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Cemetery with crosses - legends lost but remembered

From The Spaghetti Western Database

Revision as of 12:45, 10 August 2021 by Tom B. (talk | contribs)

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...

Sorted by last name: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z



  • CORD, Alex (Alexander Viespi Jr.) - 5/3/1933, Floral Park, New York, U.S.A. - 8/9/2021, Ft. Worth, Texas,

American actor Alex Cord who became best known in Hollywood for his 1960s and 1970s work in action-adventure roles, died in his sleep on August 9, 2021. He was 88. Born Alexander Viespi Jr. in Floral Park, New York on May 3, 1933, he was riding horses from the age of 2. Stricken with polio at the age of 12, he was confined to a hospital for a long period of time before he overcame the illness. He was left with one leg shorter and a damaged lung. He held his dream of becoming a jockey until realizing he would soon be too tall. He then was determined to be a cowboy. Anything that would put him near horses. Prodded by an interest in acting, Alex studied with some of the best teachers in New York. He began his professional career in summer stock (The Compass Players in St. Louis, Missouri) and at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut where he played “Laertes” in a production of “Hamlet”. At every opportunity he pursued his passionate love of horses with endless hours of training to become the best all-around horseman he could. He guest-starred in TV classics such as ‘Route 66’, ‘Naked City’, ‘Branded’, ‘Murder She Wrote’, ‘Mission Impossible’, ‘Fantasy Island’, ‘Laramie’, ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’, ‘Police Story’, Police Woman’. He gained his most TV fame as Archangel in 1984’s ‘Airwolf’ alongside Jan-Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine. He’s probably best remembered for his film role as the “Ringo Kid” in the remake of “Stagecoach” with Ann-Margret, Bing Crosby, Van Heflin and Bob Cummings. Cord made one Euro-western: 1968’s “A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die” as Clay McCord.

  • POLESELLO, Franca - 7/27/1936, Oderzo, Treviso, Veneto, Italy - 3/8/2021, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Italian actress Franca Polesello passed away in Rome, Italy on March 8, 2021. She was 84. The news was made public on August 7th. Born in Oderzo, Treviso, Veneto, Italy on July 27, 1936.

Franca began her career in the late 1950s after becoming Miss Lombardy. She worked as a television model and model, before appearing in sword and sandal films. She was later cast in comedy, western, drama and spy story films. Among the roles that have given her greater notoriety we can mention the film “Il sorpasso”. Shee took part in several films starring Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia, including “Veneri al sole” and “I 2 magnifici fresconi”.

Franca Polesello's career lasted a little over a decade, with about thirty film participations overall, after which the actress abandoned the artistic activity to be a wife and mother.

Franca appeared in three Euro-westerns: “The Twins from Texas” (1964) as Madame Duval, probably her most famous role “Navajo Joe” (1966) as Barbara and in “Joe Dakota” (1967) as Rosy.

  • GRANT, Saginaw (Saginaw Morgan Grant) - 7/20/1936, Pawnee, Oklahoma, U.S.A. - 7/28/2021, Hollywood, California, U.S.A.

Saginaw Grant, a prolific Native American character actor and hereditary chief of the Sac & Fox Nation of Oklahoma, has died. He was 85. Grant died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes on July 28, 2021, at a private care facility in Hollywood, California. Born July 20, 1936, in Pawnee, Oklahoma, Grant was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He began acting in the late 1980s and played character roles in dozens of movies and television shows over the last three decades, including 2013s “The Lone Ranger,” 2005's “The World’s Fastest Indian” and “Breaking Bad,”. His Euro-westerns were; “Grey Owl” (1999) as a Pow Wow Chief; 2003’s TV “DreamKeeper” as the old medicine man.

  • NAZZARO, Gianni - 10/27/1948, Naples, Campania, Italy - 7/27/2021, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Italian pop singer and actor Gianni Nazzaro died at the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome on July 27, 2021. He was 72. Born in Naples on October 27, 1948, he’s best remembered for his 1970s hit Quanto è bella lei. He also performed at the San Remo Festival six times. He appeared as a performer in the 1966 Euro-musical western “A Fistful of Songs”.

