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Scott Larson





Building façade in Cannes, France

Gone but not forgotten XXVI

Here is the second part of my tenth annual alphabetical roll call of movie people who passed on during the year 2011. These are the actors. See last week’s list for the first part of the list, as well as instructions for having the proper background music while reading this.

Actors

  • Tom Aldredge: Thanks for a career as a character actor that included appearances in everything from The Mouse on the Moon to the soap Ryan’s Hope to What About Bob? to Cold Mountain to The Sopranos (as Hugh DeAngelis) to Damages (as Uncle Pete) to Boardwalk Empire (as Ethan Thompson). You also originated, on the stage, the role played by Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond.

  • Doe Avedon: Thanks for a bit of a film career, mostly in the 1950s, with movies like The High and the Mighty and the TV series Big Town. But mostly thank you for living a life that makes a good story. Born Dorcas Marie Nowell, you were an orphan at 12. But thanks to your husband, the photographer Richard Avedon, you became a famous high-fashion model. (You later married the director Don Siegel.) It’s such a good story that someone should make a movie of it. Oh wait, they did. It was Funny Face, starring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn.

  • Frances Bay: Thanks for becoming the go-to gal for casting directors looking for someone to play doddering sweet old ladies. You did it more than 150 times. Some of the more memorable turns: Adam Sandler’s grandmother in Happy Gilmore, the Fonz’s grandmother on Happy Days and a woman who fights with Jerry Seinfeld for loaf of marble rye on Seinfeld. After a brief early stint on radio, your “old lady” career began with the Chevy Chase-Goldie Hawn movie Foul Play and culminated in a Gemini award for the Canadian series The Road to Avonlea (as Winifred Ward) and a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto. Your last gig was the recurring role of Aunt Ginny on The Middle. David Lynch must have been a particular fan. He cast you in Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.

  • Doris Belack: Thanks for years of being a thespian trooper on stage, film, TV shows and commercials. Looking somewhat like Olympia Dukakis, you brought wryness and sternness and humor to your roles, as needed. Thanks for appearances on everything from The Patty Duke Show to The Defenders, Barney Miller and The Cosby Show. You had a recurring role on the soap One Life to Live, and in the 1990s you had the recurring role of Judge Barry on Law & Order. Thanks especially for being the producer who hires Dustin Hoffman, disguised as a woman, to star in a soap opera in Tootsie.

  • Roberts Blossom: Thanks for being a bit (maybe a lot) scary-looking. Your movie roles may not have been big ones, but they were memorable, including an unfortunate patient in the George C. Scott film The Hospital, Wild Bob Cody in Slaughterhouse-Five, Paul Le Mat’s father in Citizens Band, the farmer who claimed to have seen Bigfoot in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the convict who paints the warden’s portrait in Escape From Alcatraz and the judge who sentences Michael J. Fox to community service in Doc Hollywood. But thanks especially for what was probably your most notable role, Macauley Culkin’s scary neighbour who turns out to be a nice guy in Home Alone.

  • Eve Brent: Thanks for bringing back the character of Jane to the Tarzan movies after she had been dropped for a couple of flicks. You played Jane (opposite Gordon Scott’s king of the apes) in two films in 1958. Too bad it typecast you and you weren’t able to get many good parts after that.

  • William Campbell: Sure, you had roles in movies like Operation Pacific, Escape from Fort Bravo, The High and the Mighty, Battle Cry, The Naked and the Dead, Love Me Tender and Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte and played Jerry Austin in the 1950s series Cannonball. But mainly we want to thank you for a certain character you played on Star Trek. And I don’t even mean the Klingon Koloth in the classic episode “The Trouble with Tribbles” (and reprised in the episode “Blood Oath” on Deep Space Nine). No, I mean the all-powerful extra-terrestrial child Trelane who toys with the Enterprise crew in the episode “The Squire of Gothos.”

  • Annette Charles: Thank you for playing Cha Cha in the film version of Grease. You memorably had a sexy dance with John Travolta that caused Olivia Newton-John to walk stomp out of a dance contest.

