Vega$ (1978) - News Poster

(1978–1981)

News

James MacArthur: 1937-2010

  • IMDb News
James MacArthur: 1937-2010
James MacArthur, best known to American television audiences as "Danno" in the classic TV series "Hawaii Five-O," died of natural causes today in Florida. He was 72 years old.

As youthful Detective Danny "Danno" Williams, MacArthur became as recognizable as Jack Lord, who played the team's leader Steve McGarrett. However, it was Lord who uttered what would become the series' signature catchphrase: "Book 'em, Danno." The original "Hawaii Five-O" aired from 1968 until 1980; CBS recently premiered a modern reboot of the crime drama with Scott Caan playing Danny Williams. MacArthur, the last living member from the original series main cast, had agreed to appear in an upcoming episode, according to a statement on his personal website.

Born James Gordon MacArthur on December 8, 1937, in Los Angeles, California, MacArthur is the adopted son of playwright Charles MacArthur and his wife Helen Hayes, who was considered to be the First Lady of the American stage. He grew up in Nyack, New York, with his parents' biological daughter Mary, and was educated at Allen Stevenson School in New York, and later at Solebury School in New Hope, Pennsylvania. MacArthur would later attend Harvard but, after working in several Walt Disney films over his summer breaks, left to pursue an acting career full-time.

MacArthur also won acclaim onstage, making his Broadway debut in 1960 playing opposite Jane Fonda in "Invitation to a March." But his clean-cut looks and athletic build won him roles in the late 1950s and 60s in several Disney films, including The Light in the Forest, Third Man on the Mountain, and the classics Kidnapped and Swiss Family Robinson. He also played a pivotal role in the 1965 film classic Battle of the Bulge. During that period MacArthur also guest starred on a number of television series including "Gunsmoke," "Bonanza," "Wagon Train," "The Untouchables" and "12 O'Clock High." He even co-starred with Hayes in a 1968 episode of "Tarzan."

Reportedly it was his appearance in the legendary Clint Eastwood Western Hang 'Em High that would eventually lead to MacArthur winning the role on "Hawaii Five-O."

After "Hawaii Five-O" came to an end, MacArthur returned to the stage, making guest appearances on series such as "Fantasy Island," "The Love Boat," "Vega$,"and "Murder, She Wrote." He also reprised the role of Dan Williams in a 1997 attempt to resurrect "Hawaii Five-O" but the pilot, in which Williams had been made Hawaii's Governor, was never picked up. His final small-screen appearance was in the 1998 TV movie "Storm Chasers: Revenge of the Twister."

According to a family statement reported by People.com, MacArthur spent his time off-camera enjoying sports and played flamenco guitar. He was formerly married to actress Joyce Bulifant from 1958 to 1967, and to actress Melody Patterson from 1970 to 1975. Both unions ended in divorce.

MacArthur is survived by his wife, Helen Beth Duntz, four children and seven grandchildren.

Tony Curtis: 1925 - 2010

Tony Curtis: 1925 - 2010
Tony Curtis, who channeled a rough childhood marked by tragedy into a polished and sustained career on the large and small screen for over sixty years, died yesterday of a cardiac arrest at his home in Las Vegas, his daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis, reported to Entertainment Tonight. He was 85.

Born Bernard Schwartz in the Bronx in 1925, Curtis grew up in poverty. The eldest child of immigrant parents, he had almost no formal education and began to sneak into the movies with his younger brother Julius as a means of escape. When he was 10 years old, however, the financial strain on the family became too much to bear and Tony and his brother briefly became wards of the state, admitted to an orphanage for a number of weeks before being reclaimed by his parents. This experience helped shape a strong sense of independence in the boy as Curtis was prematurely forced to learn one of life's toughest lessons; namely, that the only person you can count on is yourself.

