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Film editor Thomas F. Boutross, who co-directed The Hideous Sun Demon (aka Blood on His Lips) under the name “Thomas Cassarino”, died of heart failure on June 26th, aged 69. He also edited The Legend of Boggy Creek and The Town That Dreaded Sundown.

Sheldon Tromberg, who founded the distribution company Boxoffice Attractions and produced the horror thriller The Redeemer in the 1970s, died of a heart attack on July 5th, aged 67.

Argentine producer and director Alejandro Sessa, who made a number of films with Roger Corman in the 1980s, died of heart failure on July 11th, aged 60.

Choreographer Jerome Robbins (Jerome Rabinowitz), who received an Emmy for making Mary Martin fly in the 1955 TV adaptation of Peter Pan, died of a stroke on July 29th, aged 79. He won five Tony Awards as a Broadway choreographer and director for such shows as On the Town, The King and I and Fiddler on the Roof, and two Academy Awards for the movie West Side Story (which he co-directed).

Shanghai-born Edmund Goldman, who moved to Los Angeles and created independent film distribution company Manson International, died on August 5th, aged 92.

Also a reporter and critic for Variety, film publicist Mike Kaplan died of a heart attack on August 23rd, aged 80. Among the movies he worked on were The Andromeda Strain, Jaws and The Sting.

TV animation producer Lee Gunther, whose credits include Transformers, G. I. Joe and The Pink Panther Show, died of a stroke on August 25th, aged 63.

Michael Samuelson, the father of actress Emma Samms, died from a blood clot in the lung on August 27th, aged 67. Along with his brothers David and Tony, he built the family business into one of the world’s biggest film equipment service companies.

Former actor turned Emmy Award-winning TV director Leo Penn died of lung cancer on September 5th, aged 77. The father of actors Sean and Chris, he was blacklisted in the late 1940s and ‘50s for his association with actors’ trade unions and reinvented himself as a director for the 1959 series Ben Casey. He directed more than 400 hours of prime-time TV, including episodes of The Bionic Woman, Columbo, Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Star Trek, Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, I Spy, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Ghost Story, Switch and the TV movie The Dark Secret of Harvest Home.

Japanese director Akira Kurosawa died of a stroke at his home in Tokyo on September 6th, aged 88. The winner of two Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, his many distinguished movies include Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, The Hidden Fortress (which significantly influenced George Lucas’s Star Wars), Yojimbo, Sanjuro, The Shadow Warrior, Ran and Dreams. He worked closely with original Godzilla director Ishiro Honda on his later films.

Emmy Award-winning special visual effects director Mark Zarate died of complications following appendicitis surgery on September 18th, aged 39. His credits include ABC-TV’s Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

French film composer Paul Misraki died in Paris on October 29th, aged 90. He composed more than 100 scores for movies, including Jess Franco’s Attack of the Robots and Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville.

Actor, director and biographer Peter Cotes, who directed the first stage production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, died November 10th.

70-year-old American producer and director Alan J. Pakula was killed in a freak car accident on November 19th when another vehicle sent a seven-foot steel pipe crashing through his windscreen while he was driving back to his home in Long Island, New York. It struck him on the head and he lost control of his car, crashing into a barrier and suffering a fatal heart attack. His films include Rollover, The Parallax View, Dream Lover, All the President’s Men and Klute.

Italian costume designer Enrico Sabbatini was killed in a car accident in Morocco on November 25th. He was 66, and the films he worked on included The Tenth Victim, Ghosts Italian Style and Illustrious Corpses.

Academy Award-winning British cinematographer Freddie Young died on December 1st, aged 96. Best known for his work with David Lean on such films as Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, he also photographed Gorgo, You Only Live Twice, The Asphyx, The Blue Bird (1976) and Sword of the Valiant.

Associate producer David Leigh Macleod, whose credits include Warren Beatty’s Reds and Ishtar, was found dead of undisclosed causes in Montreal on December 6th, aged 54. He’d spent nearly a decade in Canada as a fugitive after being indicted by a New York court on a string of paedophilia charges.

Academy Award-winning British film composer John Addison died of a stroke on December 7th, aged 78. He scored such films as Seven Days to Noon, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Strange Invaders and the 1990 TV movie of The Phantom of the Opera, and composed the theme for TV’s Murder, She Wrote.

Ukrainian-born Lord Lew Grade (Lewis Winogradsky) died in London from heart failure on December 13th, aged 91. Raised in the slums of the East End, he became Britain’s biggest entertainment impresario. As the founder of the UK’s first commercially financed TV company, Associated Television (ATV), he was responsible for such popular series as Robin Hood, Thunder-birds, The Saint, The Muppets andSpace: 1999. Among the movies he produced are The Exorcist, Capricorn One, The Boys from Brazil, Raise the Titanic, The Legend of the Lone Ranger and The Dark Crystal. He was knighted in 1963, won the Queen’s award for industry in 1967, and given a life peerage in 1976.

Italian director Vittorio Cottafavi, whose films include Hercules and the Captive Women and Goliath and the Dragon, died the same day, aged 84.

Former actor turned director Don Taylor died of heart failure on December 29th, aged 78. His directing credits include Escape from the Planet of the Apes, The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977), The Final Countdown, Damien Omen II and episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Night Gallery and Beasts. He was married to actress Hazel Court.

Japanese director Keisuke Kinoshita, who directed the 1949 supernatural film Yotsuya Kaidan and The Ballad of Narayama, died of a stroke on December 29th, aged 86.


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