  • Linda Christian: Thanks for being the Mexican-born “anatomic bomb” (according to Life), who appeared in Johnny Weissmuller’s last Tarzan movie (Tarzan and the Mermaids) and the first James Bond adaptation, the 1954 episode “Casino Royale” in the TV series Climax!, in which 007 was played by Barry Nelson.

  • Diane Cilento: Thanks for adding your stunning Australian beauty to a number of notable films over the years. You were the lusty Molly to Albert Finney’s title character in Tom Jones. You were also with Charlton Heston in The Agony and the Ecstasy and with Paul Newman in Hombre. The timing in your personal life was pretty interesting. You married Sean Connery just as he was becoming James Bond. Later you married the playwright Anthony Shaffer, whom you met when you appeared in a movie he had written. You were Miss Molly in the original Wicker Man.

  • Jeff Conaway: Click here

  • Jackie Cooper: Thanks for cheering people up during the Great Depression by being an adorable kid in a bunch of comedies and tear-jerkers. Thanks for the Our Gang comedies, for being Dink in The Champ and Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island. You became the youngest actor ever (at 9) to win an Oscar, for Skippy. Thanks for being in the 1950s sitcoms The People’s Choice (with Cleo the talking basset hound) and Hennessy. Thanks for all the acting and directing work over the years and for being Perry White to Christopher Reeve’s Clark Kent in four Superman movies. Mostly, thank you for not letting the temptations and pitfalls of being a child star destroy you and for writing the book Please Don’t Shoot My Dog.

  • Nicholas Courtney: Click here

  • Don Diamond: Thank you for using your Russian Jewish (by way of New York) looks and mastery of accents to play a number of ethnic supporting roles over the years—usually in westerns but also in shows like Get Smart and Mission: Impossible. You were the Mexican sidekick El Toro on The Adventures of Kit Carson, Corporal Reyes on Zorro and Crazy Cat on F Troop. Gracias, ha-chever sheli.

  • John Dye: Thanks for all kinds of small roles on TV here and there, starting with the soap The Young and the Restless. And thanks for playing (and this is a bit creepy) the angel of death of Touched by an Angel. By the end of the series, you went from recurring to regular and kind of moved past that death angel thing.

  • Peter Falk: Click here

  • Mary Fickett: Thanks for decades of acting roles on television, highlighted by two decades in the role of Nurse Ruth Martin on the soap All My Children.

  • Margaret Field: Thanks for a number of largely forgotten roles in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, sometimes under the name Maggie Mahoney. Your most remembered role would be as the daughter of a professor studying a rogue planet heading toward earth in The Man from Planet X. Our condolences to your daughter, Sally Field.

  • Anne Francis: Click here

  • Betty Garrett: Thanks for singing and dancing for us in the 1940s and 1950s and for some memorable TV characters in succeeding decades. You pursued Frank Sinatra in On the Town and Take Me Out to the Ball Game, as well as appearing in Neptune’s Daughter and the musical version of My Sister Eileen. As for the small screen, thanks for playing Archie Bunker’s liberal neighbor Irene in All in the Family and the landlady who becomes Penny Marshall’s stepmother in Laverne & Shirley.

  • Annie Girardot: Thank you for a long and varied acting career that began in the mid-1950s and continued until just a few years ago. Thanks for more than 150 performances on screen, including such highlights as Luchino Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers, André Cayatte’s To Die of Love, Marcel Carné’s Three Rooms in Manhattan and Claude Lelouch’s Love Is a Funny Thing and Live for Life. You went easily from drama to comedy and from lead roles to character parts. Other interesting roles included Helvio Soto’s all-star anti-Pinochet film Rain Over Santiago, a turn as a French teacher in the Gene Hackman-Barbra Steisand romcom All Night Long and playing the mother in Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher. Personally, I thank you for the film that made me a fan, Philippe de Broca’s caper comedy Tendre poulet (Dear Inspector), in which your sweet romantic relationship with Philippe Noiret was the heart and soul of the flick. Thanks also for the not-quite-as-top-notch sequel Jupiter’s Thigh.

