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Archive for January, 2012

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Joanna Pacula

Joanna Pacula
Joanna Pacula

Joanna Pacula was born in Poland in 1957.    She made her film debut in 1983 opposite William Hurt in “Gorky Park”.   Her other movies include “Escape from Sobibor” and “Not Quite Jerusalem”.

TCM Overview:

This dark-haired beauty honed her craft on stage in her native Poland. Graduating from drama school at age 17, Joanna Pacula joined the Polish Repertory Company of Warsaw and distinguished herself in productions of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, “Othello” and “As You Like It”. She also found work in a handful of films, including Krzysztof Zanussi’s “Barwy Ochronne/Camouflage” (1977). Pacula was caught in Paris when Poland declared martial law in late 1981 and she eventually landed in the USA where she has specialized in playing European temptresses since her feature debut opposite William Hurt in Michael Apted’s “Gorky Park” (1983). She acted the part of the exotic beauty in numerous American TV series and movies, including the Holocaust drama “Escape From Sobibor” (CBS, 1987), “E.A.R.T.H. Force” (CBS, 1990) and “The Colony” (ABC, 1996). In features, Pacula was particularly effective as a model living under a curse in “The Kiss” (1986). More recently, she was featured in “Tombstone” (1993) as Doc Holliday’s lover Kate, “The Haunted Sea” (1997) and “Virus” (1999), playing a Russian scientist.

This TCM overview can also be accessed online here.

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David Baxt

David Baxt
David Baxt

David Baxt  made his debut in”Twilight’s Last Gleaming” in 1977 which starred Burt Lancaster.   His other films include “Yanks” and “Silver Dream Racer”.

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Roy Thinnes

Roy Thinnes
Roy Thinnes

Roy Thinnes was born in 1938 in Chicago.   He became known to audiences for his part as Ben Quick in the television series “The Long Hot Summer” in 1965.   However he is best known for his starring role in the cult TV series “The Invaders”which began in 1967.   His films include “A Beautiful Mind” in 2001.

IMDB entry:

Roy was born on April 6, 1938, in Chicago, Illinois. During his formative years, he had wanted to become a doctor or football player – or, if one wants to believe his early press releases, both. He started in show business at a radio station, where he did everything: engineering, DJ shows, news and dramatizations. That led to an interest in acting in general. After a hitch in the army, he went to New York and then to California, where he started working in episodes of TV shows. Having made his professional acting debut as a teen-aged firebug in a 1957 pilot for the never-sold TV series, “Chicago 212”, Thinnes spent several lean years “between engagements”, working as a hotel clerk, vitamin salesman and copy boy to Chicago columnist Irv Kupcinet. His first regular TV work was as “Phil Brewer” on the daytime soap opera, General Hospital (1963); during this period, the young actor became the television equivalent of a matinée idol, sparking a barrage of protest mail when he briefly left “GH” in pursuit of other acting jobs. Aggressively campaigning for the starring role of “Ben Quick” on The Long, Hot Summer (1965) — the TV version of the film, The Long, Hot Summer (1958) — Thinnes won the part, as well as a whole new crop of adoring female fans. While “Summer” was unsuccessful, Thinnes enjoyed a longer run as “David Vincent” on the The Fugitive (1963)-like sci-fi series, The Invaders (1967). Success with this popular show also led to marriage to first wife, Lynn Loring, who acted with him in the show as well as in the movie, Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969) (aka “Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun”); she is now a CBS film executive. They parted in 1984. Though he’d occasionally show up in such features asThe Hindenburg (1975), Airport 1975 (1974) and Blue Bayou (1990), Thinnes has remained essentially a TV star. Among his post-“The Invaders” TV-series roles was “Dr. James Whitman” on The Psychiatrist (1970), “Capt. (and later Maj.) Holms” on From Here to Eternity (1980), “Nick Hogan” on Falcon Crest (1981) (who, in 1983, married “Victoria Gioberti” [Jamie Rose] in a highly-rated ceremony) and the dual role of “Roger Collins” and “Rev. Trask” in the 1991 prime-time revival, Dark Shadows (1991). Roy’s more recent appearances on the The X-Files (1993) put him back in the forefront. He revived his role as the enigmatic alien, “Jeremiah Smith”, a turnabout role series creator Chris Carterrenewed for Roy in the February 25, 2001 episode, The X-Files: This Is Not Happening(2001).

– IMDb Mini Biography By: James E. Finch (qv’s & corrections by A. Nonymous)

The above IMDB entry can also be accessed online here.

