Wednesday, April 25, 2018

RIP Sylvie Short

RIP Sylvie Short

Santa Barbara Independent
April 25, 2018

Sylvia Short blew the roof off the Center Stage Theater in her 2017 performance as Elizabeth Bishop in Sarah Ruhl’s Dear Elizabeth. Her participation in the fundraiser for Center Stage was her final triumph in a long and distinguished career in theater and film. She was ever a Shakespeare aficionado, unparalleled storyteller, and singer of Irish songs, and she loved Santa Barbara and its ocean.

Born in 1927 in Concord, Massachusetts, Sylvia attended Smith College, studying acting with Hallie Flanagan Davis; after graduating, she trained on a two-year Fulbright at the Old Vic Theatre School in London. On her return to the States, she studied with Uta Hagen, winning the Barter Theatre Award, bestowed by Fredric March, in 1952, after which she toured the country with the Barter performing repertory, the first of her many Shakespearean roles that of Portia in The Merchant of Venice.

In The Taming of the Shrew, she played Kate opposite Fritz Weaver, her fellow Barter Theatre Award winner; he became her leading man in real life. They married and moved to New York to begin their careers on the New York stage in 1954. In 1956, Sylvia was cast as Regan in Orson Welles’s production of King Lear; Welles was so bowled over at her audition that he offered her the role on the spot.

While raising her two children in New York City on a hiatus from acting, Sylvia earned her PhD in marine biology, eventually teaching it at NYU, oceanic life being one of her fascinations. She returned to the theater in the late ’70s, teaching at Juilliard and performing in plays at the Phoenix Theatre, American Place, and Manhattan Theatre Club, among others, as well as in Broadway shows such as Hugh Leonard’s Da. She appeared in Marjorie Kellogg’s play The Smile of the Cardboard Man in a production at HB Studio.

Marjorie Kellogg was the second great love of Sylvia’s life. The two moved to Santa Barbara in 1990, and Sylvia entered the world of regional theater, playing Lady Bracknell at the Guthrie Theater and touring in many productions at La Jolla Playhouse and the Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others. In California she appeared in TV shows and movies (including The Birdcage with Robin Williams) before becoming the doyenne of the theater scene in Santa Barbara.

In Santa Barbara, Sylvia was in her element. Her love of the ocean was one of her defining features; in her 90 years on both coasts, she came to know the moods and intricacies of both the Atlantic and the Pacific. An ace body surfer, a sailor, an inveterate snorkeler, and a whale docent and volunteer at the Marine Center, she also voluntarily did research involving plankton samples at Ellwood Pier in a study of algae blooms. When she wasn’t in or on the ocean, she was singing with the Master Chorale, music being another of her myriad passions.

Her wide-ranging interests and talents were all fulfilled with a dedication and an excellence that informed everything she undertook, but it was the theater in Santa Barbara where she shone brightest. In 1990, she joined the Ensemble Theatre, playing in Gertrude Stein and a Companion (1992 Drama-Logue Award), Lettice and Lovage, and A Perfect Ganesh, among many others, including Painting Churches (1994 Drama-Logue Award), and The Road to Mecca, winning an Independent theater award.

She went on to star in The Beauty Queen of Leenane at City College and Last Days of the Empire at Center Stage, and appeared many times in the Speaking of Stories programs. With each production, she engendered profound and lasting connections with other actors as well as writers and directors.
In her later years she taught an informal Shakespeare workshop at her home, encouraging her students to stretch beyond their perceived limits, to embrace Shakespeare’s language; her mantra was “Let his words tell you what to do.” Her students adored her for her energy and passion, her wit and intellect, and her generosity in sharing her wealth of experience and knowledge, not to mention her sometimes ribald, always fascinating theater stories.

Sylvia died on Saturday, April 14, at Cottage Hospital with her children by her side. She was 90.
Hers was a long life, well lived and well loved. Sylvia garnered many devoted friends of all generations. They admired her for demonstrating what’s possible in one’s third act and applauded her talent, fierce energy, and passion for life, which she carried to the end.

