Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Karl Malden (1912 - 2009)

Karl Malden was born March 22, 1912 in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Gary, Indiana. The son of Minnie, a seamstress, and Petar Sekulovic, a steel worker.

Karl's father had a passion for music and organized a choir. As a teenager, Karl joined the Karageorge Choir. In addition, his father produced plays at the church and taught acting. Karl participated in many of these plays which included Jack and the Beanstalk.

In high school, he participated in the drama department. After graduating high school, he worked in the steel mills with his father.

In September 1934, Karl decided to leave his home in Gary, Indiana, to pursue formal dramatic training at the Goodman School (later part of DePaul University), then associated with the Goodman Theater in Chicago. He graduated from the Chicago Art Institute in 1937.

In 1937, he traveled to New York City and first appeared on stage in the Broadway production of Golden Boy. He also appeared in Broadway productions of How to Get Tough about It, Missouri Legend, Key Largo, and The Gentle People.

His acting career was interrupted by World War II, during which he served as a noncommissioned officer in the 8th Air Force. While in the service, he was given a small role in the U.S. Army Air Forces play and film Winged Victory.

After the war ended in 1945, he resumed his acting career, appearing in such Broadway productions as Truckline Cafe, A Street Car Named Desire, Tea and Sympathy and The Desperate Hours.

Karl Malden would make his film debut in They Knew What They Wanted (1940).

He would appear in such films as Winged Victory (1944), Kiss of Death (1947) and Where he Sidewalk Ends (1950) before his big break.

In 1951, he played Harold "Mitch" Mitchell in the film A Streetcar Named Desire and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Karl Madlen would go on to star in such films as I Confess (1953), On The Waterfront (1954), Baby Doll (1956), Pollyanna (1960), The Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), How the West Was Won (1962), The Cincinnati Kid (1965), Nevada Smith (1966), Patton (1970) and Wild Rovers (1971).

His final film was Nuts (1997).

He would earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for On The Waterfront (1954)

Karl Malden also frequently appeared on television shows and television movies like Alice in Wonderland, The Streets of San Fransico, Call Me Anna, Skag, His final performance before retiring would be on The West Wing in 2000.

He would be nominated for an Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama series for Streets of San Fransico four times.

He would win the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special for Fatal Vision (1984).

In 2004, he received the Screen Actors Guild Award for Lifetime Achievement.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for motion pictures.

On December 18, 1938, Malden married Mona Greenberg, who survives him. Their marriage was one of the longest in Hollywood's history, lasting more than 70 years.

Karl Malden passed away July 1, 2009 at the age of 96 of natural causes.

In addition to his wife, Malden is survived by daughters Mila and Carla, his sons-in-law, three granddaughters, Alison, Emily, and Cami, and four great-grandchildren, Mila, Stella, Charlie, and Thomas Karl.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Daniel Melnick (1932 - 2009)

Former producer and studio chief, Daniel Melnick passed away on October 13, 2009 of lung cancer at the age of 77.

Although best known for his film work, Daniel Melnick also worked extensively in television. At CBS and later NBC, he oversaw the popular comedy "Get Smart" from 1965 to 1969. He received Emmy awards for producing 1966's "Ages of Man," which was drawn from a John Gielguld stage show, and for a 1967 a version of "Death of a Salesman" with Lee J. Cobb.

After serving as the youngest staff producer in CBS' history, Melnick jumped to ABC in to become the vice president in charge of programming, where he was responsible for "The Fugitive" "The Untouchables," "Ben Casey" and "The Flintstones."

During the 1970s, he worked at MGM, first as a a vice president of production and then head of worldwide productions. While at MGM he worked on and was partly responsible for bringing to the silver screen such classics as Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979), Network (1976), That's Entertainment (1974), and That's Entertainment II (1976).

As president of Columbia, he oversaw films such as All That Jazz (1979), And Justice for All (1979), and The China Syndrome (1979).

