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Archive for October, 2019

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Craig Wasson

Craig Wasson. Wikipedia.

Craig Wasson (born March 15, 1954) is an American actor.[1] He made his film debut in Rollercoaster (1977). He is best known for his roles as Jake Scully in Brian DePalma‘s Body Double (1984), and Neil Gordon in Chuck Russell‘s A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987). For his role as Danilo Prozor in Arthur Penn‘s Four Friends (1981), he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Wasson was born in Ontario, Oregon.

Wasson’s first feature film was the 1977 suspense thriller Rollercoaster. In 1978, he appeared in two films about the Vietnam war: first as a private in The Boys in Company C and then as a corporal in Go Tell the Spartans. He also wrote and sang the haunting folk song “Here I Am (In Vietnam)”, which served as the theme song for The Boys in Company C.

Craig starred in the short-lived 1980 TV series Skag. In 1981, he played David Wanderely, a junior English professor in the film Ghost Story, in which his character has a torrid sexual relationship with a mysterious woman he later realizes is a ghost seeking vengeance. In 1982, he was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor for his performance in Four Friends. He later starred as Jake Scully in the 1984 Brian De Palma suspense movie Body Double. His other big role was as Dr. Neil Gordon in the hit 1987 horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. He starred alongside Heather LangenkampRobert EnglundPatricia Arquette, and Laurence Fishburne. In 1989, Wasson starred as James Madison in A More Perfect Union: America Becomes a Nation. His most recent movie roles are in Akeelah and the Bee and Sasquatch Mountain, both released in 2006.

Wasson was featured as Doug Ebert in the soap opera One Life to Live in 1991. He has made guest appearances in a number of series, including The Bob Newhart ShowPhyllisSkagFor Jenny with LoveMurder, She WroteM*A*S*H (TV series)Hart to HartWalker, Texas RangerProfilerThe PracticeSeven DaysThe Secrets of Isis, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Wasson is also a prolific reader for audio books, having narrated Stephen King‘s 2011 novel 11/22/63, and other books by Stephen King, as well as books by James Ellroy and John Grisham.

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Chris Gascoyne

Chris Gascoyne. Wikipedia.

Christopher Gascoyne (born 31 January 1968) is an English actor, who is known for his role as the seventh Peter Barlow in the soap opera Coronation Street since 2000. Gascoyne has been nominated for several accolades at the British Soap Awards for his portrayal of Peter Barlow.

Gascoyne was born on 31 January 1968 in HuthwaiteNottinghamshire to Marian and Derrick Gascoyne. He attended Ashfield SchoolKirkby in Ashfield.  Gascoyne trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

One of his earliest roles was as Judd on Central TV‘s children’s program Murphy’s Mob. Gascoyne has acted in numerous television dramas, including the Central Television series for schools Starting Out, released in 1988. He has also had roles in Between the Lines and made an appearance in Murdoch Mysteries as David Jennings. An appearance in Casualty is also another one of Gascoyne’s credits. Other appearances include his portrayal of Barry Kent in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole and as Fusilier Tony Rossi in Soldier Soldier.

Gascoyne was cast in the role of Peter Barlow, the seventh actor to portray the role, in Coronation Street. His original spell occurred between 2000 and 2003, before making a brief return in 2007. During his absence after leaving in 2003, Gascoyne joined the cast of BBCdrama New Street Law as Al Ware in 2006. He returned the following year on a permanent basis, making his on-screen return on 30 October 2008. Gascoyne took a four-month break from in July 2012, before leaving at the end of his contract in November 2014. He returned briefly in 2015 following the death of his co-star Anne Kirkbride, with Gascoyne stating, “Coming back was like a healing process, we laughed a lot”. He returned once again on a permanent basis in October 2016.

Gascoyne lives in ChorltonManchester with his wife, actress Caroline Harding. They have three children.

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Robert Fuller

Robert Fuller
Robert Fuller
Robert Fuller

Robert Fuller (born Leonard Leroy “Buddy” Lee, July 29, 1933) is an American horse rancher and retired actor. He began his career on television, guest-starring primarily on Western programs, while appearing in several movies, including: The Brain from Planet ArousTeenage Thunder (both in 1957); Return of the Seven (1966); Incident at Phantom Hill (also 1966); and The Hard Ride (1971). In his five decades of television, Fuller was known for his deep, raspy voice and was familiar to television viewers throughout the 1960s and 1970s from his co-starring roles as Jess Harper and Cooper Smith on the popular 1960s Western series Laramie and Wagon Train, and was also well known for his starring role as Dr. Kelly Brackett in the 1970s medical /action drama Emergency!

Fuller was born as Leonard Leroy Lee on July 29, 1933, in Troy, New York, the only child of Betty Simpson, a dance instructor. Prior to his birth, Betty married Robert Simpson, Sr., a Naval Academy officer. In 1939, at the age of 6, his family moved to Key West, Florida, where, already known by the nickname of “Buddy,” he took the name Robert Simpson Jr. The early highlights of his life were acting and dancing. His parents owned a dancing school in Florida. His family also moved to Chicago, Illinois, where they lived for 1 year, before moving back to Florida. Simpson Jr., as he was then still formally known, attended the Miami Military School for fifth and sixth grade, and Key West High School for ninth grade. He dropped out in 1948, at the age of 14, due to the fact that he disliked school and was doing poorly there. In 1950, at the age of 16, he traveled with his family to Hollywood, California, where his first job was as a stunt man. He also worked at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, beginning as a doorman and working his way up to Assistant Manager by age 18. At the urging of friends, the up-to-then Simpson Jr. joined the Screen Actors Guild, embarked on a career in acting, and changed his name from Robert Simpson Jr. to Robert Fuller, the name by which he would be known at his most prominent.

