||The Dead Thread
Joined: Nov 12, 2002
From: Huntikington Beach
|Posted: 2008-01-12 6:38 pm  Permalink|
FULLERTON, Calif. - Carl N. Karcher, who parlayed a $325 investment in a hot-dog cart into one of the largest hamburger chains in the West died Friday. He was 90. The founder of the Carl's Jr. fast-food chain suffered from Parkinson's disease and was being treated for pneumonia when he died at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, said Beth Mansfield, a spokeswoman for CKE Restaurants Inc. Karcher, a deeply religious father of 12, was famous in the fast-food industry for his rags-to-riches story -- a tale that was tainted in later years by an insider trading scandal and feuds with his board of directors that led to his eventual demise as chief executive officer. The company and its founder grew even more estranged in recent years when Carl's Jr., seeking to woo a younger male clientele, launched a series of ads that included a scantily clad Paris Hilton washing a car and Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner, surrounded by beautiful women, expounding on the advantages of being able to enjoy a different variety of hamburger every night of the week. In happier years, Karcher had appeared in the chain's ads himself, cutting a grandfatherly figure as he stood alongside the smiling Carl's Jr. "Happy Star" logo. Karcher was working as a bread-truck driver in South Central Los Angeles when he noticed the large number of hot dog stands in the neighborhood and saw a business opportunity. He borrowed $311 on the 1941 Plymouth Super Deluxe he owned with his new bride, Margaret, added the rest in cash and bought his first pushcart hot dog stand. One cart soon became four, and by the end of World War II Karcher had opened his first restaurant, Carl's Drive-In barbecue, in Anaheim. He opened the first Carl's Jr. -- named "Jr." to distinguish it from his full-service eatery -- in 1956. "With the help and support of my wife and children, my faith in God, my good health, my belief in the free enterprise system, and my willingness to work hard, there was no way I could have failed," he wrote in his 1991 autobiography, "Never Stop Dreaming." From the beginning, Karcher wanted to appeal to a slightly higher-end customer who would pay a little more for quality fast food. Some of his restaurants had carpeting and allowed customers to have their orders delivered to their table. Karcher was also among the first to pick up on America's growing interest in healthier fast food, introducing grilled chicken sandwiches and salad bars. The business fit well with the postwar boom and California's emerging car culture. Today, Carl's Jr. has more than 1,000 locations across the West; its parent company, the Carpenteria, Calif.-based CKE Enterprises Inc., made $1.52 billion in sales in 2006 and had 29,000 employees. CKE also owns the Hardee's, La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill and Green Burrito chains. Karcher's religious and political views were always tightly interwoven with his business. The fast-food magnate began all board of directors meetings with the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi and handed out prayer cards along with Carl's Jr. coupons to people he met on the street. "I believe in certain moral principles. I'm a good Christian. I'm a conservative person," he told The Wall Street Journal for a 1993 profile. He was reviled by abortion rights activists for his contributions to anti-abortion groups and his oft-repeated story about talking a Carl's Jr. employee out of an abortion. Gay rights groups dubbed his hamburgers "bigot burgers" after Karcher supported a 1978 proposition that would have allowed school boards to fire teachers who were gay or advocated homosexuality. Karcher's initial success began to show cracks in the 1980s when he took the company public. Carl's Jr. locations in Texas and Arizona failed, ending his dream of becoming a national chain. In 1989, Karcher and his family agreed to a $664,000 settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission after the agency alleged Karcher told six family members to sell stock ahead of an announcement that company profits would plummet by 50 percent. Karcher never admitted wrongdoing under the terms of the settlement, which he later said he viewed as a good business decision. In 1993, after increasingly bitter feuds with his board of directors and crippling personal financial losses, the 76-year-old founder was ousted as the company's CEO. Under new leadership, the company revamped its advertising, slimmed down the menu and lowered prices. When the burger chain began running its racy TV ads, the Rev. Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral said Karcher was "just heartbroken that a company he founded on Christian principles has taken such an amoral act." Karcher, who rarely appeared in public in recent years,took part in a January 2007 ceremony when the city of Anaheim installed a star on its walk of fame honoring him and his wife, who had died of liver cancer in June 2006. He is survived by 11 children, Anne Marie Wiles, Patricia LaGraffe, Margaret Jean LeVecke, Carl L. Karcher, Catherine Karcher, Janelle Karcher, Father Jerome T. Karcher, Rosemary Miller, Barbara Wall, Joseph Karcher and Mary Miller; 51 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren. A daughter, Carlene Karcher, died in 1993.
