Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Notable Passings, 2013, M-R

Milo O'Shea as Friar Laurence
in the 1968 film version of "Romeo and Juliet"
Not only did Peter O'Toole pass away this year, but also Ruth Maleczech of Mabou Mines, Paul Rogers who won a Tony for Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming," porn star Harry Reems, and Milo O'Shea, who I interviewed in 1988 when he played Friar Laurence in "Romeo and Juliet" at the Public Theater with Cynthia Nixon and Peter McNichol as the young lovers. (He also played the role in Zefferelli's brilliant 1968 film version.) I saw O'Toole in the 1987 revival of "Pygmalion" and he seemed to be as high as a kite the entire performance, as he did when presenting an Oscar with Sissy Spacek.
Ruth Maleczech, 74, Obie-winning actress, co-artistic director and co-founder of the avant-garde theatrical troupe Mabou Mines where she played King Lear as a Southern matriarch, received Obies for her design for “Vanishing Pictures” (with Julie Archer) and for performances in “Hajj” and “Through the Leaves,” outside of Mabou Mines, she co-directed “The Tempest” with Lee Breuer, her artistic and life partner, for the Public Theater at Central Park’s Delacorte stage, and appeared in “Henry IV,” “Woyzeck,” “First Love,” and “Belle Epoque.”

Lori March, 90, soap-opera actress best known as the matriarch Valerie Hill Ames Northcote on the CBS daytime drama “The Secret Storm” from 1961 to 1974, other TV appearances included “The Twilight Zone,” “Perry Mason,” and “Another World.”
Richard Matheson, 87, science-fiction author and screenwriter, credits include “I Am Legend,” “The Shrinking Man,” “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” episode of “The Twilight Zone.”
Lou Meyers, 77, stage and screen veteran, his Broadway credits included “The First Breeze of Summer,” “The Piano Lesson,” “The Color Purple,” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” his TV appearances included a recurring role on the sitcom “A Different World.”
Roy Miller, 52, Broadway producer whose credits included “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “High Fidelity,” “West Side Story,” “Ragtime,” and “A Christmas Story.”
Shirley Mitchell, 94, the last surviving adult cast member of the beloved sitcom “I Love Lucy,” she played Lucy Ricardo’s gossipy friend Marion Strong on three episodes during the 1953-54 season, also appeared on “Bachelor Father,” “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Petticoat Junction,” “The Odd Couple,” and “Dallas.”
Cory Monteith, 31, starred on Fox’s hit series “Glee” as Finn  Hudson, the school’s football star who risks his popularity to join and later coach the singing squad, also appeared on such TV shows as “Stargate Atlantis,” “Supernatural,” and “Smallville.”
Hal Needham, 82, stuntman-turned-director, his films included such action-oriented features as “Smokey and the Bandit,” “The Villain,” and “Canonball Run,” won a special Oscar in 2012.
Milo O’Shea, 86, impish Irish character actor, known for a wide range of roles in film (“Ulysses,” “Barbarella,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Verdict”), Broadway (Tony nominations for “Staircase” and “Mass Appeal”) and TV (“The West Wing,” “Golden Girls,” “St. Elsewhere,” “Cheers”).
Peter O'Toole as another Lawrence
Peter O’Toole, 81, intense, volatile leading man who rocketed to stardom as “Lawrence of Arabia,” but never won a competitive Oscar, he was nominated a record eight times for such films as “Lawrence,” “Becket,” “The Lion in Winter,” “Goodbye, Mr. Chips,” “The Ruling Class,” “The Stunt Man,” “My Favorite Year,” “Venus,” was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2002, other films ranged from epics like “The Last Emperor” and “Troy” to the animated “Ratatouille” to schlock like “Supergirl,” won an Emmy for the TV miniseries “Joan of Arc,” on stage his Hamlet inaugurated the National Theatre’s Olivier and he played the melancholy Dane at the Old Vic, played Henry Higgins in a Broadway revival of “Pygmalion,” and starred in the West End in the solo play “Jeffery Barnard Is Unwell."
Eleanor Parker, 91, elegant film star best known as the Baroness in “The Sound of Music,” received Oscar nominations for “Caged,” “Detective Story,” and “Interrupted Melody,” also starred in “The Man with the Golden Arm” and “A Hole in the Head” opposite Frank Sinatra, “Home from the Hill” and “Many Rivers to Cross.”
Frederik Pohl, 93, science-fiction author, published over 65 novels and 30 short-story collections including “The Space Merchants” (with Cyril M. Kornbluth), “Jem: The Making of a Utopia,” “Man Plus,” and “Gateway,” edited the sci-fi magaizines Galaxy and If.
Henry Polic II, 68, actor best known for his recurring role on the ABC sitcom “Webster,” also played the Sherriff of Nottingham on the short-lived series “When Things Were Rotten,” a spoof of Robin Hood created by Mel Brooks.
Stephen Porter, 87, directed over 125 plays, 30 of them on Broadway, several for Circle In The Square and New Phoenix Repertory including “Private Lives” with Brian Bedford and Tammy Grimes (Tony for Best Actress), “The School for Wives” with Bedford (Tony for Best Actor), and “Harvey” with James Stewart and Helen Hayes.
Lou Reed, 71, singer-musician, formed the Velvet Underground and went on to an influential solo career.
Harry Reems, 65, pornographic star of such X-rated classics as “Deep Throat” and “The Devil in Miss Jones,” became a First Amendment cause celebre when he was found guilty of conspiracy to tranpsort obscene material across state lines in 1976, his conviction was later set aside by a federal judge.
Elliot Reid, 93, character actor who played the private detective who chases Marilyn Monroe and becomes Jane Russell’s love interest in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” also appeared on “I Love Lucy” doing an imitation of newsman Edward R. Murrow, appeared in numerous other TV shows from “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” to “Designing Women.”
Regina Resnick, 90, opera star, sang more than 300 performances at the Metropolitan Opera, shifted from soprano to mezzo-soprano mid-career, best known for “Carmen,” “Don Giovanni,” and “Peter Grimes,” later directed and taught, played Fraulein Schenieder in the 1987 Broadway revival of “Cabaret” and received a Tony nomination.  
Dale Robertson, 89, veteran of more than 60 films and 430 television episodes, mostly Westerns such as “Tales of Wells Fargo,” “Iron Horse,” and “Death Valley Days,” also had recurring roles on “Dynasty” and “Dallas” and starred in the short-lived “J.J. Starbuck.”

Paul Rogers, 96, British actor, won a Tony Award for his performance as the menacing, nasty father in Harold Pinter’s “The Homecoming,” also starred on Broadway with the Old Vic company in a repertory of four Shakespearean roles, in the short-lived musical “Here’s Where I Belong,” the thriller “Sleuth,” and “The Dresser,” played many Shakespearean roles in London including Falstaff, Bottom, King Lear, Macbeth, Shylock, Iago, and many others, his films included “Beau Brummel,” “Svengali,” “Our Man in Havana,” “Billy Budd,” “The Shoes of the Fisherman,” “Three Into Two Won’t Go,” and the film version of “The Homecoming.” 

No comments:

Post a Comment