FROM LAST WEEK
I received several emails from readers who were upset that I didn't mention the late Frank Gorshin's Emmy award nominated performance in the "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" episode of "Star Trek." Normally, when Nolan features a celebrity obituary on the home page he tends to do a very in depth biography, especially if it's someone he really enjoyed. When he does this I try to make my mentions shorter so that we are not repetitive. I assumed Nolan would mention the "Trek" role and you know what happens when you assume! I apologize for not reading Nolan's piece more thoroughly before I did mine.
BAD HAIR DAY
Everyone has one. But the prize "do" this year has to go to music producer Phil Spector, who appeared in court this week with hair that looks like a cross between Yahoo Serious and Napoleon Dynamite. Yikes. Imagine a lion's mane. No imagine it on top of Phil Spector's head.
WHO ARE YOU?
Topher Grace has chosen a pretty high profile role after leaving "That 70's Show" this past week. Unfortunately, no one knows what that role is. Grace will join Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco and Thomas Haden Church in "Spider-man III."
We lost a diverse group of talent this week from a group of men known only for their voices to a multiple Oscar-nominated producer:
Howard Morris, who was a major talent on Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows" and later showed up as the rock throwing hillbilly Ernest T. Bass on "The Andy Griffith Show" has passed away at the age of 85. His more then 60-year career spanned acting, directing and voice over work. He was the voice of the Qantas Airlines koala bear as well as 50's cartoon character Gerald McBoing-Boing. Among his films are Jerry Lewis' "The Nutty Professor" and Mel Brooks' "High Anxiety" and "History of the World, Part I." He was the voice of Jughead on the "Archie" cartoon show and even teamed up with Rick Springfield in the 1973 cartoon, "Mission Magic." Mr. Morris passed away due to a heart ailment.
Stephen Elliott, probably best remembered as the bullying father whose daughter is scheduled to marry Dudley Moore in "Arthur," died of congestive heart failure. He was 86. His career didn't begin until he was past 50 and includes such films as "The Hospital," "Death Wish" and "The Hindenburg."
Henry Corden, character actor who replaced Alan Reed as the voice of Fred Flintstone in the '70s died last week at the age of 85. Among his other 'toon credits: "Jonny Quest," "The New Tom & Jerry Show" and "The Atom Ant Show."
Thurl Ravenscroft, who was the voice of Tony the Tiger ("They'rrrrrrrrre Grrrreat!" for over 50 years, died this week at the age of 91 from prostate cancer. Among Mr. Ravenscroft's best known voice roles was his performance singing "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," for the holiday special, "How The Grinch Stole Christmas." He also appeared in many Disney films, including "The Aristocats," "Mary Poppins," "101 Dalmatians," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Lady and the Tramp."
Ed Kelleher, a film critic turned horror film screenwriter died recently in a Virginia nursing home. He was 61. Among the cult classics he was responsible for: "Invasion of the Blood Farmers," "Shriek of the Mutilated," "Lurkers" and "Prime Evil."
Ismail Merchant, Bombay-born producing half of the famed Merchant/Ivory filmmaking team, died in London Wednesday after a long illness. Together with director James Ivory, Merchant produced more then 40 films over 44 years, including Best Picture Oscar nominees "A Room with a View," "Howards End" and "The Remains of the Day." Mr. Merchant was 68.
THE STORY OF JAWS - PART 20
This week we'll examine the career of Roy Scheider after the success of "Jaws." A working actor with an Oscar nomination under his belt before he signed on to play Sheriff Brody, Scheider's portrayal of the everyman battling his fears in "Jaws" made him a star. He next appeared with Dustin Hoffman in "Marathon Man" and then reteamed with his "French Connection" director William Friedken for "Sorcerer." Originally cast as Michael in "The Deer Hunter," Scheider quit the project over creative differences. Still owing Universal two more films after he signed a three picture deal with the studio after "Jaws," he and Universal agreed to do a film that would relieve him of his contractual duties. That film was "Jaws II." He followed the shark sequel with "Last Embrace" and then got the role of his life when he replaced Richard Dreyfuss in director Bob Fosse's "All That Jazz." In the role of Joe Gideon, loosely based on Fosse himself, Scheider played a Broadway director/choreographer who also makes movies and has an obsession with death. For his efforts Roy was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, though he lost to Dustin Hoffman. He followed "Jazz" with the Robert Benton thriller, "Still of the Night." In 1983 he starred in the Disney Channel's first original film, "Tiger Town," playing an aging baseball player. He then starred with Liv Ullman in the television film, "Jacabo Timerman: Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number." He returned to the big screen with back to back hits "Blue Thunder" and "2010." In 1993 he returned to television as Captain Nathan Bridger in the Steven Spielberg produced series, "SeaQuest DSV." Scheider is now semi-retired, only working when the part interests him. He lives on Long Island with his second wife and two young children.
Well, all for now. Have a great week. See ya!
"Mike's Rant" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith. Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.