The Dead Thread

Strawbs

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#1
It seems there should be a thread here to make a note or pay respects to those in the entertainment industry who have died.

To add to Anthony Minghella, Arthur C Clarke and Captain Birdsye - John Hewer - this week, today there's been the news of actors Brian Wilde and Paul Scofield.
 
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Booth

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#2
Strawbs said:
To add to Anthony Minghella, Arthur C Clarke and Captain Birdsye - John Hewer - this week, today there's been the news of actors Brian Wilde and Paul Scofield.
RIP to them all, all of which were into (similar) things we're into.
 

Strawbs

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#4
Missing TV presenter Mark Speight has been found dead at Paddington Station.

Really very tragic.
 

Strawbs

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#6
Humphrey Lyttleton sadly died on Friday, aged 86.

I'm always miffed when I see the word legend or legendary used on undeserving subjects but in this case Humphrey truly was a legend and the show he chaired for over 30 years, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, really is legendary too. It won't be the same without him. :)
 

Cop

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#8
Sydney Irwin Pollack

July 1, 1934 – May 26, 2008




Director and actor Sydney Pollack dies at 73

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sydney Pollack was remembered by some of the elite actors he directed in films such as "Out of Africa," "Tootsie," and "Absence of Malice," not only for his Academy Award-winning direction, but also for his acting talents.

Pollack, diagnosed with cancer about nine months ago, died Monday afternoon, surrounded by family, at his home in Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles, said his publicist, Leslee Dart. He was 73.

Unlike many other top directors of his era, Pollack was also a film and television actor himself, and he used this unique position to forge a relationship with Hollywood's elite stars and create some of the most successful films of the 1970s and '80s.

In 1970, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?," about Great Depression marathon dancers, received nine Oscar nominations, including one for Pollack's direction. He was nominated again for best director for 1982's "Tootsie," starring Dustin Hoffman as a cross-dressing actor and Pollack as his exasperated agent. As director and producer, he won Academy Awards for the 1986 romantic epic "Out of Africa," starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, which captured seven Oscars in all.

Last fall, Pollack played law firm boss Marty Bach opposite George Clooney in "Michael Clayton," which he also co-produced and received seven Oscar nominations.

"Sydney made the world a little better, movies a little better and even dinner a little better. A tip of the hat to a class act," Clooney said in a statement. "He'll be missed terribly."

Other A-listers Pollack directed include Sally Field and Paul Newman in "Absence of Malice," Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn in "The Interpreter," Robert Mitchum in "The Yakuza," Tom Cruise in "The Firm," and Redford in seven films: "This Property Is Condemned," "Jeremiah Johnson," "Three Days of the Condor," "The Way We Were" with Barbra Streisand, "The Electric Horseman," "Out of Africa" and "Havana."

"Having the opportunity to know Sydney and work with him was a great gift in my life," Field said in a statement. "He was a good friend and a phenomenal director and I will cherish every moment that I ever spent with him."

In later years, Pollack, who stood over six feet tall and had a striking presence on screen, devoted more time to acting, appearing in Woody Allen's "Husbands and Wives," Robert Altman's "The Player," Robert Zemeckis' "Death Becomes Her" and Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut." On television, Pollack had an occasional recurring role on the NBC sitcom "Will & Grace" playing Will's (Eric McCormack) father, and appeared in the "The Sopranos," "Frasier" and "Mad About You."

His last screen appearance was in "Made of Honor," a romantic comedy currently in theaters, where he played the oft-married father of star Patrick Dempsey's character.

"Most of the great directors that I know of were not actors, so I can't tell you it's a requirement," Pollack said at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2005. "On the other hand, it's an enormous help."

Pollack first met Redford when they acted in 1962's low-budget "War Hunt," and would go on to play a major role in making Redford a star. "It's easy working with Bob; I don't have to be diplomatic with him," Pollack once told The Associated Press. "I know what he can and cannot do; I know all the colors he has. I've always felt he was a character actor in the body of a leading man."

Pollack also produced many independent films with the late Anthony Minghella and the production company Mirage Enterprises. His recent producing credits include "The Talented Mr. Ripley"; "Cold Mountain"; "Sketches of Frank Gehry," a documentary that was the final film directed by Pollack; and the new HBO film "Recount," about the 2000 presidential election.

