Saturday, March 17, 2012

Forgetting others around us

This post is lengthy, and may I say "thank you" in advance for taking time to read this long post?

I was laying in bed this morning, awake pretty early. Truth be told, I was up late and I had watched a movie till pretty late. So about an hour ago, as I was laying in bed trying to get to sleep, the Lord put a series of thoughts into my mind which were very compelling, toward his church, and I wanted to come out here and post them before I go to sleep, while it is all fresh on my mind.

The basic gist of what he was speaking to me is that the church today has become so caught up in its prosperity and in its abundance, that it has begun to forget God, and not only God, but also the church has begun to forget those needy people all around them who are in need of Jesus, the empty lives and the hungry hearts who the church can show Jesus through giving materially and through telling them of Jesus.

The first scripture he showed me was this one:


Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. - Ezekiel 16:48


I found this one to be very interesting. We always hear Sodom preached as a city full of perversions, which brought down and incurred the wrath of Almighty God in judgment. Further, if we only read the Genesis account, it would appear to us from a surface reading, that Sodom was quite simply full of perversions, end of story. However, we know that God is merciful, and it must have taken a very long time for Sodom to get to the point where the cup of God's wrath was full.

I believe, based on the Ezekiel scripture, that Sodom [before it was ever given over to perversions] was first a great city [hence the mention of its pride], a well-fed city [hence the mention of its fulness of bread], a city full of entertainment [hence the mention of its abundance of idleness], and an insulated, self-absorbed city [hence the mention of the neglect of the poor].

That Sodom was in a desirable geographic area to inhabit is borne out in Scripture when it states that Lot saw how much more pleasant Sodom appeared, and so chose that area where to move his people, pitching his tents toward Sodom. Further, Genesis states that Sodom dwelled in a very well-watered plain, referring to its beauty being "even as the garden of the Lord". Lot wouldn't have taken his large numbers of flocks to some old dry ditch. The place was very prosperous and beautiful and inhabitable.

I truly believe Scripture makes it very clear [cross-referencing the Genesis account with the Ezekiel account] that Sodom had great beginnings as a prosperous city, not only materially, but culturally, commercially, politically, and in reputation as well, but as Sodom began to grow in stature, blessed in so many ways, it began to forget God, and to forget the poor and needy which were within the city as well as within the larger metropolitan area. I believe that these people at one time had a knowledge of God, which they turned away from, because they had become so great and so large that they felt they no longer had need of him.

This scripture below shows me that in fact there was a sense of God-knowledge within the city:


And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. - Genesis 18:20,21


The Lord said it right there, plain as day: there were people in Sodom praying to God for deliverance from the great wickedness in the city, so much so that He stated that "the cry of it ... is come unto me", which is indicative of quite a number of people praying within that city. He didn't say "the cry of him is come unto me", indicative of a singular sense, or of a small group of individuals, but he said "the cry of IT is come unto me", speaking of the cry of a whole city.

And we all know from Romans 1 what happens to people who know God, and extricate the knowledge of him from their minds:


Originally Posted by parts of Romans 1

21: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened... 24:Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: ... 26: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28: And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29: Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness... 32: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.


This became quite clearly evident that such was the case in the city of Sodom.

And so God judged that city.

I made the point about Sodom to demonstrate how the church is in the very beginning stages of where Sodom was before the perversions took over, and before the wrath and judgment of God fell. The Lord is speaking a warning to me that we the church have become full of prosperity and abundance, but that we have been forgetting God, and that we have been forgetting why he prospered us -- not just so we can fill our coffers with material wealth and privilege, but so that also we may be helpful to others in their time of need.

The next scripture the Lord gave me was from the parable of the sower and the seed. One of the types of soil was thorny soil. Pay close attention to the three characteristics of thorny soil.

And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. - Mark 4:18,19

This so accurately describes the modern prosperous church today. The word goes forth, but it is choked out of our hearts by the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things. The deceitfulness of riches - if we did not learn this lesson from this economy we are in, we will NEVER learn it. Paul writes to Timothy of "uncertain riches" in I Timothy chapter 6, telling Timothy to remind the believers to trust in the Lord, and not in riches, for riches may fade, but the word of the Lord lives and abides forever.

Then, the next scripture the Lord gave me [in conjuction with the Ezekiel scripture] is this one:


Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. - James 1:27


Now this is very interesting.

If we as the church will visit the fatherless and the widows in their afflictions like we should, we won't have TIME to be spotted by the world!!! That's the key right there. If you look back at the Ezekiel scripture, it says, "this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." - Ezekiel 16:48 . If the residents of Sodom had not only enjoyed their own prosperity, but had also remembered God throughout, and had strengthened the hand of the poor and needy, neither pride nor abundance of idleness would have been found in her.

It was said "an idle mind is the devil's workshop".

If Sodom had been busy doing the business of the Kingdom, this other garbage wouldn't have crept in. They'd have been too busy helping those in need to preoccupy their minds with their own selfishness and lusts and forgetting of God. It is nearly impossible to truly care about and remember the poor and needy, but forget God. And Romans 1 says that people who forget God are turned over to ungodly lifestyles. Yet it didn't have to go that far. All they had to do was remember God, and to help others around them.

In the midst of our own struggles of this economy, we must not forget that we must still help those in need.

The deeply impoverished saints at Macedonia were credited by Paul that they gave above and beyond themselves in II Corinthians 8. Some of us are going to have to step up our giving in spite of what is decrease in our lives. That is a word for somebody. The widow had nothing but a little meal, and a little oil, and she was gathering sticks so that she could make food for her and her son, expecting to eat it and die. But when a prophet of God comes into your life, and he speaks directly from the heart of God a word of promise to you, do not hold back what is due unto the Lord. For this woman, it was her last bit of food. For the widow, it was her last two mites. It could be food, money, cars, anything. But what is precious to you, the Lord will test it.

And we all know the story of the woman, how "the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah" [I Kings 17:16].

It was because she obeyed the Lord.
It was because she thought of someone other than herself.
It was because she believed the promise of God.


II Chronicles 20:20 says, "Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper."

And God has a special promise, just for you, with your name all over it. He sits in heaven with gladness in his heart, excitedly preparing the promises and blessings of God for you. He has great joy over you, rejoicing over you with singing. [Zephaniah 3:17]

Be prepared to help those in need around you at the command or pleading of the Lord. You will be blessed for doing it.

Here's another scripture the Lord gave me:


And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. - Luke 12:15-21


The key to this story is the last statement: not that the man was rich, but that he was rich toward HIMSELF, and not toward God.

Next scripture:


When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; and thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. - Deuteronomy 8:10-18


God wants us to remember Him in our prosperity, and not to forget that it was He who brought us this long way. Jude writes of those who are "denying the Lord that brought them", and Psalm 100 says "it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture". Many times, this verse 18 is ripped out of its context of the entire thought, where prosperity teachers tell us that we have the power to get wealth. But this is not the point of the passage. The point is to teach us that we did not get this prosperity by the means of our own hand, but that we must remember the Lord our God: for it is He that gives us the power to get wealth.

Finally, I would like to close by saying that the sin is not in the prosperity, but in becoming blind and deaf to God and to others in the prosperity, defeating prosperity's very purpose, which is to show both the material provision AND the merciful person of God.

II Kings 7:9 talks about how the four lepers found a whole heap of gold, silver, treasures and goods in the camp of the entire Syrian army, who had died sieging the city. They did not keep the good news to themselves, for they wanted to tell the whole city, so that the besieged city could share in the prosperity.

9Then they said to one another, "We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but we are keeping silent; if we wait until morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell the king's household." - N.A.S.B.


God wants us to have prosperity with purpose, and prosperity with priority. God does not want us tossed to and fro in the prosperity debate, to focus on "not having prosperity" or to focus on "having all prosperity".

God wants us to have prosperity with PURPOSE, and prosperity with PRIORITY. God wants us to be focused on his Kingdom.

May this be our heart and desire today. God bless!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011





"What Would Jesus Do"??? Do What Jesus Did!

There was a catchy little phrase going around starting about 15 years ago, in the mid-1990's.

Do you remember the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) phenomenon?

Perhaps a better question would be, "How could you forget WWJD?"

Seen everywhere from bumper stickers to church signs, this simple little four-word phrase became a ubiquitous (seeming to be everywhere at once) reminder, intended to cause the reader to consider and reconsider every thought, intention, attitude, word, or action in his or her individual life.







Borrowed from the subtitle of Charles Sheldon's 1896 book, In His Steps, "What Would Jesus Do" became an international phenomenon and a personal motto of millions of Christians worldwide, who sought to purify their hearts and deepen their faith, drawing closer to God by seeking exemplify a more Christ-like character and lifestyle.







Everywhere you looked, there was something reminding you of this important question.






Okay, so those last two were in fact a joke.

But what is not a joke, is the fact that fifteen years later, the results of WWJD are not necessarily clear (unless you ask church statistics guru George Barna), in terms of qualitative or even quantitative numerical values. However, although a true measure of the effectiveness of WWJD may not be determinable, there is ONE observation (in the form of a question) I would like to make about WWJD. That one thought has been burning in my mind these last 15 years.

That question is:


We wonder "What Would Jesus Do?"...

But do we Do What Jesus Did?


In short, allow me to explain what I mean by this statement.

When we ask "What Would Jesus Do" about a given scenario, our answers can vary depending on denomination, point of view, life experience, and other factors. We could literally come up with billions of answers, because there are literally billions of people on planet Earth.

But when we ask ourselves if we can "Do What Jesus Did", our answers will be much simpler and clearer. We know clearly from the Scripture that Jesus did many wonderful things, and we know that these things should be seen in our lives.

Instead of focusing on what Jesus WOULD do, we should rather focus on what he DID do, and then do it.

So, the question:

What Did Jesus Do?



Jesus healed sick people by living in the presence of his Father and by being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Do we seek to heal sick people by living in the presence of our Father and by being filled with the Holy Spirit?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?

Note: Some people say, "WE don't heal the sick, God does", but when Jesus sent the disciples out, his very first command to them was "heal the sick", according to Matthew 10:8. So, yes, in fact, we are to heal the sick, meaning we are to use God's power. The power comes from God, but the prayer comes from us. Acts 28:8 says, "Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him." Mark 16:18 says YOU (those who believe) will lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.





Jesus stood up to religious authorities, those who were abusing the word of God for profit and for power.

Do we stand up to the same kinds of religious authorities?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?





Jesus rose up early before the day began, to spend time in prayer with his Father, so as to do all his Father's will
.

Do we make time for God first, before doing anything else in our lives, since God is the source of everything in our lives?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?




Jesus made time to go apart from people and from responsibilities to fast and pray, for victory over the devil.

Do we set time aside, even if it is just one day at some point in our schedule, to fast and pray?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?





Jesus risked his reputation, talking to hookers, lepers, beggars, and tax collectors - people who society cast out
.

Do we make room in our lives for those who have been given no room by others?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?




Jesus visited the temple on the Sabbath, which was his custom (Luke 4:16).

Do we honor the Lord by honoring the gathering of his people?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?





Jesus got down on his hands and knees, washing his disciples' feet, serving those who were called to serve him
.

Do we humble ourselves to uplift, serve, and wait on people who are younger, or people who we lead?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?





Jesus laid down his life for his disciples before he asked them to lay down their lives for him
.

Do we set good examples to those who follow us and look up to us, communicating words by actions?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?




Jesus said to the woman in adultery, "I do not condemn you; go, and sin no more."

Do we find people who are actually guilty, and treat them like people who deserve love?
Do we Do What Jesus Did?



All the miracles, the giving, the loving, the welcoming and accepting and affirming of people, the forgiving character, the prayer relationship, and all these other things we say that we admire about our Lord ...

Are they valuable enough to us, that we would do them ourselves?

Do we do those things?

Do we Do What Jesus Did?

If those things he did were so great, should we spare any expense to do the same?

God did not spare any expense. In fact, we read in Romans 8:32 (NIV - apologies to the KJV-only people),

"He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all —
how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
"

God spared no expense, going far beyond the giving of things - He gave Himself.

Have we any expense to spare?

In short, I would like to say that it is very easy to ask "What Would Jesus Do", and yet another thing altogether to consider and to do what Jesus actually did.

What Jesus WOULD Do is a disputable matter; What Jesus DID Do, this is not.

"What Would Jesus Do" is a meaningless phrase of four words, unless we are willing to put the known actions of Jesus into practice into our lives. Jesus said those who DO the will of God, not those who PONDER the will of God, are living right.

Are we doing the works of Jesus?

If we will in fact do the works of Jesus at all times, we will truly do the will of the Father.

Then our lives will not be reduced to bracelets and bookmarks. They will be truly full of Jesus.


