross divorced in the 1980s. Los Angeles Times, Aug. 23, 2004, B7; New York Times, Aug. 23, 2004, B7; Variety, Aug. 30, 2004, 38.

Actor, Allen Screenwriter Allen Actor died in a Los Angeles hospital following surgery on January 12, 2004. He was 71. Actor was born in San Antonio, Texas, on September 22, 1932. He taught screenwriting for over a decade at Santa Monica College. He wrote the 1972 horror film The Folks at Red Wolf Inn (aka Terror House). He was also a writer on the 1985 science fiction feature The Dungeonmaster.

Adair, Red Legendary firefighter Paul N. “Red” Adair died in a Houston, Texas, hospital on August 7,

Red Adair 2004. He was 89. Adair was born in Houston on June 18, 1915. A pioneer in the dangerous world of capping and extinguishing burning and exploding oil wells, Adair founded the Red Adair Co. in 1959. The company is credited with battling fires at over 2,000 oil wells on land and sea. He and his crew capped over 100 Kuwaiti oil wells that were left burning by Iraqi troops after the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Adair served as technical advisor for the 1968 The Hellfighters, which starred John Wayne as an oil well firefighter largely based on Adair himself. He continued to fight fires in the field until his retirement in 1994 at the age of 79. Los Angeles Times, Aug. 9, 2004, B9; New York Times, Aug. 10, 2004, B8; People, Aug. 23, 2004, 83; Time, Aug. 23, 2004, 21; Times (of London), Aug. 9, 2004, 29b.

Adam, Stewart Australian television actor Stewart Adam died of a blood clot in the heart brought on by a deep vein thrombosis while on route to a hospital from his parents’ home in Melbourne, Australia, on June 21, 2004. He was 24. Adam had

Obituaries • 2004


Cecily Adams

Stewart Adam

played the recurring role of mechanic Aaron Barkley on the Australian soap opera Neighbours since 2003.

Adams, Cecily Actress and casting director Cecily Adams died of lung cancer at her home in Los Angeles on March 3, 2004. She was 39. Adams was born in Queens, New York, on February 6, 1965, the daughter of Get Smart star Don Adams and singer Adelaide Adams. She worked as an actress from the 1980s, appearing on television in episodes of Simon & Simon, Check It Out, The Equalizer, Home Improvement, Murder One, Just Shoot Me, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Quark’s Ferengi mother Ishka on several episodes, Party of Five, Murphy Brown, Jenny, and Total Recall 2070. She was also seen in the tele-films Get Smart, Again! (1989) with her father, and Ordeal in the Arctic (1993), and the 1991 feature film Little Secrets. She

Cecily Adams (from Star Trek)

stared as Gina in the short-lived television comedy series Cleghorne! in 1995. As a casting director, Adams was involved in the production of such films as Sweet Revenge (1987), Destroyer (1988), Defense Play (1988), The Forgotten One


2004 • Obituaries

(1990), Edge of Honor (1991), Little Secrets (1991), American Heart (1992), Home Room (2002), Young Arthur (2002), and Wave Babes (2003). She also was casting director for such television series as Eerie, Indiana, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Bone Chillers, Lost on Earth, That ’70s Show, and That ’80s Show. Los Angeles Times, Mar. 6, 2004, B18; Variety, Mar. 22, 2004, 59.

Adams, Phyllis Pioneer television producer Phyllis Adams died at her home in Santa Monica, California, on February 26, 2004. She was 80. Adams produced the early 1950s syndicated show It’s a Problem, which dealt with such issues as divorce and delinquency. She later produced such series as Author Meets the Critics, Home Show, and Inside Our Schools. New York Times, Mar.2, 2004, B9. Anita Addison

Addison, Anita Television producer and director Anita Addison died suddenly in New York City on January 24, 2004. She was 51. Addison was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1952. She directed episodes of numerous television series from the 1980s including Knots Landing, Freddy’s Nightmares, Quantum Leap, Homefront, Sirens, ER, EZ Streets, and Judging Amy. She also directed the 1989 film Savannah, and the tele-films There Are No Children Here (1993) and Deep in My Heart (1999). Addison had served as a vice president for drama development at CBS-TV, and produced several television series including Sisters, St. Michael’s Crossing, It Had to Be You, and That’s Life. Los Angeles Times, Jan. 30, 2004, B13; Variety, Feb. 2, 2004, 96.

Phyllis Adams

Agrelot, Jose Miguel Puerto Rican television and radio comedian and host Jose Miguel Agrelot died at his home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on January 28, 2004. He was 76. Agrelot was born in San Juan on April 21,

Obituaries • 2004


Jose Miguel Agrelot

1927. He began working in radio while in his teens, creating the comic character Torito for the radio program The College of Happiness. The character’s popularity led to Agrelot hosting his own program, Torito and Company. He continued playing Torito when The College of Happiness became a television program. His radio program Su Alegre Despertar are continuously for over 53 years. He was also the star of such Puerto Rican television programs as The Nasty Maid, Challenging the Geniuses, Making History, and It Seems Incredible, and appeared in several films including 1990’s Chona, La Puerca Asesina.

Ahmed, Ashfaq Pakistani writer and broadcaster Ashfaq Ahmed died of gall bladder cancer in Lahor, Pakistan, on September 6, 2004. He was 79. Ahmed was born in Ferozepur, India, on August 22, 1925. He began writing short-stories and poems for magazines while in his teens. He achieved prominence with the publication of his short story Gadariya in 1955. He also wrote the novel Khail Kahnai and the play Tota Kahani. He cre-

Ashfaq Ahmed

ated the character Talqeen Shah for Radio Pakistan in 1962, which continued to air through the early 1990s. He produced the film Dhoop Aur Saie in the 1960s. He worked often in television from the 1970s, writing the dramas Eik Muhabbat So Afsane and Tota Kahani. He was hosting the Zavia television program at the time of his death. Variety, Sept. 13, 2004, 62.

Aiken, Joan British children’s writer Joan Aiken died in Petworth, West Sussex, England, on January 4, 2004. She was 79. Aiken was born in Rye, Sussex, England, on September 4, 1924, the daughter of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Conrad Aiken. She wrote over 90 books during her career from the early 1940s. The BBC adapted some of her short fiction for the Children’s Hour radio program in 1941. A collection of short fiction, All You’ve Ever Wanted and Other Stories, was published in 1953. She and was best known for the children’s story The Wolves of Willoughby Chase,


2004 • Obituaries

Anthony Ainley (as the Master from Doctor Who)

Joan Aiken

which was published in 1963 and adapted to film in 1988. Her short story, Marmalade Wine, was adapted as a segment of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery in 1971. She received the Edgar Allan Poe Award for juvenile mystery for her book Night Fall in 1972. Many of her works were also adapted for BBC radio and television, including Shadows (1975), Midnight Is a Place (1977), and Blackhearts in Battersea (1996). Her novel Death on a Rainy Sunday was adapted for film in 1986. Los Angeles Times, Jan. 10, 2004, B21; New York Times, Jan. 9, 2004, B7; Times (of London), Jan. 9, 2004, 47b.

Ainley, Anthony British character actor Anthony Ainley, who was best known for his role as the Master, archvillain in the long-running Doctor Who television series, died in Harrow, Middlesex, England, on May 3, 2004. He was 71. Ainley was born in London on August 30, 1932. His father, Henry Ainley, was a leading stage and silent film actor and Anthony made his film debut at the age of five in 1942’s The Foreman Went to France. He left act-

ing for several decades to work as an insurance clerk, but returned to the screen in the 1960s. He appeared in such features as Naked Evil (1966), You Only Live Twice (1967), Inspector Clouseau (1968), Joanna (1968), Oh! What a Lovely War (1969), Blood on Satan’s Claw (1970), Assault (aka In the Devil’s Garden (1971), and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ The Land That Time Forgot (1975). He was featured as Detective Sgt. Hunter in the British television series It’s Dark Outside in 1965 and was Clive Hawksworth in the 1972 series Spyder’s Web. He was also seen as the Rev. Emilius in The Pallisers in 1974. Ainley was also a familiar face in such tele-films and mini-series as The Rainbirds (1971), Hassan (1971), Elizabeth R (1971), Trelawny of the Wells (1972), Clouds of Witness (1972), Anne of Avonlea (1975), Nicholas Nickleby (1977), and Lillie (1978). He also gueststarred in episode of Champion House, The Avengers, Department S, Doomwatch, Out of the Unknown, Brett, The Adventurer, Great Mysteries, Upstairs, Downstairs, Within These Walls, Secret Army, and Target. Roger Delgado had originally played Doctor Who’s nemesis, The Master, until his death in a car accident in 1973. Ainley took over the role of the renegade Time Lord in 1981, remaining with the series through four incarnations of the Doctor — Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. BBC ceased production of Doctor Who in 1989. Times (of London), June 15, 2004, 30b.

