Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Moby Dick" Actor Richard Basehart 1984 Westwood Village Cemetery

John Richard Basehart (August 31, 1914 – September 17, 1984) was an American actor. He played "Ishmael" in John Huston's MOBY DICK (1956) and starred in the 1960s television science fiction drama VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA (1964-1968), in the role of "Admiral Harriman Nelson."



One of his most notable film roles was the acrobat known as "the Fool" in the acclaimed Italian film La Strada, directed by Federico Fellini. He also appeared as the killer in the film noir classic He Walked by Night (1948), as a psychotic member of the Hatfield clan in Roseanna McCoy (1949), as Ishmael in Moby Dick (1956), and in the drama Decision Before Dawn (1951). He was married to Italian Academy Award-nominated actress Valentina Cortese, with whom he had one son, the actor Jackie Basehart, before their divorce in 1960. Cortese and Basehart also costarred in Robert Wise's The House on Telegraph Hill (1951).

LA STRADA (1954)

From 1964-68, Basehart played the lead role, Admiral Harriman Nelson, on Irwin Allen's first foray into science-fiction television, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Allen would go on to produce a number of sci-fi series in the 1960s and the highly successful feature films The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and The Towering Inferno (1974), earning him the moniker "The Master of Disaster." Although Basehart started his career as a film actor, he became best known for his role on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

MOBY DICK (1956)

Basehart was also noted for his deep, distinctive voice and was prolific as a narrator of many television and movie projects ranging from features to documentaries. In 1980, Basehart narrated the mini-series written by Peter Arnett called Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War that covered Vietnam and its battles from the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945 to the final American embassy evacuation on April 30, 1975. He appeared in the pilot episode of the television series Knight Rider as billionaire Wilton Knight. He is the narrator at the beginning of the show's credits.


He starred as Hitler in the 1962 film of that name. In 1971, Basehart played "Captain Sligo," a comical Irishman with a pet buffalo who negotiates a flawed but legal cattle purchase and unconventionally courts a widow with two children, played by Salome Jens, in CBS's western series, Gunsmoke, with James Arness. Basehart appeared in an episode of The Twilight Zone, Hawaii Five-O, and as Hannibal Applewood, an abusive schoolteacher in Little House on the Prairie in 1976.

In 1972, he appeared in the Columbo episode Dagger of the Mind in which he and Honor Blackman played a husband-and-wife theatrical team who were loose parodies of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. In the feature realm, he played a supporting role as a doctor in Rage (1972), a theatrical feature starring and directed by George C. Scott. He made a few TV movies including Sole Survivor (1970) and The Birdmen (1971). Both were based on true stories during World War II.

Personal life

He was married three times. After the death of his first wife Stephanie Klein, he wed Italian actress Valentina Cortese (whose name was spelled Cortesa in American films). After their divorce, Basehart married Diana Lotery, with whom he founded the charity Actors and Others for Animals.

Basehart died at age 70 following a series of strokes. One month before his death, Basehart was an announcer for the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He is buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Legacy in popular culture

He had a notable fan in the character of Gypsy from the cult cable television program Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Basehart is mentioned in the song "The Radio Is Broken" on the 1983 Frank Zappa album The Man from Utopia.

Actor Stephen Lee Memorial Video

Stephen Lee (November 11, 1955 – August 14, 2014) was an American actor from Englewood, New Jersey. This video includes his appearance in: "Hart to Hart," DOLLS, "Roseanne," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Babylon 5," "Roseanne and Tom: Behind the Scenes," "Everyone Loves Raymond," 'Cybill," "Seinfeld," "Becker," "Chicago Hope," "Nip/Tuck," and "Fear Itself." 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Actor Denny Miller in "Have Gun - Will Travel"

Denny Scott Miller (born Dennis Linn Miller; April 25, 1934 – September 9, 2014) was an American actor, perhaps best known for his regular role as Duke Shannon on Wagon Train, his guest-starring appearances on Gilligan's Island, and his 1959 film role as Tarzan.

Actor Stephen Lee on "Seinfeld"

Stephen Lee (November 11, 1955 – August 14, 2014) was an American actor from Englewood, New Jersey. In addition to appearing in over 200 television shows, he has acted in 39 movies including: LA BAMBA, DOLLS, WARGAMES, ROBOCOP 2, THE NEGOTIATOR, and many others. This video features his appearance in an episode of "Seinfeld."

