Friday, August 28, 2009

Virginian coming to DVD and TV

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention from my chat with James Drury the other day - The Virginian is scheduled to start airing on the Encore Western channel in January - about bloody time! Of course it lasted for 9 seasons and Steve was only in 4 eps so it'll be a long time waiting for his performances!

Also, it's coming out on commercial DVD as well.

(I'd already known this, as it was reported on The Virginian official website, but now it's reported here, too!)

Also,there's a book out on The Virginian:, written by Paul Green. It's published by McFarland, so its kind of pricy. But they put out quality stuff.


I was quite pleased today to get an email from another fan of Steve Ihnat's, complimenting me on the site and sharing his thoughts on Steve's performances. So that was pretty nice.

EDITED a few paragraphs... situation changed!

A few weeks ago someone else had sent me an anecdote about their meeting with Steve, I ask if I can put it on my site, he says sure, I do so, I send him the URL... and that's it. I don't hear from him again. No acknowledgement that he got my email, no acknowledgement that he liked the page...nothing. Did he die or become gravely ill between the time he said, "Yes, share it," and the two hours later when I said, "Here it is." ? I have no way of knowing.

Then there was this other woman. A year or so ago I published an overview article on a certain TV series. She emailed me and said that the article didn't do the show jusstice. She was a big fan of the show, had her own website, etc. So, I invited her to write an article. She said she would. Then, nothing for a month or two. I email her a couple of times, asking if she's changed her mind, and she says no, it's just that things have suddenly become very busy.

And I understand that. Been there, done that. But, I let it go. So, several months later, she emails me and asks me if I'd be interested in publishing the article. And I say sure, send it along. And she does so. And then I spend several hours designig the page for it, putting the photos in, doing the coding - which she as a webperson herself knows is not hard work, but is time consuming, and then I send her the URL of the completed page.

And... nothing. No communication at all. Does she like the way I designed it? I don't know. Does she appreciate the fact that I published it for her? I don't know. I noticed she'd gone around to the various message boards devoted to this TV show and announced her article - so she had received my message telling her it was online and good to go....she just couldn't be bothered to email me back and say, "Hey, thanks."

I admit that kind of frosted my buttons. If the article hadn't been getting so many hits, I would have taken it down, just on principle's sake. But popularity trumps principle. ; )

But I look at these things and I just throw up my hands. Is common courtesy so uncommon, these days? Apparently so.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Updates to Steve Ihnat site

I talked to James Drury today. He worked with Steve 40 years ago on four Virginians, but unfortunately with all the time that had passed he couldn't really remember any specific anecdotes. (Or it may have been the constraints of talking to people over the phone. I confess I'm not a good phone interviewer. Horrible voice!)

Neverthless, he remembered Steve as an excellent actor, and gave me a quote to put on the website.

I also added some screencaps from It Takes a Thief (the ep is viewable on Steve's IMDB page). It was an episode called Turnabout,which featured Noah Bain (Malachi Throne) doing the thieving, as Alexander Mundy (Robert Wagner) was laid up with a broken ankle (only to save the day in the end.) Ida Lupino guest-starred as a romantic interest for Bain. Steve isn't really a villain, per se, he is simply the man in charge of sescurity for "the other side" who is tasked with preventing a certain item from being stolen. Unfortunately, he fails in the end.

Oh, and by the way, the ep isn't available on Steve's page, but if you go to the page on Ironside, you can see his ep "The Fourteenth Runner." He doesn't have a large role, and he's wearing a moustache (which I personally don't care for!) but he does a good job with what he does...

Ihnat on TV Aug 27

I forgot to alert my readers that Steve was on TV yesterday, in his I Dream of Jeannie episode. However, since that's avaiable to watch for free on his IMDB page (hosted at Hulu), no harm, no foul.

Today, at 3 pm Eastern, his Gunsmoke episode Noose of Gold is playing on TVLand.

Let joy and innocence prevail.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Peter O'Toole in Masada

Masada is a fun show for me to watch. Not that I particularly like the subject matter, but just because the number of my favorite actors who have roles - albeit small ones - in the show.

Anthony Valentine is there, as is Clive Francis, and, of course, Peter O'Toole.

I just bought the DVD - the complete version of it, not the truncated version that was available on VHS - and I'm watching it now. First time I've seen it in several years. And as I was watching the beginning, and Peter O'Toole's opening lines as Silva, I thought to myself... this is Steve Ihnat as Garth of Izar.

