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.
Though Bob Hoskins retiring due to being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease was certainly some sad news, this hits just as close to my childhood heart. The Washington Post reports director Mel Stuart, responsible for the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic book Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, has passed away at 83-years old after battling with cancer. In addition to directing that childhood favorite of mine, Stuart also leaves behind the legacy of documentary films such as The Making of the President 1960 (which won an Emmy) and the Academy Award nominated Four Days in November. More below.
Last week entertainment suffered the loss of TV icon Andy Griffith, and now the film world has been rattled with the loss of another legend. The Chicago Sun-Times has word that Ernest Borgnine, who most famously won an Academy Award for his turn in the Best Picture winning Marty, has passed away at 95-years old after falling victim to renal failure. Borgnine showed no signs of slowing down on the big screen up to his sudden death today as he most recently had a great bit part in the geriatric action thriller RED. But of course, Mr. Borgnine had a long line of appearances on film and TV before that. More below.
Sad news arrives just before Independence Day as one of Hollywood's most beloved and iconic actors of film and television has passed away. WITN in North Carolina (via EW) reports that Andy Griffith has passed away at 86-years old. Former UNC President Bill Friday, a close friend of the actor confirmed the actor's passing to a local news network after the actor died at his home earlier this morning. Griffith became a television staple thanks to classic series like "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Matlock" not to mention being a staple of Ed Sullivan's show in the 50's, but he also had a presence on the big screen throughout his career.
There was a bit of confusion online today when reports of the passing of filmmaker Nora Ephron surfaced and were quickly recanted as the director of films like Sleepless in Seattle and writer of When Harry Met Sally was said to be very ill, but not yet dead. Well, Variety now has word that Ms. Ephron ended up passing away today at age 71-years old after a battle with leukemia. Though Ephron only directed eight feature films in her career, she certainly left her mark as one of the most influential female directors and writers in Hollywood and has crafted some of the best romantic comedies in the history of film. More below.
"If you enjoy living, it is not difficult to keep the sense of wonder." These words were spoken by sci-fi author Ray Bradbury, and sadly, a little bit of wonder is gone from the universe today as io9 has learned that the iconic and influential writer passed away this morning at 91-years old in Los Angeles. Biographer Sam Weller confirmed his passing which will shake the world of sci-fi today. Bradbury's seminal work includes stories that have made it to the big screen like A Sound of Thunder, The Illustrated Man, It Came from Outer Space and, of course, Fahrenheit 451. And his legacy on TV was impressive, too.