American musician and composer Dick Halligan has left us at the age of 78, on January 18th.
Perhaps best known as a founding member of the jazz-rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears. In the 1970's and 1980's Halligan composed and arranged music for a number of motion pictures, including The Owl and the Pussycat 1970, Go Tell the Spartans 1978, Just Tell Me You Love Me 1978, Cheaper to Keep Her 1981, Fear City 1984, and the Chuck Norris films A Force of One 1979 and The Octagon 1980.
French director Serge Korber has left us at the age of 85, on January 23th.
He directed 45 films between 1962 and 2007. Successful as the director of comedies starring Louis de Funès in L'homme orchestre 1970 and Perched on a Tree 1971 (co-starring Geraldine Chaplin), he earned acclaim with his tragical drama Hearth Fires 1972 starring Annie Girardot and Claude Jade as mother and daughter. This film was official French film at the 1972 Cannes Film Festival. Other movies include Un garçon, une fille. Le dix-septième ciel 1966, Un idiot à Paris 1967, La petite vertu 1968, Je vous ferai aimer la vie 1979 and À notre regrettable époux 1980.
Former child actor Peter Robbins died last week at the age of 65. He appeared in a few films and TV shows in the '60s, but is best-known as the original voice of Charlie Brown in the '60s Peanuts TV specials and the theatrical film A Boy Named Charlie Brown.. R.I.P.
French actress Etchika Choureau has left us at the age of 92, on January 25th.
Her popularity was at it's highest in the 1950's after playing the lead in the French episode in Michelangelo Antonioni's I vinti 1953. Other movies from that period was Les enfants de l'amour 1953, Escalier de service 1954, Les fruits de l'été 1955 and La foire aux femmes 1956. In 1957, she received an offer from Hollywood, in the last two productions by veteran director William A. Wellman to take on the female lead, Darby's Rangers 1958 with James Garner and Lafayette Escadrille 1958 with Tab Hunter. She made headlines in 1957 with an affair with the Moroccan Crown Prince, later King Hassan II. After Hollywood she was only offered minor parts, including the sister of Angelique in Angélique, marquise des anges 1964 and she retired from acting in 1965.
R.I.P. Etchika Choureau
(No obituary could be found at the time of this writing)
American actor Morgan Stevens has left us at the age of 70, on January 26th.
Perhaps best known for his TV roles, including teacher David Reardon during two seasons of Fame 1982-1984. He also appeared as Jack Gardner in the miniseries and subsequent series A Year in the Life 1986-1988. During 1995, he appeared in seven episodes of Melrose Place as the character of Nick Diamond.
Austrian film producer Karl Spiehs has left us at the age of 90, on January 27th.
He produced more than 160 films and television productions from 1961 to 2017. He produced a large number of comedy films and other entertainment films , most of which were well received by the public , but were either ignored or often panned by film critics. Only rarely he produced ambitious originals such as Arthur Schnitzler's Der Reigen in 1973 or Hans Fallada's Everyone Dies in 1976. Thanks to private television, he also managed to get into TV production at the beginning of the 1990's. Above all, the RTL series Ein Schloß am Wörthersee 1990 - 1992, starring the rediscovered Roy Black , was a big hit with the public. He subsequently focused more on television work, gaining widespread recognition with the 2003 two-parter The Return of the Dance Teacher.
English writer, comedian and actor Barry Cryer has left us at the age of 86, on January 25th.
As well as performing on stage, radio and television, he wrote for many performers including Dave Allen, Stanley Baxter, Jack Benny, Rory Bremner, George Burns, Jasper Carrott, Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson, Dick Emery, Kenny Everett, Bruce Forsyth, David Frost, Bob Hope, Frankie Howerd, Richard Pryor, Spike Milligan, Mike Yarwood, The Two Ronnies and Morecambe and Wise. He was also a popular guest on many talk-shows and panel-shows.
American composer and sound editor Kenneth Wannberg has left us at the age of 91, on January 26th.
He worked extensively with the composer John Williams on some of the biggest box office films of all time. His music editing credits include Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977), Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981), JFK (Oliver Stone, 1991), Schindler’s List (Spielberg, 1993), and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Alfonso Cuarón, 2004). In 1986 he won an Emmy for his sound editing on Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories series. His film score compositions include The Tender Warrior (1971), The Great American Beauty Contest (1973), Lepke (1975), The Four Deuces (1975), Bittersweet Love (1976), The Late Show (1977), Tribute (1980), The Amateur (1981), Mother Lode (1982), Losin' It (1983), Draw! (1984), Blame It on Rio (1984) and The Philadelphia Experiment (1984).
British actress and writer Jo Kendall has left us at the age of 83, on January 29th.
