DCS: fyvush finkel

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Philip Finkel was born in in Brooklyn in 1922. Using the Yiddish name “Fyvush” he made his stage debut at nine-years-old in New York’s thriving Yiddish theater. He performed all types of roles, including stand-up comedy.

In 1964, he made his Broadway debut in Fiddler on the Roof. He stayed with the show for many performances, playing several roles along the way. He eventually took the lead of “Tevye” in a national touring company. Later, he took over the role of ” Mr. Mushnik” in Little Shop of Horrors. He continued to work with the Jewish theater while simultaneously taking roles on TV dramas and comedies. In 1992, he was cast as public defender Douglas Wambaugh in the television series Picket Fences. He won an Emmy for the role, saying at the televised ceremony, “I’ve waited 51 years for this moment.” Producer David E. Kelley cast him again in Boston Public as crotchety history teacher “Harvey Lipschultz.” Fyvush even found time to lend his voice to episodes of The Simpsons and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. He appeared in a number of theatrical films including Nixon, Brighton Beach Memoirs and A Serious Man.

After a long and celebrated career, including a stage production chronicling that career,  Fyvush Finkel passed away at 93.

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DCS: raquel torres

Oh, for heaven's sake, whatever you do, don't make a sound! If you found, you lost!

Paula Osterman, a Mexican-born beauty, made her motion picture debut in the 1928 silent film White Shadows of the South Seas. She used the more exotic-sounding stage name “Raquel Torres” to match her exotic looks. The picture was the first entry into fully synchronized sound effects and music for MGM Studios. She followed that role with a series of appearances in films playing mostly bathing beauties and exotic temptresses of indeterminable ethnicity.

Raquel’s most famous role was that of the deceitful Vera Marcal, in The Marx Brothers 1933 classic Duck Soup. Working alongside the scheming Ambassador Trentino (as portrayed by a young Louis Calhern), she prompted Groucho to deliver the line “I could dance with you until the cows came home. On second thought, I’d rather dance with the cows until you came home.”

In 1935, Raquel promptly retired from acting after her marriage to businessman Stephen Ames, despite his Hollywood connections. The couple remained married until Ames’ death in 1955. Four years later, she wed actor Jon Hall, a union that ended in divorce after a few years.

Out of the spotlight for nearly 50 years, Raquel found herself front and center in 1985 when a Malibu, California fire swept burning embers onto the roof of her home in nearby Las Flores Canyon. Her home was destroyed, but Raquel escaped unharmed.

Two years later, 78-year old Raquel passed away from a heart attack. Her death warranted a five sentence obituary in the Los Angeles Times.

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DCS: youree harris

operators are standing by

Youree Harris was born in Los Angeles. She attended an all-girls boarding school and was married and divorced with two children by the time she was in her middle 20s.

An aspiring actress, Youree opened a theatrical production company in Seattle. Her first production was an autobiographical play. A year later, after her production of Supper Club Cafe was a flop, she left town with a string of debts and unpaid actors behind her. She told her cast, in individual letters, that medical costs stemming from bone cancer treatment, prevented her from issuing their pay. She let everyone know how much she owed, but never made good.

In the late 90s, Youree began working for entrepreneurs Steven Feder and Peter Stotz in their new venture The Psychic Readers Network. On a series of low-budget commercials, Youree portrayed mystical, Jamaican-born “Miss Cleo,” a supposed shaman and psychic, soliciting pay-per-call psychic readings. The Psychic Readers Network began to receive complaints, allegations of deception and eventual lawsuits. The FCC charged the company with deceptive advertising, billing, and collection practices, but Youree, merely an employee, was not indicted.

Youree bounced around various “projects,’ using an array of different names including LaShawnda Williams, Corvette Mama, Elenore St. Julian, Desiree Canterlaw, Janet Snyder, Maria Delcampo, Christina Garcia, Cleomili Harris, Youree Perris. She landed a voice-over job for the popular video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and even wrote a book on spiritualism. In 2015, she appeared, in character, in a commercial for General Mills promoting the cereal French Toast Crunch. The Psychic Readers Network called foul, saying that it owned the character of “Miss Cleo,” and the advertisements were pulled.

Out of the spotlight for almost a year, Youree passed away from metastatic colon cancer at the age of 53. She never saw it coming.

 

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DCS: patricia blair

 And I assure you that if you take one more step you'll be harmed very much indeed.

Teenage Patsy Lou Blake did some modeling in her hometown of Dallas, Texas for the Conover Agency. She was spotted by a scout from Warner Brothers Pictures and, soon young Pasty, now using the more sophisticated-sounding name “Patricia Blair,” was cast in the war drama Jump Into Hell in 1955. She had roles in several more films until she landed a small regular role in the TV western Yancy Derringer starring Jock Mahoney. Patricia played “Goldy,” one of the hostesses at Madame Francine gambling club. Later, Patricia appeared in 22 episodes of the popular Western The Rifleman as feisty hotel owner “Lou Mallory,” a potential love interest for series star Chuck Connors. In her debut episode, she duped a group of local farmers out of their land with insider knowledge of a railroad coming into the town of North Fork. Patricia made guest appearances in several episodic television shows, including Perry Mason, The Bob Cummings Show, The Virginian and Bonanza.

In the early 60s, Patricia planned on moving to New York, when screenwriter Gordon Chase helped her get the female lead in the series Daniel Boone. She starred opposite Fess Parker as “Rebecca Boone,” Daniel’s wife and mother to son Israel and daughter Jemima. When the series ended in 1970, Patricia made a handful of guest shots on various TV dramas and until she bid farewell to her show business career.

In the 70s, she began a lucrative and fulfilling second career producing corporate trade shows in New York and New Jersey. She happily stayed out of the spotlight until her death in 2013 at the age of 80.

But there is another part of the story….

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DCS: inge landgut

Just you wait, it won't be long. The man in black will soon be here. With his cleaver's blade so true. He'll make mincemeat out of YOU!

By the time Inge Landgut was cast by Fritz Lang in the 1931 classic M, she was already known in her native Germany, as “The German Shirley Temple.” Inge played Elsie Beckmann, a victim of child murderer Hans Beckert, as played by Peter Lorre. The film was a hit and Inge continued her career well into adulthood. She, however, took a different show business path and became an in-demand voice-over actress. In addition to works produced in Germany, Inge often was the German voice for American actresses for film’s overseas releases. In her career, she provided the German dialogue for Shelley Winters, Hermione Baddeley, and Lois Maxwell (“Miss Moneypenny” in the James Bond film series). On German television, she voiced Barbara Bel Geddes’ “Miss Ellie” on Dallas and she was the long-time voice of “Wilma Flintstone.”

Inge remained active until her death in West Berlin in 1986 at the age of 63.

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