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Tag: In Memoriam (91-100 of 707)

'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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Director William A. Graham dies at 87

Film and TV director William A. Graham died Sept. 12 of complications from pneumonia, his wife told the Los Angeles Times. He was 87.

Graham’s credits include 1969’s Change of Habit (Elvis Presley’s last film) and episodes of The X-Files and The Fugitive. He also directed a 16-year-old Milla Jovovich in 1991’s Return to the Blue Lagoon. According to IMDb, his last credit is the 2002 TV movie Blood Crime.

Actress Marta Heflin dies at 68

Actress Marta Heflin, the niece of Oscar-winning actor Van Heflin, died at 68 of a lengthy illness on Sept. 18, according to a paid obituary in the New York Times.

Heflin often collaborated with film director Robert Altman and starred in films including Come Back to the Five and DimeJimmy Dean, Jimmy DeanA Perfect Couple, and A Wedding. She was also an accomplished stage performer, working with Altman on the Broadway version of Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, and appeared in TV roles on The Doctors, and Arthur Miller’s Playing for Time, a TV movie co-starring Vanessa Redgrave.

The actress came from a showbiz family and her mother, Julia Heflin, was a theater producer and journalist. Besides her uncle Van Heflin, her relatives include cousin Jonathan Kaplan, a film director, and uncle Sol Kaplan, a notable Hollywood composer.

Her family asks that donations be made in Heflin’s name to Animal Haven, a nonprofit organization finding homes for abandoned cats and dogs throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Nintendo's Hiroshi Yamauchi dead at 85

Hiroshi Yamauchi, who ran Nintendo for more than 50 years and led the Japanese company’s transition from traditional playing-card maker to video game giant, has died. He was 85.

Kyoto-based Nintendo said Yamauchi, who owned the Seattle Mariners major league baseball club before selling it to Nintendo’s U.S. unit in 2004, died Thursday of pneumonia at a hospital in central Japan.

Yamauchi, who had little interest in baseball, was approached to buy the Mariners, who may have had to move to Florida without a new backer. The acquisition made the Seattle club the first in the major leagues to have foreign ownership.

Yamauchi was company president from 1949 to 2002, and engineered Nintendo’s global growth, including developing the early Family Computer consoles and Game Boy portables.

Nintendo, which makes Super Mario and Pokemon games as well as the Wii U home console, was founded in 1889. It made traditional playing cards before venturing into video games.
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Singer/songwriter Jackie Lomax dies in England

Jackie Lomax, a singer-songwriter who worked with The Beatles and was signed to their label, has died at age 69.

His official website said Lomax died Sunday in the Wirral, near Liverpool, following a brief illness. Website manager Alistair Hepburn said Lomax’s family told him of the death. The family also released a statement to The Beatles Shop in Liverpool

Lomax was signed to the Beatles’ Apple label in the 1960s. He had known the band members since their early days at Liverpool’s Cavern Club.

He lived for many years in Ojai, California, but recently had returned to England. His website says he recently finished an album that will be released within months.

Hepburn said a funeral will be held Wednesday.

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