Obituaries • 2004

Alcaide, Chris Actor Chris Alcaide, who was best known for his long career playing Western badmen, died of cancer in an assisted living facility in Palm Springs, California, on June 30, 2004. He was 81. Alcaide was born in Youngstown, Ohio, on October 22, 1923. He served in the infantry during World War II, earning two purple hearts and a Bronze Star. He worked as a bouncer at the Hollywood Palladium after the war before becoming a familiar face in films and television in the early 1950s. His film credits include The Glass Menagerie (1950, Smoky Canyon (1952), Cripple Creek (1952), Junction City (1952), The Kid from Broken Gun (1952), Man in the Dark (1953), The 49th Man (1953), The Big Heat (1953), Bad for Each Other (1953), Overland Pacific (1954), Massacre Canyon (1954), The Miami Story (1954), The Outlaw Stallion (1954), The Black Dakotas (1954), Jupiter’s Darling (1955), Chicago Syndicate (1955), Duel on the Mississippi (1955), Illegal (1955), The Houston Story (1956), Miami Expose (1956), Gunslinger (1956), Rock All Night (1957), Carnival Rock (1957), Day of the Bad Man (1958), Vice Raid (1959), Kid Galahad (1962) with Elvis Presley, The Oscar (1966), and Assassination (1987). Alcaide was a prolific performer in television West-

Chris Alcaide

14 erns and action series, lending a menacing presence to such shows as The Adventures of Kit Carson, Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill, Jr., The Adventures of Champion, Tales of the Texas Rangers, Gunsmoke, Broken Arrow, Zane Grey Theater, Sugarfoot, Maverick, Casey Jones, Sheriff of Cochise, Man Without a Gun, The Court of Last Resort, Texas John Slaughter, Have Gun, Will Travel, State Trooper, The Californians, Panic!, Richard Diamond, Private Detective, The Texan, U.S. Marshal, Trackdown, Perry Mason, The Rifleman, Bronco, Rawhide, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Black Saddle, Law of the Plainsman, Shotgun Slade, Laramie, Bonanza, The Deputy, Two Faces West, Klondike, Stagecoach West, The Tall Man, 87th Precinct, Cheyenne, The Virginian, The Dakotas, Death Valley Days, Destry, Daniel Boone, The Outer Limits, Branded, A Man Called Shenandoah, The Virginian, Run for Your Life, The Big Valley, T.H.E. Cat, Dragnet 1967, Hondo, and Land of the Giants.

Alexander, Nick Nick Alexander, who was sound and dubbing editor for numerous European films from the 1970s, died in January of 2004. Alexander worked as an actor from the early 1960s, appearing in the film Love with the Proper Stranger (1963), and in episodes of Temple Houston, Dr. Kildare, Kraft Suspense Theatre, and Garrison’s

Nick Alexander

15 Gorillas. Alexander began working as a sound editor later in the decade, and was dubbing editor on such films as Revenge of the Blood Beast (1966), Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971), Man from Deep River (1972), The Child (1972), Don’t Open the Window (1974), Stateline Motel (1975), Deep Red (1975), Black Emanuelle (1975), Emanuelle in Bangkok (1976), Violent Naples (1976), Tough Cop (1976), Django Rides Again (1976), Emanuelle in America (1977), Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977), The Last Survivor (1977), Emanuelle Around the World (1977), Counterfeit Commandos (1977), Weapons of Death (1977), Damned in Venice (1978), Last Feelings (1978), Tough to Kill (1978), The Sicilian Boss (1979), Zombie (1979), Alien Contamination (1980), Terror Express (1980), City of the Walking Dead (1980), Cannibal Apocalypse (1980), Great White (1981), The Black Cat (1981), 1990: The Bronx Warriors (1982), Angkor: Cambodia Express (1982), The Raiders of Atlantis (1983), The World of Con Camillo (1973), The New Gladiators (1984), Desert Warrior (1984), Creepers (1985), Demons (1985), Wild Team (1985), Warbus (1985), Demons 2 (1986), Terror at the Opera (1987), Bermuda: Cave of Sharks (1987), Nosferatu in Venice (1988), Cop Game (1988), Santa Sangre (1989), Two Evil Eyes (1990), American Rickshaw (1990), Indio 2 —The Revolt (1991), Body Puzzle (1991), Husbands and Lovers (1992), Circle of Fear (1992), Beyond Justice (1992), Jonah Who Lived in the Whale (1994), Honey Sweet Love (1994), The Stendahl Syndrome (1996), Stealing Beauty (1996), The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean (1998), and Break of Dawn (2002).

Allen, Dayton Comedian and voice actor Dayton Allen died of complications from a stroke in a Hendersonville, North Carolina, hospital on November 11, 2004. He was 85. Allen was born in New York City on September 24, 1919. He began his career in radio in the mid–1930s and was soon a popular performer for voice-overs and cartoons. He performed in such early children’s television series as The Howdy Doody Show, The Adventures of Oky Doky and Winky-Dink and You in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Allen was also the voice of the cartoon birds Heckle and Jeckle and the canine lawman Deputy Dawg. Allen’s numerous cartoon voices also include Fearless Fly, Professor Weirdo on Milton

2004 • Obituaries

Dayton Allen

the Monster, the father of Penny Penguin, Stufy Durma, Flukey Luke, Sidney the Elephant, Stanley the Lion and Cleo the Giraffe in the Sidney cartoons, The Astronut and Lariat Sam and Tippytoes on The Adventures of Lariat Sam. Allen was also a regular performer on The Steve Allen Show in the late 1950s, where he was noted for the catch-phrase “Whooooyy not!” He also appeared in an episode of the television series The Munsters in 1965. New York Times, Nov. 18, 2004, A29; Variety, Nov. 22, 2004, 72.

Allen, Lorene Country songwriter Lorene Allen died in Nashville, Tennessee, of lung cancer on January 9, 2004. She was 78. She was born in Hominy, Oklahoma, on October 13, 1925. Allen wrote several hit songs for Loretta Lynn including “The Pill,” “Let Me Go, You’re Hurtin’ Me,” and “Another Man Loved Me Last Night.” She also wrote songs for such artists as Conway Twitty, Eddy Arnold, Dottie West, and Pat Boone.

Allen, Ralph Ralph Allen, who wrote the hit Broadway burlesque musical Sugar Babies, died in New York

Obituaries • 2004


City on September 9, 2004. He was 70. Allen was chairman of the theatre department of University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, from 1968 to 1972. His knowledge of burlesque led him to write the Tony nominated revue Sugar Babies, which ran on Broadway from 1979 to 1982. He also wrote the musical comedy Honky Tonk Nights in 1986. New York Times, Sept. 11, 2004, B8.

Allen, Rusty Teri Kay Cooper, who performed in films in the 1960s as Rusty Allen, died in Las Vegas on November 1, 2004. She was 60. Allen was born in Texas on March 10, 1944. She was featured in Herschel Gordon Lewis’ nudist camp film Daughter of the Sun in 1962. Allen also appeared in the 1965 film Girl Happy with Elvis Presley, and performed in Black Spurs (1965) and The Sexperts (1965).

Allison, Gene

Allison, Gene Blues singer Gene Allison died of liver and kidney failure in a Nashville, Tennessee, hospital on February 28, 2004. He was 69. Allison was born in Pegram, Tennessee, on August 29, 1934. He began singing in a church choir in the early 1940s and was soon performing with such professional groups as the Skylarks and The Fairfield Four. Allison was best known for the 1957 recording of “You Can Make It if You Try.” He also had hit singles with “Have Faith” and “Everything Will Be All Right.” He continued to record in the 1960s, although he never repeated his earlier success. Los Angeles Times, Mar. 15, 2004, B9; New York Times, Mar. 14, 2004, 33; People, Mar. 29, 2004, 99; Time, Mar. 29, 2004, 21.

Alonso, Enrique “Cachirulo”

Rusty Allen

Mexican television actor and producer Enrique Alonso, who was known as Cachirulo, died of a heart attack in Mexico City on August 27, 2004. He was 79. Alonso was born in Mexico on


2004 • Obituaries 1972. He and Nelson also wrote several films including Gus (1976), No Deposit, No Return (1976), Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977), and Hot Lead and Cold Feet (1978). They also wrote and produced the 1981 tele-film The Munsters’ Revenge. The duo were story editors for the 1985 version of the cartoon classic The Jetsons, and for The Flintstones Kids the following year. They also wrote for The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones in 1987, and for Tom and Jerry Kid Show from 1990 to 1993. Variety, Aug. 23, 2004, 39.

Anand, Mulk Raj

Enrique “Cachirulo” Alonso

August 28, 1924. He was best known as the producer and director of the children’s television series Teatro Fantastico from 1955 to 1969. He also adapted numerous classic children’s stories for television and the stage. Los Angeles Times, Aug. 31, 2004, B8.

Indian novelist Mulk Raj Anand died on September 28, 2004. He was 98. Anand was born in Peshawar, Northwest Frontier Province, India, on December 12, 1905. He came to London to attend college at London University and Cambridge, where he studied philosophy. He became a leading literary figure in the mid–1930s after the publication of his novel Untouchable. He continued to write such novels as Coolie (1936), Two Leaves and a Bud (1937), The Village (1939), Across the Black Waters (1940) and The Private Life of an Indian Prince (1951). He began writing a projected seven volume series of autobiographies in 1951 with Seven Summers, but the series ended after

Alsberg, Arthur Radio and television writer Arthur Alsberg died in Los Angeles on August 7, 2004. He was 87. Alsberg was born in New York City on July 25, 1917. He began his career in radio, writing comedy routines for such stars as Milton Berle and Danny Kaye. He moved to Hollywood in the mid–1940s, and later worked in television. He wrote for such series as Our Miss Brooks, Bachelor Father, I Dream of Jeannie, Mona McCluskey, Julia, The Doris Day Show, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and Nanny and the Professor. He joined with long-time collaborator Don Nelson to create the television series Bridget Loves Bernie in

Mulk Raj Anand

Obituaries • 2004 four books. His later works consisted largely of essays and reminiscences including 1981’s Conversations in Bloomsbury. New York Times, Sept. 30, 2004, A27; Times (of London), Sept. 30, 2004, 33b.

Anand, Vijay Indian film director, writer and actor Vijay Anand died of a heart attack in Mumbai, India, on February 23, 2004. He was 70. Anand was born in Bombay, India, on January 22, 1934. He appeared in numerous films in India from the 1950s including Wife’s Brother (1955), Agra Road (1957), The Black Market (1960), Reality (1964), Our Dreams (1971), Double Cross (1972), An Oath on India (1973), Dark Horse (1973), Chor Chor (1974), and The Tinkling of Anklets (1981). Anand also directed many films including Nine Plus Two Makes Eleven (1957), The Black Market (1960), In Front of Your House (1963), The Guide (1965), The Third Floor (1966), Jewel Thief (1967), Let’s Go Elsewhere (1968), Our Dreams (1971), Dark Horse (1973), Bullet (1976), Ram and Belram (1980), Raiput (1982), and Main Tere Liye (1988). Variety, Mar. 1, 2004, 44.

