Remembering Gary Epper, born December 31, 1944 and passed away December 1, 2007.
Gary Alan Epper was an American stunt performer, coordinator and occasional actor. Part of a major stunt family dynasty in Hollywood, he was the son of John Epper, the brother of fellow Star Trek stuntmen Tony Epper and Andy Epper and stuntwoman Jeannie Epper. His family traces its lineage back to “a colonel in Napoleon’s army” and his great-grandson, a multi-lingual Swiss who eventually lived in California where he began the family tradition in stunt work and the tradition has passed down from each generation.
He worked on some of the most successful Hollywood blockbuster films and television series of all time, including Lassie, Hawaii Five-O, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Magnum Force, Starsky and Hutch, Charlie’s Angels, Blade Runner, Scarface, Top Gun, The Untouchables, Rambo III, Lethal Weapon 2, The Hunt for Red October, Days of Thunder, Die Hard 2, Basic Instinct, Jurassic Park, Demolition Man, Speed, L.A. Confidential, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Armageddon and Wild Wild West.
As an actor, he is probably best known for playing the assimilated borg Ensign Lynch in Star Trek: First Contact.
Happy birthday Geoff Meed, born December 31, 1969.
Geoffrey “Geoff” Andrew Meed is an actor who played Dee’Ahn in his real form in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Two Days and Two Nights”. He also voiced Crewman Tom Odell and a Malon in the 2000 video game Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force.
Happy birthday Vernon George Wells, born December 31, 1945.
Vernon George Wells is an Australian character actor. He began appearing on Australian television shows in the mid-1970’s, such as Homicide and Matlock Police and All the Rivers Run. He is best known to international audiences for his role of Wez in the 1981 science fiction action film Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Bennett in the military action film Commando.
After Mad Max 2, Wells began appearing in Hollywood films, such as science fiction comedies Weird Science (1985) and Innerspace (1987). In the 2000’s, Wells acted in the television series Power Rangers Time Force portraying the series’ main villain Ransik.
Happy birthday Ben Kingsley, born December 31, 1943.
Ben Kingsley (born Krishna Pandit Bhanji) is an English actor. Throughout his career spanning over five decades, he has garnered numerous awards and nominations, including a Grammy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA Award, and an Academy Award from four nominations.
In film, Kingsley is best known for his starring role as Mohandas Gandhi in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982), for which he subsequently won the Academy Award for Best Actor and BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He also appeared as Itzhak Stern in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993), receiving a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Subsequent roles have included Twelfth Night (1996), Sexy Beast (2000), House of Sand and Fog (2003), Thunderbirds (2004), Lucky Number Slevin (2006), Shutter Island (2010), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010), Hugo (2011), The Dictator (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013) and Ender’s Game (2013). He has also voiced Archibald Snatcher in The Boxtrolls (2014), and Bagheera in the live action adaptation of Disney’s The Jungle Book (2016).
Remembering John Denver, born December 31, 1943 and passed away October 12, 1997.
Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, activist, and humanitarian, whose greatest commercial success was as a solo singer. After traveling and living in numerous locations while growing up in his military family, Denver began his music career with folk music groups during the late 1960’s. Starting in the 1970’s, he was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the decade and one of its best-selling artists. By 1974, he was one of America’s best-selling performers.
Denver recorded and released approximately 300 songs, about 200 of which he composed. He had 33 albums and singles that were certified Gold and Platinum in the U.S by RIAA certification with estimated sales of more than 33 million units. He recorded and performed primarily with an acoustic guitar and sang about his joy in nature, his disdain for city life, his enthusiasm for music, and his relationship trials. Denver’s music appeared on a variety of charts, including country music, the Billboard Hot 100, and adult contemporary, in all earning 12 gold and four platinum albums with his signature songs “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, “Annie’s Song”, “Rocky Mountain High”, “Calypso”, “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”, and “Sunshine on My Shoulders”.
Denver appeared in several films and television specials during the 1970’s and 1980’s. He continued to record in the 1990’s, also focusing on environmental issues as well as lending vocal support to space exploration and testifying in front of Congress in protest against censorship in music. He lived in Aspen for much of his life where he was known for his love of Colorado. In 1974, Denver was named poet laureate of the state. The Colorado state legislature also adopted “Rocky Mountain High” as one of its two state songs in 2007.
An avid pilot, Denver died at the age of 53 in a single-fatality crash while piloting his recently purchased light plane.
Remembering Donna Summer, born December 31, 1948 and passed away May 17, 2012.
LaDonna Adrian Gaines widely known by her stage name based on her married name Donna Summer, was an American singer, songwriter and actress. She gained prominence during the disco era of the 1970’s and became known as the “Queen of Disco”, while her music gained a global following.
Remembering David Froman, born December 31, 1938 and passed away February 8, 2010.
Froman appeared on 56 episodes of Matlock from 1986 to 1994 as Lt. Bob Brooks. He also appeared on several other television shows of the 1980s and 1990s, such as Hill Street Blues, Trapper John, M.D., 21 Jump Street, Cheers and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he played Captain K’Nera in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Froman was also well known for his role of both Gunther Wagner, Schuyler Whitney’s faithful servant, and also his twin brother, Bruno on series The Edge of Night. As Bruno, he first appeared from 1980 to 1981 and assumed Gunther’s identity. He was murdered on the show a year later. The real Gunther was brought back in the show’s final years from 1982 to 1984. Gunther was featured until the end of the show acting as Sky Whitney’s chauffeur. He shared a two-year flirtation with Mitzi Martin and eventually kissed her for the first time in the show’s final telecast.
In 1986, he appeared in the TV film Blind Justice, starring Tim Matheson.