“Fast Away the Old Year Passes;
Fa La La La La La La La La;
Haikl the New, ye Lads and Lasses;
Fa La La La La La La La La…”
The best part about this time of year is the anticipation of what lies ahead in the coming months, the hopes and desires and dreams that the year will surpass any year previous and be a time of extraordinary moments and encounters shared among humanity. The saddest part, alas, is the recognition of those who will not be joining us in 2016, who have left their mark on the world and left us as they begin new journeys of their own that most of us cannot follow.
We remember them as a tribute to all they've done and meant to us, and we realize that our sorrow is selfishness on our parts, for they have lived and done well, and our missing them is only a sense of our own personal loss, not theirs. Yet the world will be a bit sadder and emptier without their continued presence in our lives, and we pause, breath a small sigh and a prayer of both gratitude and farewell, and allow them to move into the spaces where our fondest memories are stored, keeping them alive in our hearts in the process.
One of the biggest losses came as the year was drawing to a close with the passing of writer GEORGE CLAYTON JOHNSON. It's not possible to overestimate the importance of his work in shaping the genre we love dearly. Besides his literary work, Mr. Johnson was one of the most creative talents behind the original TWILIGHT ZONE series.
For the five years it was on the air, THE TWILIGHT ZONE depended on a braintrust of four amazing men who shared a common vision for what modern Dark fantasy could and should accomplish. At the head was, of course, Rod Serling, creator of the series and author of over ninety episodes. Joining him from the beginning were good friends and occasional collaborators Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont. Both understood well and had practiced previously in their own work Mr. Serling's desire for the short story with minimal players and one primary setting, using characterization and misdirection rather than blatant, graphic shocks to effect a magical, macabre atmosphere of dread and wonder.
But although his output was far less than these four gentlemen, Mr. Johnson's vision of what THE TWILIGHT ZONE was dovetailed nicely. He was a friend of Mr. Beaumont's, and two of his short stories were submitted to the show and adapted by Mr. Serling (“The Four of Us are Dying” and “Execution”). But beginning in the second season, Mr. Johnson began writing his own scripts, and they are recognized as milestones and classics of the series – “A Penny for Your Thoughts”, “A Game of Pool”, “Ninety Years Without Slumbering” (the weakest of his episodes because it was rewritten by the staff during the lesser-quality Fifth Season) and the beautiful and heartbreaking “Kick the Can” and “Nothing in the Dark”. His contribution to the show, and the quality he brought to its stories and legacy, is enormous.
Mr. Johnson would go on to pen the fifth episode of STAR TREK, “The Man Trap”, adapt Ray Bradbury's “Icarus Montgolfier Wright” into an award-winning short film, and write the screenplay for the original OCEAN'S ELEVEN, which spawned the newer franchise helmed by George Clooney.
But his other groundbreaking contribution to the genre was his novel (along with friend William F. Nolan, also one of the California Macabre Writer's Alliance with Misters Matheson and Beaumont) about a future society where nobody was allowed to live beyond the age of twenty-one years; anyone who attempted to do so was hunted down as a criminal by an elite squad of assassins called “Sandmen”. The novel, of course, is “Logan's Run”, which inspired a mediocre film in the 1970s and a short-lived television series some years later. But the novel is a grim, phantasmagorical, alternate world, satirical SF classic, one of the few novels I've read cover-to-cover in one sitting, and deserves all the accolades its drawn. Mr. Johnson was a singular talent, and he will be greatly missed.
As will so many that left us in 2016.
The following individuals also left their fingerprints on our beloved genre of the Dark Fantastic. Some made major contributions, others touched it only briefly, but all contributed something of importance to the field. Unlike last year I'm not listing all their credits, but the major ones that earn their place on this memorial. Do be aware that they may have many, many more accomplishments that shaped the art form we admire so; you can learn more by looking them up online in places such as the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) or Wikipedia.
And, needless to say, we offer our deepest thanks for what they all have given us, and wish them well on their voyage to other planes and places. Rest in Peace, my Friends.
