Even when I didn’t think about it, Robin Williams was always a part of my life. His work was simply a part of everything that made me a person. Whether it was sneaking a peak at Comic Relief on HBO, watching old Mork and Mindy reruns after school, or catching the movies of the early nineties that turned him into a mega-star, Robin Williams was always a constant. If I needed to laugh, sing, be brought to tears or cringe uncontrollably, Williams was the man for the job.
He’s gone now, dead at the age of 63 from an apparent suicide, and it’s a horrible case of “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” I’m filled with emotion. I’m mad, I’m sad, I want to cry. But then I start to think about Williams’ legacy, his films, and what they mean to me, and I feel some comfort. Let’s take a look back at my favorite Robin Williams movies, and more specifically, performances.
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Robin Williams was found dead today, report authorities in his home town. The report of Williams’ death comes from the Marin County Sheriff department. The department released a statement saying that authorities found Robin McLaurin Williams unconscious and not breathing inside his home in Tiburon, CA, and that he was pronounced dead this afternoon. The report says that suicide is suspected, but a true cause of death has yet to be confirmed. Read More »
Last year, Simpsons executive producer Al Jean told fans they’d be killing off a character in the upcoming season. He even gave a tease of who it may be, hinting the person voicing that character won an Emmy for voicing that character. At the time, we tried to narrow it down but the season came and went without that death. The reason was the tragic passing of voice actor Marcia Wallace, who voiced Ms. Krabapple. The Simpsons team thought gracefully killing that character as a tribute to Wallace was enough death for one year.
That was last year. This year, Jean promises the previously hinted character will still die, and even added to his initial hint. Read the quotes about the Simpsons character death below. Read More »
After months of investigation, criminal charges have finally been filed related to the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones while filming the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider. Jones was killed when a train traveled down the tracks upon which the Midnight Rider crew was working at the time. Now director Randall Miller and producers Jody Savin and Jay Sedrish have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass in the Wayne County, Georgia superior court. Read More »
Eli Wallach will always be Tuco to me. For some actors who enjoyed a career as long and varied as Wallach, being persistently known for one role above all others would rankle. Judging by Wallach’s frequent interview conversations about his role in Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, he probably wouldn’t mind. Or he would understand, at least.
And Tuco is a hell of a performance, all bluster, willpower and charisma. In that respect, the role may actually be a good representation of the actor’s career. For Wallach was born to Polish Jewish parents, and grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn. No one looking very closely would have mistaken him for an actual Mexican bandit, but Wallach’s cagey energy and sardonic wit allowed him to own the role. Those were only a couple of the qualities that made him a mainstay of stage and screen for nearly sixty years. Eli Wallach died Tuesday, at age 98. Read More »
Ruby Dee personified class throughout her life. The Oscar-nominated actress, born Ruby Ann Wallace in Cleveland in 1922, began making movies in the mid 1940s and didn’t stop until 2013. In that time she was also was an accomplished playwright, Grammy-award winning poet, social activist and inspiration to millions. Dee passed away Wednesday at the age of 91. Read More »
The man who did more than any other to influence the entire art of cinematography through a single film was Gordon Willis. The Godfather broke every classical “rule” in the book, and much of its impact can be attributed to the unusual but intuitive approach Willis took to photographing the film. In many scenes Willis used as little illumination as possible. In doing so he invited us to lean forward, to peer into the eyes of characters with blackened souls. We may have recoiled when we saw what was truly in the heart of Michael Corleone, but we could never look away. Willis painted with shadow, and for it earned a loving nickname that was better suited to Michael Corleone: the Prince of Darkness.
Now Gordon Willis has died at the age of 82. A cause of death has not been released, but Willis’ passing has been confirmed by American Society of Cinematographers president Richard Crudo. Read More »
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UPDATE: The investigation into Bendjelloul’s death has revealed an apparent suicide. The original text follows.
This is a tragic piece of news. Malik Bendjelloul, director of the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man, has died at the age of 36. A cause of death was not released, but foul play is not believed to have played a part in his passing.
Bendjelloul came to the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 with his first film, a little documentary called Searching for Sugar Man. It opened the festival and was an immediate breakout hit. A year later, Ben Affleck presented Bendjelloul with the Oscar for Best Documentary, marking the filmmaker’s arrival as one to watch. His passing comes far too early.
Below, watch Bendjelloul at his peak, winning his first and only Oscar. Read More »