Thursday, July 27, 2017

RIP Russell Durham Comegys

Jones-Stewart Funeral Home
July 27, 2017

Mr. Russell "Rowdy" Comegys, age 45, of Vidalia died Sunday afternoon, July 23, 2017 in Bulloch County from injuries sustained in an automobile accident while traveling to Savannah with his close friend to watch a movie. Russell was a native of Cedartown, GA and moved with his family to Vidalia in 1976.
He quickly made an impact upon the hearts of people in Vidalia as Russ was crowned Little Mr. Vidalia in 1978. He graduated from Vidalia High School in 1991 where he was voted best looking of his class, played on the high school football team where he earned several varsity letters; and then attended Brewton Parker College where he studied Science Literature. He then followed his dream and went to the University of Georgia where he graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor's Degree in Drama with a minor in Spanish. In 2001 Russell attended the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York City. Russell was an actor who passionately followed his dream.
He lived for many years in New York City, Los Angeles and also Atlanta where he was always looking for the next acting opportunity. He was a member of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and was represented by The People Store Talent Agency of Atlanta. He appeared in over 33 movies and television shows including, Rectify, The Walking Dead, Solace, The Lucky One, Necessary Roughness, Vampire Diaries, Dead Birds, The Gift, Sun Records and The Punisher. Although he was always called "Rowdy" he had a giving soul who loved all people as he truly never met a stranger.
He had a genuine heart for people in need and homeless animals. He recently devoted nearly two years of his life taking care of and raising two homeless dogs until he found the perfect family to adopt them in Maine. Russell is survived by his mother, Gayle Comegys of Vidalia; his father, Alex Comegys (Vicki) of Vidalia; his sister, Robyn Comegys Parson of Vidalia; his two nieces, Kailee and Cassidy Parson, both of Richmond Hill; his girlfriend of ten years, Lauren Boyle of Los Angeles CA and his step-son Jahsua Johnson of Los Angeles CA; his uncle Maylon Lane (Oleria) of Roopville GA; his step-brother, Neil Persohn of Lakeland FL and his step-sister, Lindsay Persohn (Chris) of Lakeland FL. He is also survived by many other relatives and numerous special friends all over the country. Funeral Services for Mr. Russell "Rowdy" Comegys will be held Thursday July 27, 2017 at 11:00 AM at Stewart-Rosier Funeral Service Vidalia Chapel with Reverend Don Moye officiating.
Entombment will follow at Lakeview Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends Wednesday evening at Stewart-Rosier Funeral Service Vidalia Chapel from 4:00 to 8:00 pm.

COMEGYS, Russell Durham
Born: 5/21/1972, Cedartown, Georgia, U.S.A.
Died: 7/23/2017, Bulloch County, Georgia, U.S.A.
Russell Durham Comegy’s westerns – actor:
Dead Birds – 2004 (Kormer)
The Work and the Glory II: American Zion – 2005 (ruffian)
Here The Vulture Waits – 2014 (Steel Eyes)
The Clinch Mountain Tracker - 2017

RIP Eddie Kafafian

Los Angeles Times
July 28, 2017

Eddie passed away at the age of 90 on July 9, 2017. Born in New Jersey, Eddie was a Voting Member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Eddie received two honorable discharges from the Navy and the Marine Corps. After WWII, Eddie became an actor and appeared in films including Shake Rattle And Rock with Fats Domino. Eddie segued into reporting for Daily Variety which included his own music column Clef Dwellers. After leaving Variety, he went into publicity for several studios including Warner Bros., Universal, MGM and retired as Director of Publicity and Promotion at 20th Century Fox working with Studio Head Alan Ladd, Jr. During his studio years, among the people Eddie worked with are John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Anthony Hopkins, James Garner, Charlton Heston and Mel Brooks. After retiring, Eddie joined the Los Angeles Police Dept. as a sworn Reserve Officer for 26 years. He leaves his wife Leah, a son, a grandson, a daughter in law and two nieces.

