Film Review Daily

 

In Memoriam

 

 

Michael Darvell examines the lives of the recently deceased, including 
Carol Lynley,  Valerie Harper, Sheila Steafel, Richard Williams, Peter Fonda, Freda Dowie, 

Piero Tosi, Jean-Pierre Mocky, D.A. Pennebaker, Edward Lewis, Rutger Hauer, Jeremy 

Kemp, David Hedison, Valentina Cortese, Rip Torn, Freddie Jones, Glyn Houston, Franco 

Zeffirelli, Sylvia Miles, Peter Whitehead, Kip Niven, Doris Day, Peggy Lipton, Alvin Sargent, 

Peter Mayhew, John Singleton, Mark Medoff and Bibi Andersson.


 

 

JULIE ADAMS (17 October 1926-3 February 2019)
The American actress Julie Adams, who has died aged 92, was born in Iowa, grew up in Arkansas and moved to 

California at age nineteen. Dividing her time between secretarial work and acting lessons, she was spotted by 

Paramount Pictures for Red, Hot and Blue (1949) with Julie AdamsBetty Hutton and Victor Mature. For a while she was in B-westerns for Lippert Productions. As a fairly stunningly beautiful young woman, Adams secured a seven-year contract with Universal-International where she worked with Rock Hudson, Tyrone Power, Glenn Ford and Van Heflin plus James Stewart (with Hudson and Kennedy) in Anthony Mann’s Bend of the River. Following more westerns, including The Lawless Breed and The Man from the Alamo, she subsequently appeared in Jack Arnold’s 3-D horror exploitationer Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). A change of first name to Julia made little difference to her career and she survived as not much more than just eye candy decoration for genre westerns, comedies and crime dramas in such pictures as The Looters, Six Bridges to Cross, The Private War of Major Benson and Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. After that, television came to her rescue . She retired in 2018 following work on a short film, The Lucky Southern Star, based on her own life story. Julie Adams was briefly married to the writer and producer Leonard Stern in the early 1950s and then she married the actor Ray Danton in 1955, with whom she has two sons, Steve and Mitchell. They divorced in 1978 and Danton died 

in 1992.

 

MICHAEL ANDERSON (30 January 1920-25 April 2018)

The London-born director Michael Anderson, Michael Andersonwho has died aged 98, came from an acting family and was himself an actor in Housemaster (1938) and In Which We Serve (1942). Beginning as an assistant director on Spy for a Day (1940) and other films, his debut as a producer, co-writer and co-director with Peter Ustinov was on Private Angelo (1949). He established himself as an international director with Hell is Sold Out, Will Any Gentleman?, The Dam Busters, 1984 and Around the World in Eighty Days. High profile titles followed, including Yangtse Incident, Chase a Crooked Shadow and The Wreck of the Mary Deare. In the 1960s he directed All the Fine Young Cannibals, The Naked Edge, Operation Crossbow, The Quiller Memorandum and The Shoes of the Fisherman. Later films included Doc Savage, Conduct Unbecoming, Logan’s Run and Orca. Then he worked for television until his last feature The New Adventures of Pinocchio (1999) and a video version of Around the World with Simon Callow and Philip Jackson. Michael Anderson was married three times and had six children. His son Michael is an actor and David is a producer.

  

BIBI ANDERSSON (11 November 1935-14 April 2019)
The Swedish actress Bibi Andersson, who has died aged 83, became known to the world as one of Ingmar Bergman’s leading ladies. She worked on stage and on television as well as in films. She began her career playing small parts and doing commercials until she gained a Bibi Anderssonplace at the Royal Dramatic Theatre’s acting school in Stockholm in 1954. Following a short relationship with Bergman she joined him at the Malmṏ City Theatre and then appeared in his film Smiles of a Summer Night, which Stephen Sondheim later used as the basis of his musical A Little Night Music. Although she made films with other directors, the very beautiful Andersson did her best work with Bergman, appearing in The Seventh Seal, Rabies, Wild Strawberries, So Close to Life, The Magician, The Devil’s Eye, Now About These Women, Persona, The Passion of Anna, The Touch, Scenes from a Marriage and the TV short Mr Sleeman Is Coming. She also worked with other notable Swedish directors including on Alf Sjṏberg’s Last Pair Out (written by Bergman) and The Island, Stig Olin’s You Are My Adventure, Alf Kjellin’s The Pleasure Garden (also written by Bergman), Vilgot Sjṏman’s The Mistress and My Sister My Love, and Lars-Magnus Lindgren’s Black Palm Trees. Outside of Sweden, Andersson was in Square of Violence with Broderick Crawford, Duel at Diablo with James Garner, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze’s A Question of Rape, John Huston’s The Kremlin Letter with Richard Boone, Story of a Woman with Robert Stack, a TV movie of Arthur Miller’s After the Fall, Vortex with Rod Taylor, Andrḗ Cayatte’s Question of Love, Anthony Page’s I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, An Enemy of the People with Steve McQueen, Robert Altman’s Quintet with Paul Newman, Airport ’79 with Alain Delon, Exposed with Rudolf  Nureyev, Gabriel Axel’s Babette’s Feast and Stephen Poliakoff’s TV movie The Lost Prince. Her last work, in 2010, was a TV series called Arn. She then retired, following a stroke. Bibi Andersson was married three times: to the  writer-director Kjell Grede, the politician Per Ahlmark, and Gabriel Mora Baeza. She has one child from her first marriage.

 

SUSAN ANSPACH (23 November 1942-2 April 2018)

The American actress Susan Anspach, who has died aged 75, made her New York theatre debut in A View from the Bridge in 1965 with Robert Duvall, Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight. She was also in the musical Hair (1967). Her first film was The Landlord (1970) with Beau Bridges, then Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces with Jack Nicholson, Herbert Ross’s Play It Again, Sam with Woody Allen, and Paul Mazursky’s Blume in Love with George Segal. She will be best-remembered for these four films. Otherwise it was television and minor movies (The Big Fix, Running, Gas, etc). The best of her later films was Dusan Makaveyev’s Montenegro (1981) and her last film was Inversion in 2010. While married to actor Mark Goddard she had a son, Caleb, by Jack Nicholson, and previously had a daughter, Catherine, by Steve Curry (from Hair). She was also married to singer-guitarist Sherwood Ball.

Susan Anspach


  

STÉPHANE AUDRAN (8 November 1932-27 March 2018)

The French actress Stéphane Audran, who has died aged 85 after a long illness, was born Colette Suzanne Dacheville in Versailles. She came to fame in the films of her second husband, Claude Chabrol, who directed her in 24 films and two television programmes. She often played strong women with an air of mystery or of the criminal about them. Audran began her career in the theatre during the 1950s, but without much success. Stephane AudranIt was only when she entered films in Le jeu de la nuit in 1957, then Secrets of a French Nurse and The Lovers of Montparnasse, before Chabrol cast her in his second feature, Les Cousins (1959), with Gérard Blain and Jean-Claude Brialy. Then came many more Chabrol films, including Les bonnes femmes, Les godelureaux, with Brialy, L’oeil du malin, Bluebeard, Paris vu par, Blue Panther, Line of Demarcation, Le scandale, Les biches, La femme infidèle, La rupture, Juste avant la nuit (Bafta award), Les noces rouges, Blood Relatives, Violette Nozière (French César Award) and many others. One Chabrol film that made a difference to Audran’s career was the Hitchcockian murder mystery Le boucher (1970), with Jean Yanne in the villainous title role. She was also delightful in Babette’s Feast, Gabriel Axel’s drama about a French refugee taken on as a cook in Denmark during the Franco-Prussian War. In between the Chabrol films, Audran also worked for Eric Rohmer, Anatole Litvak, Frédéric Rossif, Claude Sautet, Georges Lautner etc and, more famously, Luis Buñuel in The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Bafta award) and for Édouard Molinaro in La cage aux folles II. Among her films in English were Peter Collinson’s And Then There None (from Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians), The Black Bird, a remake of The Maltese Falcon with George Segal, Silver Bears with Michael Caine, The Devil’s Advocate with John Mills, Samuel Fuller’s The Big Red One and the TV series Brideshead Revisited. Stéphane Audran appears to have retired in 2008, having made over a hundred films. Still to surface in the UK is The Other Side of the Wind, Orson Welles’s last and unfinished film which has appearances by many of the great and good of Hollywood, plus Chabrol and Audran. Married in 1964, Chabrol and Audran divorced in 1980; they had a son, Thomas. Audran was also briefly married to the actor Jean-Louis Trintignant for two years in the 1950s, although they still appeared in films together after divorcing. Chabrol died in 2010.

    

CHARLES AZNAVOUR (22 May 1924-October 1 2018)

The singer, songwriter and actor Charles Aznavour, who has died aged 94, was born Shahnour Vaghinag Aznavourian in Paris to Armenian immigrants Michael and Knar Aznavourian. Charles AznavourHis father, a singer in restaurants, encouraged young Charles to perform. He left school at age nine and was soon appearing in films and on stage. He was discovered by Edith Piaf in his early twenties, toured with her and started writing songs. He had an attractive tenor voice that could also go down to baritone level. He was also a great linguist, speaking and singing in French, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, German and Armenian. Many famous singers performed his songs all around the world. He was not so much the new Chevalier but more the Sinatra of France. He was still touring and singing until a couple of weeks before he died. Apart from his singing career he was a force to be reckoned with in the cinema and proved to be an actor of great range. He entered films in 1936 and made a few films in the 1940s and ’50s until Jean Cocteau cast him (uncredited) in Testament d’Orphée in 1960. François Truffaut gave him two parts in Tirez sur le pianiste. After that Aznavour appeared in both French and American films, including Georges Franju’s La tête contre les murs, Taxi for Tobruk, with Hardy Kruger, Christian Marquand’s Candy, Lewis Gilbert’s The Adventurers, Michael Winner’s The Games, Peter Collinson’s And Then There Were None, Douglas Hickox’s Sky Riders, Volker Schlöndorff’s The Tin Drum, Chabrol’s The Twist, etc. In all, Aznavour made nearly eighty appearances in films and television series. And of course many of his songs (‘She’, ‘Dance in the Old-Fashioned Way’, ‘Yesterday When I Was Young’ etc) were used in films and on TV. In 1997 he was awarded an Honorary César in France and won countless honours all over the world, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was a political activist and created a charity for Armenia following its 1988 earthquake, becoming the Armenian delegate at the UN in Geneva. Charles Aznavour married three times and produced six children.

  

KEITH BARRON (8 August 1934-15 November 2017)

Although he spent most of his working life on television, the Yorkshire-born actor Keith Barron, who has died aged 83 following a short illness, also appeared in several films. He began acting in repertory at Sheffield and later at the Bristol Old Vic. His TV career began in 1961 with A Chance of Thunder. Keith BarronHowever, it was probably the BBC’s Wednesday Play series in 1965 that brought Barron recognition as he starred in two Dennis Potter political plays, namely Stand Up, Nigel Barton and its sequel Vote, Vote, Vote for Nigel Barton. Then there was no stopping him as he appeared in many more TV series such as Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), Jackanory, A Family at War, The Edwardians (as Baden-Powell), Upstairs, Downstairs and very many more. Having excelled in both drama and comedy he was at home in Crown Court, Telford’s Change, Prince Regent (as Charles James Fox), Doctor Who and Leaving, etc. His most successful series was the sitcom Duty Free (1984-86, for 22 episodes), with Gwen Taylor, and with scripts by Eric (Rising Damp) Chappell and Jean Warr. For the cinema Barron’s debut was in Baby Love (1968), then he was in The Man Who Had Power Over Women with Rod Taylor. The Firechasers, She’ll Follow You Anywhere, Freelance and Nothing But the Night came along between TV work. The Land That Time Forgot and At the Earth’s Core were a couple of Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptations, while Voyage of the Damned, with Faye Dunaway, was about the flight of German Jews from Nazi Germany. Barron played Henry VIII in God’s Outlaw, appeared with Shirley Bassey in La passione, and made his last feature film, In Love With Alma Cogan, in 2011. Keith Barron was married to the stage designer Mary Pickard and they had a son, Jamie. For three years in the 1980s the family ran Fox’s, a restaurant in Cornwall, with Mary cooking, Jamie waiting, and Keith acting as host.

   

SHELLEY BERMAN (3 February 1925-1 September 2017)

The American stand-up comedian Shelley Berman, who has died aged 92 Shelley Bermanfrom complications with Alzeimer’s disease, trained as an actor but became a dance instructor and speech teacher among other jobs, before making his name as a comedian. He was famous for his funny confessional monologues on his view of life and its problems. He toured with the likes of Mike Nichols and Elaine May and later worked solo in night clubs, on television and also recording his routines for albums. He won the first Grammy for a non-musical disc. On television (from 1954) he acted in Peter Gunn, The Twilight Zone, Rawhide, Burke’s Law, Bewitched, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Get Smart and Curb Your Enthusiasm etc and appeared as himself in his own shows and with Dinah Shore, Jack Paar, Perry Como, Merv Griffin, Judy Garland, Andy Williams Dean Martin and Ed Sullivan, among many others. For the cinema Berman was in The Best Man, Divorce American Style, Every Home Should Have One, Son of Blob (directed by Larry Hagman), Rented Lips, and also Teen Witch, The Last Producer, Elliot Fauman, Ph.D., Motorama, Meet the Fockers, The Holiday and You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. He played himself in the documentary feature The Aristocrats, alongside many other gagsters telling the dirtiest joke ever. Shelley Berman was married to Sarah Herman for seventy years and they had two children.

 

BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI (16 March 1941-26 November 2018)
The Italian film director and screenwriter Bernardo Bertolucci, who has died aged 77 from lung cancer, was originally something of a literary hero, having written from the age of fifteen. Bernardo BertolucciHe won several literary awards and had plans to be a poet, like his father Attilio (who helped Pier Paolo Pasolini publish his first novel). The connection led to Bernardo working with Pasolini on his first film, Accattone, in 1961. The following year saw Bertolucci’s dḗbut as a director, La commare secca, a thriller about a murdered prostitute, with a screenplay by Pasolini. Before the Revolution followed, along with other films including Partner, based on Dostoyevsky’s novel The Double. The Conformist, adapted from Alberto Moravia’s novel, gave Bertolucci a worldwide audience and several awards. Jean-Louis Trintignant played the fascist killer Marcello. Bertolucci then adapted a Jorge Luis Borges political story for The Spider’s Stratagem (1970) and in the same year made Last Tango in Paris, his most controversial film, with Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider. Budgeted at $1.25 million, it reaped over $96 million at the box office and boosted the sales of butter. The director went on to make more films including 1900, with Robert De Niro, La Luna with Jill Clayburgh, Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man with Ugo Tognazzi and Anouk Aimḗe, and The Last Emperor with Peter O’Toole, which won nine Oscars. After that the rest of his output, The Sheltering Sky, Little Buddha, Stealing Beauty, Besieged and The Dreamers, did not fare that well at the box-office. However, his work was much appreciated at film festivals where he won nearly fifty awards and had over thirty more nominations. His last film was Me and You in 2012. Bernardo Bertolucci was first married to the Italian actress Adriana Asti and from 1978 to the screenwriter and director Clare Peploe. They had no children.

 

VERNA BLOOM (7 August 1938-9 January 2019)   
The American actress Verna Bloom, who has died aged 80 from complications with dementia, had a fairly short career in movies, just ten titles in toto, Verna Bloombut she also had a career in television and the theatre. She was born to Russian Jewish parents in Massachusetts, graduated from Boston University and later studied at the Herbert Berghof Studio for actors in New York. She worked at the Bar Harbour Theatre in Maine and also co-founded the Trident Playhouse in Denver. Replacing Glenda Jackson in the Broadway production of Marat/Sade led to her first big screen appearance in Medium Cool, Haskell Wexler’s film about the 1968 Democratic National Convention, with Robert Forster. Peter Fonda directed her in his Western The Hired Hand and then Clint Eastwood cast her in his High Plains Drifter (1973). She appeared with Robert Duvall in Howard Koch’s cop movie Badge 373 and later on was one of many budding stars in the original National Lampoon's Animal House directed by John Landis. Other names included Tom Hulce, Kevin Bacon, John Belushi, Peter Riegert, Karen Allen, Donald Sutherland and John Vernon. She worked with Eastwood again on Honkytonk Man, appeared in The Journey of Natty Gann and Martin Scorsese’s After Hours. She played Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), her last film. In between movies, Verna Bloom worked on TV in Bonanza, Kojak, Police Story, Cagney and Lacey, The Equalizer, Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman and The West Wing, among others. She was married twice, first to Richard Collier and then to the writer Jay Cocks from 1972. They have one child.

  

JOSEPH BOLOGNA (30 December 1934-13 August 2017)

The American actor, writer and director Joseph Bologna, who has died aged 82 joseph bolognaof pancreatic cancer, was originally a comedy writer and playwright, whose play Lovers and Other Strangers, written with his wife Renée Taylor, was the first piece he adapted for the cinema (in 1970). It was Oscar-nominated and also became a TV series in 1982. Bologna was to write another four screenplays, plus nine TV series, some of which he also directed. As a film and TV actor he has over 70 titles to his credit. Although he wrote with his wife, he mainly acted in films, beginning with Made for Each Other, written with Taylor in 1971, a comedy about an eccentric couple and their relationship. They continued to write and appear together in films and on TV. Bologna’s film credits as actor include Cops and Robbers, Honour Thy Father, The Big Bus, Chapter Two, My Favourite Year, Blame It On Rio, The Woman in Red, It Had to Be You, Coupe de Ville, Love Is All There Is, Big Daddy, etc, and he was the voice of Mr Start in Ice Age: The Meltdown. On TV he was in Sins with Joan Collins, Rags to Riches and Top of the Heap among others. His last film, Tango Shalom (in post-production), is co-written by Bologna, features Bologna and Taylor and is directed by their son Gabriel.

 

ANTHONY BOOTH (9 October 1931-25 September 2017)

Liverpool-born actor Tony Booth, who has died aged 85 from heart failure (following Alzheimer’s and a stroke), will be remembered on two counts, first as Mike, the layabout son-in-law of Alf Garnett in TV’s Till Death Us Do Part, and for fathering his daughter Cherie who became the wife of Prime Minister Tony Blair. Booth’s acting began while he was in the army, after which he did repertory theatre work before entering television in 1959. His TV appearances included Z Cars, The Avengers, Dixon of Dock Green, The Saint, Coronation Street, EastEnders, The Bill, Emmerdale and Holby City. Till Death Us Do Part grew out of a Comedy Playhouse pilot in 1965 and went on to comprise over fifty episodes (and two feature films). For the cinema Booth appeared in Mix Me a Person (1962), with Anne Baxter and Adam Faith, The Valiant with John Mills, The L-Shaped Room, Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall, several of the Confessions of… series, Brannigan with John Wayne, Priest, written by Jimmy McGovern, and Treasure Island with Jack Palance. His last appearance was in Moving On (2010), the Jimmy McGovern TV series. Anthony Booth was married four times, including to Patricia Phoenix shortly before she died. He fathered eight children by his wives and other partners.   

 

CONRAD BROOKS (3 January 1931-6 December 2017)

The American actor, writer, producer and director Conrad Brooks, who has died aged 86, Conrad Brookswas born Conrad Biedrzycki to Polish immigrant parents. His first Hollywood film was a Bowery Boys comedy, Jalopy, in 1953. While there he met the cheapest director on the lot, Ed Wood, who became legendary for making bad bad films. Brooks had three roles in Wood’s Glen or Glenda?, about a transsexual and a pseudo hermaphrodite, starring Bela Lugosi. From then on it was downhill all the way with Ed Wood in films such as Plan 9 from Outer Space (also with Lugosi) and many other Z-grade movies that never reached the UK. Brooks wrote, acted, directed and produced some of these films, which had enticing titles such as Blood Slaves of the Vampire Wolf, Bikini Drive-In, Baby Ghost, Toad Warrior, Shotgun Boulevard, Rollergator and I Woke Up Early the Day I Died. Most of his films went straight to video. However, Brooks occasionally appeared in the odd decent film such as Tim Burton’s biopic Ed Wood and an episode of the BBC TV series Dalziel and Pascoe. He worked continuously (except for a break in the 1960s and 1970s) right up until his death, clocking up nearly a hundred films. Yet to be released are Revenge of the Devil Bat, Darkness Waits and Abaddon.

  

JOSEPH CAMPANELLA (21 November 1924-16 May 2018)

You may not know the name but will recognise the face of the Sicilian-American actor Joseph Campanella, who has died aged 93 from Parkinson’s disease. Early teenage work as a radio sports announcer led to his studying drama at Columbia University. He moved to Hollywood in 1952 and worked on many TV shows including Naked City, The Untouchables, Route 66, The Big Valley, The Fugitive, Mission: Impossible, The Virginian, Mannix, Gunsmoke, Ironside, Quincy M.E., The Colbys and too many more to mention. There were occasional feature films with him usually playing crooks, policemen, doctors, soldiers or priests, the first being Murder, Inc in 1960. His film career mainly rested on minor titles such as The Young Lovers, Roger Corman’s St Valentine’s Day Massacre, Ben, Love Child, Defiance, Hangar 18, Veliki Transport, Café Romeo, and many others that have long disappeared from view. His last film was Lost Dream in 2009. Campanella was married to the singer and dancer Kathryn Jill Bartholomew and they have seven sons.

 

SEYMOUR CASSEL (22 January 1935-7 April 2019)
The American actor Seymour Cassel, who has died from complications following Alzheimer’s Seymour Casseldisease at the age of 84, studied at the Actors’ Studio and then appeared in John Cassavetes’ first film, the extraordinary Shadows (1958). He worked many times with Cassavetes, co-starring with him in The Webster Boy and Too Late Blues, as well as on an episode of The Lloyd Bridges Show and the TV movie Nightside. He later appeared in Cassavetes’ The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, Minnie and Moskowitz, Opening Night and Love Streams. Faces (1968) was his favourite Cassavetes film, on which he was also second cameraman and for which he was Oscar-nominated. He notched up over 200 film and TV roles including on film Coogan’s Bluff, The Last Tycoon, Valentino, Convoy, California Dreaming, Tin Men, Track 29, Dick Tracy, In the Soup, Honeymoon in Vegas, Indecent Proposal, Hand Gun, It Could Happen to You, Trees Lounge, The Royal Tenenbaums and many many more. His last film, Time Framed, has yet to be released. He married actress Elizabeth Deering, who worked with him on four Cassavetes films. They have two children and Cassel also has a daughter from a previous relationship. Cassel had a colourful life, including drink and drugs problems, for which he was jailed. He was suspended from the Screen Actors Guild for sexual harassment.

 

ANNE V. COATES (12 December 1925-8 May 2018)

The British film editor Anne V. Coates, who has died at the age of 92, was the niece of film mogul J. Arthur Rank. Her first film job was at Elstree repairing Rank’s early religious films on their return from church screenings. She eventually secured a job at Pinewood, becoming assistant on Powell & Pressburger’s The Red Shoes (1948). After several more films as an assistant editor, she was the (uncredited) assembly cutter on Disney’s The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men in 1952. From then on she was never out of work and edited The Pickwick Papers, The Horse’s Mouth, Tunes of Glory and many other British films. Lawrence of Arabia was her greatest achievement, but she also worked on Becket, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, Murder on the Orient Express, The Eagle Has Landed, The Elephant Man, Greystoke, Chaplin, Erin Brockovich and very many others, notching up over fifty titles. She was working right up to the end of her life, on Fifty Shades of Grey and A Dolphin in Our Lake, which is in pre-production. Anne V. Coates was married to the film director Douglas Hickox and they have three children.

 

LARRY COHEN (15 July 1936-23 March 2019)
The American screenwriter, producer and director Larry Cohen, who has died aged 82, began his career in television but graduated to films, in particular low-budget horror, sci-fi and exploitation. Mireille DarcAs a writer, his output was prolific on TV beginning in 1958 in such series as Kraft Theatre, Surfside 6, Sam Benedict, The Doctors and the Nurses, The Fugitive, The Defenders, Custer, The Invaders and Columbo, alongside many others. His first feature film as a writer was Return of the Seven, director Burt Kennedy’s 1966 sequel to The Magnificent Seven. I Deal in Danger, Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting and El Condor followed, but from 1972 Cohen started directing and producing his own screenplays, beginning with Blaxploitation titles such as Dial Rat (aka Bone), The Godfather of Harlem and Hell Up In Harlem and then the film he became most noted for – It’s Alive, the story of a baby turned monster. He went on to direct The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover, a very sobering drama-doc with Broderick Crawford. It Lives Again followed along with Full Moon High, Blind Alley, Q: The Winged Serpent, It’s Alive III, A Return to Salem’s Lot, The Stuff, Wicked Stepmother (Bette Davis's last film), The Ambulance and Original Gangstas, the last feature directed by Cohen in 1996. After that he continued writing for films including Phone Booth, Captivity, a remake of It’s Alive and Messages Deleted, his last script (in 2010). Larry Cohen was married twice, first to the actress and producer Janelle Webb who had five children, and then to the actress Cynthia Costas. Both wives appeared in Cohen’s 1990 film The Ambulance.

 

VALENTINA CORTESE (1 January 1923-10 July 2019)
The Italian actress Valentina Cortese, who has died aged 96, had to wait till after World War II before she became recognised as an actress of renown. After studying at the National Academy of Dramatic Arts in Rome, from 1941 she began to appear in Italian films including The Hero of Venice, First Love and Girl of the Golden West. Her first big break came in 1946 and Rome Open City, an early neorealist film from Marcello Pagliero in which Cortese played a working girl forced to prostitute herself to earn a living. Among her other films was an Italian version of Les Misḗrables, and then in 1948 came The Glass Mountain, Henry Cass’s British film shot in Italy, which dealt with a British Air Force pilot (Michael Denison) shot down in Italy but rescued by a local girl (Cortese) with whom he falls in love. The romantic theme of the film and Nino Rota’s legendary score ensured its Valentina Cortesebox-office success.
Black Magic with Orson Welles followed and then Hollywood beckoned as director Jules Dassin put her in Thieves’ Highway with Richard Conte and Lee J. Cobb. In the USA, Cortese made East of the Rising Sun (aka Malaya), Shadow of the Eagle and The House on Telegraph Hill in which Robert Wise cast her as a concentration camp survivor opposite her future husband Richard Basehart. She then made Thorold Dickinson’s thriller Secret People in 1952, after which she resumed her career in Italy. Joseph L. Mankiewicz directed her in The Barefoot Contessa with Humphrey Bogart, and she worked with Michelangelo Antonioni on Le Amiche. Mostly working in Italian films or others set in Italy, she was in Square of Violence with Broderick Crawford, Barabbas and The Visit, both with Anthony Quinn, Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits, Robert Aldrich’s The Legend of Lylah Clare, Maximilian Schell’s First Love, Franco Zeffirelli’s Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Joseph Losey’s The Assassination of Trotsky, François Truffaut’s Day for Night, James Goldstone’s When Time Ran Out... with Paul Newman and Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
She also worked in theatre in Italy, playing in Shakespeare, Chekhov, Brecht, Pirandello, Schiller and even Pinter. Her last film was Zeffirelli’s Sparrow in 1993. She also played Herodias in his TV series Jesus of Nazareth. Nominated for an Academy Award for Day for Night, Cortese lost out to Ingrid Bergman but she did win a Bafta, the National Society of Film Critics’ Award and the New York Film Critics’ Circle Award. She received the Milano International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award and was made Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, France. Valentina Cortese married and divorced the actor Richard Basehart, who died in 1984. They had a son, Jackie, who died in 2015.

    

PEGGY CUMMINS (18 December 1925-29 December 2017)

The Irish actress Peggy Cummins has died aged 92, following a stroke. She had a successful film career for twenty-five years up until 1965, gracing television only twice before her retirement. Peggy CumminsBorn in Wales to the actress Margaret Cummins and the journalist and music teacher Franklin Fuller, Peggy appeared in the theatre and on radio as a teenager. Her first film in 1940 was Dr O’Dowd and she made several more British films, including Old Mother Riley Detective, before what might have been her big break in Hollywood in 1947, namely Forever Amber. However, filming was suspended after a month for script rewrites and re-casting and Cummins lost the title role to Linda Darnell. Then Joseph L. Mankiewicz cast her in The Late George Apley and in Escape and she stayed in Hollywood for Moss Rose with Victor Mature and The Green Grass of Wyoming with Charles Coburn. After Alexander Korda’s That Dangerous Age came arguably her best film, Gun Crazy, Joseph H. Lewis’s brilliant film noir co-written by the blacklisted Dalton Trumbo and in which Cummins and John Dall played a latterday Bonnie and Clyde. Other films included My Daughter Joy with Edward G. Robinson, while her return to Britain saw her in Who Goes There! Street Corner, Always a Bride, Meet Mr Lucifer, The Love Lottery, To Dorothy a Son, Carry on Admiral, Hell Drivers, The Captain’s Table and several others. Another notable film was Jacques Tourneur’s Night of the Demon (1957), which became something of a cult, based on Casting the Runes, M. R. James’s story about devil worship. Of the two TV series Cummins made, one was an episode of The Human Jungle (1964) which has lately been revived on the Talking Pictures channel. Peggy Cummins was married to the businessman Derek Dunnett until his death in 2000. They had two children, David and Diana. After retirement, Cummins devoted her time to charity work.

