Remembering James Garner, Elaine Stritch and Other Reel-Important People We Lost in July

Remembering James Garner, Elaine Stritch and Other Reel-Important People We Lost in July

Aug 04, 2014

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.

Alex Angulo (1953-2014) - Spanish Actor. He is best known here for playing the doctor in Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth (see below). His other movies include the 2006 Gary Oldman starrer The Backwoods, Pedro Almodovar's Live Flesh and Alex de la Iglesia's The Day of the BeastAccion Mutante and Dying of Laughter. He died in a car accident on July 20. (El Pais)

Paul Apted (1967-2014) - Sound Editor. He worked on the movies X-Men: The Last StandThe WolverineLove ActuallyAlien: ResurrectionA Good Day to Die HardThe Fault in Our StarsElizabeth: The Golden AgeLara Croft: Tomb Raider, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and the 007 movies Die Another Day and The World Is Not Enough, which was directed by his father, Michael Apted. His other movies with his father include EnoughChasing MavericksNellExtreme MeasuresCritical Condition and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. He died of colon cancer on July 4. (THR)

Skye McCole Bartusiak (1992-2014) - Child Actress. As a little girl, she costarred in The Patriot (see below), Don't Say a WordThe Cider House RulesRiding in Cars With BoysThe Affair of the Necklace and Against the Ropes, in which she played a young version of Meg Ryan's character. She died on July 19. (THR)

Noel Black (1937-2014) - American Filmmaker. An Oscar nominee and Cannes winner for his 1966 live-action short Skaterdater, he directed the feature films Private School and Pretty Poison and wrote Mischief. He died on July 5. (THR)

Dora Bryan (1924-2014) - English Actress. She starred in Tony Richardson's A Taste of Honey (see below), for which she won a BAFTA Award, plus The Cockleshell HeroesVampire Over London and Apartment Zero. She also appears in MirrormaskOdd Man OutThe Fallen Idol and many more. She died on July 23. (THR)

Robert Drew (1924-2014) - American Documentary Filmmaker. One of the most important names in documentary cinema, Drew pioneered the Direct Cinema movement in the early 1960s while working for Time Inc. (namely Life Magazine) and producing its TV series The Living Camera and through the formation of Drew Associates, where he employed future legends D.A. Pennebaker, Albert and David Maysles, Richard Leacock, Anne Drew and others. He built innovative film cameras with portable sync sound, and this new mobility influenced fiction and nonfiction independent filmmakers alike. His classic docs include Primary (see him discuss it below) and Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment, both of them on the National Film Registry, plus The ChairMan Who DancesAdventures on the New FrontierFaces of November, JaneOn the Road with Duke Ellington and Kathy's Dance. He died of sepsis on July 30. (NYT)

Harun Farocki (1944-2014) - German Filmmaker. Writer and director of more than 70 films, his most seen works are features he cowrote for director Christian Petzold, including Barbara and The State I Am In. But he is best remembered for his documentaries, including 1988's Images of the World and the Inscription of War, 1978's Between Two Wars, 1990's How to Live in the German Federal Republic, 2009's By Comparison and the 1969 short The Inextinguishabe Fire. He died on July 30. (Fandor)

John Fasano (1961-2014) - Screenwriter and Producer. He coscripted Another 48 Hrs. (see the trailer below), Universal Soldier: The Return and Darkness Falls, which he also produced. He was also a producer on TombstoneRapid Fire and Black Roses, which he directed. He also directed 1987's Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare. He died on July 19. (THR)

Hans Funck (1953-2014) - Editor. He cut Oliver Hirschbiegel's films Downfall, DianaFive Minutes of HeavenThe Experiment and The Invasion, plus Sophie Scholl: The Final Days and The Red Baron. He died on July 16. (THR)

James Garner (1928-2014) - Actor. Oscar nominee for his lead performance in Murphy's Romance (see below), he also starred in Space CowboysThe Great EscapeThe NotebookThe Wheeler DealersVictor VictoriaDivine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, My Fellow AmericansThe Children's HourThe Americanization of EmilySupport Your Local Sheriff!SunsetGrand Prix and the movie version of Maverick. He was also very well known for the TV shows Maverick and The Rockford Files. He died of a heart attack on July 19. (

Bob Hastings (1925-2014) - Actor. Best known for his role on TV's McHale's Navy, he also stars in the spin-off movies and appears in The Poseidon AdventureAirport 1975 and Harper Valley P.T.A. He also voiced Commissioner Gordon in animated Batman TV series and the movie Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. He died from prostate cancer on June 30. (THR)

Lynn Johnson (1956-2013) - Documentary Subject. As one of the original kids filmed for the 1964 documentary Seven Up! (see below), her life has unfolded over half a century in subsequent installments, the latest being 56 Up. She died in May of last year. (St. Saviour's)

