29 April, 2017

Jack Palance


Jack Palance was an American actor and singer. He was nominated for three Academy Awards, all for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, winning in 1992 for his role in City Slickers.

Palance was born in Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania, the son of Anna and Ivan Palahniuk, an anthracite coal miner. His parents were Ukrainian immigrants, his father a native of Ivane Zolote in southwestern Ukraine and his mother from the Lviv Oblast, an ethnic Pole. One of six children, he worked in coal mines during his youth before becoming a professional boxer in the late 1930s. Fighting under the name Jack Brazzo, Palance reportedly compiled a record of 15 consecutive victories with 12 knockouts before losing a close decision to future heavyweight contender Joe Baksi in a Pier-6 brawl.

With the outbreak of World War II, Palance's athletic career ended, and his military career began as a member of the United States Army Air Forces. Palance was honorably discharged from the Army Air Corps in 1944. After the war, he attended Stanford University, leaving one credit shy of graduating to pursue a career in the theatre. During his university years, he worked as a short order cook, waiter, soda jerk, lifeguard at Jones Beach State Park, and photographer's model.

Palance's acting break came as Marlon Brando's understudy in A Streetcar Named Desire, and he eventually replaced Brando on stage as Stanley Kowalski. In 1947, Palance made his Broadway debut. He debuted on television in 1949, and this was followed a year later by his screen debut in the movie Panic in the Streets (1950). The same year he was featured in Halls of Montezuma about the United States Marines in World War II, where he was credited as "Walter (Jack) Palance". Palance was quickly recognized for his skill as a character actor, receiving an Oscar nomination for his third film role as Lester Blaine in Sudden Fear.

The following year, Palance was nominated for an Oscar for his role as the hired gunfighter Jack Wilson in Shane. Several Western roles followed, but he also played varied roles such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula and Attila the Hun. Three years before Palance played the role, comic book artist Gene Colan based his interpretation of Dracula for the acclaimed series The Tomb of Dracula on Palance, explaining, "He had that cadaverous look, a serpentine look on his face. I knew that Jack Palance would do the perfect Dracula."

He became a Hollywood leading man, starring in Man in the Attic, followed by mid-1950s films such as The Big Knife, in which he played a conflicted Hollywood movie star, and I Died a Thousand Times, a scene-by-scene remake of High Sierra (1941) with Palance in the role played previously by Humphrey Bogart.In 1957, Palance won an Emmy Award for best actor for his portrayal of Mountain McClintock in the Playhouse 90 production of Rod Serling's Requiem for a Heavyweight.

Jean-Luc Godard persuaded Palance to take on the role of Hollywood producer Jeremy Prokosch in the nouvelle vague movie Le Mépris (1963). Although the main dialogue was in French, Palance spoke mostly English. Later, in 1966, he appeared in the television movie Alice Through the Looking Glass, directed by Alan Handley, in which he played the Jabberwock. He had a featured role opposite Lee Marvin and Burt Lancaster in the Western adventure The Professionals (1966). Palance provided narration for the 1967 documentary, And Still Champion! The Story of Archie Moore.

In 1969, Palance recorded a country music album in Nashville, released on Warner Bros. Records. It featured Palance's self-penned song "The Meanest Guy That Ever Lived". The album was re-released on CD in 2003 by the Water label (Water 119).

Palance starred in the television series Bronk between 1975 and 1976 for MGM Television.
In 1980, Jack Palance narrated the documentary The Strongest Man in the World by Canadian filmmaker Halya Kuchmij, about Mike Swistun, a circus strongman who had been a student of Houdini’s. Palance attended the premiere of the film on June 6, 1980 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.[14]
In 1982, Palance began hosting a television revival of Ripley's Believe It or Not!. The weekly series ran from 1982 to 1986 on the American ABC network. The series also starred three different co-hosts from season to season, including Palance's daughter Holly Palance, actress Catherine Shirriff and singer Marie Osmond. Ripley's Believe It or Not! was in rerun syndication on the Sci-fi Channel (UK) and Sci-fi Channel (US) during the 1990s.

Palance's success on Ripley's Believe It or Not! and the international box-office hit of Bagdad Cafe (1987) resulted in a demand for his services. He made memorable appearances in Young Guns (1988), Tango & Cash (1989) and Tim Burton's Batman (1989). He also performed on Roger Waters' first solo album release The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking (1984).

In 2001, Palance returned to the recording studio as a special guest on friend Laurie Z's album Heart of the Holidays to narrate the classic poem "The Night Before Christmas". In 2002, he starred in the television movie Living with the Dead opposite Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and Diane Ladd. In 2004, he starred in another television production, Back When We Were Grownups, opposite Blythe Danner. This was his final performance.

Four decades after his film debut, Palance won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor on March 30, 1992 for his performance as cowboy Curly Washburn in the comedy City Slickers (1991).


On November 10, 2006, Palance died of natural causes at age 87 at his daughter Holly's home in Montecito, California.

