Sunday, June 03, 2018

Notable Passings

It's been a busy few weeks, with three film festivals between mid-April and mid-May, and I wanted to pause for a moment to pay tribute to a number of interesting actors and other creative talents who have passed away over the last few weeks.

...Actor Clint Walker of TV's CHEYENNE (1955-62) has passed on at 90. By all accounts he was one of the nicest guys in the business.

An interview he did with the Warner Archive may be found here.

His films included NIGHT OF THE GRIZZLY (1966), THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967), and the excellent, underrated FORT DOBBS (1958) with Virginia Mayo.

...Margot Kidder, beloved to many of us of a certain age as Lois Lane in SUPERMAN (1978) and SUPERMAN II (1980), passed on at 69. She had struggled for years with mental health issues. Viewers could not have foreseen, watching the charming actress opposite Christopher Reeve's equally wonderful Clark Kent, how difficult their futures would be.

Kidder also notably starred with James Garner in the short-lived TV Western NICHOLS (1971-72).

...Kristin Harmon Nelson recently passed away at 72. She was the daughter of Elyse Knox and Tom Harmon, sister of Mark and Kelly Harmon, sister-in-law of Pam Dawber, ex-wife of Rick Nelson, and the mother of Tracy Nelson and three sons. In addition to being a regular on THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET, she appeared as Kent McCord's wife in a couple episodes of ADAM-12 and in the film LOVE AND KISSES (1965).

...Movie poster designer Bill Gold has died at 97. His work amazingly dated back to YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942) and CASABLANCA (1942), and he had a long-running collaborative relationship with Clint Eastwood.

...Actress Allyn Ann McLerie, the widow of actor George Gaines, died last month at 91. She costarred with Doris Day and Howard Keel in the wonderful musical CALAMITY JANE (1953) and also appeared in WHERE'S CHARLEY? (1952) and THE DESERT SONG (1953). Her Broadway credits included ON THE TOWN (1944).

...TV producer Norman Rosemont has died at 93. Among the many excellent TV-movies he produced was the fondly remembered IVANHOE (1982), starring Anthony Andrews and James Mason.

...Actor Joseph Campanella passed on recently at 93. His screen career spanned 1952 to 2009, with TV work including THE BOLD ONES: THE LAWYERS (1969-72) and the first season of MANNIX (1967). His brother, actor Frank Campanella, died in 2007.

...Soon-Tek Oh died in April at the age of 85. He appeared in several episodes of M*A*S*H and was especially memorable as Lee in the TV production of EAST OF EDEN (1981). He was the voice of Mulan's father in MULAN (1998).

...Steven Bochco died of leukemia in April, age 74. Among his accomplishments: The creation of TV's HILL STREET BLUES (1981) and L.A. LAW (1986). A building was recently dedicated to Bochco on the Fox lot, with numerous actors who had worked on his shows attending.


Blogger mel said...

Thanks for the link to the Clint Walker podcast interview, Laura.

Took me ages to discover where to find it on the site, and how to listen to it.

Not the most user-friendly web site I've ever come across...

9:59 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

So glad you were able to find and enjoy it! I had listened to it some time ago. Clint seems to have been such a nice man.

Best wishes,

7:01 PM  

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