  • Bruce Gordon: Thanks for many movies and television shows (and commercials!) where you played a gangster or some other heavy. Movies like The Buccaneer (with Yul Brynner) and Tower of London (with Vincent Price) and TV shows like Perry Mason, Bonanza, Gunsmoke and I Spy. But thanks mainly for for playing a very menacing Frank Nitti opposite Robert Stack’s Eliot Ness on The Untouchables. How ironic you would pass away eight days after Paul Picerni (below), who played Ness’s right-hand man, Agent Lee Hobson.

  • Susan Gordon: Thanks for several roles as a child actor. When another child actor became ill, your father, Bert I. Gordon, put you in the movie he was directing. That was Attack of the Puppet People. He went on to cast you in Tormented and Picture Mommy Dead, the latter with Zsa Zsa Gabor. Your career highlight was probably singing with Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong in the biopic of bandleader Red Nichols, The Five Pennies, in which you played a younger version of Tuesday Weld. Thanks also for appearing in the Twilight Zone episode “The Fugitive,” in which you befriended J. Pat O’Malley as the ruler of a planet hiding out on earth.

  • Michael Gough: It never fails. You spend more than 60 years playing all kinds of roles in all kinds of movies and TV shows and, in the end, you are mainly remembered for playing Batman’s butler. So let me thank you for appearing in the horror movies Dracula (with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing), Horrors of the Black Museum, The Phantom of the Opera (with Herbert Lom), Black Zoo, Trog (with Joan Crawford), Horror Hospital, Satan’s Slave and Wes Craven’s The Serpent and the Rainbow. Thanks for performances in such other notable films as John Huston’s A Walk with Love and Death, Joseph Losey’s The Go-Between, Ken Russell’s Savage Messiah, Franklin J. Schaffner’s The Boys from Brazil, the Zucker/Abrahams spoof Top Secret!, the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol, Sydney Pollack’s Out of Africa and Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio. Thanks also for your collaborations with Tim Burton on Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Alice in Wonderland. That would also include, inevitably, the first two of the four movies in which you provided the only consistency to Warner Bros.’s 1990s Batman franchise, playing faithful butler Alfred to Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney. Oh yes, and even better, thanks for being the Celestial Toymaker (opposite William Hartnell in 1966) and Councillor Hedin (opposite Peter Davison in 1983) on Doctor Who.

  • Farley Granger: Thanks for the role you were most proud of, as an Austrian military officer in Luchino Visconti’s Senso. And for an eclectic career that began with quick Hollywood success and then switched to the stage. But which would also include Italian exploitation flicks, like Leather and Whips and The Red-Headed Corpse, and appearances on soap operas like One Life to Live, The Edge of Night and As the World Turns. But mainly I want to thank you for two stand-out roles in movies by Alfred Hitchcock. You were hauntingly creepy as one of a pair of young Manhattan socialites who think they are brilliant enough to commit the perfect murder in Rope. And you were also memorable as the hapless tennis pro who has to the bad luck to meet the psychotic Robert Walker on the Washington-to-New York line in Strangers on a Train.

  • Edward Hardwicke: Thanks for an acting career that goes all the way back to the Spencer Tracy film A Guy Named Joe. Thanks for varied roles in such varied movies as the original Day of the Jackal, the Ian McKellen version of Richard III, the 1998 movie Elizabeth and Love Actually. You also played Anthony Hopkins brother in Shadowlands, but thank you especially for being Dr. Watson to Jeremy Brett’s consulting detective in in three Sherlock Holmes series for UK TV in the 1980s and 1990s.

  • David Hess: Thanks for writing or co-writing songs for Elvis Presley (“I Got Stung,” “Make Me Know You’re Mine”) and Pat Boone (“Speedy Gonzales”). Thanks also for not only composing the score for Wes Craven’s classic shocker The Last House on the Left but also for giving people nightmares by playing the psychotic convict Krug Stillo in the movie, thereby spawning a career of playing scary types.