 

VIC DAMONE (12 June 1928-11 February 2018)

The popular American singer Vic Damone, who has died aged 89, was born Vito Rocco Farinola. Vic DamoneHe won a talent contest in 1945 and immediately began singing in clubs and subsequently became a recording artist. His first film as an actor was Rich, Young and Pretty in 1951, an MGM musical with Jane Powell with whom he also made Athena and Hit the Deck. He was in Stanley Donen’s Deep In My Heart, a biopic on composer Sigmund Romberg and he played the Caliph in Vincente Minnelli’s Kismet with Ann Blyth and Dolores Gray. He appeared (uncredited) as himself in Viva Las Vegas! with Dan Dailey and Cyd Charisse. In 1960 he was in Phil Karlson’s war film Hell to Eternity but the cinema was not his main career, as he was essentially a crooner singing live and on record. He did guest shots on TV shows with Red Skelton, June Allyson, Dick Van Dyke, Danny Thomas etc and appeared in many TV documentaries, but his last acting role was in The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries in 1978. Vic Damone had five wives, including actresses Pier Angeli and Diahann Carroll, and fathered four children.

  

DANIELLE DARRIEUX (1 May 1917-17 October 2017)

The French actress and singer Danielle Darrieux, who has died aged 100, was a mere 14 years old when she won her first film role in Le Bal in 1931, after which she worked continuously. Mireille DarcOf the forty or so films she made before World War II, the outstanding ones were Mayerling (she played Maria Vetsera opposite Charles Boyer), Club des femmes, which caused a storm in New York with its risqué setting of a women-only hotel, Ruy Blas with Jean Marais, and Occupe-toi d’Amélie..!, Claude Autant-Lara’s Feydeau comedy adaptation. Later on she also did Rouge et noir for Autant-Lara, based on Stendhal’s novel. In the 1950s she worked with Max Ophuls on La Ronde, from the Arthur Schnitzler play, as well as Le plaisir and Madame de… Darrieux had a taste of Hollywood in 1938 in The Rage of Paris with Douglas Fairbanks Jr but then went back to France during the Occupation. She returned to Hollywood in the fifties for the MGM musical Rich, Young and Pretty, starred with James Mason in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 5 Fingers, and figured in Robert Rossen’s dull epic of Alexander the Great with Richard Burton. However, for the most part, Darrieux continued working extensively in French cinema and TV until Pièce montée in 2010, with an occasional outing for The Greengage Summer (1961), shot in France and the UK with Kenneth More. She contributed a delightful performance for Jacques Demy in Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967), and was also in his musical melodrama Une chambre en ville. Darrieux did some theatre work in Paris, and also on Broadway in the musical of Coco (taking over from Katharine Hepburn). In London and New York she was in Ambassador, a musical with Howard Keel. Among her last films was François Ozon’s 8 Women (2002) which earned her a Silver Bear at Berlin, and she voiced the Grandmother in the animated film Persepolis (2007). She was married three times: to director Henri Decoin, diplomat Porfirio Rubirosa and then scriptwriter Georges Mitsinkidès, who died in 1991. Darrieux received an honorary César award in 1985.

 

DORIS DAY (3 April 1922-13 May 2019)
The American actress and singer Doris Day, who has died aged 97 from pneumonia, was one of Hollywood’s true icons. She was born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff to William, a music teacher, and his wife Alma. Doris DayThe parents separated when Doris was still young and so she lived with her mother and older brother Paul. Wanting to be a professional dancer, Doris formed a dance act with a friend but a bad car accident scuppered her potential career so, having a good singing voice, she took music lessons and was soon touring with bands of the day. She sang with Les Brown’s Band from the age of seventeen and was discovered by Warner Bros and given a contract for Romance on the High Seas in 1948. She went on to act and sing in many more Warners musicals including Tea for Two, Lullaby of Broadway, On Moonlight Bay and By the Light of the Silvery Moon. Her big hit was Calamity Jane in 1953 with great songs including the Oscar-winning ‘Secret Love’. She also had dramatic roles in Storm Warning and The Winning Team (both with Ronald Reagan), Love Me or Leave Me with James Cagney, and Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, with another Academy Award winning song, ‘Que Será Será’ ('Whatever Will Be Will Be'). Fans will remember Doris for her series of romcoms with Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, James Garner and Rod Taylor in the 1960s. She was Oscar-nominated for Pillow Talk with Rock Hudson but didn’t win and was never nominated again, although she did win Golden Globes, Laurel Awards and Lifetime Achievement gongs from the Cecil B. DeMille Award, the American Comedy Awards and the Los Angeles Film Critics. She was also a popular singer and recording artist with many albums and hit singles to her name. She married four times: first to the musician Al Jorden who fathered her only son Terry, then to another musician, George Weidler, then to the producer Martin Melcher who left her penniless when he died, and finally to Barry Comden, a head waiter. With her four husbands and her son gone, she spent her last years working for her own Doris Day Animal Foundation. With her passing it seems that something essentially of Hollywood has now gone. Doris Day represented a time and a way of life in the movies that are just no longer there.

    

BRADFORD DILLMAN (14 April 1930-16 January 2018)

The American actor Bradford Dillman has died aged 87 from complications following pneumonia. After leaving the Marine Corps, he studied at the Actors Studio and made his stage debut in 1953. His Broadway debut was playing Edmund in O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1956), with Fredric March, Florence Eldridge, Jason Robards Jr and Katharine Ross. After three years of television from 1955, Bradford DillmDillman secured a contract with 20th Century Fox. He appeared in A Certain Smile (for which he won the ‘New Star of the Year’ Golden Globe), based on the Françoise Sagan novel. Then came In Love and War with Robert Wagner. Compulsion was Richard Fleischer’s take on the Leopold and Loeb murder case, in which Dillman co-starred with Dean Stockwell and Orson Welles. All three actors won awards at Cannes. Dillman filmed Circle of Deception in London, where he met his second wife, actress and model Suzy Parker. He joined Welles again for Crack in the Mirror, then did Tony Richardson’s Sanctuary and Michael Curtiz’s Francis of Assisi. Dillman usually gave the impression of there being something deep behind the eyes, but most films failed to live up to his talent. He moved back into television before filming A Rage to Live, The Plainsman, Jigsaw and The Bridge at Remagen, but it was always television that kept him busy. Later films included The Mephisto Waltz, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, The Way We Were and John Frankenheimer’s film of O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, in which he played Willie Oban. Other features interrupted Dillman’s TV career (Gold, Bug, The Enforcer and Sudden Impact among them), but the work was mainly routine and unworthy of his gifts. He retired in 1995 after several appearances on Murder, She Wrote. His first wife was Frieda Harding with whom he had two children, while Suzy Parker bore him three more plus a stepdaughter. His daughter Pamela Dillman is an actress and appears mostly on television.

 

STANLEY DONEN (13 April 1924-21 February 2019)

For a full appreciation 

 

KARIN DOR (22 February 1938-6 November 2017)

The German actress Karin Dor, who has died at the age of 79, Karin Dorwill always be remembered as a Bond girl, playing Helga Brandt opposite Sean Connery in You Only Live Twice (1967). Born Kätherose Derr, she began her career as a film extra. Spotted by her future husband the film director Harald Reinl, one of her first films was his Der schweigsame Engel (1954) and she went on to make more films in Germany, including Edgar Wallace thrillers, Karl May westerns and White Horse Inn (1960). She did The Invisible Dr Mabuse, The Treasure of the Silver Lake and Winnetou: The Red Gentleman with Lex Barker, and in the UK The Face of Fu Manchu with Christopher Lee. Then came 007 and You Only Live Twice, after which she became known globally. However, she still made films in Germany, apart from Dracula Versus Frankenstein (with Michael Rennie) in Spain. Alfred Hitchcock’s Topaz was her only other major American film and is remembered for the scene of Karin Dor’s death, as Juanita, in which an overhead shot sees her fall while her dress flows out around her. Television in the US and Germany plus other German features filled out the rest of her career, although she also appeared on stage in Germany almost up until her death, the result of an earlier brain concussion. Apart from Harald Reinl, with whom she had a son (the actor Andreas Renell), Dor’s other husbands were Gűnther Schmucker and the actor-director George Robotham (1921-2007).

  

ROY DOTRICE (26 May 1926-16 October 2017)

Essentially a character actor but a great one, Roy Dotrice, Roy Dotricewho has died at the age of 94, was mainly a man of the theatre, although he appeared in a lot of television and radio and also in films. Born in Guernsey, he joined the RAF at the age of 16 and was shot down during World War II and taken prisoner in Germany, where he started to perform. Back home he joined Rada and then played in rep around the UK, eventually becoming a member of the Stratford Memorial Company, specialising in older character parts. He will be remembered for his one-man show as the 17th-century diarist John Evelyn, a decrepit gossip and, as Dotrice played him, a hilariously memorable figure. He played this all over the world for a record-breaking 1700 plus performances. He also had one-man shows on Churchill, Dickens, Lincoln and Will Rogers. He began in TV in 1957, while his film career started in 1960 with Joseph Losey’s The Criminal, and then came The Heroes of Telemark, A Twist of Sand, Lock Up Your Daughters, The Buttercup Chain, Nicholas and Alexandra, Tales from the Crypt, Saturn 3 (dubbing for Harvey Keitel), Amadeus (as Leopold Mozart), Swimming With Sharks, The Scarlet Letter, These Foolish Things and others, but he appeared more on television, in The Wars of the Roses, Jackanory, Misleading Cases (Bafta award, 1967), Clochemerle, Dickens of London, Shaka Zulu, Murder, She Wrote, Life Begins and latterly Game of Thrones (as Hallyne). He married Kay Newman in 1947 and they had three daughters, Michele, Karen and Yvette, all actresses. Roy Dotrice received the OBE in 2008.

 

FREDA DOWIE (22 July 1928-10 August 2019)
The British character actress Freda Dowie, who has died aged 91, was brilliant at playing ordinary but not always happy women with sad lives. She was outstanding as the Mother in Terence Davies’ film Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) Freda Dowiewhich the director based on his own Liverpool childhood. Dowie’s performance at the hands of her abusive husband (Pete Postlethwaite) was a moving portrayal of a brutally wasted life. It won her a nomination in the European Film Awards. Her long, fifty-year career was full of such real performances, mostly on television. She was in many TV series, seemingly born to appear in classic, period dramas such as Doctor Faustus, Antigone, The Bacchae, Maupassant, North and South, Cranford (1972), I, Claudius, The Old Curiosity Shop, The Pickwick Papers, Alice in Wonderland, Middlemarch, and two TV versions of Laurie Lee’s Cider With Rosie. However, she was equally at home with modern drama such as Doomwatch, Crown Court, Angels, Lovejoy, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Our Friends in the North, The Bill, Heartbeat and EastEnders, etc. She had a select roster of feature films including Subterfuge (1968) with Gene Barry and Joan Collins, The Omen (as a nun), Francisco Lara Polop’s The Monk (as another nun), Michael Winterbottom’s Butterfly Kiss and also his Jude, Dan Zeff’s Black Eyes (as Gran), and Jaume Balaguero’s Fragile (2005) with Calista Flockhart. Freda Dowie was divorced from her first husband, John Goodrich. From 1970 she was married to the writer-producer-director David Thompson.

 

PETER DUFFELL (10 July 1922-12 December 2017)

The British film director and writer Peter Duffell, who has died aged 95, worked mainly in television. Nonetheless, he did direct the occasional film. From 1967 he was noted for his helming of Peter Duffellsuch TV series as The Avengers, Man in a Suitcase, The Far Pavilions, Inspector Morse, etc, and several one-off TV movies. For the cinema he began working on Merton Park Studio’s second features, including the Edgar Wallace mysteries, and The Scales of Justice and Scotland Yard series. The House That Dripped Blood (1971) was his first main feature, an Amicus anthology of four horror stories with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Duffell then both co-wrote and directed England Made Me, based on the Graham Greene novel, with Peter Finch and Michael York. Inside Out was a comedy thriller with Telly Savalas. Experience Preferred… But Not Essential was co-written by Jack Rosenthal and produced by David Puttnam. King of the Wind (1990), a period adventure about a horse, starred Richard Harris and Glenda Jackson and was Duffell’s last feature. He wrote and directed his own thriller, Some Other Spring, for television in 1991 and retired after directing episodes of The Bill in 1996. He won a Bafta award for Stephen Poliakoff’s Caught on a Train (1980) with Peggy Ashcroft. Peter Duffell married three times: his third wife was Rosslyn Audrey Cliffe and he fathered a child with his second wife. His autobiography Playing Piano in a Brothel: Memoirs of a Film Director, had an introduction by Christopher Lee who called Duffell “Britain’s most underrated director."

 

GLYNN EDWARDS (2 February 1931-23 May 2018)

The British character actor Glynn Edwards, who has died aged 87, was born in Malaya Glynn Edwardsbut grew up in Salisbury. Most famous for playing Dave the barman in the TV series Minder, with George Cole and Dennis Waterman, he also appeared as Dave in Marillion’s video of Heart of Lothian. Glynn Edwards, who also had a career on stage and in films, trained at Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop in Stratford East where he met and married the actress Yootha Joyce. He appeared in Brendan Behan’s play The Hostage and Lionel Bart’s musical Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be, among other productions. He was a police constable in his first film, The Heart Within (1957), and went on to play many officers of the law or villains. His films included A Prize of Arms, Sparrows Can’t Sing, Zulu, The Ipcress File, Robbery, The Blood Beast Terror, The Bofors Gun, Get Carter, Under Milk Wood, Burke & Hare (as Hare), All Coppers Are…, Shaft in Africa, 11 Harrowhouse, Rising Damp, etc. His TV work also included Sir Francis Drake, No Hiding Place, Madame Bovary, The Newcomers, Public Eye, Bless This House, The Main Chance, Dixon of Dock Green, Crown Court, Jack of Diamonds and Letty. After 95 episodes of Minder, he retired to Spain in 1994. He was also married to Christine Pilgrim and Valerie Edwards. He has one son, Tom.

  

R. LEE ERMEY (24 March 1944-15 April 2018)R. Lee Ermey

The American actor Ronald Lee Ermey, who has died from pneumonia at the age of 74, was a former military man whose film career matched his own life. A former member of the US Marine Corps who served in Vietnam and Japan, he retired from the Corps and studied criminology and drama. His first US film was The Boys in Company C (1978) before Coppola used him as helicopter pilot in Apocalypse Now. He was outstanding as the Sergeant in Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket and continued playing military roles and heavies in Mississippi Burning, Fletch Lives, Deathstone, Toy Soldiers, Hexed, Sommersby, Body Snatchers and other films and TV series. He was in On Deadly Ground, Naked Gun 33 1/3, Murder in the First, Leaving Las Vegas, Dead Man Walking, Taking Sides, Willard, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) and The Watch. He also did voice work on Toy Story (as Sarge) and its sequels, Starship Troopers, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Reef, and the Family Guy and The Simpsons TV series.

   

SUZAN FARMER (16 June 1942-17 September 2017)

British actress Suzan Farmer, who has died aged 75, left school at 15 to become an actress and made her first film, The Supreme Secret – a B-picture shot at Southall Studios – a year later. Her next film, The Dawn Killer, was made for the Children’s Film Foundation. She was uncredited in The Wild and the Willing, which starred her future husband, Ian McShane, in his film debut. A mixture of film and TV work followed, including the films 80,000 Suspects, 633 Squadron and Monster of Terror, with Boris Karloff. Farmer then made memorable appearances in several Hammer films - The Scarlet Blade, The Devil-Ship Pirates, Dracula, Prince of Darkness and Rasputin: The Mad Monk. She was also in Doctor in Clover, Where the Bullets Fly and Persecution (with Lana Turner and Trevor Howard), Farmer’s last film in 1974. Her career continued on TV in The Saint, Coronation Street, Dixon of Dock Green, Blake’s 7 etc and Leap in the Dark, her last appearance in 1980.

 

FENELLA FIELDING (17 November 1927-11 September 2018)

The London-born actress Fenella Fielding, who has died aged 90 from complications following a stroke, was most famous for her deep and seductively sexy voice and the way she swooped up and down her vocal range, savouring every syllable and every possible double entendre. Fenella FieldingThe daughter of Romanian and Lithuanian parents, Fenella began her career in amateur theatre and cabaret in the early 1950s, becoming popular in Peter Cook and Harold Pinter’s West End revue Pieces of Eight with Kenneth Williams. She was also a huge success in Sandy Wilson’s musical Valmouth. She appeared on television from 1957 and a year later made her debut (uncredited) in the film Sapphire, with Nigel Patrick. More TV included The Four Just Men, Danger Man, The Avengers, Comedy Playhouse and The Prisoner, in which she was the voice of the loudspeaker announcer, and she camped it up in stories by Saki and the farces of Feydeau. Fenella’s early films included Follow a Star with Norman Wisdom, Foxhole in Cairo with James Robertson Justice, No Love for Johnnie with Peter Finch, In the Doghouse with Leslie Phillips, three of the Doctor films and a pair of Carry Ons – Regardless and Screaming. Other films included Drop Dead Darling, Lock Up Your Daughters, Guest House Paradiso and the gay film Over the Edge (2011). She was also the voice of the Blue Queen in Dougal and the Blue Cat. More TV followed, including four series of the Uncle Jack children’s stories in which she played The Vixen. Another series, Conditions, is due to air in 2019. Over the years Fenella Fielding acted in plays by Ibsen, Shakespeare, Fielding, Vanbrugh, Chekhov, Wilde, Sheridan, Coward, Henry James etc. She did a one-woman show on Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh and was very good in her own play about the Duchess of Windsor. She did voice-work for a computer game and audiobooks, released an album of cover songs, old and recent, called The Savoy Sessions, and did readings from her autobiography Do You Mind If I Smoke?, one of her lines from Carry On Screaming. Fenella Fielding received the OBE in 2018 for services to drama and charity. She never married. Her brother Basil, Lord Feldman, survives her

 

ALBERT FINNEY (9 May 1936-8 February 2019)
The Salford-born actor Albert Finney, who has died from a chest infection, aged 82, was a stage performer who graduated to the cinema and television with great popular success. He studied acting at Rada and on graduating joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. He had been directed by Charles Laughton, an actor he admired immensely, in Jane Arden’s The Party in 1958. At Stratford the following year, he took over the role of Coriolanus from Laurence Olivier. Tony Richardson from the Royal Court Theatre in London cast Finney in his first film, The Entertainer in 1960, which was quickly followed by Karel Reisz’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning which started a new trend in realism in British films. He won several awards for his portrayal of factory worker Arthur Seaton, including a Bafta for Most Promising Newcomer. The Oscar-winning film of Tom Jones followed, after Finney had turned down the title role in David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia. Albert Finney
Other more commercial films followed, including The Victors, Night Must Fall, Two for the Road and The Picasso Summer, the last scripted by Ray Bradbury. Then Finney directed and starred in Charlie Bubbles with Liza Minnelli from a script by playwright Shelagh Delaney. Then he played Ebenezer in the musical film of Scrooge, followed by Gumshoe, Stephen Frears’s debut as a director in which Finney played a bingo-caller with fantasies of becoming a private eye. It was produced by Memorial Enterprises, the company Finney set up with the actor Michael Medwin, which also produced Charlie Bubbles, Lindsay Anderson’s if... and O Lucky Man! plus other film and theatre productions. Although Finney secured five Academy Awards nominations, for Tom Jones, Murder on the Orient Express, The Dresser, Under the Volcano and Erin Brockovich, he never won. He turned down offers of both a CBE and a knighthood, as he disagreed with the UK honours system.
Finney’s film career continued with, among other titles, The Duellists, Wolfen, Loophole, Annie, Shoot the Moon, Orphans, Miller’s Crossing, The Browning Version, A Man of No Importance, Traffic, Big Fish, A Good Year, two Jason Bourne films and Skyfall, the Bond movie that was Finney’s last film (in 2012). During his career, he also continued to work on stage for the National Theatre in plays by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Congreve, Strindberg, Beckett, Marlowe, John Osborne and Peter Nichols, and starred in Yasmina Reza’s Art, his  final work on stage (in 1997-98). On television he made his mark as Churchill in Hugh Whitemore’s The Gathering Storm, winning a Bafta, an Emmy and a Golden Globe. On TV he later played Pope John Paul II, was in The Endless Game mini-series, Kingsley Amis’s The Green Man, and Karaoke and Cold Lazarus by Dennis Potter, Nostromo, A Rather English Marriage and My Uncle Silas by H.E. Bates. Albert Finney has a son, Simon, a film cameraman, by his first wife, actress Jane Wenham. He was also married to the actress Anouk Aimḗe, and he married Pene Delmage in 2006.

 

PETER FONDA (23 February 1940-16 August 2019)
The American actor, writer and director Peter Fonda, who has died aged 79 from lung cancer, was the son of actor Henry Fonda and the brother of Jane Fonda. His first work as an actor was with the Omaha Playhouse, after which he moved to New York to be an apprentice at the Cecilwood Theatre. Peter FondaHe made his professional stage debut on Broadway and then moved to Hollywood. After some TV work, his first film in 1963 was Tammy and the Doctor with Sandra Dee and then he was in Carl Foreman’s epic war film The Victors with Vince Edwards, Albert Finney, George Hamilton and George Peppard. He then worked with Roger Corman on Wild Angels, about biker gangs, and also Corman’s drug-filled The Trip. Other early films with Fonda include Robert Rossen’s Lilith and Easy Rider which he co-wrote with director and actor Dennis Hopper, and which was an enormous hit worldwide, grossing some 60 million dollars from a $400,000 outlay, and which earned Fonda, Hopper and Terry Southern Academy Award nominations. He was also in Hopper’s The Last Movie which, with guest appearances by many celebrated stars, was a disaster. Fonda directed three films himself, the first of which, The Hired Hand, in which he also starred, was very good. He was in Robert Wise’s Two People with Lindsay Wagner, Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry with Susan George, Peter Collinson’s Open Season, Race With the Devil, Val Guest’s The Diamond Mercenaries with Telly Savalas, Jonathan Demme’s Fighting Mad, his own film Wanda Nevada with  Brooke Shields, The Cannonball Run with Burt Reynolds, plus many other films that were mostly potboilers. He made The Rose Garden for the Dutch director Fons Rademakers, and Deadfall (1993) for Christopher Coppola. He played both Dracula and Dr Van Helsing in Michael Almereyda’s Nadja, worked with John Carpenter on Escape from L.A., and was nominated for an Oscar as best actor for Ulee’s Gold. He was in Steven Soderbergh’s The Limey with Terence Stamp in 1999 and then continued to act in films and on TV during the 2000 decade including the remake of 3:10 to Yuma. His final three films, The Magic Hours, The Last Full Measure and Skate God are yet to be released. Peter Fonda was married three times and is father to two children, the actress Bridget Fonda and the cinematographer Justin Fonda.

   

MICHAEL D. FORD (1928-31 May 2018)

The British-born art director and set decorator, Michael D. Fordwho has died aged 90, trained at Goldsmiths College as an illustrator, then worked as a scenic artist before entering films via television. His first film credit was for Man in the Moon (1960) with Kenneth More, then The Anniversary (1968) with Bette Davis, Kelly’s Heroes with Clint Eastwood, The Alf Garnett Saga with Warren Mitchell, Up the Front with Frankie Howerd, Take Me High with Cliff Richard and Girl Stroke Boy with Peter Straker. Ford also worked on television during the 1970s, his credits including The New Avengers and Space 1999. Then came the big ones: two Star Wars pictures, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, plus his Oscar-winning contributions to Raiders of the Lost Ark. He worked through the 1980s and ’90s on many films, including The Chain, Return to Oz, Young Sherlock Holmes, The Living Daylights, Empire of the Sun, Consuming Passions, Licence to Kill, The Muppet Christmas Carol and GoldenEye. He scored another Academy Award for Titanic in 1997. His last film work was on Wing Commander in 1999.

 

MILOŠ FORMAN (18 February 1932-13 April 2018)

Czechoslovakian film director, writer and actor Miloš Forman, who has died age 86, following a short illness, had international success in the mid-1960s with his quirky Czech comedies A Blonde in Love and The Fireman’s Ball. Both were nominated for Academy Awards. When his country was invaded in 1968 he fled to the US and was embraced by Hollywood and eventually became a naturalised American citizen. His Cannes festival winner, Taking Off (1971), was a satire on American parents trying to understand their kids by getting stoned. Between 1975 and 2006 he made One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (five Oscars and a Bafta), Hair, Ragtime (eight Oscar nominations), Amadeus (eight Oscar wins), Valmont, The People vs Larry Flint (two Oscar nominations), Man on the Moon and Goya’s Ghosts. Forman’s last film was the Czech musical A Walk Worthwhile in 2009. He was married three times and had four children.

MILOS FORMAN

  

BRUCE FORSYTH (22 February 1928-18 August 2017)

Sir Bruce Forsyth, who has died at age 89 following a prolonged illness, was an all-round entertainer Bruce Forsythwho could sing, dance, play various musical instruments and be a funny gameshow host. Over seventy years he entertained with utter professionalism and an abiding rapport with his audience. He toured in variety from the age of eleven, until his big break came in hosting Sunday Night at the London Palladium (1958-64). He was on many other TV shows but will be remembered mainly for The Generation Game (1971-94), Play Your Cards Right (1980-2003), Bruce’s Price Is Right (1995-2001) and Strictly Come Dancing (2004-15). On stage he appeared just once in the West End as an actor in Little Me, the Neil Simon-Cy Coleman-Carolyn Leigh musical in which Forsyth played seven roles. He made a few films but, like Morecambe & Wise, he was mainly a performer for live audiences. He played Gertrude Lawrence’s father in Star! with Julie Andrews, appeared in Anthony Newley’s egotrip Can Heironyms Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?, did Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and the British comedy portmanteau The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins. Otherwise it was TV for other acting parts until his final film, House! (2000), about the fate of a bingo hall, in which he played himself. Bruce Forsyth was married three times, to Penny Calvert, Anthea Redfern and Wilnelia Merced. He fathered six children and was knighted in 2011.

 

LIZ FRASER (14 August 1930-6 September 2018)

Born Elizabeth Joan Winch, the actress Liz Fraser, who has died aged 88 from complications following an operation, was never a star but always enlivened any production in which she appeared. She had a natural talent for playing ordinary women coupled with a real flair for comedy, but she could also be a good character actress. Liz FraserShe trained at the London School of Dramatic Art and, following a spell in repertory theatre, took minor film parts in Touch and Go (1955) with Jack Hawkins and The Smallest Show on Earth (1957). Television followed (Whacko-O!, The Sky Larks, Dixon of Dock Green) and odd film parts such as Davy, with Harry Secombe, Dunkirk with Richard Attenborough, Wonderful Things! with Frankie Vaughan, and Alive and Kicking with Sybil Thorndike, but her real break came in the Boulting Brothers’ I’m All Right Jack, playing Peter Sellers’ daughter Cynthia Kite, a role that brought her a Bafta nomination for most promising newcomer. Her career continued with a mix of film and television and her comedic highlights include The Night We Dropped a Clanger, Desert Mice, Two Way Stretch, Doctor in Love, The Bulldog Breed, The Pure Hell of St Trinian’s and The Rebel with Tony Hancock, with whom she had worked on his TV series. She was in four Carry OnsRegardless, Cruising, Cabby and Behind – and also Raising the Wind from the same team. Her fifty-year plus career also included much television: Rumpole of the Bailey, Robin’s Nest, The Professionals, The Avengers, Birds of a Feather, Minder, The Bill, Miss Marple, Last of the Summer Wine, Foyle’s War and Holby City. On film she appeared in The Painted Smile, The Americanisation of Emily, The Family Way, Up the Junction, Dad’s Army (as Mrs Pike), The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle and Chicago Joe and the Showgirl, her final cinema film in 1990. Liz Fraser continued to work on TV until 2007 but returned in 2018 for an episode of Midsomer Murders. She was married briefly to travelling salesman Peter Yonwin and then to TV producer and director Bill Hitchcock, who died in 1974. Her autobiography, Liz Fraser… and Other Characters, was published in 2012 by Signum Books.

