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Stage actor Jerome Dempsey, who won a Drama Desk Award for his performance as Van Helsing opposite Frank Langella in the 1977 Broadway production of Dracula, died of heart failure on August 26th, aged 69.

Russian-born character actor Leonid Kinskey, who played Sascha, the bartender of Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca, died of a stroke on September 8th, aged 95. He also appeared in such TV shows as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and the pilot of Hogan’s Heroes.

American tough-guy actor of the 1940s and ‘50s Dane Clark (Bernard Zanville) died on September 11th, aged 85.

CNN correspondent John Holliman, who appeared as himself in the 1997 movie Contact, was killed in a car crash in Atlanta, Georgia, on September 12th. He was 49.

British character actress Patricia Hayes died on September 19th, aged 88. Her films include The Neverending Story, The Terrornauts, Fragment of Fear and Willow, and she appeared on TV in Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense and The Tomorrow People.

American TV actress Mary Frann, who portrayed Bob New-hart’s wife in the CBS series Newhart (1982–90), died of a heart attack on September 23rd, aged 55.

British leading man Marius Goring, C.B.E. died of cancer on September 30th, aged 86. Best remembered for his roles in the Powell and Pressburger classics A Matter of Life and Death (aka Stairway to Heaven) and The Red Shoes, he also appeared in The Case of the Frightened Lady and starred in the BBC-TV series The Expert (1970–75). In 1929 he was a founding member of the actor’s union Equity.

Singing cowboy Gene Autry died of lymphoma on October 2nd, three days after his 91st birthday. He made his movie debut in 1934, and appeared in ninety-five movies, usually with his horse Champion, including the SF serial The Phantom Empire, Mystery Mountain and Gold Town Ghost Riders. He also recorded 635 songs, most notably “Back in the Saddle Again” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and co-wrote ‘Here Comes Santa Claus”. A clever businessman, he produced his own TV show (1950–56) and others, eventually creating a half-billion-dollar investment portfolio which included oil wells, hotels, television stations and the Anaheim Angels baseball team. He opened the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park in 1988.

Lon Clark, who portrayed Nick Carter, Master Detective on radio from 1943–55, died the same day, aged 86.

70-year-old British-born actor and photographer Roddy McDowall died of cancer in his Los Angeles home on October 3rd, only two weeks after word of his terminal illness became public. A former child star, he moved to Hollywood in 1940 where his later roles tended towards the bizarre or psychotic. Best remembered as the star of the Planet of the Apes film and TV series (playing various intelligent simians), he also portrayed ham horror host Peter Vincent in Fright Night and Fright Night Part 2. His many other credits include Macbeth (1948), Midnight Lace (1960), Shock Treatment (1964), The Loved One, It! the Night Gallery pilot, Tam Lin (which he also directed), Laserblast, A Taste of Evil, The Legend of Hell House, Arnold, The Cat from Outer Space, Embryo, The Silent Flute (aka Circle of Iron), Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen, The Thief of Baghdad (1978), The Black Hole, The Martian Chronicles, Class of 1984, Dead of Winter, Doin’ Time on Planet Earth, Mirror Mirror 2: Raven Dance, Cutting Class, Heads, The Alien Within and A Bug’s Life. He co-starred with Boris Karloff in TV’s Playhouse 90: “Heart of Darkness” (1958), portrayed the untrustworthy Jonathan Willoway on Fantastic Journey, played the villainous Bookworm on Batman, was the voice of The Mad Hatter on Batman: The Animated Series, and guested on such shows as The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Invaders, Journey to the Unknown, The Snoop Sisters, Nightmare Classics: “Carmilla” and Fantasy Island (as the Devil).

Another original singing cowboy star, Robert “Tex” Allen, died on October 9th, aged 92. In Hollywood since the 1930s, his films include Crime and Punishment (with Peter Lorre) and The Phantom Stallion, and he had his own TV series,Frontier Doctor, in 1952.

Radio and TV announcer Tony Marvin, who was the official “voice” of the 1939 New York World’s Fair, died in Florida on October 10th, aged 86. He was also the original voice of Tony the Tiger in the Kellogg’s cereal commercials.

American leading man Richard Denning (Louis A. Denninger) died of cardiac arrest after a long battle with emphysema on October 11th, aged 85. His films include The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Her Jungle Love, Unknown Island, Target Earth! The Creature With the Atom Brain, Roger Corman’s The Day the World Ended and The Black Scorpion. He co-starred with Vincent Price in Twice Told Tales and played Governor Philip Grey on TV’s Hawaii Five-O (1968–79). He was married to actress Evelyn Ankers, who died in 1985.

Silent screen star Molly O’Day, who began her career in Our Gang films and worked with Laurel and Hardy, died on October 15th, aged 88.

British character actress Joan Hickson, best remembered for her portrayal of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple on TV (1984–91), died on October 17th, aged 92. She appeared with Basil Rath-bone in Love from a Stranger and Vincent Price in Theatre of Blood. Her other credits include Don’t Take It to Heart, Seven Days to Noon, Mad About Men, No Haunt for a Gentleman, One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing and the 1969 TV production of Mystery and Imagination: “Dracula”.

Former ballet dancer and actor Christopher Gable died of cancer on October 23rd, aged 58. He appeared in The Boy Friend, The Slipper and the Rose, The Lair of the White Worm and The Rainbow. He was also artistic director of the Northern Ballet Theatre, whose 1999 London production of Dracula was dedicated to his memory.

British leading lady Rosamund John, whose films include The Secret of the Loch and Green for Danger, died on October 27th, aged 85.



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