Posts Tagged ‘actor


In Passing… David Carradine (1936-2009)



Actor, musician, producer, and director David Carradine was found dead in his Bangkok hotel room. His father was actor John Carradine and his half-brothers were Keith and Robert Carradine and Michael Bowen. David Carradine has been acting in television and film since 1963 when he was on “Armstrong Circle Theatre.” His first film role was as Cal Dodge in “Taggart” (1964). In 1972 he took the role of Kwai Chang Caine in the TV series “Kung Fu” (1972-1975) which is the role he’s most identified with. His other film work includes “Death Race 2000,” the “Kill Bill” movies and most recently “Crank 2.” He has worked with such directors as Roger Corman, Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman, and Quentin Tarantino. Aside from acting he was a musician having recorded 60 tracks in multiple genres and sung in several films. He was 72 years of age.

It’s still early for details but as of this writing the story is that Carradine committed suicide by hanging himself in his hotel room.

Thought and prayers to his family and friends.

For more information, check out his IMDB page at:

Or visit webpage at:


In Passing… Pat Hingle (1924-2009)




Veteran TV and film actor Pat Hingle passed away of leukemia on Saturday, Januaryb3. Hingle began his acting career with an uncredited role in “On the Waterfront” (1954). He then starred in TV series such as “Suspense,” “Studio One,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “The Twilight Zone,” “M*A*S*H,” “Magnum, PI.,” and others. During his film career he worked twice with Clint Eastwood (“Hang ‘Em High,” “Sudden Impact”) and he played the role of Gotham City’s Police Commissioner Gordon in the 1989-1997 “Batman” movies. He was 84.


Thoughts and prayers for his family and friends.


For more information, check out his IMDB page at:


In Passing… Paul Newman (1925-2008)



Actor, director, and humanitarian Paul Newman died Friday of complications in regards top lung cancer. He was 83. Born in Cleveland, OH, and growing up, had an affinity for theater. He began studying it before going into World War II, operating as a radioman/gunner. Upon returning to the States he finished his degree at Kenyon College and would later study acting at Yale and the Actor’s Studio in New York City. He entered Broadway and did original plays which included “Sweet Bird of Youth,” which he would later be in the film version as well. His first role was as Basil in “The Silver Chalice.” He would later go on to star in such movies as “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Torn Curtain,” “Cool Hand Luke,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Sting,” “Slapshot,” “The Color of Money,” and “Road to Perdition.”


Newman’s humanitarian efforts stem from Newman’s Own, his signature salad dressing, popcorn, lemonade, salsa, etc. which brings in $200 million a year after taxes, all of which is donated to charity. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is a residential summer camp for seriously ill children, which he set up. And as of 2007 he started a $10 million scholarship at Kenyon College.


For more information, check out his IMDB page at:


Thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends.


In Passing… Isaac Hayes (1942-2008)



Soundtrack composer and actor Isaac Hayes passed away on Sunday, August 10, 2008 at the age of 65. Hayes has composed and/or performed music for 65 movie and TV shows, as well as acted in 66. He’s renowned for his roles in such films as “Truck Turner,” “Escape from New York,” and as Chef in the cartoon series, “South Park.” He is also the first Black American to win an Oscar for Best Original Song for the Theme of “Shaft.”


For more information, click on the link:


Thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends.


In Passing… Bernie Mac (1957-2008)



Comedian Bernie Mac passed away at the age of 50 on Saturday, August 9, 2008. Born Bernard Jeffrey McCollough in Chicago, he grew-up in one of the rougher neighborhoods while trying to pursue his dream of standup comedy. At the age of 19, he left to become a professional comedian. His first breakthroughs came in 1992 when he had a role in the film “Mo’ Money,” as well as “Def Comedy Jam.” Since then he has went on to be in such films as “Friday,” “Booty Call,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Head of State,” “Mr. 3000,” “Guess Who,” and “Transformers,” as well as having his own sitcom, “The Bernie Mac Show.”


For more information, click on the link:


Thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends.


In Passing… Don S. Davis (1942-2008)



Actor Don S. Davis died Sunday from a heart attack while at his home. He was 65 years in age. Davis’ debut was in the TV show, “Joanie Loves Chachi.” From there he had roles in film and in TV series as “MacGuyver,” “21 Jump Street,” “Twin Peaks,” “The X-Files,” and most recently he played General George Hammond in, “Stargate SG-1.”


Thoughts, prayers, and best wishes to the Davis family.