Vijay Anand


Anderson, Carl Actor and singer Carl Anderson, who was best known for his role as Judas in the stage and film production of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar died of leukemia in Los Angeles on February 23, 2004. He was 58. Anderson was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, on February 27, 1945. He made his Broadway debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar in 1971, and reprised his role as Judas in the 1973 film version. Anderson was also seen in the films The Black Pearl (1978), The Color Purple (1985), and Mello’s Kaleidoscope (2002), and the 1979 tele-film Mind Over Murder. He was featured as King Monroe in the television soap opera Another World from 1997 to 1998. Anderson’s other television credits include episodes of Starsky and Hutch, The Rockford Files, Hotel, Magnum P.I., and Cop Rock. He again played Judas in the 20th anniversary tour of the musical in 1992. Los Angeles Times, Feb. 25, 2004, B10; New York Times, Feb. 27, 2004, A25; People, Mar. 15, 2004, 131; Times (of London), Feb. 27, 2004, 44b; Variety, Mar. 1, 2004, 45.

Carl Anderson


Andress, Herb German actor Herb Andress died of cancer in Grasbrunn, near Munich, Germany, on April 8, 2004. He was 69. Andress was born in Steeg a Hallstattersee, Austria, on January 10, 1935. He came to Hollywood in the mid–1960s, appearing in such films as The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966), What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966), Movie Star, American Style or; LSD, I Hate You (1966), and The Battle of the Damned (1969). Sometimes billed as Herbert Andreas, he also appeared on television in episodes of Combat!, My Favorite Martian, and Burke’s Law. He returned to Europe in the 1970s, appearing in such films as Rangers Attack at Hour X (1970), Churchill’s Leopards (1970), Beware of a Holy Whore (1971), The Last Rebel (1971), Lady Frankenstein (1971) as the Hunchback, The Big Bust Out (1972), Who? (1973), As of Tomorrow (1976), Casanova & Co. (1977), The Expulsion from Paradise (1977), It Can Only Get Worse (1979), Purity of Heart (1980), Lili Marleen (1981), Be Gentle, Penguin (1982), Red Heat (1985), Enemy Mine (1985), Hell Hunters (1986), The Venus Trap (1988), Naval Cadets III (1992), Burning Heart (1995), She, Me & Her (2002), Luther (2003), and Baltic Storm (2003). Andress also appeared frequently on German tele-

2004 • Obituaries vision in such series as Tatort, Regina on the Ladder to Success, Balko, and Monsignor Renard. Variety, Apr. 26, 2004, 64.

Andrews, Charles Television writer Charles E. Andrews died of acute pancreatitis in New York City on July 2, 2004. He was 88. Andrews was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, on July 2, 1916. He was active in early television writing for Dave Garroway and the original Today Show. Andrews also produced The Steve Allen Show and various television specials including the Emmy Awards and the Miss USA pageants. New York Times, July 8, 2004, C12.

Charles Andrews

Angelus, Muriel

Herb Andress

Actress Muriel Angelus died in a Virginia nursing home on June 26, 2004. She was 85. She was born in London of Scottish parents on March 10, 1909. She began performing as a singer in

Obituaries • 2004


Muriel Angelus

music halls in the early 1920s and made her film debut in the 1928 Edgar Wallace silent film The Ringer. She was also seen in the films Sailors Don’t Care (1928), The Infamous Lady (1928), Mascots (1929), and Red Aces (1929), and starred in her first talkie, Night Birds, in 1930. She continued to star in films throughout the decade including No Exit (1930), Eve’s Fall (1930), The Wife’s Family (1931), Hindle Wakes (1931), Detective Lloyd (1932), Let’s Love and Laugh (1932), Don’t Be a Dummy (1932), Blind Spot (1932), So You Won’t Talk (1935), The Light That Failed (1939) with Ronald Colman, Safari (1940) with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., The Way of All Flesh (1940) and Preston Sturges’ The Great McGinty (1940). She retired from performing in the mid–1940s after a successful run in the Broadway musical Early to Bed. She subsequently married Radio City Music Hall orchestra conductor Paul Lavelle. She recorded Tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein with her husband in the early 1960s, singing her trademark song Falling in Love with Love.

Anthony, Gerald Actor Gerald Anthony, who starred as Marco Dane on the television soap opera One Life to Live from 1977 to 1990, died in Butler, New Jersey, on May 28, 2004. He was 52. Anthony was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 31, 1951. He was also seen as Father Peter Terranova on the television crime series Wiseguy in the late 1980s. Anthony appeared in several films during his career including The Secret of the

Gerald Anthony

Ice Cave (1989), To Die Standing (1990), The Force (1994), and Stag (1997). He also appeared as Rick Madison in the soap opera Another World from 1991 to 1992, and was Marco Dane in General Hospital from 1992 to 1993. His other television credits include episodes of Moonlighting, L.A. Law, MacGyver, Christine Cromwell, Jake and the Fatman, The Cosby Mysteries, and Third Watch.

Aoki, Tomio Tomio Aoki, who began his career in the Japanese cinema as a child star in the 1920s, died of lung cancer in Tokyo, Japan, on January 24, 2004. Aoki was born in Japan on October 7, 1923. He made his film debut at the age of five, appearing in Yasujioro Ozu’s comedies The Life of an Office Worker (1929) and A Straightforward Boy (1929). Because of his role in the film, Aoki became known as Tokkan Kozo (“boy who charges into you”). He continued to work often with Ozu over the next decade and appeared in nearly 100 films including I Flunked but… (1930), Lost Luck (1930), Hard Times (1930), Mr. and Mrs. Swordplay (1930), The Lady and Her Favorite (1931), I Was Born, but… (1932), The Vengeance of the Forty-Seven Ronin (1932), Passing Fancy (1933), After Our Separation (1933), A Story of Floating Weeds (1934), An Innocent Maid (1935), An Inn in Tokyo (1935), Bridegroom Talks in His


2004 • Obituaries

Tomoyi Aoki

Sleep (1935), The Only Son (1936), and What Did the Lady Forget? (1937). Aoki vanished from the screen in 1940, but resumed his acting career 15 years later with Nikkatsu Studios. He played small parts and supporting roles in such films as Bocchan Kisha (1955), The Burmese Harp (1956), Suzaki Paradise Akashingo (1956), Underworld Beauty (1958), Professional Gangster (1960), Youth of the Beast (1963), Our Blood Won’t Allow It (1964), Bloody Territories (1969), and The Friendly Killer (1969). He again retired from the screen in the early 1970s. He returned to the screen in the mid–1990s at the urging of director Makoto Shinozki, appearing in character roles in the films Welcome Home (1995), Not Forgotten (2000), High School Girls’ Friend (2001), Pistol Opera (2001), The Unforgotten Detectives (2003), and Walking with the Dog (2004).

Luis Fernado Ardila

Argo, Victor Burly character actor Victor Argo died of lung cancer in a Manhattan, New York, hospital on April 7, 2004. He was 69. He was born Victor Jiminez in Manhattan on November 5, 1934. He began his career on the New York stage in the

Ardila, Luis Fernando Popular Colombian television actorLuis Fernando Ardila was shot to death as he emerged from a theater in Bogota,Colombia, where he had been performing on November 18, 2004. He was 52. Ardila was believed to have been murdered by two gunmen who were acting on behalf of his roommate who hoped to collect on his insurance policy. Ardila was born in Pereira, Colombia, in 1952. He began his career on television in the mid–1980s starring as Papi Juliao in the popular television series Gallito Ramirez. He remained a leading star in numerous Spanish-language soap operas, known as novelas, until his death. Times (of London), Dec. 10, 2004, 81.

Victor Argo

Obituaries • 2004 1950s, and sometimes performed as a musician and songwriter in the 1960s. He became a familiar face in numerous films including Dealing: Or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues (1972), Boxcar Bertha (1972), Unholy Rollers (1972), Mean Streets (1973), The Don Is Dead (1973), The Terminal Man (1974), Taxi Driver (1976), Hot Tomorrows (1977), Which Way Is Up? (1977), The Rose (1979), Hanky Panky (1982), Falling in Love (1984), The Electric Chair (1985), Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), After Hours (1985), Off Beat (1986), Raw Deal (1986), The Pick-Up Artist (1987), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Her Alibi (1989), New York Stories (1989), Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), Quick Change (1990), King of New York (1990), McBain (1991), Shadows and Fog (1992), Bad Lieutenant (1992), True Romance (1993), Household Saints (1993), Dangerous Game (1993), Monkey Trouble (1994), Men Lie (1994), Somebody to Love (1994), Smoke (1995), Blue in the Face (1995), Condition Red (1996), The Funeral (1996), Next Stop Wonderland (1998), Going Nomad (1998), Lulu on the Bridge (1998), Side Streets (1998), New Rose Hotel (1998), Fast Horses (1998), On the Run (1999), A Change of Climate (1999), Coming Soon (1999), Ghost Dog The Way of the Samurai (1999), Blue Moon (2000), The Yards (2000), Fast Food Fast Women (2000), Love = (Me)^3 (2000), Coyote Ugly (2000), The Summer of My Deflowering (2000), Angela (2000), Double Whammy (2001), R Xmas (2001), Angel Eyes (2001), Queenie in Love (2001), Don’t Say a Word (2001), Bridget (2002), Standard Time (2002), I Am Woody (2003), Music (2003), Lustre (2003), and Confessions of a Dangerous Mime (2004). He was also seen in the telefilms Smile Jenny, You’re Dead (1974), Force Five (1975), Dream House (1981), Florida Straits (1986), Johnny Ryan (1990), Vendetta: Secrets of a Mafia Bride (1991), Sins of Silence (1996). Argo starred as Anthony Coltrera in the 1989 television series Dream Street. His other television credits include episodes of The Waltons, All in the Family, Kojak, Baretta, Starsky and Hutch, Wonder Woman, The Rockford Files, Kingston: Confidential, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Spenser: For Hire, Miami Vice, Father Dowling Mysteries, Law & Order, New York News, Prince Street, Early Edition, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Los Angeles Times, Apr. 15, 2004, B13; New York Times, Apr. 9, 2004, B8; Variety, Apr. 12, 2004, 52.


