"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)

"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
September 19 is the last post for this blog. Thanks to all my readers!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

31 July 2014

Alexis Knapp b. 1989 (Vamp U, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief)
Sofia Pernas b. 1989 (Age of the Dragons)
Charlie Carver b. 1988 (The Leftovers, Teen Wolf [TV])
Eric Lively b. 1981 (The Butterfly Effect 2)
Harry Potter b. 1980 (fictional wizard)
B.J. Novak b. 1979 (Amazing Spider-Man 2)
James Harvey Ward b. 1978 (The Dark Knight Rises, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, No Ordinary Family)
Annie Parisse b. 1975 (Fringe, NYPD 2069, National Treasure)
Jodi Ann Paterson b. 1975 (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Emilia Fox b. 1974 (Merlin, Dorian Gray)
Tami Stronach b. 1972 (The NeverEnding Story)
Christina Cox b. 1971 (Elysium, Stargate: Atlantis, The Chronicles of Riddick, Andromeda, Mutant X, Code Name: Eternity, Earth: Final Conflict, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, First Wave, Forever Knight)
Ben Chaplin b. 1974 (The Water Horse, Dorian Gray, The Return of the Borrowers [TV])
Dean Cain b. 1966 (Smallville, 10.5: Apocalypse, Lost, Futuresport, Lois & Clark)
Jim True-Frost b. 1966 (666 Park Avenue, Fringe, W.E.I.R.D. World)
Pat Finn b. 1965 (Wizards of Waverly Place, Dude, Where’s My Car?, 3rd Rock from the Sun)
J. K. Rowling b. 1965 (won the 2001 Hugo for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
Ian Roberts b. 1965 (Infected, Puppet Master X; Axis Rising, Superman Returns)
Wesley Snipes b. 1962 (Blade, Futuresport, Demolition Man)
Greg Travis b. 1958 (Halloween II [2009], Night of the Living Dead 3D, Starship Troopers, Humanoids from the Deep, American Gothic, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures [TV])
Dirk Blocker b. 1957 (The X Files, Quantum Leap, Starman, Poltergeist, Beyond Westworld)
Michael Biehn b. 1956 (Metal Hurlant Chronicles, Planet Terror, The Insatiable, Clockstoppers, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, Asteroid, The Abyss, The Seventh Sign, Aliens, The Terminator, Logan’s Run [TV])
James Read b. 1953 (Charmed, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Star Trek: Voyager, Lois & Clark)
Lane Davies b. 1950 (3rd Rock from the Sun, Babylon 5: In the Beginning, Lois & Clark)
Richard Griffiths b. 1947 died 28 March 2013 (Harry Potter, Hugo, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Whoops Apocalypse, Superman II)
Geraldine Chaplin b. 1944 (Gulliver’s Travels [TV], Z.P.G.)
Sab Shimono b. 1943 (Ben 10: Race Against Time, Southland Tales, Waterworld, The X-Files, The Shadow, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, Max Headroom, Knight Rider)
France Nuyen b. 1939 (Automan, The Six Million Dollar Man, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, Dimension 5)
Geoffrey Lewis b. 1935 (Odyssey 5, The X-Files, The Lawnmower Man, Annihilator, Amazing Stories, Night of the Comet, The Amazing Spider-Man [TV], Mork & Mindy, Quark, The Six Million Dollar Man)
Ted Cassidy b. 1932 died 16 January 1979 (Man From Atlantis, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, Planet Earth, Genesis II, I Dream of Jeannie, Mr. Terrific, The Addams Family, Jack and the Beanstalk [TV], Star Trek, Batman, Lost in Space)
Don Murray b. 1929 (The Stepford Children, Radioactive Dreams, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes)
Primo Levi b. 1919 died 11 April 1987 (author, The Periodic Table)
Mario Bava b. 1914 died 27 April 1980 (director, Baron Blood, A Bay of Blood, Blood Brides, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, Planet of the Vampires, Caltiki, the Immortal Monster, Lust of the Vampire)

Multiple random thoughts:

Ted Cassidy is the reason I became interested in obits: I had an idea for a genre detective show back in the 1980s and our heroes had colleagues/competitors named The Feather Brothers. In my head, I cast Richard Kiel and Ted Cassidy as The Feather Brothers, guys who mainly do bodyguard work, Keil as the friendly one and Cassidy as the not friendly one. It was my brother who told me Ted Cassidy was dead. After that, I checked the obits in the papers every day.

