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Tag: In Memoriam (1-10 of 112)

Mickey Rooney, Hollywood legend, dead at 93

Legendary actor Micky Rooney has died at the age of 93, according to the Los Angeles Times, citing confirmation by the L.A. coroner’s office. The news was first reported by TMZ.

Longevity has a price: At the end of an eight-decade career that included hundreds of films, Rooney was known more as a mascot for Hollywood’s Golden Age than as a star in his own right. But long before his latter-day career as a lovable geezer (most recently in 2006′s Night at the Museum) and chipper red-carpet interviewee, Rooney was one of the world’s most famous actors, a teen icon whose box-office muscle in the 1930s has yet to be matched by the Baios and Efrons who came after him. READ FULL STORY

'Daisies' director Vera Chytilova dies at 85

Czech film director Vera Chytilova, one of the leading filmmakers of the new wave of Czechoslovak cinema in the 1960s, has died. She was 85.

Czech public radio and television, citing relatives, say Chytilova died Wednesday in Prague after battling an unspecified illness for several years.

Chytilova’s highly acclaimed farcical comedy Daisies from 1966 proved her reputation as a provocateur and helped establish her as an artistic force at home and abroad. READ FULL STORY

'Basketball Diaries' director Scott Kalvert found dead at 49

Scott Kalvert, the director best known for his work with Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg on 1995′s Basketball Diaries, was found dead Wednesday at his Woodland Hills, California, home. He was 49 years old.

His death is being investigated as a suicide by the L.A. Coroner’s Office, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Before Basketball Diaries, Kalvert was best known for his music videos, directing Salt-N-Pepa’s “Shoop,” Taylor Dayne’s “Tell It to My Heart,” and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s “Good Vibrations,” as well as teaming up with Wahlberg on a 1993 workout video. The last project Kalvert directed was 2002′s Deuces Wild, a crime thriller starring Stephen Dorff and the late Brad Renfro.

Donnie Wahlberg tweeted his condolences to Kalvert, who helped launch his and his brother’s careers: READ FULL STORY

EXPLAINER: How the Oscar 'in memoriam' segment is decided

The film industry was devastated by two recent deaths that have led to a movement to alter this Sunday’s “in memoriam” segment of the Oscar telecast: One was the natural causes passing of comedy filmmaker Harold Ramis, 69, and the other was the accidental death of camera assistant Sarah Jones, 27, who was struck by a train in Georgia while working on a biopic of rock musician Gregg Allman.

Ramis, the star of Ghostbusters and Stripes, and director of Vacation, Caddyshack, and Groundhog Day, died on Monday at his home in Chicago, while Jones, whose credits include Midnight Rambler (the film that led to her death) and the TV series The Vampire Diaries, was killed last Thursday while filming on a bridge that authorities said was supposed to be off-limits to the production. Due to the questions surrounding her death, her name has become a rallying cry for behind-the-scenes workers calling for more scrutiny of on-set safety.

It has also led to a movement. Many are signing petitions and making telephone calls asking the producers of the Oscars to include her in the telecast’s tribute. But … that effort misunderstands how that part of the show is created. READ FULL STORY

Bill Murray on Harold Ramis: 'He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him.'

Harold Ramis met Bill Murray when the latter was still a teenager in the 1960s. Ramis, who was six years older, worked with Murray’s brother, Brian, at Second City in Chicago, and when he visited the Murray home in Wilmette, Ill., for the first time, Brian took him to meet Bill — at the golf course, aptly enough, where Bill ran the refreshment stand.

All three men would end up working together extensively, but it was Harold and Bill’s collaborations that defined big-screen comedy — beginning with Meatballs in 1979, running through Caddyshack, Stripes, and Ghostbusters, and culminating with Groundhog Day in 1993. The latter is widely considered both men’s best work, and though they had a falling out after that movie and never worked together again, many fans couldn’t help but think of Ramis and Murray together when they heard the sad news yesterday that Ramis had died at 69, after battling autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis for four years.

In a statement released to TIME by his lawyer, Murray said: “Harold Ramis and I together did the National Lampoon Show off Broadway, Meatballs, Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, and Groundhog Day. He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him.”

