Sunday 29 December 2013

1977, Deaths: Patricia Haines

On February 25 1977, Patricia Haines died from lung cancer at the age of 45. She was survived by her husband actor Bernard Kay whom she married in 1963.

Patricia Haines was was born on 3 February 1932 in Sheffield, Yorkshire. She is best known for her television work including “Dixon of Dock Green”, “Steptoe and Son”, “The Avengers” (she appeared in three episodes: “The Nutshell”, “The Master Minds” and “Who's Who?”), “Danger Man”, “Public Eye”, “The Baron”, “Softly, Softly”, “Adam Adamant Lives!”, “The Champions”, “The Saint”, “Department S”, “Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)”, “Up Pompeii!”, “Emmerdale Farm”, “Special Branch”, “The Protectors” and “Within These Walls”.
Patricia Haines with Steve Forrest, Nosher Powell and
Artro Morris in "The Baron: Epitaph for a Hero".
She was the first wife of actor Michael Caine. They were married from 1955 to 1962 and had a daughter, Dominique.
Patricia Haines with Diana Rigg in "The Avengers: Who's Who?"

Thursday 26 December 2013

1976, Television: “Star Maidens”

The British-German SF series “Star Maidens” (German Title: “Die Mädchen aus dem Weltraum”) premieres on ITV on 1 September 1976. The television series was made for ITV and ARD by Portman Productions in association with Jost Graf von Hardenberg & Co., Scottish Television Enterprises and Werbung im Rundfunk GmbH (WiR). The thirteen episodes were written by Eric Paice and Jost von Hardenberg. The theme music was composed by Berry Lipman.

The planet Medusa drifts after a collision with a comet into Earth's solar system and is detected by some Earth scientists. The frozen surface of Medusa is inhabitable and the people are now living in a technical advanced underground city. Medusa is ruled by the women, who consider men as mentally inferior. The men are divided into two categories: the "adequately intelligent" who work as domestics, and the remainder who perform labor under the supervision of female guards. When two male domestics escape to Earth they are pursued by the Medusan security forces. The Medusans fail to re-capture them so they bring two human hostages to Medusa...
Judy Geeson
Lisa Harrow (right)
Christiane Krüger
Christiane Krüger (middle) and Lisa Harrow (right)
Main Cast
  • Lisa Harrow as Liz
  • Christian Quadflieg as Rudi
  • Christiane Krüger as Octavia
  • Judy Geeson as Fulvia
  • Gareth Thomas as Shem
  • Pierre Brice as Adam
  • Derek Farr as Evans
  • Dawn Addams as Clara
  • Annette Lynton as Clara's Assistant
  • Ursula Mellin as Andrea
  • Ann Maj-Brit as Octavia's Assistant
  • Ronald Hines as Stanley

Opening Credits

Tuesday 17 December 2013

1975, Film: “Le vieux fusil”

The French/German film “Le vieux fusil” (English: “The Old Gun”) is released in France on 22 August 1975. The film, directed by Robert Enrico, music by François de Roubaix, and starring Philippe Noiret, Romy Schneider and Jean Bouise, is based on the Massacre of Oradour-sur-Glane in 1944. On 10 June 1944, 642 inhabitants including 205 children of Oradour-sur-Glane were murdered by a German battalion.
The film won the 1976 César Award for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Music, and was nominated for best director, supporting actor, writing, cinematography, editing and sound.

1944, Julien Dandieu (Philippe Noiret) is a surgeon in the local hospital of Montauban. When the German army enters Montauban, Dandieu asks his friend François (Jean Bouise) to drive his wife Clara (Romy Schneider) and his daughter Florence (Catherine Delaporte) to a village in the country where he owns a castle. Later that week Dandieu sets off to meet his family, but meanwhile the Germans have occupied the village. He discovers that all the local people have been killed and that his daughter was shot and his wife burned to death by a German flame-thrower. Dandieu decides to kill as many Germans as possible to avenge his wife and daughter...
Philippe Noiret, Caroline Bonhomme & Romy Schneider
Philippe Noiret
Romy Schneider
Main Cast
  • Philippe Noiret as Julien Dandieu
  • Romy Schneider as Clara Dandieu
  • Jean Bouise as François
  • Joachim Hansen as SS officer
  • Robert Hoffmann as Lieutenant
  • Caroline Bonhomme as Florence Dandieu (8 years)
  • Catherine Delaporte as Florence Dandieu (13 years)
  • Karl Michael Vogler as Doctor Müller
  • Madeleine Ozeray as Julien's Mother

