Dick Miller, prolific screen actor and B-Movie legend, best known for his role as Murray Futterman in the 1984 classic horror film Gremlins, has died. He was 90.
With a career spanning more than 60 years, Miller has made hundreds of on screen appearances, beginning in the 1950’s with legendary director and producer Roger Corman. It was then that he starred as Walter Paisley – a character the actor would reprise throughout his career – in the cult classic “A Bucket of Blood,” before going on to land roles on projects such as The ‘Burbs, Fame and The Terminator.
Miller also boasts a long history of high-profile director partnerships, working with the likes of James Cameron, Ernest Dickerson, Martin Scorsese, John Sayles and, perhaps most notably, Joe Dante, who used Miller in almost every project he helmed.
In one of Dante’s earlier films, Piranha, Miller played Buck Gardner, a small-time real estate agent opening up a new resort on Lost River Lake. The only catch? A large school of genetically altered piranha have accidentally been released into the resort’s nearby rivers. Next up was a police chief role in the 1979 film Rock ‘n’ Roll High School before reprising the Walter Paisley mantle as an occult bookshop owner in Dante’s 1981 horror film The Howling.
Other notable appearances include the 1986 cult favorite Night of the Creeps, where he shared the screen with Tom Atkins as a police ammunition’s officer named Walt – he supplies Atkins with some necessary firepower in the face of an alien worm-zombie invasion – and a pawnshop owner in James Cameron’s 1984 hit The Terminator; the same year he appeared in yet another of Dante’s films, Gremlins.
Most recently, Miller reprised the role of Walter Paisley for a final time as a rabbi in Eben McGarr’s horror film Hanukkah.
Miller is survived by his wife Lainie, daughter Barbara and granddaughter Autumn.
Dante called him “one of his most treasured collaborators,” writing, “I ‘grew up’ (kinda) watching Dick Miller in movies from the 50’s on and was thrilled to have him in my first movie for Roger Corman.”
January 31, 2019 | Categories: Deaths | Tags: Action, Actor, Art, Biography, celebrities, entertainment, funny, Gremlins, History, Horror, humor, Humour, Images, Joe Dante, Roger Corman, Scorsese, Television, Terminator, tv, video, Violence | Leave a comment
May 9, 2015 | Categories: Posters | Tags: Actors, Biography, Controversial, Cult, Disturbing, Documentary, Festival, Horrifying, Horror, Images, Independent, Legend, Rodney As, Scay, Sci-Fi, Serial Killer, Suspense, Terror, The Shining, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment
Long-time former studio and media executive Alan J. Hirschfield has died of natural causes at 79 in his Wilson, Wyoming, home, his son confirmed. Hirschfield was perhaps best known for overseeing the creation of Taxi Driver and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but had a long career heading a number of media and entertainment companies before becoming a consultant and board member with many more companies in the industry and beyond.
Hirschfield was born in New York and grew up in Oklahoma. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma, and an MBA from Harvard University.
Hirschfield was CEO of Columbia Pictures from 1973 to 1978 before being ousted because he refused on moral grounds to reinstate David Begelman, who had embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from the studio. Between 1982 and 1986, Hirschfield was chairman of Twentieth Century Fox, then became a consultant for several years, including two as consultant to the chairman of Warner Communications.
From 1990 to 1992, Hirschfield was an investment banker and also co-CEO of Financial News Network. From 1992 to 2000, he was co-CEO of Data Broadcasting Corp., which subsequently merged with Financial Times/Pearson’s Inc. He then returned to consulting in the media and entertainment industry as president of Norman Hirschfield and Company. In the 1960s, he was an investment banker, and director and CFO of Warner/7 Arts.
A busy man, Hirschfield served on the boards of directors of Forbes, Carmike Cinemas, CBS Marketwatch, Billboard Publishing, Motown Records, Chappell Music Publishing, Chyron Corp., Cantel Medical Corp., Peregrine Systems, Interactive Data Corp., Enercrest, Wiltel Corp. and Leucadia National Corp. For decades, Hirschfield collected notable artifacts and art tied to the Old West and Native Americans. He also served with a number of philanthropic and non-profit organizations, including as director of the Lymphoma Research Foundation, as a trustee of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, The George Gustav Haye Center of the National Museum of the American Indian, Grand Teton Music Festival and the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole. He also was a trustee of the American Film Institute and an MPAA director.He is survived by his wife, Berte Hirschfield and three children.
January 19, 2015 | Categories: Deaths | Tags: Alan J. Hirschfield, Aliens, Biography, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Controversial, Hirschfield, Hollywood, Icons, Images, Independent, Legend, media and entertainment, Sci-Fi, Serial Killer, Suspense, Taxi Driver, Thriller, University of Oklahoma, Violence | Leave a comment
Rod Taylor, the Australian-born film and television actor who appeared in Inglourious Basterds and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic The Birds, died of natural causes Wednesday, several sources confirmed. He was 84.