  • Peter Hobbs: Thanks for decades of playing doctors, lawyers and judges on every series from The Secret Storm in 1954 (the first Peter Ames) to True Colors in 1992. In between, your many, many appearances included being the chaplain on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., George Driscoll on Lou Grant and Ed Marcus on Knots Landing. Thanks especially for playing the judge who marries Mike and Gloria on All in the Family and the bartender in the bar where Murray tells Lou he is in love with Mary in the Mary Tyler Moore show.

  • Bill Hunter: With a gravelly voice and no-nonsense manner, you were perhaps the quintessential Australian. Thanks for steady work in many memorable films from Down Under, including an army major in Peter Weir’s Gallipoli, a dance judge in Baz Luhrmann’s Strictly Ballroom, Toni Colette’s father in Muriel’s Wedding and an open-minded mechanic in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Also, thanks for a great anecdote about how you got started as an actor. The story goes you were a stuntman in On the Beach and, watching Gregory Peck doing 27 takes, you said, “A mug could do that.”

  • Sybil Jason: Thanks for an acting career that began seven and a half decades ago and lasted about a decade and a half. You were Shirley Temple’s main competition in the 1930s. A native of South Africa, you cried on a cue in movies like Barnacle Bill, Little Big Shot, The Singing Kid and The Great O’Malley, starring Pat O’Brien and Humphrey Bogart.

  • Barbara Kent: Wow. We don’t get many chances these days to say good-bye to actors who were stars during the silent era. But with your departure at the age of 102, let me thank you for appearing alongside the likes of Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo and Harold Lloyd in movies like the western Prowlers of the Night, Flesh and the Devil (losing John Gilbert to Garbo) and No Man’s Law (with Oliver Hardy as a villain). You starred with Lloyd in Welcome Danger (his first talkie) and Feet First. You appeared with Edward G. Robinson in Night Ride and in the first talking versions of Vanity Fair and Oliver Twist. Your career may not have lasted long, but at least retirement gave you time to become a pilot.

  • Aron Kincaid: Thanks for being young, tall, blond and tan back in the 1960s. Thanks for being Kelly’s boyfriend Warren on Bachelor Father. And thanks for being eye candy in a whole bunch of movies with titles like The Girls on the Beach, Ski Party, Beach Ball, Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine and, of course, The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini. And also for latter-day voice work on animated series like Transformers and Batman.

  • Len Lesser: Thanks for six decades of contributing your hawkish features to playing often sinister types, mostly on TV. The long list of your roles frequently gives you names like Hoodlum, Thug, Man With a Gun, Ghost, Prisoner, Villain and the ever-popular Man. But you became immortal with a couple of recurring characters in sitcoms. Thanks for playing Garvin in Everybody Loves Raymond and, especially, Jerry’s Uncle Leo in Seinfeld.

  • Judy Lewis: I would thank you for your work during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s (including regular roles on Outlaws and The Secret Storm), but we really don’t remember you for that. Instead, we remember you for your book Uncommon Knowledge and the story it told of how you were conceived during the filming of The Call of the Wild on location in Washington state and how you spent your early years hidden away and in orphanages. At the age of 19 months, your mother brought you home as her “adopted” daughter. It was only years later that you learned she was your biological mother who became pregnant at 22 by a married man. She was Loretta Young, and your father was Clark Gable. No wonder you became a licensed family and child counsellor.

  • Kenneth Mars: Thanks for decades of performances, usually very funny and often as some kind of foreigner. Thanks for playing Harry the fireman on the too-brief Richard Benjamin/Paula Prentiss 1960s sitcom He & She. Thanks for playing the relentless marshal who pursues the title characters in George Roy Hill’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, a former FBI agent in The Parallax View, Bud Prize in Fernwood 2 Night and lots of cartoon work, including the voice of Triton in the Disney movie and TV series The Little Mermaid. Also, thanks for playing Colyus, a man who didn’t know he was a hologram in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Shadowplay.” And for playing the police inspector with a malfunctioning arm in Mel Brooks’s Young Frankenstein. But thanks especially for another role for Brooks: Franz Liebkind, the playwright who authors Springtime for Hitler in 1968’s The Producers.