My Famous Star with no picles, onions or mayo will never taste the same again!!
Tiki Bars I've designed/built. TikiCat, Royal Hawaiian, Kona Club, Frankie's Tiki Room, Pacific Seas, Don the Beachcomber,Forbidden Island, Kon Tiki Tucson, Tiki No,etc....
Joined: Sep 18, 2007
|Posted: 2008-01-13 12:16 am  Permalink|
Rest In Peace - Jan. 10th 2008
Maila Nurmi aka VAMPIRA
Maila Nurmi, known as Vampira to all, passed away in the comforts of her Hollywood home as she slept. She was 85 years old. Being an animal lover with her own coming first before anything, if you wish to donate to Much Love Animal Rescue (http://www.muchlove.org/index.php), do so in Maila's name. Thank you for all your amazing words and sharing your beautiful heart with us over the years, Maila. May you rest forever in peace.
(From Fright Icons, Sent in by FRIGHT friend Nicole))
This was from FANGORIA's post about her passing earlier today:
Regarding funeral arrangements, “They are pending legal steps, as Maila had no relatives,” Moore reveals. “We are going to do our best to see if we can get her a spot at Hollywood Forever, and will likely plan some sort of hearse procession for her.”
Here's to you Lady.
Thanks for everything,
Joined: Mar 20, 2006
|Posted: 2008-01-16 6:06 pm  Permalink|
- - -
Sweet Louie Smith, 68, R&B Singer, Is Dead
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: December 19, 2007
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Sweet Louie Smith, who was half of the R&B duo the Checkmates, died on Saturday aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean on which he and his partner, Sonny Charles, were performing. Mr. Smith was 68 and lived in Las Vegas, where the two were a long-running music act.
Mr. Charles confirmed the death.
Marvin Smith, known as Sweet Louie, and Mr. Charles were friends since childhood in Fort Wayne, Ind. They served in the Army together in the 1950s, touring in the entertainment division of the Army Special Services, after which they set their sights on Las Vegas.
The act took off in 1964 when the Checkmates started performing at the Pussycat à Go-Go, on the site of what is now the Wynn Las Vegas Resort. The group went on to perform at the Sands and Caesars Palace.
The duo’s best-known recordings include “Love Is All I Have to Give” and a remake of “Proud Mary.” Their most successful single, a Top 10 hit, was “Black Pearl,” a 1969 recording produced by Phil Spector.
Some of their career highlights included performing with Frank Sinatra at the Oakland Coliseum, a concert at Madison Square Garden with Herb Alpert, and singing the national anthem for the “Thrilla in Manila,” the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier heavyweight championship boxing match in the Philippines in 1975.
The Checkmates were inducted into the Las Vegas Hall of Fame in 2000.
Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, Linda.
Joined: Jul 07, 2005
|Posted: 2008-01-16 6:11 pm  Permalink|
Boobs has died.
I love Ruth Wallis, she is so great! and her lyrics are hysterical!
Posted: Wed., Dec. 26, 2007, 3:24pm PT
Actress Ruth Wallis dies at 87
Known for naughty musical numbers
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ruth Wallis, whose naughty musical numbers between the 1940s and 1960s inspired the musical revue, "Boobs! The Musical," died of Alzheimer's-related causes Dec. 22 in Wallingford, Conn. She was 87.
She sang in the Isham Jones and Benny Goodman orchestras and became known as a risqué singer during the 1950s. Some of her songs were banned from radio, and her records were confiscated by Australian customs during the 60s.
She made 10 comedy albums and appeared in Las Vegas, Miami and in Australia, London and New Zealand. Among her more than 150 songs were "The Dinghy Song," which sold 250,000 copies.
Shortly after her 83rd birthday, "Boobs ! The Musical" (subtitled: The World According to Ruth Wallis) opened at the Triad Theater in New York and later transferred to Dillion's. The musical ran for nearly 300 performances with subsequent runs in New Orleans and Wichita.
