Paul Picerni Passes Away…

15 Jan

Jack Marino sent us this very sad news…

I just want you all to know about the sad news I got from John Gloske yesterday.  Paul Picerni passed away on wed night.

had a heart attack on the 12th and he was rushed to the hospital in
Palmdale where he died. I will talk about him tonight on my radio
show.   John had seen him on Sunday and Paul was doing great, but he
became ill after dinner on Wed and they rushed him to the Hospital.
feel honored to have him at my home and I can't thank Steve Latshaw enough for
bring Paul for all of us to meet him at the Flynn party. Later Paul
came on my radio show and he really enjoyed being there. I had planned
to bring Paul back with this brother who is a director in Hollywood.
Paul brought his brother out here to make it in the films.
We have lost a great raconteur and a hell of a guy….   Bung ho, Paul…  we hardly knew ye…

Warmest regards,

Paul Picerni graduated from Loyola University, and after one movie with Warner
Brothers, got a seven year contract. He got the romantic lead in “The
House of Wax,” which was the biggest money in 3 D until recently. He
played Elliot Ness’ sidekick “Lee Hobson” and gained international
famr]e because of the popular series “The Untouchables.” In films he
made other “easterns” including The Desert Song, Omar Khayyam, and
Flight to Hong Kong. Westerns he appeared in include Saddle Tramp,
Cattle Town, The Bounty Hunter, and The Scalphunters. Another of his
productions, along with his wife Marie, is having eight children, four
girls and four boys..

Errol Flynn Turns One Hundred Robin Chapman News – Guest Post by Steve Latshaw

— David DeWitt


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  1. Anonymous

    January 15, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    It's very sad news indeed. It's a strange coincidence that right on the evening of the 12th, I finished watching “Mara Maru” for the first time, and I was very impressed with Picerni's performance.

  2. Anonymous

    January 15, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    As you know from my private e-mail David, this is very sad news for all of us. But Paul's legacy shines on and he was one of those rare people who had a positive effect on all those he met.
    I treasure that photo of Paul and Jack. Thanks for posting it. We were on the same wavelength as I was about to e-mail you again.
    Rest in peace Paul.

  3. Anonymous

    January 16, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks, Tom! What a warm presence he was! So kind, and very funny, and generous with himself to everybody. His was a definite highlight of the Jack and Louise Marino Bash for Flynn's 100 birthday. I wish I could have stayed for the screening of Mara Maru with him in the audience. What a rare treat! But I had my moments with him and I am grateful to Steve Latshaw and Jack for that very much. Tom, on a personal note, you made it possible for Paul to sign my copy of his Steps to Stardom book when you bought me a copy of it and steered me toward Paul! What a wonderful thing to do, and there I sat with Paul Picerni all to myself for a few precious minutes! Later, at home, I watched Mara Maru with an eye on Paul and far in the background of one scene he could be seen talking to the heroine of the movie and laughing about something, and I thought, yep, that's Paul…

  4. Anonymous

    January 24, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I had the great pleasure of meeting Paul PIcerni several times at collectible shows. The first time I met him, I asked him about “Mara Maru” he started telling Errol Flynn stories. Everyone withing earshot was completely spellbound and laughing uproariously. Mr. Picerni then pushed a copy of the script of “Mara Maru” into my hands and said he would throw in an autographed still from the film all for one great price. I snatched them both up, and later had a wonderful time reading the script.
    At a later show, I asked what scripts he brought to sell and his manager said “The Waxworks”! Oh yes, that was the original title for “The House Of Wax” (1953) with Vincent Price and that script was also a gem to read.
    Many people over the years have told Mr. Picerni to put all of his incredibly mesmerizing tales into a book, and he finally did with “Steps To Stardom”. I read that book in two sittings as it was impossible to put down.
    I have several photos of Paul Picerni on my study wall in my 'Errol Flynn Corner'. One is a fantastic on-set shot of Paul Picerni, Ruth Roman, Raymond Burr, and Errol Flynn actually holdng the miniature model of the ship “Mara Maru” which was used for the special effects sequences. They are all laughing and joking, and Flynn looks like he wants to take the model ship home with him!
    We will miss Paul Picerini, dreadfully.
    Best Wishes
    Ralph Schiller

  5. Anonymous

    January 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Ralph. It seems as if he was a hell of a guy like Errol.

  6. Anonymous

    January 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    What great memories everyone has and thank you for sharing them.

  7. Anonymous

    February 8, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Just in case you haven't seen this: there is a wonderful youtube sequence of Paul Picerni telling the famous telephone bill story:… He was a great storyteller indeed.

  8. Anonymous

    February 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    This was a nice video Paul made to promote his book, and there is a second video in which he talks about John Wayne and mentions other people he worked with in his long career. His book is a real treasure as he was himself. What a loss for his family and friends, and for us, his fans through the years. Thanks for posting this!

  9. Anonymous

    February 12, 2011 at 2:55 am

    This is very sad news indeed! A wonderful actor and he will always be precious to his fans. I enjoyed the series the Untouchables. He was a star!