This is a discussion on Rip... within the Entertainment forums, part of the Community channel category; Neighbours' Mrs Mangel, actor Vivean Gray, dies aged 92 https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-r...vean-gray-dies British-born actor found fame with Australian roles in Prisoner and ...
- 29-07-16, 01:55 PM #11
Neighbours' Mrs Mangel, actor Vivean Gray, dies aged 92
British-born actor found fame with Australian roles in Prisoner and Picnic at Hanging Rock. But it was as a meddling neighbour that she will be remembered
British actor Vivean Gray, best known as the Ramsay Street villain Mrs Nell Mangel in Neighbours, has died aged 92.
Gray was born in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, as Jean Vivra Gray, but moved to Australia in 1952 to pursue her career as an actor. Before she was spying on Scott and Charlene as the meddling Mrs Mangel, Gray had landed roles in Australian series including Prisoner: Cell Block H, Anzacs, Matlock Police and The Sullivans, on which she played a similar neighbouring gossip, Mrs Jessup, for the series’ 16-season run.
On the big screen, Gray was known as maths teacher Miss McCraw in the classic Australian film Picnic At Hanging Rock – but it was her role on Neighbours for which she will be most remembered.
For two years, between 1986 and 1988, gossip on Ramsay Street travelled faster thanks to the nosy Mrs Mangel, an immediate fan favourite. Intended to appear for only a three-week stint, the character was so popular that the writers kept returning to her, and the constant battles she waged against her foil Madge Bishop (Anne Charleston).
The character is now remembered as one of the series’ greatest villains – but not all viewers of the show were able to separate the fact from the fiction at the time.
“I loved Neighbours and the rest of the cast were marvellous,” Gray said in a 1989 book, The Neighbours Factfile. “But because it was so successful I could barely set foot outside my own door without someone screaming abuse at horrid old ‘Mrs Mangel’.”
“People didn’t seem to appreciate it was acting. So I decided to take a break.”
The break never came to a close; Neighbours would be Gray’s final role.
Mark Little, who played Gray’s onscreen son Joe Mangel in Neighbours, tweeted: “Legend many times over. I was privileged to know and work with her. We laughed a lot creating the Mangel Dynasty. RIP.”
Rick Maier, Network Ten’s head of drama, said: “Mrs Mangel and Mrs Jessup were two of our most iconic characters from one of our very best actors. Vivean’s contribution to Australian drama will never be forgotten. It is a very sad day for the Neighbours family.”
Jason Herbison, Neighbours’ executive producer, also praised the character: “Mrs Mangel was the ultimate busybody, remembered for her conservatism and her caustic wit. She was a true soap legend and we thank her for all the wonderful memories.”
- 29-07-16, 02:34 PM #12
Postman Pat voice actor Ken Barrie diesPostman Pat voice actor Ken Barrie dies - BBC News
Ken Barrie, the voice of children's TV favourite Postman Pat, has died at the age of 73.
Barrie, who was born Leslie Hulme, provided the voice for Pat and many of the other characters in the animated series.
He also famously sang the show's theme tune, which was released as a single and spent 15 weeks in the top 75.
A family member told BBC News Barrie died at his home in Uxbridge, London, after a short battle with cancer.
Barrie, who had a singing career with Embassy Records under the name of Les Carle, became the voice of Pat in 1981.
Barrie was the narrator of the original 13-episode series and also supplied voices for famous characters such as handyman Ted Glen, the Reverend Peter Timms and farmer Alf Thompson.
He reprised his role in the 1990s when a second series was made and in a rebooted version of the show which began in 2004 before handing over the voice of Pat to actor Lewis MacLeod.
He also provided the soundtrack for the 1987 animation Charlie Chalk and later topped the charts as part of Peter Kay's Animated All Star Band on the Official BBC Children in Need Medley in 2009.
- 13-08-16, 07:13 PM #13
Kenny Baker, actor behind R2-D2, dies
The 3ft 8in actor, who starred in six Star Wars films as well as Time Bandits and Flash Gordon, was 83
The British actor who played R2-D2 in the Star Wars films has died at the age of 83 after a long illness.
Kenny Baker, who was 3ft 8in tall, shot to fame in 1977 when he first played the robot character.
He went on to play the character in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, as well as the three Star Wars prequels from 1999 to 2005.
