End Credits #87: Cinema's 2018 Lost Treasures Donald Moffat, Sondra Locke
These are some of Cinema's sad departures of 2018 taken from my personal notes soon after the tragic events took place:
The distinguished British born actor of both highly accomplished stage and screen productions has sadly passed away at age 87, Donald Moffat. He studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made his stage debut in a London production of "Macbeth". Subsequent theatrical performances included those in “Under Milk Wood” (1957, his Broadway debut), ”Much Ado About Nothing” (1959), “You Can't Take It With You” (1965) and “The School for Scandal” (1966) all of these Broadway productions. Moffat earned a pair of Tony nominations for his performances in “Right You Are If You Think You Are” (1966) and “The Wild Duck” (1967). I had the distinct privilege of seeing this superb actor’s work in two Los Angeles based productions: “The Trial of the Catonsville Nine” (as Thomas Melville) and later “The Iceman Cometh” (as Larry Slade). Movie buffs will remember Moffat for his vivid characterisations in Rachel, Rachel (1968), The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972), The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (1972, reprising his stage role), The Terminal Man (1974), Earthquake (1974), The Thing (1982, as Garry who did not want to spend all winter tied to a #@*&% couch!), The Right Stuff (1983, as President Lyndon B. Johnson), Alamo Bay (1985), The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), Music Box (1989), Class Action (1991), Clear and Present Danger (1994) and The Evening Star (1996). He also made television appearances in One Life to Live (1968 - 1969) and Logan's Run (1977-1978) among others. Donald Moffat (December 26, 1930 - December 20, 2018) R.I.P.
Recently reported, although occurring last month, is the tragic death at age 74, of a very special talent: actress, director and author Sondra Locke. She auditioned for what turned out to be her very first acting assignment, a prominent character in the adaptation of Carson McCullers’ novel The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968). Her genuine, emotionally expressive and sensitive portrayal secured the acting newcomer both Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress. Guest appearances on television followed, allowing Locke to display her formidable acting skills in, most notably The F.B.I. (1965) and Kung Fu (1972), more so than her rather forgettable film roles around the same time including Cover Me Babe (1970), Willard (1971) and The Second Coming of Suzanne (1974). Her career breakthrough was in Clint Eastwood’s remarkable western The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) playing the star’s romantic interest, a relationship that happened on and off screen. Subsequent roles in Eastwood projects took place in The Gauntlet (1977), Every Which Way But Loose (1978) and its sequel Any Which Way You Can (1980). Bronco Billy (1980) and the fourth “Dirty Harry” instalment Sudden Impact (1983) followed. Locke developed a project for Warner Bros. which turned out to be her first directing assignment, the critically admired but poorly distributed Ratboy (1986). In April of 1989, her relationship with Eastwood ended in a storm of controversy and Locke filed a palimony suit which was settled in 1990. Following more lawsuits against Eastwood and Warner Bros., which were also settled before trial began, Locke returned to acting with small supporting roles in the independent features The Prophet’s Game (2000) and Clean and Narrow (2000). Her last acting appearance was in Alan Rudolph’s romantic fantasy Ray Meets Helen (2017) co-starring Keith Carradine. She also wrote a book concerning her experiences in the filmmaking industry and her relationship with Clint Eastwood entitled "The Good, the Bad & the Very Ugly: A Hollywood Journey". Sondra Locke (May 28, 1944 - November 3, 2018) R.I.P.