Cemetery with crosses - legends lost but remembered
This page is our personal hall of faml'e. 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
- BLUDAU, Jochen - 7/2/1941, Krefeld-Hüls, North Rhine-Westfalen Germany - 3/9/2023, Elspe, Sauerland, Germany
German producer, director, playwright, writer and actor Jochen Bludau died in Elspe, Sauerland, Germany on March 9, 2023. He was 82. Bludau was the heart and soul of the Elspe Karl May Festival and played many roles on stage and behind the curtains, He wrote all the plays from the Karl May novels, appeared as Winnetou for many years and then switched to playing villains. He was instrumental in getting Pierre Brice to play the stage character of his film character of Winnetou. Bludau was also a co-producer on the 1993 Euro-western "Texas - Doc Snyder hält die Welt" in Atem. In the summer of 2013, Jochen Bludau was presented with the aforementioned "Scharlih", the honorary award of the Karl May Archive, which until then had mainly only been awarded to participants in the Karl May films. This showed the special status that the festival maker from the Sauerland enjoyed in the scene and will probably always enjoy.
- TOPOL (Chaim Topol) - 9/9/1935, Tel Aviv, Palestine - 3/9/2023, Tel Aviv, Israel
Oscar-nominated actor, an Israel Prize laureate, gained global recognition for his role as the grumbling ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ milkman, Chaim Topol, died on March 9, 2023, at the age of 87 in Tel Aviv after a multi-year battle with Alzheimer’s. Topol was a prolific actor with a wide range of credits including one Euro-western 1969’s “A Talent for Loving” (aka “Gun Craz”) starring Richard Widmark and Cesar Romero where he played a Mexican bandit.
- BAUMANN, Heinz - 2/12/1928, Oldenberg, Lower Saxony, Germany - 3/4/2023, Munich, Bavaria, Germany
German actor Heinz Baumann has died. The native of Oldenburg died March 4 at the age of 95. Baumann was best known as an actor in crime roles. In "Adelheid und ihre Mörder" he played alongside Evelyn Hamann the somewhat goofy Chief Inspector Ewald Strobel, who could only solve his cases with the help of his resourceful secretary Adelheid. In the ZDF series "Soko 5113" he played the detective chief inspector Jürgen Sudmann. He was married to actress Gardy Brombacher who died in 2003. He leaves a son and a daughter (1963-2003) father of a son, and a daughter actress, singer Beatrice Richter born in 1948. Baumann appeared as Antonio Colani in the 1972-1973 German western TV series ‘Stadt ohne Sheriff’.
- BARKER, Les - 1/30/1947, Manchester, Greater Manchester, England, U.K. - 1/15/2023, Oswestry, West Midlands, England, U.K.
Les Barker, who died on January 15, 2023 in Oswestry, West Midlands, England, U.K., was a poet/performer and author much admired on the folk scene. Born in Manchester, England on January 30, 1947, the only child of Miriam (nee Crabtree) and George Barker, who owned a newsagent shop, Les attended Manchester grammar school. He was a bright lad and after training at Manchester College became a chartered accountant, working at the city’s town hall until 1982. But he found it boring. His real talent was in writing silly poems, which he would perform at local folk clubs. He soon became a regular at folk clubs and festivals all over Great Britain. In 1989, he formed the Mrs Ackroyd Band with Hilary Spencer, Alison Younger and Chris Harvey, putting his words to music. Barker appeared in the futuristic Euro-western “Welcome to Blood City (1976) starring Jack Palance in the credited role of 3rd citizen.
- HADJI-LAZARO, François - 6/22/1956, Paris, Île-de-France, France - 2/25/2023, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Hadji-Lazaro, founder of the French rock band Les Garçons Bouchers. He was a guitarist and singer, who had also founded the group Pigalle, died on February 25, 2023, at the age of 66. Born in 1956 in Paris, he is best known for founding Les Garçons Bouchers. With the Wampas or Bérurier noir, it was one of the flagship bands in the French alternative rock scene of the 1980s. It was formed in 1986 under the leadership of François Hadji-Lazaro before being dissolved in 1997. François Hadji-Lazaro then pursued his solo career, directing the independent record company Boucherie Productions and performing children's songs. François appeared in one Euro-western 2004’s “Lucky Luke and the Daltons” playing the role of the grocer.
- PINSENT, Gordon (Gordon Edward Pinsent) - 7/12/1930, Grand Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada - 2/25/2023, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Iconic Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent died at his Toronto, Ontario home surrounded by his family on February 25th. He was 92. He starred opposite Julie Christie as a husband losing his wife to Alzheimer’s disease in Sarah Polley’s “Away From Her”. Born on July 12, 1930, in Grand Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada he was a household name in his country, Pinsent also appeared on the big screen in Norman Jewison’s “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968), Lasse Hallström’s “The Shipping News” (2001), Michael McGowan’s “Saint Ralph” (2004) and Don McKellar’s “The Grand Seduction” (2013). On television, he played Possum Lake resident Hap Shaughnessy, a teller of tall tales, on the Canadian comedy ‘The Red Green Show’ from 1991-2004 and was Chicago-based Royal Canadian Mounted Police sergeant Bob Fraser on the CTV/CBS series ‘Due South’ from 1994-99. Pinsent appeared on the Euro-western TV film “Red River” (1996) as Mr. O’Malley.
- MIRISCH, Walter (Walter Mortimer Mirisch) 11/8/1921, New York City, New York, U.S.A. - 2/24/2023, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
American producer Walter Mirisch, the Oscar-winning producer for “In the Heat of the Night,” died February 24, 2023, in Los Angeles of natural causes. He was 101. He was born Walter Mortimer Mirisch in New York City on November 8, 1921. In the mid-20th century, Mirisch was one of the most lauded and powerful producers in Hollywood. In 1957, he founded The Mirisch Company with his brothers Harold and Marvin — the banner was tied to such classics as “Some Like It Hot” (1959), “The Magnificent Seven” (1960), “The Great Escape” (1963), “The Pink Panther” (1963) and “The Thomas Crown Affair” (1968). The Mirisch Company was also a producer on three best picture winners — “The Apartment” (1960), “West Side Story” (1961) and “In the Heat of the Night” (1967), for which Mirisch received the Academy Award for best picture. Mirisch was the producer on the 1974 Euro-western “The Spikes Gang” starring Lee Marvin and Ron Howard.
- COSTANZO, Maurizio - 8/28/1938, Rome, Lazio, Italy - 2/24/2023, Parioli, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Italian journalist, TV host, author and screenwriter Maurizio Costanzo died in a Rome clinic on February 24, 2023. Costanzo was born in Rome on August 28, 1938 and participated in the screenplays of many films, some of which directed by Pupi Avati: “Bordella” (1976), “Cinema!!” (1979), “Jazz Band” (1978), “La casa dalle finestre che ridono” (1976) - which over time became a real cult of the horror genre. “Except the Dead” (1977) and “Zeder” (1983). Married four times he is the father of director Saverio Cosntanzo. Maurzio co-wrote the screenplay for the 1969 Spaghetti western “In the Name of the Father”.