Remembering George A. Romero, Sam Shepard, Jeanne Moreau and More Reel-Important People We Lost in July

Remembering George A. Romero, Sam Shepard, Jeanne Moreau and More Reel-Important People We Lost in July

Aug 02, 2017

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.


Harvey Atkin (1942-2017) - Actor. He starred in Meatballs and appears in Silver StreakAtlantic City and The Stupids. He died of cancer on July 17. (THR)

Trevor Baxter (1932-2017) - British Actor. He starred in Sky Captain and the World of TomorrowA Man for All SeasonsVan Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj and Cold Comfort Farm. He died on July 16. (Big Finish News)

Chester Bennington (1976-2017) - Singer. As front man of Linkin Park, he has been heard on many soundtracks. He also appears in the movies Crank (see below), Crank: High Voltage and Saw 3D: The Final Chapter. He took his own life on July 20. (THR)

John Bernecker (1984-2017) - Stunt Man. His movie credits include Looper, Logan, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 and Part 222 Jump StreetThis Is the EndGreen LanternBattleshipEscape PlanTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the ShadowsGet OutFantastic FourThe Fate of the FuriousRide Along, Keanu, Escape Plan and the upcoming Escape Plan 2: Hades, Rampage and Black Panther. He died from a fall on the set of The Walking Dead on July 13. (THR)

Wally Burr (1926-2017) - Voice Actor, Voice Director. He directed the voice recording sessions for Transformers: The MovieG.I. Joe: the Movie and the English dub of Akira. He died on July 9. (Hiss Tank)

Carolyn Cronenberg (1950-2017) - Editor, Director. She worked on many movies by her husband, David Cronenberg, including RabidA Dangerous MethodFast Company and The Brood. She also directed two documentaries on the making of A History of Violence. She actually died on June 19. (IndieWire)

Ji-Tu Cumbuka (1940-2017) - Actor. He appears in Bachelor PartyBrewster's MillionsHarlem Nights (see below), VolunteersBrian's SongOutrageous Fortune, Bound for Glory, Blacula and Moving. He died on July 4. (THR)

Danny Daniels (1924-2017) - Choreographer. His movie credits include Indiana Jones and the Temple of DoomZeligPennies from HeavenTom Sawyer, Stiletto and Stepping Out. He died on July 7. (THR)

Patti Deutsch (1945-2017) - Comedienne, Voice Actress. Her voice work movie credits include Monsters, Inc., The Emperor's New GrooveHappily N'Ever AfterTarzan and Jetsons: The Movie and her on screen movie credits include the deli lady in Mr. Mom (see below). She died on July 26. (THR)

Nelsan Ellis (1977-2017) - Actor. Best known for playing Lafayette Reynolds on TV's True Blood, he also appears in the movies SecretariatThe HelpLee Daniels' The ButlerThe SoloistThe Stanford Prison Experiment and Get On Up. He died on July 8. (IndieWire)

C.O. Erikson (1923-2017) - Producer, Unit Production Manager. He was the unit production manager on Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, VertigoTo Catch a ThiefThe Trouble with Harry and the 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. His other credits as a producer and/or production manager include The Misfits, Cleopatra, Chinatown, Blade RunnerUrban CowboyFast Times at Ridgemont High, PopeyeProject XKiss the GirlsIs Paris Burning?The Lonely GuyCloak & DaggerGroundhog DayIronweed and Black Sheep. He also appears in Chinatown and Groundhog Day. He actually died on June 28. (Variety)

June Foray (1917-2017) - Voice Actress (pictured right). She was best known for voicing Rocky and Natasha in the Rocky and Bulwinkle cartoons (plus the 2000 live-action/animation hybrid movie) and Granny of the Looney Tunes (including in Space Jam and Looney Tunes: Back in Action), as well as Lucifer the cat in Cinderella, Cindy Lou in How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Grandma Fa in Mulan and Mulan II and multiple characters in Peter Pan and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Her other movie credits include ThumbelinaDuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp and The Phantom Tollbooth. She also appears in the documentayr I Know That Voice. She died on July 26. (NYT)

