The world of film and entertainment have lost several luminaries this year. Whilst we wrote full tributes to Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bob Hoskins, Robin Williams, and Lauren Bacall throughout the year, there were several deaths we were unable to pay tribute to at the time. Here then are tributes to several of those stars, from in front of and behind the camera, who sadly passed away this year.
One of the best poets to ever use the English language, Maya Angelou wrote of identity, love and passion and produced some of the most stirring, moving poetry around. Her poems 'On The Pulse Of Morning' and 'A Brave And Startling Truth' are just two of her best. Angelou also appeared in films such as Poetic Justice, How To Make An American Quilt and Madea's Family Reunion.
|Richard Attenborough in Jurassic Park (1993)|
If you ever had nightmares after watching one of the Alien films, there's one man to thank/blame: H.R. Giger. He worked in the art department and designed the iconic Xenomorph look that has since become synonymous with horror. He and his team won the Best Visual Effects Oscar for their work on Alien.
|Richard Kiel as Jaws|
While Rik Mayall may best be known for his television work- in The Young Ones, Filthy Rich And Catflap, The Comic Strip Presents..., The New Statesman, Blackadder, and Bottom- he also appeared in several films, including Guest House Paradiso, Bring Me The Head Of Mavis Davis and the utterly brilliant Drop Dead Fred. His appearance on Jackanory, performing George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl, remains one of the highlights of my childhood.
Mike Nichols worked with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, making his feature film debut in 1966 directing Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?. He went on to direct over 20 films, including The Graduate (for which he won the Best Director Oscar), Carnal Knowledge, Silkwood, Working Girl, The Birdcage, Primary Colors, Closer and Charlie Wilson's War.
|Harold Ramis in Ghostbusters (1984)|
Mickey Rooney was a child star, performing in films from the age of six. He appeared in nearly 20 Andy Hardy films before teaming up with Judy Garland for a series of musicals. He was nominated for his first Oscar at the age of 19 and would be nominated a further three times. He was married 8 times, firstly to Ava Gardner. He has one of the longest careers in cinema history, with film credits spanning an impressive ten consecutive decades.
|Elaine Stritch in Romance & Cigarettes|
One of the biggest child stars Hollywood has ever seen, Shirley Temple will always be known for singing 'On The Good Ship Lollipop'. However, there was so much more to her life than just being a child star. The first recipient of the Juvenile Academy Award (at the age of 6), she went on to retire from showbiz at the age of 22 and focused on politics, acting as US ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.
|Billie Whitelaw in The Omen (1976)|
Others who passed away this year include:
- British actress Lynda Bellingham
- British actress Dora Bryan
- American actress Marilyn Burns
- British actor Warren Clarke
- Civil rights activist and Oscar-nominated actress Ruby Dee
- British writer P.D. James
- Screenwriter and director Paul Mazursky
- British actress Kate O'Mara
- Comedienne and actress Joan Rivers
- Oscar-winning actor Maximilian Schell
- Former President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Tom Sherak
- Make-up artist Dick Smith
- American actress Misty Upham
- American actor Eli Wallach
- Cinematographer Gordon Willis
- Producer Saul Zaentz