Brian Christopher (January 10, 1972 – July 29, 2018)
Another post, and another major loss within the wrestling world, Christopher was the son of Jerry The King Lawler yet was more popularly known as Grand Master Sexay thanks to his partnership with Scotty 2 Hotty and Rikishi. Too Sexy were one of the most popular tag teams bag when I was in ‘big school’, with moves such as The Worm being emulated by friends no matter how many times the TV told us to ‘Don’t Try This At Home’.
Elmarie Wendel (November 23, 1928 – July 21, 2018)
Known to me as Mrs Dupcek from 3rd Rock From The Sun, Wendel grew up in a travelling performer family and worked on stage and on Broadway in her younger years. A prominent voice actor, she also lent her talents to NYPD Blue, Seinfeld, and George Lopez.
Shinobu Hashimoto (18 April 1918 – 19 July 2018)
Here’s a name you may not know, but it belonged to a man whose impact on film cannot be understated. He was a director and screenwriter – writing such little known movies as The Seven Samurai, Rashomon, Ikiru, The Hidden Fortress, and Lake Of Illusions.
William Dunlop (23 July 1985 – 7 July 2018)
The only funeral on the list which I personally attended, local hero William Dunlop was the son and nephew of legends Robert and Joey Dunlop respectively. It goes without saying what a lethal sport motorcycle and road racing is and it claimed another of the best this year.
Claude Lanzmann (27 November 1925 – 5 July 2018)
Lanzmann was a documentary filmmaker known for his Holocause works including Shoah, Sobibor October 14, and the recently released Shoah Four Sisters.
Robby Muller (4 April 1940 – 3 July 2018)
This Dutch Cinematographer contributed his vision to a number of groundbreaking films yet surprisingly was never nominated for an Academy Award. He will be remembered for his work on films including Breaking The Waves, To Live And Die In LA, Korczak, Ghost Dog Way Of The Samurai, Paris Texas, and Dead Man.
Aretha Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018)
It seems unlikely that we’ll suffer a bigger loss in the music world this year than Aretha Franklin, The Queen Of Soul. Not only is she one of the greatest and most influential singers of all time, she was also the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, received the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, and was a prominent Civil Rights activist and all round epic human.
Jim Neidhart (February 8, 1955 – August 13, 2018)
2018 seems to have been a particularly rough year for Wreslting losses, with Jim The Anvil Neidhart yet another successful figure to depart. With appearances in TNA, WCW, ECW, and of course WWE, Neidhart was one of the Hart family members and won the WWE Tag Championships twice with Bret.
Barry Chuckle (24 December 1944 – 5 August 2018)
One half of The Chuckle Brothers, which won’t mean anything to anyone outside of the UK, Barry was part of one of Britain’s most beloved kids comedy double acts. Nobody can quite put their finger on why they were so successful, but watching them as a child was a joy and they were one of those groups which stoned University students regularly tuned into, their show Chucklevision lasting over twenty years.
Otis Rush (April 29, 1934 – September 29, 2018)
One of the last surviving original authentic Blues guitarists, Rush lent his voice and licks to classics such as I Can’t Quit You Baby, All Your Love, and Double Trouble.
Marty Balin (January 30, 1942 – September 27, 2018)
As one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship, Balin contributed to some of the most iconic and psychedelic hit songs of the 60s, his output continuing with varying degrees of success over the next few decades.
Al Matthews (November 21, 1942 – September 22, 2018)
Most famous for his terrific turn as Sgt Apone in Aliens, Matthews was a bona fide Vietnam Vet with two Purple Hearts and a love for the Corps. He also had a top 40 hit in the UK in the 70s and appeared in many other movies including The Fifth Element, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Superman III.
John Cunliffe (16 June 1933 – 20 September 2018)
Another legend of children’s entertainment, Cunliffe was the creator of Thomas The Tank Engine and later Rosie And Jim, creating safe and idyllic worlds where kids could let their imagine roam free.
Denis Norden CBE (6 February 1922 – 19 September 2018)
Another titan of British Comedy Television, Norden’s canned camera shows were must see TV growing up, his dry humour often annoying kids who wanted to get straight to the clips. Aside from his work on It’ll Be Alright On The Night and Laughter File, he was a scriptwriter for TV, Radio, and Movies including My Music and Buona Sera Mrs Campbell.
Fenella Fielding OBE (17 November 1927 – 11 September 2018)
With a distinctive husky voice, Fielding made a career as a voice actor and as a sultry screen vixen spanning seven decades. Her voice is recognisable in works including The Prisoner, Dougal And The Blue Cat and will be remembered on screen in Carry On Screaming, The Uncle Jack Series, and Guest House Paradiso.
Burt Reynolds (February 11, 1936 – September 6, 2018)
One of the biggest stars of the 70s and 80s, Burt Reynolds had a captivating presence and energy which ensured that even the poorest film became good and that a great film became legendary. In a career spanning seven decades he appeared in some of the most iconic TV shows and movies of all time including The X Files, Deliverance, Out Of This World, The Twilight Zone, Riverboat, The Longest Yard, Boogie Nights, and of course the Cannonball Run and Smokey And The Bandit series.
Carl Duering (29 May 1923 – 1 September 2018)
Duering’s most famous role was as Dr Brodsky in A Clockwork Orange but also performed in Darling Lili, The Guns Of Navarone, Biggles, Sunday Night Theatre, Gold, and The Boys From Brazil.