  • Anna Massey: There may be a lot of fuss over Meryl Streep playing Margaret Thatcher, but you played her in the 2006 TV movie Pinochet in Suburbia. With a father like Raymond Massey and a godfather like John Ford, you were bound to be in the movies, and you were. Thanks for roles in films like Ford’s Gideon’s Day, Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, Otto Preminger’s Bunny Lake Is Missing and Hitchcock’s Frenzy.

  • T.P. McKenna: Thank you for four and half decades of yeoman acting work on stage, TV and in the movies on at least two continents. Thanks for appearances on Brit television that included everything from The Saint, The Avengers, Dr. Finlay’s Casebook, Callan, Father Brown, The Sweeney, The Mackinnons, Blakes 7, Kavanagh QC, Casualty and The Bill—as well as such Irish series as Ballykissangel and Fair City. And thanks for small roles in all kinds movies, like Jeremy Summers’s Ferry Across the Mersey, Jack Cardiff’s Young Cassidy, Charles Jarrott’s Anne of the Thousand Days, Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, Joseph Strick’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Dearden’s Pascali’s Island, Joseph Zito’s Red Scorpion and Laurence Dunmore’s The Libertine. Oh, and thanks for playing Capt. Cook in a four-episode adventure (“The Greatest Show in the Galaxy”) opposite Sylvester McCoy’s Time Lord in Doctor Who. You did your native County Cavan proud.

  • Bill McKinney: “Squeal like a pig!” That was yours. You not only spoke the lines, you improvised them. We mainly remember you for that uncomfortable scene in which you, as a menacing hillbilly, uh, have your way with Ned Beatty in John Boorman’s Deliverance, but thanks also for character roles in everything from First Blood (the original Rambo movie) to The Green Mile and several Clint Eastwood movies like The Outlaw Josey Wales. Thanks also for appearances on TV shows like B.J. and the Bear, The A-Team and Walker, Texas Ranger.

  • Sid Melton: Even comedy shows need comic relief, so thanks for providing some of the funniest comic relief on a number of classic sitcoms. Before that, you were comic relief in movies like Shadow of the Thin Man, Blondie Goes to College, Kilroy Was Here, Body and Soul, White Heat, On the Town and The Lemon Drop Kid, often playing cabbies or other characters with names like Mouse, Benny and Smiles. You were Ichabod Mudd on Captain Midnight. But thanks especially for amusing supporting recurring sitcom roles like Hal on The Gale Storm Show, Harry on Bachelor Father, Uncle Charley on Make Room for Daddy, Pat on The Andy Griffith Show, Friendly Freddy on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Alf on Green Acres and Estelle Getty’s late husband Salvadore on The Golden Girls.

  • Paul Michael: Mostly you were on the stage and in bit TV roles, but you did appear in a couple of movies, like Masque of the Red Death and Pennies from Heaven. You played T.J. on the TV series Spatz. Oh yeah, you had a walk-on in at least one other movie. It was House of Dark Shadows. That was probably because you did a stint on the TV series, memorably playing the vengeful gypsy king Johnny Romano. Condolences to your long-time companion, Mrs. C herself, Marion Ross of Happy Days fame.

  • Harry Morgan: Click here

  • Mary Murphy: Thanks for small roles in the 1950s, in films like The Desperate Hours (with Humphrey Bogart), Beachhead (with Tony Curtis) and The Mad Magician (with Vincent Price), but thanks mainly for one role in particular. You were innocent Kathie, the sheriff’s daughter in a small town terrorized by a motorcycle gang led by Marlon Brando in The Wild One.

