From Roger’s paper, The Chicago Sun-Times I’ve said it before, but when I was a kid, Roger Ebert and his newspaper rival/TV partner Gene Siskel were the guys who introduced the concept to me that movies were art. Movies were something to think about and to be argued about. I don’t have to tell you (read…)

Bummer.

Well, there goes another chunk of my childhood. Robert Sherman, who co-wrote many memorable Disney tunes (and other non-Disney movie tunes including the above) along with his brother Richard, died Monday according to a Facebook posting by his son Jeff. The pair won an Oscar for the score to Mary Poppins as well as the (read…)

ben gazzara jackie treehorn

Actor Ben Gazzara has died of pancreatic cancer at age 81. I had no idea who John Cassavetes was as a filmmaker when I was a little kid so I didn’t discover Ben Gazzara’s best work (Husbands, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie) until college, but he seemed to be a constant and welcome presence (read…)

’80s purveyor of mainstream soft core erotica Zalman King has died of cancer at age 69. Nine 1/2 Weeks (producer/writer), Two Moon Junction, Wild Orchid,  and Showtime’s The Red Shoe Diaries are far from cinematic masterpieces, but they fulfilled their function in my teens to early ’20s and they certainly left their mark. Adrian Lyne’s (read…)

Nicol Williamson in Excalibur

I’m less crazy about Excalibur than I was in high school, but it’s sad to learn that Nicol Williamson, best known to movie fans as Merlin in the 1981 John Boorman film, died back in December after a battle with cancer of the esophagus. The noted stage actor is also remembered by me for playing (read…)

Theo Angelopoulos

76-year-old Greek director Theo Angelopoulos, not a household name in the U.S. but widely appreciated in his home country and along the European festival circuit for more than 40 years, died earlier today after being hit by a motorcycle while crossing a road near Athens during the shooting of his latest film. Though Angelopoulos’ 1998 (read…)

etta james

There’s no movie tie-in here, though James tunes are a staple of film soundtracks and Beyonce Knowles once played the singer in the film Cadillac Records. It doesn’t matter. She was a giant and she will be remembered. Obits: Newsday CNN Sun-Times Guardian  

Maureen O'Sullivan, Cheetah and Johnny Weissmuller

Cheetah, the chimp who played Tarzan’s sidekick during the franchise’s 1932-1934 Johnny Weissmuller heyday, was shot to death in the alley behind a Miami brothel during a drug deal gone bad over the weekend. Ok, that’s a complete lie. Well, he really did die, but there was no shooting and no drug deal. Actually, he (read…)

bert schneider

Oscar-winning producer Bert Schneider, a man without whom you can’t tell the story of the 1970s Golden Age of American cinema, died Monday in Los Angeles of natural causes. Along with director Bob Rafelson, Schneider formed Raybert Productions which brought The Monkees to TV in 1966. They channeled money from that successful project into producing (read…)

russell-obit

British bad boy of cinema, Ken Russell died Sunday after a series of strokes. Where to begin remembering him? After getting his start on the BBC, Russell made his first real international splash in 1969 with his adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, the film for which Glenda Jackson won an Oscar and earned (read…)

John Neville in Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

John Neville, best known to people of my generation from his title role in Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and as The Well-Manicured Man on TV’s The X-Files died Saturday at age 86. Of course previous generations may well remember him best as one of the bright lights of the English stage in (read…)

Pixar's The Incredibles

Pixar’s The Incredibles (2004) Much ink is being spilled about the enormous impact Steve Jobs has had on our everyday lives via the Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad, but he leaves a mark here at LiC for his $10 million 1986 purchase of Graphics Group, part of Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division. That company of course (read…)

Charles Napier in The Grifters

Charles Napier in The Grifters (1990) A favorite of Russ Meyer and Meyer’s protege Jonathan Demme, Charles Napier has been in scores of movies and television shows. Silence of the Lambs, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, Philadelphia, The Grifters, Miami Blues, Swing Shift, The Blues Brothers and many many more. He died Wednesday.

