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Archive for February, 2019

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Diana Hyland

Diana Hyland

Diana Hyland (Wikipedia)

Diana Hyland made her acting debut in 1955 at age 19 in an episode of Robert Montgomery Presents. Over the next decade she appeared often in guest and supporting roles in various television series, including Naked CityThe Eleventh HourThe FugitiveThe Invaders and The Twilight Zone as well as cast in the feature film The Chase (1966) with Marlon BrandoJane Fonda, and Robert Redford.

In 1959, she originated the role of Heavenly Finley in Tennessee Williams‘ Sweet Bird of Youth on Broadway, appearing with Geraldine Page and Paul Newman. In 1966, she co-starred in the movie Smoky in which she played Julie Richards, owner of the Rockin’ R Ranch, who falls in love with Clint Barkeley (Fess Parker), owner of Smokey, a black stallion turned cutting horse. The same year she appeared in an episode of the TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. titled “The Candidate’s Wife Affair”. From 1958 to 1963, Hyland was a regular on the NBC soap opera Young Doctor Malone, playing Gig Houseman, wife of the younger Dr. Malone. 

Hyland’s debut in a feature film was in One Man’s Way (1963). She had a continuing role as Susan Winter in the prime-time soap opera Peyton Place from 1968 to 1969. She appeared in the 1976 television movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, for which she won a posthumous Emmy Award. The following year, she co-starred with Dick Van Patten in the series Eight Is Enough, but appeared in only four episodes before her death, and her character, Joan Bradford died as well.

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Marisa Allasio

Marisa Allasio

Marisa Allasio

Marisa Allasio Who was born in 1934, featured opposite Mario Lanza in his last film “The Seven Hills of Rome”. Now retired.Italian. She appeared in nearly 20 films between 1952 and 1957.

She was considered a typical sex symbol during her film career,which she abandoned in 1957, after marrying Count Pier Francesco Calvi di Bergolo (born 22 December 1932, died 2012), son of Princess Iolanda di Savoia, first-born of Vittorio Emanuele III and Elena del Montenegro.[3] They had two children, Carlo Giorgio Dmitri Drago Maria Laetitia dei Conti Calvi di Bergolo (born 1959, Rome) and Anda Federica Angelica Maria dei Conti Calvi di Bergolo (born 1962, Rome).

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Joan Caulfield

Joan Caulfield obituary in “The New York Times” in 1991.

Joan Caulfield an actress who starred in films of the 1940’s and in television situation comedies of the 1950’s, died on Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was 69 years old and lived in Beverly Hills, Calif.

She died of cancer, a hospital spokesman said.

Miss Caulfield was propelled to stardom by the films “Monsieur Beaucaire,” in which she appeared with Bing Crosby, and “Blue Skies,” with Bob Hope, both released in 1946, and by “Dear Ruth,” appearing opposite William Holden, in 1947. On television she was a co-star of “My Favorite Husband,” on CBS from 1953 to 1957, and “Sally” on NBC in the 1957-58 season.

Joan Caulfield

Miss Caulfield, who was a native of West Orange, N.J., attended Columbia University and was a fashion model and a cover girl before she landed ingenue roles on Broadway in the early 1940’s. Her first stage success was in the 1943 production of the comedy “Kiss and Tell,” in which she appeared for 14 months. Paramount Pictures promptly offered her a contract and she began her Hollywood career with “Miss Suzie Slagle’s,” in 1946.

Her films made the most of her beauty, although she was determined to win a reputation as an actress and not, as she said, “just a decoration.”

In 1950, Miss Caulfield married the film producer Frank Ross and subsequently appeared only occasionally in films. She and Mr. Ross were divorced in 1960. She later married Robert Peterson, a dentist, from whom she was also divorced.

She is survived by two sons, Caulfield Kevin Ross of Sherman Oaks, Calif., and John Caulfield Peterson of Sacramento, Calif.; two sisters, Mary Parker of Stuart, Fla., and Elizabeth Victor of Los Angeles, and a grandson…

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Dai Bradley

Dai Bradley (Wikipedia)

Dai Bradley an English actor who became well known for his first time role of Billy Casper in the critically acclaimed 1969 film Kes, directed by Ken Loach.

