Remembering Larry Hagman, Disney Artist Mel Shaw and More Reel-Important People We Lost This Month

Remembering Larry Hagman, Disney Artist Mel Shaw and More Reel-Important People We Lost This Month

Nov 30, 2012

Reel Important People is a monthly column that highlights those individuals in or related to the movies who have left us in recent weeks. It is unfortunate that we lose so many great film contributors, on-screen and off, that it's impossible to pay extensive tribute to every one. But I think it's important to recognize them at least in this monthly digest, not to mourn but to remember their work. Below you'll find names big and small and from all areas of the industry, though each was significant to the movies in their own way.


Peggy Ahern (1917-2012) - Child actress who was a regular in Our Gang/"Little Rascals" comedies during the 1920s. These include The Sun Down Limited Olympic Games and Official Officers. She died on October 24. (Variety)

Mac Ahlberg (1931-2012) - Cinematographer who shot Beverly Hills Cop III, The Brady Bunch Movie, A Very Brady Sequel, House, House II: The Second Story, Re-Animator, Good Burger, DeepStar Six, Ghoulies and many more varied films. He died of congestive heart failure on October 26. (Variety)

Lucille Bliss (1916-2012) - Voice actress who is best known for performing the animated character Smurfette in the 1980s cartoon series but not the new live-action films. She also played one of the stepsisters in Disney's Cinderella and vocal roles in 101 Dalmatians  and Robots. She died on November 8. (THR)

José Luis Borau (1929-2012) - Spanish filmmaker who wrote, produced and directed the award-winning works Leo, Poachers and Hay Que Matar a B., which starred Americans Darren McGavin and Patricia Neal. He also cowrote and acted in the 1972 Oscar-nominated film Mi Querida Señorita. He died on November 23. (Variety)

Bob Brunner (1934-2012) - Writer and producer who often worked with Garry Marshall and is best known for his work on such TV shows as Happy DaysLaverne and Shirley, Webster and Diff'rent Strokes. For the big screen, he wrote the screenplays to Marshall's films Exit to Eden and The Other Sister. He died of a heart attack on October 28. (THR)

Dann Cahn (1923-2012) - Editor of the films Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, The Octogon and Forever, Darling. He died on November 21. (Variety)

Elliott Carter (1908-2012) - Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning composer who is the subject of the feature documentary A Labyrinth of Time, in which he appears. He died on November 5. (THR)

Leonardo Favio (1938-2012) - Argentine filmmaker and singer-songwriter who wrote and directed Gatica, "El Mono", his country's official submission for the 1993 Academy Awards. Favio pulled the film out of competition, however, in protest of the film industry. Earlier noteworthy films, considered among the best of Argentine cinema, include Chronicle of a Boy Alone, Nazarene Cross and the Wolf and The Romance of Aniceto and Francesca, which he remade recently as Aniceto. He died on November 4. (THR)

Larry Hagman (1931-2012) - Actor best known for TV roles on Dallas and I Dream of Jeannie. He also appears in the films Fail-Safe, Nixon, Primary Colors, The Eagle Has Landed, In Harm's Way, S.O.B., Harry and Tonto, Superman (pictured above) and Beware! The Blob, for which he made his one attempt at feature directing. He died of complications from throat cancer on November 23. See Peter Martin's initial report on his death here.

Bobbi Jordan (1937-2012) - Actress best known for TV soap opera work who also appears in Mame and A Guide for the Married Man. She died of a heart attack on November 9. (THR)

Deborah Raffin (1953-2012) - Actress who had the notoriety of being the first Western star to gain great popularity in China -- thanks to the TV movie Nightmare in Badham County. She is also remembered for being nominated for both a Golden Globe and a Razzie for her performance in Touched by Love. Other starring roles can be seen in Scanners II: The New Order, Grizzly II: The Concert and Death Wish 3. Later in life she started an audiobook company with her husband. She died from leukemia on November 21. (THR)

Natina Reed (1979-2012) - Singer who was a member of the R&B trio Blaque in the early 2000s. As part of the group, she appears in the film Honey, and in her single true acting gig she played a memorable rival cheerleader, sidekick to Gabrielle Union's character, in Bring It On. She died when she was struck by a car on October 26. (CNN)


Martin Richards (1932-2012) - Producer who won an Oscar for the Best Picture win of Chicago. He was best known for his Tony Award-winning work on Broadway, having run the original stage version of Sweeney Todd among his many credits. Other films he produced include The Shining, Fort Apache the Bronx and The Boys from Brazil. He died from cancer on November 26. (THR)

Richard Robbins (1940-2012) - Composer who received Oscar nominations for scoring the Merchant Ivory films Howard's End and The Remains of the Day.He worked most of the producer/director duo's releases, including A Room with a View, Le Divorce,The White Countess, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge and Jefferson in Paris. As a director, he made the documentaries Sweet Sounds and Street Musicians of Bombay. He died of Parkinson's disease on November 7. (Variety)

Mel Shaw (1914-2012) - Writer and artist who worked at Disney from 1937 to 1941 and then again from the mid '70s through the '90s. Among the films he worked on as a character designer and story consultant include Bambi, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Black Cauldron, The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound,, The Great Mouse Detective, Fantasia ("The Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment) and The Story of Ichabod and Mr. Toad ("The Wind in the Willows" segment). He originally left the Mouse House to work on live-action/animation propaganda films for the U.S. Army during World War II and afterward helped design the Howdy Doody puppet. He died from congestive heart failure on November 22. (Variety)

Dinah Sheridan (1920-2012) - British actress who starred in The Railway Children, Genevieve and David Lean's Breaking the Sound Barrier. She also appears in the feature-length Doctor Who special The Five Doctors. She died November 25. (THR)

Teri Shields (1933-2012) - Manager of her daughter, Brooke Shields, who was put into limelight with controversial film and modeling gigs at a young age, until the mid '90s. She also appeared alongside Brooke in the films Endless Love, Wanda Nevada and Backstreet Dreams and had executive positions on Sahara and Brenda Starr. She died following a long illness related to dementia on October 31. (THR)

Chris Stamp (1942-2012) - Music producer and one of the original managers of the Who. He was also a producer of that band's film version of the musical Tommy and the documentary Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and the Who and served as a story consultant for Quadrophenia. He died of cancer on November 24. (THR)

Emanuel Steward (1944-2012) - Legendary boxing trainer and fight commentator who plays an announcer in The Fighter. He also appears as himself in Ocean's Eleven and the new documentary Klitschko. He died October 25 after a lengthy hospitalization following surgery for diverticulitis. (THR)

Leonard Termo (1935-2012) - Character actor who got into the game late in life, leaving everything including a wife and kid to appear in films, many alongside Mickey Rourke, including Barfly, The Pope of Greenwich Village and Year of the Dragon. He can also be seen in Ed Wood, Fight Club, Johnny Dangerously, The Cotton Club, Ali and Lost Highway. He died on October 30. (THR)

Ray Zone (1947-2012) - Pioneer of stereoscopic imagery methods and known as the "3D King of Hollywood" for his contributions to technology used with comic books and cinema. He was the 3D producer for Thomas Jane's Dark Country and the Mexican animated feature Guardians of the Lost Code. As a historian of 3D cinema, he also wrote the books 3D Filmmakers, Conversations with Creators of Stereoscopic Motion Pictures, Stereoscopic Cinema and the Origins of 3-D Film, 1838 - 1952, 3-DIY: Stereoscopic Moviemaking on an Indie Budget and 3-D Revolution: The History of Modern Stereoscopic Cinema, the latter two of which were published this year. He died of a heart attack on November 13. (THR)

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