   

RAY GALTON (17 July 1930-5 October 2018)

See the obituary below for Alan Simpson, the writing partner of Ray Galton, who died 8 February 2017.

 

BRUNO GANZ (22 March 1941-16 February 2019)
The Swiss-born actor Bruno Ganz, who has died aged 77 from cancer, was recognized as one of the best actors working in the German language on stage, in cinema and on television. His main love was for the theatre and with Peter Stein he founded the Schaubṻhne ensemble in Berlin in 1970. He worked in cinema from 1960 but was not a great success until Summer Guests in 1976, but then he went on to work with directors of the New German Cinema, such as Werner Herzog, Volker Schlṏndorff and Wim Wenders, as well as Eric Rohmer, Francis Ford Coppola, Franklin J. Schaffner, Ridley Scott, David Hare and Stephen Daldry, among many others. Jeanne Moreau directed him in Lumiere in 1976 and he was in Rohmer’s The Marquise of O... in the same year. Wenders cast him in The American Friend, and he was also in Peter Handke’s The Left-Handed Woman and The Absence, Schaffner’s The Boys from Brazil, Herzog’s Nosferatu (as Jonathan Harker), Mauro Bolognini’s The Lady of the Camellias, Schlṏndorff’s Circle of Deceit and Wenders’ Wings of Desire, one of the few films for which UK audiences will remember him in particular. He was also in the sequel Faraway, So Close! 

Bruno Ganz

Bruno Ganz (right) with the editor of Film Review Daily

 

The other outstanding performance given by Ganz was as Adolf Hitler in the Oscar-nominated Downfall, Oliver Hirschbiegel’s portrayal of the Chancellor’s last days towards the end of World War II. Ganz, more than any other actor attempting the part (Alec Guinness, Anthony Hopkins, Frank Finlay, et al), captured the maniacal hysteria of the man that was totally believable. In a film career that encompassed nearly sixty years and over 120 performances in cinema and TV alone, Ganz as Hitler will outlive all his other work. Among the many other films he made were Ridley Scott’s The Counsellor, David Hare’s Strapless, Jonathan Demme’s remake of The Manchurian Candidate, Uli Edel’s The Baader Meinhof Complex, Coppola’s Youth Without Youth, Daldry’s The Reader, Atom Egoyan’s Remember and Unknown, the action thriller with Liam Neeson.
More recently he was in Sally Potter’s The Party and Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built (2018). In the same year he also he appeared as Sigmund Freud in The Tobacconist, I, Witness and Terrence Malick’s Radegund, which is still in post-production. Among the awards he accumulated were the Austrian Iffland-Ring, a diamond ring given to an actor deemed to be the best in the German-speaking theatre, an award that is kept until the recipient dies; the German Order of Merit and the French Lêgion d’honneur. He also won many individual awards for his stage and film work. Bruno Ganz married his wife Sabine in 1965 and, although they later separated, they remained married until his death. They have one son, Daniel.

   

JOHN GAVIN (8 April 1931-9 February 2018)

The American actor John Gavin, who has died aged 86, was born Juan Vincent Apablasa, a fifth-generation Angeleno of Mexican, Chilean and Spanish descent. Having served in the US Navy, he was discovered by Universal Studios and given a contract as he was a handsome hunk who John Gavinresembled one of their other stars and so could be promoted as the next Rock Hudson. Gavin’s first films were B-pictures, Raw Edge and Behind the High Wall (both 1956), followed by Four Girls in Town and Quantez. He then appeared in A Time to Love and a Time to Die (Golden Globe award, 1958), which was directed by Douglas Sirk, who then gave Gavin his first lead role in Imitation of Life (1959), with Lana Turner. He never quite made it into the Rock Hudson league but was usefully employed as a supporting player in many films, including Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) playing Janet Leigh’s lover, Kubrick’s Spartacus, Midnight Lace with Doris Day, A Breath of Scandal with Sophia Loren, Romanoff and Juliet and Tammy Tell Me True, both with Sandra Dee, and with Susan Hayward in Back Street. After that, television occupied Gavin (Destry, Convoy, etc) until he worked on Thoroughly Modern Millie with Julie Andrews and The Madwoman of Chaillot with Katharine Hepburn. He was all set to play James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) but Sean Connery decided to return to the part. Instead, Gavin made some more minor films and TV appearances and his last screen work was on the Hart to Hart and Fantasy Island series in 1981. He had done some theatre work including Seesaw and a tour of The Fantasticks, and was heading for Broadway in a revival of Cole Porter’s Can-Can when President Reagan asked him to be the ambassador to Mexico, a job that Gavin had always wanted. He held the post from 1980 to 1986, after which he became a successful businessman chairing many company boards and was CEO for The Century Council, a non-profit organisation fighting alcoholism. John Gavin was married twice, first to Cecily Evans, with whom he had two children, and then the actress Constance Towers from 1974 until his death.

 

EUNICE GAYSON (17 March 1928-8 June 2018)

British actress Eunice Gayson, who has died aged 90, was born Eunice Sargaison Eunice Gaysonin Purley, Surrey. She trained as an opera singer before her screen debut in Between Ourselves, a BBC TV movie in 1948, then appeared in the film My Brother Jonathan with Michael Denison and Dulcie Gray. Continuing on both the small and large screen, she appeared in the films It Happened in Soho, The Huggetts Abroad, Dance Hall, Down Among the Z Men, Miss Robin Hood, Street Corner, Dance Little Lady, Out of the Clouds, Zarak, Carry On Admiral and Hammer’s The Revenge of Frankenstein. She also appeared on stage in The Sound of Music and Into the Woods. In 1962 her career took a turn for the best when she became the first official Bond Girl in Dr No. “I admire your courage, Miss…” says 007 across the gaming table. She replies: “Trench, Sylvia Trench. I admire your luck, Mr…”. He replies: “Bond, James Bond,” thereby starting a new line in catchphrases. She had been up for the part of Moneypenny but it went to Lois Maxwell. After Eunice Gayson repeated the role of Trench in From Russia With Love, it was back to TV until she retired from the screen in 1972. She was married to writer and producer Leigh Vance and to the actor Brian Jackson, with whom she had a daughter, Kate, who in 1995 appeared as ‘casino girl’ in GoldenEye with Pierce Brosnan as Bond.

 

LEWIS GILBERT (6 March 1920-23 February 2018)

The British film director Lewis Gilbert, who has died at the age of 97,Lewis Gilbert was at the forefront of the UK film industry for over forty years, creating some of Britain’s most popular movies. He worked with many major British actors including Laurence Harvey, Michael Redgrave, Dirk Bogarde, Margaret Lockwood, Kenneth More, Michael Caine, Alec Guinness, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Julie Walters and Pauline Collins, to name but a few. He also wrote and produced many of the films he directed, becoming the doyen of British cinema. Beginning with documentary shorts in the 1940s, his first feature was The Little Ballerina (1947) about a budding dancer; the film included a performance by Margot Fonteyn. Then he made a series of thrillers including Once a Sinner, Scarlet Thread, There Is Another Sun, Cosh Boy and The Good Die Young. Then came the war films: Albert R.N., The Sea Shall Not Have Them, Reach for the Sky, Carve Her Name With Pride, Sink the Bismarck!, Light Up the Sky! and the period sea drama H.M.S. Defiant. He made Alfie with Michael Caine and then the first of his three Bond films, You Only Live Twice, followed by The Spy Who Loved Me (Gilbert’s favourite film), and Moonraker. Later successes in the 1980s included Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine and Stepping Out with Liza Minnelli. His last work was on Haunted (1995), a ghost story by James Herbert, and Before You Go (2002), a family comedy with Julie Walters. Lewis Gilbert was Oscar-nominated for Alfie and won a Bafta for Educating Rita, received the British Academy’s Michael Balcon Award in 1990, and was created a BFI Fellow in 2001. He won at Cannes for Alfie and also received the Dilys Powell Award from the London Film Critics’ Circle, among many other awards. He was married to Hylda Tafler (sister of the actor Sidney Tafler) who died in 2005. He had a son, Stephen, and a stepson John.

 

WILLIAM GOLDMAN (12 August 1931-16 November 2018)
The Hollywood screenwriter, novelist and playwright William Goldman, who has died from colon cancer and pneumonia at the age of 87, began his working life in advertising William Goldmanbut quickly took up writing novels and plays before graduating to scripting films. His first film, Soldier in the Rain (1963) with Steve McQueen, was based on his own novel but not scripted by him. His first screenplay was adapted from Victor Canning’s novel Masquerade, with Cliff Robertson. He then wrote The Moving Target (aka Harper) for Paul Newman, based on the Ross Macdonald thriller. Goldman adapted his own novel for No Way to Treat a Lady, with Rod Steiger, and in 1969 his original screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, with Newman and Robert Redford, was an enormous hit, winning him his first Oscar. His adaptation of The Hot Rock (aka How to Steal a Diamond in Four Uneasy Lessons), again with Redford, followed. He contributed to Papillon with McQueen, then wrote The Stepford Wives, The Great Waldo Pepper, All the President’s Men (second Academy Award), Marathon Man, A Bridge Too Far, Magic, Heat, with Burt Reynolds, The Princess Bride, Misery and Absolute Power among many other screenplays, including Chaplin and Maverick. William Goldman was also noted for writing two very critically scathing but highly entertaining books about Hollywood, Adventures in the Screen Trade and its sequel, Which Lie Did I Tell? He was married to Ilene Jones for thirty years from 1961 and they have two daughters, Jenny and Susanna.

   

CLAUDE GORETTA (23 June 1929-20 February 2019)
The Swiss-born film writer and director Claude Goretta, who has died of natural causes at the age of 89, admitted that he never studied film formally but learned the art of the cinema just by watching good films. He founded the Geneva University film society and was a film reviewer for Swiss newspapers. With four other directors, Jean-Jacques Lagrange, Claude GorettaJean-Louis Roy, Michel Soutter and Alain Tanner, he formed the production company Groupe 5, in order to get funding from Swiss TV for their own cinema films. In the 1950s he and Tanner worked at the BFI in London, doing subtitling and archive work. The BFI Experimental Film Fund then sponsored their short and wordless documentary Nice Time, about life around Piccadilly Circus at night. Goretta subsequently joined Swiss Television and from 1957 made shorts and documentaries. Much of his work was politically and socially motivated, carrying an edge not always appreciated by his Swiss compatriots. The first feature film that he wrote, produced and directed was The Madman (Le fou) in 1970, with François Simon, followed by The Invitation (Academy Award nominated), The Wonderful Crook (with Gérard Depardieu) and then The Lacemaker, which made his name worldwide. It starred a young Isabelle Huppert as a reserved girl battling with her emotions. The part won her a Bafta for most promising newcomer. The Wedding Day was based on a Maupassant novel, La Provinciale had Nathalie Baye as a girl moving to Paris to seek her fortune (and Bruno Ganz along the way) and The Death of Mario Ricci starred Gian Maria Volontè as a journalist investigating the death of a labourer working on the Mont Blanc tunnel. In 1985 Goretta adapted Monteverdi’s opera for his film of Orfeo. Other films that he wrote and directed include If the Sun Never Returns, Enemies of the Mafia and L’ombre, with Jacques Perrin, which was his last film for the cinema in 1992. He carried on working on television movies including episodes of Maigret with Bruno Cremer and his final work was on a TV biography of Jean-Paul Sartre in 2006.

 

LESLIE GRANTHAM (30 April 1947-15 June 2018)

The actor Leslie Grantham, who has died from cancer aged 71, Leslie Granthamwill forever be remembered for his role of ‘Dirty’ Den Watts in the BBC soap EastEnders. He only took to acting following a conviction for murder. While in prison he was encouraged to perform and after ten years inside he studied at the Webber Douglas Academy. Following some early theatre work, he made his television debut in 1982 in Jake’s End, then Goodnight and God Bless and then he played Davros’s henchman Kiston in a Doctor Who Daleks story. Further TV included The Jewel in the Crown, The Nightwatch, a thriller directed by Danny Boyle, The Paradise Club, Cluedo, 99-1, Woof!, The Bill and The Uninvited (on which he was also executive producer). Grantham’s film career was not outstanding. His first feature film was Morons from Outer Space in 1985, but by then he was entrenched in EastEnders. ‘Dirty’ Den was allegedly killed off in 1989 but he returned in 2003 and stayed for 18 months before his final demise, having notched up over 300 episodes. His other films included Shadow Run (with Michael Caine), Crow’s Nest, The Wedding Tackle, Charlie, Mob Handed, and a little-known version of Waiting for Godot with Brian Blessed. His last two films, Jack Southeast and The Krays: Dead Man Walking, are awaiting release. Leslie Grantham married Jane Laurie and they have three children.

  

CLINTON GREYN (29 September 1933-19 March 2019)
The Welsh actor Clinton Greyn, who has died aged 85, Clinton Greynwas mainly a stage actor who also worked in films and television. His career began in repertory until his West End debut in 1960 in Durrenmatt’s The Visit, with Lunt and Fontanne. Following further provincial theatre work, he arrived in films in an uncredited role in Otto Preminger’s Exodus (1960). Television included Z Cars, Compact and The Newcomers, until a role in Vittorio De Sica’s Woman Times Seven, with Shirley MacLaine. Further films included Peter Yates’s Robbery, Herbert Ross’s Goodbye, Mr Chips, Henry Hathaway’s Raid on Rommel, The Love Machine, Swedish Fly Girls and Jack Cardiff’s Penny Gold, Greyn’s last film in 1973. The rest of his career was on stage or television. With an interest in architecture, Greyn designed and built his own London flat. He was married twice and has a son from his first marriage.

     

ROBERT GUILLAUME (30 November 1927-24 October 2017)

The actor Robert Guillaume has died aged 89 from prostate cancer. He was the first African-American actor to win a Primetime Emmy Award for lead actor in a comedy series (Benson, 1985) and for best supporting actor in a comedy series (Soap, 1979). In both series he made the part of the feisty butler Benson Robert Guillaumeentirely his own. His career began in the theatre, where a production of Carousel in Cleveland led him to New York (in 1961). Among the musicals he was in were Porgy and Bess, Golden Boy, Purlie, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living In Paris and an all-black version of Guys and Dolls. Guillaume entered television in 1966 and then worked mostly for the box, appearing in Marcus Welby M.D., Sanford and Son, All in the Family and Good Times, before Soap came along for fifty episodes. He also worked on The Love Boat and North and South, before Benson occupied him from 1979 to 1986. In 1989 he had The Robert Guillaume Show for twelve weeks playing an African-American man in a romantic relationship with a Caucasian woman. His TV movies include Driving Miss Daisy with Joan Plowright. Guillaume’s first film was Super Fly T.N.T in 1973, then Neil Simon’s Seems Like Old Times in 1980, and Prince Jack in 1984, playing Martin Luther King. Then came Wanted: Dead or Alive, They Still Call Me Bruce, John G. Avildsen’s Lean on Me with Morgan Freeman, Death Warrant with Jean-Claude Van Damme, The Meteor Man written and directed by and starring Robert Townsend, and Spy Hard with Leslie Nielsen. One of his last films was Tim Burton’s Big Fish in 2003. He was the voice of Rafiki in Disney’s The Lion King and won a Grammy for the audiobook version. Robert Guillaume was married twice, first to Marlene Scott and then Donna Brown. He fathered five children.

 

KENNETH HAIGH (25 March 1931-4 February 2018)

The Yorkshire-born actor Kenneth Haigh has died at the age of 86. Kenneth HaighIf for nothing else, he will have a permanent place in the annals of the British stage, as he was the first actor to play Jimmy Porter, the anti-hero of John Osborne’s 1956 play Look Back in Anger, at London’s Royal Court. He was primarily a stage actor and in his time worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Open Air Regent’s Park, the Haymarket Leicester, the Mermaid Theatre, Chichester Festival, Edinburgh, the Young Vic and in the USA. He appeared in plays by Shakespeare, Arthur Miller, Strindberg, Pinter, Osborne’s The Hotel in Amsterdam and the Lionel Bart musical Maggie May. The part of Jimmy Porter went to Richard Burton for the film version of Look Back in Anger and Haigh’s film career was perhaps incidental although early on he was in Saint Joan (1957), Cleopatra (1963, as Brutus), A Hard Day’s Night (1964) and Sidney Lumet’s The Deadly Affair (1966). Later films included Eagle in a Cage (as Napoleon), Robin and Marian, The Bitch, Wild Geese II, Shuttlecock with Alan Bates and Man at the Top, a sequel to Room at the Top. Haigh had played Joe Lampton in the TV series and was also seen on television in The Search for the Nile (as the explorer Richard Burton), Moll Flanders, Hazlitt in Love and Maybury. Kenneth Haigh married West Indian model Myrna Stephens in 1974 and they had a son. They divorced in 1985 but stayed friends and Myrna looked after him when he contracted brain damage after swallowing a chicken bone that caused him oxygen starvation.

  

PETER HALL (22 November 1930-11 September 2017)

Sir Peter Hall, who has died from dementia aged 86, was chiefly known as a man of the theatre. He introduced Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot to the UK and went on to found Peter Hallthe Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and at London’s Aldwych Theatre. He eventually ran the National Theatre, taking over from Laurence Olivier, and also became an opera director, running Glyndebourne Festival Opera for seven years. He also found time to work in film and on television where he directed many Shakespeare productions. His first film was Work Is a Four-Letter Word (1968) starring David Warner and Cilla Black, then A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Warner, Diana Rigg and Helen Mirren, and Three Into Two Won’t Go, with Rod Steiger. In the 1970s Hall directed Perfect Friday, a bank heist movie with Ursula Andress, Stanley Baker and Warner again. Pinter’s The Homecoming was made for American television but released theatrically in the UK, after which Hall mostly worked on TV productions. His last cinema film was Never Talk to Strangers (1995) with Rebecca De Mornay and Antonio Banderas. His greatest achievement on film was Akenfield (1974), an adaptation of Ronald Blythe’s book about life in rural Suffolk, where Hall was born. His best TV work was in She’s Been Away (1989) with Peggy Ashcroft, which won several awards at Venice. Peter Hall was awarded the CBE in 1963 and was knighted in 1977. He was married four times, to Leslie Caron, Jacqueline Taylor, Maria Ewing and Nicki Frei. He fathered six children: Rebecca Hall is an actress and Christopher and Edward Hall are both directors, while Jennifer, Lucy and Emma have all acted for their father. 

  

ROBERT HARDY (29 October 1925-3 August 2017)

The actor Robert Hardy, who has died aged 91, may well be remembered for two roles, although he played a wide variety of parts on stage, in films and on television. Robert HardyHe seemed to have cornered the market on TV as Winston Churchill and latterly as Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter films. Early on in his career he worked in Shakespeare at Stratford-upon-Avon and later gave a fine performance as Henry V in the BBC’s An Age of Kings series. He graced many a period drama series, including the title role in David Copperfield, Henry Grandcourt in Daniel Deronda, Dudley in Elizabeth R, Prince Albert in Edward the Seventh, Caesar in The Cleopatras, Arthur Broke in Middlemarch and Tite Barnacle in Little Dorrit. He was popular as Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small on TV but it was as Churchill that he made his greatest mark in The Wilderness Years, War and Remembrance and Churchill: 100 Days That Saved Britain. He also played the great man in the stage musical Winnie, created by his brother Robin Hardy. Some of the films he made include The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, How I Won the War, 10 Rillington Place, Young Winston (as a headmaster), Gawain and the Green Knight, David Hare’s Paris by Night, Sense and Sensibility, An Ideal Husband and four Harry Potters. He was married first to Elizabeth Fox and then Sally Pearson. He has three children.

 

VALERIE HARPER (22 August 1939-30 August 2019)
The American actress Valerie Harper, who has died aged 80 from brain cancer, began her career as a dancer at Radio City Hall, progressing to acting and comedy on stage and television. She will, however, be best remembered as the titular star of her TV comedy show Rhoda, a spin-off from Valerie HarperThe Mary Tyler Moore Show, in which she played a Jewish girl with romantic problems. Her mother was the always brilliant Nancy Walker who, as Ida Morgenstern, was possibly the most annoying Jewish mother ever. Together Harper and Walker were a great team, batting comic lines off each other during the show’s run from 1974 to 1978. Prior to that, Valerie Harper had been on TV in The Doctors, Columbo and Story Theatre, etc. She had already been in films from 1956 (Rock, Rock, Rock! and Li’l Abner) but her first part of note was as Bean’s wife in Freebie and the Bean (1974), starring Alan Arkin. After Rhoda she was in Neil Simon’s Chapter Two, The Last Married Couple in America with George Segal, and Stanley Donen’s Blame It On Rio with Michael Caine. In 2007 she played Golda Meir in Golda’s Balcony after which came the rather more forgettable Certainty, Shiver and The Town That Came A-Courtin’. Otherwise it was more television including The Love Boat, City, Perry Mason, Missing Persons, Melrose Place, Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives and Valerie, a short-lived series in which she played a working mother looking after her kids while hubby was away. There was also a TV movie, Mary and Rhoda, with Tyler Moore and Harper in 2000. Her last work was voice-overs for The Simpsons and American Dad! She won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her performance in Rhoda. Valerie Harper, an avid supporter of equal rights charities, was first married to the actor Richard Schaal and then, from 1987, to the actor-producer Tony Cacciotti. She became the mother of Cristina Cacciotti, the daughter she adopted with her second husband.

 

BARBARA HARRIS (25 July 1935-21 August 2018)

The American actress Barbara Harris, who has died aged 83 from lung cancer, always made a good impression whatever she appeared in. Barbara HarrisMuch of her career was spent in the theatre but she was in some films and on television, too. She began acting as a teenager in Chicago, along with Mike Nichols, Elaine May and Edward Asner. Later, her husband Paul Sills, to whom she was married from 1955 to 1958, founded the Compass Players which later spawned the Second City theatre company, moving from Chicago to New York. She won a Tony award for the musical The Apple Tree in 1967. Her first TV appearance was in Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1961, followed by Naked City, Channing, The Defenders, etc. Her first film was Fred Coe’s A Thousand Clowns in 1965, then Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Momma’s Hung You In the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad and Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?, possibly two of the longest film titles ever. Shorter ones included Arthur Hiller’s Plaza Suite, Robert Altman’s Nashville, Hitchcock’s Family Plot and Disney’s Freaky Friday, with Jodie Foster. The films got fewer in the 1970s with just Movie Movie, Hill’s Angels and The Seduction of Joe Tynan. In the 1980s Barbara Harris was in Second-Hand Hearts, Peggy Sue Got Married, Nice Girls Don’t Explode and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Her last film was Grosse Pointe Blank in 1997. The rest of her time was taken up in teaching acting classes in Scottsdale, Arizona.

 

ANTHONY HARVEY (3 June 1930-23 November 2017)

Following a single film acting appearance as a child – playing Ptolemy in Gabriel Pascal’s Caesar and Cleopatra (1945) – the British film director Anthony Harvey, who has died at the age of 87, began his career as an editor. Anthony HarveyFrom the 1950s he was with the Boulting brothers on such films as Private’s Progress, Brothers In Law, Happy Is the Bride, Carlton-Browne of the F.O. and I’m All Right Jack. He edited Anthony Asquith’s The Millionairess, then Guy Green’s The Angry Silence, co-written and co-produced by Bryan Forbes for whom he also edited The L-Shaped Room and The Whisperers. For Stanley Kubrick, Harvey edited Lolita and Dr Strangelove and he worked with Martin Ritt on The Spy Who Came In From the Cold. Dutchman was Harvey’s first film as a director in 1966, an adaptation of a play by Amiri Baraka, with Shirley Knight. He directed Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter, which won three Oscars (Harvey was nominated too) and he also worked with O’Toole on the TV movie of Svengali and with Hepburn again on a TV adaptation of The Glass Menagerie, on the film Grace Quigley and for television This Can’t Be Love, Harvey’s final work in 1994. Other films directed by Harvey include They Might Be Giants with George C. Scott, The Abdication and Richard’s Things, both with Liv Ullmann, Players and the Western Eagle’s Wing. His other TV work included The Disappearance of Aimee with Faye Dunaway and Bette Davis, and the US sequences of The Patricia Neal Story, with Glenda Jackson.

 

SHINOBU HASHIMOTO (18 April 1918-19 July 2018)

The Japanese screenwriter Shinobu Hashimoto, who has died at the age of 100, was prolific in his output for directors such as Akira Kurosawa and Masaki Kobayashi. However, he may well live in the legends of film history for his Seven Samurai script becoming the inspiration for The Magnificent Seven. Rashomon was the first screenplay by Hashimoto, co-written with director Kurosawa in 1951. Shinobu HashimotoIt is about a samurai’s wife who is raped by a bandit who then kills the husband. The story was told from four different viewpoints. It was later taken up by the US, first as a play by Fay and Michael Kanin and then a film by Martin Ritt in 1964, The Outrage, with Paul Newman. Although Kurosawa was credited, Hashimoto was not. He also worked with Kurosawa again on Ikiru (1952), the title of which in English is Living, although the film is about an old man who is dying, a script inspired by a Tolstoy story. Hashimoto went on to write some seventy screenplays, sometimes in conjunction with Hideo Oguni, for film and latterly for television, many of which have never been seen in the UK. Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954) became recognised as a global classic, putting actor Toshiro Mifune on the international film scene. He also starred in Kurosawa-Hashimoto’s Throne of Blood (a version of Macbeth) and The Hidden Fortress (1958), which became an influence for Star Wars. The Magnificent Seven (1960) failed to credit any of the original writers of Seven Samurai, just the American author William Roberts. It became a huge hit and spawned several sequels, while the Elmer Bernstein score remains the epitome of film soundtrack composition. The 2016 remake did, however, acknowledge its antecedents.

 

RUTGER HAUER (23 January 1944-19 July 2019)
The Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, who has died aged 75, was born to the actors Teunke and Arend Hauer who ran their own acting school in Utrecht. Being often separated from his parents while they were on tour, Rutger became something of a rebel and ran away to sea (literally) to work on a freighter. Returning home, he studied at night school while working in the building industry. He then took drama classes, wrote poetry and joined the Navy. For five years he worked in a pantomime company before pursuing a serious acting career. His first work for Dutch TV was in Harry Kṻmel’s Monsieur Hawarden, but his scenes were deleted. Then he played the title role in Floris, a television series directed by Paul Verhoeven and then Verhoeven cast him in his feature film, the very successful Turkish Delight.
More TV and Dutch film work followed until Hauer appeared in Adrian Hoven’s Hard to Remember, Rutger HauerRalph Nelson’s The Wilby Conspiracy with Sidney Poitier and Michael Caine, Verhoeven’s Katie Tippel and Herbert Curiel’s The Year of the Cancer. He played Floris again in a TV sequel and was in Fons Rademakers’ epic film Max Havelaar. Hauer was back with Verhoeven again for Soldier of Orange amongst several other films. Hauer made an impression in Nighthawks with Sylvester Stallone and also in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner as the blond, renegade replicant Roy Batty, for which role he wrote much of his own dialogue. Blade Runner did it for Hauer and he became a truly international star player in Nicolas Roeg’s Eureka, Sam Peckinpah’s The Osterman Weekend, Philippe Mora’s A Breed Apart and Precious Find, as well as Richard Donner’s Ladyhawke. Flesh + Blood was the last time Hauer and Verhoeven worked together on what was a difficult project.
But there was still much to come from Hauer including The Hitcher, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Ermanno Olmi’s Golden Lion-winning The Legend of the Holy Drinker, Phillip Noyce’s Blind Fury, Lina Wertmṻller’s Up to Date, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Nostradamus (as the Mystic Monk), Partners in Crime, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Sin City, Batman Begins, Dario Argento’s Dracula 3D, and Jacques Audiard’s The Sisters Brothers, the last named arguably the best film Hauer made among many years of hack feature work and TV series (the results of which rarely reached the UK). There are still four films with Hauer awaiting release along with a television mini-series of A Christmas Carol in which Hauer plays the Ghost of Christmas Future - opposite Guy Pearce as Scrooge.
Often playing sinister or psychopathic villains, Hauer was the winner of many awards around the world, among which he received a Golden Globe for his performance in Jack Gold’s TV movie of Escape from Sobibor. Rutger Hauer was married first to Heidi Merz, with whom he had a daughter, the actress Aysha Hauer, and then from 1985 he married Ineke ten Kate who he had been with since 1968. He was an avid environmentalist and founded an Aids Awareness group which received the proceeds from the publication of his autobiography. During his career he gave master classes for students of film-making, and for many years he was the face in the commercials for Guinness, Ireland’s favourite stout.

