01 January 2020

Stars who passed away in 2019

On the first day of 2020, EFSP remembers these stars of the international cinema we had to say farewell to in 2019. Thank you, for your films and for your postcards. Rest in Peace.

21 December 2018: Laya Raki (1927-2018)

Laya Raki
Austrian postcard by HDH-Verlag (Verlag Hubmann), Wien (Vienna). Photo: Joe Niczky, München (Munich) / Ufa.

On 20 January, Marlene Pilaete infomed us that exotic dancer and film actress Laya Raki has passed away on 21 December 2018. During the 1950s, she was a popular sex symbol in Germany. Raki appeared in revealing outfits in films and on photos, and captured men's attention like no other German showgirl. Later, 'the black-haired volcano' also became an international star with her roles in British films and TV productions. Laya Raki was 91.

19 January: Muriel Pavlow (1921-2019)

Muriel Pavlow (1921-2019)
Big Italian card by Bromofoto, Milano. Photo: Rank. Publicity still for Doctor at Large (Ralph Thomas, 1957).

British actress Muriel Pavlow passed away at the age of 97. The charming, delicate Pavlow was the quintessential English girl of many British films of the 1950s. She was usually cast as an unselfish bride, wife or girlfriend in thrillers and war films. In several light comedies she provided a nice counterbalance to the hectic goings-on. And, despite her small build, she was also a dominant stage actress.

3 February: Julie Adams (1926-2019)

Julia Adams
Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 1210. Photo: Universal International.

American actress Julie or Julia Adams passed away on 3 February 2019. Adams starred in a number of films in the 1950s. She was best known for the cult film The Creature of the Black Lagoon (1954).

7 February: Albert Finney (1936–2019)

Albert Finney
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1616, 1961. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Photo: Progress. Publicity still for Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Karel Reisz, 1960).

English actor Albert Finney (1936–2019) was one of the ‘angry young men’ of the Kitchen Sink Theatre and Free Cinema wave. The dynamic, often explosive, stage and screen star was one of the working class and provincial actors that revolutionised British theatre and film in the 1950s and 1960s. Although his early fame was later tempered by long absences from major films, he continued to earn awards and acclaim in a varied five-decade career on stage, films, and television. Albert Finney was 82.

15 February: Bruno Ganz (1941-2019)

Bruno Ganz (1941-2019)
German autograph card.

Swiss actor Bruno Ganz established himself in Germany, first as co-founder of the Schaubuhne Theatre company, then as a romantic lead in films. International renown came Ganz' way when he starred in Eric Rohmer's The Marquise of O (1976). Subsequent film roles ranged from Jonathan Harker in Werner Herzog's Nosferatu/Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night (1979) with Klaus Kinski and Isabelle Adjani, to misplaced angel Damiel in Wim Wenders' Der Himmel über Berlin/Wings of Desire (1987). He also starred in international features by Franklin J. Schaffner, Jonathan Demme and Francis Ford Coppola, and he played Adolf Hitler in the Academy Award-nominated film Der Untergang/Downfall (2004). Bruno Ganz was 77.

20 February: Chelo Alonso (1933-2019)

Chelo Alonso
German postcard by Krüger, no. 902/118.

Former Cuban actress, dancer and sex-symbol Chelo Alonso was a star of the Italian cinema of the late 1950s and early 1960s. In several Peplum epics she played femme fatales with fiery tempers and she did sensual dance scenes, mixing Afro-Cuban rhythms with ‘bump and grind’. Ultimately in the DVD era, the ‘Cuban H-bomb’ became a cult heroine for many international B-film buffs. Chelo Alonso was 85.

21 February: Gus Backus (1937-2019)

Gus Backus (1937-2019)
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden/Westf, no. 1560. Photo: Erwin Schneider.