She is survived by her children, Lydia and Tony Weaver; their spouses, Bruce Ostler and Luciana Maiorana, respectively; and her beloved grandson, Sam Ostler.

A memorial is in the planning stages for early October.

SHOIRT, Sylvie (Sylvia Short)
Born: 10/22/1927, Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Died: 4/14/2018, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.A.

Sylvie Short’s western – actress:
Walker, Texas Ranger (TV) – 1994 (Thelma Beck)

RIP Arthur B. Rubinstein

‘WarGames’ Composer Arthur B. Rubinstein Dies at 80

By Tara Bitran
April 24, 2018

Arthur B. Rubinstein, composer for films such as “War Games” who worked on more than 300 films and television programs, died April 23 of complications resulting from cancer. He was 80.

In the 1960s, Rubinstein composed incidental music for around 50 productions while serving as composer-in-residence for the American Conservatory Theater, the Williamstown Theater Festival, and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. He continued on in the 1970s serving as a music director, both in Los Angeles and on Broadway, for shows such as “A Chorus Line,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and “Evita.” Rubinstein received an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for his work as music director on Gordon Davidson’s production of “A Little Night Music.”

After moving to Los Angeles, Rubinstein composed scores for films such as “WarGames” (1983) starring Matthew Broderick, and Albert Brooks’ “Lost in America” (1985). Rubinstein earned an Emmy Award for his original music on CBS series “Scarecrow and Mrs. King.” He also scored “Shooting War,” Stephen Spielberg’s documentary narrated by Tom Hanks about WWII newsreel cameramen for ABC Television.

Rubinstein was also a frequent collaborator with director John Badham, working on films including “Whose Life Is It Anyway?” (1981), “Blue Thunder” (1983), “Stakeout” (1987) featuring Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez, “The Hard Way” (1991), “Another Stakeout” (1993), and “Nick of Time” (1995) with Christopher Walken and Johnny Depp.

In 1994, Rubinstein founded Symphony in the Glen with his wife Barbara Ferris. They presented over 60 free classical concerts to over 80,000 families and children in Los Angeles across their 20-year run.

Rubinstein’s most recent compositions include “Observations,” which premiered in 2009 at the Griffith Observatory in a special concert in honor of the International Year of the Astronomer and the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s achievements.

“In classical music and jazz there is a constant, living swirl of wonder and discovery — both sensual and intellectual. As a composer and conductor, I’ve always tried, in some way, to be part of that swirl,” Rubinstein wrote on his website.

Rubinstein is survived by his wife, Barbara Ferris Rubinstein, and his daughter, Alexandra Nan Rubinstein.

Born: 3/31/1938, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 4/23/2018, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Arthur B. Rubinstein’s westerns – composer:
Sawyer and Finn (TV) – 1983
Once Upon a Texas Train (TV) – 1988
Where the Hell’s The Gold ?!!? (TV) - 1988

Monday, April 23, 2018

RIP Bob Dorough

The Wrap
By Tim Kenneally
April 23, 2018

Bob Dorough, the jazz musician who was instrumental in the 1970s educational cartoon series “Schoolhouse Rock!” died Monday in Mt. Bethel, Pennsylvania, a spokesperson for Dorough told TheWrap. He was 94.

During his run with “Schoolhouse Rock!” Dorough wrote and performed iconic numbers including “My Hero, Zero” and “Three Is a Magic Number.”

Dorough, born in Arkansas and raised in Texas, took to music early, joining his high school’s band and serving three years in a special services army band unit.

Dorough was an accompany player, arranger and conductor for a number of years before recording his first effort of his own, “Devil May Care,” in 1956 for the Bethlehem label. Among the artists Dorough worked with was Miles Davis, recording “Nothing Like You” and “Blue Xmas,” both of which Dorough composed, with Davis in 1962.