Fuller’s first small role was as an extra in the 1952 film Above and Beyond. This part led to much extra work on many projects, one of which was in I Love Melvin. In 1953, he again had another minor part in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which starred Marilyn Monroe. Fuller’s career then went on hold for service in the United States Army. He served a tour of duty in Korea and returned to the United States in 1955. Though he had been considering giving up acting, Fuller, at the suggestion of his best friend, Chuck Courtney, attended Richard Boone‘s acting classes. Boone suggested that Fuller study under the tutelage of Sanford Meisner at New York City’s Neighborhood Playhouse.  Fuller’s first speaking role was in Friendly Persuasion in 1956, where he worked with his future Laramie co-star John Smith and another close friend, Doug McClure.

In the 1956 episode “The Comeback” in the religion anthology seriesCrossroads, Fuller played the part of a former soldier. In the story line, Don DeFore, as the Reverend C. E. “Stoney” Jackson, offers spiritual insight to assist Lou Brissie (Chuck Connors) who is recovering from wounds sustained in World War II to enable him to return to professional baseball. Grant Withers appeared as Coach Whitey Martin and Crossroads regular Robert Carson appeared as a coach.

In 1957, Fuller was cast in his first major film role in Teenage Thunder. He said of it:

I always wanted to be in show business and with the help of my best buddy, Chuck Courtney, who was an actor then, he helped get me my first starring role in a movie called Teenage Thunder. It was a break for me and since Chuck had the pull at the time to get the director, Paul Helmick, use me for the bad guy and not another actor that he really wanted. It was the gateway to many other roles which led to the Laramie series and so on and so forth.[4]— Robert Fuller, emergencyfans.com

Also in 1957, Fuller starred in the science fiction film The Brain from Planet Arous.

Fuller became an immensely popular character actor, guest-starring in dozens of television programs including Buckskin, The Big Valley, Official Detective, The Californians, The Restless Gun, The Lawless Years (in the role of “Cutie Jaffe” on May 7, 1959), U.S. Marshal, Panic!,  M Squad, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, “The Monroes” and the Lux Playhouse. He also appeared in the series Strange Intruder as a villain who dies in the third episode. In 1959, he portrayed a character accused of arson in Broderick Crawford‘s syndicated series, Highway Patrol. He also made appearances in ABC‘s The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp and Mickey Spillane‘s syndicated Mike Hammer.

On February 24, 1959, Fuller guest-starred in the episode “Blind Is the Killer,” in NBC‘s Cimarron City television series. This appearance propelled him into a lead role seven months later in Laramie, one of the comparatively few network programs set in Wyoming. Fuller appeared as Joe Cole, a young gunfighter seeking a reputation, who found his target in Cimarron City Mayor Matt Rockford, played by George Montgomery. Cole temporarily blinded Rockford with glass from a broken whisky bottle. The two were ultimately reconciled after each had a chance to prove his courage. John Smith, Fuller’s co-star on Laramie, was a regular in Cimarron City, and the two appeared together briefly in this episode, which also featured Dennis McCarthy as Dr. “Doc” Hodges, who successfully treated Rockford’s eyes.

In the summer of 1959, Fuller guest-starred as young outlaw, Buck Harmon, in the episode “The Friend” on the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Lawman. In the story line, Harmon is estranged from his minister father, played by Robert F. Simon. When the outlaw gang comes into Laramie, Buck switches sides to help his old friend, Deputy Johnny McKay (Peter Brown). In the shootout, Harmon is gunned down, but his father is spared.[6] That same year Fuller also appeared as Davey Carey in another Lawman episode titled “The Souvenir.”

In 1959, Patrick Kelly called Fuller to his office to offer him an opportunity to co-star opposite Academy Award-winner Ray Milland, in the CBSdetective series, Markham. Fuller quickly turned down the role because he wanted to appear in westerns. He was David Dortort‘s second choice for the role of Lorne Greene‘s youngest cocky, impish son, Joseph “Little Joe” Cartwright, on NBC’s Bonanza, but he lost the role to another young and then unknown actor–Michael Landon, whose career was made by that role.  At about the same time, Fuller landed the co-starring role of Jess Harper on Laramie, which ran from 1959 to 1963, and Fuller was cast opposite another of his best friends, John Smith. Being the unknown, struggling actor that he was, Fuller was asked to do a screen test for the character of Slim Sherman, and John Smith had originally been cast as Jess Harper. Fuller insisted that he would be better cast as Harper, and after the screen test, he won the role of Jess, while Smith got the part of Slim.