American Singer and actor Gus Backus (1937-2019) was at the age of 19 a member of the Del-Vikings, the first notable Doo-Wop group with both black and white members which had two Billboard Top Ten Hits. Later, he became virtually the flesh-and-blood embodiment of rock 'n roll in Germany. Between 1959 and 1965 he also appeared in 25 German light entertainment films. Gus Backus was 81.

4 March: Luke Perry (1966-2019)

Luke Perry (1966-2019)
Italian postcard by Gruppo Editoriale Il Vecchio, Genova. Photo: publicity still for the TV-seriesBeverly Hills 90210.

American producer, director, writer, film and TV actor Luke Perry died on 4 March at St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank, California, from complications of a stroke he suffered a week earlier. Luke had a prolific acting career on TV and in films. He became a household name as Dylan McKay on the hit coming-of-age series Beverly Hills 90210 (1990-1995; 1998-2000). He also starred as Fred Andrews on the drama series Riverdale (2017). He was 52.

7 April: Nadja Regin (1931-2019)

Nadja Regin
German postcard by Kunst und Bild, Berlin-Charlottenburg, no. I 240. Photo: A. Grimm / CCC / Constantin. Publicity stll for Die Unschuld vom Lande/The Country Wife (Rudolf Schündler, 1957).

Serbian actress Nadja Regin (1931-2019) started her career in Yugoslav-German co-productions and later she worked in Germany, Austria and New Zealand. In England, she guest-starred in many classic TV series of the 1960s and she appeared opposite Sean Connery in two James Bond films. She was 87.

14 April: Bibi Andersson (1935-2019)

Bibi Andersson in Smultronstället (1957)
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 53. Photo: Bibi Andersson in Smultronstället/Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957).

Swedish film actress Bibi Andersson died on Sunday 14 April 2019 at the age of 83. She is best known for her 13 films with director Ingmar Bergman.

21 April: Hannelore Elsner (1942-2019)

Hannelore Elsner
German postcard by Franz Josef Rüdel, Filmpostkartenverlag, Hamburg. Photo: Constantin / Rialto / Vogelmann. Publicity still for Zum Teufel mit der Penne - Die Lümmel von der ersten Bank, 2. Teil/To hell with the pen - The clown of the first bank, Part 2 (Werner Jacobs, 1968).

Grand German actress Hannelore Elsner died from cancer. Elsner started her film career in quickly forgotten light entertainment films, but in later years she starred in films by interesting directors like Edgar Reitz, István Szabó, Dani Levy and Uli Edel. She is best known in Germany for her roles in popular TV series such as Die Schwarzwaldklinik/The Black Forest Hospital (1987-1988) and the Krimi series Die Kommissarin/The Inspectoress (1994-2006).

26 April: Ellen Schwiers (1930-2019)

Ellen Schwiers
German postcard by ISV, no. M 2. Photo: Europa-Film / List.

German film and stage actress Ellen Schwiers passed away at the age of 88. The versatile actress often appeared as the dark, passionate woman, enmeshed in her own sensuality or another fate. During her 60 year-career she played in ca. 50 films and 150 television productions, but she also worked as a stage actress, director and intendant.

26 April: Elina Bystritskaya (1928-2019)

Elina Bystritskaya
Russian postcard, 1966.

Actress Elina Bystritskaya was one of the most beautiful women of the Soviet cinema. She is best known for her role of Axinia in the epic film trilogy of Mikhail Sholokhov's novel Tikhiy Don/And Quiet Flows the Don (1957-1958) by Sergei Gerasimov. She passed away on 26 April 2019 in Moscow. Bystritskaya was 91.

1 May: Alessandra Panaro (1939-2019)

Alessandra Panaro (1939-2019)
Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 1649. Photo: G.B. Poletto / Titanus. Alessandra Panaro in Cerasella (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1959).

On Wednesday, 1 May 2019, Alessandra Panaro, an Italian former film actress of the late 1950s and early 1960s, passed away. She is best known for Luchino Visconti's crime drama Rocco e i suoi fratelli/Rocco and His Brothers (1960).