25 April, 2017

Larry Comeaux


 Larry E. Comeaux II, known as "The Pipe Doctor", was an American artisan who took up the activity of pipe making on the encouragement of two artisan friends from Knoxville, M.O. Vickers and Robert Blackwell. He made pipes professionally for 35 years, having produced many freehands, exotic and sculpted pipes, as well as being a highly respected repairer. In 1986, he won the best freehand contest at the PCI Members Convention and was recognized by the Confrérie de Saint-Claude. He worked with Greek briar and vulcanite and lucite stems, producing between 100 and 250 pipes a year.

Elliot Abel


Elliot D. Abel, founder and owner of Tobacco Corner Ltd.

Elliot was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Jan. 7, 1930, and was the only son of Ivy and Maurice Abel. He served a year in the United States Army prior to beginning his employment as a traveling salesman in the women’s apparel industry. In 1969 Elliot listened to his wife, Sandra, followed his passion, and settled into a new career when he opened the original Tobacco Corner Ltd. on Highland Avenue, thus turning his pipe-smoking hobby into a Memphis institution. Tobacco Corner offered the first walk-in cigar humidor in Memphis and quickly became a popular hangout for pipe and cigar smokers.

He was a proud supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, the Special Olympics and University of Memphis Tiger Athletics.

Dr. Herbert John Webber


Herbert John Webber was an American plant physiologist, professor emeritus of sub-tropical horticulture, first director of the University of California Citrus Experiment Station, and the third curator of the University of California Citrus Variety Collection. Webber was the author of several publications on horticulture, member of numerous professional horticultural and agricultural associations.

James Mason


James Neville Mason was an English actor.

After achieving much success in the United Kingdom, where he was the top box office attraction in 1944 and 1945, he made the transition to the United States and became one of Hollywood's biggest stars. His iconic films included Odd Man Out, The Desert Fox, A Star Is Born, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Lolita, North by Northwest, Prisoner of Zenda, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, A Touch of Larceny, Bigger Than Life, Julius Caesar, Georgy Girl, The Deadly Affair, Age of Consent, Heaven Can Wait, The Boys from Brazil, The Verdict, Mandingo, Murder by Decree and Salem's Lot.

He was nominated for three Academy Awards and three Golden Globes, winning the Golden Globe in 1955 for A Star is Born.

Tyrone Power


Tyrone Edmund Power III was an American film, stage and radio actor. From the 1930s to the 1950s Power appeared in dozens of films, often in swashbuckler roles or romantic leads. His better-known films include The Mark of Zorro, Blood and Sand, The Black Swan, Prince of Foxes, Witness For The Prosecution, The Black Rose, and Captain from Castile. Power's own favorite film among those that he starred in was Nightmare Alley.

Though largely a matinee idol in the 1930s and early 1940s and known for his striking looks, Power starred in films in a number of genres, from drama to light comedy. In the 1950s he began placing limits on the number of films he would make in order to devote more time for theater productions. He received his biggest accolades as a stage actor in John Brown's Body and Mister Roberts. Power died from a heart attack at the age of 44.

House Peters Sr.


Robert House Peters Sr. was a British-born American silent film actor, known to filmgoers of the era as "The Star of a Thousand Emotions."

Born in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, Peters began his career on a high note, playing the handsome leading man in In the Bishop's Carriage (1913), co-starring Mary Pickford. While The Bishop's Carriage was filmed in an East Coast studio, Peters was in Los Angeles by 1914, becoming one of the first screen stars to permanently settle there. Although he stated publicly that he preferred playing villains, Peters, curly haired and pleasantly dimpled, was from the outset typecast as the romantic hero.

After enjoying his greatest success as the good-bad hero of The Girl of the Golden West (1915), Peters found his career at the peak of the early 1920s. He signed with Universal Studios for six films in 1924, hoping for a comeback. The results, however, were mostly mediocre and he was soon demoted to supporting roles. Retired after 1928's Rose Marie, Peters returned for a guest appearance in The Old West, a 1952 Gene Autry film that also featured his son, House Peters Jr., who subsequently enjoyed a lengthy film career portraying villains as well as Procter and Gamble's Mr. Clean character in cleaning product commercials from the late 1950s into the '60s.

Peters was married to actress Mae King in 1914 with whom he had three children, Gregg, Patricia and Robert Jr. (1916–2008). Peters died at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.

Roland Young


Roland Young was an English actor.

Born in London, England, Young was the son of an architect, and early indications were that the son would pursue the father's career. He was educated at Sherborne School, Sherborne, Dorset and the University of London before being accepted into Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


Young made his first stage appearance in London's West End in Find the Woman in 1908, and in 1912 he made his Broadway debut in Hindle Wakes. He appeared in two comedies written for him by Clare Kummer, Good Gracious Annabelle! (1916) and A Successful Calamity (1917) before he served with the United States Army during World War I. He returned to New York when the war ended, and married Kummer's daughter, Frances. For the next few years he alternated between New York and London. He made his film debut in the 1922 silent film Sherlock Holmes, in which he played Watson opposite John Barrymore as Holmes.

He signed a contract with MGM and made his talkie debut in The Unholy Night (1929), directed by Lionel Barrymore. He was loaned to Warner Bros. to appear in Her Private Life, with Billie Dove and 20th Century Fox, winning critical approval for his comedic performance as Jeanette MacDonald's husband in Don't Bet on a Woman. He was again paired with MacDonald in the film version of Good Gracious Annabelle!, titled Annabelle's Affairs. He appeared in Cecil B. de Mille's The Squaw Man, and played opposite Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in The Guardsman (both 1931). He appeared with Evelyn Brent in Columbia's The Pagan Lady (1932) and Pola Negri in RKO's A Woman Commands (1932). His final film under his MGM contract was Lovers Courageous (1932), opposite Robert Montgomery.

Young began to work as a freelance performer and found himself in constant demand. He appeared with Jeanette MacDonald, Genevieve Tobin and Maurice Chevalier in One Hour With You (1932) and with Kay Francis in Street of Women (1932). Alexander Korda invited him to return to Britain to make his British film debut in Wedding Rehearsal (1932). He returned to Hollywood and appeared in a diverse group of films that included comedies, murder mysteries, and dramas, and also worked on Broadway. Among his films of this period were Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), David Copperfield (1935) (playing Uriah Heep), and the H.G. Wells fantasy The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936).

In 1937, he achieved one of the most important successes of his career, as bank president Cosmo Topper, haunted by the ghosts of his clients, played by Cary Grant and Constance Bennett. The film was one of the most successful films of the year, and Young was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Topper's wife was played by Billie Burke, who wrote in her memoir that Young "was dry and always fun to work with". They also appeared together in The Young in Heart (1938), and the first of the Topper sequels, Topper Takes a Trip (1939). He continued to play supporting roles in comedies such as Yes, My Darling Daughter, with Fay Bainter and Priscilla Lane, but over the next few years the importance of his roles again decreased. He achieved another success as Uncle Willie in The Philadelphia Story (1940) with Katharine Hepburn. His last starring role was in the final installment of the Topper series, Topper Returns in 1941, with Billie Burke and Joan Blondell.

He continued working steadily through the 1940s, playing small roles opposite some of Hollywood's leading actresses, such as Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Paulette Goddard and Greta Garbo in her final film, Two-Faced Woman (1942). In 1945, he began his own radio show and appeared in the film adaption of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. By the end of the decade his film career had declined, and his final films, including The Great Lover (1949), in which he played a murderer opposite Bob Hope, and Fred Astaire's Let's Dance (1950), were not successful.


In the 1950s, Young appeared on several episodic television series, including Lux Video Theatre, Studio One, Pulitzer Prize Playhouse and The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre.

Joel Mccrea


Joel Albert McCrea was an American actor whose career spanned 50 years and appearances in over 90 films.

McCrea was born in South Pasadena, California, the son of Thomas McCrea, who was an executive with the L.A. Gas & Electric Company. As a boy, he had a paper route, and delivered the Los Angeles Times to Cecil B. DeMille and other people in the film industry. He also had the opportunity to watch D. W. Griffith filming Intolerance, and was an extra in a serial starring Ruth Roland.

McCrea graduated from Hollywood High School and then Pomona College, class of 1928, where he had acted on stage and took courses in drama and public speaking, while appearing regularly at the Pasadena Playhouse, Even as a high school student, he was working as a stunt double and held horses for cowboy stars William S. Hart and Tom Mix. He worked as an extra, stunt man and bit player from 1927 to 1928, when he signed a contract with MGM, where he was cast in a major role in The Jazz Age (1929), and got his first leading role that same year in The Silver Horde. He moved to RKO in 1930, where he established himself as a handsome leading man who was considered versatile enough to star in both dramas and comedies.

In the 1930s, McCrea starred in Bird of Paradise (1932), directed by King Vidor, causing controversy for his nude scenes with Dolores del Río. In RKO's The Sport Parade (1932), McCrea and William Gargan are friends on the Dartmouth football team, who are shown snapping towels at each other in the locker room, while other players are taking a shower. In 1932 he starred with Fay Wray in The Most Dangerous Game - which used some of the same jungle sets built for King Kong as well as cast members Wray and Robert Armstrong.

In 1934, he made his first appearances with two leading ladies he would be paired with often: with Miriam Hopkins he made The Richest Girl in the World, the first of their five films together, and with Barbara Stanwyck he appeared in Gambling Lady, the first of their six films. Later in the decade, he was the first actor to play "Dr. Kildare", in the film Internes Can't Take Money (1937), and he starred in two large-scale Westerns, Wells Fargo (1937) with his wife Frances Dee, and Cecil B. DeMille's Union Pacific (1939).

McCrea reached the peak of his early career in the early 1940s, in Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940), The More the Merrier (1943) directed by George Stevens, and two by Preston Sturges: Sullivan's Travels (1941) and The Palm Beach Story (1942).

McCrea also starred in two William A. Wellman westerns, The Great Man's Lady (1942), again with Stanwyck, and Buffalo Bill (1944), with character actor Edgar Buchanan and a young Maureen O'Hara. After the success of The Virginian in 1946, McCrea made Westerns exclusively for the rest of his career, with the exception of the British-made Rough Shoot (1953).

In 1959, Joel McCrea and his son Jody McCrea starred in the NBC-TV series Wichita Town, which lasted only one season. A few years later, McCrea united with fellow veteran of westerns Randolph Scott in Ride the High Country (1962), directed by Sam Peckinpah, after which he did not make another feature film until The Young Rounders (1966). Four more years were to pass before his next film, but 1970 saw the release of two films: Cry Blood, Apache, again with his son Jody, and Sioux Nation. McCrea made his final film appearance in 1976, in Mustang Country.

In 1968, McCrea received a career achievement award from the L.A. Film Critics Association, and the following year he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Joel McCrea has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6901 Hollywood Blvd. and another star at 6241 Hollywood Blvd. for his contribution to radio.

Joel McCrea made his final public appearance on October 3, 1990, at a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Wilson in Beverly Hills. He died less than three weeks later, on October 20, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California from pneumonia, at the age of 84.

William Powell



William Horatio Powell was an American actor.

A major star at MGM, he was paired with Myrna Loy in 14 films, including the popular Thin Man series based on the novels of Dashiell Hammett in which Powell and Loy played Nick and Nora Charles. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times: for The Thin Man (1934), My Man Godfrey (1936), and Life with Father (1947).

An only child, Powell was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Nettie Manila (née Brady) and Horatio Warren Powell, on July 29, 1892. His father was born in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania (where William H. Powell spent his boyhood summers), to William S. and Harriet Powell. Powell showed an early aptitude for performing. In 1907, he moved with his family to Kansas City, Missouri, where he graduated from Central High School in 1910. The Powells lived a few blocks away from the Carpenters, whose daughter Harlean evolved into Hollywood's Jean Harlow, although Powell would not meet her until both were established actors.

After high school, he left home for New York and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts at the age of 18. In 1912, Powell graduated from the AADA, and worked in some vaudeville and stock companies. After several successful experiences on the Broadway stage, he began his Hollywood career in 1922, playing a small role as an evil henchman of Professor Moriarty in a production of Sherlock Holmes with John Barrymore. His most memorable role in silent movies was as a bitter film director opposite Emil Jannings' Academy Award-winning performance as a fallen general in The Last Command (1928), which led to Powell's first starring role as amateur detective Philo Vance in The Canary Murder Case (1929).


Powell's most famous role was that of Nick Charles in six Thin Man films, beginning with The Thin Man in 1934, based upon Dashiell Hammett's novel. The role provided a perfect opportunity for Powell, with his resonant speaking voice, to showcase his sophisticated charm and witty sense of humor, and he received his first Academy Award nomination for The Thin Man. Myrna Loy played his wife, Nora, in each of the Thin Man films. Their on-screen partnership, beginning alongside Clark Gable in 1934 with Manhattan Melodrama, was one of Hollywood's most prolific, with the couple appearing in 14 films together.

He and Loy also starred in the Best Picture of 1936, The Great Ziegfeld, with Powell in the title role and Loy as Ziegfeld's wife Billie Burke. That same year, he also received his second Academy Award nomination, for the comedy My Man Godfrey.

In 1935, he starred with Jean Harlow in Reckless. Soon a serious romance developed between them, but Harlow died at the age of 26 in June 1937 before they could marry. His distress over her death, as well as his own health (he reportedly suffered from a rectal condition) caused him to accept fewer acting roles.
Powell's career slowed considerably in the 1940s, although he received his third Academy Award nomination in 1947 for his work in Life with Father. His last film was 1955's Mister Roberts with Henry Fonda, James Cagney, and Jack Lemmon. Despite numerous entreaties to return to the screen, Powell refused all offers, happy in his retirement.

Powell died of heart failure in Palm Springs, California, on March 5, 1984, at the age of 91, some 30 years after his retirement. He is buried at the Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.

Boris Karloff


William Henry Pratt, better known by his stage name Boris Karloff, was an English actor who was primarily known for his typecast roles in horror films that depicted the characters Frankenstein and The Mummy.

He portrayed Frankenstein's monster in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939), which resulted in his immense popularity. His best-known non-horror role is as the Grinch, as well as the narrator, in the animated television special of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966). Karloff guest starred in a 1966 TV episode of The Wild Wild West, "The Night of the Golden Cobra". He also had a memorable role in the original Scarface (1932). For his contribution to film and television, Boris Karloff was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Warren William


Warren William was a Broadway and Hollywood actor, immensely popular during the early 1930s; he was later nicknamed the "King of Pre-Code".

Warren William Krech's family originated in Tennstedt, Saxony, Germany. His grandfather, Ernst Wilhelm Krech (born 1819), fled Germany in 1848 during the Revolution, going first to France and later immigrating to the United States. He wed Mathilde Grow in 1851, and had six children. Freeman E. Krech, Warren's father, was born in 1856.

Around the age of 25, Freeman moved to Aitkin, a small town in Minnesota, where he bought a newspaper, The Aitkin Age, in 1885. He married Frances Potter, daughter of a merchant, September 18, 1890. Their son Warren was born December 2, 1894.

Warren William's interest in acting began in 1903, when an opera house was built in Aitkin. He was also an avid and lifelong amateur inventor, a pursuit that may have contributed to his death.[1] After high school, William auditioned for, and was enrolled in, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York City in October 1915.