Romy Schneider & Philippe Noiret
Philippe Noiret
Romy Schneider
  • César Meilleur film (Best Film) for Robert Enrico (César Awards, France 1976)
  • César Meilleur acteur (Best Actor) for Philippe Noiret (César Awards, France 1976)
  • César Meilleure musique (Best Music) for François de Roubaix (César Awards, France 1976)
  • David Migliore Attore Straniero (Best Foreign Actor) for Philippe Noiret (David di Donatello Awards, Italy 1976)


Sunday 17 November 2013

1974, Cars: Fiat 131 (Mirafiori)

In the Autumn of 1974 Italian car manufacturer Fiat introduces the new Fiat 131, additionally called "Mirafiori", at the Turin Motor Show. The 131 is the replacement for the successful Fiat 124. The Mirafiori name originates after the Turin suburb where the cars were produced.

Initially the Fiat 131 came with 1,297 cc or 1,585 cc L4 engines.The first series was available with two body styles: a saloon (2 or 4 doors) and a station wagons built by SEAT in Spain. There were two trim levels: the basic "131" and the upmarket "131 S".
Predecessor Fiat 124
Fiat 131 Series 1
Fiat 131S Series1
Fiat 131S Estate Series1
Fiat 131S Rear
In 1978 the 131 got a minor facelift and new "Twin Cam" engines were available, these models were badged as SuperMirafiori. The biggest change were the larger rectangular shaped front lights, new bumpers, new bigger rear lights and new interior trim. Also in 1978, the 2-door sporting version Racing with 85 kW twin cam engine, was launched. The Racing had top speed of 180 km/h (110 mph).
Fiat 131 Racing Series 2 (1978)
Fiat 131 Supermirafiori Series 2 (1978)
Fiat 131 Supermirafiori Rear Series 2 (1978)
The 131 was revised again in 1981. The car received a slightly updated interior. In June 1981, a new sport version, the Volumetrico Abarth, was introduced to some markets, with a supercharged version of the familiar 2-litre twin-cam. This car, also known as the 2000 TC Compressore, was built in a small series and could reach 190 km/h (118 mph). In 1983, the production of the saloon ended, the station wagon however remained in production until 1985. In total, 1,513,800 units were produced in Italy.
Succesor Fiat Regata

Advert Fiat 131, France, 1970s

Advert Fiat 131, UK 1975

Advert Fiat 131 (Brava), USA 1970s

Advert Fiat 131, UK 1978

Brochure Fiat 131 (Netherlands, 1978)
Brochure Fiat 131 (Norway, 1980)

Sunday 10 November 2013

1973, News: Movement of a house in Wilrijk near Antwerp

In Wilrijk near Antwerp workers move a house from the Pieter Coeckestraat to the Goudvinklaan to make way for the construction of the new E10 (now E19) Antwerp-Brussels. The rolling of the house attracts many visitors.
Movement of a house in Wilrijk
Movement of a house in Wilrijk

