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Tag: In Memoriam (1-10 of 119)

Dick Jones, the real boy who voiced Pinocchio, dies at 87

Richard Percy Jones, who gave his voice to an iconic animated character and rode horses in Western movies, died on July 7th at his home in Northridge, California. He was 87.

Jones turned 10 in 1937, the year Disney’s first animated feature, Snow White, came to theaters. Until then, he was billed onscreen as “Dickie” Jones. Afterward, he shortened it to the more grown-up “Dick,” but he will forever be remembered for the boy he voiced in Disney’s second animated feature, in 1940, Pinocchio.

Walt Disney picked Jones for the role at age 11, he told The Telegraph in 2009. “It was like a radio show,” he said of the experience. “You could read what you had to say; you didn’t have to memorise anything.”

Outside of his Pinoccio role, Jones’ career in the entertainment industry mostly consisted of playing cowboys. He showed a talent for riding horses early in his life.

“I was appearing at the Dallas Centennial Rodeo in 1932, and the star attraction was a cowboy called Hoot Gibson,” he said. “Well, I did my act, popping up on top of a horse, and at the end of the run Hoot says, ‘That kid ought to be in the movies.’ My mother says, ‘Whoopee!’ And away we went to Hollywood.”

Eli Wallach dies at 98

Eli Wallach, the actor best known for his roles in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and The Godfather franchise, has died. He was 98.

Wallach’s daughter Katherine confirmed his death to the New York Times. 

The New York City-born actor appeared in scores of films over his 60-plus year career alongside the likes of Clark Gable (The Misfits), Omar Sharif (Ghenghis Khan), Dean Martin (How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life), Yul Brunner (The Magnificent Seven) and Robert Shaw (The Deep). READ FULL STORY

Pioneering actress Ruby Dee dies at 91

Ruby Dee once said, “The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within — strength, courage, dignity.” The groundbreaking actress, who died Wednesday in New Rochelle, N.Y. at the age of 91, achieved that goal time and again throughout her career, which spanned over 60 years. Dee’s daughter, Nora Davis Day, confirmed Dee’s death to the Associated Press Thursday afternoon.

A pioneer of the civil rights movement, Dee (who was born in Cleveland, but grew up in Harlem) studied at the American Negro Theater in New York City, where she met her husband of 56 years, the actor Ossie Davis (who died in 2005). After working steadily on Broadway throughout the 1940s, she rose to acclaim on the silver screen with 1950′s The Jackie Robinson Story, in which she played the baseball legend’s mother. In 1965, she became the first black woman to land lead roles at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut. READ FULL STORY

Oscar-nominated actress Martha Hyer dies at 89

Martha Hyer, best known for her Oscar-nominated turn as Frank Sinatra’s love interest in 1958′s Some Came Running, died May 31 in her Santa Fe home. The actress was 89.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1924, Hyer studied theater at Northwestern University before joining the Pasadena Playhouse in California. There, she was spotted by a Hollywood talent agent and later signed a three-year contract with RKO Pictures.

Hyer married the director C. Ray Stahl in 1951. Stahl went on to direct his wife in the African safari film The Scarlet Spear in 1954, the same year the couple divorced. But 1954 wasn’t a total wash for Hyer: She had her first big break appearing in Billy Wilder’s romantic comedy Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, playing the fiancée of William Holden’s character. Other film work included The Delicate Delinquent with Jerry Lewis, Houseboat with Cary Grant, and Once Upon a Horse with Dean Martin. Many have speculated that Hyer found success because she served as an unofficial replacement for Grace Kelly, who had recently retired from acting following her marriage to the Prince of Monaco, Rainier III. READ FULL STORY

Gordon Willis: Shining a light on Hollywood's 'Prince of Darkness'


Often called “The Prince of Darkness” for his tendency to artfully cloak onscreen characters in ominous shadows, cinematographer Gordon Willis was the closest thing Hollywood had to a Rembrandt. His playful visual style, daring use of chiaroscuro, and seemingly effortless ability to conjure a mood of unsettling paranoia made him the ideal Director of Photography for the 1970s — a glorious filmmaking decade when Technicolor artifice was swept aside for New Hollywood naturalism.

Whether working with Francis Ford Coppola on The Godfather saga, Alan J. Pakula on his dizzying Watergate-era conspiracy thrillers All The President’s Men and The Parallax View, or Woody Allen in his delirious run of romantic comedies like Annie Hall, Manhattan, and The Purple Rose of Cairo, Willis, who died on May 18 at age 82, not only pushed the boundaries on how movies could look, but also how we, as moviegoers, looked at them.

Willis was born into the movies in 1931: His father was a make-up artist at Warner Bros. And while serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, Willis worked in motion picture unit before entering the Mad Men-era world of advertising and documentary filmmaking. His career as a cinematographer began with 1970′s End of the Road and ran through 1997′s The Devil’s Own, packing a staggering number of unforgettable and undisputed classics between those two bookends. Looking at his resume today, at all of those years choreographing the delicate dance of light and shadow, it’s shocking — almost perverse really — that he was only nominated for an Oscar twice (for Woody Allen’s 1984 newsreel lark Zelig and 1991′s Corleone coda The Godfather: Part III). The Academy, no doubt making up for its repeated sins of omission, handed him an honorary Oscar in 2010.


'Searching for Sugar Man' director Malik Bendjelloul found dead

Malik Bendjelloul, the Swedish filmmaker who won an Oscar for directing the documentary Searching for Sugar Man, was found dead Tuesday in Stockholm. He was 36.

According to The Associated Press, police spokesperson Pia Glenvik confirmed the death but did not specify the cause, though she ruled out crime as a possible reason. READ FULL STORY

'The Long Good Friday': The late Bob Hoskins' best performance


The Long Good Friday is not the most successful film to star Bob Hoskins, who has died at the age of 71. (That would be the 1988 blockbuster Who Framed Roger Rabbit.) It may not even be the British actor’s best gangster movie; a case can be made for Neil Jordan’s superlative Mona Lisa. But as a reminder of Hoskins’ volcanic, yet subtly-applied talents, it is impossible to beat this 1979 thriller from director John Mackenzie.


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

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