Wallis is survived by a daughter, a son and a granddaughter.
Donations may be sent to Connecticut VNA Hospice 12 Case Street #356, Norwich CT, 06360.
"It's like a Koala crapped a rainbow in my brain!"
[ This Message was edited by: ravenne 2008-01-16 18:11 ]
Joined: Jul 27, 2002
From: D.C. / Virginia
|Posted: 2008-01-19 08:18 am  Permalink|
Allan Melvin, aka 'Sam the Butcher' from the Brady Bunch dead at 84.
Where now is Alice going to get her meat?
Here is a clip of Allan,in a 1970's Liquid Plumber commercial
Allan Melvin, a popular character actor who played Cpl. Henshaw on the classic 1950s sitcom "The Phil Silvers Show" and later portrayed Archie Bunker's neighbor and friend Barney on "All in the Family," has died. He was 84.
Melvin, who was in the original Broadway cast of "Stalag 17" in the early 1950s, died of cancer Thursday at his home in Brentwood, said his wife of 64 years, Amalia.
During his five-decade career, Melvin made guest appearances on numerous TV shows, including playing different roles on at least eight episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show" and playing Dick Van Dyke's old Army buddy on "The Dick Van Dyke Show." He also played Sgt. Charlie Hacker on "Gomer Pyle: U.S.M.C."; portrayed butcher Sam Franklin -- Alice the housekeeper's boyfriend -- on "The Brady Bunch"; and continued playing Barney when the hit "All in the Family" became "Archie Bunker's Place."
Melvin, who appeared in only one movie -- the 1968 Doris Day comedy "With Six You Get Eggroll" -- also did voice-over work in cartoons, including providing the voices of Magilla Gorilla and Bluto on "Popeye." He worked on numerous TV commercials as well, including playing Al the Plumber in the Liquid-Plumr commercials for 15 years.
After launching his show business career in the sound effects department of NBC radio in New York in 1944, Melvin began acting on radio soap operas and then moved into live television. At the same time, he did movie star impressions in Manhattan in a nightclub act written by his friend Richard Condon, who later wrote "The Manchurian Candidate." Melvin's stand-up act led to his winning "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" radio show in the late 1940s.
He was playing Reed in "Stalag 17," the hit 1951-52 Broadway play set in a German POW camp during World War II, when he first caught Silvers' attention.
"The Phil Silvers Show," originally titled "You'll Never Get Rich," was set on an Army base in Kansas and ran from 1955 to 1959. As Cpl. Henshaw, Melvin was the right-hand man to Silvers' con-man extraordinaire, Sgt. Ernie Bilko.
"He was brilliant" as Henshaw, Mickey Freeman, who played Pvt. Zimmerman on the show, told The Times on Friday. In recent years, when fans would ask Freeman how many surviving cast members were left, he would reply, "Allan Melvin and me -- that's a high mortality rate for a noncombatant unit."
Noting that Melvin "was a great mimic of voices," Freeman recalled an episode in which an officer arrived at Ft. Baxter to stop the men from gambling. One of the ways the officer did that, Freeman said, was to make them listen to his wife lecture on art. But the woman had an unusual twitch -- pulling on her skirt -- and Bilko and the other soldiers placed bets on how many times she would do that during her lecture. Freeman recalled that Melvin, as Henshaw, was positioned outside the lecture hall with a microphone, broadcasting to the other soldiers on the base -- " 'She's up to 42 now . . . 43 . . . 44, and she's not even breathing heavy.' He made a whole racetrack thing out of it," Freeman said. "He was wonderful."
Melvin was born Feb. 18, 1923, in Kansas City, Mo. His family soon moved to New York City, where he graduated from Columbia University as a journalism major.
Melvin retired from acting about 10 years ago -- long after becoming a household face who was used to people spotting him in public and saying, "Hey, Henshaw" or "Hey, Sam the Butcher." "I've enjoyed the stuff I've done," he told People magazine in 1996, "but the one you're getting paid for, that's what you enjoy most."
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Jennifer Hanson; and a grandson.
[ This Message was edited by: ikitnrev 2008-01-22 14:04 ]
Joined: Mar 20, 2006
|Posted: 2008-01-19 1:59 pm  Permalink|
Wow. Busy thread lately...