 

DAVID HEDISON (20 May 1927-18 July 2019)
The American actor David Hedison, who has died aged 92, was born Ara David Heditsian of Armenian descent to Albert David Heditsian, a jeweller, and his wife Rose Bogosian, in Providence, Rhode Island. His parents wished him to join the family business, but Hollywood beckoned and, after serving in the US Navy, young Al (as he was called) joined a local acting school in Manhattan after enrolling at Brown University. David HedisonHe then went on to study at the HB Studio in Greenwich Village and at the Actors’ Studio. He received an award for his part in A Month in the Country off-Broadway which led him to receive offers in films, although not before he had worked as a radio announcer. His first major film role, after some television work and a part in The Enemy Below with Robert Mitchum, was playing scientist Andrḗ Delambre in The Fly (1958). That was followed by Son of Robin Hood (actually shot on Wimbledon Common), The Lost World, Raoul Walsh’s Marines, Let’s Go with Tom Tryon and George Stevens’ The Greatest Story Ever Told.
By then he was known as David Hedison and as such landed a major TV role - Captain Crane - in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (over a hundred episodes, 1964-68) and that is mainly what he is still remembered for. He did more television and then played James Bond’s friend Felix Leiter in Live and Let Die (1973) with Roger Moore. Television took up the rest of the 1970s until Andrew V. McLaglen’s North Sea Hijack and Bryan Forbes’s The Naked Face, both with Roger Moore again. He played Felix Leiter once more with new Bond Timothy Dalton in Licence to Kill, but otherwise he was mainly in demand for many of the popular TV series: Cannon, Benson, Charlie’s Angels, Hart to Hart, Dynasty and The Colbys, Fantasy Island, The Fall Guy, The Love Boat and Murder, She Wrote. His career ended on a low note in Eric Stoltz’s 2017 film Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk. David Hedison was married to the producer Bridget Hedison who died in 2016. They have two daughters, Alexandra and Serena.

     

HUGH HEFNER (9 April 1926-27 September 2017)

The American entrepreneur Hugh Marston Hefner, who has died aged 91 of natural causes, was mostly known as the publisher of Playboy magazine Florence Hendersonand the owner of a number of Playboy ‘bunny’ clubs where the female staff dressed as rabbits. He was also involved in producing TV and video documentaries of the models or ‘playmates’ featured in his publications. He released several of these every year from 1977 until 2008. However, he was also executive producer on many feature films for the cinema. In fact, he made cinema and TV films before his Playboy epics, the first being Roman Polanski’s Macbeth in 1971, in an adaptation by the director and Kenneth Tynan. He then produced a dramatised version of Desmond Morris’s book The Naked Ape, followed by Arthur Hiller’s The Crazy World of Julius Vrooder, Peter Bogdanovich’s Saint Jack with Ben Gazzara, and The Fiendish Plot of Dr Fu Manchu (1980) with Peter Sellers, the actor’s last film. Cut now through all the Playboy material until the 1990s when Hefner became involved in a series of TV documentaries about great silent film stars – Mary Pickford, Clara Bow, Theda Bara and Lon Chaney. In 2003 he produced Rita, a documentary on Rita Hayworth and then concentrated on more documentaries for the final decade of his life. As well as several ‘playmates’, Hugh Hefner had three wives, five partners and four children. He contributed to many charities in politics, publishing, animal welfare and conservation and was a perhaps surprising but fervent supporter of gay rights and same-sex marriage

 

KATHERINE HELMOND (5 July 1929-23 February 2019)
Although she had appeared in many television series and a number of films, the American actress Katherine Helmond, who has died from Alzheimer’s aged 89, only really became known to UK audiences through the comedy series Soap, a send-up of the TV soap opera genre which aired from 1977. Katherine HelmondHelmond was in all 88 episodes playing the ditzy mother Jessica Tate. She began acting in school plays in Galveston, Texas, joined a local theatre group during high school until her New York debut in the 1950s. Summer stock occupied her till her TV debut in Car 54, Where Are You? An early film was The Hospital (1971), Paddy Chayefksy’s hilarious and Oscar-winning take on the medical profession, starring George C. Scott. Mostly on TV in Gunsmoke, The Bob Newhart Show, The Snoop Sisters, Mannix, Barnaby Jones and The Six Million Dollar Man, etc, plus television movies such as The Legend of Lizzie Borden as Lizzie’s sister Emma, Helmond also made the occasional film such as Robert Wise’s The Hindenburg, Hitchcock’s Family Plot and Baby Blue Marine with Jan-Michael Vincent (q.v.). Then came Soap, which led to Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits, playing Mrs Ogre opposite John Cleese, and also Gilliam’s Brazil as Jonathan Pryce’s mother. She repeated her Soap role in the spin-off series Benson, some episodes of which she also directed. She also made Shadey, Snoo Wilson’s screenplay with Antony Sher. More TV included The Love Boat, Coach, Everybody Loves Raymond and Who’s the Boss? which she also directed. Of her remaining film appearances, Overboard with Goldie Hawn, Lady in White, and Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas were arguably the most interesting. She also played gossip columnist Hedda Hopper in the TV movie Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story, with Sherilyn Fenn as Liz. Helmond’s last work was voice-overs on the Cars animated films, and Frank and Ava, a 2018 film about Sinatra and Gardner. She won Golden Globes for Soap and Who’s the Boss? and was nominated many times for Emmy Awards. She kept on working in theatre and was nominated for a Tony Award, while her last stage appearance was in The Vagina Monologues. An early marriage to actor George Martin ended in divorce. Then she was married to David Christian from 1962 until her death. She had no children.

 

BERNARD HEPTON (19 October 1925-27 July 2018)

The Yorkshire-born actor Bernard Hepton, who has died aged 92, began his career on stage at the Bradford Civic Playhouse, then worked in York and subsequently ran both the Birmingham Rep and Liverpool Playhouse. Bernard HeptonHe joined the BBC in 1964 as an actor and director but it was for acting that he became known and for most of his working life television reigned. He was in TV movies from 1955: You Never Can Tell, A Man for All Seasons, Summer and Winter, etc, plus such series as Great Expectations (as Wemmick), The Newcomers, Middlemarch, The Troubleshooters, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (as Cranmer), Z Cars and The Organisation, among many more. He will be remembered particularly for Colditz (as the Kommandant), Churchill’s People, Sadie, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Secret Army, An Inspector Calls, Mansfield Park, Bleak House and The Old Devils. For the cinema his first film was A Boy, a Girl and a Bike in 1949. He was a soldier in Olivier’s Richard III, and later on was in Get Carter. He played Cranmer again in the film of Henry VIII and His Six Wives, was a diner in Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, and a passenger on Voyage of the Damned. During the 1980s he voiced a part in the animated Plague Dogs and appeared in Gandhi, The Holcroft Covenant, Shadey and Stealing Heaven. His last films were Eminent Domain (1990) and The Baroness and the Pig (2002), plus a TV serialisation of Jane Austen’s Emma in which he played Mr Woodhouse in 2008. Bernard Hepton was married twice, to the actresses Nancie Jackson and Hilary Liddell, both of whom predeceased him.

    

JOHN HILLERMAN (20 December 1932-9 November 2017)

The American actor John Hillerman, who has died aged 84, was a dab hand at playing John Hillermanrather prissy, stuffed-shirt roles. For his most famous and longest running TV part of Jonathan Higgins, which he played in Magnum, P.I. as well as in Simon & Simon and in Murder, She Wrote, the Texas-born actor assumed an English accent (which he perfected by studying Laurence Olivier in Hamlet). In the late 1950s and early ’60s Hillerman tried stage acting in New York but couldn’t make a living from it, so he moved to Los Angeles. His first film was They Call Me Mr Tibbs (1970), playing the uncredited role of a reporter. Michael Winner then cast him in Lawman with Burt Lancaster, and Peter Bogdanovich put him in The Last Picture Show, What’s Up, Doc?, Paper Moon and At Long Last Love. Other films in the 1970s included Honky, The Carey Treatment, Skyjacked, The Outside Man, The Thief Who Came to Dinner, Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter, The Naked Ape and Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles and, later on, History of the World, Part I. He was also in Chinatown, The Day of the Locust, Lucky Lady and Audrey Rose, after which it was mainly television, with guest shots plus regular appearances on The Betty White Show, One Day at a Time, The Love Boat and Valerie (with Valerie Harper). But it was Magnum P.I that dominated his career, in which he appeared in over 150 episodes from 1980. Much nominated for the role, Hillerman won a Golden Globe in 1982 and a Primetime Emmy Award in 1987. His last film was A Very Brady Sequel in 1996. He retired in 1999.

 

TOBE HOOPER (29 January 1943-26 August 2017)

The American writer, producer, director and sometime actor and composer Tobe HooperTobe Hooper, who has died of natural causes at the age of 74, will be mainly remembered for one influential film, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, his second feature from 1974. Born to parents who ran a cinema in Austin, Texas, Hooper began his career as a college professor and documentary film cameraman but graduated to features from 1969. Chain Saw was based on the real-life serial killer Ed Gein, was cheaply made, looked hideous but made a fortune and subsequently led to work for Hooper in Hollywood. However, he never ever reached the giddy heights (or depths) of Chain Saw in his other films. Often writing his own screenplays, he stayed on the same track with Death Trap, The Funhouse, Lifeforce and Invaders from Mars. Although he directed the Spielberg production Poltergeist, it was less personal than his other work. On TV he made Salem’s Lot, from the Stephen King novel, but after The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, he mainly worked in television. Later films included Night Terrors, The Mangler, Toolbox Murders, Mortuary and Djinn, his last film in 2013. Tobe Hooper married twice and had two sons.

 

GLYN HOUSTON (23 October 1925-30 June 2019)
The Welsh-born actor Glyn Houston, who has died aged 93, was the brother of fellow actor Donald Houston, who became a popular film star, whereas Glyn generally played minor roles often of men in authority. He began his working life as a milkman then during World War II worked for Glyn Houstonthe Bristol Aeroplane Company, was a gunner in the Fleet Air Arm, a docker and a military policeman. Later his brother helped him get a job with the Guildford Repertory Theatre. In 1950 Basil Dearden wrote a part for him as a barrow boy in The Blue Lamp, after which he appeared in many films, although often uncredited. He was in Trio, Wide Boy, Girdle of Gold, The Great Game, The Cruel Sea with Jack Hawkins and Turn the Key Softly with Joan Collins. Among the major films of the 1950s he appeared in were Mark Robson’s Hell Below Zero, Joseph Losey’s The Sleeping Tiger, Lewis Gilbert’s The Sea Shall Not Have Them, Guy Green’s Lost and the Boulting Brothers’ Private’s Progress. On television he did Colonel March of Scotland Yard, The Grove Family, Theatre Royal, How Green Was My Valley, and many other series that kept him busy throughout his career. Other films he made include The Long Arm, High Flight, The One That Got Away, A Night to Remember, A Cry From the Streets, Nowhere to Go, Tiger Bay and Jet Storm. In the 1960s he appeared in some Norman Wisdom films, as well as The Battle of the Sexes, Sink the Bismarck!, Circus of Horrors, Payroll, The Wind of Change, The Green Helmet, Flame in the Streets, Mix Me a Person, One Way Pendulum and The Secret of Blood Island. From the 1970s onwards Houston mainly confined his work to television, apart from the odd movie such as The Sea Wolves, Conspiracy, Old Scores and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, in which he played Grewgious. His last TV appearances in the 1990s were in The Bill and The Sherman Plays. Glyn Houston was married to the actress Shirley Lawrence and they have two children.

 

MICHAEL HOWELLS (13 January 1957-20 July 2018)

You may never have heard of the production and fashion designer Michael Howells, who has died aged 61, but his work on films and for television will be familiar to many. His last work was for the award-winning ITV series Victoria, which was outstanding as far as the production designs were concerned. Before that he designed Charles Sturridge’s TV movie Churchill’s Secret with Michael Gambon as Winston. Period designs seemed to be a speciality with Howells and among the films he designed were Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow, Princess Caraboo with Phoebe Cates, Bright Young Things, based on Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies, Nanny McPhee with Emma Thompson and Colin Firth, An Ideal Husband with Cate Blanchett, Fairy Tale: A True Story, Ever After: A Cinderella Story, Miss Julie, Talk of Angels and Blackwood. Michael Howells also designed the TV series of Shackleton and The Game. Early on in his career he also worked with Peter Greenaway on The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, with Claude Miller on The Accompanist, and with John Duigan on Wide Sargasso Sea. The Michael Howells Studios also covered theatre designs, fashion and exhibitions for many of the top fashion houses.

  

TAB HUNTER (11 July 1931-8 July 2018)

The American actor Tab Hunter, who has died aged 86 of cardiac arrest, was born Arthur Kelm, although his mother Gertrude Gelien gave her son her maiden name when his parents split up. Tab HunterHe joined the Coast Guard at 15 by lying about his age. After discharge, he returned to California hoping for a career with horses, his great passion. Being a prime athlete with blond hair he was soon approached by a Hollywood agent who changed his name to Tab Hunter. By 1950 he was in The Dividing Line then Saturday Island, with Linda Darnell. Set in World War II on a desert island, it required Tab to be shirtless which built up both his female and male fan base, as he became known as ‘The Sigh Guy’. As with Rock Hudson, the studios covered up the fact that Hunter was gay, so he had to escort Hollywood starlets to social occasions. His film career blossomed but mainly in genre pictures such as Gun Belt, Treasure of Kalifa, Return to Treasure Island, Track of the Cat, Battle Cry, The Sea Chase, The Burning Hills and The Girl He Left Behind, the last two with Natalie Wood. Television then took over for a while until What Lola Wants, the film of the musical Damn Yankees, in which he got top-billing. He played the boy-next-door in a TV version of Meet Me in St Louis (1959), opposite Jane Powell, and then appeared in That Kind of Woman with Sophia Loren, They Came to Cordura with Gary Cooper and The Pleasure of His Company with Fred Astaire. The Tab Hunter Show was a TV sitcom about a cartoonist and his romantic exploits around Malibu. It lasted for a season in 1960-61. More films and television came along, with only the occasional worthy piece such as Tony Richardson’s The Loved One, until John Waters discovered Tab for Polyester, with Divine. By then he was something of a Hollywood icon and he did Grease 2, the starry Pandemonium, and appeared in and produced Lust in the Dust with Divine again. His last feature was David Hemmings’ Dark Horse in 1992, for which Hunter provided the story and produced the film. He was also something of a singer and was signed by Warner Bros. Records. Jeffrey Schwarz made a documentary about the actor called Tab Hunter Confidential in 2015. Tab Hunter’s longtime partner was film producer Allan Glaser.

 

GLORIA JEAN (14 April 1926-31 August 2018)

The American actress and singer Gloria Jean (neé Schoonover), who has died from pneumonia at the age of 92, found early fame on account of her high soprano voice Gloria Jeanwhich drew attention when she was just three years old, singing on radio with Paul Whiteman’s Band. Having trained as a coloratura, at age twelve she auditioned for Universal Studios who were looking for a replacement for Deanna Durbin. Gloria’s first film was The Under-Pup with Robert Cummings in 1939, followed by If I Had My Way with Bing Crosby, and A Little Bit of Heaven with Robert Stack. However, she may well be remembered for Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941), mainly because she played the daughter of W. C. Fields, who also had a hand in writing this crazily surreal comedy (under the name of Otis Criblecoblis). More films followed in which Gloria exercised her vocal muscles, such as Wake Up and Dream with the Andrews Sisters, She’s My Lovely, A Date With an Angel and Mister Big, all with Donald O’Connor, When Johnny Comes Marching Home with Allan Jones, and other second features of the same ilk. She appeared as herself in the wartime morale-boosting Follow the Boys with George Raft and continued making minor but entertaining musical features during the 1940s, including Follow My Rhythm with Mel Tormé and Ghost Catchers with the comedians Olsen & Johnson. However, for most of the 1950s she appeared on television. In 1961 Jerry Lewis found Gloria working in a restaurant and cast her in The Ladies Man although most of her scenes were deleted. After episodes of The Dick Powell Theatre and Saints and Sinners, she retired from acting, married (and divorced) husband Franco Cellini and then began working for a cosmetics firm until 1993. She had one son, Angelo, and three grandchildren with whom she lived in Hawaii from 2007 until her death. Gloria Jean published her autobiography, Gloria Jean: A Little Bit of Heaven, in 2005.

  

ANNE JEFFREYS (26 January 1923-27 September 2017)

The American actress and singer Anne Jeffreys, who has died aged 94, began her career as a model while also Anne Jeffreystraining to be an opera singer, making her debut in La Bohème (1940). A live Hollywood revue led to her being cast in I Married an Angel, a musical film with Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. A contract at the Republic Studios saw her in several B-westerns and she was in a couple of Dick Tracy thrillers. She co-starred with Sinatra in Step Lively, with Mitchum in Nevada, with Lawrence Tierney in Dillinger, and with Pat O’Brien in Riff-Raff. Many minor films, musical and otherwise, followed, while Jeffreys also kept her hand and voice in by appearing in theatre shows such as Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Puccini’s Tosca, Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate and Sigmund Romberg’s My Romance. Divorced from her first husband Joseph Serena, she married Robert Sterling and they toured their cabaret act but then along came television and the series Topper, in which she played Marion the ghost. She still occasionally played in stage musicals – such as Camelot and The King and I. Anne Jeffreys made a few more films, including Panic in the City, The Southern Double Cross, Clifford and Richard III with David Carradine. With husband Sterling (who died in 2006) she had three sons, Jeffrey, Robert and Tyler.

  

JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON (19 September 1969-9 February 2018)

The Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, who has died at the premature age of 48, was a prolific musician who notched up over forty film scores since his first film in 2000, The Icelandic Dream. For many years he worked on films and television in Iceland but then began to be recognised for his work on three Dennis Villeneuve films, Prisoners, Sicario and Arrival. However, his score for Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 was rejected. As well as working in the US, Jóhannsson still scored films in Iceland, Denmark and Hungary and he worked with James Marsh on both The Theory of Everything and The Mercy. He was a music and sound consultant on Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! Of his last work, Mandy, with Nicolas Cage and Andrea Riseborough, awaits a UK release, while Garth Davis’s Mary Magdalene is due to be released in the UK on 16 March. Jóhann Jóhannsson was Oscar-nominated for The Theory of Everything and Sicario.

 

FREDDIE JONES (12 September 1927-9 July 2019)
The celebrated British character actor Freddie Jones, who has died aged 91, was a late starter in the acting profession. For ten years he worked as a laboratory technician in a ceramics factory before switching from amateur dramatics to the professional stage. He obtained a scholarship to drama school and then acted at Lincoln rep before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1962 for plays by David Rudkin, Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett, Maxim Gorky and Shakespeare. Rarely a star in films or on TV, he nevertheless contributed a wealth of off-the-wall characters throughout his acting career.
He made his mark in Peter Brook’s RSC production of the Marat/Sade both on stage and on film in 1967. Before that he had launched his television career in Androcles and the Lion, Z Cars, The Ticket-of-Leave Man, etc, and later played Claudius in The Caesars among many other series. He had a small part in his first film, Joseph Losey’s Accident (1967). Next came John Schlesinger’s Far From the Madding Crowd, The Bliss of Mrs Blossom with Shirley MacLaine, Otley with Tom Courtenay, and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed for Hammer. On stage in 1980 he created ‘Sir’ in Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser, his best defining part, based on Donald Wolfit. The film, however, went to Albert Finney.
Between his many TV appearances Freddie Jones Freddie Jonesalso made films including Doctor in Trouble, The Man Who Haunted Himself, with Roger Moore, Kidnapped with Michael Caine, Antony and Cleopatra with Charlton Heston, Sitting Target with Oliver Reed, Son of Dracula with Harry Nilsson, The Satanic Rites of Dracula with Christopher Lee, Juggernaut with Richard Harris, Vampira with David Niven, and Zulu Dawn with Burt Lancaster. He made three films with David Lynch, The Elephant Man, Dune and Wild at Heart and, among many others, did Firefox with Clint Eastwood, Peter Yates’s Krull, Fellini’s And the Ship Sails On (Jones’s favourite), Firestarter with Drew Barrymore, Barry Levinson’s Young Sherlock Holmes, Bill Douglas’s Comrades, Giles Foster’s Consuming Passions, Terry Jones’s Erik the Viking, Timothy Forder’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood (as Sapsea), Gabriel Axel’s Royal Deceit, Hugh Hudson’s My Life So Far, Spike Milligan’s Puckoon, Ladies in Lavender with Judi Dench and Maggie Smith and The Libertine with Johnny Depp.
Apart from his other television work, Freddie Jones played the cantankerous old Sandy Thomas in over six hundred episodes of Emmerdale from 2005 to 2018. He earned five Bafta nominations between 1965 and 1970 and won the title of ‘The World’s Best Television Actor of the Year’ at the Monte Carlo TV Festival in 1969. Freddie Jones was married to the actress Jennie Heslewood and they have three children, the actors Toby and Casper, and writer-director Rupert.

   

SHASHI KAPOOR (18 March 1938-4 December 2017)

The Indian actor-producer-director Shashi Kapoor has died, aged 79, from liver cirrhosis. He was one of the sub-continent’s busiest and most famous actors in both Indian and other films. Shashi KapoorKapoor made over 160 movies, often playing the handsome hero, although most of his Hindi films never reached the UK. He did, however, appear in twelve films in English. His career began in the 1940s, when he travelled around India with a touring theatre company while also appearing in films. In 1956, at the age of 18, he joined the British actor Geoffrey Kendal’s Shakespeare company and fell in love with one of Kendal’s daughters, Jennifer, whom he subsequently married and with whom he fathered three children. The other daughter, Felicity, was also part of her father’s touring troupe. James Ivory directed Kapoor in The Householder (1963), based on Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s novel. The film was released internationally and then in 1965 Ivory and Jhabvala wrote Shakespeare Wallah, based on the Kendals’ touring company in which Geoffrey, Jennifer, Felicity and Kapoor played fictitious versions of themselves. Among Kapoor’s other English-speaking films were Pretty Polly (1967), from a story by Noël Coward, while Ivory directed Kapoor in Bombay Talkie (1970) with Jennifer Kendal, Heat and Dust (1983) and The Deceivers (1988). Ivory’s partner, Ismail Merchant, made In Custody with Kapoor, from the novel by Anita Desai. Other films featuring the actor include Conrad Rooks’ Siddhartha, Stephen Frears’ Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (written by Hanif Kureishi), Jinnah with Christopher Lee, and Tony Gerber’s Side Streets. Dirty British Boys was Kapoor’s last film before he retired in 1999.

 

JEREMY KEMP (3 January 1935-19 July 2019)
The British actor Jeremy Kemp, who has died aged 84, following a long illness, was often seen in sinister or military character parts, playing Germanic or heavy roles both in films and on television. Jeremy KempFollowing National Service with the Gordon Highlanders and the Black Watch, he studied at the Central School of Speech & Drama and then went into rep. He was a member of the Royal Shakespeare and Old Vic companies before joining the BBC Drama Repertory Company. Kemp’s first film was an uncredited role in Powell & Pressburger’s The Battle of the River Plate in 1956, followed by many television appearances, including Z-Cars in which he played PC Bob Steele for over thirty episodes. During that time he also appeared in many films, including Cleopatra, Dr Terror’s House of Horrors, Operation Crossbow, Cast a Giant Shadow, Assignment K, The Strange Affair, A Twist of Sand, The Blue Max, Darling Lili, Pope Joan and The Games. More films followed before his appearance in the popular TV series of Colditz, playing Squadron Leader Tony Shaw. Kemp worked steadily in such films as The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, A Bridge Too Far, Caravans, The Prisoner of Zenda, The Return of the Soldier and Top Secret! as well as the TV mini-series The Winds of War, Sadat, Peter the Great, War and Remembrance, Star Trek, etc. Jeremy Kemp’s last films were Four Weddings and a Funeral in 1994 and Angels and Insects in 1995. He battled with illness for a long time and latterly had been living in the Denville Hall home for retired actors in north-west London..

  

MARGOT KIDDER (17 October 1948-13 May 2018)

The Canadian actress Margot Kidder, Margot Kidderwho has died at the age of 69, suffered mental health problems for most of her life. She always wanted to be a film star and, in moving to Los Angeles in 1969, made her debut in Norman Jewison’s Chicago, Chicago (aka Gaily, Gaily). This was followed, in between TV series, by Waris Hussein’s Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx, a dual role in Brian De Palma’s Sisters, The Gravy Train, Black Christmas, The Great Waldo Pepper and The Reincarnation of Peter Proud. In 1978, Superman really put her on the map, in which she played Lois Lane and appeared in its three sequels. Other films included The Amityville Horror, Willie & Phil, Some Kind of Hero, The Pornographer and many long-forgotten titles, as well as a lot more television. Although she worked extensively, Margot Kidder never repeated her early promise or the success of her signature appearances in the Superman franchise. She was married briefly three times, first to Thomas McGuane, who directed her in 92 in the Shade and who gave her a daughter, Maggie, to the actor John Heard (for six days) and to the French director Philippe de Broca.

   

GARY KURTZ (27 July 1940-23 September 2018)

The American filmmaker Gary Kurtz, who has died aged 78 from cancer, Gary Kurtzwas involved in various aspects of cinema although mainly as a producer and assistant director or second unit director. His film career began in 1965 as assistant director on Monte Hellman’s Ride in the Whirlwind with Jack Nicholson. Working on some fairly lowbrow movies, he was involved with such forgettable productions as Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet, Beach Ball, Queen of Blood, Blood Bath, The Hostage and two more Monte Hellman pictures, The Shooting and Two-Lane Blacktop. And then he met George Lucas… and life changed for the better, with American Graffiti - an immense global success – which he co-produced with Francis Ford Coppola. He stayed with Lucas for the first two Star Wars films. After that he was producer for The Dark Crystal, Return to Oz, Slipstream, The Thief and the Cobbler with animation by Richard Williams, and The Steal with Alfred Molina. Kurtz then became involved with television with The Tale of Jack Frost, Friends and Heroes and Resistance. His last feature film was the teen thriller Gangsta Kittens in 2016. He never won an Oscar but was nominated for Star Wars and American Graffiti. Gary Kurtz was married three times and has three children, Dylan, Melissa and Tiffany. Born in California, he died in London.

 

FRANCIS LAI (26 April 1932-7 November 2018)

The French composer Francis Lai, who has died age 86, Francis Laibegan playing in regional orchestras in his teens and then moved from Nice to Marseilles in the 1950s where he found jazz. He subsequently moved to Montmartre and wrote a hundred songs with Bernard Dimey before becoming a pianist for Édith Piaf. Meeting film director Claude Lelouch in 1985 he wrote the score for Un homme et une femme – remember shaba-daba-da, shaba daba da…?, winning Lai a Golden Globe. For Lelouch he wrote Vivre pour vivre, Un homme qui me plait, Le voyou and La bonne année. His biggest success in films was Love Story and the film’s theme song ‘Where Do I Begin?’ was a chart hit for Andy Williams. Other films Lai worked on include Mayerling, Three Into Two Won’t Go, International Velvet, three films for Michael Winner: I’ll Never Forget What’s’is Name, Hannibal Brooks and The Games, Bilitis, Passion Flower Hotel, Édith et Marcel, A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later, Dark Eyes and many French films that never reached the UK. Composer of some 130 film scores, Lai completed his last film work on Lelouch’s Les plus belles années which is due for release in 2019. Francis Lai married Dagmar Puetz in 1968. They have two sons and a daughter.

    

CLAUDE LANZMANN (27 November 1925-5 July 2018)

The French filmmaker and journalist Claude Lanzmann, who has died aged 92, was the son of a Jewish family who had emigrated to France from Eastern Europe and who then went into hiding during World War II. Claud LanzmannClaude joined the French Resistance movement and fought with his father and brother in Auvergne. He became chief editor of Les Temps Modernes, a journal founded by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir and later became a university lecturer in Switzerland. He began writing and directing epic documentary films from 1972.  Shoah (1985) was his magnum opus running over nine hours, a huge survey of the Holocaust in which he interviewed witnesses of the atrocities undergone by the survivors and also their perpetrators. Sobibór, October 14, 1943, 4pm was an account of the prisoners uprising at the Nazi extermination camp of Sobibór. The Last of the Unjust was about Theresienstadt, Hitler’s so-called model ghetto, just one stop before the gas chambers. Lanzmann’s latest work, The Four Sisters, with interviews with four Holocaust survivors he had not included in Shoah, was shown on French television on the day before he died. Claude Lanzmann was married three times and has two children. He won many awards for his work including a Bafta for Shoah.