For more information on Don S. Davis, click here:


In Passing… George Carlin (1937-2008)



This one is kinda personal.


I’m not big on doing these obit columns. Part of the reason I do them, among the gambit of other entertainment news/reviews that I do, is to pay respect to individuals (quite a few who are behind the scenes) and to make aware to those outside the industry the passing of someone who affected entertainment and, at times, became part of the pop culture.


This morning I logged onto the Net and found George Carlin was dead. He had passed away yesterday from heart problems at the age of 71.


The first time I had heard about him through my parents and friends. I eventually anted-up and bought “Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics” (an audio version of his “Doin’ It Again,” HBO special). It was my rite-of-passage into the world of comedy. From that point I bought his next two albums and listened to the point where I knew the routines by heart.


Being a movie nerd (special interest geek) I remember back to the “Bill and Ted” movies where he played Rufus. He was in on the joke of it all and hey, it was a paycheck. He also played in some of Kevin Smith’s movies notably “Dogma” (as a priest), “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” (as a hitchhiker who knew the rules of the road), and in “Jersey Girl” as Ben Affleck’s dad. Other films include: “Scary Movie 3,” “Cars,” and “Car Wash.”


But the real reason that Carlin is known is his comedy. Social and political commentary, religion, human nature, and poking fun at the English language, were all done with acidic humor and wit. Whether he was talking about war (“The bombs and the rockets and the bullets are all shaped like dicks…”) or language (“Sneakers became running shoes. Toilet paper became bathroom tissue…”) or anything else (“A place for all my stuff…”) he knew how to jab at it the right way, making a point and having you agree at the same time.


One accomplishment (if you can call it that) was having a Supreme Court case brought against him. In 1973 he was in Wisconsin doing a concert rattling off the “Seven Dirty Words.” Wisconsin radio broadcasted it all (uncensored) and a guy driving down the road with his son in the car were listening to it. He complained, it went to the FCC, the FCC talked with the TV station, Carlin was brought up on obscenity charges, and eventually it went up to the Supreme Court. You can go to your local library and look it up the case; it’s funny to see the seven words listed in a book that contains other, more prestigious, cases.


In closing, thank you George for inspiring comedians around the world and for making the rest of us think about the things we take for granted. We’ll miss your satiric thoughts, sharp tongue, and the fact that you could make us laugh our asses off.


“Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.” – George Carlin



For more information, check out the article on Yahoo! At:


For his movie credits, click on the link below:



In Passing… Harvey Korman (1927-2008)




Famed TV personality Harvey Korman passed away yesterday at the UCLA Medical Center in California from complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Korman was a talented comedic actor, appearing in several TV shows and movies with his beginning as the voice of the Great Gazoo for the cartoon “The Flintstones.” He would later go on to team up with Mel Brooks and play characters such as Hedley Lamarr (“Blazing Saddles”), Dr. Charles Montague (“High Anxiety”), Count de Monet (“History of the World, Part I), and Dr. Jack Seward (“Dracula: Dead and Loving It”). His real notoriety, however, came from being a character actor on, “The Carol Burnett Show” (1967-1978).


For more information, check out his entertainment resume at


“Count de Money!” “It’s COUNT DE MONET!” –“History of the World, Part I”


Best wishes to the family,



In Passing…: Sydney Pollack (1934-2008)



Sydney Pollack passed away from cancer yesterday at the age of 73 in Pacific Palisades, California. Pollack is best known as being a Director and Producer, most notably for the films “Michael Clayton,” “Tootsie,” “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?,” “Jeremiah Johnson,” and “Out of Africa,” for which he won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture. He has garnered 18 additional awards for his films, as well as 26 nominations.


Pollack directed 21 films, produced 47, and acted in 23 as well as having had additional experience in the world of television. For more information, check out his IMDB page at:

Best wishes to the Pollack family.




The Best of Hest: 10 Iconic Charlton Heston Films

As some may know, actor Charlton Heston passed away on April 5, 2008 at the age of 84. With regards to his craft, I have sifted through his 126 films and now present to you the Top 10 Charlton Heston films in order of appearance.



The Ten Commandments (1956)


Straight out of the Old Testament, Heston portrays the life of Moses. His nemesis: Ramses, played by Yul Brynner who inhibits the classic cinematic antagonist. Throw in Edward G. Robinson as Dathan and Vincent Price for good measure. Biblical filmmaking has never gotten better than this.




