Author Tom Clancy, who created the Jack Ryan character that has been played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and most recently Chris Pine for the upcoming Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, has died at age 66. Clancy’s publisher confirmed his passing, but did not give a cause of death. Read More »
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We constantly bash Hollywood for their lack of originality, but one good thing they did when borrowing ideas was use the works of Elmore Leonard. Leonard wrote the original books for what would become Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Jackie Brown, the show Justified and many others. His brand of hard-boiled, but silky smooth dialogue with unforgettable characters made him a literary legend. Unfortunately, that legend is no longer with us. Elmore Leonard passed away Tuesday at the age of 87.
A film adaptation of Leonard’s novel The Switch, retitled Life of Crime, will premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. Hopefully, that won’t be the last of Leonard’s forty plus novels to make their way to the big screen.
We’re sad to report that actor Dennis Farina, star of Law & Order, Snatch and Get Shorty, has passed away at the age of 69.
Farina was one of those actors who brightened up anything he appeared in, with an uncanny ability to be equal parts intimidating and hilarious in the blink of an eye. He worked with some of the best in the business and never, ever disappointed in bringing an intangible life to a character.
Midnight Run, Little Big League, Luck, Saving Private Ryan, Miami Vice, Manhunter, the former Chicago police officer turned actor had the kind career we’d all dream of having. He’ll be sorely missed.
Stop-motion effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen died today, with his passing confirmed by his family. The filmmaker, who retired from features in 1981, leaves behind a relatively small but incalculably influential body of work. In films produced between 1955 and 1981 his stop-motion animated skeletons, dinosaurs, and other beasts almost universally became icons of sci-fi and fantasy filmmaking. Though he hasn’t worked in features for over thirty years, echoes of his work continue to resound today.
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Roger Ebert, long the chief film critic at the Chicago Sun-Times, and the man who did more to define the popular dialogue about movies than any other person, has died at the age of 70.
The Sun-Times reports his passing. Ebert had battled cancer for many years; the disease infected his jaw and cost him his ability to speak in 2006. Earlier this week he announced a “leave of presence” from his position at the paper, citing a cancerous relapse.
Throughout the past decade, illness did not deter Ebert, who became an even more voluminous writer after losing his power of speech. He used Twitter to create a constant dialogue with his audience and the world at large, evolving from a film critic to cultural commentator. Ebert’s opinions, particularly those on video games, were not always popular. No matter the subject, however, Ebert wrote honestly, with an openness that avoided cheap shots and welcomed dialogue with readers. For a man whose voice and words carried so much weight, he’ll be remembered as someone who listened.
How many people become more vital, and more engaged with the world, in their sixth decade of life? I’ve watched and read Ebert since the late ’70s, beginning with his early sparring sessions with Gene Siskel on Sneak Previews, but over thirty years later the man was more of a cultural force than ever.
Roger Ebert taught me to do what you love, to do it with passion and honesty, and to face difficulties with dignity. He was the cinematic mentor for multiple generations. Ebert inspired countless readers to follow their own voice, but none will ever be quite what he was.
Posted on Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 by Angie Han
Jane Nebel Henson, former wife and creative partner of Muppets creator Jim Henson, has died, as announced by the Jim Henson Co. She was 78.
While a student at the University of Maryland, Henson teamed with her future husband to create the WRC-TV show Sam and Friends, which featured the first appearance of a Kermit prototype. In later years, she served on the board of the Jim Henson Foundation, and created the Jim Henson Legacy to promote her late husband’s work following his death in 1990.
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Don Payne, the screenwriter who worked on Thor and Thor: The Dark World, passed away yesterday, according to his family. The family has not released any details regarding the cause of death, though a battle with cancer has been reported. Read More »
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Posted on Friday, February 8th, 2013 by Angie Han
Everyone has an opinion in today’s Star Wars Bits. After the jump:
- Zachary Quinto and Roberto Orci are happy for J.J. Abrams,
- Read the official statement from Disney announcing the spinoffs,
- Author Timothy Zahn has thoughts on young Han Solo casting,
- Check out an epic, action-packed fan-made trailer for Episode VII,
- And legendary makeup artist Stuart Freeborn has died at the age of 98.
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