I've been reading a few articles on Steve that started appearing in 1969, in the newspapers, in which he said he was tired of always playing villains, and I wonder if he accepted the Garth role not only because of the money - because who would turn down the money, especially if you've got a wife and two kids to care for! - but because it allowed him to portray such a wide range of emotions, more so than he'd ever been able to do before. And I wonder if he patterned his performance on that of Peter O'Toole. (Not as O'Toole as Silva, since Masada was filmed ten years after Ihnat died, but just O'Toole as O'Toole.)

I also have to wonder about his health in his last couple of years. In The Mod Squad, in 1970, he looks like his old self. He looks like he's in his late 30s, yes, but he looks fine. One year later, in Alias Smith and Jones, he's practically unrecognizable. His face looks rather bloated. One wonders if he'd developed some kind of medical condition that necessitated him taking medication that caused weight gain, and damaged his heart, which caused his heart attack.

Anyway, Masada continues...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brief Candle video

Finished a tribute video for Steve Ihnat.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Let Joy and Innocence Prevail

I created an animation for the song Let Joy and Innocence Prevail, sung by Grace Jones. I decided to put Steve Ihnat in as the star.

A few of my other favorite actors are immortalized in the first 9 photos. Anyone care to guess who they are?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Chase for Steve Ihnat

This blog will feature my thoughts about various of my favorite actors and their roles.

At the moment I'm working on Steve Ihnat.

It's a bittersweet project, as I've said a few times over at my other blog, DAily Space. He was only 37 years old when he died, in 1972... I'm 11 years older than he ever got to be... Each time I watch one of his roles I can't help but think... another three years and he'll be dead, another year and he'll be dead...


Although he's got a lot of fans to this day..he doesn't have as many as he should have. If "The Inheritors" had been a Twilight Zone episode instead of an The Outer Limits episode, potential new fans could see it three or four times a year - when the SF channel does its marathons on various holidays. Instead, I dont think most people have ever had a chance to see it on regular TV...they'll only see it if they actually seek it out for some reason...

He never had a series of his own... even if he'd only had one for a year, so that his talents could have been on display on DVD now (although that's problematic, as there are dozens of pretty good TV shows from the 60s that have never seen a decent release, as for example Then Came Bronson.)

Well, anyway, I've been having fun tracking down a lot of his episodes. Got 3 Virginians today from a grey marketer...and the DVD doesn't work so that's very annoying. Also got a batch of artcles written about him from the person who does my Newspaper Archive Research - that was nice in a sense, but depressing also because one of them was written just after his death, and told of how he was in Cannes working on deals to sell his independent film Do Not Throw Cushions in the Ring. He'd had high hopes for it, and then, just like that, he was gone.

In addition, earlier today, TCM showed The Chase (1966), starring Marlon Brando, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Robert Duvall. I knew that Steve had a non-speaking part in this, and that he was supposed to beat up Marlon Brando in one scene, and then be beaten to a pulp by Brando in the final scene.

And he was! It looks like it was all Brando/Ihnat, too, no stuntmen used.

I had the sound down for the entire movie - it wasn't the kind of movie that I'd ever have watched if there weren't actors in it I liked. Richard Bradford was in it, and apparently it was his beating up of Brando (in conjunction with Ihnat) that won him the role in the British series Man in a Suitcase (a show that I saw many, many years ago in a Lobatse, Botswana hotel...and wouldn't mind seeing again.. but that's a topic for a different blog entry!)

Anyway, Steve first shows up at about the hour mark, and true to what I'd read, he doesn't have any dialog, which is odd because he's placed in a couple of situations where he could have some. And yet he is given no lines. I suppose the producers wanted to give him exposure, without having to pay him what they'd have to pay an actor who had lines.

But, according to an article I read (which I'll share on my tribute website to him in due course), it was his performance in this movie that led him to be signed to a 7 year movie contract, although he never did manage to get a starring role out of it. But of course it probably led directly to him having the pull to do his own feature film, The Honkers, in 1972, which he co-wrote and directed, but sadly, did not give himself a part in.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Return of the Face and the Voice

I see that it has been over a year since I last posted here. Well, time to start posting again.

I'm currently working on a website featuring Steve Ihnat, one of the greatest character actors of 1960s television. Unfortunately, he's practically forgotten today, as he passed away at the early age of 37!, from a heart attack, in 1972.

I'll share my thoughts on his acting style here, as well as that of my other favorite actors, in future posts.

For now, check out the website I'm building for him.