Thursday, November 10, 2022

Goodbye, Leslie Phillips

Leslie Phillips, who appeared in several of the "Carry On" comedies and took over for Sir Dirk Bogarde in the "Doctor" series of movies, died on November 7 2022 at the age of 98.

Leslie Phillips was born on April 20 1924 in Tottenham, Middlesex. His father died when he was ten years old and his family was forced to sell their house and move into an apartment. Money was short and the entire family had to work. Leslie Phillips had appeared in school plays and so his mother answered an ad for the the Italia Conti Academy. It was there he was given training in drama and dance. He was also taught to speak without his native Cockney accent.

He made his stage debut in 1937 in Peter Pan, starring Anna Neagle, at the London Palladium. He made his film debut in an uncredited role in Lassie from Lancashire in 1938. In the late Thirties he appeared in minor roles in the movies The Citadel (1938), Climbing High (1938), The Mikado (1939), The Four Feathers (1939), The Proud Valley (1940), and The Thief of Bagdad (1940).

In 1942 he was called up for service in the British Army. He became a lance-bombadier in the Royal Artillery and was later sent to officer training at Catterick. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in 1943. In 1944 he was declared unfit for duty due to a  a neurological condition that caused partial paralysis and was demobilized the same year.

He returned to film in 1943 in a bit part in Rhythm Serenade. In the late Forties he appeared in small roles in The Magic Bow (1946), Anna Karenina (1948), The Red Shoes (1948), Train of Events (1949), and The Woman with No Name (1950). He made his television debut in the production Morning Departure in 1948.

It was in 1959 that Leslie Phillips made his first appearance in a "Carry On" film, Carry On Nurse. In 1960 he took over for Sir Dirk Bogarde in the "Doctor" series with Doctor In Love. In the Fifties he appeared in the films Pool of London (1951), The Galloping Major (1951), The Sound Barrier (1952), Time Bomb (1953), The Fake (1953), The Limping Man (1953), You Know What Sailors Are (1954), As Long as They Are Happy (1955), Value for Money (1955), The Gamma People (1956), The Big Money (1956), The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1957), Brothers in Law (1957), The Smallest Show on Earth (1957), High Flight (1957), Les Girls (1957), Just My Luck (1957), I Was Monty's Double (1958), The Man Who Liked Funerals (1959), The Angry Hills (1959), Carry On Nurse (1959), Carry On Teacher (1959), The Other Eden (1959), The Night We Dropped a Clanger (1959), Ferdinando I° re di Napoli (1959), The Navy Lark (1959), Please Turn Over (1959), Carry On Constable (1960), Inn for Trouble (1960), Doctor in Love (1960), Watch Your Stars (1960), and No Kidding (1960). He starred on television in the series My Wife Jacqueline and Tracey and Me. He guest starred on the shows BBC Sunday-Night Theatre, ITV Television Playhouse, Adventure Theatre, The Errol Flynn Theatre, Wire Service, Hour of Mystery, O.S.S., The World Our Stage, Saturday Playhouse, The Invisible Man, The Vise, and The Adventures of Robin Hood.

In the Sixties Leslie Phillips appeared in the movies A Weekend with Lulu (1961), Very Important Person (1961), Raising the Wind (1961), In the Doghouse (1961), Crooks Anonymous (1962), The Longest Day (1962), The Fast Lady (1962), Father Came Too! (1964), You Must Be Joking! (1965), Doctor In Clover (1966), Maroc 7 (1967), Some Will, Some Won't (1970), and Doctor In Trouble (1970). In the Sixties he starred on the TV shows Our Man at St. Marks, Foreign Affairs, and Culture Vultures. He guest starred on the shows Comedy Playhouse, ITV Play of the Week, Blandings Castle, Armchair Theatre, Theatre Date, and Galton and Simpson Comedy.

