2018 – In Memoriam Part One

It’s that time of the year again, when we look forwards, backwards, and under (the tree). We are thankful for who and what we have, and remember those we’ve lost. In the last twelve months or so, I’ve lost a Grandmother to old age, an Aunt to Cancer, a friend to depression and addiction, and a friend’s kid to murder. I set up this blog primarily to post my old movie reviews from IMDB but as I just can’t help myself, it grew into other movie posts, music reviews, lists, and assorted crap, though I have always kept it as a secret space away from my personal life. With this yearly post I take a look at those famous faces who died in the year and who meant something to me – whether it be a movie they were involved in, because of a ball they kicked well, or because they played a mean guitar. I’m writing this on 11/28/2018 – these posts usually take a few weeks to write, so between now and then the Reaper’s Scythe will likely fall again. I will update as I go along, but I plan to post as close to the end of the year as possible – I’m sure I’ve missed some, but feel free to add anyone important to you in the comments.

John Morris (October 18, 1926 – January 25, 2018)

John Morris was one of the many composers in the movie industry whose name is not instantly recognizable, yet whose music will be familiar to many. Starting out composing successfully for Broadway, Morris wrote and produced his own musical before meeting Mel Brooks and heading to Hollywood. There he would write the scores for The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, The Elephant Man (Oscar Nominated), Clue, Spaceballs, Dirty Dancing, and more.

Jack Ketchum (November 10, 1946 – January 24, 2018)

As a life long horror fan, I somehow only made my way to Jack Ketchum in my late twenties. Like many writers of genre fiction, Ketchum was an anti-social imaginative child but it was his meeting with Robert Bloch which cemented his path. Ketchum would be known for his highly controversial and bloody tales such as Off Season, The Girl Next Door, and many short stories such as The Box many of which have been adapted to film.

Moya O’Sullivan (8 June 1926 – 16 January 2018)

Unless you’re Australian or a fan of Neighbours you probably won’t recognise the name. Moya appeared on TV for over 60 years but I know her as Marlene Kratz from Neighbours – a character I admit I never liked but hand the credit for that to O’Sullivan’s acting.

Dolores O’Riordan (6 September 1971 – 15 January 2018)

Although I was never a fan of The Cranberries, there’s no doubting the impact and influence Dolores and her band had on other artists and my friends, and for a number of my teenage years you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing her voice.

Hugh Wilson (August 21, 1943 – January 14, 2018)

If you know me or follow the blog you’ll know that The Police Academy series is one of my favourites – completely brilliant in its juvenile silliness. Hugh Wilson co-wrote and directed the first and best movie in the series as well as working on The Bob Newhart Show, Rough Riders, The First Wives Club and others.

Eddie Clarke (5 October 1950 – 10 January 2018)

The last surviving member of the original Motorhead lineup passed this year, guitarist Fast Eddie following bandmates Lemmy and Phil Philthy Animal Taylor. Clarke started out as a Blues guitarist but provided much of the pace and venom for Motorhead’s early hits.

Tommy Lawrence (14 May 1940 – 10 January 2018)

Lawrence was the goalkeeper for Liverpool FC at the start of their first Golden Age, playing for the club over 300 times in a twenty year period, winning the league twice and the FA Cup once before handing over to the young Ray Clemence.

Lewis Gilbert CBE (6 March 1920 – 23 February 2018)

Gilbert was one of the key icons of the Swinging Sixties, though many people today would not recognise his name. Directing Alfie in 1966 may have been his commercial and critical peak, though beforehand he had directed many successful films including HMS Defiant and Sink The Bismark, and afterwards he continued this trend with hits such as Shirley Valentine and Educating Rita. I will remember him most fondly for directing three James Bond films, including my favourite from the Connery era – You Only Live Twice. 

Johan Johannsson (19 September 1969 – 9 February 2018)

Johannsson was always interested in music from an early age and experimented with a wide array of genres, working with different artists and having a notable solo career. Most people known him from his film work as he was nominated for an Academy Award on Sicario along with composing on Mandy, Arrival, and Prisoners.

John Gavin (April 8, 1931 – February 9, 2018)

Bond fans may know him as the man who was going to take over from George Lazenby, but a huge offer encouraged Connery to return and that was that. Nevertheless, Gavin maintained a success appearing in films as varied and successful as Psycho (Loomis), Spartacus (Caesar), and Thoroughly Modern Millie while also acting as the US Ambassador to Mexico for a number of years.

John Mahoney (June 20, 1940 – February 4, 2018)

A former Vet and English teacher, Mahoney didn’t begin acting until his late thirties before appearing, usually as authority figures, in TV and movies. His most widespread role was as the sardonic sports fan ex-cop father in Fraiser, but also had an extensive career on screen and as a voice performer in works including The Iron Giant, Tin Men, Barton Fink, and The Simpsons.

