Remembering Dick Miller, Carol Channing and More Reel-Important People We Lost in January

Remembering Dick Miller, Carol Channing and More Reel-Important People We Lost in January

Feb 01, 2019

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.

Bill Anagnos (1958-2019) - Stunt Performer. He was a stunt driver for Hackers, The Fisher King, Jungle Fever and the 1998 Godzilla and also performed stunts in Saturday Night Fever, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Catch Me If You Can, Doctor Strange, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Warriors and numerous other movies. He died of cancer on January 15. (Legacy)

Jo Andres (1954-2019) - Filmmaker. Best known as the wife of Steve Buscemi, she also directed the shorts Black Kites and Liquid Tara and was the choreographer for the movie The Impostors. She died of encapsulating peritoneal sclerosis on January 6. (Variety)

Kaye Ballard (1925-2019) - Actress. She starred in The Ritz, Falling in Love Again and The Girl Most Likely and also appears in the 1976 Freaky Friday and Baby Geniuses. She died of kidney cancer on January 21. (Variety)

Verna Bloom (1938-2019) - Actress. She played Dean Wormer's wife Marion in Animal House and Mary in The Last Temptation of Christ. She also starred in High Plains Drifter, After Hours, The Hired Hand and Medium Cool (see below). She died of complications from dementia on January 9. (Variety)


Julius Campbell (1953-2019) - Football Player. He was one of the real-life subjects of the drama Remember the Titans, in which he was portrayed by Wood Harris. He died on January 25. (Penn Live

Carol Channing (1921-2019) - Singer, Actress. She was nominated for an Oscar and won the Golden Globe for her supporting performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie (see below). She was better known for musical theater, including roles in the Broadway productions of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Hello, Dolly! but also co-starred in Skidoo and voiced characters for the animated features Happily Ever After, Thumbelina and The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars. She was also the subject of the recent documentary Carol Channing: Larger Than Life. She died on January 15. (Variety)


Barbara Claman (1929-2019) - Casting Director. Her movie credits include Days of Heaven, Iron Eagle and Albert Brooks' Defending Your Life, Lost in America and Modern Romance. She died on January 17. (Variety)

Bob Einstein (1942-2019) - Actor, Writer. Best known for his TV roles on Curb Your Enthusiasm and as Super Dave Osborne, he also appears in Ocean's Thirteen and in his brother Albert Brooks' movie Modern Romance (see below). He died of cancer on January 2. (Variety)


James Frawley (1936-2019) - Filmmaker. He directed The Muppet Movie and The Big Bus. He died of a heart attack on January 22. (THR)

Del Henney (1935-2019) - Actor. He was one of the assailants in Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs and also co-starred in Brannigan and Soldier of Orange. He died on January 14. (The Herald)

James Ingram (1952-2019) - Singer, Songwriter. He received Oscar nominations for co-writing the song "The Day I Fall in Love" for Beethoven's 2nd and "Look What Love Has Done" for Junior. He also won a Grammy for his involvement in performing the song "Somewhere Out There" for An American Tail (see below). He died of brain cancer on January 29. (Variety)


Caio Junqueira (1976-2019) - Brazilian Actor. He starred in Elite Squad, Central Station, Four Days in September and Rio, I Love You. He died in a car accident on January 23. (G1)

Leonard Klady (c. 1951-2019) - Film Critic. He wrote for Variety, Movie City News and Screen International and was a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. He died of cancer on January 19. (Variety)

Michel Legrand (1932-2019) - Composer. He won Oscars for scoring Summer of '42 (see below) and Yentl and for co-writing the song "The Windmills of Your Mind" from The Thomas Crown Affair. He was also nominated for the scores to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Young Girls of Rochefort and The Thomas Crown Affair and for songs from Yentl, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Happy Ending, Best Friends and Pieces of Dreams. His other scores include those for Lady Sings the Blues, Le Mans, Brian's Song, Never Say Never, F for Fake, Cleo from 5 to 7 and Jean-Luc Godard's Vivre Sa Vie and Band of Outsiders. He died on January 26. (Variety)


Jonas Mekas (1922-2019) - Writer, Filmmaker. Known as "the Godfather of American Avant-Garde Cinema," his most famous movies include Walden, The Brig and As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty. He also shot Andy Warhol's iconic film Empire, co-founded Film Culture magazine and started the organization that became NYC's Anthology Film Archives. He died on January 23. (Variety

Tony Mendez (1940-2019) - Writer, CIA Agent. His book The Master of Disguise served as the basis for the Best Picture winner Argo, in which he was portrayed by Ben Affleck. He died of complications from Parkinson's disease on January 19. (Variety)