  

WALTER LASSALLY (18 December 1926-23 October 2017)

The German-born, British-Greek cinematographer Walter Lassally, who has died aged 90, came to notice during the 1960s Free Cinema movement. It was for that documentary initiative that he worked with Lindsay Anderson, Karel Reisz and Tony Richardson, and subsequently for Woodfall Films (which grew out of their time at the Royal Court Theatre in London). From 1946 Lassally worked on a number of shorts, including Lindsay Anderson’s Walter Lassallyindustrial film Three Installations, The Children Upstairs, Green and Pleasant Land, A Hundred Thousand Children and Henry, all for the NSPCC. He also photographed Anderson’s Oscar-winning short Thursday’s Children about the Royal School for the Deaf. Passing Stranger was Lassally’s first feature in 1954, followed by Gavin Lambert’s Another Sky, A Girl in Black and A Matter of Dignity. Momma Don’t Allow and We Are the Lambeth Boys were among the first of the Free Cinema films from Reisz and Richardson along with Anderson’s Every Day Except Christmas, a portrait of the old Covent Garden market. Lassally brought a new and welcome freshness to cinematography with titles including Beat Girl, A Taste of Honey, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and Tom Jones. He worked with director Michael Cacoyannis many times including on Electra, The Day the Fish Came Out and Zorba the Greek, for which Lassally won an Academy Award. In a career in which he photographed over a hundred films, Lassally was involved in all sorts of productions, from Peter Hall’s Three Into Two Won’t Go, Truffaut’s Black Flowers for the Bride, James Ivory’s Savages, Autobiograhy of a Princess, Heat and Dust and The Bostonians, to The Perfect Murder, Diary of a Madman and Simon Callow’s The Ballad of the Sad Café. His last film was the Turkish production Crescent Heart in 2001. Walter Lassally was married to Nadia Lassall. He died on the island of Crete.

   

ROSEMARY LEACH (18 December 1935-21 October 2017)

Actress Rosemary Leach, who has died aged 81 after a short illness, worked extensively on stage and radio, both of which she preferred to television and films, although she appeared in over a hundred television programmes and a number of films as well. Rosemary LeachShe studied at Rada and worked in repertory from 1955 in Amersham, Coventry, Liverpool, Birmingham and The Old Vic. Among her stage successes were plays by Hugh Leonard, Terence Rattigan, Emlyn Williams, William Douglas-Home and Shakespeare. She won a best actress Olivier award for Helene Hanff’s 84 Charing Cross Road, a favourite part (along with Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls). However, television took up most of Leach’s career and she was a familiar face in many a popular TV sitcom. She was in the TV drama series The Power Game with Patrick Wymark, Zola’s Germinal, Sartre’s The Roads to Freedom, as the Mother in Laurie Lee’s Cider With Rosie, in Disraeli (as Queen Victoria), The Charmer, with Nigel Havers, etc. She will be especially remembered for The Jewel in the Crown, playing Aunt Fenny. Rosemary Leach’s first film was That’ll Be the Day (1973), playing David Essex’s mother, and in the same year she appeared in Ghost in the Noonday Sun with Peter Sellers. A Question of Faith was about the death of Tolstoy, while Turtle Diary had Glenda Jackson freeing the sea creatures. Rosemary Leach was delightful as Mrs Honeychurch in James Ivory’s A Room With a View and she also appeared in The Children, with Ben Kingsley, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Hawk, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?, Breathtaking, The Baroness and the Pig, Mission London and The Great Ghost Rescue. Her last film was May I Kill U? with Kevin Bishop in 2012. Over the years she had a recurring part in The Archers on BBC Radio 4. Rosemary Leach was married to the actor Colin Starkey, who survives her.

 

MICHEL LEGRAND (24 February 1932-26 January 2019)

The French film composer, jazz musician and conductor Michel Legrand, who has died aged 86, was born into a musical family. At age ten he studied at the Paris Conservatoire under Nadia Boulanger and other celebrated musicians and began composing and also playing piano and several other instruments. From 1947 he became interested in jazz and worked as an accompanist for many French singers. His first album, I Love Paris, sold over eight million copies. More albums followed and he managed to persuade musicians of the calibre of Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Diana Ross and Stephane Grappelli to work with him. Michel Legrand

Legrand became involved in French cinema at the time of the Nouvelle Vague with the likes of directors Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Demy. He came to fame with Demy’s Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (aka The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) (1964) in which the whole film was sung, earning him three Oscar nominations, including best original song for ‘I Will Wait for You’, which was subsequently taken up by many popular singers. Moving to Hollywood, he won his first (of three) Academy Awards for ‘The Windmills of Your Mind’ from The Thomas Crown Affair. His other Oscars were for Summer of ’42 and Yentl. In his long career in writing for films and television, Legrand notched up over two hundred soundtrack scores in some sixty years from 1955 right up until he died. His last film, Morning Shine, awaits release. Many of the early films, such as those from the 1950s, never reached the UK. However, he became a global name from the time of Demy’s Lola (1961), Bay of Angels, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg and Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, and through his work on Godard’s Une Femme est une Femme and Vivre sa Vie and Agnès Varda’s Cleo de 5 ă 7. In Hollywood, he made his mark with Sweet November, The Thomas Crown Affair, Ice Station Zebra, Play Dirty, The Happy Ending (in which his song was ‘What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?’, written with Alan and Marilyn Bergman), Summer of ’42, The Go-Between, Le Mans, A Time for Loving, Portnoy’s Complaint, Lady Sings the Blues, Bequest to the Nation, A Doll’s House, 40 Carats, F for Fake (with Orson Welles), Gable and Lombard, The Other Side of Midnight, The Hunter, Yentl, Atlantic City, Never Say Never Again, Prêt-ẚ-Porter, Les Misḗrables – the list goes ever on – right up to The Other Side of the Wind, the recently completed ‘lost’ Orson Welles  film. He was nominated for several Grammy awards, Emmy awards and won a Tony award for his theatre musical Amour on Broadway in 2002. He premiered his musical Marguerite, written with Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schőnberg and lyricist Herbert Kretzmer in London in 2008. Michel Legrand was married three times and has three children.

 

SUZANNA LEIGH (26 July 1945-11 December 2017)

The British-born actress Suzanna Leigh, who has died in Florida aged 72 from liver cancer, Suzanna Leighbegan her career as a child performer. Born Sandra Eileen Anne Smith, she changed her name on the advice of her godmother Vivien Leigh. Her first film appearance was in The Silken Affair (1956) an uncredited role with David Niven. She was also uncredited in Man from Tangier, in tom thumb (in the Dancing Shoes sequence), and in Oscar Wilde with Robert Morley. Bomb in the High Street, The Pleasure Girls and Boeing, Boeing (in Hollywood) came between appearances in TV’s It Happened Like This, The Sentimental Agent and The Saint. Her one big break was Paradise, Hawaiian Style with Elvis Presley, whom she much admired, especially in their kissing scenes together. She was due to appear with Elvis in Easy Come, Easy Go, but Colonel Tom Parker vetoed her. She also missed being in the film of Barefoot in the Park. After that it was such shockers as The Deadly Bees, Deadlier Than the Male, The Lost Continent, Subterfuge, Docteur Caraïbes (both the film and TV series), Lust for a Vampire, The Fiend, Son of Dracula and further television series. After retiring in 1978, Leigh came back with Grace of the Father (2015), her last appearance. She had a partner, Tim Hue-Williams, until 1982, and a daughter, Natalia Leigh Denny. She published her autobiography in 2000.

 

EDWARD LEWIS (16 December 1919-27 July 2019)
The film producer and writer Edward Lewis, who has died aged 99, Edward Lewiswas notable for choosing prestige properties to film. His CV probably contains more good films that many other producers would have loved to have on their roster. After he wrote and produced his first film The Lovable Cheat in 1949, then came The Admiral Was a Lady, after which he worked on some TV series until his next films, Run For the Hills, Lizzie and The Careless Years. All these titles were second features, but his movie in 1960 was an epic by comparison, Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, which Lewis co-produced with its star, Kirk Douglas, and for which he employed the Hollywood blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo. There followed a skew of  very interesting projects including The Last Sunset, Lonely Are the Brave, The List of Adrian Messenger, Seven Days in May, Seconds, Grand Prix, The Fixer, The Extraordinary Seaman, The Gypsy Moths, I Walk the Line, The Horsemen, The Iceman Cometh, Executive Action and Missing, among many others. With his wife Mildred, who died earlier this year, Lewis wrote books, plays and musicals. Edward and Mildred Lewis have two children. 

  

JERRY LEWIS (16 March 1926-20 August 2017)

The American actor Jerry Lewis, who has died aged 91 following a urinary tract infection, was born to Russian-Jewish parents, Daniel and Rachel Levitch. His father was in vaudeville, while his mother was a radio pianist, and Jerry started performing as a child with them. It was in 1945 that the comedian Lewis met the singer Dean Martin (1917-1995) in a New York club. They teamed up as an act and eventually moved to radio and then became television hosts on The Colgate Comedy Hour. Garry MarshallThis led to a contract with Paramount Pictures as supporting players in the film version of the radio show My Friend Irma (1949) which was quickly followed by My Friend Irma Goes West. Their first starring movie was At War With the Army and they went on to make many more films for Paramount including That’s My Boy, Jumping Jacks, The Caddy, Living It Up, Artists and Models and Hollywood or Bust. They then split up to make solo careers out of entertaining in Las Vegas, but at separate hotels. Lewis graduated to theatre and TV work and then returned to Paramount to make his own films, sometimes acting and directing. These included The Sad Sack, Rock-a-Bye Baby, The Geisha Boy, Visit to a Small Planet, Cinderfella and The Bellboy. All his films had elements of slapstick humour which now seems far too over the top. However, it didn’t stop the films coming, including The Ladies Man, The Errand Boy, It’s Only Money and The Nutty Professor, the last a take on Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. He also appeared in films by other hands, including Three Ring Circus, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Boeing Boeing and he directed One More Time, but eventually his own films (including Three on a Couch, Way… Way Out, The Big Mouth and Don’t Raise the Drawbridge, Lower the River) were not good and fared badly at the box office, while The Day the Clown Died (1972) was never even released. Martin Scorsese managed to tame Lewis for The King of Comedy (1983, a Bafta nomination) with Robert De Niro and he made several appearances in television series and movies. His Broadway debut was a production of Damn Yankees (1995) which also came to London, but only for two months or so. One of Lewis’s last films was Peter Chelsom’s Funny Bones (1995) with Lee Evans. If his films were not always worth the candle, Jerry Lewis’s tireless work for charity was exceptional. He particularly supported the Muscular Dystrophy Association, raising over two billion dollars through his annual telethons. He was married first to Patti Palmer and then SanDee Pitnick. He had seven children including an adopted son and an adopted daughter.

 

PEGGY LIPTON (30 August 1946-11 May 2019)
The American actress and singer Peggy Lipton, who has died from cancer aged 72, made her name in the television cop show The Mod Squad in over a hundred episodes from 1968. Peggy LiptonThe show dealt with social problems and without the use of guns. Later on she played Norma Jennings in David Lynch’s bizarre television series Twin Peaks and its film versions, Fire Walk With Me and The Missing Pieces. Her parents had encouraged Peggy to be a model as a teenager and to take drama lessons with Uta Hagen. She began her acting career in several popular TV shows until her first film, Disney’s Mosby’s Marauders in 1967, then Blue with Terence Stamp, after which The Mod Squad and other TV shows kept her busy till Franc Roddam’s War Party in 1988. Other films include Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects with Charles Bronson, True Identity with Lenny Henry, The Postman with Kevin Costner, The Wonder of Sex with Drew Barrymore, Jackpot with Daryl Hannah, When In Rome with Kristen Bell, and A Dog’s Purpose directed by Lasse Hallstrṏm, her last feature film. In between movies, she did more television and her last work was on another Twin Peaks TV series (in 2017). For a time she was a singer and issued several records. Peggy Lipton was married to the musician Quincy Jones from 1974 to 1989. They have two daughters, Rashida and Kidada, both actresses. In 2004 Peggy was first diagnosed with the colon cancer that finally took her in 2019.

 

SONDRA LOCKE (28 May 1944-3 November 2018)
The American actress and director Sondra Locke, who has died aged 74 from cardiac arrest (following cancer), started making home movies Sondra Lockewith her schoolboy friend Gordon Anderson. She then worked in promotions for television, in modelling and on voiceovers. Acting began with a Nashville community theatre group. In 1967 she married Gordon, although he was gay and the marriage never consummated. Auditioning for Warner Bros, Sondra landed the part of Mick in the film of Carson McCullers’ The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Then came Willard, Cover Me Babe, A Reflection of Fear, The Second Coming of Fear and some TV series. Her career took an upward turn when she appeared with Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales and she eventually became his partner. Locke made more films with Eastwood – The Gauntlet, Every Which Way But Loose, Any Which Way You Can, Bronco Billy and Sudden Impact. Then more television came along and she also pursued a directing career from the late 1980s and through the ‘90s, making Ratboy, Impulse, Trading Favours and a TV movie, Death in Small Doses. After fourteen years together, Locke and Eastwood had a very public breaking up and she wrote a book about their troubled life together called The Good, the Bad and the Very Ugly. Without Eastwood, her work suffered and she didn’t act after 1986 until her return to the screen in 2000 in Clean and Narrow and The Prophet’s Game. Her last film came seventeen years later with Ray Meets Helen, Alan Rudolph’s romantic drama which co-starred Keith Carradine. By the time of her death, Sondra Locke was still married to Gordon Anderson.

 

JULIA LOCKWOOD (23 August 1941-24 March 2019)
The British actress Julia Lockwood, who has died aged 77 from pneumonia, was the daughter of the stage and film actress Margaret Lockwood. Having seen her mother playing Peter Pan, Julia couldn’t wait to follow her in the same role. She played Wendy when her mother was Peter in 1957 but eventually got to play the title role four times. She made her debut on film at the age of four (with her mother) in Hungry Hill and then in The White Unicorn, again with her mother. Julia was Heidi on television and also appeared in The Royalty, Don’t Tell Father, Compact, Birds on the Wing, etc. Between stage work Julia made films including My Teenage Daughter with Anna Neagle, The Solitary Child with Barbara Shelley, Please Turn Over with Ted Ray and No Kidding with Leslie Phillips. When she married the actor Ernest Clark in 1972, she retired to raise her three children. She also had a son from a previous relationship.

 

CAROL LYNLEY (13 February 1942-3 September 2019)
The American actress Carol Lynley, who has died from a heart attack aged 77, started her working life as a child model for the Sears, Roebuck Company in New York. As a teenager she appeared in television series until her first film, Walt Disney’s The Light in the Forest (1958) with Fess Parker. Carol LynleyShe had appeared on Broadway in the play Blue Jeans as a young girl finding herself pregnant, so she also made the film version, co-starring with the young Brandon De Wilde. The same year, 1959, also saw her in Holiday for Lovers with Jane Wyman and Clifton Webb. Her career continued with a mix of film and TV work, including Don Siegel’s Hound Dog Man with Fabian, Return to Peyton Place, as Alison Mackenzie, Robert Aldrich’s The Last Sunset, with Rock Hudson and Kirk Douglas, Franklin J. Schaffner’s Woman of Summer with Joanne Woodward, Under the Yum Yum Tree with Jack Lemmon, and Otto Preminger’s The Cardinal. She worked with Preminger again on Bunny Lake Is Missing, a mystery story filmed in Britain. Other films she graced were Shock Treatment, The Pleasure Seekers and Harlow in which Lynley played a version of the 1930s star Jean Harlow. The Shuttered Room was David Greene’s horror film shot in Britain with Oliver Reed and Gig Young. Danger Route was one of Seth Holt’s last films, a spy story with Richard Johnson. After more television work, Carol Lynley’s career comprised mostly second-rate films and TV movies, apart from The Poseidon Adventure, a remake of The Cat and the Canary, and a version of H.G. Wells’ The Shape of Things to Come, with Jack Palance. Carol Lynley married and divorced the actor-producer Michael Selsman with whom she has a daughter, Jill.

 

JOHN MAHONEY (20 June 1940-4 February 2018)

Lancashire-born actor John Mahoney, who has died from throat cancer John Mahoneyat the age of 77, was best known for his role as Martin Crane, Kelsey Grammer’s father in the television series Frasier. When Mahoney’s sister married an American, he decided to emigrate to the US, gaining citizenship there by joining the US Army. He didn’t begin acting until he was in his forties, firstly on stage and notably for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago. His film debut was in Hudson Taylor in 1981, after which he mainly appeared on television and in the occasional film. From 1987 he was in some major movies, such as Peter Yates’s Suspect and Norman Jewison’s Moonstruck (both with Cher), Polanski’s Frantic with Harrison Ford, Costa-Gavras’ Betrayed and John Sayles’s Eight Men Out. In the 1990s he was in Love Hurts, The Russia House, Barton Fink, In the Line of Fire, The Hudsucker Proxy, The American President, Primal Fear, She’s the One and The Broken Hearts Club, among many others. Frasier came along in 1993 and he played Martin until 2004. John Mahoney’s last appearance was in an episode of Foyle’s War on British television in 2015. Although he had several relationships, John Mahoney never wed because his parents’ marriage had been an unhappy one.

  

DUSAN MAKAVEYEV (13 October 1932-25 January 2019)
The Serbian screenwriter and director Dusan Makaveyev, who has died at the age of 86, will be remembered for his important contribution to Yugoslavian cinema from the 1960s onwards, which was part of a critical, anarchistic experimental film movement called Black Wave. Dusan MakaveyevHe will be particularly celebrated for his film W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism (1971) which put him on the global cinema map. However, on account of its coverage of sexual and communist politics, in a documentary study of the life of psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, it mixed fact and fiction in a satirical way that unhinged the Yugoslavian authorities, and they banned the film for some sixteen years. Makaveyev’s cinema career began in the mid-1950s with a number of short films until his first feature in 1965, Man Is Not a Bird. This was followed by Love Affair, or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator and Innocence Unprotected. After W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism was banned by the oppressive political movement in his home country, Makaveyev moved to Canada to make Sweet Movie in 1974. It was another explicit film about sex which thereby limited its release to art house cinemas. Montenegro (1981) was made in Sweden with Susan Anspach and Erland Josephson. It was about a housewife who, seeking sexual liberation, tries to pep up her life by eating all her family’s food, setting light to her bed and poisoning the dog. The Coca-Cola Kid (1985), a satire on global branding, was made in Australia with Eric Roberts and Greta Scacchi. Eventually returning to Yugoslavia in 1988, Makaveyev made Manifesto (1988), a more conventional comedy-drama based on a book by Emil Zola about revolutionaries trying to assassinate a despotic European king. The cast included Alfred Molina, Simon Callow, Lindsay Duncan and Eric Stoltz, but it received only a limited release. Makaveyev went on to make more shorts, TV documentaries and two more features until his last in 1996. He was a vital voice in political cinema, albeit one that at times found difficulty in being heard. Dusan Makaveyev was married to Bojana Marijan, who often worked with him as an assistant or second unit director, writer and producer.

 

DOROTHY MALONE (30 January 1925-19 January 2018)

The strikingly beautiful American actress Dorothy Malone, who has died aged 92, had a long, fifty-year career in films and television, yet without realising her true potential as an actress. Discovered by an RKO scout, she began her film career with uncredited roles in films from 1940, including Higher and Higher and Step Lively (both with Frank Sinatra), Show Business (with Eddie Cantor), and Hollywood Canteen (with Bette Davis). Dorothy MaloneShe was at times under contract to Warners and Universal, but her first name check came in Too Young to Know (1945) and then she appeared in Night and Day, the bowdlerised biopic about Cole Porter with Cary Grant. She made more of an impression with Bogart in The Big Sleep, playing a bookshop owner, but then spent the rest of the 1940s in minor Westerns and other programmers. Television called from 1951, but she continued in movies including Scared Stiff and Artists and Models, both with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Law and Order, Loophole, Pushover, Don Siegel’s Private Hell 36, Young at Heart with Sinatra and Doris Day, Raoul Walsh’s Battle Cry, and Sincerely Yours with Liberace, among many others. More television cropped up until she gained the best role of her film career, as Marylee Hadley in Douglas Sirk’s Written on the Wind (1956), for which she won an Oscar for best supporting actress, eclipsing her co-stars Rock Hudson, Robert Stack and Lauren Bacall. Sirk also cast her in The Tarnished Angels the following year. Among the other films she made are Man of a Thousand Faces, Too Much, Too Soon, Warlock, The Last Voyage, The Last Sunset, and the iconic Beach Party. However, Dorothy Malone may well be best remembered for her portrayal of Constance Mackenzie in the TV series of Peyton Place, which ran for over 400 episodes from 1964 to 1968. Following that it was mostly television (Rich Man, Poor Man, Ironside, Ellery Queen, Police Woman, The Streets of San Francisco, etc), interspersed with the odd film such as Golden Rendezvous with Richard Harris and all-star Winter Kills, plus the inevitable horror movies. Her last film was Basic Instinct (1992). Dorothy Malone’s marriages were none too successful. Her first husband, Jacques Bergerac, actor and ex-spouse of Ginger Rogers, gave her two daughters in the five years they were married. Her match with the businessman Robert Tomarkin was annulled after four months and her final marriage to motel executive Charles Huston Bell ended in divorce after less than two years. She had three grandchildren.

 

TERENCE MARSH (14 November 1931-9 January 2018)

The Academy Award-winning production designer Terence Marsh, who has died at the age of 86, began his career as a Terence Marshdraughtsman at Pinewood Studios. Films he worked on early in his career include The Prince and the Showgirl, Miracle in Soho, The League of Gentlemen, The Singer Not the Song and Lawrence of Arabia. This last involved recreating the city of Aqaba and led to his working with David Lean again on Doctor Zhivago. Other high-profile films for which Marsh was art director include A Man for All Seasons, Oliver!, A Bridge Too Far, Magic, Absence of Malice, and Mel Brooks’s To Be or Not To Be and Spaceballs. He worked on other period films such as Scrooge, Mary, Queen of Scots and a TV version of Great Expectations (1974) with Michael York. Contemporary subjects included A Touch of Class with Glenda Jackson, The Mackintosh Man with Paul Newman and Juggernaut with Richard Harris. Among many other major movies Marsh designed Havana, Basic Instinct, Clear and Present Danger, The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. His last film was Rush Hour 2 (2002) with Jackie Chan. He worked on seven Oscar-nominated films and won Academy Awards for Doctor Zhivago and Oliver! Terence Marsh was married to his wife Sandra from 1975 and they have three children.

 

PENNY MARSHALL (15 October 1943-17 December 2018)
The American actress turned producer and director, Penny Marshall, who has died aged 76 from complications with diabetes, began her working life as a secretary and in appearances on TV commercials. Her brother, film director Garry Marshall, cast her in How Sweet It Is! in 1968, Penny Marshallat a time when she was mainly working in TV (Barefoot in the Park, The Magical World of Disney, The Super, The Bob Newhart Show and The Odd Couple etc). She played Laverne in Happy Days, and also in the two spin-off series Laverne and Shirley and Mork and Mindy plus other small parts in films including Movers and Shakers with Walter Matthau, The Hard Way with Michael J. Fox and Get Shorty with John Travolta, among others. She continued acting in films and on TV, with her final appearance being in The Odd Couple on TV in 2016. Marshall began directing in 1979 with the TV series Working Stiffs and went on to make feature films of  Jumpin’ Jack Flash with Whoopi Goldberg, Big with Tom Hanks (the first film by a woman director to take over $100 million at the box-office). She also directed Awakenings, with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams, A League of Their Own, with Hanks again, and Madonna, Renaissance Man with Danny DeVito, The Preacher’s Wife with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston, and Riding in Cars With Boys with Drew Barrymore, plus some more television work. Rodman, her documentary about professional basketball player Dennis Rodman, is due for release in September of 2019. Her job as a producer included some of her own films plus Calendar Girl, Getting Away With Murder, With Friends Like These..., Risk, Cinderella Man and Bewitched. Penny Marshall was married twice, first to the director Rob Reiner and then to the football player Michael Henry, with whom she had a daughter, Tracy. Both marriages ended in divorce. Following a bout of lung cancer, she wrote a memoir called My Mother Was Nuts.

   

PETER MAYHEW (19 May 1945-30 April 2019)
The British actor Peter Mayhew, who has died aged 74 from a heart attack, was a hospital porter before being discovered by film producer Charles Schneer who was looking for a tall actor to play Minoton in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. At seven foot Peter Mayhewthree inches tall, Mayhew fitted the bill and was later asked to play Chewbacca, a big hairy but friendly Wookiee monster in the first Star Wars film (1977). For the actor this part changed his life and for the next 38 years he mostly played the same role in five of the main Star Wars films plus appearances in various television spin-offs. He also played Chewbacca in other TV shows such as Donnie and Marie, The Muppet Show, The Late Show with David Letterman and Glee, as well as other parts in other series including a giant in Hazell, The Tall Knight in Dark Towers and various roles in The Kenny Everett Show. While much of his film career was with Star Wars, he was also cast in a few other movies including the role of The Mechanic in David McGillivray’s screenplay for Terror, a Dead Man in Yesterday Was a Lie and Uncle Clyde in Killer Ink, his last appearance (in 2016). Peter Mayhew married his wife Angelique in 1999 and they have three children. They lived in Texas where Mayhew was a naturalised US citizen from 2005. He became a businessman and wrote two children’s books about giants.

 

JOHN McENERY (1 November 1943-12 April 2019)
The British actor John McEnery, younger brother of fellow actor Peter McEnery, has died at the age of 75. Born in Birmingham, he began acting at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, after training at the Bristol Old Vic. Much of his career was in theatre, John McEnerywhere he did his best work. In his time he was a member of the National Theatre, the Nottingham Playhouse, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Young Vic. He entered films in 1965 playing extras in Olivier’s Othello, then did a TV movie of the National Theatre’s Much Ado About Nothing, followed by the role of Mercutio in Zeffirelli’s film of Romeo and Juliet. He appeared with his brother in David Hart’s The Other People and then with Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar in The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun. Bartleby (1970) gave McEnery the title role opposite Paul Scofield in a film of the Herman Melville story. In France – and in French – he was in Gḗrard Brach’s The Boat on the Grass (scripted by Roman Polanski), followed by Nicholas and Alexandra, as Kerensky, The Ragman’s Daughter, written by Alan Sillitoe, Fury, by Edward Bond, David Halliwell’s Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs, with John Hurt, The Land That Time Forgot, Losey’s Galileo with Topol, and an uncredited part with his then-wife Stephanie Beacham in David McGillivray’s screenplay for Pete Walker’s Schizo. After that and between stage roles, John McEnery mainly worked on television in Our Mutual Friend, Will Shakespeare, The Word, Nicholas Nickleby, Jamaica Inn, Sins, Poirot, The Buddha of Suburbia, The Broker’s Man, The Bill, and Elizabeth I with Helen Mirren, etc. Other films he made include The Duellists, Little Dorrit, The Krays, The Fool, Zeffirelli’s Hamlet (as Osric), Black Beauty, When Saturday Comes and Girl With a Pearl Earring (2003), his last film. His final TV appearances were in episodes of Silent Witness, Wallander and New Tricks. John McEnery was married to the actress Stephanie Beacham from 1973 to 1978, by whom he has two daughters, Phoebe and Chloe.

 

ALLYN ANN McLERIE (1 December 1926-21 May 2018)

The Canadian-born actress, Allyn Ann McLeriedancer and singer Allyn Ann McLerie, who has died at the age of 91, studied at the Actors Studio and was on stage before she graduated to films and television. She was in One Touch of Venus, Miss Liberty, Where’s Charley?, Redhead, West Side Story and On the Town which was co-written by her first husband Adolph Green whom she divorced in 1953. Her second husband was George Gaynes (of Police Academy fame) to whom she was married for 63 years until his death in 2016. They had two children, Iya and Matthew. Her first film credit was an uncredited appearance in Words and Music (1948). In 1952 she played Amy again in the film of Where’s Charley? with Ray Bolger, then was in The Desert Song and, in Calamity Jane, played Katie Brown, who pretends to be a famous actress appearing in Deadwood City. Other films included Phantom of the Rue Morgue, Battle Cry and 40 Pounds of Trouble. In 1962 she was Shirl in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They and went on to co-star in The Reivers, Monte Walsh, The Cowboys, Jeremiah Johnson, The Way We Were, Cinderella Liberty and All the President’s Men. Then television mostly occupied her time, including Punky Brewster, working with her husband George Gaynes. She retired in 1994 after an uncredited cameo in Police Academy: Mission to Moscow.