KAFAFIAN, Eddie (Edward Eugene Kafafian)
Born: 9/24/1926, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Died: 7/9/2017, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Eddie Kafafian’s western – actor:
Flesh and the Spur – 1956 (Bud)

RIP June Foray

June Foray, Voice of ‘Bullwinkle Show’s’ Natasha and Rocky, Dies at 99

By Terry Flores
July 26, 2017

June Foray, the voice of “The Rocky and  Bullwinkle Show’s” Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his nemesis Natasha Fatale of Boris and Natasha fame in the early 1960s and a key figure in the animation industry, died Thursday. She was 99.

Her close friend Dave Nimitz, confirmed her death on Facebook, writing “With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little June today at 99 years old.”

Foray was also the voice behind Looney Tunes’ Witch Hazel, Nell from “Dudley Do-Right,” Granny in the “Tweety and Sylvester” cartoons and Cindy Lou Who in Chuck Jones’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” among hundreds of others.

The first lady of voice acting, one of the original members of animation organization ASIFA-Hollywood and founder of the annual Annie Awards, was also instrumental in the creation of the Oscars’ animated feature category.

“We are all saddened by the news of June’s passing,” said ASIFA-Hollywood executive director Frank Gladstone, who noted that she would have celebrated her 100th birthday in September. “Although it didn’t come as a shock, it has really taken us back a bit.”

Gladstone noted her instrumental role in starting the Annie Awards. “It was part of her legacy and a testament to her enduring love for animation and the animation industry.”

Said ASIFA president Jerry Beck: “On behalf of ASIFA-Hollywood, of which June was a founder, we are mourning the passing of animation’s best friend. She has touched so many lives: with her voice that of so many classic cartoon character, her efforts to create ASIFA, to maintain the Academy’s Oscar for Best Animated Short and her leadership in crafting the category of Best Animated Feature. She was one of a kind. A trailblazer, a great talent and a truly wonderful person. We will never forget her.”

Recently elected Academy board member and animation veteran Tom Sito said of Foray: “She was a mainstay of the animation community in Hollywood and the queen of voice talent.”

Foray continued to work late in life, reprising her role as Rocky in director Gary Trousdale’s short “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” released by DreamWorks Animation in 2014. In a 2013 interview with Variety, Foray said: “I’m still going. It keeps you thinking young. My body is old, but I think the same as I did when I was 20 years old.”

Foray is credited with coming up with the idea for the Annie Awards, which started out as a dinner honoring the year’s best in animation in 1972, and she presided over what has become a gala event in the animation industry every year since. The Annies created a juried award named for Foray in 1995 that honors individuals who have made significant or benevolent contributions to the art and industry of animation, and she was its first recipient.

Foray told Variety that she had been working in the animation business for about 20 years before the group that would eventually become ASIFA-Hollywood casually came to be. “We never did anything. Sometimes we’d have lunch together and call each other on the phone,” she said. Foray was a founding member of what was then called ASIFA West Coast in the early 1960s with fellow animation professionals Les Goldman, Bill Littlejohn, Ward Kimball, John Wilson, Carl Bell and Herbert Kasower.

In the early 1970s Foray pitched the idea for an awards show. “I was thinking that there were the Grammys, the Tonys, the Oscars, but nobody recognizes animation,” Foray said. So she suggested the board host a dinner, and though other board members said no one would show up to such an event, they rented space in the Sportsmen’s Lodge in the San Fernando Valley to honor animation pioneers Max and Dave Fleischer. “And 400 people showed up,” boasted Foray.

A longtime cheerleader for the animation industry, Foray lobbied for many years to have animated films recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. “I was on the board of governors for 26 years and I tried for 20 years” to convince the Academy to have a category for animated features, she told Variety. Finally the Academy created the category in 2001, and DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek” won the first Oscar for animated feature. Afterward, Foray said, “Jeffrey Katzenberg called me to thank me because he was aware of what I had done.”

Though not a superstar in the traditional sense, Foray had an impressive list of fans, as Leonard Maltin relayed in his forward to Foray’s 2009 autobiography “Did You Grow Up With Me, Too?” He wrote: “When I was fortunate enough to attend the Oscar nominees’ luncheon in 2007, I asked director Martin Scorsese who he was excited to have met that day, among the hundred-or-so contenders and Academy guests. He smiled and said, ‘June Foray.’”