FIONA CUMMING - British television director of DOCTOR WHO, BLAKE'S 7 and THE OMEGA FACTOR
DONNA DOUGLAS – Best known for playing Ellie May on THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES , she made memorable guest appearances on THRILLER, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, PROJECT U.F.O. and one of her best performances on NIGHT GALLERY
BERNARD WILLIAMS - British film producer of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, FLASH GORDON, AMITYVILLE II: THE POSSESSION, STAR TREK: GENERATIONS, THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD, DAREDEVIL and CHARLOTTE'S WEB
KHAN BONFILS - English actor in STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE, BATMAN BEGINS, SKYFALL and SKY CAPTAIN & THE WORLD OF TOMORROW
ROD TAYLOR – is probably best remembered by genre fans for his starring roles in THE TIME MACHINE and THE BIRDS; he was featured in a classic TWILIGHT ZONE episode ( “And the Sky was Opened” ) and starred in the espionage fantasy series MASQUERADE
MICHEL JEURY - French science fiction author of “The Time Monkeys”, “Destiny's Stars” and “The Human Territory”
BRIAN CLEMENS - British screenwriter and television producer, whose credits include THE AVENGERS, DANGER MAN ( known in America as SECRET AGENT ), THE CHAMPIONS, CAPTAIN KRONOS – VAMPIRE HUNTER, THRILLER, THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS, AND SOON THE DARKNESS, DR. JEKYLL & SISTER HYDE and SEE NO EVIL
BARRIE INGHAM - English actor of THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVEDOCTOR WHO & THE DALEKS, THE AVENGERS, CAMELOT, STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, and JEKYLL & HYDE – THE MUSICAL
SUZETTE HADEN ELGIN - American science fiction author and linguist, founder of the Science Fiction Poetry Society, author of the “Coyote Jones” and “Native Tongue” series and the “Ozark Trilogy”
RICHARD BONEHILL - British swordsman and stuntman for DOCTOR WHO, RETURN OF THE JEDI, FLASH GORDON, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and HIGHLANDER
MELANIE TEM - Horror and Dark Fantasy author whose books include “Wilding”, “Prodigal”, and “Witch-Light”
GARY OWENS - television announcer best known for ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN as well as a voice actor whose portrayals include SPACE GHOST
LOUIS JOURDAN – the superb French actor appeared in OCTOPUSSY, SWAMP THING, and YEAR OF THE COMET. He portrayed Dr. David Sorell, a parapsychologist and investigator (who preceded Carl Kolchak) in two excellent TV films FEAR NO EVIL and RITUAL OF EVIL (which sadly never became the series they were intended to be) and is the only other actor to seriously challenge both Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee for his astounding role as COUNT DRACULA in the BBC miniseries (and in my humble opinion, with all due respect to the other gentlemen, he may have been the best of the three)
BRETT EWINS – a B ritish comic book artist for “Judge Dredd, “2000 AD”, “Bad Company”, and “Swamp Thing”
BEN WOOLF – a young actor who appeared in AMERICAN HORROR STORY, INSIDIOUS, DEAD KANSAS, HAUNTING CHARLES MANSON, and TALES OF HALLOWEEN, whose life was cut tragically short in a traffic accident
HARVE BENNETT - producer and writer of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, THE ASTRONAUT, YOU'LL NEVER SEE ME AGAIN, THE INVISIBLE MAN, THE GEMINI MAN, THE BIONIC WOMAN, SALVAGE ONE and TIME TRAX , who helped resurrect the STAR TREK franchise with the films STAR TREK II through V. And speaking of STAR TREK …
LEONARD NIMOY – Although he appeared in numerous television, radio and film projects as actor (THEM!, THE BRAIN EATERS, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, THE OUTER LIMITS, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., BAFFLED! MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, FRINGE) and director (STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK and STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME) he will now and forever be known as the iconic and beloved Vulcan Science Officer Mr. Spock
