2018 In Memoriam Part 4

Scott Wilson (March 29, 1942 – October 6, 2018)

Known most widely in recent years due to his work as Hershel on The Walking Dead, Wilson career stretches back to the 1960s and covers TV and Movies. He will be remembered for works including In The Heat Of The Night, The Ninth Configuration, Junebug, The Last Samurai, and CSI. 

Will Vinton (November 17, 1947 – October 4, 2018)

Although he should be a much more famous name in the US due to his work on commercials and TV specials, his work is also universal. He won one Oscar and was nominated two others, and he worked on Moonwalker, Return To Oz, Speed Demon, and The Adventures Of Mark Twain. 

Raymond Chow (8 October 1927 – 2 November 2018)

It’s not a stretch to say that Chow was one of the most important figures in the history of cinema, creating Golden Harvest and essentially enabling Martial Arts movies and Hong Kong Cinema to exist. Without Raymond Chow, there would be no Jackie Chan, no Bruce Lee, and likely a very different approach to action cinema.

Douglas Rain (March 13, 1928 – November 11, 2018)

Rain was a respected theatre actor and appeared in various TV series and TV movies, but his most well known role was as the voice of HAL in 2001 A Space Odyssey and its sequel.

Stan Lee (December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018)

It was bound to happen sooner rather than later. The ever youthful Stan Lee worked right up until his last days and was a huge supporter of visiting comic cons and speaking with fans – only right as he essentially invented the whole thing. Much of modern pop culture in the last 10 years has been shaped by him thanks to the MCU domination, but his career goes all the way back to the 1930s and his creations have appeared on TV and movies for almost as long. If you somehow still don’t know him, he’s the man behind Spiderman, The X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man, The Avengers, Iron Man, The Fantastic Four, Daredevil, and basically most of their surrounding cast, and as well as appearing in most of the MCU movie and TV creations he can be seen in X-Men, Deadpool, Mallrats, Teen Titans Go To The Movies, Muppet Babies, The Simpsons, and many many more.

William Goldman (August 12, 1931 – November 16, 2018)

One of the best combination screenwriter/authors of the 20th Century, Goldman was a two time Academy Award winner and created seminal works in at least four decades including Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, All The President’s Men, The Princess Bride, Misery, and Marathon Man. 

Nicolas Roeg CBE (15 August 1928 – 23 November 2018)

One of the most influential and respected British directors ever, Roeg’s films included adult and children’s horror, sci-fi, comedy, drama. Starting out as a cinematographer working on Lawrence Of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Casino Royale, Roeg found his own voice and delivered classics including Don’t Look Now, The Witches, Walkabout, and The Man Who Fell To Earth.

Ricky Jay (June 26, 1946 – November 24, 2018)

Primarily a magician, Jay’s stage presence enabled him to find a way into numerous TV shows and movies in often memorable cameos including The X Files, Boogie Nights, Tomorrow Never Dies, and The Prestige. 

Stephen Hillenburg (August 21, 1961 – November 26, 2018)

It’s another name which many people won’t be familiar with, but you will certainly be familiar with his work. Hillenburg was the creator of Spongebob Squarepants which won him a couple of Emmys. Prior to that he worked on, and eventually became lead director on Rocko’s Modern Life. 

Bernardo Bertolucci (16 March 1941 – 26 November 2018)

It’s not easy being controversial, polarizing, influential, award winning, successful, and have a career lasting sixty years, but Bertolucci ticked each of those boxes thanks to films such as The Conformist, Last Tango In Paris, The Dreamers, The Last Emperor, and Little Buddha. It’s difficult to understate the loss to the film world that Bertolucci’s passing is.

Don Lusk (October 28, 1913 – December 30, 2018)

One of the last surviving animators from the Golden Age of Disney, Lusk began working for the company in 1933 and his touch can be seen on films such as Cinderella, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, and Fantasia. Outside of Disney he also worked as an animator and director for various shows and movies including Tom And Jerry, The Smurfs, Peanuts, and The Flintstones. 