  • Charles Napier: With a face that screamed “tough guy,” you were destined to play hoodlums and villains. So thanks for playing Tucker McElroy in The Blues Brothers, the villainous Murdock in Rambo: First Blood Part II and a cop murdered by Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. And let us not forget your turns as a titular sheriff in Russ Meyer’s Cherry, Harry and Raquel!, the space hippie Adam in the Star Trek episode “The Way to Eden,” generals in both a Deep Space Nine episode and in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and the judge in Jonathan Demme’s Philadelphia. Born in Kentucky, you wound up living in California’s Kern County, where I come from.

  • David Nelson: Thanks for a decade and a half of 1950s/60s family sitcom memories. You and your family more or less played yourselves on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, with you in the Wally Cleaver role as slightly boring older brother to adorable Ricky. You had some other roles, e.g. Hope Lange’s fiancé in the movie Peyton Place and one of Clifton Webb’s many progeny in The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker. And later some winking appearances like a janitor in the 1983 TV movie High School U.S.A. and Traci Lords’s father in John Waters’s Cry-Baby. But mainly we thank you for all those pleasant white bread memories and less-than-earthshaking problems that got wrapped up in less than 30 minutes.

  • John Neville: Click here

  • David Ngoombujarra: Thanks for being a familiar face playing indigenous Australian roles in movies and television. Thank you for your award-winning performances in Black and White and Blackfellas, as well as appearances in Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Kangaroo Jack, the Heath Ledger version of Ned Kelly and Baz Luhrmann’s Australia. Thank you especially for your portrayal of a kangaroo hunter in Phillip Noyce’s Rabbit-Proof Fence.

  • Lena Nyman: I didn’t see many of your movies, which pretty much all were Swedish. But I did see a couple. So thanks for your performance as the mentally impaired daughter of Ingrid Bergman and sister of Liv Ullmann in Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata and for your delightful turn as the flamboyant mother of a lounge pianist in the romantic dramedy Such is Life. But let me give you a special thanks for a movie I never saw but would have liked to, because you were so alluring on the poster. Thank you for shaking things up with your central, and by all accounts explicit, performance in the scandalous I Am Curious (Yellow).

  • Paul Picerni: Your credits run from 1950’s Breakthrough to 2007’s Three Days to Vegas, with nearly 200 titles in between. Thanks for parts in movies like Operation Pacific, To Hell and Back, Marjorie Morningstar, Airport and Beyond the Poseidon Adventure and in TV shows like Bonanza, Rawhide, Perry Mason and Kojak. But thanks particularly for being the young man who, smitten with Phyllis Kirk, makes the unfortunate choice of bringing her to Vincent Price’s House of Wax. And also thanks for your work on The Untouchables. You were a gangster in the pilot, but then you got promoted to Eliot Ness’s right-hand man, Agent Lee Hobson.

  • Marie-France Pisier: Merci beaucoup for, at the age of 17, bewitching François Truffaut (causing him to briefly leave his wife and children) so that he cast you as the love object of his screen alter ego Antoine Doinel, played by Jean-Pierre Léaud. You played Colette in the short film Antoine and Colette and the feature films Stolen Kisses and Love on the Run. You also graced Luis Buñuel’s The Phantom of Liberty, as well as Cousin, Cousine, The Other Side of Midnight, The Brontë Sisters (with Isabelle Adjani and Isabelle Huppert sharing the title roles), French Postcards and the action-comedy Ace of Aces, with Jean-Paul Belmondo.

  • Peter Postlethwaite: Click here

  • Francesco Quinn: Thanks for playing Rhah in Oliver Stone’s Platoon and for various TV appearances (Criminal Minds, CSI: Miami, 24). Also thanks for playing Santiago the fisherman as a young man in a 1990 television adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, with your father Anthony playing him as the titular old man. So sad that you died so suddenly at only 48.