Sidney Irwin Pollack was born in Lafayette, Ind., to first-generation Russian-Americans. In high school in South Bend, he fell in love with theater, a passion that prompted him to forego college, move to New York and enroll in the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater.

Studying under the renowned Stanford Meisner, Pollack spent several years cutting his teeth in various areas of theater, eventually becoming Meisner's assistant.

"We started together in New York and he always excelled at everything he set out to do, his friendships and his humanity as much as his talents," Martin Landau, a longtime close friend and associate in the Actors Studio, said in a statement.

After appearing in a handful of Broadway productions in the 1950s, Pollack turned to directing. He began on TV series such as "Naked City" and "The Fugitive," then moved to film. His first full-length feature was "The Slender Thread," about a suicide help line.

The film was scored by Quincy Jones. "Sydney Pollack's immense talents as a director were only surpassed by the compassion that he carried in his soul for his fellow man," Jones said Monday. "Today we've lost not only one of our greatest filmmakers, but a great human being."

Pollack said in 2005 that for "Tootsie," Hoffman pushed him into playing the agent role, repeatedly sending him roses with a note reading, "Please be my agent. Love, Dorothy." At that point, Pollack hadn't acted in a movie in 20 years — since "The War Hunt" with Redford.

The love soon frayed as Pollack and Hoffman differed over whether the film should lean toward comedy or drama, and the tension spilled into the public arena. But the result was a hit at the box office and received 10 Oscar nominations, with Jessica Lange winning for best supporting actress.

"Stars are like thoroughbreds," Pollack once told The New York Times. "Yes, it's a little more dangerous with them. They are more temperamental. You have to be careful because you can be thrown. But when they do what they do best — whatever it is that's made them a star — it's really exciting."

Pollack is survived by his wife, Claire; two daughters, Rebecca and Rachel; his brother Bernie; and six grandchildren.
 
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Cop

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#10
Harvey Herschel Korman

February 15, 1927 – May 29, 2008




Harvey Korman, an Emmy-winning comedic actor best known for playing the self-described "luminous second banana" for a decade on television's "The Carol Burnett Show" and for starring in such Mel Brooks films as "Blazing Saddles," has died. He was 81.

Korman, who had undergone several major operations, died Thursday at UCLA Medical Center of complications from an abdominal aortic aneurysm that ruptured four months ago, his daughter, Kate Korman, told The Times.

With a knack for physical humor and oddball accents, Korman was a master sketch comic who did his best-known work on Burnett's variety show beginning in 1967 in an ensemble that included Tim Conway.

"It's a 45-year friendship," Conway said. "It was a great ride; we worked together probably 30 years, plus the Burnett show, which was about as good as it gets."

Brooks called Korman "a major, major talent, and he could have very easily have done Shakespearean drama. That's how gifted and talented Harvey was. . . . I loved working with him."

Conway said Korman had "a complete understanding of comedy and comedy timing."

On the Burnett show, which steadfastly stayed in television's top 10 during its run, Korman showcased his versatility -- playing a robust Yiddish matron in one skit, then reappearing as a comic Rhett Butler while sending up "Gone With the Wind" with the show's star.

He scored as the big-bosomed Mother Marcus and hapless Ed, who was a member of the incredibly dysfunctional "Mama's Family," one of the more popular skits that became a series in the 1980s.

"Give me something bizarre to play, or put me in a dress and I'm fine," Korman jokingly said in a 2005 Chicago Sun-Times interview.

Korman and Conway developed an uncanny rapport that made them arguably one of television's most lethal comic teams; Conway's on-camera ad-libs often made Korman crack up; producers wisely kept them in the show.

For about eight years, until late last December, the pair toured the country in a stage show that, more than anything, was a homage to their years with Burnett. They performed about 120 shows a year.

"I don't know whether either one of us was the straight man," Conway said. "The most important thing in comedy when you're working together is for one guy to know when to shut up. And we both knew when to shut up; quiet show, actually."

One of their favorite routines from the Burnett show was the dentist sketch, "where I kind of anesthetize my entire body with Novocain" while trying to fill Korman's teeth, Conway told The Times on Thursday.

"They play it at all the dental schools, as kind of an introduction on how not to do it," Conway said.

In an interview several years ago with the Palm Beach Post, Conway said of the versatile cast that included Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner, "The five of us were the New York Yankees of our time."

With more than 1,000 sketches behind him, Korman left the Burnett show after 10 years. He was 50.

