Dec 31, 2015

RIP 2015: In Remembrance and Gratitude

It can be heartwrenching to be a classic movie fan. So many of the stars you love are gone, and you must say goodbye to more every year. It makes you even more grateful for any connection you may make with them, be it a signed photo, a public appearance, or even meeting face-to-face. I find it also makes me even more determined to spread the word about these amazing artists and ensure their legacy endures.

This year the losses were particularly poignant for me, because I'd actually seen three of them, Albert Maysles, Maureen O'Hara and film critic Richard Corliss, in person at TCM Classic Film Festival. O'Hara's interview with Robert Osborne was incredibly emotional and felt like a goodbye and a heartfelt "thank you" from both audience and star. Maysles was also clearly frail as he appeared before a screening of Grey Gardens (1975), though as like O'Hara, he was still as sharp and lucid as ever. I have to admit I didn't pay much attention to Corliss, after all, he was interviewing Margaret O'Brien, but I deeply respect his writing.

May all of these talented people rest in peace. I hope they all know how much pleasure they gave the world.

Chantal Akerman, 65
Director, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)

Gene Allen, 97
Art director, My Fair Lady (1965), A Star is Born (1955)

James Best, 88
Actor, Winchester '73 (1950), The Dukes of Hazzard

Theodore Bikel, 91
Actor, My Fair Lady(1964), The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966)

Wally Cassell, 103
Actor, White Heat (1949), Story of G.I. Joe (1945)

Movita Castaneda, 98
Actress, Flying Down to Rio (1933), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Kevin Corcoran, 66
Child actor/Producer/Director, Old Yeller (1957), The Shaggy Dog (1959)

Richard Corliss, 71
Film critic/ Author, Film Comment, Time

Jean Darling, 93
Child actress, Our Gang

Danièle Delorme, 89
Actress, Gigi (1949)

Betsy Drake, 92,
Actress, Room for One More (1952), Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)

Anita Ekberg, 83
Actress, La Dolce Vita (1960), The Alphabet Murders (1965)

Suzanne Farrington, 81
Daughter of Vivien Leigh and custodian of her papers

Gabriele Ferzetti, 90
Actor, L'Avventura (1960), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

Stan Freberg, 88
Voice actor/puppeteer, Lady and the Tramp (1955), Looney Tunes

Philip French, 82
Film critic, The Observer, The Guardian

Ivo Garrani, 91
Actor, Black Sunday (1960)

Leatrice Joy Gilbert, 90
Actress/Author, daughter of Leatrice Joy and John Gilbert

Samuel Goldwyn Jr., 88
Film producer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960), The Proud Rebel (1958)

Claire Gordon, 74
Actress, Konga (1961), Beat Girl (1960)

Jean Gruault, 90
Screenwriter, Jules and Jim (1962), Two English Girls (1971)

Coleen Gray, 92
Actress, Nightmare Alley (1947), The Killing (1956)

Setsuko Hara, 95
Actress, Late Spring (1949), Tokyo Story (1953)

Mary Healy, 96
Actress, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953)

Charles Herbert, 66
Child actor, Houseboat (1958), The Fly (1958)

Penelope Houston, 88
Film critic, Sight & Sound, The Spectator

Marty Ingels, 79
Actor/voiceover artist, The Cattanooga Cats, Pac-Man

Franco Interlenghi, 83
Actor, Sciuscià (1946), I vitelloni (1953)

Richard Johnson, 87
Actor, The Haunting (1963), Deadlier Than the Male (1967)

Dean Jones, 84
Actor, The Love Bug (1968), That Darn Cat! (1965)

Louis Jourdan, 93
Actor, Gigi (1958), Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)

JoAnn Dean Killingsworth, 91
The first person to portray Snow White at Disneyland

Hiroshi Koizumi, 88
Actor, Godzilla Raids Again (1955), Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)

Tom Layne Jr., 87
Child actor, Charlie Chan series

Sir Christopher Lee, 93
Actor, Dracula (1958), The Wicker Man (1973)

Joan Leslie, 90
Actress, Repeat Performance (1947), Woman They Almost Lynched (1953)

Monica Lewis, 93
Actress/Singer, voice of Miss Chiquita Banana, The Strip (1951)

Colette Marchand, 90
Ballerina/Actress, Moulin Rouge (1952), The Lady in the Ice (1953)

D.M. Marshman, Jr., 92

Screenwriter, Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Albert Maysles, 88
Documentarian, Grey Gardens (1975), Gimme Shelter (1970)

Martin Milner, 83
Actor, Route 66, Adam-12, Marjorie Morningstar (1958)

Ron Moody, 91
Actor, Oliver! (1968)

Dickie Moore, 89
Child actor, Our Gang, Blonde Venus (1932)

Aubrey Morris, 89
Actor, A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Wicker Man (1973)

Maureen O'Hara, 95
Actress, How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Parent Trap (1961)

Betsy Palmer, 88
Actress, The Long Gray Line (1955), Mister Roberts (1955)

Walter Peregoy, 89
Animator, Paul Bunyan (1958), Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Nova Pilbeam, 95
Actress, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), Young and Innocent (1937)

Rex Reason, 86
Actor, This Island Earth (1955), The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)

Francesco Rosi, 92
Director, The Mattei Affair (1972), Salvatore Giuliano (1962)

Lizabeth Scott, 92
Actress, Too Late for Tears (1949), Dead Reckoning (1947)

Stewart Stern
, 92
Screenwriter, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), The Ugly American (1963)

Omar Sharif, 83
Actor, Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965)

Alan Steel, 79
Actor, bodybuilder, body double for Steve Reeves in Hercules Unchained (1959) and The Giant of Marathon (1959)

Anthony Sydes, 74
Child actor, Cheaper by the Dozen (1950), Shadow on the Wall (1950)

Rod Taylor, 84
Actor, The Time Machine (1960), The Birds (1963)

Nigel Terry, 69
Actor, The Lion in Winter (1968), Excalibur (1981)

Gregory Walcott, 87
Actor, Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)

Elmo Williams, 102
Film editor, High Noon (1952), Design for Death (1947)

George "Foghorn" Winslow, 69
Child actor, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), My Pal Gus (1952)

Than Wyenn, 95
Actor, Twilight Zone, Imitation of Life (1959)