David Bradley was born in the hamlet of Stubbs, near Barnsley. By his own account, he had an unremarkable childhood, and was not involved in any acting apart from amateur Christmas pantos.  At the age of 14, he won the part of Billy Casper in Kes.

Bradley has said that the making of the film was a happy one. The cast was “like one huge family” and he spent much of his time playing with the other young boys who appeared in the film. One of his less happy memories is of the football scene. Several thousand gallons of water had been pumped onto the field to create mud. But although it was mid-August, it was one of the coldest August days on record, and Bradley and the other cast members were intensely cold throughout the day-long shoot.[2] Bradley spent several hours after each day’s filming training with the three kestrels used in the film. One of the birds didn’t take to the training though and was reintroduced to the wild as soon as possible. Bradley says that he was told director Ken Loach would have to kill one of the remaining birds for the final scene. Bradley was deeply upset by this revelation, and his emotional response in the film’s final scenes are indicative of how angry and depressed he was. Bradley told an interviewer that after shooting for these scenes ended, he rushed to the local farm where the kestrels were kept. He discovered that no birds had been killed after all (the filmmakers had used a kestrel which had died of natural causes).[1]

He received BAFTA’s Award for Best Newcomer for his role. The film required extensive time training the two kestrels used for the film. One critic called Bradley’s performance “one of the great adolescent portraits in cinema, joining the likes of Jean-Pierre Leaud in The 400 Blows“.

Bradley left school at the age of 17. He moved to London and began training as an actor with the Royal National Theatre. In time, he worked with Anthony HopkinsJoan Plowright and Derek Jacobi. Bradley changed his first name to Dai when he joined Equity, the actors’ union, who already had an actor by that name on their books.

After Kes was released in 1970, Bradley joined the cast of the children’s television programme The Flaxton Boys as Peter Weekes in series two, and starred as Terry Connor in the children’s adventure serial The Jensen Code in 1973.[4] He also had guest roles in episodes of popular, established drama series such as Z Cars and A Family at War.

While he did not receive the same media attention for his subsequent film performances as he did for Kes, Bradley received solid reviews for his theatre acting. Notably, he was cast as Alan Strang in Peter Shaffer‘s Equus during the mid-1970s. After he succeeded Peter Firthin the role at the Old Vic in London, the production embarked on a two-and-a-half year worldwide tour. In the United States national production, he starred with Brian Bedford, and earned standing ovations and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle nomination for Best Actor. Of his performance of the role at the Wilbur TheatreThe Harvard Crimson commented that “Bradley has the most difficult role to play in Equus and he is outstanding.” Likewise, his portrayal of the character was praised as being “profoundly sensitive,” with reviewer Mark J. Bly of The Heights calling the production “equally as good as its New York counterpart and by all means…not [to] be missed.” Bradley also played the role opposite John Fraser in South Africa. He was offered the opportunity to take over the role in the Broadway production, but turned it down due to exhaustion.

Additional theatre roles during the 70s included Souplier in Henry de Montherlant‘s The Fire that Consumes with Nigel Hawthorne, which was staged in 1977 at the Mermaid Theatre. The play, which concerns a priest who is obsessed with a young student, was the recipient of both the Laurence Olivier Award For Best New Play and the Society of West End Theatre Award for Play of the Year, with Bradley contributing what was referred to as “a beautifully spontaneous performance” as the student opposite Hawthorne’s guilt-ridden Abbé de Pradts. Earlier in the decade, Bradley was featured as Hanschen Rilow in the Old Vic’s production of Frank Wedekind‘s controversial tale of sexual discovery, violence, and repression, Spring Awakening, of which Plays and Players stated that “Dai Bradley’s Hans is a virtuoso effort, full of awkward and loquacious passion.” [13] The production also garnered strong reviews for co-stars Michael KitchenPeter Firth, Veronica Quilligan, and Gerard Ryder as the object of Hanschen’s forbidden affection, Ernst.