"It was now or never, and if ever I planned to expand my career beyond sketch work, I'd better do it now," he said at the time, according to a 1990 Toronto Star story.

ABC had promised him his own comedy series, but "I kept making pilots . . . until everybody said, 'Get outta here, for God's sake. Nothing's working,' " Korman told United Press International in 1993.

From 1983 to 1985, he appeared in "Mama's Family," the NBC sitcom that featured a number of Burnett alumni, including Lawrence and Burnett, who made a number of guest appearances.

Korman made more than 30 films, including four comedies directed by Brooks, who first discovered him when his wife, the late Anne Bancroft, singled Korman out on "The Carol Burnett Show."

"My wife said, 'You've got to see this guy. They're doing the Andrews Sisters [in a sketch] and this Harvey Korman is the best of the bunch.' . . . Harvey was so funny. When I was putting together 'Blazing Saddles,' I just knew he was a natural" for the role of Hedley Lamarr in the 1974 Western satire.

"I had some real problems working with Harvey," Brooks told The Times on Thursday. "I used to look past his eyes. . . . If our eyes met, that's the end of the take. We would break up."

Brooks also cast Korman in "High Anxiety" (1977), "History of the World -- Part 1" (1981) and "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" (1995).

Korman's other films included "Gypsy" (1962), "Herbie Goes Bananas" (1980), "Trail of the Pink Panther" (1982) and "Curse of the Pink Panther" (1983). In the 1978 television movie "Bud and Lou" he played straight man Bud Abbott to Buddy Hackett's Lou Costello.

Harvey Herschel Korman was born Feb. 15, 1927, in Chicago to Cyril and Ellen Korman. He started acting in school plays in kindergarten and turned professional at 12, when a local radio station signed him.

After serving in the Navy during World War II, he enrolled in drama school in New York and tried to make it on Broadway but spent the better part of a decade waiting tables and pumping gas, he later recalled.

In the early 1960s, Korman moved to Hollywood and began working regularly on "The Danny Kaye Show" in 1964 and stayed with the musical-variety show until the end of its three-year run. Then came the Burnett show.

He would go on to guest-star in dozens of television shows and work as a voice actor until 2001.

Offstage, Korman professed to being a determinedly unfunny person "who can't tell a joke if my life depended upon it," but his daughter Kate disagreed: "He was probably funnier in real life."

In addition to Kate, Korman is survived by his wife, Deborah; three other children, Laura, Maria and Chris; and three grandchildren.

Services will be private.
 

Gorf

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#12
Bo Diddley just died...

He had a bit part in Trading Places and was in one of the bands in Blues Brothers 2000, but he did an awful lot of soundtrack work too...
 

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#14
Stan Winston

(April 7, 1946 – June 15, 2008)




STAN WINSTON STUDIO RELEASE:

 

Academy Award-winning makeup, creature and visual effects artist Stan Winston died Sunday at his home in Malibu, California, after a prolonged illness. He was 62.

In a career that spanned four decades, Winston worked extensively in television and motion pictures, producing innovative work that was often honored for its artistic and technical achievement. In the early years of his career, during which he worked primarily in television, Winston earned five Emmy nominations from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, winning for Gargoyles and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.



Winston won his first Academy Award nomination in 1981 for Heartbeeps, and received another nine nominations – in both makeup and visual effects categories – over the next 20 years. He won a total of four Oscars for Aliens, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and the groundbreaking Jurassic Park for which he created full-scale animatronic dinosaurs.

Winston received his star on Hollywood ’s Walk of Fame in 2001.

Current releases from Stan Winston Studio include summer hits IRON MAN and INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL.

Upcoming projects include SHUTTER ISLAND, TERMINATOR 4, G.I. JOE, and James Cameron’s AVATAR. Winston was both collaborator and friend to giants in the film community.



Winston was born April 7, 1946 in Arlington, Virginia. As a child, he enjoyed drawing, puppetry and classic horror films. He continued to pursue his interest in art and performance as a student at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, graduating from the institution’s Fine Arts and Drama programs in 1968. He headed West after graduation with dreams of becoming an actor, but found his true calling as a makeup artist and creator of characters – a career that enabled him to merge his sensibilities as an artist and performer.

