Remembering Composer Johann Johannsson, James Bond Director Lewis Gilbert and More Reel-Important People We Lost in February

Remembering Composer Johann Johannsson, James Bond Director Lewis Gilbert and More Reel-Important People We Lost in February

Mar 01, 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.


Edward M. Abroms (1935-2018) - Editor. He received an Oscar nomination for his work on Blue Thunder and also edited Street Fighter, The Sugarland Express and numerous Colombo TV movies. He also worked on The Jewel of the Nile. He died on February 13. (Deadline)

Lassie Lou Ahern (1920-2018) - Actress, Dancer. As a child, she appeared in a number of early Our Gang shorts (including Thundering Fleas, seen below) and silent features, including Uncle Tom's Cabin. Later she appeared in Gaslight and City of Missing Girls and went on to teach dance to many in Hollywood, including Renee Zellweger and Faye Dunaway. She died of influenza on February 16. (THR)

Marty Allen (1922-2018) - Actor, Comedian. He appears in Cannonball Run II, The Naked Face and The Great Waltz. He died of complications from pneumonia on February 12. (THR)

John Perry Barlow (1947-2018) - Poet, Actor, Political Activist. Formerly a lyricist for The Grateful Dead, he acted in the movies Endangered SpeciesConceiving Ada and The F Word and appears in the documentaries Long Strange TripI Am JFK Jr.Synthetic Pleasures and Downloaded. He died on February 7. (Variety)

Sue Barton (1938-2018) - Publicist, Producer, Actress. As an executive at Columbia Pictures, she worked on the releases of Gandhi and Tootsie. Earlier, she worked for Robert Altman's production company, earning a credit on California Split and a role as "herself" in Nashville. She actually died on January 5. (THR)

Linda Carlson (?-2018) - Producer. She was an executive producer on many Netflix documentaries, including current Oscar nominee Icarus (see the trailer below), as well as Winter on FireAmanda Knox and Sky Ladder and the series Five Came Back. She actually died on January 27. (Deadline)

Reg E. Cathey (1958-2018) - Actor. Best known for the series Oz, House of Cards and The Wire, he also co-starred in the movies Fantastic FourSe7enAmerican PsychoThe MaskThe MachinistBorn on the Fourth of JulySt. VincentClear and Present DangerNasty BabyHead of StateQuick ChangeWhat About Bob? and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. He died of lung cancer on February 9. (THR)

Emma Chambers (1964-2018) - British Actress. Best known for BBC TV's The Vicar of Dibley, she also appears in the movie Notting Hill in the role of Honey (see below). She died on February 21. (THR)

James Colby (1961-2018) - Actor. He mostly played cops and detectives, as in SafeThe Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Inside Llewyn Davis. He died on February 23. (Playbill)

Barry Crimmins (1953-2018) - Comedian. He was the subject of Bobcat Goldthwaite's recent documentary Call Me Lucky, about his activism against abuse of children. He died on February 28. (Deadline)

Vic Damone (1928-2018) - Singer, Actor. Mostly known for performing hits like the My Fair Lady tune "On the Street Where You Live," he also starred in the war movie Hell to Eternity and the musicals Kismet (see below), Athena and Hit the Deck. He died on February 11. (Variety)

Nanette Fabray (1920-2018) - Actress, Singer, Dancer, Comedienne. She starred in The Band Wagon, Harper Valley P.T.A.Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County and The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. She died on February 22. (THR)

John Gavin (1928-2018) - Actor. After breaking out in A Time to Love and a Time to Die, he co-starred in Psycho (see below), SpartacusImitation of LifeMidnight LaceTammy Tell Me True and Thoroughly Modern Millie. He died on February 9. (Deadline)

Lewis Gilbert (1920-2018) - British Filmmaker (pictured at the top with Michael Caine). He received an Oscar nomination for producing and directing Alfie, which was a Best Picture contender. He also helmed the James Bond movies You Only Live TwiceThe Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, plus Educating RitaSink the Bismarck!Damn the Defiant!Shirley Valentine and Haunted. He died on February 23. (THR)

Ann Gillis (1927-2018) - Actress. Starting out in childhood, she starred as Becky Thatcher in the 1938 version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and as the title character in the same year's Little Orphan Annie. She also appears in The Great ZiegfeldIn Society (see below), Beau Geste and 2001: A Space Odyssey and was the voice of adult Faline in Disney's Bambi. She actually died on January 31. (THR)

Richard Glickman (1926-2018) - Engineer. He consulted on lighting and other technology for movies, television and theatre and was a member of the Academy Awards' committee for the Scientific and Technical honors. He died on February 18. (THR)

Billy Graham (1918-2018) - Evangelist. A major religious figure, in part because of his pioneering work on television, he was subject of the biopic Billy: The Early Years, in which he's played by Armie Hammer. He died on February 21. (AP)

