Cemetery with crosses - legends lost but remembered
From The Spaghetti Western Database
Revision as of 14:59, 19 May 2020 by Tom B.
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...
- THOMAS, Peter - 12/1/1925, Breslau, Silesia, Germany - 6/17/2020, Lugano, Switzerland
Film composer Peter Thomas died in Lugano, Switzerland on May 17, 2020, he was 94. He was the composer for such legendary series as "Raumpatrouille", "Derrick" and "Der Alte" as well as numerous works for films like "Der Hexer", "Der Zinker" and "Der eheimliche Mönch" or "Onkel Toms Hütte", "Thunder at the Border” and “ Steiner - The Iron Cross ”, to name but a few. He became one of the busiest composers in Germany in the 1960s. He also contributed soundtracks to several catalog films on the film label Darling Berlin of UCM.ONE by director Will Tremper ("The Endless Night", "Playgirl" and "Escape to Berlin").
He also created the film music for the horror classic " Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel" by Harald Reinl, which will be released in a remastered deluxe edition at M-Square Classics later this year. He worked tirelessly to the end - together with Walter Potganski (moviemax, Munich) - to reconstruct the previously unpublished soundtrack for a first release in this collector's edition. Thomas’ Euro-western compositions include ‘The Last Tomahawk” (1964); ‘Thunder at the Border” 1966; ‘My Friend Winnetou” (TV 1979).
- PICCOLI, Michel (Jacques Daniel Michel Piccoli) - 12/27/1925, Paris, Île-de-France, France - 5/12/2020, Saint-Philbert-sur-Risle, Normandy, France
Veteran French actor Michel Piccoli, renowned for a string of celebrated performances for directors such as Luis Bunuel, Jean-Luc Godard and Louis Malle, died may 12, 2020 in France, he was 94. Piccoli’s acting career stretched back to the 1940s, but he began his association with major directors in Jean Renoir’s French Cancan in 1955. He was first cast by Bunuel a year later in Death in the Garden, where he played a priest; he would go on to act in a further six Bunuel films, including Diary of a Chambermaid, Belle de Jour and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. However, the high point of his 1960s work was arguably Godard’s Contempt, in which he played opposite Brigitte Bardot as the scriptwriter hired to work on an adaptation of The Odyssey. n subsequent decades, Piccoli became a stalwart of French art films, appearing in Death in a French Garden (1985), Leos Carax’s Mauvais Sang (1986) and Jacques Rivette’s La Belle Noiseuse (1991). In 2011 he played the reluctant pope in Nanni Moretti’s We Have a Pope, and one of his final appearances was in another Carax film, Holy Motors in 2012. Piccoli was married three times: first to Eléonore Hirt, then to singer Juliette Gréco (until 1977), and to Ludivine Clerc, who survives him. Piccoli appeared in the French Euro-westerns: “Terreur en Oklahoma” (1951) as Tommy Goudchote; “Don’t Touch the White Woman!” (1973) as Buffalo Bill and “Far West” (1973) as the Indian chief.
- ERICSON, John (Joseph Alexander Ottokar Meibes) - 9/25/1926, Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany - 5/3/2020, U.S.A. Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A.
German born American actor John Ericson died of pneumonia in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Born Joseph Meibes on Sept. 25, 1926, in Düsseldorf, Germany, Ericson studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York in the same class as Grace Kelly, Jack Palance and Don Rickles. Ericson appeared on Broadway in the original production 1951 of Stalag 17, directed by José Ferrer, and he made his film debut in Teresa (1951), directed by Fred Zinnemann. Three years later, he starred with Elizabeth Taylor in Rhapsody (1954). Ericson played "Man Friday" Sam Bolt opposite Francis' private eye title character and a pet ocelot named Bruce on ABC's Honey West. John appeared in two Euro-westerns: “Vengeance of Pancho Villa” (1966) as Don Diego Alvarado/Diego Owens/Django and “Heads or Tails” (1968) as Will Hunter/Bill Abilene/William Huston/Black Talisman.
- MATASSI, Goffredo 11/8/1933, Rome, Lazio, Italy - 4/28/2020, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Italian actor Goffredo Matassi died today in Rome. During his career he had voiced Morgan Freeman's caliber actors in "The Ruthless", Paul Brooke in "Bridget Jones Diary", Donnelly Rhodes in "Tron Legacy" and David Bradley in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and "Harry Potter and the Gifts of Death Part II". On TV Eddie Jones as Jones as Jonathan Kent in the first season of "Lois & Clark - The New Adventures of Superman" and Peter Vaughan in those of Master Aemon in "The Thrones". He was the voice of Droopy in the series "Droopy Chief Detective" and Amphitrion in the Disney movie "Hercules". Among his latest works were the dubbing of Dr. Teeth in "The Muppet" and "Muppets 2-Wanted". Matassi was also a film actor and appeared in two Euro-westerns: “The Hills Run Red” (1966) as a croupier and “Pray and Kill” (1967) as a gambler.
- MELLIES, Otto - 1/19/1931, Schlawe, Pomerania - 4/27/2020, Germany
Theater, film, radio, TV actor and voice dubber Otto Mellies died on Monday April 27, 2020. He was 89. Born in Schlawe in Pomerania on January 19, 1931. His mother, older sister and their children died shortly before the end of the war. His father was still a soldier at that time. His brother Eberhard, who later also worked as an actor, was drafted in the war, so that Mellies was on his own when he was 14 and worked as a groom for Russian soldiers. After attending school interrupted by the turmoil of the Second World War, Mellies applied to the Schwerin Theater at the age of 16 and received from the well-known actress. In 1956 the director Wolfgang Langhoff brought him to the German Theater in Berlin, where he had been a member of the ensemble for 50 years. His leading role was Nathan in Lessing's “Nathan the Wise” – he played this role a total of 325 times and wrote stage history with it. . “For me, theater was the mother of art. I did everything else, film, television, radio, on the side. But I enjoyed everything.” He was known to German Spaghetti Western fans as the German voice of Alberto Farnese in the 1985 western “White Apache” starring Sebastian Harrison.
- RISI, Claudio - 11/12/1948, Bern Switzerland - 4/26/2020, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Italian director, assistant director, writer, cameraman Claudio Risi died in Rome, Italy on April 26, 2020 from complications of a heart attack he has in February. The son of director Dino Risi and the older brother of producer, director Marco Risi he was involved more in television where he was twice awarded the Italian Telegatto equivalent to our Emmy for his direction of the TV series ‘The Boys of the 3rd C. Cludio was a cameraman on 1972’s “Life Is Tough, Eh Providence?” starring Tomas Milian and Gregg Hunter.