Broken Arrow: Western Movie, Book, TV, and History Discussion

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 November 21 Birthday Wishes

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Manco

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PostSubject: November 21 Birthday Wishes   Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:48 am

Ralph Meeker [1920 - 1988]
Michael Witney [1931 - 1983]
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Chain Lightning
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PostSubject: Re: November 21 Birthday Wishes   Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:54 am

Howdy Manco!!

Ralph Meeker first drew attention, when he replaced Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski in the touring production of A Streetcar Named Desire. His first film was 4 In A Jeep. He hit paydirt in the 1953 film, The Naked Spur with Jimmie Stewart, Robert Ryan and Janet Leigh. He missed a golden opportunity, when he was asked to reprise his character in the stage production of Picnic, in the film version, but he turned it down and the role went to William Holden. Meeker's role of Private Detective Mike Hammer in the 1955 film, Kiss Me Deadly, is the closest any actor ever came to bringing Mickey Spillane's character to life. Meeker played it as Spillane wrote it. In the novels, Mike Hammer was a WW II Vet, with a .45 auto, who kicked butt and took names. One of the first anti-heroes. Due to Meeker's performance, the film was delayed because of a ratings problem and Senator KeFauver's commission labeled it as the number one threat to American youth. Remember, this was 1955!!!!! Although the film has a cult following, it never became the blockbuster it should have. Because of these 2 events, I feel that Ralph Meeker never achieved the stardom he deserved, but was destined to become a supporting actor in film and t.v. Meeker was next cast in 2 good films, Run Of The Arrow and Paths Of Glory but his destiny of being typecast as a villain had already been set in motion. He next took on the role of U.S. Army Sergeant Steve Dekker in the 1959-1960 t.v. series, Not For Hire. During the 60's, he appeared in The Dirty Dozen and was cast in the role of Bugsy Moran in The St Valentines Day Massacre because of a strong resemblance to the real Moran, but Meeker basically spent the rest of his career in t.v. series playing villains of one kind or the other. I remember watching a High Chaparral episode titled, The Price Of Revenge, which was based on a Virginian epsiode, titled Duel At Shiloh. Brian Keith played the heavy ( Johnny Wade) in the Virginian episode and Ralph Meeker played the heavy in the High Chaparral episode. Meeker's performance was much stronger than Keith's. Meeker did his last acting in 1980 and died in 1987 in Woodland Hills Calif. of a heart attack. A talented actor, who had the ability to play hard nosed anti-heroes long before they became popular.

Michael Witney began his film career in the 1963-1964 t.v. series, The Travels Of Jamie McPheeters as Buck Coulter. He next appeared in an unsold pilot for a t.v. series titled, The Iron Men. From 1966-1971, Witney appeared on many of the t.v. shows like, Death Valley Days, Daniel Boone, The F.B.I., A Man Called Shenandoah etc. In 1971, he appeared in the western film Doc, with Harris Yulin and Stacy Keach in the role of Ike Clanton. In 1974 he appeared in the film "W" with his then wife, Twiggy and in 1975, he took on another t.v. series, Oil Strike North as Frank Ward. For the remainder of his film career, Witney made appearances on Kojak, Delvecchio and his last appearance on Charlie's Angels in 1981. Like Ralph Meeker, Michael Witney died of a heart attack in 1983 at the young age of 52.

Ed
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PostSubject: Re: November 21 Birthday Wishes   Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:56 pm

Also today:

Joseph Campanella (1927-) Also appeared in The St. Valentine's Day Massacre. He's been a slew of TV shows since 1952, appearing in The Untouchables, Route 66, Combat, Shane, The Big Valley, The Wild Wild West, The Fugitive, The Virginian, The FBI, Gunsmoke, Police Story, Quincy, and Dallas. He had recurring roles on The Bold Ones: The Lawyers, One Day at a Time, The Colbys, and Knot's Landing. He's also been in the soap operas Days of Our Lives and The Bold and The Beautiful.

Marlo Thomas(1937-) is the daughter of actor and TV mogul Danny Thomas, and the with of TV talk show host Phil Donahue. She appeared in several TV shows, including The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, 77 Sunset Strip, The Danny Thomas Show, The Joey Bishop Show, Bonanza (as a Chinese mail order bride who instigates a railroad workers' strike), Zane Grey Theater, My Favorite Martian, and McHale's Navy, before starring in the sitcom That Girl from 1966-1971. She's made sporadic appearances since then, making several TV movies and guest appearances, and had a recurring role as Rachel's mother on Friends. Hard to believe That Girl is 75 today!
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PostSubject: Re: November 21 Birthday Wishes   Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:12 pm

Howdy Tinhorn!!

Marlo Thomas was 29 years old, when she took on the role of Ann Marie in" That Girl" in 1966 and she played it until she was 34 in 1971. Yep, it's hard to believe, she's 75 years old today. I'm glad to see that she's still involved in the project that her father founded. The St Jude's Hospital For Children in Memphis, Tenn.

Ed
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