"What Would Jesus Do"??? Do What Jesus Did!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

What's the big deal with Obama and Kenya?

I don't understand why this "Obama supporting Kenya" story is so controversial. Hey, our government has even sent foreign aid to countries who want to commit terrorist acts against us, such as our "friend" Saudi Arabia [anyone remember 9/11?] So the way I see it, Obama is doing nothing different from what many other Presidents have done - he's taking money WE earned, and he's giving it to foreign nations instead of letting us [who foot the bill] keep it in OUR pockets, where it should have stayed to begin with.

The way I see it, I'm working my butt off to finance the dreams of other countries' citizens, when I should be working to finance my own future, and if I CHOOSE to give money to those countries, then it was MY decision, not some bureaucrat's, who steals my wages which I earned, and ships them off. Then after lending these other countries all this money, the government forgives THEIR debts, and back-bills ME through higher taxes, me who financed this loan to begin with. It was MY money that financed these so-called "loans" to begin with.

Let's be honest, these loans are only GIFTS. And all these other countries have never even lifted a finger to help us after 9/11, Hurricanes Katrina / Ivan / Dennis / Rita..., the Gulf Oil spill, or any other problem we've had for that matter. Then the government DARES to penalize us if we don't pay all our taxes, after THEY forgave the loans - THEIR choice, not mine. And it was OUR money that financed these "loans" to begin with.

And then, after we send all this foreign aid out of our pockets, we actually worry about the opinions of people who want to come over here and kill us with bombs and airplanes, and who never lift a finger to help us when we have disasters.

So for now, Barack Obama is only performing at par for the course.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Bread & The Breath: Return To The Lord



10/27/2009

I was laying down tonight, and suddenly the Lord began speaking to my heart.


His voice was not spoken in an audible way, but was more of an internal impression into my mind and my spirit inside of me. I felt God's love in a very powerful way. I really felt the heart of God impressed upon my heart tonight.

I usually do not write in the style you are going to read.

I usually write God's words of encouragement to me in third person.

However, tonight it was totally different, and I felt His peace about communicating His words in first Person in this way, just as He spoke them to me.

I know this will be a blessing to you.

It truly has been a blessing to me.

Feel free to pass this on.

_____________________________________


God's heart was very grieved tonight.

He said, "My people have not known Me in many ways."

He kept repeating this statement over and over again.

"My people have not known Me in many ways."

I felt the heart of a Father for his children.

I did not feel the anger of a Judge who has come to pass sentence.

He said to me:

"My people have gone away from seeking Me. I long for them to come to Me, and be with Me, and ask Me for wisdom for their everyday lives. But little do they come to me just to be with Me; often they only come to Me when they are in need of something. But when they think they can handle it themselves, they do not seek My presence or my guidance, because they think this is something they are able to take care of in their own human strength."

He went on.

"When My people do not come to me, and do not seek my presence, and do not open up their entire lives to me, from the 'big' to the 'small', then they find things going wrong in their lives, things being lost, things mysteriously happening to them they do not understand. It was not because they failed to exercise wisdom, but it was because they failed to seek Me and submit their whole lives to me, not just in the so-called 'important' things, but in all things."

He said further, "Even as I said to Jerusalem that I would have gathered them often as a hen gathers her chicks [but they would not], so I say to my children that I would embrace them often, would be with them often in prayer, would make My presence known to them often, but they have cluttered their lives with so many things that their ears are turned away from hearing My voice. Just as a parent calls on the telephone, and their children do not answer, so I have called my children, but they did not answer, because they have not heard My voice."

"When I came looking for Adam in the Garden of Eden, I did not come to him looking to judge him or to find him out. I came looking for him as I had come looking for him every other day before that day, so I could walk with him in the cool of the day in the garden. I came to be with him. So I come to be with you, not to judge you or find you out or to punish you, but rather I come just to be with you."

"My heart longs for you to have every need met, just like any father wants his children to have their every need supplied. But it is greater for you to have relationship with me everyday, and walk with me. Although I healed, I did not come only as a healer. Although I provided, I did not come only as a provider. What I did come as, is a loving Savior who came to establish relationship with you, and to meet ANY need you have, to meet you wherever you are to bring my love to you. So do not focus on Me as being only this, or as only that, but know I care to provide any and every need you may have."

The Lord was also grieved, because we go every day to do things "in His name", but yet we have not taken the time in the day to spend with Him in relationship. He said the greatest thing we can "do for God" is to be with Him in prayer and fellowship. Every thing else flows from that. God said that in II Corinthians 5, He declared His purpose in coming: that He was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not counting their sins against them. First and foremost, God came to establish relationships with people, to draw them unto Himself. He further said in John 3:17 [following the most famous verse in the New Testament], "for God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."

He said this as well:

"My people are satisfied with bread crumbs".

This statement resounded all the way through my being.

God was saying that we as His people have been going to church and eating just a little of His provision for us, and have walked away from the large portions of his bread, satisfied for what we have eaten, because we have not partaken of the kingdom of God in our everyday lives, and Monday through Saturday have lived instead off of ONLY what we have received in church. This is like going to the table at home and only eating bread crumbs, but leaving the entire portion of bread on the table. We have truly been given something wonderful in church, but we think this is all God has for us, when God has provided a whole loaf for us.

Yet we leave it on the table, and get nothing better than what is given to the dogs. When the woman came to Jesus for Him to heal her daughter, she said to him, "the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from the master's table". And if we eat throughout our week only that which we have received in church, it is as though we have been given an entire loaf, and are eating only the crumbs of it.

We have become too easily satisfied.

And we wonder why we are so hungry for something more deeply satisfying.

It is because we have chosen the ease of eating only on Sundays.

The Lord also said he is grieved because His people [who should know him] run into situations where they say "I just don't know what to do", but yet He says He has given us His word to tell us what to do, but we are saying that we do not know.

In Psalm 103, he says that He heals all your diseases, and in James 5, He says that if you are sick, call unto the elders of the church for prayer, and He will heal you.

In Genesis - the story of Abraham, Isaac, and the ram - He declares His name is Jehovah-Jireh, God who provides, and in Philippians, He says He supplies all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

In Philemon, he tells us what to do if someone stole from us.

In Song of Solomon, he tells us how to have better husband/wife relationships.

In Ecclesiastes, he tells from a rich man's point of view about priorities in having things.

In Psalms, he teaches us how to praise Him.

In Proverbs, he shows us wisdom of life and of godliness.

In I Chronicles, he shows us the emphasis of families through their genealogies.

In James 2, he shows us how to treat everyone the same.

In the Gospels, he showed us his entire life while on earth.

In Daniel 1, he shows us how three youths can be trained by his wisdom in many areas of life.

All throughout the Bible, He shows us different people in all kinds of different situations, and how they learned to trust and obey God, so we would have knowledge of what to do for every situation in our lives. He wants us to draw near to Him so we can have relationship with Him, and so He can guide us in our everyday affairs.

He spoke it again, "My people have not known me in many ways."

We think of God in one or two facets of His divine nature, but God longs for us to yield our entire lives to Him so that we can find blessing and power in all those areas of our lives, not just in the ones where we think only God can handle it.

Joshua made the mistake of assuming everything was okay after Jericho, because here was this great big city they overcame by God's power, and there was little old Ai, which was nothing in their sight, but because there was sin in Israel's camp, and because Joshua did not seek the Lord for guidance, Israel was beaten back by this "little city" because they did not trust in the Lord, and they ended up losing 36 soldiers because of it.

We go into situations every day uncovered, not having prayed to God for guidance in the day, not having submitted our will unto His, not having spent time with Him. And we wonder why things fall apart in our lives. Once again, he said to me, it was not because we DID make wrong choices, but it was because we did NOT make the most important choice of all - the choice to submit ourselves totally to God, and to get His blessing over EVERYTHING in our lives.

In Ezekiel 37, there is the story of the valley of dry bones. All of the parts were there - the bones, the sinews, the flesh, and so on. Everything was ready and looked good. But God had not breathed on it. Then when he DID breathe on it, everything came to life, and they stood and became a mighty army.

Many of us have all our ducks in a row, and all the preparations are made.

And we wonder why things have not come together and happened for us.

But we need to have God breathe on us. That is all our life is waiting for.

When God breathed into man's nostrils, Adam became a living soul. [Genesis 2:7]
When Jesus breathed on the 12, the church became alive by receiving the Holy Ghost [John 20:22].

All you need is for God to breathe on you and touch your life.

But think about how close you have to be for someone's breath to touch you.

He also said, "you have left your first love" in the book of Revelation.

But "your first love" is not a feeling, nor a dedication, nor a commitment, nor a task.

HE is your first love. Return unto Him.

He says that if you return to Him, you will begin finding great successes in your life.

If you will connect with the vine, all the nutrients and growth and life will return to the branch.

Things that were previously hard will begin to come easy to you.

You will find yourself [for example] succeeding at jobs, losing weight, having better relationships, getting along better in this life, getting promotions from God, perhaps launching out into your own business, and making wiser choices as you trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledging Him, and He will direct your paths.

He said that things which have turned to sand will begin turning to gold as you seek him.

He never promised us a world without trouble, but he promised us a way out, as he said "in the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world". We are going to face problems regardless, whether we seek the Lord, or if we don't seek the Lord.

The difference is that those who seek the Lord will be prepared when trouble comes.

The difference is that those who seek the Lord will be able to deal with trouble.

The wise man and the foolish man [from Matthew 7] both went through the same storm. But the wise man listened to God and built his house the right way, and he was prepared when trouble came. Trusting in God does not exempt you from life, but it does give you a way to deal with life when it does happen.

He said that people will ask, "how will I do this? how will I find time to pray?"

But the Lord said that as you make the effort, he will make the provision, and not to worry about it.

God says you have been seeking after all these things in your life, but instead focus now on seeking Him, and that which by your own efforts and plannings have failed [after much preparation] will now by His hand succeed before your very eyes, for He says, "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord."

God is not judging nor condemning anyone.

He is not speaking as a righteous judge or as an angry Deity.

He is speaking as a loving Father who dearly misses His children, who longs to see good things in their lives because they trusted in Him and took time to be with Him.

I say it once again as He said it to me:

"My people have not known Me in many ways."

We must no longer be satisfied with bread crumbs.

It is time to move on to eating the bread itself.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

100 Great Character Actors & Actresses

[Author's note: This introduction is somewhat lengthy.]

I was watching an episode of the Incredible Hulk recently, catching up on my Hulk viewing. As a kid, I was a big fan of the Incredible Hulk television series, which ran on the CBS network from the fall of 1977 until the summer of 1982.

That show was awesome, was it not?

Well, as I was watching Hulk on Hulu, I noticed this one actor [in the episode titled "The Slam"] who played a prisoner where David Banner was incarcerated on a charge of vagrancy. I thought to myself,
I know that guy from a LOT of tv shows. So I did some research on www.imdb.com for that episode of Hulk, and found out his name is Charles Napier. Suddenly, bells and whistles began to go off in my head when I saw his pictures, as I quickly remembered him from The Blues Brothers. He was "Tucker McElroy", the leader of the band "The Good Ole Boys", who had arrived in full Southern get-up at a country-western bar, ready to play, only to find that Jake and Elwood had already taken their musical gig for the evening [pretending to be The Good Old Boys]. A fine car chase ensues in the laugh-a-minute motion picture.

A few days later, I was on the telephone, discussing Charles Napier with a friend of mine; I said, "Hey, do you remember that guy...", so on and so forth, and he began remembering Mr. Napier as well. Suddenly, my friend had a flash of inspiration, and he brought back to my remembrance another actor who appeared in 21 episodes of Mork and Mindy as Exidor. I looked up Exidor, found his name was Robert Donner, and suddenly began remembering him and having flashbacks from old tv shows and/or motion pictures where I had seen him, just like I had suddenly begun remembering Charles Napier.

That's when I got the inspiration to do some research on the careers of these largely uncredited character actors/actresses who were every bit as good as the headliners who were the stars of these film and television productions. I use the term "largely uncredited" because, although you could see their names in the credits rolling at the end of the television show or movie, their names were usually up there on the screen for such a short period of time, that you never really got the chance to associate the role with that individual.

I wanted to pay tribute to these individuals I grew up watching.

I always enjoyed the film and television appearances of these fine performers. In many cases, their theatrical talents were equal to, if not better than, the main headliners [many of whom were hired for "star power" and not for their acting abilities to begin with]. Although these supporting actors/actresses did not receive the name recognition that their more famous co-stars enjoyed, they played their roles superbly and worthy of recognition.

In this blog post, I seek to bestow upon these individuals some of that recognition which they have earned and which they deserve, because you see almost no features about them in books, newspapers, magazines, television, cinema, or in almost any other kind of media except the internet.