DANIEL VON BARGEN – a fine character actor who starred in Clive Barker's LORD OF ILLUSIONS and appeared in THE X FILES, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, and THE POSTMAN
FRED FREDERICKS - cartoonist of the syndicated “Mandrake the Magician” comic strip and illustrator for “The Phantom”, Boris Karloff”, “Twilight Zone”, and “Daredevil”
SIR TERRY PRATCHETT – the legendary British author and humorist behind the “Discworld” series of novels and co-author (with Neil Gaiman) of “Good Omens”
IB MELCHIOR - Danish-born American author, screenwriter and director; his short story “The Racer” became Roger Corman's DEATH RACE 2000 ; his other films include REPTILICUS, THE ANGRY RED PLANET, PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES, and ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS . He also created the television series LOST IN SPACE, although he was not credited until decades later when the movie was released
RICHARD L. BARE – A superb director and producer behind many original TWILIGHT ZONE episodes considered classic, including “To Serve Man” “Nick of Time” “The Purple Testament” and “Third From the Sun”, as well as one of the earliest mad killer/slasher films WICKED, WICKED
ROGER SLIFER comic book author and writer, who created the DC character of Lobo
TOM TOWLES – Among the films he appeared are included GROOM LAKE, HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, THE DEVIL'S REJECTS, HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1990)
ROBERT RIETTI – a British-born Italian actor who appeared in HANNIBAL, THE OMEN, Alfred Hitchcock ' s FRENZY, and two James Bond spectaculars, THUNDERBALL and ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE
RICHARD DYSART – Perhaps best known for his reoccurring role on LA LAW, this fine character actor has appeared in genre roles in THE TERMINAL MAN, PALE RIDER, PROPHECY, and THE HOSPITAL, but is perhaps best known as the doctor who met a particularly gruesome fate in John Carpenter ' s THE THING
RICHARD LASALLE – A film score composer with a taste for the macabre, Mr. LaSalles music can be heard in TWICE TOLD TALES, DIARY OF A MADMAN, THE TIME TRAVELLERS, CITY BENEATH THE SEA, DAUGHTERS OF SATAN, and THE THIRSTY DEAD
GUNTER GRASS – A German novelist and Nobel Prize laureate in Literature whose striking surrealistic work “ The Tin Drum ” won world-wide acclaim.
ROBERT Z'DAR – A performer with a unique appearance and presence best known for MANIAC COP I, II and III; other films include CHERRY 2000, SOULTAKER, FUTURE WAR and VAMPIRE BLVD
JAMES BEST – will always be known as Sheriff Roscoe P. Coletrane on THE DUKES OF HAZARD, but he once stated that he'd prefer to be remembered for his three TWILIGHT ZONE appearances in “Jess-Belle”, “The Grave” and “The Last Rites of Jeff Murtlebank”. Other genre appearances include THE BEST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, FORBIDDEN PLANET, THE KILLER SHREWS, SHOCK CORRIDOR, and THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's “The Jar”
GEOFFREY LEWIS – A splendid character actor (and father of Juliette) who in his later years became a well-regarded storyteller; his films include HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER, NIGHT OF THE COMET, MOON OF THE WOLF, ‘SALEM'S LOT, and THE DEVIL'S REJECTS
HERB TRIMPE – A comic book artist for “The Incredible Hulk” and “Thor”, he was also the co-creator of the iconic Marvel character Wolverine
JAYNE MEADOWS – appeared in movies and television, often with her husband, the late Steve Allen. Her best genre work was probably with Mr. Allen on his marvelous series MEETING OF THE MINDS, which brought famous historical characters together for debate and conversation
NIGEL TERRY – Perhaps best known as King Arthur in EXCALIBUR, a role he parodied in the marvelous but short-lived series COVINGTON CROSS, he also appeared in THE HUNCHBACK, FEARDOTCOM, and DOCTOR WHO
