Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

RIP, continued .... first of the new year

John Hurt (1940-2017), aged 77. Sir John has departed after a long battle with cancer, but was working as busy as ever (he is in the current JACKIE). I remember his start in 1962 in THE WILD AND THE WILLING and he became one of England's major actors, as in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS, SINFUL DAVY, and came into his own in the 1970s with his immortal Quentin Crisp in THE NAKED CIVIL SERVANT and his demonic Caligula in I CLAUDIUS, and 10 RILLINGTON PLACE.
Then came THE ELEPHANT MAN where he is unbelievably touching, plus MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, 1984, THE FIELD, harbouring the creature in ALIEN and so many more. I saw him around town a few times, and at the BFI promoting 44 INCH CHEST in 2010, where he is a terrifying Peanut. The legendary actor with that distinctive voice clocked up an amazing 204 credits including that dreadful 1982 film PARTNERS, see Hurt label. He is terrific too in LOVE AND DEATH ON LONG ISLAND. He also reprised Quentin Crisp in AN ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK in 2009. 

Mary Tyler Moore (1936-23017), aged 80. Mary who starred in THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW as Mary Richards, changed the roles of women on American TV, being independent and career-focused, after her stint as Dick Van Dyke's wife. I have fond memories of her show, and we love her as Miss Dorothy in THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, She also did a film with Elvis, among others, and was Oscar-nominated for her ice-queen wife in Redford's ORDINDARY PEOPLE in 1980. Her MTM Enterprises production company was a major player too, with those spinoffs from her show: RHODA, PHYLLIS, LOU GRANT among other sitcoms and drama series such as HILL STREET BLUES.
"In the Ritz elevator you just go up and down"
Emmanuelle Riva (1927-2017) age 89. One of France's leading actresses, she was Oscar-nominated for her brilliant portrayal in AMOUR in 2012. She came to prominence in Resnais's HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR in 1959, other leading roles included Melville's LEON MORIN PRIEST with Belmondo in '61, KAPO, THERESE, ADUA AND HER FRIENDS (see next review, above) and more. 

Lord Snowdon (1930-2017), aged 86. Several notices mentioned that the least interesting thing about the former Anthony Armstrong-Jones was that he married into the British Royal Family. That wedding to Princess Margaret in 1960 was a major event - I recall the newsreels. He was one of the bright new photographers of the late 50s and early 60s, joining "The Sunday Times" in 1962 just as they launched that new colour supplement era. Jones was as distinctive a photographer as David Bailey and the others, covering the spectrum of celebrities and exposes of disabled and homeless people. He was also an inventor and passionate supporter of disabled people, making several documentaries. He and the Princess were, along with The Burtons, the celebrity couple of the era, and he continued being on cordial terms with The Royals after his divorce, and his colourful private life continued unabated.

Gorden Kaye (1941-2017), aged 75. Comic actor Gorden was of course Rene in the long-running BBC series 'ALLO 'ALLO, which poked fun at all those wartime dramas, as it mined comedy and made fun of the Germans, the French, the British etc. He also played the role on stage and survived a serious accident when a billboard hoarding crashed through his car windscreen in 1990.

Larry Steinbachek (1960-2016), aged 56. One of the original members and keyboard player of 80s electro band Bronski Beat. "Hit that perfect beat, boy".

Fran Jeffries (1937-2016), aged 79. Singer and dancer Fran (who had married to Dick Haymes and Richard Quine) brightened up some movies, including her terrific number in THE PINK PANTHER in 1963.


  1. The first few weeks of the year were so quiet with only Miguel Ferrer being claimed by cancer and then this week BOOM! Here we go again starting with MTM and now Mike Connors, John Hurt, Emmanuelle Riva and Barbara Hale in the last two days!

    They all lived long, apparently relatively happy lives but it's an awful lot to absorb in such a short period. Especially Hurt as he was still actively acting.

  2. Indeed, Hurt had several projects in post-production stage.