Armstead, Izora Disco singer Izora Rhodes Armstead, who teamed with Martha Wash as the Weather Girls to record the hit song “It’s Raining Men” in 1982, died of heart failure on September 16, 2004. Rhodes began her career as a backup singer for Sylvester before teaming with Wash to record the album Two Tons O’Fun in 1980. She and Wash recorded three albums, which included the songs “I Got the Feeling,” “Earth Can Be Just Like Heaven,” and “No One Can Love You More Than Me,” before splitting in the early 1980s. Armstead formed a new version of the Weather Girls with her daughter Dynell Rhodes in Germany in 1994. They continued to perform and record until Armstead returned to the United States because of illness shortly before her death. New York Times, Sept. 28, 2004, A23.

Izora Armstead (left, w/ Dynelle Rhodes)

Armstrong, John British documentary film director and producer John Armstrong died of a heart attack in France on August 16, 2004. He was 75. Armstrong was born in London on September 2, 1928. He began working in films in the late 1940s as an editor. His fascination with auto racing led to his involvement with the filming of the documentaries Le Mans 52 and Mille Miglia in the 1950s. He directed his first documentary, Song of the Clouds, about international air travel, in 1956. Two years later he directed his own film about auto racing Coupe des Alpes. Over the next two decades he helmed films such as Mekong — A River of Asia (1962), Underwater Search (1965),


2004 • Obituaries

Arnold, Buddy Television writer and composer Bernard “Buddy” Arnold died of complications from Parkinson’s disease in Vero Beach, Florida, on March 31, 2004. He was 88. Arnold was born in New York City on August 11, 1915. He worked in television in the 1960s, writing for such series as The Jackie Gleason Show and The Jimmy Dean Show. He also produced the 1959 series Phillies Jackpot Bowling, hosted by Milton Berle. Los Angeles Times, Apr. 5, 2004, B9.

Ashiya, Gannosuke Japanese actor Gannosuke Ashiya died of heart failure at a Kyoto, Japan, hospital on April 8, 2004. He was 72. Ashiya was born Kiyoshi Nishibe on May 29, 1931, in Kyoto. A popular actor from the 1960s, he was seen in such films as Muddy River (1981), Tora-san’s Love in Osaka (1981), Hissatsu!: Sure Death! (1984), and The Raccoon War (1994).

John Armstrong

and numerous industrial films for such companies as Shell Oil and British Oxygen. He earned an Academy Award nomination for the 1976 study of North Alaskan oil fields, The End of the Road. This was followed by 1978’s Pipeline Alaska. Armstrong’s later works include the four — film series This Earth in the early 1980s, the Omnimax feature Picture Holland (1986), and 1989’s The Flame Moves East. He largely retired in the early 1990s after suffering a heart attack. Times (of London), Oct. 1, 2004, 331. Gannosuke Ashiya

Obituaries • 2004

Ashton, Don British film art director Don Ashton died of complications from Parkinson’s disease in Somerset, England, on August 25, 2004. He was 85. Ashton was born in Edmonton, London, England, on June 26, 1919. He began working in films after World War II and was designer for such films as Portrait of Claire (1950), Murder Without Crime (1950), South of Algiers (1953), Appointment in London (1953), They Who Dare (1953), Turn the Key Softly (1953), Beautiful Stranger (1954), The Purple Plain (1954), The End of the Affair (1955), Wicked as They Come (1956), David Lean’s The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Count Five and Die (1958), Indiscreet (1958), Count Your Blessings (1959), The Savage Innocents (1959); Man in the Moon (1960), Mr. Topaze (1961), Billy Budd (1962), Masquerade (1965), Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965), A Countess from Hong Kong (1967), The Bobo (1967), The Magus (1968), Oh! What A Lovely War (1969), Tam Lin (1970), and Richard Attenborough’s Young Winston (1972), which earned him an Academy Award

24 nomination. Ashton subsequently left films to work as a designer of hotels. Variety, Sept. 13, 2004, 62.

Astley, Thea Australian author Thea Astley died in Australia on August 17, 2004. She was 78. Astley was born in Brisbane, Australia, on August 25, 1925. She attended The University of Queensland and taught in rural towns throughout Australia. Her first novel, Girl with a Monkey, was published in 1958. Over the next 40 years she wrote 15 other novels and several collections of short stories. Many of her works dealt with small town values and the Aboriginal peoples. They include The Well-Dressed Explorer (1962), The Slow Natives (1965), A Kindness Cup (1974), and It’s Raining in Mango (1989). Though she announced that 1994’s Coda would be her final novel she went on to write The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow (1997) and Drylands (2000) after receiving a government fellowship. Times (of London), Aug. 24, 2004, 27b.

Thea Astley

Atkinson, Paul

Don Ashton

British rock guitarist Paul Atkinson died of liver and kidney disease in Santa Monica, California, on April 1, 2004. He was 58. Atkinson was born in Cuffley, England, on March 19, 1946. He was a founding member of the rock band The Zombies with Rod Argent and Colin Blundstone. They recorded such hits as “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No” and “Time of the Season” in the


2004 • Obituaries 1960s. He and the group appeared as themselves in the 1965 film thriller Bunny Lake Is Missing. The Zombies disbanded after their popular 1967 album Odessey and Oracle. Atkinson went on to a career as a record company executive, signing such acts as Judas Priest, Mr. Mister, and ABBA. Los Angeles Times, Apr. 5, 2004, B9.

Attardi, Frank

Paul Atkinson

Advertising agent Frank Attardi died of lung cancer on September 15, 2004. He was 70. Attardi was born in New York City on August 3, 1934. He was a leading advertising executive from the 1960s and head of the Attardi & Davis agency. He was married to actress Linda Dano from 1982. He and Dano co-hosted the VIP series on New York’s PBS affiliate in 1994. He also appeared with his wife on Lifetime Television’s daytime talk-show Attitudes. Attardi appeared on the NBC soap opera Another World as Hollywood agent Beau Wexler in 1992.

Austin, Vivian Vivian Austin, a leading actress in films of the 1940s, died in Los Angeles on August 2, 2004. She was 84. A local beauty contest winner, she began her career in films as Vivian Coe in the

Frank Attardi

Vivian Austin

Obituaries • 2004 late 1930s before marrying Glenn Austin in 1941. She appeared in The Goldwyn Follies (1938), Men Are Such Fools (1938), Adventures of Red Ryder (1940), Manhattan Heartbeat (1940), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Fired Wife (1943), Moonlight in Vermont (1943), Sing a Jingle (1944), Hi, Good Lookin’! (1944), Moon Over Las Vegas (1944), Cobra Woman (1944), Boss of Boomtown (1944), Twilight on the Prairie (1944), Trigger Trail (1944), Destiny (1944), Night Club Girl (1945), She Gets Her Man (1945), Honeymoon Ahead (1945), Honeymoon Ahead (1945), and Men in Her Diary (1945). Her screen name was changed to Terry Austin in the late 1940s, and she appeared in several films under that name including Born to Speed (1947), Philo Vance’s Gamble (1947), Philo Vance Returns (1947), Stepchild (1947), and T-Men (1947). She subsequently retired from films when failing eyesight led to near blindness. Los Angeles Times, Aug. 12, 2004, B10.

Avedon, Richard Richard Avedon, one of the leading celebrity photographers in the 20th century, died from complications of a brain hemorrhage in a San Antonio, Texas, hospital on October 1, 2004. He had been on a photographic assignment there for The New Yorker when he was stricken. He was 81. Avedon

Richard Avedon

26 was born in New York City on May 15, 1923. He served in the Merchant Marine during World War II, where he was assigned to the photo branch of the service. After the war he continued his career as a photographer, working for such magazines as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. He was the first staff photographer for The New Yorker. His career was the subject of a fictionalized account in the 1956 film Funny Face, starring Fred Astaire as fashion photographer Dick Avery. A collection of somewhat unflattering photographs of such celebrities as Marilyn Monroe, Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson was published as Nothing Personal in 1964. Avedon was married to model Dorcas Nowell, known as Doe Avedon, from 1944 until their divorce in 1949. He was subsequently married to Evelyn Franklin from 1951 until their separation. Los Angeles Times, Oct. 2, 2004, A1; New York Times, Oct. 2, 2004, A1; People, Oct. 18, 2004, 106; Time, Oct. 11, 2004, 54; Times (of London), Oct. 4, 2004, 26b.

Avila, Homer Dancer and choreographer Homer Avila died of cancer in a New York City hospital on April 27, 2004. He was 48. Avila was born in New Orleans in 1955 and began dancing professionally in the late 1970s. He was co-founder of the Avila/Weeks Dance Company. He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2001 which

Homer Avila

27 resulted in the amputation of his right leg and hip. He resumed his career soon after his surgery and continued to perform until the day before his death. New York Times, May 5, 2004, A25; Time, May 17, 2004, 23.

Aycock, Roger

2004 • Obituaries

Ayu, Sukma Indonesian actress Sukma Ayu died in a Jakarta, Indonesia, hospital on September 25, 2004. She was 25. She had been in a coma since a undergoing an operation for injuries she received in a fall in April. Ayu was a popular actress on Indonesian television, starring in the popular television series Kecil Kecil Jadi Manten.

