Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Fritz Weaver, a Tony Award-winning character actor who played a German Jewish doctor slain by the Nazis in the 1978 mini-series “Holocaust” and an Air Force colonel who becomes increasingly unstable as the nation faces a nuclear crisis in the 1964 movie “Fail Safe,” died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 90.

His death was confirmed by his son-in-law, Bruce Ostler.
[New York Times]

Here are nine historical figures who were portrayed by Fritz Weaver, all on TV, who just died at the age of 90.  Personally, I preferred his truly fictional characters, from 'The Twilight Zone' to 'Law And Order' and 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine'. But with a couple of these, he does stand as the official televersion of said historical figure.....

'Festival' (TV Series) 
- "Julius Caesar"

Marcus Junius Brutus (85 BC – 23 October 42 BC), often referred to as Brutus, was a politician of the late Roman Republic. After being adopted by his uncle, he used the name Quintus Servilius Caepio Brutus, but eventually returned to using his original name.  He took a leading role in the assassination of Julius Caesar. 

"The Legend of Lizzie Borden" (TV Movie) 

Lizzie Borden took an axe,
Gave her mother forty whacks. 
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one. 

"The Hearst and Davies Affair" (TV Movie) 

Who he? Check:

'Tales from the Darkside' (TV Series) 
- "Comet Watch"

Edmond (or Edmund) Halley, FRS (8 November [O.S. 29 October] 1656 – 25 January 1742 [O.S. 14 January 1741]) was an English astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist, and physicist who is best known for computing the orbit of Halley's Comet. He was the second Astronomer Royal in Britain, succeeding John Flamsteed.  

But he must have faked his death. In Toobworld he found a way to ride with the comet which gave him immortality. 

'Dream West' (TV Mini-Series) 

Missouri senator just before the Civil War who was known as "Old Bullion" and was a leading proponent for the expansion of the West. 

"My Name Is Bill W." (TV Movie) 

Father of Bill W's wife Lois; she co-founded Al-Anon

"Ironclads" (TV Movie) 

John Ericsson (born Johan) (July 31, 1803 – March 8, 1889) was a Swedish-American inventor, active in England and the United States, and regarded as one of the most influential mechanical engineers ever. In America he designed the US Navy's first screw-propelled steam-frigate USS Princeton, in partnership with Captain Robert Stockton, who unjustly blamed him for a fatal accident. A new partnership with Cornelius H. DeLamater of the DeLamater Iron Works in New York resulted in the first armoured ship with a rotating turret, the USS Monitor, which dramatically saved the US naval blockading squadron from destruction by an ironclad Confederate vessel, CSS Virginia, at Hampton Roads in March 1862. 

"Citizen Cohn" (TV Movie) 

Everett McKinley Dirksen (January 4, 1896 – September 7, 1969) was an American politician of the Republican Party. He represented Illinois in the House of Representatives (1933–1949) and the Senate (1951–1969).

As Senate Minority Leader for a decade, he played a highly visible and key role in the politics of the 1960s, including helping write and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and that of 1968, both landmarks of civil rights legislation. Dirksen, a conservative, was one of the Senate's strongest supporters of the Vietnam War.  

"Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight"

Hugo Lafayette Black (February 27, 1886 – September 25, 1971) was an American politician who served as a Democratic United States Senator and represented Alabama in the Senate from 1927 to 1937, and served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1937 to 1971. Black was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 63 to 16 (6 Democratic Senators and 10 Republican Senators voted against him.) He was the first of nine Roosevelt nominees to the Court, and he outlasted all except for William O. Douglas.  Black is widely regarded as one of the most influential Supreme Court justices in the 20th century.  

In 1964, world champion boxer Muhammad Ali requested exemption from the military draft based on his religious beliefs. His request was denied and when he refused induction into the army, he was convicted and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. His case eventually works itself up the Supreme Court. In their first conference after the case is presented, the justices decide by majority vote to uphold the conviction and Justice John Harlan is tasked with preparing the majority opinion. He assigns one of his clerks, Kevin Connolly, to prepare a first draft but try as he might he believes that decision his wrong. His draft argues for overturning the conviction and Harlan agrees with him. The justice must now find a way to convince his colleagues. 

O'Bservation: He was the fifth longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history.
Maybe someday, there will be an event in the late Fritz Weaver's life and career that will be deemed worthy of dramatization.  And then an actor will be chosen to portray him.

Good night and may God bless Fritz Weaver.....

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