Ah, no… this is bad news. Actor Luciano Stella, aka Tony Kendall, died over the weekend. He’s best known to Eurospy fans, of course, as Joe Walker, the hero of the Kommissar X series of films, and he also appeared in numerous other genre films from the 1960s onwards.
Here’s a translation of the quick obituary on Rainews:
Tony Kendall, an Italian actor whose real name was Luciano Stella, died yesterday in Rome in a hospital in Trigoria, after a serious illness. He was born August 22, 1936, and had to his credit over 50 popular films from the sixties until the eighties after starting his career as a model and in fotoromanzi. He changed his name to Tony Kendall at the suggestion of Vittorio De Sica.
He made his debut in 1959, acting under his own name in Femminie Tre Volte, but then had to wait some years for a major role, in Brennus Enemy of Rome,1963, wherehe first used the Tony Kendall name. He was also known as a part of a double act with Brad Harris in several action movies, starting with The Pirates of the Mississippi. After the success of the Bond films and the German Jerry Cotton series, Kendall became a star in the seven films in which he played a private eye Joe Walker, aka Commissioner’s X, while Harris played his foil, police captain Tom Rowland.
Then, following the successful television series of Batman, Harris and Kendall were together again in The Three Fantastic Superman, 1967. But the Kendall’s work ranged across numerous genres, from horror to giallo, with his last appearances being in On the Dark Continent in 1993 and Alex l’ariete in 2000.