Foray was born June Lucille Forer in Springfield, Mass., and she was doing vocal work in local radio dramas by the time she was 12. She continued working in radio after her family moved to Los Angeles after she graduated from high school, following her dream of becoming an actress. She even had her own “Lady Make Believe” radio show that showcased her vocal talents, and she appeared regularly on network shows such as “Lux Radio Theater” and “The Jimmy Durante Show.”

She met her future husband, writer and director Hobart Donavan, while working on “Smilin’ Ed’s Buster Brown Show,” then moved on to work with Steve Allen on morning radio show “Smile Time,” in which she’d play “everyone and everything. It was there that I perfected my Spanish accent and where my booming Marjorie Main-type voice got a good workout,” she recalled in her autobiography.

After “Smile Time,” Foray found work with Capitol Records, where she recorded many children’s albums and where she first met and worked with Stan Freberg and Daws Butler, with whom she recorded several comedy records, including “Dragnet” parody “St. George and the Dragonet.” Later she was a regular cast member of “The Stan Freberg Show” on CBS Radio.

Foray got her start in the animation business when someone from the Walt Disney studio called her to ask if she could do the voice of a cat. “Well, I could do anything,” recalled Foray in an interview with Variety. “So he hired me as Lucifer the cat in ‘Cinderella,’ and then I started to work for Disney.” Much of her work for Disney was uncredited, including work as a mermaid and squaw in “Peter Pan.” But she starred as the voice of Hazel the Witch in the 1952 Donald Duck short “Trick or Treat,” using a voice that would later morph into “Looney Tunes” character Witch Hazel. She would often say that she voiced a long litany of cartoon witches, many of them named Hazel.

About the same time, the 1950s, Foray worked on a series of cartoons by such animation pioneers as Tex Avery and Walter Lantz. For Warner Bros., she became Granny in the “Tweety and Sylvester” cartoons and Alice Crumden in the cartoon parody of “The Honeymooners,” “The Honey-Mousers.” At Warner Bros. she met Chuck Jones, for whom she worked on several “Looney Tunes” cartoons, starting with “Broom-Stick Bunny” in 1956. She would later star as Cindy Lou Who in Jones’ cartoon adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

She also voiced Mother Magoo in the “Mister Magoo” series.

But her greatest fame came with Jay Ward’s satirical “Rocky and His Friends,” which would later become “The Bullwinkle Show,” eventually known collectively as “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show,” which ran from 1959 through 1964. Foray did most of the female voices for the show, including the voice of Russian villain Natasha Fatale, as well as that of Rocket J. Squirrel. She also voiced characters for other Jay Ward cartoons, such as “Dudley Do-Right” (Nell Fenwick), “George of the Jungle” (Jane) and “Tom Slick” (Marigold).

It wasn’t only in animation that Foray got to use her myriad vocal talents. She voiced the demonic doll Talky Tina in “The Twilight Zone” episode entitled “Living Doll” in 1963.

Despite her prolific career, she had to wait until 2012 for an Emmy nomination; she went on to win a Daytime Emmy for her performance as Mrs. Cauldron on Cartoon Network’s “The Garfield Show.”

A documentary about her life, “The One and Only June Foray,” was produced in 2013.

Foray was married to Bernard Barondess from 1941 to 1945. She was married to Donavan from 1954 until his death in 1976.

FORAY, June (June Lucille Foray)
Born: 9/18/1917, Springfield, Massachusetts, California
Died: 7/26/2017, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

June Foray’s westerns – voice actress:
Rawhide (TV) – 1960 [voice of Raymond (Kim Hector)
Little House on the Prairie (TV) – 1974 [girls voices in play]

