Remembering Aretha Franklin, Barbara Harris, Neil Simon and More Reel-Important People We Lost in August

Remembering Aretha Franklin, Barbara Harris, Neil Simon and More Reel-Important People We Lost in August

Sep 14, 2018

Reel-Important People is a monthly column that highlights those individuals in or related to the movies that have left us in recent weeks. Below you'll find names big and small and from all areas of the industry, though each was significant to the movies in his or her own way.

Andre Blay (1937-2018) - Producer. His movies include John Carpenter's They Live, Prince of Darkness and Village of the Damned as well as the 1988 remake of The Blob. He died on August 24. (Hometown Weekly)

Silvano Campeggi (1923-2018) - Poster Designer. His iconic movie posters include those for Gone With the Wind, Gigi, Ben-Hur, Singin' in the Rain, An American in Paris, West Side Story, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Exodus and Casablanca. He died on August 28. (La Repubblica)

Mary Carlisle (1914-2018) - Actress. She starred in many movies through the 1930s, including Grand HotelCollege Humor (see below), Dead Men Walk, The Devil's Cabaret, Murder in the Private Car and Dance, Girl, Dance. She died on August 1. (Deadline)


John Carter (1922-2018) - Editor. His credits include Men of Honor, Friday, The Karate Kid Part III, Barbershop, Boomerang, Lean on Me, Set It Off, Soul Food, Taking Off, The Five Heartbeats, Cotton Comes to Harlem and the original The Heartbreak Kid. He died on August 13. (Variety)

Ezzatolah Entezami (1924-2018) - Iranian Actor. He starred in the Iranian New Wave classic The Cow, as well as Hamoun, The Tenants and A House Built on Water. He died on August 17. (Tasnim News Agency)

Aretha Franklin (1942-2018) - Singer, Songwriter, Actress. The Queen of Soul, she can be heard on numerous soundtracks, including Goodfellas and Moonlight, and she acted in The Blues Brothers (pictured above, center) and Blues Brothers 2000. She also appears in the documentaries Muscle Shoals (see below) and Amazing Grace. She died of pancreatic cancer on August 16. (NYT)


Gary Friedrich (1943-2018) - Comic Book Writer. He co-created Ghost Rider, the Marvel Comics character who was the focus of two movies starring Nicolas Cage. He died on August 28. (THR)

Barbara Harris (1935-2018) - Actress. She starred in Robert Altman's Nashville, for which she also performed on the soundtrack, plus Plaza Suite (see below), Peggy Sue Got Married, Grosse Pointe Blank, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Family Plot and as the mom in the original Freaky Friday. She died of lung cancer on August 21. (Variety)


Chuck Henson (1931-2018) - Stunt Performer. His movie credits include Stir Crazy, Tombstone and The Quick and the Dead. He died on August 11. (Arizona Daily Star)

Gloria Jean (1926-2018) - Actress, Singer. She starred in the W.C. Fields comedy Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (see below), plusThe Ladies Man, Ghost Catchers, Destiny, The Under-Pup, Mister Big, An Old-Fashioned Girl, When Johnny Comes Marching Home and Copacabana. She died on August 31. (THR)


Lindsay Kemp (1938-2018) - Choreographer, Dancer, Actor, David Bowie Mentor. His movie credits include The Vampire Lovers, Velvet Goldmine, Jubilee and the original version of The Wicker Man. He died on August 25. (Variety)

Morgana King (1930-2018) - Actress, Singer. She played the Corleone matriarch in The Godfather (see below) and The Godfather Part II. She actually died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma on March 22. (Deadline)


Richard H. Kline (1926-2018) - Director of Photography. He earned Oscar nominations for shooting Camelot and the 1976 remake of King Kong. His other cinematography credits include Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Soylent Green, Howard the Duck, Double Impact, The Andromeda Strain, Battle for the Planet of the Apes and My Stepmother is an Alien. He was also a camera operator on The Lady from Shanghai, The Pink Panther, The Harder They Fall, Birdman of Alcatraz, A Raisin in the Sun, Elmer Gantry and the 1956 version of Around the World in 80 Days. He died on August 7. (THR)

Vanessa Marquez (1968-2018) - Actress. Best known for TV's ER, she also starred in Stand and Deliver, Father Hood, Under Suspicion and Blood In, Blood Out. She was shot dead by police on August 30. (Deadline)