As you read this, you will saying things like, "Oh yeah!!! Now I remember him!!!", or "Wow!!! That's the woman from (insert name of tv show)". I hope this is as much fun for you to read as it was for me to write.

And, perhaps, some of these performers will see this post and feel the love!!

I purposely selected only those actors who have been performing during the 1980's or earlier, because some of the recent character actors have not developed enough experience to establish themselves as long-term character actors as of this writing. They do deserve much credit for their work, and perhaps in another ten years or so, they may receive that kind of credit on another blog post.

This blog post honors people who began acting 1980's and prior.

I wish I could have added more, but I figured that 100 is plenty.

I take this moment to say "thank you" to these performers for entertaining us.

Finally, if you are an agent, family member, or any other legally-responsible party who represents one of these actors/actresses, and you see information which needs to be corrected, or if you see an actor/actress whose OFFICIAL website is not listed, or if you have any other questions / concerns / compliments / suggestions, if you are a legally-responsible representative of this actor or actress, please feel free to post your thoughts at the end of this blog post, and please be sure to post current CONTACT INFORMATION.

I would LOVE to hear from actor/actress family members or representatives, as I really did strive to make all this information as accurate and complete as is humanly possible. Your comments and input are greatly appreciated along with those of anyone else who reads this blog post. In addition, I only wish to publish the actual addresses of the OFFICIAL actor/actress website - no fansites or tribute sites, PLEASE, unless those websites are created by representatives of the actors/actresses.

Please enjoy my tribute to 100 Unknown Actors And Actresses Of Film & Television.

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PLEASE INFORM ME OF BROKEN OR INCORRECT LINKS.

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Charles Napier





Charles Napier is my favorite in this class. With 190 entries on his IMDB page, with an acting career spanning more than 40 years, and with movies released this year and beyond, Charles Napier most certainly has earned his keep in the acting profession. Typically cast as a hard-nosed/hot-tempered type-A personality, Mr. Napier's character is sure to take the power position in any given scenario. If you see Charles Napier even once, you won't soon forget him.

Whether he is playing Colonel Briggs in an A-Team episode ["Fire"], a peace-loving hippie in a Star Trek episode ["The Way To Eden"], or - in full contrast - an angry mob-inciting racist in this year's "The Goods", this Alpha Male of supporting actors has come to personify what a character actor really is.


Video interview

Charles Napier / The Goods


Charles Napier's website


IMDB

Wiki


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Richard Kind





Best known as outspoken character Paul Lassiter on ABC's smash "Spin City", Richard Kind has been tickling our funny bone and pleasing our acting palate since 1985. Demonstrating his versatility via his performances in theater, radio/audio plays, television, and motion pictures, Richard Kind is quite a beloved and memorable actor. He truly is just an all-around lovable guy.

Richard's interview for broadway.com :

Click here


IMDB

Wiki


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William Walker





William "Bill" Walker (July 1, 1896 - January 27, 1992) was a film and television actor par excellence. Of all his roles, he was most recognizable as Reverend Sykes in "To Kill A Mockingbird". Additionally, he was notable as Jeffrey, the house butler in a 1964 episode of The Twilight Zone titled "The Masks". From his first role in Ernest Hemingway's "The Killers" in 1946, to his final performance as a grandfather in an episode of the television series "Hunter" in 1987, it is an understatement to say that William Walker's acting career greatly enriched the American viewer's entertainment experience.

Not only was Walker an accomplished actor, but a little-known fact about this man is that he was a valiant fighter for the rights of the American black community. The son of a freed slave [according to his IMDB page], he had a particular interest in fighting for the freedoms already enjoyed in America by its white citizens. This is clearly stated on the Screen Actors Guild's website, "The push for inclusion of African Americans in Hollywood continued, but progress was slow in coming. In 1952, the Negro Employment Committee was formed, and African-American actor William Walker was appointed to the SAG Board as a replacement for Robert Preston. He was later elected several times to the board, serving nearly 20 years, until 1971."

The above quote is attributed to the SAG website:

SAG quote


Mr. Walker has 159 entries on his IMDB page for 41 years of acting:

IMDB

Wiki


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Charles Martin Smith





Known the world over as the little nerdy guy with the square-ish glasses in "American Graffiti", Charles Martin Smith has come a very long way since the big-screen debut of himself, Ron Howard, and George Lucas. Acting 1971-present, directing 1986-present, writing 1983-present, and producing 2000-present, Mr. Smith has kept himself a busy bee. With 82 entries in just the ACTING section of his IMDB page, with 38 years under his belt, and with a career still going strong, Charles is anything but a "one-hit wonder".

Perhaps his most notable achievement was his involvement in the production "Never Cry Wolf". States his Wikipedia page, "Smith devoted almost three years to filming Never Cry Wolf. Smith said, 'I was much more closely involved in that picture than I had been in any other film. Not only acting, but writing and the whole creative process." He also found the process difficult. "During much of the two-year shooting schedule in Canada’s Yukon and in Nome, Alaska, I was the only actor present. It was the loneliest film I’ve ever worked on' ".

Never Cry Wolf (1983) is an American drama film adaption of Farley Mowat's autobiography of the same name. The film, directed by Carroll Ballard, features Charles Martin Smith, Brian Dennehy, and Zachary Ittimangnaq.

The drama was made during the 1980s when Walt Disney Productions, under the guidance of Walt Disney's son-in-law Ron W. Miller, was experimenting with more mature plot material in its films. The following year Miller would start the Touchstone Pictures label.

The premise of the film is that the Arctic's caribou population is rapidly dwindling, and wolves are being blamed, yet no one has seen a wolf kill a caribou. The authorities send Tyler (Charles Martin Smith) — a biologist and a survival expert — into the wilderness to study the wolves.


Never Cry Wolf [parts 1-11]:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11



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Edie McClurg





She will always be Grace, secretary for principal Ed Rooney [Jeffrey Jones] in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, as far as I'm concerned. But Edie McClurg has done much more than FBDO. Her acting career began in 1962 when she provided voice-over work for the popular Jetsons cartoon, and she is still going strong with two episodes of Days Of Our Lives this year. Her unique voice combined with her talents of wit and wisdom make Edie McClurg one of the very best character actresses. But she'll still always be Grace to me.


Edie McClurg's website


IMDB

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Kevin McCarthy





Kevin McCarthy has had one of the longest-running careers in American film and television history. He began acting in 1944 in "Winged Victory" as an uncredited actor, and still participates in productions at this writing in 2009. He is a man of great distinctions; in addition to continuing his sixty-five-year acting career at age 95, he is a cousin of former Senator and former presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, and is the only individual who acted in both the Twilight Zone series AND in the Twilight Zone movie [Burgess Meredith narrated for the movie, but did not act in it]. He is most well-known for his breakout role in the movie "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers".

As a "Twilight Zone" fan, I remember him in an episode titled "Long Live Walter Jameson", about a man who had discovered a "fountain of youth" of sorts. I think it's very ironic that Kevin played a role of a man who discovered how he could live a very long time, and that Kevin has ended up living a very long time himself.

Long Live Walter Jameson??

Long Live Kevin McCarthy!!


Music video tribute to Kevin McCarthy


Kevin McCarthy's website


IMDB

Wiki


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Billy Barty





Billy Barty (October 25, 1924 – December 23, 2000), was born William John Bertanzetti. He was also born a dwarf. But just like he didn't let the name he was born with be the name he carried, he didn't let the condition he was born with be what identified him either. As his Wikipedia page states, "Barty also starred in a local Southern California children's show, 'Billy Barty's Bigtop', in the mid-1960s, which regularly showed The Three Stooges shorts. In one program, Stooge Moe Howard visited the set as a surprise guest. The program gave many Los Angeles-area children their first opportunity to become familiar with little people, who until then had been rarely glimpsed on the screen except as two-dimensional curiousities. Barty was a noted activist for the promotion of rights for others with dwarfism. Barty founded the Little People of America to help with his activism." He took weakness, and he turned it into strength.

Billy enjoyed a long and illustrious acting career of more than 75 years. His Wikipedia page states, "he was a member of the gang in the Mickey McGuire serial of silent shorts (a children's comedy series of the 1920s, similar in tone to the "Our Gang"/"Little Rascals" comedies, starring a very young Mickey Rooney in the title role)." He worked throughout the 20th century, right up to the time of his death in the year 2000. He is a beloved actor and human being who is an inspiration to us all. Many people complain about how they are disadvantaged in life, and they only take what is given to them, without trying to advance beyond where they are. But Billy Barty's life [and almost 8 decades of entertainment] have left us an example that you can do more in life than just play the victim and suck your thumb. Billy Barty, here's to ya, buddy!!!


Circa 1996 interview with Billy Barty


Billy Barty's website


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Moses Gunn





Moses Gunn (October 2, 1929 - December 17, 1993) is my favorite black American character actor. I was disappointed that not many photos of Mr. Gunn are available, having searched on Google Images and quite a number of other websites which feature actors' pictures. Someone who enjoyed such a fine acting career lasting 30 years should be given a whole lot more exposure.

Whether you enjoyed him as Kintango in the 1977 production of Alex Haley's
Roots, as Carl Dixon on the great television series Good Times, or as Moses Gage in 34 episodes of Father Murphy, Moses Gunn brought delight and enrichment to any viewer who was blessed to see one of his performances.

Not only was Mr. Gunn dedicated to his talent inside the film and television industry, he was passionate about his talent outside his profession as well. In 1959, before he ever landed his first professional acting role, he graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Arts which propelled him to earn his M.A. in speech and drama from the University of Kansas in 1961; it was awarded to him in 1989. The University of Kansas announced in 2008 that it will house his memorabilia. He was also a member of Omega Psi Phi.


IMDB

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Elisha Cook Jr




Elisha Cook, Jr (December 26, 1903 – May 18, 1995) always entertained us by making the good guy look really good, or the smart guy look really smart. His typical character always seemed to get killed off, or wander into some very overwhelming situation that would be too big for him to handle. In fact, it was his ability to portray the hapless, hopeless, put-upon, hen-pecked worry-wart which endeared audiences to him over the 58 years that he was an actor.

He appeared in some very notable motion pictures over the course of his career, such as
The Maltese Falcon, Shane, Rosemary's Baby, and Salem's Lot.


Elisha Cook, Jr clips


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Mary Jo Catlett





Mary Jo Catlett, most recognized as Pearl Gallagher, maid for the Drummonds on "Diff'rent Strokes", is still providing us with quality entertainment at age 71. Most recently, she provided the voice for Mrs. Puff on "Sponge Bob" and for cousin Larry's mother on "Kim Possible". She also appeared this year in one episode of "Days Of Our Lives". She has been professionally acting since her very first television production titled "The Littlest Angel" in 1969, and is still going strong after 40 years. She always has that special twinkle in her eyes, and gives true meaning to the song title "Irish Eyes Are Smilin' ".

But Ms. Catlett doesn't keep that joy all to herself. She definitely tries to give it all away. According to her IMDB page, "over the years Mary Jo has shown that her heart is as big as her talent as a consistently reliable and fun-filled novelty song performer at charity fund raisers and musical benefits, most notably for various AIDS and the Broadway-oriented 'Help Is on the Way' organizations." Much more appears on her IMDB page, and if you take a quick glance, you'll see the world is definitely a much richer place for Mary Jo Catlett being in it.


Mary Jo Catlett's website


IMDB

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Art LaFleur





Art LaFleur is one of my very favorite character actors. No matter what production he does, I will ALWAYS remember him as Ivan, one of those two bumbling idiot Russian spies who tried to steal the medallion off Gilligan's neck in the 1978 tv movie Rescue From Gilligan's Island. His character made me laugh so hard, and I remember it so well, that when I put him in this blog post, he had to be listed side-by-side with Vincent Schiavelli, who played the OTHER Russian spy Dimitri [see next listing below]. Those two guys cracked me up!!!! But seriously, Art LaFleur has had a great career, from 1978 through today, with some projects which have gone into post-production at this writing.

Thanks for the memories, Art, and for all the ones to come!!!

Two very big thumbs up for Art LaFleur!!!


IMDB

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Vincent Schiavelli





Vincent Schiavelli (November 11, 1948 – December 26, 2005) entertained us wonderfully for the 34 years of his acting career. As I mentioned about Mr. Art LaFleur in the above listing, I will likewise always remember Mr. Schiavelli mostly for his role as the bumbling idiot Russian spy Dimitri, who gaffed his way through Rescue From Gilligan's Island in 1978. This character bore an amazing resemblance to Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat. Ivan and Dimitri really made that movie hilarious for me with their outrageous antics in that story. But far from defining his entire career by that one role [or type of role], Vincent Schiavelli was known for a wide range of theatrical creativity. His breakout role as Fredrickson in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest established him as a solid performer.