Peg Entwistle Hollywood Sign Suicide 1932

Peg Entwistle (5 February 1908 – 16 September 1932)[1] was a Welsh-born English actress of stage and screen, who gained notoriety after she killed herself by jumping from the Hollywood sign, shortly following her appearance in the film Thirteen Women.

Life and career

Entwistle was born Millicent Lilian Entwistle in Port Talbot, Wales, to English parents Robert S. and Emily (née Stevenson). She spent the first eight years of her life in West Kensington, London.[2] She later adopted "Peg" as a stage name and retained it for the remainder of her life. As a very young girl in March 1916, Entwistle came to America, via Liverpool with her father (Robert), her uncle (Charles Harold), and their two wives, Lauretta and Jane, aboard the SS Philadelphia.[3] Robert Entwistle had previously been brought to the U.S. from England by famed Broadway producer Charles Frohman and worked as Frohman's stage manager. After their father was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 1922, Entwistle and her two half-brothers were taken in by their uncle, Charles Entwistle, an actor and then manager of Broadway star Walter Hampden.[4]


In 1925, Entwistle was living in Boston as a student of Henry Jewett's Repertory (now called The Huntington Theatre), and was one of the pioneering Henry Jewett Players who were gaining national attention. Walter Hampden gave Entwistle an uncredited walk-on part in his Broadway production of Hamlet which starred Ethel Barrymore.[5] She carried the King's train and brought in the poison-cup.[6]

Later, Entwistle played the role of "Hedvig" in Henrik Ibsen's The Wild Duck. It was Entwistle's performance that inspired a young Bette Davis to pursue acting. After the play, Bette Davis told her mother, "...I want to be exactly like Peg Entwistle."[7] Over the years, as she recounted her career, Bette Davis made several public references crediting Entwistle as her inspiration. Some years later, Yurka sent a note to Davis asking if she would like to play Hedvig. Davis sent word back to the Broadway director that ever since she had seen Entwistle in The Wild Duck, she knew she would someday play Hedvig.[7]

Soon after, Entwistle was recruited by the prestigious New York Theatre Guild. Her first credited Broadway performance was in June 1926 as "Martha" in The Man from Toronto, which opened at The Selywn Theatre and ran for 28 performances.[8] Entwistle performed in ten Broadway plays as a member of the Theatre Guild between 1926 and 1932, and worked with some of the most notable of her day, including George M. Cohan, William Gillette, Bob Cummings, Dorothy Gish, Hugh Sinclair, Henry Travers and Laurette Taylor. Her longest-running play, the 1927 smash hit Tommy in which she starred with Sidney Toler, ran for 232 performances and was the play for which she was best remembered.[9]

In April 1927, Entwistle married fellow actor Robert Keith at the chapel of the New York City Clerk's office.[10] She was granted a divorce from him in May 1929, when telling the judge that Keith "pulled a handful of hair from her head and that only intervention of a New York hotel detective saved her from great bodily injury."[11] Aside from charging him with cruelty, she claimed that he did not inform her that he had been married before and was the father of a six-year-old boy (actor Brian Keith).[9]

The play The Uninvited Guest closed after only seven performances in September 1927. Despite the play's poor reception, Entwistle was given positive reviews for her work. New York Times critic, J. Brooks Atkinson, wrote, "...Peg Entwistle gave a performance considerably better than the play warranted."[12]

She went on tour with the Theater Guild between Broadway productions. Changing characters every week, Entwistle drew a certain amount of publicity. She was featured in a number of articles, such as one from the Sunday edition of the New York Times in 1927,[6] and the Oakland Tribune several years later.[13]

Aside from a part in the suspense drama Sherlock Holmes and The Strange Case of Miss Faulkner, and despite her desire to play more-challenging roles, Entwistle was often cast as a comedienne; usually the attractive, good-hearted ingénue. In 1929, she told a reporter:

"I would rather play roles that carry conviction. Maybe it is because they are the easiest and yet the hardest things for me to do. To play any kind of an emotional scene I must work up to a certain pitch. If I reach this in my first word, the rest of the words and lines take care of themselves. But if I fail I have to build up the balance of the speeches, and in doing this the whole characterization falls flat. I feel that I am cheating myself. I don't know whether other actresses get this same reaction or not, but it does worry me."[13]

