Remembering Michael Clarke Duncan, John Ingle and More Reel-Important People We Lost This Month

Remembering Michael Clarke Duncan, John Ingle and More Reel-Important People We Lost This Month

Sep 27, 2012

Reel Important People is a monthly column that highlights those individuals in or related to the movies who have left us in recent weeks. It is unfortunate that we lose so many great film contributors, on-screen and off, that it's impossible to pay extensive tribute to every one. But I think it's important to recognize them at least in this monthly digest, not to mourn but to remember their work. Below you'll find names big and small and from all areas of the industry, though each was significant to the movies in their own way.

George Bowers (1944-2012) - Filmmaker who directed My Tutor and Private Resort. He was primarily an editor, often of films by Joseph Ruben, such as Money TrainSleeping with the EnemyThe Good Son and The Stepfather, and films by Penny Marshall, such as A League of Their OwnThe Preacher's Wife and Renaissance Man. Other major films he edited include From HellHow Stella Got Her Groove BackDeuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. And he produced a single film, Marshall's Jumpin' Jack Flash. He died of complications from heart surgery on August 18. (THR)


Mark Cowen (1962-2012) - Documentary filmmaker who cowrote and directed Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D for Tom Hanks and produced many "making of" and films, including the Band of Brothers doc, which he also directed. He died on September 10. (Variety)


Bill Daly (1946/47-2012) - Soundman who worked on Nine 1/2 WeeksJFKCrocodile DundeeHeaven & Earth, The Spy Next DoorSix Degrees of SeparationBest of the Best and the documentary When We Were Kings, for which he developed a special time-code slate for the purpose of synching with multiple cameras. He died after suffering a stroke on August 23. (THR)


Hal David (1921-2012) - Lyricist who won an Oscar for cowriting "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" with Burt Bacharach for Butch Cassidy and hte Sundance Kid. He was nominated for three other collaborations with Bacharach, "What's New, Pussycat" for What's New Pussycat, "Alfie" for Alfie and "The Look of Love" for the 1967 version of Casino Royale. Working with composer John Barry, he also penned the words to "We Have All the Time in the World" for On Her Majesty's Secret Service (see below). Other tunes of his have memorably been used in movies they weren't written for, such as "(They Long to Be) Close to You" in Parenthood and "What the World Needs Now Is Love" in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. He died from complications from a stroke on September 1. (CNN)


Michael Clarke Duncan (1957-2012) - Actor who received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in The Green Mile. He also appears memorably in ArmageddonSin CityThe Slammin SalmonTalladega Nights and Daredevil, in which he portrayed comic book villain Kingpin. His deep, recognizable voice was lent to characters in Kung Fu PandaDelgoGreen LanternCats & DogsBrother Bear and Racing Stripes. He died of complications from a heart attack suffered two months earlier on September 3. For more, read our original obituary and watch a clip of Tom Hanks providing a funny story about the large actor at his funeral. 


Stephen Dunham (1964-2012) - Actor who appears in The Mummy (pictured left), TrafficCatch Me If You Can, Monster-in-Law and this summer's Savages. He reportedly will also be in next month's Paranormal Activity 4 along with his wife, Alexondra Lee. He died on September 14, his birthday, following a heart attack suffered days earlier. (THR


Jake Eberts (1941-2012) - Producer who never technically won an Oscar, though he worked on Best Picture winners Chariots of FireDriving Miss Daisy, Gandhi and Dances with Wolves. Other major movies he helped produce and/or finance include Hope and GloryThe Adventures of Baron MunchausenMarch of the PenguinsChicken Run, The Killing Fields, A River Runs Through ItSuper Mario Bros., The Name of the RoseWatership Down, Disneynature's Oceans and Peter Weir's latest, The Way Back. He died of cancer September 6. (LAT)


Steve Franken (1932-2012) - Actor who appears in Angels & DemonsNurse BettyCan't Buy Me LoveWestworld and Curse of the Pink Panther. He died of cancer on August 24. (THR)


Al Freeman, Jr. (1934-2012) - Actor best known for his long run on the soap opera One Life to Live. In film, he portrayed Elijah Muhammad in Malcolm X (see below) and also costarred in Black Like Me, Dutchman, The Detective, Maya Angelou's Down in the Delta, Sydney Pollack's Castle Keep and Francis Ford Coppola's Finian's Rainbow. He died August 9. (NYT)


Leigh Hamilton (1949-2012) - Actress who appears in the films Hocus Pocus, Forced Vengeance and Gas, Food, Lodging. She died September 8. (THR)


Henry Herx (1933-2012) - Film critic who for 35 years wrote reviews for members of the Roman Catholic church via the Catholic News Service's Media Review Office and the book Our Sunday Visitor's Family Guide to Movies and Video. He died of complications from liver cancer on August 15. (NYT)


John Ingle (1928-2012) - Actor best known for his long run on the soap operas General Hospital and Days of Our Lives. We at remember him best as Principal Gowan in Heathers (pictured right). He also appears in RoboCop 2, Batman & Robin, True Stories and Death Becomes Her and was the narrator of the Land Before Time movies, for which he also voiced a regular character. Before his on-screen career, he taught acting for 30 years at Beverly Hills High School, where his students included Nicolas Cage, Albert Brooks, Barbara Hershey, Richard Dreyfuss, Swoosie Kurtz, Julie Kavner and David Schimmer. He died September 16. (THR)