Laramie was eventually aired in more than 70 countries. When Laramie ended its run, Fuller jumped to another western, Wagon Train, alongside John McIntire (a veteran film actor, a two-time guest-star on Laramie, and a future star of The Virginian), Frank McGrath, and Terry Wilson. According to an August 17, 2009 interview for On Screen and Beyond, Fuller noted that he was not brought into the show to replace Robert Horton (an actor Fuller met in 1954, when he and friend James Drury were under contract at MGM, and befriended for 62 years until Horton’s death in March 2016) in the role of the wagon train scout. He resembled Horton and the two shared the same birthday, but Horton was nine years Fuller’s senior.[9]While Horton had worn a dark cowboy hat, Fuller usually wore a light one. Horton had already departed from the cast a season earlier, and McIntire had carried the series for a year. Fuller stepped in the following year, where he remained in the series (which switched to ABC in 1962) until it ended its run after two additional seasons.

Over the next six years, Fuller appeared in a handful of nondescript films. It seemed his career was stalling as the Western was slowly being retired from the American film industry. The one exception was his role as Vin in Return of the Seven (1966) which was a modest, if lackluster, sequel to The Magnificent Seven.

In 1966, Fuller starred in the Western film Incident at Phantom Hill. That same year, he portrayed the ill-fated western military Captain William Judd Fetterman in the episode “Massacre at Fort Phil Kearney,” near Fort Phil Kearny in Wyoming, one of NBC’s Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre. His co-stars included Richard EganPhyllis AveryRobert Pine, and Carroll O’Connor. He also appeared in the 1969 thriller What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?, opposite Ruth Gordon and Geraldine Page, and co-starred with Joel McCrea in the 1976 western Mustang Country, McCrea’s last movie. He also had a role in the 1979 TV action movie Disaster on the Coastliner, opposite Lloyd Bridges and Raymond Burr.

After producer Jack Webb saw Fuller in the 1971 movie The Hard Ride, he insisted Fuller star in his new NBC medical dramaEmergency! Webb had already signed his own ex-wife, 1950s/1960s singer and B-movie actress Julie London, as Nurse Dixie McCall alongside her by-then real-life husband, Bobby Troup, as Dr. Joe Early. Fuller was reluctant to play a doctor, especially in a series with a contemporary urban setting, but the persistent Webb convinced him to accept the role of Dr. Kelly Brackett, Chief of Emergency Medicine at the fictitious Rampart General Hospital. In the aforementioned 2009 interview with On Screen and Beyond, Fuller said that he had twice, politely, rejected the role of Brackett. Webb then reminded Fuller, much less politely, that Western shows had been repeatedly cancelled over the previous five years and that the genre was on the decline.

Fuller’s and London’s co-stars on Emergency! were previously unknown actors Randolph Mantooth as John Roderick “Johnny” Gage and Kevin Tighe as Roy DeSoto, both playing paramedics. The other cast members got along very well with both Fuller and London, who herself, became a surrogate mother to both of the guys. During its first season, as a mid-season replacement in the 1971–1972 season and despite the especially fierce and vigorous competition of CBS’s All in the Family, Emergency! became a hit, and NBC renewed the show for the 1972-1973 season. It remained on the air for the next five years. In the sixth season of Emergency! in 1976 and 1977, Fuller’s on-screen appearances were reduced because he had grown unhappy with the direction the show was taking, after feuding with one of the producers, off-camera, while at the same time, he was looking for Westerns. In 1977, after a six-season run, Emergency! was put on hiatus, despite good ratings, and eventually canceled in 1979, after eight and a half seasons and 134 episodes. In 1986, the entire Emergency! cast (with the exception of series star, Julie London) appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America.

In 1980 Fuller starred in the pilot of a CBS Western series, Jake’s Way, as the title character, along with younger newer actors Ben LemonKristin Griffith and Stephen McNaughton; the series failed to sell.[10] As the 1990s approached, he played supporting roles in more than 20 television shows, including The Love Boat, The Fall Guy (in two episodes which reunited him with Lee Majors, who met Fuller on The Big Valley), Murder, She Wrote (which reunited him with Eddie Albert, who guest-starred with Fuller on Laramie), Matt Houston, Tour of Duty, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., JAG, and  Diagnosis: Murder, in an episode which reunited him with his former Emergency! co-star Randolph Mantooth (Malibu Fire). Toward the end of his acting career, he had a recurring role as Jess’s supposed great-great-grandson Wade Harper on Walker, Texas Ranger with Chuck Norris and Clarence Gilyard. He also portrayed another character in the same series (in the second part of the episode “Last of a Breed”) before being cast as Wade. His film appearances were fewer, consisting of a small role as a doctor in the comedy film Repossessed (1990) and a cameo as a poker player in Maverick (1994).

Fuller is an accomplished singer. He did several “bandstand” gigs with Bill Aken’s Los Nomadas rock group at holiday festivities in Whiskey Flats, California. While acting as grand marshal for the local Memorial Day parade, he performed a vocal rendition of the 1950s song “Caribbean,” singing the same verse over and over. He later told the band that he only knew the first verse of the song. In 1967, he recorded an LP in MunichGermany. Most of the songs were recorded in German, including “Ein Einsamer Cowboy” (“Lonesome Cowboy”), “Adios Mexicana” (“Goodbye Mexican Girl”), “Uberall Auf Der Welt” (“All Over the World”), “Sind Wie Blumen” (“Girls Are Like Flowers”). Whether the album was successful in Germany is unknown.