John Heard (1946-2017) - Actor. He played the father, Peter McCallister, in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and also starred in Big (see below), Awakenings, Snake Eyes, The Pelican Brief, Sharknado, Beaches, Cat People, C.H.U.D., In the Line of Fire, After Hours, Pollack, My Fellow Americans and many more. He died on July 21. (THR)

Evan Helmuth (1977-2017) - Actor. He co-starred in The Devil Inside, Jobs, Garfield, The United States of Leland, Fever Pitch and Mr. Woodcock. He died of a stroke on July 17. (THR)

Skip Homeier (1930-2017) - Actor. He starred in The Gunfighter, The Burning HillsThe Ghost and Mr. ChickenComanche Nation and Tomorrow, the World! (pictured right). He actually died on June 25. (THR)

Hans Hurch (1952-2017) - Film Festival Director. Formerly a film critic, he had been the head of the Vienna International Film Festival since 1997. He died of heart failure on July 23. (Sight & Sound

Evzen Kolar (1950-2017) - Producer, Stunt Man. His movie credits include Never Say Never AgainDouble ImpactMasters of the UniverseBat*21City of IndustryStreet Smart and Surf Ninjas, for which he also did stunts. He died on July 11. (Variety)

Martin Landau (1928-2017) - Actor. He won an Oscar for portraying Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood and was previously nominated for Tucker: The Man and His Dream and Crimes and Misdemeanors. His other movie credits include North by NorthwestMission: ImpossibleSleepy HollowRounders (see below), The MajesticCleopatraThe Greatest Story Ever ToldThe Adventures of Pinocchio and B*A*P*S. He died on July 15. See our news post here.

Leonard 'Percy' Landy (1933-2017) - Child Actor. He played Leonard in the Our Gang shorts, including Hide and Shriek, Goin' Fishin'Feed 'em and Weep and Waldo's Last Stand. He died on July 26. (Variety)

Joan Lee (1922-2017) - Wife of Stan Lee. She was a big part of the background of the success of Marvel Comics. She has cameo appearances in Spider-ManFantastic Four and X-Men: Apocalypse and is a key component of the documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story. She died on July 6. (Variety)

Elsa Martinelli (1935-2017) - Italian Actress. She starred in Hatari! (picured right), The V.I.P.sThe 10th VictimThe Indian FighterOne on Top of the OtherBlood and Roses and Captain Blood and appears in The Trial and Woman Times Seven. She died of cancer on July 8. (THR)

Jeanne Moreau (1928-2017) - French Actress, Singer. One of the icons of the French New Wave, she starred in the Francois Truffaut films Jules and Jim and The Bride Wore Black, Luis Bunuel's Diary of a Chambermaid, Louis Malle's Elevator to the Gallows and The Lovers, Elia Kazan's The Last Tycoon, Michaelangelo Antonioni's La Notte, Francois Ozon's Time to Leave, Rainer Werner Fassbender's Querelle, Orson Welles's The Immortal Story, The DeepThe Trial and Chimes at Midnight, Luc Besson's La Femme Nikita, Roger Vadim's Dangerous Liaisons, John Frankenheimer's The Train (see below) and Joseph Losey's Eva and Mr. Klein. She also appears in The 400 BlowsEver After: A Cinderella StoryThe LoverA Woman Is a WomanGoing Places and Until the End of the World. She died on July 31. (Variety)

Tiger Joe Robinson (1927-2017) - British Actor, Martial Artist. Best known for his role as diamond smuggler Peter Franks in Diamonds Are Forever, he also appears in The Loneliness of the Long Distance RunnerBarabbasThe Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll and Thor and the Amazon Women, in which he played Thor. He died on July 3. (THR)

George A. Romero (1940-2017) - Writer, Director, Producer - Legendary for pioneering the zombie movie as we know it today, his films include Night of the Living DeadDawn of the DayDay of the DeadLand of the Dead (pictured on the set right, Diary of the Dead and Survival of Dead plus the non zombie features The CraziesCreepshowThe Dark Half, Monkey Shines and Knightriders. He also appears in the documentaries Doc of the Dead and Birth of the Living Dead. He died of lung cancer on July 16. See our full obituary post here.

