Showing posts with label passing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label passing. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Ricou Browning Has Merged With the Infinite

Ricou Browning, the man inside the Gill Man, has passed.  Browning was 93.

Many of you know The Creature from the Black Lagoon is part of my personal film canon.  And, so, we need to take a moment to address the loss.  

Browning wasn't just a one-hit wonder.  He was involved with several things you know - he did stunt work on Sea Hunt and started the show Flipper! as well as had involvement with the show Day of the Dolphin.  His work included item I genuinely love, like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Thunderball.  Browning remained in touch with the massive CFTBL fanbase til the end.

I have several action figures in the house and a picture of the Creature in my living room (signed by co-star Julie Adams), so Browning has been in my world all my life as a 70's kid given monster content, and has continued on as a fixture, often on a daily basis one way or another.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Raquel Welch Merges With The Infinite

Raquel Welch, star of screen and stage, has passed.

Let's be candid.  In sixth grade, my science teacher took a rare break from biology, electricity and all the other things we studied that year and showed us Fantastic Voyage, because it's actually a really cool way to discuss the human body and what we knew about it at the time of filming.  And, of course, the movie co-starred Raquel Welch who seared herself into my budding consciousness as a wildly attractive woman of great intelligence, which is just the killer formula for making a lifelong fan of a kid.

I recall reading an interview where Welch mostly thought of herself as a working actor trying to make a living as a single mom when she found stardom, and while she was fighting blood cells with lasers, or fighting dinosaurs, she was thinking about making sure her kids had shoes.  That certainly skewed my perspective on her as a performer.

Fortunately, Welch went on to fame and fortune, only really retiring about five or six years ago.  IMDB credits her with 73 roles, a producer on 2 projects and a writer on 1.  She had more or less walked away from the spotlight since and hadn't conducted interviews in a few years.

A few years ago, I had opportunity to review a newly released BluRay of One Million Years B.C., and found it absolutely terrific.  And I feel I did a fair job of giving Welch her due in a movie with no spoken lines.

Because Welch never lost her beauty or glamour, I suppose I didn't realize she was aging like the rest of humanity.  I'm very sorry to hear she's gone on.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Cindy Williams Merges With The Infinite

Cindy Williams, who played Shirley on the popular sitcom Laverne & Shirley, has passed.  

It seems her passing must have been sudden as just last week I saw an ad for Williams' one-woman show, Me, Myself and Shirley, which was coming to Austin.  

Williams was a staple of 70's and 80's television, and a star of George Lucas' breakthrough hit, American Graffiti.  Williams appeared in the great Coppola film The Conversation, as well as countless movies and shows over the years.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Lisa Loring Merges With The Infinite

Lisa Loring, who most famously played Wednesday Addams on The Addams Family from 1964-1966, has passed.  

Like many child actors, Loring's post-Addams Family life was complex, dipping in and out of the spotlight from time to time, through tabloids and media appearances.   And, like many celebrities of retro media, Loring had made a career out of the fan shows and convention circuit.  She did act in TV and film, keeping mostly to guest starring roles and smaller films.

Remarkably, Loring really did grow up to somewhat resemble Carolyn Jones.  So, whomever from casting picked her out in 1964, well done.

Loring is survived by her two daughters.

Here's to the original Wednesday cutting a rug.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Astronaut Walter Cunningham Merges With The Infinite

Cunningham was key to the success of the Apollo missions, and after his tenure as an Astronaut, went on to support myriad technology and space-related ventures and was a prominent supporter of NASA and Houstonian.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Barbara Walters Merges With the Infinite

Journalist and television personality Barbara Walters has passed.

By the time I was aware of who was on TV, Barbara Walters was already an institution.  What I didn't really appreciate til college was what a pioneer Walters was.  There were other women in the newsfield, certainly, but Walters had become a national figure, hosting the national news and then becoming the person who had the most important interviews on television (that used to be a thing that was part of journalism before Oprah made soft-ball interviews her bag).  

Through countless stories delivered, interviews, and - of course - establishing the TV hot topics program The View (back before the show was about talking about the show itself, it was intended to discuss current events) - Walters brought the world to people's living rooms for decades.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Remembering Carrie Fisher

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the passing of Carrie Fisher.  Still miss her.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Angelo Badalamenti Merges With the Infinite

Composer and the gentleman who scored my middle high school years, Angelo Badalamenti, has passed.  