She appeared as Adelaide Palliser in The Pallisers (1974), as the matron, Miss Biggs, in the film version of Scum (1979), as Annie in the film adaptation of Howards End (1992), directed by James Ivory, and as a publican's wife in another Merchant Ivory film The Remains of the Day in 1993. She played Peggy Skilbeck in the ITV series Emmerdale Farm (1972-1973) and spoke the first ever line of the programme. Among her television roles, she played Mrs. Bardell in The Pickwick Papers (1985), Anne Stanhope in The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970) and had a semi-regular part in Grange Hill in the 1980's as the mother of regular character Roland Browning. In addition, she played the abrasive Miss Elizabeth Wait in the BBC's adaptation of the Vivien Alcock book The Cuckoo Sister (1986).
English actor Leonard Fenton has left us at the age of 95, on January 29th.
Perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Harold Legg in EastEnders 1985 - 2019. His career in acting spanned over sixty years and he continued to act occasionally on television and on stage. One of his earliest acting breaks came when he was offered a role by Orson Welles in his play Chimes at Midnight. Subsequent notable acting credits include: Studio Four (1962); Colditz (1974); Secret Army (1977); Z-Cars (1978); Play for Today (1981); Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (1983), and Shine on Harvey Moon (1982), where he played the Austrian Jew, Erich Gottlieb. His film credits included roles in Up the Creek (1958), The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964), Robin Hood Junior (1975), Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984), Morons from Outer Space (1985), and the British horror movie The Zombie Diaries (2006).
American actor Donald May has left us at the age of 92 (or 94), on January 28th.
Perhaps best known for his roles as Sam Colt Jr in Colt .45 (1957–1960) and as Adam Drake The Edge of Night 1967 - 1977. He also had a recurring role of fictitious newspaper reporter Pat Garrison The Roaring 20's 1960 - 1962. Among his film roles were as Captain Anderson in A Tiger Walks 1964, and as Secret Service agent John O'Connor in Kisses for My President 1964 and as Edward White, Jr in Follow Me, Boys! 1966.
American film, television and stage actor Carleton Carpenter has left us at the age of 95, on January 31st.
He began his performing career as a magician and as an actor on Broadway, beginning with David Merrick's first production, Bright Boy, in 1944, followed by co-starring appearances in Three to Make Ready with Ray Bolger, John Murray Anderson's Almanac, and Hotel Paradiso. He was a featured player on the early television program Campus Hoopla, which was produced by NBC, via WNBT in New York City, and which aired from 1946-47. He was brought to Hollywood in 1949 by independent producer Louis de Rochemont to play the boyfriend in Lost Boundaries. De Rochemont later cast him again, in The Whistle at Eaton Falls 1951. He signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1950, where he made eight films in three years: Father of the Bride, Three Little Words, Summer Stock, Two Weeks With Love, Vengeance Valley, Fearless Fagan (his one-of-two leading roles there), Sky Full of Moon (his other leading role there) and Take the High Ground!. He gained fame when teamed in 1950 with Debbie Reynolds in Three Little Words and Two Weeks with Love. In a guest sequence in Three Little Words, they perform “I Wanna Be Loved by You” as vaudeville players Dan Healy and Helen Kane, with Reynolds dubbed by Kane. In Two Weeks with Love, where they had featured roles, their duet "Aba Daba Honeymoon" was the first soundtrack recording to become a top-of-the-chart gold record, reaching number three on the Billboard charts. After 1953, he exited films for stage, television and radio work. He returned to film in 1959 for Up Periscope for Warner Brothers and, much later, the independent films Cauliflower Cupids 1970 and Some of My Best Friends Are... 1971.
German production designer Rolf Zehetbauer has left us at the age of 92, on January 23rd.
A film architect, art director and set designer, who built impressive film sets for numerous global successes at the Bavaria Studios, especially in the 1950's to 1980's. He won an Oscar for his work on Cabaret 1972. Other movies includes The Odessa File 1974, The Swiss Conspiracy 1976, Robert Aldrich's Twilight's Last Gleaming 1977, Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg 1977, Fassbinder's Despair 1978, Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? 1978, The American Success Company 1980, boat models for Das Boot 1981, The NeverEnding Story 1984 and Enemy Mine 1985.
Italian actress Monica Vitti has left us at the age of 90, on February 2nd. (complications from Alzheimer's disease)
Best known for her starring roles in films directed by Michelangelo Antonioni during the early-to-mid 1960's. After working with Antonioni, she changed focus and began making comedies, working with director Mario Monicelli on many films. She appeared with Marcello Mastroianni, Alain Delon, Richard Harris, Terence Stamp, Michael Caine, and Dirk Bogarde.
Italian costume designer and art director Ezio Frigerio has left us at the age of 91, on February 2nd.
He worked on over 300 productions all over the world in theatre, ballet and opera, but his love for movies also made it possible to occasionally work in that medium, that would eventually lead to an Oscar nomination for Cyrano de Bergerac 1990 in the Best Art Direction-Set Decoration category. Among his other movies he worked on are Vittorio de Sica's The Condemned of Altona 1962 and Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow 1963, Mauro Bolognini's Mademoiselle de Maupin 1966, Liliana Cavani's The Year of the Cannibals 1970, Roger Planchon's Louis - The Baby King 1993, Jean-Paul Rappeneau's The Horseman on the Roof 1995 among others.