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Archive for March, 2018

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Moe Dunford

Moe Dunford

IMDB Entry:

Moe Dunford is an actor, known for Vikings (2013), Patrick’s Day (2014) and Gridlock(2016).   Named as one of European films’ Shooting Stars by European Film Promotion. [2015]   In 2015, he received an IFTA in the category of Best Actor in a Lead Role in Film for Patrick’s Day.   He grew up in Dungarvan, County Waterford, Ireland.   In 2016, he received an IFTA in the category of Best Actor in a Supporting Role in TV Drama for Vikings.

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Patrick Wilson

Patrick Wilson
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Bo Svenson

Bo Svenson

Bo Svenson. Wikipedia.

Svenson (born 13 February 1941) is a Swedish-American actor, known for his roles in American genre films of the 1970s and 1980s. He is a naturalized United States citizen.

Svenson was born in Sweden, to Lola Iris Viola, a big band leader, actress, and singer, and Birger Ragnar Svenson, a personal driver, athlete, and bodyguard for the King of Sweden. He emigrated to the United States and then, when he was 17, joined the United States Marine Corps, serving until his honorable discharge six years later. His first state of residence in the United States was Georgia, where he became familiar with the rural Southern accent he later employed in some of his roles.

He also holds a fourth degree (Yondanblack belt in judo. He earned his first degree (Shodan) belt at Kodokan in Japan, the home dojo of Judo, while stationed in Japan in 1961 as a Marine.  He was the 1961 Far East Judo Champion in the Heavyweight Division.

In the late 1960s, Svenson had a recurring role in the hit TV series Here Come the Brides as Lumberjack Olaf “Big Swede” Gustavsen. In the mid-1970s, he took over the role of lawman Buford Pusser from Joe Don Baker in both sequels to the hit 1973 film Walking Tall, after Pusser himself, who had originally agreed to take over the role, died in an automobile crash. He reprised the role again for the short-lived 1981 television series of the same name.

One of his most famous roles in films was as murder-witness-turned-vigilante Michael McBain in the 1976 cult classic Breaking Point. He played the Soviet agent Ivan in the Magnum, P.I. episode “Did You See the Sunrise?” (1982) and many years later had a cameo as an American colonel in Inglourious Basterds, as a tribute to his role in The Inglorious Bastards; he is the only actor to appear in both films.

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Janine Duvitski

Janine Duvitski

Janine Duvitski was born on28 June 1952)[1] is an English actress, known for her roles as Jane Edwards in Waiting for God, Pippa Trench in One Foot in the Grave and Jacqueline Stewart in Benidorm. Duvitski first came to national attention in the play Abigail’s Party, written and directed in 1977 by Mike Leigh.

Duvitski was born in Lancaster, Lancashire. Her father was Polish. She trained at the East 15 Acting School in London. She has four children, Jack, Albert, Ruby, and Edith Bentall, with her actor husband Paul Bentall. Her youngest daughter Edith is the lead singer of the band FOURS.

Duvitski’s principal television credits include the series Waiting for God (1990–1994), One Foot in the Grave (1990–2000), and Benidorm (2007–2018). In the BBC‘s Vanity Fair she played Mrs Crawley. She has also appeared on Lily Savage’s Blankety Blank.

She has also appeared in the one-off production of Blue Remembered Hills by Dennis Potter, as well as in episodes of Foyle’s War (“Fifty Ships”), Brush StrokesCowboysCitizen SmithMinderMidsomer Murders (1998)My FamilyMan About the HouseThe Georgian HouseThe New StatesmanThe Black Stuff by Alan BleasdaleThe KnowledgeZ-CarsThe Worst Week of My LifeLittle DorritStill Open All Hours and, in 2013, as Emily Scuttlebutt in the CBeebies show Old Jack’s Boat.

In 2015 Duvitski starred in the BBC sitcom Boy Meets Girl. In 2017 she appeared as Mrs Leydon, the Chapel assistant, in BBC’s mockumentary Hospital People.

Duvitski had a small role opposite Laurence Olivier and Donald Pleasence in Dracula (1979), and appeared in the 1980 rock music film Breaking Glass. She also appeared in Michael Crichton’s The First Great Train Robbery (1979), The Madness of King George (1994), About a Boy (2002), The New World (2005) and Angel (2007).

Duvitski first came to national attention in Abigail’s Party, written and directed in 1977 by Mike Leigh. The play opened in April 1977 at the Hampstead Theatre, returning after its initial run in the summer of 1977, with a total of 104 performances. A suburban comedy of manners, the play is a satire on the aspirations and tastes of the new middle class that had emerged in Britain in the 1970s. In November 1977 an abridged version of the play, lasting 104 minutes, was recorded as a BBC Play for Today. Duvitski plays Angela, a nurse, wife of Tony Cooper, appearing meek and somewhat childlike, unintelligent and tactless. She comes into her own only when host Laurence Moss suffers his fatal heart attack at the climax of the play.