Harold Ramis, comedy legend behind 'Caddyshack,' 'Ghostbusters,' and 'Groundhog Day,' dies at age 69

With his sly, Cheshire cat grin and twinkling, half-mast eyes hidden behind owlish glasses, Harold Ramis always gave the impression of a guy who was guarding the punchline to the world’s funniest joke. And it’s quite possible he was. After all, if anyone had the merry-prankster genius to conceive it, polish it into a jeweler-precise gem, and deliver it with crack comic timing, it was Ramis, who passed away early Monday morning at age 69 from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves the swelling of blood vessels.

Although Ramis became a familiar face on both the small and big screens thanks to his deadpan appearances on the seminal ’70s variety show SCTV,  and later in 1981′s Stripes (as the straight-man screw-up Russell Ziskey) and 1984′s Ghostbusters (as lab-coated uber-nerd Dr. Egon Spengler), he never achieved the same thousand-watt stardom as co-stars like Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, and most famously and frequently, Bill Murray. Nor did he seem interested in courting it.

Ramis always seemed to shine the brightest when the spotlight was aimed on others and he could stand off to the side feeding them their most indelible gags. Not surprisingly, his greatest success came as a screenwriter (Animal House, Meatballs) and director (Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Groundhog Day). Chances are, if you were born any time between the JFK and second Reagan administrations, your comic sensibility was largely set in stone by Ramis. He not only put a generation in stitches, he let them in on the joke. READ FULL STORY

Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro remember 'Analyze This' director Harold Ramis

Harold Ramis directed Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro in his 1999 comedy Analyze This, and Crystal remembers the man fondly.

“Harold was a gentle, funny man,” he said in an emailed statement. “He found the perfect tone for Robert De Niro and I in Analyze This.”

In the film, De Niro plays a Mafia man who is struggling with stress and goes to see a psychiatrist, played by Crystal, who he begins an unlikely friendship with. In addition to directing the film, Ramis also co-wrote the screenplay. Crystal ended his statement saying, “He was a good man and I am shocked and saddened at his passing.” De Niro also commented on Ramis’ death, saying in an emailed statement, “I’m very sad to hear of Harold’s passing. He was a warm, sweet, gentle, and kind man. I greatly enjoyed working with him and he shall be missed.”

Comedic legend Harold Ramis dead at 69

Harold Ramis, the man behind films such as Groundhog Day and Caddyshack, died this morning from complications relating to auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis. Ramis had battled the condition for the past four years and was surrounded by family and friends in his Chicago home when he died. He was 69.

Ramis’ big break came in 1978, when he co-wrote National Lampoon’s Animal House, after which he went on to co-write Stripes, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II. Ramis made his directorial debut with 1980′s Caddyshack, followed by National Lampoon’s Vacation. His most recent project was 2009′s Year One, which starred Jack Black and Michael Cera.

Ramis is survived by his wife, Erica, sons Julian and Daniel, daughter Violet, and two grandchildren.

Shirley Temple Black dies at 85

Shirley Temple Black, the pudgy-cheeked child movie star who was a fount of gumption and cheer throughout the Great Depression, died Monday at the age of 85, a family spokesperson said in a statement. “We salute her for a life of remarkable achievements as an actor, as a diplomat, and most importantly as our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and adored wife of fifty-five years,” the statement said.

Even during some of the roughest financial times this country has ever seen, little Shirley Temple was able to put smiles on moviegoers’ faces with her trademark head of of 56 curls and those silver-bullet dimples. Before every big scene, her mother would tell her, “Sparkle, Shirley, sparkle!” And so Shirley Temple did. The only daughter of a Los Angeles banker and a housewife mother, Temple first broke into motion pictures at the tender age of 3, imitating popular stars of the day in hammy comedy shorts called Baby Burlesks. Just three years later, after the runaway hits Stand Up and Cheer and Bright Eyes, she became the youngest actor ever presented with an Oscar (albeit an honorary one). READ FULL STORY

Danish film director Gabriel Axel dies at 95

Gabriel Axel, director of the film Babette’s Feast which made him the first Dane to win an Oscar for best foreign film, has died. He was 95.

His daughter, Karin Moerch, said in a statement that he died on Sunday. She did not say where he died or the cause of death.

Axel divided his time between France and Denmark, where he directed television series and movies. He also acted in several films.

Axel had his big international breakthrough in 1987 with Babette’s Feast, based on the novel of the same name by Danish author Karen Blixen. It starred French actress Stephane Audran.

Axel’s wife of nearly 50 years, Lucie Axel Moerch, died in 1996. He is survived by their four children and eight grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were not announced.

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