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British film distributor Michael Myers died on February 22nd, aged 69. Because of his successful distribution of John Carpenter’s previous film, Assault on Precinct 13, the director named the killer in Halloween after Myers as a mark of gratitude.

James Nelson Algar, who began his career as an animator on Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), died on February 26th, aged 85. He also directed the classic “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” sequence for Fantasia, and numerous episodes of Disney True Life Adventures.

Hollywood casting director Leonard Murphy, who cast the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz (1939), died on March 4th, aged 87.

Hollywood make-up artist and hairstylist George Masters died of heart failure in Las Vegas on March 6th, aged 62. Over the years he worked with Marilyn Monroe (as her personal make-up artist), Ann-Margret, Lauren Bacall, Bo Derek, Marlene Dietrich and Sophia Loren, and turned Dustin Hoffman into Tootsie.

Marvin A. Davis, who died on March 8th, aged 87, joined Walt Disney Imagineering in 1953 and helped create almost every aspect of Disneyland. He won an Emmy for his art direction on TV’s Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.

Academy Award-winning cinematographer Charles (Bryant) Lang died of pneumonia on April 3rd, aged 96. A self-described “women’s photographer”, his many credits include the 1934 Death Takes a Holiday, Peter Ibbetson, Midnight, The Cat and the Canary (1939), The Ghost Breakers, The Uninvited, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Some Like it Hot and Wait Until Dark. He received the American Society of Cinematographers’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.

French producer Anatole Dauman died of an apparent heart attack on April 8th in Paris, aged 73. Credited with discovering and developing several of the French “New Wave” directors of the 1950s and ‘60s, his films include Last Year at Marienbad, La Jetee, In the Realm of the Senses, The Tin Drum, Wings of Desire, Immoral Tales and The Beast.

Film editor Louis “Duke” Goldstone, who edited George Pal’s Destination Moon, died of heart failure on April 16th, aged 84. He later became a TV director.

Producer and scriptwriter Marvin Worth died from complications from a bronchiovalvular carcinoma on April 22nd, aged 72. He scripted episodes of Get Smart and produced Lenny, Spike Lee’s Malcolm X and the remake of Diabolique.

Producer Jack Cummings died the same day of cancer, aged 49. After starting out as an assistant director on The Howling and Time Walker, he produced Highlander II The Quickening, The Addams Family and Stephen King’s Needful Things.

Producer, director and writer Leslie Stevens died of a heart attack following complications during emergency angioplasty on April 24th, aged 74. Best remembered as the producer of the classic 1960s SF series The Outer Limits, he also produced such popular TV shows as Search, The Invisible Man, Gemini Man, Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. In 1965 he scripted and directed the Esperanto movie Incubus starring William Shatner. He married actress Kate Manx in 1958, but she committed suicide when the marriage ended.

Film editor and director Gene Fowler, Jr. died on May 11th, aged 80. The director of such cult classics as I Was a Teenage Werewolf and I Married a Monster from Outer Space, he won an Academy Award for the documentary Seeds of Destiny, which he made while he was an Army lieutenant in World War II, and was nominated for another Oscar for editing It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World.

71-year-old former actor, photographer, producer and director John Derek (Derek Harris) suffered a heart attack on May 20th and died two days later in hospital after lengthy surgery to unblock his clogged arteries. As an actor he appeared in Rogues of Sherwood Forest, Mask of the Avenger, The Ten Commandments (1956) and other films, before turning to directing with such movies as Tarzan the Ape Man, Bolero and Ghosts Can’t Do It. Best remembered for marrying such beautiful actresses as French star Pati Behrs, Ursula Andress and Linda Evans, his death ended a twenty-two year-long Svengali-like relationship with his fourth wife, Bo.

British film and TV composer Edwin Astley died on May 19th, aged 76. His movie scores include Devil Girl from Mars, The Woman Eater, Behemoth the Sea Monster (aka The Giant Behemoth) and Hammer’s The Phantom of the Opera, along with composing music for such TV series as The Saint, Danger Man (aka Secret Agent) and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (aka My Partner the Ghost).

Veteran special effects cinematographer Linwood G. Dunn died of cancer on May 20th, aged 94. At RKO Radio since the late 1920s, he worked on Bringing Up Baby, King Kong, Citizen Kane, She, Cat People, Mighty Joe Young, The Thing from Another World and The Devil’s Rain. In 1967 he was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on the original Star Trek TV series, and in 1985 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented him with its Gordon E. Sawyer Award for career contributions.

Spanish film director Ricardo Franco, the nephew of Jesus Franco, died of heart failure the same day. He was 48.

TV director Robert Gist died on May 21st, aged 74. He began his career as a child actor in Miracle on 34th Street (1947) and turned to directing in the early 1960s. Amongst his credits are the “Lizard’s Leg and Owlet’s Wing” episode of Route 66 starring Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Lon Chaney, Jr., and the “Galileo Seven” episode of Star Trek.

Walt Disney layout artist and art director Kendall O’Connor died on May 27th, aged 90. He worked on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and such TV specials as Man in Space, Man and the Moon and Mars and Beyond.

Make-up effects designer and actor Mark Williams died of respiratory failure the same day, aged 38. He worked on The Brain, Blue Monkey, Aliens, The Fly, The Abyss, Return to Salem’s Lot, Terminator 2 Judgment Day, Skeletons, Curse of the Puppet Master, Frankenstein Reborn, The Borrowers (1997) and Talisman (which he also scripted). Named head of Full Moon Pictures’ special effects department shortly before his death, he was also the effects design co-ordinator for rock acts such as Alice Cooper and Poison, and he published the comic books Sisters of Mercy and Nightshade.

Storyboard artist Sherman Labby, whose credits include Blade Runner, died on May 30th. He was 68.

Former chief executive of cartoon studio UPA, Henry G. Saperstein died of cancer on June 24th, aged 80. He was executive producer and US distributor of a number of Japanese SF films, including Frankenstein Conquers the World, Monster Zero, War of the Gargantuas and Terror of Mechagodzilla. His other credits include Gay Purree, What’s Up, Tiger Lily? and Mr Magoo (1997), and he was a consultant on the 1998 Godzilla.



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