By the 1990s Fuller had largely retired from the film business. Since May 19, 2001, he has been married to actress Jennifer Savidge, known for her role on NBC’s St. Elsewhere series. Through Savidge, Fuller also became very good friends with her acting coach, veteran producer and actor Norman Lloyd, who played Dr. Daniel Auschlander.[11] Formerly Fuller was married for 22 years to Patricia Lee Lyon, whom he wed on December 20, 1962, and with whom he has three children: Rob, Christine, and Patrick. The two divorced in 1984; Lyon died the year after the divorce.

Since March 18, 1990, Fuller, along with longtime friend James Drury, has been on the celebrity panel of the annual Festival of the West, a public/private party where die-hard fans can ask questions about his roles on Laramie, Wagon Train, and other Westerns. He also tells the story of his becoming a cowboy. Included at his party are country-Western dancing, lunch, and dinner.

From October 9 to October 11, 1998, Fuller was reunited with the rest of the surviving Emergency! cast, at the Emergency! Convention ’98, which took place at the Burbank Airport Hilton in Burbank, California. All of the main actors attended except for Julie London, who had suffered a stroke in 1995. London’s husband Bobby Troup attended just four months before his own death. Fuller and the rest of the cast and crew answered fans’ questions and reminisced about their time together, during which the cast-mates said they got along well.[12]

On March 10, 2010, Fuller presented James Drury with the “Cowboy Spirit Award” at the Festival of the West.[13] He also paid tribute to John Smith, who died fifteen years earlier on January 25, 1995 of cirrhosis of the liver and heart problems. In the tribute he recounted many details about Smith’s life, especially their on- and off-screen chemistry during their days on Laramie. Smith had also attended the Festival of the West for two seasons before his declining health rendered it impossible for him to appear.[14]

On October 9, 2010, Fuller, James Drury, and Don Reynolds participated in the Wild West Toy Show, sponsored by Bob Terry in Azle near Fort WorthTexas. The event promotes horse riding and the purchase and exchange of Western merchandise.[15]

In September 2012 Fuller, along with several other western celebrities, attended the first annual Spirit of the Cowboy Western festival held at Chestnut Square in McKinney, Texas. The event is billed as the biggest and best Western festival in North Texas.

In the middle of 2004, Fuller and wife Jennifer Savidge moved from Los Angeles to North Texas to raise horses on a ranch. His neighbor and long-term friend Alex Cord had urged Fuller to move to Cooke County. The two, who are the same age, had met in 1961 on the set of Laramie when Cord made his television acting debut.[16] Fuller’s former Emergency! co-star and long-time friend, Randolph Mantooth, said in an interview with Tom Blixa of WTVN that he would no longer keep in touch with Fuller because of the relocation.[17]

On July 29, 2013, Fuller celebrated his 80th birthday with his fans and his wife while vacationing on a ranch in Libby, Montana.

James Drury

Fuller’s longest-lasting friendship has been with James Drury, whom he met (along with the late Robert Horton, 9 years Fuller’s senior) when the three were under contract to MGM in 1954. Drury put Fuller in touch with Jock Mahoney, who in turn contacted Dick Jones. When their contracts were over, Drury and Fuller moved to Universal, where they each starred in their own Western series. In 1959, Fuller co-starred opposite another old friend, John Smith, in Laramie (before joining the cast of Wagon Train after Laramie’s cancellation), while Drury starred in The Virginian for 9 seasons, between 1962 and 1971. Fuller appeared in The Virginian later in its run, in two episodes in which Drury did not appear.

Drury was a fan of Fuller’s and Julie London’s Emergency! series, a show that lasted 8 1/2 years. In an interview with another of Fuller’s best friends, Drury said, “I had known Bobby Troup very well. We’ve done several shows together. But I never really knew Julie, except just to meet her. Bobby [of course] became lifelong friends with her, and so forth, but I never spent any time on the road with her, but I think Bobby Fuller did… Fuller… didn’t really want to do a modern show. He wanted to do another Western, but Jack Webb talked him into it or insisted that he do it, and he was very happy, [of course] because it was a great success and he had a wonderful time with Julie London and Bobby Troup.”

Julie London

Fuller’s second longest-running friendship was that of Julie London, a young, new popular singer and an accomplished movie actress, whom he met (alongside her future husband Bobby Troup, 15 years Fuller’s senior), when he was stopping in for a beer at one of the clubs in Los Angeles, California, in 1955. Being 7 years his senior, the young, unfamiliar, struggling actor even witnessed her own singing. Then, five years later, London would guest-star with Fuller on the first episode of the second season of Laramie, “Queen of Diamonds.” London acted the part of the sheriff’s wife (played by Claude Akins). That episode was the beginning of a wonderful relationship, while at approximately the same time, he continued keeping in touch with Troup. In late 1971, thanks to London’s ex-husband (Jack Webb), he didn’t have a choice other than to be reunited with both London & Troup, to star in Emergency! with them, where the three enjoyed a special on- and off-screen chemistry with each other, sharing a 12 lb. medical dictionary to pronounce words. When Emergency! was canceled, after over 130 episodes, Fuller continued to stay in touch with London. Thanks to her popularity on Emergency!, Jack Webb wanted Julie London to become the executive producer of future projects, but she turned it down, and eventually retired from acting. Like Drury, London also called Fuller, “Bobby.”