In 1938, shortly before Curtis’s bar mitzvah, his brother and constant companion Julius was tragically killed in a traffic accident. Devastated, Tony pulled further away from the conventional life that his parents had always hoped for in the belief that life was to be experienced head-on and hands-on and a few years later joined the Navy. He was honorably discharged after three years of service and with no other plans for a career, auditioned for the New York Dramatic Workshop when he realized the GI Bill would pay for acting school. As is so often the case, fate stepped in for Curtis, as he caught the eye of a theatrical agent during one of his many small stage appearances. Joyce Selznick just happened to be the niece of film producer David Selznick, who ended up offering Curtis a seven-year contract with Universal Studios.

Arriving in Hollywood in 1948 at age 23, he changed his name to Tony Curtis and quickly made an impression with a two-minute role in 'Criss Cross' (1949), in which he makes Burt Lancaster jealous by dancing with Yvonne De Carlo. Based on the strength of that role, Curtis finally got the chance to demonstrate his acting flair, as he was cast in a small, but important role in Sierra (1950). This led to his first big-budget movie, Winchester '73 (1950), which allowed the ambitious, yet still raw talent the chance to act alongside Jimmy Stewart.

Curtis worked steadily throughout the early ‘50’s, consciously working in various genres while actively seeking roles in movies that had some kind of social relevance. His breakout performance as the scheming press agent Sidney Falco in Sweet Smell of Success (1957) was the beginning of a great run for the versatile Curtis, who followed an Oscar-nominated performance as a bigoted, escaped convict chained to Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones (1958) and with a broadly comic turn opposite Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot (1959).

He was drawn to roles and films that would challenge audiences. Curtis was advised against appearing as the subordinate sidekick Antoninus in the epic Spartacus (1960), playing second fiddle to Kirk Douglas, but he was taken with the part and the chance to work with the director Stanley Kubrick. He garnered a significant amount of controversy (and critical acclaim) by playing against type the self-confessed murderer Albert DeSalvo in The Boston Strangler (1968). It was around this time that Curtis ventured into television where he co-starred with Roger Moore in the series “The Persuaders!” (1971) and later, created memorable supporting characters in “McCoy” (1975) and “Vega$” (1978).

On the personal front, Curtis was an avid painter throughout his life and one of his surrealist works went on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2007. More famously, as he detailed in his autobiography “American Prince: A Memoir”, Curtis had relationships with a number of famous actresses, including Natalie Wood and a brief, but widely publicized affair with Marilyn Monroe. He was married five times, most notably to Janet Leigh, with whom he had two daughters, Jamie Lee and Kelly Curtis. His last marriage, to Jill Vandenberg, who was 42 years his junior, was in 1998 and lasted until his death. Curtis had six children, five which survive him: two with Leigh, two from his second wife Christine Kaufmann, and two from his third, Leslie Allen.

Actor Byron Morrow Dies

  • WENN
Actor Byron Morrow Dies
Byron Morrow, a veteran character actor in television and films whose distinguished look often led him to be cast as a top military officer, police chief or judge died on May 11. He was 94. The actor died at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California, his family announced last week. Morrow was born in Chicago, Illinois and his early career included stints as a model, puppeteer and radio announcer. He briefly played semi-professional basketball in a US Midwest barnstorming league that included the original Harlem Globetrotters. Morrow moved to Hollywood in the late 1930s and appeared in nearly two dozen major movies including Johnny Got His Gun. He also appeared in numerous television series, including episodes of Star Trek, Dragnet, Dallas, Perry Mason, Get Smart and Vegas.

Stars Pay Tribute to Spelling

Actors David Soul, Jaclyn Smith and Tony Curtis have paid tribute to late TV legend Aaron Spelling, who died on Friday. The Hollywood producer, who was responsible for a host of shows including Charlie's Angels, Dynasty, Starsky & Hutch and Beverly Hills, 90210, Passed away in his Los Angeles home following a stroke. Former Angel Smith laments, "Aaron's contributions in television are unequalled. To me, he was a dear friend and a truly genuine human being." Starsky & Hutch star Soul says, "Spelling was one of those characters who doesn't exist too much in Hollywood anymore. He created a family of actors. He was television. He was an ideas man." While Curtis, who starred in Spelling's 1970s TV series Vega$, recalls, "Aaron loved Las Vegas. I got the impression he wanted to live here."

