Soul singer Al Goodman of the group known variously as the Moments and Ray, Goodman & Brown died Monday of heart failure during cancer surgery in Hackensack, N.J., according to a CNN report. He was 67.
Irene Cagen Forrest, casting director and actress who often portrayed quirky, high-strung characters, died Sunday in Providence, R.I., of brain tumor. She was 65.
Vonetta McGee, star of several blaxploitation-era films including “Blacula” and “Shaft in Africa,” died July 9 in Berkeley, Calif., after being taken off life support following cardia arrest. She was 65.
Editor David Blewitt, who cut such 1980s blockbusters as “Ghostbusters,” died of complications from Parkinson’s disease July 8 in Sherman Oaks, Calif. He was 81.
Goodman was not a founding member of the Moments, which was put together in Hackensack by vocalist Sylvia Vanderpool.
Goodman was heard on 1970’s “Love on a Two-Way Street,” the No. 1 R&B and No. 3 pop hit that was the biggest of the vocal group’s 39 chart records. The song was sampled by Jay-Z last year on his massive hit “Empire State of Mind.”
The trio, whose other two members were Harry Ray and Billy Brown, scored another No. 1 R&B hit, “Look at Me (I’m in Love),” in 1975. Their final chart-topper, 1979’s “Special Lady,” came a year after the act was renamed.
Goodman is survived by his wife, Henrietta, and five children.
Among her roles were as a compulsively talkative lover in Henry Jaglom’s film “Sitting Ducks,” and an incompetent secretary on NBC’s “L.A. Law.”
Other bigscreen work included performances in George Lucas’ 1971 sci-fier “THX 1138,” as well as “Communion” (1989), “Playing by Heart” and “Babyfever.”
On stage, Forrest was featured in productions of the New York Shakespeare Festival and plays in Los Angeles that included “Lovers and Other Strangers,” “Poor Little Match Girl” and “House of Blue Leaves.”
In the late 1980s, she began a second career as a casting director, working at Liberman/Hirschfeld Casting as Irene Cagen. Her credits included Bob Dylan-toplined “Masked and Anonymous,” the minis “Kingdom Hospital” and “A Wrinkle in Time”; plus CBS series “Medium” and USA Network’s “The 4400.” Her casting credits include Starz’s “Crash,” and feature “Light and the Sufferer,” on which she was also executive producer.
Survivors include a brother.
Donations may be made to animal rescue agency Sante Dor Foundation, 4511 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027.
Born Lawrence Vonetta McGee, the California native made her 1968 screen debut in Italian comedy “Faustina.” Later roles in films including “Melinda,” “Blacula” and “Hammer” made her a reluctant icon of the 1970s blaxploitation era. In a 1979 article, the Los Angeles Times reported she disapproved of the reference, saying people used it “like racism, so you don’t have to think of the individual elements, just the whole.”
McGee and her then-partner, Max Julien, also produced and co-starred in “Thomasine and Bushrod,” a blaxsploitation film about a gang of Robin Hood-esque thieves, in 1974.
She starred alongside Clint Eastwood in 1973’s “The Eiger Sanction” and appeared in 1984’s “Repo Man.”
Shifting mostly to TV in the 1980s, the thesp had recurring roles in such series as “Bustin’ Loose,” “Cagney and Lacey,” and “L.A. Law.” She last appeared on screen in 1998’s “Johnny B Good.”
Survivors include her husband, Carl Lumbly; a son; her mother; three brothers; and a sister.
– — Rachel Abrams
Blewitt’s love of showbiz started early when, at age 15, he worked as an usher at L.A.’s Orpheum Theater.
Following a stint in the Air Force as an aerial reconnaissance photographer, he returned to Hollywood to work as a cinematographer in such TV series as “Hollywood and the Stars,” and “The World of Animals” during the 1960s.
He segued from there to editing at David Wolper Prods., mostly cutting documentaries such as “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau,” “That’s Entertainment,” “That’s Entertainment II,” ” Movin’ With Nancy” and “Life Goes to War: Hollywood and the Home Front.”
Besides “Ghostbusters,” his other major feature credits included the 1972 Goldie Hawn starrer “Butterflies Are Free,” 1980’s Richard Dreyfuss/Amy Irving toplined “The Competition” and 1978’s “The Buddy Holly Story.”
Blewitt was so passionate about editing that his license plate read “ICUTPIX.”
Blewitt earned an Oscar nom for “The Competition,” was nommed for an Emmy and won two ACE Eddies besides receiving a lifetime kudo from the American Cinema Editors.
Survivors include his wife, Ann; daughter Risa Bastien, also a film editor; and a granddaughter.
Donations may be made to Pet Orphans of Southern California at petorphansfund.org.