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Andreas Katsulas and the Oscar 2007 memorial reel

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  • #16
    Originally posted by B5_Obsessed View Post
    Well, they never seem to mind pausing to reflect on Frank Kapra's gaffer, dead at age 98. It seems they give more creedence to forgotten actors and crew from the old, old days than the current ones someone might actually recognize.
    Is there someone specific who was left out that you're thinking of? I mean, sure, the Academy does try to show some variety of their members with who they choose for the reel (which is why you'll see Frank Capra's gaffer along with Shelly Winters, for instance), but I can't recall them leaving out any of the really big names who've died in a given year. But now I'm curious, because I suspect you have a specific beef in this regard: who do you mean?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by JohnFourtyTwo View Post
      Sorry for the confusion there, I was just showing my admiration to a great actor who was never given the proper respect he was due.
      Just one last comment about this. John, I realize that you were only mentioning roles that meant a lot to you, and that you were careful to stress films to the Academy, so thanks for that. It's a shame that just pure talent isn't the bottom line. I mean, Andreas took whatever lines he was given, whatever character they wanted him to play, and he absolutely elevated some pretty terrible material. I told him that when I met him (it was a way of backpedaling, actually, when we were talking about the various people from "The Sopranos" who he's worked with, and I blurted out, "Oh yeah, that's right: you were in that crappy movie with Paulie Walnuts!" ) Frankly, he probably even gave what would pass for an Oscar-worthy performance in the brief time he was on "The Guiding Light" soap opera! (Alas, I've never been able to turn up old tapes of that -- I'll have to make a trip to the Museum of Television & Radio one of these years...)

      But the entertainment industry, like most industries, is hierarchical, and so we must play the game. It's kind of like a hospital. The doctors think they're better than the nurses; the surgeons think they're better than ordinary doctors; and the cardiac surgeons know they are God.

      I worked in music publishing -- we owned the copyrights on the works, and people would have to come to us to negotiate the rights to use our music in books, on television, in films, etc. etc. We used to say there that we were the second-to-lowest rung in the entertainment industry (radio is the lowest -- just ask Howard Stern, who's been saying that for decades!). Film and TV both think they are the crowning jewel of the industry: film by divine right (like a monarch), and tv by popular election (for pulling the film industry's chestnuts out of the fire in the 50s). My opinion is that the Academy doesn't even want to hear "G'Kar from "Babylon 5"" or "Tomalak from "Star Trek""; their eyes would glaze over and they'd just tune out the entire letter.

      Amy

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      • #18
        Done it. (Did mention 'Blame it on the Bell Boy'- hope that hasn't blown it for him!)

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        • #19
          Originally posted by AmyG View Post
          Is there someone specific who was left out that you're thinking of? I mean, sure, the Academy does try to show some variety of their members with who they choose for the reel (which is why you'll see Frank Capra's gaffer along with Shelly Winters, for instance), but I can't recall them leaving out any of the really big names who've died in a given year. But now I'm curious, because I suspect you have a specific beef in this regard: who do you mean?
          No, Amy. The specific beef seems to be with what I am inferring from this thread. That, for some reason, we all need to write the academy and focus on Katsulas' movie resume to ensure that he gets included. Call me pessimistic (I am, a longtime B5er, after all), but this makes it sound like there is the possibility that he may be left out. If this were to be the case, then I wonder how certain cast and crew types who haven't worked in film in 50 years get onto the list.

          But regarding the Emmy's, I don't recall seeing Biggs and I know I didn't see Katsulas on the years of their respective deaths. It's possible, Biggs may have been memorialized on the Daytime Emmys, but you couldn't pay me enough to watch that. Also, as an actor who worked on a variety of programs (network, cable, daytime, prime time, even some film), I don't think it is fair that his career should be pigeon-holed exclusively under that label.
          Only a fool fights in a burning house.

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          • #20
            I don't remember which awards show it was but Richard Biggs *was* memorialized on one of the non-daytime-emmy shows.

            The thing to remember is that none of these shows may know of a specific person passing unless they're told, as Amy is urging us to do. They don't have a staff perusing the obituaries and, particularly in the case of Andreas, might not have seen one in the trades even if they *were* checking them. I'm not certain, but I seem to recall that Andreas' main obituary was published in St. Louis and under his real name, not his stage name. The more of us who write, the smaller the chance that his passing will go unnoticed.

            Jan
            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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            • #21
              If this were to be the case, then I wonder how certain cast and crew types who haven't worked in film in 50 years get onto the list.
              Please, is this really so hard to figure out. People like that get included because some currently prominent and powerful member of the Academy has fond memories of the person and nominates them, or because someone directly involved in producing the awards show does, becauase somebody went to the funeral out of family obligation and the name is still fresh in his mind when the question comes up, even though he didn't really know the guy.

