Remembering David Frost, Ray Dolby, Tommy Morrison and Other Reel-Important People We Lost This Month

Remembering David Frost, Ray Dolby, Tommy Morrison and Other Reel-Important People We Lost This Month

Sep 30, 2013

Reel-Important People is a monthly column that highlights those individuals in or related to the movies who 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.

Michel Brault (1928-2013) - Pioneer of the Direct Cinema style in Canada, specifically Quebec, who codirected the classic documentaries Les Raquetteurs [watch below], Pour la Suite de Monde and L'acadie, l'Acadie as well as the historical drama Les Ordres, for which he was named Best Director at Cannes in 1975. As a cinematographer, he also shot Jean Rouch's landmark documentary Chronicles of a Summer and the dramas Mon Oncle Antoine and No Mercy. He appears in the documentary documentary Capturing Reality. He died of a heart attack on the way to receive a lifetime achievement award at a film festival on September 21. (Nonfics)

John Calvert (1911-2013) - Magician who began performing as a child nearly a century ago. He also acted, starring as the Falcon in 1940s detective films [watch him in Devil's Cargo below] and appearing in the 1944 version of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. He died on September 27 at age 102. (THR)

Carolyn Cassady (1923-2013) - Beat writer who was regularly a character in the works of Jack Kerouac and who was married to Neal Cassady. She appears in the documentaries What Happened to Kerouac?, Kerouac, the Movie and Love Always, Carolyn [see below]. She served as a consultant on The Last Time I Committed Suicide, based on Neal's letters, and has been portrayed on screen by Sissy Spacek (Heart Beats), Radha Mitchell (Big Sur) and Kirsten Dunst (On the Road). She died on September 20. (THR)

Jane Connell (1925-2013) - Actress who costarred in Mame (reprising her role from the stage) and appears in See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde. She died on September 22. (NYT)

Ann Crispin (1950-2013) - Science fiction writer who in addition to her own Starbridge series authored a trio of Han Solo-centered Star Wars tie-ins [see right], plus two other short stories in other Star Wars anthologies, as well as the novelization for Alien Resurrection, a Pirates of the Caribbean tie-in and numerous Star Trek novels. She died of cancer on September 6. (io9)

Ray Dolby (1933-2013) - Maybe the most iconic name and the most commonly seen at the movies. The engineer helped invent video tape recording and founded Dolby Laboratories, which revolutionized and is now synonymous with film sound and exhibition with its advances in noise reduction [see below]. He died of leukemia on September 12. (THR)

Sir David Frost (1939-2013) - English journalist and media personality best known for his interviews with Richard Nixon. In the movie made about those talks, Frost/Nixon, he is portrayed by Michael Sheen [see below]. Frost also appears as himself in the movie The V.I.P.s and numerous documentaries, including Bhutto and Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's. He produced movies, too, such as the John Cleese-led mockumentary How to Irritate People and the Ewan McGregor-starrer Rogue Trader. He died of a heart attack while on a Mediterranean cruise on August 31. (Variety)

William A. Graham (1933-2013) - Director of Elvis Presley's final film, Change of Habit [see below], as well as a 1993 TV movie about the King called Elvis and the Colonel. He also directed The Return to Blue Lagoon, for which he received a Razzie nomination. He died of complications from pneumonia on September 12. (THR)

Marta Heflin (1945-2013) - Actress who costarred in the Robert Altman films A Wedding, A Perfect Couple [see below] and Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, as well as Scorsese's The King of Comedy and the 1976 version of A Star Is Born. She died on September 18. (NYT)

Saul Landau (1936-2013) - Emmy-winning political documentary maker who directed the films Fidel [see a clip below], Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up and Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang. He died of bladder cancer on September 9. (Nonfics)

A.C. Lyles (1918-2013) - Producer of Night of the Lepus and Paramount B-Westerns including Johnny Reno and Apache Uprising. He also appears in the documentaries Cinerama Adventure, Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song and Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's. He died on September 27. (Deadline)

Rochus Misch (1917-2013) - Adolf Hitler's bodyguard, who was portrayed by Heinrich Schmieder in Downfall and by Michael Kitchen in The Bunker. He died on September 5. (NYT)

Tommy Morrison (1969-2013) - Former heavyweight champion boxer who costarred in Rocky V as Tommy Gunn, the young fighter trained then beaten in the streets by Rocky Balboa [see a clip below]. He also appears as a Resistance fighter in They Live. He died on September 1. (Film Drunk)

Don Nelson (1927-2013) - Screenwriter best known for working with his brother's family on Ozzie and Harriet, he also cowrote Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, Gus and The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones. He died of an aortic aneurysm on September 10. (THR)

Ken Norton (1943-2013) - Former heavyweight champion who costarred in the film Mandingo [see below] and appears as himself in the comedy Dirty Work and the documentaries Facing Ali and Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story. He died on September 18. (Variety)

Lyn Peters (1941-2013) - Actress who starred in Grave of the Vampires, appears in In Like Flint and played Lady Prudence in the '60s Batman TV series. She died on September 10. (THR)

Ronn Pitts (c.1937-2013) - Documentary filmmaker who led the way for African-Americans in the industry in Chicago. He's mostly known for shooting footage of the Civil Rights movement, and his work can be seen in the films The Murder of Fred Hampton, American Revolution 2 and Some of My Best Friends Are. He died on September 22. (Kartemquin)

Otto Sander (1941-2013) - German actor who starred in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire [see below] and Faraway, So Close! and appears in Das Boot and The Tin Drum and narrated the German-language version of the live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas. He died on September 12. (THR)

Richard C. Sarafian (1930-2013) - Director best known for Vanishing Point [see below] and as an actor who appears in Bound, Blue Streak and Warren Beatty's Bugsy and Bulworth. He died on September 18. (NYT)

John J. Smith (1944-2013) - Production manager who worked on Waterworld, Sister Act, Gleaming the Cube, To Live and Die in L.A. and Mannequin. He also produced Windtalkers and Grumpier Old Men. He died of pulmonary fibrosis on September 10. (THR)

Patsy Swayze (1927-2013) - Choreographer and dance teacher who worked on Urban Cowboy and Hope Floats. She was also the mother of Patrick Swayze and worked on two his films, One Last Dance and Letters from a Killer, as well as an instructional video called Swayze Dancing [see below]. She died on September 16. (THR)

Bert Tenzer (1927-2013) - Director of the satirical comedy 2000 Years Later, the concert film Free and the musical docudrama The Day the Music Died. In the 1980s he founded the national video store chain the Video Connection. He died of cancer on August 29. (THR)

Luciano Vincenzoni (1926-2013) - Screenwriter who collaborated with Sergio Leone on The Good, the Bad and the Ugly [see below], For a Few Dollars More and Duck, You Sucker. He also wrote and produced Orca and cowrote the story for Raw Deal. He died of cancer on September 22. (NYT)

Michael Ward (1971-2013) - One of the two survivors of the disastrous 1985 bombing of the MOVE headquarters in Philadelphia. The then-13-year-old's testimony about the incident is a central part of the new documentary Let the Fire Burn [see the end of the trailer below]. He died of accidental drowning aboard a cruise ship on September 20. (NYT)




Categories: Features, Obituaries
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