Cemetery with crosses - legends lost but remembered
From The Spaghetti Western Database
KÜLOWThis 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...
|sorted by their last names:
Art “Poppa Funk” Neville spent a half-century shaping the sound of New Orleans music. The keyboardist and singer was a founding member of the Meters and the Neville Brothers, and was the voice of the enduring Carnival season anthem “Mardi Gras Mambo.” Neville died July 22, 2019 in his New Orleans home after years of declining health, according to sources close to his family. He was 81. Born Arthur Lanon Neville in New Orleans, Lousiana on December 17, 1937 he formed along with hi brothers Aaron, Charles and Ivan the singing group “The Neville Brothers”. The Neville Brothers were part of the soundtrack for the 1990 Euro-western “Posse” starring Mario Van Peebles.
The Italian actress Ilaria Occhini a film, television and theater actress, for over half a century died July 21, 2019. She was married to writer Raffaele La Capria. Born in Florence, Italy on March 28, 1934, she made her acting debut at the age of 19 in the film “Terza Liceo” under the pseudonym of Isabella Redi, before graduating from the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Rome. On television she was directed by Anton Giulio Majano, she had established herself at a very young age in the dramas “L'Alfiere” and “Jane Eyre”. She made her theater debuted in 1957 in the “Impresario delle Smirne” by Carlo Goldoni directed by Luchino Visconti. Occhini obtained her major successes on stage, working several times with Luchino Visconti, then joining the Piccolo Teatro of Naples, where she received large critical appreciation by interpreting classical and contemporary authors. She was also a constant presence of RAI television series, and also starred in many films, but rarely in leading roles. She appeared in only one Euro-western as Edith Wickett in 1966’s “The Tramplers” with Joseph Cotton and Gordon Scott.
RIP Valentina Cortese. Valentina Cortese, an Italian actress who held the extremely rare distinction of having been nominated for best supporting actress for her work in a foreign film, Francois Truffaut’s 1973 classic “Day for Night,” died in her home town of Milan, Italy on July 10, 2019, according to Italian news agency Ansa. She was 96. Valentina Cortese was born in Milan on January 1, 1923. She made her movie debut in 1940 and played ingenue parts in many Italian films early in her career including what many consider the first Euro-western as Madge Curtis in 1942’s “The Girl of the Golden West”. In Hollywood she appeared in a supporting role in the historical melodrama “Black Magic,” starring Orson Welles; starred opposite Richard Conte in Jules Dassin’s brilliant film noir “Thieves’ Highway”; starred with Spencer Tracy and James Stewart in the atmospheric adventure film “Malaya”; and, perhaps most significantly on a personal level, starred opposite Richard Basehart in Richard Wise’s excellent 1951 film noir “The House on Telegraph Hill.” (Cortese, who was unaccountably credited as Valentina Cortesa in her Hollywood efforts, she married Basehart in 1951; they divorced in 1960, and he died in 1984.) Cortese never remarried after her divorce from Richard Basehart, with whom she had a son, actor Jackie Basehart, who died in Milan in 2015, predeceasing Cortese.
Berlin film producer Artur Brauner has died. As reported by the "Bild" newspaper citing his family, he died on Sunday July 7, 2019. Brauner would have turned 101 on August 1st. Abraham Brauner was born on August 1, 1918 in the Polish city of Łódź. The son of a bourgeois-Jewish home, he survived the Second World War because he hid in the woods. The largest part of his family, however, fell victim to mass murder. His future wife Maria, daughter of a Jewish theater director in Lviv, survived the persecution by the Nazis with Aryan papers. Brauner was married to her for over 70 years until her death in December 2017. Like no one else, Artur "Atze" Brauner shaped German post-war cinema. His CCC founded in 1946 in Berlin-Spandau is the oldest still active production company in Germany. In the CCC studios stars such as Romy Schneider, Heinz Rühmann, Curd Jürgens, OW Fischer, Peter Alexander and Caterina Valente. Brauner's films include "Dr. Mabuse", "Girl in Uniform" and "The Tiger of Eschnapur".Brauner was best known to Western fans as the producer of the Winnetou film series in the 1960s. His contribution to the western genre will not be forgotten. RIP.