Stephane Audran (8 November 1932 – 27 March 2018)

Though she primarily starred in French Productions, Audran was known to international audiences due to her performances in critically acclaimed films and every so often popped up in a US piece – Babette’s Feast, The Big Red One, The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie, and the recently released The Other Side Of The Wind are some of her more notable appearances.

Debbie Lee Carrington (December 14, 1959 – March 23, 2018)

Suffering from dwarfism, Carrington became one of the most famous and popular actresses and stuntwoman with the illness, appearing regularly in a string of hits including Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Return Of The Jedi, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, Total Recall, Titanic, and Dexter. 

Jim Bowen (20 August 1937 – 14 March 2018)

Bowen always seemed to me to be one age – old. I don’t mean that as an insult – growing up on in the 80s and seeing him on TV every week, he always looked old and yet never seemed to age. A natural comedian, it wasn’t until his late twenties that he began stand-up routines which led to friendships with established comedians (such as the next guy on the list) who recommended him for TV roles. Most will know him as the long-serving host of the hit game-show Bullseye, but he also appeared in Phoenix Nights, Last Of The Summer Wine, and continued his stand-up shows.

Sir Ken Dodd (8 November 1927 – 11 March 2018))

Dodd began delivering stand-up shows in the 1950s, merging traditional music hall stylings with more surreal and rapid-fire delivery, becoming on of the most popular entertainers on the circuit. This popularity saw him transition to radio and television where his popularity soared, gaining him many spots on The Royal Variety Performance. One of his many specialties was introducing songs into his comedy routines and these were so successful that he had a music career too – his cover song Tears remains one of the biggest selling singles of all time. Aside from his own shows, which ran for seven decades, he also appeared in Branagh’s Hamlet, and Doctor Who. 

Michael Gershman (June 17, 1944 – March 10, 2018)

Not a name familiar to most, Gershman was a TV Director and Cinematographer known mainly for Crossing Jordan and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He was DP on over 80 episodes of BTVS including most season openers and finales and many visually memorable episodes such as Hush. His finest moment was as a Director on the show, directing my favourite episode Passion, along with taking the lead on Seeing Red, This Year’s Girl, and others.

David Ogden Stiers (October 31, 1942 – March 3, 2018)

A prominent voice actor, Stiers was also known for his on screen work in shows such as MASH, Perry Mason, Stargate Atlantis, North And South, The Majestic, but it was his relationship with Disney which he is likely most popular for – voicing in films such as Beauty And The Beast, Lilo And Stitch, Pocahontas, and many more.

Frank Doubleday (January 28, 1945 – March 3, 2018)

Again, not a name most will know, Doubleday is one of those people you’ll recognise from a host of cult films. Often appearing as a bad guy, Doubleday is recognisable in Assault On Precinct 13 the ice cream killer), Escape From New York, Broadcast News, and Nomads. 

Best Director – 1967

Official Nominations: Mike Nichols. Richard Brooks. Norman Jewison. Stanley Kramer. Arthur Penn.

It’s another close call for 1967, with Mike Nichols picking up the official win for The Graduate. Richard Brooks got his directorial nomination for his take on Capote’s In Cold Blood, Arthur Penn picked up his second for Bonnie And Clyde, while both Norman Jewison and Stanley Kramer tackled racism and both deservedly earned a nomination.

My Winner: Mike Nichols.


My Nominations: Mike Nichols. Arthur Penn. Norman Jewison. Roman Polanski. Luis Bunuel. Stuart Rosenberg. Robert Aldrich. Jean Pierre Melville. Terence Young. Lewis Gilbert.

As strong a list of official nominations as we had this year, we nevertheless passed over a number of visionary directors and their works. Polanski tried his hand at comedy successfully in The Fearless Vampire Killers, while Robert Aldrich keeps the action and entertainment moving swiftly with The Dirty Dozen. Lewis Gilbert helms one of my all time favourites with You Only Live Twice, while another Bond favourite Terence Young admirably apes Hitchcock with Wait Until Dark. Stuart Rosenberg struck gold with Cool Hand Luke, Jean Pierre Melville made his most well known film in Le Samourai, and Luis Bunuel continued his incredible 1960s streak with Belle De Jour. Once again, any of these is deserving of the win.

My Winner: Lewis Gilbert


A controversial pick for me, but the scope of a Bond film had never been so large before, and for sheer scale, action, gags, and entertainment it is a tough one to beat. Who do you think deserves the Best Director crown of 1967? Let us know in the comments!

Walk Of Fame – January 2016

To check the dubious reasoning behind these posts, check the original here:


In this new series of posts I’ll be selecting a Star at random from every decade (who was born in that decade) starting from the 1880s up until the 1990s to be interred in this land of magic and wonder, who will for ever more see their name set in stone far beyond the places where Gods dare to tread. Each name will have a unique star placed and statue built-in their honour. Often accompanying these additions will be news of a new store or museum to go alongside those stars whose work is of particular genius, and you too can visit and see the place of your dreams, simply by closing your eyes….