GRACE LEE WHITNEY – Although appearing in many films as well as THE OUTER LIMITS, BEWITCHED and BATMAN, Ms. Whitney will forever be Yeoman Janice Rand from STAR TREK
ELIZABETH WILSON – A highly respected stage and screen actress featured in THE BIRDS, DARK SHADOWS, LITTLE MURDERS, THE BELIEVERS, THE ADDAMS FAMILY(1991 film) and THE DAY OF THE DOLPHIN
GILL DENNIS – Screenwriter of the wonderful Disney film (and follow-up to the classic MGM adaptation RETURN TO OZ
JOHN STEPHENSON – A highly regarded voice actor, his major roles include Mr. Slate on THE FLINTSTONES, Dr. Benton Quest on JOHNNY QUEST, the animated films THE HOBBITT, THE RETURN OF THE KING and CHARLOTTE'S WEB, and live appearances on MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, THE INVADERS THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. and THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN
MARY ELLEN TRAINOR – The former wife of director Robert Zemeckis, she appeared in many of his film and television efforts, including AMAZING STORIES, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, BACK TO THE FUTURE II, DEATH BECOMES HER and FORREST GUMP, as well as SCROOGED, GHOSTBUSTERS II and THE MONSTER SQUAD
TANITH LEE – A British SF, Horror and Fantasy Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning writer; her works include “The Flat Earth Cycle”, “The Birthgrave Trilogy”, and “The Claidi Journals”
BETSY PALMER – She will forever be remembered by Horror fans as Jason Voorhees mother from the original FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH; other works include INNER SANCTUM, PENNY DREADFUL and BELL WITCH: THE MOVIE
HIROSHI KOIZUMI – A Japanese actor who appeared in several classic large monster films, including MOTHRA, GIDORAH, THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER, GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA, and GODZILLA 1985
RICHARD JOHNSON – Perhaps best known for his starring role in the classic THE HAUNTING, he was also featured in ZOMBIE, LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER, THE CRUCIFER OF BLOOD, BEYOND THE DOOR and THE MONSTER CLUB
CHRISTOPHER LEE – What can be said of such a legend. His films are too numerous to name, but among the best are THE WICKER MAN, DR. TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS, HORROR EXPRESS, HORROR HOTEL, THE DEVIL RIDES OUT, SLEEPY HOLLOW and THE CORPSE BRIDE. But to many he will always remain the definitive Count Dracula
RON MOODY – An Oscar winner for his role as Fagin in OLIVER! and an early favorite to play the Third Doctor in DOCTOR WHO, his other genre work includes A WINTER'S TALE, THE MOUSE ON THE MOON, LEGEND OF THE WEREWOLF and guest appearances on the TV series THE AVENGERS
JOHN M. STEPHENS – A cameraman and cinematographer whose films include BLACULA, DYING ROOM ONLY, FER-DE-LANCE, SORCERER, INDIAN JONEES & THE TEMPLE OF DOOM and THE FOG
JAMES HORNER – An American composer whose work include FIELD OF DREAMS, DEEP IMPACT, APOLLO 13, CASPER, THE ROCKETEER, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN and STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK
DICK VAN PATTERN – Beloved character actor known to genre fans through SPACEBALLS, CHARLY, SOYLENT GREEN, WESTWORLD, THE MIDNIGHT HOUR and GROOM LAKE
PATRICK MACNEE – Forever the debonair John Steed from THE AVENGERS, he also appeared in THE HOWLING, A VIEW TO A KILL, HAMLET, MACBETH, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, DEAD OF NIGHT, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, THE CREATURE WASN'T NICE, WAXWORK and two guest appearances on Rod Serling's series THE TWILIGHT ZONE and NIGHT GALLERY
EDWARD BURNHAM – An English actor who appeared in DOCTOR WHO, THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES and QUATERMASS & THE PIT
