Kenny Baker, best-known as the animating spirit in one of cinema’s most famous machines, died at 81 after a lengthy illness. Baker had a number of genre credits to his name, including Time Bandits and Labyrinth. He will be missed.
Jerry Doyle, best-remembered for his role as Garibaldi on Babylon Five, has died at the age of 60 at his Las Vegas home. An autopsy is pending.
The influential cartoonist and artist Jack Davis, best-known for his work in Mad Magazine (and EC’s earlier titles), has passed at the age of 91.
In addition to his long association with Mad, Davis also created a wide range of commercial art, including memorable album covers for a bewildering range of musical artists.
Noel Neill, an actress whose career intertwined with the Man of Steel’s, died July 3 at the age of 95.
Neill was the first actress to play Lois Lane in a live action film, the 1948 Superman serial. She reprised the role in Atom Man vs Superman, and later took over the role from Phyllis Coates after the first season of The Adventures of Superman. She also made cameo appearances in Superman (1978) (as Lois’s mother), the late 80s / early 90s Superboy series, and Superman Returns (2006). She also had small roles in a couple of Hollywood classics, most notably Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and in at least one other TV show with “genre” connections, The Lone Ranger. Although she mostly retired after The Adventures of Superman, her role as Lois kept her in fandom’s eye.
The 2010 tribute is courtesy of CapedWonderJim:
2016 has claimed another well-loved actor. A tragic accident has taken the life of Anton Yelchin, best known as the new Chekov in the post-2009 Star Trek films. He plays the role a third time in next month’s Star Trek: Beyond.
It’s sad to see a promising actor cut down so young. If you haven’t seen him in his other non-Star Trek works, I highly recommend Charlie Bartlett and Odd Thomas.
Yelchin was killed when his car rolled into him. The vehicle in question may have been the subject of Jeep’s recall.
A Quick PSA: Please, please, please set your parking brake whenever you leave your car. Just get into the habit. Do not rely on your transmission or flat ground to keep your vehicle from rolling away on you. More…
Visual Effects genius and the man behind the effects of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, Gary Hutzel, has passed away at age 60. Mr. Hutzel, who was nominated for 20 Emmy awards and won four, was also the FX lead for the Battlestar Galactica reboot, Caprica, and Defiance.
In other news, the man who built R2-D2, Tony Dyson has also died. After his work on Star Wars, Mr. Dyson set up two clubs in the UK to allow people to build their own R2 units. Builders from those clubs were the ones that built the R2-D2 prop used in last year’s The Force Awakens.
The literary world lost two significant figures today, Nelle Harper Lee, 89 and Umberto Eco, 84. While neither were authors of SF or fantasy per se, both influenced writers in all fields, and Eco’s fiction crossed boundaries of reality and his non-fiction examined (among many other topics) the cultural implications of superheroes.
For the second time this week, a significant artist falls to cancer at age 69. This time, it was Alan Rickman, costar in the Harry Potter franchise, the Metatron from Dogma, Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest, and classic villain Hans Gruber from the greatest Christmas movie ever made, Die Hard.