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Thompson on Hollywood

James Gandolfini the Movie Actor, Tributes and Clips

James Gandolfini left us far too soon at age 51 on June 20; he died of cardiac arrest in an ambulance on the way to a Rome hospital after suffering a severe heart attack. The actor was scheduled to receive the City of Taormina award on Saturday during his stay in Italy; the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily is now preparing a tribute to the actor.
  • By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
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  • June 20, 2013 1:35 PM
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Obit: Documentary Filmmaker Dennis O'Rourke (1945-2013)

The great Australian documentary filmmaker Dennis O'Rourke has died at 67. His often controversial documentaries on the human condition and/or and decolonization include "Half Life: A Parable for the Nuclear Age" (1985) "Cannibal Tours" (1988), "The Good Woman of Bangkok" (1991) and "Cunnamulla" (2000), see trailers below. He was a regular on the international festival circuit, including the Sundance Film Festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 18, 2013 2:54 PM
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More: News, Obit

OBIT: Bryan Forbes

Bryan Forbes -- who passed away Wednesday at age 86 after a lengthy illness -- boasted a resume that included such widely admired films as "The Wrong Box," "King Rat," "Whistle Down the Wind," "Seance on a Wet Afternoon" and "The Whisperers," and one truly bizarre concoction, the kinky crime drama "Deadfall" (starring Michael Caine as a cat burglar who falls for his older partner's very alluring wife), which isn't often discussed in polite company.
  • By Joe Leydon
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  • May 9, 2013 1:45 PM
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Obit: VFX Master Ray Harryhausen Dies at 92

Stop-motion and VFX pioneer Ray Harryhausen passed away in London today at the age of 92, according to an announcement on the official Facebook page of The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation. The multi-award winner best-known for "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad," "Jason and the Argonauts," "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad," and "Clash of the Titans," became a cultural legend and an inspiration to every filmmaker that has worked in animation and live-action VFX movies from the ’70s to the present. Among his accolytes are Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Tim Burton, Phil Tippett, Nick Park, and John Lasseter.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • May 7, 2013 3:26 PM
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More: VFX, Obit

Obit: Comedian Jonathan Winters Has Died (VIDEO)

Gifted comedian Jonathan Winters has died of natural causes at age 87, reports Variety. My fondest memories of him are Stanley Kramer's antic road comedy "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" and Norman Jewison’s "The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming," but of course this under-appreciated comic artist did much more. See clips below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 12, 2013 3:04 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Disney Mouseketeer Annette Funicello Dies at 70; Fought Multiple Sclerosis (CLIPS)

I grew up with Annette Funicello. She was my favorite older girl on "The Mickey Mouse Club," a friendly face with a sweet voice. She started on the show in 1955 at age 13, the only cast member selected by Walt Disney himself after he saw her dance the lead in Swan Lake at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank. She also appeared frequently on long-running weekly show "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 8, 2013 1:40 PM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Obit

Documentary Filmmaker Les Blank Dies at 77

The great documentary filmmaker Les Blank, who no doubt visited many of your theaters to show films and waft garlic through the air, passed away peacefully Sunday morning after a battle with cancer that didn't keep him from holding on. (Here's the New York Times obit.) See film clips below.
  • By Gary Meyer
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  • April 7, 2013 4:05 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Indie Producer Raphael D. Silver Dies After Skiing Accident

Indie producer Raphael D. Silver died March 4 in Salt Lake City, two days after a skiing accident in Deer Valley. He was 83.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 6, 2013 5:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment
More: Obit

Obit: Roger Ebert was a Superman

Sad news. Roger Ebert has died of complications of cancer. The legendary and indefatigable Pulitzer-prize-winning film critic had announced Tuesday that he was taking a "leave of presence," per his journal on the Chicago Sun-Times. Since December he had been recovering in a Chicago rehab facility from a hip fracture. It turned out that the cancer he had been fighting since 2002 had returned. He is survived by his loving wife Chaz.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • April 4, 2013 4:01 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Remembering Prolific Merchant-Ivory Screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, 1927-2013

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, the prodigiously gifted novelist and prolific screenwriter, Oscar winner for her adapted screenplays "Room with a View" and "Howard's End," has died in Manhattan after a long illness. She was 85.
  • By Carrie Rickey
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  • April 3, 2013 2:12 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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