According to Fuller’s co-star and London’s second husband, Bobby Troup, London was known to be a very private and introverted lady who spent most of her time with her extended family and hated attending shows.nTroup died on February 7, 1999. Fuller, London and the rest of the surviving Emergency! cast attended his funeral. London herself passed away almost two years later on October 18 2000.

In a June 2013 interview with Tom Blixa of WTVN, Fuller said of his Emergency! medical partner and secondary series’ lead Julie London that she had what he called a “potty-mouth.” He added, “She should’ve been a sailor. I’m telling you, I loved Julie. I’ve known Julie for years and one of the things that made me happy about doing Emergency! was working with Julie and Bobby because they were friends of mine. I’ve known them for years. Before that, Julie did Laramie with me and I loved her. I loved her singing and I loved his playing. But to Julie, to get away with anything and when it came out of her mouth, it sounded like candy and we loved it. She was wild.”

In a September 2017 interview with Joe Collura of Quad-City Times, Fuller said about the time he met his future Emergency! female lead, Julie London, immediately after serving his time in the Army: “Shortly after I got out of the Army in ’55, I happened to be in a nightclub on Sunset Boulevard drinking a beer when all of a sudden this gorgeous blonde came out with a man with a guitar,” He recalled. “The woman started to sing and, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. That was my introduction to Julie London. Also that year, I met Richard Boone for the first time.”

Clu Gulager

While struggling as an actor, Clu Gulager met Fuller on the fourth episode of Laramie, in which Gulager played the role of a private who showed up at the Sherman Ranch Relay Station beaten and half-starved looking for help from Jess Harper, who was his brother-in-law. The friendship took off from there and a lifelong connection began. Gulager was also reunited with Fuller on 2 more episodes of Wagon Train and 1 episode of The Virginian, where Gulager was credited as a star, but like Drury, Gulager did not appear in the episode.

In 1995, along with Fuller, Drury and Walker, Gulager also appeared on an episode of Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, in which his role was that of a drunken deputy.

In 2012, after six decades of acting, at age 83, Gulager retired, but continues to stay in touch with Fuller and travels with him to various festivals including Festival of The West and the Memphis Film Festival.

John Smith

When he was just 23 years of age, Fuller first met the not-so-famous actor, John Smith, along with another young, new TV actor, Doug McClure (Drury’s future co-star on The Virginian), in the movie Friendly Persuasion, where he only had a limited line. The two began to develop a lifelong friendship, in 1956. At the same approximate time when co-starring with Smith in Laramie, Fuller also guest-starred with Smith on an episode of Cimmaron City.

During the time Smith starred with Fuller in Laramie, the two had a wonderful on and off screen chemistry and would even meet some familiar, as well as unfamiliar, guest stars who went on to bigger and better things. When Laramie ended in 1963 after a 4-season run and 124 episodes, Fuller moved on to the cast of Wagon Train where he created part of a character modeled after himself, while Smith found himself a victim of typecasting as Slim Sherman.

Smith also guest-starred in a few roles, most notably Emergency! with Fuller & London, and Police Woman with Angie Dickinson, but in time withdrew from acting.

Second-only to Fuller, Smith was also a social butterfly, known for traveling and raising horses. He was the very first guest at the Festival of The West. However, bad health prevented him from attending. He died on January 25, 1995, and was cremated.

Alex Cord

At only 28, the same age as Fuller, Alex Cord met him on an episode of Laramie playing the son of Dan Duryea‘s character. This was Cord’s first guest-starring role in a long career. The two remained friendly.

In 2001, when Fuller remarried, Cord served as his best man. Then Fuller attended Cord’s wedding to Susannah Moller, where Fuller served as best man. Two years later, Fuller moved with his wife to Texas, becoming Cord’s neighbors.

James Best

Already an immensely popular character actor and movie star of several Westerns, James Best appeared on the sixth episode of Laramie. Best played a worried young man who demanded that Jess Harper help save a young man dying of a snake bite. Fuller and Best had a great connection and since the writers loved him from his first appearance, Best later did two additional guest spots on Laramie with Fuller, long before landing a starring role in the popular actioncomedy satire, The Dukes of Hazzard, in the 1980s and later, two movies, in 1997 and 2000.

Being the traveling man that he was, ‘Jimmie’ would travel to festivals and run into ‘Bobby’ many times.

On June 12, 2013, aged 86, and very healthy at the time, Best reunited with Fuller, Drury, Johnny Crawford and Henry Darrow at the Memphis Film Festival in Olive Branch, Mississippi, where massive crowds of die-hard Western fans could ask questions before attending a sock hop dance.

On November 8, 2014, aged 88, Best’s final appearance with Fuller was when the two (with their wives) flew to Los Angeles, California, from their homes (Best was living in North Carolina), to celebrate the 100th Birthday of their dear friend Norman Lloyd (who worked with Fuller’s wife, Jennifer Savidge on St. Elsewhere), and reminisce over Lloyd’s memories. Five months later, on April 6, 2015, Best died of pneumonia. Fuller did not attend his funeral in North Carolina.

