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:
Veteran, British-born South African actor Ron Smerczak has died from a heart attack on May 12, 2019. He was 69. Born in Blackpool, England on March 7, 1949, Ron Smerczak's decades-long career on South African television ranged from roles in SABC productions like Shaka Zulu, John Ross, Generations and Isidingo, e.tv's Rhythm City, to kykNET's (DStv 144) Villa Rosa, Jongo on BET (DStv 129) and many more. He also appeared in international series filmed in South Africa and Cape Town like Warrior and Strike Back on M-Net (Dstv 101), and Black Sails that was shown on History (DStv 186). Ron appeared in two Euro-westerns: “Trigger Fast” 1994 as (Sergeant Tring) and “Hooded Angels” 2002 (as Packer).
Italian composer, arranger, keyboardist, conductor and producer Giampiero Boneschi died in Segrate, Lombardy Itay on May 12, 2019. He was 92. Boneschi was born on January 31, 1927 in Milan, Italy. He’s probably best known for his early ventures in electronic music, being one of the first Italian artists who started using synthesizers in the early 1970's. He was married to singer Nuccia Bongiovanni and had two daughters Danila and Mila. After Nuccia died in 1970 he married writer producer Fatma Ruffini and had another daughter author Valentina Boneschi. Giampiero composed the score for one animated Euro-western; 1964’s “West and Soda”.
José Terrón hijo son of José Terrón Peñaranda, who we called ‘Shorty” for many years until we found out his identity posted the following on Facebook on Sunday May 12, 2019; “Quiero que sepas que alli donde estes siempre me has demostrado que eras un luchador nunca mejor dicho siempre has sido un referente en tu profesion pero sobre todo como padre luchando por la vida eres y seras un ejemplo para mi
Te quiero papa JOSE TERRON PEÑARANDA alli donde estes❤” along with two photos of his father.
Translated it says; “I want you to know that wherever you are you have always shown me that you were a fighter never better said you have always been a reference in your profession but especially as a father fighting for life you are and you will be an example for me
I love you dad jose terron peñaranda wherever you are ❤”
I interpret this as a posting of his father’s passing. He has not mentioned that his father was ill or had been suffering from some incapacitation so this comes as a surprise and shock.
José Terrón Peñaranda was born in Madrid, Spain on July 5, 1939 and would have been 80 years old this coming birthday. He along with his brothers Pedro Terrón (Pedro Terrón Peñaranda), Ángel Terrón (Ángel Terrón Peñaranda), Víctor Terrón (Victor Terrón Peñaranda) formed a stunt riding team that performed in circus and shows throughout Spain in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Most of us became aware of his presence when he portrayed Guy Callaway in 1965’s “For A Few Dollars More” when he was shot down in the street by bounty hunter Colonel Douglas Mortimer. His face left an indelible mark in our minds and when many of the Euro-westerns became available to us in the U.S.A. via video, TV and later DVD we began to seek out who this character was as he usually went uncredited. We noticed he was in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” playing Shorty Larson and therefore we called him shorty. We found other western he appeared in such as “Django” (1965) as Ringo, “God Forgives… I Don’t” as ‘Flatface’, “The Man from Nowhere” 1966 (as a Gordo Watch henchman. He often played several parts as in “White Comanche” 1968 as a Comanche and a townsman and again in Shalako also 1968 as a soldier and an Apache. Along with his role as Shorty Larson in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly you can spot him as a Confederate spy tied to the front of a locomotive. His last credited role was as a member of “The Wild Bunch” and a stuntman (riding the white horse) in “My Name is Nobody”. A truly memorable character actor and one most of us will always remember has left us but his work and talent will always be remembered in the films and stunt work he’s left on film. “Sorry Shorty”, RIP.
Italian actress Alessandra Panro died in a health clinic in Geneva, Switzerland on May 1, 2019 he was 79. Born in Rome on December 14, 1939 she studied acting under Teresa Franchini and made her film debut at 16 years old, and found success in 1956 thanks to the Dino Risi's comedy film “Poor, But Handsome”. She then specialized in romantic comedies. In 1957-1958, together with her “Poor, But Handsome” co-star Lorella De Luca, she assisted Mario Riva in presenting the popular RAI game show Il Musichiere. She appeared in over 40 films including Peplum and three westerns: “Pyramid of the Sun God” and “Treasure of the Aztecs” (1965) as Rosita Arbellez, “30 Winchesters for El Diablo” (1965) as Pamela Webb under the pseudonym Topsy Collins.
Spanish actor Conrado San Martin died in Madrid, Spain on April 26, 2019. He was 98. San Martin was born in Higuera de las Dueñas, Ávila, Castilla y León, Spain on February 20, 1921. Conrado wante to be an agricultural engineer, but the Spanish Civil War changed his plans. At age 18 he worked as an extra in 'Oro vil' (1941), in which they needed someone who knew how to punch. He was recruited by the stunt coordinator, a former boxer, with whom San Martin knew from the gym where he trained as a boxer. He was paid five dollars a day and given a hotel room. Then came more than a hundred movies and series which made him one of the classic gallants of our cinema. Conrado appeared in nine Euro-westerns: Dirty Gold (1941); In a Colt's Shadow (1965) as Duke Buchanan; Long Days of Revenge (1967) as Mr. Cobb; Turn I’ll Kil You (1967) as Ted Shaw; Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) as a neighbor seen at the funeral; And God Said to Cain (1969) as the prison warden; Duck You Sucker (1970): Al este del Oeste (1983) as the Alcalde and archive footage of him was used in 2016’s Stop Over in Hell.