Thomas E. Sanders (1953-2017) - Production Director, Art Director. He received Oscar nominations for Saving Private Ryan and Bram Stoker's Dracula. His other credits include BraveheartCrimson PeakMission: Impossible IIApocalyptoAfter EarthWe Were SoldiersEagle EyeMaverick and Star Trek Beyond. He died of cancer on July 6. (Deadline)

Vee King Shaw (1944-2017) - Hong Kong Producer. As part of the Shaw Organization, he produced The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, The Mighty Peking ManShatter and Goliathon. He died on July 13. (The Straits Times)

Sam Shepard (1943-2017) - Writer, Director, Actor. He received an Oscar nomination for his supporting performance portraying Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff and won the Pulitzer for his play Buried Child. He was also nominated for the Pulitzer for plays True West and Fool for Love (pictured above), the latter of which was turned into a movie he also starred in from Robert Altman. Other movies he wrote or that were based on his writing include Zabriskie PointSimpaticoDon't Come Knocking, Far North, which he also directed, and Paris, Texas, in which he also starred. His other acting credits include Days of HeavenBaby BoomSteel Magnolias, Midnight SpecialFrances, Country, MudAugust: Osage CountyThe Pelican BriefThunderheartThe NotebookBandidasBlack Hawk DownAll the Pretty Horses, Blackthorn (see below), Out of the Furnace, Michael Almereyda's Hamlet and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. He also narrated the live-action Charlotte's Web and appears in the new documentary California Typewriter. He died of complications of Lou Gehrig's disease on July 27. (NYT)

Marty Sklar (1934-2017) - Disney Imagineer. One of Walt Disney's closest colleagues, he was instrumental to the development of Disney theme parks and resorts and is especially known for his work on the designs for non-movie-based attractions Enchanted Tiki Room and It's a Small World and the plans for Epcot. He died on July 27. (The Walt Disney Company)

Flo Steinberg (1939-2017) - Assistant. She was one of the most important parts of Marvel Comics in the old days, not just as Stan Lee's secretary but as an icon in the comics pages. She can be seen in the documentaries In Search of Steve Ditko and With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story. She died of complications from a brain aneurysm and metastatic lung cancer on July 23. (io9)

Paolo Villaggio (1932-2017) - Italian Actor. He played the iconic Italian comedy character Ugo Fantozzi in numerous movies from the '70s through the '90s, as well as What am I Doing in the Middle of the Revolution? (pictured right). He died on July 3. (THR)

Red West (1936-2017) - Actor, Stunt Man. He appears in Goodbye Solo (see below), Natural Born KillersSpartacusI Still Know What You Did Last SummerThe RainmakerRoad HouseGlory Road and numerous movies starring his friend Elvis Presley, including Blue HawaiiViva Las VegasFlaming StarFun in Acapulco and Girls! Girls! Girls! He died of an aortic aneurysm on July 18. (THR)

David Lewis Yewdall (1950-2017) - Sound Editor. His movie credits include The Fifth ElementThe ThingJackie BrownStarship TroopersPredator 2Evil Dead IIEscape from New YorkJingle All the WayHalloween IIHalloween III: Seaon of the WitchHalloween 5, Christine, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream WarriorsThe Dead ZoneReindeer Games, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Piranha, Salvador, April Fool's Day, Moscow on the Hudson, Near Dark and Battle Beyond the Stars. He died of pancreatic cancer on July 4. (Deadline)

 

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Categories: Obituaries, Features
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