End Credits #73: Cinema's 2017 Lost Treasures Anne Jeffreys, Harry Dean Stanton, Gastone Moschin, Shelley Berman, Richard Anderson
These are some of Cinema's sad departures of 2017 taken from my personal notes soon after the events took place:
Another sad loss has occurred amongst the dwindling few thespians left from Hollywood's Golden Age. The spirited, poised, lovely, and gifted actress Anne Jeffreys has died at age 94.
In the early 1950s, a highly successful club act with her husband Robert Sterling led to both being cast as Marion and George Kirby, the clever and engaging ghosts in the 1953 - 1955 Topper sitcom, probably their best known roles. Her first credited film appearance was in 1942's I Married an Angel with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. She additionally made striking impressions co-starring in some notable films noir including 1945's Dillinger with Lawrence Tierney, 1945's Dick Tracy with Morgan Conway, 1947's Riff-Raff with Pat O'Brien, and westerns such as Nevada (with Robert Mitchum 1944), 1947's Trail Street and 1948's Return of the Bad Men both with Randolph Scott and Robert Ryan. More contemporary TV roles included those reoccurring in Falcon Crest (1982 - 1983), Baywatch (1993 - 1998) and General Hospital (1984 - 2004). Anne Jeffreys (January 26, 1923 - September 27, 2017) R.I.P.
One of the most naturally comfortable and sincere actors who ever graced the screen, big or small, the beloved Harry Dean Stanton has died at age 91.
Throughout his lengthy career, a Harry Dean Stanton film or television appearance became increasingly welcome. His unparalleled authenticity made watching this consummate actor seem no different than seeing a warm, generous and familiar friend being himself. He wasn't acting per se, at least it never seemed that way... that vanished. He was the part he played, possessing an uncanny ability to make his audience feel so potently the why behind his character's thoughts and behaviour. We'd always find ourselves supremely invested in his outcome. In real life he was loved by seemingly everyone who knew or met him, making sense that his professional work would be experienced in a similar fashion. He performed in numerous TV series and uncredited film parts throughout the 50s and 60s, but those fortunate viewers who saw Stanton's first prominent portrayal of an outlaw gang's leader in the exceptional western Ride in the Whirlwind (written by friend and co-performer Jack Nicholson 1966), knew they were seeing "the genuine article". Stanton stated that he didn't care how big or career boosting his part in a film was, only how he could contribute to the character's emotional integrity, and his cinematic legacy bears that out with exceptional performances in, amongst others: In the Heat of the Night (1967), Cool Hand Luke (1967), Kelly's Heroes (1970), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973), Dillinger (1973), The Godfather Part II (1974), Rancho Deluxe (1975), Farewell, My Lovely (1975), The Missouri Breaks (1976), Straight Time (his most special, heartfelt performance for me personally 1978), Wise Blood (1979), Alien (1979), Escape from New York (1981), Repo Man (1984), Paris, Texas (1984, a most memorable starring role), Pretty in Pink (1986), Twister (1989), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (as Carl Rodd a role he would re-create in the 2017 Twin Peaks TV series from 1992), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), The Straight Story (1999), The Green Mile (1999), The Pledge (2001), Inland Empire (2006), his last, yet to be released starring turn Lucky (2017), and supporting role in Frank and Ava (2017). Our deepest sympathy to his many friends and family members and condolences to film lovers the world over. Harry Dean Stanton (July 14, 1926 - September 15, 2017) R.I.P.
Italian actor Gastone Moschin has died at age 88.
He was best known for his commanding appearances in The Godfather Part II (1974) as the feared 'Black Hand' Don Fanucci of 1920's New York City (pictured) and for playing the dedicated Fascist Manganiello in Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist (1970). He began his career in theatre during the 1950s and made his motion picture debut in 1956's The Rival (La Rivale). Thereafter he appeared in many diverse Italian motion pictures, some of which notably included The Visit (La Visita 1963), 7 uomini d'oro (1965), Pietro Germi's The Birds, the Bees and the Italians (1966), Seasons of Our Love (Le stagioni del nostro amore 1966), Caliber 9 (Milano calibro 9 1972), Il delitto Matteotti (1973), Emergency Squad (Squadra Volante 1974), and My Friends (Amici miei 1975). His last role was as Vescovo in the TV series starring Terence Hill, Don Matteo (2000 - 2001). Gastone Moschin (June 8, 1929 - September 4, 2017) R.I.P.
Inspired comedian and actor Shelley Berman has died at age 92.
He worked as a sketch writer for 1956's The Steve Allen Plymouth Show, and thereafter joined 'The Compass Players' (which later became 'Second City'). Developing his own stand-up routines, he successfully performed at nightclubs across the country which led to TV appearances and a contract with Verve Records. 1959's "Inside Shelley Berman" was the first comedy album to be given a gold record (for selling one million copies) and the first non-musical recording to win a Grammy Award. He would go on to make five more albums for Verve and appeared on numerous TV variety shows with Ed Sullivan, Steve Allen, Andy Williams, and Dean Martin. He appeared on stage in A Family Affair, The Odd Couple, Damn Yankees, and Guys and Dolls, among others. On television he had prominent roles in episodes of Peter Gunn, The Twilight Zone (The Mind and the Matter 1961), Rawhide, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., L.A. Law, Friends, Grey's Anatomy, Entourage, CSI: NY, Boston Legal, and most recently as Larry David's father on Curb Your Enthusiasm for which he received an Emmy Award nomination in 2008. His most memorable film credits include The Best Man (1964), Divorce American Style (1967), Every Home Should Have One (1970), Teen Witch (1989), Meet the Fockers (2004), The Aristocrats (2005), The Holiday (2006), and You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008). Shelley Berman (February 3, 1925 - September 1, 2017) R.I.P.
The incredibly talented actor Richard Anderson has died at age 91.
He made his motion picture debut in the 1947 Hidden Gem The Pearl, directed by Mexico's Emilio Fernandez and went on to appear in numerous other major motion pictures including Payment on Demand (1951), No Questions Asked (1951), The People Against O'Hara (1951), Scaramouche (1952), Escape from Fort Bravo (1953), Forbidden Planet (1956), Paths of Glory (a particularly outstanding performance 1957), The Long Hot Summer (1958), Compulsion (1959), The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959), Seven Days in May (1964), Seconds (1966), The Honkers (1972), Play It As It Lays (1972), The Player (1992), Gettysburg (1993), and The Glass Shield (1994). In addition, Anderson was known for his prolific TV roles including those in Zorro (1958 - 1959), The Rifleman (1959 - 1963), Perry Mason (1964 - 1966), 12 O'Clock High (1966), The Fugitive (1964 -1967), The Big Valley (1966 - 1969), The F.B.I. (1966 - 1973), Gunsmoke (1964 -1974), Ironside (1967 - 1975), and will probably be most remembered for his character Oscar Goldman in both The Six Million Dollar Man (1974 - 1978) and The Bionic Woman (1976 - 1978). Richard Anderson (August 8, 1926 - August 31, 2017) R.I.P.