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bansi4

Gone Without Fanfare

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His sinister charm, crooked smile, shifty eyes and husky voice qualified him for a whole range of treacherous villains. And this fair-haired supporting actor delivered in such films as "No Man of Her Own" (1950), "Union Station" (1950), "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1952) (as jealous Klaus who's car ran into a cirsus train), "All I Desire" (1952), "Forbidden" (52), the steamy "Carnival Story" (1954) with Anne Baxter, "Destry" (1954) remake with Audie Murphy, "Gunfight at the OK Corral", "Nevada Smith" (1966) and many others.

His name is Lyle Bettger and he died on September 24th. at the age of 88.

 

Mongo

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An appealing, pretty actress by the name of Madlyn Rhue died last week at the age of 68.

She appeared in the films "Operation Peticoat" with Cary Grant, "The Ladies' Man" with Jerry Lewis, "A Majority of One" with Roz Russell and was hilarious as Secretary Schwartz in a scene with Spencer Tracy in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World".

She also starred and guest starred in close to 100 TV shows. Unfortunately she contacted MS in the 1970s which progressed throughout the 1980s and '90s. At a time when she was in a jam concerning health coverage it was Angela Lansbury who came to the rescue. Since she had guested on "Murder, She Wrote" once before Miss Lansbury found out if she was a regular on the show she would have Health Insurance which was a blessing to Miss Rhue.

Thus she played character Jean O'Neal on the series.

In October Miss Rhue entered the Motion Picture and Television Fund Campus Hospital where she died on December 16th. She was indeed a fighter to the very end.

 

Mongo

 

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The last member of the original Dead End Kids is dead

 

Bernard Punsley the chunky kid of the orifinal six has died at age 80 on January 20th. Along with Leo Gorcey, Billy Halop, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan and Gabe Dell they wrecked havoc in Warner Brothers "Angels with Dirty Faces", "Crime School", "They Made Me a Criminal" etc.

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Philip Crosby the last surviving member of Bing Crosby's four sons with Dixie Lee has died at age 69. He was in a few films and made some TV appearance with dad.

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Sidney Miller former juvenile actor in many films with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney has died at age 87. He was the young barber in "Boys Town" where he applied black face to an unsuspecting Mickey Rooney who later gave him a black eye.

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Paula Raymond lovely co-star who played opposite Cary Grant in "Crisis" has died at age 79. She was also in "Adam's Rib" and "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms".

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Helen Kleeb who is best known as Miss Mamie Baldwin in "The Waltons" TV series has died at age 96. She also made many Hollywood films.

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Mongo

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P.S.

 

You can be certain that none of the performers listed below will be saluted posthumously at the Oscars this coming Sunday as is the situation with Penny Singleton who played Blondie in the movies. tsk,tsk.

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Leo the performers I listed got very little "fanfare" at the time of their death and that's why I paid them tribute.

Stars like Hope Lange, Wendy Hiller etc. were remembered on TCM at the end of the year and also at the SAS awards.

They will also get a tribute at the Oscars on Sunday.

The performers I mentioned in this post will not.

 

Mongo

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Actress Carrie Snodgress has died at age 57.

She was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her role in "Diary of a Mad Housewife". She was also effective in the supernatural thriller "The Fury" etc.

She was waiting for a liver transplant when she died of heart failure.

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Character actress Renata Vanni died at age 94.

She is remembered in the film "Westward the Women" as the Italian lady (which she was) who loses her boy on their long trek West. Also in "Trouble Along the Way", "Three Coins in the Fountain", "Pay or Die", "A Patch of Blue" etc. She was also a popular singer in Italy.

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Mongo

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This is sad news, Mongo....one far too young to die, and the other a favorite actress from "Westward the Women". Condolences to their closest friends and families. ML

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Jack Elam has been getting some major play on TCM lately with Kansas City Confidental, and Kiss Me Deadly being shown. A friend pointed out to me that he passed away a few months ago, and I checked IMDB to confirm this. I was very upset to realize that Elam became another in a long line of deaths that seemed to be ignored. In my opinion Elam was certainly one of the best character actors (post 1950's) to ever grace the screen.

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Here are two ladies who deserve rememberance:

 

Glamorous co-star Irene Manning died May 28th. at age 91.

She is best remembered for her role as Fay Templeton in "Yankee Doodle Dandy" as she sang Cohan's "Mary" and

"45 Minutes from Broadway".

Also in "Spy Ship" with Craig Stevens, "The Big Shot" with Bogart, "The Desert Song" with Dennis Morgan, "Shine On, Harvest Moon" with Ann Sheridan, "Make Your Own Bed" with Jane Wyman & Jack Carson.

She also performed on the musical stage and toured with her own 4 woman USO show.

