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Tag: In Memoriam (91-100 of 711)

British composer John Tavener dies at 69

British composer John Tavener, whose austere choral and orchestral works reflected his religious journey from West to East, died Tuesday. He was 69. Tavener’s publisher, Chester Music, said he died at his home in Child Okeford, southern England.

Born and trained in London, Tavener burst onto the public scene in 1968 with the help of The Beatles and is often remembered for his beautiful “Song for Athene” — reworked as “Songs of Angels” — that caught the public’s mood at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.

His wistful, elegant setting of William Blake’s poem “The Lamb” (1982) became a staple of Christmas carol services.

“I think there are an awful lot of artists around who are very good at leading us into hell,” Tavener once said. “I would rather someone would show me the way to paradise.”
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Blockbuster goes bust, will end retail and DVD-by-mail service

It’s the end of an era: Dish announced today that its subsidiary, Blockbuster L.L.C., will end both its retail and its mail DVD distribution operations by early January 2014.

“This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” DISH’s president and chief executive officer Joseph P. Clayton said in a statement. “Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings.”

According to a release, Blockbuster By Mail service will cease in mid-December 2013, and will continue serving existing customers until that time. The company will close its remaining domestic retail stores — some 300 locations altogether — as well as its distribution centers by early next year.

Dish says that it will retain the brand’s licensing rights and key assets, including Blockbuster’s “significant video library.” Both Dish’s Blockbuster @Home service, which offers a package of over 15 movie channels, and Blockbuster On Demand streaming video will also continue to exist. As the mission statement on Blockbuster’s new website puts it: “You’ve known us for years, but who are we now? Well, we’re different. We’ve grown. We’ve changed. Still, one thing has remained the same: We love movies. And now we’re taking that love to the next level.”

'Killer's Kiss' actress Irene Kane dies

Irene Kane, star of Stanley Kubrick’s Killer’s Kiss, died Thursday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The actress, who reportedly died of pancreatic cancer, also worked as a journalist for CBS, CNN, and The New York Times under the pen name Chris Chase, and co-authored Hollywood autobiographies and a memoir: How to Be a Movie Star, or A Terrible Beauty Is Born. Aside from 1955’s Killer’s Kiss, Kane also acted in Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz (1979) and the TV series Naked City (1958-63).

In a 1999 Q&A with Entertainment Weekly, Kubrick spoke of the poor critical reception for Killer’s Kiss, only his second feature. “Killer’s Kiss had some exciting action sequences in it, but the story was written in a week in order to take advantage of a possibility of getting some money,” the director said.

Kane’s niece, who confirmed her death to THR, didn’t want to reveal the late actress’ age.

British actor Nigel Davenport dies at 85

Nigel Davenport, who starred in the iconic British films A Man for All Seasons (1966) and Chariots of Fire (1981) has died at the age of 85, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

Davenport was a founding member of the English Stage Company at the Royal Court and made his London theater debut in 1952 in Noel Coward’s Relative Values. He went on to star in two Oscar-winning films, Fred Zimmerman’s A Man for All Seasons as the Duke of Norfolk and as Lord Birkenhead in Chariots of Fire. He was also a big presence on British TV, including roles in The Saint, Keeping Up Appearances, and Howard’s Way.

His survivors include Smash and Pirates of the Caribbean actor Jack Davenport.

'Mad Love' director Antonia Bird dies at 54

British television and film director Antonia Bird, best known for directing Priest (1994), Mad Love (1995), and Ravenous (1999) died Thursday in London at the age of 54 due to an unspecified illness.

Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh tweeted his condolences, as did Bird’s friend, actor Robert Carlyle.
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Hollywood stuntman and director Hal Needham dies at 82

Famed Hollywood stuntman Hal Needham died Friday morning in Los Angeles after a short battle with cancer. He was 82. 

Needham, who received an honorary Oscar at the 2012 Governors Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, got his start in Hollywood as a stuntman in the late 1950s before directing several films starring Burt Reynolds including Smokey and the Bandit, Stroker Ace and The Cannonball Run.

Needham released an autobiography in 2011, in which he proudly claimed to have broken 56 bones in his lifetime as well as knocking out a few teeth and puncturing a lung. At the peak of his career, Needham was the highest paid stuntman in Hollywood.

'Windmills of Your Mind' singer Noel Harrison dies

British actor and musician Noel Harrison, who sang the Academy Award-winning ballad “The Windmills of Your Mind,” has died at 79.

Harrison’s wife, Lori Chapman, said Tuesday that he suffered a heart attack after a performance on Saturday in Devon, southwest England, and died in a hospital.

The son of actor Rex Harrison, Noel Harrison was a British champion skier and represented the country at the 1952 and 1956 Olympics before becoming a professional musician.

He moved to the United States during the 1960s’ “British invasion” and had his greatest success with “The Windmills of Your Mind,” which was the theme to 1968 heist movie The Thomas Crown Affair and won the Best Song Oscar.

Harrison wrote on his website that he did not immediately realize the power of the song, by French composer Michel Legrand and American lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman.
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Emmy-winning animation producer Lou Scheimer dies

Lou Scheimer, who founded the Filmation animation studio that produced Saturday morning cartoons including Fat Albert and The Archie Show, has died. He was 84.

The Pittsburgh native behind the cartoon powerhouse died on Thursday, two days before his 85th birthday, Scheimer’s wife Mary Ann said on Sunday.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Scheimer’s company was the largest animation operation in the country in the early 1980s by number of employees.

Scheimer, who graduated with an art degree from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, founded the company in 1962 with a $5,000 loan from his mother-in-law and opened a one-room office in Southern California. His first big hit was The New Adventures of Superman and the studio went on to work on series including He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and The Archie Show.
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Veteran character actor Ed Lauter dies at age 74

Veteran character actor Ed Lauter, whose long, angular face and stern bearing made him an instantly recognizable figure in scores of movies and TV shows during a career that stretched across five decades, died Wednesday. He was 74.

Lauter died of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer most commonly caused by asbestos exposure, said his publicist, Edward Lozzi.

Whether he was an irascible authority figure, a brutal thug or a conniving con man, Lauter’s presence made him all but impossible to miss in any film he was in. That was so even on those occasions when he was playing a character more bumbling than menacing, although menacing was clearly his forte.

He was the brutal prison guard who was Burt Reynolds’ nemesis in the 1974 comedy-drama The Longest Yard and the sleazy gas station attendant in Alfred Hitchcock’s last film, The Family Plot. In Death Wish 3, he was the violent cop who teams with Charles Bronson’s vigilante to rid New York City’s streets of criminals, not by incarcerating them but by killing them.

More recently he was the butler to Berenice Bejo’s French ingenue in the 2011 Oscar-winning film The Artist.
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Coroner: Cory Monteith died of heroin-alcohol mix

The British Columbia Coroners Service said Wednesday investigators found a spoon with drug residue and a used hypodermic needle in the hotel room where Glee actor Cory Monteith was found dead in July.

The coroner’s final report issued Wednesday, confirmed initial findings that Monteith died from using intravenous heroin combined with alcohol.

The 31-year-old Canadian-born actor was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room July 13.

Monteith had checked into the hotel on July 6 and when he didn’t check out as expected on July 13, hotel staff entered his room and found him unresponsive on the floor. Two empty bottles of champagne were also found in the room.

The investigation said Monteith had a history of illicit drug use with intermittent periods of rehabilitation and of abstinence from drugs. It said when people who have refrained from using opioids such as heroin for a while, their tolerance for the drug decreases.
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