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The Obituary Thread (to acknowledge and honor entertainment figures and classic movie stars who we've lost recently)


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Showing 126-150 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Posted on Nov 11, 2009 8:59:48 PM PST
OBIT UPDATE:

11/11/09
CARL BALLANTINE, age 92 (?)
Best known as Seaman Lester Gruber on the TV sitcom MCHALE'S NAVY, Ballantine was also a straight magician in vaudeville. In the 1940s he converted to a comedy act by intentionally botching the magic tricks. Ballantine's fast patter and quick timing was ideal for TV variety shows and he appeared many times on Ed Sullivan's program.

11/7/09
JOE MAROSS, age 86 (cardiac arrest)
Maross guested on most major TV series from the 1950s through the '80s, and even appeared as George Custer in a 1966 TIME TUNNEL episode. He also had roles in such films as ELMER GANTRY (1960), RUN SILENT RUN DEEP (1958) and SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION (1970).

Posted on Jan 26, 2010 12:34:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 26, 2010 12:40:10 AM PST
Nancy says:
OBIT UPDATE:
RIP: Jean Simmons (Lavenia, SPARTACUS)
Pernell Roberts (Adam Cartwright, BONANZA)
James Mitchell (Palmer Cortland, ALL MY CHILDREN)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2010 12:54:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 26, 2010 12:55:35 AM PST
Thanks for those mentions, Nancy.

Jean Simmons was a fine actress. Some of her best remembered roles:
Young Estella in GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1946)
Kanchi in BLACK NARCISSUS (1947)
Ophelia in Laurence Olivier's HAMLET (1948)
Lavinia (opposite Victor Mature) in ANDROCLES AND THE LION (1952)
Diana in THE ROBE (1953)
Ruth Gordon Jones (co-star of Spencer Tracy) in THE ACTRESS (1953) - Trivia: scripted by Ruth Gordon herself, who in 1971 played Maude in HAROLD AND MAUDE. Also in this one: Teresa Wright and Tony Hopkins in his movie debut.
Merit in THE EGYPTIAN (1954), again with Vic Mature.
Sergeant Sarah Brown in GUYS AND DOLLS (1955), a Joe Mankiewicz musical adaptation that stars Brando and Sinatra.
Julie Maragon in THE BIG COUNTRY (1958). This William Wyler picture has a great cast: Greg Peck, Oscar-winner Burl Ives, Chuck Heston, Carroll Baker, Chuck Connors and Charles Bickford.
Sister Sharon Falconer, nee Katie Jones in ELMER GANTRY (1960), a great Burt Lancaster drama about a Bible-thumping preacher.

On Pernel Roberts:
I always felt that the dynamics of BONANZA changed radically when he left after 7 seasons. Wasn't Roberts also star of TRAPPER JOHN M.D.?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 26, 2010 10:36:47 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 26, 2010 10:37:40 AM PST
Annie~

Yes, Pernell Roberts was the star of "Trapper John M.D. "
for its rather lengthy run.

He also starred in one of the best "Night Gallery"
episodes entitled "The Tune in Dan's Cafe," as
I recall, a chilling, memorable segment.

Tom

Posted on Jan 27, 2010 8:03:02 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 27, 2010 8:06:04 AM PST
Philly says:
I'm really surprised that the passing of Jennifer Jones, on Dec. 17, 2009 at the age of 90, went unrecognized on this thread while others like a sitcom jingle composer and an obscure British character woman (Molly Sugden ?????) get noticed!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2010 9:30:08 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 27, 2010 9:31:04 AM PST
Philly,

re: "I'm really surprised that the passing of Jennifer Jones, on Dec. 17, 2009 at the age of 90, went unrecognized on this thread while others like a sitcom jingle composer and an obscure British character woman (Molly Sugden ?????) get noticed!"

Apologies for the oversight. We're merely mortals here and we make mistakes, yes?

I can't guarantee that every classic film star's passing will be acknowledged on this thread; honestly, other people here beat me to it all the time. Like you, with your thread about Jennifer Jones' death. Right?

