Remembering Tom Petty, Oscar-Winning 'Star Wars' Costumer John Mollo and More Reel-Important People We Lost in October

Remembering Tom Petty, Oscar-Winning 'Star Wars' Costumer John Mollo and More Reel-Important People We Lost in October

Nov 01, 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.

Dennis Banks (1937-2017) - Native American Activist, Actor. He appears in The Last of the Mohicans and Older Than America, as himself in Thunderheart and the documentaries Incident at Oglala and Sing Your Song. He was also the subject of the 2010 doc A Good Day to Die. He died on October 29. (Star Tribune)

Ben Bates (1933-2017) - Stunt Man. In addition to doing stunts for TV's Gunsmoke and the movie The White Buffalo, he also played the Dr. Arcane monster in Swamp Thing (see below) and appears in The Legend of the Lone Ranger. He died on October 4. (THR)


Brent Briscoe (1961-2017) - Actor. Best known this year for his role as Detective Dave Macklay on Twin Peaks, he also appears in the movies Sling BladeThe Dark Knight RisesThe Green MileMan on the MoonA Simple PlanThe Big Empty (see below), Spider-Man 2 and Mulholland Drive. He died on October 18. (Variety)


Don Pedro Colley (1938-2017) - Actor. He co-starred as SRT in THX-1138 (see below), Beneath the Planet of the Apes and Herbie Rides Again. He died of cancer on October 11. (Cooter's Place)


Danielle Darrieux (1917-2017) - French Actress. She starred in 8 WomenThe Earrings of Madame de... (see below), The Young Girls of RochefortAlexander the GreatLe PlaisirLa RondeBluebeardScene of the Crime and Mauvaise Graine. She died on October 17. (THR)


Raul Davalos (1955-2017) - Editor. Mostly known for TV work lately, including Empire, his movie credits include Darkness FallsWyatt EarpBenny & JoonThe Accidental Tourist, the remake of April Fool's Day and Guillermo del Toro's Cronos. He died of a brain tumor on October 23. (THR)

Fats Domino (1928-2017) - Singer, Songwriter, Pianist. A pioneer of rock 'n' roll, his songs, including "Blueberry Hill" and "Ain't It a Shame" can be heard on many soundtracks, and he also appears as himself in the movies The Girl Can't Help ItAny Which Way You Can and Shake, Ratttle & Rock! plus the documentaries Twist and Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll. He died on October 24. (NYT)

Ray Dotrice (1923-2017) - British Character Actor. Best known today for his role as Hallyne on Game of Thrones, he also played King Balor in Hellboy II: The Golden Army (see below) and in AmadeusSwimming with SharksThe Cutting Edge and Suburban Commando. He died October 16. (ScreenCrush


Gord Downie (1964-2017) - Singer, Songwriter, Musician. As the frontman for the rock band The Tragically Hip, he appears in the movies Men with BroomsNothing Really Matters and the documentary about his group Long Time Running. He also appears in Trailer Park Boys: The Movie. He died of brain cancer on October 17. (THR)

Thurston Edwards (1955-2017) - Set Decorator. His movie credits include Iron Man 3Piranha 3DD28 DaysMuppets from Space and The Last Castle. He died on October 16. (Jones Funeral Home)

Robert Guillaume (1927-2017) - Actor. Best known for his roles on the shows Soap and Benson, he also appears in the movies Big FishSpy HardLean on MeDeath WarrantSeems Like Old Times and The Meteor Man and voiced the baboon Rafiki in The Lion King and its sequels (see below). He died of complications from prostate cancer on October 24. (LAT)


Nora Johnson (1933-2017) - Author, Screenwriter. She wrote the screenplay for The World of Henry Orient based on her own novel. She died on October 5. (THR)

Kim Joo-hyuk (1972-2017) - Korean Actor. He starred in the Korean movies Love Me Not, The Servant, Yourself and Yours, Say Yes, The Truth Beneath, My Wife Got Married, Singles, Couples and this year's Confidential Assignment. He died in a car crash on October 30. (The Korea Herald)