Her theatre career has also included productions at UK’s National TheatreYoung Vic and Royal Shakespeare Company.

In 2007 she appeared on stage in the revival of English National Opera‘s On the Town. The production, which also included veteran British comic actress June Whitfield, saw Duvitski give a “touching comic account of Lucy Schmeeler, Hildy’s homely roommate”.

Duvitski played the Vegetable Fairy in the 2017 Sunderland Empire Theatre pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.

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Billy Benedict

Billy Benedict

William Benedict obituary in “The Independent” in 1999.

BILLY BENEDICT was once described as “one of the most prolific Hollywood bit players of all time”.

He enjoyed a lifelong career as a character actor, appearing in over 90 films and serials, and probably played more messenger boys, bellboys and newspaper vendors than any other actor, but will always be best remembered for his roles as “Skinny” in the East Side Kids series, and as “Whitey” in 24 of the subsequent Bowery Boys films. Though a peripheral member of the team, he made a distinctive impression with his white hair and perpetually befuddled, Stan Laurel-like expression. He led a more stable life than the star members of the team, Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall, and went on to play dozens of small roles in films and on television until his late seventies.

Benedict was the oldest member of the Bowery Boys team, having been born in 1917 in Haskell, Oklahoma. To pay for a high-school education, he had a succession of jobs during his youth – he worked in a Tulsa bank, sold newspapers in Denver, worked in a Kansas wheatfield, and was a plumber’s assistant in Portland, Oregon – but, after taking part in school plays and studying dancing, he determined on a show-business career.

Forced to leave school at 17 during the Depression, he hitchhiked to Los Angeles to try breaking into movies as a dancer, but instead his mousy features and blonde hair made it easier for him to find work as a juvenile. Signed to a contract by 20th Century-Fox, his first role, prophetically, was that of an office boy in $10 Raise (1935). His bucolic appearance also won him country bumpkin roles in such films as Henry King’s Way Down East (1935) and The Country Doctor (1936).

Tim Tyler’s Luck (1937) was the first of several serials in which Benedict was featured. In this popular jungle adventure he played the friend of young Tyler (Frankie Thomas) who is seeking his father in Africa and battling the notorious Spider Webb and his gang who travel in an armour-plated vehicle called a “jungle cruiser”.

Howard Hawks’ classic comedy Bringing Up Baby (1938) was Benedict’s 24th film, by which time he had become adept enough to make an impression when sharing a scene with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant – as Grant’s caddy, he is memorably mortified at the antics of Hepburn on the golf course. The same year he was cast by Universal as a character called “Trouble” in Little Tough Guys in Society, and made three more films in the studio’s “Little Tough Guy” series.

Now freelancing, he also had roles in the Mae West/W.C. Fields comedy My Little Chickadee (1940), as a shy country boy whose schoolroom is taken over by West, the Gene Autry western Melody Ranch (1940) and the Laurel and Hardy comedy Great Guns (1941). He had a rewarding role in the Republic serial The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941), as the sidekick of Billy Batson, the boy who turns into a superhero.

More typical bit roles came as an ice-cream seller in Confessions of Boston Blackie (1941), a telegram boy in Talk of the Town (1942), and a hotel doorman in Second Chorus (1942). Despite the brevity of some of these roles, Benedict would frequently make his presence felt – in William Wellman’s The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), he was one of the townsfolk involved in the lynching of three innocent men, and has a telling, remorseful close- up at the film’s end.

Benedict’s first film with the East Side Kids was Clancy Street Boys (1943), after which he was a regular with the gang, usually as a member of their team but occasionally playing one of the antagonists – in Follow the Leader (1944) he is murdered. In the first film to feature the Bowery Boys, Live Wires (1946), Benedict created his regular role of Whitey and received featured billing beneath Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall and Bobby Jordan, and he stayed with the series until 1951 while still doing messenger and bellboy roles in such films as Road to Utopia (1945), Do You Love Me? (1946), The Kid from Brooklyn (1946) and The Hucksters (1947).

After he left the Bowery Boys series, Benedict became an assistant in making miniature sets for Hollywood films, but returned to acting occasionally – he was a bellboy in Leo McCarey’s comedy Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys! (1958) and a musician in Lover Come Back (1961). While making Hello, Dolly (1969), in which he played a newspaper vendor, he was married for the first time – to a girl named Dolly. Later films included The Sting (1973) and Farewell My Lovely (1975), and his television work included roles in Hill Street Blues, The Dukes of Hazzard and Gunsmoke.

He had recurring roles in the series Petticoat Junction (1963) and The Blue Knight (1975), and was featured in the mini-series The Moneychangers (1976) starring Kirk Douglas. More recently, he acted in television commercials. Once asked if he had any regrets, the actor confessed that he was sorry that, despite his long career and many parts, he had never been required to put his dancing skills to use.