Richard Knerr, who gave the world Hula Hoop, Frisbee, dies at 82
By John Rogers
3:35 p.m. January 17, 2008
LOS ANGELES Richard Rich Knerr is being remembered this week for creating a multimillion-dollar company out of slingshots, flying saucers and spinning hoops. But he did much more than that.
Knerr and his partner, Wham-O co-founder Arthur Spud Melin, specialized in fun with products like the Hula Hoop, the Slip 'N Slide, Silly String and the Super Ball, entertaining countless people from one end of the world to the other. They showed dogs a pretty good time, too, with another iconic Wham-O product, the Frisbee.
Knerr, who retired from the toy marketing business when he and Melin sold Wham-O in 1982, died Monday after suffering a stroke at his home in suburban Arcadia. He was 82.
Melin, his partner and lifelong friend, died in 2002.
The company motto was 'Our Business is Fun,' and that really describes both Dad and Spud, Knerr's son, Chuck Knerr, told The Associated Press on Thursday. They were two boys who just loved to have fun.
They let the whole country in on the fun in 1958 when they began selling round, plastic hoops at 98 cents apiece. People snapped them up by the millions, as seemingly everyone in America that summer attempted to spin the things around their waists, hips, necks or knees.
No sensation has ever swept the country like the Hula Hoop, Richard A. Johnson wrote in his 1985 book American Fads.
Just as quickly, however, the fad ended.
By the time September rolled around you couldn't give them away because every household in America had two and they lasted forever, Chuck Knerr recalled his father telling him.
It didn't matter because not long after that the Frisbee, which had been introduced the year before, began to catch on and not just with people. Dogs loved to play with it too.
One such animal, Ashley Whippet, became a celebrity in the 1970s because of his astounding ability to chase and catch the things.
Because dogs tended to chew up Frisbees and people tended to lose them, they proved a much more lucrative product for Wham-O than Hula Hoops had.
Knerr and Melin went into business for themselves in 1948, making $2 a day selling slingshots they made out of old orange crates in Knerr's garage. They named their fledgling company after the sound Melin liked to make every time he fired a slingshot.
The pair met by chance as teenagers outside a Pasadena movie theater. They went into business together because Melin raised falcons and they used homemade slingshots to fire meatballs at young birds to teach them to dive for prey.
Their slingshots proved so popular that their barber suggested they place an ad in a magazine and start selling them by mail order.
It sounds strange to say it now but at the time nobody ever made and sold a slingshot, Chuck Knerr said. They were always homemade.
Soon the boys were bringing home orders from the post office by the sack full, allowing them to pay off the bandsaw they had bought at a Sears store for $7 down.
Knerr would say years later that he discovered the Hula Hoop while at a sporting goods trade show in Chicago. An Australian man, during a conversation in the men's room, told him of a fitness craze sweeping his country and agreed to send him a few of the exercise tools.
Knerr and Melin were at the beach one day when they saw a former Air Force pilot named Fred Morrison playing with the flying disc he'd made. They bought the rights to it, modified it and changed its name from Pluto Platter to Frisbee, naming it after a comic strip character Knerr liked.
Wham-O introduced the Slip 'N Slide in 1961, the Limbo Game in 1962 and the Super Ball in 1966. Silly String came along in 1972 and the introduction of the Hacky Sack in 1983 created another craze.
As the years passed and Wham-O became a brand recognized the world over, its founders continued to operate it as a small business based in the suburban San Gabriel Valley. They sold it to Kransco Group Companies in 1982. Mattel bought the company from Kransco in 1994 and sold it to a group of investors in 1997. It is now based in Emeryville.
In addition to his son, Knerr is survived by his wife, Dorothy, daughters Melody Marquez and Lori Gregory, stepchildren Richard Enright and Jeanne Stokes and eight grandchildren.
Joined: Sep 21, 2003
From: Yucaipa, CA
|Posted: 2008-01-20 07:18 am  Permalink|
Suzanne Pleshette died.
Joined: Feb 11, 2007
From: New Bedford, MA
|Posted: 2008-01-22 1:57 pm  Permalink|
Heath Ledger will not be coming down for dinner..