As his senior year at AADA was coming to an end, the First World War had begun, and William enlisted in the United States Army. He was assigned from base to base, in charge of training new men at various locations, and in 1918, was assigned to Fort Dix near New York City, in New Jersey. While in New York, he met his future wife, Helen Barbara Nelson, who was 17 years his senior. In October 1918 he left for France, to enter the war. William left the army in early 1919, after which he began working on his acting career. In 1923, he and Helen were married.

William appeared in his first Broadway play in 1920, and had soon made a name for himself in New York. William appeared in 22 plays on Broadway between 1920 and 1931. During this period he also appeared in two silent films, The Town That Forgot God (1922) and Plunder (1923).

William moved from New York City to Hollywood in 1931. He began as a contract player at Warner Bros. and quickly became a star during what is now known as the 'Pre-Code' period. He developed a reputation for portraying ruthless, amoral businessmen (Under 18, Skyscraper Souls, The Match King, Employees Entrance), crafty lawyers (The Mouthpiece, Perry Mason), and outright charlatans (The Mind Reader). These roles were considered controversial yet they were highly satisfying, as this was the harshest period of the Great Depression, characterised by massive business failures and oppressive unemployment; hence audiences tended to jeer the businessmen, who were portrayed as predators.

William did play some sympathetic roles, including "Dave The Dude" in Frank Capra's Lady for a Day, a loving father and husband cuckolded by Ann Dvorak's character in Three on a Match (1932), a young songwriter's comically pompous older brother in Golddiggers of 1933, Julius Caesar in Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra (1934; starring Claudette Colbert in the title role), and with Colbert again the same year as her character's love interest in Imitation of Life (1934). He played the swashbuckling musketeer d'Artagnan in The Man in the Iron Mask (1939), directed by James Whale. William was the first to portray Erle Stanley Gardner's fictional defense attorney Perry Mason on the big screen and starred in four Perry Mason mysteries. He played Raffles-like reformed jewel thief The Lone Wolf in nine films for beginning with The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939), and appeared as Detective Philo Vance in two of the series films, The Dragon Murder Case (1934) and the comedic The Gracie Allen Murder Case (1939). He also starred as Sam Spade (renamed Ted Shane) in Satan Met a Lady (1936), the second screen version of The Maltese Falcon.

Other roles include Mae West's manager in Go West, Young Man (1936), a jealous District Attorney in another James Whale film, Wives Under Suspicion (1938), copper-magnate Jesse Lewisohn in 1940's Lillian Russell, the evil Jefferson Carteret in Arizona (also 1940), sympathetic Dr. Lloyd in The Wolf Man (1941), Brett Curtis in cult director Edgar G. Ulmer's modern-day version of Hamlet, 1945's Strange Illusion, and as Laroche-Mathieu in The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947), which would be William's last film.

On radio, William starred in the transcribed series Strange Wills, which featured "stories behind strange wills that run the gamut of human emotion."


Warren William died on September 24, 1948, from multiple myeloma, at age 53. He was recognized for his contribution to motion pictures with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 1960.

Dick Powell


Richard Ewing "Dick" Powell was an American singer, actor, film producer, film director and studio head. Though he came to stardom as a musical comedy performer, he showed versatility and successfully transformed into a hardboiled leading man starring in projects of a more dramatic nature.
He was the first actor to portray the private detective Philip Marlowe on screen.

Gene Kelly


Eugene Curran Kelly — known as Gene Kelly — was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director, producer and choreographer. He was known for his energetic and athletic dancing style, his good looks, and the likeable characters that he played on screen.

Best known today for his performances in films such as An American in Paris (1951), Anchors Aweigh (1945), and Singin' in the Rain (1952), he starred in musical films until they fell out of fashion in the late 1950s. He starred in many musical films throughout the 1940s, including For Me and My Gal (1942), Du Barry Was a Lady (1943), Thousands Cheer (1943), The Three Musketeers (1948) and On the Town (1949). In his later career, he starred in two films outside the musical genre: Inherit the Wind (1960) and What a Way to Go! (1964). He also directed films most notably the 1969 film Hello, Dolly!, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

His many innovations transformed the Hollywood musical and he is credited with almost single-handedly making the ballet form commercially acceptable to film audiences.


Kelly received an Academy Honorary Award in 1952 for his career achievements. He later received lifetime achievement awards in the Kennedy Center Honors (1982), and from the Screen Actors Guild and American Film Institute.

24 April, 2017

Randolph Scott


George Randolph Scott was an American film actor whose career spanned from 1928 to 1962. 

As a leading man for all but the first three years of his cinematic career, Scott appeared in a variety of genres, including social dramas, crime dramas, comedies, musicals (albeit in non-singing and non-dancing roles), adventure tales, war films, and a few horror and fantasy films. However, his most enduring image is that of the tall-in-the-saddle Western hero. Out of his more than 100 film appearances over 60 were in Westerns; thus, "of all the major stars whose name was associated with the Western, Scott most closely identified with it."

Scott's more than 30 years as a motion picture actor resulted in his working with many acclaimed screen directors, including Henry King, Rouben Mamoulian, Michael Curtiz, John Cromwell, King Vidor, Allan Dwan, Fritz Lang, and Sam Peckinpah. He also worked on multiple occasions with prominent directors: Henry Hathaway (eight times), Ray Enright (seven), Edwin L. Marin (seven), André de Toth (six), and most notably, his seven film collaborations with Budd Boetticher. Scott also worked with a diverse array of cinematic leading ladies, from Shirley Temple and Irene Dunne to Mae West and Marlene Dietrich.


Tall, lanky and handsome, Scott displayed an easygoing charm and courtly Southern drawl in his early films that helped offset his limitations as an actor, where he was frequently found to be stiff or "lumbering". As he matured, however, Scott's acting improved while his features became burnished and leathery, turning him into the ideal "strong, silent" type of stoic hero. 

Donald Marr Nelson



Donald Marr Nelson was an American business executive and public servant, serving as the executive vice president of Sears Roebuck before accepting the position of director of priorities of the United States Office of Production Management (1941–1942). In 1942 Nelson became chairman of the War Production Board (1942–1944) when it replaced the OPM. He later served for two years (1945–1947) as president of the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers.

Nelson was born in Hannibal, Missouri, the son of a locomotive engineer. He went to the University of Missouri, graduating in 1911 with a degree in chemical engineering. In 1912 he took a job as a chemist with Sears, Roebuck and Company. There he steadily advanced, becoming vice-president in 1930 and being named executive vice president and vice chairman of the executive committee by 1939.

It was Nelson's experience at Sears, buying more than 135,000 different products while gaining an unparalleled knowledge of American industry that led President Franklin Roosevelt to give him several jobs overseeing production of war material for the United States and its allies in World War II. In May 1940, Roosevelt appointed Nelson to a post at the Treasury Department where he served as acting director of the procurement division, managing sales of raw materials to Britain and its allies for use in their fight against the Axis.

During the second half of 1940, Axis successes and the possibility of American involvement in the spreading war heightened concerns about the nation's military readiness. With an eye to improving the efficiency of war production, in January, 1941 several agencies responsible for purchasing billions of dollars of war materials for the defense industry were reorganized into a central procurement agency, the Office of Production Management, with Nelson the director of priorities. As American war preparations continued to expand during 1941, new inefficiencies in the supply process were exposed, and in July a new agency, the Supply Priorities and Allocation Board (SPAB) was created to deal with them. Nelson was named its director.

In January, 1942, following America's entry into the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt abolished both the OPM and the SPAB, replacing them with a new agency, the War Production Board. Once again, FDR asked Nelson to lead it.

After the end of World War II, Nelson returned to private industry. He died of a stroke in 1959.

19 April, 2017

Heinz Reincke


Karl-Heinz Reincke was a German-born actor, long-based in Vienna.

Rüdiger Joswig


Rüdiger Joswig is a German actor and synchron .

Joswig became a sought- after actor in the GDR after a schauspielausbildung at the Theaterhochschule in Leipzig and also performed numerous roles in productions of the DEFA and the DFF alongside his theater engagements, including at the state theater Cottbus .

Following an unsuccessful application for leave, Joswig received a ban on employment in the GDR in 1982. In 1987, he was able to leave the Federal Republic of Germany and became known to the general public as a captain Ehlers from the ZDF television series Küstenwache . As a synchron, Joswig gave his voice to Tom Berenger , Gary Oldman and Michael York .

Rüdiger Joswig is the father of four children and since 2003 married with the actress Claudia Wenzel.

Joswig is also a passionate pipe-maker. For this reason, he received the prize of the pipe of the year .

Horst Keitel


Horst Keitel was a German actor and synchron .

Keitel received his first engagement as a stage actor in Heiligenstadt in 1946 , where he remained under contract until 1951. Other theaters were Greifswald , Altenburg , Berlin and Hamburg . Keitel also worked extensively for film and television; He gained great popularity, especially through his serial roles. He played in 13 episodes of the series Försterhorn as well as in 39 episodes of the crime series On behalf of Madame the secret service Homer Halfpenny . His best-known role was that of the cheeky lawyer Reginald Prewster as a watchdog of Percy Stuart ( Claus Wilcke ), which he accompanied in 52 episodes during his adventures, whereby he hoped to be included in the exclusive Excentric Club. For the latter, Keitel received a Bambi in silver in 1970.

Keitel also worked regularly as a synchron. He was, among others, the German voice of John Carradine in Jesse James and revenge for Jesse James as well as " Q " ( Desmond Llewelyn ), James Bond's tricks specialist , in Her Majesty's Secret Service . Keitel also worked as a radio playwright (among others in Kleine Hexe Klavi-Klack ).

Horst Keitel was married to Herta Kravina , with whom he was often on the stage together. The couple was found dead on 6th November 2015 in his apartment in Berlin-Charlottenburg. After the police investigation, a joint suicide was issued. 

Siegfried Rauch


Siegfried Rauch is a German film and television actor. He has been an actor for over 40 years, in approximately 200 productions.

Rauch studied drama at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Additionally, he attended private drama lessons. Since 1958, he has performed at different theatres, beginning with Bremen (until 1962), and followed by Berlin, Munich and Hamburg.

