Dec 31, 2013

RIP 2013

We're far enough away from the golden age of Hollywood that the news of another talent from that time passing is to be expected, and yet we lost so many legends this year that it was somehow harder to take.

It's difficult to imagine a world without Joan Fontaine, Deanna Durbin, Esther Williams or Peter O'Toole. As unlikely as it might have been, it's still sad to realize I'll never meet Eleanor Parker, Audrey Totter or Karen Black. I'm always going to wish I could read Roger Ebert's opinions about the latest films.

Though most of us never knew these artists personally, we care when they go because they gave us so much to admire. They inspired us. I'm grateful to all of these people for sharing their gifts with us.

Daphne Anderson, 90, British actress and singer
Hobson's Choice (1954), The Beggar's Opera (1953)

Patty Andrews, 94, American singer/actress
Buck Privates (1941), Follow the Boys (1944)

Michael Ansara, 91, Syrian-American actor
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961), The Robe (1953)

Karen Black, 74, American actress
Five Easy Pieces (1970), Day of the Locust (1975)

Eileen Brennan, 80, American actresss
The Sting (1973), Private Benjamin (1981)

Diane Clare, 74, British actress
The Haunting (1963), Whistle Down the Wind (1961)

Nigel Davenport, 85, British actor
Phase IV (1974), A Man for All Seasons (1966)

Rosine Delamare, 101, French costume designer
The Earrings of Madame de... (1953), French Cancan (1954)

Valentin de Vargas, 79, American actor
Touch of Evil (1958), Hatari! (1962)

Deanna Durbin, 91, Canadian singer and actress
Lady on a Train (1945), It Started With Eve (1941)

Roger Ebert, 70, American film critic/screenwriter
Chicago Sun-Times, Siskel & Ebert, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

Rossella Falk, 86, Italian actress
8½ (1963), Modesty Blaise (1966)

Jon Finch, 70, British actor
The Vampire Lovers (1970), Frenzy (1972)

Joan Fontaine, 96, American actress
Letter From an Unknown Woman (1948), Rebecca (1940)

Steve Forrest, 87, American actor
So Big (1953), The Longest Day (1962)

Annette Funicello, 70, American actress/singer
Beach Blanket Bingo (1965), Beach Party (1963)

Virginia Gibson, 88, American actress
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), Tea for Two (1950)

Haji, 67, Canadian actress
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965), Supervixens (1975)

Chico Hamilton, 92, American drummer/composer
Repulsion (1965)(score), You'll Never Get Rich (1941)(performance)

Kim Hamilton, 81, American actress
Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Julie Harris, 87, American actress
East of Eden (1955), The Member of the Wedding (1952)

Ray Harryhausen, 92, American stop-motion animator
Jason and the Argonauts (1963), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973)

Fay Kanin, 95, American screenwriter/playwright/producer, President of AMPAS (1979–1983)
Teacher's Pet (1958), Friendly Fire (1979)

Stanley Kauffmann, 97, American author/film and theater critic
The New Republic, The New York Times

Jim Kelly, 67, American martial artist/actor
Enter the Dragon (1973), Black Belt Jones (1974)

Jean Kent, 92, English actress
The Browning Version (1951), Good-Time Girl (1948)

John Kerr, 81, American actor
South Pacific (1958), Tea and Sympathy (1956)

Mickey Knox, 91, American actor and screenwriter
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), G.I. Blues (1960)

Tom Laughlin, 82, Actor/filmmaker
The Born Losers (1967), Billy Jack (1971)

Ed Lauter, 74, American actor
Family Plot (1976), The Longest Yard (1974)

Elmore Leonard, 87, American novelist/screenwriter
The Tall T (1957), 3:10 to Yuma (1957) (story for both)

Harry Lewis, 93, American actor/restaurateur
Key Largo (1948), Gun Crazy (1950)

A.C. Lyles, 95, American film producer

Richard Matheson, 87, American author/screenwriter
The Shrinking Man (1957), Somewhere in Time (1980)

Sheila Matthews Allen, 84, American actress
The Towering Inferno (1974), The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

Matt Mattox, 92, American dancer
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), The Band Wagon (1953)

Patsy May, 78, American actress
Our Gang

Mariangela Melato, 71, Italian actress
Swept Away (1974), Flash Gordon (1980)

Rentarō Mikuni, 90, Japanese actor
Inazuma sôshi (1951), Fukushû suru wa ware ni ari (1979)

Sara Montiel, Spanish singer/actress
Vera Cruz (1954), The Last Torch Song (1957)

Milo O'Shea, 86, Irish-born American actor
Barbarella (1968), Ulysses (1967)

Cliff Osmond, 75, American actor/writer
The Fortune Cookie (1966), Irma la Douce (1963)

Peter O'Toole, 81, Irish actor
The Ruling Class (1972), The Stuntman (1980)

Patti Page, 85, American singer/actress
Elmer Gantry (1960), Boy's Night Out (1962)

Eleanor Parker, 91, American actress
Caged (1950), Scaramouche (1952)

Margaret Pellegrini, 89, American actress
The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Rossana Podestà, 79, Italian actress
Helen of Troy (1956),7 uomini d'oro (1965)

Elliott Reid, 93, American actor
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), The Absent-Minded Professor (1961)

Dale Robertson, 89, American actor
Son of Sinbad (1957), Tales of Wells Fargo (1957, TV)

Jay Robinson, 83, American actor
The Robe (1953), Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)

Jean Stapleton, 90, American actress
Damn Yankees! (1958), Bells are Ringing (1960)

Graham Stark, 91, British actor
The Wrong Box (1966), A Shot in the Dark (1964)

Bert Stern, 83, American celebrity photographer/documentary maker
Jazz on a Summer's Day (1959), The Last Sitting (book of photos from Marilyn Monroe's final session)

Audrey Totter, 95, American actress
Tension (1949), Alias Nick Beal (1949)

Luciano Vincenzoni, 87, Italian screenwriter
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966), Death Rides a Horse (1967)

Esther Williams, 91, American swimmer/actress
Million Dollar Mermaid (1952), Dangerous When Wet (1953)

Michael Winner, 77, British director
The Mechanic (1972), The Big Sleep (1978)

Jonathan Winters, 87, American comedian/actor
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), The Loved One (1965)


  1. It surprises me to see how many great actors died this year. I guess the swell part is that many lived to nice old age. They will always be with us. : )

  2. I agree Thingy--living into your 80s and 90s has to be a great accomplishment after working in an industry as stressful as the entertainment business. It did seem like the list of biggies was especially big this year, but it could have had a stronger impact on me because I'm particularly fond of Durbin, O'Toole, Parker, Williams and Fontaine--and whoever else I'm forgetting.

  3. I say bittersweet Tom. I'm sad to see them go, but grateful we had them. This post is a celebration of what they accomplished in addition to being a farewell.