KATSUMI MURAMATSU Died Dec. 1, 2001
Japanese actor Katsumi Muramatsu died of stomach cancer at age 62. Mr. Muramatsu film credits include the classic horror films "Ringu" and "Ringu 2."
DEE BARTON Died Dec. 3, 2001
Mississippi composer Dee Barton died at age 64. Mr. Barton composed music for three Clint Eastwood movies: "Play Misty for Me," "High Plains Drifter" and "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot." Mr. Barton composer for several other films.
SILVIO CLEMENTELLI Died Dec. 4, 2001
Italian producer Sivio Clementelli died at age 75. Mr. Clementelli produced over 50 films. His biggest hit was the romantic comedy "Poor, But Beautiful." Mr. Clementelli’s other credits include the caveman spoof "When Women Had Tails" with Senta Berga, "The Libertine" with Catherine Spaak, "Tis a Pity She’s a Whore" with Charlotte Rampling and the epic TV mini-series "Christopher Columbus" with Gabriel Byrne and Oliver Reed.
STEPHANE POWELL Died Dec. 5, 2001
Special effects supervisor Stephanie Powell died of a heart attack at age 55. Ms. Powell worked on "The Devil’s Advocate," "Jurassic Park," "Get Shorty" and "Waterworld."
FAITH HUBLEY Died Dec. 7, 2001
Two time Oscar winner Faith Hubley died of cancer at age 77. The husband and wife team of John and Faith Hubley produced, directed, wrote and animated over 40 shorts and features. They won two Oscars for Best Short Subject, Cartoons for their films "The Hole" and "Herb Alpert and the Tiiuana Brass Double Feature." The Hubleys were nominated four other Oscars including one for "The Doonesbury Special."
PAULINE MOORE Died Dec. 7, 2001
Model turned actress Pauline Moore died of Lou Gehrig’s Disease at age 87. Ms. Moore had a bit part as a bridesmaid in James Whale’s classic "Frankenstein." Ms. Moore appeared in 25 films including "Heidi" with Shirley Temple, the 1939 version of "The Three Musketeers" and "Young Mr. Lincoln" with Henry Fonda. Ms. Moore appeared in three "Charlie Chan" films.
ASHOK KUMAR Died Dec. 10, 2001
India’s grand old man of cinema has died at age 90. Ashok Kumar appeared in over 200 films during his 60 year career. Mr. Kumar’s most famous role was in the 1943 version of "Kismet." Mr. Kumar was also a prolific painter. Mr. Kumar won three Best Supporting Actor Awards from India’s Filmfare Awards. He also was given a lifetime achievement award by the Filmfare Awards in 1996.
RUFUS THOMAS Died Dec. 15, 2001
Rufus Thomas was a Memphis icon for as long as I can remember. I met him at a Robert Cray concert on the campus of Memphis State University. My oldest daughter was then only about 7. Mr. Thomas gave Christy a hug and her first autograph. Rufus Thomas gave Memphis much more. Memphis was happy to share Mr. Thomas with the world. Rufus Thomas hit it big with such hits as "Walking the Dog" and "Do the Funky Chicken." Mr. Thomas’s film roles include roles in Jim Jarmusch’s "Mystery Train," "Great Balls of Fire" and "Cookie’s Fortune." Mr. Thomas also performed in the great documentary concert "Wattstax." Mr. Thomas died of a heart attack at the age of 84.
ROY BROCKSMITH Died Dec. 16, 2001
A drop of sweat meant the death of Roy Brocksmith in "Total Recall." Mr. Brocksmith played Dr. Edgemar in the sci-fi thriller. Brocksmith ‘s character pretended to be an implant suggestion. He almost convinces Arnold Schwarzenegger to surrender when Arnold notices a bead of sweat on the good doctor’s forehead. Implants don’t sweat. Adios Dr. Egdemar. Roy Brocksmith had a long and distinguished stage career. Mr. Brocksmith appeared in "Who’s That Girl," "Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey" and "Arachnophobia" among others. Mr. Brocksmith died of kidney failure due to diabetes at age 56.
LESTER PERSKY Died Dec. 16, 2001
Producer Lester Persky died following heart surgery at age 76. Mr. Persky was the production partner of actor Richard Bright (Al Neri from The Godfather series). Persky and Bright financed or produced such films as "Yanks," Hal Ashby’s "Shampoo" and "The Last Detail," Martin Scorsese’s "Taxi Driver," ">The Front," John Huston’s "The Man Who Would Be King," "Equus" and "The Missouri Breaks." Mr. Persky acted in "Andy Warhol’s Heat."