One of the leading actors of the Spaghetti western genre Eduardo Fajardo, died in Mexico on July 4, 2019 at the age of 94. Born in Meis, Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain on August 14, 1924 his family moved within a few days of his life to La Rioja. His childhood would take place in Haro, which he confessed liking very well. While still a teenager, he moved to Santander, where he studied the Baccalaureate and began his acting career in 1942, starting as a voice actor, a career he developed until 1946. With Cifesa he signed a contract as an exclusive actor for several years for his greatest successes. He debuted in the cinema with the film Heroes of 95, by Raúl Alfonso (1947), thus inaugurating one of the most bulky filmographies of Spanish cinema, which reaches over 180 titles. He also developed a career in the theater which he carried on and off throughout his career. In 1953 he moved to Mexico, where he combined his participation in the cinema of that country with television appearances; among them Tehuantepec by Miguel Contreras Torres (1954), Tizoc: Indian love by Ismael Rodríguez Ruelas (1957). On his return to Spain he resumed his film career with a frenetic activity that led him to shoot an average of fifteen titles a year in which the roles of the villain abound in the Spaghetti Westerngenre most notably in Django (1966) ) by Sergio Corbucci. In his final years he moved to Almeria where he instituted their Walk of Fame and worked as a director in the theater working with disabled children. He worked on 183 films, 75 plays and some 2,000 appearances on television in Spain and Mexico, as well as participating in productions from Italy, Germany, France, Great Britain and the United States.
Spanish director, writer, actor José Luis Merino died in Madrid, Spain on July 3, 2019. He was 92. Screenwriter and director with more than 30 films to his credit in various capacities, José Luis Merino Boves was born in Madrid, Spain on June 10, 1927. He received the Jimeno Award for the direction of “Aquellos tiempos del cuplé” (1958), where he made his debut with Mateo Cano with whom he would direct “El vagabundo y la estrella”, starring the Canarian tenor Alfredo Kraus. Merino directed and wrote screenplays for nine Euro-westerns: “A Fistful of Songs” (1966); “Kitosch, the Man Who Came from the North” (1966); “Duel in the Eclipse” (1968) director only; “Gatling Gun” (1968) writer only; “Zorro's Latest Adventure” (1969) director only; “Another Dollar for the McGregors” (1970); “Zorro the Invincible” (1971); “Zorro, Rider of Vengeance” (1971) and “7 cabalgan hacia la muerte” (1979) where he also appeared in the role of Zachary Carter.
Graham Fletcher-Cook, a British actor and older brother of Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher who appeared in such acclaimed films as Sid and Nancy, The French Lieutenant's Woman and Cry Freedom, has died. He was 55. A spokesperson for the family sid that Fletcher-Cook died recently following a battle with cancer. Born in London on Nov. 3, 1963, Fletcher-Cook got his start in the business when his mother took him and "pretty much my entire extended family of brothers, cousins and aunts" to a drama club run by noted acting teacher Anna Scher in Islington, he recalled in a 2016 interview. "By an extreme stroke of good fortune, the first movie set that both myself and my brother Dexter walked onto was [the 1976 Alan Parker crime comedy] Bugsy Malone," he said. "This was also an amazing opportunity to watch people at work on film sets and explore the myriad of different jobs that go toward making a film." He then was cast with Laurence Olivier in A Little Romance (1979) and with Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons in The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981). He went on to work in Defense of the Realm (1985), starring Gabriel Byrne; Sid and Nancy (1986), starring Gary Oldham; Absolute Beginners (1985), which featured David Bowie; Cry Freedom (1987), directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Denzel Washington; and The Fool (1990), featuring Derek Jacobi. Cook appeared as Whitey/Jeeves in Alex Cox’ “Straight to Hell” (1987) and “Straight to Hell Returns” (2010). Fletcher-Cook is survived by his wife, Jeanette
Billy Drago, a character actor whose best-known roles were as Hollywood villains, has died. He passed on Monday, June 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, according to his publicity firm. No cause of death was given. Born William Eugene Burrows Jr., in Hugoton, Kansas on November 30, 1945. Drago appeared in more than 100 film and television roles. His most well-known roles were as hitman Frank Nitti in Brian De Palma’s 1987 film “The Untouchables” and as John Bly in “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.”. The versatile character actor whose career spanned four decades, Drago worked with Clint Eastwood, Michael Jackson, Chuck Norris and Takashi Miike, among others. His diverse roles spanned action, comedy and horror films, television series, and music videos. Drago appeared in two Euro-western TV films: “Copperhead” in 2008 as Jesse Evans and “Ghost Town” 2009 as Reb Holland.
English actor Bryan Marshall, who played Commander Talbot in the 1977 James Bond film, died on June 25, 2018 in Australia at the age of 81. He was born on May 19, 1938 in Battersea, London on 19th May 1938 and was educated at the Salesian College, Battersea and trained as an actor at RADA where he graduated in 1963. Marshall began his big-screen career in the mid-1960s with an uncredited role in the iconic 1966 Michael Caine film 'Alfie.' He went on to land roles in films such as 'Quatermass and the Pit,' 'Mosquito Squadron,' and 'The Long Good Friday.' His television work included popular series The Forsyte Saga, Dixon of Dock Green, Z-Cars, The Saint, The Avengers, The Onedin Line, Out, The Professionals, Robin of Sherwood, Heartbeat, The Bill and Dalziel & Pascoe. Marshall appeared as Potts in the 1971 Euro-western “Man in the Wilderness” starring Richard Harris and John Huston.
