Lawrence Montaigne, busy character actor, dies

Lawrence Montaigne (1931-2017)

Lawrence Montaigne, a character actor frequently seen on television in the 1960s and ’70s, has died at 86.

His death was announced on Facebook by his daughter, Jessica. The startrek.com website published an obituary.

Montaigne may be best known for the 1967 Star Trek episode Amok Time. He played Stonn, the Vulcan boyfriend of T’Pring (Arlene Martel), who is betrothed to Spock (Leonard Nimoy).

It’s one of the best-remembered episodes of the 1966-69 series in part because it includes a fight between Spock and Captain Kirk (William Shatner), which is heightened by a Gerald Fried score. Years later, the Jim Carrey movie The Cable guy did a parody, including Fried’s music.

Montaigne also was in the cast of an earlier Star Tre episode, Balance of Terror, in a different role.

The actor was more than Star Trek. He was in the large cast of the 1963 movie The Great Escape. Montaigne also appeared in many spy and detective shows, usually as a villain.

Lawrence Montaigne in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Among them: two episodes of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.; two episodes of Mission: Impossible; one episode of I Spy; one episode of Blue Light, the World War II spy series with Robert Goulet; one episode of Hawaii Five-O; one episode of It Takes a Thief; and eight episodes of The FBI.

Montaigne’s IMDB.COM ENTRY lists 69 acting credits.

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Jason Wingreen, versatile character actor, dies

Jason Wingreen

Jason Wingreen

Jason Wingreen, a versatile character actor and sometimes writer, died last month at 95.

Film reviewer Rhett Bartlett of the DIAL M FOR MOVIES WEBSITE  said in  A POST ON TWITTER that Wingreen’s son had confirmed the actor’s death. On Dec. 26, Roz Wolfe, a former employee of the Canadian consulate in Los Angeles, SAID ON TWITTER that Wingreen had died.

Wingreen’s ENTRY ON IMDB.COM lists 187 acting credits from 1955 to 1994, mostly in small roles.

Naturally, given how busy Wingreen stayed, he shows up quite a quit during the 1960s spy craze on American television. For example:

–He made six appearances combined on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. Sometimes, bad things happened to his characters. He was a low-ranking Thrush operative who’s given a death sentence in The Deadly Decoy Affair. In The Birds and the Bees Affair, he’s an unlucky gambler who is killed by accident when Thrush wants to do in Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn). The gambler dies just as he’s come up a winner at the roulette table.

–He co-wrote (with Philip Saltzman) The Night of the Torture Chamber, a first-season episode of The Wild Wild West. He also appears later in that season as a policeman in The Night of the Whirring Death, a Dr. Loveless episode.

–He had a role in The Weapon on Amos Burke, Secret Agent after that series converted to a spy format after being a crime drama.

–He was “KAOS Agent #2” in an episode of Get Smart.

–He played Hitler in an episode of The Blue Light, the short-lived World War II spy series with Robert Goulet.

–He was in two episodes of Mission: Impossible.

–He was in six episodes of The FBI, including a customs inspector in the third-season episode Counter-Stroke, one of the espionage stories of the series.

With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Wingreen also is being remembered for being the original voice of Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back. (The character was redubbed for a home video release.) Here’s a YouTube video where the actor recalls getting that job:

Malachi Throne, remarkable character actor, dies

Malachi Throne's credit on It Takes A Thief

Malachi Throne’s credit on It Takes A Thief

Malachi Throne, a busy character actor who appeared in a number of ’60s spy shows, has died at 84 according to obituaries including THIS ONE on the Web site of the Hollywood Reporter.

What was he in? What *wasn’t* he in? His credits included guest appearances in Mission: Impossible, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Wild, Wild West, I Spy and The Blue Light, a short-lived World War II spy series starring Robert Goulet. He was also Alexander Mundy’s boss, Noah Bain, in the first two seasons of It Takes A Thief, where a U.S. intelligence agency recruits a thief to steal the secrets of enemy powers.

Also, he was one of the most memorable villains of the 1966-68 Batman television series with Adam West and Burt Ward. He played False False, a master of disguise. Throne wasn’t credited by name until the end titles of final part of the single two-part story in which he appeared. Until then, the credits merely said, “Special Guest Villain ? as False Face.” He was also in the only two-part episode of the original Star Trek television series.

Throne appeared in many television shows beyond his ’60s spy and super hero credits. To view a long list, CLICK HERE to view his biography on IMDB.com

Salute to two character actors familiar to TV spy fans

For those who were fans of 1960s spy shows, there were some familiar faces you just could not get away from. Heroes need villains and some character actors got plenty of work as a result.

Two such actors were Alfred Ryder (1916-1995) and John Van Dreelen (1922-1992).

Ryder showed up in four episodes of Mission: Impossible, two of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., once in It Takes a Thief and twice in The Wild, Wild West. Van Dreelen appeared twice on The Man From U.N.C.L.E., twice on The Wild, Wild West, once on Mission: Impossible, once on I Spy, twice on The Blue Light (the short lived World War II spy series), and even once in The Twilight Zone as an Eastern Bloc spy.

In 1966, they appeared together in an espionage-themed episode of The FBI. Ryder actually got to play a sympathetic role of an Israeli Nazi hunter while Van Dreelen was a former Nazi now spying for the Soviets. Van Dreelen often played Nazis and Nazi-types, ironic because, according to his imdb.com bio, he escaped a Nazi concentration camp by disguising himself as a Nazi officer.

Here’s the start and the end. On the second video, the image remains frozen for about a minute before resuming.