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

RIP Carol Vnuk

Pioneer Press

She was born in the Clay Pits (her words) near Zumbrota, MN on August 19th, 1933. She passed away peacefully on July 22, 2017 surrounded by her family. Carol was a beautiful, fantastic, awesome mom who deeply loved her children, their spouses, grandchildren, Karen Vnuk (Denny Baker), Dionne Ledesma grand daughter, Brianne Trujillo great granddaughter, Karla (Wayne) Vogel, Kevin (Kerry) Vnuk, Kent (Heather) Vnuk, and Reese Vanderwilt grandson. Carol was a multi-talented woman with a bit of quirkiness that added to her endearing personality. In her early years she was a waitress, worked at Buckbee Mears in manufacturing, and then a realtor for 30 years before retiring in her 60's. During her "retirement" years she took acting and comedy classes and quickly became an accomplished actor and comedian, even doing work in an Off Broadway play in New York City (where she won the best actress award), won a trip to Las Vegas for her comedy routine, performed in and held comedy shows across MN, WI and IA, and she was especially proud of performing at The Comedy Store in CA. She loved to travel and made trips with her family to St. John USVI, Germany, London, Mexico, Savannah, Washington DC, Branson, Las Vegas, The Black Hills, Yellowstone National Park, Catalina Island and many other places. While not always understanding it, she embraced technology. She loved staying in touch with family and friends on Facebook, via e-mail, liked to Google and was a budding photographer who loved taking pictures. She also loved her trips to the cabin, playing cards, puzzles, tending gardens (tulips and daisies were her favorite flowers), raising plants and doing thoughtful things for her children. She was preceded in death by her parents Christie and Marie Lother, sisters Eunice Quast and Audrey Nichols, brother Dale Lother, and ex-husband Donald Vnuk. She will be very missed but will always be in our hearts. Funeral Service 11 AM Friday, July 28, 2017 at ROSEVILLE MEMORIAL CHAPEL (2245 N. Hamline Ave., Roseville) 651-631-2727. Visitation 5-8 PM Thursday at the funeral home and also one hour prior to service. Interment at Roselawn Cemetery.

VNUK, Carol (Carol Faye Vnuk)
Born: 8.19.1933, Clay Pits, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Died: 7/22/2017, Roseville, Minnesota, U.S.A.

Carol Vnuk’s western – actress:
The Disinherited – 2010 (Mary T. Preston)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

RIP Jimmy Clem

Hillcrest Memorial Park
July 23, 2017

James Melvin “Jimmy” Clem, age 84, of Texarkana, Texas, passed peacefully at his home on Saturday, July 22, 2017.

Mr. Clem was born December 13, 1932, in Redwater, Texas, and was a lifetime resident of Texarkana. Jimmy was a Cattle Rancher, where he owned and bred one of the most respected and revered Brahman cattle herds in the world for several decades. He was also a Movie Star, where he appeared in twelve movies, the most notable, the Town that Dreaded Sundown. He was in the oil business and was a road contractor. Mr. Clem was a veteran of the United States Air Force having served his country proudly in the Korean War. His biggest accomplishment in life was his family. He loved his family and enjoyed spending time with them. He was a devoted and proud father, grandfather and great grandfather. Jimmy lived life to the fullest and was a connoisseur of many of life’s pleasures. He was a member of the Screen Actors Guild, a lifetime member of the Brahman Association and the National Cattleman’s Association. He was of the Baptist Faith and graduate of Texas Tech University.

Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents, Eric Melvin Clem and Mary Florence Clem, his two wives, Mary Catherine “Kitty” Clem and Eddie Lou Slider Clem, two sisters, Mary Dell Clem Parker and Jerry Clem.

He is survived by his two sons and daughters-in-law: Burt and Jan Clem of Simms, Texas; Sam and Telka Clem of Texarkana, Texas; one sister: Cean Clem Bonner of Genoa, Arkansas; two stepdaughters: Kathy Constantine of Leary, Texas; Donna Welch of Dallas, Texas; one stepson: Bo Slider of Leary, Texas; one brother-in-law; Mark Parker of the Wamba Community; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

In lieu of flowers please make contributions to the Runnin WJ Ranch, 4802 South Kings Hwy. Texarkana, Texas 75501 or to the American Cancer Society, 1301 S. Broadway Ave. Tyler, Texas75503.

CLEM, Jimmy (James Melvin Clem)
Born: 12/13/1932, Redwater, Texas, U.S.A.
Died: 7/22/2017, Texarkana, Texas, U.S.A.

Jimmy Clem’s westerns – actor:
Winterhawk – 1975 (Little Smith)
The Winds of Autumn – 1976 (Hog Hankins)
Grayeagle – 1977 (Abe Stroud)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

RIP John Heard

Home Alone and Sopranos Star John Heard Has Died

By Dave Quinn
July 22, 2017

John Heard — the actor known for his role in several iconic ’80s and ’90s movies including Big, Beaches, and Home Alone — died Friday in Palo Alto, California, the Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office confirms to PEOPLE. He was 71.

