Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Robert Culp (1930-2010)

Robert Culp best known for his role on the groundbreaking television series "I Spy" died on March 24, 2010 at the age of 79.

Robert Culp was born on August 16, 1930 in Oakland, California.

Robert Culp began his acting career on an episode of You are There in 1953. Before being cast in I Spy, Robert Culp appeared on episodes of Robert Montgomery Presents, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Trackdown, Rawhide, Wagon Train, Ben Casey and Bonanza.

In 1965 he was cast as Kelly Robinson opposite Bill Cosby in I Spy. He was nominated for three primetime Emmy awards for his performance. In 1965 he was also nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for I Spy.

Robert Culp appeared in films such as PT 109 (1963), Sunday in New York (1963), The Raiders (1963), Rhino (1964), Breaking Point (1976), and The Pelican Brief (1994).

Robert Culp's most famous film was Bob, Carol, Ted, and Alice (1969) in which he played Bob.

Through the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Robert Culp was a familiar face on television appearing in numerous made for television movies and episodes of Love Boat, Golden Girls, Columbo, Greatest American Hero, The Cosby Show, Matlock, Wings and Chicago Hope.

Robert Culp had a re-occuring role on Everybody Loves Raymond as Warren Whelan, Debra's father.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fess Parker (1924-2010)

Fess Parker was famous for playing Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in both film and on television.

Fess Parker was born on August 16, 1924 in Fort Worth, Texas.

He served in the U.S. Marine Corps at the end of World War II. Parker graduated from the University of Texas in 1950 with a history degree, and then moved to California, where he studied drama at the University of Southern California.

Discovered by Adolphe Menjou who was a guest artist at the University of Texas while Fess Parker was a student. Menjou helped him with formal introductions when he first got to Hollywood.

Fess Parker began his film career as the voice of Leslie, the chauffeur in Harvey (1950). He next appeared on Broadway in Mister Roberts (1951).

Fess Parker became a contract player with Warner Brothers appearing in small roles in several films such as Springfield Rifle (1952), Island in the Sky (1953), The Bounty Hunter (1954), and Battle Cry (1955).

In 1955, Fess Parker was cast to play Davey Crockett in Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955). This led to a contract with Disney.

As a contract star for Disney appearing in many films such as The Great Locomotive Chase (1956), and Westward Ho, The Wagons! (1956) and Old Yeller (1957).

Fess Parker also appeared in Alias Jesse James (1959), Hell Is for Heroes (1962), and Daniel Boone: Frontier Trail Rider (1966).

On television, Fess Parker played Davy Crocket in the miniseries Davy Crockett (1954-1955) Sen. Eugene Smith in
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1962-1963) and Daniel Boone in Daniel Boone (1964-1970).

Fess Parker was named a Disney Legend in 1991.

Fess Parker retired from the film industry in the 1970s.

Parker built his first resort hotel in Santa Barbara in 1986. Set on 23.5 ocean front acres, Fess Parker's Double Tree Resort faces one of Santa Barbara's nicest beaches

In 1987, Parker purchased a 714 acre ranch thirty five miles north of Santa Barbara, in the Santa Ynez Valley, where he promptly set about planning and establishing Fess Parker's Winery & Vineyard.

In 1998, Parker purchased The Grand Hotel in Los Olivos, just minutes from his winery. The charming 21 room Victorian-style Inn is now called “Fess Parker's Wine Country Inn & Spa”.

Fess Parker has received numerous awards for producing some of the region's finest wines.

Fess Parker married Marcella Rinehart on January 18, 1960. Thaey have two children, 11 grandchildren, and one great grand son.

Fess Parker died on March 18, 2010 of natural causes.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Peter Graves (1926-2010)

Peter Graves was born Peter Aurness on March 18, 1926 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The son of Ruth Duesler, a journalist and Rolf Cirkler Aurness, a business man. Peter Graves was the younger brother of actor James Arness (Gunsmoke).