Science fiction writer Roger D. Aycock died in Rome, Georgia, on April 7, 2004. He was 89. Aycock, who wrote under the pseudonym Roger Dee, was the author of over 50 science fiction stories for magazines during the 1950s including The Wheel Is Death, Girl from Callisto, Paradox Planet, The Anglers of Arz, The Frogs of Mars, and Rough Beast. He also wrote the 1954 novel An Earth Gone Mad. Aycock was also a local historian for Georgia.

Sukma Ayu

Babbitt, Harry

Roger Aycock

Singer Harry Babbitt, who performed with Kay Kyser’s Kollege of Musical Knowledge, died in Newport Beach, California, on April 9, 2004. He was 90. Babbitt was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on November 2, 1913. He was featured with Kyser’s band in several films including That’s Right— You’re Wrong (1939), You’ll Find Out (1940) with Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Peter Lorre, Playmates (1941), My Favorite Spy (1942), Stage Door Canteen (1943), Swing Fever (1943), Around the World (1943), and Carolina Blues (1944). His rendition of “The Woody Woodpecker Song” in the 1948 cartoon Wet Blanket Policy earned the song an Oscar nomination. He also made popular recordings of such songs as “The White Cliffs of Dover,” “Three Little Fishes,” “The Umbrella Man,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.” He was heard regularly on the CBS radio program The Second Cup of Coffee Club for over a decade, and was host of the short lived television variety series Glamour Girl. Babbitt retired from singing in 1964 to work in real estate. He returned to the stage in 1985, following the death of Kyser. He acquired the rights to Kyser’s

Obituaries • 2004


Lawrence P. Bachmann Harry Babbitt

band name and music library from his widow and performed around the country for the next ten years. Los Angeles Times, Apr. 22, 2004, B10; New York Times, Apr. 26, 2004, B6; Variety, May 3, 2004, 84.

Bachmann, Leonard Screenwriter Leonard P. Bachmann died at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, on September 7, 2004. He was 92. Bachmann was born in New York City on December 12, 1911, the son of Paramount silent film producer J.G. Bachmann. The younger Bachmann began his career in films as an assistant to Pandro S. Berman at RKO and, later, with J.J. Cohn at MGM. He began writing films in the mid–1930s, with credits for Jalna (1935), Speed (1936), They Wanted to Marry (1937), The People vs. Dr. Kildare (1941), Dr. Kildare’s Wedding Day (1941), Fingers at the Window (1942), Calling Dr. Gillespie 1942), Dr. Gillespie’s New Assistant (1942), Dr. Gillespie’s Criminal Case (1943), Shadow on the Wall (1950), The Devil Makes Three (1952), Ten Seconds to Hell (1959), Whirlpool (1959), and Follow the Boys (1963). He continued

to work in films in England as a producer from the early 1960s, overseeing such features as Kill or Cure (1962), Follow the Boys (1963), Murder at the Gallop (1963, Cairo (1963), Children of the Damned (1963), Night Must Fall (1964), Murder Ahoy (1964), Murder Most Foul (1964), The Alphabet Murders (1965), and Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981). Los Angeles Times, Sept. 21, 2004, B11; Variety, Nov.1, 2004, 51.

Backus, Henny Henny Backus, the widow of actor Jim Backus, died of complications from a stroke in a Los Angeles hospital on December 9, 2004. She was 93. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 21, 1911. She performed as a Broadway chorus girl in the 1920s, appearing in Earl Carroll’s Vanities. She married Backus in 1941. She appeared in a handful of films from the 1950s including Skirts Ahoy! (1952), Blackboard Jungle (1955), Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956), The Great Man (1956), Holiday for Lovers (1959), Hello Down There (1969), and the 1972 tele-film Magic Carpet. She and her husband appeared as Mr. and Mrs. Dithers in the 1968 Blondie television sit-com. She also guest starred in an episode of Gilligan’s

29 Island, which starred her husband as millionaire Thurston Howell, III. She was also featured in episodes of Emergency! and The Love Boat. She and Backus remained married until his Henny Backus death in July of 1989. Los Angeles Times, Dec. 17, 2004, B13; New York Times, Dec. 17, 2004, C9; Variety, Jan. 10, 2005, 58.

Bailey, David Actor David Bailey died in Los Angeles of an accidental drowning on November 25, 2004. He was 71. Bailey was born in Newark, New Jersey, on October 27, 1933. He began his career on stage at an early age. After serving in the U.S. Air Force he began working in films and television in the early 1960s. He appeared in such features as Up the MacGregors (1967), Change of Mind (1969), Three (1969), Wicked, Wicked (1973), Above the Rim (1994), The Believer (2001), Never Again (2001), and The Good Thief (2002). Bailey starred

David Bailey

2004 • Obituaries as Tony Monroe in the series Where the Heart Is from 1969 to 1970 and was Dr. David Amherst on the medical sit-com Temperatures Rising from 1972 to 1973. He joined the cast of the soap opera Another World as Dr. Russell Matthews in 1973, playing the character through 1978 and again from 1979 to 1981, 1989 and 1992. He was featured as Teddy Malcolm on Ryan’s Hope from 1988 to 1989. He had recently been cast as Alistair Crane, the ruthless patriarch on Passions. Bailey’s other television credits include episodes of Dennis the Menace, Hazel, Cimarron Strip, Cannon, Kate & Allie, Working It Out, Law & Order, and Hack. Los Angeles Times, Dec. 1, 2004, B10; New York Times, Dec. 5, 2004, 52; Variety, Dec. 13, 2004, 55.

Baird, Peter Puppeteer Peter Baird died of esophageal cancer in New York City on July 16, 2004. He was 52. Baird was born in New York City in 1952, the son of famed puppeteers Bil and Cora Baird. The younger Baird created puppets for numerous commercials and industrial films. He also worked

Peter Baird

Obituaries • 2004 on the feature films The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), Howard the Duck (1986), and Howling III: The Marsupials (1987). Los Angeles Times, July 20, 2004, B11; New York Times, July 21, 2004, C13.

Ballance, Bill Radio talk-show host Bill Ballance died of complications from a stroke in San Diego, California, on September 23, 2004. He was 85. Ballance was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1919. He began his career in radio in Denver, Colorado, before heading to Los Angeles in the late 1950s. In the 1970s he hosted the provocative radio talk show on sex and relationships, Bill Ballance Feminine Forum. He appeared in the 1977 film Billy Jack Goes to Washington, and was seen on television in the tele-film Let’s Switch! (1975), and episodes of Barnaby Jones and A Touch of Grace. He retired in the early 1990s. Los Angeles Times, Sept. 25, 2004, B14.


Bangley, Jimmy Actor Jimmy Bangley died of a heart attack at his home in West Hollywood, California, on December 8, 2004. He was 48. Bangley moved to California in the mid–1970s, where he performed on stage and at comedy clubs over the next three decades. He also became a respected authority on Hollywood films and actors of the past. Bangley was seen in several films including Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel (2000) and Yellow Bird (2001) with Faye Dunaway. Variety, Dec. 20, 2004, 63.

Jimmy Bangley

Barnes, Max D.

Bill Ballance

Country songwriter Max D. Barnes died of pneumonia in Nashville, Tennessee, on January 11, 2004. He was 67. Barnes was born in Hardscratch, Iowa, on July 24, 1936. He and his family moved to Nebraska when he was a child, and he began his career singing in Omaha nightclubs while in his teens. His first popular success as a songwriter came in 1966 with the tune “Uncanny Connie from Calgary.” He moved to Nashville in the early 1970s. He continued to write songs that were recorded by such artists as George Jones,


2004 • Obituaries

Max D. Barnes

Vince Gill, Vern Gosdin, Randy Travis, an many others. He had his first No. 1 hit with Conway Twitty’s recording of “Don’t Take It Away” in 1979. Other hits followed including “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes,” “Look At Us,” “Chiseled in Stone” which earned him a Grammy nomination, “Don’t Tell Me What to Do,” “If I Didn’t Have You,” “Red Neckin’ Love Makin’ Night,” and “Thank God for the Radio.” Barnes was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992.

Barnes, Peter British screenwriter and playwright Peter Barnes died of a stroke in London on July 1, 2004. He was 73. Barnes was born in London on January 10, 1931. He was best known for his play, The Ruling Class, and for scripting the 1972 film version starring Peter O’Toole. He worked in films from the late 1950s, scripting Rebound (1958), The White Trap (1959), The Professionals (1959), The Devil Inside (1961), Ring of Treason (1964), Not with my Wife, You Don’t! (1966), Enchanted April (1992), and Voices (1995). Barnes

Peter Barnes

wrote and directed the British television productions Spirit of Man (1989), Nobody Here but Us Chickens (1989), Bye Bye Columbus (1991), and Hard Times (1994). He also scripted the tele-films Revolutionary Witness (1989), Merlin (1998), Alice in Wonderland (1999), Noah’s Ark (1999), The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns (1999), A Christmas Carol (1999), and Arabian Nights (2000). Los Angeles Times, July 2, 2004, B11; New York Times, July 3, 2004, A13; Time, July 12, 2004, 27; Times (of London), July 5, 2004, 24b; Variety, July 12, 2004, 43.

Barnett, Jim Wrestling promoter Jim Barnett died of complications from pneumonia and cancer on September 18, 2004. He was 80. Barnett promoted wrestling events in numerous territories including Chicago, Indiana, Georgia and Australia. He was instrumental in the early days of

Obituaries • 2004


Jim Barnett

television wrestling, producing a show for the Dumont Network in the 1950s. He was also involved with Georgia Championship Wrestling’s television program on TBS. He subsequently worked as a consultant to Vince McMahon’s WWF, where he was in instrumental in the early Wrestlemania events. He left the WWF for a stint with WCW, but again worked for McMahon in the 1990s.

