Newman in his iconic role as Hud - one of the screen legend's most enduring images.
Farewell Butch Cassidy, Cool Hand Luke, Hud, Fast Eddie Felson and Hombre.It has just been learned that legendary actor Paul Newman has passed away at age 83 from complications stemming from his battle with cancer. No specific details were announced other than the Oscar-winner died on Friday. His death was not unexpected, as Newman appeared gaunt in recent months. He was one of the few remaining Hollywood legends and his remarkable career stretched back half a century. For more click here
For Cinema Retro columnist Steve Saragossi's recent tribute column to Newman click here
Bill Melendez, the legendary animator who brought Charles Schulz's Charlie Brown cartoons to life, has died at age 91. Melendez was one of the most noted animators of all time, having also worked in his early days for both Disney and Warner Brothers. His animation of the 1965 TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas resonated with audiences and made the show into an enduring holiday classic. Other TV specials and Peanuts feature films followed. Additionally, Melendez provided the "voice" of Snoopy while keeping in line with Schulz's insistence that the pooch not actually speak. Melendez developed a series of sounds that nevertheless gave Snoopy a distinctive personality. For more click here
Popular country western singer/actor Jerry Reed has died from emphysema at age 71. Reed had numerous hit records including When You're Hot, You're Hot (And When You're Not, You're Not). Reed was also a talented songwriter who wrote for Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and Tom Jones. Elvis Presley did a cover version of his song Guitar Man. He parlayed his singing fame into a successful acting career, co-starring with his friend Burt Reynolds in the first two Smokey and the Bandit films.He also played The Bandit in the third entry in the series. For more click here
You're aware of his work, even if you don't know his name or face. Don LaFontaine, who had a virtual monopoly on narrating trailers for the major studios, has passed away at age 68. LaFontaine's deep voice, often used in ominous ways, gave gravitas to over 5,000 trailers. Although some complained the use of primarily one man for virtually every trailer made them seem monotonous, LaFontaine made a thriving career of the relatively easy work, recording up to ten different voice over spots a day. He also appeared as himself in recent Geico insurance commercials. For more click here For a funny James Bond-inspired video featuring LaFontaine, click here (Thanks to Bob Collins and Steve Tyler for the head's up)