Legendary filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson and George Lucas are household names, but they might have never become the filmmaker's they are today without Ray Harryhausen. The special effects legend was responsible for groundbreaking, mind-blowing effects from films of decades past like Mighty Joe Young, Jason and the Argonauts and the original Clash of the Titans, and the aforementioned directors have all sited Harryhausen as one of their major influences in cinema. Sadly, Harryhausen's family issued a statement announcing the effects genius has died at age 92.
Just yesterday, legendary film critic Roger Ebert announced that he was going to be taking a break from work again after a recurrence of cancer surfaced. At the time, the critic called the break a "leave of presence" to slow down his work. He explained, "It means I am not going away." But today, shocking news came from The Chicago Sun-Times, where Ebert's movie reviews and musings have had a home for decades, that the film critic had passed away at age 70. The obituary online from the newspaper begins, "Roger Ebert loved movies. Except for those he hated."In a way, that's all we really need to know, but Ebert was much more than a film critic. He was a film fan, an intensely passionate cinephile, and a man of substance. Read on.
After 23 years of life following her husband's death in 1990, Jane Nebel Henson, the wife of Muppets creator Jim Henson and a frequent collaborator of his work, has passed away at 78. The Hensons met at the University of Maryland in a puppetry class in 1954 before taking a small job at a TV station in Washington DC where they created Sam and Friends, a five-minute show that would become a national sensation after appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Steve Allen. The two would eventually become married in 1959 and begin a legacy of entertainment for people of all ages when they started creating The Muppets.
Sad news to start this Good Friday comes from across the pond as Reuters reports Harry Potter franchise star Richard Griffiths has passed away at 65 from complications following heart surgery. The British actor, who played Harry Potter's nasty Uncle Vernon in the multi-billion dollar series, has been acting for nearly 30 years, taking pivotal roles in both TV and film. His early career started on UK series like "The Sweeney" and "Minder" and would later return to the small screen for "Pie in the Sky" and "A King of Living." However, it's Griffiths presence as a character actor on the big screen that audiences remember.
After bringing the God of Thunder to life on the page for Thor and Thor: The Dark World, screenwriter Don Payne is sadly no longer with us. Thor co-stars Kat Dennings and Jaimie Alexander were the first to alert us to the sand news and Deadline has confirmed Payne's death, though no details about how he passed have been revealed. Payne was also behind the scripts for My Super Ex-Girlfriend and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, but more importantly, he was an engaging writer who took the time to understand and discuss criticism for some of his work, always with an open mind and humility.
Sad news comes out of nowhere today as Deadline reports that Snakes on a Plane director David R. Ellis suddenly died early this morning in Johannesburg, South Africa. The cause of death has yet to be determined, but the director was busy at working on his adaptation of the Japanese anime movie Kite which was released back in 1998. Samuel L. Jackson just recently revealed he was reteaming with the director for that film, so this is surely shaking up Hollywood in more ways than one today. Ellis has become known as a director, but his career saw him take on work as an actor, stuntman and assistant director also.
Sad news arrived on Christmas Day with word that longtime character actor Charles Durning had passed away at age 89. Durning is one of those talents whose life not only made an impression on the big screen, but also on many in the years preceding his movie career. While may might know Durning from his turns in films like Tootsie, The Hudsucker Proxy and The Sting, the actor actually deserves even more credits for his service as a World War II veteran who took part in the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach, not to mention the Battle of the Bulge and also being one of very few survivors of the Malmedy massacre. Read on.
Most of the time, when we pause to pay respects to a recently passed member of the entertainment industry, it's a prolific director, iconic actor or even well-known producer. Today we're looking directly behind the camera for some sad news as The Playlist has learned that respected cinematographer Harris Savides has passed away at age 55, due to unknown causes at this time. Savides frequently worked with director Gus Van Sant in what the filmmaker referred to as his "death trilogy" (which includes Elephant, Gerry and Last Days), and also heavy hitters like David Fincher, Noah Baumbach and Woody Allen. More below.
It's been two weeks since the industry was shocked by the death of filmmaker Tony Scott, a man who delivered pure adrenaline in almost every film and had a blockbuster action sensibility and style all his own. Though many outlets have paid tribute to the late director by remembering his greatest films and influences that will remain in cinema for decades to come, the master of a visual medium deserves a tribute in that very same format. Thankfully, the folks at JoBlo put together this reel simply and respectfully titled You're So Cool, complete with some of the best moments from Tony Scott's filmography. It's a great tribute. Watch it.
Sad news came almost out of nowhere on this Labor Day as NY Daily News reports that Michael Clarke Duncan, nominated for his star-making turn in The Green Mile has passed away at only 54-years old. The actor had been hospitalized for the past couple months after suffering a heart attack in July, and today Clarke's fiancee Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth (of "The Apprentice") released a statement saying he passed away sometime this morning in Los Angeles while still undergoing treatment at the hospital. The hulking, deep-voice actor became a mainstay after stunning the industry (and holding his own against Tom Hanks) with his turn as man accused of child murder and rape, who has a mysterious and miraculous gift. Read on.
On this week's episode of The Golden Briefcase, Tim & Jeremy are joined by guest Film Crit HULK (@filmcritHULK) from Badass Digest to chat about their latest Picks of the Week, the newest DVD & Blu-Ray releases, new trailers for Simon West's Stolen and J.A. Bayona's The Impossible and much more. The main topic of the night, altered due to the rather tragic news earlier this week, was a retrospective on the late British filmmaker Tony Scott. The guys discuss how they felt about him as a director, his entire filmography and reminisce on a director that will be greatly missed in the world of cinema. Listen below.
The world lost an extremely influential filmmaker with the shocking suicide of Tony Scott yesterday, and now today the world is also a little less funny. The Associated Press has reported that legendary comedienne and TV and film actress Phyllis Diller passed away "peacefully in her sleep with a smile on her face" this morning at age 95, according to her longtime manager. This comes 13 years after Diller suffered a near-fatal heart attack back in 1999. Diller was most prominent on comedy and variety programs of decades past, but her quick wit, peculiar look and stellar comedy also made it to the big screen occasionally as well. Read on.
This is very sad new, the worst kind that we absolutely hate to report. According to reports from Southern California news stations, British film director Tony Scott, brother of the older Ridley Scott, has died. The reports state that Tony Scott "jumped to his death Sunday from the Vincent Thomas Bridge spanning San Pedro and Terminal Island" on Sunday afternoon. He left a suicide notes in his Prius parked on the bridge and at his office, but those are the only official details confirmed by the Los Angeles coroner's office so far. Tony Scott was a talented, acclaimed, admired, respected filmmaker having directed 16 features in his time.
Most fans of Alien are aware of H.R. Giger's contribution to the iconic designs of the xenomorph, but it was the work of Italian puppeteer & designer Carlo Rambaldi that really made the dripping, soulless alien head come to life on the big screen. Rambaldi and Giger won Oscars for their work, and Rambaldi went on to build another alien, this time the title character in Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, for which he won another Oscar and beat out Blade Runner's Douglas Trumbull in the process. Washington Post brings the unfortunate news that Rambaldi passed away in Italy at age 86 today after a long illness. More below.