End Credits #60: Cinema's 2017 Lost Treasures John Hurt, Mary Tyler Moore, William Peter Blatty
These are some of Cinema's sad departures of 2017 taken from my personal notes soon after the events took place:
Still another staggeringly enormous loss has occurred in the acting community and for cinema lovers of all kinds. Britain's John Hurt, who just turned 77 on January 22, has passed away. He gave us a plethora of diverse and vivid characters to treasure such as Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons, Timothy Evans in 10 Rillington Place, Quentin Crisp in The Naked Civil Servant, and Max in Midnight Express. Dare we forget his Kane who hosted an Alien, only to re-live the experience in Spaceballs, his John Merrick in The Elephant Man, Braddock in The Hit, Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four, or Douglas Benoit in From the Hip… and those are just some of his earlier roles! Hurt will be best known to younger audiences for playing wandmaker Garrick Ollivander in the first 'Harry Potter' film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), and again in the franchise's two-part finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010 & 2011) not to mention his Professor Oxley in Steven Spielberg's fourth 'Indiana Jones' adventure, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). His work in acting continued right up to the end. He possessed such an amazing talent of deep conviction and will be sorely missed. Our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. John Hurt (January 22, 1940 - January 25, 2017) R.I.P.
Although she was primarily known for her ingratiating work in television (The Dick Van Dyke Show 1961 - 1966, Rhoda 1974 - 1977, Mary Tyler Moore 1970 - 1977, and The Mary Tyler Moore Hour 1979) Mary Tyler Moore who passed away at age 80 on the same day as actor John Hurt (above), made some strikingly noteworthy film appearances as well, namely Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), What's So Bad About Feeling Good? (1968), Change of Habit with Elvis Presley (1969), culminating with her Academy Award nominated lead actress performance in Ordinary People (1980). Mary Tyler Moore (December 29, 1936 - January 25, 2017) R.I.P.
Writer - Director William Peter Blatty best known for writing the novel and adapted screenplay of perhaps the most famous horror film of all time, The Exorcist (1973), has died at age 89. His first credited screenplay was to director Frank Tashlin's The Man from the Diners' Club (1963, starring Danny Kaye from a story by Blatty and John Fenton Murray). He went on to co-write, with director Blake Edwards, the second 'Pink Panther' film with Peter Sellers and the best in the series, A Shot in the Dark (1964). He would collaborate with Edwards again on What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966), Gunn (1967), and Darling Lili (1970), before writing the screenplay of 1973's The Exorcist, for which he won a best adapted screenplay Academy Award. Blatty also wrote and directed The Ninth Configuration (1980), and performed both duties on The Exorcist III (1990) as well. This latter film had a "director's cut" thought to be lost. Some of the footage was found, however, on VHS tape and incorporated into a release entitled Legion (2016), the novel and Blatty's preferred title for the film. William Peter Blatty (January 7, 1928 - January 12, 2017) R.I.P.