I am sorry to read that Geoffrey Palmer has passed away. I first noticed him in the sitcom Butterflies, which Atlanta’s PBS station showed in constant rotation in the late eighties, and soon enough noticed him in just about everything else. Equally comfortable as a guest star in dramas like Doctor Who or Doomwatch as taking a starring role in comedies like Reginald Perrin and As Time Goes By, he was simply one of those familiar faces that made me smile whenever he appeared on screen. Our condolences to his family and friends.
I was sad to read that Sean Connery has passed away. He was hugely entertaining as James Bond and Henry Jones Sr., and he also had a small but very memorable appearance in Time Bandits, Marie’s favorite film. I enjoyed him in just about everything I saw him in, which was a lot of movies. Our condolences to his family and friends.
Today, the heartbreaking news that we’ve lost the great Diana Rigg to cancer. Naturally, I was a fan since I was a teenager, and I really enjoyed watching her take over from Vincent Price as the host of PBS’s Mystery!. She got to play a diabolical mastermind in a very good 2013 episode of Doctor Who, which was only fair, since she’d spent the mid-sixties kicking the daylights out of the dozens of diabolical masterminds who threatened Avengerland. Our condolences to her family and friends.
Tonight, I read the absolutely gut-punching news that the talented actor Chadwick Boseman has passed away at far too young an age. He played Jackie Robinson and Thurgood Marshall and James Brown and T’Challa and I wish he could have made a hundred more movies. Our condolences to his family and friends.
Last week, the great character actor John Saxon passed away. We’ve seen him as a villain at least four times in this blog; if we were writing a broader blog about the film and television of the sixties through the eighties, we’d certainly see him many times more. He was regularly cast as villain, a cop, or a heavy, and if you’ve never seen him in Enter the Dragon, you really should. Our condolences to his family and friends.
COVID-19 has taken Tim Brooke-Taylor from us. This one really hurt. It broke my heart to tell our son that we’ve lost one of The Goodies, and so we looked for a smile in the legendary travel agent sketch from Marty, where Tim and Marty Feldman drive John Junkin insane. Tim also featured in At Last the 1948 Show and the radio series I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue for almost fifty years. Our condolences to his family and friends.
She guest starred in both Columbo and Doctor Who, and I honestly don’t believe that anybody other than Honor Blackman can claim that. She became internationally famous for her role as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, and before that, she was knocking stuntmen unconscious as Cathy Gale in the second and third series of The Avengers. She was an icon of the sixties and stayed busy as an actress for many years after that. Our condolences to her family and friends.
I’m very sad to read that the wonderful character actor David Collings has passed away. An icon of cult TV, he starred in an Asimov adaptation on Out of the Unknown and was in Doctor Who three times. When the BBC dubbed the 1978 Japanese TV series Journey to the West as Monkey, Collings provided the voice of Monkey. (Or Son Goku or Alakazam or Jesse Dart or whatever that character is called in whatever iteration you’re watching.) But he’ll be best remembered as Silver, the devious and friendly technician who showed up in two Sapphire & Steel adventures and downright stole the show from the leads. Our condolences to his family and friends.
Sadly, we’ve lost one of my childhood heroes. Lyle Waggoner, who starred as Steve Trevor in the first season of Wonder Woman and the character’s son, Steve Trevor Jr., in the other two seasons of Wonder Woman, died yesterday. He also appeared for several years in The Carol Burnett Show. Our condolences to his family and friends.
Almost all of Swedish film titan Max von Sydow’s work is outside the scope of our blog, though I certainly hope that our son will enjoy The Exorcist, The Seventh Seal, and Three Days of the Condor when he’s old enough to discover movies without his old man forcing the issue. But we will be seeing his legendary appearance as Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon later this spring, and I’ll tell him that he just will not believe how many good movies von Sydow made. Our condolences to his family and friends.
Claudette Nevins appeared in dozens of roles on stage and screen and is probably remembered for a lot more than two segments of a tacky Saturday morning show, but for two wonderful weeks in 1976, she portrayed the Empress of Evil, a breathtakingly kinky horror hostess type who matched wits with that daring duo Electra Woman and Dyna Girl on The Krofft Supershow. Even in a show where good actors like Michael Constantine and Malachi Throne were allowed and encouraged to have fun going way, way over the top, Nevins looked like she was having a better time than everybody on the planet. I honestly may not recognize Nevins in many of her other roles, but the Empress of Evil was unforgettable. Our condolences to her family and friends.