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Charming actress Trudy Marshall died May 23rd. at age 84.

With her great smile she is best remembered as the surviving sister of the five Sullivan brothers in "The Fighting Sullivans". Also in "The Purple Heart", "The Dolly Sisters", "Sentimental Journey", "Dancing Masters" with Laurel & Hardy, "Dragonwyck", "The Fuller Brush Man", "The President's Lady" with Susan Hayward etc.

Mother of actress Deborah Raffin. She appeared in many magazines during the 1940s advertising cigarettes. She was the "Old Gold" girl, "Chesterfield" girl and the "Lucky Strike" girl.

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Apparently the beautiful MANNING did TV. In 1955 she appeared in an NBC special called THE KING AND MRS. CANDLE. It co-starred Cyril Ritchard, Joan Greenwood and Theodore Bikel. What a cast. There is a Museum of TV & Radio Broadcasting in L.A. that has thousands of old programs. I just hope they have this one. I am going to check this out.

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The death of '40s actress Doris Dowling at age 81 was announced to the press yesterday. The dark, somewhat sophisticated actress is perhaps best remembered as the barfly interested in Ray Milland in Lost Weekend and the faithless spouse in The Blue Dahlia. Ms. Dowling was one of Artie Shaw's eight wives, and was married to him for several years in the 1950s. Ms. Dowling was also the sister of the actress Constance Dowling("Up in Arms"), who predeceased her sibling in 1969. She and her sister both acted in Italian films in the '50s and Doris Dowling appeared periodically on tv until the '80s.

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Thanks for the info moira regarding the lovely Miss Dowling. Indeed she was wonderful in "The Lost Weekend" and "The Blue Dahlia" and its just too bad that she wasen't used to better advantage by the Hollywood studios. May she rest in peace.

 

Mongo

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Actress Georgine Darcy has died (of natural causes) at the age of 68.

She is remembered for playing Miss Torso the ballet dancer in Hitchcock's "Rear Window".

The pretty blonde was also in "Don't knock the Rock" and "The Delta Factor" etc.

When she met Mr. Hitchcock she didn't know who he was and he advised her to get an agent. She was paid $350.00 for her role.

 

Mongo

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Exotic, dark beauty Acquanetta has died at age 83 of Alzheimers.

 

At Universal studios she co-starred in films "Arabian Nights", "Captive Wild Woman" as Paula Dupree, "Dead Man's Eyes", "Tarzan and the Leopard Woman" as Lea, the High Priestess etc.

 

Born Burnu Acquanetta in Wyoming to an Arapaho mother and Cherokee father she settled in Arizona where she raised 4 sons. She was a philanthropist and beloved member of her community.

 

Mongo

 

 

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I just read that director Daniel Petrie, best known for his film "A Raisin in the Sun", died this past weekend. It seems a lot of his work was in television.

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Talented musical performer Peggy Ryan died October 30th. at age 80. A cute Irish charmer she teamed up with Donald O'Connor in 13 movies delighting movie-goers with their tap-dancing, singing and jitterbugging.

She also appeared on the hit TV series "Hawaii Five-0" as Jenny the secretary for 7 seasons.

Married 3 times with 3 children in later years she taught tap-dancing in Las Vegas where she lived and where she passed away.

 

Mongo

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Mongo, your vast knowledge of legendary Hollywood amazes me. You are an absolute joy to read. I thought I was very knowledgeable when it comes to this subject, but after I read what you wrote, my brain shrinks :) Where and how do you get your info? I read tons of biographies/autobiographies and watch a lot of documentaries, but I can't hold a candle to you. I think you rock!!!!

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On June 6th., the same day that we lost Anne Bancroft, character actor Dana Elcar died at the age of 77.

A bald and beefy actor he is remembered for his role as Pete Thornton on the hit TV series "McGiver" and as FBI Agent Polk in the movie "The Sting".

Other films include, "Fail-Safe" as Mr. Foster, "The Boston Strangler", "The Learning Tree", "A Gunfight", "W.C. Fields and Me", "The Champ", "All of Me", etc.

In the early 1990s Mr. Elcar went blind due to Glaucoma and required special computer equipment to read printed text for the rest of his life, although he did continue to act.

He also made numerous TV guest appearances

throughout his career, of which his last was on "E.R."...as a blind man.

 

Dana Elcar was married 3 times and had 4 children.

 

Mongo

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Also Howard Morris (1919-2005)May 21st. second banana/writer "Your Show of Shows" with Sid Caesar,Get Smart, Did Voices on "The Flintstones,Jetsons.Played Ernest T.Bass on "The Andy Griffith Show". Movies: "Boys night out" with Kim Novak, 1963"The Nutty Professor"and many other roles like Professor Liloman in Mel Brooks-"High Anxiety" a funny man he will surely be missed.

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