The recent passing of some of our most beloved actors brings to mind others also lost in recent years
For many, actors prove to be more than just a form of entertainment. They become role models and friends, in spite of the majority of us having never met our celeb idols. With the latest deaths of Robin Williams and Lord Richard Attenborough, it’s time for a journey of remembrance for some of our favourite actors who have passed away in recent years.
Lord Richard Attenborough
Perhaps one of Britain’s most prominent actors, Richard Attenborough sadly passed away on the 24th ofAugust 2014, aged 90, only five days before his 91st birthday. His career spanned six decades, and he was most known for his role in the Jurassic Park franchise and his Oscar award-winning direction and production of Ghandi. Though his participation in Spielberg’s sci-fi action adventure films made him recognised, his most heart-warming role was as our favourite Santa Claus in the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
The New York Times referred to him as “perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation.” Philip Seymour Hoffman died at the age of 46 from acute mixed drug intoxication earlier this year on 2 February 2014. He portrayed Truman Capote in the film Capote, earning him an Oscar for best actor, but we probably love him best for his bad guy role in Mission Impossible III. Having completed his involvement in The Hunger Games before his death, Hoffman will still be appearing in the final two-part film, Mockingjay.
The uncle we all hated to the wizard we all loved, Richard Griffiths, who played Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter series, died from heart surgery complications on the 28th of March 2013. He also starred in Hugo, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Attenborough’s Ghandi, among other films. He may have been the Muggle we all despised, but the man himself, we’ll miss.
Much-loved onscreen street racer Paul Walker met a tragic end after his car crashed into a concrete light pole and two trees while on his way to a charity event on 30 November 2013. Walker’s breakout parts consisted of teen movies such as She’s All That and Varsity Blue. However, we all fell in love with the blue-eyed heartthrob after he played Brian O’Conner in the action movie, The Fast and The Furious. He had reprised his role in all but one of its sequels and is still set to appear in the seventh instalment.
Before Michael Caine assumed the role of Batman’s beloved butler, Michael Gough adopted the part of Alfred Pennyworth in all four of the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher series. Despite the revival of a very dark Batman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, Gough will always remain in our minds as one of the best Alfreds to have graced our screens. In addition to this, performing for over sixty years, Gough is credited with an astounding number of 180 contributions on IMDB to the world of cinema. He died on the 17th of March 2011, his cause of death unknown.
Once a teen idol, Patrick Swayze was taken by pancreatic cancer at the age of 57 on 14 September 2009. Swayze became one of the most appealing men in cinema after he took on the role of Johnny Castle in the romantic, coming-of-age drama Dirty Dancing. Swayze’s name became common in hip hop culture, the phrase ‘…and I’m Swayze’ meant to be ‘like a ghost’ after he starred alongside Whoopi Goldberg and Demi Moore in the movie Ghost. It was the highest-grossing film of 1990 and featured the iconic clay scene, which established Swayze’s title as the sex symbol of the 90s.
Actor and director Heath Ledger died on the 22nd of January 2008 at the young age of 28. Ledger, much like Robin Williams, suffered from depression, and also experienced insomnia. The two conditions coinciding led the actor to accidently overdose on sleeping pills, anxiety medication and painkillers. Ledger’s passing was only a few months after he finished filming his role as the Joker in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. The part posthumously awarded him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and several other awards. Though he finished filming for the Batman movie, his death occurred mid-production of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell agreed to complete the role Ledger was playing, and all their earnings for the film went to Ledger’s daughter to secure her economic future. Starring in only nineteen movies, Heath Ledger originally found his way into the hearts of millions when he played Ennis Del Mar in the epic romantic drama Brokeback Mountain, and he hasn’t left since.
Though not mentioned in the list above, as we travel down memory lane it is worth mentioning James Avery, Cory Monteith, Whitney Houston, Cliff Roberson, John Ritter and Brittany Murphy, admired talents who are with us no more. And, there are many more stars who have latched on to our affections over the years: music artists, comedians, TV personalities and many more. May they all rest in peace.
Image from: http://www.therakyatpost.com/life/movies-life/2014/08/25/richard-attenborough-top-five-films-directed/
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