Thursday, January 12, 2017

Deaths of 2016


While there were many deaths in the year 2016, as of the beginning of December there were no major classic movie stars on the list (I define classic as pre-1970) - however, there were a great many television stars. But as is usually the case, December brought with it the death of not one but two beloved stars: Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, and one day later, her mother Debbie Reynolds.

Because of the caliber of Debbie Reynolds, I will be writing a separate post remembering her career and how I discovered her. Below however, are the other stars we lost this year from both film and television:


Jan. 13 - Brian Bedford: Known mostly as the voice of Disney's Robin Hood (1973). Also appeared in Grand Prix (1966).


Feb. 28 - George Kennedy: Started out with lots of guest rolls on television programs as the "bad guy." Notable films include Charade (1963), Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), In Harm's Way (1965), The Sons of Katie Elder (1965), The Dirty Dozen (1967), Cool Hand Luke (1967), and Cahill U.S. Marshall (1973).


Mar. 6 - Nancy Reagan (Nancy Davis): Starred in Hellcats of the Navy (1957) alongside Ronald Reagan - and married him.


Mar. 10 - Ken Adam: Production designer who worked on films Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Dr. Strangelove (1964), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), and several James Bond films.


Mar. 24 - Earl Hamner Jr: Writer for The Twilight Zone (1959-64).


Mar. 29 - Patty Duke: Famous for playing twin cousins on The Patty Duke Show (1963-66) and won an Oscar for her portrayal of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962). Mother of Sean Astin (The Goonies, Rudy, Lord of the Rings).


Apr. 23 - Madeleine Sherwood: Best remembered for playing Jack Carson's wife in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958). Also played Mother Superior on The Flying Nun (1967-70).


May 1 - Madeleine LeBeau: French actress and last surviving cast member of Casablanca (1942) - Yvonne.


May 19 - Alan Young: Remembered most as Wilbur from Mr. Ed (1961-66) and the voice of Disney's Scrooge McDuck. Also appeared alongside Rod Taylor in The Time Machine (1960).


June 12 - Janet Waldo: Voice of Judy Jetson. Also had a role in Waterloo Bridge (1940) and appeared in several episodes of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1953-66).


June 14 - Ann Morgan Guilbert: Boloved as Millie Helper from The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66).


July 24 - Marni Nixon:  Vocals dubber for Deborah Kerr in The King and I (1956) and An Affair to Remember (1957), for Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1961), and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964). Also had a small part as Sister Sophia in The Sound of Music (1965).


July 30 - Gloria DeHaven: Known for The Thin Man Goes Home (1945) and Summer Holiday (1948). Also, FALSELY listed as a young Frances Bavier (Aunt Bee from The Andy Griffith Show) all over the internet with this photo.


Aug. - Jack Riley: Regular on The Bob Newhart Show (1972-78).


Aug. 28 - Gene Wilder: Beloved character in many Mel Brooks films and as Willie Wonka (1971).


Sept. 5 - Hugh O'Brian: Known for The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955-61). Also appeared in Come Fly with Me (1963), Ten Little Indians (1965) and The Shootist (1976).


Sept. 17 - Charmian Carr: Beloved as Liesl in The Sound of Music (1965). Look for my review of her book, Forever Liesl: A Memoir of "The Sound of Music" in the upcoming month.


Oct. 11 - Patricia Barry: Guest star on many television programs. Appeared in Send Me No Flowers (1964).


Nov. 11 - Robert Vaughn: Best remembered as the suave Napoleon Solo in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (1964-68) and his roles in The Magnificent Seven (1960) and Bullitt (1968).


Nov. 16 - Joan Carroll: Child actress best remembered as Judy Garland's sister Agnes in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) and as Patsy in The Bells of St. Marys (1945).


Dec. 18 - Zsa Zsa Gabor: Sister of Eva Gabor (Green Acres) Appeared in Moulin Rouge (1952) and had many television appearances.


Dec. 27 - Carrie Fisher: Princess Leia from the Star Wars films.


Dec. 28 - Debbie Reynolds: Got her start at the age of 19 in Singing in the Rain (1952) and never stopped.


Dec. 31 - William Christopher: Beloved as Father Mulcahy from the groundbreaking M*A*S*H (1972-83).


May they rest in peace.

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