In 1978 he left Columbia and became an independent producer bringing us such hits as Roxanne (1987), Total Recall (1990), Footloose (1984) .

Joseph Wiseman (1918 - 2009)

Joseph Wiseman was the original James Bond villian playing Dr. No in the movie of the same name.

Joseph Wiseman passed away at the age of 92 on October 19, 2009. He was the last surviving main villian of the Sean Connery James Bond movies.

Joseph Wiseman was born May 18, 1918 in Montreal, Canada.

In the 1930s, Joseph Wiseman made his Broadway debut. He was critically hailed for performfes in King Lear, Golden Boy, Uncle Vanya and Joan of Lorraine.

Joseph Wiseman film credits include With These Hands (1950), Detective Story (1951), Viva Zapata (1952), Les Miserables (1952), Three Brave Men (1956), The Garment Jungle (1957), The Happy Thieves (1962), The Counterfeit Killer (1968), The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968), Lawman (1971), Journey into Fear (1975) and Seize the Day (1986).

Joseph Wiseman's televison credits include Letter to Loretta, The Westerner, The Untouchables, The Twilight Zone, McCloud, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Magnum P.I., The A-Team, The Equalizer, Crime Story, MacGyver and L.A. Law.

Jospeh Wiseman's final appearance was playing Seymour Bergeen in a 1996 Law & Order episode entitled Family Business.

Pamela Blake (1918 - 2009)

Pamela Blake died October 6, 2009 at the age of 94.

She was a leading lady in Hollywood in low budget B movie films of the late 1930s, 1940s and 1950s in mainly westerns and mysteries.

She starred opposite John Wayne in Wyoming Outlaw (1939) and Tex Ritter in The Utah Trail (1938).

She was born in Oakland, California on August 6, 1918. She performed under her birth name Adele Pearce until 1942.

He first movie was an uncredited role in the 1934 film Eight Girls on a Boat.

She also had uncredited roles in such classics as Stage Door (1937) and Island in the Sky (1938).

She played Lily in Hitchcock's Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941) starring Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery.

She was Annie in This Gun For Hire (1942) starring Alan Ladd and Veroncia Lake.

She was in Maisie Gets Her Man (1942) with Ann Sothern and Red Skelton.

Her film credits include Fully Confession (1939), Millionaire Playboy (1940), The Omaha Trail (1942), Kid Dynamite (1943), Three's A Crowd (1945), The Sea Hound (1947), The Case of the Baby Sitter (1947), The Hat Box Mystery (1947), Stage Struck (1948), Ghost of Zorro (1949), The Dalton's Women (1950), Waco (1952), and Adventures of Texas Kid: Border Ambush (1954).

Larry Gelbart (1928-2009)

Larry Gelbart passed away on September 11, 2009 at the age of 81.

Larry Gelbart was born February 25, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois.

Gelbart was a television, radio, broadway, and movie writer, director and producer.

Larry Gelbart began his career as a writer at the age of sixteen writing for Danny Thomas' radio show during the 1940s. He also wrote for Jack Paar and Bob Hope.

In the 1950s, he worked in television for Sid Caeser on Caeser's Hour. He also wrote episodes for Your Show of Shows, The Red Buttons Show and The Danny Kaye Show.

During the 1970s he was one of the main forces behind the creation of the television series M*A*S*H as a writer, director and producer.

In 1982, Gelbart co-wrote the screenplay for Tootsie. He also wrote the screenplay for Oh, God! (1977), Blame it on Rio (1984) and Bedazzled (2000).

Larry Gelbart wrote the long-running Broadway musical farce A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in 1962.

He won the Drama Dest Awark for Outstanding Book of a Musical for City Of Angels. He also won an Edgar Award for the Iran-contra satire Mastergate and also for Sly Fox.

Larry Gelbart, who was diagnosed with cancer in June, died at his Beverly Hills home Friday morning after a long battle with cancer.