Taylor appeared in more than 50 films and dozens of TV shows over the course a decades-long career. In the ’50s, he appeared in such television shows as Studio 57and western Cheyenne, and guest-starred in an episode of The Twilight Zone (“And When The Sky Was Opened”) in 1959.
His first leading role in a feature film was in 1960’s Time Machine, George Pal’s adaptation of the science-fiction classic by H. G. Wells. Taylor played a time traveller who, thousands of years in the future, falls for a woman played by Yvette Mimieux.
Taylor segued back and forth between film and television roles in the 1960s, landing a starring role in Hitchcock’s 1963 classic The Birds as Mitch Brenner, whose home and town came under a menacing attack by birds.
He took on more tough-guy roles toward of the end of ’60s in films such as Chuka, Dark Of The Sun, Nobody Runs Forever and Darker Than Amber.
Taylor turned again to television in the ’70s, appearing in Bearcats! (1971) on CBS and in The Oregon Trail (1976) on NBC. He also had a regular role in the short-lived spy drama series Masquerade. His later TV credits included Falcon Crest, Murder She Wrote and Walker, Texas Ranger. His most recent film appearance was in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds in 2009, playing Winston Churchill in a cameo.
January 9, 2015 | Categories: Deaths | Tags: Action, Actors, Australian, Biography, Cult, H.G. Wells, Hollywood, Icons, Independent, Inglourious Basterds, Legend, Rod Taylor, Sci-Fi, Suspense, Television, television shows, Texas Ranger, The Birds, The Oregon Trail, The Time Machine, The Twilight Zone, Thriller, Walker | Leave a comment
One of the most prolific and beloved of British crime novelists, P.D. James, passed away today in Oxford, England. Best known for her series of detective novels centering around Scotland Yard Commander/poet Adam Dagliesh, James was 94. Her non-Dagliesh book, Children Of Men, was the basis for Alfonso Cuaron’s 2006 Oscar nominated film of the same name. She also recently was the impetus for Death Comes To Pemberley, a BBC and Masterpiece miniseries based on her novel that imagines Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice characters later in life and faced with a murderous scandal. Several of her earlier books were also transferred to the small screen including Death Of An Expert Witness, Unnatural Causes, A Taste For Death, Devices And Desires, A Mind To Murder and Death In Holy Orders.
Phyllis Dorothy James White was born in Oxford in 1920 and began writing in the mid-50s. Her first Dagliesh novel, Cover Her Face, was published in 1962. In 1991, she became Baroness James of Holland Park, but was better known as “the Queen of Crime.” Her publisher, Faber & Faber, today announced her passing with the following statement: “This is a very sad day for us at Faber. It is difficult to express our profound sadness at losing P.D. James, one of the world’s great writers and a Faber author since her first publication in 1962. She was so very remarkable in every aspect of her life, an inspiration and great friend to us all. It is a privilege to publish her extraordinary books. Working with her was always the best of times, full of joy. We will miss her hugely.”
November 28, 2014 | Categories: Deaths | Tags: Actors, Alfonso Cuaron, Art, Biography, Children of Men, Classic, Clive Owen, Controversial, Cult, Disturbing, Hollywood, Horror, Icons, Images, Independent, Legend, Post Apocalyptic, Sci-Fi, Suspense, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment
Legendary film and theater director, writer and producer Mike Nichols has passed away. An Oscar winner for 1967′s seminal The Graduate, he also was nominated for such films as Working Girl, Silkwood and Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? For his stage work, he amassed 10 Tony Awards including as director for such plays as Barefoot In The Park, The Odd Couple, The Prisoner Of Second Avenue andDeath Of A Salesman; and as producer of Annie and The Real Thing.
“William Goldman said there were two great American film directors—Elia Kazan and Mike Nichols,” said Broadway producer Emanuel Azenberg, who co-produced Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing with Nichols, who also staged ythe play’s Tony-winning Broadway edition with Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons. “I think that’s true. He was a giant who could convince people to be better than they were.”
Nichols died suddenly late Wednesday night at 83 and his passing was announced on Thursday morning by ABC News President James Goldston. Nichols was married to ABC News Anchor Diane Sawyer. Goldston said this morning, “He was a true visionary, winning the highest honors in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic and was one of a tiny few to win the EGOT — an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony in his lifetime. No one was more passionate about his craft than Mike… Mike and Diane were married for 26 years. He leaves behind three children — Daisy, Max and Jenny — and four wonderful grandchildren… The family will hold a small, private service this week, and a memorial will be held at a later date.”