Entwistle's last Broadway appearance was in J.M. Barrie's Alice Sit-by-the-Fire.[14] Also starring was Laurette Taylor, one of the most popular and well-loved performers of her day. Due to her chronic alcoholism, Taylor failed to appear for two evening performances in less than a month, forcing the producers to refund the ticket-holders,[15] and end the show's run several weeks short of its schedule.[16] Entwistle and her co-players only received a week's salary at the time of the closing and not a percentage of the box office gross as had been agreed upon before the show opened.[17]

Hollywood Sign Suicide Jumper Peg Entwistle's House on Beachwood


On May 4, 1932, a Los Angeles paper announced that West Coast producers Edward Belasco and Homer Curran had brought Entwistle to Los Angeles to co-star with Billie Burke in the Romney Brent play, The Mad Hopes.[18] It was staged solely as a tryout in preparation for a Broadway opening, then opened to rave reviews on May 23, 1932 at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles. The Belasco had 1,600 seats but the house was standing-room only to the doors. The Mad Hopes was a hit and closed on June 4, 1932 as scheduled. Theatre critic Flo Lawrence commented:

"...Belasco and Curran have staged the new play most effectively and have endowed this Romney Brent opus with every distinction of cast and direction. (producer) Bela Blau ... has developed the comedy to its highest points. Costumes and settings are of delightful quality, and every detail makes the production one entirely fit for its translation to the New York stage. In the cast Peg Entwistle and Humphrey Bogart hold first place in supporting the star (Billie Burke) and both give fine, serious performances. Miss Entwistle as the earnest, young daughter (Geneva Hope) of a vague mother and presents a charming picture of youth..."[19]

Despite the play's success and Entwistle's attempts to impress the critics, nothing came of her efforts.[9] She was set to return to New York when the play closed but Radio Pictures (RKO) called her for a screen test. On June 13, 1932, Entwistle signed a contract for a one-picture deal with RKO Studios and reported early in July to shoot her part as Hazel Cousins in Thirteen Women.[20] By this time, Entwistle already had played screen bits in several films.[9]

The film received poor reviews and negative feedback from test screenings. The studio held it back and edited out scenes deemed unnecessary to reduce running time, cutting back Entwistle's screen time greatly. The film would premiere after Entwistle's death at the Roxy Theater in New York City on October 14, 1932, and was released on November 11, 1932 to poor reviews.

Hollywood Sign Suicide Jumper Peg Entwistle's House on BeachwoodHollywood Sign Suicide Jumper Peg Entwistle's House on BeachwoodHollywood Sign Suicide Jumper Peg Entwistle's House on Beachwood


On Friday, September 16, 1932, Entwistle jumped from the "H" of the Hollywood sign (which then read "Hollywoodland"). Her body lay in the 100-foot ravine below until it was found two days later by a woman who wished to remain anonymous. Acting on this anonymous tip, a detective and two radio car officers found the body of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman who was moderately well-dressed. She remained unidentified until her uncle connected the description and the initials "P.E." on the suicide note in the newspapers with his niece's two-day absence.[21]

After identifying her body, Harold Entwistle filled in some of the blanks for authorities and the press. Entwistle was upset at not being able to impress the studios, and told her uncle that she was going to walk to a nearby drugstore and then visit friends. Instead, she made her way up the southern slope of Mount Lee, near her uncle's home, to the foot of the Hollywoodland sign. After placing her coat, shoes and purse containing the suicide note at the base of the sign, she made her way up a workman's ladder to the top of the "H".[21] The cause of death was listed by the coroner as "multiple fractures of the pelvis."[22]

Peg Entwistle's suicide note read:

"I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E."[23]

Her funeral was held in Hollywood and the body cremated. Her ashes were later sent to Glendale, Ohio for burial next to her father in Oak Hill Cemetery; her remains were interred on January 5, 1933.[24]