 

MARK MEDOFF (18 March 1940-23 April 2019)
The American writer, producer, director and actor Mark Medoff, who has died aged 79 from complications with cancer, Mark Medoffmade his name as a dramatist producing some thirty plays. He also worked on many films, but his greatest success was his play Children of a Lesser God, about the relationship between a deaf woman and her speech therapist. The play was an enormous hit and the subsequent film version was also a success. Medoff insisted that the leading female role be played by a deaf actress. In the US it was premiered by Phyllis Frelich, in London it was Elizabeth Quinn and for the film (with William Hurt) the role went to Marlee Matlin, who won an Oscar, the first time an Academy Award had been presented to a deaf actor. Medoff had written plays since the mid-1960s and he was also a teacher in New Mexico where he founded the American Southwest Theatre Company. He did the screenplay for own play When You Comin’ Back, Red Ryder? with Marjoe Gortner, Candy Clark and Peter Firth. He also scripted Good Guys Wear Black for Chuck Norris and later worked on Off Beat with Judge Reinhold, Clara’s Heart with Whoopi Goldberg, City of Joy with Patrick Swayze, Homage with Blythe Danner, plus Santa Fe, The Heart Outright and, at the time of his death, Walking With Herb, a serious comedy about a guy with personal problems, an abiding theme of Medoff’s writing. He also produced and directed some of his own screenplays and at times appeared in them as an actor. Mark Medoff was first married to Vicki Eisler. He married his second wife, the actress and costume supervisor Stephanie Thorne in 1972 and they have three daughters, Jessica, Debra and Rachel.

  

MADGE MEREDITH (15 July 1921-16 September 2017)

Never a star, the American actress Madge Meredith, who has died aged 96, Madge Meredithhad a twenty-year career in the movies and on television. Her first films were second features, namely Take It or Leave It (1944) with Phil Silvers, then Otto Preminger’s In the Meantime, Darling, Mitchell Leisen’s Kitty, Richard Fleischer’s Child of Divorce, The Falcon’s Adventure with Tom Conway, and Trail Street (1947) with Randolph Scott. Then there was a hiatus in her career due to an event more interesting than any of her films. She was accused of complicity in the assault of her former manager and his bodyguard when they were on their way to Meredith’s home. She was tried and convicted and spent five years in jail. In 1951 a California Crime Committee found that she had been framed, the case had been badly handled in court, and inconsistent allegations by those involved had been ignored by the police. She was released from prison and resumed her career mainly in television, apart from uncredited film appearances in To Hell and Back, Tea and Sympathy, The Ten Commandments and The Guns of Fort Petticoat. Her last appearance was in the TV series of The Littlest Hobo in 1964.

  

SYLVIA MILES (9 September 1924-12 June 2019)

Greenwich Village-born actress Sylvia Miles, who has died aged 94, had a long, sixty-two-year career right up to her death. She will be best remembered for her role in Midnight Cowboy for which she was Academy Award nominated. She studied at the Actors Studio, Sylvia Milesworking on stage and in revue from 1947 until her first television appearance in 1950 on The Bob Hope Show. In 1960 she appeared in the pilot for The Dick Van Dyke Show but didn’t make the series. Her first film was Murder, Inc in 1960 with Stuart Whitman, then Delmer Daves’ Parrish with Troy Donohue, and in 1964 Pie in the Sky (aka Terror in the City) with Lee Grant. In between films she was in TV shows such as Route 66, The Defenders, Naked City and N.Y.P.D. Then came John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy and Sylvia Miles’ Oscar-nominated performance as call girl Cass. After that she never seemed to stop working. The Last Movie was Dennis Hopper’s follow-up as the director of Easy Rider. Then there was Ernie Pintoff’s Who Killed Mary Whats’ername?, and Paul Morrissey’s Heat, Andy Warhol’s parody of Sunset Boulevard. Sylvia earned another Oscar nomination in the remake of Farewell, My Lovely with Robert Mitchum. Then came 92 in the Shade with Peter Fonda, The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday with Lee Marvin and Oliver Reed, Michael Winner’s horror shocker The Sentinel and many more. Sylvia graced the all-star adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Evil Under the Sun, she was in Michael Apted’s Critical Condition with Richard Pryor, and played Dolores the Realtor in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street. Working with women directors she was Hannah Mandelbaum the matchmaker in Joan Micklin Silver’s Crossing Delancey, played Meryl Streep’s mother in Susan Seidelman’s She-Devil, and appeared in Sally Kirkland’s The Boys Behind the Desk and Alison Thompson’s High Times’ Potluck. Go Go Tales was Abel Ferrara’s stripclub comedy with Miles as a monster landlady, and she was back for Oliver Stone’s Wall Street sequel, Money Never Sleeps. Her last TV show was an episode of Life on Mars in 2008 and she was filming Eric Spade Rivas’ Japanese Borscht at the time of her death. Sylvia Miles was married three times, to William Miles and the actors Gerald Price and Ted Brown. All three marriages ended in divorce. She once attracted notoriety by dumping a plate of food over the head of John Simon, the theatre critic of New York magazine, for his giving her a bad review in 1973.

 

JEAN-PIERRE MOCKY (6 July 1929-8 August 2019)
The French film actor-writer-producer-director Jean-Pierre Mocky, who has died aged 90, was a hard-working filmmaker of nearly 70 films as well as TV work. Born Jean-Paul Mokiejewski in Nice to Polish parents, his father was Jewish, his mother Catholic. They sent Jean-Pierre to Algeria Jean-Pierre Mockyduring the Nazi occupation of France by lying about his age. Mocky’s career began as a film and stage actor in 1946, working with Cocteau, Visconti, Fellini, and appearing in Antonioni’s I vinti (The Vanquished, 1953). His first screenplay was an adaptation of Hervḗ Bazin’s novel La tête contre les murs (The Keepers, 1959) for Georges Franju, in which he also appeared, and he often acted in the films he later wrote and directed. His first as director was Les dragueurs (1959) about a couple of shy young men looking for girls in night-time Paris.
Mocky was well-named as his films were often satirical or dealt with unorthodox problems including the loss of virginity (The Virgins) a fight for power (Snobs), splitting up of relationships (A Couple), aristocrats adapting to poverty through theft (Heaven Sent), falsifying important documents (Order of the Daisy), murderous orgies (Solo), real estate swindles (Chut!), and so on. Not all of his films were seen in the UK, although Mocky attracted the cream of the French acting profession, working with the likes of Bourvil, Charles Aznavour, Jacques Charrier, Gḗrard Blain, Jean-Louis Barrault, Fernandel, Jean Poiret, Claude Rich, Michel Serrault, Michel Simon, Philippe Noiret, Marie-Josḗ Nat, Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Deneuve, Stḗphane Audran, Toto and Jane Birkin, etc. From 2007 to 2019 he directed and hosted fifty-two episodes of stories for TV called Myster Mocky prḗsente. His last feature film, Tous flics!, is due to be released in 2020. Jean-Pierre Mocky was married four times and claimed to have fathered seventeen children, his first born when he was 13!.

  

JOHN MOLLO (18 March 1931-25 October 2017)

The British costume designer John Mollo has died at the age of 86. He began his career in films as an adviser on historical costumes, and worked on such pictures as Tony Richardson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade, Douglas Hickox’s Zulu Dawn, John MolloFranklin J. Schaffner’s Nicholas and Alexandra and Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. He came from a family of artists, his father inspiring John’s interest in military uniforms. His brother Andrew worked with Kevin Brownlow on the controversial 1964 film It Happened Here, about what Britain might have been like under Nazi rule. This involved creating authentic uniforms of the time and John’s interest developed from there. He became a prolific author of books on military uniforms and costumes, as well as designing for feature films. Among his first assignments were the first two Star Wars pictures for which he interpreted George Lucas’s vision of how the costumes should look. He also designed Ridley Scott’s Alien and Peter Hyams’s Outland, as well as Gandhi, Cry Freedom and Chaplin for Richard Attenborough. Other credits include The Lords of Discipline,Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan…, Revolution, King David, White Hunter, Black Heart, Hanna’s War and Air America. For television Mollo did designs for the Sharpe series and the Hornblower TV movies. Among his last cinema films were Stephen Herek's The Three Musketeers, Stephen Sommers' The Jungle Book and Event Horizon. John Mollo won two Academy Awards, for Star Wars (1977) and Gandhi (1982). He was married first to Ann Mollo and then to Louise Pongracz, with whom he had a son, Thomas.

 

LILIANE MONTEVECCHI (13 October 1932-29 June 2018)

The French actress, singer, dancer and cabaret artist Liliane Montevecchi, who has died from colon cancer aged 85, was the epitome of the sophisticated entertainer. Liliane MontevecchiShe began her career aged 18 as a dancer with Roland Petit’s company in Paris. Later she joined the Folies Bergère for nine years and then she took over in Robert Dhéry’s Broadway revue La Plume de Ma Tante in the late 1950s, but she had to wait until 1982 before being really discovered in Maury Yeston’s musical Nine based on Fellini’s film (Otto e mezzo), for which she won a Tony and a Drama Desk Award. Following that success came Grand Hotel, another Maury Yeston musical based on the Vicki Baum novel and the MGM film with Garbo. Other musicals she did included Irma La Douce, Gigi, Hello, Dolly! and Liliane played the Witch in The Wizard of Oz with Mickey Rooney. She toured the world with her one-woman show, having appeared at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. She was also in the famous 1985 concert performance of Sondheim’s Follies at Lincoln Center. Liliane was always a joy to interview with her irresistible charm and sometimes broken English. I last saw her a decade ago when she was still singing, still dancing and still lifting one leg onto the piano – not bad at 77! She attended classes at The Actors’ Studio with Marilyn Monroe, but her subsequent film career never amounted to very much, although she did get to work with some famous Hollywood names. Her first film was Femmes de Paris (1953) with Michel Simon. She was then under contract to MGM in the 1950s, appearing in secondary roles which required an element of dance, such as The Glass Slipper, with Leslie Caron and Michael Wilding, Daddy Long Legs with Caron again and Fred Astaire. She was a gypsy in Fritz Lang’s Moonfleet with Stewart Granger, danced in Viva Las Vegas! with Dan Dailey and Cyd Charisse, played Juanita in The Living Idol, appeared with Jerry Lewis in The Sad Sack, with Brando in The Young Lions, with Elvis in King Creole, and with Danny Kaye in Me and the Colonel. Television then occupied her time until Jean Yanne’s film Chobizenesse in 1975. Then there was Wall Street with Michael Douglas, The Idol, a French romantic drama, and How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days with Matthew McConaughey. Liliane’s last film was 4 Days in France in 2016.

    

PATRICIA MORISON (19 March 1915-20 May 2018)

The American actress Patricia Morison, who has died from Patricia Morisonnatural causes aged 103, will be best remembered for creating the role of Lili Vanessi in Cole Porter’s musical Kiss Me, Kate and later taking over in The King and I. However, early on she had a film career, on account of her great beauty and her long black hair. After a spell in the theatre, Morison made her feature film debut in Persons in Hiding (1939), a B-picture from Paramount Pictures who put her under contract. Unfortunately, she never landed great parts and was restricted to mainly playing femmes fatales in minor movies. During World War II she entertained the troops and returned to films for Hitler’s Madman, The Fallen Sparrow and The Song of Bernadette. Post-war saw her in MGM’s Without Love, Universal’s Lady on a Train and the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes starrer Dressed to Kill. She was in Johnny Weissmuller’s last jungle pic Tarzan and the Huntress, Song of the Thin Man and in Kiss of Death she played a rape and suicide victim but her part was cut. Following her success in Kiss Me, Kate, which she also played in twice on television, she worked mainly on the small screen for most of her subsequent career. She returned briefly to films to play Georges Sand in Song Without End (1960). Her final performance came in the most unlikely of films, Terence Davies’ The Long Day Closes in 1992. She never married.

 

ROBBY MŰLLER (4 April 1940-3 July 2018)

The Dutch cinematographer, who has died aged 78 from vascular dementia, Robby Mullerhad a preference for black-and-white photography as he believed that “the absence of colour can be a stronger factor than the presence of colour.” Known as the Master of Light, he worked often with such directors as Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch and Lars von Trier. Starting his film career in 1965 he shot some shorts and TV movies until Jonathan (1970), Hans W. Geissendörfer’s adaptation of a Bram Stoker novel. For Wenders he shot Summer in the City, The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty, The Scarlet Letter, Alice in the Cities, The Wrong Move, Kings of the Road, The American Friend and Paris, Texas. Műller also worked with other directors including Peter Bogdanovich on Saint Jack and They All Laughed, Alex Cox on Repo Man, with Jim Jarmusch on Down By Law, Mystery Train, Ghost Dog, Coffee and Cigarettes and Dead Man, and with Lars von Trier on Breaking the Waves and Dancer in the Dark, among many others. In his fifty-year career, Robby Műller won many awards for his cinematography: in all nearly thirty nominations and fifteen wins.

 

KIP NIVEN (27 May 1945-6 May 2019)
The name of the American actor Kip Niven, who has died from a heart attack aged 73, may not mean too much to UK audiences, but he had a long career in theatre, cinema, television and radio. A native of Kansas, he joined the university theatre programme and gained much experience as an actor on stage. His TV career began in 1968 and he worked solidly on the small screen until he found favour in Magnum Force (1973), one of Clint Eastwood’s ‘Dirty’ Harry Calahan movies in which he played rogue cop Astrachan. Kip NivenMore television work led to films such as Newman’s Law, with George Peppard, and Airport 1975, Jack Smight’s group jeopardy drama with a starry cast headed by Charlton Heston.
He was in Earthquake, another battle for survival with Heston again, and Ava Gardner and the earth-movingly tremulous Sensurround sound process. Niven’s third disaster movie was The Hindenburg, Robert Wise’s flaming Zeppelin drama with George C. Scott and a few archive shots of the original disaster. Completing his run of real-life historical dramas, Niven played a pilot in Battle of Midway with director Smight and Heston again. Scarlet Buccaneer (aka Swashbuckler) was pirate hokum with Robert Shaw.
Niven appeared on TV more than he did in films during the 1970s. In 1977 he did Smight’s Damnation Alley with Jan-Michael Vincent and George Peppard and three years later played a serial killer in New Year’s Evil (1980), a so-so schlock-horror fest. Although always busy on TV, Kip Niven had to wait twenty years to get back in the cinema. The Painting (aka Soldiers of Change, 2001), was a race related film that didn’t make the UK. More Than Puppy Love suffered the same fate, while little happened to Raising Jeffrey Dahmer, The Only Good Indian, Jayhawkers or Goodland. Kip Niven’s last film role was as Farmer Jim in The Land which still awaits a release. In a long career of over fifty years on film and TV, Kip Niven never appeared to be out of work. His first wife, actress Susan Tisdall, with whom he had a son and daughter, died in 1981. He then married the actress Linda Lavin, but they divorced in 1992, and finally he married Mary Beth Reiff, who gave him a daughter, but Mary died in 2012.

 

DENIS NORDEN (6 February 1922-19 September 2018)

The writer, presenter and broadcaster Denis Norden, who has died aged 96, was probably best-known as the frontman for It’ll Be All Right On the Night, ITV’s long-running series of outtakes and bloopers from films and television shows which ran from 1977 for some thirty years. Denis NordenHe also presented Looks Familiar, a TV nostalgia programme for many years. Long before TV discovered him, Norden and his writing partner Frank Muir, contributed a great deal to radio and TV comedy from 1948 onwards. His career began as a theatre stagehand and then cinema manager. After the war he left the RAF, where he wrote for troop shows, and then began writing for comedian Dick Bentley, while Frank Muir wrote for Jimmy Edwards. They combined forces for the radio comedy Take It From Here for Bentley and Edwards together. It ran from 1948 to 1959 and is still being repeated on BBC Radio 4 Extra. They wrote many TV series including Whack-O!, And So to Bentley, The Seven Faces of Jim and its sequels, Brothers in Law, How To Be an Alien, The Frost Report, The Glums etc. They appeared together on radio in My Word! and My Music and on TV in Call My Bluff. Early on in their careers, Muir and Norden had written additional dialogue for the film Song of Paris, with Dennis Price. When they stopped writing together, Norden contributed to several film screenplays including The Bliss of Mrs Blossom, Buona Sera, Mrs Campbell, The Best House in London, Twelve Plus One, Every Home Should Have One, The Statue, Secrets of a Door-to-Door Salesman, The Water Babies, plus a number of television movies. Frank Muir died in 1998 and Denis Norden retired in 2006 at the age of 84 because he was developing macular degeneration. He was married to Avril Rosen (who died just two months before him). They have two children, architect Nick and radio presenter Maggie. Denis Norden published his autobiography, Clips from a Life, in 2008.

  

ERMANNO OLMI (24 July 1931-5 May 2018)

The screenwriter and director Ermanno Olmi, who has died at the age of 86, was one of Italy’s great masters of the screen, a social commentator of immense power. Influenced by his country’s neo-realism movement of the 1940s, he created some of the most memorable and humane films ever made. He often cast non-professional actors and filmed in authentic locations, using long takes to produce his own kind of realism. He made many documentaries until his first major feature Il Posto (1961). Then, alongside more documentaries and television work, came The Engagement, A Man Named John, One Fine Day, Long Live the Lady!, The Legend of the Holy Drinker, The Profession of Arms and several others not always seen in the UK. His biggest success was The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) which won him the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Olmi, a true artist, received the Honorary Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival in 2008. He made his last film, Vedete, sono uno di voi, in 2017. He was married to Loredano Detto (she was in Il Posto) and they had three children.

Ermanno Olmi

  

IDRISSA OUÉDRAOGO (21 January 1954–18 February 2018)

Idrissa Ouédraogo, who has died aged 64, was one of the Idrissa Ouédraogofew great filmmakers to emerge from the African continent. Born in 1954 in Banfora, Burkina Faso – then Upper Volta – Ouédraogo was the son of farmers, but was born in his country’s capital city, Ouagadougou, where he also died. It was there that, after primary school, he began his serious education, later studying at the city's African Institute for Cinema Studies (where he graduated with a masters’ degree), in Kiev and in Paris. Before leaving for the USSR, he set up his own film company, The Future of Films, for whom he directed a number of shorts, starting with Poko (1981). His feature films largely focused on rural African life and he employed nonprofessional performers and members of his own family, most of whom could not even read. Thus, he encouraged his actors to improvise, to draw on their emotions rather than to repeat dialogue he had written. His third film, Tilaï (The Law) (1990), which he also co-produced and co-wrote, won the Grand Prix at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. And Samba Traoré (1993), about a petty thief plagued by guilt, was nominated for the Silver Bear at the 43rd Berlin Film Festival. He also contributed a segment to the omnibus film 11'09"01 September 11 (2002), alongside Alejandro González Iñárritu, Claude Lelouch, Ken Loach and Sean Penn. 

   

MURIEL PAVLOW (27 June 1921-19 January 2019)
The British actress Muriel Pavlow, who has died aged 97, had a long career on stage, in the cinema and on television. She was born in London to parents of Russian and Swiss-French origin. Muriel PavlowMuriel grew up in Hertfordshire and began acting as a teenager. Her first film was with Gracie Fields in Sing As We Go (1934) and she made her theatre debut in The Old Maid in 1936. Being rather petite, she played juvenile roles long beyond her own age until John Gielgud cast her in John Van Druten’s Old Acquaintance. Her early films include A Romance in Flanders, John Halifax (as a young boy), Night Boat to Dublin, The Shop at Sly Corner and Quiet Wedding where she met her future husband, the actor Derek Farr. Her stage work included Dodie Smith’s Dear Octopus, J.M. Barrie’s Dear Brutus, Terence Rattigan’s While the Sun Shines and Odd Man In with Derek Farr and Donald Sinden. She was at the Stratford Memorial Theatre during the 1950s and also became popular as one of the Rank Organisation’s contract players in films such as Malta Story with Alec Guinness, Doctor in the House and Doctor at Large with Dirk Bogarde, Conflict of Wings with John Gregson, Simon and Laura with Peter Finch, and Reach for the Sky (as the wife of Kenneth More, who played Douglas Bader), among many others. She generally played sympathetic roles, morally supporting the men in her life. Muriel Pavlow more or less retired from films with Murder She Said, with Margaret Rutherford, in 1961. However, she continued to work on stage and in television. Derek Farr died in 1986 but Muriel worked regularly until 2004 when she made a TV movie called Belonging. Her career farewell came in 2009 with a small part in Stephen Poliakoff’s film Glorious 39. Muriel Pavlow spent her last years in Denville Hall, the home for retired actors.

 

D.A. PENNEBAKER (15 July 1925-1 August 2019)
The documentary film director and cinematographer Donn Alan Pennebaker, who has died aged 94 from natural causes, became something of a one-man industry as far as cinéma-vérité was concerned. Before taking up filmmaking, he studied engineering at Yale, ran an electronics firm and worked in advertising. He started making short films in 1953, often with Shirley Clarke (famous for her film The Connection, about drug addicts). D.A. PennebakerHis first film of any length was Opening in Moscow, on the 1959 American Exhibition in Russia. After some TV work, he made Jane, about the 25-year-old actress Jane Fonda rehearsing a play. In 1967 he made the film he is most famous for – Don’t Look Back, a feature-length portrait of the singer Bob Dylan on his 1965 tour of the UK. Monterey Pop covered the pre-Woodstock music festival with The Mamas and The Papas, Canned Heat, Simon & Garfunkel, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, The Animals, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Ravi Shankar, etc. He filmed the recording of Stephen Sondheim’s Company for Original Cast Album in which Elaine Stritch had trouble getting it together (she compared it to “like Judy Garland playing the Margaret Rutherford story”). Pennebaker made more films with musicians including John Lennon, David Bowie, Little Richard, Otis Redding and a feature on Stax Records. Other subjects included John DeLorean, Bill Clinton, Town Bloody Hall with Norman Mailer and Germaine Greer, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, the actress’s one-woman show, Woodstock Diary, Kings of Pastry, about the French pastry chef award, and the five-hour National Anthem: Inside the Vote for Change Concert Tour in 2004, plus many other counter-culture films, often with a musical subject. He was regularly his own cinematographer, sometimes his editor too and also producer. He had a single acting credit in Wild 90, the 1968 film he wrote for Norman Mailer. D. A. Pennebaker was married three times and is the father of eight children. He was awarded a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2013.

 

LUKE PERRY (11 October 1966-4 March 2019)
The American actor Luke Perry, who has died aged 52 from a stroke, became a teenage heartthrob from his 200 appearances during the 1990s on the television show Beverly Hills, 90210 which depicted the lives and mainly the loves of a group of students in southern California. He played Dylan McKay, a young man constantly on the edge of society with bouts of alcoholism and an advanced sexual appetite for which the actor was compared to the late James Dean. Luke PerryThe show began quietly but soon took off when it dealt with problems such as drugs, Aids, rape and bankruptcy. Perry was just one of a cast of bright young things including Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Tori Spelling and Hilary Swank. Together they made the show a must-see programme for the youth audience. Perry began his TV career in 1982 in Voyagers! Followed by Loving, Another World, At Home With the Webbers and several animated series including The Incredible Hulk. In between TV shows, he scored some films such as Terminal Bliss (his first) and then Scorchers with Faye Dunaway and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He starred in John G. Avildsen’s 8 Seconds, was with Ashley Judd in Normal Life and played Billy in Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element with Bruce Willis. Throughout the 1990s he was appearing in Beverly Hills, 90210, while his other work just saw him marking time. In 1995 he took a three-year break from Beverly Hills, 90210 but then returned to it until 2000.  More television followed, as well some feature films, but none that had any particular interest and few, if any, reached the UK. While Perry was more popular in the US than here, he played the Billy Crystal role in When Harry Met Sally on stage in London, although it was not well received. In the last few years of his life Perry was in over fifty episodes of the TV series Riverdale, about a gang of youthful amateur sleuths solving local crimes. At the time of his death, Luke Perry had finished Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s sideways glance at Tinseltown, which is due for release in August 2019. It could well be Luke Perry’s best film. Perry married and divorced the actress Rachel Sharp and they have two children, Jack and Sophie.

 

ANDRÉ PREVIN (6 April 1929-28 February 2019)

How do you sum up the life and career of the German-American musician, composer and conductor André Previn, who has died at the age of 89? He was involved in so many aspects of music, be it jazz, classical, musical theatre and, yes, films, that it is hard to know where to begin. He even proved his mettle as an actor by working with Morecambe & Wise on a television sketch that has forever imprinted his persona on the great viewing public. For just that TV performance alone, Previn will always be remembered. Andre Previn
However, to begin at the beginning, in 1938 his Jewish family moved from Berlin to the USA and settled in Los Angeles. Still in high school, André began arranging and composing for MGM, who had discovered the teenager on a local radio station. At the age of 18 he was a composer-conductor at the studio, writing his first film score at the age of 20 for The Sun Comes Up, the first film to feature Lassie the dog. He subsequently worked as arranger, conductor, composer or musical director on titles including Three Little Words, The Violent Hour, Give a Girl a Break, Kiss Me, Kate, Young at Heart, It’s Always Fair Weather, Kismet, Bad Day at Black Rock, Wedding Breakfast (aka The Catered Affair), Bells Are Ringing, Designing Woman, Gigi, Elmer Gantry, One, Two, Three, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Silk Stockings, Porgy and Bess, Sweet Bird of Youth, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Dead Image, Two for the Seesaw, Irma La Douce, My Fair Lady, Inside Daisy Clover, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Paint Your Wagon, The Music Lovers and Rollerball, among many many others.
Previn had started his musical career as a jazz pianist, making his first album at the age of 16. He continued with this and worked on and off with many other celebrated jazz artists into the 1990s. From the early 1960s he had concentrated on conducting, first with the Houston Symphony, then the St Louis Symphony and from 1968 he was the principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. Later he took over at the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic and the Oslo Philharmonic. He recorded hundreds of albums of jazz, classical, contemporary and film music. He composed two operas, A Streetcar Named Desire and Brief Encounter and theatre musicals including A Party with Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Coco, The Good Companions and the incidental music to Tom Stoppard’s Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. His orchestral compositions include overtures, works for cello, guitar, piano, violin, harp and some double and triple concertos plus very many pieces of chamber music. He also collaborated on several jazz and pop songs.
Previn won many awards, including Oscars for Gigi, Porgy and Bess, Irma La Douce and My Fair Lady, plus several Grammy Awards, including a lifetime achievemant award. He was appointed an honorary KBE, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1996. André Previn was married five times, including to the singer-songwriter Dory (Langan) Previn, the actress Mia Farrow and the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. He was father to ten children.

  

MARTIN RANSOHOFF (7 July 1927-13 December 2017)

The American producer and writer Martin Ransohoff, who has died aged 90, had a thirty-five year career, mainly in films. After starting out in advertising, he made his first film as a producer, Boys’ Night Out, in 1962, a comedy with Kim Novak and James Garner, followed by The Wheeler Dealers, with Garner and Lee Remick. Martin RansohoffHe produced The Americanisation of Emily with Julie Andrews and wrote the story of The Sandpiper, but the combined efforts of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Eva Marie Saint, Charles Bronson, Robert Webber and Tom Drake (under the direction of Vincente Minnelli) couldn’t make this odd romance rise above the level of tosh. However, it did win an Oscar for best song, ‘The Shadow of Your Smile’. Ransohoff’s choice of films was eclectic: Tony Richardson’s The Loved One and Hamlet, Norman Jewison’s The Cincinnati Kid (after he fired Sam Peckinpah) with Steve McQueen, Eye of the Devil with Deborah Kerr (after he fired Kim Novak), and the debut of Sharon Tate who later on was in Ransohoff and Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killers. Other films included Jack Clayton’s Our Mother’s House, Alexander McKendrick’s Don’t Make Waves, John Sturges’ Ice Station Zebra, Peter Hall’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sydney Pollack’s Castle Keep, Mike Nichols’ Catch-22, Richard Fleischer’s 10 Rillington Place, John G. Avildsen’s Save the Tiger and comedies with Gene Wilder and/or Richard Pryor, namely Silver Streak, See No Evil and Hanky Panky. One of Ransohoff’s biggest successes was Jagged Edge (1985) with Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges. His last film was Turbulence in 1997 with Ray Liotta. Martin Ransohoff was married twice, first to Nancy Hope Lundgren and later to Joan Marie Madgey, who survives him.

