Bill Dana, a comic with roots that go back to the earliest days of television, has died at 92.
Dana made a heavily accented Bolivian character internationally famous on The Steve Allen Plymouth Show in 1959 with the catchphrase, “My name ... José Jiménez”; created the, “Would you believe ... ?” line for Don Adams (1923-2005); and wrote the classic Sammy Davis Jr. (1925-1990) episode of All in the Family, in which the bigoted Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor, 1924-2001) received a kiss on the cheek from Davis.
The Jiménez character was accepted by many Latinos, though he later abandoned it in order to be sensitive.
As Uncle Angelo (GIF via NBC)
Later in his career, Dana owned an ad agency and was introduced to younger viewers as Uncle Angelo on The Golden Girls in six episodes that aired from 1988 to 1992. After that gig, he gave only one more performance on TV, on the Golden Girls spin-off Empty Nest in 1994.
Bruce McGill, Furst & Jim Belushi in Animal House in 1978 (Image via Universal)
Via ExtraTV: Stephen Furst, the actor who played the larger-than-life doofus Flounder in National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) has died.
His sons posted a loving tribute on Furst's official Facebook page, in which they attributed his surprising death to diabetes and urged fans to laugh at memories of Furst rather than cry over his departure.
Furst recreated his Flounder character on the flop TV series Delta House (1979), and had recurring roles on both St. Elsewhere (1983-1988) and Babylon 5 (1994-1998).
His other most noteworthy film role was in the cult hit Midnight Madness (1980).
Jim French: July 14, 1932-June 15, 2017 (Image via SHOWstudio)
Via BobMizer.org: Jim French, the renowned male physique photographer known for his hypermasculine imagery of muscular and sometimes hairy men has died at 84.
1969 illustration entitled “Longhorns Dance” (Image by Jim French)
French's partner, Jeff Turner, confirmed French died in his sleep June 15.
French's wildly popular macho aesthetic, rendered in photography and drawings, made his work among the most sought-after in the field of erotic art.
COLT Studio superstud Roger Callard at left with Mae West in the movie Sextette in 1978 (Crown)
After being discharged from the military in 1957, French moved to NYC, where he worked as a fashion illustrator and summered on Fire Island, surrounded by exhibitionistic men in stark contrast to the conservatism of the times. Doing erotic work under the pseudonym Arion, he began a mail-order company called Luger, after the German pistol.
Luger was a hit, but French sold his share to a partner and launched COLT Studio in 1967. The business boomed immediately. As a photographer, he often shot under the name Rip Colt, choosing models who defined his taste so thoroughly that a COLT man became easy to envision — brawny, muscular to the point of swollen, hung, glistening, idealized.
Classic examples of COLT men (Images by Jim French/COLT Studio)
French eventually left for California.
Along with his successes as an artist, in 1972 he published the quintessential male physique collection Man. He went on to publish many more books, including Another Man; Jim French Men,; Quorum; Opus Deorum; Masc.; The Art of Jim French; The Art of the Male Nude; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor: Jim French Polaroids (pictured); and Jim French Diaries: The Creator of Colt Studio.
In his final years, French marketed prints of his classic imagery.
French pictured recently with poet Alex Gildzen:
(Image via Alex Gildzen)
Tributes from porn legend Mickey Squires aka Richard Bernstein and other admirers:
Via Rolling Stone: Anita Pallenberg, an actress and model and style trendsetter who was often considered a muse for the Rolling Stones, has died at 73.
Pallenberg, girlfriend of Brian Jones (first leader of the Stones) and, later, Keith Richards (the band's guitarist), also had a tryst with Stones frontman Mick Jagger. She gave birth to three kids with Richards, two of whom survive her.
She made her film debut in 1967's Degree of Murder.
Among Pallenberg's most noteworthy acting credits: Playing the Great Tyrant in Barbarella (1968), Dillinger Is Dead (1969), Performance (1970; she co-wrote it) and a cameo in Madonna's “Drowned World”/“Substitute for Love” music video (1998).
Adam West: September 19, 1928—June 9, 2017 (Image via ABC)
Via ExtraTV: Adam West, TV's deadpan Batman on the '60s series (1966-1968) of the same name, who also played the Caped Crusader in a big-screen movie (1966) and in many other venues, has died after a short battle with leukemia at age 88.
His family's statement is touching:
It's with great sadness that we are sharing this news... Adam West passed away peacefully last night after a short but brave battle with leukemia. He was a beloved father, husband, grandfather, and great-grandfather. There are no words to describe how much we'll miss him. We know you'll miss him too and we want you to know how much your love and support meant to him throughout the years. Hug your loved ones today.
His official Twitter also bore a tear-inducing message:
Our beloved AW passed away last night. He was the greatest. We'll miss him like crazy. We know you'll miss him too - West Family pic.twitter.com/8bkEq1C2ao
West's mother was a musician and opera singer who longed to be a professional entertainer, but it was her son who took up that mantle when he left the army following drafted service and was cast as a second banana to a chimpanzee on a Hawaiian TV shot called El Kini Popo Show. To West's credit, he was so good he eventually got top billing.
You go, young man West!
West's stiff demeanor made him right for patrician, straitlaced parts, often in outlandish B movies like Voodoo Island (1957), Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) and The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (1980).
He worked extensively in early TV, appearing on shows like 77 Sunset Strip (1958); Lawman, Sugarfoot, Maverick (all 1959) and Perry Mason (1961).
The role suited him. (GIF via ABC)
His big break was starring as Bruce Wayne aka Batman on the '60s series that was a ratings and pop cultural sensation for a spell. West's dry, vanilla take on Batman made the campy goings-on around him all the funnier, but it also led to one of the worst cases of typecasting any actor has ever endured.
When the series ended, he worked from project to project, rarely landing anything steady outside the short-lived 1986 sitcom The Last Precinct.
Finally, in 2000, West struck gold as Mayor Adam West on Family Guy, a lucrative gig that continued until his death.
He was, decades after having his career torpedoed by his greatest success, able to play off of his image and also revisit the Batman character in his later years, lending his voice to video games and even to 2017's The Lego Batman Movie.
West was warm toward his fans, appearing at countless autograph shows and conventions.
My video of West and the other Batman stars answering questions in 2011 at The Hollywood Show:
A lot can change in 6.5 years — after the jump, watch my video from when I met much of the Batman cast, including the late Yvonne Craig and the now late Adam West ...
Glenne Headly, perhaps best known for her role as Tess Trueheart in the 1990 Warren Beatty-directed film Dick Tracy, has died at just 62.
She died of complications from a pulmonary embolism.
(GIF via Disney)
Variety reports her rep has confirmed the passing and asked for privacy.
Headly was a well-known Chicago stage actress prior to her jump to TV and film.
Along with her role in Dick Tracy, Headly was nominated for an Emmy for her performance in the 1989 miniseries Lonesome Dove and was nominated again seven years year for the Anjelica Huston-directed Bastard Out of Carolina, based on the book by Dorothy Alllison.
A light moment in Mr. Holland's Opus (Image via Disney)
Headly appeared in a variety of films, making her debut in 1981's Four Friends, and making impressions in Doctor Detroit (1983), Eleni (1985), Making Mr. Right (1987), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), And the Band Played On (1993), Mr. Holland's Opus (1996) and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004).
She was filming the Seth Rogen/Evan Goldberg Hulu pilot Future Man opposite Josh Hutcherson and Ed Begley Jr. at the time of her sudden death.
Headly, who was married to John Malkovich from 1982-1988, is survived by her husband and their son.