Cemetery with crosses - legends lost but remembered
From The Spaghetti Western Database
This page is our personal hall of fame. A reminder to us all that even though considered a B-genre, Spaghetti Westerns were full of great characters, played by great people. Many have passed away, and while we are young growing up re-watching all these classics, many more will probably leave us. May they be remembered. What follows, is a work-in-progress, a growing list of legends who have passed away...
- GRIMALDI, Alberto - 3/28/1925, Naples, Campania, Italy - 1/23/2021, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Italian film producer Alberto Grimaldi died on January 23, 2021. He was 95. Grimaldi’s credits include the Spaghetti Westerns “For a Few Dollars More”, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” “The Big Gundown”, “Face to Face”, “The Mercenary” and Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York”. Born in Naples, Italy on March 28, 1925, Grimaldi originally studied law before starting his own production company, Produzioni Europee Associati, or P.E.A., in 1961. The first feature film Grimaldi produced was the Spanish western film “L’ombra di Zorro,” (Shadow of Zorro) which was released the following year. Grimaldi produced his first Spaghetti Western film, “I due violenti,” (Two Violent Men) in 1964. P.E.A. became known for its low-budget action movies that were often co-productions with Spain and West Germany, and remained active until the early 1980s. In 1965, Grimaldi first collaborated with Sergio Leone on the international co-production “For a Few Dollars More,” starring Clint Eastwood. The two also worked together the following year, when Grimaldi produced Leone’s epic Spaghetti Western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” which scored $25 million at the box office and is credited with skyrocketing Eastwood to fame. Grimaldi worked as a producer on over 80 films in Europe and the United States during his career, which spanned four decades. Other notable titles include “Burn!” in 1969, 1972’s “Last Tango in Paris” starring Marlon Brando, “Man of La Mancha” in 1972 starring Sophia Loren, “Illustrious Corpses” in 1976 and “Ginger and Fred” in 1986. His last film production was Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York” in 2002, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and Liam Neeson and was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including best picture.
- DORVAL, Adrian (P. Adrian Dorval) - 3/22/1963, Fort St. John, British Colombia, Canada - 1/5/2021, Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada
Canadian actor Adrian Dorval died in Vancouver, British Colombia on January 5, 2021 from esophageal cancer. He was 57. Dorval has garnered a reputation as one of Canada’s strongest character actors and has worked with some of the worlds most respected film makers such as Bruce Macdonald, "Hard Core Logo", Sean Penn, "The Pledge", and Chris Haddock, "Intelligence". He appeared as Timberline in the 1973 Euro-western TV movie ‘Johnson County War’ starring Tom Berenger and Burt Reynolds.
- PETERSON, Tord (Tord Gregor Pettersson) - 4/21/1926, Stockholm, Sweden - 1/11/2021, Skåne, Sweden
Swedish actor Tor Peterson died in his home in Skåne, Sweden on January 11, 2021. He was 94. Born in Stockholm on April 21, 1926 he was active as an actor for over 50 years, from 1956 until 2013 when he shot his last film, "The Foam Hour". He appeared as Chris Siringo in the Swedish 1973 TV western film “The Blue Hotel”.
- SABATO, Antonio 4/2/1943, Montelepre, Palermo, Italy - 1/10/2021, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Italian actor Antonio Sabato died of COVID-19 in a Los Angeles, California hospital. He was 77. Sabato’s son Antonio Jr. made the announcement on Twitter. Born in Montelepre, Palermo, Italy on April 2, 1943, Sabato was one of the last stars of the Spaghetti western genre but ended up appearing in seven of them from 1967–1983. Titles include “Beyond the Law” as Ben Novak; “Hate for Hate” as Manuel (both 1967); “I Came, I Saw, I Shot” as Moses Lang; “Twice a Judas” as Luke Barrett (all 1968); “Thunder Over El Paso” as Roy ‘El Santo’ MacFallow (1971); “Where the Bullets Fly” as Jonathan Edgar/Allen Poe/Gipo (1972) and “Thunder Warrior” as Thomas (1983) (Thomas). Another mix up on his passing as Antonio Jr. posted on his twitter page his dad died on the 6th. Both Antonio's wife and daughter later posted he did not die but was still alive and then his daughter posted Sunday that he died that morning on the 10th.
- RICHARDSON, John (John M. Richardson) - 1/19/1934, Worthing, Sussex, England, U.K. - 1/5/2020
British leading man John Richardson died on January 5, 2020. He was 86. Born in Sussex on Jan. 19, 1934, Richardson started out with small roles in such notable films as “A Night to Remember” (1958), the Kenneth More-starring 1959 remake of “The 39 Steps” and “The League of Gentlemen” (1960). Richardson also starred in the spaghetti Westerns John the Bastard (1967), Execution (1968) and “A Candidate for a Killing” (1969) and had a supporting turn in Vincente Minnelli's “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” (1970), starring Barbra Streisand. Richardson was married to Spaghetti Western actress Martine Beswick from 1967 to 1973.