Aaron Spelling: 1923-2006

Aaron Spelling: 1923-2006
Aaron Spelling, the amazingly prolific television producer whose hits ranged from Charlie's Angels to 7th Heaven, died Friday after suffering a stroke last Sunday; he was 83. Spelling passed away at his Los Angeles home, where he had been resting since his stroke on June 18, for which he was briefly hospitalized. Born in Dallas, Spelling was the fourth son of immigrant Jews and grew up in poverty on the self-proclaimed "wrong side of the tracks," ostracized in his early years because of his religion and orthodox parents. After serving in World War II, he enrolled and later graduated from Southern Methodist University, quickly moving to Hollywood, where he worked briefly as a bit-player actor (he was a gas station attendant in an episode of I Love Lucy) and married the actress Carolyn Jones (later of The Addams Family fame) in 1953; they later divorced in 1964. Spelling found greater success as a writer for such shows as Playhouse 90, and soon was hired as a producer by Dick Powell for Four Star Productions, and his first hit was the crime drama Burke's Law, starring Gene Barry. After Powell passed away, Spelling teamed with actor-producer Danny Thomas, with whom he scored a major hit in The Mod Squad in 1969. At the dawn of the 70s, Spelling signed an exclusive contract with ABC, a network his programming would come to dominate for the next decade; former ABC programming chief Leonard Goldberg joined him as a producing partner in 1972. The two produced innumerable television films (including The Boy in the Bubble, starring heartthrob John Travolta) before striking series gold with action shows SWAT, Starsky & Hutch and The Rookies, as well as the acclaimed Emmy-winning drama Family. It was a trio of huge hits, however, that cemented Spelling's fame and success: the Saturday night revolving guest-cast shows The Love Boat and Fantasy Island, and the phenomenally popular Charlie's Angels, which launched the careers of Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith (among others) and single-handedly invented "jiggle television," shows featuring beautiful women in revealing clothing. Other shows followed -- Hart to Hart, Hotel, Vega$, and TJ Hooker among them -- before Spelling struck gold again in the 80s with Dynasty, a pop-culture phenomenon that challenged the popular soap Dallas and for one season was the number one show in the country. Oftentimes, his Los Angeles mansion, which he bought in 1983 with second wife Candy Spelling and boasted 123 rooms, a bowling alley, swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis court, screening room and four 2-car garages, was compared to the excesses of Dynasty's fictional denizens. When the quintessential 80s show was cancelled, Spelling found himself for the first time without a series on the air, which he said caused him to fall into a major depression. Nevertheless, after a year Spelling was back, this time with the teen soap Beverly Hills 90210, which helped launch the fledgling Fox network as well as his daughter Tori Spelling's acting career, a circumstance she would later affectionately spoof in her own comedy series, So NoTORIous. Spinoff Melrose Place quickly followed, as well as a number of other California-set series that were less memorable. Still, even into the new century, Spelling found himself with two hits on the WB network: the witchy fantasy Charmed, which ended only last season, and religious family drama 7th Heaven, which after a brief cancellation earlier this year was resurrected by the new CW network for the upcoming fall season. Though derided for his shows' superficiality, Spelling preferred to call his hits "mind candy," and his success and endurability was also marked by acclaimed programming that included the TV films The Best Little Girl in the World and the Emmy-winning AIDS drama And the Band Played On. Spelling also produced a number of feature films, including Soapdish, California Split, and Mr. Mom. Spelling is survived by his wife Candy, daughter Tori, and son Randy Spelling. --Mark Englehart, IMDb staff