ALAN CROSLAND JR. Died Dec. 18, 2001
Film editor turned TV director Alan Crosland Jr. died at age 83. Mr. Crosland won the DGA Award for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a TV Special for his first assistant director work on the great TV film "The Marcus-Nelson Murders." That film was the pilot for the TV series "Kojak." Mr. Crosland edited over 20 films during the 40s and 50s including "The Sweet Smell of Success." Mr. Crosland was a prolific TV director working on over 30 top TV series during the 1960s including "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Bonanza," "Twelve O’Clock High," "77 Sunset Strip," "The Wild, Wild West" and "Emergency." Mr. Crosland was the son of silent film director Alan Crosland and the father of second unit director Alan Crosland III.
ARKEY WHITELEY Died Dec. 2001
Australian actress Arkey Whiteley died at age 36 after a short battle with cancer. Ms. Whiteley is probably best remembered for her role in "The Road Warrior." Ms. Whiteley played the blond warrior who fell for the geeky Gyro Captain played by Bruice Spence. Ms. Whiteley’s other credits include "A Town Called Alice," "The Last Musketeer" and the cheesy horror film "Razorback." Ms. Whiteley was the daughter of artist Brett Whiteley. She married surfer Jim Elliot shortly before her death.
STEPHEN F. KESTON Died Dec. 20, 2001
Film producer and jack of all trades Stephen F. Keston died at age 66. Mr. Keston served his country in the US Navy. Mr. Keston had numerous credits during his 40-year career. His credits (in several capacities) include several of my favorites including "The Taking of Pelham, One, Two, Three," "The Godfather," "Night of the Juggler," "Four Friends" and "Marathon Man."
FOSTER BROOKS Died Dec. 20, 2001
I first saw Foster Brooks on "Dean Martin Present’s The Golddiggers" in the summer of 1970. That show had everything a 12 year-old could want: sexy babes and comedy. Marty Feldman and Foster Brooks caught my imagination with their comic genius. Foster Brooks was famous for the lovable drunk he made his living by playing. Mr. Brooks played a drunk on TV but in real life he was a national spokesman for MADD. Mr. Brooks was a regular on Dean Martin’s "Celebrity Roasts." Thanks for the many laughs.
LANCE LOUD Died Dec. 22, 2001
Lance Loud came out of the closet on TV during the landmark PBS TV series "An American Family." "An American Family" The 1973 TV series followed the lives of the Loud Family in Northern California. TV’s first reality show was highlighted by the divorce of Bill and Pat Loud and the revelation that son Lance was Gay. Lance Loud died of complications from AIDS and hepatitis C at the age of 50.
LANCE FULLER Died Dec. 22, 2001
B-movie icon Lance Fuller died at age 83. Mr. Fuller appeared in a number of cult-classic horror and science fiction films during the 1950s. His credits include "This Island Earth," "The She Creature" and Voodoo Woman." Mr. Fuller played bit parts in such films as "Singing in the Rain," "To Have and Have Not," and "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman." In addition to his horror and sci/fi roles, Mr. Fuller appeared in numerous Westerns including "Taza, Son of Cochise," "Kentucky Rifle" and "Frontier Woman."
JACQUES MAYOL Died Dec. 22, 2001
Famed free-diver Jacques Mayol committed suicide at age 74. Mr. Mayol was the first man to dive to a depth of 100 meters on one breath. Mr. Mayol was the subject of Luc Besson’s film "Big Blue." Mr. Mayol had contributed to a number of documentaries also.
PAUL LANDRES Died Dec. 26, 2001
Editor turned TV director Paul Landres died of complications from cancer at age 89. Mr. Landres began working as a film editor for Universal in 1931. He turned to directing TV shows and B-movies in the late 1940s. Mr. Landres has more than 130 credits as both an editor and director. Mr. Landres’s credits include "Gang Busters," "Junior G-Men of the Air," "Boom Town," "The Scarlet Claw," "I Shot Jesse James" and the TV series "The Rifleman" and "77 Sunset Strip."
NIGEL HAWTHORNE Died Dec. 26, 2001
While researching on IMDB for a DVD review, I found out that Mr. Hawthorne died of a heart attack the day after Christmas. Mr. Hawthorne was nominated for an Oscar for the 1994 film "The Madness of King George." He won five British Academy Awards during his lifetime. He played the evil Dr. Cocteau in "Demolition Man." His other films include "Ghandi," "Armistad," Clint Eastwood's "Firefox" and "Richard III." Mr. Hawthorne also lent his vocal talents to several animated films: "Watership Down," "The Black Cauldron," "The Plague Dogs," "Freddy as F.R.O.7" and "Tarzan."