Ringo Lam (1955 – December 29, 2018)

A huge loss to the Asian movie industry and action movies everywhere, Ringo Lam was a director, writer, and occasional actor whose films had a major influence on Hollywood. He will be remembered for films such as City On Fire, Full Contact, Twin Dragons, and Maximum Risk.

Dame June Whitfield (11 November 1925 – 28 December 2018)

A stage and radio performer in the 1940s, Whitfield gained her most popular roles in a run of sitcoms in the 80s and 90s even though she had performed on TV and in films consistently in the decades between. She will be remembered for The Carry On Series, The Benny Hill Show, Terry And June, Doctor Who, Friends, and Absolutely Fabulous.

Robert Kerman (December 16, 1947 – December 27, 2018)

A mainstay of all those porn movies from the 70s that your dad watched, Kerman was a trained actor who also appeared in a number of notable films including Spiderman, Cannibal Holocaust, Night Of The Creeps, and No Way Out. 

Donald Moffat (26 December 1930 – 20 December 2018)

Starting out with a stage career which led to a Tony nominations, Moffat remains most well known for his TV and film work including The Thing (Gary), Clear And Present Danger (The President), License To Kill (Webster), and Dr Quinn Medicine Woman. 

Peter Masterson (June 1, 1934 – December 18, 2018)

Actor, director, writer, Masterson appears in films such as The Exorcist and In The Heat Of The Night, directed The Trip To Bountiful and Lost Junction, and wrote The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. 

Penny Marshall (October 15, 1943 – December 17, 2018)

One of the first truly successful female directors in Hollywood, Marshall made her name as an actress first, earning multiple Golden Globe nominations for Laverne And Shirley while also appearing in Happy Days, The Odd Couple, The Simpsons and other seminal shows. She directed films including Big, Awakenings, and A League Of Their Own. 

Rob Deshotel

A TV producer and writer, Rob worked on That 70s Show, Fantasy Island, and Man With A Plan while also contributing to over thirty episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, including writing personal favourite episodes Killed By Death and The Puppet Show. 

Roger (2006 -2018)

Roger was that kangeroo everyone knew, shared in memes for his beast mode physique.

The Dynamite Kid (5 December 1958 – 5 December 2018)

Thomas Billington, better known as The Dynamite Kid was one half of The British Bulldogs and one of the most successful British wrestlers of all time winning multiple titles across the globe including the WWE Tag Championship.

Geoff Murphy (12 October 1938 – 3 December 2018)

One of the first majorly successful directors from New Zealand, Geoff Murphy acted as a 2nd Unit Director on the LOTR Trilogy but also directed his own films including Young Guns 2, Under Siege 2, and The Quiet Earth. 

Feel free to share any memories of those who died in 2018 in the comments.

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2018 In Memoriam Part 3

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. 

2018 In Memoriam Part Two

Michael Anderson (30 January 1920 – 25 April 2018)

Almost reaching the age of One Hundred, Anderson had a long and varied career starting in the 1930s. Some of his many TV and Film credits include Logan’s Run, The Dam Busters, Around The World In 80 Days, and The Martian Chronicles. 

Arthur B Rubinstein (March 31, 1938 – April 23, 2018)

Another composer and another non-household name deserving of recognition, Rubenstein worked on the scores for works including WarGames, Blue Thunder, the Stakeout series, The Simpsons, and Tiny Toon Adventures.

Verne Troyer (January 1, 1969 – April 21, 2018)

Known to most as Mini-Me from the Austin Powers series, Troyer performed in a variety of other shows and movies including Jingle All The Way, Men In Black, Fear And Loathing In las Vegas and as a regular guest on popular British game show Celebrity Juice. 

Bruno Sammartino (October 6, 1935 – April 18, 2018)

Every year brings a number of deaths in the Wrestling world, but few would have the impact of the loss of Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino. Sammartino set a world record for bench pressing in the 1950s and holds the record for both longest single WWE title reign and longest time as champion at eleven YEARS. One suspects that these records will never be topped, as much as Brock Lesnar would love to try.

