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.
The musical trio known as the Bee Gees have been a duo ever since the passing of Maurice Gibb back in 2003, and now sadly only Barry Gibb is left, as Robin Gibb, the youngest of the brotherly recording group, has passed away at 63-years old. CNN revealed a statement from Gibb's website saying he "passed away today following his long battle with cancer and intestinal surgery." The iconic recording artist behind world famous tunes from Saturday Night Fever and Staying Alive, career-defining films for John Travolta, died in England this morning, coming just after the passing of Donna Summer a few days ago. More below!
The music world is still reeling after last week's passing of Adam Yauch, also known as MCA from the Beastie Boys and co-founder of Oscilloscope Laboratories, the company behind films like Exit Through the Gift Shop and We Need to Talk About Kevin. Now the literary world is mourning the loss of one of their own as NY Times reports Where the Wild Things Are author Maurice Sendak has passed away at 83. His classic book was turned into a film in 2009 by Spike Jonze, and the author worked with the director and Lance Bangs on the documentary Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak.
It's pretty hard to have gone the past few decades without hearing the Beastie Boys. From tunes like Fight for Your Right to Intergalactic and more, their music has been all over the radio and various film soundtracks (including a somewhat controversial inclusion of the track Sabotage in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot). That's why we're sad to hear from TMZ that the group's founding member Adam Yauch (better known as MCA) has passed away at 47-years old. You may not know it, but his contribution to the film world is quite substantial as he directs music videos and short films under the name Nathanial Hörnblowér.
Just last weekend, the world lost the fine creative mind of Ralph McQuarrie, the concept artist behind films like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, and now here we are losing another fine artist in the world of film and more. Reuters reports that French comic book and concept artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud has died at the age of 73 after fighting with cancer for some time. Though overseas Moebius might best be know for creating the Wild West character Blueberry, a comic creation that gained cult status and became almost as beloved as Tintin, he also contributed to seminal sci-films like Tron and Alien. More below.
Sad news comes at the end of the weekend as a man who has influenced film for decades and is responsible for some of the most iconic cinematic science fiction creations of all-time has passed away. Geeks of Doom spread the news that concept designer Ralph McQuarrie, the man behind the breathtaking art that served as the inspiration for the look and style of the original Star Wars trilogy, has passed away at age 82. No cause of death is given, but McQuarrie had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for some time. In his wake, McQuarrie leaves a legacy of art behind that has and will influence storytelling for years to come.
Over the weekend it appears news of the highly publicized death of Whitney Houston overshadowed the passing of another great talent. Variety has word that Irish actor David Kelly, likely best known for playing Grandpa Joe in Tim Burton's adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, has passed away. After working on stage, screen (both big and small) and even radio, the actor passed away on Sunday, February 12th at 82-years old. At the time of his passing, a cause of death was not announced, but after 82-years alive on this planet, a reason to leave it isn't really necessary. More below.
At some point in their lives, pretty much everyone on the planet has pretended to wield a sword, lightsaber or some kind of deadly blade in an epic battle to the death. However, Olympic fencer Bob Anderson actually handled swords in real-life as an Olympic fencer and one of the foremost sword-fighting trainers and choreographers in cinema. Sadly, we must report a tragic loss at the beginning of 2012 as TheOneRing.net reports that Anderson, who has worked on such iconic films as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the original Star Wars trilogy, passed away early this morning at a hospital in the UK.
It's been a sad week of losing great talent from the likes of filmmaker Ken Russell, to comedian Patrice O'Neal, leaving us all too soon, and unfortunately we end the week losing another fantastic actor. THR reports Bill McKinney, the actor who scared the hell out of some adventurous campers and telling one in the terrified party to "squeal like a pig" in the 1972 thriller Deliverance, has passed away at 80-years old after losing a battle with cancer of the esophagus. McKinney was acting right up until his death with recent roles in How Do You Know and Pride and Glory and a Doritos commercial shot just two weeks ago.
More sad news comes this week after the passing of Ken Russell over the weekend. Now Reuters has word that comedian and actor Patrice O'Neal has passed away far too young at age 41. O'Neal had recent suffered a stroke back on October 19th, and today his agent Matt Frost said, "It is with terrible sadness we must report that Patrice O'Neal has passed away this morning due to the complications of the stroke he suffered." Though most of O'Neal's work can be found in his countless stand-up sets and TV appearances on late night talk shows with Conan O'Brien and David Letterman, he also left his mark on several films.