- PELLY, Wilma (Wilma Episkenew) - 3/5/1937, Fort QuAppelle, Saskatchewan, Canada - 12/28/2020, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Canadian Indigenous actress Wilma Pelly, who was best known for her role as Elsie Tsa Che on the CBC TV series North of 60, died in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on December 28, 2020. Her family says the 83-year-old leaves a legacy of hard work and perseverance. Born Wilma Episkenew in Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, Canada, on March 5, 1937, Pelly was a member of the Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nation. Pelly enjoyed a 25-year career with projects involving Sidney Poitier, Steven Spielberg. A background role in the film “Between Heaven and Earth” was Pelly's first foray into acting, and her career expanded to include parts in the 1995 TV miniseries “Children of the Dust” with Sidney Poitier; the Steven Spielberg-produced 2005 miniseries “Into the West”; and the second season of the FX series “Fargo”. Pelly appeared in two Euro-westerns: as a Nonna Indian in “Il mio West” (aka Gunslinger’s Revenge) 1998 and as Old Multnomah in the 2003 TV film ‘DreamKeeper’.
- HOSSEIN, Robert (Rustam Huseynov) - 12/30/1927, Paris, Île-de-France, France – 12/31/2020, Essey-lès-Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle France
French actor and director Robert Hossein, famous for his mega-productions of classics such as Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, died Thursday at the age of 93. Hossein died in the hospital after suffering a "respiratory problem", his wife candice Patou said. Born in December 30, 1927 to an Iranian Zoroastrian composer father and a Russian Orthodox mother Hossein began acting in his teens. He made his name in the 1960s as the smoldering count of Peyrac in the "Angelique" series of baroque romances. Hossein appeared in three Euro-westerns: “The Taste of Violence” (1960) as Perez; “Cemetery Without Crosses” (1968) as Manuel and “Judge Roy Bean” (1971) as Black Bird/’The Sicilian’.
- BOLLING, Claude 4/10/1930, Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France – 12/29/2020, St. Cloud, Île-de-France, France
The jazz pianist, conductor and composer Claude Bolling, who wrote numerous scores for films like that of "Borsalino" and arranged "La Madrague", a famous song by Brigitte Bardot, has died at the age of 90, his entourage announced to AFP. Mr. Bolling, who suffered from various pathologies, died on Tuesday at Saint-Cloud, France hospital, west of Paris. Born in Cannes on April 10, 1930, he left Paris for Nice during the Occupation and followed the teaching of Marie-Louise "Bob" Colin, pianist, trumpeter and drummer in one of the many popular female orchestras in between. two wars. She encouraged him to return to Paris where he created his first orchestra at 16 and recorded his first record at 18. In France, he is considered a benchmark in the world of jazz. Among those who passed in his "big band" were renowned musicians such as his alto saxophonist Claude Tissendier. Bolling scored five “Lucky Luke” films and TV series and the French Euro-western “Louisiana” (1983) starring Margot Kidder.
- FENTON, Mike (Ronald Michael Fenton) - 1/29/1935 Los Angeles, California - 12/30/2020, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
American casting director Mike Fenton died in a Los Angeles hospital on December 30, 2020. He was 85. Born Ronald Michael Fenton in Los Angeles on January 29, 1935, he spent more than a half-century in show business. After starting out in the mailroom at Music Corporation of America and becoming an agent at the Lew Wasserman firm, Fenton served as casting director for Paramount and then for Danny Thomas and Sheldon Leonard's T&L Productions, where he worked on ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’, ‘The Andy Griffith Show’, ‘That Girl’, ‘Gomer Pyle: USMC’ and ‘I Spy’. Fenton co-founded the Casting Society of America (then known as American Society of Casting Directors) in 1982. He was presented with the CSA's Hoyt Bowers Award for career achievement in 1989 and was a champion of casting directors everywhere. Fenton was casting director for two Euro-westerns: “Another Man, Another Chance” (1977) and “Louisiana” (1984).
- OLMI, Corrado - 10/24/1926, Jesi, Marche, Italy - 12/29/2020, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Italian actor Corrado Olmi died in a Rome hospital on December 29, 2020 from a disease aggravated by COVID-19. He was 94. Born in Jesi, Marche, Italy on October 24, 1926 he was at first a theater actor then he moved to Rome and entered the film industry and appeared in over 90 films including five Euro-westerns including: ‘Questa sera parla Mark Twain’ (TV 1965) where he played the newspaper editor); “Ace High” (1968) where he played the man on street that Eli Wallach forces to gamble with him; “A Stranger in Paso Bravo” (1968) as Jonathan; “Joe Dakota” (1971) as the cowboy assaulting Rosy; “Apache Woman” (1976) as Jeremy.