Since you mentioned "obscure" Molly Sugden, she brought me much laughter in her British sitcom roles. So, yes, we may bend the rules here to mention TV actors and musicians and so on. I'm sorry if that bothers you but nobody's forcing you to follow this thread.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2010 11:31:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 27, 2010 11:32:11 AM PST
Philly says:
Sorry Baron, just expressing an opinion on a public discussion group. Didn't know you "owed" this thread and would take personal offense by my statement.

Posted on Jan 27, 2010 12:55:47 PM PST
Philly,

I should apologize, I probably came off brusk and defensive. I should have been bigger about the situation.

It just seemed so odd that you'd mention Jones' death a month later, out of the blue, that's all.

Anyway, you're here, so you must be a classic movie fan like me. Can we forget this episode? I'm not a jerk, I promise.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 27, 2010 9:58:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 27, 2010 9:59:03 PM PST
To be totally fair, this thread lay idle since November and has only come back because I urged Nancy to post her findings about three recent deaths.

Often, there isn't time to post on as many topics here as we would all like to.
As a result, threads then go dormant and get lost in the lower pages.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2010 5:45:13 AM PST
True, Annie. And most of the time I learn about a star's death after most other people have heard (and they've already posted about it).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2010 12:04:21 PM PST
Philly says:
Sad part is that most people really don't care about classic movie stars or even classic movies anymore. I have friends that won't even watch a black and white movie. I guess everyone's too busy watching American Idol, Jersey Shore and anything concerning Bradjolina.

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 10:23:49 PM PST
Here's a unique passing: the death of a motion picture company,
as noted in an article dated 1/28/10:

RIP Miramax
Disney shuts down the arthouse studio

It sprang to life in 1979 as the brainchild of bullish movie producers Harvey and Bob Weinstein, and was named after their parents, but after a slow death from thousands of cuts, Miramax was officially closed today by Disney.

During its early years, the Weinsteins scrappily kept the ship afloat, shoved boundaries and helped bring the world the likes of Sex, Lies And Videotape, Clerks, The Piano, Reservoir Dogs, The Crying Game and The English Patient.

Rumours of the Weinsteins' bullying tactics and hard demeanor were rife, but they certainly seemed to have a keen eye for talent and an understanding of how to channel that into success.

Though it was bought for $70 million by Disney in 1993, the brothers continued to run Miramax with an enviable level of creative control, and pushed their already legendary Oscar-hunting style to new heights with the expanded funding offered by the Mouse House. Among the successes as winners or nominees were Shakespeare In Love, Chicago and The Talented Mr Ripley.

But money was also a constant problem, and the Weinsteins began to clash with Michael Eisner. In 2005, Bob and Harvey left the company, forced to let go of the Miramax named and formed The Weinstein Company, which currently struggles with financing issues.

"Miramax wasn't just a bad-boy clubhouse, it was a 20th century Olympus: throw a can of Diet Coke and you hit a modern-day deity," recalls Kevin Smith at The Wrap. "And for one brief, shining moment, it was an age of magic and wonders. I'm crushed to see it pass into history, because I owe everything I have to Miramax. Without them, I'd still be a New Jersey convenience store register jockey. In practice, not just in my head."

"I'm feeling very nostalgic right now," Harvey tells the site. "I know the movies made on my and my brother Bob's watch will live on as well as the fantastic films made under the direction of Daniel Battsek. Miramax has some brilliant people working within the organization and I know they will go on to do great things in the industry."

All that remains now is to think of the children - along with 80 people losing their jobs in New York and LA, the six movies still under the banner, including The Tempest and The Debt, face an uncertain future.

Miramax, then... Gone, but not forgotten.
.
James White

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2010 10:42:55 PM PST
raja99 says:
Oh my, I had no idea that Jean Simmons and Pernell Roberts had passed away. Jean was always one of my favorite actresses. Two of my favorite movies of her's have never been released on DVD (or VHS, I think): THE ACTRESS (1953) with Spencer Tracy, Teresa Wright and Anthony Perkins; and ALL THE WAY HOME (1963) with Robert Preston and Pat Hingle, adapted from James Agee's "A Death in the Family". Terrific movie and Simmons should have won an Oscar for her performance. And, of course, she was in a lot of other fine movies, i.e., SPARTACUS, ELMER GANTRY, etc.