Spouse (4)

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Maureen Delaney

Maureen Delaney
Maureen Delaney

Maureen Delaney was a wonderful Irish actress who enlivened mamy British films of the 1940’s.   She was born in Kilkennyin 1888.Her film debut came in 1924 in “Land of Her Fathers”.   Her cinema highlights include “Odd Man Out” in 1947, “The Mark of Cain”, “Captain Boycott”and her final film “The Doctor’s Dilemma” with Dirk Bogarde in 1958.   She died in 1961.

“Wikipedia” entry:

She was born in Kilkenny, daughter of Dr. Barry Delany, who died when she was three months old. She was educated in Galway and originally intended to train for the opera, as she had a fine singing voice. However, she was accepted into the Abbey School of Acting by Lennox Robinson. She made her debut on the stage in Edward McNulty’s comedy The Lord Mayor in 1914.[

She quickly gained a reputation as a noted comic actress and singer. She became identified with Maisie Madigan in Juno and the Paycock and Bessie Burgess in The Plough and the Stars (both by Sean O’Casey), as well as the Widow Quin in Synge’s Playboy of the Western World.[1]

Maureen Delaney
Maureen Delaney
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Joan Freeman

Joan Freeman
Joan Freeman
Joan Freeman
Joan Freeman

Joan Freeman was one of Elvis Presley’s leading ladies, appearing with him and Barbara Stanwyck in “Roustabout” in 1964.   She was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1942.   Her other movies include “Tower of London” and “The Rounders”.

IMDB entry:

Joan Freeman was born on January 8, 1942 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA. She is an actress, known for Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), Roustabout (1964) and The Reluctant Astronaut (1967). She is married to Bruce Kessler.

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Scott L. Schwartz

Scott L. Schwartz
Scott L. Schwartz

American wrestler who has branched into acting.   His film debut was in 1991 in “For Parents Only”.   Other films include “High Voltage” and “Fire Down Below”.

IMDB entry:

Scott L. Schwartz was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He is known for his work on Ocean’s Eleven (2001), The Scorpion King (2002) and Starsky & Hutch (2004   He usually plays hulking brute criminals due to his immense height and threatening looks.   Scott L. Schwartz has been visiting children’s hospitals worldwide for the past 12 years after losing his sister to lung cancer in 1998.   Is on the board at numerous charities including Santa’s Gift and Reading, Writing, It’s Exciting.  Wrote/Directed/Produced his first film “Changing Hands” in 2010 and is in final phases of it – to be released Spring 2012.   Scott is the recipient of the 2012 CHOC Glass Slipper Award (a prestigious award that others like David Beckham, Gwen Stefani among others have received). This year Scott along with others helped raise over $250k to benefit CHOC.   Scotts recent charity accomplishments include Scott along with “Legendary Cubs Pitcher” Milt Pappas raising over $50k to benefit Alicia’s House Food Pantry in Chicago, IL.   On May 21, 2013 Scott was invited by General Mills to be an Ambassador for Outnumber Hunger. Outnumber Hunger partners with Feeding America and Big Machine Label Group to help Feeding America secure meals on behalf of local food bank.Personal Quotes (1)   Making it in the film business is best described by the situation when you are a child. When you are playing with blocks they tell you: “Put the square block in the square hole and the round block in the round hole” In order to make it in the film business, you have to get the square block into the round hole. It seems difficult, even impossible when you think about it. Some people quit and don’t try. If you grind it hard enough and long enough – it will go in. Don’t quit.

The above IMDB entry can also be accessed online here.
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Briony McRoberts

Briony McRoberts
Briony McRoberts

Briony McRoberts was born in Welwyn Garden City in 1957.   Her career highlights include “Malice Aforethought” in 1979 and the series “Take the High Road”.   She was married to the actor David Robb.  Sadly she died in 2013.   Her obituary from “The Stage” can be found here.

Anthony Hayward’s “Independent” obituary:

The actress Briony Mc Roberts spent two decades taking character roles on television before making her biggest impact as the super-bitch Sam Hagen in Take the High Road, the Scottish soap opera screened nationally by ITV.

The glamorous Sam arrived in the fictional village of Glendarroch in 1991 as a dynamic business executive and eventually bought the estate, becoming the lady laird.

In 1994, the serial’s title was shortened to High Road, following the vogue of the times – five years earlier, Emmerdale Farm had become Emmerdale. The Scottish Television soap also followed its Yorkshire counterpart in featuring more raunchy storylines.

