One of this writer’s favourite films is the movie rendition of Mark Twain’s fun time travelling tale A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949) starring Bing Crosby and Rhonda Fleming – a movie which, by the way, (spoiler alert) has a solar eclipse as a key part of the plot. As such, it is sad to report that Rhonda Fleming has passed away at the age of 97. As an actress she made about 40 movies – mainly in the 1940s and 1950s – including the Alfred Hitchcock directed Spellbound (1945). We salute Ms Fleming and give our condolences to her family and friends.
We also say goodbye to bosomy actress and model Margaret Nolan, 76, who has been described by modern day film director Edgar Wright as being “in the middle of the Venn diagram of everything cool in the 60’s; having appeared with the Beatles, been beyond iconic in Bond and been part of the Carry On cast too.”
Nolan had a small part in the James Bond spy movie classic Goldfinger (1964) and also appeared on its title sequence with her body sprayed in gold. Nolan also appeared with the world famous pop group The Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night (1963) and various Carry On film comedies including Carry on Henry (1970). In that, while playing a buxom country maid in the process of succumbing to Sid James’ lecherous King Henry VIII, she has the amusing line (said behind closed doors): “Oooh aren’t your hands rough!” To which he amusingly replies: “Eh? Oh – hang on while I take my gauntlets off.”
Apart from a few roles, Margaret Nolan mainly gave up acting and late in life became a visual artist.
We salute Margaret Nolan for all her work and give our condolences to her family and friends.
Eddie Van Halen does not have a space connection, save to note that his music does briefly appear in Brian de Palma’s movie Mission to Mars (2000). Nevertheless, this gifted musician deserves a mention not least for his time as front man and lead guitarist of the seminal rocket band Van Halen. He has passed away at the age of 65. We give our salute to him and our condolences to his family and friends.
And finally for those UK readers, we note the passing of TV broadcaster Frank Bough, 87, who was the mainstay of the BBC’s Sports presentation for most of the 1970s and 1980s as he fronted “Grandstand”. He later became a presenter on the BBC’s new morning television show and occasionally presented on the BBC Holiday Programme. Bough’s BBC TV career came a cropper when his “clean living uncle” image was destroyed by surprise newspaper revelations of his drug use and his use of prostitutes. It was a fact that surprised the nation – and yet not some of his colleagues – especially the female ones. We give our condolences to his family and friends.
While Bough’s popularity was not universal, we also note the passing of comedian and comedy actor Bobby Ball at the age of 76, who was a very well liked man. He died from breathing difficulties after a Covid-19 infection. Ball started with Tommy Cannon as part of the double act Cannon and Ball who peaked in popularity during the 1980s. Ball later became an accomplished comedy sitcom star. Apart from his talent, Bobbly Ball was regarded as a kind man even before he turned to Christianity at the peak of his career. We give our condolences to his family and friends.
Stop Press: We also give our condolences to the family and friends of Manchester United and England footballer Nobby Stiles who has died at the age of 78. Stiles was one of the England team which won the World Cup in 1966 and was again a very well liked man.