October 25th has been a momentous day for Prince Sirki. On this date (in four separate years), he called upon a beloved character actor, a master actor of the stage and screen (who even had a hit record), and TWO icons – one of horror films, and the other the father of an entire culture.
He faced off against THE CRAWLING EYE, THE COSMIC MONSTERS and THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN OF THE HIMALAYAS. He was an ORIGINAL Ghost Buster. His most famous role is undoubtedly that of Sgt. Morgan O’Roarke, the slick con-man & entrepreneur of the beloved 60’s comedy F-TROOP. I speak of course of Forrest Tucker. Before he went to Fort Courage, Tucker made the above named trio of British-produced sci-fi films. In the 1970s he re-teamed with F-Troop co-star Larry Storch (who played O’Roarke’s sidekick/lackey Corp. Randolph Agarn) in Filmation’s live-action Saturday morning series THE GHOST BUSTERS.
He played King Arthur in the film version of the musical, CAMELOT (1967). Years later, he’d play the part on Broadway and in a national touring company. He fought against ORCA, THE KILLER WHALE (1977). He endured unspeakable torture to become THE MAN CALLED HORSE (1970). He gained renewed fame with a new, younger audience portraying Albus Dumbledore in the first two HARRY POTTER films. In CROMWELL (1970), in the title role as the self-appointed Lord Protector of England. He was the teacher of THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO (2002) and the Emperor Aurelius in GLADIATOR (2000). He even had a song that reached #2 on Billboard’s US chart with MacArthur Park in 1968. I can only be speaking of Richard Harris.
“Space…the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise….” With these words, we were introduced on September 8, 1966 to the TV series STAR TREK, which would go on to be a cultural phenomenon and a multi-billion dollar franchise. It was the brainchild of a screenwriter who was charged with creating an ‘outer-space version of Wagon Train‘ by NBC. Gene Roddenberry will always be remembered as the creator of a culture. His ashes were shot into space, as part of his final wishes.
Last, and by all means, not least is a man described by all who knew him as a quiet, soft spoken man; a gourmet chef & gentleman. Yet he portrayed some of the most diabolically evil & twisted individuals on film. His parts ranged from good men driven mad enough to kill to out and out sadistic fiends to the occasional heroic scientist to villains created in the fertile mind of Edgar Alan Poe. Be it in a Shakespearean classic or a b-level science-fiction thriller, Vincent Price was a favorite of many fans of many ages and an icon of the horror film. Like so many actors in the 1960s he even did a few turns on BATMAN, as the villainous Egghead who’d use egg puns in an ‘egg-xhausting’ manner. He was very public in his affection for playing the part. He even found immortality alongside Michael Jackson, doing the ‘rap’ portion of the King of Pop’s classic hit, THRILLER. Kids of the 80s might remember him, as well, for being the voice of Vincent Van Ghoul in the single season cartoon series, THE 13 GHOSTS OF SCOOBY DOO. He could handle comedy quite well, as is evident in the two DR. GOLDFOOT films, as well as the comedy-horror films THE RAVEN (1963) and THE COMEDY OF TERRORS (1963). His final role was that of the inventor/father of EDWARD SCISSORHANDS.