              When you make flip comments about "Frank Capra's gaffer" you're forgetting that someone who worked closely with Capra (especially someone who joined the great director as a young man and retired as a old one) is likely to have worked with many great actors, directors, writers and producers, most of them still alive and active members. A character actor like Andreas, who worked on independent as well as studio films and was never really part of the Hollywood "scene" simply isn't going to be the first name that springs to mind for industry types (the vast majority of whom have no idea who he was, much less that he's passed away.) So he is one of those people who needs fans to call the Academy's attention to him.

              Wait'll you see the big deal they make when Rosemary Clooney passes on. Don't recognize the name? I'll bet you know who her nephew George is.

              Regards,

              Joe
              Joseph DeMartino
              Sigh Corps
              Pat Tallman Division

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino View Post
                Please, is this really so hard to figure out. People like that get included because some currently prominent and powerful member of the Academy has fond memories of the person and nominates them, or because someone directly involved in producing the awards show does, becauase somebody went to the funeral out of family obligation and the name is still fresh in his mind when the question comes up, even though he didn't really know the guy.

                When you make flip comments about "Frank Capra's gaffer" you're forgetting that someone who worked closely with Capra (especially someone who joined the great director as a young man and retired as a old one) is likely to have worked with many great actors, directors, writers and producers, most of them still alive and active members. A character actor like Andreas, who worked on independent as well as studio films and was never really part of the Hollywood "scene" simply isn't going to be the first name that springs to mind for industry types (the vast majority of whom have no idea who he was, much less that he's passed away.) So he is one of those people who needs fans to call the Academy's attention to him.

                Wait'll you see the big deal they make when Rosemary Clooney passes on. Don't recognize the name? I'll bet you know who her nephew George is.

                Regards,

                Joe
                Of course I know who Rosemary Clooney is, Joe. I made up the bit about Capra's gaffer. Capra is really too high profile to be a good example. I am well-versed in film, but every year I see very obscure types getting honored (and nothing against that) that I have to look up to see what they've done.

                As for the death list, wouldn't SAG be a good place to start for actors who were actually working at the time of their death?
                Only a fool fights in a burning house.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by B5_Obsessed View Post
                  As for the death list, wouldn't SAG be a good place to start for actors who were actually working at the time of their death?
                  How would SAG know if a member died? As for actors actually working, remember that the news about Andreas started to break several months before his death after some of the actors let it slip at conventions. Andreas had very much wanted his condition kept private in part because he was still looking for work in order to keep his SAG benefits. I don't know how what his last part would have been (Amy? You probably do, don't you?) but he might not have been "actually working" for some little while before his death.

                  Even supposing you were correct and that SAG could provide the Academy with a full list of members who died, what then? First, who would weed out which actors had and hadn't done motion picture work? Then, what if there were still too many to put on the memorial reel in the time allotted? By writing in, we notify the Academy that there are fans out there who feel that Andreas deserves the accolade and that will help in any decision making.

                  I'm hoping that this is all academic and after you've sent a note to the Academy with the link Amy provided?

                  Jan
                  "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                  • #24
                    All television and movie actors who work in the U.S. or on U.S. productions that are shot on film and/or produced by the major studios are required to be members of SAG (although I believe that up to a point they foreign actors can get waivers provided they are members in good standing of allied unions in their own countries.)

                    (Soap actors, TV variety acts, etc. belong to other unions.)

                    Given that this covers every speaking role in both media since the dawn of the sound age, I'd say it is a pretty safe bet that lots of SAG members die every year - way too many for the Academies to take time to sort through (did he ever do TV? did she ever do film?) and then research to see who should end up in the "farewell" reel. So that is a non-starter. (It is the case that SAG will often be notified of the death of a retired member because of insurance and pension issues. So at some point SAG probably was notified of Andreas's passing, but you can bet the neither the TV nor the movie Acadamies get or ask for a list of such information.) The point is to honor those who will be remembered - first and foremost by the Acadamies' own members and then by the general public. Hence the process of getting nominations from members and the public. Obviously some people are no-brainers. When a Marlon Brando or a Jack Lemon dies, you damned well put him in the reel.

                    I don't know how what his last part would have been... but he might not have been "actually working" for some little while before his death.
                    How do you determine if someone is "actually working" in a profession like acting? Something like 80% of the membership of SAG does not make enough money acting to live on and has to work another job to eat. "Actors" who are indeed paid professionals and who you've seen on TV and in movies might work once or twice a year - or even every two or three years. As long as they continue to pay their dues, they remain active members of the union. Is someone who goes out on auditions every week and doesn't land the role "working"? Do industrial films and TV commercials count as "acting"?
                    How about radio ads and trade show appearances? (They don't count for SAG credit - neither does acting on or off Broadway.)