He is easily recognizable from the opening scenes of Amadeus as the valet of Antonio Salieri [nemesis of Amadeus who plotted the composer's death -- portrayed by F. Murray Abraham]
.

His career can be summed up with one word: versatility.

Two very big thumbs up for Vincent Schiavelli!!!


IMDB

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Roscoe Lee Browne





Roscoe Lee Browne (May 2, 1925 – April 11, 2007) was a great character actor whose career lasted 45 years from 1962 all the way until his death. He is best remembered for his dignified persona as well as that unmistakable Roscoe Lee Browne voice. If you ever heard him speak once, you were drawn in to hear anything he had to say. His voice truly was a gift from God, and was greatly developed in the years he spent acting in Shakespearean productions. He acted often in television and movies, and you knew him when you saw him, because his great distinctiveness never allowed you to confuse him with another actor.

Roscoe Lee Browne not only excelled in acting, but in many other avenues as well. For instance, in 1951, he set a world's record in Paris for the 800-meter run. He was also greatly in demand for voice-over work. He began to launch out into writing and directing projects, and in 1966, he authored and directed
A Hand is On the Gate: An Evening of Negro Poetry & Folk Music, which featured the talents of Cicely Tyson, Moses Gunn, James Earl Jones, along with many other up-and-coming black actors and actresses.

Whether stage-acting, film and television acting, recording, directing, writing, producing, or any of the other magnificent undertakings Roscoe Lee Browne has achieved in his body of work, all of his accomplishments point back to his early days as a runner, for he knew his course and he ran his race well.

Our entertainment industry is poorer to be without him.


Interview with Roscoe Lee Browne

Background, life, and work [more audio files and interviews]


IMDB

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Lance LeGault





Two words describe Lance LeGault: COLONEL DECKER!!!!

If you watched the 1980's television series
The A-Team with any regularity, you became very acquainted with the man they call Colonel Decker. He chased the A-Team from 1983 to 1986 on the hit NBC television series. In spite of all his cunning and forethought, Colonel Roderick Decker always fell one step behind the calculating genius of Hannibal Smith [who loves it when a plan comes together]. Lance LeGault played the role of their foil masterfully.

Thankfully for Mr. LeGault, Colonel Decker was only a portion of his entire illustrious career. He began professionally acting in 1962, taking an uncredited role as a nightclub bass player in
Girls!Girls!Girls!, and has been involved in productions to this day. With a release out this year, it doesn't look like Lance LeGault is letting up any time soon. Who knows, perhaps with an upcoming A-Team movie in the works, he may be called upon to reprise the role of Colonel Decker - or at least make a cameo appearance in the movie.

Hey ... we can dream.


Introduction of Colonel Decker on The A-Team

Music video chronicling Decker/A-Team conflict


IMDB

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Fritzi Burr





Fritzi Burr (May 31, 1924 - January 17, 2003) was a solid character actress who brought hours and hours of entertainment to television audiences everywhere. She is most noted for portraying multiple characters on Sanford & Son, and had a recurring role as a teacher named Mrs. Collins on What's Happening!! Most of the characters she played were no-nonsense, sarcastic types who wouldn't take anything off anybody, and who were quick to put others in their place when the situation called for it. Her career lasted 27 years, from 1970 to 1997, and television will never be the same without "the tough old broad".

We miss you, Fritzi!!


Fritzi / What's Happening

Fritzi / Sanford & Son


IMDB

[wikipedia entry not created for Fritzi Burr]


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Lloyd Bochner





Lloyd Bochner (July 29, 1924 – October 29, 2005) was a Canadian actor who found fame and fortune when he brought his acting talents south of the border to America. According to his IMDB page, he began his illustrious acting career at the age of 11, working for radio programs in Ontario. His breakout role here in the United States occurred in "To Serve Man", a Twilight Zone episode which aired in 1962, in which he played a cryptographer trying to decode alien messages written in a book [its title also doubled as the episode's title]. He played in many film and television productions, but was very often cast as an evil, rich, debonair, handsome, powerful, scheming guy-you-love-to-hate type.

After becoming well-known from his role in
Zone, Mr. Bochner's acting career continued to flourish here in the United States, lasting through the remainder of the 20th century, and continuing until 2003, two years before his death at age 81. His next most famous role occurred on the ABC series "Dynasty" as the scheming Cecil Colby, who suffered a heart attack while having intimate relations with Alexis Carrington [played by Joan Collins].


IMDB

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Robert Donner





Robert Donner (April 27, 1931 - June 8, 2006) made his mark on the television landscape for 40 years that are well remembered. My personal recollection of Mr. Donner is a simple character whose goal was to try to impact people any time he acted, whether through fear, hope, laughter, or every other kind of inspiration. He played his characters well, and seemed to get lost in the role. We never saw Robert Donner, the man, only Mr. Donner's characters, and this is the mark of a truly great actor. He is best remembered for his recurring role of Exidor on an impressive twenty-one episodes of Mork And Mindy.


IMDB

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Theodore "Teddy" Wilson





Theodore Wilson (December 10, 1943 – July 21, 1991) contributed greatly to the American television viewing experience through his many appearances on the small screen. Most recognizable from multiple roles and appearances on Sanford & Son, What's Happening!!, and Good Times, Mr. Wilson quickly established himself throughout the 1970's and 1980's in the public eye. He is best known for two characters. The first, "Sweet Daddy" Williams, a pimp and scam artist, was a recurring character on Good Times. The second, Al Dunbar, appeared on What's Happening!! as a thug who cons Rerun into bootlegging a Doobie Brothers concert. The What's Happening episode can be viewed here.

Tragically, Theodore "Teddy" Wilson died at age 47, five months shy of his 48th birthday. However, in the short life he lived, almost half of his time [21 years] was spent acting and entertaining us very well in every single role he played. When I looked for pictures of him to put on this blog post, I thought I might have some problems finding enough pictures. But I was very pleasantly surprised at what I did find, and hopefully those pictures did as much justice to the roles as he did actually playing them. I was also happy to find that he has both an IMDB page and a wikipedia entry. Teddy Wilson is well-remembered.

Thank you, Teddy. You're missed, buddy!


IMDB

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Jonathan Harris





Jonathan Harris (November 6, 1914 – November 3, 2002) enjoyed over a half-century of professional acting, from 1949 to 2001. Regardless of how many roles he played, he will be most remembered for the role of Dr. Zachary Smith in the 1960's science fiction television series Lost In Space [cue "Danger, Will Robinson" sound effect]. He had a face that could startle you as quickly as entertain you. He played every one of his parts with the utmost seriousness and intensity. His refined manner of speaking and distinctive faux-British accent naturally lent themselves to a great combination of speaking and acting proficiency. This inborn gift of voice and diction was well-suited for his theatrical expressiveness. Carry on, my good man. Do carry on. Quite.


"Creature" over-used by Dr. Smith

Jonathan Harris speaking at sci-fi convention


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Nedra Volz





Nedra Volz (June 18, 1908 – January 20, 2003) was one of the hardest-working women in show business. From 1980 to 1982, she pulled double duty, working as Adelaide Brubaker [maid for the Drummonds] on NBC's Diff'rent Strokes, and also working as Postmistress Ms. Emma Tisdale on the CBS hit The Dukes Of Hazzard. Another evidence of her hard-working character came in the 1985 motion picture Moving Violations, where [states her Wikipedia page] "director Neil Israel allowed Nedra to do many stunts herself, including being lifted into a window and falling head first onto the floor." And this is when she was pushing 80. She worked tirelessly from 1973 until 1996.

Ms. Volz certainly enjoyed a full and rich acting career.

On a sad note, Nedra passed away in 2003 due to complications from Alzheimer's disease. But at age 94, she certainly did not have a life cut short. If we could hear her talking even now, it isn't likely she would complain about dying from Alzheimer's. I can hear her saying something like, "Eh. You win some; you lose some", shrug her shoulders, and laugh her sweet little laugh.

That would be her way.


IMDB

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Frank Nelson





Frank Brandon Nelson (May 6, 1911 – September 12, 1986) is the funniest comedian I have ever seen on tv. Almost his entire shtick was the one-word question -

"
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees?"

He would be working in a department store, a jewelry store, or some other establishment where the main character would have to walk up to him and ask for assistance, to which he would reply the aforementioned "
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees?" with a very over-exaggerated enthusiasm. He had a ubiquitous quality, in that he could literally appear at any time on a comedy show, seemingly out of nowhere. He used insults toward main characters, always with his trademark impeccable comedic delivery, for example, "Is that a hairpiece, or did someone plant moss on your head?"

With 50 years in acting, Frank Nelson truly made his mark in film and television. He is very loved and appreciated by anyone who saw any of his performances. His routine was so over-the-top that you find yourself busting out laughing only at the mention of Mr. Nelson. His style and delivery were so unique that he has been parodied by
The Simpsons, Mel Blanc, Three's Company, and The Flinstones. He is loved and appreciated the world over.



Frank / Sanford & Esther

Frank / Lamont & Rollo

Frank / Jack Benny

Frank / The Simpsons



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Dub Taylor





Walter Clarence "Dub" Taylor (February 26, 1907 – October 3, 1994) had a prolific acting career which ran from 1938 until 1994. He received the name "Dub" from friends who shortened his first named down to a nickname of "W", which was then further shortened to just plain "Dub". His most frequent role was that of a lively, short-tempered sidekick type who made saucy, comical remarks to main characters in film and television productions. The genre in which he most frequently appeared was the Western. He has an unforgettable look and presence which made you laugh at just the sight of him on the screen.

Dub Taylor was my favorite actor in the westerns. He is truly missed.


12-minute video on Dub Taylor's legacy


2 Hubba Bubba bubble gum commercials with Dub Taylor:

Hubba Bubba #1 / Hubba Bubba #2


IMDB

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Reg E. Cathey





Reginald "Reg" E. Cathey has been going strong since 1984 in professional acting, recently starring as character Norman Wilson in 23 episodes of the HBO police drama The Wire. In 2008 he also provided narration for the original National Geographic special Population Zero which speculates what life on Earth would be like if humanity no longer existed. My own first recollection of him was in quite a number of appearances of the PBS series Square One Television, a program which seeks to improve children's math skills, mainly geared towared the elementary school age-range. Mr. Cathey provides excellent character acting skills and a strong screen presence in any production in which he participates. Reg has quite a promising future ahead!


Reg. E Cathey talk show interview


IMDB

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Dan Hedaya





Dan Hedaya has been acting since 1970 in film and television. He usually plays a shady-looking character who always acts like he is on the down-low, just about to do something sneaky or criminal. He has deeply-set eyes and a gravelly baritone voice which give him somewhat of a menacing demeanor. His typical character comes across like a gangster or a pimp in the inner-city area of a large metropolis such as New York or Chicago. The first role that put him on the map was the role occurred on the sitcom Cheers where he played Nick Tortelli, Carla's ex-husband who married the blond bimbo. Another role for which he is well-remembered is the fake-plant shop owner Kamehl Butabi, father of Steve and Doug Butabi in Night At The Roxbury. Dan Hedaya is quite an incredible character actor whose performances give us great memories.


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Mary Steenburgen





Mary Steenburgen is an actress mostly known for her motion picture work, most notably for her roles in Time After Time, Back To The Future III, What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, Nixon, Stepbrothers, Four Christmases, and [in 2009] The Proposal. However, Mary has also demonstrated her talent for television acting as well, most recently as character Helen Girardi in 45 episodes of the CBS hit Joan of Arcadia. Her poise and presence give her a stand-out quality.


IMDB

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George Wyner





George Wyner, from my recollections, was one of the most ubiquitous character actors in the 1980's and 1990's. You never knew just where he would pop up, usually in a role as a brainy consultant, or as a compromised authority figure. In nearly every role he played, he was easily recognizable as "the bald guy with the glasses". He is best known for two roles, the first being Colonel Sandurz in Spaceballs, and the second is Assistant District Attorney Irwin Bernstein. George has a tremendous knack for landing recurring roles on tv series.

For example:

1975 - Rex Pottinger / 2 episodes /
The Bob Newhart Show

1977 - Assistant District Attorney Dorfman / 3 episodes /
Delvecchio

1979 - Dr. Sidney Shapiro / 2 episodes /
All In The Family

1981 - Dr. Rudolph / 2 episodes /
Soap

1981 - Saul Panzer / 11 episodes /
Nero Wolfe

This trend continued for Mr. Wyner throughout the 1980's and 1990's, right up to this day. He has already appeared in 2 episodes of Desperate Housewives as Dr. Rushton. It will be interesting to see how many television shows on which he can appear in a recurring role. We have plenty of time to find out. At his age, George definitely isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Viva la George!!!!