Cliff Robertson died today at the age of 88. I suppose his Oscar-winning turn in Charly first comes to mind when I think of him, but he had a long and varied career in both film and television. On TV he appeared on some of the more popular shows of the 1950s and 1960s including (read…)

“If the style of it shows, then it’s bad style. I want to do it as simply as possible. I don’t want you to see what I’m doing. It’s nobody’s business but mine.” – Sidney Lumet Director Sidney Lumet has died of a stroke at the age of 86. He’d be long remembered if only (read…)

As you know by now, Elizabeth Taylor died overnight of congestive heart failure. She was 79. Before I was obsessed about movies, I sort of became dimly aware of Liz first as an unkind punchline to some Joan Rivers jokes. She’d mostly been reduced to the small screen – I can remember the fuss made (read…)

Jane Russell has died of respiratory failure at age 89. Famously, Russell got her start in pictures after signing a 7-year contract with Howard Hughes in 1940. Her first film for Hughes was The Outlaw which was completed in 1941 but held up for two years over problems with the production code. It had a limited (read…)

“Hitler. There was a painter. He could paint an entire apartment in one afternoon. Two coats!” Comic actor Kenneth Mars died Saturday at the age of 75 from pancreatic cancer. Watch him above in his hilarious turn as Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind in Mel Brooks’ The Producers. He also had memorable roles in Butch Cassidy (read…)

There are more famous James Bond openings (especially the James Bond Theme arranged – and some would argue more – by John Barry), but this is my favorite and I can’t think of a better way to send off Barry who has died of a heart attack at age 77. Barry wrote 11 Bond scores (read…)

Anne Francis and Glenn Ford in Blackboard Jungle Just Saturday I noted Anne Francis’ appearance in Blackboard Jungle (1955) which is now streaming on Netflix and today we find out she has died of pancreatic cancer. She’ll always be remembered for Forbidden Planet (1956), but she also had good roles in Dreamboat (1952), Bad Day (read…)

Pete Postlethwaite as Danny in Brassed Off Oscar nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite died today from cancer at age 64. He was most recently seen in 2010’s Inception and The Town, but he first made a big splash in Terrence Davies’ Distant Voices, Still Lives in 1988. He followed that up with his Oscar nominated supporting (read…)

That’s not Mary Poppins: Julie Andrews getting ready for her big scene in Blake Edwards’ S.O.B. Director Blake Edwards died this morning at age 88. Over the course of his 50 plus year career in features, he directed the best and the worst – from classics like A Shot in the Dark (1964) to ill-conceived (read…)

There are still nearly 3 weeks left in the year, but TCM offers up its yearly tribute to those who have passed away. The song you’re listening to is Sophie Hunger’s “Headlights” from her 2010 album 1983 via: Awards Daily

Leslie Nielsen has died at the age of 84 from complications due to pneumonia. It seems wrong somehow to summarize a man’s entire career with a 17 second clip, but Airplane! is what I’ll remember him best for and this is one of his perfect moments in the movie. The TV show Police Squad! was (read…)

Italian super producer Dino De Laurentiis has died at age 91. Sure his name was on some of the great films of all time including Bitter Rice (1948), La Strada (1954), Nights of Cabiria (1957) and Blue Velvet (1986) (by way of De Laurentiis Entertainment Group), but he also made a lot of crap, like (read…)

Jill Clayburgh died Friday at age 66. When I was a little kid in the 1970s, she seemed to be the star of every movie that my parents would go to with their friends. She was a presence even if her films weren’t exactly on my mental radar. I also remember her from the 1974 (read…)

Barbara Billingsley died today at the age of 94. I grew up on reruns of Leave it to Beaver and of course she’ll always be June Cleaver, but I love that she is forever immortalized in her brief but classic appearance in Airplane! Here’s the LA Times obit.

Tony Curtis as Joe as Josephine as Cary Grant as Junior, the heir to Shell Oil in Some Like it Hot. Tony Curtis who appeared in more than 100 films over the course of a career lasting more than 50 years died last night of cardiac arrest at the age of 85. For my money, (read…)

Director Arthur Penn died yesterday, he was 88. After a vibrant career in stage in television, Penn left his biggest mark of course with 1967’s iconic Bonnie and Clyde, the film widely hailed for opening the Hollywood studio door to the French New Wave and ushering in one of the most exciting and creative decades (read…)





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