Barry was also well-known as the original star of the 1953 version of The War of the Worlds, and when Steven Spielberg remade the film in 2005 with Tom Cruise, he gave Gene a quick cameo. In addition to being a versatile leading man -- capable of playing a bad guy, a bon vivant, cops, spies, gentlemen, gunslingers, and magazine publishers -- Gene Barry also was a song and dance man. In 1984, he was one of the toasts of Broadway in La Cage aux Folles. Currently Kelsey Grammer is about to play Gene's role in a 2010 spring revival.
Not sure if younger readers will remember Tony Franciosa. Not only was it several decades ago that he was a star, he really hadn't done anything in recent years, except for an appearance on Larry King Live in 2001, a documentary last year, and the movie City Hall 10 years ago. But he was in everything in the 60s and 70s. His many roles include The Name of the Game (a private eye show I really liked when I was a kid), Matt Helm (the series, not the Dean Martin flicks), Search (another show I loved as a kid), Finder of Lost Loves, as well the movies The Long Hot Summer, Death Wish II, The Drowning Pool, Earth II, Assault on a Queen, A Hatful of Rain, and A Face in the Crowd.
Franciosa died yesterday after suffering a massive stroke.
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