And, I have to agree with Annie's statement about BONANZA after Pernell Roberts left the show. IMO, that show was much, much better while he was still in it as the eldest brother Adam.

I also had no idea that Jennifer Jones passed away. She was another actress I liked, particularly in THE SONG OF BERNADETTE and SINCE YOU WENT AWAY.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2010 10:48:40 PM PST
You know I have THE SONG OF BERNADETTE sitting on my table for over a year now. I keep meaning to get to it and THE BELLS OF ST. MARY, but somehow this pagan never does.

Which movie is about the peasant girl who sees visions of Mary?
I used to watch that one on TV whenever it was broadcast.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2010 10:54:06 PM PST
raja99 says:
Little known character actor Michael Currie passed away on Dec 22nd, age 81. He starred in the cult favorite soap opera "Dark Shadows" and made guest appearances on many prime time TV shows, such as "Lou Grant", "MASH", "Barney Miller" and "Cheers".

His biggest roles on the big screen all seemed to come in Clint Eastwood movies: SUDDEN IMPACT (Lt. Donnelly), THE DEAD POOL (Capt. Donnelly), FIREFOX and ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN. His last film appearance was in Demi Moore's G.I. JANE.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2010 10:54:59 PM PST
raja99 says:
That would be THE SONG OF BERNADETTE.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2010 11:07:57 PM PST
raja99 says:
Some other recent deaths:

J. D. Salinger (author - "Catcher in the Rye"), Jan 27, age 91, of natural causes in Cornish, NH.
Teddy Pendergrass (soul singer), Jan 13, age 59, from colon cancer.
Erich Segal (author - "Love Story" and screenwriter of the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine"), Jan 20, age 72.
Bobby Charles (songwriter), Jan 14, age 79. Wrote such hits as "See You Later Aligator" and "Walking to New Orleans"

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2010 11:37:30 PM PST
I didn't know Erich Segal wrote YELLOW SUBMARINE! Cool stuff.

A shame about Teddy P. He was sick for so long.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2010 11:40:07 PM PST
Nancy says:
Yes, he was Annie.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2010 4:02:14 AM PST
Philly says:
raja:

The Actress is on DVD as part of the Warner Archive Collection.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2010 5:34:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 29, 2010 5:35:23 PM PST
John Larrick says:
"The Song of Bernadette" is the story of the pesant girl who sees the Virgin Mary. Very good story of the occurence. Jennifer Jones was great. "The Bells of St. Mary's" is the Bing Crosby/Ingrid Bergman classic story of a young Irish Catholic priest and the Nun trying to build a new church and school, "St. Mary's". Both are heartwarming stories.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2010 9:05:09 PM PST
Thanks raja and John for THE SONG OF BERNADETTE.

John--
"Heartwarming" is not my sort of film, which is undoubtedly one of the reasons I haven't yet watched my tapes of "Bernadette" and "St. Mary's." I prefer action, comedies, war movies and bios, even sci-fi to touchy-feely or romance stories, although I do indulge in them occasionally.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2010 9:46:27 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 29, 2010 9:48:04 PM PST
Annie~

I taped THE SONG OF BERNADETTE for my very
devout mother who made it about halfway through.
She thought it was too slow and somewhat dull.
As for me, I can and will watch anything once.

THE BELLS OF ST. MARY'S is much livelier and
very entertaining, directed by Leo McCarey.

Tom

Tom

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2010 10:36:44 PM PST
mhn92 says:
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet or not, but Zelda Rubenstein, the little old lady that played in the Poltergeist films died a few days ago. I think she was 76, or thereabouts.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0748289/

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2010 10:37:27 PM PST
raja--
I heard on the news Friday morning that a neighbor of the reclusive J.D. Salinger is claiming the author told him that he had the completed manuscripts for 15 novels locked away in a safe at his home. I hope it's true and somebody knows that safe's combination!
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