Baker also appeared in a number of other much-loved films in the 1980s, including The Goonies, Time Bandits and Flash Gordon.
His niece, Abigail Shield, paid tribute to her uncle. She told the Guardian: “It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless. He had a very long and fulfilled life. He brought lots of happiness to people and we’ll be celebrating the fact that he was well loved throughout the world. We’re all very proud of what he achieved in his lifetime.”
Baker and Shield’s father, Ian, grew up in Birmingham. She said: “When he was a child, he was told that he probably wouldn’t survive through puberty, being a little person in those times, they didn’t have a very good life expectancy. He did extremely well in his life. He was very ill for the last few years so we had been expecting it. He had been looked after by one of his nephews, who found him on Saturday morning.”
Baker met his wife Eileen after an appearance on the Michael Parkinson TV chat show. She wrote in and said she was a little person too and wanted to meet him. “They got married soon after,” Shield said. “Sadly she died of epilepsy about 20 years ago.”
Shield added: “He had problems with his lungs and was often in a wheelchair. He was very poorly for a long time. He was asked to go out to LA for the new Star Wars premiere but he was told he was too ill to travel. Luckily he did manage to meet George Lucas again when he came to Manchester.”
- 18-08-16, 12:29 PM #14
Arthur Hiller, director of Love Story, dies at 92
Arthur Hiller, director of Love Story, dies at 92 - BBC News
Arthur Hiller, the Canadian director of Love Story who went on to be president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, has died aged 92.
The prolific director began his career in television before going on to direct more than 30 films over six decades.
Oscar-nominated for popular weepie Love Story, his other films included Author! Author!, Silver Streak and The In-Laws.
Current Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said the organisation was "deeply saddened" by his passing.
"I was a member of the Board during his presidency and fortunate enough to witness first-hand his dedication to the Academy and his lifelong passion for visual storytelling," she said in a statement.
"Our condolences go out to his loved ones."
Hiller's work included successful collaborations with playwrights Neil Simon and Paddy Chayefsky and the comedians Steve Martin and Richard Pryor.
But he remains best known for Love Story, a tale of ill-fated lovers that featured the famous line: "Love means never having to say you're sorry."
Starring Ryan O'Neal and MacGraw, the film was nominated for seven Oscars but only received one, for its score.
Hiller had to wait until 2002 to be recognised by the body he presided over from 1993 to 1997, when he received its Jean Hersholt humanitarian award.
'Gifted and generous'
Rocky star Carl Weathers, Superbad director Greg Mottola and comedy actor Fred Willard have been among those to pay tribute on Twitter.
MacGraw released a statement, in which she remembered the film-maker as "a remarkable, gifted, generous human being."
"Arthur Hiller was an integral part of one of the most important experiences of my life," she wrote. "My heart and love go out to his family."
The director, whose wife Gwen died in June, is survived by daughter Erica, son Henryk and five grandchildren.
- 23-08-16, 09:00 PM #15
Yes Minister writer Sir Antony Jay dies at 86
Yes Minister writer Sir Antony Jay dies at 86 - BBC News
Sir Antony Jay, the co-writer of TV political comedies Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, has died aged 86 after a long illness.
A representative said the former broadcaster died on Sunday evening surrounded by his wife and family.
He penned the 1980s BBC television series, starring Paul Eddington and Sir Nigel Hawthorne, with Jonathan Lynn.
Sir Antony's career began in the BBC's current affairs department where he was a founding member of the Tonight team.
He later scripted the documentaries Royal Family and Elizabeth R: A Year in the Life of the Queen, after which he was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order for personal services to the Royal Family.
Yes Minister, which ran for three series between 1980 and 1984, followed the travails of MP James Hacker, minister for administrative affairs, and his battles against unflappable Whitehall civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby.
Yes, Prime Minister, broadcast for two seasons between 1986 and 1988 portrayed Hacker's life after he entered 10 Downing Street.
Then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was known to be a great fan of the series.
The BBC was given permission to shoot exteriors in Downing Street, and Eddington was allowed to walk through the famous door.
Sir Antony and Lynn returned to the comedy in recent years collaborating on a stage version of Yes, Prime Minister in 2010, while writing three general election-inspired sketches aired on BBC's Newsnight in the same year.
