Sunday, May 21, 2017
KILMER HEADS BACK TO TOMBSTONE, INSP SALUTES DUKE, HIGH CHAPARRAL COMES TO BURBANK, AND MORE!
VAL KILMER TO RETURN TO TOMBSTONE AS DOC HOLLIDAY IN AUGUST!
Iconic is a word used way too loosely, but if Val Kilmer’s portrayal of Doc Holliday in 1993’s TOMBSTONE is not iconic, I don’t know what performance is. This August 12th & 13th, Val Kilmer will be in Tombstone, Arizona for ‘Doc Holli-Days’, a celebration planned by Sherry and Kevin Rudd. The couple, who run the Tombstone Mustachery, a barber shop with an emphasis on facial hair, met the actor at a performance of CINEMA TWAIN, Kilmer’s multi-media performance as Samuel Clemens. They told him what they’re planning, and Kilmer just announced on Facebook that he’s attending. Stand by for details! And while you wait, here’s a clip of Kilmer as Twain.
And just to be clear, when I say Val Kilmer is returning to Tombstone, I don’t know that he was ever actually in the hamlet of Tombstone before. The movie TOMBSTONE was filmed nearby, just outside of Tucson, in the Western movie town of Old Tombstone, and the associated Western movie town of Mescal.
INSP ‘SALUTES THE DUKE’ FOR HIS BIRTHDAY MONTH OF MAY
John Wayne was born May 26th, 1907, and to celebrate the Western icon’s birthday, INSP is featuring his movies every weekend this month. Not that this is exactly a new idea at INSP. As Senior VP of Programming Doug Butts has observed, “Western movies are the preferred choice of our viewers. In the first quarter alone, we had more than 32 million viewers tune in to watch Westerns on INSP. INSP has quickly become the go-to network on weekends for Western programming, and we are excited about being able to feature so many great John Wayne movies. We know they will resonate well with our audience.” Sunday, May 21st, at 2 pm Western Time, INSP will show John Wayne in THE WAR WAGON (1967) co-starring Kirk Douglas, directed by Burt Kennedy, scripted by Clair Huffaker from his own novel about an armored stagecoach full of gold. At 7 pm it’s the John Ford classic SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON. WAR WAGON repeats at 9 p.m.
‘HIGH CHAPARRAL’ 50TH ANNI CELEBRATION IN BURBANK SEPT. 14-16
For several years, HIGH CHAPARRAL events have been held in Old Tucson, where the series exteriors were shot. This September, a special celebration marking the 50th Anniversary of the classic Western series will be held in Los Angeles, this time under the auspices of Kent and Susan McCray. Kent was the production manager on HIGH CHAPARRAL, as well as BONANZA. He later partnered with Michael Landon and produced LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN, and some BONANZA movies. Susan, whose Oscar-winning father Harry Sukman composed for HIGH CHAPARRAL and BONANZA, worked in casting on BONANZA, HIGH CHAPARRAL, and all of the Michael Landon series.
Susan told me that among the series regulars attending would be Henry Darrow (Manolito Montoya), Don Collier (Sam Butler), Rudy Ramos (Wind), and Marie Gomez (Pearlita Flores). Several guest stars will also be attending, including Buck Taylor – the GUNSMOKE star featured recently in HELL OR HIGH WATER, Bo Svenson, Geoffrey Duel. When we spoke, Susan was excited to have just received confirmation from Yaphet Kotto, currently in the Philippines, that he will be attending as well. His guest episode, BUFFALO SOLDIERS, is one of the most popular episodes in the series. I recently wrote an article for TRUE WEST MAGAZINE about the history of Buffalo Soldiers in film and on TV – you can read it HERE. I’ll be keeping you updated as the date gets closer. You can go to the website on the poster to learn more, and to buy tickets!
Yaphett Koto and Cameron Mitchell
RADIO WESTERN ‘POWDER BURNS’ RETURNS FOR SEASON 2 WITH ED ASNER!
David Gregory’s POWDER BURNS, the new dramatic Western radio series, is returning for a second season with special guest star Ed Asner! This is the second remarkable casting coupe’ for writer and star Gregory. In season one, Robert Vaughn, the last of the Magnificent 7, guested, in one of his final performances, before dying this past November.
The premise of POWDER BURNS, is that a man (John Wesley Shipp) comes back from the Civil War largely unscathed, is reelected sheriff, and just before his term is to end, a freak hunting accident blinds him and kills his son. With the help of deputies, he plans to finish his term, and find out what really happened. You can read my 2015 interview with David Gregory here. Rather than a traditional ‘over the air’ broadcast, POWDER BURNS is an internet radio show. While episodes of the new season have not yet been posted, click Episode One, Season One to hear the story from the beginning. Links to the next episode will follow.
ONE MORE THING…
We must, before closing, note the passing of two very fine acting talents. Michael Parks, who died on May 9th at the age of 77, started his screen career with a pair of appearances on ZANE GREY THEATRE in 1960 and 1961, and made his first big splash as the lead in the series THEN CAME BRONSON (1969-1970), as a loner drifting across the country on his Harley, meeting people and having adventures ala ROUTE 66. He was on his way to stardom. But then his growing reputation as a difficult actor, combined with his endorsement of George Wallace for President in 1972, put him on a blacklist, and he worked only in small supporting roles for a couple of decades. I met him in 1979, at Warner Ranch, when he was guesting on FANTASY ISLAND. I tossed a football around with him and his son. He could not have been a more regular guy. But he was also a wonderful actor. Happily, directors like David Lynch, then Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith and Robert Rodriguez saw the great, overlooked talent there, and in the 21st century his career took off once more. Among his Westerns were THE LAST HARD MEN, STRANGER ON THE RUN, GORE VIDAL’S BILLY THE KID, THE RETURN OF JOSEY WALES – which he also directed, FROM DUSK TO DAWN – THE HANGMAN’S DAUGHTER, THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, and DJANGO UNCHAINED.
Powers Boothe, who died at the age of 68 on May 14th, 2017, went from Texas to Broadway to Hollywood, and created an indelible impression with his portrayal of Curly Bill Brocius in 1993’s TOMBSTONE. He didn’t have to do anything else to be unforgettable, but he did it anyway, when he took on the role of Cy Tolliver in DEADWOOD. His wonderfully deep and cynical voice made him a top choice for comic-book villains as well.
…AND THAT’S A WRAP!
Have a great week, and a great Memorial Day, and don’t forget that it’s not an arbitrary three-day holiday, but a time to remember the people who gave up their lives for our freedom.
All Original Contents Copyright May 2017 by Henry C. Parke – All Rights Reserved