Remembering Ruby Dee, Eli Wallach, Casey Kasem and Other Reel-Important People We Lost in June

Remembering Ruby Dee, Eli Wallach, Casey Kasem and Other Reel-Important People We Lost in June

Jul 01, 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.


Jacques Bergerac (1927-2014) - Actor. He starred in GigiThe Hypnotic EyeLes Girls and Twist of Fate, where he met first wife Ginger Rogers. He died on June 15. (THR

Ann B. Davis (1926-2014) - Actress. Best known for playing Alice on The Brady Bunch, she later had a cameo in The Brady Bunch Movie (see below) and appears as herself in The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. She died June 1. (THR)

Peter de Rome (1924-2014) - Director. Considered the Grandfather of Gay Porn, he began as a publicist for such films as The Third Man before making documentaries and then erotic films, including the infamous Adam & Yves, which is technically Greta Garbo's final film. He is the subject of the new documentary Peter De Rome: Grandfather of Gay Porn. He died on June 21. (Strange Things Are Happening)

Ruby Dee (1922-2014) - Actress. An Oscar nominee for her supporting role in American Gangster, she also appears in Do the Right Thing (see below), Jungle FeverThe Jackie Robinson StoryA Raisin in the Sun, the 1982 Cat People and Baby Geniuses. She died on June 11. (NYT)

Mona Freeman (1926-2014) - Actress. She starred in Angel FaceBattle Cry and Together Again. She died on May 23. (THR)

Gerry Goffin (1939-2014) - Lyricist. He was nominated for an Oscar for the "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" for Mahogany (see below). He also cowrote "So Sad the Song" for Pipe Dreams, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination. He died on June 19. (THR)

Anthony Goldschmidt (1942-2014) - Graphic designer. He designed the posters and titles for Blazing SaddlesYoung FrankensteinSpaceballsThelma and Louise and Pee-wee's Big Adventure, as well as iconic one sheets for E.T. the Extra TerrestrialThe Color PurpleApollo 13Gremlins and many more. He died on June 17. (THR)

Martha Hyer (1924-2014) - Actress. She was nominated for an Oscar for her supporting performance in Some Came Running (see below). Her other films include Sabrina, HouseboatThe Sons of Katie Elder and Bikini Beach, and she wrote the screenplay for Rooster Cogburn. She died on May 31. (THR

Casey Kasem (1932-2014) - Voice actor and radio host. He voiced Cliffjumper in Transformers: The Movie (and the series) and Shaggy in the animated Scooby-Doo series and TV movies. As a DJ, sometimes as himself, he can be heard in GhostbustersRugrats in Paris and New York, New York. He died of complications from dementia on June 15. (THR)

Sam Kelly (1943-2014) - Actor. He appears in Mike Leigh's All or NothingTopsy-Turvy and this year's Mr. Turner as well as Nanny McPhee Returns. He died on June 14. (Variety)

Daniel Keyes (1927-2014) - Author. He wrote the novel Flowers for Algernon, which was adapted into the film Charly. He died of complications from pneumonia on June 15. (ABC)

Wolf Koenig (1927-2014) - Documentary filmmaker. He was nominated for three animated short Oscars, for The DragWhat on Earth! (watch below) and La Maison de Jean-Jacques and shot Norman McLaren's Oscar-winning short Neighbours. He also codirected the classic music film Lonely Boy and the doc City of Gold. He died on June 26. (Real Screen)

Carla Laemmle (1909-2014) - Actress. The neice of Universal head Carl Laemmle, she appears in the silent 1925 version of The Phantom of the Opera, the 1931 Dracula (see below) and MGM's The Broadway Melody. She died on June 12. (THR)

Veronica Lazar (1938-2014) - Actress. She costarred in Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris, BesiegedMe and YouThe Sheltering Sky and Luna, Antonioni's Identification of a Woman, Dario Argento's Inferno and The Stendhal Syndrome and Lucio Fulci's The Beyond (see her death scene below). She died on June 8. (THR)

Francis Matthews (1927-2014) - Actor. He costarred in Dracula: Prince of DarknessThe Revenge of Frankenstein and Rasputin: The Mad Monk. He died on June 14. (THR)

Rik Mayall (1958-2014) - Actor. The British comedian, best known for TV shows like The Young Ones and Blackadder, starred in Drop Dead Fred (see below) and appears in An American Werewolf in London. He died on June 9. (THR)

Paul Mazursky (1930-2014) - Filmmaker and actor. He received five Oscar nominations, for the adapted screenplays of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and Enemies: A Love Story, the original screenplays of Harry and Tonto and An Unmarried Woman and for An Unmarried Woman for Best Picture. He directed all these movies plus Alex in Wonderland (see below), Down and Out in Beverly HillsMoscow on the HudsonMoon Over ParadorScenes From a Mall and Next Stop Greenwich Village. As an actor he starred in Stanley Kubrick's first feature, Fear and Desire, as well as Blackboard JunglePunchlineCarlito's Way and most of his own movies, in bit parts. He died on June 30. (Deadline)

Jim Nelson (1932-2014) - Producer and sound editor. Credited with helping to found Industrial Light & Magic. Originally a sound editor, he worked on such films as American GraffitiBadlandsThe Last Picture Show, Birdman of AlcatrazThe ExorcistCabaret and many more. He was also a producer on Star WarsThe China Syndrome, Solar Crisis and Borderine and an effects advisor on Big Trouble in Little ChinaThe Monster SquadMaster of the Universe and The Boy Who Could Fly. He died on June 18. (THR)

Terry Richards (1932-2014) - Actor and stuntman. He played the Arabian swordsman in the famous scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark (see below). He also appears in Tomorrow Never Dies and Flash Gordon and performed stunts for The Empire Strikes BackBrazilThe Princess BrideIndiana Jones and the Last CrusadeWillowRobin Hood: Prince of Thieves and a number of other James Bond movies, including From Russia with LoveGoldfingerOn Her Majesty's Secret Service and The World Is Not Enough. He died on June 14. (BBC)

Mary Rogers (1931-2014) - Author. She wrote the body-swapping novel Freaky Friday and its sequels, Billions for Boris and Summer Switch, all of which have been made into movies. Additionally, she wrote the music for Once Upon a Mattress and the story for The Devil and Max Devlin. She died June 26. (THR)

Karl Schanzer (1932-2014) - Actor and writer. He appears in Francis Ford Coppola's Dementia 13 and later inspired the director's The Conversation and the name of the main character in Sling Blade. He also wrote the story for and produced the Billy Bob Thornton-scripted Camoflage. He died on May 25. (THR)

Mesach Taylor (1947-2014) - Actor. He starred in Mannequin (see below), Mannequin 2: On the Move and TV's Designing Women and appears in The Howling, Explorers, Damien: Omen II and David Mamet's House of Games. He died on June 28. (CNN)  

Pauline Wagner (1910-2014) - Actress. Her biggest role was as the double for Fay Wray on King Kong for reshoots of the Empire State Building scenes. She's also in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and Vivacious Lady. She died on May 2. (THR)

Eli Wallach (1915-2014) - Actor. Best known for playing Tuco in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (see below), his extensive list of movies includes Baby DollThe Magnificent SevenThe Godfather Part IIIThe MisfitsHow to Steal a MillionMystic RiverWinter KillsLord JimHow the West Was WonWall Street: Money Never Sleeps and The Lineup. He received an Honorary Oscar for his life's work in 2011. He died on June 24. (NYT)

Bobby Womack (1944-2014) - Singer and songwriter. He wrote the title song for Across 110th Street (see below) and appeared and performed in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. He died on June 27. (Rolling Stone)

 

 

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