Bradley played notable roles in several 1970s films including Malachi’s Cove (1973), Absolution (1978), All Quiet on the Western Front(1979) and the Zulu prequel Zulu Dawn (1979), but by the early 1980s his film career had largely dissipated. Although he was originally considered for the part of Neville Hope in Auf Wiedersehen Pet, for much of the rest of the decade he worked as a carpenter and renovator after the part went to Kevin Whately. He also became an adherent of the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti. He embarked on several other unsuccessful projects as well: a board game, a television series focused on high-stakes backgammon, and a film about medical ethics. In 1999, he began writing a children’s novel.

In 1999, when Kes was re-released in cinemas for the film’s 30th anniversary, Bradley made hundreds of appearances in the United Kingdom with the film’s other surviving cast members.

In 2003, Bradley appeared as the Catholic priest Father Michael, one of three leads in Nigel Barker’s critically acclaimed independent filmThe Refuge (previously known as Asylum). He returned to the big screen alongside Jason Statham in the 2013 film Hummingbird.

On 8 September 2015, Bradley appeared in an episode of Holby City titled “An Eye for an Eye” as an elderly man who perceives himself as a “bad luck charm.” In 2016, he revealed to the Guardian that he had penned a sequel to Kes, but that he had shelved the idea after original author Barry Hines‘ death.

Bradley was featured in Kit Monkman’s new cinematic interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth as the Porter/Projectionist. The film was completed by GSP Studios in 2017 and was released in theatres across the UK on 13 March 2018.

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Don Scardino

Don Scardino

Don Scardino (Wikipedia)

Don Scardino Who was born in 1949 is an American television director and producer and a former actor.

Scardino was born in New York City, to jazz musician parents. His first Broadway credit was as an understudy in The Playroom in 1965. Additional Broadway acting credits include Johnny No-TrumpGodspell, and King of HeartsOff-Broadway he appeared in The Rimers of EldritchThe Comedy of ErrorsMoonchildren, and I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road, he was also the lead in a B horror movie titled Squirm in 1976. He additionally starred in several episodes of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater, which ran from 1974 to 1982. In addition, he served as artistic director at Playwrights Horizons from 1991 to 1996. On television he appeared on the daytime soap operas The Guiding LightAll My ChildrenLove Is a Many Splendored Thing, and Another World and the primetime series The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and The Name of the GameFeature film credits include The People Next DoorRip-OffHomerSquirmCruising and He Knows You’re Alone.

Following his acting on the network soap operas, Scardino began to direct them. He directed episodes of Another WorldOne Life to Live, and All My Children. He went on to direct plays on and off-Broadway, including the world premiere of Aaron Sorkin‘s A Few Good Men. He has directed extensively in television, most notably Tracey Takes On… and 30 Rock. Feature film directing work includes Me and Veronica (Venice Film Festival), and Advice from a Caterpillar, winner, best comedy, at Aspen Comedy Festival. He directed the 2013 film The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, starring Jim Carrey and Steve Carell.

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Irish Actors

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Raymond Francis

Raymond Francis

Raymond Francis (Wikipedia)

Raymond Francis was an English actor best known for his role as Detective Chief Superintendent Tom Lockhart in the Associated-Rediffusion detective series Murder BagCrime Sheet and No Hiding Place.  He played the role of Lockhart in these series from 1956 to 1967, and the character was one of the first recurring television detectives.

Born in London as Reginald George Thompson, his first listed television role was as Dr. Watson alongside Alan Wheatley‘s Holmes in a 1951 BBC TV series entitled We Present Alan Wheatley as Mr Sherlock Holmes in…, the earliest TV adaptation of the tales. He later reprised the role in a 1984 film The Case of Marcel Duchamp.