JACK GROSSBERG Died Dec. 28, 2001
Producer Jack Grossberg died at age 74. Mr. Grossberg is best know for producing Mel Brook’s "The Producers" and numerous films by Woody Allen including "Sleeper" and "Bananas." Mr. Grossberg worked as second assistant director in "On the Water Front." Other credits include "Brainstorm," the remake of "King Kong," Humphrey Bogart’s final film "The Harder They Fall" and the classic dark comedy "Pretty Poison" with Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins.
BRIAN BANSGROVE Died Dec. 29, 2001
Gaffer Brian Bansgrove died in Thailand at the age of 60. Mr. Bansgrove was the chief lighting technician on "Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring" and "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers." Andrew Lesnie dedicated his Best Cinematography Oscar to Mr. Bansgrove. Lesnie said that Bansgrove and his crew were the main reason he won the Oscar. A class act move by Mr. Lesnie. Mr. Bansgrove’s other credits include the classic "Gallipoli" with Mel Gibson, "The Year of Living Dangerously," "No Escape" and "Operation Dumbo Drop."
ROBERT PATTEN Died Dec. 29, 2001
Character actor Robert Patten died of cancer at age 76. Mr. Patten served in WWII as a navigator in the Army Air corp. Mr. Patten appeared in nearly 200 films and TV shows including "12 O’Clock High," "Black Sunday," "Breakfast at Tiffany’s," "Airport" and "West World."
RAY PATTERSON Died Dec. 30, 2001
Master animator Ray Patterson died at age 90. Mr. Patterson worked for Disney, MGM and Marvel Comics among others. Mr. Patterson animated many of the "Tom and Jerry" cartoons. Other credits include Disney’s "Pinocchio," "Fantasia," "Dumbo," and hundreds of others. Mr. Patterson directed a number of animated features and TV series including "Scooby-Doo Goes Hollywood," "Scooby and Scrappy Doo" and "The Smurfs."
DAVID SWIFT Died Dec. 31, 2001
Writer/producer/director/animator/actor David Swift died of heart failure at age 82. Mr. Swift had a remarkable and varied career. Mr. Swift was a Disney animator who worked on such classics as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Pinocchio" "Peter Pan," and "Fantasia." Mr. Swift also had success as a director. His directing credits include the TV series "The Rifleman," "Barney Miller," "Eight is Enough" and the feature films "The Parent Trap," "Good Neighbor Sam," "Pollyanna" and "How to Succeed in Business With Out Really Trying." Mr. Swift also produced and wrote "How to Succeed in Business With Out Really Trying" for which he was nominated for a Writer’s Guild Award. Mr. Swift over 20 films and TV scripts.
MATTHIAS FUCHES Died Dec. 31, 2001
German leading man Matthius Fuches died of lung cancer at age 62. Mr. Fuches appeared in over 60 films during his career. Fuches appeared in three projects with Rainer Werner Fassbinder including the epic mini-series "Berlin Alexanderplatz" and "Lola." Mr. Fuches other credits include "The Deathmaker," "Woman in Flames" and "The Noah’s Ark Principle."
PAUL HUBSCHMID Died Dec. 31, 2001
Swiss film star Paul Hubschmid died at age 84 of a pulmonary embolism. Mr. Hubschmid appeared in nearly 100 films. He played the lead in Ray Harryhausen’s classic "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms." He was given a lifetime achievement award at the German Film Awards in 1980. Mr. Hubschmid’s credits include "Bolero," the Burt Reynold’s missing-link movie "Skullduggery," "Mozambique," "Funeral in Berlin" with Michael Caine and "Games of Desire."
EILEEN HECKART Died Dec. 31, 2001
Oscar, double Emmy and Tony award winning actress Eileen Heckart died of cancer December 31,2001. Ms. Heckart won the 1972 Best Supporting actress Oscar for recreating her stage role in the movie version of "Butterflies Are Free." She was also nominated for an Oscar in 1956 for her role in "The Bad Seed."
I remember her playing nasty drunks and funny broads. That may not be PC, but the women she played were broads in the best sense of the word. Her raspy voice will be missed!
DENNY ARNOLD Died Dec. 31, 2001
Beloved stunt man Denny Arnold died at age 67 surrounded by his family. Mr. Arnold was the first Canadian stunt man to be voted into the American Stuntman’s Hall of Fame. Mr. Arnold played briefly in the NFL before a knee injury sidelined his career. Mr. Arnold worked in over 350 films including "The Parallax View," "The Wild Bunch," "Soylent Green," "The Omega Man," "X-Men," "Chinatown" and "Little Big Man."