NEW YORK - Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan residence in a possible drug-related death, police said. He was 28.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Ledger had an appointment for a massage at the Manhattan apartment believed to be his home. The housekeeper who went to let Ledger know the masseuse was there found him dead at 3:26 p.m.
The Australian-born actor was an Oscar nominee for his role in "Brokeback Mountain" and has numerous other screen credits.
Grand Member (8 years)
Joined: Nov 23, 2006
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
|Posted: 2008-01-22 5:16 pm  Permalink|
Sad about Ledger...so young and such a promising actor...just adding a few more details here.
NEW YORK (Jan. 22) - Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday in a Manhattan apartment, naked in bed with prescription sleeping pills nearby, police said. The Australian-born actor was 28.
There was no obvious indication of suicide, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.
Jim Spellman, WireImage.com
The Life and Loss of a Young Talent. Heath Ledger was discovered by a housekeeper in a New York City apartment on Tuesday afternoon. Sleeping pills were found near the acclaimed actor, 28, who was naked and in bed. Police are investigating it as a possible overdose.
Ledger had an appointment for a massage at the SoHo apartment that is believed to be the home of the "Brokeback Mountain" actor, Browne said. The massage therapist and a housekeeper found his naked body in the bed at about 3:30 p.m. They tried to revive him, but he was already dead.
Paparazzi and gawkers gathered outside, and several police officers put up barricades to control the crowd of about 300. Onlookers craned their necks as officers brought out a black body bag on a gurney, took it across the sidewalk and put it into a white medical examiner's office van.
As the door opened, bystanders snapped pictures with camera phones, rolled video, and said, "He's coming out!"
An autopsy was planned for Wednesday, medical examiner's office spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said.
While not a marquee movie star, Ledger was an award-winning actor who chose his roles carefully rather than cashing in on big-money parts. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as a gay cowboy in "Brokeback Mountain," where he met Michelle Williams, who played his wife in the film. The two had a daughter, now 2-year-old Matilda, and lived together in Brooklyn until they split up last year.
It was a shocking and unforeseen conclusion for one of Hollywood's bright young stars. Though his leading man looks propelled him to early stardom in films like "10 Things I Hate About You" and "A Knight's Tale," his career took a notable turn toward dramatic and brooding roles with 2001's "Monster's Ball."
"I had such great hope for him," said Mel Gibson, who played Ledger's vengeful father in "The Patriot," in a statement. "He was just taking off and to lose his life at such a young age is a tragic loss."
Ledger eschewed Hollywood glitz in favor of a bohemian life in Brooklyn, where he was one of the borough's most famous residents. "Brokeback" would be his breakthrough role, establishing him as one of his generation's finest talents and an actor willing to take risks.
Ledger began to gravitate more toward independent fare, including Lasse Hallstrom's "Casanova" and Terry Gilliam's "The Brothers Grimm," both released in 2005. His 2006 film "Candy" now seems destined to have an especially haunting quality: In a particularly realistic performance, Ledger played a poet wrestling with a heroin addiction along with his girlfriend, played by Abbie Cornish.
But Ledger's most recent choices were arguably the boldest yet: He costarred in "I'm Not There," in which he played one of the many incarnations of Bob Dylan — as did Cate Blanchett, whose performance in that film earned an Oscar nomination Tuesday for best supporting actress.
And in what may be his final finished performance, Ledger proved that he wouldn't be intimidated by taking on a character as iconic as Jack Nicholson's Joker. Ledger's version of the "Batman" villain, glimpsed in early teaser trailers, made it clear that his Joker would be more depraved and dark.
Curiosity about Ledger's final performance will likely stoke further interest in the summer blockbuster. "Dark Knight" director Christopher Nolan said earlier this month that Ledger's Joker would be wildly different from Nicholson's.
"It was a very great challenge for Heath," Nolan said. "He's extremely original, extremely frightening, tremendously edgy. A very young character, a very anarchic presence that taps into a lot of our basic fears and panic."
Ledger told The New York Times in a November interview that he "stressed out a little too much" during the Dylan film, and had trouble sleeping while portraying the Joker, whom he called a "psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy."
"Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night," Ledger told the newspaper. "I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going." He said he took two Ambien pills, which only worked for an hour, the paper said.