As the glamorous Sam, who could be thoroughly ruthless in her business dealings, McRoberts brought steamy passion to the community on the banks of Loch Lomond. The character had a string of affairs – starting with Davie Sneddon (Derek Lord), the local “JR”, because he had information useful to her business interests – and she even bedded a teenage boy (played by Gary Hollywood, above).

In 2000, when McRoberts left the serial, Sam hit the bottle after being jilted by a lover, then disappeared. Early the following year, news reached Glendarroch that her body had been found on a rubbish tip and she had lived her last days destitute. The actress made only a handful of television appearances after leaving High Road.

Briony McRoberts was born in Hertfordshire in 1957 but, aged six, moved to Richmond-upon-Thames following the death of her mother and her father’s remarriage.

As a child, she studied drama at the Professional Children’s School, in Teddington. This led to her screen debut, uncredited, at the age of 12 with a small role in the 1969 film fantasy Captain Nemo and the Underwater City, directed by James Hill, who had made Born Free three years earlier and had a particular talent for getting the best out of child actors.

As an adult, McRoberts made her first television appearance as Anna, one of the children fostered by the failed romantic played by Ian Carmichael in the sitcom Bachelor Father (1970-71), and other roles soon followed.

She was seen as Wendy Darling in a live-action television musical version of Peter Pan (1976), starring Mia Farrow and Danny Kaye; as Esther Bronte in The Crezz (1976), with Joss Ackland and Elspet Gray as her parents; as Charlotte, a student, in the final series of the sitcom Sink or Swim (1982); and as Caroline, secretary to the Whitehall-based spycatcher played by Alec McCowen, in Mr Palfrey of Westminster (1984-85). In 1990, McRoberts briefly acted Janine Butcher’s counsellor, Carol Nickleson, in EastEnders.

She was also in the film The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976) as the glamorous Margo Fassbender, who is kidnapped with her physicist father by Chief Inspector Dreyfus (Herbert Lom), out of a psychiatric hospital and intent on killing Clouseau (Peter Sellers), who has driven him to the edge.

McRoberts met the actor David Robb when they were both in a disastrous 1975 production of the William Douglas-Home play Betsy at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford. They married three years later.

On the West End stage, she acted at the Shaftesbury Theatre in the musicals Maggie (1978), alongside Anna Neagle, and Peter Pan (1980), again as Wendy Darling, then appeared at the Aldwych in Charley’s Aunt (1983). Her last television appearance was in a 2005 episode of The Bill.

McRoberts’s final acting role was alongside her husband and actress friend Joanna Lumley in a production of Walter Scott’s epic poem “The Lay of the Last Minstrel” at the Borders Book Festival in June.

She and Robb – who played Dr Clarkson, the Crawley family GP, in Downton Abbey and has been a volunteer for the Samaritans for a quarter of a century – ran the Edinburgh marathon every year from 2004 to raise money for Leukaemia Research.

McRoberts was killed after being hit by a London underground train. Police said there were no suspicious circumstances and her agent stated that it was believed the actress had committed suicide.

Anthony Hayward

The above “Independent” obituary can be accessed online here.

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Lois Daine

Lois Daine
Lois Daine

Lois Daine was born in Bolton, Lancashire in 1941.   She made her cinema debut in “Hell Is A City” with Stanley Baker in 1960.   Other films inckude “Cash On Demand” and “Linda”.   Her son is the actor Aran Bell from her marriage to the late great Tom Bell.

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Tom Adams

Tom Adams
Tom Adams

Tom Adams made his bid for cinema stardom in the mid 1960’s with his performance as Charles Vine, spy in “”Licensed to Kill” and “Where the Bullets Fly””,   He gave terrific performances in both movies.   He was born in London in 1938.   He began his career on television in “Emergency Ward Ten”.   He died in 2014.

His “Guardian” obituary

The tall frame and dark good looks of the actor Tom Adams, who has died of cancer aged 76, made him a natural for casting directors. He will be best remembered on the big screen for his role as Dai Nimmo, the RAF officer in charge of “diversions”, in the 1963 prisoner-of-war drama The Great Escape, alongsideRichard AttenboroughJames Garner and the rising star Steve McQueen. The money he earned from the classic movie enabled Adams to buy his first car after years of earning a pittance on stage and teaching English and drama at a London school.

“It was a lovely summer,” Adams recalled of filming in Germany, talking to the journalist Sinclair McKay last year. “I had a hell of a time.” It also gave him an insight into the power of stardom. “Whatever it was about Steve McQueen … I couldn’t put my finger on it,” he said. “There he was, about 5ft 7in, skinny, but on nights out in Munich, if he walked into the bar, the women – whoomph! – would be around him.”