1.^ As explained elsewhere in the article, Entwistle almost certainly died on the night of September 16, 1932, but her body was not discovered until two days later, at which time the coroner pronounced her dead. Therefore, her date of death was listed as September 18, 1932, on the death certificate.
2.^ Official Port Talbot Registrar's Births Certificate Feb 5, 1908
3.^ List or Manifest of Alien Passengers of S.S. Philadelphia. March 11, 1916.
4.^ "Actor Dies; Struck By Auto That Fled". New York Times. 1922-12-20.
5.^ Hamlet at the Internet Broadway Database
6.^ a b "And Who Is Peg Entwistle?". New York Times. 1927-02-20.
7.^ a b Chandler, Charlotte (2006). The Girl Who Walked Home Alone: Bette Davis, a Personal Biography. Simon and Schuster. pp. 38. ISBN 0-743-26208-5.
8.^ "The Play by J. Brooks Atkinson: Smart Comedy in June". New York Times. June 28, 1926.
9.^ a b c d "Girl Ends Life After Failure In Hollywood", Syracuse Herald, September 20, 1932, p. 5
10.^ NYC Marriage license #12687. April 18, 1927.
11.^ "Pulled Hair - Stage Star Gets Divorce After Tale of Fight With Husband", The Pittsburgh Press, May 3, 1929, p. 47
12.^ "'Uninvited Guest' Falters". New York Times. 1927-09-28.
13.^ a b "English Actress With Guild". Oakland Tribune. 1929-05-05.
14.^ Atkinson, J. Brooks (1932-03-08). "A Night of Barrie ... Alice Sit-by-the-Fire". New York Times.
15.^ "Two Barrie Revivals Suddenly Canceled". New York Times. 1932-03-15.
16.^ "Laurette Taylor Absent". New York Times. 1932-04-06.
17.^ Courtney, Marguerite (1968). Laurette. Atheneum. pp. 342.
18.^ Yeaman, Elizabeth, 1932-05-04; 1932-06-07, Hollywood Citizen-News
19.^ Lawrence, Florence, 1932-05-24, Los Angeles Examiner
20.^ RKO contract dated June 13, 1932.
21.^ "Suicide Laid To Film Jinx". Los Angeles Times. 1932-09-20. pp. A1.
22.^ County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health/Vital Statistics--Standard Certificate of Death #10501, sections 24-25; Filed September 20, 1932
23.^ "Girl Leaps To Death From Sign". Los Angeles Times. 1932-09-19. pp. A1.
24.^ "Peg Entwistle". Find a Grave.

Actor Stefan Gierasch in "Tales From the Crypt"

Stefan Gierasch (February 5, 1926 – September 6, 2014) was an American film and television actor. Gierasch made over 100 screen appearances, mostly in American television, beginning in 1951. In the mid-60s, he performed with the Trinity Square Players in Providence, Rhode Island. He appeared in dozens of films including in The Hustler, Jeremiah Johnson, What's Up Doc? High Plains Drifter, and Carrie. In 1994 he appeared in the Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito film Junior as 'Edward Sawyer,' and in 1995's Murder in the First as Warden James Humson.' Gierasch made many TV appearances, as on Starsky and Hutch, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and ER.

Actress Arlene Martel Memorial Video - Star Trek's T'Pring

Arlene Martel (April 14, 1936 – August 12, 2014) was an American actress and acting coach.

Martel appeared in the Star Trek episode "Amok Time" (1967) as T'Pring, the original The Outer Limits episode "Demon with a Glass Hand" (1964), the French Underground contact Tiger in five episodes of Hogan's Heroes, a female cosmonaut on I Dream of Jeannie, and a Hungarian immigrant Magda on The Fugitive episode "The Blessings of Liberty" (1966). She appeared in two classic The Twilight Zone episodes: "What You Need" and as the nurse who repeatedly utters the sinister phrase "Room for one more, Honey!" at the entrance to a hospital morgue in "Twenty-Two." She also appeared in Columbo, Six Million Dollar Man, The Monkees, The Man From Uncle, Mission Impossible, Battleship Galactica, and The Wild Wild West.

Martel married and divorced three times. Her first marriage was to Robert Palmer. Her second marriage was to actor Jerry Douglas. Her third was to Boyd Holister. She had three children: Adam Palmer, Avra Douglas, and Los Angeles Times editor Jod Kaftan.

Martel died on August 12, 2014. The death was announced via her friend Marc Cushman, whose book series These Are The Voyages about the production of Star Trek had recently been published; Martel's last public appearance had been with Cushman in Santa Monica, California, to promote the book. The announcement was made via Cushman's Facebook page, noting the actress had recently suffered a heart attack.