Wilson Post Blogs
‘Rawhide’ trail boss drowned in Peruvian river
Dear Ken: What happened to Eric Fleming, who played trail boss Gil Favor on “Rawhide”?
Fleming, born Edward Heddy in Santa Paula, Calif., enlisted in the U.S. Navy during WWII and served as a Seabee in a naval construction battalion. An accident at work injured his face, thus he had to undergo extensive plastic surgery. After the war, he studied acting and found work on Broadway, in film and on TV. He was making “High Jungle,” an adventure film in Peru in 1966, when his dugout canoe flipped and he was carried away by the strong current of the Huallaga River and drowned at the age of 41. He had planned to marry his fiancé two days later. Fleming was buried on the grounds of the University of Peru in Lima, Peru. Among his movie credits were “Fright,” “Queen of Outer Space,” “Curse of the Undead” and “The Glass Bottom Boat.”
Dear Ken: Did former N.Y. Jets quarterback Joe Namath once star in a TV sitcom? What was the title? And what movies has Terry Bradshaw been in?
Namath starred in the 1978 sitcom “The Waverly Wonders,” playing a washed-up pro basketball player who was teaching history and coaching the high school basketball team. It ran for five episodes before NBC threw in the towel. Namath, 68, never starred in another TV series but he did make the movies “C.C. and Company,” “Norwood,” “The Last Rebel” and “Avalanche Express.” Bradshaw, 63, former Pittsburg Steelers quarterback, made the movies “Hooper” and “The Cannonball Run” and had his best role in “Failure To Launch” as the father of Matthew McConaughey.
Dear Ken: Why is Olivia Wilde as Dr. Hadley no longer on “House”?
Wilde, 27, left the series to pursue a film career, and boy, has she. Last year she appeared in “Cowboys & Aliens,” “The Change-Up,” “On the Inside” and “In Time.” This year she works in “Butter,” “Burt Wonderstone,” “Blackbird,” “Welcome to People” and “The Words.” And looks like she will be in at least three flicks in 2013.
Dear Ken: Is the youngster who played Johnny Weissmuller’s son Boy in the old “Tarzan” movies still alive?
That was Johnny Sheffield, who played Weissmuller’s jungle lad in eight “Tarzan” flicks. Weissmuller picked him from 300 youths who interviewed for the role. After Weissmuller hung up his loincloth, Sheffield starred in his own series of 12 “Bomba, the Jungle Boy” movies from 1949 to 1955. He died in 2010 after he fell from a ladder while pruning a tree and suffering a heart attack. He recollected in an interview: “Tarzan taught me to eat when I was hungry and sleep when I was tired. There weren’t any arguments. I did what Tarzan told me to. He gave me values. He taught me to tell the truth. Tarzan hated a liar.”