The Palo Alto Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE that a man fitting Heard’s description was found dead at a local hotel.

“I can confirm that our officers responded with the Fire Department to a hotel in our city yesterday on a report of a person in need of medical aid,” The police spokesperson said. “The person was determined to be deceased. While still under investigation, the death is not considered suspicious at this time.”

Heard’s rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to TMZ, the Washington, D.C. native was reportedly recovering from a “minor back surgery” he had on Wednesday at Stanford Medical Center.

With a four-decade career in Hollywood and more than 200 credits on stage and screen, Heard appeared in a number of well-known projects — including Gladiator, The Pelican Brief, White Chicks, NCIS: Los Angeles, and The Trip to Bountiful.

His most popular role perhaps came in 1990’s Home Alone, where he stared as Peter McCallister — the living (yet forgetful) dad to Macaulay Culkin‘s Kevin. Heard would reprise the role in the 1992 sequel.

The Sopranos would give Heard another recognizable role, as Vin Makazian — a New Jersey police detective who fed information to Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini). He appeared in five episodes in the hit HBO series.

He made his Broadway debut in 1973’s Warp and would return to the Broadway stage three more times —including in the 1983 revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, where he played the famed Gentleman Caller alongside Oscar winner Jessica Tandy.

Born: 3/7/1945, Washington, DC, U.S.A.
Died: 7/21/2017, Palo Alto, California, U.S.A.

John Heard’s western – actor:
Saddle Up - 2018

Friday, July 21, 2017

RIP Ross Loney

reat Falls Tribune on July 23, 2017 Great Falls Tribune
July 23, 2017

Tucson, AZ — Ross Loney passed away May 1, 2017 in Tucson, Arizona. He was the son of Laurie and Madeline Loney, and was born December 1, 1939 in Choteau, Montana. He grew up on the family ranch in Highwood, Montana and attended school there. Riding and breaking horses on the ranch, naturally, led him to the rodeo world.

He joined the RCA in 1963 and became the Rookie of the Year in saddle bronc, and, eventually ended up with a Gold card from the PRCA.

In 1965, he married Shirley Butterfield. They had two children, Renee Forbes and Josey Loney. Together they ran a branding crew out of Sahuarita, AZ, and at one point, he had an all-women crew.

He lived in California for many years and worked in the entertainment industry as an actor, wrangler, and stuntman. His credits included Little Big Man, Pocket Money, Ice Pirates, Silverado, Pale Rider, The Patriot, and many more.

He later married Marilla Lilore (Clinton). They relocated back to Great Falls where he became a hatmaker with Montana Hat Peaks.

He relocated to Tucson and continued making hats.

He had a passion for horses, guns, and telling stories. He was a talented horseman, gunsmith, and working with leather. He was kind, big-hearted man that was fun-loving. He never knew a stranger, no matter if he had known you for years or had just met you.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Madeline Edgar Loney; father, Laurie Loney; step-mother, Wilma Loney; and sister, Mary Perry.

He is survived by his daughters, Renee Forbes of Sierra Vista, AZ, and Josey Loney of Bozeman; grandchildren, Ashley Anderson (Andrew) of Grand Forks, ND, Gregory Forbes of Sierra Vista, AZ, and Jess and Hayden Roethle of Bozeman; siblings, Bill Loney (Pam), who has since passed, of White Sulphur Springs, Sharon Ruple of Great Falls, Clay Loney (Cherry) of Great Falls, and Cleve Loney (Cyndi) of Great Falls.

A celebration of life will be held on July 29 at the Eagles Lodge, 1501 9th Street South, Great Falls. Please come prepared to share any stories/pictures you might have of him.

Born: 12/1/1939, Choteau, Montana, U.S.A.
Died: 5/1/2017, Tucson, Arizona U.S.A.

Ross Loney’s westerns – actor:
Ulzana’s Raid – 1972 (rider)
Pale Rider – 1985 (horseman)
Silverado – 1985 (Red)