8 items from 2014
It is not too shabby in what the Northeast (New England) part of the United States has produced in terms of past and present actors/actresses making their show business dreams come true. Film careers can be a lot like ice cubes–they start out solid and cool but if you sit around in stagnation your efforts and hard work can melt away before one’s very eyes. Certainly no one can accuse this talented crop of thespians of being one-hit wonders on the big screen. After all, one does not become a recipient of an Academy Award by just sheer luck and charitable fortune.
As a native Bostonian and life long New Englander, I felt compelled to spotlight those Massachusetts-born and bred actors from the same region that had ultimate success on the big screen in winning the Oscar for their acting achievement and contribution to the motion picture industry. »
- Frank Ochieng
A pop-culture touchstone, a nearly all-purpose metaphor and one of the most beloved sci-fi franchises of the Seventies and beyond, the Planet of the Apes films do what all good what-if fantasies should do: hold up a mirror to humanity and reflect our own conflicts, issues and failings back to us through a wildly outrageous premise. The original 1968 movie mixes satire, social commentary, action and suspense, capped by a first-rate twist at the end. ("Damn you, damn you all to hell!")
Some may say that television hasn’t been too good to senior citizens in terms of their stereotypical depictions. Regardless of the unflattering portrayals there had been some memorable oldsters (in this case over 60) that have given us equal shares of both laughs and cries. In “For Mature Audiences Only”, let’s take a look at some of the more mature characterizations that had an impact on our daily doses of entertainment on the glorious boob tube.
Instead of doing a typical top ten or top twenty listing let’s go in between with a top fifteen selection, shall we? The “For Mature Audiences Only” choices are not necessarily a tasting that everyone will agree on. Perhaps you have your own preferences that were omitted or something that you feel should be added? Anyway, here are the candidates in alphabetical order…
Now for our pop cultural Pepto Bismol personalities:
1.) Doc Galen Adams, »
- Frank Ochieng
Elliot R. Wax, a former television agent at William Morris and the leader of his own agency, died on May 4 from complications of kidney disease at his home in Lake Sherwood, Calif. He was 84.
Wax packaged many hit variety and comedy shows while at Wma and found success running his own firm, Elliot Wax & Associates, as well.
While in the television variety show department at William Morris, he was involved in the packaging and selling of numerous variety specials with stars including Danny Thomas, Carol Burnett, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Jackson 5, Andy Williams, the Osmonds and Dionne Warwick. While representing writers and producers, Wax packaged variety series that included “The Carol Burnett Show,” “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” “The Sonny & Cher Show,” “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” “The Redd Foxx Show” and “The Glen Campbell Show.”
While a VP at William Morris, Wax made the move into the business of packaging half-hour television. »
- Carmel Dagan
Writer and artist Doris Kanter, widow of comedy writer-producer-director Hal Kanter, died on March 18 in Encino, Calif., after a brief illness. She was 95.
During the Kanters’ 70-year marriage, Doris helped her husband in writing and editing – mainly comedy– for television and film.
Having written several screenplays and episodes of television sitcoms including “Chico and the Man,” “Night Court,” “Valentine’s Day,” “You Can’t Take It With You” – and co-writing “United States” with Larry Gelbart, Doris became a member of the Writers Guild of America West in 1985. She helped guide the careers of several young writers.
A talented visual artist and calligrapher, Doris created traveling visual media exhibits with her mentor and teacher, artist Sister Mary Corita (Kent), and also designed the colorful opening title credits for her husband’s groundbreaking TV series “Julia.”
Doris was born in New York City. As 17-year-old high school graduate with an exceptional singing voice, »
- Carmel Dagan
The sitcom and feature writer, who was married to Hal Kanter for 70 years, has died. Doris Kanter died last month in Encino after a brief illness, the WGA said today. She was 95. Her writing credits include Chico And The Man, Night Court and the 1980 Beau Bridges sitcom United States. She also designed the colorful opening title credits for her husband groundbreaking 1968-71 series Julia, starring Diahann Carroll. A native of NYC, Doris Kanter started out working at Parents magazine in the 1930s. She married Hal Kanter in 1941 after he had been drafted into the Army. She also helped her husband in writing and editing – mainly comedy– for television and film. He died in 2011. Doris Kanter is survived by her three daughters, Lisa Shafer, Donna Kanter — a writer-director-producer who owns the Kanter Company — and Abigail Jaye; her granddaughter Kaleigh Shafer; and sons–in-law Anthony Shafer and Michael Jaye. »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
Comedy writer Ben Starr, whose career stretched from radio through 1980s sitcoms, died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 92.
Starr was a co-creator of NBC comedies “The Facts of Life” and “Silver Spoons.” During his long career, he wrote for TV comedies ranging from “All in the Family” to “Diff’rent Strokes” as well as “Mr. Ed,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Petticoat Junction,” “The Brady Bunch” and “Chico and the Man.”
Starr inadvertently helped create the famous catchphrase from “Diff’rent Strokes” — “Whatchu talking ’bout Willis?” The line as written in an early script for the show was “What are you talking about, Willis?” but after star Gary Coleman gave it his distinctive delivery, Starr knew it was a keeper.
- Variety Staff
Veteran comedy writer Ben Starr died Sunday at the age of 92. Starr began his Hollywood career in radio as a writer for Al Jolson, George Burns, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. He later segued into television, amassing dozens of credits over a nearly 50-year span, most recently as a writer on 2001′s The Facts Of Life TV Reunion. Starr was a writer and co-creator of the Facts Of Life, which first aired in 1979 and ran through 1988. His other writing and/or producing credits include Mr. Ed (1961-1963), The Andy Griffith Show (1966), The Brady Bunch (1971-1973), Maude (1974), Chico And The Man (1977), All In The Family (1975-1978), Diff’rent Strokes (1978-1982) and Silver Spoons (1982-1987). Starr’s film credits include Oliver Twist (1974), Treasure Island (1973), and 1966′s Texas Across The River and Our Man Flint. He also was featured in Lunch, Donna Kanter’s documentary about comedians. »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
8 items from 2014
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