“In 1971 he received a commission to ‘set the multiplication tables to music.’ This led to a small industry, being the beginning of ABC-TV’s ‘Schoolhouse Rock,’ Saturday morning cartoons that entertained and instructed unsuspecting children during the years 1973-1985,” Dorough’s biography reads.

The bio adds, “The impact of this media exposure was unpredictably immense. The show came back for another five years in the 90’s and is now enjoying its 40th anniversary with a DVD edition of the entire, five-subject series, for which Dorough worked as the Musical Director.”

In 1995, Dorough signed with the prestigious Blue Note Records label, recording three CDs — “Right on My Way Home,” “Too Much Coffee Man” and “Who’s On First” — for the label.

DOROUGH, Bob (Robert Dorough)
Born: 12/12/1923, Cherry Hill, Arkansas, U.S.A.
Died: 4/23/2018, Mt. Bethel, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Bob Dorough’s western – actor:

RIP Philip D'Antoni

Philip D’Antoni, ‘The French Connection’ Producer, Dies at 89

By Christi Carras

Philip D’Antoni, who produced Oscar-winning films like “The French Connection” and “Bullitt,” died at age 89 on April 15. The producer died at his home in New York.

D’Antoni was best known for the 1971 crime drama “The French Connection,” which won three Golden Globes and five Oscars, including best picture. Gene Hackman won for best actor and William Friedkin for best director and the film also won best adapted screenplay and best film editing. Also on the late producer’s resume is the Steve McQueen action flick “Bullitt,” which won an Oscar for film editing.

TV documentaries like “Elizabeth Taylor in London,” “Sophia Loren in Rome,” and the “Proud Land” miniseries made up much of D’Antoni’s early work in Hollywood in the early 1960s. “Bullitt” marked his first feature film producing credit in 1968, and from there he went on to produce “The French Connection” before returning to TV later in life. D’Antoni rounded out his career with TV titles like “Mr. Inside/Mr. Outside,” “Strike Force,” and the Roy Scheider crime series “The Seven-Ups,” which he also directed.

His final TV series, “Movin’ On,” ran for two seasons on NBC from 1974 to 1976. D’Antoni created and wrote for the show, which followed a team of truckers on their cross-country adventures.

D’Antoni is survived by his wife, five children, and nine grandchildren. Friedkin took to Twitter on Monday to mourn his “French Connection” partner. “Phil D’Antoni. My friend and the great producer Of The French Connection has died,” Friedkin wrote. “Phil D’Antoni. My friend and the great producer of The French Connection has died. May he Rest In peace”.

D’ANTONI, Philip
Born: 2/19/1920, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 4/15/2018, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, U.S.A.

Philip D’Antoni’s western – producer:
This Proud Land - 1966

RIP Pamela Gidley

Pamela Gidely dead at the age of 52

She was known for her performance of Teresa Banks, Laura Palmer’s friend and killer’s victim, in Twin Peaks – Fire Walk with Me


Actress Pamela Gidley died on April 16 at the age of 52, the Lynchland - David Lynch Archivist page has been announced on Facebook. She was known for her portrayal of Teresa Banks, Laura Palmer's friend and killer's first victim, in Twin Peaks - Fire Walk with Me , adaptation of David Lynch's cult series, The causes of her death are not known.
Born June 11, 1965, she began her career in 1986 playing in an episode of season 2 of MacGyver . The following year, she played in the cult movie Cherry 2000 with Melanie Griffith. In the early 1990s, she crosses the path of David Lynch, who prepares the film adaptation of his Twin Peaks series. From the shoot, the actress keeps a burning memory:

"It was summer and you know how well Twin Peaks is known for its wool sweaters, we were in Seattle and it was hot to die in. We were shooting in a motel room with Ray Wise [the actor] Leland Palmer, Laura's father, Ed] and I was sweaty, I was asking for a fan and Ray said to me after half an hour, 'I can not, Pamela, David does not want 'there to be any ventilation'."
After Twin Peaks , Pamela Gidley appeared in several series like The Chameleon and The Experts. In the cinema, she also played in The Prince of Sicily Jim Abrahams, parody of mafia movies.