1880s: Florence Lawrence: For contributions to Cinema. Often referred to as ‘The First Movie Star’, Lawrence (like many early Silent Movie performers) came from a vaudeville background and had travelled and performed with her family from an early age. It wasn’t until her teens that she found steady film work, largely due to her horse-riding skills which led to more meaty roles and eventually stardom. She is remembered for works including ResurrectionThe Broken Oath, and Gambling Wives. 


1890s: Mabel Normand: For contributions to Cinema. Starting out as a model, Normand soon became one of Hollywood’s most successful people and a pioneer for women in the business as she worked as an actress, writer, director, and produced in her own studio. She is remembered for works such as Mabel’s Blunder, Caught In A Cabaret, and Raggedy Rose. 

The Extra Girl fr France 001

1900s: Joan Crawford: For contributions to Cinema, Television, and Theatre. Crawford began her career as a dancer and chorus girl in theatre, eventually making her way to Broadway. After a period of self-promotion and hard work she found larger roles in silent films and became one of the few actresses to retain success into the talkie period. Soon becoming one of the icons of early Cinema, Crawford remains one of the 20th century’s most renowned movie figures with works including Whatever Happened To Baby Jane, The Women, and Sudden Fear. 


1910s: Peter Cushing: For contributions to Cinema and Television. A titan of the horror world, Cushing brought a wit, charm, and grandiosity to the genre as well as everything else he touched. While it was in his roles in Hammer Productions that are remembered most clearly, Cushing also made memorable TV appearances and worked alongside Hollywood’s finest. His works include Star Wars, The Dracula and Frankenstein series, and Sherlock Holmes. 


1920s: Lewis Gilbert: For contributions to Cinema. Gilbert found his way into the Business after several attempts, appearing as a child actor, moving to bit parts as he got older, before becoming an assistant Director. Learning the ropes as a documentary maker, after WWII he found fame writing, directing, and producing films based on the war which spurred on a career spanning nine decades. His works include Alfie, You Only Live Twice, and Educating Rita. 


1930s: Janet Munro: For contributions to Cinema and Television. Even though Munro died at a young age she made a lasting impact due to appearances in Disney Productions and a number of other high profile films including Life For Ruth, Darby O’Gill And The Little People, and The Day The Earth Caught Fire. 


1940s: Stockard Channing: For contributions to Cinema, Television, and Theatre. Starting out in Theatre and making it to Broadway, Channing’s big break came with Grease which led to a varied TV and Movie career while maintaining award winning Theatre performances. She is known for performances in The West Wing,  The Fortune, and Six Degrees Of Separation.


1950s: Doug Bradley: For contributions to Cinema. Bradley is known to horror fans thanks to his appearances in various series, most notably in Hellraiser, Books Of Blood, and The Reverend. 


1960s: Lea Thompson: For contributions to Cinema and Television. Starting out as a successful ballet dancer, Thompson switched interests to acting, and made her first movie appearance at 21. Since then she appeared in a number of popular and cult 80s movies before branching out to television. She is know for works including The Back To The Future Trilogy, Caroline In The City, and Red Dawn. 


1970s: Martha Plimpton: For contributions to Cinema, Television, and Theatre. A member of the Carradine family, Plimpton has shone in her own right, with her own name since the 80s becoming a multi-Tony Award nominee and Emmy Winner. She also lends her voice to video games and audio books, and is known for works such as The Goonies, Beautiful Girls, and Raising Hope.


1980s: Jake Lloyd: For contributions to Cinema. Even though Lloyd has since retired from acting, he made an impression on Cinema as a popular child actor in films such as The Phantom Menace, Jingle All The Way, and Unhook The Stars. 


1990s: Taylor Momsen: For contributions to Cinema, Television, and Music. Brought in to modelling and acting at a very young age, Momsen has also found great success as a musician in more recent years, both as a solo singer, writer, and as part of her band The Pretty Reckless. She is known for works such as How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Underdog, and Gossip Girl.


In addition to Stars and Statues being erected for those above, the following attractions have also been created:

In honour of Peter Cushing’s induction, the Hammer House Of Horror has been built: This enormous museum, built in the fashion of a Dracula or Frankenstein castle features hundred’s of rooms for guests to sleep in, multiple restaurants, and of course full scale sets and memorabilia from every Hammer production.

In honour of Jake Lloyd’s induction, The Pod Race Grand Prix has been realised: Featuring multiple tracks on multiple planets, you can watch the greatest Pod Racers in existence take each other on as they aim to win the Pod Race Championship. Moreover, various smaller training circuits have been designed and built so that budding stars or general speed freaks can try out these incredibly fast vehicles.

What attraction would you like to see being built based off any of the films or TV shows the above stars have worked on? Let your imagination run wild, and let us know what you would love to experience in the comments!