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.
Following last week's tragic news that James Gandolfini had passed away suddenly after suffering a heart attack in Italy, another influential talent in cinema is gone. THR reports author Richard Matheson, known for writing the source material behind films like I Am Legend, The Incredible Shrinking Man and What Dreams May Come has passed away at age 87. Though the cause of death was not disclosed, Mateson died in his home in California. The author excelled in short stories, selling his first to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1950. But that was just the start of an influential sci-fi career.
Thanks to HBO, it's hard to think about mobsters without thinking of Tony Soprano. It's been six years since the Emmy-winning series"The Sopranos" ended its six season run on the cable network with a much talked about cut to black. Sadly, now the film's leading man has also faded away as THR reports James Gandolfini has passed away at age 51. Gandolfini was overseas to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily, Italy and waiting to participate in a special event with Italian director Gabriele Muccino, and reports say the actor died suddenly after a massive heart attack. This is truly a shocking and terrible loss.
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.