Legendary director Mike Nichols, who made an incredible debut nearly fifty years ago with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and then managed to follow that up with The Graduate, has died at the age of 83. Younger audiences may also know him for The Birdcage, the HBO miniseries Angels in America and his last film Charlie Wilson's War.
Known to one generation as Bartlett in The Great Escape and to another generation as John Hammond in Jurassic Park (plus many roles in between), actor Richard Attenborough has died at the age of 90.
Robin Wiliams famous for his impressions, role as Genie in Aladdin, standup comedy, Mrs. Doubtfire and many other comedy roles has died at the age of 63.
Menahem Golan has died at the age of 85. The name may mean very little to you at first glance, but for those of us who lived through the 1980's, he was a very big part of it. Here's an interview with the late producer and a bit more about his legacy.
James Garner, star of two classic television shows ("Maverick" and "The Rockford Files") and a wide slate of films including "The Great Escape", "The Americanization of Emily" and "Victor/Victoria", has died at the age of 86.
Alain Resnais, the French filmmaker who helped introduce literary modernism to the movies and became an international art-house star with nonlinear narrative films like “Hiroshima Mon Amour” and “Last Year at Marienbad,” died on [March 1] in Paris. He was 91. NYTimes Obit [more inside]
It would be hard to find two more disparate and distinctive genres than the playful TV adventure shows of the 1960's and the paranoid conspiracy thrillers of the 1970's. Yet they both owe a great deal to the same man: Screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr., who not only had a hand in the "Batman" TV show but also penned "The Parallax View" and "Three Days of the Condor", died today at the age of 91.
James Rebhorn, an actor often playing a man in a suit, Dies at 65 after a 12-year struggle with skin cancer.
Mr. Rebhorn had memorable supporting roles in major films and worked consistently in television and theater. He appeared in more than 50 films, including “Meet the Parents,” “Independence Day,” “My Cousin Vinny” and “Cold Mountain.”He penned his own obituary which can be read here.
Hal Douglas, who for many of us was THE voice of movie trailers in the 1990's, has passed away at age 89. The Guardian pays tribute with a half dozen of his best trailers. And then, of course, there's the legendary trailer for "Comedian".
The last remnants of the old LLC are being swept away forever. Nathan Rabin over at The Dissolve offers his own personal requiem to the store. And because moving on is part of the healing process, movie fans should prepare themselves for some final liquidation sales.
Character actor Ed Lauter has died. In a career that spanned over forty years, he was a familiar face on both television and film (and active until the end with appearances in "Trouble With The Curve" and "The Artist"). And with the greatest respect and affection, he also costarred in one the greatest bad films of the eighties.
Richard Griffiths, star of stage and screen, perhaps globally best known for his role as Harry Potter's ill-willed uncle, has died at the age of 65 due to complications from heart surgery. [more inside]
Donald Richie, American author, journalist, critic and expert on Japan, dies at 88.
Smilingly excluded here in Japan, politely stigmatised, I can from my angle attempt only objectivity, since my subjective self will not fit the space I am allotted . . . how fortunate I am to occupy this niche with its lateral view. In America I would be denied this place. I would live on the flat surface of a plain. In Japan, from where I am sitting, the light falls just right – I can see the peaks and valleys, the crags and crevasses.
-- from The Japan Journals, 1947-2004[more inside]
'TV historians will tell you that “Felix the Cat” was one of the first images ever broadcast on television (when RCA broadcast a Felix doll in 1928 on experimental station W2XBS) — but it wasn’t until the late ’40s that the first animated character was created expressly for TV. Crusader Rabbit appeared for the very first time on KNBH (Los Angeles) on August 1, 1950, and featured a Don Quixote-like title character aided by his friend Ragland T. “Rags” Tiger as they pursued adventures in serial (i.e. cliffhanger) installments.' On November 8th, the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Lucille Bliss, passed away at the age of 96. Ms. Bliss may be more familiar to younger fans as the voice of Smurfette, from The Smurfs, or as Ms. Bitters on Invader ZIM. [more inside]
Innovative and extraordinarily talented British animator Run Wrake is perhaps best known for the short films Rabbit (previously, details) and The Control Master (previously). Run passed away suddenly just a few weeks ago, less than a year after having been diagnosed with cancer. He was 47. Here is an interview with Run from APEngine. [more inside]
Chris Marker, director of La Jetée and Sans Soleil, among many others, and co-writer of 12 Monkeys, has died at age 91. English obit. French obit. Article on Chris Marker in the Guardian from 2002. Another appreciation from 2002. La Jetée on YouTube. Previously. Previouslier.