His distinguished appearance often led to roles as senior policemen, military men and English aristocrats; he played such parts in series including Dickens of LondonEdward & Mrs. SimpsonThe Cedar TreeTales of the UnexpectedAfter JuliusDrummonds, the first Joan Hickson Miss Marple episode “The Body in the Library” as Sir Henry Clithering, and his final appearance was in a 1987 Ruth Rendell Mysteries adaptation.

He also appeared as Clement Lawrence in the 1973 episode ‘The Windsor Royal’ of the long running TV series Public Eye.

He was also a noted stage actor and made several appearances in films such as Carrington V.C. and Reach for the Sky. He was married to actress Margaret Towner and had three children;

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Anna Massey

Anna Massey
Obituary from “The Guardian” 2011.
Anna Massey, who has died of cancer aged 73, made her name on the stage as a teenager in French-window froth. She then graduated, with effortless and extraordinary ease, to the classics and to the work of Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and David Hare. In later years, she became best known for her award-winning work in television and film. What constantly impressed was her fastidious intelligence and capacity for stillness: always the mark of a first-rate actor.
Born in Thakeham, West Sussex, she was bred into show business although, in personal terms, that proved something of a mixed blessing. Her father was Raymond Massey, a Canadian actor who achieved success in Hollywood; her mother was Adrianne Allen who had appeared in the original production of Noël Coward’s Private Lives. Anna’s godfather was the film director John Ford.


Since her father fled the family home when she was a child and her mother prided herself on being a lavish hostess, the young Anna relied heavily on the family nanny for emotional comfort. There was an air of resonant solitude about many of her best performances that may have stemmed from her childhood.
She had a privileged upbringing and a peripatetic education in Europe and the US. Although never formally trained as an actor, she made a strikingly confident debut at the age of 17 in a William Douglas-Home trifle, The Reluctant Debutante. Playing the obstinate, sweetly peevish daughter of troubled, upper-class parents (Celia Johnson and Wilfrid Hyde-White), she captured many of the notices and was praised by the critic Ivor Brown for displaying “a nice, down-to-earth determination”. The play had a long run at the Cambridge theatre in 1955 before moving to New

 

