Categotry Archives: Hollywood

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Sheb Wooley

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Categories: Actors, Hollywood, Musicians

Shelby F. Wooley, a veteran actor who also recorded the song, “Purple People Eater,” died on Sept. 16 from leukemia. He was 82.
Growing up in Oklahoma, Wooley was a true cowboy. He did some rodeo riding and cattle rustling and formed his own country band. These skills would serve him well later in life.
During World War II, Wooley was labeled 4-F (ineligible for military service) because of injuries he’d suffered as a rodeo rider. So he moved to Nashville and made his first records for the Bullet label, but they didn’t get much airtime. In 1950, he signed a recording deal with MGM Records and moved to California. There he recorded a string of popular songs, like “Don’t Go Near the Eskimos” and “Talk Back Blubbering Lips.” He even wrote the theme song for the TV show, “Hee Haw.”
Wooley’s biggest hit came in 1958 when he recorded, “The Purple People Eater,” which topped the charts and sold 3 million copies. The silly tune about an unidentified flying object had people all over the U.S. singing, “It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater.” When he performed under the name Ben Colder, Wooley was voted comedian of the year in 1968 by the Country Music Association.
His other forte was acting in Hollywood westerns. Since the 1950s, he appeared in dozens of them, including “High Noon,” “Rio Bravo” and “The Outlaw Josey Wales.” He transferred his acting talents to the small screen in 1958 when he starred as Pete Nolan in the TV show, “Rawhide,” a western that helped launch Clint Eastwood’s career.
At his request, Wooley’s funeral services will begin at high noon.
IMDb Filmography

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Marion Hargrove

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Categories: Hollywood, Military, Writers/Editors

Marion Lawton Hargrove, Jr., a screenwriter and best-selling author, died on Aug. 23 from complications of pneumonia. He was 83.

Hargrove was working as a features editor at the Charlotte News during World War II when he was drafted into the Army. The luckless private chronicled his basic training experiences at Fort Bragg, N.C., in a series of humorous columns for his hometown newspaper. His stories were then collected into the book, “See Here, Private Hargrove!” which sold more than 2.6 million copies, hit number one on the best-seller list and became a feature film, starring Robert Walker, Sr. and Donna Reed.

After his time in the service ended, Hargrove spent three years traveling through Asia as a staff writer for the GI publication, Yank. When he returned to the states, he moved to Hollywood and wrote nine screenplays and more than a dozen scripts for TV shows like “The Waltons,” “I Spy,” and “Fantasy Island.” He also penned a film adaptation of ”The Music Man,” which won a Writers Guild Screenplay Award.

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Larry Hovis

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Categories: Actors, Hollywood

lhovis.jpgLarry Hovis, the actor who played Sgt. Carter in the 1960s television series “Hogan’s Heroes,” died of cancer on Sept. 9. He was 67.
Hovis became a popular entertainer in the late 1950s when he sang and did comedy skits in Houston nightclubs. After recording a solo album and appearing in several theatre productions in Texas and New York, Hovis moved to Hollywood.
He sold his screenplay for the beach party/spy spoof, “Out of Sight,” in 1964, and was cast in the TV show, “Gomer Pyle, USMC.” The following year, he was tapped to play Sgt. Andrew Carter, the demolitions expert in the World War II comedy, “Hogan’s Heroes.” He also made guest appearances on other TV shows, including “The New Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Alice.”
Hovis moved back to Texas in the 1990s and spent 12 years teaching acting and characterization at Texas State University-San Marcos.

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Leni Riefenstahl

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Categories: Hollywood

lriefenstahl.jpgLeni Riefenstahl, the director of Adolf Hitler’s propaganda films, died of natural causes. She was 101.
Born Helene Bertha Amalie Riefenstahl, she began her artistic career as a dancer until a knee injury knee made her shift her focus to movies. She appeared in seven Arnold Fanck films including, “Mountain of Destiny,” and was soon acting, writing and directing her own movies.
Riefenstahl heard Hitler speak for the first time at a 1932 rally and immediately wrote to him, offering her talents to his cause. She made four films for Hitler, including “Triumph of the Will,” which focused on the 1934 Nuremberg rallies and “Olympia,” an insider’s look at the 1936 Berlin Olympic games. Although many suspected Riefenstahl of being Hitler’s lover, she denied this claim. She was, however, the only woman to help shape the rise of the Third Reich.
For the next 60 years, Riefenstahl received critical acclaim for her films and photography books, but she never lived down her connection to the German dictator. In 2002, she was even investigated for Holocaust denial when she said she didn’t know that the Gypsies who appeared as extras in one of her wartime films later died in concentration camps. The case against her was eventually dropped.
Much of her work after the war focused on underwater photography. Even at 100, she still strapped on her scuba gear to photograph sharks and tropical fish in the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. In the early 1990s, she was the subject of the three-hour documentary, “The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl,” by German filmmaker Ray M

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Brianne Murphy

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Categories: Hollywood

Brianne Murphy, the first female director of photography invited to join the American Society of Cinematographers, died on Aug. 20 of metastatic brain cancer. She was 70.
Murphy attended Pembroke College in Providence, R.I., but left in the early 1950s to study acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. In 1954, she and a friend dressed up as clowns and crashed the opening night of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at Madison Square Garden. They performed in the center ring for four hours, and the stunt resulted in publicity in Look Magazine and The New York Times. The circus then hired her to assist the staff photographer.
While on tour with the circus, Murphy met and married low-budget horror film producer Jerry Warren. Their relationship brought her to Hollywood, where she took a $50-a-week job handling props, makeup and wardrobe on the 1956 film “Man Beast.” The director of photography allowed her to shoot one scene in the film, and her technical career was born.
Admitted to the cinematographers guild in 1973, Murphy was the first female director of photography in the Hollywood local. Seven years later, she became the first female director of photography to work on a major studio feature, a film called “Fatso,” which was written and directed by Anne Bancroft. In 1980, Murphy was invited to join the American Society of Cinematographers. For over a decade, she was its only female member.
As a D.P., Murphy worked on many television shows, including “Little House on the Prairie,” ‘”Trapper John, M.D.” and “In the Heat of the Night.” She won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1978 for best cinematography for the NBC film, “Five Finger Discount,” and shared an Academy Award of Merit in 1982 with Donald Schisler for designing and manufacturing the MISI camera insert car and process trailer, which provides a way to protect filmmakers while shooting action sequences.
Murphy was also a founder of Women in Film and a founding member of Behind the Lens, an organization of female film technicians. She won the Women in Film Lucy Award for Innovation in Television in 1995.
IMDb Filmography

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