Leonard Rosenman, who won Oscars for his scores for Barry Lyndon and Bound for Glory, has died at age 83. Among his other feature films: Fantastic Voyage, Rebel Without a Cause, A Man Called Horse and Battle for the Planet of the Apes. For a full biography click here
Mike Smith, lead singer and keyboard player for the popular British 1960s rock band The Dave Clark Five, has died of pneumonia in England at age 64. Smith's life was a tragic one in recent years. Following a fall in his home in 2003, he was paralyzed below the waist and had only limited movement in his upper body. He had been in hospital until last December, when he was finally able to live at home with his wife. Ironically, the group is scheduled to be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10. Smith was going to attempt to make the ceremony to be with his former bandmates. The group had been named after the drummer, Dave Clark, but it was Smith's vocals that propelled them to the top of the charts at the same time Beatlemania was in full swing. Hits like Because, Glad All Over and I Like It Like That were all major hits. Like The Beatles, the group also made the transition to feature films. Director John Boorman helmed a musical documentary about them titled Having a Wild Weekend, which was also the name of a hit album for the band. The Dave Clark Five also appeared as themselves in the teen musical Get Yourself a College Girl. The group disbanded in 1970, ironically the same year The Beatles broke up. - Lee Pfeiffer For more click here
Ben Chapman (right) with Ricou Browning, who played the Creature in the film's underwater sequences.
Ben Chapman, former contract player for Universal Studios, died February 21 at age 79 in Honolulu. Chapman was best known for playing the title role in the Fifties sci-fi classic Creature from the Black Lagoon. Although he had long ago left the acting profession, he enjoyed capitalizing on his fame from the film and meeting with fans. He even established an official web site dedicated to the Creature. For his obituary click here.
Lopez (right) in 1956 with other up-and-coming actors Nan Leslie, Nick Adams and Natalie Wood.
Veteran character actor Perry Lopez has died from lung cancer at age 78, Variety reports. Lopez appeared in many prominent films throughout his career including Chinatown and it's sequel The Two Jakes (playing the same character, Capt. Lou Escobar in both), Mister Roberts and Taras Bulba. Other film credits include Elvis Presley's Flaming Star, John Wayne's McLintock!,Bandolero! and The Rare Breed (both starring James Stewart), Sol Madrid (aka The Heroin Gang) starriing David McCallum and the Charles Bronson actioner Death Wish 4: The Crackdown. Lopez, who was often cast in Hispanic roles, also appeared on countless major TV series including The Fall Guy, Charlie's Angels, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Wild, Wild West, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. For more click here
Robert DoQui, a versatile character actor, has passed away at age 74. His impressive resume includes playing the gruff Sgt. Reed in the Robocop films and appearing in three major Robert Altman releases: Buffalo Bill and the Indians, Nashville and Short Cuts. It was on TV that he excelled, however, appearing in many hit series beginning in the 1960s. They include The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Practice, ER, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Adam-12, Sanford and Son, and many more. For more click here
Hollywood has lost one of its most intriguing leading men. Roy Scheider, who received Oscar nominations for The French Connection and All That Jazz, has died from cancer at age 75. The acclaimed actor shot to leading man status with his starring role in the 1975 blockbuster Jaws. One of Scheider's last film achievements was narrating and appearing in the forthcoming documentary The Shark is Still Working which details the the making of the film. Scheider's other screen roles include Marathon Man and the greatly-underrated William Friedkin thriller Sorcerer. For more click here.
(To read an interview with the producers of The Shark is Still Working, who discuss Roy Scheider's involvement with the film, click here)
Actor Barry Morse, who played the relentless Lt. Gerard in the TV series The Fugitive has died in London at age 89. The classically trained, esteemed actor found his greatest role as the Javert-like police officer who obsessively pursues escaped fugitive Dr. Richard Kimball (David Janssen) who was convicted of murdering his wife. The show's final two-part episode drew one of the largest audiences in the history of television. In the climax, Gerard observes Kimball fighting with a one-armed man he always maintained was the real killer. Ironically, it is Gerard who saves Kimball's life with a well-placed rifle shot that sends the villain spiraling to his death from atop a tower. The final scene of the show was refreshingly understated. As Kimball leaves a courthouse after being exonerrated, he is approached by Gerard. The two men eye each other warily, but shake hands silently. Morse drew praise not only for his work in the series, but also for his performances on stage and in numerous other films and TV series including Space 1999. His autobiography, Remembering With Advantages was published by McFarland. For more on his fascinating life and to read tributes from his fans and colleagues, go to his official web site by clicking here.
To order Barry Morse's autobiography from the Cinema Retro Amazon Book Store, click here.