Saturday 2 November 2013

1972, Deaths: Dan Blocker

After 13 seasons (1959 – 1972) of playing Hoss Cartwright, the "gentle giant" brother on Bonanza, actor Dan Blocker died unexpectedly, shortly before filming was to begin for the final season (1972-1973). Only 43 at the time of his death, Blocker died on May 13, 1972, of a pulmonary embolism (a post-operational blood clot to the lungs) following a "routine" gall bladder surgery. Blocker was buried in Woodmen Cemetery, DeKalb, Texas.
"After Dan's death," said Lorne Green (who starred as Ben Cartwright, father to Hoss), "I didn't see how the show could continue. I said to my wife, 'That's it. It's finished.'"
Dan Blocker was born on December 10, 1928, in DeKalb, Texas as Bobby Don Blocker. When he was six the family moved to O'Donnell, in West Texas. Dan attended local schools before entering Texas Military Institute in San Antonio at twelve. He studied at Hardin-Simmons University and then entered Sul Ross State Teachers College in Alpine in 1947. He became a star football player at Sul Ross.
Dan Blocker High School Yearbook Photo (1946)
Dan Blocker, age 18, with Bill Echols in 1946
At college Blocker became interested in acting. He acted during summer in Boston and served afterwards as infantry sergeant with the 45the Division in Korea. In 1952 he returned to Sul Ross, where he earned an M.A. Degree and married Dolphia Lee Parker, on August 25, 1952. Blocker was a teacher in Sonora, Texas, and Carlsbad, New Mexico, before moving to California in 1956 to work on a Ph.D. degree at the University of California at Los Angeles. During this time he also worked as a substitute teacher at Glendale and began his career as a professional actor in Los Angeles.
Dan Blocker with his wife Dolphia Lee Parker and children Dirk Blocker,
David Blocker, Debra Lee Blocker and Danna Lynn Blocker
Dan Blocker with his four children Dirk Blocker,
David Blocker, Debra Lee Blocker and Danna Lynn Blocker
In 1959 he was cast in the role of "Hoss" Cartwright on the television series 'Bonanza'. Blocker became a popular actor and successful businessman, he was co-owner of a nationwide chain of steak houses called Bonanza. In 1963 he received the 'Texan of the Year Award' and in 1966 he served as honorary chairman of the Texas Cancer Crusade. He played the role of Hoss Cartwright for thirteen seasons on national television, until his death on May 13, 1972. The television series was terminated soon after his death.
Dan Blocker with Frank Sinatra in the 1968 film "Lady in Cement"
Dan Blocker with Bonanza co-stars Michael Landon and Lorne Greene
Dan Blocker in Bonanza with Michael Landon, Lorne Greene and Mitch Vogel

Monday 28 October 2013

1971, Television: The Persuaders!

On 17 September 1971 “Ouverture” premieres on ITV. It is the first episode of the new British ITC adventure series 'The Persuaders!' At the time it was the most ambitious and most expensive of Sir Lew Grade's international action adventure series. The series was filmed in France, Italy and England between May 1970 and June 1971. The series titles theme was composed by John Barry.

Despite its focus on the British and American markets, the series never gained popularity in the US. It was however immensely popular in the UK and Continental Europe, the series was broadcast in Argentina, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Venezuela and Yugoslavia.
Roger Moore & Tony Curtis
Tony Curtis & Laurence Naismith
Main stars are Tony Curtis as Danny Wilde, and Roger Moore as Brett Sinclair. Sinclair is an English aristocrat who attended Harrow and Oxford before serving as an officer in a Guards regiment and then becoming a Grand Prix driver and race horse owner. Wilde is an American who grew up in poverty in the Bronx before serving as an ordinary seaman in the U.S. Navy and then making several fortunes on Wall Street.

Roger Moore & Kirsten Lindholm in the episode "Angie... Angie"
Tony Curtis & Joan Collins in the episode "Five Miles to Midnight"
The protagonists cars are as famous as the stars. Danny Wilde drives a red Ferrari Dino 246 GT and Brett Sinclair a yellow Aston Martin DBS. As with Simon Templar (Roger Moore's character from 'The Saint'), Brett's car has personalised number plates of his initials; Templar’s were 'ST 1', Sinclair’s are 'BS 1'.
Annette Andre & Roger Moore with Aston Martin DBS in the episode "Powerswitch"
Main Cast
  • Tony Curtis as Danny Wilde
  • Roger Moore as Lord Brett Sinclair
  • Laurence Naismith as Judge Fulton
The Cars: Ferrari Dino 246 GT & Aston Martin DBS
  • Bambi TV Series International for Roger Moore and Tony Curtis (Bambi Awards, Germany 1973) 
  • Logie Best Overseas Drama for the UK (Logie Awards, Australia 1972)
  • TP de Oro for Mejor Serie Extranjera (Best Foreign Series) (TP de Oro, Spain 1973)