Sunday, November 20, 2022

PODCAST 221: "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm" (1993) - in memoriam, Kevin Conroy - w/ Stuart and Ryan

Watched:  11/18/2022
Format:  HBOmax
Viewing: Unknown
Decade:  1990's
Director:  Kevin Altieri, Boyd Kirkland, Frank Paur

Stuart and Ryan get together to discuss the 1993 animated film that featured the voice talent of Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman to multiple generations. We talk about the performances, art, and craft of the 1990's animated Batman material, and the tremendous impact of the cartoon and Conroy.



Main Title - Shirley Walker, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm 

DC Movies Playlist

Friday, November 11, 2022

Kevin Conroy Merges With The Infinite

Here at The Signal Watch, we're absolutely heartbroken to hear that actor Kevin Conroy has passed.  

Conroy voiced Bruce Wayne/ Batman across innumerable cartoons, video games and other projects.  For generations of Bat-fans was the definitive portrayal of the character.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Angela Lansbury Merges With the Infinite

Angela Lansbury, an actor whose career spanned 1944 - 2018 (not her life, her career!) has passed.  Let it be known that a pre-Murder She Wrote Lansbury was a stone cold fox, which is always a weird revelation about senior citizen TV detectives.  Go watch The Harvey Girls and then come back and we'll discuss.

Because Hollywood is weird, she was like 36 when she was cast to play the mother of the lead in The Manchurian Candidate - roughly 3 years older than her screen son, and it seems she played older characters for years to come - eventually catching up with herself and then maintaining a career as a plucky, sometimes feisty, occasionally insane (Sweeney Todd) individual.  

One of her last screen appearances was in Mary Poppins Returns (2018), but she was just sort of ubiquitous my entire life.  And, of course, as the voice of Mrs. Potts in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which I heard on a loop every 90 minutes for three years at the Disney Store.  

Here's to Ms. Lansbury, one of the last contemporaries of many of my favorite actors and one I count among our most beloved.  

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Judy Tenuta Merges With The Infinite

We're very sad - and, frankly, surprised - to hear about the passing of Judy Tenuta.  I'd followed Tenuta on facebook for a while and was aware she was ill, but saw no indication that she wasn't likely to recover.  

Tenuta was part of the stand-up comedy explosion of the 1980's and was close enough to my wheelhouse while also pushing on the boundaries of my suburban Texas world  - and funny as hell - that I was as much of a fan as a kid who was not hitting any comedy clubs could be. 

With her persona, turns of phrase and storytelling, she was kind of doing a bit of performance art that was rare then and I don't think there's much of anything like it now.  

Se didn't ever cross over into movie stardom and I don't think she ever got a sitcom. but she was amazingly fun and her facebook was relentlessly positive, often tagged with #itcouldhappen.  

Anyway, I'll miss knowing she's out there.  Who will call us pigs now?

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Loretta Lynn Merges With The Infinite

The great Loretta Lynn has passed.

An icon of 20th Century music, bridging generations and centuries and a true story of talent overcoming circumstances, while never forgetting your roots.  

Sunday, July 31, 2022

John Aielli Merges With the Infinite

If you ever lived in Austin, Texas, there's a strong chance you had stumbled across John Aielli's radio program, Eklektikos, on KUT - the public radio station operated out of the University of Texas.  

Aielli was famous for any number of idiosyncratic behaviors, and I swear to god, his show ran for what must have been 6-9 hours every day, Monday through Friday, for decades.  Aielli seemed utterly disconnected from how the world worked both inside and outside his studio, breaking into the middle of songs to make a comment.  Sometimes he'd stop a song and play a part over that he liked, or just take it off if he found it irritating.  He made comments that were so random, he became internet famous when KUT launched @ShitJohnAiellieSays.  

Nichelle Nichols Crosses Over to the Final Frontier

Actor and performer Nichelle Nichols, best known for her role as Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek television series - and who appeared in the original films - has passed.  

Nichols remained active in the fan community and planned a retirement tour for 2020, which was cut short by COVID.  But she loved her fans back, embracing what the show and her character meant to folks.