Roman Kroitor (1926-2012) - Documentary filmmaker who cofounded IMAX (then Multi-Screen Corporation) following the production of his first large-format film, In the Labyrinth. He was also a major player at the National Film Board of Canada, a pioneer of 1960s cinema verite and the music-doc genre as codirector of the classic Oscar-nominated film Lonely Boy (watch in full below), invented of a type of hand-drawn 3D animation, was nominated for another Oscar for producing the short drama Bravery in the Field and is the credited inspiration for the concept of the Force in Star Wars. He died September 16. (Real Screen)   


Bob Lambert (1954/55-2012) - Technical strategist called "the father of digital cinema" for, among other things, coming up with the idea to develop computer animation and task Steve Jobs with the gig while he was at Disney. He died September 7. (THR)


Lance LeGault (1937-2012) - Actor and dancer best known for a role on the TV series The A-Team. In film, he can be seen in StripesComaThe Kentucky Fried MovieSweet Charity and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. In his younger days he was Elvis Presley's stunt double for such movies as Kissin' CousinsViva Las VegasRoustabout and Girls! Girls! Girls! He died on September 10. (Variety)


Herbert Lom (1917-2012) - Actor who is best known for playing Inspector Clouseau's boss, Commissioner Dreyfus, in the PinkPanther movies. He also costarred in the original The Ladykillers, GambitHopscotch, Kubrick's Spartacus, Dassin's NIght and the City and Cronenberg's The Dead Zone. He played Napoleon in both King Vidor's War and Peace and Carol Reed's The Young Mr. Pitt and he was the Phantom of the Opera in the 1962 version, Van Helsing in Jesus Franco's 1970 Count Dracula and Captain Nemo in Mysterious Island. He died on September 27. (Washington Post)


Kurt Maetzig (1911-1912) - German filmmaker whose directorial works for DEFA (the state-owned movie studio in East Germany) include the Stanslaw Lem adaptation First Spaceship on Venus and the post-war propaganda films Marriage in the Shadows and Council of the Gods as well as the state-criticizing and therefore state-banned drama The Rabbit Is Me. He died on August 8. (NYT)


Claire Malis (1943-2012) - Actress who appears in MovingDiving In and John Cassavetes's Husbands. She died of congestive heart failure and pneumonia on August 24. (THR)


Claudine Mawby (1922-2012) - Child actress who, as one of "The Mawby Triplets," starred in Hollywood films in the 1920s and 1930s, including Best Picture winner The Broadway Melody and The Hollywood Revue of 1929, in which they helped perform "Singin' in the Rain" in its film debut. They transitioned to British films when the family returned to England in 1932 following kidnapping threats related to the Lindbergh baby case. Claudine was in fact only a twin, with Claudette, who died in a bombing during World War II. The other "triplet," Angella, was actually 11 months older and died in 2000. Claudine died September 13. (NYT)


Rev. Sun Myung Moon (1920-2012) - Religious leader who founded the Unification Church. He completely financed the infamously awful Korean War film Inchon, also serving as a hands-on executive producer, and his church funded the promotional costs. Following that flop, the church also produced the documentary Nicaragua Was Our Home. Rev. Moon appears as himself in Jane Campion's cult drama Holy Smoke. He died after weeks of suffering from pneumonia on September 3. (USA Today)


Tracy Reed (1942-2012) - British actress best known for playing the single female role in Dr. Strangelove. She also appears in the 1967 Casino Royale, A Shot in the Dark and Carol Reed's The Way Ahead. She died May 2. (The Independent)


Michael Rye (1918-2012) - Actor mostly known for voice work, including narration for the video game Space Ace. Earlier in his career he appeared in the films Hands of a Stranger and Two Lost Worlds. He died on September 21. (Variety)


Steve Sabol (1942-2012) - Producer who cofounded NFL FIlms, where he oversaw the Audi racing documentary Truth in 24 and its new sequel as well as the made-for-TV biographies Lombardi and Namath. He died of brain cancer on September 18. (THR)

Ron Taylor (1934-2012) - Cinematographer who specialized in underwater work. He shot such footage for JawsJaws 2, OrcaThe Blue LagoonReturn to the Blue LagoonHoneymoon in Vegas and Gallipoli. He also codirected the 1962 documentary Shark Hunters. He died of leukemia on September 9. (Variety)


Andy Williams (1927-2012) - Singer most famously associated with the Breakfast at Tiffany's song "Moon River," which he first sang at the 1962 Academy Awards before it won the Oscar. A year later, he sang the title track from Days of Wine and Roses at the ceremony, and that tune also won the Oscar. The next two years he performed songs that lost the award, the title song from Dear Heart in 1964 and "The Sweetheart Tree" from The Great Race in 1965. Other songs he recorded have been prominent in films, such as "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," which can be heard in nearly every movie at least partly set at Christmas, and "Happy Heart," which memorably plays at the end of Shallow Grave. Before going solo, he appeared with his siblings as a member of the Williams Brothers in the films JanieKansas City KittySomething in the Wind and Ladies' Man. He died of bladder cancer on September 25. (THR)

Categories: Obituaries, Features
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