In the 1970s Rauch appeared in the 1970 Hollywood film Patton as Captain Steiger. In Le Mans (1971), Rauch played the race driver Erich Stahler who is Steve McQueen's rival. In Samuel Fuller's The Big Red One, Rauch played a German army sergeant, the counterpart of Lee Marvin's character, who experiences the same events as Marvin only from a German perspective. Other Hollywood productions in which Rauch appeared were The Eagle Has Landed (1976) and Escape to Athena (1979).

His most famous leading act on German 1970s television was Thomas Lieven in Es muss nicht immer Kaviar sein (It Can't Always Be Caviar), based on the spy fiction novel by Johannes Mario Simmel. His various other roles on television established his career as an actor in Germany.

Since 1997, Rauch has continuously appeared in Das Traumschiff, one of the most-watched television series in Germany; from 1999 to 2013 he played the captain. In this rôle he was preceded by Heinz Weiss and is succeeded by Sascha Hehn starting with the 2014-screening.

Hans Clarin


Hans Clarin was a German actor.

He became a well-known voice actor of characters in children audio plays, particularly the kobold Pumuckl (including its TV and cinematic film adaptations), the German voice of René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo's diminutive Gaulish hero Asterix (in circa 30 German audioplay adaptations of the Asterix comic books, produced and published 1986-1992 under the Europa label), and the ghost Hui Buh.

Norbert Blüm



Norbert Blüm is a German politician who was a federal legislator from North Rhine-Westphalia, Chairman of the CDU there (1987–1999), and a minister for labor and social affairs (for 16 years in the government of Helmut Kohl).

Born in Rüsselsheim, he trained as a toolmaker at Adam Opel AG in the town. During this time he was a founding member of the local Scout Group within the Deutsche Pfadfinderschaft Sankt Georg. Later he studied German language and literature, history and philosophy.

Especially during his political career, Blüm has been an outspoken critic of the agenda and conduct of Scientology. As a consequence, he has been a target of Scientology advocates who claimed that the organization was a victim of religious discrimination in Germany.

He received the Leipzig Human Rights Award in 2001.

Robert Schwan


Robert Schwan was a German football manager.

Schwan joined FC Bayern in 1962 as an honorary Spielausschuss chairman. In 1964 he became the first full-time manager in German football and at the same time a personal manager of Franz Beckenbauer . This personal conflict of interests led Beckenbauer to Cosmos New York in 1977 to Schwan's dismissal as Bayern manager. He was followed by Walter Fembeck . Schwan later became a member of the Supervisory Board of Hertha BSC .


With its innovations, Schwan played a decisive role in the rise of Bavaria Munich to the European top. His most famous sentence was "I know only two sensible people: Robert Schwan in the morning and Robert Schwan in the afternoon."

Siegfried Lenz


Siegfried Lenz was a German writer of novels, short stories and essays, as well as dramas for radio and the theatre. In 2000 he received the Goethe Prize on the 250th Anniversary of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's birth.

Siegfried Lenz was born in Lyck, East Prussia; now Ełk, Poland, the son of a customs officer. After graduating in 1943, he was drafted into the Kriegsmarine.

At the University of Hamburg he studied philosophy, English, and literary history. His studies were cut off early when he became an intern for the daily newspaper Die Welt, where he served as an editor from 1950 to 1951. It was there he met his future wife, Liselotte whom he married in 1949.

In 1951, Lenz used the money he had earned from his first novel Habichte in der Luft to finance a trip to Kenya. During his time there, he wrote about the Mau Mau Uprising in his short story "Lukas, sanftmütiger Knecht". After 1951 Lenz worked as a freelance writer in Hamburg, where he joined the Group 47 group of writers. Together with Günter Grass, he became engaged with the Social Democratic Party and championed the Ostpolitik of Willy Brandt.

In 2003, Lenz joined the Verein für deutsche Rechtschreibung und Sprachpflege (Society for German Spelling and Language Cultivation) to protest the German orthography reform of 1996.

He died at the age of 88 on 7 October 2014 in Hamburg.


After his death, a previously unpublished novel, Der Überläufer (The Turncoat), which Lenz had written in 1951, was published. Unwelcome in the cold-war era, this novel about a German soldier who defects to Soviet Union forces, was found among his effects.

18 April, 2017

Alfred Schirokauer


Alfred Schirokauer was a German novelist and screenwriter. He directed three films during the silent era. Many films were based on his novels including several adaptations of Lucrezia Borgia. After the rise of the Nazi Party to power in 1933 the Jewish Schirokauer emigrated to Amsterdam and then to Austria where he died the following year.

Dag Hammarskjold


Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author, who served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. At the age of 47 years upon his appointment, Hammarskjöld was the youngest to have held the post. Additionally, he is one of only four people to be awarded a posthumous Nobel Prize and was the only United Nations Secretary-General to die while in office. He was killed in a Douglas DC-6 airplane crash en route to cease-fire negotiations. 

Wolfgang Hildesheimer


Wolfgang Hildesheimer was a German author who incorporated the Theatre of the Absurd. He originally trained as an artist, before turning to writing.