                    Things aren't always as easy to determine as they can seem.

                    Regards,

                    Joe
                    Joseph DeMartino
                    Sigh Corps
                    Pat Tallman Division

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by B5_Obsessed View Post
                      No, Amy. The specific beef seems to be with what I am inferring from this thread. That, for some reason, we all need to write the academy and focus on Katsulas' movie resume to ensure that he gets included.
                      I hate to keep beating this particular moribund equine, but I really can't understand why this is apparently so hard to comprehend, so I'll try again. The "some reason" that we need to focus on Andreas's movie resume is because we are trying to get the Oscars to put him in the memorial reel. The Oscars being the award handed out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. If Joe Schmoe, your neighbor, was a chemistry teacher and did standup comedy as as sideline, and he died, and the local comedy club was going to do a memorial reel, would you write to them and make sure they knew all about how much Joe Schmoe's students loved him for his knowledge of science? It's unrelated. They would honor his accomplishments in comedy, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is going to (hopefully) honor Andreas for his contribution to film. So, his work as G'Kar - or Tomalak - is unrelated.

                      Originally posted by Jan
                      I don't know how what his last part would have been (Amy? You probably do, don't you?)
                      In film, it was 2000's "A Piece of Eden." This was an indie picture, but probably did well in the DVD market because it was distributed under the hugely successful "Chicken Soup for the Soul" imprint. (His last major studio film was "Jane Austen's Mafia!" in 1998.) In tv, sadly, his last appearance was that piece of shit part on "NYPD Blue" in 2003 (they're not my favorite people after learning that Andreas auditioned multiple times for them before they gave him a part -- and what a shitty part! Frankly, I'm astonished he even had to audition!). His last appearance in anything was as California's Governer Radford in the video game "24: The Game" (2006). I have the game although I still don't have a PlayStation, so I haven't seen (heard) his performance yet. This was a pretty big deal; nearly every other person who lends their voice to the game was in the television show. I've often wondered if they would have thrown him a role in the show if he hadn't died -- everyone who worked with Andreas loved him, and had great things to say about this talent and professionalism; it's a real shame we never got to see the "24" team's gratitude pay off for him.

                      Amy

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                      • #26
                        I apologize if the last few posts were my fault. Don't worry, I won't be mentioning his TV roles. It's not a hard concept to grasp. I may be new to this board but I've been aware of how the world operates for almost 40 years now.

                        Hope that didn't come across too strong, didn't mean it to be, just trying to put you guys at ease.
                        Ranger Code

                        We walk in the places no others will enter.
                        We do not break away from combat.
                        We stand on the bridge and no one may pass.
                        We do not retreat whatever the reason.
                        We live for The One, we die for The One.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by AmyG View Post
                          His last appearance in anything was as California's Governer Radford in the video game "24: The Game" (2006). I have the game although I still don't have a PlayStation, so I haven't seen (heard) his performance yet. This was a pretty big deal; nearly every other person who lends their voice to the game was in the television show. I've often wondered if they would have thrown him a role in the show if he hadn't died -- everyone who worked with Andreas loved him, and had great things to say about this talent and professionalism; it's a real shame we never got to see the "24" team's gratitude pay off for him.
                          It would have paid off too. They're always running short of guys to play sinister.

                          I wish I had picked up that game now, as I gave myself every reason NOT to (most tie-ins games like this suck as a general rule). Maybe I can find it in a bargain bin somewhere.
                          Radhil Trebors
                          Persona Under Construction

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                          • #28
                            Radhil, I picked up my copy on half.com, and got a pretty good price.

                            John, no apologies necessary: 1) I tend to get a little passionate/overdramatic whenever we're discussing Andreas, and 2) I don't think the last few posts were your fault -- heck, you haven't had a post since the first page of this thread!

                            Amy

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by AmyG View Post
                              Radhil, I picked up my copy on half.com, and got a pretty good price.

                              John, no apologies necessary: 1) I tend to get a little passionate/overdramatic whenever we're discussing Andreas, and 2) I don't think the last few posts were your fault -- heck, you haven't had a post since the first page of this thread!

                              Amy
                              Thanks for understanding Amy. It's a bad habit of mine to apologize according to my friends. I tend to err on the side of caution if something I say may cause waves.

                              Also, I really love this board. I've only been here for about two weeks or so and the people here are just great! I love the way new people aren't chastised for bringing up what everyone else already knows. Other boards I got to, noobs are pounced on for doing that. I'm glad this one isn't that way.
                              Ranger Code

                              We walk in the places no others will enter.
                              We do not break away from combat.
                              We stand on the bridge and no one may pass.
                              We do not retreat whatever the reason.
                              We live for The One, we die for The One.

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                              • #30
                                We'll only pounce on a newbie if they happen to mention they're a masochist...

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