For a while it looked as if Massey would be trapped in a series of evanescent comedies. Returning to London from New York, she went straight into another lightweight piece, Dear Delinquent. But proof that Massey had set her sights somewhat higher came in 1958 when she appeared in TS Eliot’s classically influenced verse drama The Elder Statesman, prompting Kenneth Tynan to remark that “Anna Massey, of the beseeching face and shining eyes, is a first-rate stand-in for Antigone”. She demonstrated that she could carry a show when, in 1961, she played Annie Sullivan, the persistent and faintly sadistic teacher of an undisciplined, disabled girl in William Gibson’s The Miracle Worker.
After that the lead roles came pouring in. She was Lady Teazle in John Gielgud’s elegant, starry Haymarket revival of The School for Scandal in 1962, in which her brother, Daniel, also appeared. She returned to the same theatre in 1963 to play Jennifer Dubedat in George Bernard Shaw’s The Doctor’s Dilemma and again in 1965 to play the fragile Laura Wingfield in Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie. In 1966, she took over from Vanessa Redgrave as Muriel Spark’s mind-bending dominie in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at Wyndham’s theatre.
Combining delicate beauty with a hint of inner steel, she could have continued as an archetypal West End leading lady. But a major shift in her career occurred in 1971 when she went to the Royal Court to appear in David Hare’s Slag, which showed three female teachers resolving to abstain from sex: as the eldest of the three, full of old school ties and sporting inclinations, she was unnervingly funny. She was equally good as the arrogantly colonialist Lady Utterword in Shaw’s Heartbreak House at the Old Vic in 1975, and even appeared, heroically, as one of three figures encased in urns in Beckett’s Play at the Royal Court in 1976.
She had come a long way from the boulevard divertissements of her youth. And if, in later years, her stage appearances became regrettably fewer, they were all memorable. I have never forgotten how, in Pinter’s A Kind of Alaska at the National in 1982, she and Paul Rogers reacted to the reawakening of Judi Dench’s victim of sleeping sickness with an amazed, compassionate stillness.
No less treasurable was her performance as Bel in Pinter’s Moonlight at the Almeida in 1993. Patiently tolerant with her raging husband, she registered pure hollow-eyed despair when her estranged sons rejected her pleading telephone call. When she played Elizabeth I to Isabelle Huppert’s Mary Stuart in Friedrich Schiller’s historical drama at the National in 1996, she was flawless in her aching sense of regal solitude.
She was appointed CBE for services to drama in 2005 and, in the following year, published an autobiography, Telling Some Tales. Massey was a consummate actor and, in my one brief encounter with her, sitting next to her at a Canadian ambassadorial dinner, a delightful woman. I remember we spent much of the evening discussing her passion for televised snooker. That seemed to symbolise the fact that, in her career as well as her life, she was always capable of the unexpected.
She married the actor Jeremy Brett in 1958. The marriage was dissolved in 1963. In 1988 she married Uri Andres, a Russian metallurgist at London’s Imperial College. She is survived by Uri; her son, David, from her first marriage; and two grandchildren.
Ronald Bergan writes: Michael Powell’s lurid Peeping Tom (1960) provided Anna Massey with her second, and most significant, film role in a 50-year career on screen. Massey gave a wonderfully sympathetic performance as the naive downstairs neighbour of a psychotic landlord (Karlheinz Böhm) whom she finds both repellent and attractive. More often, Massey, with her cut-glass English accent, conveyed a cold and repressed character on screen.
She had made her feature film debut aged 21 in Ford’s uncharacteristic Gideon’s Day (1958) as the daughter of a Scotland Yard inspector played by Jack Hawkins. In Otto Preminger’s Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965), she was a nervous teacher. In 1969, she seemed content to play Anthony Hopkins’s frustrated wife in The Looking Glass War and, in De Sade, a plain-looking woman married to the naughty marquis (Keir Dullea), while he romps around with her sexy sister.
In Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy (1972), she was strangled by the “Neck-Tie Murderer”, bundled into a sack full of potatoes and thrown on to a moving truck. Somehow it was as if Hitch wanted to make amends for her being spared from death in Peeping Tom.
The following year, in an episode entitled Midnight Mess from the portmanteau film Vault of Horror (1973), she was murdered by her brother (played by her real-life sibling Daniel) for her inheritance, although she turns out to be a vampire who serves her murderer tomato juice in a restaurant which happens to be his blood. By way of contrast, she also appeared that year, with Hopkins and Claire Bloom, in A Doll’s House, adapted from Henrik Ibsen’s play.
Variously cast in roles such as nannies, nuns and nurses, Massey starred in dozens of British and American films, including The Importance of Being Earnest (as Miss Prism, 2002) and Possession (2002) and, in particular, television productions, which were far more rewarding. The most prominent of these were literary adaptations which offered roles such as Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1964), Lucetta in The Mayor of Casterbridge (1978), a creepy Mrs Danvers in Rebecca (1979), Aunt Norris in Mansfield Park (1983) and Miss Pross in A Tale of Two Cities (1989). Massey also had parts in the TV series The Pallisers (1974), Couples (1976), The Diamond Brothers (1991) and Midsomer Murders (1998, 2009) and as Lady Thatcher, opposite Derek Jacobi, in Pinochet in Suburbia (2006).
Perhaps her greatest triumph on television was her Bafta-winning performance as the lonely writer of romantic fiction on holiday in Switzerland in Hotel du Lac (1986), Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of Anita Brookner’s novel. It was the sort of role in which Massey was supreme: placid on the surface, with passion deep within her.


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Wanda Hendrix

Wanda Hendrix

Wanda Hendrix (Wikipedia)

Wanda Hendrix was bron in 1928 in Jacksonville, Florida, Hendrix was performing in her local amateur theater when she was seen by a talent agent who signed her to a Hollywoodcontract. 