ROGER REES – He came to fame in the lead of the Royal Shakespeare Company's groundbreaking production of NICHOLAS NICKLEBY, but also was featured in THE PRESTIGE, THE SCORPION KING, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, and will always be remembered by me for his wonderful turn as Scrooge's nephew Fred in the George C. Scott A CHRISTMAS CAROL
THOMAS PICCIRILLI – Author and Bram Stoker Award-winner whose work includes the “Felicity Groves” series and the novels “Shadow Season", “The Midnight Road”, “Coffin Blues” and “Hexes”
OLAF POOLEY – An English actor and writer who appeared in THE GAMMA PEOPLE, THE CORPSE, EXORCISM AT MIDNIGHT and in guest appearances on DOCTOR WHO, STAR TREK: VOYAGER, DOOMWATCH, and NIGHTMARE CLASSICS's “The Turn of the Screw”
AUBREY MORRIS – He made a huge impression for his unique performances in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, LIFEFORCE, THE WICKER MAN, BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB, and his guest appearances on TV series THE PRISONER, SPACE: 1999, BEAUTY & THE BEAST and TALES FROM THE CRYPT
ALAN KUPPERBERG - Comic book artist for “The Amazing Spider-Man”, “Thor” and “Iron Man”
BUDDY BUIE – Singer and songwriter with the band “Classics Four”; he composed the Halloween perennial “Spooky”
GEORGE COE – Perhaps best remembered as the Network President on the series MAX HEADROOM and the wonderful “First Contact” episode of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, Mr. Coe also appeared in THE ENTITY, THE STEPFORD WIVES, and on episodes of SUPERNATURAL, SMALLVILLE and TALES OF THE DARKSIDE
ALEX ROCCO – He appeared in THE BOSTON STRANGLER, STANLEY, THE ENTITY, RETURN TO HORROR HIGH, A BUG'S LIFE and the upcoming THE OTHER, but will be best remembered to genre fans for his marvelous portrayal of the father and policeman in THE WOMAN IN WHITE
BROCK WINKLESS – A puppeteer and special effects technician whose work appeared in CHILD'S PLAY and its sequel, DEATH BECOMES HER, TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY, THE X FILES and CASPER
THEODORE BIKEL – Mr. Bikel had a long and illustrious career on stage, and in film and television, but will be remembered best to fans of the Dark Fantastic as Worf's adoptive human father on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and his sinister turn in “Four O'Clock” on the original TWILIGHT ZONE
SHAWN ROBINSON - A stunt performer who appeared in ESCAPE FROM LA, THE HAUNTING, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (remake), CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
CLIFFORD EARL – A British actor who appeared in the classic TALES FROM THE CRYPT and SCREAM & SCREAM AGAIN, as well as THE TWO FACES OF DR. JEKYLL, HORROR HOUSE, DOCTOR WHO and THE AVENGERS
COLEEN GRAY – This lovely actress starred in THE LEECH WOMAN, as well as NIGHTMARE ALLEY, THE VAMPIRE, THE PHANTOM PLANET and episodes of THE SIXTH SENSE and TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE
LELA SWIFT – In an era where women directors seem to be ignored by the industry (and in our genre), Ms. Swift stands high in her legacy. In addition to directing several made-for TV supernatural thrillers for Dan Curtis, including DEAD OF NIGHT: A DARKNESS AT BLAISEDON, THE TWO DEATHS OF SEAN DOOLITTLE and THE CLONING OF CLIFFORD SWIMMER, she directed 588 (!!) episodes of the series DARK SHADOWS. Well done, Madam!
GEORGE COLE – A prolific English actor who costarred with Patrick McGoohan in DR. SYN, ALIAS THE SCARECROW, he also appeared in the films A CHRISTMAS CAROL, THE VAMPIRE LOVERS, FRIGHT, MARY REILLY and THE GHOST OF GREVILLE LODGE
LENNY B. ROBINSON – With all the losses here on this page, this one is very special. Mr. Robinson was a charity worker and Batman impersonator, who often visited children in hospitals dressed as the Dark Knight. He would autograph every item he handed out as “Batman”, and he became known as the “Baltimore Batman”. He was tragically killed in a traffic accident returning from an appearance at a weekend festival. He will be greatly missed.