RIP Andrew Sarris, the legendary film critic who popularized the auteur theory in the United States, sparred with arch-rival Pauline Kael, and helped define American film criticism. [more inside]
Zdeněk Miler, the animator of the beloved Krtek ("Little Mole") animations died today. Conceived in 1954 after stumbling on a mole's burrow on his evening walk, Krtek appeared in about fifty films all drawn by Miler. The first Krtek film ("How Krtek Got His Pants"), originally an educational video about the manufacture of linen, won first prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1957. The Krtek films have been aired in about eighty countries. Miler's young daughters did the uber-cute vocalizations for Krtek, and were the films' test audience as Miler tweaked the films per their suggestions. Here are some perennial favorites: Krtek and the Radio, Krtek and the Green Star, Krtek at Christmas, Krtek and the Robot. Miler, like most film buffs, was surprised that Krtek had remained largely unknown in the United States. "Pretty much the whole world knows Krtek," Mr. Miler said. "America, which is usually first in everything, is last in this. I always look at American history," he said, "and it is a very hard one. People came. They conquered a continent. They suffered hardships, and that hardship is reflected in its movies. I look at children there and think what they are watching is a reflection of that hardness. If you look at America, it is epic. Whereas here, it is more poetic. I feel here there is more lyricism."
Arthur Laurents (wiki), writer of the libretti for West Side Story and Gypsy, among many other things, has died at the age of 93. [more inside]
Arthur Penn, the director of Bonnie and Clyde, Little Big Man, The Miracle Worker, and Night Moves, has died of congestive heart failure one day after his 88th birthday.
Gravelly-voiced character actor James Gammon has passed away of cancer at the age of 70. His career spanned more than 50 years in television, (with roles from "Gunsmoke" to "Grays Anatomy",) film and theater, but most will probably remember him as either the cantankerous manager of the Cleveland Indians in the 1989 comedy "Major League" or as Don Johnson's crotchety, retired longshoreman father on the television show Nash Bridges. [more inside]
When "Proto-Pop" artist Larry Rivers' died in 2002, he left behind extensive archives of his letters, paperwork, photographs and film documenting the New York artistic and literary scene from the 1940s through the 1980s. They chronicle his friendships and relationships with dozens of artists, musicians and writers, from Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol to Frank O’Hara. Also included: films and videos of his two adolescent daughters, naked or topless, being interviewed by their father about their developing breasts. Now, one daughter, who says she was pressured to participate beginning when she was 11, is demanding that material be removed from the archive and returned to her and her sister. [more inside]
Dede Allen, editor of such films as Bonnie and Clyde, Dog Day Afternoon and Night Moves has died at the age of 86.
"Those of us who are the firstborn always dream of that imaginary brother or sister who will be their protector, the buffer, the one to take the blows. I'm a firstborn, and Bob was the answer to my dreams. He was the big brother that all of us wish for." ~ Bill Cosby on his I-Spy co-star Robert Culp (79), who died of a heart attack yesterday after a fall outside his Hollywood Hills home [more inside]
Acclaimed Malaysian film and advertising director Yasmin Ahmad has passed away at 11:52pm Saturday night at the age of 51, after collapsing from a stroke at a media presentation the day before. She leaves behind a legacy of film that captures the modern multicultural spirit of Malaysia, winning international festival awards and local hearts while at the mercy of conservative censors. [more inside]
Maurice Jarre (September 13, 1924 – March 29, 2009) was a French composer and conductor. Although he composed several concert works, he is best known for his film scores for motion pictures, particularly those of David Lean: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and A Passage to India (1984). All three of these scores won Academy Awards. - Wikipedia
Though best known for his role as hunky Lance Rocke in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, the actor/author was also distinguished by a career as a beefcake pin-up boy. Sadly, he has passed away at the age of 67.