The Persuaders! Opening Credits

Monday 21 October 2013

1970, Cars: Vauxhall Viva HC

In 1970 British car manufacturer Vauxhall (GM) introduced the new Viva. It was mechanically the same as the Viva HB (1966-1970) but with modern styling and more interior space. It was available as 2- and 4-door saloons and a fastback estate. The initial power-plant was the 1159 cc engine that powered the HB, but in late 1971 it was up-rated to 1256 cc due to the weight of the new car. Other available engines were the 1599 cc (replaced in 1972 by 1759 cc) and the 2279 cc . A coupe version, the Firenza, was introduced in 1971.
Vauxhall Viva HC 1300
Vauxhall Viva HC 4 doors 
In September 1973, the Viva range was divided, the entry 1256 cc models staying as Vivas, the 1.8 and 2.3 models were rebadged as the Magnum. The most exciting variant of the HC Viva was the High Performance Firenza produced between 1972 and 1975.
Vauxhall Viva HC Estate
Vauxhall Viva HC Firenza
The Vauxall Viva HC was sold in Canada (as Firenza by Pontiac/Buick dealers), New Zealand, and South Africa (as Chevrolet Firenza with the British Vauxhall 1.3 L or the German Opel 1.9 L engine).
Vauxhall HC Firenza High Performance
Viva production was scaled down after the launch of the Vauxhall Chevette in 1975. The Chevette hatch was also sold as the Opel Kadett City, but the Viva remained on sale until 1979 when it was replaced by the Vauxhall Astra, a variant of the front-wheel-drive Opel Kadett.
Vauxhall Viva HC 1976 advert with James Hunt
Brochure Vauxhall Viva Firenza (The Netherlands, 1971)
Brochure Vauxhall Viva (Finland, 1972)

Monday 14 October 2013

1969, Sport: Eddy Merckx - Tour de France 1969

The Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx wins the Tour de France on July 20, 1969. It was Merckx first victory in The Tour. The 1969 race is unique because it is the only time that a single cyclist, Eddy Merckx, has won the general classification, the points classification and the mountains classification at the same time. The Eddy Merckx team, FAEMA, won the combination classification and the combativity award. It was the 56th Tour de France, taking place June 28 to July 20, 1969. It consisted of 22 stages over 4110 km.

Stage victories by country:
  • Belgium: 13 (Julien Stevens (1), Eric Leman (1), Rik van Looy (1), Eddy Merckx (6), Herman van Springel (2), Guido Reybrouck (1), Jozef Spruyt (1))
  • France: 3 (Roger Pingeon (1), Raymond Delisle (1), Pierre Matignon (1))
  • Italy: 3 (Marino Basso (1), Michele Dancelli (1), Felice Gimondi (1))
  • Portugal: 2 (Joaquim Agostinho (2))
  • United Kingdom: 2 (Barry Hoban (2))
  • Germany: 1 (Rudi Altig (1))
  • Spain: 1 (Mariano Diaz (1))
Eddy Merckx  and Rini Wagtmans in the 6the stage

General classification (1-10):
  • Eddy Merckx 116h 16' 02"
  • Roger Pingeon +17' 54"
  • Raymond Poulidor +22' 13"
  • Felice Gimondi +29' 24"
  • Andrés Gandarias +33' 04"
  • Marinus Wagtmans +33' 57"
  • Pierfranco Vianelli +42' 40"
  • Joaquim Agostinho +51' 24"
  • Désiré Letort +51' 41"
  • Jan Janssen +52' 56"
Eddy Merckx in the 16the stage

Points classification (1-3):
  • Eddy Merckx 244 points
  • Jan Janssen 149 points
  • Rini Wagtmans 136 points

Mountains classification (1-3):
  • Eddy Merckx 155 points
  • Roger Pingeon 94 points
  • Joaquim Galera 80 points
Eddy Merckx in the 17the stage

Team classification (1-3):
  • Faema 351h 50' 56"
  • Peugeot +14' 53"
  • Kas +1h 01' 42"

Combination classification (1-3):
  • Eddy Merckx Faema
  • Roger Pingeon Peugeot
  • Felice Gimondi Salvarani

Eddy Merckx at the Col d'Aubisque

Tour de France 1969 (Dutch)