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John T. Ryan

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Robert Urquhart

Robert Urquhart obituary in “The Independent” in 1995

By the early Seventies, Robert Urquhart was finding acting increasingly frustrating and spent more time on his business interests in the Highlands. He had no respect for much of the material he was offered and turned an old house in the picturesque fishing village of Ullapool into the Ceilidh Place, which started as a coffee shop, before serving food, then adding music and room for dancing. It was furnished with pews from an old church and Urquhart staged concerts there by Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor, who had won national fame with their appearances on the Tonight television programme.

The actor still managed to find a handful of good roles throughout the Seventies, mainly on television. They began with that of Wing Commander MacPhearson in The Pathfinders (1972-73), following the air crews who flew in advance of bombing raids to pinpoint targets for the main force. He played an ageing, drunken journalist, Vic, searching for a quiet life in the provinces in The Reporters, written by Arthur Hopcroft and first seen as a Play for Today (1972), and a Welsh property-owner trying to save his stately home from the taxman and the filthy rich in The Inheritors (1973). The concerns of this character echoed his own for the wilds of Scotland, worried that the oil men would ravage the beautiful countryside. In The Aweful Mr Goodall (1974), Urquhart was a widower, Jack Goodall, a former MI5 colonel drawn back into the world of espionage despite retiring to a comfortable Eastbourne flat.

On television, he also played the Quartering Commandant in Brideshead Revisited (1982), the teacher George Jenkins in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1978) and Tom Stockman in Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, as well as acting in the acclaimed series The Old Men at the Zoo (1983), adapted from Angus Wilson’s novel, and the David Puttnam First Love Channel Four television films P’Tang Yang Kipperbang (1982) and Sharma and Beyond (1984). He also wrote and acted in a Sixties series called Jango.

Urquhart’s career turned full circle when, in 1984, he starred in The Thrie Estaitis at the 36th Edinburgh Film Festival.

Anthony Hayward

Robert Urquhart, actor: born Ullapool, Ross and Cromarty 16 October 1922; twice married (one son, two daughters, and one son deceased); died Edinburgh 21 March 1995.

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Edmund Hockridge

Edmund Hockridge Wikipedia

Edmund James Arthur Hockridge (9 August 1919 – 15 March 2009) was a Canadian baritone and actor who had an active performance career in musicals, operas, concerts, plays and on radio. According to his obituary in The Guardian, his life could have provided the storyline for one of the musicals he starred in.

Edmund Hockridge grew up on a farm in the Vancouver area of British Columbia. His mother was a pianist and his father and three brothers – all older than he was – loved to sing. At 17, a Vancouver music club organised an audition with New York Metropolitan OperastarJohn Charles Thomas, who encouraged him to look to music as a career. Going overseas during World War II with the Royal Canadian Air Force led to Hockridge being “loaned” to the BBC, in a unit supplying news and entertainment to the troops in Europe, working with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Canadian Band of the Allied Expeditionary Force led by Robert Farnon.[Hockridge learned much of his craft as an entertainer at the radio (mike), singing and producing 400 shows for the BBC Forces Network and, as the war ended, he was snapped up for appearances with the big names in British popular musicGerald Bright (better known as Geraldo) and George Melachrino among them. Whilst serving in Britain he met a Wren, Eileen Elliott, who worked in Lord Louis Mountbatten‘s office. They married and had a son, but Hockridge believed that they had fallen into marriage rather than love, and by the time he returned to Canada it was clear that the relationship was doomed.

After the war, he had his own coast-to-coast radio show from Toronto with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, in whose Gilbert and Sullivan productions he played all thirteen patter-song roles. He was also developing a career in opera, taking leading roles in Don GiovanniLa Boheme and Peter Grimes. His big break, in 1950, came with the chance to play Billy Bigelow in Rodgers and Hammerstein‘s Carousel at the Theatre Royal in London‘s Drury Lane.  This marked the beginning of 40 years in showbusiness in the United KingdomCarousel was also to change Hockridge’s personal life. In the cast was a 19-year-old dancer, Jackie Jefferson.  The couple chose to keep their affair low-key, eventually marrying after his first wife agreed to a divorce. They moved to Peterborough(where they lived next door to Ernie Wise) and brought up a family.[1] In 1951 he went back on British radio, while continuing to do his stage performances. After three years and nearly 1300 performances, he joined the American cast of Guys and Dolls when they brought the show to London, in the role of Sky Masterson.

Hockridge went on to make two more musical roles his own – Judge Forestier, in Can-Can, and Sid Sorokin in the original London production of The Pajama Game, an instant hit with the British public. His hit single, “Hey There“, from what quickly became a hit show, ensured that his name became more well-known. Seven years of musicals were followed by public appearances, concertspantomimesRoyal Command PerformancesLondon Palladium seasons, summer shows, television dates in the UK, Canada and Europe and some special occasions – topping the bill on the maiden voyage of the QE2 to New York and representing Canada in the choir at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II among them. Cabaretbookings took Hockridge to the Stanley Hotel in Nairobi, and the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong, and he recorded singles, EPs and eleven albums.