And, oh yeah, iconic. I could have used Cassidy as Lurch or his one shot role on Star Trek, though there are plenty of other great choices on the list.

Acting is a hard way to make a living: A lot of the laments about the acting profession deal with beautiful women who are forgotten once they reach a certain age and France Nuyen is an example of that. But I'd like to point out a few actors who had their moment in the spotlight and faded as well.

Don Murray starred opposite Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop. IMDB.com doesn't even have a picture of him.

Dean Cain's post-Lois & Clark career is pretty spotty.

Michael Biehn had good roles in the first Terminator and Aliens, but since then it's a lot more low budget.

Or maybe acting is easy as pie: Geoffrey Lewis, an Oh That Guy of the first order, makes it look easy. Looking at his 218 credits on imdb.com, he might be best known as Clint Eastwood's pal in Every Which Way but Loose, though I'm not sure the general public remembers anyone besides Clint and the orangutan Clyde.

Harry Potter's birthday: On Twitter, I advertise the blog by saying "Birthdays for Captain Picard and Han Solo" when I actually mean Patrick Steward and Harrison Ford, but according to J.K. Rowling's book, she gave Harry Potter her birthday, just fifteen years later.

Who did I forget? Lots of other interesting names on the list, but the unmentioned people who have serious shots at the Picture Slot in 2015 are Wesley Snipes as Blade and Richard Griffiths as Uncle Vernon.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.

In the Year 2000!
Predictor: Lee de Forest, "The Father of Radio", predicting the world of 2000 in the 17 January 1960 edition of the Sunday supplement American Weekly.

Prediction: You'll be able to dictate memos and personal letters directly into an electronic typewriter. Already, a rudimentary phonetic typewriter can type a few simple words and phrases as they are spoken into a microphone.

Reality: This technology was certainly not ready for prime time in 2000, though as de Forest points out, prototypes have been kinda working for over 50 years. He's not completely wrong, but he overshot the prediction.

Never to be Forgotten: Robert Halmi, Sr. 1924-2014

Robert Halmi, Sr. died yesterday at the age of 90. His production company, which he ran with his son Robert Jr., is responsible for 137 credits, mostly TV movies and mini-series, going back to 1974. The first genre production was 1997's Gulliver's Travels starring Ted Danson and continued with Riverworld, Flash Gordon, Hogfather, Jason and the Argonauts, Alice in Wonderland and Dinotopia, from which the picture on the left is taken.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Robert Halmi, Sr., from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.

Never to be Forgotten: Dick Smith 1922-2014

Dick Smith started working in film in the 1940s, but his best known work was in masks that either aged actors, notably Dustin Hoffman in Little Big Man and Marlon Brando in The Godfather, or masks that turned characters into monsters, like Jack Palance in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Linda Blair in The Exorcist, pictured here. His other work in genre includes House on Haunted Hill [1999], Death Becomes Her, Monsters [TV], Poltergeist III, Starman, The Hunger, Ghost Story, Scanners, Altered States, The Stepford Wives, Dark Shadows, ‘Way Out, The Alligator People and the 1955 TV version of Alice in Wonderland. It should be noted that another great prosthetic designer Rick Baker revered Dick Smith not unlike the way Ray Harryhausen looked up to Willis O'Brien.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Dick Smith., from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

It's the beginning of August and time to look in on the prediction for the playoffs in Major League Baseball.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!


  1. Biehn was also outstanding in The Abyss (which is definitely genre http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096754/ ), and I've often wondered what happened to him.

    1. That's a screw-up on my part and I'll fix it. A lot of his genre stuff is with James Cameron, but he was also in Tombstone one of the best Westerns in recent memory. After that, the big budget stuff fades away and I have no idea why.

  2. "Dean Cain's post-Lois & Clark career is pretty spotty."

    That's graceful. (See his recent appearance on Faux News and Jon Stewart's subsequent comments on TDS.)

    1. Acting is a tough gig and a lot of careers fade without any political bias being evident. At one time, 30 or 35 was the end for actresses, but there are a lot of actresses still gorgeous at 40 or 50, like Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, Ming Na, Jeri Ryan, Lucy Lawless, the list goes on and on. At one time, the obvious career path for a pretty boy like Cain was on the daytime soaps. I don't think his problem is he has too much respect for his craft.


Traveler! Have you news... FROM THE FUTURE?