13 May: Doris Day (1922-2019)

Szöke Szakall and Doris Day in Tea for Two (1950)
Dutch postcard by Takken / 't Sticht, no. AX 343. Photo: Warner Bros. Doris Day and Szöke Szakall in Tea for Two (David Butler, 1950), the first film for which Doris Day received top-billing.

Doris Day (1922-2019) died surrounded by her close friends at her California home at the age of 97. The legendary actress and singer with her blonde hair and blue eyes performed with several big bands before going solo in 1947. In the 1950s, she made a series of popular film musicals, including Calamity Jane (1953) and The Pajama Game (1957). 'Que Será, Será!' became her theme song. With Rock Hudson, she starred in the box office hit Pillow Talk (1959). On TV, she appeared in the sitcom The Doris Day Show (1968-1973).

10 July: Valentina Cortese (1923-2019)

Valentina Cortese dies at 96
Belgian collectors card by Kwatta, no. C. 243. Photo: MGM. Valentina Cortese in Malaya (Richard Thorpe, 1949).

On Wednesday 10 July 2019, Italian film and stage actress Valentina Cortese (1923-2019) passed away in Milan. She appeared in more than 100 Italian, French, British and American films and TV series. Cortese was nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in François Truffaut’s La nuit américaine/Day for Night (1973). She also worked with such titans of cinema as Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini. Valentina Cortese was 96.

19 July: Rutger Hauer (1944-2019)

Rutger Hauer in Floris (1969)
Dutch collectors card, no. 28, 1970. Photo: Gerard Soeteman. Rutger Hauer in the TV series Floris (Paul Verhoeven, 1969).

On Friday, 19 July 2019, Rutger Hauer passed away at his home in Beetsterzwaag, following a short illness. The blonde, blue-eyed, tall and handsome Dutch actor played everything - from romantic leads to action heroes to sinister villains. During the 1970s, he had his international breakthrough with the Dutch films by Paul Verhoeven and later he became a cult star with Blade Runner (1982), The Hitcher (1986) and Blind Fury (1989). Before that he was the hero of many Dutch kids in the classic TV series Floris (1969), also directed by Paul Verhoeven. Hauer was 75.

28 August: Nancy Holloway (1932-2019)

Nancy Holloway (1932-2019)
French postcard by Ministar, no. 838. Photo: Patrick de Mervellec.

American singer and actress Nancy Holloway (1932-2019) sang jazz, pop and soul and was popular during the 1960s in France, where she continued to perform and live. She also appeared in a dozen French films. Though born and raised in America, she's virtually unknown in the United States. Nancy Holloway was 86.

3 September: Carol Lynley (1942-2019)

Carol Lynley (1942-2019)
Italian postcard by Rotalfoto, Milano, no. N 159.

Blond, blue-eyed American actress Carol Lynley starred in the The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and numerous other films. She was 77. The actress, who had an attractively feline appeal, earned a Golden Globe nomination as a newcomer for Blue Denim (1959) about a naive teenager seeking an illegal abortion. It was a role she originated on Broadway. On Friday 3 September 2019, Lynley died in her sleep in Los Angeles.

1 October: Karel Gott (1939-2019)

Karel Gott in Kdyby tisíc klarinetu (1965)
East-German postcard by Progress Starfoto, no. 2376, 1965. Karel Gott in Kdyby tisíc klarinetu/If a Thousand Clarinets (Ján Rohác, Vladimír Svitácek, 1965).

Schlager singer and actor Karel Gott (1939-2019) was the most successful male singer of the Czech Republic, and also had many successes in the German-speaking countries. He released more than 125 albums during his career, selling over 30 million records worldwide. In the annual national poll Český slavík, ‘the Sinatra of the East’ was thirty-eight times elected as the Most Favourite Male Singer.

4 October: Diahann Carroll (1935-2019)

Diahann Carroll (1935-2019)
Vintage postcard, no. 018. Photo: Milton H. Greene.

