Sunday, November 1, 2009

Actors Lou Jacobi and Collin Wilcox Pass On

Lou Jacobi

Character actor Lou Jacobi, passed on October 23 at the age of 95. He appeared on Broadway and in movies ranging from Irma la Douce to My Favourite Year.

Lou Jacobi was born Louis Jacobovitch  on December 28, 1913 in Toronto. He started acting at a young age, appearing in The Rabbi and the Priest in a Toronto theatre in 1924, playing a violin prodigy. As an adult he worked as the drama director of the Toronto YMHA, a social director at a summer resort, a stand up comedian, and as entertainment at such functions as bachelor parties and weddings. Jacobi went to London where he appeared in American musicals Guys and Dolls and Pal Joey. In 1952 he was even part of a comand performance at the London Palladium.

Jacobi made his film debut in the 1953 British film Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary. He made his television debut in an episode of Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Presents in 1953. It was in 1955 that he made his debut on Broadway, playing Mr. Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank. He would repeat the role in the 1959 movie adaptation of the film. In 1959 he appeared on Broadway in the play The Tenth Man.

Jacobi remained busy in the Sixties. On film he appeared in Irma la Douce, The Last of the Secret Agents, and Penolope. On television he guest starred on The Defenders, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and That Girl.  On Broadway he appeared in Come Blow Your Horn, Fade Out--Fade In, and Don't Drink the Water. In the Seventies he appeared in the movies Cotton Comes to Harlem, Next Stop, Greenwich Village, Roseland, and The Magician of Lublin. On television he was the lead on the TV show Ivan the Terrible in the summer of 1976. He also guest starred on The Dean Martin Show, The Courtship of Eddie's Father, Love American Style, Barney Miller, and Sanford and Son. On Broadway he appeared in Norman is That You, Unlikely Heroes, The Sunshine Boys, and Cheaters.

In the Eighties he appeared in the films Chu Chu and the Philly Flash, My Favourite Year, Isaac Littlefeathers, and The Boss' Wife. He was a regular on the 1986 series Melba, and guest starred on Too Close for Comfort, St. Elsewhere, and L.A. Law. It was in the Nineties that he made his last film appearances, in I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore and I.Q.

Lou Jacobi was a versatile actor who was capable of playing many roles. He could play a  genius, like Albert Einstein's friend Kurt Gödel in I.Q. or someone less than honourable like Mr. Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank. In his career he played comedic ethnic characters and dramatic roles with equal ease. Quite simply, he was one of the best characters of the latter part of the Twentieth Century.

Collin Wilcox

Collin Wilcox, best known for playing Mayella Violet in To Kill a Mockingbird, passed on October 14 at the age of 74. The cause was brain cancer.

Collin Wilcox was born Cincinnati on February 4, 1935. While she was still a baby her family moved to Highlands, North Carolina. Her parents were two of the founders of he Highlands Community Theatre. It was there that she made her debut when she was still a child. She attended the University of Tennessee and later moved to Chicago where she studied at the Goodman School of Drama. In Chicago she was part of the Compass Players, which included Mike Nichols and Elaine May. In 1957 she moved to New York City, where she studied with the Actor's Studio.

Collin Wilcox made her debut on Broadway in The Day the Money Stopped in 1958. That same year she made her television debut on The DuPont Show of the Month. She made guest appearances on Brenner, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Untouchables, and The Eleventh Hour. She appeared on Broadway in Look We've Come Through in 1961 and Strange Interlude in 1963. It was in 1962 that she appeared in To Kill a Mockingbird.  Despite her prominent role in To Kill a Mockingbird, most of Wilcox's career would be spent in television. Throughout the Sixties she guest starred on Temple Houston, Route 66, The Twilight Zone, Ben Casey, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Defenders, Run For Your Life, The Fugitive, and The Virginian. She appeared in the movie The Name of the Game is Kill.

In 1970 she appeared in the films Catch 22, The Revolutionary, and The Baby Maker. In the Seventies she guest starred on The Waltons, Gunsmoke, The Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, Columbo, The Manhunter, Quincy M.E., and Little House on the Prairie. She appeared in the films September 30, 1955, A Rainy Day, and Jaws 2. In 1977 she moved back to Highlands with her husband Scott Paxton. Together they founded the Highlands Studio for the Arts. In the last years of her career she appeared in the movies Fluke, The Journey of August King, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and A Twist of Fate. She was a regular on the TV show Christy as Swannie O'Teale.

Collin Willcox was a talented actress who was not afraid to play roles that were not always glamourous. She was superb as  Mayella Violet, the girl who falsely accused a black man, in To Kill a Mockingbird. On her guest appearance on The Waltons she played an Aimee Semple McPherson style evangelist. She was a talented actress who could play a variety of roles with ease.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Lou Jacobi was also in "Amazon Women on the Moon"!