Barris, Alex Alex Barris, who was a popular newspaper columnist and television personality in Canada in the 1950s and 1960s, died of complications from a stroke in a Toronto, Canada, nursing home on January 15, 2003. He was 81. Barris was born in New York City in 1922. He worked as a columnist for the Toronto Telegram and became house of the musical-variety series The Barris Beat on CBC in 1956. He was also a panelist on the 1957 quiz show Front Page Challenge. Barris worked in Hollywood during the 1960s, writing for such series as That Girl and Good Times. He returned to Canada to host the short lived variety series Barris & Company in 1968. He authored his autobiography, The PierceArrow Showroom Is Leaking in 1969. Barris was also the author of a biography of jazz musician Oscar Peterson and the 2001 book Making Music: Profiles from a Century of Canadian Music.

Alex Barris

Barron, John British character actor John Barron died in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, on July 3, 2004. He was 83. Barron was born on December 24, 1920, in Marylebone, London, England. He began his career on stage, and appeared in numerous dramas for the BBC from the 1950s. He appeared in several films during his career including Sink the Bismarck! (1960), The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961), Jigsaw (1962), Bloodsuckers (1972), and Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973). He was best known for his work on television, starring in such series as Emergency-Ward 10 (1959), Plateau of Fear (1961), 199 Park Lane (1965), All Gas and Gaiters (1966), Girl in a Black Bikini (1967), Doomwatch (1970) as the Minister, Crown Court as Justice Mitchioner from 1972 to 1976, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976) as C.J., The Foundation (1977), Potter (1979), and Whoops Apocalypse (1982) as the Deacon. He was


2004 • Obituaries

Barrymore, John Drew Actor John Drew Barrymore, a member of the Barrymore family theatrical dynasty, died in Los Angeles on November 29, 2004. He was 72. He was born in Los Angeles on June 4, 1932, the son of acting legend John Barrymore and actress Dolores Costello. Originally billed as John Barrymore, Jr., he began his film career as a young man in the early 1950s, appearing in The Sundowners (1950), High Lonesome (1950), Quebec (1951), The Big Night (1951), Thunderbirds (1952), While the City Sleeps (1956), and The Shadow on the Window (1957). He subsequently became known onscreen as John Drew Barrymore in such films as High School Confidential! (1958), Never Love a Stranger (1958), and Night of the Quarter Moon (1959). Barrymore worked primarily in Europe from the late 1950s, starring in The Cossacks (1959), The Boatmen (1959), The Pharaoh’s Woman (1960), The Night They Killed Rasputin (1960), The Trojan Horse (1961), Pontius Pilate (1962) as Judas and Jesus, The Centurion (1962), Daggers of Blood (1962), Weapons of Vengeance (1963), The Christine Keeler Story (1963) as Dr. Stephen Ward, War of the Zombies (aka Night Star, Goddess of Electra) (1964), and Death on the Fourposter (1964). He also appeared in the tele-films Winchester ’73 (1967) and This Savage Land John Barron

also seen in television productions of The Turn of the Screw (1974), The Taming of the Shrew (1980), Othello (1981), To Catch a King (1984), and Thirteen at Dinner (1985). His numerous television credits also include episodes of Sword of Freedom, The Vise, Glencannon, Ghost Squad, Dial RIX, Undermind, Cluff, Out of the Unknown, The Avengers, The Troubleshooters, The Saint, Department S, Ace of Wands, Timeslip, The Mind of Mr. J.G. Reeder, Spyder’s Web, The Pathfinders, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, The Protectors, Victorian Scandals, Wodehouse Playhouse, Shelley, The Gentle Touch, Yes, Minister, To the Manor Born, No Place Like Home, Terry and June, Brush Strokes, Don’t Wait Up, and Paris. Barron was married to actress Joan Peart until her death in 1989. He subsequently married actress Helen Christie, who died in 1995. Times (of London), July 6, 2004, 29b.

John Drew Barrymore

Obituaries • 2004


(1969), and the 1973 science fiction film The Clones (1973). Barrymore’s other television credits include episodes of Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, Climax!, The 20th Century–Fox Hour, Playhouse 90, Wagon Train, Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Wild Wild West, Run for Your Life, The Road West, Jericho, Dundee and the Culhane, and Kung Fu. His was plagued with legal difficulties throughout much of his life, and his personal problems which included bouts of alcohol and drug abuse, largely destroyed his career. He was married several times during his life, including a volatile marriage to actress Cara Williams in the 1950s that produced a son, actor John Drew Barrymore. A later marriage to Jaid Barrymore resulted in the birth of a daughter, actress Drew Barrymore. His later years were marred by periods of dereliction and homelessness, and a series of mental and physical problems. Los Angeles Times, Dec. 1, 2004, B10; New York Times, Dec. 1, 2004, A28; People, Dec. 13, 2004, 109; Time, Dec. 13, 2004, 23; Times (of London), Dec. 2, 2004, 71.

Bartell, Harry Veteran character actor Harry Bartell died in Ashland, Oregon, on February 26, 2004. He was 90. Bartell was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 29, 1913. A radio actor from the 1940s, he was narrator for The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes from 1945 to 1947, and was Archie Goodwin on The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe in 1951. He was also heard in radio productions of Dragnet, Gunsmoke, Suspense, Fort Laramie, Escape, and Let George Do It. Bartell was also featured in a dozen films in the 1950s including Monkey Business (1952), The Girl Who Had Everything (1952), Dragnet (1954), Black Tuesday (1954), Six Bridges to Cross (1955), Johnny Concho (1956), Affair in Reno (1957), Life Begins at 17 (1958), Voice in the Mirror (1958), and The Decks Ran Red (1958). A prolific television performer, Bartell guest starred in episodes of such series as Dragnet, I Love Lucy, Four Star Playhouse, Letter to Loretta, Cavalcade of America, I Love Lucy, The Star and the Story, Crusader, Gunsmoke, General Electric Theater, The Walter Winchell File, Code 3, The Court of Last Resort, M Squad, Have Gun Will Travel, Boris Karloff ’s The Veil, Richard

Harry Bartell

Diamond, Private Detective, Bonanza, The Untouchables, Hawaiian Eye, The Twilight Zone, Laramie, Tales of Wells Fargo, The Rebel, Boris Karloff ’s Thriller, Perry Mason, The Texan, Branded, Wild Wild West, Get Smart, Dragnet 1967, Dundee and the Culhane and Adam-12. He was also featured in the 1975 tele-film Mobile Two.

Batson, Dennis Music promoter Dennis Batson died in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 6, 2004. He was 62. Batson was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1941, but spent much of his life in Memphis. He was instrumental in the formation of the Memphis community radio station WEVL-FM in 1976 and played music there for five years. A bartender at the renowned P&H Cafe, he also appeared in two local films, Craig Brewer’s The Poor & Hungry and John Michael McCarthy’s short Elvis Meets the Beatles.


2004 • Obituaries

Fernando Bauluz

Dennis Batson

Bauluz, Fernando Spanish film director and producer Fernando Bauluz died in Madrid, Spain, on December 14, 2004. He was 53. Bauluz directed several films including Martes de Carnaval (1991) and Black Tears (1998). He also produced the films Manuel and Clements (1985), The Dead Mother (1993), and Taxi (1996).

Beakel, Walter Actor and stage director Walter Beakel died of heart failure in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on June 15, 2004. He was 79. Beakel was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1925. He worked as a theatrical director in Chicago and New York after World War II, and was a founding director of The Second City. He moved to Hollywood in the 1960s where he worked with Columbia Pictures as director of the talent program. Beakel appeared in small roles in several films in the 1970s including the features Coffy (1973) and Little Cigars (1973), and the tele-

films Terror on the Beach (1973) and Guess Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed (1973). He also appeared in an episode of the television series Search. He subsequently worked as a talent agent, forming the Beakel and Jennings Talent Agency before retiring in 1988. Variety, July 26, 204, 76.

Beck, Jackson Radio performer and voice actor Jackson Beck died of complications from a series of strokes in New York City on July 28, 2004. He was 92. Beck was born in New York City on July 23, 1912. He began his career in radio at stations WINS and WHN in New York, working as an announcer and actor. He was best known for airing the opening line, “It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s Superman,” for the Superman radio program in the 1940s. Beck also performed on such radio programs as Myrt and Marge, Believe It or Not, Joe and Ethel Turp, Brownstone Theatre, and The Joe DiMaggio Show. He was also a voice actor in hundreds of cartoons, playing Perry White in the Superman cartoons and Bluto in numerous Popeye cartoons in the 1940s and 1950s. Beck was the announcer for the 1950s science fiction television series Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. He also performed in such animated television series as King

Obituaries • 2004

36 Fool’s Day (1986), Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Mac and Me (1988), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Suburban Commando (1991), How to Make an American Quilt (1995), and Go (1999).

Behrs, Pati

Jackson Beck

Leonardo and His Short Subjects, Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales, The New Adventures of Superman, The Batman/Superman Hour (as both editor Perry White and villain Lex Luthor), and G.I. Joe. Beck appeared as Willie Saffire in the daytime soap opera The Edge of Night from 1968 to 1969, and was the narrator for Woody Allen’s 1969 comedy film Take the Money and Run. He also performed in the films Cry Uncle! (1971), Power (1986), and Radio Days (1987). Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2004, B17; New York Times, July 30, 2004, A16; Time, Aug. 9, 2004, 27.

Pati Behrs, an ingenue in the 1940s and first wife of actor John Derek, died on July 4, 2004. She was 82. Behrs was born in 1922, the daughter of an exiled Russian noble. She worked as a dancer in France during World War II and came to the United States after the war. She appeared in small parts in several films including The Razor’s Edge (1946), Forever Amber (1947), Apartment for Pegg y (1948), When My Baby Smiles at Me (1948), Unfaithfully Yours (1948), The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend (1949), and Come to the Stable (1949). She subsequently married actor John Derek and left her career to raise a family. She and Derek had two children, son Russell and daughter Sean Catherine. The couple divorced in 1957. She later married Dr. Lucus Lindley, who predeceased her.