"I knew I didn't look like an ingenue... My nose was too long. I had crooked teeth. I wasn't blond. I knew I looked like a character actress. But I also knew I'd find a way." One of the most accomplished scene stealers in the history of TV comedy, character actress Alice Ghostley, is dead at 81. [more inside]
What are you doing? Stop it! Stop it! Give me those pictures. You can't photograph people like that. Who says I can't? I'm only doing my job. Some people are bullfighters, some people are politicians. I'm a photographer.
Michelangelo Antonioni, 1912 - 2007.
Michelangelo Antonioni, 1912 - 2007.
"Porky's was about anti-Semitism, about racism, it's not just about boys with erections," claims Clark. He then adds, pun intended, "It was a seminal film." Bob Clark, Director of two iconic 1980's films that profoundly impacted some of your childhoods (no doubt in decidedly different ways), and his 22 year-old son were in a fatal car crash on PCH this morning. This was set to be a promising year for the man who brought Ralphie and his bunny suit to the world. R.I.P.
Sneaky Pete Kleinow, [Wikipedia | Allmusic] passed away Saturday, January 6 at the age of 72. In addition to being an incredible pedal steel guitar player, most notably with the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, he was also an accomplished visual effects artist who worked on films such as The Empire Strikes Back, Terminator I & II, and Army of Darkness.
Sven Nykvist leaves us. A master at the subtle manipulation of light, the multiple academy award winner and longtime Ingmar Bergman collaborator (including Persona, and the Through a Glass Darkly/Winter Light/The Silence trilogy) has passed away at 83.
more obits   more about him  
more obits   more about him  
Veteran actor Paul Gleason, who played Principal Richard "Dick" Vernon of The Breakfast Club and who acted in over 120 films television shows, died Saturday of lung cancer at age 67.
Russ Meyer dead at 82. The maker of some of the most fun flicks of his day and the man who introduced us the sexpots of an era. We bid you a fond farewell.
Remembering the Dragon On July 20th, 1973, Bruce Lee died, a month before the premiere of the film that would affirm his star power to Hollywood. As of 2003, an exhibition, a DVD boxset, a documentary and global fan worship continue to mark his rise to immortality. As far as a younger I was concerned, he'd already achieved it in his lifetime (viewing note...cable channel AMC will be airing the above-mentioned movies and documentary as part of a tribute this coming weekend).
James Coburn passes on...
Hollywood loses another giant. Billy Wilder passes on at 95. Just the quick list of movies at the top of the article gives me pause..Stalag 17, Some Like it Hot, The Seven-Year Itch. Damn, this is definitely a sad week in the entertainment business.
Film, TV Director Ted Demme Dies "Demme was participating in a celebrity basketball game at the private Crossroads School when he was stricken Sunday, said Ted Braun, a spokesman for Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. Paramedics rushed Demme to the hospital's emergency room in full cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead 20 minutes later. Demme, a nephew of director Jonathan Demme, directed Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz in last year's "Blow." The film was based on the true story of George Jung, who was the American connection to the Colombian cocaine cartel in the late 1970s and early '80s when the drug became hip. "
The man behind Woman in the Dunes has passed away. Filmmaker Hiroshi Teshigahara died on Saturday with nary a press announcement. I haven't been this pissed off about a media blackout since Sam Fuller passed on (or, to some extent, the recent death of Joey Ramone). Is the only way for an obscure artist to gain that long-neglected recognition for their works to kick the bucket? It would seem that, even then, there are no guarantees.
Goodbye, you grumpy old man...