She made her first film, Confidential Agent, in 1945 and for the first few years of her career was consistently cast in “B” pictures. By the late 1940s, she was being included in more prestigious films, such as Ride the Pink Horse (1947) and Miss Tatlock’s Millions (1948). She starred with Tyrone Power in Prince of Foxes (1949).

In 1946, Audie Murphy saw Hendrix on the cover of Coronet magazine and arranged to meet her. The two were married on February 8, 1949, making the film Sierra (1950) together, but the marriage was short-lived; they divorced on April 14, 1950. Hendrix later said that Murphy had wanted her to give up her career, but more significantly, he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder from his service in World War II and during “flashback” episodes he would turn on her, once holding her at gunpoint. In her later years, Hendrix spoke of Murphy’s condition with sympathy.

Hendrix resumed her career, but found it difficult to obtain good roles. On June 26, 1954, she married wealthy sportsman James Langford Stack, Jr., the brother of actor Robert Stack, and essentially retired from films, though she worked in live television dramatic anthology shows such as Pulitzer Prize PlayhouseRobert Montgomery PresentsThe Plymouth PlayhouseThe Ford Television TheatreThe Revlon Mirror Theater, and Schlitz Playhouse, and occasionally appeared in later series such as Bat MastersonMy Three SonsWagon Train and Bewitched. The couple divorced on November 3, 1958. She married Italian financier and oil company executive Steven LaMonte (born 14 August 1942) on June 7, 1969. They divorced on November 17, 1980.

She died in 1981, in Burbank, California from pleural pneumonia at the age of 52, and was interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery.


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Sandy Kelly

Sandy Kelly

Sandy Kelly article from “Ireland’s Own” in 2019.

Sandy Kelly was sitting in a local radio station in Cavan on an ordinary day in 1989, when the telephone rang. The presenter, who had just aired her latest single, a cover version of Patsy Cline’s country classic Crazy, answered the call, then handed her the receiver. “There’s an American fella on the phone and he wants to speak to you,” he said. 
Sandy put the phone to her ear and said, “Hello.” 
“Hello,” boomed the voice at the other end of the line, “my name’s Johnny Cash.” Sandy, who didn’t believe the caller, replied, “Yeah, and I’m Dolly Parton, pull the other one, it has bells on it!” 
But it really was Johnny Cash.


“He had been doing an Irish tour and was driving up the country with June (Carter) on his way to play a gig in Omagh,” says Sandy, as we catch up for a late-winter chat for Ireland’s Own.


“He asked me if I would like to come along and meet him. I said of course, so he told me to come back-stage and say hello when I got there. For a minute I thought I was dreaming!


“I immediately called my husband, Mike, and asked him to meet me with a change of fresh clothes, and I headed for Omagh. When I got there I saw one of my own fans standing outside with a camera. I asked him if he would stand by, and get ready to take a picture of me with Johnny as Johnny came through the stage door. I told him it might be my only chance to get a picture with him, and he said he would do his best. 
“The stage door opened, out came Johnny and I jumped in for a picture. When I looked around my friend was after fainting, and was lying flat out on the ground with the camera on his chest. Johnny’s security guards came and lifted him up and put him lying on the bonnet of a car – it was all a bit crazy.


“I introduced myself to Johnny, and he brought me back-stage. He called in his band and asked if I wanted to sing some Patsy Cline songs on stage with him that night. I sang four songs with him including Crazy and I Fall To Pieces. Afterwards he asked if I had any plans to go to Nashville. I told him that I had visited there in 1984, and had plans to go back soon. He told me to get I touch when I arrived. I went over that same year, and I looked him up. He invited me out to the house to meet his family, and production team. And then he asked me to record Woodcarver with him. It was such a wonderful experience.”

Sandy has had many remarkable moments in her lengthy musical career. Born Philomena Ellis, in Sligo, in 1954, she had one younger sister, Barbara, and her baby brother, Francis, who died when he was five months old. Her family business was a ‘fit-up’ roadshow which travelled the country entertaining people long before cinema came to rural Ireland.