Few filmmakers leave a legacy behind in cinema that will last generations, and even fewer have a career that truly spans decades. French director Alain Resnais was one of those rarities behind the camera whose career began way back in 1946 and lasted up until his death on Saturday in Paris at age 91 (as reported by New York Times), not too long after his last film The Life of Riley premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February. The filmmaker never won an Oscar, but took home a BAFTA, saw several nominations and wins at the César Awards in France, and countless accolades at the Cannes and Venice Film Festivals. More below.
What a terrible start to the week. The Chicago Tribune has reported that writer, director and actor Harold Ramis, best known for playing Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters (not to mention writing the screenplay), has passed away at age 69 due to complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels. Ramis started his comedy career at Second City in Chicago (not to mention the improv troupe's TV series "SCTV"), where he would become buddies with the late John Belushi, a comedian whose career he helped launch by writing the college comedy classic National Lampoon's Animal House. And that's just the beginning of his legendary influence on comedy. Read on.
Following news that former iconic child star Shirley Temple had passed away, another iconic star from Hollywood's rich history is gone. THR reports legendary comedian and star of film and television, Sid Caesar, has passed away at 91. Caesar's friend and collaborator Carl Reiner confirmed the news, though a cause of death was not given. Reiner said, "Inarguably he was the greatest single monologist and skit comedian we ever had. Television owes him a debt of gratitude for his pioneering work and the great shows he gave us all. Render onto Caesar what is his due. He deserves real applause from the American people."
Following the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, another iconic star from decades past has left this world. The New York Times reports former child star Shirley Temple has passed away at her home in Califorinia due to natural causes at age 85 years old. Temple's career began at the tender age of three in 1931, but she became a big screen sensation after starring in Bright Eyes, which featured the adorable actress in the memorable musical number "The Good Ship Lollipop." For the next fours years she would become the top box office draw and is credited with helping save 20th Century Fox from bankruptcy during The Depression.
A shocking tragedy has struck this afternoon as actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Oscar-winning actor of Capote, was found dead in his New York City apartment. The actor was only 46 years old, and Wall Street Journal says a cause of death is likely a drug overdose. The actor was just seen at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival as the star of Anton Corbijn's A Most Wanted Man and John Slattery's God's Pocket. In addition, Hoffman had just brought to life a pivotal character in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire last year. The actor also had several gestating projects that are now up in the air in the wake of the terrible news.
At the 2013 Sundance Film Festval, the documentary Life According to Sam (shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary) highlighted Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome as it afflicted teenage boy Sam Berns and his medical doctor parents as they attempted to take all the right steps to research, test and implement a cure. For those who don't know, progeria is an extremely rare genetic condition (one in 8 million children get it) that accelerates the aging process in children from birth until their premature death around 13 years old. Sadly, THR reports the charming Sam passed away this past Friday at the age of 17.
After announcing his retirement from acting last year, legendary actor Peter O'Toole has passed away at age 81. News of his death (via Chicago Tribune) only says that he died Saturday in a London hospital due to "a long illness," so we can only assume his bout with stomach cancer in the 70s finally won out. O'Toole was nominated for eight Academy Awards during his career but never won an award. In fact, he's one of the few actors who earned a nomination playing the same character in different films by playing King Henry II in both Becket and The Lion in Winter. But O'Toole hasn't gone without plenty of honor and accolades.
Though a few days have passed since the untimely death of Fast & Furious star Paul Walker, there are still plenty of fans grieving along with the actor's close friends and family. Universal just officially announced production halt on Fast & Furious 7 following rumblings that the studio might start the sequel over from scratch, with several theories of how they would handle the leading actor's passing. But that's all business stuff. Now the studio wanted to pay tribute to their fallen franchise star with this touching video featuring clips of Walker from the entirety of the high speed action franchise. It's just a shame that he's really gone.
It is with a great sadness that we must report the tragic death of actor Paul Walker. Reps have confirmed that Walker died in a car crash in California on Saturday, November 30th, 2013, at age 40. Star of the Fast & Furious franchise, reports are saying that Walker was taking his friends out for rides in Santa Clarita in a new 2005 Porsche GT when the driver he was with lost control and hit a tree. The car then burst into flames and both occupants were killed. While many at first thought this was just another internet hoax, various PR friends have confirmed with Walker's rep directly that his death is not a hoax. It is very real, unfortunately.
Though audiences may not be as familiar with the names of character actors as they are with the A-list stars who are bombarded by paparazzi and appear in the tabloids and gossip websites non-stop, that doesn't make them any less important in the world of cinema. Sadly, Hollywood has lost another great character actor this week as THR reports Ed Lauter, who most recently appeared as Berenice Bejo's butler in The Artist, and recurred on Showtime's series "Shameless," has passed away at age 74. Earlier this summer, Lauter learned he had contracted mesothelioma, and he finally lost that battle with the terminal cancer.
Every actor has a discovery story. Sometimes it's crazy, and sometimes it's just about being at the right place at the right time. In the case of Kumar Pallana, the Indian actor who had small but memorable roles in Wes Anderson films like The Royal Tenenbaums, Bottle Rocket, The Darjeeling Limited and Rushmore, he was at a coffee show owned by his son when the quirky filmmaker took notice. Though he didn't become a box office sensation, his participation in Anderson's films got him noticed. But today, we say goodbye to Pallana, as The AV Club has learned that he sadly passed away yesterday at age 94. Read on.
With Paramount Pictures poised to release their new action thriller prequel Jack Ryan: Shadow One this Christmas (as long as The Wolf of Wall Street doesn't push it away), the author behind the recurring spy character has sadly passed away. The New York Times reports that author Tom Clancy, best known for creating the series of books featuring Jack Ryan, has passed away at age 66. Ivan Held, the president of Clancy's publisher, G.P. Putnam's Sons, revealed the news, but did not disclose a cause of death. Clancy's books served as the source material for grounded thrillers like The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger and The Sum of All Fears. But his big screen legacy isn't over.
An adaptation of the novel The Swtich is on the way with John Hawkes, Yasmin Bey (formerly Mos Def), Will Forte, Isla Fisher and Tim Robbins starring, but author Elmore Leonard won't be around to see one more of his books hit the big screen. The New York Times reports that the author behind such novels as Get Shorty, Out of Sight, The Big Bounce, Jackie Brown and 3:10 to Yuma, all of which became major motion pictures, has passed away at his home in Michigan at the age of 87. But despite his books serving as inspiration for so many films, Leonard was never really a big fan of the adaptations themselves. Read on.
Though there are plenty of A-list actors out there leading some of today's biggest films, there are plenty of memorable performances coming from character actors like Snatch and Get Shorty star Dennis Farina. And sadly, this supporting talent has left us as the Associated Press reports Farina has passed away at 69, though the cause of death has not been revealed. Before becoming an accomplished actor, Farina worked as a city detective in Chicago, so it only seemed appropriate that he would get his big break in his late 30s as a police officer on the TV series "Crime Story." Though his acting career really began in 1981. More below.