Monday, July 31, 2028

Welcome!

Welcome to the companion blog for the Unofficial Simon Oakland Tribute Site!  We are Rose and Ladybug, two loyal fans of the talented Simon Oakland, one of the most versatile character actors in the history of movies and television.  We both took notice of Simon in some of his various roles when we were younger, and took more notice when we discovered his role of Tony Vincenzo in the classic Kolchak: the Night Stalker series.  

The website we have been working on is meant to be a tribute for this talented actor, as we were disappointed that there didn’t seem to be any tribute sites to him already.  Our site is still under construction, but we have a focus on both Simon and just some of his many and varied roles.  In future entries, we hope to showcase our musings and thoughts on how he brought these different characters to life (and how they ended up inspiring us), along with other thoughts.

10 comments:

  1. Simon was a true talent. Distinct voice, believable, and great chemistry with Darren McGavin on the Kolchak series.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So very true. Jack Grinnage (Ron Updyke) said that the series would never have happened if not for Simon and Darren's wonderful interplay. I fully believe it.

    ~Lucky Ladybug

    ReplyDelete
  3. I doubt that you will be able to assist, but you just never know.

    My mother here in England says that her friend's father was Simon Oakland and that she has a photo of his daughter and herself enjoying time together in London. She says that she recognises Simon Oakland as her friend's father, but things do not add up to me at present.

    The name she has given for the daughter does not appear to fit with the little I have been able to find about him through genealogical research, so I wondered if anyone has any details of his parents, marriages or children etc. that might assist? Is anyone actually in touch with a family member who might be able to assist?

    I have seen the names Weiss, Porta (Lois) and Morell (possibly Carola) and either 1 or 2 children or 1 or 2 marriages according to which account you read, but that is about it.

    I can be contacted at dwiltsdill@ntlworld.com

    Dave Wiltshire

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yikes; I only just noticed this.

      Unfortunately, there isn't really much I can tell you about Simon's family; as far as we know, he was married to a woman named Lois, and they had one child, Barbara. That's really all we know.

      If you find out anything, do let us know.

      --Crystal Rose

      Delete
    2. I've been updating Simon Oakland's Wikipedia article. From my research, I believe he was born Isidor ("Si") WEISS in New York in 1915, the son of Jacob Weiss and Ethel Oaklander, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. His stage name was probably based on his mother's maiden name. His wife was Lois Lorraine Porta, who died in 2003. Wikipedia claims that at some point he was also married to a woman named Carola, but there seems to be no solid evidence for this.

      Delete
    3. My name is Jimmy and I was dear friends with Carola Oakland and their son Richard (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1195723158), who now works for BridalXOXO (https://www.facebook.com/Bridalxoxo/?ref=br_rs) in Las Vega, NV. Carola passed away in 2002.

      Delete
    4. What was her relationship to Simon Oakland? If this is the same Carola Oakland who was born in 1948, I think it unlikely she was married to him.

      Delete
  4. Dear Rose and Ladybug,

    I was thrilled to discover your site, as I am a lifelong fan of Mr. Oakland's work as well. As a devotee of both "The Twilight Zone" and "The Outer Limits" when a youngster (I was born in 1955), I was especially taken by his work in "The 30-Fathom Grave"; I became increasingly aware of his work as I explored my passion for movies.

    But my most vivid and special memory of Mr. Oakland's talents dates from my mid-teens, when I had the pleasure of seeing him onstage in two widely contrasting plays. The Center Theater Group, which presented plays at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, once presented two works in repertory: the wild farce "Too Much Johnson" and a starkly dramatic piece entitled "The Shadow Box", about a hostel for terminally-ill cancer patients. While Mr. Oakland delightfully gobbled up the scenery in the comedy (no slur; the entire cast did the play in an over-the-top manner), his understated, tragic and moving performance in the latter play (he was one of the patients) is something I've never forgotten. A musician myself, I remember being thrilled to read in his bio that he was a violinist. How I wish I could have heard him play (if not made music with him)!

    I will certainly check in with your site periodically to see what other information and memories you and others have to share regarding this fine actor's work.

    Best regards,


    Adam Stern
    Seattle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your comment (and apologies for the late reply!). It's always a thrill to find other Simon fans! And I think I speak for both Ladybug and myself when I say you're so incredibly fortunate to have seen Simon perform live! We would both love to hear more of your anecdotes of him, if you have the time!

      We will continue to update this blog yearly, but our tumblr will be updated more regularly: http://simonoaklandtribute.tumblr.com/

      --Rose

      Delete
    2. Dear Rose,

      Thank you for your response. I wish I did have more anecdotes, but alas, the plays I described were my sole (and hence even more invaluable) experiences seeing Mr. Oakland in person.

      My wife and I recently revisited a bunch of episodes from the original "Mission: Impossible" series. Two of the "guest villains" who truly stood out amongst the rest were a pre-Archie Bunker Carroll O'Connor, and Simon Oakland. Oakland's portrayal of a smug, well-to-do mob boss in the episode "The Frame" was flawless -- the perfect blend of charm and malice that such a person would doubtless possess.

      Yet another shout-out for this versatile, thoroughly professional and riveting actor.

      Best regards,


      Adam

      Delete