In October 1968, Hockridge appeared on BBC Television‘s Morecambe & Wise Show.

Coincidentally, he lived with second wife Jackie Jefferson in Peterborough, in the house next door to Ernie Wise.

In 1986, aged 67, he partnered the rock singer Suzi Quatro in a London production of Annie Get Your Gun (his seventh musical) and also appeared with Isla St Clair in a provincial production of The Sound of Music (1984).

He continued to perform on stage regularly, latterly with his family, until his retirement.

His first recording, “Serenade” (1950) on UK Decca Records, was followed by three releases on HMV, none of which sold very well. Then in 1953 he switched to Parlophone, making recordings of songs from Guys and Dolls, Carousel, and Can-Can. In 1955 he went back to HMV, while still doing songs from the same musicals that saw him as an actor: in this case, “Hey There” from The Pajama Game. Finally, in 1956, he switched to Pye Nixa, the record label which brought him his first hits. His second Nixa recording was a cover of Tennessee Ernie Ford‘s “Sixteen Tons,” with a cover of Dean Martin‘s “Young and Foolish” on the flip side. Whilst Ford’s version of “Sixteen Tons” outdid Hockridge’s, his version of “Young and Foolish” was a Top 10 hit on the UK Singles Chart.[4] He followed this record with a revival of “No Other Love,” which was another hit on the UK chart. He had one final entry on the chart with “By the Fountains of Rome” in September 1957

After that, he continued to record for Pye Nixa, though not charting again in the UK.

Hockridge died on 15 March 2009, at the age of 89, in PeterboroughCambridgeshire. He is survived by Jackie, their sons Murray and Stephen, a foster son, Clifford, and Ian, his son from his first marriage.

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Ray Barrett

Ray Barrett. Wikipedia.

Raymond Charles Barrett (2 May 1927 – 8 September 2009) was an Australian actor. During the 1960s, he was a leading actor on British television, where he was best known for his appearances in The Troubleshooters (1965–1971). From the 1970s, he appeared in lead and character roles in a number of Australian films and TV series.

Barrett was born in BrisbaneQueensland and was educated at Windsor State Primary School and at Brisbane State High School. Fascinated by radio from an early age, he won an on-air talent competition in 1939, at the age of 12: an eisteddfod that was broadcast on 4BH radio, with a musical monologue about a dog called “Paddy”. This was to place him on a path different from his dream of becoming a boat-builder. In 1949, Barrett was initiated into Freemasonry as an initiate and member of Empire Lodge #197 of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland.

Ray Barrett first appeared on radio in Brisbane, and later in Sydney, to where he moved in 1954. In 1957, he moved to Britain, where his background as a singer earned him a part in a revue alongside Beryl ReidPatrick Wymark and Sheila Hancock.

Due to his “tough looks”, Barrett was given character and “tough guy” roles from an unusually young age. In Britain, he played one of the lead roles in the TV series Emergency – Ward 10 and later one of the main characters, the hard-nosed oil worker Peter Thornton, in the long-running BBC series The Troubleshooters.

He also provided the voice of several characters in Gerry Anderson-produced “Supermarionation” series of the 1960s: Commander Shore and Titan in Stingray (1964–65) and later John Tracy, the Hood and various extras in Thunderbirds (1965–66). Also in 1965, he appeared as Bennett/Koquillion in the Doctor Who serial The Rescue.

In later years, Barrett starred in many well-known film and TV roles in his native Australia, living on Stradbroke IslandQueensland during the 1970s. He appeared as the Prime Minister(a character who is assassinated) in Burn the Butterflies, and as a miner in Golden Soak. In 1980, he played the part of the controversial Australian historical figure Governor Bligh in the ABC Television production The Timeless Land.  He had secondary roles in many other productions, including Something in the Air.

Barrett also appeared in such films as Don’s Party and The Carmakers (about the 1973 release of the Leyland P76 car, co-starring Noel Ferrier and Nick Tate). In 2005, he received an Australian Film Institute Longford Life Achievement Award.

Barrett died on 8 September 2009 at the Gold Coast Hospital in SouthportQueensland, aged 82, after suffering a brain haemorrhage.  His final acting appearance had been in the 2008 film Australia. He was married three times, and left three children.

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Shaughan Seymour

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Johnny Sekka

Johnny Sekka. Wikipedia.

Johnny Sekka (born Lamine Sekka, 21 July 1934 – 14 September 2006) was a Senegalese actor.

Born Lamine Sekka in Dakar, Senegal, the youngest of five siblings, his Gambian father died shortly after his birth. When he was still young, his Senegalese mother sent him to live with an aunt in Georgetown (now Janjanbureh) in the Gambia, but he ran away to live on the streets in the capital, then known as Bathurst (now Banjul). In the Second World War he found employment as an interpreter at an American air base in Dakar. He then worked on the docks. When he was 20, he stowed away on a ship to MarseillesFrance, and lived for three years in Paris.