In the Seventies Leslie Phillips appeared in the movies The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins (1973), Not Now Darling (1973), Don't Just Lie There, Say Something! (1974), Spanish Fly (1976), and Not Now, Comrade (1976). He starred in the TV series Casanova '73. He guest starred on the shows Father, Dear Father. He provided the voice of Mr. Tumnus in the American version of the TV adaptation of C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

In the Eighties he appeared in the movies Out of Africa (1985), Scandal (1989), and Mountains of the Moon (1990). He starred on television on the TV show Chancer. He guest starred on the shows Live from Pebble Hill, Mr. Palfrey of Westminster, Supergran, Rumpole of the Bailey, and The Comic Strip Presents... He appeared in the mini-series Monte Carlo and Summer's Lease.

In the Nineties Leslie Phillips appeared in the movies King Ralph (1991), Carry On Columbus (1992), August (1996), The Jackal (1997) and Saving Grace (2000). He starred on the shows Honey for Tea and  The House of Windsor. He appeared in the mini-series Love on a Branch and Take a Girl Like You. He guest starred on the shows Boon, Lovejoy, Performance, Screen One, Ruth Rendall Mysteries, Woof!, The Bill, Tales from the Crypt, Dennis the Menace, Liverpool I, Days Like This, and Dalziel and Pascoe.

In the Naughts Leslie Phillips was the voice of the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). He appeared in the movies Lara Craft: Tomb Raider (2001), Thunderpants (2002), Collusion (2003), Millions (2004), Churchill: the Hollywood Years (2004), Colour Me Kubrick: A True...ish Story (2005), Venus (2006), and Is Anybody There? (2008). He starred in the TV series Revolver. He guest starred on the shows Outside the Rules, Monarch of the Glen, Holby City, Midsomer Murders, Where the Heart Is, Heartbeat, Agatha Christie's Marple, The Catherine Tate Show, The Last Detective, and Harley Street.

In the Teens Leslie Phillips once more provided the voice of the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part-2 (2011). He appeared in the movies Late Bloomers (2011) and After Death (2012).

Leslie Phillips was an extraordinary talent. He was easily one of the funniest men to appear in British comedies of the Fifties and the Sixties. He was easily a highlight of the "Carry On" films and it was always enjoyable to hear his catchphrase, "Hellooo." What is more, he was a delight in other films as well, from Les Girls to King Ralph. He was well known for playing upper crust characters, everything from ministers to military officers to judges. And most of his characters had an eye for the ladies. Of course, he didn't just play comic roles. He was outstanding as a prisoner of war in Empire of the Sun. Younger viewers may know Leslie Phillips best as the Sorting Hat in the "Harry Potter" films, but he played a wide variety of roles in his long career.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Godspeed Andrew Prine

Andrew Prine, who appeared in such Western movies as Bandolero! (1968) and Chisum (1970), and starred on the short-lived Western TV series The Road West, died on October 21 2022 at the age of 86.

Andrew Prine was born on February 14 1936 in Jennings, Florida. He graduated from Miami Jackson High School and went to the University of Miami on a theatre scholarship. He dropped out of the University of Miami to move to New York City to pursue acting.

He made his film debut in an uncredited role in the movie To Hell and Back in 1955. He made his television debut in 1957 in an episode of The United States Steel Hour. In the late Fifties he guest starred on such shows as Deadline, Playhouse 90, Tombstone Territory, One Step Beyond, Overland Trail, Peter Gunn, Thriller, and CBS Repertoire Workshop. He appeared in the movie Kiss Her Goodbye (1959). He appeared on Broadway in Look Homeward, Angel and A Distant Bell.

In the Sixties Andrew Prine starred in the TV shows Wide Country and The Road West. He guest starred on the shows Play of the Week; The DuPont Show of the  Month; Have Gun--Will Travel; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; The Defenders; Alcoa Premiere; The New Breed; Ben Casey; Vacation Playhouse; Gunsmoke; The Lieutenant; The Great Adventure; Suspense; Profiles in Courage; Wagon Train; Combat!; Kraft Suspense Theatre; Bonanza; Dr. Kildare; The Virginian; Convoy; 12 O' Clock High; The Fugitive; Tarzan; The Invaders; Daniel Boone; Ironside; The Felony Squad; Love, American Style; Insight; Lancer; The Name of the Game; Matt Lincoln; The Most Deadly Game; and Dan August. He appeared in the movies The Miracle Worker (1962), Advance to the Rear (1964), Texas Across the River (1966), The Devil's Brigade (1968), Bandolero! (1968), Generation (1969), and Chisum  (1970).