  • Peggy Rea: Thanks for years of solid work, mostly in TV, from the 1960s through the 1990s and including some memorable sitcom turns. Beginning with roles, usually as one of a group of Lucy’s friend, in I Love Lucy, you went on to be a player on The Red Skelton Show and Olivia’s cousin Rose on The Waltons and Lulu Hogg on The Dukes of Hazzard and, finally, Brett Butler’s mother-in-law on Grace Under Fire.

  • Cliff Robertson: Click here

  • Jane Russell: Click here

  • Michael Sarrazin: Thank you for bringing your soulful French-Canadian eyes to Hollywood for a number of roles, most prominently in the 1960s and 1970s. Some of the most memorable: George C. Scott’s apprentice grifter in The Flim-Flam Man, Paul Newman’s half-brother in Sometimes a Great Notion, Jacqueline Bisset’s husband in The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, James Coburn’s apprentice pickpocket in Harry in Your Pocket, a man artificially created by scientist Leonard Whiting in the TV movie Frankenstein: The True Story, Barbra Streisand’s husband in For Pete’s Sake, a college professor experiencing memories of a previous life in The Reincarnation of Peter Proud and one of several people racing across the country in The Gumball Rally. But let us not forget your most famous role, in which you dispatched a depressed Jane Fonda, in Sydney Pollack’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

  • Tura Satana: You didn’t make that many movies, but thanks for bits like playing Shirley MacLaine’s fellow streetwalker Suzette Wong in Irma la Douce and strippers in the Dean Martin comedy Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed? and the spy spoof Our Man Flint. And for bits on TV shows like The Man from U.N.C.L.E., playing characters with names like Peach Petal and Rabbit. But thanks mainly for playing the iconic Varla, leader of a gang of buxom go-go dancers/kidnappers, in Russ Meyer’s tawdry classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. Surely, you were Quentin Tarantino’s inspiration for the Lucy Liu character in the Kill Bill movies.

    Maria Schneider: Thanks for a bit of titillation and the excitement of scandal (and learning a new use for butter) because of the movie you starred in with Marlon Brando. Sorry that Last Tango in Paris was not a good experience for you and may well have poisoned your acting career. Frankly, we wondered how come you were 20 and Brando was pushing 50. And why you were naked and Brando had all his clothes on. And sorry that I always mixed you up with the older Viennese-born actor Romy Schneider, who was making César et Rosalie and The Train around the same time as Tango and who died in 1982.

  • Elisabeth Sladen: Click here

  • Bubba Smith: Thanks for a distinguished professional football career, but since this ain’t a sports web page I really want to thank you for starring in the TV series Blue Thunder and appearing in shows like Good Times, Charlie’s Angels, Hart to Hart and Married with Children. Heck, I’ll even thank you for the Miller Lite commercials. But I suppose most of your fans will want to thank you for playing florist-turned-cop Moses Hightower in the Police Academy movies.

  • Leonard Stone: Thanks for decades of work, mainly on TV but also in the occasional movie like Soylent Green and the Lucille Ball vehicle Mame. But mainly thanks for playing the father of the obnoxious Violet Beauregarde (played by young Dark Shadows actor Denise Nickerson) in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

  • Barbara Stuart: You were never the star but you were there in small TV roles for decades. Thanks for playing McLean Stevenson’s wife Peggy on the The McLean Stevenson Show and for being Miss Bunny, the long-suffering girlfriend of Sgt. Carter on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

  • Elaine Stewart: Thanks for being the “dark-haired Marilyn Monroe” in the 1950s. Specifically, thank you for one-minute scene in The Bad and the Beautiful in which you complicate things for Kirk Douglas’s relationship with Lana Turner. And for playing Princess Fawzia in The Adventures of Hajji Baba and an adulterous wife in the crime drama The Tattered Dress.

  • Elizabeth Taylor: Click here

  • Sada Thompson: Thanks for a distinguished stage career, but special thanks for all your TV work. You were Mary Todd Lincoln in the 1974 series Lincoln, Mrs. Gibbs in the 1977 TV production of Our Town (with Hal Holbrook) and Ed Harris’s mother in Pollock. Most will remember you as Kate Lawrence for half a decade on Family. But some of us will remember you as Mama Luzopone on Cheers, mother of Carla the waitress who insists that Carla change the name of one of her sons to conform to an old family tradition.

