Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

RIP, continued ....

Barbara Cook (1927-2017),  aged 89.  Barbara was one of the legendary Broadway divas and remained much-loved to the end. She starred in several musicals (starting with Bernstein's CANDIDE and as Marian the librarian in the original THE MUSIC MAN ("Till there was you"), and later re-invented herself as a top solo artist, after weight and alcohol problems, filling out Carnegie Hall, and also did several appearances in London. Sondheim insisted on her for that 1986 Concert version of FOLLIES, where in an all-star cast (Lee Remick, Elaine Stritch, Carol Burnett) her versions of "Losing My Mind" and "In Buddy's Eyes" are standouts. Thank goodness its on dvd. I must now check out her available recordings. 

Elsa Martinelli (1935-2017), aged 82. Italian actress, Eurobabe and model. Elsa was one of our Italian favourites, the slim fashion model stood out from the usual statuesque beauties. She was a top model by the mid-fifties and was spotted for the Kirk Douglas western THE INDIAN FIGHTER, where she certainly looked the part. She alternated between American and Italian films (such as my favorite, LA NOTTE BRAVA in 1959), and Vadim's dreamy vampire film BLOOD AND ROSES. Her best known role is probably that of Dallas in Howard Hawks' 1962 African saga HATARI! where she has that delightful sequence with the baby elephants "Baby Elephant Walk" as scored by Henry Mancini. She also squared up nicely to John Wayne. There was also a little seen Charlton Heston comedy, and we like her in the swinging London spy saga MAROC 7 in 1967, and slinky euro-thrillers like THE 10TH VICTIM. She was also in Welles' THE TRIAL and his bored companion in THE VIPs. Also in FOUR GIRLS IN TOWN in 1957, MANUELA, RAMPAGE and more.  
Robert Hardy (1925-2017), aged 91. The splendid Robert Hardy was another long-standing veteran of British theatre, film and television. I seem to have been watching him almost all my life .... his most famous role must be of the country vet in James Herriot's ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, a long runner in the 1970s and 80s. He also played Churchill several times. Other tv roles included THE TROUBLESHOOTERS, Sir Tobt Belch and other assorted Shakespeare roles, and he did CORIOLANUS with Olivier in 1959. I remember him as the Earl of Leicester in a 1967 BBc series KENILWORTH, and of course he was also in the HARRY POTTER films,
My employers engaged him to host a prestigious evening event at the Tower of London in the 90s, and he was a great success, despite it raining.

Sam Shepherd (1943-2017) aged 73. The acclaimed Pulitzer-prizewinning American playwright and actor, who captured aspects of American life perfectly with plays like FOOL FOR LOVE. His film career began with DAYS OF HEAVEN, and THE RIGHT STUFF and more routine fare with BABY BOOMSTEEL MAGNOLIAS etc. 

Hywel Bennett (1944-2017), aged 73. Popular British actor of his era, who later found success on television as SHELLEY and of in EASTENDERS etc. His film career though in the late 60s and early 70s was typical of the tatty fare the British cinema descended into then: that dreadful film of LOOT (review at Orton label) , PERCY, PERCY'S PROGRESS (about penis transplants), THE BUTTERCUP CHAIN, etc THE VIRGIN SOLDIERS was fitfully amusing in 1969. I never liked THE FAMILY WAY with that grotesque role of the father as played by John Mills, and his other two with Hayley Mills, TWISTED NERVE and ENDLESS NIGHT were rather unpleasant too. At least he progressed to Dennis Potter plays like PENNIES FROM HEAVEN.

Ty Hardin (1930-2017), aged 87. Ty was quite a busy guy what with 8 wives and 10 children, and fitting in playing BRONCO on tv and assorted movie roles in tough guy movies like BATTLE OF THE BULGE, CUSTER OF THE WEST, MERRILL'S MARAUDERS etc, but we have fond memories of him here in THE CHAPMAN REPORT in 1962 in those spray-on shorts, getting Glynis Johns all in a tizzy, or in BERSERK!, a circus cheapo made in England in 1967 where he is Joan Crawford's love interest.

Glen Campbell (1936-2017), aged 81. Another titan of American popular country music, The Rhinestone Cowboy's work with Jim Webb will endure, also in movies since TRUE GRIT in 1969


  1. my obits on Sam, Robert and Hywel are on Facebook. I didn't know about Elsa or Ty nor did I know that Ty had 8 wifes and 10 children. Perhaps he should have Tyed a knot in it!

  2. I'm really feeling the loss of Robert Hardy. Like you, I seem to have been watching him all of my life. He was such a good actor and always a treat to watch. I love him the most in All Creatures Great and Small. Sense and Sensibility. Elizabeth R. Churchill:The Wilderness Years. Maddy