In the Seventies Andrew Prine starred on the short-lived television series W.E.B. He guest starred on the shows The Courtship of Eddie's Father, The Wonderful World of Disney, The F.B.I., The Delphi Bureau, Kung Fu, Banacek, Hawkins, Barnaby Jones, Dr. Simon Locke, Cannon, Amy Prentiss, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Barnaby Coast, The Family Hovak, Gemini Man, Baretta, Quincy M.E., Hunter, The Bionic Woman, The Oregon Trail, Hawaii Five-O, CHiPs, The Littlest Hobo, Flying High, and One Day at a Time. He appeared in the movies Simon, King of the Witches (1971), Squares (1972), La tumba de la isla maldita (1973), One Little Indian (1973), Nightmare Circus (1973), The Centerfold Girls (1974), Rooster Cogburn (1975), The Winds of Autumn (1976), Grizzly (1976), The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976), The Evil (1978), and Abe Lincoln: Freedom Fighter (1978).

In the Eighties Andrew Prine appeared in the mini-series V and V: The Final Battle. He guest starred on the shows Darkroom; Hart to Hart; The Fall Guy; Boone; Trapper John, M.D.; Matt Houston; Cover Up; Crazy Like a Fox; Danger Bay; Buck James; The Law and Harry McGraw; Paradise; Dallas; Freddy's Nightmares; In the Heat of the Night; and Murder, She Wrote. He appeared in the movies Amityville II: The Possession (1982), They're Playing with Fire (1984), Eliminators (1986), and Chill Factor (1989).

In the Nineties he starred on the TV series Weird Science. He guest starred on the shows Parker Lewis Can't Lose; Matlock; FBI: The Untold Stories; Room for Two; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; Star Trek: The Next Generation; Married with Children; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; University Hospital; Pointman; Baywatch Nights; Melrose Place; Wing Commander Academy; Walker, Texas Ranger; Any Day Now; and JAG. He appeared in the movies Life on the Edge (1992), Gettysburg (1993), Deadly Exposure (1993), Wolfridge (1994), The Dark Dancer(1995), Without Evidence (1995), The Shadow Men (1997), Possums (1998), and The Boy With X-Ray Eyes (1999).

In the Naughts Andrew Prine guest starred on the TV shows Six Feet Under; CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Boston Legal; and Saving Grace. He appeared in the movies Critical Mass (2001), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Gods and General (2003), Glass Trap (2005), The Dukes of Hazzard (2005), Hell to Pay (2005), Daltry Calhoun (2006), Sutures (2009), and Treasure of the Black Jaguar (2010). In the Teens he appeared in the movies The Lords of Salem (2012) and Beyond the Farthest Star (2015).

Andrew Prine was an extremely talented actor capable of playing a number of different roles. Indeed, he appeared in everything from Westerns to sci-fii movies to horror movies to dramas. Over the years he gave several impressive performances. In Chisum he played the lawyer Alex McSween, a man of principles. In the exploitation movie Centerfold Girls, he played a psychotic killer. He also gave impressive performances on television as well. In the episode "Home is the Hunted" from the first season of The Fugitive, he played Dr. Richard Kimble's younger brother Ray, who had some doubts about his brother's innocence. In the Bonanza episode "Jonah," he played George Whitman, a man who is convinced he is bad luck for anyone around him. Andrew Prine could play a wide variety of roles in a wide variety of genres, and he always gave good performances.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Godspeed Leslie Jordan

Leslie Jordan, who starred on such shows as Reasonable Doubts, Hearts Afire, and Will & Grace, died on October 24 2022 at the age of 67. The cause was an automobile accident believed to been caused by a medical episode experienced by Mr. Jordan at the time.

Leslie Jordan was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on April 29 1955. His father was a major in the United States Air Force. He died when Leslie Jordan was eleven in a plane crash at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. He attended the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. He moved to Los Angeles in the early Eighties to pursue acting.

