Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 5th, 2010
Ed Ragozzino, 79, the director of the classic film, Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot (1977) has died.
Also called simply Sasquatch, the film was described as a documentary when it was produced, although today it might be called a docudrama. Written by Ed Hawkins, based on a story by Ronald D. Olson, who was a rather significant historical figure in the early search for Bigfoot, the film’s plot was captured in these two overviews:
“Scientists mount an expedition to find a Bigfoot-type creature.”
“Deep in the dense forests of the Northwestern U.S. and Canada exists a giant, living reminder of man’s prehistoric past… The Indians called him…Sasquatch. Relive this incredible story as seven men discover in startling reality the SASQUATCH domain.”
Nowadays, the film shows up bundled with other films from that era in DVD discount bins. Pick it up; you will not be disappointed.
Here’s what I wrote about Ragozzino’s work, in 2006, when recommending various Bigfoot movies: “The film was made in 1977, so it contains some of the earliest attempts at dramatizing various well-known Bigfoot encounters, with the most notable one being the Ape Canyon-Fred Beck incident.”
Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot was produced by the famed North American Film Enterprises company, which was one of the first to use the Patterson-Gimlin footage in their films. Ron Olson was a major driving forces behind the production company.
Whether any interviews by Ragozzino to promote Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot were ever conducted is unknown. The movie used local talent, including Eugene actor George Lauris and was filmed mostly in the Bend, Oregon, area. It is not to be confused with The Legend of Bigfoot (1976), which was produced by Ivan and Peggy Marx.
The images on the right in this montage are from Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot. The top left image is Bob Gimlin; the top right image is “Techka Blackhawk,” played by Joe Morello from the movie. The images on the left are of the real people and are here compared to the docudrama’s frame captures of the fictional actors and scenes.
The film’s director, Ed Ragozzino of Eugene, Oregon, passed away due to cancer Saturday morning, January 30, 2010, at the Sacred Heart Medical Center at River Bend, in Springfield, Oregon. Born and reared in San Mateo, California, Ragozzino came to Eugene in 1950 to attend the University of Oregon as a broadcasting major, and never left, becoming an important fixture in the theater life of the town.
Ragozzino quietly became a well-known local acting teacher of high school and college plays in Eugene, and went on to work as a professional voice talent and actor in radio, television, and film. He narrated radio and television spots for many clients, including The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, National Geographic, Questar, Soloflex, Subaru, The History Channel and the Oregon Coast Aquarium. (Download his audio demo, while it lasts online, here. His voice is familiar.)
He played audio and acting roles in movies, including that of a minister in the 2005 production The Sisters, which was filmed partly in Cottage Grove, Oregon. His lifelong passion for theater helped bring about the creation of Eugene’s Hult Center for the Performing Arts.
Bob Keefer’s complete Oregon obituary in the Eugene Register-Guard fills in many of the details of Ragozzino’s local accomplishments.
Ed Ragozzino’s last Facebook photo shows him with some of his many grandchildren.
Daniel Perez, editor of The Bigfoot Times also sends along this morning the following belated news on hominology passings:
I just found out the older brother of Roger Patterson, Les, died on July 13, 2009 “from complications following a vehicle accident.” I spoke briefly with his widow, who did not offer much, but said Les was not supportive of the P-G film. He was 84.
I also just found out Dr. Dmitri D. Donskoy, who lived outside Moscow, Russia, died June 2006 and was about 96.