GIDLEY, Pamela (Pamela Catherine Gidley)
Born: 6/11/1965, Merhuen, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Died:  4/16/2018, Seabrook, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Pamela Gidley’s westerns – actress:
Cherry 2000 – 1987 (Cherry 2000)
Paper Hearts – 1993 (Samantha)

Sunday, April 22, 2018

RIP Demeter Bitenc

The legendary Slovenian player Demeter Bitenc has died

Slovenian drama and film actor Demeter Bitenc died. In his seventy-year career, he has created over 230 theater and film roles. Julia would have reached 96 years.
April 22, 2018

He received his first film experience in the first Slovene feature On Your Country. At the age of seventy years he has created more than 230 theater and film roles, riding on Old Shatterhand in the first part of Vinetou, and later on, he wanted to play the role of bad guys, reports the MMC Radiotelevizija Slovenija.

Bitenc, born on 21 July 1922 in Ljubljana, spent his childhood and youth in Gorenjska. He graduated from the Trade Academy in Ljubljana, but already during his studies he was impressed by theater, film and acting. During the war, he attended private lessons with the theater actor and director Slavko Jan, and in 1943 he made an audition for admission to the ensemble of the Ljubljana Drama. After the end of the war, he completed four more semesters at the newly established Academy of Art in Ljubljana.
Between 1943 and 1954 he was a member of SNG Drama Ljubljana, then went to the Croatian National Theater in Rijeka, where he worked until 1958. For this he worked for some time in Belgrade and SLG Celje. As he explained in one of the interviews for STA, he had some love affair in Drama, which became problematic, so he decided to go. In order to replace the theater, he had to obtain the permission of the Republic Secretariat for Culture.
He often appeared in uniforms of German soldiers.

He first received a short film experience in his first feature film, France Stiglitz. On his land in 1948, he became a real film debut in 1959 with a later role of a German officer in the film Good Old Piano. In the next decade, he recorded nearly 40 co-production films shot by foreign producers in the then Yugoslavia. He often appeared in uniforms of German soldiers.
He played in more than 40 Slovene films, played the second role in the films of Yugoslav republics and co-productions. He performed in lateral and episodic roles, often in the role of negative characters, he played the only title role in Robert Mauri's historical drama Rabanek, the devilish pirate in 1963.
Recipient of the media legend award

The player's television opus is also rich in more than 80 films and series produced in the production of Slovenian television, produced by other Yugoslav republics and foreign television companies that were filmed in the former Yugoslavia, according to the Museum of Slovene Film Players in Divača, who dedicated his traditional Gift Event to the museum last year.
In 2007 he received a prize for a media legend, he was a regular guest at social events.

BITENC, Demeter
Born: 7/21/1922, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
Died: 4/22/2018, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Demeter Bitenc’s westerns – actor:
Apache Gold -1963 (Dick Stone),
Legend of a Gunfighter - 1964
Bandits of the Rio Grande – 1965 (Elgaut)
Duel at Sundown -1965 (Mack)
Starblack – 1966 (Burt)
Ballad of a Gunman -1967 (Bradley)

RIP George Touliatos

RIP George Touliatos

George was born on December 9, 1929 and passed away on Friday, December 8, 2017.

George was a resident of Bellingham, Washington at the time of passing.

Born: 12/9/1929, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Died: 12/8/2017, Bellingham, Washington, U.S.A.

George Touliatos’ westerns – actor:
Lonesome Dove: The Series (TV) – 1995 (Pa)
Dead Man’s Gun (TV) – 1998 (Dr. Thomas Moorehead)