Touch of Evil (1958)


If you’re a film noir person like me, this is on your must-see list (right after “The Maltese Falcon” and “Sunset Boulevard”). Heston plays Ramon Miguel ‘Mike’ Vargas (yes, a Mexican) who is recently married to Janet Leigh and is investigating murder in a Mexican border town. His nemesis: Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles), the epitome of police corruption. I can’t recommend this film enough.










 Ben Hur (1959)


Taking a few cues from the Ten Commandments, this time Charlton is Judah Ben Hur, a rich Jewish prince put into slavery by his Roman friend, Messala (Stephen Boyd). What follows are the trials and tribulations of regaining freedom and vengeance. Oh yeah, and some impressive chariot racing.








El Cid (1961)


Heston is the titular character El Cid /Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, the Spanish hero who drove the Moors from Spain. Also stars Sophia Loren. How can you go wrong?













Major Dundee (1965)


Cinema has had its fair share of megalomaniacs, from Charles Foster Kane to Daniel Plainview. One of the most overlooked of them is Major Amos Charles Dundee (Heston). It’s the post-Civil War years and a band of Apaches raid Army bases in Texas. Dundee decides to go after them, inducting a group of Confederates (headed by Richard Harris) and ignoring protocol by going into Mexico. Heston is great in a role that’s equivocal to Captain Ahab going after Moby Dick. Other reasons to watch the film include the supporting cast of Richard Harris, James Coburn, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, Brock Peters, and Slim Pickens. Of note, this was the first major film from director Sam Peckinpah.





Planet of the Apes (1968)


The Hest is George Taylor, one of three astronauts that crash-land on a planet where simians rule and humans are the hunted. If you’ve never watched the original, make yourself do so. While current pop culture has given away the ending and every line has become part of American vernacular, there is something about sitting alone and watching this on your own. While Heston came back for a few minutes for the sequel, he did that for the paycheck. This is THE version of the film, unless someone makes a version closer to the book (where the apes had technology, like helicopters).





The Omega Man (1971)


In the second incarnation of Richard Matheson’s “I Am Legend” story, Heston takes the role Vincent Price played previous, except this time he’s up against the mutations caused by biological warfare whom have came together and called themselves the ‘Family,’ headed-up by Paul Koslo. Most notable about this movie (aside from the amount of times it’s been referenced on the ‘Simpsons’ or what the new ‘I Am Legend’ ripped from it) is the scene where Heston is driving down the streets of abandoned L.A. He stops, grabs his machine gun, and starts firing at a mutant. Classic.





 Soylent Green (1973)


The year is 2022 and the Earth is overcrowded, which doesn’t bode well for the already overcrowded New York City and Detective Robert Thorn. When a murder is linked to the obsessive food Soylent Green, Thorn investigates and finds out the deadly secret behind the new food. Also stars Brock Peters and Edward G. Robinson. Go ahead. Tell them, tell them all.





 Airport 1975 (1974)


I’m guessing they were going for a later date of release… Besides that Heston is Alan Murdock, a man who takes control of a 747 after a small plane collides with it, rendering the flight without a pilot. Somehow, they must land that plane! Also stars Gloria Swanson, Karen Black, Linda Blair, and Dana Andrews (no relation to me).





Earthquake (1974)


It’s still 1974 and Heston takes a shot at another disaster film: “Earthquake.” In it he plays construction engineer Stuart Graff, estranged from his wife Remy (Ava Gardner) and is having an affair with the widow of a co-worker (Genevieve Bujold). One of the eponymous disaster flicks of the Seventies, it also stars Richard Roundtree, Victoria Principal, and Walter Matthau.













Honorable mentions:


While Heston’s ‘leading man’ status waned around the late Seventies/ early Eighties, he became a supporting actor in the Nineties. His bit parts included:


Almost an Angel (1990)


He played God to Paul Hogan, but went uncredited.



Wayne’s World 2 (1993)


When Wayne (Mike Myers) is doing his homage to ‘The Graduate,’ he replaces Al Hansen (‘Bad Actor’) for Charlton Heston (‘Good Actor’).



True Lies (1994)


Heston is Spence Trilby, who overlooks the organization Ah-nuld works for. Oh yeah, and he wears an eye patch.



In the Mouth of Madness (1995)


I put this one in here not so much because Heston was in it, but it’s a fave movie of mine. Heston is the boss of a publishing company who’s looking for their star author, Sutter Cane (Jurgen Prochnow). If you a fan of horror/ H.P. Lovecraft, check into it.


Thanks for reading, and enjoy your own Hest-Fest.