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Allan Melvin




Allan Melvin (February 18, 1923 - January 17, 2008) was a great television actor whose career ran from 1959 to 1994. He provided great comic relief to audiences everywhere who watched him perform. His typical role was that of a character who provided the "straight man" angle, playing off the antics of the more comedic or silly characters. He is best known for two roles, the first of which was Sgt. Charley Hacker on Gomer Pyle, and the second was Sam "The Butcher" Franklin, the owner of a local butcher shop on The Brady Bunch. He died tragically in 2008 of cancer, only one month before his 85th birthday.

We'll miss you, Sam the butcher. Here's to ya!!!


Allan Melvin tribute


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Kene Holliday





Kene Holliday is a tremendous actor who we definitely do not get to see enough. He has only worked sporadically since the year 2000, but he is very well remembered for his two famous roles, Sgt. Curtis Baker in 44 episodes of Carter Country, and even more famously as Tyler Hudson in 69 episodes of Matlock. He did appear in one episode of Law And Order: Criminal Intent in 2008 as a detective, so he pops up every now and again, but we definitely hope to see much more of Kene in the near future. He has a great talent, and productions need more people like him getting involved. Go Kene!!!


Kene Holliday 2007 video


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Colm Feore





Colm Feore's career has been going full-tilt since 1981 when he debuted in a television role. Ever since then, he has hit the ground running with nonstop powerhouse acting performances. He has played authority figures in quite a few productions, such as Alexander Hamilton in 6 episodes of Liberty! The American Revolution (1997), Marcus Andronicus in Titus (1999), the baron in The Baronness And The Pig (2002), Lord Marshall in The Chronicles Of Riddick (2004), parliament member Owen Sawyer in The Eleventh Hour (2004), President Adar in Battlestar Galactica (2006), General Sherman in Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee (2007), and in 12 episodes as First Gentleman [President's husband] Henry Taylor on the Fox television series 24.

However, Mr. Feore also has a knack for playing some very evil characters, as anyone knows who has seen any number of his movies. The most notable among these baddies is Andre Linoge, main character of the television miniseries
Storm Of The Century based upon the novel by Stephen King. As Linoge, Colm Feore portrays the most evil, sadistic character I've ever seen in television or movies, as anyone who has seen this miniseries would probably agree. The character is a demonic being in human form who takes an entire New England coastal town hostage until his demand is met [expressed in numerous ways via the phrase "give me what I want and I'll go away"]. He plays this role to devilish perfection. Do NOT watch this movie at bedtime.

Colm Feore is quite an impact player among character actors.

Look for him wherever you see movies. Or, maybe, look OUT for him, ha ha.


Colm Feore interview


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Vera Miles





Vera Miles is another great classical character actress. I was surprised to find out that she is still alive at this writing in 2009. I posted the above pictures to demonstrate her two best-known roles, the first role [middle pic] as Lila Crane, sister of that dead woman from what has come to be called "the shower scene" in Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1960 suspense thriller / horror movie Psycho. The picture shown here shows the part of the movie where Lila Crane is in the Bates cellar, having just discovered the horrifying truth about Norman's mother. The second most memorable role [pictured on the right] was Millicent Barnes, a 25-year-old woman who keeps seeing her double appear, disappear, and then reappear [repeat] in "Mirror Image" (1960), one of the most suspenseful and mind-bending episodes The Twilight Zone ever produced. Her acting career lasted nearly a half-century, from 1950 until 1995 when she fully retired.


Miss Kansas tribute page


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Gabby Hayes





George Francis "Gabby" Hayes (May 7, 1885 – February 9, 1969) was an actor in radio, film, and television, always playing the comical sidekick to heroes of the Westerns played by Randolph Scott, Roy Rogers, and John Wayne. He was cast in recurring roles for a number of westerns, appearing as Windy Halliday (1936-1939) and as Gabby Whitaker (1939-1946). His acting career, though brief [21 years], won't soon be forgotten. Tribute was posthumously paid to him by Claude Ennis Starrett, in the hilarious Mel Brooks western spoof Blazing Saddles (1974), as a character named Gabby Johnson in full regalia and character as a tribute to the man himself, all the way down to his trademark mannerisms and his authentic frontier gibberish.


Gabby's Greatest Bits


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Martin Milner





Martin Milner enjoyed 50 years of acting from 1947 to 1997, becoming most easily identified with two main roles, the first as Tod Stiles in 116 episodes of Route 66 between 1960 and 1964, and the second as officer Pete Malloy in 174 episodes of Adam-12 between 1968 and 1975. In the latter role, most people are not aware that he appeared as Officer Pete Malloy in three television series other than Adam-12, namely Dragnet (1 episode, 1968), The D.A. (1 episode, 1971), and Emergency! (3 episodes; 1972, 1975, & 1976). Martin Milner has given us one of the most prolific character acting careers in Hollywood history.


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Hattie McDaniel





Hattie McDaniel (June 10, 1895 – October 26, 1952) became the first black performer to win an Academy Award, which she received for Best Supporting Actress as Mammy in Gone With The Wind (1939). She earned her keep as a professional singer/songwriter, comedienne, stage actress, radio actress, and television star. Like fellow black performer William Walker [see above], she was a child of former slaves, and she too was a pioneer who helped paved the way toward equality in America for people of all walks of life. According to her Wikipedia page, of the approximately 300 films in which she acted, she was only listed in the credits for 80 of them. Her credited career spanned from 1939 to 1952, including almost 100 film and television productions. Today, she has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame [one for radio and one for film], is listed in the Black Filmmakers Hall Of Fame, and has a postage stamp bearing her likeness [the first black Oscar winner to be given such an honor].

Life was not easy for Ms. McDaniel as she tried to make her way in Hollywood. Pressure from within and without abounded, due to the racial tensions of the early-to-middle 20th century. In the 1940's, the NAACP began putting strong pressure on Hattie McDaniel and other black performers to stop playing the servant roles for which they were so well known. Hattie fired back, "I'd rather play a maid and make $700 a week than be one for $7." She continued playing maid-type roles throughout the 1940's all the way until the end of her career.

Sadly, she passed away of breast cancer at age 57 in 1952.

She will ever be loved and adored by all who remember her.


Hattie McDaniel accepts Academy Award 02/29/1940

Hattie McDaniel special [with Hattie audio]

The music of Hattie McDaniel



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Vernon Dent





Vernon Bruce Dent (February 16, 1895 - November 5, 1963) is best known as that guy who, in different characters, was always chasing the Three Stooges around all over the place as their comedic foil. In Sing A Song Of Six Pants, he appeared as the detective who comes to the Stooges' alterations shop looking for Terry 'Slipperyfinger' Hargan, and in Malice In The Palace, he appeared as the bearded man Hassan Ben Sober ["I had a few too many myself"], so on and so forth. He starred in many short films [shorts] for Columbia Pictures. In fact, on his IMDB page, he has an eye-popping 418 listings which span only 38 years [1919-1957]. He was fortunate enough to continue working through the Great Depression years and still draw a salary while the rest of America was suffering from 25 percent unemployment at the peak of those wasted years.

Vernon Dent - one of my favorite character actors.


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Agnes Moorehead





Agnes Robertson Moorehead (December 6, 1900 – April 30, 1974) was probably among the best character actresses in American history, if not the best. She is most recognized by the public for her portrayal of Endora on Bewitched, however, her two BEST roles came earlier in her career. The first of those two roles was a woman who lived in an isolated farmhouse, who begins finding little people in space suits breaking into her farmhouse and attacking her with their miniscule weapons in the Twilight Zone episode "The Invaders" (1961). The second role was that of Mrs. Elbert Stevenson, a well-to-do invalid who accidentally overhears a telephone conversation which leads her to believe that people are conspiring to kill her, in "Sorry, Wrong Number", a 1943 CBS production of the radio show Suspense. When the show was largely heralded as a success, Moorehead went on to reprise the role on numerous occasions, even performing "Sorry, Wrong Number" on other radio shows.

States her Wikipedia page:

Moorehead was born in Clinton, Massachusetts, of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestry, to a Presbyterian clergyman, John Henderson Moorehead, and his wife, the former Mildred McCauley, who had been a singer. Moorehead later shaved six years off her age by claiming to have been born in 1906. Moorehead recalled her first public performance was at the age of three, reciting "The Lord's Prayer" in her father's church. The family moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and Moorehead's ambition to become an actress grew "very strong". Her mother indulged her active imagination often asking "Who are you today, Agnes?", while Moorehead and her sister would often engage in mimicry, often coming to the dinner table and imitating parishioners. Moorehead noted and was encouraged by her father's amused reactions. She joined the chorus of the St. Louis Municipal Opera Company, known as "The Muny". In addition to her interest in acting, she developed a lifelong interest in religion; in later years actors such as Dick Sargent would recall Moorehead arriving on the set with "the Bible in one hand and the script in the other".

Moorehead was a devout Presbyterian (Reynolds described her as "terribly religious") and, in interviews, often spoke of her relationship with God. Erin Murphy stated that the actress would read Bible stories to the children affiliated with Bewitched. Shortly before her death, Moorehead, who embraced her Reformed Calvinist roots, sought conservative causes to benefit after her death through her estate.

Moorehead bequeathed her 1967 Emmy Award statue for The Wild Wild West, her private papers, and her home in Rix Mills, Ohio, to her alma mater Muskingum College. She left her family's Ohio estate and farmlands, Moorehead Manor, to Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, as well as some biblical studies books from her personal library. Her will stipulated that BJU should use the farm for retreats and special meetings "with a Christian emphasis," but the distance of the estate from the South Carolina campus rendered it mostly useless. In May 1976, BJU traded the Moorehead farmlands with an Ohio college for $25,000 and a collection of her library books. Moorehead also left her professional papers, scripts, Christmas cards and scrapbooks to the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research at the Wisconsin Historical Society.


Sorry, Wrong Number

Downloads of "Sorry, Wrong Number"


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Bernard Fox





Bernard Fox had 46 years of acting from 1955 until he retired in 2001. He is quite a familiar face on television and in the movies as a very distinguished character actor. He often played a role of a blustery "cheeky old chap" type who seemed to have somewhat of a dingbat personality, as though he is lost in the fog of his own thoughts. He exudes a very pleasant personality, however, which more than compensates for his apparent lack of knowing what is going on. Mr. Fox is a character actor who is just all-around fun to watch.


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Lane Smith





Walter Lane Smith III (April 29, 1936 – June 13, 2005) worked as a professional actor from 1966 until 2003. His best-known role was that of Perry White, editor of the Daily Globe in 84 episodes of the television series Lois And Clark. However, he played many other roles as a prominent character actor from the 1970s through the 1990s, usually as a no-nonsense tell-it-like-it-is type of character, playing his roles with a straightforward, matter-of-fact delivery. He even portrayed President Richard Nixon in
The Final Days, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination.

He died tragically in 2005 from ALS / Lou Gehrig's disease.



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Bill Cobbs







Wilbert "Bill" Cobbs is a film and television actor who has starred in over 120 tv programs and movies. His career has spanned over 35 years, having begun with the original 1974 version of The Taking Of Pelham 123 and going through 2009 with some movies in post-production at this writing. Although he does not have a particular stand-out role, Mr. Cobbs excels at every role he plays. I remember him distinctly as Charlie Evers, brother of dead civil-rights activist Medgar Evers in Ghosts Of Mississippi. He also played one of three scheming security guards with [Dick van Dyke and Mickey Rooney] in Night At The Museum. His career is going strong, and we can be sure that whenever we see Bill Cobbs acting, he's going to give it 110 percent.


Bill Cobbs interview


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Jesse White






Jesse White (January 3, 1917 – January 9, 1997) is best remembered as the Maytag repairman in commercials (1967-1988). From 1947 until his death, he entertained us through film, television, and stage. His first major role came in the 1950 production of Harvey, as Wilson, the orderly at the mental hospital where Jimmy Stewart's character was housed. He worked regularly from the beginning of his career until the 1990's, when he began to slow down considerably. He died in 1997, however, he did live to see his 80th birthday.


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Yvonne de Carlo





Yvonne De Carlo (September 1, 1922 – January 8, 2007) best known as Lily Munster for 71 episodes the television series The Munsters, became famous for her acting in television and movies, as well as her singing and dancing. She reprised the role of Lily Munster twice for tv movies. Her career lasted from 1941 to 1995. Another role she played, of which most people are unaware, is that of Sephora, the wife of Moses in The Ten Commandments.


Yvonne de Carlo's website


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Richard Deacon





Richard Deacon (May 14, 1921 – August 8, 1984) acted in television and motion pictures fron 1953 to 1984. He was a regular on many different television shows, usually playing a role of an impatient authority figure who did not suffer fools gladly. Rather his character was a man who was an all-business type of individual, complete with his trademark serious look and authoritative voice. I personally remember him from two roles, one as the business owner of a plant who replaces all its employees with robots on The Twilight Zone ("The Brain Center At Whipple's"), and the other as a character in a 1977 CHiPs episode.