Bruno de Keyzer, Bertrand Tavernier's beloved chief camera operator, died on June 25, 2019 in Villerville, Calvados, France. He was 69. He received a Caesar for best photography in 1985. He was the cinematographer fetish Bertrand Tavernier with whom he has worked many times including A Sunday in the Country, Round Midnight, The Passion of Beatrice, Princess of Montpensier ... renowned Professional. Bruno was the cinematographer on the 1996 Euro-western “The North Star” starring James Caan and Christopher Lambert.
On the evening of June 23, 2019 after a long illness the famous Soviet actor Andrei Kharitonov died. He died one month before his 60th birthday. Andrey Igorevich Kharitonov was born on 25 July 1959 in Kiev. In 1980 he graduated from the Kiev national University of theatre, cinema and television. Karpenko-Kary. In the same year, Soviet television showed the serial film “The Gadfly”, in which Kharitonov played Arthur Burton. His debut made a splash. The audience admired not only the game but also the beauty of the actor. He was immediately called to Moscow. From 1984 to 1990, he became a leading actor of the Maly theater. Kharitonov continued to play. Most popular films with his participation have become “the Star and Death of Joaquin Murieta”, “Secret” “Blackbirds”, “The Invisible Man”, “the Riddle of Anthousa”. He was married to pianist, actress Olga Seregina. He starred as Joaquin Murieta in the 1983 Russian Euro-western; “The Star and Death of Joaquin Murieta”.
Karl May comic artist Helmut Nickel died June 5, 2019. He was 95. He was born Quohren, Dresden, Germany on March 24, 1924. In 1962, shortly before Pierre Brice and Lex Barker rode across the cinema screen, the Walter Lehning publishing house began publishing Winnetou comic books written by Helmut Nickel on March 24, 1924 near Dresden, due to its high quality of writing and drawing the comic books of Karl May's work was given a high priority. Nickel went into his descriptions of the May characters from the descriptions in the stories, Old Shatterhand, for example, wearing his hat and beard, and Winnetous hair, the "helmet-like head" described by author Karl May. The stories of the comics were largely based on the books, but Nickel did not bring it to heart to let Winnetou die, as he once said in an interview. Already in the 1950s, Nickel had drawn comics, such as "Robinson" and "Francis Drake".
The chamber actor Peter Matić died on Thursday June 20, 2019 completely unexpectedly at the age of 82 years. Born in Vienna, he was not only a member of the Burgtheater as a fixed star of the local cultural life, but also in numerous films and as a voice actor. He acted as German voice of Ben Kingsley. Born in Vienna on March 24, 1937, the graceful public favorite with the mischievous-friendly appearance. Matić was the German voice of Rene Auberjonois in the 1991 ‘Lucky Luke’ TV series episode “Caffè Olè”.
Sean McCann, an award-winning actor known for his role on the Canadian TV series Night Heat, died on June 13, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was 83. A prolific character actor, McCann performed in hundreds of productions, ranging from a Canadian politician in The King Chronicle (1988) to an animated bear in TV series Little Bear (1995-2003). He was also known for his roles in films such as Tommy Boy (1995), Chicago (2002), Naked Lunch (1991) and Miracle (2004). McCann played supporting roles in films with big names such as Meryl Streep in ... First Do No Harm (1997) and Nick Nolte in Affliction (1997). McCann was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on September 24, 1935, the son of Alta Tobin and Jack McCann, and had seven siblings. He studied to become a priest at St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ont. before turning to acting in the 1960s. McCann appeared in two Euro-western TV series: “The Campbells” (1986) as Sean McArthur and “Bordertown” (1990) as Jeremiah Ironstone.
Italian actress of stage, film, TV and voice dubber, Valeria Valeri died in Rome, Italy at the age of 97. The actress was born in Rome on December 8,1921 as Valeria Tulli, she had never stopped working. Along with her theatrical and television career, she also participates in some cinematographic participations, while her career as a voice actress was also very important. She lent her voice to Julie Andrew, Natalie Wood and Anne Bancroft. She was a longtime companion of actor Enrico Maria Salerno from which they had a daughter, actress Chiara Salerno. Valeri was the Italian voice of Emma Valloni in 1965’ “The Tramplers” and Marianna Hill in “El Condor” (1969).
Popular American screenwriter Dr. Bill Wittliff passed away on Sunday June 9, 2019 in Austin, Texas, at the age of 79. Wittliff authored films “Legends of the Fall”, “The Cowboy Way” and screenplays for the TV miniseries "Lonesome Dove" and "The Perfect Storm,” and the modern day Euro-western “A Night in Old Mexico” (2013) starring Robert Duvall.