Friday, April 26, 2013


For one day only, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will present a “Limited Time Magic” event for the annual, fan-proclaimed “Star Wars Day,” May 4 – a date that Star Wars fans worldwide turn into a celebratory pun, “May the Fourth Be With You!”
Separate from the month-long Star Wars Weekends special event (which begins May 17), this “Limited Time Magic” celebration features special Star Wars entertainment, characters, commemorative merchandise, a Star Wars dance party and a Star Wars-themed fireworks show to cap off the day.
You might even find yourself sitting next to Chewbacca aboard Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. Star Wars characters will make surprise appearances on the 3-D attraction to enjoy the wild journey through space alongside park guests.
A special edition of Jedi Training Academy also is planned that day, with parents invited to join their children (ages 4-12, sign-ups required on first-come basis) on-stage for the training and final showdown with the Empire.
When the sun goes down, galactic fun lights the night as Lobot (from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back) takes over as DJ for a dance party that will be highlighted by a special Star Wars fireworks show.
“May the Fourth Be With You” “Limited Time Magic” park activities and shows are included in regular admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


So sorry to hear the news of Richard LeParmentier's passing. I had the chance to attend several sci-fi conventions with him. He was a terrific actor and wonderful spirit.

After defying Lord Vader aboard the original Death Star, Admiral Motti became a symbol of the Empire's over-confidence. But the actor Richard LeParmentier has become a favourite amongst fans… and now, has sadly passed away.
Richard LeParmentier, who will be remembered for his role in 'Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope', was an accomplished actor who appeared in a number of classic films - performing alongside James Caan in the '70s classic 'Rollerball' and appearing as Lt. Santino in the animated classic, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'.
In fact, in his long career, Richard delivered a number of iconic lines… including the classic "Now that's what I call one seriously disturbed toon." But he will always be remembered for his over-confidence in the Empire. And perhaps his lack of faith (which Lord Vader found disturbing)…
This station is now the ultimate power in the universe!
I think it's safe to say that everyone remembers that iconic scene - The one where Admiral Motti foolishly stands-up to Darth Vader… only to be force-choked for his trouble. It was a brilliantly understated piece of cinema that showcased the true power of the Dark Side while highlighting the Empire's main weakness - over-confidence.
And it was Richard who took that role and made it his own. Admiral Motti may have only had a small part to play, but it was a crucial one… his cockiness and oversight being the ultimate flaw that the Rebel Alliance needed for their strike on the Death Star.
I find your lack of faith disturbing…
Of course, it was Motti's single act of defiance that created one of the most memorable scenes from 'A New Hope' - the famous Vader force-choke. It's a scene that's stayed with us some thirty years after the film's original release… and has even spawned an online craze known as 'Vadering'.
The Coventry Telegraph reports that Richard recounted that "I did the choking effect by flexing muscles in my neck. It set off a chain of events, that choking." And it was Richard's original scene that showed us exactly what the Force was capable of… especially in the hands of the Dark Side.
Born in Pittsburgh, USAbut settling down in bath, Somerset, Richard LeParmentier was a regular at 'Star Wars' conventions and will be sorely missed by friends and fans alike. Rest in peace Richard.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Cattle Queen of Montana was the film playing at the Essex Theater in Hill Valley, in the film Back to the Future, on November 5, 1955. My Father, Morris Ankrum, played Barbara Stanwyck's Father in the film.

Cattle Queen of Montana is a 1954 American Western film starring Barbara Stanwyck and Ronald Reagan. The supporting cast includes Jack Elam, Chubby Johnson, and Morris Ankrum, and the movie was directed by Allan Dwan.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Above, my Father Morris Ankrum (billed as Stephen Morris) has the drop on William 'Hoppy' Boyd in this lobby card from HILLS OF OLD WYOMING (Paramount, 1937). My Father was under contract to Paramount Studios in the late 1930's. He played the antagonist in many of the Hopalong Cassidy Western Films.  His early stage name was Stephen Morris. He later changed it to his own name.

Above from L-to-R are William Boyd, Russell Hayden,
Andy Clyde and 
Morris Ankrum (now billed as Morris Ankrum) 
in a lobby card from  
WIDE OPEN TOWN (Paramount, 1941).