CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
LOS ANGELES – The loss of a up-and-coming actor at an early age is always a tragic event, and Anton Yelchin has been added to that roster. In a freak automobile accident at his home, Yelchin died on June 19th, 2016. He was best known for embracing the role of Pavel Chekov in the “Star Trek” film series reboot. He was 27 years old.
CHANCHASSEN, Minn. – One of rock’s most legendary and mysterious figures, whose full and real name was Prince Rogers Nelson, died on April 21st, 2016, after paramedics found him unresponsive at his Paisley Park home in Chanchassen, Minnesota. No cause of death has been given. The singer was 57 years old.
COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO – She was a lesson in duality. One of her most famous roles was as “identical cousins” on “The Patty Duke Show,” and Anna Marie “Patty” Duke also made public her fight with bipolar disorder. She was also a talented actress, winning an Oscar as teenager for “The Miracle Worker.” Ms. Duke passed away on March 29th, 2016, at the age of 69, at her home in Idaho.
MIDDLETON, IDAHO – On the day of the 88th Academy Awards, Hollywood lost a venerable character actor and Oscar winner, George Kennedy. Kennedy won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar at the 40th Academy Awards for his role in “Cool Hand Luke.” He passed away at a care facility in Idaho, age 91.
LONDON – He lived in a show age when a classically trained British actor could also portray a German villain, an indecisive husband and one of the most memorable characters in the Harry Potter series. Alan Rickman was all of these, and he did it with a signature style. Rickman died in London at age 69 on January 14, 2016.
Film News: Cinematographer, Oscar Winner Haskell Wexler of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ Dies at 93Submitted by PatrickMcD on December 27, 2015 - 5:26pm
LOS ANGELES – At the 2013 Chicago International Film Festival awards ceremony at the Ambassador East, an older man started shooting me with a video camera in the bar area. Later that same man, Haskell Wexler, picked up a lifetime award at that ceremony. Haskell Wexler died on Dec. 27, 2015, at the age of 93.
LOS ANGELES – The suave, Australian-born Rod Taylor may have been a leading man footnote in the early to mid-1960s, but he did star in a notable classic: the Alfred Hitchcock-directed “The Birds”. His chiseled good looks and sincere acting style were also memorable in a career that spanned more than 50 years. Rod Taylor passed away of a heart attack in Los Angeles on Jan. 7 2015, according to his daughter, Felicia Taylor. He was 84.
NEW YORK CITY – He was an immigrant kid from Germany who directed the most American of stage plays and films. Mike Nichols uplifted the culture with his art, and along the way won the famed EGOT – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Nichols passed away suddenly at his home. He was 83.
LOS ANGELES – He was 7 foot 2 inches tall, an imposing figure that made for one of the most memorable James Bond villains. Richard Kiel portrayed “Jaws” in two Bond films – “The Spy Who Loved Me” and “Moonraker” – and left an unforgettable mark as a character actor with a distinctive look and persona. Richard Kiel died at age 74 on September 10th, 2014.
NEW YORK CITY – There are legends, and then there is Joan Rivers. The comedian and show business survivor had a life journey as an influential star from the 1960s all the way to the end of her life. Joan Rivers died on September 4th, 2014, in New York City after suffering respiratory failure last weekend.