Marie Gruber (1955-2018) - German Actress. She co-starred in The Reader (see below), The Lives of OthersFrantz and Tom Tykwer's 3. She died of cancer on February 8. (Tagesschau)

Kenneth Haigh (1931-2018) - British Actor. He co-starred in CleopatraA Hard Day's NightRobin and MarianWeekend at DunkirkThe Deadly Affair and Saint Joan. He died on February 4. (The Times)

Jóhann Jóhannsson (1969-2018) - Icelandic Composer. He received Oscar nominations for scoring The Theory of Everything and Denis Villeneuve's Sicario and was also acclaimed for his scores for Villeneuve's Arrival and Prisoners. He also worked on Blade Runner 2049 but his music was unused. His other movie credits include the upcoming Mandy and The Mercy, as well as mother!, for which he was a music consultant. He also worked on Christopher Robin but had not finished the score before his death. He died on February 9. (THR)

Mickey Jones (1941-2018) - Actor. He is best remembered for playing the mechanic in National Lampoon's Vacation, he also appears in Sling Blade (see below), Stir CrazyStarman,Tin Cup and the original Total Recall. He died on February 9. (Deadline)

Sridevi Kapoor (1963-2018) - Indian Actress. Considered Indian cinema's first female superstar, she led many movies, including English Vinglish, Mr. India, Mom, Sadma, Lamhe, Judaai and Aakhree Raasta. She died in an accidental drowning in a hotel bathtub on February 24. (THR)

George S. Kaufman (1928-2018) - Studio Executive. As a real estate developer, he revived Paramount's old studios in Queens and renamed it Kaufman Astoria Studios. Under his leadership, the studio became New York's go-to for sound stage filming and eventually the city's only dedicated blacklot, and as such it was used for numerous TV series and movies shot in the city, including Goodfellas. Through his studio, he became an executive producer of Sesame Street and Martin Scorsese's upcoming The Irishman. He died on February 20. (NYT

Bud Luckey (1934-2018) - Animator. He received an Oscar nomination for writing and co-directing the Pixar short Boundin' and was a character designer and voice actor for many other Pixar movies, including A Bug's LifeCarsRatatouilleMonsters, Inc., and the Toy Story trilogy, for which he's the credited creator of Woody. He was also the voice of Eeyore in the 2011 Winnie the Pooh movie and TV series. He died on February 24. (Deadline)  

John Mahoney (1940-2018) - Actor. Best known as the title character's father on TV's Frasier, he also starred in the movies Say Anything... (see below), Primal FearThe American PresidentIn the Line of FireThe Hudsucker ProxyBarton Fink and Dan in Real Life, and he voiced characters for AntzAtlantis: The Lost Empire and The Iron Giant. He died of throat cancer on February 4. (THR)

Benjamin Melniker (1913-2018) - Producer. He was best known for being a producer on Batman movies starting with 1989's Batman and through Batman ReturnsBatman ForeverBatman & RobinBatman BeginsThe Dark KnightThe Dark Knight RisesBatman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeJustice League and all the animated features in between, including Batman: Mask of the Phantasm to The Lego Batman Movie. He also produced ConstantineSwamp Things and The Return of Swamp Thing. Earlier in his career he was an executive at MGM and was involved in the development of Ben-Hur2001: A Space Odyssey and Dr. Zhivago. He died on February 26. (THR)

Jill Messick (1967-2018) - Producer. As an executive at Miramax, she produced She's All That and Frida. Her other movie credits include Mean GirlsBaby Mama and Hot Rod, and she was also formerly Rose McGowan's manager. She died by suicide on February 7. (THR)

Dennis Stuart Murphy (c.1946-2018) - Producer. His movie credits include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Friday the 13th Part 2Re-AnimatorQPowderBlind Fury, Dolls and Troll. He died of a brain hemorrhage on January 24. (THR)

Idrissa Ouedraogo (1954-2018) - Burkinabé Filmmaker. One of the greats of African cinema, his movies include the Cannes Grand Prix winner Tilaï (The Law), Samba Traoré (see the trailer below),Yaaba and Guimba the Tyrant. He also contributed to the anthology films Lumiere and Company and September 11. He died on February 18. (Variety)

Marge Rowland (1949-2018) - Production Accountant. Her credits include The MatrixAs Good as It GetsRocky II and the James Bond movies OctopussyGoldenEyeTomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough. She actually died on January 8. (THR)

Lovebug Starsky (1960-2018) - Rapper. He performed the title song for the 1985 movie Rappin'. He died on February 8. (Variety)

Nini Theilade (1915-2018) - Actress, Dancer. She played one of the dancing faeries in the 1935 version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (see below) and more recently she appeared in the documentary Ballets Russes. She died on February 13. (THR)

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Categories: Obituaries, Features
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