Leslie Jordan made his television debut in an episode of The Fall Guy in 1986. In the late Eighties he had a regular role on the short-lived show The People Next Door. He guest starred on the shows The Wizard, CBS Summer Playhouse, Nigh Court, Annie McGuire, Murphy Brown, Newhart, Midnight Caller, Sugar and Spice, Pee-Wee's Playhouse, and American Dreamer. He made his film debut in Moving in 1988. He appeared in the movies Frankenstein General Hospital (1988) and Ski Patrol (1990).

In the Nineties Leslie Jordan had regular roles on the shows Top of the Heap, Reasonable Doubts, Bodies of Evidence, and Hearts Afire. He guest starred on the shows Babes, Perfect Strangers, The New WKRP in Cincinnati, Getting By, Nurses, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Charlie Grace, Courthouse, Coach, Star Trek: Voyager, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Weird Science, Wings, The Pretender, Arli$$, Ellen, Dharma & Greg, Pacific Blue, Caroline in the City, Maximum Bob, Buddy Faro, Martial Law, The Strip, Any Day Now, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, FreakyLinks, and Nash Bridges. He appeared in the movies Mssing Pieces (1991), Hero (1992), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Black Velvet Pantsuit (1995), Eat Your Heart Out (1997), Goodbye Lover (1998), Sordid Lives (2000), Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel (2000), and John John in the Sky (2000).

In the Naughts Leslie Jordan had semi-regular or regular roles on Boston Public, Will & Grace, Boston Legal, Hidden Palms, Sordid Lives: The Series, and 12 Miles of Bad Road. He guest starred on the shows Ally McBeal, Son of the Beach, Judging Amy, Monk, Reba, George Lopez, Ugly Betty, Privileged, and Glen Martin DDS, He appeared in movies The Gristle (2001), Moving Alan (2003), Madhouse (2004), Undead or Alive: A Zombedy (2007), Eating Out: All You Can Eat (2009), and Love Ranch. He provided a voice for the animated movie Home on the Range (2004).

In the Teens Leslie Jordan had a recurring role on the revival of Will & Grace and had regular or semi-regular roles on DTLA, Con Man, Living the Dream, The Cool Kids, and American Horror Story. He guest starred on the shows Shake It Up, Desperate Housewives, The Game, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, The Neighbors, Raising Hope, The Exes, Supernatural, Baby Daddy, Partners, Benidorm, K.C. Undercover, Life in Pieces, Still the King, and Doggone It!, He appeared in the movies Magnus! (2011), The Help (2011), Southern Baptist Sissies (2013), Whoa! (2013), Lucky Dog (2015), Fear, Inc. (2016), and A Very Sordid Wedding (2017).

In the Twenties Leslie Jordan had a regular role on Call Me Kat. He guest starred on The Great North, Special, Fantasy Island, and The Book of Queer. He appeared in the movies The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) and Until We Meet Again (2022).

Leslie Jordan was a very talented actor with a true gift for comedy. He was hilarious as the eccentric Lonnie Garr on Hearts Afire. He was also impressive as socialite and Karen's frenemy Beverly Leslie on Will & Grace. He was a frequent guest star on many other shows, where his talent was also on display. On the Murphy Brown episode "Kyle," he played the title character, a wrongly imprisoned inmate

Knowing people who knew Leslie Jordan, I can also say that he was a very kind man. He just wanted to see people happy and bring a smile to their faces. He truly cared about his fellow human beings. During the pandemic he made humorous Instagram posts to keep people's spirits up. He later expanded to TikTok. Leslie Jordan wasn't just a talented actor, but he was also an entirely lovely human being.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Godspeed Ron Masak

Ron Masak, who played Sheriff Mort Metzger on Murder, She Wrote and guest starred on shows from The Monkees to Remington Steele, died on October 20 2022 at the age of 86.

Ron Masak was born on July 1 1936 in Chicago. He was 16 years old when he was scouted by baseball manager Rogers Hornsby, and the Chicago White Sox even offered him a contract for $8,500. He refused it. Ron Masak graduated from Kelly High School in Chicago. He attended Chicago Community College where he became interested in acting. Ron Masak served in the U.S. Army as a military policeman. While in the Army he also had a chance to display his talent as a performer.