Peter Graves appeared in more than seventy films, TV series and TV movies. Peter Graves' film debut was in Winning Your Wings (1942).

In 1953, Peter Graves played Price, a hot-shot German spy placed among allied POWs in the movie Stalag 17.

In 1955, Peter Graves was cast as Jim Newton in the televison show Fury (1955-1960).

In 1955, Peter Graves played Ben Harper, the father on the run from the law in the film Night of the Hunter.

In 1967, Peter Graves was hired to replace Steven Hill as the lead actor on Mission: Impossible. Peter Graves played Jim Phelps, the sometimes gruff leader of the Impossible Missions Force or IMF, for the remaining six seasons of the series.

He won a Golden Globe Award in 1971 for his role as Jim Phelps in the series Mission: Impossible

Peter Graves played Captain Clarence Oveur in the comedies Airplane! (1980) and Airplane II: The Sequel (1982).

Peter Graves played Colonel John Camden on the WB Network TV series 7th Heaven (1997 - 2007).

Peter Graves also appeared in films such as Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (1953), The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955), The Long Gray Line (1955), Beginning of the End (1957), A Rage to Live (1965), The Ballad of Josie (1967), The Five Man Army (1969), The Guns and the Fury (1981), Number One with a Bullet (1987), Addams Family Values (1993) and Men in Black II (2002).

Peter Graves also appeared in television episodes of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Cold Case, Diagnosis Murder, Burke's Law, The Golden Girls, The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote, Fantasy Island, and Simon & Simon.

In 1997, Peter Graves was an Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series
for: Judy Garland: Beyond the Rainbow.

Peter Graves married Joan Endress on December 16, 1950, they were married 59 years until his death.

Peter Graves died of natural causes on March 14, 2010 at the age of 83.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dorothy Janis (1910 - 2010)

Dorothy Janis was born Dorothy Penelope Jones on February 19, 1910 in Dallas, Texas.

When Dorothy was 15 years old she was visiting her cousin who was working on a film for Fox. The beautiful Dorothy was noticed at once and asked to make a screen test.

She was cast in her first film role in Kit Carson (1928) as Sings-in-the-Clouds. That same year, she played Thurya in Fleetwing (1928).

Within a year, although she was just 16, Dorothy Janis was signed by Metro to a 5-year contract. Metro said publicly that Janis was 18 and half-Cherokee; neither fact was true.

Dorothy's first film for MGM was The Overland Telegraph (1929).

She is best known for playing opposite Ramon Novarro in The Pagan (1929), her second film for MGM and overall her fourth film.

In 1930, she appeared in her final film as Chita in Lummox (1930).

Dorothy Janis was scheduled to appear in one more film entitled The White Captive. In 1930, Dorothy and the film compnay sailed to the for a tour of the Malay Peninsula to make a film to be entitled The White Captive. When the company returned to Hollywood at the end of 1930, however, the studio found that shot footage was virtually unusable, and worse yet, poor Dorothy Janis found herself at the epicenter of a tabloid scandal.

Sidney Lund, a newlywed sound technician who traveled with the White Captive company, apparently formed a crush on Janis during the 6-month trip, inspiring Mrs. Lund, a former vaudeville dancer, to file for divorce and to sue Janis for $25,000 for "alienation of affection."

Mrs. Lund eventually got her divorce and dropped her suit against Dorothy Janis.

Admist the scandal, Dorothy Janis traveled to Chicago to visit an aunt to get away from the Hollywood scandal. During the trip, Dorothy Janis met and fell in love with bandleader Wayne King.

The two were married on March 21, 1932 and were married 53 years until his death on July 16, 1985.

Dorothy Janis was an exotic beauty who made five films: four silents and one talkie. She retired in 1930 and currently resides in Arizona. She has two children and six grandchildren.

Few knew or could even have imagined that the happy housewife and mother of two and grandmother of six once wore a sarong in the Tahitian jungles listening to Ramon Novarro croon the "Pagan Love Song."

Dorothy Janis died on March 10, 2010 at the age of 100.