Nichols’ last film as director was 2007′s Charlie Wilson’s War with Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman. In 2012, he staged a Tony-winning revival of Death Of A Salesman with Hoffman as Willy Loman. At the time of his death, he was working on an adaptation of Terrence McNally’s Tony-winning play about Maria Callas, Master Class, for HBO.
Nichols was an “extraordinary talent. Consummate gentleman. One of the legends,” HBO CEO Richard Plepler said this morning. “Legend is often overused, but he was a legend and most importantly he was unbelievably decent and had time for everybody, mentored a lot of young talent. That is a vacuum that will not be filled.”
Steven Spielberg weighed in on Nichols’ passing this morning with the following statement to Deadline:
“Mike was a friend, a muse, a mentor, one of America’s all time greatest film and stage directors, and one of the most generous people I have ever known. For me, The Graduate was life altering — both as an experience at the movies as well as a master class about how to stage a scene. Mike had a brilliant cinematic eye and uncanny hearing for keeping scenes ironic and real. Actors never gave him less than their personal best — and then Mike would get from them even more. And in a room full of people, Mike was always the center of gravity. This is a seismic loss.”
Nichols was born in Germany in 1931 and moved to the U.S. with his family at age seven. He pursued theater while attending the University of Chicago in the early 1950s. Although he was studying medicine, his true calling was comedy. He met Elaine May in Chicago and the pair formed a legendary comedy duo, winning a Grammy in 1962 for Best Comedy Album.
In 1964, he directed Barefoot In The Park on Broadway, and followed that up with The Odd Couple in 1965. His first film as director was Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? in 1966 which won five Oscars including Best Actress for Elizabeth Taylor. He followed that up the next year with The Graduate, putting Dustin Hoffman on the map and earning seven Oscar nominations. Nichols won his first Oscar for directing the film. In the early 70’s, he helmed Carnal Knowledge and in the 80’s made a string of now classic movies that includes Silkwood, Heartburn and Working Girl. He produced 1993′s Best Picture nominee The Remains Of The Day, and in 1996 transferred The Birdcage to film with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane starring. His 1998 Primary Colors opened the Cannes Film Festival that year.
The list of actors with whom Nichols worked on stage and screen is a who’s who of Hollywood, past and present. They include (in no particular order) Julie Christie, Lillian Gish, George C Scott, Richard Dreyfuss, Morgan Freeman, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Emma Thompson, John Travolta, Kathy Bates, Natalie Portman, Christopher Walken, John Goodman, Kevin Kline, Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Ron Silver, Anne Bancroft, Candice Bergen, Gene Hackman, Robert Redford, Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
November 21, 2014 | Categories: Deaths | Tags: Actors, American film directors, Anne Bancroft, Art, Awards, Barefoot In The Park, Biography, Candice Bergen, Christopher Walken, Controversial, Cult, Death of a Salesman, Diane Sawyer, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Taylor., Emma Thompson, Gene Hackman, George C Scott, Harrison Ford, Hollywood, Icons, Images, Independent, Jack Nicholson, John Goodman, John Travolta, Julia Roberts, Julie Christie, Kathy Bates, Kevin Kline, Legend, Lillian Gish, Meryl Streep, Mike Nichols, Morgan Freeman, Natalie Portman, Nudity, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Burton, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Redford, Robin Williams, Ron Silver, Steve Martin, Suspense, Thriller, Tom Hanks | Leave a comment
In the kind of move not generally seen, ‘serious’ director Lee Daniels is taking a turn toward the horror genre. The helmer who last directed Lee Daniels’ The Butler, The Paperboy and Precious will direct the fact-based film currently titled Demon House. The film is based on Latoya Ammons and her family, whose life rights made this film possible. They claim to have been victims of a demonic possession that has spanned over two years and counting. Ammons and her family have received international media attention for their accounts, which have been witnessed and documented by the Department of Child Services, the Gary (IN) Police Department and hospital staff.
The experience began with unusual occurrences in her home over two years ago, including swarms of flies around her porch in the winter and unexplainable creaking sounds in her basement. The events progressed to possessive incidents including her oldest daughter unconsciously levitating above her bed, medical staff witnessing her middle son gliding backward on the floor, wall and ceiling. According to Relativity, the DCS case manager witnessed her youngest son growling with his teeth showing and eyes rolled back, locking his hands around his older brother’s throat with no recollection of the incident. Initial psychological exams and exorcism attempts failed to provide explanation or solution for the bizarre events.
November 13, 2014 | Categories: Documentary, NEWS: Horror | Tags: Biography, Child Services, Controversial, Cult, demonically possessed, Disturbing, Exorcism, Gary Indiana, Hollywood, Horror, Images, Independent, Latoya Ammons, Police, Possessed, Possession, Suspense, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment
Anthology Horror is doing well at the moment, the V/H/S and ABC’s of Death both doing solid business, now we have Tales of Halloween which will consist of ten segments from eleven directors. Tales of Halloween will bring together directors like Neil Marshall (The Descent) and Darren Bousman (Saws II-IV) in celebration of that most macabre of holidays.
