PASSINGS: Jeanne Cooper, Mario Machado, Bryan Forbes
Emmy winner starred in ‘The Young and the Restless’
Jeanne Cooper, 84, the enduring soap opera star who played grande dame Katherine Chancellor for nearly four decades on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless,” died Wednesday in her sleep, according to the network.
Cooper’s son, actor Corbin Bernsen, said last month in Twitter messages that she had been suffering from an undisclosed illness.
A Los Angeles resident, Cooper joined the daytime serial six months after its March 1973 debut, staking claim to the title of longest-tenured cast member. The role earned her 11 Daytime Emmy nominations and a trophy for best actress in a drama series in 2008.
“God knows it’s claimed a big part of my life,” she told the Associated Press in March as the show celebrated its milestone 40th anniversary.
As the years passed, Cooper brushed aside thoughts of saying goodbye to the show and its fictional Wisconsin town of Genoa City.
“What would I do? I’m no good at crocheting. My fingers would bleed,” Cooper, then 83, said last year.
Born Wilma Jeanne Cooper on Oct. 25, 1928, in the San Joaquin Valley town of Taft, she studied at the Pasadena Playhouse and the College of the Pacific in Stockton. She performed in local theater productions before beginning her professional career with the 1953 film “The Redhead from Wyoming” starring Maureen O’Hara. Other film credits include 1968’s “The Boston Strangler” with Tony Curtis and 1967’s “Tony Rome” with Frank Sinatra.
She had a parallel career in TV, with shows including “The Adventures of Kit Carson” in 1953, “The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse” in 1954 and “Bracken’s World” in 1969-70.
In a recurring role on “L.A. Law,” she played the mother of Bernsen’s character, Arnie, and received a 1987 Emmy nomination for best guest actress in a drama. Bernsen later joined his mother on her daytime series, making several appearances as a priest, Father Todd.
Cooper’s marriage to producer Harry Bernsen ended in divorce. The couple had three children who also acted: Corbin, Caren and Collin.
L.A. television reporter, anchor and soccer announcer
Mario Machado, 78, a veteran Los Angeles television reporter, anchor and soccer announcer who also played the part of a newsman in many films and television series, died Saturday of pneumonia at a West Hills convalescent facility, said his daughter Michelle.
Considered one of the first Asian Americans to appear on the air in Los Angeles, Machado, who was known for his distinctive voice and smooth delivery, was a fixture beginning in the late 1960s at KNXT-TV Channel 2, which became KCBS, and other local stations.
At KNXT, he started as a consumer affairs reporter, then rose to become the host of “Noontime,” a weekday news and interview program; “It Takes All Kinds,” a public affairs series; and “Medix,” an Emmy-winning medical investigations program.
A self-described soccer fanatic, the peripatetic Machado was also a play-by-play announcer and commentator for professional soccer in Los Angeles, starting in 1967 as the voice of the Los Angeles Toros. He later served as commissioner of the American Soccer League, a professional soccer organization, and was a part owner of the L.A. Aztecs.
Born April 22, 1935, in Shanghai to a Portuguese diplomat father and Chinese-Portuguese mother, Machado was known for celebrating both parts of his heritage, and was active in Los Angeles’ Asian and Latino communities. In recent years, he helped gather oral histories of people who left China after the Cultural Revolution for the “Old China Hands” archive at Cal State Northridge.
He appeared in such films as “Oh, God!” in 1977, “Rocky III” in 1982 and the 1971 television movie “Brian’s Song.” He also played reporter Casey Wong in three “RoboCop” films and appeared as himself in “Blue Thunder” in 1983.
Director of ‘The Stepford Wives’ also co-wrote ‘Chaplin’ screenplay
Bryan Forbes, 86, a British film director whose credits include the original 1970s horror classic “The Stepford Wives,” died Wednesday at his home in Surrey after a long illness, family spokesman Matthew D’Ancona said.
Forbes was born John Theobald Clarke on July 22, 1926, in London. He began his career as an actor, playing a number of supporting roles in British films in the 1940s and 1950s, but he soon found more success in screenwriting, and later directing.
He made his debut as director in “Whistle Down the Wind,” the 1961 movie about children who come across an escaped convict and mistake him for Jesus. He went on to make films such as 1965’s “King Rat,” a tale of survival in a prisoner-of-war camp that he also wrote, and “The Stepford Wives,” a thriller about sinisterly perfect suburban housewives. Forbes’ wife, actress Nanette Newman, appeared in the 1975 film.
He co-wrote the screenplays for “Hopscotch,” the 1980 spy caper starring Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson, and “Chaplin,” the 1992 biopic of Charlie Chaplin starring Robert Downey Jr.
Forbes also wrote several novels and owned a bookstore in Surrey. His latest book, “The Soldier’s Story,” was published last year.
— Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
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