On 4 October 2019, Diahann Carroll died of cancer, aged 84. She was among the foremost African American actors to break down long-seated prejudices in casting. Carroll was the first black performer to have her own sitcom, Julia, which ran for 86 episodes (1968-1971), and the first to win an Emmy in the category of best actress in a leading role in a comedy series. She also won a Tony for her performance in the Broadway musical 'No Strings', written especially for her by Richard Rodgers, which highlighted an interracial romance without mentioning colour. Her films include Carmen Jones (1954), Porgy and Bess (1959), Paris Blues (1961) and Claudine (1974). And her conniving and glamorous Dominique Deveraux was a match for Joan Collins’ Alexis Colby, doubling the 'nasty in Dynasty (1984-1997).

10 October: Marie-José Nat (1940-2019)

Marie-José Nat (1940-2019)
Romanian collectors card.

On 10 October 2019, French actress Marie-José Nat (1940) passed away. She was an acclaimed stage, film and television star, who played glamorous, exotic roles in many films of the 1960s and 1970s. Marie-José Nat was 79.

26 October: Pascale Roberts (1930-2019)

Pascale Roberts
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, presented by Les Carbones Korès Carboplane, no. 813. Photo: Sam Lévin.

French actress Pascale Roberts (1930) had been active in the French cinema and television since 1954. From her femme fatale parts in B-thrillers and comedies in the 1950s, she grew into mother roles. She is best known for her parts in A-films by Costa-Gravas, Yves Boisset and Robert Guédiguian, and for her many appearances on French TV.

2 November: Marie Laforêt (1939-2019)

Marie Laforet
French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 69.

French singer and actress of Armenian descent Marie Laforêt (1939) passed away at the age of 80. After her first appearance in the drama Plein Soleil (René Clément, 1960) opposite Alain Delon, she became very popular and interpreted many roles in the 1960s. As a singer she is best loved for 'Marie douceur, Marie colère', her version of the Rolling Stones hit 'Paint it black'.

28 November: Stefan Danailov (1942-2019)

Stefan Danailov (1942-2019)
Russian postcard, 1975.

Bulgarian actor Stefan Danailov (1942-2019) starred in over 100 Bulgarian and foreign films, including the Bulgarian classic At each kilometer(1969) and was seen as 'the Bulgarian Alain Delon'. Danailov was part of the ensemble of the National Theatre from 1979 until his death. Apart from his acting work, Danailov was an MP for the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). He was a former Minister of Culture, and was also the BSP Deputy Chairman. 'The legend of Bulgarian cinema' was 76.

14 December: Anna Karina (1940-2019)

Anna Karina
Dutch postcard by Hafbo film, no. 162. Still from Une femme est une femme (Jean-Luc Godard, 1961).

On 14 December, the queen of the Nouvelle Vague, film actress, singer and director Anna Karina passed away. French, but Danish-born Karina was the muse of director Jean-Luc Godard and starred in eight of his films. “Today, French cinema has been orphaned. It has lost one of its legends,” culture minister Franck Riester tweeted. Anna Karina was 79.

18 December: Claudine Auger

Claudine Auger
Belgian postcard by Edt. Decker, Brussels, no. A. 101. Offered by Korès.

On 18 December 2019, French actress Claudine Auger (1941) passed away. She is best known as Bond girl Domino in the James Bond film Thunderball (1965). At 17, she was Miss France 1958 and she became the first runner-up in the Miss World contest. Later she worked mostly in France and Italy. Claudine Auger was 78.

19 December: Alain Barrière (1935-2019)

Alain Barrière
Italian postcard.

French singer and songwriter Alain Barrière passed away on 19 December 2019. He recorded a number of timeless hits in the 1960s which earned their place in French music history. Internationally he is known for participating in the 1963 Eurovision Song Contest. At the height of his popularity, he made one venture into film acting.

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