October 6, 2009

Michael Sheard

Michael Sheard, who is probably best known in the US as Admiral Ozzel from 'The Empire Strikes Back' has appeared in many films, including 'Force Ten from Navarone' 'All Quiet on the Western Front', and a cameo as Hitler in 'Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'.

Initially, he began appearing in television series, beginning in 1962 with 'Suspense'. He was a regular guest character in the original 'Dr. Who' series.

Of the roughly three dozen cast members of the Star Wars series that I have met Sheard was probably the first.

I took this photo when I met Mr. Sheard; I've always wondered why he was wearing a bow tie (as you can see), since they are not all that common. While researching for this blog I ran across this:

Lou Tambone: One can usually find you at conventions wearing a bow tie and many pins on your jacket. Is there any significance to the tie or is it just your preference. How do you choose what pins to wear and when?

Michael Sheard: This goes back to Grange Hill. Mr. Bronson was a dinosaur and when we were discussing what he would wear, I felt that he would always be smartly dressed and thought that a bow tie would finish off the ensemble. He wore a suit and bow tie throughout the series and it became his "uniform" at conventions. The pins I'm given all over the world and I change them as I move from convention to convention.

"You have failed me for the last time, Admiral."

Mr. Sheard died from cancer August 31 2005.

September 28, 2009

Warwick Davis

Warwick Davis' first claim to fame came at the age of 11 when he was cast in the role of Wicket in 'Return of the Jedi'. Other notable films include 'Willow', the 'Leprechaun' series, 'The Phantom Menace', and several from the 'Harry Potter' series.

September 21, 2009

Phil Brown

Phil Brown was born 4/30/1916 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He first appeared in the 1941 film 'I Wanted Wings'. In 1952 he help found the Actors Laboratory, and although he was not a Communist, he was blacklisted. Former actor Ronald Reagan had a role in that, as did J. Edgar Hoover.

As a result, he and his family moved to England in order to resume his acting career.

In 1977 he was cast as Owen Lars for the original Star Wars movie.

Brown died on 2/9/2006 from pneumonia.

Below is a photo of Mr. Brown that I took in Plano, TX in 1997 (you can see his wife Ginny beside him).

September 3, 2009

Maria De Aragon

Maria De Aragon is best known for her role of Greedo in the original Star Wars movie. Greedo, as you probably know, was one of the bounty hunters hired by Jabba the Hutt to capture Han Solo. Poor Greedo was killed at the cantina in Mos Eisley. Of course, in the original movie (which I got to see first hand in a theater in Houston) Greedo never shot at Han. In the video below he shoots first (Lucas had this done for the re-release so Han would not be a "cold blooded killer").

Prior to that she appeared in several low budget movies in the early 70s.

The Cremators

Blood Mania

Maria and I in Plano, TX

September 1, 2009

Michael Carter

Michael Carter is perhaps best known for his role as Bib Fortuna in 'Return of the Jedi'.

In an interview conducted by the guys at TheForce.net during one of the Dallas Sci-Fi Toy Show conventions Carter had this to say about his dialogue:

"Well somebody said--I don't know if it's true--that it was a Mongolian dialect run backwards. What they were doing in those days was coming across dialects from these obscure parts of the world and sort of running them backwards and writing it out phonetically. So, initially the lines had meant something, but all we got was Huttese. My first line was "Te wanna wanga." I can hardly remember any of them. I tried to create a meaning for them. I had a long scene with Mark Hamill when we walked down the corridor that was cut from the original which was all in Huttese. We each had our lines down, but it was very difficult to tell when the other had stopped speaking, so I'd be craning my neck around to watch his mouth. When he'd stop moving, I'd say my line. He was doing exactly the same thing. I had to shout at him, I remember, and when I shouted all my teeth came out in his face. But the scene we eventually shot was with both of us speaking English on the stairway. I don't think it was my voice but that it was someone impersonating my voice. You don't know what you're going to do in the part until you see yourself made-up."

I'm not sure when I took this photo, but I believe it was sometime around 1997. Big Bib is spanking Little Bib.

August 25, 2009

Joe Carter

Joe Carter began his career in 1983 with the Cubs. The next season he played with the Indians, remaining there until 1989. He continued his career with the Padres, Blue Jays, Orioles, and Giants.

5x All-Star selection (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995)
2x World Series champion (1992, 1993)
2x Silver Slugger award winner (1991, 1992)

I sent the above card (1990 Topps) to Joe sometime around 1992 or '93. He signed it and sent along the card below, as well.

August 24, 2009

Traci Lords

I met Traci at a Sci-fi convention several years ago when she played Jordan Radcliffe on the television series 'First Wave'.

The first movie that I remember seeing where she was a cast member was 'Cry-Baby', which starred Johnny Depp. A few years later she appeared in the ABC miniseries 'Tommyknockers', based on the book by Stephen King.

She's appeared in a number of other television shows (including 'Melrose Place' and 'Roseanne') and movies...and quite a few others that we won't mention on this PG rated site.

Here's the opening scene from Blade, where Traci plays a vampire: