“Forgotten Hollywood”- An Untimely Finale…

Posted on June 29, 2018 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`Much has been documented about the celebrated final movies of James Dean (Giant), Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe (The Misfits), and Peter Finch (Network). Each unexpected death left the public stunned. Here are five supporting players that may be unfamiliar, however, they offer fitting memorable finales in iconic motion pictures:

~ Robert Newton – As the intrepid Inspector Fix in Around the World in Eighty Days, it was the culmination of a fine career that began in England. Other memorable movie roles include Oliver Twist, Treasure Island, Les Miserables, and The High and The Mighty. Yet, as Fix, he embodied the Scotland Yard ethos of bulldog tenacity. Before the opening of Jules Verne’s classic, Newton was dead from a heart attack related to chronic alcoholism. He was just fifty. Eighteen months later, producer Mike Todd was killed in a plane crash. Elizabeth Taylor became his widow.

~ James Millican – He was 44 when he died, however, this actor appeared in over 200 films. He co-starred in many Westerns. His notable parts includes My Favorite Blonde, The Lost Weekend, High Noon and Winchester ’73. He was an honest sheriff in his final performance in The Man From Laramie. Millican was gone three months later.

~ Zazu PittsIt’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World featured a number of comedians in cameos. To date, the only two still with us: Carl Reiner and Barrie Chase. The first performer to succumb was Zazu Pitts. Her career dates back to 1917, and was cast in fine films, such as Ruggles of Red Gap, Life with Father, The Thrill of it All and Francis (a talking mule) series of movies. Her role as a police switchboard operator was priceless in her last screen appearance. The epic comedy was released six months after she passed.

~ Norma Crane – At 42, Crane was given the role of a lifetime as Golde in Fiddler on the Roof. This would be her last. Throughout the production, she suffered from breast cancer. Feeling she would beat the affliction, Norma searched for other work. However, she died two years later in 1973.

~ Conrad Veidt – The celebrated German actor has a chapter in my upcoming literary work, Road to Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History. Best known for playing vile Nazi characters, Veidt was most iconic as Major Heinrich Strasser in Casablanca. As the highest paid actor in the cast, all his earnings were earmarked for the Allied fight against the Axis.  He would not live long enough to see the defeat of Hitler after suffering a fatal heart attack on a golf course a mere five months after the celebrated release of Casablanca. Veidt was fifty.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Friday, June 29th, 2018 at 12:33 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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