Remembering Glenne Headly, Stephen Furst, John G. Avildsen and More Reel-Important People We Lost in June

Remembering Glenne Headly, Stephen Furst, John G. Avildsen and More Reel-Important People We Lost in June

Jun 30, 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.


John G. Avildsen (1935-2017) - Director, Cinematographer and Editor. He won an Oscar for directing Rocky (see below) and was nominated for his short documentary film Traveling Hopefully. His other movies include The Karate Kid and its first two sequels, all of which he also edited, Rocky VLean on MeThe Power of One, Joe8 SecondsFor Keeps? and Neighbors. He also worked on Black Like Me as an assistant to Carl Lerner. He appears in the documentaries A Decade Under the InfluenceMake Your Own Damn Movie! and Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films. He died of pancreatic cancer on June 16. See our full tribute here.

Aleksey Batalov (1928-2017) - Russian Actor. He starred in the Oscar-winning film Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears. He died on June 14. (THR)

Sam Beazley (1916-2017) - British Actor. He appears in Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixJohnny English and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Tomorrow. He died on June 12. (The Times)

Michael Bond (1926-2017) - British Author. He wrote the Paddington series of children's books, which were recently turned into a live-action movie and its upcoming sequels. He died on June 27. (THR)

Wendell Burton (1947-2017) - Actor. He starred in The Sterile Cuckoo (see below) and the Burt Reynolds movie Heat. He actually died on May 30. (THR)

Bill Butler (1933-2017) - Editor. He received an Oscar nomination for A Clockwork Orange. His other credits include sound editor for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and editor for Cutting Class, A Touch of ClassUp the CreekWalk Like a Man and  Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell. He died on June 4. (THR)

Bill Dana (1924-2017) - Actor and Writer. He co-wrote and appears in the Get Smart movie The Nude Bomb and appears in The Busy Body and I Wonder Who's Killing Her Now? He died on June 15. (THR

Paul De Rolf (1942-2017) - Choreographer and Child Actor. His movie credits as choreographer include The Karate Kid Part II1941 and End of the Rainbow and he appears in The Ten Commandments and The Buster Keaton Story. He did of alzheimer's disease on June 22. (THR)

Henry Deutschendorf II (1988-2017) - Child Actor. He played baby Oscar in Ghostbusters II (see below). He comitted suicide on June 14. (EW)

Stephen Furst (1954-2017) - Actor. He is best known as Kent 'Flounder' Dorfman in Animal House (see below), a role he reprised for the short-lived TV series based on the movie. He also appears memorably in Midnight MadnessScavenger Hunt and The Dream Team. He later did some voice work in The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea and wrote and directed Magic Kid II, which he also stars in. He died on June 16. (CNN)

Jose Greci (1941-2017) - Italian Actress. She plays the Virgin Mary in Ben-Hur and also starred in Duel of the TitansHercules Against the Mongols, Hercules and the Masked RiderHercules Against the BarbariansThe Ten GladiatorsGoliath and the Sins of Babylon and Colossus of the Aren. She died on June 1. (Boot Hill)

Glenne Headly (1955-2017) - Actress. She played Tess Trueheart in Dick Tracy and starred in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (pictured above and seen below), Don JonThe Purple Rose of CairoMr. Holland's OpusConfessions of a Teenage Drama QueenSgt. BilkoBreakfast of ChampionsMortal ThoughtsGetting Even With Dad, Bastard Out of CarolinaMaking Mr. Right, BartlebyDoctor Detroit and The Circle. She died of complications from pulmonary embolism on June 8. (THR)

John Heyman (1933-2017) - Producer. His movies include D.A.R.Y.L.A Passage to IndiaLola and the Joseph Losey movies The Go-BetweenSecret Ceremony and Boom! He died on June 9. (THR)

Loren Janes (1931-2017) - Stunt Man. He was Steve McQueen's primary double and his movie credits include Back to the FutureSpider-ManCasinoThe GraduateHow the West Was Won (see below), True LiesHookThe Great EscapeThe AbyssPlanet of the ApesBeverly Hills CopBlazing SaddlesSpartacusPapillonEscape from New YorkThe Magnificent SevenWild at HeartThree AmigosThe Dirty DozenBullittShort CircuitThe Towering Inferno and many more. He died of alzheimer's disease on June 24. (CNN)

Fred J. Koenekamp (1922-2017) - Cinematographer. He won an Oscar for shooting The Towering Inferno and was nominated for Patton and Islands in the Stream. He also shot PapillonThe Amityville Horror, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th DimensionBeyond the Valley of the DollsThe ChampThe SwarmBilly Jack and Flight of the Intruder. He died on May 31. (Variety)

Susan B. Landau (1952-2017) - Producer. Her movie credits include Cool RunningsMr. DestinyAn Ideal HusbandEyes of Laura MarsAngus and Last Embrace. She actually died on May 31. (THR)

Keith Loneker (1971-2017) - Pro Football Player and Actor. In addition to playing on the LA Rams, he acted in Out of SightSuperbadRock StarLakeview TerraceLeatherheads and Jersey Boys. He died of cancer on June 22. (Kansas City Star)

Bruce MacCallum (1947-2017) - Camera Operator. He worked on Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the LambsMarried to the Mob and Philadelphia plus The Departed, Raging BullIndependence DayHoffaI Am LegendGhostbusters II, Ransom, Julie & JuliaWitnessThe American PresidentBirthBaby MamaThe Book of Henry and many more. He died on June 12. (THR) 

Michael Nyqvist (1960-2017) - Swedish Actor. He starred as the original Mikael Blomkvist in the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its two sequels, and he also appears in John Wick (see below), Mission: Impossible - Ghost ProtocolThe ColonyEuropa ReportTogether and Downloading Nancy. He died of lung cancer on June 17. (THR)

Anita Pallenberg (1942-2017) - Italian Actress. She starred as the Great Tyrant in Barbarella and co-starred opposite Mick Jagger in Performance. She also appears in Dillinger is DeadDegree of MurderCheriMister LonelyGo Go Tales and 4:44 Last Day on Earth. Longtime partner of Keith Richards, she's the subject of the Rolling Stones songs "Angie" and "You Got the Silver," and she appears in the documentary Stones in Exile. She died of complications of hepatitis C on June 13. (Variety)

Rita Riggs (1930-2017) - Costume Designer. She worked on Alfred Hitchcock's PsychoThe Birds and Marnie plus An Officer and a GentlemanNight MovesElectra Glide in BlueDeal of the Century, Roar, The Domino Killings, Malibu Bikini Shop and Texasville. She was portrayed by Kate Tilley in The Girl and by Tara Summers in Hitchcock. She died of a heart attack on June 6. (THR

Peter Sallis (1921-2017) - Actor. Best known as the voice of Wallace in Nick Park's Wallace and Gromit animated shorts and feature (hear him below). He also appears in Color Me KubrickTaste the Blood of DraculaThe Curse of the Werewolf and Scream and Scream Again. He died on June 2. (THR

Roger Smith (1932-2017) - Actor, Writer and Produced. Best known for starring on TV's Sunset Strip, he also appears in Auntie Mame and Man of a Thousand Faces. He also wrote and produced C.C. & Company, which stars his wife, Ann-Margaret. He died on June 4. (THR)

Adam West (1928-2017) - Actor. Best known for his title role on TV's Batman, as well as its feature film spin-off, he also appears as himself in the movie Drop Dead Gorgeous (see below) and voiced characters for Meet the Robinsons and Chicken Little. He died of leukemia on June 9. See our full tribute here.

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Categories: Obituaries
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