Hildesheimer was born of Jewish parents in Hamburg. His grandfather was Azriel Hildesheimer, the modernizer of Orthodox Judaism in Germany. He was educated at Humanistische Gymnasium in Mannheim from 1926 to 1930. He then attended Odenwaldschule until 1933, when he left Germany. He was then educated at Frensham Heights School in Surrey, England. He studied carpentry in Mandatory Palestine, where his parents had emigrated, and underwent psychoanalysis in Jerusalem.

He studied painting and stage building in London. In 1946, he worked as a translator and clerk at the Nuremberg trials. Afterward, he worked as a writer and was a member of Group 47. In 1980, he gave the inaugural address at the Salzburg Festival (Was sagt Musik aus? — What does music say?). In addition to writing, Hildesheimer created collages which he collected in several volumes (the first Endlich allein, 1984), an activity he shared with other late 20th century writers Peter Weiss and Ror Wolf. The municipality of Poschiavo in Switzerland made Hildesheimer an honorary citizen in 1982; he died there in 1991.

Thomas Theodor Heine


Thomas Theodor Heine, was a German painter, draftsman and writer. He was the closest collaborator of the publisher Albert Langen for the magazine Simplicissimus.

Born David Theodor Heine on 28 February 1867 in Leipzig.  Heine was recruited as a draftsman by Albert Langen in April 1896 for the first issue of Simplicissimus. Both had met in Munich, where Heine, having graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, exercised his talent as a rather gifted draftsman. Becoming a rather fierce caricaturist, his style was influenced by Japanese and French art nouveau. In 1898, he served six months in prison for a design deemed unacceptable by the German Imperial Government. He was a close friend of the Italian cartoonist Gabriele Gal Antara.

He is the designer in 1910 of the "bulldog breaking his chain", a motif that will serve to promote the spirit of the magazine for several years. Heine also illustrates many works.

At the end of the First World War, Théodore Heine painted a caricature, "Versailles" (June 1919), which refers to the Treaty of Versailles signed June 28, 1919, and which causes a scandal.

In 1933, when the Nazis came to power, Heine chose to leave Germany, first for Prague, then for Oslo, and finally settled in Stockholm, because of his origins and the threats he was under. In 1942, he published his autobiography, ironically entitled Ich warte auf Wunder (I Wait a Miracle).

Thomas Theodor Heine died on 26 January 1948 in Stockholm.

Friedrich Dürrenmatt


Friedrich Dürrenmatt was a Swiss author and dramatist. He was a proponent of epic theatre whose plays reflected the experiences of World War II. His works included avant-garde dramas, philosophical crime novels, and macabre satire.

Dürrenmatt was born in Konolfingen, the son of a Protestant pastor. His grandfather, Ulrich Dürrenmatt, was a conservative politician. The family moved to Bern in 1935. Dürrenmatt began studies in philosophy, German language and literature at the University of Zurich in 1941, but moved to the University of Bern after one semester where he also studied natural science. In 1943, he decided to become an author and dramatist and dropped his academic career. In 1945–46, he wrote his first play It is Written. On 11 October 1946, he married the actress Lotti Geissler. She died on 16 January 1983. Dürrenmatt married another actress, Charlotte Kerr, in 1984.

Dürrenmatt also enjoyed painting. Some of his own works and his drawings were exhibited in Neuchâtel in 1976 and 1985, as well as in Zurich in 1978.
Dürrenmatt explored the dramatic possibilities of epic theatre, he had been called its "most original theorist".

When he was 26, his first play, It Is Written, premiered to great controversy. The story of the play revolves around a battle between a sensation-craving cynic and a religious fanatic who takes scripture literally, all of this taking place while the city they live in is under siege. The play's opening night in April 1947, caused fights and protests in the audience. Between 1948 and 1949, Dürrenmatt wrote several segments and sketches for the anti-Nazi Cabaret Cornichon in Zurich; among these, the single-act grotesque short play Der Gerettete (The rescued).

His first major success was the play Romulus the Great. Set in the year A.D. 476, the play explores the last days of the Roman Empire, presided over, and brought about by its last emperor, Romulus. The Visit (Der Besuch der alten Dame, 1956) is a grotesque fusion of comedy and tragedy about a wealthy woman who offers the people of her hometown a fortune if they will execute the man who jilted her years earlier. The satirical drama The Physicists (Die Physiker, 1962), which deals with issues concerning science and its responsibility for dramatic and dangerous changes to the world, has also been presented in translation.

Radio plays published in English include Hercules in the Augean Stables (Herkules und der Stall des Augias, 1954), Incident at Twilight (Abendstunde im Spätherbst, 1952) and The Mission of the Vega (Das Unternehmen der Wega, 1954). The two late works "Labyrinth" and "Turmbau zu Babel" are a collection of unfinished ideas, stories, and philosophical thoughts.

Dürrenmatt died from heart failure on 14 December 1990 in Neuchâtel.

03 February, 2017

Howlin` Wolf


Chester Arthur Burnett, known as Howlin' Wolf, was an African-American Chicago blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player, from Mississippi. With a booming voice and looming physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago blues artists.