German stage, film, TV actress Ellen Schwiers died at her home on Lake Starnberg, Bavaria, Germany on April 26, 2019 as the result of a neurological disease. She was 88. Schwiers was born in Stettin, Pomerania, Germany on June 11, 1930, into a family of actors she toured in several theater plays and then appeared in more than 100 films and television shows between 1949 and 2017. Ellen appeared in two Euro-westerns: “The Bandits of the Rio Grande” (1965) as Lida and “Ballad of a Gunman” (1967) as Maruja’s mother.
Serbian actor Vojislav (Voja) Miric died in Belgrade, Serbia on April 23, 2019. He was 86. Born on April 7, 1933 in Trstenik, Serbia, Yugoslavia, he and his brother left home for Belgrade where Voja was offered a role in a stage play. He intended to study architecture although his family wanted him to become a lawyer. He started studying acting at the Novi Sad Theater which was interrupted by military service. After his afterwards he continued in the Belgrade drama where he graduated. In films, he played fifty roles (ten major films), in 1964 won the Silver Arena for the film "Official Position" by Fadil Hadzic, and ten years later the Golden Arena for "Dervish and Death" by Zdravko Velimirovic. He appeared in two Euro-westerns: “Frontier Hellcat” (1964) as Stewart with Elke Sommer and Stewart Granger and “Flaming Frontier” (1965) as Joe with Granger and Pierre Brice.
Terry Rawlings, who received an Oscar nomination for best picture winner Chariots of Fire and edited the Ridley Scott films Alien, Blade Runner and Legend, has died. He was 85. Rawlings died April 23, 2019 at his home in Hertfordshire, England. He was best known as the film editor on 'Alien,' 'Blade Runner' and 'Chariots of Fire. Rawlings was the dubbing editor on one Euro-western: “Chato’s Land” (1972).
German actress Hannelore Elsner died in her sleep on April 21, 2019. She was 76. While not well known outside continental Europe, Elsner was a major star in Germany, one of the country's most famous actresses and a regular in both film and television. She was also one of the last great originals, a larger-than-life personality who seemed fearless in her choice of roles and in her intense acting style. She quickly moved to film and TV roles, but spent the first two decades of her career playing roles in a series of largely forgettable light comedies and romantic dramas, often as the sexy scarlet alongside 1960s German heartthrobs such as Bubi Scholz and Peter Alexander. It was not until the 1970s and '80s that she began to earn a reputation as a character actress, thanks to roles from New German Cinema auteur Edgar Reitz (The Trip to Vienna, The Tailor from Ulm) and Hungarian master Istvan Szabo (1980's The Green Bird). Her role as police detective Lea Sommer in German series The Commissioner, which ran from 1994 to 2006, made Elsner a bona fide TV star and broke new ground for the portrayal of women in German television. Elsner appeared in only one Euro-western “Challenge to White Fang” (1974) as Jane Leclerc.
German composer, arranger, conductor Martin Böttcher died on April 20, 2019, he was 91. Known to all Germans and western film fans as the composer for the majority of the Winneotou films of the 1960s. Böttcher’s melodic compositions set the tone for the series of West German Indian films which were succeeded by the so called Spaghetti westerns in the mid to late 1960. Without Böttcher there would be no Morricone. Born in Berlin, Germany on June 17, 1927, during WWII as a prisoner of war, Böttcher managed to get hold of a guitar and taught himself to play it. Following his release from captivity, he went to Hamburg. There he started his musical career with the then Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk, in the dance and entertainment orchestra which had been newly founded by Willi Steiner, and which was held in high esteem in England. Thanks to producer Artur Brauner, Böttcher made his cinematic debut in 1955, composing the music for the military satire Der Hauptmann und sein Held. His second film score turned out to be a milestone in German film history. Die Halbstarken directed by Georg Tressler and starring Horst Buchholz, met with tremendous success. Mr. Martin's Band comprised the top German jazz musicians, among them Horst Fischer, Fatty George, Bill Grah, Ernst Mosch and Hans 'James' Last. Martin Böttcher found his greatest success in the 1960s composing the score for ten of the Karl May films, the first being Der Schatz im Silbersee with the famous "Old-Shatterhand-Melodie". The films starred, among many others, American actor Lex Barker and British actor Stewart Granger. The audience was enthusiastic about the wistful melodies, the fanfare-like music accompanying attacks, and the cheerful hillbilly tunes. Martin Böttcher's main themes from these films reached top positions in the German charts and sold thousands of records. The music for the Winnetou films is a landmark in German film music history. The success of these films, accompanied by Böttcher's music, made possible the "Spaghetti Westerns" with the music of Ennio Morricone. RIP to one of the great film composers of our time.