Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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© 1987-2016
Scott Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

Passings: October 2012

Do you remember who the angry guy was who made Malcolm McDowell lick his boots in A Clockwork Orange? Or who socked a horse with his fist in Blazing Saddles? Well, we lost them—and several others—last October.


  • Anita Bjork: Definitely not to be confused with the much younger Icelandic singer/songwriter of Sugarcubes and solo fame, you were a respected leading lady of Swedish stage and film. Your claim to fame was playing the title role in Ingmar Bergman’s adaptation of August Strindberg’s play Miss Julie, which was celebrated at Cannes in 1951. That led you to being called “the new Garbo” and being considered by Alfred Hitchcock for his 1953 film I Confess opposite Montgomery Clift. But your Hollywood career didn’t materialize because of local attitudes over the fact that you were cohabitating with a man without the benefit of clergy, and the Hitchcock role went to Anne Baxter. But you did appear in such European-based films as Night People (with Gregory Peck and Broderick Crawford) and The Long Search. And you continued to work with Bergman, including the film Secrets of Women. One of your more interesting roles was as the mother-in-law of a certain infamous marquis in Yukio Mishima’s Madame de Sade. (24-X-2012, at 89)

  • John Clive: In later years you were a novelist, a writer of thrillers like KG200, The Last Liberator, Barossa and Broken Wings. But before that you were an actor, usually appearing in small comedic roles. You were in two of the silly British Carry On movies and in three Pink Panther movies. Of your many appearances, two stand out. You were the garage manager in the original Italian Job, who turns over self-described tiger hunter Michael Caine’s Aston Martin to him and, upon receiving payment of 200 pounds that were hidden inside the car, says, “You must have shot an awful lot of tigers, sir.” And in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange you were an actor at the Ludovico Centre who confronts Malcolm McDowell and angrily makes him lick your boots. Oh, and one other notable role: you were the voice of John Lennon in the animated A Yellow Submarine. (14-X-2012, at 79)

  • Brian Cobby: Why are we bothering to remember you? You had just a handful of roles on TV and in film from the 1960s through the 1990s. Is it because you were in the film Evita? Not really. You were just a guy standing next to Madonna on a balcony. Was it because you played a role in Doctor Who? Surprisingly, not really that either. You supplied your voice to the 2004 audio drama “The Creed of Kromon.” That almost doesn’t count. No, we remember you for the way you broke into acting and how it made your voice one of the most recognizable in the UK. A switchboard operator in 1984, you won an internal British Telecom competition to be the new (and first male) voice of the “speaking clock.” That entailed one hour of recording all the possible hours and minutes with your pleasing and authoritative voice, which would then be heard over and over by millions who rang on their phones to find out the time. Many voiceovers for commercials followed. (31-X-2012, at 83)

  • Alex Karras: For 12 seasons you were an All-Pro lineman for the Detroit Lions. Then you went on to a second career that made you even better known, as an actor. At 6 feet 2 and 248 pounds, you were not exactly a candidate for versatile casting. Often you seemed to just be playing yourself. Like when you played Alex Karras in Paper Lion opposite Alan Alda, who played George Plimpton, on whose book it was based. Or in your best known role as a retired football player who takes in the orphaned son (played by Emmanuel Lewis) of an old teammate in the sitcom Webster. Your wife was played by Susan Clark, who had also played your wife when she had the title role in the TV biopic Babe about track star and golfer Babe Didrikson Zaharias. In between she became your real-life wife. You had a number of other roles, notably guest starring parts on TV shows but also in movies, like when you played the sheriff in Porky’s. Let’s put the spotlight on a couple of your most memorable film moments. You got one of the biggest laughs in Blake Edwards’s Victor/Victoria when you, as James Garner’s faithful bodyguard, thinking he is gay confess that you are gay too. And you got one of the biggest laughs in Mel Brooks’s classic spoof Blazing Saddles when you knocked a horse out cold with your fist. (10-X-2012, at 77)

  • Sammi Kane Kraft: Dead too young at 20 in a freeway accident, you had only one movie role to your credit. In the 2005 Richard Linklater remake of Bad News Bears, you played Amanda Whurlitzer, the adolescent female baseball phenom played by Tatum O’Neal in the 1976 original. (9-X-2012, at 20)

  • Sylvia Kristel: Such was the resonance of your film work that you became an object of fantasy for people who hadn’t even seen any of your movies. A young model and beauty contest winner from the Netherlands, you were cast by French director Just Jaeckin to play the wife of a French diplomat in Bangkok who finds some, uh, interesting ways to relieve her boredom. When it arrived in America, Emmanuelle was seen as the high-class alternative to the raunchier Deep Throat and Behind the Green Door. Sequels followed, and they were entertaining, even if you only read the titles: Emmanuelle: The Anti-virgin, Goodbye, Emmanuelle, Emmanuelle Forever, Emmanuelle’s Revenge, etc. You appeared in other films too, although it’s safe to say you were typecast. You did get the title role in Jaeckin’s 1981 version of Lady Chatterly’s Love. A couple of your more mainstream flicks: Airport ’79: The Concorde (with Alain Delon and Robert Wagner) and the Get Smart knockoff The Nude Bomb. I honestly cannot recall if I ever actually saw a whole Emmanuelle movie, but I do have vague recollections of you in some pretty hot action in an airliner bathroom. The one movie of yours I clearly remember is the 1981 farce Private Lessons, which also featured Martin Mull and in which you played a domestic who seduces her employer’s 15-year-old son as part of a complicated scheme to get a green card. (17-X-2012, at 60)

  • Russell Means: A physically striking Oglala Sioux, you were into so much stuff it is hard to know where to begin with you. A drug and alcohol addict in your youth who was once tried for abetting a murder, you became a political activist, a recording artist and a candidate for New Mexico governor and for U.S. president (losing the Libertarian nomination to Ron Paul). Many will know you best for your role in the months-long standoff at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, site of an 1890 massacre. But since this is a movie web site, let’s remember your acting career. You were Chingachgook in Michael Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans (with Daniel Day-Lewis). You appeared in Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. You voiced the title character’s father in Disney’s Pocahontas. You were part of the ensemble cast of Leonardo Ricagni’s 29 Palms. Your TV roles included voice work on Duckman and Thomas and the Magic Railroad, as well as guest appearances on Touched by an Angel, Walker, Texas Ranger, Profiler, Nash Bridges and Curb Your Enthusiasm. And you are Benjaminn Longshadow on the recently unveiled HBO series Banshee. (22-X-2012, at 72)


  • Harris Savides: You were one of the most praised cinematographers of recent years and now, suddenly, you are gone at the age of 55. Your work could be seen in some of the most visually interesting movies of the past two decades: David Fincher’s The Game and Zodiac, Jonathan Glazer’s Birth, Noah Baumbach’s Margot at the Wedding and Greenberg, Ridley Scott’s American Gangster, Woody Allen’s Whatever Works and Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere and the upcoming The Bling Ring. You were a favorite collaborator of Gus Van Sant, putting your distinctive mark on films like Finding Forrester, Elephant, Last Days, Milk and Restless. (10-X-2012, at 55)

    -S.L., 30 April 2013

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