End Credits #64: Cinema's 2017 Lost Treasures Clifton James, Michael Ballhaus, Tim Pigott-Smith
These are some of Cinema's sad departures of 2017 taken from my personal notes soon after the tragic events took place:
Actor Clifton James has died at age 95.
Although he was most famous for portraying Sheriff J.W. Pepper in the James Bond films Live and Let Die and The Man With the Golden Gun, actor Clifton James was a distinguished graduate of the Actors Studio, a gifted stage actor and made some especially noteworthy characters come vividly to life in many quality films such as The Strange One (his film debut), The Last Mile, David and Lisa (for director Frank Perry and pictured above), The Chase, Cool Hand Luke, Will Penny, The Reivers, ... tick ... tick ... tick, The Last Detail, The Laughing Policeman, Rancho Deluxe (again for director Perry), Eight Men Out, and Lone Star (these last two remarkable roles for director John Sayles). For myself his most magnificently memorable contribution to the acting profession was as Pat McGloin in John Frankenheimer's 1973 film adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's theatrical masterpiece The Iceman Cometh. He will be most sorely missed, but thanks to a strong cinematic legacy, never forgotten. Clifton James (May 29, 1921 - April 15, 2017) R.I.P.
German born cinematographer Michael Ballhaus has died at age 81.
His photographic artistry graced numerous films most notably those directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in his native country (e.g. Fox and His Friends, Chinese Roulette, Despair, The Marriage of Maria Braun, et al) and in the U.S. Mike Nichols (Working Girl, Postcards from the Edge, Primary Colors) and Martin Scorsese (After Hours, The Color of Money, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence, Gangs of New York, and The Departed). He also lent his extraordinary vision to, amongst others, Broadcast News for writer/director James Brooks, Bram Stoker’s Dracula for director Francis Ford Coppola, and Quiz Show for director Robert Redford. Michael Ballhaus (August 5, 1935 - April 12, 2017) R.I.P.
British classical stage and screen actor Tim Pigott-Smith has died at age 70.
He is perhaps best known for his role as Ronald Merrick in the British miniseries The Jewel in the Crown (1984) for which he won a BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor. Some of his more impressive film roles include those in Clash of the Titans (1981), Victory, The Remains of the Day, Bloody Sunday, Gangs of New York, Alexander, V for Vendetta, Quantum of Solace, and Alice in Wonderland (2010). Several other films this talented thespian appeared in are due to be released. Tim Pigott-Smith (May 13, 1946 - April 7, 2017) R.I.P.