Dickie Jones (1927-2014) - Child Actor. Best known as the voice of the title puppet in Disney's animated Pinocchio at age 13, he also acted as a kid in Mr. Smith Goes to WashingtonDestry Rides AgainBabes in ToylandHeaven Can WaitBlack LegionStella DallasNancy Drew... Reporter and Young Mr. Lincoln and later appeared in The Cool and the Crazy and the Gene Autry movies Wagon Team and Last of the Pony Riders. He died on July 7. (THR)

Dave Legeno (1963-2014) - English Actor and MMA Fighter. He played the werewolf Fenrir Greyback in three Harry Potter movies (see below) and also appears in Batman BeginsSnatchSnow White and the HuntsmanThe RavenCenturion and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. He was found dead on July 6. (

Peter Marquardt (1964-2014) - Actor. After costarring in Robert Rodriguez's debut, El Mariachi, he was also cast in the same role for the director's follow-up, Desperado, and later appeared in Spy Kids 3D: Game Over. He died on July 19. (THR)

Philip Marshak (1934-2014) - American Filmmaker. He directed the horror films Night Train to Terror (see the trailer below) and Cataclysm and many adult films, including one based on Dracula. He died of diabetes, heart disease and leukemia on July 27. (THR)

Rosemary Murphy (1921-2014) - Actress. She played the neighbor Maudie Atkinson in To Kill a Mockingbird and appears in Mighty AphroditeThe SavagesBenSeptemberJuliaWalking Tall and Synecdoche, New York. She won an Emmy for playing Sara Delano Roosevelt in the TV miniseries Eleanor and Franklin and reprised the role for Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years. She died of esophageal cancer on July 5. (Variety)

Panna Ritthikrai (1961-2014) - Thai Filmmaker, Stunt Man and Fight Choreographer. An integral part of the Ong-Bak series, he cowrote and produced all three films and received a director credit for Ong-Bak 2: The Beginning and Ong-Bak 3: The Last Battle. Prior to that trilogy he'd worked on and appeared in more than 50 movies but found acclaim through his mentoring collaboration with martial arts star Tony Jaa. His other movies include The ProtectorDynamite Warrior and The Bodyguard, which he codirected. He also directed the 1984 and 2004 versions of Born to Fight, the earlier of which he starred in (see below). He died from complications brought on by acute liver and kidney failure on July 20. (Twitch)

Tom Rolf (1931-2014) - Editor. Winner of an Oscar for editing The Right Stuff, his other credits include Taxi DriverWar GamesThe Horse WhispererHeatSneakersHeaven's Gate9 1/2 WeeksEquilibriumBlack Rain and The Devil's Own. He died due to complications following hip surgery on July 14. (Fandor)

James Shigeta (1933-2014) - Actor. Best known today for his role as the Japanese businesman Joseph Takagi in Die Hard (see below), he made his debut in 1959 in Samuel Fuller's The Crimson Kimono and went on to cowin the following year's Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer. Despite his ethnicity, he was a prominent actor in the 1960s and 1970s, starring in the movies Flower Drum SongWalk Like a DragonMidwayCry for Happy and Bridge to the Sun. He also voices a character in Disney's Mulan. He died on July 28. (Variety)  

Dick Smith (1922-2014) - Makeup Artist. Winner of the Oscar for Best Makeup for Amadeus and an Honorary Academy Award in 2012, he was also nominated for his work on Dad. The legend's many other movie credits include The GodfatherThe Godfather Part IIThe Exorcist, Exorcist II: The HereticScannersDeath Becomes HerTaxi DriverThe Deer Hunter, Little Big ManMidnight CowboysThe Hunger and The Stepford Wives, which employed artificial breasts he'd designed for Carnal Knowledge. He died on July 30. (NYT)

Elaine Stritch (1925-2014) - Actress. While best known for her stage work and now her television roles, such as Jack's mom Colleen on 30 Rock, she did occasionally act in films, costarring in the 1957 version of A Farewell to ArmsAutumn in New YorkCocoon: The ReturnScrewedMonster-In-LawOut to SeaProvidence and Woody Allen's Small Time Crooks and September. She was prominently featured in the classic doc Company: Original Cast Album and is the focus of the docs Elaine Stritch at Liberty and Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me (see below). She died on July 17. (NYT)

Ken Thorne (1924-2014) - Composer. He won an Oscar for Best Adapted Music Score for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and is a Grammy nominee for his music for Help!, both working for director Richard Lester. He also composed scores for Lester's How I Won the WarSuperman IISuperman IIIJuggernautThe Ritz and others, as well as for Head and the Peter Sellers movies The Magic Christian and Inspector Clouseau. He died on July 9. (THR)

Louis Zamperini (1917-2014) - World War II Hero. Also an Olympic track star, his story of crashing in the Pacific during WWII inspired the upcoming movie Unbroken (see the trailer below). He died of pneumonia on July 2. (THR




Categories: Obituaries, Features
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