YVONNE CRAIG – Will forever be the beautiful Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, from the BATMAN TV series (and the source of many young crushes!). Her other works include MARS NEEDS WOMEN, IN LIKE FLINT, and appearances on THE WILD,WILD WEST, STAR TREK, LAND OF THE GIANTS, MY FAVORITE MARTIAN, THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA
WES CRAVEN – Of course, the iconic director, writer and producer of THE HILLS HAVE EYES, DEADLY BLESSING, SWAMP THING, SCREAM, and the creator of Freddy Krueger with NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. He also helmed some wonderful episodes of the 1980s TWILIGHT ZONE
DEAN JONES – A stage and screen actor best remember as a regular Walt Disney performer, with his starring role in THE LOVE BUG and its sequels; his other works include BLACKBEARD'S GHOST, THE SHAGGY D.A., MILLION DOLLAR DUCK, and a rare Horror film TWO ON A GUILLOTINE
WARREN MURPHY – An American author and screenwriter; he was the creator of the paperback hero “The Destroyer”
MARTIN MILNER – Best known for his starring roles on the classic ROUTE 66 and ADAM 12, he also appeared in COMPULSION, 13 GHOSTS, and a memorable episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, as well as an early “Man Into Space” film, ON THE THRESHOLD OF SPACE
D.M. MARSHMAN JR. – A screenwriter whose best-known credit is as co-writer of the macabre and (in my mind as well as many others) Dark Fantastic SUNSET BOULEVARD
NANCY BERNSTEIN - A visual effects and film producer, her films include VANILLA SKY, X MEN, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME, I ROBOT, LAKE PLACID and LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
JACK LARSON – A well-respected playwright, librettist and film producer, Mr. Larson will always be known and remembered as cub reporter Jimmy Olsen on the television series THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN
HOWARD A. ANDERSON JR. – A visual effects artist whose films include INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN, PHANTOM FROM SPACE, THE TIME MACHINE, JACK THE GIANT KILLER, and the TV series MY WORLD AND WELCOME TO IT and STAR TREK
JOHN GUILLERMIN - A British film director whose best known film may be the 1970s remake of KING KONG; other films include THE TOWERING INFERNO, KING KONG LIVES and SHEENA
CATHERINE E. COULSON – She was a production assistant on films such as THE TOOLBOX MURDERS, ERASERHEAD, and STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN, but her association with David Lynch lead to her being cast in the iconic and beloved role of Margaret Lanterman, better known as The Log Lady, on TWIN PEAKS
BRUCE HYDE – A college professor who began his career as an actor, Mr. Hyde is best remembered for his two appearances Lt. Kevin Riley on the original STAR TREK
MURPHY ANDERSON - A comic book artist for “Superman” and “Green Lantern” who created the beautiful magician Zatanna
MAUREEN O'HARA – The beautiful Irish actress starred in THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, JAMAICA INN, SINBAD THE SAILOR and the wonderful Christmas perennial MIRACLE ON 34 TH STREET
CHARLES HERBERT – A child actor in the 1950s and 60s, best known for starring in THE FLY and 13 GHOSTS, he also made appearances on THE OUTER LIMITS, THE TWILIGHT ZONE and was a regular on MEN INTO SPACE
T. M. WRIGHT – An American Horror author of the “Manhattan Ghost Story” and “Strange Seed” series, as well as the novels “Cold House”, “The Woman Next Door” and “The Last Vampire”
GREGG PALMER – Primarily known as a Western actor, he appeared in THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US, ABBOTT & COSTELLO GOES TO MARS, FROM HELL IT CAME, and SCREAM, as well as episodes of STAR TREK and KOLCHAK: THE NIGHT STALKER
MELISSA MATHISON – The acclaimed screenwriter of THE BLACK STALLION and KUNDAN, her genre work included THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD, THE BFG, TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE and the classic E.T. – THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL
GEORGE BARRIS – The custom car designer for auto collectors across the US, he is the designer of the iconic Batmobile from the BATMAN TV series and THE MUNSTER's Munster Coach and Dragula coffin dragster
RITCH BRINKLEY – A fine character actor who appeared in THE CURSE OF THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN, TIMESTALKERS, CAST A DEADLY SPELL and DR. MORDRID, but is perhaps best known for his role as William on the series BEAUTY & THE BEAST. (He also guested on the 1980s TWILIGHT ZONE, AMAZING STORIES and TWIN PEAKS.)
