The Oscars’ in memoriam segment, including Joseph Wiseman

Here it is from the March 7 Oscars telecast. Joseph Wiseman shows up around the 2:40 mark:

UPDATE: Oops. It was removed from YouTube.

Martin Benson, Goldfinger’s Mr. Solo, dies

Martin Benson, the veteran character actor who played the gangster Mr. Solo in Goldfinger, died last week.

In that role, Benson had the most prominent on-screen presence of the gangsters who thought they were selling Goldfinger what he needed to raid Fort Knox. The presence of Mr. Solo in the story was also Eon Productions’s primary pillar in its lawsuit to stop production of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., where Ian Fleming contributed a few ideas, including the name of its hero, Napoleon Solo. In Goldfinger, Mr. Solo had the most spectacular death, which varied from Fleming’s novel and the early drafts of the screenplay.

Here’s John Barry’s score where Mr. Solo meets his demise:

Benson’s other credits include The Omen, The Saint television series, Cleopatra, A Shot in the Dark and The King and I.

HMSS contributing editor Michael Reed is a recording artist!

This just in, from the “We Had No Idea At All” Department:

It turns out that our old friend — and prolific HMSS contributing editor — Michael Reed is a recording artist! With three albums and a new EP under his belt, Michael’s music has an enjoyable folk/roots rock sound, with some nicely jangly guitar work and clear, from-the-heart vocals.

Commenting on his 2009 release One Way Round Trip, Michael said

[It] features songs about people on journeys, through time and places known and unknown, by means of land and air and memories. I played and sang every note and made the rock album I always wanted to make.

And “make” it he did — Michael sang and performed every note on the album, in addition to writing and arranging all the songs (save for one Bruce Springsteen tune). He also produced it himself, handling all the mixing, mastering, and engineering chores.

Samples are available for listening (and albums are, naturally, available for purchase) at iTunes , or on the web at You can also, if you’re a member, check out his MySpace page.

We all at Her Majesty’s Secret Servant are very proud of him. Go Michael!