Walter Lassally (1926-2017) - Cinematographer. He won an Oscar for his work on Zorba the Greek (see the win below) and also shot the movies Tom JonesThe Loneliness of the Long Distance RunnerHeat and DustA Taste of HoneyAlice in the NavyThe Bostonians and Indian Summer. He was also a focus puller on Night and the City and makes an appearance in Before Midnight. He died on October 23. (THR)


Rosemary Leach (1935-2017) - British Actress. She co-starred in A Room With a ViewThe Plague DogsThe Jewel in the Crown and That'll Be the Day. She died on October 21. (BBC)

Federico Luppi (1934-2017) - Argentine-Spanish Actor. He co-starred in Guillermo del Toro's CronosThe Devil's Backbone (see below) and Pan's Labyrinth and in Joyn Sayles's Men with Guns. He died on October 20. (Clarin)


Peter Macgregor-Scott (1947-2017) - Producer. His credits include The FugitiveBatman ForeverBatman & RobinDeath to SmoochyUnder SiegeTroop Beverly HillsAnimal HouseRevenge of the Nerds and The Jerk. He died on October 25 following a car accident. (THR)

John Mollo (1931-2017) - British Costume Designer. He won Oscars for his costumes for Star Wars (see below) and Gandhi. His other movie credits include The Empire Strikes BackAlienChaplinOutlandAir AmericaEvent HorizonCry Freedom and Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. He also served as a historical advisor for Barry Lyndon and The Charge of the Light Brigade. He died on October 25. (THR)


Tom Petty (1950-2017) - Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Actor. An iconic frontman for The Heartbreakers and in a solo career, he can be heard on many soundtracks. He also co-starred in The Postman (see below) and Made in Heaven. He died on October 2. (Rolling Stone)


Jean Rochefort (1930-2017) - French Actor. He co-starred in Mr. Bean's Holiday (see below), Tell No OneThe ClosetReady to WearThe Phantom of LibertyRidicule and The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe. He also can be seen in the documentary Lost in La Mancha having been cast as Don Quixote in Terry Gilliam's unfinished adaptation. He died on October 9. (The Guardian)


Herbert Strabel (1927-2017) - German Production Designer. He won an Oscar for his set dressing for Cabaret and also gave us amazing production design in movies including The Neverending StoryEnemy Mine, Rainer Werner Fassbender's Lili Marleen and Despair and Ingmar Bergman's The Serpent's Egg and From the Life of the Marionettes. He died on October 21. (THR)

Harry Stradling Jr. (1925-2017) - Cinematographer. He received Oscar nominations for his work on 1776 and The Way We Were and also shot Little Big ManMidwayCaddyshack IIConvoyRooster Cogburn and Billy Wilder's Buddy Buddy. Before becoming a DP, he worked as a cameraperson on GypsyThe Pajama GameGaslightGuys and DollsAuntie Mame and many more movies. He died on October 17. (THR)

William Tepper (1948-2017) - Actor. He co-starred in Bachelor Party and the Breathless remake and starred in Jack Nicholson's Drive, He Said (see below). He died of a heart attack on October 4. (Deadline)


Anne Wiazemsky (1947-2017) - French Actress. She made her debut as the lead in Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar (see below) then also starred in Godard's La ChinoiseTout Va BienSympathy for the DevilWeek End and One Plus One, Pasolini's Teorema and Porcile and Garrel's L'enfant Secret and She Spent So Many Hours Under the Sun Lamps. She is portrayed by Stacy Martin in the biopic Redoubtable based on her autobiography. She died of breast cancer on October 5. (Little White Lies)


Christine Z. Wiser (1942-2017) - Documentary Filmmaker. She directed documentaries for National Geographic, wrote and produced the features Return with Honor and co-wrote Fighting for Life. She died of complications from Alzheimer's disease on October 3. (THR)




Categories: Obituaries, Features
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