Peter Neufeld, Broadway Manager Turned AIDS Activist, Dead At 78
UPDATE, FRIDAY 6:30 AM: Adds quote from Neufeld’s column, below:
Peter Neufeld, a Broadway general manager and producer who with business partner R. Tyler Gatchell sailed through the ’70s and ’80s on New York productions of several Andrew Lloyd Webber shows, has died. Neufeld was 78 when he died Jan. 27 at the Actors Fund home in Englewood, N.J. after a years-long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
He leaves a legacy that includes some two decades of AIDS activism and… Read
‘Thorn Birds’ Author Colleen McCullough Dies At 77
Colleen McCullough, the Australian author of 1977 bestseller, The Thorn Birds, which served as the basis for one of the most popular TV miniseries ever, died today on Australia’s Norfolk Island. The novelist had suffered poor health in recent years. She was 77. McCullough was born in New South Wales in 1937 and worked as a neuroscientist before writing the first of her 25 books, Tim. Published in 1974, it was later made into a feature starring Mel Gibson and Piper Laurie… Read
Bob Bardo Dies; Longtime Dick Clark Productions Exec
Bob Bardo, a longtime production executive at dick clark prods, has died. He was 71. A dcp rep said today that Bardo died December 20 in Studio City, CA, but did not give a cause of death. “You knew there was always a light on at dick clark productions, and it came from the office of Bob Bardo,” the company said in a statement.
Born in Potsdam, NY, Bardo began his broadcast career working in engineering, operations, administration and sales at the local station level… Read
Joe Franklin, Talk Show Pioneer, Dies At 88
Joe Franklin, a pioneering host of talk shows on both radio and TV whose spotlight helped jumpstart careers for many notable performers, died Saturday, at the age of 88, of cancer. He had been fighting the disease for several years, a friend said.
Franklin is credited with creating what’s become the standard talk-show trope – an urbane and curious host behind a desk, interviewing a range of the famous, the interesting and those somewhere in between.
He started in TV in… Read
Peggy Charren Dead: Relentless Advocate Helped Revolutionize The Kids TV Industry
Peggy Charren, a children’s TV advocate who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her role in bringing monumental changes to programming for young viewers, died Thursday at her home in the Boston suburb of Dedham. She was 86. Her daughter, Deborah Charren Diehl, told the Boston Globe that Charren had suffered from vascular dementia for several years.
Charren co-founded the nonprofit Action for Children's Television in 1968. After decades of campaigning, the… Read
Frank Mazzola Dies: ‘Rebel Without A Cause’ Actor And Film Editor Was 79
Actor and film editor Frank Mazzola, who appeared in small roles in several Hollywood classics including Rebel Without A Cause, Casablanca, East Of Eden and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, has died. He was 79.
In June, Mazzola, who had Alzheimer’s, went missing for four days in LA before being found with the help of police and Catherine Hader, his wife of 19 years.
Born in Hollywood in 1935 – his father was the first contract player at Fox Studios – Mazzola was only 4 when… Read
Tony Verna, TV Director & Instant Replay Inventor, Dies At 81
Television director and producer Tony Verna, who revolutionized live sports coverage with the invention of instant replay more than 50 years ago, has died. His daughter Tracy Soiseth tells The Associated Press her father died Sunday at his Palm Desert home from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. He was 81.
Verna produced and/or directed more than two dozen television events during his career, beginning in 1955 with Baseball Game Of The Week With Dizzy Dean. He directed four… Read
George Dickerson, ‘Blue Velvet’ Actor, Dies At 81
George Dickerson, best known for his roles in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet and NBC’s Hill Street Blues, has died. His son, Dome Karukoski, announced the death on Facebook, saying his father died January 10 after a long illness. A writer and poet, Dickerson began his acting career later in life. He played Detective Williams in 1986’s Blue Velvet, alongside Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern. Dickerson had leading roles in other films including Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, Psycho I… Read
Canadian Entertainer Don Harron Dead At 90
Canadian actor, comedian, author and playwright Don Harron, who entertained people for eight decades, has died at the age of 90. According to AP, Harron died Saturday morning at his Toronto home after choosing not to seek treatment for cancer.
Harron, who helped his family during the Great Depression by drawing caricatures and telling stories at clubs when he was 10, is best known for his comic alter ego, rural Ontario farmer Charlie Farquharson.
Introduced on Canada’s… Read
Long-Time Former Studio Executive Alan Hirschfield Dead At 79
Long-time former studio and media executive Alan J. Hirschfield has died of natural causes at 79 in his Wilson, Wyo., home, his son confirmed. Hirschfield was perhaps best known for overseeing the creation of Taxi Driver and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but had a long career heading a number of media and entertainment companies before becoming a consultant and board member with many more companies in the industry and beyond.
Hirschfield was CEO of Columbia Pictures… Read
Greg Plitt, Reality Star And Fitness Instructor, Dead At 37 In Train Accident
Greg Plitt, who had starred in two Bravo reality series and worked as a model, carpenter and fitness instructor, died Saturday afternoon after being struck by a Metrolink train in Burbank. He was 37.
Plitt appeared in Bravo’s Work Out between 2006 and 2008, and will appear in three episodes of another just-premiered reality show for the network, Friends to Lovers, with his long-time friend, the fitness star Melanie Marden. Plitt’s first appearance is set to air in a few… Read
Faten Hamama, Egypt’s ‘Lady Of The Screen’, Dies Aged 83
Legendary Egyptian actress Faten Hamama, known as the “Lady of the Screen”, has died at the age of 83, according to reports. Born in the delta city of Mansoura, Hamama rose to prominence during Egypt’s “Hollywood on the Nile” golden age in the 1950’s when it was the world’s third largest film industry, behind only Hollywood and Bollywood.
Having made her screen debut at the age of 7 opposite Egyptian music icon Mohamed Abdel Wahab in Happy Day, Hamama emerged to become… Read