William Benedict, actor: born Haskell, Oklahoma 16 April 1917; married; died Los Angeles 25 November 1999.

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Robert Fuller

Robert Fuller

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Olwyn Feore

Olwyn Feore

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Robert Reed

Robert Reed

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Thelma Ruby

Thelma Ruby

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Bryan Pringle

Bryan Pringle
 

Eric Shorter’s obituary on Bryan Pringle from 2002 in “The Guardian”:

Bryan Pringle, who has died aged 67, was a first-rate character actor who excelled at underdogs. He brought to a wide range of nonentities, both on stage and screen, a warm humanity.

Perhaps best known in Jack Rosenthal’s 1969 television series The Dustbinmen or, on stage, playing Pinter or Beckett, few actors had a likelier physique when it came to looking the part: lugubrious, with a long face, bulbous nose, heavy jowls and bags under both sad eyes. If not visibly under someone’s thumb, Pringle seemed born to represent thoughtful inadequacy.

It was as Stanley in Pinter’s 1964 revival of The Birthday Party that he first caught critical attention, as a seedy, one-time entertainer who had turned his back on the world to eke out a wretched existence in a seaside boarding house, where he fell victim to menacing visitors

Years later, he recalled: “Harold was, by then, a big name. It wasn’t simply a question of struggling to find the meaning. He wouldn’t have told us what it was about, anyway. We took it at face value. He just told us to be truthful and the text would play itself. And of course he was right.”

Within a few weeks of that opening, Beckett’s Endgame joined the Royal Shakespeare Company repertoire – and, as Nagg, Pringle’s performance was likened to “a dead man speaking”.

It would be five years before he caught the nation’s imagination in The Dustbinmen, as the leader of a gang of refuse collectors – based, it was claimed, on daily Lancashire life – for once getting their own back on society. Wherever they went, Pringle’s disorderly cohorts spread dismay – and garbage. To Rosenthal’s popular sit-com, he brought one of his most grittily realistic and raucously observed characters of low life, and Dustbinmen went straight to the top of the ratings.

Although theatre critics would sometimes wish bigger roles upon him, as say, Uncle Mad in Keith Waterhouse’s fragment of autobiography in a 1970s series, Childhood, Pringle’s art flourished in fragments.

At Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop, for instance, he headed Henry Livings’s Big Soft Nellie (1961), as a mildly demented mother’s boy mocked by workmates; and 30 years later, in Twelfth Night, his Malvolio was arresting. “Large and magnificently pompous, he has an ugly, austere face which labours like a mountain to give birth to a hideous chasm of a smile,” wrote one critic. In a national tour of My Fair Lady, Pringle’s “anarchic, gravel-voiced” Doolittle glumly lit up the stage.

Pringle was born at Glascote, Staffordshire, the son of a clergyman. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before joining the Old Vic, under Michael Benthall, in the mid-1950s. In minimal parts, he shared the stage with Richard Burton, John Neville and Paul Rogers.

But it was in rep at the Nottingham Playhouse that Pringle got his first break. In Willis Hall’s first stage play, The Long And The Short And The Tall, he was the only member of the original cast to be kept for the 1959 London opening, under Lindsay Anderson’s direction. As Private Smith, on patrol in the Malayan jungle of 1942, he was an older married man comforting a frightened youngster. After another minor West End role, as a seaman called China in Beverly Cross’s One More River, Pringle joined Littlewood’s 1960 production of Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’Be.

What people will remember best, however, is his string of television cameos, and the reliably comic gloom of that deadpan gaze. Apart from Dustbinmen, other television appearances included the pat- ernal police-sergeant in The Growing Pains Of Pc Penrose (otherwise known as Rosie); the local publican and patronising youth-club manager in A Prince Among Men, who held that big heads never shrank; and the ruminative Mr Bebbington, and his slobbering bulldog, in Once Upon A Time. He was also Sgt Match in Joe Orton’s What The Butler Saw; Grimsdale in All Creatures Great And Small; Ben Baker in Rumpole; and the pathologist in Prime Suspect.

All the while, Pringle continued adding to his theatrical credits, last year as an aged, discontented and ultimately assassinated parent in Orton’s Entertaining Mr Sloane. Among his film credits were The Remains Of The Day, The Boy Friend and Lawrence Of Arabia.

He is survived by his wife, actor Anne Jameson, a son and a daughter.

· Bryan Pringle, actor, born January 19 1935; died May 15 2002

The following apology was printed in the Guardian’s Corrections and Clarifications column, Friday May 24 2002

Contrary to what we said in this obituary, Bryan Pringle’s wife Anne Jameson did not survive him, but died in 1999. Apologies.