Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Meeno Peluce

Meeno Peluce. He's Punky Brewster's brother. He was one of the kids in the original Amityville Horror movie. He even seemed to have done a stunt, falling on the basement stairs.

Later he played Tanner in The Bad New Bears TV series, he played the kid on a western sit-com, Best of the West, and, finally, he was the kid in the series Voyagers, which was sort of a cross between Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits and the TV show Quantum Leap. I read he works as a photographer now---I'm not sure.

As a child actor, Meeno had a knack for crying. I hope he was one of those kids who could cry on cue, because if not, the demands of the show must have left him an emotional wreck. He was to crying what Bruce Lee was to martial arts. Well. What Ernie Reyes, Jr., was to martial arts.

I remember him from Best of the West, which I sort of liked at the time. Meeno's TV father went on to be Ricky Schroder's TV father on Silver Spoons. I had seen but didn't remember him in The Bad News Bears TV show which I didn't like. And I did remember him in The Amityville Horror. I wondered how they got him to do his own stunt, or if they somehow got a tiny stunt double for him. Maybe he just tripped and fell and they kept the cameras rolling.

Anyway, I don't really have anything to say about him. I just happened to come across a set of DVDs of the show Voyagers.

Meeno's co-star on the show, Jon-Erik Hexum died just a year after the show left the air. He was killed in a tragic accident with a prop gun on the set of another show.

It's surprising when you look at the number of actors who have been injured or killed on the job.

Dick York's career ended because of a back injury he suffered in a movie. William Shatner's ears have been ringing ever since an episode of Star Trek where an explosion was set off too close to him---he was close to suicide because of it once. If you've seen the movie Ed Wood, you know about Bela Lugosi's problem. Linda Blair suffered a broken back in The Exorcist. No one knew about it at the time, but it caused her problems later, and Ellen Burstyn has suffered back problems because of a shot where she falls on the floor in that movie.

Noah Hathaway did a number of his own stunts in The Neverending Story, even though he was only about 12. But before filming began, they took him out to practice horseback riding for the movie. He fell off the horse and broke his back. He was in the hospital for a month before filming on the movie began. Years later, he was working as a dancer but had to quit because of back problems.

Roy Kinnear, who appeared in Help! and Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother was killed in a horseback riding accident while filming The Return of the Musketeers.

Acting is surprisingly dangerous work. And there are other unpleasant things about it.

In a TV documentary about The Brady Bunch, they talked about their Hawaiian vacation episode.

Peter really didn't want the tarantula on him. But he had to do it.

Sherwood Schwartz didn't care. He just said that there was more to being an actor than saying your lines.

Ellen Burstyn tells young actors not to be generous with their bodies. Don't volunteer to do stunts. It's not worth it.

And directors need to be extremely careful about the health of safety of their cast and crew.

Charles Grodin, writing about the filming of the movie King Kong mentioned that the director did not want to risk having actors run through a real jungle. It was too dangerous. He had to fight with Dino De Larentis over spending the money to construct a set for the scene.

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