Dick Miller (1928-2019) - Actor. A favorite of Roger Corman and Joe Dante, Miller starred in the former's A Bucket of Blood, The Terror and Little Shop of Horrors and appears in most of the latter's movies, including The 'Burbs, Small Soldiers (pictured above) and Gremlins, in which he plays the memorable Murray Futterman (see below), reprising the role for the sequel. His other moves include The Terminator, After Hours, The Dirty Dozen, Chopping Mall and the documentary about himself, That Guy Dick Miller. He died on January 30. (Variety)


Stefanos Miltsakakis (1959-2019) - Actor. The muscular actor co-starred opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in Cyborg, Maximum Risk, The Quest, Lionheart and Derailed and also co-starred in the Jet Li movie The Master, Daredevil and Den of Thieves. He died on January 9. (THR

Louisa Moritz (1946-2019) - Actress. She co-starred in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Up in Smoke, Death Race 2000 and The Last American Virgin. She died on January 30. (Variety)

Dusan Makavejev (1932-2019) - Yugoslavian Filmmaker. His movies include Montenegro, Sweet Movie and The Coca-Cola Kid. He died on January 25. (THR


Gene Okerlund (1942-2019) - Actor, TV Personality. Iconically known as WWE interviewer "Mean" Gene, he appears in the movies Ready to Rumble, No Holds Barred and the recent documentary Andre the Giant. He died of complications from a fall on January 2. (Variety)

Francois Protat (?-2019) - Cinematographer. He shot Johnny Mnemonic, Weekend at Bernie's, Switching Channels and Brainscan. He died on January 18. (IATSE)

Nick Redman (1955-2019) - Documentary Filmmaker. He received an Oscar nomination for producing the documentary short The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage (see below). He also directed Becoming John Ford and A Turning of the Earth: John Ford, John Wayne and the Searchers. He also appears in the new documentary Filmworker. He died of cancer on January 17. (Variety)


Matt Rose (1965-2019) - Makeup Artist. His movie credits include Ed Wood, Aliens, The Nutty Professor, Beetlejuice, Hellboy, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Men in Black, Men in Black II, Predator and The Predator. He died on January 25. (THR)

Gregg Rudloff (1955-2019) - Sound Mixer. He won Oscars for his work on Glory, The Matrix and Mad Max: Fury Road (see below). He was also nominated for The Perfect Storm, Flags of Our Fathers, Argo and American Sniper. His other movies include The Lego Movie, Green Lantern, Pacific Rim, Spectre, Troy, The Princess Bride, Stand By Me, Superman Returns, The Little Mermaid, Letters from Iwo Jima, Space Jam, This is Spinal Tap and Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. He died on January 6. (Variety)


William Morgan Sheppard (1932-2019) - Actor. He co-starred in 2009's Star Trek, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered CountryTransformers, Wild at Heart, The Prestige, The Elephant ManGettysburg and Gods and Generals. He died on January 6. (Daily Mirror)

Jo-Jo Smith (1938-2019) - Dancer, Choreographer. Known as "Choreographer to the Stars," he consulted on the dancing for Saturday Night Fever. He died on January 22. (THR)

Norman Snider (1945-2019) - Screenwriter. He co-wrote David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers and the Jack Abramoff biopic Casino Jack. He died on January 4. (Legacy)

Daniel C. Striepeke (1930-2019) - Makeup Artist. He received Oscar nominations for his work on Forrest Gump (see below) and Saving Private Ryan. His other movie credits include many Tom Hanks vehicles, including Road to Perdition, Cast Away, The Green Mile, The Terminal, The Da Vinci Code, The 'Burbs and Joe Versus the Volcano, plus Footloose, Grease, The Deer Hunter and the original Planet of the Apes and its sequels. He died on January 17. (THR)


Mark Urman (1952-2019) - Producer, Distributor. He was head of Paladin Films and previously was an executive at Cinepix and ThinkFilm. His movie credits as a producer include Monster's Ball and Murderball. He died of cancer on January 12. (Variety)

Andrew G. Vajna (1944-2019) - Producer. His movies include multiple installments of the Rambo, Die Hard and Terminator franchises, as well as the original Total Recall, Blade Runner 2049, Tombstone, Red Heat, Evita, Nixon and last year's The Spy Who Dumped Me. He died on January 20. (Variety)

Erica Yohn (1928-2019) - Actress. She played Madam Ruby in Pee-wee's Big Adventure (see below)and was the voice of Fievel's mother in An American Tail and its sequels. She also co-starred in The Godfather Part II, Star 80 and Corrina, Corrina. She died on January 27. (Facebook)



Categories: Obituaries
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