  • Michael Tolan: Thank you for a few movie roles, including a doctor in Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz. And for quite a few TV appearances, including Dr. Tazinksi on The Nurses, several foreigner types on Mission: Impossible, Hal Holbrook’s adviser on The Bold Ones: The Senator, Lt. Terwilliger on a couple of episodes of Murder, She Wrote and Mary’s journalism professor/boyfriend on three episodes of the Mary Tyler Moore show.

  • Margaret Tyzak: Thanks for all the great memories of British television, brought to us Yanks on Masterpiece Theatre. You were Winifred Dartie on the original Forsyte Saga, Princess (later Queen) Anne in The First Churchills, the title character in Cousin Bette, Antonia in I, Claudius and Lady Tippins in Our Mutual Friend. What most of us may have forgotten is that you also had roles in 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Prick Up Your Ears, Mrs. Dalloway, Stephen Fry’s Bright Young Things and Woody Allen’s Match Point. Also, let us not forget that you played Queen Elizabeth in Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story, Miss Seymour in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Queen Mary in Wallis & Edward and finished up by playing Lydia Simmonds last year on the soap Eastenders.

  • Yvette Vickers: Thank you for parlaying your status as a 1959 Playboy playmate into two memorable film roles. You were the seductress attacked by a very vengeful and large wife in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, and you were again promiscuous and targeted in Attack of the Giant Leeches. You were discovered by none other than Billy Wilder, who gave you a brief and uncredited appearance in Sunset Boulevard.

  • John Wood: Your distinguished stage career (Shakespeare, Stoppard) would be quite enough, but thanks also for roles in movies like Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo, Franco Zeffirelli’s Jane Eyre, Nicholas and Alexandra, Slaughterhouse-Five, Somebody Killed Her Husband, Penny Marshall’s Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Trevor Nunn’s Lady Jane, Richard Donner’s Ladyhawke, Nicholas Hynter’s The Madness of King George, Sally Potter’s Orlando, Richard Attenborough’s Shadowlands, the Ian McKellen version of Richard III, the Sydney Pollack remake of Sabrina, Oliver Parker’s An Ideal Husband, Lasse Hallström’s Chocolat and Christopher Hampton’s Imagining Argentina. Memorably, you were the programmer who had gone into seclusion in Oregon and is sought out by Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy to figure out how to stop a nuclear war in John Badham’s WarGames. And you have the distinction of appearing in the classic Brit TV series The Avengers and its wretched big screen adaptation, starring Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman.

  • Dana Wynter: Thanks for finding your way to Hollywood by way of your birthplace in Germany and via England and South Africa so that you could appear in movies like Airport and The List of Adrian Messenger. But thanks especially for running away from the pod people with Kevin McCarthy in the paranoid thriller classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

  • Susannah York: I know you were working right up until 2010, mostly in UK television, but I want to thank you for your film work in the 1960s. Thanks for being Albert Finney’s love interest Sophie in Tom Jones, a plane crash survivor in Sands of the Kalahari, the lover of soap opera star Beryl Reid in The Killing of Sister George, the platinum blonde Depression-era dance contestant Alice in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and Rod Steiger’s abandoned wife Penelope in the adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Happy Birthday, Wanda June. And thanks for being Christopher Reeves’s mother (and Marlon Brando’s wife) in Richard Donner’s and Richard Lester’s Superman and Superman II.

  • Rosel Zech: Thanks for the role that you may have come to regret, since it sort of typecast you. You were Rainier Werner Fassbinder’s titular morphine-addicted has-been actor in post-war Germany in Veronika Voss. I guess you just played the role too well. Also, thanks for starring opposite K.D. Lang in Percy Adlon’s Salmonberries.

    -S.L., 12 January 2012


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