  • KOFER, Herbert - 2/17/1921, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, Brandenburg, Prussia, Germany – 7/24/2021, Potsdam-Mittelmark, Brandenburg, Germany

East German stage, film and TV actor Herbert Köfer has died. The native of Berlin died on Saturday July 24, 2021 in Potsdam-Mittelmark, Brandenburg, Germany at the age of 100, his widow actress Heike Köfer announced. His star role was as grandpa Paul Schmidt in the GDR television series "Rentner haben niemals Zeit". Köfer, born on February 27, 1921 in Berlin, Germany, never looked his age. He always dressed in fashion and well-groomed, he looked like a young senior. He was seen on the screen, on stage and on television in dramas and comedies, but also in plays on serious topics. “A nice role in a film is fun, on stage it's completely different, the stage is my podium,” he said. He didn't want to hear about retirement. “The job is connected with beauty and the strenuous work with fulfillment.” But he never wanted to be carried on stage. Köfer appeared as Mac in the DEFA 1972 “Tecumseh” and as a director in the 1992 TV mini-series “Karl May”.

  • DUKAS, David - 5/30/1970, Virginia, Free State, South Africa - 7/20/2021, Cape Town, South Africa

South African actor David Dukas died from heart failure in a Cape Town, South Africa hospital on July 20 2021, he was 51. Born in the small mining town of Virginia, South Africia, after graduating from high school in 1988, David went on to complete the National Higher Diploma:Acting at Tswane University of Technology(Former Pretoria Technikon's school of Performing Arts). He began his career on the stage as an ad-hoc player for the former PACT (Performing Arts Council of Transvaal). In 1994 he made his television debut in South Africa's longest running soap, ‘Egoli - Place of Gold’ and subsequently acted in numerous local as well as International co-productions. Dukas appeared as Billy in the 2002 Euro-western “Hooded Angels”.

  • ARNOUL, Françoise (Françoise Annette Marie Mathilde Gautsch) - 6/3/1931, Constantine, France - 7/20/2021, Paris, Île de France, France

French actress Françoise Arnoul died in Paris, France on July 20, 2021 after a long illness. She was 90. Born Françoise Annette Marie Mathilde Gautsch in Constantine, France on June 3, 1931 she was the daughter of an artillery general and an actress, Arnoul spent her youth in Algeria. From the age of seven, she took classical dance lessons in Rabat. In the aftermath of the Second World War, she landed in France and enrolled in drama lessons with Andrée Bauer-Thérond (like Michel Piccoli and Anouk Aimée). An impresario noticed her and introduced her to Willy Rozier who is looking for a young girl to play the very undressed role of Perruche in “L’épave”. This performance made her a star, at only 18 years old. It also confirms her new status by continuing with a comedy by Jean Boyer, “We Will Go to Paris”. She was most notably famous for having played the dancer Nini in “French Cancan” by Jean Renoir. She appeared ad Cad Wilson and Sangerin in the 1975 Jack London TV series “Burning Daylight”.

  • BARDEM, Pilar (Pilar Bardem Muñoz) - 3/14/1939, Seville, Seville, Andalucía, Spain - 7/17/2021, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Spanish actress Pilar Bardem died in a Madrid, Spain clinic from a respiratory illness on July 17, 2021. She was 82. Pilar Bardem Muñoz was born in Seville, Spain on March 14, 2939, she was a member of a family of actors and film directors; sister of Juan Antonio Bardem and mother of Carlos, Mónica and Oscar winner Javier Bardem. She studied medicine but then dropped out of to start an acting career at the beginning of the 1970s, with small roles in theater, cinema, television and zarzuela. Throughout her career she participated in 81 films, 43 plays and 31 television series. Pilar appeared in only one Euro-western as Martha Tafford in “Al este del Oeste” in 1983.

  • CLAMAN, Dolores (Dolores Olga Claman) - 7/6/1927, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – 7/17/2021, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Canadian Composer, songwriter Dolores Claman died last week in Spain after suffering the last few years with dementia. She was 94. Born Dolores Olga Claman on July 6, 1927 in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada, she is best known for composing the 1968 theme song for CBC's Hockey Night In Canada show, known simply as The Hockey Theme, a song often regarded as Canada's second national anthem. Dolores also co-wrote over 3000 commercial jingles with her partner and husband Richard Morris. Dolores was the composer for 1969’s “Captain Apache” and the writer of the songs “Captain Apache” and “April Morning.”