Following his service, Ron Masak moved to Los Angeles and began appearing on television. He made his television debut in 1947 on an episode of The Spade Cooley Show. In the late Fifties he guest starred on the shows Police Station and The Twilight Zone.

In the Sixties Ron Masak guest starred on The Monkees, The Second Hundred Years, The Flying Nun, Premiere, Get Smart, The Good Guys, I Dream of Jeannie, Mayberry R.F.D., Nanny and the Professor, Arnie,. Bewitched, and Nancy. He made his movie debut in Ice Station Zebra in 1968. In the late Sixties he also appeared in the movies Second Effort (1968), Daddy Gone A-Hunting (1969), A Time for Dying (1969), and Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970).

In the Seventies Ron Masak starred on the short-lived TV series Love Thy Neighbor.  He also starred on the short-lived show The Law. He guest starred on the shows The Young Lawyers; Ironside; Marcus Welby, M.D.; The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Funny Face; McMillan & Wife; Insight; Mission: Impossible; Mannix; Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law; Longstreet; The Delphi Bureau; The Bob Newhart Show; Medical Center; Love, American Style; Good Times; Emergency!; Land of the Lost; Police Woman; Barney Miller; Good Heavens; Barnaby Jones; The Feather and Father Gang; The Rockford Files; Alice; Police Story; Wonder Woman; Supertrain; and Eischied. He appeared in the mini-series McNaughton's Daughter and Once an Eagle. He appeared in the movies Evel Knievel (1971), The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker (1971), The Man from Clover Grove (1974), Laserblast (1978), and Harper Valley P.T.A. (1978).

In the Eighties Ron Masak began playing Sheriff Mort Metzger. He first appeared in the show's fifth season and remained with it for the rest of its run. He guest starred on the shows Quincy, M.E.; Magnum, P.I.; Jessica Novack; Private Benjamin; Meatballs and Spaghetti; Goodnight, Beantown; The Yellow Rose; Masquerade; Jennifer Slept Here; E/R; The Fisher Family; Diff'rent Strokes; Falcon Crest; Remington Steele; New Love, American Style; Starman; The Law and Harry McGraw; Bustin' Loose; She's the Sheriff; and Webster. He was a guest voice on the animated shows The Real Ghost Busters and Superman. He appeared in the movies Heart Like a Wheel (1983) and Listen to Me (198\9).

In the Nineties he continued to appear on Murder, She Wrote. He guest starred on Columbo. He appeared in the movies Cops n Roberts (1995), No Code of Conduct (1998), and The Thundering 8th (2000). In the Naughts he guest starred on Cold Case. He appeared in the movies The Stoneman (2002) and The Benchwarmers (2006). In the Teens he guest starred on The Bold and Beautiful. He appeared in the movie My Trip Back to the Dark Side (2014), Angels on Tap (2018), and The Last Page of Summer (2020).

Ron Masak was a very prolific actor whose career lasted over 60 years. The reason was that he was simply very talented. I suspect he will always be best remembered as Sheriff Mort Metzger on Murder, She Wrote, but he played many others in his career. In the Monkees episode "Monstrous Monkees Mash" he played the Count, a vampire who wants to turn Davy into one as well. In the Get Smart episode "The Worst Best Man," he played "Tiger" Schlermer, a CONTROL agent whose cover is that of a professional boxer. While Ron Masak may have been best known for his comedic or humorous roles, he also appeared in dramas, including Mission: Impossible; Marcus Welby, M.D.; Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law; Ironside; and others. He was certainly versatile, and he always gave good performances.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

The Late Great Jules Bass

Director, producer, lyricist, and author Jules Bass died on October 25 2022 at the age of 87. He is best known for his work with Rankin/Bass Productions, the company he operated with Arthur Rankin, Jr., which produced such classic television specials as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and The Year Without a Santa Claus.

Jules Bass was born on September 16 1935 in Philadelphia. He attended New York University. After graduating from college, he worked in the advertising industry. Arthur Rankin, Jr. was operating his own graphic design firm, which did a good deal of work for the advertising agency at which Jules Bass worked. Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. soon became friends and set about founding a company that would utilize Arthur Rankin, Jr.'s knowledge of television and Jules Bass's knowledge of advertising. Together they founded Videocraft International on September 14 1960. It would renamed Rankin/Bass Productions in 1967.