Aaron Spelling: 1923-2006

Aaron Spelling: 1923-2006
Aaron Spelling, the amazingly prolific television producer whose hits ranged from Charlie's Angels to 7th Heaven, died Friday after suffering a stroke last Sunday; he was 83. Spelling passed away at his Los Angeles home, where he had been resting since his stroke on June 18, for which he was briefly hospitalized. Born in Dallas, Spelling was the fourth son of immigrant Jews and grew up in poverty on the self-proclaimed "wrong side of the tracks," ostracized in his early years because of his religion and orthodox parents. After serving in World War II, he enrolled and later graduated from Southern Methodist University, quickly moving to Hollywood, where he worked briefly as a bit-player actor (he was a gas station attendant in an episode of I Love Lucy) and married the actress Carolyn Jones (later of The Addams Family fame) in 1953; they later divorced in 1964. Spelling found greater success as a writer for such shows as Playhouse 90, and soon was hired as a producer by Dick Powell for Four Star Productions, and his first hit was the crime drama Burke's Law, starring Gene Barry. After Powell passed away, Spelling teamed with actor-producer Danny Thomas, with whom he scored a major hit in The Mod Squad in 1969. At the dawn of the 70s, Spelling signed an exclusive contract with ABC, a network his programming would come to dominate for the next decade; former ABC programming chief Leonard Goldberg joined him as a producing partner in 1972. The two produced innumerable television films (including The Boy in the Bubble, starring heartthrob John Travolta) before striking series gold with action shows SWAT, Starsky & Hutch and The Rookies, as well as the acclaimed Emmy-winning drama Family. It was a trio of huge hits, however, that cemented Spelling's fame and success: the Saturday night revolving guest-cast shows The Love Boat and Fantasy Island, and the phenomenally popular Charlie's Angels, which launched the careers of Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith (among others) and single-handedly invented "jiggle television," shows featuring beautiful women in revealing clothing. Other shows followed -- Hart to Hart, Hotel, Vega$, and TJ Hooker among them -- before Spelling struck gold again in the 80s with Dynasty, a pop-culture phenomenon that challenged the popular soap Dallas and for one season was the number one show in the country. Oftentimes, his Los Angeles mansion, which he bought in 1983 with second wife Candy Spelling and boasted 123 rooms, a bowling alley, swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis court, screening room and four 2-car garages, was compared to the excesses of Dynasty's fictional denizens. When the quintessential 80s show was cancelled, Spelling found himself for the first time without a series on the air, which he said caused him to fall into a major depression. Nevertheless, after a year Spelling was back, this time with the teen soap Beverly Hills 90210, which helped launch the fledgling Fox network as well as his daughter Tori Spelling's acting career, a circumstance she would later affectionately spoof in her own comedy series, So NoTORIous. Spinoff Melrose Place quickly followed, as well as a number of other California-set series that were less memorable. Still, even into the new century, Spelling found himself with two hits on the WB network: the witchy fantasy Charmed, which ended only last season, and religious family drama 7th Heaven, which after a brief cancellation earlier this year was resurrected by the new CW network for the upcoming fall season. Though derided for his shows' superficiality, Spelling preferred to call his hits "mind candy," and his success and endurability was also marked by acclaimed programming that included the TV films The Best Little Girl in the World and the Emmy-winning AIDS drama And the Band Played On. Spelling also produced a number of feature films, including Soapdish, California Split, and Mr. Mom. Spelling is survived by his wife Candy, daughter Tori, and son Randy Spelling. --Mark Englehart, IMDb staff

Robert Urich Comes Back To Series TV

Robert Urich Comes Back To Series TV
Army Archerd reports that Robert Urich, who made a TV name for himself playing tough guy roles in such series as Vega$ and Spenser: For Hire, is making another comeback shot at series TV. This time Urich will be digging deep into his TV past and going the sitcom route, playing the manager of Emeril Lagasse on the new sitcom Emeril. Urich was approached for the role by producer Harry Thomason the moment he was freed from his obligation to the failed pilot Late Boomers and starts filming later this month. Though not widely recognized for his comedic talents, Urich has starred in Tabitha (a failed spin-off of Bewitched), Soap, Faye Dunaway's failed sitcom It Had To Be You, and the sci-fi comedy Ice Pirates. (This story was compiled by IMDb Staff)

See also

External Sites