I was watching Hitchcock's Rebecca last night, and as I sometimes do, I looked up the actors I wasn't familiar with afterwards, to see if there was any interesting information about them. I discovered that Jean Fontaine, the female lead, was Olivia de Havilland's sister! Jean died at 96, which means that she and Olivia averaged 100. Pretty good going!
06 August 2020, 04:41 PM
Susan Ellison, the widow of Harlan Ellison, died on August 1, 2020 at the much-too-young age of 60. I briefly meet them only once, at a book show where Harlan was signing. Susan Ellison was extremely nice; Harlan Ellison was...well, somewhat prickly. However, the affection that they had for each other was quite apparent. Attached below is a link to the Harlan Ellison Books website, announcing Mrs. Ellison's passing and re-printing a touching story her husband wrote about her called "Susan":
Wow. I started to watch "Dreams With Sharp Teeth" thinking, "Oh, I might not get through more than a few minutes. He was such a sexist axhole."
I watched the whole thing!
While vehemently against his sexism and grabbing any other person at any age without consent, I didn't know I was so much like him in other ways.
I shout at people too, to hang up and drive, or watch where they're going, and when a grocery store employee tells me I could use self-checkout, I also shout, "Do you work for free? Do you get a paycheck? Do you think I'll do a cashier's work for free? You gotta pay me half hour cashiers' wages, up front!"
10 September 2020, 12:41 PM
Diana Rigg, star of the great 60's television series THE AVENGERS as well as many other fine films, has died at age 82. Rest well, Mrs. Peel.
The legends of science fiction writing continue to leave us. Science fiction Grand Master James Gunn has passed away at the age of 97. Mr. Gunn was also a noted academic who taught courses on science fiction at the University of Kansas. The details of his life and passing can be accessed by clicking on the link below. As mentioned in the below article, Mr. Gunn wrote until the very end of his life, submitting a story for possible publication only a few days before his death:
Sheila Williams, the editor of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, has indicated that she will publish two more stories by James Gunn during 2021, including the one that was submitted shortly before his death.
25 January 2021, 10:22 AM
From the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies (IUPUI) - sad news of the passing of Gregory Sierra (actor). Mr. Sierra performed in two of Mr. Bradbury's works: Ricardo in "Sun and Shadow", and, of course, as Villanazul, the philosophic poet, in The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit. An eloquent performance!
His role in the movie was said to be one of RB's favorite dramatizations of his works! What a fine compliment from the author! Peace!
(Info via Phil Nichols)
25 January 2021, 02:06 PM
Larry King has become probably the most famous COVID victim yet. Of 400,000 American deaths, only four or five have been really famous, one of whom was Phil Spector so one less to consider tragic.
04 February 2021, 09:02 AM
Chicago author Harry Mark Petrakis, whose best known work is perhaps his novel A DREAM OF KINGS, has died at the age of 97. Mr. Petrakis is a wonderful writer, whose work reflects our common humanity and is well worth seeking out. I still recall a reading and signing he did at a local book store about 25 years ago at which he regaled the attendees with stories of his childhood, including a tale of a rather mean school principal he referred to simply (and with great humor) as "The Beast". To read about his life, career and passing, click on the link below:
This post belatedly notes the passing on July 28, 2020, of Sid Stebel, at the age of 97. Mr. Stebel was an educator, author, screenwriter, and playwright, and the man that Ray Bradbury called "the best writing teacher that ever was". He and Ray had been friends since the late 1940's, and Ray wrote an afterward for Mr. Stebel's novel, SPRING THAW. Ray was also credited as "creative consultant" for MIRRORS, a 1978 horror film for which Mr. Stebel wrote the screenplay.
Larry McMurtry died on March 25, 2021 at the age of 84. He authored many fine novels, including THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, HORSEMAN, PASS BY (made into the great film HUD) and LONESOME DOVE, which is my favorite novel about the American West.