Becker, Martin Special effects designer Martin Becker died of pancreatic cancer in Glendale, California, on August 13, 2004. He was 49. Becker was cofounder, with Jim Gill, of the special effects company Reel Efx, which developed the Multi-cam. The company worked on numerous television commercials and films. Becker special effects credits include Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982), The Man Who Wasn’t There (1983), Bachelor Party (1984), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), April

Pati Behrs


Bender, Lucio Argentine film director Lucio Bender died of a heart attack in Barcelona, Spain, where he was directing a commercial on July 6, 2004. He was 47. Bender was a leading commercial director before he made his film directorial debut with the 2000 film Felicidades. He had scripted a second film, Chong, el Coreano, which he also hoped to direct. Variety, July 19, 2004, 72.

2004 • Obituaries Red Diaper Baby (2003), Trollywood (2004), and The Ingrate (2004). Variety, Apr. 12, 2004, 53.

Bentley, Ursula British novelist Ursula Bentley died of cancer in England on April 7, 2004. She was 58. Bentley was born in England on September 18, 1945. She began writing in the 1970s and her first book, The Natural Order, was published in 1983. She was nominated as one of the Granta Best of British young novelists. Her second book, Private Accounts, was published in 1986. A series of health problems and personal difficulties plagued her over the next decade, but she resumed her career with the publication of The Angel of Twickenham in 1996 and The Sloping Experience in 1999. Times (of London), Apr. 15, 2004, 34b.

Lucio Bender

Bennett, Robert Cinematographer Robert Bennett died in Los Angeles of a brain hemorrhage following ten days in a coma. Bennett was born in New York City in 1959. He was 44. He attended the American Film Institute and was cinematographer for the music features Hype! (1996) and Scratch the Surface (1997) for director Doug Pray. He was also cinematographer for the films Anarchy TV (1997), The Gardener (1998), The Murder in China Basin (1999), Twelve City Blocks (2002),

Ursula Bentley

Berde, Laxmikant Indian comic actor Laxmikant Berde died of complications from kidney disease in Mumbai, India, on December 16, 2004. He was 50. Berde was born in India on November 3, 1954. He appeared in numerous Marathi and Hindi films from the 1980s including I Fell in Love (1989),

Obituaries • 2004


Wolf Dietrich Berg

Berger, Richard L.

Laxmikant Berde

Dancer (1991), 100 Days (1991), Seeing the Beloved’s Face (1992), The Song (1992), Astray (1993), Brahma (1994), What Am I to You…! (1994), The Gentleman (1994), Criminal (1995), Aarzoo (1999), Papa the Great (2000), Hello Girls (2001), Khanjar: The Knife (2003), and Hatya: The Murder (2004).

Berg, Wolf-Dietrich German television star Wolf-Dietrich Berg died of cancer in Hamburg, Germany, on January 26, 2004. He was 59. Berg was born in what is now Gdansk, Poland, on May 17, 1944. He appeared in German stage, film and television productions from the early 1970s. He portrayed Anton Fletsch in the television series Der Landarzt in the 1990s and was Karl in Hausmeister Krause from 1999 to 2003. Berg also appeared in such films as Moritz, Dear Moritz (1978), Rising to the Bait (1992), North Curve (1993), Child on the Open Road (1994), and Baltic Storm (2003). He was also featured in numerous tele-films and series including Tatort, Edel and Starck, and Aeon — Countdown im All.

Film and television executive Richard L. Berger died of lung cancer in Los Angeles on September 29, 2004. Berger was an executive at CBS television, where he helped develop such series as Lou Grant and Dallas. He also worked at Walt Disney Pictures, where he created the studio’s Touchstone label to produce films of for teenagers and young adults. Los Angeles Times, Oct. 4, 2004, B9; New York Times, Oct. 11, 2004, B7; Variety, Oct. 11, 2004, 75.

Berksoy, Semiha Turkish opera singer Semiha Berksoy died of a pulmonary embolism in Istanbul, Turkey, on August 15, 2004. She was 94. Berksoy was born in Istanbul in 1910. She performed in Turkish operas for over 50 years, often affecting an eccentric

Semiha Berksoy

39 persona with her garish make-up and outspoken opinions. She also appeared in a handful of films during her career including In the Istanbul Streets (1931), The Big Secret (1956), and The Serpent’s Tale (1993). New York Times, Aug. 23, 2004, B7.

Bernhart, Milt Jazz trombonist Milt Bernhart died of congestive heart failure in Glendale, California, on January 22, 2004. He was 77. Bernhart was born in Valparaiso, Indiana on May 25, 1926. He performed with such jazz and big band greats as Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton, and Maynard Ferguson. Bernhart was a member of the Columbia Pictures orchestra in the 1950s performing on the sound tracts of such films as Man with the Golden Arm (1955) and Too Late Blues (1961). He was also heard on the scores of many television shows including M Squad and Peter Gunn. Los Angeles Times, Jan. 27, 2004, B11.

Milt Bernhart

2004 • Obituaries

Bernstein, Elmer Oscar-winning film composer Elmer Bernstein died at his home in Ojai, California, on August 18, 2004. He was 82. Bernstein was born in New York City on April 4, 1922. He was nominated for the Academy Award 14 times during his Hollywood career for composing music for the films The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), The Magnificent Seven (1960), Summer and Smoke (1961), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Walk on the Wild Side (1962), Return of the Seven (1966), Hawaii (1966), True Grit (1969), Gold (1974), Trading Places (1983), The Age of Innocence (1993), and Far from Heaven (2002). He won the Oscar for Best Music for 1967’s Thoroughly Modern Millie. Bernstein worked on several hundred films from the early 1950s. His numerous film credits also include Saturday’s Hero (1951), Boots Malone (1952), Never Wave at a WAC (1952), Sudden Fear (1952), Battles of Chief Pontiac (1952), the 1953 science fiction cult classics Robot Monster and Cat-Women of the Moon, Make Haste to Live (1954), Silent Raiders (1954), Miss Robin Crusoe (1954), The Eternal Sea (1955), The View from Pompey’s Head (1955), It’s a Dog’s Life (1955), The Ten Commandments (1956), The Naked Eye (1956), Fear Strikes Out (1957), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Drango (1957), The Tin Star (1957), Desire Under the Elms (1958), Saddle the Wind (1958), Kings Go Forth (1958), God’s Little Acre (1958), The Buccaneer (1958), Some Came Running (1958), Anna Lucasta (1959), The Miracle (1959), The Story on Page One (1960), By Love Possessed (1961), The Young Doctors (1961), The Comancheros (1961), Walk on the Wild Side (1962), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), A Girl Named Tamiko (1963), Hud (1963), The Great Escape (1963), The Caretakers (1963), Rampage (1963), Kings of the Sun (1963), Love with the Proper Stranger (1963), The World of Henry Orient (1964), The Carpetbaggers (1964), Four Days in November (1964), Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965), The Sons of Katie Elder (1965), The Hallelujah Trail (1965), The Reward (1965), The Silencers (1966), Cast a Giant Shadow (1966), 7 Women (1966), The Scalphunters (1968), I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! (1968), Midas Run (1969), Where’s Jack? (1969), Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969), The Gypsy Moths (1969), The Liberation of L.B. Jones (1970), Walk in the Spring Rain (1970), Cannon for Cordoba (1970), Big Jake (1971), Blind Terror (1971), The Magnif-

Obituaries • 2004

40 and Glory (1993), Lost in Yonkers (1993), The Good Son (1993), Roommates (1995), Search and Destroy (1995), Canadian Bacon (1995), Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), Frankie Starlight (1995), Bulletproof (1996), Buddy (1997), Hoodlum (1997), John Grisham’s The Rainmaker (1997), Twilight (1998), Wild Wild West (1999), Bringing Out the Dead (1999), Keeping the Faith (2000), Taking the Wheel (2002), and The Rising of the Moon (2002). He also composed for the tele-films Captains and the Kings (1976), Once an Eagle (1976), Seventh Avenue (1977), The Rhinemann Exchange (1977), Little Women (1978), The Chisholms (1979), Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980), Rough Riders (1997), and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999), and such television series as General Electric Theater, Gunsmoke, Johnny Staccato, Riverboat, The Beachcomber, The Big Valley, Julia, Owen Marshall, Counsellor at Law, Arthur of the Britons, Ellery Queen, Serpico, and Delta House. Los Angeles Times, Aug. 19, 2004, B9; New York Times, Aug. 20, 2004, A21; People, Sept. 6, 2004, 103; Time, Aug. 30, 2004, 18; Times (of London), Aug. 20, 2004, 32b; Variety, Aug. 23, 2004, 38.

Elmer Bernstein

icent Seven Ride! (1972), The Amazing Mr. Blunden (1972), Cahill U.S. Marshal (1973), Nightmare Honeymoon (1973), McQ (1974), The Trial of Billy Jack (1974), The Old Curiosity Shop (1975), The Shootist (1976), From Noon Til Three (1976), The Incredible Sarah (1976), Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1977), National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), Bloodbrothers (1978), Zulu Dawn (1979), Meatballs (1979), The Great Santini (1979), Saturn 3 (1980), Airplane! (1980), Going Ape! (1981), Stripes (1981), Heavy Metal (1981), An American Werewolf in London (1981), The Chosen (1981), Honky Tonk Freeway (1981), Airplane II: The Sequel (1982), Five Days One Summer (1982), Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983), Trading Places (1983), Class (1983), Ghostbusters (1984), Bolero (1984), Prince Jack (1984), The Black Cauldron (1985), Spies Like Us (1985), Legal Eagles (1986), Three Amigos! (1986), Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987), Leonard Part 6 (1987), Da (1988), Funny Farm (1988), The Good Mother (1988), My Left Foot (1989), Slipstream (1989), The Field (1990), The Grifters (1990), Oscar (1991), A Rage in Harlem (1991), Rambling Rose (1991), Cape Fear (1991), The Babe (1992), The Cemetery Club (1993), Mad Dog

Berry, Jan Jan Berry, who was half of the popular 1960s singing duo Jan and Dean, of complications from

Jan Berry (left, w/ Dean Torrence)


2004 • Obituaries

a seizure in Los Angeles on March 26, 2004. He was 62. Berry was born in Los Angeles on April 3, 1941. He and Dean Torrance were pioneers of the West Coast Sound in the early 1960s, recording such hits as “Surf City,” “Little Old Lady from Pasadena” and “Dead Man’s Curve.” Jan was seriously injured in an automobile accident in 1966, suffering paralysis and severe brain damage. He was able to recover sufficiently to resume performing with Dean in the 1970s. A tele-film, starring Richard Hatch as Jan and Bruce Davison as Dean, was made about their career and the accident in 1978. Los Angeles Times, Mar. 28, 2004, B19; New York Times, Mar. 29, 2004, B7; People, Apr. 12, 2004, 78; Time, Apr. 5, 2004, 22; Times (of London), Apr. 12, 2004, 34b; Variety, Apr. 5, 2004, 59.