For many of us, Nichols helped promote the idea of diversity in mainstream media, appearing alongside a cast that was intended to represent a better Earth, one which had made great strides toward valuing all types of people and knew how to work together.  In many ways, Nichols was a pioneer of television - a medium which had minimal presentation of people of different races working alongside each other in the mid-60's.  And, of course, the famous kiss with Shatner.  And you can read for yourself how Dr. King convinced her to stay on the show.  

All of this was something I was somewhat unaware of as an 11-year-old with a crush on the communications officer on my space show whilst watching reruns at 5:00 PM everyday in the mid-1980's.  But finding all of this out over the years gave me perspective I know I never would have had, otherwise.  It's one thing to like Uhura, and I did and I do, but another to understand what Nichols did as a person and pioneer.

I was aware that Nichols was not well for some time, and I will truly miss knowing she was out there.  But I think we can all be grateful we got to share some time on this space sphere with her, if just for a bit.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Tim Sale Merges With The Infinite

Comics artist and illustrator Tim Sale has passed.  

Sale's work was singular, unmistakable, and reminded an industry what could be done with a certain minimalism if you knew how to capture the essence of character in gesture, expression and motion in a line.  He volleyed between Marvel and DC for a good bit, but I believe I remember learning of his work through Haunted Knight and then the superlative Long Halloween.  

His work at Marvel provided a depth to characters with whom we're all familiar on multiple series, such as Daredevil: Yellow and Spider-Man: Blue.  

As a Superman reader, it's hard not to point to the defining work of A Superman For All Seasons, a new chapter to the life of a young Man of Steel finding his place in the world.  It's a beautiful comic with a deeply sympathetic take on Superman that you simply wanted to comfort as he sought his place in the world.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Julee Cruise Merges With The Infinite

Vocalist and musician Julee Cruise has passed.  

Cruise is well known to fans of Twin Peaks, and is one of the signature sounds of the aural landscape of the show.  She released solo work as well as standing in for Cindy with the B-52's during tours.

She was s unique and rich talent, and she'll be missed.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Ray Liotta Merges With the Infinite

Ray Liotta, actor, has passed.  He'll be remembered most for his outstanding performance in Goodfellas and his iconic performance in Field of Dreams, but he was terrific in literally everything I saw him in.  

Friday, April 29, 2022

Comics Great Neal Adams Merges With The Infinite

Meeting Adams in November, 2013 

I am shocked and saddened to hear that Neal Adams passed on Thursday.

Adams' work looms large for all comics fans, and for us Superman and Batman fans, it's seminal work.  Of course he's covered all sorts of other things.  Jamie has an Adams' Wonder Woman print on her office wall.  But to me he's the guy who brought Muhammad Ali to the DCU and advocated for Siegel and Shuster to be recognized financially and as creators when Superman: The Movie was in production.  

He brought an illustrative realism and humanity to his characters that pushed all of comics to a new level when he arrived, and he never quit pushing boundaries as an active creator right up to his passing.  

Do yourself a favor and look for some Neal Adams comics.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Gilbert Gottfried Merges With the Infinite

Comedian and actor Gilbert Gottfried has passed.   And I'm going to miss him.

Gottfried was someone it seems literally everyone knew, and he was a YMMV kind of personality, drifting between doing stuff for kids to telling deeply dark jokes at Friar's Club Roasts.  And, yeah, he was the voice of both the AFLAC Duck (until he went dark and got fired), and Iago from Aladdin, but he was also the voice of Mr. Mxyzptlk on Superman: The Animated Series, and is now what I hear in my head when I see the character in new or old comics.

But, really, I think of Gottfried as part of the two-headed hosting beast of USA's Up All Night schlock movie program.  One night would be the lovely and hilarious Rhonda Shear, and the next you'd get Gottfried hosting you through A Polish Vampire in Burbank, Cannibal Women of the Avocado Jungle, etc...   He would wander the streets, amusement parks, bars, whatever... and be there with you in the wee hours as you made it to the end of H.O.T.S. or whatever.  He was truly a pal (and I also kind of wanted his job).

I do love how he knew what he was, embraced it, and was always the funniest @#$%ing dude in whatever he was in.  Truly, never afraid to go there.