CARL-AKE ERIKSSON – A Swedish actor who appeared as the Vampire King in the cult film FROSTBITE, as well as THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS NEST and THE SIMPLE-MINDED MURDER
GUNNAR HANSEN – He will forever be the iconic Leatherface from THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, but some of his other films include CHAINSAW SALLY, MOSQUITO, CAMPFIRE TALES, THE DEMON LOVER and HELLBLOCK 13
REX REASON – A handsome leading man best known for the classic films THIS ISLAND EARTH and THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US
ANTHONY READ – A screenwriter for the British SF series DOCTOR WHO, SAPPHIRE & STEEL, THE OMEGA FACTOR, CHOCKY, CHOCKY'S CHILDREN and CHOCKY'S CHALLENGE
AL MARKIM – He had the distinction of setting a precedent in Hollywood when, in 1951, fourteen years before Mr. Spock, he became the first actor to play a continuing extraterrestrial character: the Venusian Astro, companion to TOM CORBETT, SPACE CADET
ROBERT LOGGIA – The beloved Hollywood actor created a memorable sensation late in life for his appearance in the Fantasy BIG,; other films include THE NINTH CONFIGURATION, PSYCHO II, JAGGED EDGE, THE BELIEVERS, SMILLA'S SENSE OF SNOW and INNOCENT BLOOD, as well as appearances on THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA
ROSE SIGGINS – A physically-challenged actress best known for her role as Legless Suzi on AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAKSHOW
BROOKE MCCARTER – A model and actor who created a sensation for his role as Paul in THE LOST BOYS; he also starred in THE UH-OH SHOW and appeared on the 1980s TWILIGHT ZONE
MICHAEL EARL – A puppeteer and puppet-performer, he appeared in THE MUPPET MOVIE (1979), THE DARK CRYSTAL, THEODORE REX, TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE and THE MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTEN, as well as on television on SESAME STREET and DINOSAURS
JASON WINGREEN – A prolific actor, he was the original Boba Fett in STAR WARS: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK; he also appeared in THE TERMINAL MAN, THE DUNWICH HORROR, THE LAST CHILD, DEATH IN SPACE and OH GOD! YOU DEVIL, as well as TV series THE TWILIGHT ZONE, THE OUTER LIMITS, THE SIXTH SENSE, STARMAN and FREDDY'S NIGHTMARES
HASKELL WEXLER – An Academy Award-winning cinematographer whose work includes THE LOVED ONE, THE CONVERSATION and THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH
I would like to also take a moment to acknowledge the loss of some other artists and personalities that were not part of the Dark Fantasy field, but whose work I've long admired:
Gospel singer ANDREA CROUCH, 60 MINUTES telejournalist BOB SIMON, the wonderful character actor RICHARD BAKALYN, who appeared in everything from the original BATMAN to the classic film noir CHINATOWN, MICHAEL BROWN, musician with “The Left Banke” and composer of “Walk Away Renee”, stage and film director GENE SAKS, CYNTHIA LENNON, first wife of Beatle John Lennon and mother of musician Julian Lennon, PERCY SLEDGE, R&B singer of “When A Man Loves A Woman”, impeccable film critic from “Time” magazine RICHARD CORLISS, the legendary bluesman B. B. KING, LOUIS JOHNSON, bassist of “The Brothers Johnson” (“Strawberry Letter 23”), VINCENT BUGLIOSI, the prosecuting attorney for the Manson Family murders and author of “Helter Skelter”, the nonfiction book on the subject, RONNIE GILBERT, actress and original member of the folk legends “The Weavers”, SIR NICHOLAS WINTON, who organized the rescue of 669 children from the Nazis during WWII, author E. L. DOCTOROW of “Ragtime” and “Billy Bathgate” fame, OLIVER SACKS, the British neurologist and author whos work inspired the film AWAKENINGS, composer and musician ALLEN TOUSSAINT, MEADOWLARK LEMON, the legendary leader of the Harlem Globetrotters, ANDY M. STEWART of the Scottish folk band “Silly Wizard”, and NATALIE COLE, daughter of the legendary Nat King Cole and an extraordinary performer in her own rite.
And finally, we remember many of the brave French cartoonists and journalists who were killed in the Charlie Hebdo Shooting: CABU, ELSA CAVAT, CHARB, PHILIPPE HONORE, BERNARD MARIS, MUSTAPHA OURRAD, TIGNOUS, and GEORGES WOLINSKI.
Thank you, one and all.