He began his career as a journalist. He appeared on Canada’s CBS television public affairs program Close-Up in the 1950s and was a panelist on Front Page Challenge. He hosted The Pierre Berton Show from 1962 to 1973. He wrote and hosted numerous television specials and series including The National Dream: Building the Impossible Railway (1974), The Great Debate (1975), My Country (1975), The Dionne Quintuplets (1978), Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview (1994), and Niagara: A History of the Falls (1999). Berton wrote the 1956 book Mysterious North, which indexed the various legendary creatures such as Sasquatch and Wendigo that were reputed to inhabit Canada. He was also the author of the popular Canadian children’s book The Secret World of Og, which was adapted for television in 1983. Los Angeles Times, Dec. 7, 2004, B10.

Berton, Pierre

Berval, Paul

Canadian author, folklorist and cryptozoologist Pierre Berton died of congestive heart failure in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on November 30, 2004. He was 84. Berton was born in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada, on July 12, 1920.

Canadian actor Paul Berval died in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada, on February 25,

Pierre Berton

Paul Berval

Obituaries • 2004


2004. He was 80. Berval was born on January 20, 1924. He performed in films from the late 1940s, appearing in Lights of My City (1950), The Suspects (1957), Once Upon a Prime Time (1966), Two Women in Gold (1970), The Master Cats (1971), The Apprentice (1971), The Christmas Martian (1971), The Doves (1972), There’s Always a Way to Find a Way (1973), Cops and Other Lovers (1980), The Plouffe Family (1981), The Alley Cat (1985), and Windigo (1994). Berval was also active on Canadian television and was the dubbed voice of cartoon character Fred Flintstone in the FrenchCanadian version of The Flintstones.

Zorba the Greek. Bessenyei also appeared in numerous films from the early 1950s including The Storm (1951), Battle in Peace (1951), The Rising Sea (1953), Abyss (1956), Professor Hannibal (1956), Fever (1957), Stay Good Until Death (1960), Shower (1961), The Brute (1961), Guns and Doves (1961), Drama of the Lark (1963), Evidence (1964), Fig Leaf (1966), The Golden Kite (1966), The Testament of Aga Koppanyi (1967), The Widow and the Police Officer (1967), Stars of Eger (1968), The Loves of Liszt (1970), Judgment (1970), Labyrinth (1976), Galilei (1977), Lost Illusions (1982), and A Masik Ember (1987).

Bessenyei, Ferenc

Best, Richard

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Author: Harris M. Lentz

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When I think of movie monsters who fall for a beautiful human the first one to always come to mind is “King Kong” the over sized gorilla we first met back in 1933. Poor Kong, fell like a ton of bricks for Ann Darrow (Fay Wray), right off the Empire State Building. Okay, he was shot, but still he climbed to the top of the Empire State Building for the girl of his dreams. Oh yeah, the things you do for love.

 Of course, there is also the fabled tale of “Beauty and the Beast”, the most celebrated film version being the 1946 Jean Cocteau version, but for it was always Kong who had the look, the style, the panache when it came to bestial love for a human.    

In 1954, Universal was just one of the studios fighting back at television with Vistavision, Cinemascope and 3-D, along with other gimmicks in an attempt to get people back into the theatres.  Universal’s first 3-D film, “It Came From Outer Space” came out in 1953 and was a smash. The following year, Universal released its second 3-D film, a story about an amphibious creature who falls hard for a beautiful woman in “The Creature From the Black Lagoon.”

During an expedition in the Amazon Dr. Carl Maia (Antonio Moreno) discovers the remains an oversized webbed hand. He goes to see his former student, now an ichthyologist, David Reed (Richard Carlson) who along with Mark Williams (Richard Denning) is enthusiastic enough about the discovery to finance an expedition. Along with Kay (Julie Adams) David’s girlfriend and assistant, another scientist, Dr. Thompson (Whit Bissell) and the Captain of the boat (Nestor Paiva) they take off in search of the fossil remains that they hope will connect to the recently discovered webbed hand. Prior to their arrival at the expedition site, we see one of Dr. Maia’s assistant’s who stayed behind when Maia went to get help attacked and killed by a mysterious  creature. Actually all we see are only a webbed hand and shadows on a tent wall.  When the expedition finally arrives they find the hideous corpse of the doctor’s assistant. 

After eight days of finding no other remains, the group is ready to return home when David suggest that  part of the area where the hand was discovered may have fallen into the water taking with it the remains the creature. The Captain talks about the water emptying into a beautiful black lagoon only, he jokes, no one has ever returned to talk about it. They agree to forge ahead into the Lagoon. Once in beautiful eerie lagoon David and Mark go diving searching for evidence that can be analyzed and compared to the previously found remain.  Unbeknown to the men swimming, the creature has spotted them and follows the duo but never attacks. When they safely surface, the ship suddenly begins shake violently. The creature has gotten caught in a large net the crew had dropped earlier. Managing to escape the creatures leaves something behind caught in the net… a claw.

Kay, apparently with nothing else to do figures just because there is some strange unknown creature in the waters below, see that as no reason not to go for a swim and does just that. These scenes shot from deep in the sea, looking up, we see Kay swimming languidly, some of the shots are in silhouette, graceful motions without a care. At the bottom of the screen the creature come into view swimming beneath her, following her from below. Apparently, the creatures has never seen such beauty as he follows her, observing her ballet like moves before she retreats back to the boat.  David and Mark decide to go back in after the creature, David, only to shoot some photos to prove its existence and Mark to shoot it dead with a harpoon. For the rest of the film the creature seems to be winning the battle, killing off two crew members, severely injuring Dr. Thompson, killing Mark and eventually kidnapping Kay off the boat taking her to his private cave, where he is eventually tracked down and shot full of lead. In one of the last scenes we watch as the creature stumbles his way back to the lagoon apparently to die. But of course, two sequels were to follow and somehow the creature recovered and lived to terrorized again.    

Based on a story by Maurice Zimm (the original idea came from producer William Alland) with a screenplay by Arthur Ross and Harry Essex, “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” has built up a legacy that far outreaches the low budget origin of the film.  Even in Billy Wilder’s 1956 comedy “The Seven Year Itch”, Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe are viewed coming out of a theater showing “The Creature From the Black Lagoon” and Marilyn, sympathetic to the creature, says it only wanted to be loved. Yes, love hurts.  Future films like “Alien” have been obviously influenced by this gill like creature and filmmakers like Steven Spielberg whose film “Jaws”, whether intentionally or not, show influences. The early scenes in “Jaws” where we see the young girl swimming naked in the water in silhouette shot from underneath the camera pointing up are reminiscent of shots of Kay taking her swim in the lagoon. Also, when Dr. Maia’s assistant was attacked we only the creature’s hand and  shadow, in fact the creature’s hand or shadow  are all we see for the first 24 minutes of the film, similar to Spielberg’s not unveiling the shark until well into the movie. 

The underwater sequences, filmed in Wakulla Springs, Florida, are numerous and are excellently shot by James C. Havens.  The best action in the film takes place in these underwater sequences including the overtly sexual attraction of the creature to Kay. As Kay swims on the water’s surface, right underneath her, swimming on his back is the creature. He watches, as we the audience do too, Kay gracefully moving along, occasionally diving doing an acrobatic twist or turn in the water, the creature and us, seeing it all from below. At one point, he seems to either caress or playfully tickle her foot. Kay unsure what it was swims along and eventually back to the boat with the creature following her.  In the end, the creature like Kong kidnaps his true love taking her to a cave-like hiding place where David will eventually find her lying on a large rock sprawled out on her back. 

Contributing to the atmosphere is the excellent music score which had three composers (Henry Mancini, Hans J. Salter and Herman Stein) as well as some nice eerie camerawork by William E. Snyder. Note the pounding music every time the creature appears another characteristic similar to “Jaws.”  One of Universal’s top low budget directors, Jack Arnold directed. Arnold had already made,” It Came From Outer Space” and would go on to direct the first sequel, “Revenge of the Creature.” He also made, “The Incredible Shrinking Man”, “High School Confidential”, “Tarantula” and a fine little known noir “The Tattered Dress”, with Jeff Chandler. Arnold would spend most of the 1960’s and the rest of his career mostly in episodic television with shows like “Gilligan’s Island”, “It Takes a Thief” and “The Love Boat” among others.  

Overall, the film still holds your interest. Yes, the creature looks like a man in a rubber suit but let’s put it in perspective. BTW, there was actually two actors who portrayed the creature. The swimming creature was Ricou Browning and the land creature was Ben Chapman. As I was saying, the film still holds your interest. nicely paced, sexy, and still packs some good thrills, a minor masterwork of its genre.


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Posted in 1950's, Film Reviews, Horror, Twenty Four Frames Favorite FilmsTagged Jack Arnold, Julia Adams, Nestor Paiva, Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, The Creature From The Black Lagoon, Whit Bissell

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