 

SANDY RATCLIFF (2 October 1948-7 April 2019)
The British actress Sandy Ratcliff, who has died from cancer at the age of 70, Sandy Ratcliffmade an instant impression in her first film, Ken Loach’s Family Life (1971), playing a teenage girl having a breakdown. Her next film was the science fiction film The Final Programme, from the Michael Moorcock novel. Her television work included Crossroads, Crown Court, Couples, Touch and Go, Danger UXB, Shoestring, Minder, Shelley and over 260 episodes of EastEnders, in which she played café owner Sue Osman. Other films included Yesterday’s Hero, written by Jackie Collins, Chris Petit’s Radio On, Hussy with Helen Mirren, Doll’s Eye and several TV movies, the last in 1994, after which she retired from acting. In 1991 she had appeared in court when her then-boyfriend was accused of murder, her last public appearance. She was married to the photographer Peter Wright from 1968 to 1973, and bore a son, William, whose father was ex-boyfriend, theatre director Terence Palmer. In her time, Sandy Ratcliff played bass guitar in the bands Tropical Appetite and Escalator. Following drug addiction and nervous breakdowns, she became a counsellor and ambulance driver.

 

BURT REYNOLDS (11 February 1936-6 September 2018)

The American actor Burt Reynolds, who has died from heart problems at the age of 82, was quoted as saying: “My films were the kind they only show in prisons and in airplanes, because nobody can leave.” He was famous for turning down good roles but nevertheless enjoyed a sixty-year career in Hollywood and on television, and also produced and directed for TV and the movies. Burt ReynoldsAs a teenager, he was a good athlete and nearly had a football career until a knee injury put paid to it. In college in Florida he dropped out and went to New York to become an actor. After being seen in a production of Mr Roberts, he gained TV work from 1958 until his film debut in Paul Wendkos’ Angel Baby (1961) with George Hamilton and Salome Jens. More TV series, Westerns and war films followed and they gradually improved in quality with the likes of 100 Rifles, Sam Whiskey, Impasse and Shark. In the early 1970s, Reynolds had his own TV series, Dan August, playing the title role of a police lieutenant. After another detective in Fuzz came John Boorman’s Deliverance (1972), a film turned down by Brando, Henry Fonda and James Stewart as being too risky. It was the making of Reynolds’ career and was followed by Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex, Shamus, The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, White Lightning, The Mean Machine, At Long Last Love, W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings, Lucky Lady, Hustle and many more. Playing mainly macho action heroes, his signature casting was for films such as Smokey and the Bandit that gave rise to two sequels. Then there was The Cannonball Run I and II, Sharky’s Machine, The Man Who Loved Women, City Heat and Heat, after which he seemed to have reached his peak, but not before becoming the top money-spinning movie actor for five consecutive years. He both appeared in and directed Gator, The End, Sharky’s Machine, Stick and The Last Producer, plus several television shows. Reynolds worked hard in the 1990s and had some popular TV series (B.L. Stryker, Evening Shade) but the films were not great until Boogie Nights in 1997, which he disliked making but which gave him an Oscar nomination. Never unemployed for sixty years, he continued acting and doing voice-over work and still has a film, Defining Moments, that’s due to be released at Christmas 2018. In his time Reynolds turned down James Bond, the Bruce Willis role in Die Hard, Han Solo in Star Wars, Jack Nicholson’s part in Terms of Endearment, and somehow failed to get Rosemary’s Baby, Tucker, Magnolia, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Soapdish and Zardoz, the last due to illness, and he regretted posing nearly nude for Cosmopolitan magazine after Deliverance. He married the British actresses Judy Carne and Loni Anderson and divorced both. With Anderson he adopted a son, Quinton. Between wives he had a relationship with the singer Dinah Shore and was also the partner and frequent co-star of Sally Field from 1977 to 1982.

  

SHANE RIMMER (28 May 1929-29 March 2019)
The Canadian actor and writer Shane Rimmer, who has died aged 89, emigrated to the UK in the 1950s and worked here for the rest of his life. Although his face would be familiar to many filmgoers and TV watchers, he may well be remembered for his voice-over work, Shane Rimmerin particular on Thunderbirds and other Gerry Anderson puppet series. He was the voice of Scott Tracy on Thunderbirds (1965) on TV and for the features Thunderbirds Are GO and Thunderbirds 6, was various characters’ voices in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90 and Space: 1999. He also co-wrote  some episodes of Joe 90 and Captain Scarlet. In Canada he was a cabaret singer and then worked on TV for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He made his film debut in Sidney J. Furie’s first film, A Dangerous Age (1957), then appeared in Flaming Frontier with Bruce Bennett and Jim Davis. Moving to the UK, he worked on Armchair Theatre for ABC TV and then for Stanley Kubrick in Dr Strangelove... Umpteen television shows followed from then and for the rest of his career and a new Thunderbirds series for its 50th anniversary in 2015. Other films in which Shane Rimmer appeared include You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die (voice only), S*P*Y*S, Rollerball, The ‘Human’ Factor, Twilight’s Last Gleaming, Star Wars IV, Silver Bears, The People That Time Forgot, The Spy Who Loved Me, Superman I, II and III, The Dogs of War, Priest of Love, Reds, Gandhi, The Hunger, Out of Africa, Whoops Apocalypse, A Kiss Before Dying (1991), Batman Begins etc. Never a star or leading man, Shane Rimmer always brought something extra to a role, be it comedy or drama, and he made a good living out of being on the perimeter or just on the soundtrack. He was married to Sheila G. Logan and they have three children. In 2014 Shame Rimmer published a novel, Long Shot, following his autobiography, From Thunderbirds to Pterodactyls.

  

JEAN ROCHEFORT (29 April 1930-9 October 2017)

The French character actor Jean Rochefort, who has died aged 87, began his career in cabaret and theatre. Although he became very busy in films and on television, he continued also to act and direct on stage until 1970. He became famous for period action films in France but then made his name as a comic actor. Jean RochefortRochefort’s stunningly gaunt appearance made him constantly recognisable throughout his career. His first cinema feature was in 1956 and he continued in films and TV for the next sixty years, often in productions that were not always seen outside of France. Typical titles of some of his early films were Swords of Blood, The Iron Mask, Outpost in Indo-China, The Corrupt and Trouble Among Widows. From 1964 he was in the popular Angélique period film series about a teenage beauty who becomes involved in politics and with royalty. In Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (1966), William Klein’s satire on the 1960s, Rochefort played a character called Grégoire Pecque. Two Weeks in September starred Brigitte Bardot. Other films that did reach the UK include The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe (and its sequel) for Yves Robert (a director Rochefort worked with often), Robert’s Pardon Mon Affaire (and its sequel), Bertrand Tavernier’s The Watchmaker of St Paul and Luis Buñuel’s The Phantom of Liberty. Rochefort was a delight in Patrice Leconte’s The Hairdresser’s Husband and in Ridicule and also in the Pagnol story directed by Yves Robert, Le chateau de ma mere. He played a contract killer in Wild Target (which was re-made in English, with Bill Nighy), Robert Altman cast him as a cop in Prêt-à-Porter, Guillaume Canet used him in Tell No One, and he was hilarious as the harassed Maitre D in Mr Bean’s Holiday. Terry Gilliam wanted him to play Don Quixote but the 2002 film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, never go off the ground. However, he did appear in Lost in La Mancha, a documentary about the failed project. Jean Rochefort was married twice, firstly to Alexandra Moscwa (three children) and then Françoise Vidal (two children) and he had a son with actress Nicole Garcia

 

NICOLAS ROEG (15 August 1928-23 November 2018)   
The British cinematographer and film director Nicolas Roeg, who has died aged 90, was never one to work on routine projects. Nicolas RoegInstead, he was mostly associated with controversial productions that often became something of a cult. His career began as a tea boy in the small Marylebone Studios which happened to be across from where he lived. He worked his way up to become a clapperloader and eventually camera operator on such films as The Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Sundowners, The Man Inside, Bhowani Junction, Lawrence of Arabia, The Caretaker, The Masque of the Red Death, Nothing But the Best, Fahrenheit 451, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Far From the Madding Crowd and Petulia. His first film as a director was Performance, co-directed with Donald Cammell. Controversy – sex, drugs and Mick Jagger – kept the film on the distributor’s shelf for two years. Walkabout was set in the Australian outback, Don’t Look Now featured Venice and was a popular and critical success. David Bowie played The Man Who Fell to Earth and then Art Garfunkel starred in Bad Timing with Theresa Russell, who became Roeg’s second wife. The film, however, was disowned by the Rank Organisation. Insignificance saw famous names of Marilyn Monroe, Einstein, Joe DiMaggio and Senator McCarthy meeting up. Of his later films, only The Witches really worked to its own advantage, with Castaway, Track 29, Cold Heaven and Two Deaths following as also-rans. Sadly, Roeg’s last film, Puffball (2007), was a huge disappointment. As a cinematographer, Roeg always displayed great imagination and a distinctive visual style. He was awarded a British Film Institute Fellowship in 1994, received the OBE in 1996 and won the Lifetime Achievement Awards at Raindance in 1999 and at the Transilvania International Film Festival in 2007. The London Film Critics’ Circle gave him the Dilys Powell Award in 2012. Roeg was married to actress Susan Stephen, with whom he had four children, Theresa Russell (two children) and latterly Harriet Harper (from 2005).

  

ALVIN SARGENT (12 April 1927-9 May 2019)
The American screenwriter Alvin Sargent, who has died of natural causes at the age of 92, was notorious for taking a long time to write his scripts. But, that said, he created many high-profile films and could never be accused of writing second-rate material. Alvin SargentHe was born Alvin Supowitz in Philadelphia where he was educated but left school to join the US Navy during World War II. Moving to Los Angeles, he worked as a restaurant waiter, then for a clothing company and then as a CBS prop man. After some acting experience, he sold advertisements for the showbiz paper Variety. He began writing for television from 1956 including for Naked City, Ben Casey, Route 66 and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. His first film script was for Gambit (1966) with Shirley MacLaine and Michael Caine and then Robert Mulligan’s The Stalking Moon with Gregory Peck, Alan J. Pakula’s The Sterile Cuckoo (aka Pookie) with Liza Minnelli, and I Walk the Line, again with Peck. In the 1970s he wrote The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds for director Paul Newman and star Joanne Woodward, Peter Bogdanovich’s Paper Moon, and Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing, again for Pakula and starring Maggie Smith. He contributed (uncredited) to Streisand’s version of A Star Is Born, Sydney Pollack’s Bobby Deerfield, and Julia for Fred Zinnemann, with whom he had worked as an uncredited actor on From Here to Eternity in 1953. After Straight Time, The Electric Horseman, Nuts (with Streisand), and Ordinary People, Robert Redford’s first film as a director, Sargent worked through the 1990s with Susan Sarandon, Bill Murray, Danny DeVito, Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg and Richard Gere, until Spider-Man 2 came along in 2004, followed by Spider-Man 3 and finally The Amazing Spider-Man, his last screenplay (in 2012). Alvin Sargent was married to the actress Joan Camden for over twenty years. After their divorce, he lived with Laura Ziskin, producer of the Spider-Man movies, for 25 years but they married only a year before she died in 2011. Sargent won two Academy Awards, for Julia and Ordinary People.

  

DAVID SHERWIN (24 February 1942-8 January 2018)

The screenwriter, actor and producer David Sherwin, who has died from sepsis aged 75, David Sherwindid not have a great output, but what he wrote for the cinema was sheer class. He made his mark on three Lindsay Anderson films, namely if…. (1968), O Lucky Man! (1973) and Britannia Hospital (1982). His first screenplay was actually called Crusaders but had a title change suggested by a secretary at the production company. If…. dealt with rebellion at a public school and introduced Malcolm McDowell in his first film, playing Mick Travis. O Lucky Man! followed him in his career as a coffee salesman, and Britannia Hospital saw him in a satire on the NHS. Sherwin tried writing other films but they came to nothing, including a version of the Camille story for Zeffirelli and Robin Hood for Jon Voight. The film of his own memoir, Going Mad in Hollywood, never got made, although he did rewrite some of Penelope Gilliatt’s screenplay for John Schlesinger’s Sunday Bloody Sunday (uncredited, of course). He appeared as himself in Lindsay Anderson’s biographical documentary Is That All There Is? (1992) and in a TV series Cast and Crew (2002) in which filmmakers revisited former locations. His last screenplay was for Wet Gold (1984), a TV movie with Brooke Shields and Burgess Meredith. David Sherwin was married twice and had a son and a daughter.

 

NEIL SIMON (4 July 1927-26 August 2018)

The American writer Neil Simon, who has died aged 91 from renal failure following Alzheimer’s disease, conquered the worlds of theatre, cinema and television, mostly with comedy, often based on his own life experiences. His career began as a gag writer on TV in the late 1940s with Sid Caesar’s long-running series Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour. Neil SimonHe also did TV adaptations of Best Foot Forward, Babes in Toyland, A Connecticut Yankee, The Chocolate Soldier, The Desert Song and The Great Waltz. He wrote some twenty episodes of the Sergeant Bilko You’ll Never Get Rich series and more besides. His first play was Come Blow Your Horn which was followed by Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple, Sweet Charity, Plaza Suite and Last of the Red Hot Lovers, all of which became films written by him. The Odd Couple also made a perennially successful TV series. Other of his plays that made movies were The Prisoner of Second Avenue, The Sunshine Boys, Chapter Two, The Gingerbread Lady (filmed as Only When I Laugh), I Ought To Be In Pictures, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound, Lost in Yonkers and Biloxi Blues, the last four being very much based on his early life in New York. He also wrote the original screenplays of The Out of Towners, The Heartbreak Kid, Murder by Death, The Goodbye Girl, The Cheap Detective, California Suite and Seems Like Old Times. Simon wrote the books for the stage musicals Little Me, Sweet Charity and Promises, Promises. With further TV movies and his other adaptations, Neil Simon must surely have been the most productive comedy writer in the world. His plays were staged everywhere and his films were global successes. Actors no doubt fought to be in his plays and films and he certainly raised the profiles of performers such as Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. He never won an Oscar himself, but he did win Tony awards for The Odd Couple, Biloxi Blues and Lost in Yonkers, the last gaining him a Pulitzer Prize. Neil Simon was born, lived and died in New York. He was married five times, to Joan Baim, Marsha Mason, Diane Lander (twice) and Elaine Joyce, and had three children. The Alvin Theatre on Broadway was renamed the Neil Simon Theatre in his honour.

  

ALAN SIMPSON (27 November 1929-8 February 2017)

From 1957, the scriptwriting partnership of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson Alan Simpsonproduced some of the best comedy programmes on radio and television for some sixty years. They met in hospital when they were both suffering from tuberculosis and started writing for the hospital radio station. They began scripting for BBC radio in 1951 for Derek Roy’s show Happy-Go-Lucky, then with Eric Sykes contributed to Frankie Howerd’s Fine Goings On and eventually Hancock’s Half Hour (1954-59) which transferred to BBC Television from 1956 to 1961. They had also written for Bernard Braden and contributed ten one-off scripts for BBC TVs Comedy Playhouse, one of which, The Offer, about two rag and bone men, became Steptoe and Son (1962-74). The duo wrote Citizen James, a series for Sid James, and other TV shows for Frankie Howerd, Ken Dodd and Leslie Phillips, plus television movies and an adaptation of Clochemerle. In the cinema they were not that successful. Apart from movie spin-offs of Steptoe and Son and Up the Chastity Belt for Frankie Howerd, there was The Rebel (1961) written when Hancock was at the height of his fame, The Bargee (1964), with Harry H. Corbett, The Spy With a Cold Nose (1966), the film version of Joe Orton’s Loot (1970) and a short called Le Petomane (1979) with Leonard Rossiter as the Frenchman with a music hall farting act. However, Alan Simpson and Ray Galton were essentially TV writers and in their heyday they were the best there was and their material still stands up today. They both received the OBE in 2000 and were awarded a Bafta Fellowship in 2016. Ray Galton himself died 5 October 2018 following a long illness associated with dementia.

 

JOHN SINGLETON (6 January 1968-29 April 2019)
The American film writer, producer and director John Singleton, who has died at the age of 51 following a stroke, was the youngest director to be nominated for an Academy Award. At 24 years old he was also the first African- American to be nominated in that category. The film was Boyz n the Hood (1991) John Singletonand Singleton was also nominated for best screenplay written directly for the screen. The film detailed the lives of three street guys (Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr and Morris Chestnut) growing up in South Central Los Angeles surrounded by problems of drug dealing and gangsterhood. In his time Singleton wrote three other films, Poetic Justice with Janet Jackson, Higher Learning with Laurence Fishburne, and Baby Boy with Tyrese Gibson, all of which he also directed. Among the other films he directed were Rosewood with Jon Voight, 2 Fast, 2 Furious with Gibson and Paul Walker, Four Brothers with Mark Wahlberg, and Abduction with Taylor Lautner. He also produced all these films as well as a remake of Shaft with Samuel L. Jackson, Hustle and Flow with Terrence Howard, Black State Moan with Jackson again and Justin Timberlake, and Illegal Tender with Rick Gonzalez. He also contributed to television series including Empire, American Crime Story, Rebel, Billions and Snowfall, as well as several TV documentaries. He appeared as an actor in Beverly Hills Cop III, Baadasssss! and others, and played himself in The Game TV series. John Singleton was married briefly to Ghanaian filmmaker Akosua Busia and they have one daughter, Hadar. With his former wife, Tosha Lewis, he has two children, Tosha and Maasai, and he also fathered a daughter, Cleopatra. Arguably the most important black filmmaker since Spike Lee, Singleton claimed his favourite directors to be De Sica, Truffaut, Spielberg, Kubrick, Scorsese, Kurosawa, Cassavetes and Coppola. He was a great admirer of Western films such as Henry King’s  The Gunfighter (1950), a movie that particularly influenced many of Singleton’s own film set-ups.

  

HARRY DEAN STANTON (14 July 1926-15 September 2017)

The American actor, musician and singer (he had a mariachi band) Harry Dean Stanton, Harry Dean Stantonwho has died of natural causes at the age of 91, was kept busy in films and on television for well over sixty years, making over 300 appearances. He had a weirdly rugged look about him so was probably born to play odd character roles and, in the process upstaged many a star performance. On television from 1954 his first credited role was in the B-western Mark of the Apache (1957), which was followed by more TV work, then Michael Curtiz’s The Proud Rebel, with Alan Ladd, Hero’s Island with James Mason, and an uncredited role in How the West Was Won. In 1967 he was again uncredited for In the Heat of the Night, but then came Cool Hand Luke with Paul Newman. More films followed as well as TV work and Stanton then made more of a mark in such films as Kelly’s Heroes, Two-Lane Blacktop, Cisco Pike, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Dillinger, The Godfather Part II, Farewell, My Lovely (1975), The Missouri Breaks and Wise Blood among others. He was in Alien, The Rose, Private Benjamin, Escape from New York, One From the Heart, Christine and, more famously, Repo Man and Paris, Texas. After playing Molly Ringwald’s father in Pretty in Pink he did Stars and Bars, Mr North, The Last Temptation of Christ (as St Paul), Twister, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, and continued to work on such films as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Straight Story, The Green Mile, The Big Bounce, Avengers Assemble etc. He made four films in 2017 including John Carroll Lynch’s Lucky, in which he plays the central role of a 90-year-old atheist on a journey of self-exploration, and the new TV series of Twin Peaks. His last film, Frank and Ava, about Sinatra and Gardner, is in post production.

 

SHEILA STEAFEL (26 May 1935-23 August 2019)
The South African-born actress Sheila Steafel, who has died aged 84, was British and lived all her adult life in the UK. She trained as an actress in London at the Webber Douglas Academy and subsequently appeared in repertory

Sheila Steafel

theatre, various shops and a club where she served curry in a sari. On TV from 1957, her big break came with The Frost Report, although she had already appeared in TV comedy programmes such as Hugh and I, Sykes and A..., Not Only... But Also, Frankie Howerd, Comedy Playhouse and Roy Hudd’s Illustrated Weekly. Comedy played a huge part in Sheila Steafel’s career with her appearances with Bernard Cribbins, Tommy Cooper, Jimmy Tarbuck, Eric Sykes again, The Goodies, Spike Milligan, Kenny Everett, Rab C. Nesbit and many more. She was also in TV drama including Z Cars, Diary of a Nobody (as Carrie Pooter), Grange Hill, Holby City and Doctors. Between TV work she managed to fit in many films too, such as Robert Fuest’s Just Like a Woman, her first in 1967 with Wendy Craig and Frances Matthews, Quatermass and the Pit, The Bliss of Mrs Blossom, Otley, Baby Love, The Smashing Bird I Used to Know, Goodbye, Mr Chips, Tropic of Cancer, Some Will, Some Won’t, Percy, Up Pompeii, Melody, Catch Me a Spy, Digby: The Biggest Dog in the World and Bloodbath at the House of Death, among others. In 1976, Steafel was in the West End production of Salad Days and she also worked for the RSC during the 1980s in plays by Shakespeare and Vanburgh, and she did Chekhov’s Ivanov at Richmond, Neil Simon’s The Gingerbread Lady at Watford and was in Paris Match at the Garrick. She had a very funny one-woman cabaret show and often appeared at the Players’ Theatre music hall and on The Good Old Days TV show as Popsie Wopsie, a Gaiety Girl who could never quite keep in step or in tune with the music. Sheila Steafel was married to the actor Harry H. Corbett from 1958 to 1965 and she wrote an autobiography called When Harry Met Sheila.

 

DAVID OGDEN STIERS (31 October 1942-3 March 2018)

The Oregon-born actor David Ogden Stiers, who has died aged 75 from bladder cancer, was a man of many talents. Known chiefly for his role as Major Winchester in the long-running television series M*A*S*H, he was very much more than just that. He was at high school David Ogden Stierswith the celebrated film critic Roger Ebert and at the early age of twenty he joined the Santa Clara Shakespeare Festival for seven years, then studied acting, singing and conducting at Juilliard and appeared on Broadway in The Magic Show. More stage work followed. He became a drama teacher and principal guest conductor of a local Oregon orchestra. His first film role was as the voice of an announcer in George Lucas’s THX 1138 in 1971. Voice-over work was to follow him for much of his career: his voice was used on many Disney cartoons, including Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as well as on video games. TV work included Kojak, Charlie’s Angels, Rhoda, Perry Mason, Matlock, and Murder, She Wrote, as well as M*A*S*H from 1977 to 1983, plus umpteen TV movies. For the cinema he was cast by Woody Allen in Another Woman, Shadows and Fog, Mighty Aphrodite, Everyone Says I Love You and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion. Other films he graced included Oh, God!, The Cheap Detective, Magic, Harry’s War, The Man With One Red Shoe, The Accidental Tourist, Doc Hollywood etc. His last work (in 2017) was in the film Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time and the TV movie The Joneses Unplugged. He fathered a son in the 1960s but came out as gay in 2009.

 

BARBARA STONE (13 December 1934-17 March 2018)

London filmgoers may only know of the American producer-director Barbara Stone, who has died aged 83, from the film distribution company Cinegate that she ran with her husband David until 1986. They distributed and screened independent films at their Gate cinemas in Notting Hill, Brunswick Square and Camden. However, as a director, Barbara made Compañeras and Compañeros (1970) and other films with the Mekas brothers, Adolfas and Jonas, who she knew through their New York Film Culture magazine. She mostly produced documentaries and short films, but also worked on features including The Doctor and the Devils for director Freddie Frances, The Steal for John Hay, Unrelated for Joanna Hogg and That’s For Me for Claudia Solti. With David, who died in 2011, Barbara had four children.

  

HARRY STRADLING JR (7 January 1925-17 October 2017)

New York-born cinematographer Harry Stradling Jr, who has died aged 92, was part of a film cameraman dynasty. Both his father, Harry Stradling Sr (1901-1970), and his great-uncle Walter Stradling, Mary Pickford’s cameraman (1875-1918), were cinematographers, and his two sons, Bob and John Stradling, Harry Stradling Jrare also cameramen. Harry Jr started out as an assistant on Gaslight (1944) and subsequently worked on Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, The Kissing Bandit, Intruder in the Dust, Watch the Birdie, Young Bess, The Student Prince and Jeanne Eagels etc. He also worked with his father on Guys and Dolls, The Pajama Game, The Miracle, A Summer Place, Auntie Mame and Gypsy. Stradling Jr first became Director of Photography on Richard Quine’s Synanon in 1965. Then there was Burt Kennedy’s 1967 western with Henry Fonda, Welcome to Hard Times, after which he shot 86 episodes of Gunsmoke and 21 of Cimarron Strip before returning to movies with With Six You Get Egg Roll, Doris Day’s last film. There were more Burt Kennedy westerns: Support Your Local Sheriff, Support Your Local Gunfighter, Dirty Dingus Magee, Young Billy Young and The Good Guys and the Bad Guys, plus Arthur Penn’s Little Big Man, Something Big with Dean Martin, and McQ and Rooster Cogburn, both with John Wayne. Some of his later films included Battle of Midway, The Big Bus, The Greatest, Convoy, Buddy Buddy and, for Blake Edwards, S.O.B., Micki + Maude, A Fine Mess and Blind Date. Caddyshack II (1988) was his last film. Harry Stradling Jr was Oscar-nominated for 1776 and The Way We Were (whereas his father won Academy Awards for The Picture of Dorian Gray and My Fair Lady).

 

JOHN STRIDE (11 July 1936-20 April 2018)

The London-born actor John Stride, John Stridewho has died aged 82, worked chiefly on stage and in many television films and series, most notably The Scarlet and the Black, Heil Caesar! (as Mark Antony), The Main Chance (as David Main), Wilde Alliance, Love Among the Artists, Diamonds, The Old Devils and Growing Rich. Never a star cinema actor, he entered films in 1960, uncredited in Sink the Bismarck! (as the son of Kenneth More), then did Bitter Harvest, with Janet Munro. Later he played Ross in Roman Polanski’s Macbeth, a sergeant in Something to Hide, Hughes in Juggernaut, an inspector in Brannigan with John Wayne, the psychiatrist in The Omen, and a major in A Bridge Too Far. He was also in Oh Heavenly Dog with Chevy Chase and Hanna’s War with Ellen Burstyn. He was married to Virginia Thomas and April Wilding and fathered three children.

 

DUDLEY SUTTON (6 April 1933-15 September 2018)

The British actor Dudley Sutton, who has died at the age of 85 from cancer, generally played renegades, outsiders with problems, out of which he made a very successful career. After service in the RAF he joined Rada but was subsequently expelled for liking rock’n’roll. Dudley SuttonEarly on he joined Theatre Workshop with Joan Littlewood at Stratford East. Following a couple of small roles in the films A Night to Remember (1958) and Go To Blazes (1962), he was cast in a couple of important films by director Sidney J. Furie. In The Boys he played one of several bad lads up in court on a murder charge, and in The Leather Boys (1964) he was a biker in the gay film. The latter, a bold production based on the novel by Gillian Freeman (writing as Eliot George), threw light on the subject of homosexuality well before its time and was certainly more believable than Victim of a few years earlier. Dudley Sutton also played the title role in the first stage production of Joe Orton’s similarly ground-breaking Entertaining Mr Sloane. He worked steadily in both films and television right up to his death. On TV he was in Coronation Street, Dixon of Dock Green, The Baron, The Avengers, EastEnders, Casualty, Emmerdale, Holby City, Doctors among many other series. He will be remembered for playing Tinker Dill, Ian McShane’s sidekick, in the long-running series of Lovejoy, all seventy episodes. Among the other films Dudley Sutton did were Crossplot with Roger Moore, The Walking Stick with David Hemmings, One More Time with Sammy Davis Jr, A Town Called Bastard with Telly Savalas, Ken Russell’s The Devils, Valentino and The Rainbow, Ken Loach’s Family Life, The Stud with Joan Collins, Fellini’s Casanova, Michael Winner’s remake of The Big Sleep, Brimstone and Treacle with Sting, Lamb with Liam Neeson, Derek Jarman’s Edward II, The Football Factory with Danny Dyer, Dean Spanley with Peter O’Toole and Cockneys vs Zombies, etc. There are still three more films awaiting release: Steven Berkoff’s Tell Tale Heart, Sacha Bennett’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and When the Devil Rides Out, with Oliver Tobias. Dudley Sutton married American actress Marjorie Steele in 1961. They have a daughter and divorced in 1965. He married again three times and fathered two sons.