In addition to Marshall and Bousman, there’s Joe Begos (Almost Human), Axelle Carolyn (Soulmate), Adam Gierasch (Night of the Demons), Andrew Kasch (Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy) and John Skipp (Stay at Home Dad), Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider!), Dave Parker (The Hills Run Red), Ryan Schifrin (Abominable), and Paul Solet (Grace).
All of the interconnected segments will take place during Halloween night in one quiet American town. Well, one typically-quiet American town. On this particular evening it’s being terrorized by all manner of horrifying creatures, from ghouls and aliens to good-old-fashioned murderers.
Carolyn was the one to come up with the project, and will serve as producer alongside Mendez. Many of the filmmakers come from the same Los Angeles scene and are such good friends they even have a cute name for themselves, The October Society.
“It’s so great to be working with such a unique and talented group of directors,” said Marshall. “Many of The October Society have been friends for years, so when Axelle had the idea of combining our talents for an anthology based on our mutual love of Halloween and all things scary, it was a no-brainer.”
Pre-production on Tales of Halloween is already underway, and shooting is expected to begin in November. There’s no release date for this one yet, but it seems a safe bet that we can expect it out in time for the holiday next year… cool poster.
October 31, 2014 | Categories: NEWS: Horror | Tags: Action, Adam Gierasch, Axelle Carolyn, Biography, Controversial, Cult, Darren Bousman, Disturbing, Franchise, Gore, Halloween, Halloween night, Hollywood, Horror, Icons, Images, Independent, Legend, Mike Mendez, Neil Marshall, Possession, Scream Queens, Serial Killer, Slasher, Suspense, Thriller, Vampires, Violence, Zombies | 2 Comments
Mike Mignola was born September 16, 1960 in Berkeley, California and grew up in nearby Oakland. His fascination with ghosts and monsters began at an early age (he doesn’t remember why) and reading Dracula at age 13 introduced him to Victorian literature and folklore from which he has never recovered.
In 1982, hoping to find a way to draw monsters for a living, he moved to New York City and began working for Marvel Comics—First as a (very terrible, according to the man himself) inker and then as an artist on comics like Rocket Raccoon, Alpha Flight, and The Hulk.
By the late 80’s he had begun to develop his signature style (Thin lines, clunky shapes and lots of black) and moved onto higher profile commercial projects like Cosmic Odyssey (1988) and Gotham by Gaslight (1989) for DC Comics, and the not so commercial Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser (1990) for Marvel. In 1992 he drew the comic book adaptation of the film Bram Stoker’s Dracula for Topps Comics.
In 1993 Mike moved to Dark Horse comics and created Hellboy – A half-demon occult detective who may or may not be the Beast of the Apocalypse. While the first story line (Seed of Destruction 1994) was co-written by John Byrne, Mike has continued writing the series himself. There are, at this moment, 13 HELLBOY graphic novel collections (with more on the way), several spin-off titles (BPRD, Lobster Johnson, Abe Sapien and Witchfinder), 3 anthologies of prose stories, several novels, 2 animated films and 2 live action films staring Ron Perlman. Hellboy has earns numerous comic industry awards and is published in a great many countries.
Mike also created the award-winning comic book The Amazing Screw-On Head and has co-written two novels (Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire and Joe Golem and the Drowning City) with best selling author Christopher Golden.
Mike worked (very briefly) with Francis Ford Coppola on his film Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), was a production designer on the Disney film Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) and was visual consultant to director Guillermo del Toro on Blade II (2002), Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008).
Mike considers The Magician and the Snake the best thing he has ever done. Though scripted and drawn by him the 6 page story was actually plotted by his daughter Katie (at the time 7 years old) and earned both of them Eisner Awards for best short story.
He lives somewhere in Southern California with his wife, daughter, a lot of books and a cat. He is one of the few comic artists that I buy work unseen based on his participation (the others are Berni Wrightson, Liberatore and Eric Powell) I suggest you purchase some of his work immediately.
September 16, 2014 | Categories: Biography, Biography: AUTHORS | Tags: Abe Sapien, Action, Aliens, Art, Batman, Berkeley, Biography, Blockbuster, Bram Stoker's Dracula, California, Classic, Comic Book Movies, Controversial, Cult, Disturbing, Dracula, Festival, Franchise, Gore, Groot, Guillermo Del Toro, Hellboy, Horror, Icons, Images, Independent, Legend, Lobster Johnson, Marvel Comics, Mike Mignola, Possession, Post Apocalyptic, Sci-Fi, Scream Queens, Serial Killer, Suspense, The Walking Dead, Thriller, Vampires, Violence, Zombies | 1 Comment