John McCain (1936-2018) - Politician. The war hero, US senator and former presidential candidate appears as himself in the comedy Wedding Crashers and in the documentaries Why We Fight, Darfur Now and John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls. He was portrayed by Ed Harris in the HBO movie Game Change. He died of brain cancer on August 25. (NYT)

Moshe Mizrahi (1930-2018) - Israeli Filmmaker. His movies include the Best Foreign Language Oscar winner Madame Rosa (see the win below) and nominees I Love You Rosa and The House on Chelouche Street and the Golden Globe nominee Ore'ach B'Onah Metah. He died on August 3. (THR)


Stanley Morgan (1929-2018) - Actor. He co-starred in The Return of Mr. Moto, Night Train to Paris and Dr. No. His death was announced on August 31. (Stanley Morgan's website)

Brian Murray (1937-2018) - Actor. He co-starred in Dream House, City Hall, Bob Roberts, The League of Gentlemen and The Angry Silence. He also voiced Long John Silver in Disney's Treasure Planet (see below). He died on August 20. (Deadline)


Miriam Nelson (1919-2018) - Choreographer, Actress. Her movie credits include Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Apartment, Double Indemnity, Cat Ballou, Cactus Flower and Picnic. She died on August 12. (Variety)

Winston Ntshona (1941-2018) - South African Actor. He co-starred in Gandhi (see below), A Dry White Season, The Power of One, I Dreamed of Africa, Blood Diamond, The Wild Geese and The Dogs of War. He died on August 2. (THR)


Michael Pickwoad (1945-2018) - Production Designer. Best known for his work on Doctor Who, his movie credits include Withnail & I, The Krays and, as an assistant, Patton. He died on August 27. (EW)

Charlotte Rae (1926-2018) - Actress. Best known as Mrs. Garrett on TV's Diff'rent Strokes and The Facts of Life, she also starred in the movies You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Hair, Ricki and the Flash, Nowhere and Woody Allen's Bananas. She died on August 5. (EW)

Carole Shelley (1939-2018) - Actress. She starred as Gwendolyn, one of the Pigeon sisters, in The Odd Couple (see below), originating the role on Broadway and then also reprising her character in the TV series, and appears in Quiz Show, The Road to Wellville, The Super, Bewitched and The Boston Strangler. She also voiced Lady Kluck in Disney's Robin Hood, Amelia in Disney's The Aristocats and Lachesis in Disney's Hercules, another part she reprised for the TV version. She died of cancer on August 31. (Deadline)


Neil Simon (1927-2018) - Playwright, Screenwriter. He received Oscar nominations for his screenplays for The Goodbye Girl, California Suite, The Sunshine Boys and The Odd Couple (see above), the latter three all based on his plays. His other movies, many of them based on his plays, include Barefoot in the Park, Seems Like Old Times, The Out-of-Towners, Plaza Suite (see below), The Heartbreak Kid, Murder by Death, Chapter Two, Max Dugan Returns, The Prisoner of Second Avenue, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, Lost in Yonkers and The Odd Couple II, which he also produced. He died of pneumonia on August 26. (Variety)


Kin Sugai (1926-2018) - Japanese Actress. She starred in Godzilla, The Funeral and the Akira Kurosawa movies Ikiru, High and Low, Red Beard, Dodes'ka-den and The Bad Sleep Well. She died on August 10. (NHK World)

Ronnie Taylor (1924-2018) - Cinematographer. He won an Oscar for his work on Gandhi. He also shot Cry Freedom, A Chorus Line, Sea of Love and High Road to China. He was also a camera operator on Star Wars, Barry Lyndon, Phantom of the Paradise, Sky Riders and the 1978 remake of The Big Sleep. He died of complications from a stroke on August 3. (Deadline)

Yale Udoff (1935-2018) - Screenwriter. He wrote Nicolas Roeg's Bad Timing (see below) and co-wrote the 1991 movie Eve of Destruction. He actually died on July 19. (Variety)

Craig Zadan (1949-2018) - Producer. His movie credits include Chicago, The Bucket List, the Hairspray remake (pictured on set below, center) and both versions of Footloose. He also produced the Oscars with Neil Meron in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He died of complications from surgery on August 20. (Variety)




Categories: Features, Obituaries
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