The first work to emerge from Videocraft International was the TV show The Adventures of Pinocchio in 1960. It was produced using the stop motion technique called Animagic that would become forever associated with Rankin/Bass Productions. Videocraft International followed The Adventures of Pinochio with the TV series Tales of the Wizard of Oz, which utilized cel animation. It would be the year 1964 that would prove to be a breakthrough year for Videocraft International. First, they produced the TV special Return to Oz for NBC's anthology series General Electric Fantasy Hour. It used cel animation. Second, Videocraft International produced what would become the longest running Christmas special of all time, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which was produced using the Anamagic stop motion technique. Like Return to Oz, it originally aired as part of General Electric Fantasy Hour.

The success of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer not only led to more TV specials produced by Videocraft International, but also feature films, the first of which was Willy McBean and His Magic Machine (1965). Like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was made using Anamagic. Videocraft followed Willy McBean and His Magic Machine with The Daydreamer (1966), which was the first feature film directed by Jules Bass. The Daydreamer featured songs with lyrics by Jules Bass and music by Maury Laws. The Daydreamer was followed by Mad Monster Party? (1967), which was also directed by Jules Bass. Jules Bass and Maury Laws once more wrote the lyrics and music. The Wacky World of Mother Goose, also directed by Jules Bass, was released  same year as Mad Monster Party?.

While Mad Monster Party? would become a cult film, none of the feature films released by Rankin/Bass in the Sixties did well at the box office. Regardless, Rankin/Bass saw considerable success on television. With Toei Animation, Rankin/Bass produced the Saturday morning cartoon King Kong, which ran for three years on ABC. They produced the television specials Cricket on the Hearth , Mouse on the Mayflower, The Little Drummer Boy, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa Claus is Comin' To Town, each of which was co-directed by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass. Rankin/Bass also produced the syndicated TV series The Smokey Bear Show. With music by Maury Laws, Jules Bass wrote the lyrics for many of the songs in these specials, including The Cricket on the Heart, The Mouse on the Mayflower, and Santa Claus is Comin' to Town.

The Seventies saw Rankin/Bass produce more Saturday morning cartoons, and Jules Bass directed some of the episodes these included Jackson 5ive, The Osmonds, and Kid Power. They also continued to produce holiday specials, including Here Comes Peter Cottontail, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, The Year Without a Santa Claus, Frosty's Winter Wonderland, and others. Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. directed the specials, and the lyrics for many of the songs in the specials were written by Jules Bass with Maury Laws providing the music. Rankin/Bass also produced television movie adaptations of The Hobbit and Return of the King. Rankin/Bass produced a two part adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea that aired on the anthology series Festival of Family Classics. It was directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. Jules Bass served as a producer on the Japanese live-action film The Last Dinosaur (1977).

In the Eighties Rankin/Bass produced the feature film The Last Unicorn (1982), which was directed by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. They produced the TV specials The Leprechauns' Christmas Gold and The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus.  Rankin/Bass' last significant production would be the animated series Thundercats in 1985. Jules Bass stopped producing and directing films and television programs in 1987.

Following his work with Rankin/Bass, Jules Bass turned to writing books. He wrote the children's books Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon and Cooking with Herb. He also wrote the novel Headhunters.

There was perhaps no influential producer of American holiday television specials than Rankin/Bass Productions. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the longest running Christmas special of all time. Frosty the Snowman is the only Christmas special to have aired on the same network (CBS) since its debut. A good number of Rankin/Bass Productions' specials would air for years, and many are still seen to this day. For that matter, the feature films Mad Monster Party? and The Last Unicorn have become cult films since their initial release.

Of course, Jules Bass not only directed many of the specials and feature films with Arthur Rankin, Jr., he also wrote the lyrics for many of the songs in the specials, with Maury Laws providing the music. Many of the songs were particularly memorable, and are probably responsible for much of the success of the specials. Indeed, the "Snow Miser & Heat Miser Song" from A Year Without a Santa Claus has even taken on a life of its own. Indeed, music artists have covered it multiple times. As a director, producer, and lyricist Jules Bass leaves behind an impressive legacy.