    

VITTORIO TAVIANI (20 September 1929-15 April 2018)

Vittorio Taviani, the Italian film director and screenwriter, who has died aged 88, worked with his younger brother Paolo, making over twenty films from 1954 onwards. Many of their subjects were historical or docudramas such as Outlaws of Love and Allonsanfan. They had an international hit with Padre Padrone (1977), a true story about a Sicilian man who educated himself out of his poor upbringing. Many of their films won awards, including Padre Padrone, La notte di San Lorenzo (The Night of the Shooting Stars, 1982), Caesar Must Die and Rainbow: A Private Affair. Their other films included Kaos, Good Morning Babylon (set in Hollywood), Night Sun and Fiorile. One of their last films together, Wondrous Boccaccio (2015), dealt with young people trying to save themselves from the plague in the 14th century.

Vittorio Taviani

Vittorio Taviani

 

RONNIE TAYLOR (27 October 1924-3 August 2018)

The British cinematographer Ronnie Taylor, who has died at the age of 93, following complications after a stroke, had a long career working with many famous directors such as Ronnie TaylorJack Clayton, Karel Reisz, Ken Russell, Bryan Forbes, Anthony Harvey, Dario Argento, Richard Attenborough, Stanley Kubrick and George Lucas. His film career began in the 1940s as a clapper loader and focus puller until his first credit came as camera operator on It’s Not Cricket (1949) with Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne. He spent much of his working life as a camera operator on such titles as Boys in Brown, Brandy for the Parson, The Scamp, Room at the Top, The Rough and the Smooth, The Battle of the Sexes, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, The Innocents, The Wrong Box and The Whisperers. In 1969 he worked for Attenborough on Oh! What a Lovely War and then on Young Winston. He was also director of photography on Attenborough’s Gandhi (for which he won an Oscar), A Chorus Line and Cry Freedom. Taylor also worked with Ken Russell on Tommy, Valentino, Savage Messiah and The Devils. With Kubrick he photographed Barry Lyndon and for Argento he was DP on Opera, The Phantom of the Opera and Sleepless, Taylor’s last picture in 2001. Ronnie Taylor worked on countless other films including the first Star Wars in 1977, did a few movies for television and five episodes of The Avengers in 1965. He was married to Mary Devetta and they have two children. He retired to Spain and died on the island of Ibiza.

 

RIP TORN (6 February 1931-9 July 2019)
The American actor Rip Torn, who has died at the age of 88, was a master at playing unpleasant characters, heavies for whom no-one could feel affection. Born Elmore Rual Torn Jr in Texas of German, Austrian, Bohemian and Moravian descent, he assumed the name Rip which was a family monicker for the male side of his family. At the University of Texas he studied animal husbandry with the intent of buying a ranch. Rip TornTo fund this he moved to Hollywood but needed to work on other jobs before being discovered for the movies. His debut was in Elia Kazan’s Baby Doll in 1956. Then he moved to New York to study at the Actors’ Studio under Susan Strasberg and also dance with Martha Graham. After some television work, Kazan cast him in the film A Face in the Crowd, and then he did Time Limit directed by Karl Malden. He had a reasonable part in Lewis Milestone’s war film Pork Chop Hill with Gregory Peck and then it was mostly TV until he played Judas in Nicholas Ray’s biblical epic King of Kings.
Torn worked on and off Broadway many times. Kazan directed him in Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth with Paul Newman and Geraldine Page, and the same cast appeared in Richard Brooks’ film of the play. Torn played a theatre director in Critics’ Choice with Bob Hope and Lucille Ball and then appeared in The Cincinatti Kid, Norman Jewison’s 1965 poker-playing drama with Steve McQueen. After a slew of popular TV series, Torn then had a run of films including Francis Ford Coppola’s You’re a Big Boy Now, Cornel Wilde’s Beach Red, Brian G. Hutton’s The Heroin Gang, Milton Moses Ginsberg’s Coming Apart, Joseph Strick’s Tropic of Cancer and Norman Mailer’s Maidstone, the last involving a real and famously controversial fight between director and star.
Torn was memorable as a Country & Western singer in Payday and also in Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth with David Bowie. He kept busy in movies and on television right up to 2016. Notable among his films were The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover, The Seduction of Joe Tynan, First Family, Airplane II: The Sequel, Cross Creek, Songwriter with Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, City Heat with Clint Eastwood, Extreme Prejudice with Nick Nolte, Beautiful Dreamers (as Walt Whitman), RoboCop 3, How To Make an American Quilt, Men In Black I, II and III, Wonder Boys with Michael Douglas, and Marie Antoinette (as Louis XV). In later years Rip Torn was popular in the TV series The Larry Sanders Show, Will & Grace and 30 Rock. His only Academy Award nomination was for Cross Creek, but he won a Primetime Emmy for The Larry Sanders Show. Rip Torn was married three times, to the actresses Ann Wedgeworth, Geraldine Page and Amy Wright. He was father to six children.

 

PIERO TOSI (10 April 1927-10 August 2019)
The Italian film costume designer Piero Tosi, who has died of natural causes aged 92, was the first costume designer to win an honorary Academy Award. Piero TosiThe citation in 2014 called him “a visionary whose incomparable costume designs shaped timeless, living art in motion pictures.” Noted for his painstaking research into historical costume, his crowning achievement was Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard (1963) which called for hundreds of elaborate costumes, in particular for the grand ball scenes. Tosi was born in Florence where his father was a metalworker. Piero, however, had other ideas with his love for theatre, the movies and costumes. He was discovered by fellow art student Franco Zeffirelli who introduced Tosi to Visconti who then employed him on his theatre productions.
His first three film commissions from 1951 were all for Visconti – Bellissima, Senso and White Nights. He worked again with Visconti on Rocco and His Brothers, The Leopard, The Stranger, The Damned, Death in Venice, Ludwig and The Innocent. He also worked with other high-profile directors such as Mauro Bolognini, Luigi Comencini, Mario Monicelli, Ḗdouard Molinaro, Marco Ferreri, Louis Malle, Liliana Cavani, Vittorio De Sica, Roger Vadim, Pasolini, Fellini and Zeffirelli. He received five other Oscar nominations for his designs and was the winner of two Baftas, for Death in Venice and Zeffirelli’s La Traviata, among many other international awards.

 

VERNE TROYER (1 January 1969-21 April 2018)

The American actor and stuntman Verne Troyer, who has died aged 49, possibly from suicide, Verne Troyerwas, even at just 32 inches tall, an iconic figure. He appeared in films for some twenty years in parts that called for his lack of stature, beginning in 1996 with Pinocchio’s Revenge and Jingle All the Way. He was also in Men in Black, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Mighty Joe, etc, but really came to fame in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, playing Mini-Me, a pint-sized version of Mike Myers’ title character. He appeared in video shorts, on television and in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (as Griphook), and returned for Austin Powers in Goldmember. More TV followed as well as the films Postal, College, The Love Guru, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Keith Lemon: The Movie, Convenience and Gnome Alone. His last film is the still to be completed Hipsters, Gangsters, Aliens and Geeks with Troyer as the Emperor Beezel-Chugg, but it will be Mini-Me for which he will be remembered.

 

AGNÈS VARDA (30 May 1928-29 March 2019)
The Belgian-born French film director, writer, artist and photographer, who has died at the age of 90, was often called the ‘Godmother of the New Wave’ in French cinema, as her work pre-dates the beginnings of the Nouvelle Vague, after which she was consigned to a back seat while the rise of Truffaut, Chabrol, Resnais, Godard, Rohmer, Rivette and Varda’s husband, Jacques Demy, superceded her initial influences. Varda began her career as a stills photographer but always had cinema in mind and at times combined the two genres. She worked as a theatre photographer for a while, until she decided to make a film. She knew little about cinema, having seen few films. She did some filming for a friend in a French fishing village, La Pointe Courte, and then made a film about the town which she named after the place itself and in 1955 it became the forerunner of the New Wave, edited by no less a figure than Alain Resnais.
She went on to make short documentaries including Along the Coast, Agnes Vardaa stunning travelogue about the French Riviera. Her next feature, Cléo from 5 to 7, was an international success, heralding a career in which Varda would make films about women and their problems. Here the worries of a young girl (Corinne Marchand) are about the chances of her having cancer. It had music by Michel Legrand and other appearances by French cinema luminaries such as Dorothée Blanck, Jean-Claude Brialy, Eddie Constantine, Danièle Delorme, Sami Frey, Jean-Luc Godard, Anna Karina and Alan Scott.
Le Bonheur was the ironically titled film about a three-way love relationship while Les Crèatures had Catherine Deneuve as a mute woman marrried to a novelist. Lions Love was made in Hollywood with several Tinseltown celebrities. One Sings, the Other Doesn’t is the story of two women set against the burgeoning feminist movement. In Vagabond a young woman is found dead, frozen in a ditch. In Le Petit Amour Jane Birkin plays a woman trying to fathom the mind of a teenage boy. Jane B. by Agnès V. is an imaginary biography of Jane Birkin, and in Jacquot de Nantes Varda pays tribute to her late husband, Jacques Demy, a year after he died. This was followed by Les demoiselles ont eu 25 ans, a documentary on Demy’s musical films Les demoiselles de Rochefort made 25 years earlier. She also made a third film about her husband, The World of Jacques Demy, in 1995.
 After that she mostly made documentaries for the cinema or television, including two autobiographical studies, The Beaches of Agnès (2008) and Agnès Varda: From Here to There, a five-part TV series in 2011. She was Oscar nominated in 2018 for the delightful Faces Places, recording her journey around the villages of France with photographer JR, which won awards all over the world including Cannes and the London Film Critics' Circle for documentary of the year. However, in the same year she received an honorary Academy Award for her lifetime’s achievement. Her last work was a final autobiographical TV series in 2019, Varda by Agnès. She was married to Jacques Demy from 1962 until his death in 1990. They have a son Mathieu and Varda was the mother of Rosalie Varda, the daughter she had with the actor and director Antoine Bourseiller.

 

JAN-MICHAEL VINCENT (15 July 1945-10 February 2019)
The American actor Jan-Michael Vincent, who has died from cardiac arrest aged 73, usually played men of action in his movie career. Discovered as he was leaving the National Guard at 22, he went straight into television, an episode of The Hardy Boys. More TV came along as well as feature films in which he generally showed off his hunky good looks and physique. His first film in 1967 was a Western, The Bandits, made in Mexico. Jan-Michael VincentJourney to Shiloh saw him working with James Caan, Michael Sarrazin, Don Stroud and Harrison Ford, five years before Ford clicked in American Graffiti. He appeared with John Wayne in The Undefeated, and with Robert Mitchum in Going Home in which Vincent played a disturbed orphan. Michael Winner pitched him against Charles Bronson in The Mechanic, and he played the title role in The World’s Greatest Athlete as a Tarzan figure from Africa. Being well-built for physical roles, Vincent nevertheless could handle romance as he did in Buster and Billie, Daniel Petrie’s sensitive tale of his relationship with an unpopular girl. Bite the Bullet was Richard Brooks’s Western with Gene Hackman, James Coburn and Candice Bergen, and in Baby Blue Marine Vincent played a failed marine who is fêted as a war hero on returning home. In titles like Shadow of the Hawk, Vigilante Force, Damnation Alley and Hard Country you can guess the content, but with Big Wednesday, John Milius’s film about California’s surfing community, its rarity value proved popular. More actioners including Hal Needham’s Hooper with Burt Reynolds and Sally Field led eventually to Vincent’s most successful TV work, The Winds of War with Robert Mitchum, and Airwolf, all fifty-five episodes which defined Vincent’s career for ever, as he played Stringfellow Hawke, pilot of a battle helicopter. More minor action pics followed, very little of which we saw in the UK. Vincent’s last film was White Boy in 2002. His life thereafter took a turn for the worse. He had broken his neck in a car crash, was already an alcoholic and went into rehab for being drunk while on probation, was arrested for abusing his wife, sectioned for drug charges and later jailed for further offences. Finally, in 2012, he had part of his right leg amputated through an infection. A person of promise, Jan-Michael Vincent never really lived up to his early potential. He was married three times, with his first two marriages ending in divorce, and has one daughter, Amber Vincent, from his first marriage.

 

CLINT WALKER (30 May 1927-21 May 2018)

Former Merchant Marine turned actor Clint Walker, Clint Walkerwho has died aged 90 of congestive heart failure, had many jobs before becoming a security officer at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. There he met many Hollywood personnel and, being six foot six inches tall, found an effortless entrée into the movies. He was in films from 1954 and then landed the role of Cheyenne Bodie in over a hundred television episodes of Cheyenne from 1955 to 1962. He subsequently appeared in other TV series such as 77 Sunset Strip, The Lucy Show, The Love Boat, etc., while also making films such as Yellowstone Kelly, Send Me No Flowers (with Doris Day), None But the Brave (starring and directed by Frank Sinatra), The Night of the Grizzly, The Dirty Dozen, Sam Whiskey, The Great Bank Robbery, Pancho Villa, etc. His last film work was a voice-over on Small Soldiers in 1998. Clint Walker married three times and has a daughter, Valerie.

     

AUDREY WELLS

(25 January 1960-4 October 2018)

The American film director and scenarist Audrey Wells, who has died from cancer at the age of 58, Audrey Wellswas the daughter of a psychiatrist from Austria and a psychologist from Romania. Born and raised in a French-speaking household in San Francisco, she was imbued with a world-view from the get-go. After studying at the University of California, Berkeley, she moved to Paris and then returned to California and, after dabbling as a jazz DJ and earning a master’s of fine arts, embarked on a career as a screenwriter. Her first film as scenarist was the funny and charming romcom The Truth About Cats and Dogs (1996), with Uma Thurman, followed by the action-adventure George of the Jungle (1997) with Brendan Fraser, and the 1999 drama Guinevere with Stephen Rea and Sarah Polley, which also marked her directorial debut. She scripted Disney's The Kid (2000), with Bruce Willis, before writing and directing Under the Tuscan Sun (2003), which really made her name. Her other writing credits include Shall We Dance? (2004), with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez, The Game Plan (2007), with Dwayne Johnson, and the canine comedy-drama A Dog’s Purpose (2017). Audrey Wells died the day before her last completed film, the critically acclaimed The Hate U Give, was released in US cinemas.

 

SHEILA WHITE (18 October 1948-7 September 2018)

The British actress Sheila White, who has died aged 69 of heart failure, was first seen at age twelve in Cinderella, a pantomime starring Arthur Askey at the Golders Green Hippodrome. Sheila WhiteThis led to an audition for The Sound of Music at London’s Palace Theatre, where she appeared for three years. Following a period at stage school she toured in more shows until her big break in the musical On the Level, in which the song ‘Beep Beep’ was written for her. Later she played Mary Pickford in The Biograph Girl musical and was in Little Me, Dames at Sea and They’re Playing Our Song. Even with leading roles in stage shows, Sheila White never really became a star. However, she worked extensively on television in such series as Z Cars, General Hospital, Poldark (1975), I, Claudius, The Bill, Minder, Casualty and EastEnders. For the cinema her first film (in 1966) was The Ghost Goes Gear with the Spencer Davis Group, followed by Mrs Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter, with Herman’s Hermits, and Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush with Barry Evans. Her best film appearances include Bet in Oliver!, Villain with Richard Burton, Nelly Kaplan’s Papa, the Little Boats, Alfie Darling with Alan Price, Silver Dream Racer with David Essex, and Disney’s The Spaceman and King Arthur. She played Rosie Noggett in four Confessions of… films – a Window Cleaner, a Pop Performer, a Driving Instructor, and … from a Holiday Camp. Sheila White was married to theatre producer Richard M. Mills and they have two sons.

 

PETER WHITEHEAD (8 January 1937-10 June 2019)
The British-born documentary film director Peter Whitehead, who has died aged 82, was a pioneer in his own field and a definite influence on other filmmakers and the music video scene. Born in Liverpool, he studied music, played the organ and won a scholarship to Cambridge where he read chemistry, mathematics and physics, although he later wanted to study English literature and become a writer. He won another scholarship to the Slade School of Art to train as a painter but, as a cinephile, he was soon diverted into studying film under the veteran director Thorold Dickinson. Adam WestWhitehead began his filmmaking career with short documentaries for the Nuffield Foundation. Then he appeared to concentrate on the zeitgeist of Britain in the ‘swinging’ 1960s. Wholly Communion (1965) was a record of a beat poetry convention at the Royal Albert Hall, with Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Christopher Logue, Adrian Mitchell, etc. Then he made Charlie Is My Darling (1966) with The Rolling Stones but the band’s manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who had commissioned the film, disapproved of the results and it wasn’t fully released until 2012. However, Whitehead did work with the Stones again on various promotions and filmed other musicians such as Pink Floyd, The Beach  Boys, Jimi Hendrix, The Small Faces, etc. For Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London (1967) the filmmaker really captured the spirit of the times in interviews with Mick Jagger, David Hockney, Edna O’Brien, Vanessa Redgrave, Lee Marvin, Roman Polanski, Terence Stamp and Michael Caine, among others. He joined Peter Brook at the Royal Shakespeare Company to produce Benefit of the Doubt (1967), a film of Brook’s production of US, about the war in Vietnam, with Ian Hogg, Michael Kustow, Michael Williams and Glenda Jackson. In 1969 he made The Fall, probably Whitehead’s most personal film and his most political, dealing as it dealt with protest, violence and revolution in 1960s' America. It had such an effect on him that he turned to fictional subjects including Daddy (1973) and Fire in the Water (1977). He also wrote some novels, one of which he made into a film, Terrorism Considered As One of the Fine Arts (2007) about state control of culture. Before that he was interviewed for Paul Cronin’s documentary about Whitehead, In the Beginning Was the Image (2006). Peter Whitehead was married to Dianne Leigh, Dido Goldsmith and Liza Kareninam. He fathered seven children including a son and daughter from his relationships with Coral Atkins and Deanna Woodrow.

 

HUGH WHITEMORE (16 June 1936-17 July 2018)

Although he trained to be an actor at Rada, Hugh Whitemore, who has died at the age of 82, became a playwright and a screenwriter for both television and film. hugh whitemoreHe began writing for television in 1962 with a story for No Hiding Place, followed by The Full Chatter with Brian Rix, the BBC soap Compact and many more series such as Armchair Theatre, The Wednesday Play, Elizabeth R, adaptations of Somerset Maugham stories, David Copperfield, Moll Flanders, Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel, A Dance to the Music of Time, Cider With Rosie, etc. For the theatre he wrote Breaking the Code, about Alan Turing and Bletchley Park, A Pack of Lies, on the Kroger spy ring, The Best of Friends, about George Bernard Shaw, Stevie, on the poet and novelist Stevie Smith, A Letter of Resignation with Edward Fox as Harold Macmillan, It’s Ralph, with Timothy West, Sand in the Sandwiches about John Betjeman, and an adaptation of Pirandello’s As You Desire Me. For the cinema, his first contributions were additional scenes for an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall… of a Birdwatcher in 1968. Then came All Neat in Black Stockings, Man at the Top, the sequel to John Braine’s novel, The Blue Bird, from the Maeterlinck play, with (disastrously) Elizabeth Taylor, The Return of the Soldier with Alan Bates and Julie Christie, 84 Charing Cross Road, and Zeffirelli’s Jane Eyre, with Charlotte Gainsbourg. Whitemore’s last work was all for TV: an episode of Midsomer Murders, the Emmy-winning The Gathering Storm, with Albert Finney as Churchill, My House in Umbria, from the William Trevor novel, with Maggie Smith (another Emmy), and Into the Storm (2009) with Brendan Gleeson as Churchill. Hugh Whitemore was married three times and has a son, Thomas, from his second marriage.

  

JUNE WHITFIELD (11 November 1925-28 December 2018)
The British comedy actress June Whitfield, who has died aged 93, conquered all the entertainment media: radio, television, theatre and film. After training at Rada, June Whitfieldshe toured in theatre and eventually became well-known when she replaced Joy Nicholls in the 1950s radio show Take It From Here, for which Frank Muir and Denis Norden wrote her the part of Eth Glum. After that, her career in comedy was well and truly sealed. She went on to work with many comics of the day, including Arthur Askey, Benny Hill, Frankie Howerd, Tony Hancock, Harry Worth, Jimmy Edwards, Stanley Baxter and Dick Emery. She was also a regular for many years on Roy Hudd’s radio series The News Huddlines. Mainly known for her television work in sitcoms with Terry Scott, their comic partnership in Happy Ever After and Terry and June ran from 1974 to 1987. June Whitfield made her film debut (uncredited) in Quiet Wedding (1946) but went on to appear in Carry On Nurse, Friends and Neighbours, The Spy With the Cold Nose, Bless This House, Carry on Girls, Not Now, Comrade, Run For Your Wife, Carry On Columbus, Jude and many television movies. She still worked in radio and her last film appearance was in Absolutely Fabulous – The Movie in 2016, in which she reprised her regular role of ‘Mother’. She was awarded the OBE in 1985 and became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2017. She was married to chartered surveyor Tim Aitchison in 1955 until his death in 2001. Their daughter Suzy also became an actress.

 

BENJAMIN WHITROW (17 February 1937-28 September 2017)

The Oxford-born actor Benjamin Whitrow, who has died aged 80, was a great man of the theatre who also had a flourishing career on television and in films. Never the big star, he nevertheless graced any production with a passionate affection playing roles that had a certain authority or oddity about them. Benjamin WhitrowHe had the great ability of turning caricatures into real characters. Beginning in the theatre in the late 1950s, Whitrow eventually joined the companies of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre at The Old Vic, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Chichester Festival Theatre, appearing not only in many classic plays, but also in late 20th-century plays by the likes of Alan Bennett, Joe Orton, Tom Stoppard, Christopher Hampton, Simon Gray, Peter Nichols and David Hare, and he was even in Hecht & MacArthur’s The Front Page and Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Whitrow made a great impression on television in The Merchant of Venice, Arnold Bennett’s Clayhanger, Alan Bennett’s Afternoon Off, Harry’s Game, The New Statesman, and as Thomas Cromwell in A Man for All Seasons, but was particularly memorable as Mr Bennet in Pride and Prejudice (1995). Whitrow’s entry into the cinema was an uncredited role in The Small World of Sammy Lee in 1963. Later on he was in Quadrophenia, Brimstone and Treacle and Clockwise, memorably playing John Cleese’s headmaster, then Personal Services, Hawks with Timothy Dalton, On the Black Hill, from the Bruce Chatwin novel, Louis Malle’s Damage, Richard Attenborough’s Chaplin, Michael Hoffman’s Restoration, Charles Sturridge’s Fairy Tale: A True Story, and he was the voice of Fowler in Chicken Run. Among his last work on TV were New Tricks, Wolf Hall and The Musketeers. Benjamin Whitrow was married to Catherine Cook with whom he had two children, Hannah and Thomas. He also fathered a son, Angus, with the actress Celia Imrie.

  

ANNE WIAZEMSKY (14 May 1947-5 October 2017)

The German-born actress, novelist and TV documentarist Anne Wiazemsky, who has died aged 70 from breast cancer, was the granddaughter of the French writer François Mauriac. She came to fame when discovered in 1966 by Robert Bresson for his film Au hazard Balthazar, about an abused donkey. She was subsequently taken up by Jean-Luc Godard for his films La Chinoise, Weekend, Sympathy for the Devil (aka One Plus One) and the portmanteau production Tout va bien, and in 1967 she married Godard. Pasolini cast her in Teorema and Pigsty but she mainly appeared in French films including George Who? about George Sand, Philippe Garrel’s L’enfant secret and She Spent So Many Hours Under the Sun Lamp. Wiazemsky appeared in many television movies and series and her last film appearance was in Foreign City in 1988. However, she went on to co-write Claire Denis’s US Go Home, produced a series of short stories, novels and autobiographies, and directed some TV documentaries.

 

RICHARD WILLIAMS (19 March 1933-16 August 2019)
The Canadian film animator Richard Williams, who has died of cancer aged 86, was very much an outsider in the world of cartoons. He had his own style unlike any other animator, that was independent, personal and totally original. He was recognised at the Academy Awards who gave him two Oscars Richard Williamsfor his magnum opus in 1988, Who Framed Roger Rabbit which was the culmination of a lifetime’s work, mixing hand-drawn animation and live action with superb skill. Brought up in Toronto by his painter father and commercial artist mother – influences on his drawing – as a child he was impressed by Disney’s Snow White and eventually met Walt and his animators with whom he eventually worked. Feeling hemmed in, however, he carried on drawing and inventing his own stories. He moved to the UK in 1955 and joined fellow Canadian animator George Dunning at TV Cartoons Ltd. Apart from making TV commercials Williams created his first film, The Little Island, which won a Bafta in 1958. Next came Love Me, Love Me, Love Me and then he worked on many title sequences for films such as What’s New Pussycat?, Casino Royale (1967), The Charge of the Light Brigade, 30 Is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, and some of the Pink Panther films, etc. His animated features include A Christmas Carol (1974), which won him another Oscar, and The Thief and the Cobbler, the last undergoing many rewrites over the thirty-one years it took to complete. It was later released as Arabian Knight. Williams wrote a cartoonist’s manual, The Animator’s Survival Kit, and towards the end of his life he held workshops on animation. He was married four times and is father to six children.

  

FRANCO ZEFFIRELLI (12 February 1923-15 June 2019)
The opera, television and film director and designer Franco Zeffirelli, who has died aged 96, made his mark in all four art forms. The illegitimate son of a fashion designer and a cloth merchant who were both married to other spouses, Zeffirelli was apparently a descendent from the Leonardo da Vinci family. Perhaps his lineage produced in young Franco an artistic streak that set him up for the rest of his life. He studied art and architecture from 1941 at the University of Florence but during World War II he joined the British Army as an interpreter.
Returning to his studies, he saw Laurence Olivier’s film of Henry V and decided on a career in the theatre. Italian director Luchino Visconti, with whom he had an affair, appointed him assistant director on La Terra Trema which influenced Zeffirelli’s work with Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini. Throughout his career he often designed his own stage productions and supervised the costumes. With his innate good taste, he made his productions both look and sound exceptional. From the mid-1960s he staged many operas for television, including La Bohème, Otello, Carmen, Turandot, Don Carlo, I Pagliacci, Don Giovanni, Aida, La Traviata and Madama Butterfly, plus seasons from the Metropolitan Opera.
Zeffirelli’s first cinema film as a director was Camping in 1958, but his first major production was The Taming of the Shrew (1967) with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni were not available), possibly the most successful Shakespeare film ever made – unless it was his next one, Romeo and Juliet (1968) with teenagers Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey which went global on account of the leading lady revealing her embonpoint. Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972) was a biopic on St Francis of Assisi with a young Graham Faulkner in the lead. Jesus of Nazareth (1977) was a miniseries with Robert Powell, while The Champ (1979) was a remake of an old boxing movie with Jon Voight and Ricky Schroder. Franco ZeffirelliEndless Love (1981) seemed like a modern version of Romeo and Juliet and La Traviata was the Verdi opera filmed on location with Plácido Domingo and Teresa Stratas. Domingo was also the lead in the Zeffirelli film of Otello.
Twenty-two-year old C. Thomas Howell played the title role in Young Toscanini with Elizabeth Taylor as an operatic diva, would you believe? Mel Gibson as the Prince of Denmark proved to be a good choice for Hamlet. In 1996 Zeffirelli tackled Jane Eyre with Charlotte Gainsbourg (Anna Paquin played the young Jane) with William Hurt as Rochester. Tea with Mussolini (1999) was based on events from Zeffirelli’s own childhood and starred Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Cher and Lily Tomlin. His last feature film was Callas Forever (2002) with Fanny Ardant, Jeremy Irons and Joan Plowright.
Outside of the theatre and the cinema, Zeffirelli, an ultra-conservative Roman Catholic, was a member of Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing party from 1994 to 2001. Although he was gay (a word he hated because it was not ‘elegant’), he supported the Roman Catholic church in its anti-gay policy. He finally came out in 1996, which was no surprise to anyone, least of all the young actors who had accused him of sexual misconduct during filming. He had no children but ‘adopted’ two men in his employ. He received an honorary knighthood (KBE) by the UK in 2004. So, a great artist perhaps, but a less than perfect man.

  

  

 

MICHAEL DARVELL