After completing a three-year makeup apprenticeship program at Walt Disney Studios in 1972, Winston established Stan Winston Studio in the garage of the small house in Northridge he shared with his wife, Karen, and his young son, Matthew and daughter Debbie. The studio changed locations and grew in size, personnel and stature as his career advanced with work in high-profile films such as The Terminator, Predator, Edward Scissorhands, Interview with the Vampire, Lost World, Batman Returns, and A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.

Stan Winston Studio contributed characters and effects to more than 75 feature films, several music videos, and countless commercial spots. In 1988, Winston directed his first feature film, Pumpkinhead, a cult favorite. Winston also produced a series of horror films for HBO, as well as a number of genre feature films, and created a line of high-end toys based on some of his studio’s iconic characters.



Throughout his career, Winston was a tireless advocate for the makeup and creature effects community. He campaigned for the creation of a makeup effects category for the Academy Awards, and he is credited with securing greater recognition overall for makeup and creature effects artists.

At the time of his death, Winston was in the process of morphing his physical makeup and effects studio into the new “Winston Effects Group” with the team of senior effects supervisors heading up the new company. Managing the new company as partners and owners are veteran effects supervisors John Rosengrant, Shane Mahan, Alan Scott and Lindsay Macgowan.

In addition to his professional achievements, Winston was a gifted artist who particularly enjoyed sculpting fine art pieces; however, he rejected the notion that there was a significant difference between ‘fine’ art and the ‘commercial’ art for which his studio was famous.



“For Stan, the measure of his work was never in the techniques and technology employed and pioneered at his studio,” said Don Shay, publisher of Cinefex Magazine and a key chronicler of Winston’s career.

“He was a ‘character creator,’ as he liked to be called, and artistry was his only benchmark. Stan Winston will always be remembered as the man who transformed Arnold Schwarzenegger into the Terminator and who built a full-size robotic T-rex for Jurassic Park. But he was more than the sum of his greatest achievements. He was a devoted family man, a beloved patriarch to his stable of artists, and a master artist and sculptor in his own right.”

Stan died peacefully at home surrounded by family Sunday evening. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother. He is survived by his wife, Karen, son Matt, daughter Debbie, daughter-in-law Amy, son-in-law Erich, 4 beautiful grandchildren Rowan, Wyatt, Georgia, and Pheona, and brother Ronnie Winston.
 
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Cop

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#17
Cyd Charisse

8 March 1921 - 17 June 2008




Cyd Charisse, the dancer and actress who appeared in such film musicals as Singin' in the Rain, The Band Wagon, and Silk Stockings, died Tuesday in Los Angeles after suffering an apparent heart attack; she was 86.




Born Tula Ellice Finklea in Texas, the young dancer was classically trained in Los Angeles and at 14 became part of the Ballet Russe, traveling through the US and Europe and performing under the names "Celia Siderova" and "Maria Istromena." She married the dancer Nico Charisse in Paris in 1939 and had a son, Nicky, in 1942.

When the Ballet Russe disbanded at the beginning of World War II, Charisse returned to Hollywood and became the resident ballet star at MGM, just as the studio was beginning its run of sumptuous Technicolor musicals.

She signed a seven-year contract with the studio, was given the exotic first name "Cyd," and was seen as a featured dancer in numerous films such as Ziegfeld Follies, where she performed with Fred Astaire. She also divorced and later married singer Tony Martin in 1948, with whom she had a second son.




Her breakthrough came in the 1952 classic Singin' in the Rain when she was paired with Gene Kelly in the climactic "Broadway Melody" number near the end of the film. Throughout the 1950s she starred in a number of other classic musicals: with Kelly again in Brigadoon and It's Always Fair Weather and with Astaire in The Band Wagon in Silk Stockings.






As the big-screen Hollywood musical began to wane in popularity, Charisse switched to dramatic films, and also appeared in numerous television shows. In 1992 she made her Broadway debut in the stage version of Grand Hotel, and made an appearance in Janet Jackson's 1990 video "Alright." She is survived by her husband and two sons.
 

Birty

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#18
George Carlin is dead. One of the greatest stand up comedians of all time. Real shame. Very funny man.

"Now cocksucker dominates the list" Ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
 

Booth

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#19
You beat me to George Carlin, I only just found out. Agh, he was great :eek: RIP George, you amused me immensely. One of those people that I would have loved to have had a drink with and like me hated censorship.

Now he will go from being a great stand-up to being up there with Richard Prior and Bill Hicks as a comedy legend.

[YT=You Have No Rights]hWiBt-pqp0E[/YT]

 
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