Earlier this month, the duo reunited again to write a new Yes Minister sketch published the Guardian newspaper inspired by the UK's vote to leave the EU.
In his later years, Sir Antony had become an outspoken critic of the BBC, recommending in a 2008 report for the centre-right think tank the Centre for Policy Studies that the corporation be slimmed down to BBC One, Radio 4 and a news department.
He also criticised the BBC for being "biased" on climate change, and suggested staff were "anti-industry" and "anti-monarchy".
- 24-08-16, 10:32 PM #16
Law & Order actor Steven Hill dies at 94
Law & Order actor Steven Hill dies at 94 - BBC News
US actor Steven Hill, who was best known for roles on the original Law & Order and Mission: Impossible TV shows, has died at the age of 94.
Hill played undercover team leader Daniel Briggs in the first series of Mission: Impossible in 1966.
And he appeared as District Attorney Adam Schiff on NBC's Law & Order for 10 years from 1990.
Law & Order producer Dick Wolf described Hill as "one of the truly great actors of his generation".
He was also "one of the most intelligent people I have ever met", Wolf said, adding: "He is also the only actor I've known who consistently tried to cut his own lines."
Hill began his acting career on Broadway in 1946 and took classes alongside Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift at the Actors Studio in New York.
In a 1983 interview, Actors Studio founder Lee Strasberg described him as "one of the finest actors America ever produced".
While at the studio, Hill worked with director Elia Kazan. Hill later recalled: "His phrase, 'acting is an act of will', still stays with me. By that he meant tenacity and perseverance, no matter what."
In a 1996 interview with The Washington Post, Hill reflected: "I don't think I ever worked as hard as I should have."
He was a regular on Broadway and on television in the 1950s and '60s, but quit acting after Mission: Impossible, which he said was "not the happiest experience".
He took a string of jobs as a salesman in the subsequent decade, peddling, among other things, real estate and bathroom deodorisers.
But he returned to showbusiness with supporting roles in films like Yentl, Billy Bathgate and The Firm, and earned two Emmy Award nominations for his Law & Order performances in the 1990s.
He died on Tuesday at Mount Sinai hospital in New York, his wife Rachel told the Associated Press news agency.
- 07-09-16, 06:48 PM #17
Leslie H Martinson, Batman director, dies aged 101
Leslie H Martinson, Batman director, dies aged 101 - BBC News
Leslie H Martinson, a prolific director of US television whose credits included the 1966 film version of Batman, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 101.
A statement on his website said he died on Saturday "at home with his family".
Born in Boston in 1915, he started out as a script supervisor before earning his spurs as a director on The Roy Rogers Show and others in the 1950s.
He went on to direct two episodes of the Batman TV series, starring Adam West, and its big-screen spin-off.
The show and film developed a cult following thanks to its knowing humour, outlandish villains and fight scenes illustrated by cartoonish exclamations.
Emblematic of its tone was the scene in the film in which Batman, unable to find a safe place to dispose of an explosive, mutters the legend: "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb."
According to the IMDB website, Martinson's many other TV credits include episodes of CHiPs, Fantasy Island, Dallas and Wonder Woman.
He also directed such films as PT 109, inspired by the wartime exploits of John F Kennedy, and the 1967 Raquel Welch vehicle Fathom.
Martinson is survived by his wife, the TV host and writer Connie Martinson.
A post on the website of Brezniak Rodman Funeral Directors said he would be buried on Friday in Wakefield, Massachusetts.
- 11-09-16, 12:59 AM #18
Prince Buster, ska pioneer, dies at 78
Prince Buster, ska pioneer, dies at 78 - BBC News
The ska pioneer Prince Buster, who shaped the course of Jamaican music, has died at the age of 78.
He died at home in Miami at 07:20 local time (11:20 GMT) on Thursday.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, as Cecil Bustamante Campbell, he became a legend of the burgeoning ska music genre in 1960s Jamaica under the stage name Prince Buster.
He was an influence on groups including Madness and The Specials in the British ska revival of the late 1970s.
His decision to use a syncopated beat on tracks such as Little Honey, They Got to Go and Thirty Pieces of Silver is credited as pivotal in ska music's development and he gave himself the moniker "King of Ska".
A keen boxer in his youth, Prince Buster converted to Islam after meeting Muhammad Ali.
Prince Buster is survived by his wife Mola Ali and his children.
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