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Burt Mustin




Burton Hill Mustin (February 8, 1884 — January 28, 1977) was a great film and television actor whose most well-known role was that of Jud Fletcher in 14 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, but he also appeared as a regular on other shows, such as All In The Family. He always played a kindly old gentleman with a keen eye and a quick wit, whose years had not diminished either his physical or mental faculties. On a number of occasions, it was his character's acute sense of observation that led him to quickly point out mistakes Barney Fife had made on the Andy Griffith show.


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Paul Winfield





Paul Edward Winfield (May 22, 1939 – March 7, 2004) was a great character actor of stage, film, and television. Perhaps his most significant role was that of Nathan Lee Morgan from the 1972 Disney film Sounder, in which he played a Depression-era Louisiana sharecropper who is imprisoned for stealing food to feed his wife and his children. Mr. Winfield was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Morgan, and the movie itself was nominated for a total of four Oscars, including Winfield's nomination. This is a great family-values type of film which is appropriate viewing for ages 12 and up, and if you have never seen it, or haven't seen it in a long time, it is definitely worth checking out some time very soon. Mr. Winfield also appeared in a 2003 remake of Sounder. However, this is not the only major project Winfield worked on concerning civil rights. He also portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in a 1978 television miniseries titled "King".

Although Paul Winfield survived obesity, diabetes, and a stroke, he tragically succumbed to the effects of a heart attack in 2004 at the age of 64.


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R. Lee Ermey





Ronald Lee Ermey is one of those actors who doesn't need much to be said about him for people to recognize who he is. Many people know him as Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann from Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, but he is also recognizable as host of two History Channel programs, Mail Call and Lock 'N Load. His character Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann seems to have been the inspiration for the over-the-top caffeinated gym teacher on Beavis And Butthead, Mr. Buzzcut. Hartmann yells "what is your major malfunction???" at a suicidal private in the bathroom scene, which was satired in an episode of Beavis And Butthead when Mr. Buzzcut yells "what is your major malfunction???" at his car, which won't start because Beavis and Butthead had poured a 5-pound bag of sugar in his gas tank.

Major Malfunction / Full Metal Jacket [language advisory]

Major Malfunction / B&B [>> to 4:00] [language advisory]


R. Lee Ermey's website


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Billie Bird





Billie Bird (February 28, 1908 – November 27, 2002) was a comedienne and character actress, best known in the latter profession as Mrs. Rose Cassidy in 28 episodes of the ABC sitcom Benson from 1984 to 1986. She appeared in many television shows during her career which spanned from 1950 to 1997. She died in 2002 battling Alzheimer's disease.


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Andy Devine





Andrew Vabre "Andy" Devine (October 7, 1905 – February 18, 1977) always played the role of a comical sidekick in the Western movies, which was accentuated by his distinct trademark raspy voice and toothy grin. Andy's career lasted from 1926 to 1977, and included appearances in over 400 films, according to his Wikipedia page. He also provided the voice for Friar Tuck in Disney's cartoon version of Robin Hood, and provided the voice of the rooster in Kellogg's Corn Flakes commercials. He died of leukemia at the age of 71.


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Sydney Greenstreet





Sydney Hughes Greenstreet (December 27, 1879 – January 18, 1954) is a British actor who worked with Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre in the 1940s. With Bogart and Lorre, he appeared in The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and Passage To Marseille, and [absent Bogart] with Lorre in six other films of that decade. His massive frame, bellowing voice, intimidating presence, and stylish wardrobe made him a distinct and unique character actor who is very well-remembered by anyone who has ever seen his movies. Although his film career included only 22 films, and spanned only 8 years [1941-1949], he has become something of a legend among all character actors.


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Ernie Hudson





Ernest Lee "Ernie" Hudson is best known as Winston Zeddemore, one of the original Ghostbusters, who also appeared in Ghostbusters 2, is scheduled to appear in Ghostbusters 3, set for release in 2012. However, his career was already established in 1976, long before Ghostbusters, and has continued well through this year of 2009 since that time. We look forward to see what else the future holds for Mr. Hudson.


Ernie Hudson interview


Ernie Hudson's website


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Arthur Hunnicutt





Arthur Hunnicutt (February 17, 1910 – September 26, 1979) enjoyed a thirty-two-year career from 1942 to 1975, in which he usually portrayed a character who was a salt-of-the-earth, home-folk, plain-spoken type of man. My best recollection of Arthur was as Hyder Simpson, a back-woods gun-toting husband who loved his wife and his dog in a 1962 Twilight Zone episode called "The Hunt". But as anyone knows, who watched tv and movies "back in the day", Mr. Hunnicut appeared in quite a number of film and television productions, evidenced by the 86 entries on his IMDB page. He received an Academy Award nomination in 1952 for his work in Howard Hawks' The Big Sky.


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Anne Ramsey





Anne Ramsey (September 1, 1929 - August 11, 1988) is a character actress known mostly for two famous roles as mothers, the first as Mama Fratelli in The Goonies, and the second as Momma Lift in Throw Momma From The Train. Train was an homage paid to the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, a remake [of sorts] of his 1951 classic Strangers On A Train, which starred Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll, and Hitchcock's own daughter Patricia. Sadly,Anne Ramsey died of throat cancer in 1988 at age 59.


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Olan Soule





Olan Soule (February 28, 1909 – February 1, 1994) is a character actor who is well-known as choir director John Masters on 5 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, and also as Detective Pinker in 29 episodes of Dragnet. He acted from 1949 to 1991, with 210 IMDB entries to his credit, appearing in quite a number of television shows. He died at age 84 in 1994 with literally hundreds of appearances in film, television, commercials, and animated productions.


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John Fiedler





John Donald Fiedler (February 3, 1925 – June 25, 2005) had a prolific acting career that lasted from the early 1950's right up until the time of his death. He always portrayed a timid or nervous character in any production in which he appeared. I remember him as one of the jurors in Twelve Angry Men, as well as beleaguered department store manager Mr. Dundee, in a Christmas episode of The Twilight Zone called "Night Of The Meek" with Art Carney. He always appeared as a bald or balding man with glasses who spoke in a high-pitched voice which matched his high-strung demeanor. He did live to see his 80th birthday, however, died nearly five months later of cancer.


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Esther Rolle





Esther Rolle (November 8, 1920 – November 17, 1998) was a character actress best known for the character Florida Evans on the television series Good Times [1974-1979]. Many people are not aware that the Florida Evans character actually appeared first on the television series Maude [1972-1974] as housekeeper to characters Walter and Maude Findlay [Bea Arthur] before she decided to quit working to become a housewife, at which time Florida Evans began appearing on Good Times. She acted from 1964 until the end of her life, dying in 1998 due to complications surrounding diabetes. She was a fine actress and is very well-remembered, even though the memories are almost exclusively of her portrayal of Florida Evans. She seems to have been born to play that role.


Esther Rolle as Miss Cleo [funny]


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Robert Prosky





Robert Prosky (December 13, 1930 - December 8, 2008) was an American stage, film, and television actor. His career ran 1981-2008, and he was a very durable character actor from stage and screen. Mr. Prosky's film and television career were quite rivaled by his stage career, as he appeared over 100 times at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, and was a board member at Cape May Stage in New Jersey, states his Wikipedia page. Sadly, he died 5 days before reaching his 78th birthday following a heart procedure.


Robert Prosky's website


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Beulah Bondi





Beulah Bondi (May 3, 1888 – January 11, 1981) was a brilliant character actress best-known as the mother of Jimmy Stewart's characters in four films, most notably It's A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. She acted from 1931 to 1976, well into her old age [five years before her death at the age of 92].


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C. Aubrey Smith





Sir Charles Aubrey Smith, (July 21, 1863 - December 20, 1948) is one of the most memorable character actors in history, if only for his face. The strong forehead, bushy eyebrows, deeply-set eyes, and large moustache created one of the most striking personae in motion picture history. Although he performed exclusively in movies, he was caricatured as Commander McBragg on Tennesee Tuxedo, and I seem to also remember Mr. Smith caricatured as an old soldier on Popeye The Sailor Man [an episode in which he catalogued his safari exploits to Popeye]. He died of pneumonia in 1948.


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Pat Buttram





Emmett Maxwell "Pat" Buttram (June 19, 1915 – January 8, 1994) was a character actor known for three main roles, himself on Gene Autry's show, Mr. Haney on Green Acres, and the Sheriff of Nottingham on Walt Disney's cartoon version of Robin Hood. His career lasted from 1948 to 1991, and he died of kidney failure in 1994 at age 78.


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John Amos





John Amos is most easily remembered by me and by many other people as James Evans on the hit television sitcom Good Times [HENRY Evans on Maude]. His portrayal of the father of the Evans family was classic television acting, as a black father who was doing everything in his power to provide for his children in mid-1970's inner-city Chicago housing projects. The 1998 movie Player's Club satired his character James Evans, when Mr. Amos, playing a police officer, confronts a guy who is laughing at him, asking him "What's funny? what? you think I look like that guy on Good Times?" Overall, Good Times was great family viewing, and can be enjoyed by audiences of any age, although some individual episodes feature adult-related content which may not be advisable to show to younger children.

Mr. Amos has had quite a career in acting from 1970 through this year and on into the future. We definitely look forward to anything in which we might see Mr. Amos acting.


John Amos interview


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Ray Walston





Ray Walston (November 2, 1914 – January 1, 2001) was a stage, film, and television actor best remembered for three roles, as the Martian in My Favorite Martian, as history teacher Mr. Hand [pronounce "Ha-a-a-a-and"] in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, and as Judge Henry Bone in 80 episodes of Picket Fences. He enjoyed a long and prosperous acting career from 1954 through the year 2000. Although his characters were usually gruff and had rough edges, Mr. Walston is fondly remembered by audiences everywhere. He died on New Year's Day 2001, following a six-year battle with lupus.


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Alice Ghostley





Alice Margaret Ghostley (August 14, 1926 – September 21, 2007) acted from 1953 to 2002, usually playing nervous and scatterbrained characters. As I was writing her entry here, I suddenly remembered her by the pictures as Aunt Stephanie Crawford from To Kill A Mockingbird who kept feeding the rumor about how evil the Radley family was and how scary it would be to go over to their house. This was her first significant role in motion pictures. She went on to star in many film and television productions until 2002 when she retired.


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Ed Wynn




Ed Wynn (November 9, 1886 – June 19, 1966) was a beloved character actor who got his start in 1910 in vaudeville, and expanded his career when in 1914 he joined the Ziegfeld Follies. He continued on acting for the rest of his life. I remember Mr. Wynn from two Twilight Zone episodes, "Ninety Years Without Slumbering", and "One For The Angels". He will never be forgotten. His great personality and demeanor are priceless classics still as yet not duplicated since his passing.

He died at age 79 of throat cancer in 1966.


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Keenan Wynn





Francis Xavier Aloysius James Jeremiah Keenan Wynn (July 27, 1916 – October 14, 1986) was a great American character actor whose career ran from 1942 to 1986, with an astounding 271 entries on his IMDB page. The characters he played and the characters his father Ed [see above] played were nothing alike, in fact they were actually quite an interesting study in contrasts. Whereas Ed played simple, gentle, subdued, emotionally-balanced characters, Keenan's characters were sophisticated, brash, forceful, and tilted toward Type-A characteristics of anger and cheerfulness [with occasional relaxed and mellowed moments]. Keenan's slight lisp and baritone voice gave him quite a distinctive quality of speaking which is easily recognizable. I remember him as Alonzo Hawk for three Disney films, Herbie Rides Again, Son Of Flubber, and The Absent-Minded Professor, in which he plays a devious, cunning businessman who will stop at nothing to get whatever it is he wants. He also appeared in similar roles in two other Disney movies, as Martin Ridgeway in Snowball Express, and as John Slade in The Shaggy DA.

He died of pancreatic cancer shortly after reaching his 70th birthday in 1986.


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Yaphet Kotto





Yaphet Kotto has been acting since 1963, most recently appearing as FBI agent Alonzo Mosley in Witless Protection [2008], a role which he reprised from Midnight Run [1988]. He has also portrayed Idi Amin Dada in the made-for-tv movie Raid On Entebbe, and Mr. Big in the James Bond classic Live And Let Die. Hopefully, Mr. Kotto will give us the chance to see a lot more of him in the future.