He arrived in London, England in 1952, and served for two years in the Royal Air Force, where he first received the nickname “Johnny”, but then Caribbean actor Earl Cameron persuaded him to become an actor, and he attended RADA. He became a stagehand at the Royal Court Theatre, and appeared on stage in various plays from 1958. He had a small part in the 1958 film version of Look Back in Anger, directed by Tony Richardson, who had seen him on stage. He took a leading role in the 1961 film Flame in the Streets, playing the Jamaican boyfriend of the (white) daughter (played by Sylvia Syms) of a liberal working-class trades unionist (played by John Mills). He lived for a period in Paris, where he met his wife, Cecilia Enger.

He continued in British films during the 1960s, portraying stereotypical roles, such as a butler in the film Woman of Straw (1964), and in other films, such as East of Sudan (1964), Khartoum (1966) and The Last Safari (1967). He also appeared on television, in programmes such as The Human JungleZ-CarsDixon of Dock GreenGideon’s WayDanger Man, and a 1968 episode of The Avengers. In 1968, he also played the lead role in a West End production of Night of Fame. According to his obituary in The Times, this was the first time that a black actor had played a role written for a white man in English theatre. He was seen as a British equivalent to Sidney Poitier, and was frustrated that actors who started out at around the same time as him – such as Sean ConneryTerence StampMichael CaineTom Courtenay and John Hurt – had become stars, and he had not.

Sekka eventually moved to the United States with the aim of getting better roles. He had a minor part in the films A Warm December (1972) and Uptown Saturday Night (1974), both directed by Poitier. The first also featured Earl Cameron and the second Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor. These roles led to a more memorable role in the sitcom Good Times, where he portrayed Ibe, Thelma’s (BernNadette Stanis) African love interest. In 1976, he starred in the movie Mohammad, Messenger of God (also known as The Message) about the origin of Islam and the message of Muhammad, in which he played Muhammad’s Ethiopian disciple Bilal al-Habashi. He appeared in the 1982 film Hanky Panky, and played Banda in the 1984 miniseries Master of the Game.

He was not cast in Roots (1977), being considered insufficiently American, but secured a role in the sequel, Roots: The Next Generations (1979), playing an African interpreter. Sekka is widely known among science fiction fans for his role as Dr. Benjamin Kyle in the television series Babylon 5s pilot movie, The Gathering (1993). Recurring health problems forced him to decline a future role in the series, and ultimately were the reason he retired from acting altogether.

He died of lung cancer at his ranch in Agua Dulce, California, aged 72, survived by his wife Cecilia and son Lamine.[1

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Barbara Bouchet

Barbara Bouchet. Wikipedia.

Barbara Bouchet (born Barbara Gutscher, 15 August 1943) is a German-American actress and entrepreneuse who lives and works in Italy.

She has acted in more than 80 films and television episodes and founded a production company that has produced fitness videos and books. She also owns and operates a fitness studio. She appeared in Casino Royale (1967) as Miss Moneypenny, as Patrizia in Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972), The Scarlet and The Black (1983) and as Mrs. Schermerhorn in Martin Scorsese‘s Gangs of New York (2002).

Barbara Gutscher, the eldest of four siblings (two boys and two girls), was born in Reichenberg,  Sudetenland, a part of Czechoslovakia that was ceded to Nazi Germany and is today part of the Czech Republic.  After World War II, her family was placed in a resettlement camp in the American occupation zone in Germany. They were granted permission to emigrate to the United States under the humanitarian provisions of the Displaced Persons Act of 1948.

After arriving in the United States, the family lived in Five Points, California on the west side of the Central Valley and eventually settled in San Francisco, where Gutscher was raised. During the early 1960s San Francisco Bay Area television station KPIX-TV ran a show named The KPIX Dance Party and offered Gutscher the opportunity to become a member of the show’s dance group.

Bouchet began her career modelling for magazine covers and appearing in television commercials, before eventually becoming an actress. Her first acting role was a minor part in What a Way to Go! (1964), which led to a series of other roles in the 1960s. She appeared in the films John Goldfarb, Please Come Home (1964), In Harm’s Way (1964), and Agent for H.A.R.M. (1966).[4]

She appeared, semi-nude, in two editions of Playboy magazine: May 1965 (stills from In Harm’s Way) and February 1967 (“The Girls of Casino Royale“).

In Casino Royale (1967), Bouchet played the role of Miss Moneypenny. In 1968, she guest-starred in the Star Trek episode “By Any Other Name” (1968), and appeared in the musical film Sweet Charity (1969) playing Ursula.

Tired of being typecast and unable to get starring roles in Hollywood, Bouchet moved to Italy in 1970 and began acting in Italian films, such as Black Belly of the Tarantulaand Sex with a Smile (40 gradi all’ombra del lenzuolo, or Forty Degrees In The Shade Of The Sheet, 1975). She starred with Gregory Peck in The Scarlet and The Black (1983), a successful TV movie. In 1985, she established a production company and started to produce a successful series of fitness books and videos. In addition, Bouchet opened a fitness studio in Rome. In 2002, Bouchet appeared in Gangs of New York, playing Mrs. Schermerhorn.

In 1974, Bouchet married Luigi Borghese, a producer, with whom she has two sons: Alessandro (b. 1976), a TV chef, and Massimiliano (b. 1989), a bartender. Her husband subsequently produced some of her later films. They separated in 2006, citing different aspirations.