Television producers spotted Adams and cast him in the hospital soap opera Emergency – Ward 10. He spent six months of 1964 as one of its long list of heart-throbs, the senior registrar Guy Marshall, whose storylines included examining a young woman who had fallen from a window while cleaning. The ITV mogul Lew Grade axed the serial in 1967, but later said it was one of his biggest mistakes. Five years later, he found a replacement with General Hospital and Adams joined it as Dr Guy Wallman (1975-78) when it moved from an afternoon to a peak-time slot.

In the meantime he had played Major Sullivan (1973-75) in the BBC counter-espionage drama Spy Trap. Adams was in it from the second series, replacing the government intelligence service’s agent Commander Anderson (played by Julian Glover), whose job was to track down “subversives”. Then came a leading role in an established series, The Onedin Line, the late-19th-century saga starring Peter Gilmore. In 1977, Adams took over from Michael Billington as Daniel Fogarty, a rival ship’s captain whose affair with Onedin’s spoiled sister, Elizabeth, produced an illegitimate son, William. At the end of Adams’s first series, Fogarty returns from Australia a rich man and marries Elizabeth. Later, he becomes an MP, then British ambassador to Turkey, but comes a cropper in the final series, screened in 1980, drowning when his ship is sunk. Adams followed The Onedin Line with the star role in The Enigma Files (1980), as Detective Chief Inspector Nick Lewis, who is transferred to a desk job and stirs up a hornets’ nest when he investigates unsolved cases. It failed to get a second series.

Son of David, a commercial chauffeur, and Lillian (nee Bennett), he was born Anthony Adams in Poplar, east London, and later took Tom Adams as a stage name. After national service in the army, he joined the leftwing UnityTheatre, in London, then worked with repertory companies. In between jobs, he taught at Cardinal Griffin secondary modern school, Poplar.

After his run in Emergency – Ward 10, Adams starred as the mathematician turned secret agent Charles Vine in the low-budget James Bond film spoof Licensed to Kill (1965), described as “bargain basement” 007 by one critic. However, it was popular enough for him to reprise the role in Where the Bullets Fly (1966) and Somebody’s Stolen Our Russian Spy (1967). Adams played a psychotic killer, complete with false teeth, in the horror film The House that Dripped Blood (1971) and starred as the brutal mastermind behind a bank robbery in The Fast Kill (1972).

His other TV roles included Commander Vorshak, leader of Sea Base 4, in the 1984 Doctor Who story Warriors of the Deep, Ken Stevenson in Strike It Rich! (1986-87), a drama about news agency shareholders receiving a windfall, and Malcolm Bates (on and off from 1987 until 1991), looking for a reconciliation with his estranged wife Caroline, in Emmerdale Farm (later Emmerdale).

When acting roles became fewer, Adams’s rich, velvety tones led him to commercials – in the 1980s and 90s, he was the “face” of the DFS furniture store and the “voice” of the TV channel E4. He enjoyed playing golf and watching cricket, and was the author of Shakespeare Was a Golfer (1996).

• Tom Adams (Anthony Frederick Charles Adams), actor, born 9 March 1938; died 11 December 2014

The above obituary can also be accessed online here.

 

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Jack Bannon

Jack Bannon
Jack Bannon

Jack Bannon is a brilliant American actor, best known for his part as Assistant City Editor Art Donovan in the classic TV series “Lou Grant” which ran from 1977 until 1982.   He is the son of actress Bea Benaderet (of “Petticoat Junction” fame” and is married to actress Ellen Travolta, sister of John.   Jack Bannon has featured in such movies as “To the Limit” and “Navajo Blues”.   He was born in 1940 in Los Angeles.

IMDB entry:

Jack Bannon was born on June 14, 1940 in Los Angeles, California, USA as John Bannon. He is known for his work on Lou Grant (1977), Little Big Man (1970) and Death Warrant(1990). He has been married to Ellen Travolta since April 9, 1983.   Son of Jim Bannon and Bea Benaderet.   Son-in-law of Helen Travolta.   Brother-in-law of John TravoltaJoey TravoltaSam TravoltaMargaret Travolta and Ann Travolta.   Stepfather of Tom Fridley.   Stepson of Gene Twombly.   Lives in Los Angeles; performs with his wife Ellen Travolta in local theater near their vacation home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.