According to his Wikipedia page, Kotto was born in New York City, the son of Gladys Marie, a nurse and army officer, and Avraham Kotto (originally named Njoki Manga Bell), a businessman and the Crown Prince of Cameroon. Kotto's father, who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1920s, was an observant Jew who spoke Hebrew, and Kotto's mother converted to Judaism before marrying his father. Kotto's great-grandfather King Alexander Bell ruled the Douala region of Cameroon in the late 19th century and was also a practicing Jew. Kotto has said that his paternal family originated from Israel and migrated to Egypt and then Cameroon, and have been African Jews for many generations.

Kotto claims to have uncovered proof that he is the great-great-great-grandson of Britain's Queen Victoria. According to Kotto, the Queen's son Prince Albert Edward (later King Edward VII) had an illicit affair with Princess Nakande, daughter of King Doualla Manga Bell, producing Alexander Bell, Kotto's great-grandfather. Queen Elizabeth's deputy press secretary denied the story, saying, "Edward VII never visited Cameroon".

Kotto campaigned for Steve Forbes in the 2000 Republican Party presidential primaries. In 2008, Kotto reportedly announced himself as a candidate for president, but in an interview he has insisted "I have to get people to stop thinking I’m running for President.


Yaphet Kotto's website


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Murray Hamilton





Murray Hamilton (March 24, 1923 – September 1, 1986) was an American stage, screen, and television actor who was most famous for the role of Mayor Larry Vaughn in Jaws and in Jaws 2, but was also known as Rutherford T. Grant, a silent partner of a California trucking firm who sought to illegally eliminate trucking competition by industrial sabotage efforts against trucker B.J. McKay on the tv show B.J. And The Bear. Another notable appearance was in the 1959 Twilight Zone episode "One For The Angels" [opposite Ed Wynn] in which Hamilton portrayed Mr. Death who was coming to take Wynn's character Lou Bookman into the next life.

He acted from 1944 until 1986 when he passed away from cancer.


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Ellen Corby





Ellen Corby (June 3, 1911 – April 14, 1999) was a character actress whose career began in film, but shifted in the 1950's into television acting [for which she was most famously known]. She is most recognized as Grandma on The Waltons, but I also remember her from three other roles, as Myrt 'Hubcaps' Lesh [the seemingly innocent grandmotherly type who provided Barney's First Car] on Andy Griffith, the desk clerk / manager at the McKittrick Hotel in Vertigo, and as Mrs. Davis who asks for $17.50 in the "bank run" scene of It's A Wonderful Life. A few years back, I attended a Capra-family screening of their 35 mm print of It's A Wonderful Life on the campus of the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, NC [where Capra Jr was the president of EUE / Screen Gems studio in Wilmington]. After the movie was over, Frank Jr and a panel took questions from the audience. I raised my hand and asked if the character Mrs. Davis was in fact the lady who had played Grandma on the Waltons. It took him a minute, and then he suddenly remembered Ms. Corby, and noted she did play Mrs. Davis.

She died of natural causes at the age of 87.


It's A Wonderful Life [f. fwd. to 6:35 - Mrs. Davis ($17.50)]


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Claude Akins





Claude Marion Akins (May 25, 1926 – January 27, 1994) acted from 1953 until the time of his death. His rugged features, built frame, wavy black hair, and booming baritone voice naturally lent themselves to acting in roles as in-charge kinda guys. In Claude Akins' roles, he projected that he always knew what he was talking about, usually as a voice of reason which could calm an angry mob or bring a situation down to a reasonable level of understanding. I remember him as Sheriff Lobo in BJ And The Bear, and in the same role in the BJ spinoff The Misadventures Of Sheriff Lobo. He also was notable in a Twilight Zone episode titled "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" where he plays Steve Brand, a leveling influence who tries to bring common sense to a paranoid group of neighbors who think an alien is living among them disguised as a human.

Claude Akins died of cancer in 1994.


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David Huddleston





David William Huddleston is a character actor known for portraying senators, sheriffs, judges, mayors, and other authority figures. His career began in 1961 and has gone through this year of 2009 and on into the future. I remember him very well as Olson Johnson from Blazing Saddles, doing the bit in the church where he comments on Gabby Johnson's authentic frontier gibberish. He recently starred in two episodes of Jericho, and worked this year in a production called The Locker.


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Avery Brooks





Avery Franklin Brooks is an actor, jazz musician, opera singer and college professor. He is best known for his role of Benjamin Sisko in 173 episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dr. Bob Sweeney in American History X, and Hawk in 65 episodes of Spenser: For Hire. Although he does not have a large resume for his acting career, he has done a substantial amount of work in narrating documentaries and other productions.


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Jack Weston





Jack Weston (August 21, 1924 – May 3, 1996) acted on film, stage, and television from 1949 through 1988, with a prolific body of work. His face is nearly ubiquitous, as he made quite a number of television character actor appearances. He died of lymphoma in 1996.


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Reta Shaw





Reta Shaw (September 13, 1912—January 8 1982) was a great character actress whose pronounced accent, marked poise, and large frame made her one of the most unforgettable performers in Hollywood history. I remember her best for two episodes of the Andy Griffith show, Convicts-at-Large in which she played "Big Maude" Tyler, and The Song Festers in which she plays Barney Fife's voice teacher Eleanora Poultice.

A number Ms. Shaw's roles demonstrated her interest in playing roles involving the supernatural. She appeared as Martha Grant for 50 episodes of The Ghost And Mrs. Muir, as Mrs. Halcyon Maxwell in The Ghost And Mr. Chicken, as Aunt Hagatha in 4 episodes of Bewitched, and as Mrs. Grindley in Bewitched.


She died at age 69 of emphysema.


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John Vernon





John Keith Vernon (February 24, 1932 - February 1, 2005) achieved fame and notoriety in Canada, then moved to the United States where he became a critically-acclaimed character actor. Although he does not have one particular role for which he is known above other roles, he was quite recognizable in any role he did play. He died three weeks before his 73rd birthday due to complications following heart surgery.


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Peter Mark Richman





Peter Mark Richman has been acting since 1953, and is still active in productions, as he was involved in The Desperate this year. He is quite a familiar face in film and television, usually playing suave and debonair male characters. I remember him from a the Twilight Zone episode "The Fear". He appeared as Andrew Laird in 25 episodes of Dynasty, and as C.C. Capwell in 28 episodes of Santa Barbara.


Peter Mark Richman's website


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Hal Williams






Hal Williams is known for 3 main television roles, Officer Smitty on Sanford & Son [5 episodes], Lester Jenkins on 227 [115 episodes], and as the host of the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation's annual telethon. He has been acting since 1986, and he's not going anywhere anytime soon.


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Wallace Shawn





Wallace Michael Shawn is an actor known for his comedy roles. He is best known for his role as Vizzini in The Princess Bride, in which he uttered his trademark exclamation "Inconceivable!!!" numerous times. The very sight of him invokes chuckles from the viewer, as he has a comical appearance and persona. He has been acting from 1979 through today, with projects in post-production at this time.


Wallace Shawn radio interview


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Melinda Culea





Melinda Culea is a character actress best known for appearances in 1.5 seasons of The A-Team. She played as reporter Amy Amanda Allen who worked with the team to provide them cover so they could retain relative seclusion and secrecy since they were on the run from the federal government. According to their Wikipedia page, in 1972, this crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Still wanted by the government, they survived as soldiers of fortune. If you had a problem, if no one else could help, and if you could find them, maybe you could have hired ... the A-Team.

In addition, the leader of the A-Team loved it when a plan came together.

The A-Team dominated ratings in the 1980's.

Many people's cars flipped in A-Team episodes, many people were shot with military-grade weapons, many people fell great heights, but fortunately, no one was ever killed on The A-Team.

Melinda had a lot of other roles, but is mostly known for the A-Team role.

You can watch her if you buy the A-Team DVD.

She also appears on A-Team episodes which run in syndication.

The A-Team was a really great show.


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Hoyt Axton





Hoyt Wayne Axton (March 25, 1938 – October 26, 1999) had an acting career that lasted from 1965 to his death. He successfully balanced his acting career with his career as a professional musician. I remember him from a couple of episodes of Diff'rent Strokes. On quite a number of occasions, he designed his appearances on television shows to showcase his musical career. He does not have a stand-out television appearance, but hey, he's Hoyt Axton, so I guess he didn't need to.


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Frank Cady





Frank Cady is best known for his role of storekeeper Sam Drucker for 180 total episodes among three interconnected television series, The Beverly Hillbillies [10 episodes], Green Acres [141 episodes], and Petticoat Junction [29 episodes]. His career lasted from 1947 to 1990.


Frank Cady audio interview


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LaWanda Page





LaWanda Page (October 19, 1920 - September 14, 2002) is a comedienne and character actress best known as Aunt Esther on Sanford & Son. Esther was a sister of Fred's deceased wife Elizabeth. She often played as a great foil actress to Redd Foxx's Fred Sanford character, bringing her unique style of comedy to the television show. In fact, on one episode of the show, Ms. Page showcased one of the talents she had developed in her comedy act, when she set her fingertips on fire and used them to light a cigarette Fred began smoking. This practice was a regular part of her own personal routine.

The hilarious thing is, nobody ever explained to us how a God-fearing, church-going, Bible-thumping, hell-fire & brimstone woman like Aunt Esther would do magic tricks involving lighting a cigarette for someone to smoke, especially if it was Fred Sanford smoking it!!! Realizing that gave me a lot of irony and laughs.


Her career lasted from 1973 until 1996.

She tragically passed away from diabetes in 2002.


Aunt Esther/fingertips [f fwd to 5:05]


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Armin Mueller-Stahl





Armin Mueller-Stahl is a great film actor whose career [including foreign films] has run strong since 1956, and he burst on the acting scene here as General Petya Samanov in the ABC miniseries Amerika, which depicts a Soviet takeover of the United States. The rest of his career in the United States has been working in motion pictures, with the exception of four episodes of The West Wing where he guest-starred as the Prime Minster of Israel. Otherwise, his career has given us some great performances in films such as The Music Box and 12 Angry Men, and more recently as the Russian restaurant owner / mafia boss in Eastern Promises.


Feature on Armin Mueller-Stahl


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Jocelyn Brando





Jocelyn Brando (November 18, 1919 – November 27, 2005) is sister to Marlon Brando, and a character actress best known for her role as Bubba's mother, Mrs. Ritter, in the 1981 horror mystery, Dark Night Of The Scarecrow. She acted from 1948 to 1983.


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M. Emmet Walsh





M. Emmet Walsh has enjoyed a prolific acting career over the last four decades, with numerous appearances in film and television productions. You never know when you're going to see him pop up, but you always know you're going to get a great performance when you do see him pop up.


M. Emmet Walsh at a film tribute


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David Keith





David Keith is an actor and director. He has been acting since his first performance in a role on Happy Days in 1978 all the way to his recent run in 2007 as Yonk Allen on 11 episodes of The Class. He is still going strong today with completed productions this year which are now in post-production. Not only is he very active in his profession, he is active outside of it as well, at one time a member of a children's organization known as PROTECT, dedicated to the protection of children from abuse, exploitation and neglect. Three cheers to Mr. Keith who is a patriot, and definitely not a pinhead.


David Keith / PROTECT / Child pornography [graphic]


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Keith David





[Okay, I did David Keith, okay so, I had to do Keith David.]


Keith David is a film, television, and voice actor who has been steadily working since 1979. Says his Wikipedia page, He is perhaps most known for his live action roles in such films as Crash, There's Something About Mary, Barbershop and Men at Work. He has also had memorable roles in numerous cult favorites, including John Carpenter's films The Thing (as Childs) and They Live (as Armitage), the Riddick films Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick (as the Imam), and as King in Oliver Stone's Platoon. David is also well known for his voice over career, primarily his Emmy winning work as the narrator of numerous Ken Burns films. He is also known for playing the role of Spawn in Todd McFarlane's Spawn, Goliath on the Disney series Gargoyles, the Arbiter in Halo 2 and Halo 3, David Anderson in Mass Effect, as well as the Decepticon Barricade in Transformers: The Game.


Keith David sings Nat King Cole


Keith David's website


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Joseph Schildkraut





Joseph Schildkraut (March 22, 1896 – January 21, 1964) played an interesting assortment of roles during his life. He was Judas Iscariot in De Mille's King Of Kings (1941), the young man in Edgar Allan Poe's Tell-Tale Heart (1941), Otto Frank in Anne Frank (1959), and as a Jewish concentration camp victim in "Death's Head Revisited" [a 1962 Twilight Zone episode]. He acted from 1915 until near the time of his death, completing work on The Greatest Story Ever Told [as Nicodemus] not too long before he died.


Joseph Schildkraut tribute


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Shelley Duvall





Shelley Duvall has been involved in acting and/or producing since 1970, and has enjoyed a fulfilling career of creative achievement. Her best-known role is that of Olive Oyl in the 1980 production of Popeye. Her Wikipedia page states that due to negative connotations associated with being called "Olive Oyl" as a child, she was reluctant to accept the role at first. She continued acting throughout the 1980's and 1990's as a strong character actress, but has not been seen much since the turn of the century.

She is no relation to actor Robert Duvall.


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Oscar Beregi, Jr.





Oscar Beregi, Jr. (May 12, 1918 – November 1, 1976) lived a short life of 58 years, and a relatively short acting career of 19 years. However, in those short years, Mr. Beregi gave some powerhouse acting performances. He appeared in three Twilight Zone episodes, the first as Professor Karl Werner in "Mute" (1963), the second in 1961 as Nazi SS Captain Gunther Lutze in "Deaths-Head Revisited" (1961), and the third as Farwell in "The Rip Van Winkle Caper" (1961). He continued working until his last performance in a 1976 Kojak episode.

He died in late 1976 of a heart attack.


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Nehemiah Persoff





Nehemiah Persoff worked as an actor from 1948 to 1999 with hundreds of appearances in film and television productions. I first saw him as Carl Lanser in the 1959 Twilight Zone episode "Judgment Night", where he plays a man who begins to have dark premonitions of death while on board a British passenger ship. He starred in this episode alongside suave British actor Patrick MacNee [who himself went on to play John Steed in the cult classic television series The Avengers]. Almost all Mr. Persoff's appearances were in television shows, but he did also perform in number of films.

He was born in what is now part of Israel, in Jerusalem, Palestine Mandate. He came to America with his family in 1929, took an interest in acting, and began his career post-WWII after proudly serving in the United States Army during the war.


Nehemiah's paintings website [order info, contact info, puzzles, etc]


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Antonio Fargas





Antonio Fargas is an actor who became famous in the 1970s for playing roles in numerous blaxploitation movies. However his most recognized role came in the mid-1970's when he landed the part of Huggy Bear in Starsky & Hutch, where he acted in the role for 68 episodes of the show from 1975 to 1979. Huggy Bear was a street-smart character who acted as a police informant and helped Starsky and Hutch on many cases. He is one of the few actors who are identified more as the character they played than they are for their real names, such as Jim Varney as Ernest P. Worrell, Ron Howard as Opie, and Sherman Helmsley as George Jefferson.

However, thirty years later, Mr. Fargas is not limited to being remembered as Huggy Bear for life. He built a strong portfolio all throughout the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, and this decade as well. Currently, he has been appearing in the recurring role of Doc on the popular television series
Everybody Hates Chris.


"Kill Huggy Bear" episode of S&H


Antonio Fargas' website


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Leo G. Carroll





Leo Gratten Carroll (October 25, 1886 – October 16, 1972) appeared in a record 6 Alfred Hitchcock films, more than any other performer. The films were Rebecca (1940) as Dr. Baker, Suspicion (1941) as Captain Melbeck, Spellbound (1945) as Dr. Murchison, The Paradine Case (1948) as Sir Joseph [counsel for the prosecution], Strangers On A Train (1951) as Senator Morton, and North By Northwest (1959) as the professor.

Not only did Mr. Carroll give wonderful motion picture performances, he also was well-remembered for some recurring roles in numerous television series as well. For instance, he was Cosmo Topper in
Topper (45 episodes 1953-1955), Father Fitzgibbon in Going My Way (30 episodes 1962-1963), Alexander Waverly in The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. (29 episodes 1966-1967) and also in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (96 episodes 1964-1968).

He died in 1972 of a pneumonia brought on by cancer.


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Nancy Kulp





Nancy Jane Kulp (August 28, 1921 - February 3, 1991) is best remembered for her role of Jane Hathaway on The Beverly Hillbillies, in which she performed in 246 episodes from 1962-1971, and reprised the role on a made-for-tv movie called The Return Of The Beverly Hillbillies. According to her Wikipedia page, In 1984, Kulp ran for the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat from Pennsylvania, but was unsuccessful. As an opponent of a Republican incumbent, Bud Shuster, in a Republican district in a year in which U.S. President Ronald W. Reagan won a landslide reelection, Kulp was the underdog despite the otherwise favorable climate for liberal Democrats in Pennsylvania as a whole. To her dismay, Hillbillies co-star Buddy Ebsen supported Schuster and even appeared in an advertisement in which he labeled Kulp as "too liberal." Ebsen claimed that Kulp was exploiting her celebrity status and did not have a grasp on the issues. Shuster defeated Kulp with 67 percent of the vote.

Her career ran from 1951-1989.

She died of cancer in February of 1991.


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Jack Elam





William Scott "Jack" Elam (November 13, 1920 – October 20, 2003) had a great career in the westerns. He acted from 1944 to 1995. His gruff manner, intense gaze with strange-looking eyes, and rugged features often landed him roles as bad guy / villain characters. He appeared in 22 episodes of Easy Street as Uncle Alvin "Bully" Stevenson, in 15 episodes of Gunsmoke as Pierre, in 26 episodes of Temple Houston as George Taggart, and in quite a number of other television shows in recurring roles. I remember him particularly in The Apple Dumpling Gang, and in its sequel, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again.

Jack Elam died of congestive heart failure at the age of 82 in 2003.


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Marty Feldman






Martin Alan "Marty" Feldman (July 8, 1933 – December 2, 1982) was known as "the guy with the crazy eyes". However, his look was not a special effect or some kind of design by makeup artists, as Mr. Feldman had an eye-enlarging medical condition known as exophthalmos (which was caused by a thyroid condition known as Graves' disease). He acted from 1967-1983, and his prolific written material was used from 1957-2001.

States his Wikipedia page, Feldman died from a heart attack in a hotel room in Mexico City on December 2nd 1982, during the making of the film Yellowbeard. On the DVD commentary of Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks cites factors that may have contributed to Feldman's death: he smoked sometimes six packs of cigarettes daily, drank copious amounts of coffee, and ate a diet rich in eggs and dairy products. During filming in Mexico, he also may have suffered food poisoning after eating contaminated shellfish. Michael Mileham said he and Feldman used the same knife on their lobsters. Mileham said he got shellfish poisoning the next day, and theorised that since Feldman used the same knife he also could have been poisoned. (It can take days to feel symptoms of food poisoning, which could have been a factor in Feldman's heart attack). The stress of altitude—2,300m (7,546 ft) where the air is thin—may also have been a factor.


Marty Feldman monster sketch


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Brock Peters





Brock Peters (July 2, 1927 – August 23, 2005) is best known for his role of Tom Robinson in To Kill A Mockingbird, in which he portrays a black husband and father who is tried for a trumped-up charge that he raped a young white woman, Mayella Violet Ewell [played by Collin Wilcox Paxton]. Mockingbird was written from the standpoint of what the circumstances might have looked like through the eyes of a child. He acted from 1954 through 2005.

From his Wikipedia page:

Peters made his film debut in Carmen Jones in 1954, but he really began to make a name for himself in such films as To Kill a Mockingbird and The L-Shaped Room. He received a Tony nomination for his starring stint in Broadway's Lost in the Stars.

He sang background vocals on the 1956 hit, "Banana Boat (Day-O)" by Harry Belafonte as well as Belafonte's 1957 hit, "Mama Look At Bubu."

In the movie
Abe Lincoln, Freedom Fighter (1978), Peters plays Henry, a freed black slave who is falsely accused of robbery but, defended by Abe Lincoln, is found not guilty due to the fact he has a damaged hand and couldn't have committed the crime. In To Kill A Mockingbird, Peters plays Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of raping a white girl, whom Atticus Finch shows could not have committed due to the fact his hand (and arm) were damaged.

In radio, Peters was the voice of Darth Vader for the National Public Radio adaptation of the original Star Wars trilogy.

He also worked in the films Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country as Fleet Admiral Cartwright of Starfleet Command. Brock Peters also portrayed Joseph Sisko, father of Deep Space Nine's commanding officer, Benjamin Sisko, of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In early 2005, Peters guest starred in an episode of JAG's final season, "Bridging the Gulf", season 10 episode 15. He also played the role of a Colonial prosecutor trying to make a murder case against Starbuck in an episode of the original BattleStar Galactica.

Peters worked with Charlton Heston on several theater productions in the 1940s and 1950s. The two became friends and subsequently worked together on several films, including Major Dundee, Soylent Green, and Two-Minute Warning.

He died of pancreatic cancer of 2005.


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Dennis Burkley





Dennis Burkley is an character actor who has appeared in numerous films and tv shows since the 1970s. For the longest time, he carried 300 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame. But as we can see now by the pictures above, Dennis truly is to be congratulated as he has lost a tremendous amount of weight, and has put a lot more emphasis on making himself look more professional by leaps and bounds. The role for which he is best known is that of Cal Pettie [Kyle Petty reference??] in 26 episodes on Sanford (1980-1981), as distinguished from Sanford & Son (1971-1977). Cal was Fred Sanford's junkyard partner who hailed from the great state of Texas.

It seems that this man has had a connection with "Cal" for a long time.

CALifornia - the state of his birth
CALvin the Trucker - his role in
Father's Day (1997)
CALhoun - his character Horace's last name on 1 episode of
Baywatch Nights
CAL - his character's first name on
Sanford
CAL - his character's name on tv movie
Mrs. R's Daughter
CAL[L] Of The Wild - okay, we'll stop there ...

Dennis is more recently known for providing the voice for Principal Moss in 32 episodes of King Of The Hill since 2007. Having shed that guy we all used to know, his future only has good things in it for this former 300-plus-pounder whose acting talent has always been worth its weight in gold. We hope to see [or hear on King Of The Hill] lots more of Dennis!!

You've come quite a long way, Dennis. Three cheers, buddy!!!



Dennis as Cal on Sanford


Dennis Burkley's website


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Anne Haney





Anne Haney (March 4, 1934 – May 26, 2001) was a great character actress who is best known as the Family Court caseworker Mrs. Sellner in Mrs. Doubtfire. Her Wikipedia page states she appeared in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode The Survivors as Rishon Uxbridge, and later appeared as a Bajoran arbitrator in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Dax”. She was a regular guest-star during the syndicated run of Mama's Family, playing Alberta Meechum, the nemesis of Thelma Harper. She was also a regular guest-star of LA Law, playing Marilyn Travelini, a no-nonsense judge.

She died in 2001 of a heart attack at age 67.


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Edward Platt





Edward Cuthbert Platt (February 14, 1916 – March 19, 1974) is most recognized as "Chief", Maxwell Smart's boss in the spy agency C.O.N.T.R.O.L. for 134 episodes of Get Smart from 1965 to 1970. His projecting voice, compelling tone, and matured demeanor gave him a combination of talents that made him a great fit in the acting business. He acted from 1949 till the end of his life. Platt is believed to have died of a heart attack in 1974 at the age of 58 [Wikipedia].


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Raymond Bailey





Raymond Thomas Bailey (May 6, 1904 – April 15, 1980) is best known for his role as Milburn Drysdale on The Beverly Hillbillies. However, he played many memorable roles on quite a number of television shows and in a great number of motion pictures. He acted from 1939 to 1975, but he'll always be Mr. Drysdale to us!

He died of a heart attack at age 75.


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Geoffrey Holder





Geoffrey Holder is an actor, choreographer, dancer, painter, costume designer, singer and voice-over artist, born in Port of Spain, Trinidad [Wikipedia]. Standing 6 feet & 6 inches tall, with a full-bodied booming bass voice, Mr. Holder at once can be an intimidating figure. He is best known as Baron Samedi in Live And Let Die and as the spokesperson for the 1970's and 1980's campaign for 7-Up, "the UUUNNNNN-Co-laaaa". Mr. Holder has been acting since 1957 through today, and it doesn't look like he's going anywhere anytime soon.


Geoffrey / 7-up / 1971

Entertaining video of Geoffrey


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Hume Cronyn





Hume Blake Cronyn (July 18, 1911 – June 15, 2003) acted from 1943 until the time of his death. He always played the role of the dignified gentleman who was possessed of quiet intelligence. He was married to actress Jessica Tandy [his second wife] from 1942 until her death in 1994, and appeared with her in The Green Years, The Gin Game, Foxfire, *batteries not included, Cocoon and Cocoon: The Return.


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Bea Benaderet





Bea Benaderet (April 4, 1906 – October 13, 1968) is best known for her role of Pearl Bodine on The Beverly Hillbillies (23 episodes, 1962-1967), and also for her role of Kate Bradley [Pearl Bodine's sister, who looked an awful lot like Bea Benaderet] in Petticoat Junction (149 episodes, 1963-1968) and in Green Acres (6 episodes, 1965-1966). Her career lasted from 1940 until the end of her life.

She died in 1968 from lung cancer.


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