"I wanted them to feel buying a Marvel [comic] book was like visiting an old friend." And then he helped build an empire. We lost a creative genius this week, a genuine icon of pop culture, though he will certainly be honored and remembered for generations to come. Comic book writer Stan Lee passed away this week at the age of 95. Marvel put together a short video tribute looking back at his life and his career in comics, and how he changed the comic book industry and changed people's lives. It's a fairly good tribute with some interviews and video footage and a look back in the Marvel archives at his comic book work over the years. The opening footage is great, a blast from the past and look at how Stan has been trying to make a difference through comics all along. I expect to see some good documentaries about him soon, too. He will be missed.
His time has come. The great, the legendary, the iconic, the one-and-only Stan Lee has sadly passed away. Earlier this year, he was taken to a hospital for a heart-related health scare, but came out okay. Now it's being reported that he has died at the hospital in Los Angeles at the age of 95. His wife for 69 years, Joan, died last year in July, also at the age of 95. Stan Lee will always be a great legend, creator of so many iconic comic book heroes, and often described as a "real life superhero" due to his philanthropic work through his charity the Stan Lee Foundation. He's also earned himself a place in history for the ways he has created his own identity, appearing in every single Marvel movie in an amusing, always brief memorable cameo. He co-created characters including Spider-Man, the Hulk, Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Black Panther, the X-Men, and – and with co-writer Larry Lieber – the characters Ant-Man, Iron Man, and Thor.
Oh no. This is so tragic. Icelandic musician / composer Jóhann Jóhannsson has passed away, according to multiple reports online (see: THR) that confirm the news with his manager. According to the reports, Jóhannsson died at age 48 in Berlin, where he was living, though no other details about what happened are known yet. This hits really hard, because Jóhannsson was on his way to starting an awesome career as a very talented, very unique composer for films as well as theatre, dance and TV. His most recent work includes the score for Darren Aronofsky's mother! (not in the final cut), the Danish film In the Blood, and Colin Firth's The Mercy. He also earned two Oscar nominations for his scores for The Theory of Everything and Sicario.
Sad news to report about a very talented, beloved actor. Harry Dean Stanton has died at age 91 (report via The Guardian) at a hospital in Los Angeles. Stanton has a legendary, prolific actor who appeared in over 100 different roles throughout the years. Many may recognize him because he's probably been in something you've seen, or a movie you love, there's no question about it. Roger Ebert even created the "Stanton-Walsh Rule", saying: "No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad." Stanton most recently appeared on the new "Twin Peaks" show, playing Carl Rodd, and has a film out this year (titled Lucky). He also dabbled in writing and music, but ended up sticking to acting.
"There are places where writing is acting and acting is writing. I'm not so interested in the divisions. I'm interested in the way things cross over." Sad news to report - playwright, director, and beloved actor Sam Shepard has died at age 73. The news comes from multiple sources (e.g. Variety), reporting that Shepard died at his home in Kentucky on Sunday from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as "Lou Gehrig's disease." He was nominated for a Best Supporting Performance Oscar in 1984 for playing Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff, but he is known for memorable appearances in many different films, not to mention books, plays, and other projects over the years. He most recently starred in Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special last year.
Oh no, we've lost a real legend. American filmmaker George A. Romero has died at age 77, as confirmed by LA Times. Romero is best known as the originator of the modern zombie movie, as the director of the original B&W zombie feature film Night of the Living Dead from 1968, as well as numerous other zombie sequels and films and series in the last 50 years. Romero died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles with his family after a battle with lung cancer. The last film he directed was the 2009 zombie flick Survival of the Dead, and he was also involved in producing Road of the Dead and the Deadtime Stories series. Sad news.
"I enjoy being a highly overpaid actor." He was the James Bond that I grew up with, and adored even more than Sean Connery. We're sad to report that English actor Sir Roger Moore has passed away today at age 89. His death was announced by his family on Twitter after Moore had an unsuccessful battle with cancer. Moore's last Bond movie was A View to a Kill in 1985, and ever since then he has been appearing in various smaller roles but nothing too big, including a few appearances as himself in movies like Incompatibles and The Carer. Moore was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003 for "services to charity", and also became a UNICEF ambassador in his later years. He starred in a total of seven James Bond movies from 1973 to 1985.
Oh no! Sad news to report on Oscar Sunday. Actor Bill Paxton, known for his iconic suppoting roles in James Cameron movies, has died at age 61. Variety and People have confirmed the news, only saying that he has died due to "complication from surgery" (that's all we know). Paxton last appeared in the films Mean Dreams, Term Life, Nightcrawler, and Edge of Tomorrow. He also plays a part in The Circle adaptation, coming out in the next few months. He never received any Oscar nominations. Paxton's family released this statement: "Bill's passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable." This is a tough one, as Paxton still seemed to be working often and was appreciated by many.
English actor Sir John Hurt has passed away at age 77. The sad news was confirmed by his agent, via BBC. Hurt died of pancreatic cancer, after first being diagnosed in 2015. John Hurt appeared in over 120 different films across multiple decades, as well as numerous stage and television roles. He most recently appeared in the films Jackie, The Journey, Hercules and Snowpiercer. Hurt earned two Academy Award nominations years ago, for The Elephant Man in 1980, and Midnight Express in 1978. He won two BAFTA Awards for Acting, and was recognized for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in 2012. He was one of those talented actors who would always give a great performance no matter the role. It's sad to lose another actor.
It's with a heavy heart that we must report this sad news today. Actor and writer and script doctor (and dog lover) Carrie Fisher has died. After suffering a major heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles, she was taken to a hospital but was unable to recover. Fisher's daughter Billie Lourd has confirmed the news to places such as Hollywood Reporter and NY Times, stating that she "passed away at 8:55 this morning. She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly." Fisher is most well known/loved for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars saga, but she has also worked extensively on scripts and did lots of writing later in her life (including many novels/books, most notably her memoir Wishful Drinking). Rest in peace.
"Thanks for stopping by Earth for a while." -Olivia Wilde. Another legendary actor has passed away today. We're sad to report the death of the one-and-only Gene Wilder, who died at the age of 83 of complications from Alzheimer's disease. Wilder was nominated for two Oscars and two Golden Globes, but never won either, despite writing and starring in some of the most memorable and beloved films of all-time. He's most known for playing Willy Wonka in the classic 1971 musical version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (one of my favorites), and he worked closely with Mel Brooks for years, starring in Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. This is another tough loss to entertainment, but he will be remembered fondly.
This is a rough week for cinema. Over the weekend, two outstanding, profound filmmakers passed away - American filmmaker Michael Cimino, and Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami. Both of them have made a number of fantastic films that have rightfully earned a place in cinema history, and many cinephiles are feeling the loss of these two great storytellers. Cimino died on July 2nd at the age of 77 at his home in Los Angeles (via CNN). Kiarostami died on July 4th at the age of 76 of cancer at his home in Paris, France (via BBC). Both are being remembered in beautiful, heartfelt ways on social media (a few samples included below) and you can remember them as well by watching their films. Especially any of them you haven't seen.