Ledger was a widely recognized figure in his Manhattan neighborhood, where he used to shop at a home and children's store. Michelle Vella, an employee there, said she had frequently seen Ledger with his daughter — carrying the toddler on his shoulders, or having ice cream with her.
"It's so sad. They were really close," said Vella. "He's a very down-to-earth guy and an amazing father."
Before settling down with Williams, Ledger had relationships with actresses Heather Graham and Naomi Watts. He met Watts while working on "The Lords of Dogtown," a fictionalized version of a cult classic skateboarding documentary, in 2004.
Ledger was born in 1979 in Perth, in western Australia, to a mining engineer and a French teacher, and got his first acting role playing Peter Pan at age 10 at a local theater company. He began acting in independent films as a 16-year-old in Sydney and played a cyclist hoping to land a spot on an Olympic team in a 1996 television show, "Seat."
After several independent films, Ledger moved to Los Angeles at age 19 and costarred opposite Julia Stiles in "10 Things I Hate About You." Offers for other teen flicks soon came his way, but Ledger turned them down, preferring to remain idle than sign on for projects he didn't like.
"It wasn't a hard decision for me," Ledger told the Associated Press in 2001. "It was hard for everyone else around me to understand. Agents were like, 'You're crazy,' my parents were like, 'Come on, you have to eat.'"
"Oh waiter, another cocktail please!!!"
Joined: Jul 27, 2002
From: D.C. / Virginia
|Posted: 2008-01-29 4:04 pm  Permalink|
Viktor Schreckengost, influential industrial designer, is dead at 101. He passed away on Jan 26.
He is perhaps best known to my generation as the guy who created the following pedal vehicle
Viktor was also an illustrator - here is one of his works for an instruction guide to semaphores.
Many more of Schreckengost's designs can be found at his foundation's website, located here
The best on-line obituary I've found is this one ...
Joined: May 10, 2006
|Posted: 2008-02-04 7:01 pm  Permalink|
Sheldon Brown, bicycle mechanic extraordinaire.
|54 house of bamboo|
Grand Member (first year)
Joined: Sep 28, 2006
From: Cambridge UK
|Posted: 2008-02-06 12:48 am  Permalink|
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the guru who introduced the Beatles to transcendental meditation, has died at his home in Vlodrop, in the Netherlands. He was believed to be around 91 years old.
A spokesman for the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement said he had died peacefully, apparently from "natural causes, his age".
Although the maharishi never abandoned his claim to be leading humanity towards a new era of peace and harmony, he transformed his interpretations of ancient scripture into a multimillion-dollar global empire with more than 5m followers worldwide seeking his higher state of consciousness.
The Stevenson Wedding Mug by Cheekytiki, 2006
Joined: Mar 25, 2005
From: Boogie Wonderland
|Posted: 2008-02-10 11:10 pm  Permalink|
From the L.A. Times: - Roy Scheider, the jagged-nosed actor who brought complexity to tough-guy roles in such films as "The French Connection," "Jaws" and "All That Jazz," and was also known for political activism off the set, died Sunday afternoon at a hospital in Little Rock, Ark. He was believed to be 75, and had been battling a form of blood cancer for three years.
[ This Message was edited by: Bora Boris 2008-02-10 23:11 ]
|54 house of bamboo|
Grand Member (first year)
Joined: Sep 28, 2006
From: Cambridge UK
|Posted: 2008-02-22 10:43 am  Permalink|
Former rockabilly star, politician Bobby Lee Trammell (You Mostest Girl)
The Stevenson Wedding Mug by Cheekytiki, 2006
Joined: Mar 20, 2006
|Posted: 2008-02-24 11:59 am  Permalink|
Ben Chapman, 79; Gill Man in cult film 'Creature From the Black Lagoon'
As an actor, Ben Chapman never landed a star-making role. Far from it. He had small parts in only a few films, including an uncredited bit part in "Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki."
But Chapman nevertheless achieved a degree of movie immortality -- and he did it without uttering a word of dialogue or even showing his face.
The 6-foot-5 ex-Marine played the title character in "Creature From the Black Lagoon," the classic 1954 3-D monster movie that quickly developed a cult following that has endured.
Chapman, a retired Honolulu real estate salesman, died Thursday of congestive heart failure at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, said his longtime companion, Merrilee Kazarian. He was 79.