Actor-Sheriff Clifton James Dies At 96

Clifton James, left, met RECOiL actor/writer/director Brian DiMaio, right, on the set of the 1975 film Bear and the Outlaw. The concept of a police chase encompassing the entire plot of the film was ahead of its time as evidenced by the movies obscurity. Two years later Smokey and the Bandit would become a runaway hit.

Gladstone, OR—Clifton James, best known for playing the character of Sheriff J.W. Pepper in two James Bond movies, died Saturday from complications of diabetes. He was 96. 

Besides playing a sheriff alongside Bond in both “The Man with the Golden Gun” as well as the worst James Bond film, “Live and Let Die,” James also played a sheriff in “Superman II,” “Silverstreak,” “RECOiL” and “The Reivers.”

He also played a sheriff on the small screen in TV shows like “The A-Team” and “Dukes of Hazard.” James played non-sheriff roles in “All My Children” and “Gunsmoke.”

He is survived by his six children. 

Deborah Barone Finally Gets Her Wish: Doris Roberts Dies At 90

Doris Roberts

Doris Roberts, left, first met RECOiL writer/director Brian DiMaio in the mid 1970’s on the set of the film Hester Street along side Carol Kane and Steven Keats. DiMaio’s part was later cut when it was learned that he didn’t know a schtickel of Yiddish.

Los Angeles—Doris Roberts, best known as Marie Barone, the nagging mother-in-law to the mom from “The Middle” on the CBS Ray Ramano sitcom, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” has died from natural causes. She was 90.

She also appeared on TV in “Walker, Texas Ranger,” “Remington Steel” with future James Bond Pierce Brosnan and that “Raymond” program with future Manny the Woolly Mammoth Ray Romano. She won four Emmy Awards for her performance as Marie Barone, and one Emmy for her guest spot on “St. Elsewhere.”

On the big screen, Roberts appeared in such films as “Madea’s Witness Protection,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “RECOiL” and “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.”

She is survived by her son, Michael Cannata, Jr. and three grandchildren.

Gentle Giant Bond Villain Richard Kiel Dies At 74

Richard Kiel

Richard Kiel, right, with RECOiL writer/director Brian DiMaio, left. Keil’s scenes from RECOiL were, regrettably, deleted because it was discovered too late that his head was cropped out of frame in most of his scenes.

Fresno, CA—He survived being left in space by James Bond and getting a nail shot in his head by Happy Gilmore, but 7 foot 2 actor Richard Kiel died last week in a Fresno hospital at the age of 74. The cause of death hasn’t yet been determined.

Born with acromegaly, Kiel mad a name for himself playing huge characters both on TV and in films. He was best known as the henchman Jaws in two James Bond films, “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker.”

He also appeared in the films “Happy Gilmore,” “The Longest Yard,” “RECOiL” and “Silver Streak.”

On the small screen, he played the title character in “The Paul Bunyan Show” and “Lassie.” He also tried to *SPOILER ALERT* cook the entire world’s population in the classic “Twilight Zone” episode, “To Serve Man.”

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Diane Rogers Kiel, sons Richard, Bennett and Christopher; one daughter, Jennifer; and six grandchildren. Continue reading

Struggling Writer Pens Unauthorized Biography Of Actor Tim Curry

You Have No Clue About Doing the Time Warp

Some critics are saying Martin Hazel’s new book “You Have No Clue About Doing the Time Warp” is a strong warning to society about the dangers of allowing authors to “self-publish.”

New York—Writer and journalist Martin Hazel has just completed work on another book, this time an unauthorized tell all biography of British actor Tim Curry called, “You Have No Clue About Doing the Time Warp.”

In it, Hazel serves up juicy tidbits about the star of such films as “Congo,” “Clue” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” such as Curry’s early studies to be a mad scientist, which helped him in his career-launching role as Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

“For years, Curry saw himself as a scientific genius, and some of his early creations eventually led to stem cell development. But the London theatre was calling to him to greatly for him to ignore it, and as such, he abandoned his research and headed for The West End,” according to the book.

The book also said that Curry turned down the role of James Bond on several occasions, leading to the success of both Roger Moore in the role and, to a (much, much) lesser degree, Timothy Dalton.
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TDQ Investigates: Sale To Disney The Final Nail In The Star Wars/Lucasfilm Coffin

May the Force be with you at the Happiest Place on Earth

It was a good run, if you think about it. We just didn’t know the ending would come like this, by selling out to Disney. From the summer of 1977 to about the summer of 1999, we had a great ride. The battles, the light sabre duels, the pretending to use the Force to choke your friends, the jokes about who is your father.

But for one reason or another, the man behind those 20+ years of magic decided to destroy his own creation. Much like Arthur Conan Doyle choosing to kill off Sherlock Holmes at Reichenbach Falls, and Ian Fleming trying to find a way to kill off James Bond, George Lucas had tired of the Star Wars universe. He came to resent all the fanboys who lauded his life’s work and viewed Lucas as a geek god. Continue reading