These are some of Cinema's sad departures of 2015 taken from my personal notes soon after the tragic events took place:
More shocking news of sudden loss has occurred in the film making community: James Horner has died at age 61. The composer was piloting a small plane when it crashed in California. He probably brought more attention and prominence to the art of film scoring than any other composer in the history of the medium from his score, by way of its quadruple platinum selling soundtrack, to Titanic which included the song ‘My Heart Will Go On’. When he was at the top of his game, as he so often was, film goers and film music fans alike would be treated to some of the most unapologetically melodious music ever created, music straight from the heart, that time and again transcended the films for which they were composed and will forever thrive in our memories. Some of my personal favourites of his were: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Legends of the Fall, Braveheart, Apollo 13, Mighty Joe Young, Troy, The Mask of Zorro, The Perfect Storm and A Beautiful Mind. Now that his “voice” is silenced, we’ll never know what future inspired themes we might have enjoyed from this immensely talented artist. This is very sad news indeed. At least we have his past magical compositions to cherish for the rest of our lives. James Horner (August 14, 1953 - June 22, 2015) R.I.P.
Another U.K. actor of great prominence has sadly left us: Christopher Lee (May 27, 1922 - June 11, 2015) whose on screen presence typically instilled total subservience from others, has passed away at age 93. His voluminous contribution to the acting profession is well known and highly regarded especially his work in the horror genre with Hammer Studios and his contribution to the Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Hobbit franchises. He will be sorely missed.
An extremely talented actor has left the scene: U.K. born Ron Moody (January 8, 1924 - June 11, 2015) has passed away at the age of 91. He is best known as the definitive Fagin which he played on both The West End and the Broadway Stage before the Screen version in the hit musical Oliver!. For the 1968 Academy Award winning Best Picture he was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor. I will remember him most fondly for his zany portrayal as Vorobyaninov in the 1970 Mel Brooks comedy The Twelve Chairs (pictured in the middle).
Robert Chartoff (August 26, 1933 - June 10, 2015) has died at age 81. He was an amazingly accomplished film Producer and helped to bring both commercial and critical successes such as Point Blank, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, 1974's The Gambler, Rocky, Raging Bull, True Confessions, The Right Stuff and 2014's The Gambler, brilliantly to life.
Anne Meara (September 20, 1929 - May 23, 2015) the multi-talented comedienne and actress has sadly died at age 85. In her early years as a performer, she and her husband Jerry Stiller performed under the name 'Stiller and Meara' becoming regulars on The Ed Sullivan Show. Her lively performances graced the films The Out of Towners (1970), Lovers and Other Strangers, The Boys from Brazil, Fame, Awakenings, and Night at the Museum not to mention numerous television shows.
For news about others in the film industry who have sadly left us this year, see the Pinterest Board here.