Pamela Gidley (June 11, 1965 – April 16, 2018)

Gidley is most widely known as the ill-fated Teresa Banks in Fire Walk With Me, but also starred in TV shows Angel Street, Strange Luck, The Pretender, and movies including Thrashin’, and The Little Vampire. 

Harry Anderson (October 14, 1952 – April 16, 2018)

Harry Anderson was a recognisable face on stage as a comedian and magician and on the big and small screen as an all round performer – you’ll known him from Cheers, SNL, IT, Night Court, and Dave’s World. 

R Lee Ermey (March 24, 1944 – April 15, 2018)

Ermy had one of the most enduring screen voices and presences no doubt enabled by his years as a marine and drill instructor, and popularized by appearances in Full Metal Jacket, Toy Story Series, Apocalypse Now, Body Snatchers, Starship Troopers, Willard, and The Simpsons. 

Milos Forman (18 February 1932 – 13 April 2018)

One of the most successful directors from Europe who transitioned to Hollywood, Forman’s films received over 30 Oscar nominations and almost twenty wins including two wins for Best Director. He is known for films including One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s  Nest, Amadeus, Man On The Moon, and The People Versus Larry Flynt.

Isao Takahata (October 29, 1935 – April 5, 2018)

One of the most famous directors of animated work whose name isn’t Hayao Miyazaki, Takahata formed Studio Ghibli with Miyazaki and worked on most of the studio’s earliest hits. He directed many classics including Grave Of The Fireflies, Pom Poko, Only Yesterday, and The Tale Of Princess Kaguya. 

Eric Bristow MBE (25 April 1957 – 5 April 2018)

Bristow was one of the most famous Darts players in the world and one of the first to truly popularize the sport. A five time World Champion along with many other accomplishments, Bristow also worked as a TV pundit for the sport and appeared on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. 

Joe Jackson (July 26, 1928 – June 27, 2018)

Patriarch of The Jackson Family, it is fairly safe to say that without Joe there would be no Jackson Five, no Bad, no Thriller, no Rhythm Nation. Strict with his children, his training and managing of them led to some of the greatest music the world has ever heard.

Vinnie Paul (March 11, 1964 – June 22, 2018)

The older brother of Dimebag Darrell who he founded Pantera with, Paul’s drums set the tone for the groove metal band as well as their later collaboration Damageplan.

Koko (July 4, 1971 – June 19, 2018)

Arguably the most famous Gorilla not named Kong, Koko was famous for her relationships with humans, cats, and her seemingly amazing ability to learn, understand, and use sign language. Not only could Koko respond accurately to questions using sign language, she could ask her own, hold conversations, train other gorillas in its usage, and every so often merge signs to deceive or make jokes as well as creatively making up her own combinations of signs to describe objects or feelings she had not been taught the signs for. The star of many viral videos and documentaries, Koko was also known for caring for and loving cats.

Vader (May 14, 1955 – June 18, 2018)

The Wrestling world suffered another major loss this year, one I was much more familiar with. Vader was one of the biggest and best super heavyweight wrestlers in the world. As with most wrestlers he worked in multiple promotions around the world, including WCW, TNA, and WWE, his monster style no barrier to his aerial stunts and speed.

Leslie Grantham (30 April 1947 – 15 June 2018)

I’m conflicted in talking about Grantham, given his shady past – he served ten years in prison for murder – and the man he killed (Felix Reese) likely never gets spoken of. Grantham was a mainstay on British Television thanks to his role as Dirty Den on Eastenders, but also appeared in Doctor Who, Cleudo, and Urban Gothic. 

Eunace Gayson (17 March 1928 – 8 June 2018)

The first Bond girl, appearing in the first two movies in the series as Sylvia Trench, Gayson’s career started in the 40s, preferring to work on Stage but nevertheless also appearing in Carry On Admiral and The Revenge Of Frankenstein.

Nikolai Volkoff (October 14, 1947 – July 29, 2018)

Yet another major Wrestling loss, Volkoff was known for partnering/feuding with the likes of Sgt. Slaughter, Million Dollar Man, and The Iron Sheik, becoming one of the most popular villains of the 80s and 90s, winning the Tag Belt at the first Wrestlemania.